Cardinals rookie right-hander Shelby Miller grabbed headlines around baseball last night for his dominating performance against the Rockies, but Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester was nearly perfect in his own right, as he tossed a one-hit shutout as part of a 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays.
It was the 10th complete game of Lester’s career and his third shutout. He faced one batter over the minimum, as the only baserunner was a two-out double by Maicer Izturis in the sixth inning. Lester struck out five in the victory and is now 5-0 with a 2.73 ERA and 45/15 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings across eight starts this year.
As Joe Lemire of SI.com notes, this is the first time since 1916 (the first year Baseball Reference has searchable game-by-game data) that two pitchers threw one-hit, no-walk complete games on the very same night. Of course, we have had two no-hitters on the same day before, but today’s hurlers have a tough act to follow.
Your Friday box scores:
Cubs 3, Nationals 7
Indians 4, Tigers 10
Brewers 3, Reds 4
Orioles 9, Twins 6 (10 innings)
Pirates 7, Mets 3
Rangers 4, Astros 2
Rockies 0, Cardinals 3
Padres 3, Rays 6
Phillies 2, Diamondbacks 3
Angels 7, White Sox 5
Marlins 5, Dodgers 4
Yankees 11, Royals 6
Athletics 3, Mariners 6
Braves 2, Giants 8
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.