(some West Coast games are still going on)
Shortened schedule for MLB tonight, but plenty of weird things going on.
Just 8 days after Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey was lifted after recording 21 outs of a no-hitter, Texas’ Rich Harden was taken out in the middle of a no-hitter of his own (on a Nolan Ryan-owned team no less). He walked 5 and threw 111 pitches in 6.2 innings before getting the hook.
-This time, the bullpen didn’t give it up within two batters, as they kept the no-hitter intact until 1 out in the ninth, when (predictably) Joe Mauer singled.
–Harden had entered the game with a 5.45 ERA and career-worsts in strikeout rate, walk rate, ERA, and velocity.
Jose Bautista hit two home runs, accounting for all three Toronto runs.
-The second was his 40th of the year.
–last year, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Pena led the AL with 39 (yea, Pena missed all of September with a broken hand, and would certainly have hit more, but the fact remains that last year’s AL leader hit 39 home runs.)
—I’ll repeat this for emphasis, because it pretty much sums up this blog: it’s August 23rd and Jose Bautista has 40 home runs.
John Lackey struck out 10 Mariners, smashing his previous season-high of 7.
-Then again, it’s the Mariners.
The Ghost of Todd Helton went 4-4.
-He raised his batting average 10 points just from this game.
Ross Ohlendorf really can’t buy a win. This time he tried to use an injury to at least get a no-decision, leaving the game with tightness in his shoulder after just two batters and eight pitches.
-However, both of those batters reached base, and Albert Pujols sent the very first pitch after Ohlendorf left the game over the center field wall.
–Yup. Ohlendorf is now 1-11.
Jesse Chavez was charged with 7 earned runs over 1 inning of work.
-As rare as it is to see starters charged with a line like that, it’s almost unheard of for a reliever. They usually have shorter leashes.
Joe Blanton gave up 1 run over 7 innings while walking none and striking out 9.
-That’s Joe Blanton of the career 5.7 K/9
–The Phillies lost anyway
Barring a complete meltdown, Matt Cain will actually get a win tonight.
-It helps when the opposing starter, Edinson Volquez in this case, has more walks (3) than outs recorded (2).