A right-handed Philadelphia pitcher who tossed the Phillies’ first no-hitter in eight years is giving glory to God for the historic feat.
Michael Lorenzen threw a 124-pitch no-hitter in Philadelphia’s 7-0 win over Washington on Wednesday night, striking out five and walking four but not allowing a single hit in his home debut. Lorenzen was traded from the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 1.
He was only the fifth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to toss a no-hitter in a home debut with a new team.
“I didn’t strike out the world in this game,” Lorenzen told NBC Sports Philadelphia following the game. “When you’re pitching, balls can land in different places. And I just had God’s grace today. I definitely got to thank Him for today. I’ve gotta give Him all the glory, just to be able to keep me calm and trust in Him. Whatever happened, I was just going to trust in Him and that’s kind of what I’ve been doing all season — trying to just lean on Him.”
Lorenzen added, “There were a lot of hard-hit balls and thankfully there to centerfield not left to right,” referencing the “corners” of a baseball field that can give outfielders trouble.
Lorenzen, 31, said his no-hitter didn’t begin smoothly.
“I was upset at myself for those first couple of innings that were long innings, walking guys. And I knew like, ‘Man, I just ruined my chances to go deep in this game.’” he said.
Baseball managers often operate on a pitch count and pull their starters before they surpass the threshold. The Phillies’ manager, though, kept him in the game. He said he told the coaches, “I'm feeling good – it's nice and cool outside. It's not too hot [and] I'm recovering nicely.”
Lorenzen’s Instagram profile reads, “Unashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” His wife Cassi gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl, last year.
He told Renewed Strength Fitness in 2016 how he came to faith in Christ while growing up in a broken home. Sports Spectrum shared the anecdote this week.
“I started smoking weed. The first time I smoked was in eighth grade,” Lorenzen said. “The first time I got drunk was also in eighth grade. One day, I went on this pier with all of my buddies; we were high, and we went onto the pier to get some food. I was 16 or 17, and this guy was sharing about Jesus. He asked us if he could share something about God with us, and we kind of looked at him and laughed a little bit and said, ‘Sure, go ahead.'”
He added, “This guy gave me the Gospel message. It hit me. I had to think about everything he said. I think I was the only one who left that place and was really impacted. God had chosen me to be spoken to and I’m forever grateful for that reason that He chose me to speak into my life and change my life. Ever since that day, the seed was planted and I started going to church with my brother, and finally the message made sense to me. It was life. It was truth. I ended up going up and giving my life to the Lord.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Mitchell Leff/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.