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
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.