UPDATE: Marlins win 4-1. Sanchez ends up with a complete-game one-hitter.
9:35 PM: So much for that. Dexter Fowler just broke up the no-no with a leadoff single in the ninth. It bounced just beyond Omar Infante’s glove into right field. Is Edwin Rodriguez going to pull him now?
9:26 PM: Sanchez has made it through eight innings with the no-hitter intact. He got Ty Wigginton to fly out to center, Chris Iannetta to strike out and pinch-hitter Jose Lopez on a soft liner to second base. He’s now at 115 pitches. Three more outs to go.
9:12 PM: You might want to turn on your television. Or your mobile device. We’re in the future, you know?
Anibal Sanchez hasn’t allowed a hit over the first seven innings of tonight’s game against the Rockies. However, the Rockies did score a run in the first inning on a fielding error by first baseman Gaby Sanchez. The Marlins currently lead 4-1.
Sanchez has struck out eight and walked three. He’s currently at 102 pitches through seven innings. Of course, Sanchez previously pitched a no-hitter in his 14th major league start back on September 6, 2006 against the Diamondbacks. He needed 103 pitches to complete that one.
Stay tuned to see if Sanchez can toss the first no-no of the 2011 season.
Note: MLB.com has a free preview of MLB.tv tonight, so you can track Sanchez’s progress there.
Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.
Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”
“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”
Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.
Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.
The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.
The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.
The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.
The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.
Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.