2:43 p.m. EDT: Brett Lawrie broke up the no-hitter with a two-run single to center with two outs in the seventh. The runners had previously moved up on a wild pitch, allowing the single to tie the game at 2.
Jimenez finished the seventh from there, but since he’s at 95 pitches now, there’s a good chance he’s done for the day.
2:40 p.m. EDT: Jimenez walked two of the first three batters in the seventh, leading to visit from the pitching coach and Rafael Perez getting up in the bullpen. The one out came despite Shin-Soo Choo losing a fly to right-center in the sun. Fortunately, center fielder Michael Brantley was able to step in and catch it.
Ubaldo Jimenez retired the first 17 batters he faced and has took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Jiemenz and Brandon Morrow actually had dueling no-hitters going into the bottom of the fifth. After Morrow started that frame with two quick outs, J.P. Arencibia committed a throwing error on Casey Kotchman’s grounder in front of the plate. It should have been the third out of the inning, but Jason Kipnis followed it with a two-run homer before Jack Hannahan struck out.
Jimenez didn’t allow a baserunner of any sort until Colby Rasmus walked with two outs in the sixth. He’s at 75 pitches through six.
The exceptional outing follows an exhibition season in which Jimenez allowed 24 runs — 19 earned — and 30 hits in 23 innings. He struck out 15 and walked 15 in his seven starts.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.