verlander

No-hitters in progress: Justin Verlander through eight, Yovani Gallardo’s is done

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6:43 p.m. EDT: No-hitter! Davis swings and misses at a slider off the plate to end it.

6:41 p.m. EDT: McDonald hits a soft grounder to second for the second out.  Verlander dove for it, lucky not to deflect it to the side and turn it into a hit. Rajai Davis up.

6:39 p.m. EDT: Cooper pops up the first pitch he sees, a 97-mph fastball. One out.

6:38 p.m. EDT: The Tigers scored twice in the top of the ninth, giving Verlander plenty of time to think about things.  He’s back on the mound now. Cooper up.

6:30 p.m. EDT: If he gets through the ninth, Verlander would join Mark Buehrle as the only active pitchers with multiple no-hitters.  One could add Roy Halladay to the list, but his second no-hitter came in the postseason.  Verlander’s previous no-hitter came June 12, 2007 against the Brewers.

6:20 p.m. EDT: Encarnacion grounds into a double play to end the eighth.  Verlander will take a no-hitter into the ninth against David Cooper, John McDonald and Rajai Davis.  Their batting averages: .150, .205 and .177.

6:18 p.m. EDT: A terrific at-bat from Arencibia, who works the walk on the 12th pitch from Verlander.  He had just missed a double down the left-field line earlier in the at-bat.  Perfect game gone, no-hitter intact.

6:10 p.m. EDT: Mike McCoy, J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion due up against Verlander in the eighth.  Verlander is six outs away from a perfect game.  It’d be his second career no-hitter.

6:07 p.m. EDT: Gallardo lost his bid in the eighth, as Daniel Descalso singled up the middle to begin the inning.

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And Verlander’s is a perfect game, as he’s gone 21 up, 21 down against the Blue Jays.

Gallardo is at 104 pitches through seven, having walked four and struck out five Cardinals.  He’s working with just a one-run lead, as Kyle Lohse has been strong as well.

Gallardo has been helped by two terrific catches in the outfield, one from Carlos Gomez in the first and the other from Mark Kotsay in right with two on in the fifth.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.

Raines to wear an Expos cap, Pudge to wear a Rangers cap on their Hall of Fame plaques

1990:  Outfielder Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos in action. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
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There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.

Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.

Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.

With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.

Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.