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.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has had a tough month of May. Opposing pitchers have become increasingly unwilling to throw hittable pitches in the strike zone for him, and he’s had trouble adjusting. Entering Thursday’s action, Harper was hitting .194/.454/.306 with two home runs in 97 plate appearances this month. 31 of those plate appearances ended in a walk, nine intentionally.
Harper finally got a pitch to hit in the sixth inning against Cardinals starter Mike Leake. Leake threw a 1-1 curve and Harper promptly launched into the upper deck at Nationals Park. It’s Harper’s 12th homer of the year.
Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was unable to continue his hitting streak on Thursday night, going 0-for-4 out of the leadoff spot against the Rockies in an 8-2 loss. He hit a deep fly ball to right field in the first inning, missing a home run by a few feet. He hit another deep drive in the fifth, but it was caught in front of the wall in center field at Fenway Park by Charlie Blackmon. In his final at-bat, Bradley weakly grounded out on the first pitch from Jon Gray to lead off the eighth inning.
Bradley’s 29-game streak tied Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. Dom DiMaggio still has the longest in club history at 34 games.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was able to extend his hitting streak streak to 19 games. He went 1-for-3, hitting a line drive single in the first.
Softball legend Jennie Finch will make history on Sunday when she will serve as a guest manager for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League. She will become the first woman to manage a men’s professional baseball team.
In the club’s announcement, GM Jamie Toole said, “We are really excited to have Jennie come out and manage the team. She is an incredible athlete and a wonderful person, and we hope our fans will enjoy seeing her in a Bluefish uniform for the day.”
Finch won the 2001 Women’s College World Series with the University of Arizona. She won the gold medal with Team USA in the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Finch is only managing one game, but it’s still a positive step for inclusiveness in professional sports. Hopefully, in the future, we see more women in sportswriting, broadcasting, coaching, and front office positions.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been placed on disabled list with a torn right ACL, the club announced on Thursday. He is expected to miss the rest of the season, per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. Outfielder Brett Eibner has been recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Moustakas suffered the injury colliding with teammate Alex Gordon attempting to catch a foul ball. Gordon suffered a fractured scaphoid bone, which will keep him out of action for three to four weeks.
It’s a tough break for Moustakas as he missed time earlier this month with a fractured thumb. He lands back on the DL hitting .240/.301/.500 with seven home runs and 13 RBI in 113 plate appearances.