Two years later, John Wall gets the first pitch right… kind of

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As you may remember, Wizards point guard John Wall unleashed one of the worst first pitches in history at Nationals Park two years ago, spiking the ball barely in front of the mound. The Nationals invited him back anyway, giving him a chance to make amends on Thursday.

Wall, for what it’s worth, practiced some hard tosses on a basketball court, getting some tips along the way. Still, he wasn’t willing to risk embarrassment again. He opted to go with the lob prior to the game versus the White Sox.

Perhaps he would have felt more comfortable with Chris Young as his target behind the plate.

The Nationals’ Gulf Coast League team threw back-to-back no-hitters today

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Baseball started early for the Nationals’ and Marlins’ Gulf Coast League teams on Sunday, with the first pitch of the first game of a double-header getting thrown at 10:01 AM ET. It was the start of what would become back-to-back seven-inning no-hitters on the same day.

The Nats’ Joan Baez — not the singer — threw six shutout innings, yielding one walk and hitting one batter while striking out seven. Jose Jimenez pitched the seventh and worked around a walk for a scoreless frame to seal the no-no, a 4-0 victory.

The second game was a makeup of a game that was postponed on July 18. This time, the Nationals were the home team. Jared Johnson started, tossing four hitless innings on a walk and two strikeouts. Gilberto Chu worked the final three frames, keeping the Marlins hitless with no walks and four strikeouts. The Nats won 1-0.

Here are the box scores for Game 1 and Game 2.

A no-hitter in the Gulf Coast League doesn’t have the same weight as a no-hitter in the majors, even before considering the two fewer innings. Still, doing it in back-to-back games on the same day is pretty cool.

Blue Jays acquire Rob Refsnyder from Yankees

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The Blue Jays acquired Yankees’ infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder for first base prospect Ryan McBroom, the teams announced Sunday. Refsnyder was designated for assignment by the Yankees earlier in the week and is expected to report to Triple-A Buffalo, while McBroom could find a landing place on the Blue Jays’ Double-A roster in Trenton.

Refsnyder, 26, had trouble heating up at the plate during his third campaign with the Yankees. He batted .135/.200/.216 with a double and two stolen bases through his first 40 PA in 2017 and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre coming out of the All-Star break. His numbers solidified during a 38-game stint in Triple-A, where he posted a .312/.390/.464 batting line with 15 extra-base hits in 159 PA. He’s not slated for a major league gig with the Blue Jays just yet, but could see some time at second base behind Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney, especially with Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki still on the mend.

McBroom, 25, was ranked No. 30 among the Blue Jays’ top prospects in 2017. He profiles as a bat-only first baseman with little speed or range in the infield, and was working through his second season at Double-A New Hampshire prior to the trade. He entered Sunday slashing .243/.321/.402 with 12 home runs through his first 392 PA of the year.