Monday night, Silver Hawks pitcher Archie Bradley threw a no-hitter.
Through five innings, anyway. Then he took a seat.
The Diamondbacks want Bradley handled with care. After all, he's the #2 prospect in their entire organization. And they'd much rather have him throw no-hitters in the major leagues.
Bradley's story begins at the end. The end of last season, that is, when pitched a two-hit shutout to lead his high school team in Oklahoma to the state title, and eclipsed a rare milestone in the process.
"My advisor, who is now my agent," Bradley recalled, "he was like, 'oh by the way, you hit a 100. Actually 101.'"
Yeah, that's miles per hour. A month later, Bradley was the seventh overall pick in the draft, by the Diamondbacks.
"Finishing the season with that performance really just kind of sealed it for me to move up and be picked pretty high," Bradley said.
The Diamondbacks signed him for $5 million and sent him to South Bend, bringing with him pressure other players simply don't have to deal with.
"There's a ton of pressure," Bradley admitted. "You get the money jokes, you get the first round jokes, and if you go out there and have a bad outing, all those guys are sitting there, 'oh well, we picked this guy in the first round, we signed him for this amount of money,' but the same time, you have to deal with the pressure."
Thankfully, he hasn't had to do it all alone.
"I went to dinner with some of the big leaguers during spring training," Bradley said, "and Justin Upton actually gave me some advice. He just said, 'you're gonna get rattled, you're gonna get the jokes, you're gonna get harassed about it, but the thing is, you were picked there because of your talent,' he's like, 'so regardless of what anyone else says, regardless of how you're playing, you know how good you are and you know what you can do, so just let your actions on the field speak for themselves and keep your mouth shut and things will work out."
"He flat out can throw," Silver Hawks manager Mark Haley said. "And for a young kid like he is, he's big, he's strong, he commands very well, good curveball, power curveball, not afraid to pitch in. I don't know how long he'll be with us."
Which is why this is still the beginning of Bradley's story. He knows where he'd like it to end.
"I just wanna show that I don't belong," Bradley said. "In reality, you're put at the lower levels to prove you don't belong, to prove you need to be moved up."