UPDATE: While Adam Wainwright lost the no-hitter in the eighth inning, he settled for a two-hit shutout as part of a 3-0 victory over the Rockies.
Wainwright allowed two hits and one walk while striking out seven. It was the sixth shutout of his career and his 12th complete game. The 31-year-old right-hander now has an excellent 2.30 ERA and 55/4 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings over eight starts this season.
Jamie Garcia will be on the hill tomorrow as the Cardinals try for the sweep. Shelby Miller and Wainwright have set the bar pretty high.
4:30 PM: Adam Wainwright’s no-hit bid is over.
After Matt Carpenter made an excellent diving play to rob Todd Helton of a hit for the first out in the top of the eighth inning, Nolan Arenado dumped a clean single into left-center field. It ended an 0-for-50 streak for the Rockies dating back to Eric Young, Jr’s leadoff single in the first inning last night.
4:13 PM ET: After Shelby Miller sat down the final 27 batters he faced following a leadoff single last night, his teammate Adam Wainwright is working on some history against the Rockies.
Wainwright hasn’t allowed a hit over his first seven innings this afternoon at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cardinals currently hold a 2-0 lead.
Wainwright retired the first 13 batters he faced until Todd Helton drew a walk with one out in the fifth inning. In fact, it was the Rockies’ first baserunner in 40 plate appearances dating back to last night. But that’s all they have been able to muster so far this afternoon. Wainwright has seven strikeouts and has thrown 68 out of 92 pitches for strikes.
Wainwright is due to face Todd Helton, Nolan Arenado and Reid Brignac in the top of the eighth inning. Stay tuned to see if he can finish the job.
The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.
St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.
The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.
Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?
Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.
There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:
The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.
When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.
Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?
Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.
The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.