Joe Mauer broke up Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid last night with a one-out single in the ninth inning. He has made a habit out of spoiling history.
Last night was the third time in Mauer’s career that he has broken up a no-hit bid in the ninth inning. He previously did it in on May 6, 2008 when he doubled off White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd with two outs in the ninth. He later struck again on August 23, 2010 when he singled off Rangers’ right-hander Neftali Feliz with one out in the final inning.
If you could pick anybody as a likely candidate to break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning, Joe Mauer and his .324 career batting average would figure to be near the top of the list. Still, it’s a pretty rare occurrence. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mauer is tied with former Yankees infielder Horace Clarke for the most no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning since 1961. The amazing part about Clarke is that they were all within one month in 1970.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.