It may be spring training, but no-hitters are always fun. Marlins pitchers Brad Hand, Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos, and Arquimedes Camineros combined for nine innings of no-hit baseball against the Yankees. The game was played at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama as part of the “Legend Series”.
Brad Hand started the game and went five innings, striking out six. Steve Cishek followed up with a scoreless frame with one walk. Ramos pitched the seventh and eighth innings, walking one, and Caminero wrapped up the ballgame with a strikeout in his only inning of work.
The Yankees were only fielding half of what will be their starting lineup, but Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano combined to go 0-for-11 out of the top four spots in the lineup. Manager Joe Girardi wasn’t happy. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
“You never want to be no-hit,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t care what game it is, what level. You never want to see that.”
Still, better to get no-hit in the Grapefruit League than during the regular season. The Marlins, surprisingly, have the lowest team ERA in spring training. Hand has had a great showing, allowing just one run in 12 innings of work thus far, posting a 15-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.