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.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.