@Tigers 6, Pirates 0: Conditions were good for a Verlander no-hit bid — he was at home, where his opponents have a .226 career BA (.240 away); Pittsburgh came in hitting .221; and just like last year’s May no-no, Detroit was scuffling along a couple of games under .500. He could smell it in the 8th, when he whiffed the side with a some 99-mph readings. But with 2 outs to go and a 1-2 count, Josh Harrison — the Pirate least likely to strike out this year — broke it up with a fine defensive swing.
- Verlander fanned 12. Harrison was the only one he never got.
- He didn’t get a Tigers-record 3rd no-hitter, but he did tie his career best with a 95 Game Score, set in his 2007 no-no.
- If you were a hitter trying to bust up a Verlander gem, would it violate some unwritten rule to step out of the box and sing that commercial ditty?
@Blue Jays 14, Mets 5: It wasn’t nearly as close as the score suggests. Mets color man Ron Darling said in the pregame that the ball carries better in the Rogers Centre when the roof is open, but none of Toronto’s 5 HRs needed any help. Just when Jon Niese was on the verge of escaping a 1st-inning jam with a pair of strikeouts, J.P. Arencibia touched off the carnage with a 3-run rainmaker, his 3rd straight game with a bomb; he blew up again his next time up.
- Yan Gomes, the first Brazilian ever in MLB, did it with a high-kick samba flair. In a 5-minute search, I couldn’t find a Portuguese translation of “home run.”
- Rajai Davis, with 13 career HRs in 1,839 PAs (0.7%) and none in his last 85 games, walloped a pair worth admiring.
- Jon Niese: 3 IP, 4 HRs, 6Ks. You’ve never seen that line before. But we do have three prior examples of 3 IP or less with 6+ Ks and 8+ runs.
- For the 2nd time in 3 games, David Wright left early, but this time without controversy. A bloop double in 3 trips (his best drive was snared at the fence) dropped him to .409.
- Freeman has 31 RBI in his last 29 games.
- Chipper scored Run #1,580 and kicked the Rajah out of the top 50, then left with what we hope is just his weekly minor injury.
Orioles 2, @Nationals 1 (11): Baltimore reached the quarter pole at 26-14, best in the AL.
- Four scoreless innings shaved the O’s bullpen ERA to 2.07, best in baseball. This was the 10th game (9th win) in which at least 3 Baltimore relievers tossed one or more scoreless innings. They’re 6-2 in extra innings.
- Nick Markakis in extra innings, career: 29 for 67, .433 BA, OBP around .530, 18 runs. But this was his first extra-inning HR. He has 111 career taters, but still doesn’t own a walk-off.
- Edwin Jackson (1 R in 8 IP, 8 Ks, 95 pitches) began this year with a 1.94 SO/BB ratio in his 5 full years. This year it’s 4.60 (46 Ks, 10 walks in 51.2 IP).
And here’s the last CG shutout by a 40+ pitcher.
Mariners 4, @Rockies 0: Continuing the “old guy makes good” theme, Kevin Millwood held Colorado to a pair of singles for his first shutout since 2003. It was the lowest-hit CG in Coors Field since Roy Oswalt’s 1-hitter in 2008.
- It was the first shutout by a Mariner since Jason Vargas hurled 3 in 4 weeks last year.
- Didn’t we just have another guy toss his first whitewash since 2003? Not to take away from these shutouts, but we wouldn’t be noticing such things if completes games hadn’t become so scarce and we hadn’t gone through a 15-year stretch when even team shutouts were few and far between.
- No surprise the Rockies came out flat, after yesterday’s dispiriting ending.
- Quick — when was the last time you saw a righty pull one down the LF line and wind up on 3rd without a play? Trout got a little help from a dead spot in the OF wall, but damnthatkidcanfly.
- Will Trout scale the heights reached by the other aquatic Angels, Tim Salmon and “Gar” Anderson? How often will he make the catch of the day? He can handle a fastball, but can he hit the hook and the sinker on a line? Will his style spawn imitators? In other words: is he the reel thing?
Yeah, that’s a wrap.