Not a lot has gone right for the Colorado Rockies this season, but for at least one night, Chad Bettis gave fans a reason to enjoy their baseball team.
The Texas native, who entered Friday with just three 2015 starts under his belt, tossed eight shutout innings of just two-hit baseball against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was perfect through six innings and didn’t give up the first hit until a Cody Asche single with one out in the eighth inning. While he didn’t complete the no-hitter, it was an impressive performance nonetheless.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the 26-year-old, who seems to be figuring everything out.
1. He Was a High School Superstar in Texas
Bettis attended Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas. With a 1.11 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 88 innings, he earned an honorable mention to the Louisville Slugger High School All-American team.
He was drafted in the eighth round by the Houston Astros but chose to attend college instead of signing.
2. He Attended Texas Tech University, Where He Played for 3 Years
Bettis turned down the bright lights of professional baseball and chose to attend Texas Tech, which was located less than three miles away from his high school.
After struggling to find consistency as a freshman, he established himself as the Red Raiders’ top pitcher as a sophomore, going 6-1 with a 3.59 ERA. During his junior year, he compiled a 4.41 ERA with seven starts and 10 saves.
Those numbers may not have jumped out on paper, but Bettis’ upper-90’s fastball, powerful slider and versatility had scouts intrigued. He was taken in the second round (76th overall) by the Rockies in 2010.
3. He Made His Major League Debut in 2013
After missing the entire 2012 season due to a shoulder injury, Bettis returned strong in 2013. Ranked as the team’s fifth-best prospect by Baseball America, he breezed through Double-A and got a call to the Show in August.
His debut, however, didn’t go so well, as he compiled a 5.64 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over 16 appearances (eight starts).
4. He Became a Relief Pitcher in 2014, But it Was a Failed Experiment
The Rockies moved Bettis to the bullpen at the end of the 2013 season and kept him there for the majority of 2014. Many believed he would end up as a closer or set-up man when he was drafted, but he never seemed to get comfortable working in relief. He finished 2014 with a dreadful 9.12 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in 24.2 innings.
5. He’s Finally Figuring it Out in 2015
Chad. Bettis. pic.twitter.com/xwHGPj6aUA
— Rockies PR (@RockiesPR) May 30, 2015
Bettis transitioned back to a starter for this season. He began the year in Triple-A but was called up to start on May 14. After a shaky start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was solid against the Phillies on May 19, shut down the Rockies (8.1 innings, six hits, two runs allowed) and added a two-hitter to his resume on Friday.
After this gem against Philadelphia, he holds a 2.96 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. The Rockies are 4-0 in games he has started.