Scott Olsen had his no hitter broken up with one out in the top of the
eighth inning against the Braves. If he had actually no-hit Atlanta, it would have been the second time on the young season that it happened (See, Jimenez, Ubaldo). That wouldn’t have been good. Indeed, after the game, Chipper Jones said “”I think if that would have happened you’d probably have to put us all
on suicide watch.”
Sounds to me like the Braves would have done anything to avoid that. But would they have sunk to mind games, dirty tricks and general nefariousness?
That’s what the Nationals Enquirer blog thinks. After pointing out that Bobby Cox had the grounds crew come out to the mound to tamp it down and do a little maintenance a half-inning before the no-no was broken up, Nats’ Enquirer says:
Okay, so maybe in the grand scheme of things, this request by Bobby Cocks Cox and/or Tim
Hudson had nothing to do with David Ross breaking up the no-no an inning
later, but damn if that doesn’t appear to be a totally Bush League,
Hurm. Though I’m sure mound
maintenance during a no-hitter is not printed somewhere in the unwritten rule book, I can’t say I know the politics of that sort of thing. For what it’s worth, I scoured various Braves and Nats blogs this morning, as well as the game reports from the AJC, the Washington Post and MLB.com, and I couldn’t find a single mention of the mound tamping thing.
I’m not one of those guys who offers knee-jerk defenses of my team, but
in this case I’m not seeing it. If any of you have any insight into this matter, by all means, I’d love to hear it.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.