Justin Verlander loses no-hit bid in the ninth, settles for complete game shutout

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UPDATE: So much for that. Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid was broken up on a single by Josh Harrison with one out in the ninth. Harrison just stuck his bat out and the ball just managed to eek past the outstretched glove of shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Verlander was given a rousing ovation by the Comerica Park crowd for his efforts before settling down to get Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen on ground outs to end it. He ended up settling for a complete game one-hitter as part of a 6-0 victory. The Detroit ace is now 5-1 on the year with a 2.14 ERA and 68/14 K/BB ratio over 67 1/3 innings.

9:13 PM: The no-no is still intact after Verlander struck out out the side in a dominant eighth inning. He got Casey McGehee looking and Nate McLouth and Clint Barmes swinging, giving him 12 strikeouts on the night. He’s still bringing high-90s heat consistently and even hit 100 mph in the inning according to the TV gun. Absurd.

He’s slated to face Michael McKenry, Josh Harrison and Neil Walker in the ninth.

8:59 PM: We could be witnessing a little bit of history tonight in Detroit.

Justin Verlander, who already has two career no-hitters, has yet to allow a hit over his first seven innings of work against the Pirates.

Verlander has issued two walks on the night, including Neil Walker in the first and Andrew McCutchen in the seventh. He has nine strikeouts, including a nasty breaking ball that which caught Garrett Jones looking to end the seventh and stranded McCutchen at second base. His pitch count is at 82, so he’s probably going the distance in this thing no matter what. The Tigers currently have a 4-0 lead.

Verlander is slated to face Casey McGehee, Nate McLouth and Clint Barmes in the eighth. If he can complete the feat, he’ll join Cy Young, Bob Feller and Larry Corcoran with three career no-hitters. Sandy Koufax had four and Nolan Ryan had seven.

Adrian Gonzalez might retire after his contract is up if his back isn’t any better

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Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:

“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.

“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”

Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.