First, let’s focus on the good stuff. As you know, Felix Hernandez has dominated pretty much everyone he has faced this season, but entering last night’s action, he was 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in four starts against the first-place Rangers. No longer.
King Felix carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning in last night’s 2-1 victory over Texas. The no-hit bid was broken up by a screaming solo home run off the bat of Nelson Cruz to begin the top of the eighth inning. Hernandez would go on to allow just three hits over eight innings while striking out eight and walking just one. With the win, he improved to 12-11 with a 2.35 ERA on the year.
You’ll hear a lot about how this will boost his case for the American League Cy Young award — and I suppose that is true — but if you needed last night’s performance to tell you that he is deserving of the hardware, you’re probably doing it wrong. But hey, better late than never, right?
Okay, so why am I down on King Felix this morning? Well, unfortunately his brilliance on the mound doesn’t extend to his brain. Here’s what he told Kirby Arnold about Julio Borbon attempting to bunt during the sixth inning (!) of last night’s game.
“You shouldn’t do that,” Hernandez said. “Sixth inning and a guy is throwing a no-hitter, it’s disrespect.”
That’s right, Hernandez was offended by a bunt attempt during the sixth inning of a baseball game. I could find a place to defend him if we were talking about the ninth and perhaps the eighth, but geez, the sixth? That’s ridiculous. The Rangers had a ballgame to win, and if Derek Jeter has taught us anything, it’s that you try to get on base by all means necessary.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.
The Braves have traded pitchers Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez to the Rangers, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. The Rangers are sending 21-year-old infielder Travis Demeritte to the Braves, per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.
Harrell, 31, has made five starts for the Braves this season, posting a 3.38 ERA with a 21/12 K/BB ratio in 29 1/3 innings. The rest of his season has been spent at the minor leagues, including Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo with the Tigers, as well as Triple-A Gwinnett with the Braves.
Alvarez, 27, has an even 3.00 ERA with a 28/5 K/BB ratio in 15 innings of relief for the Braves. He throws from the left side so he’ll give a particular boost to the Rangers’ bullpen when needed.
Demeritte was taken in the first round — 30th overall — by the Rangers in the 2013 draft and was considered the Rangers’ 20th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. This year, with Single-A High Desert, he has hit .272/.352/.583 with 25 home runs and 59 RBI in 378 plate appearances. He has played second base almost exclusively, but has also logged time at shortstop and third base in his minor league career.
Harrell will be arbitration eligible for the first time after the season. Alvarez has accrued only 61 days of service time.