[Update: 11:15 PM EST] Darvish again was one out away from completing a no-hitter. With two outs in the ninth inning, David Ortiz beat the shift, sending a grounder into right-center for a single. Manager Ron Washington immediately pulled Darvish from the game as the right-hander had thrown 126 pitches. Darvish’s final line: 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 12 K.
You may recall that Darvish was one out away from a perfect game on April 2, 2013 against the Astros. Marwin Gonzalez singled on a ground ball up the middle to end the bid.
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[Update: 10:53 PM EST] Darvish has no-hit the Red Sox through eight innings. He walked another batter in the eighth so he now has two walks on the night along with 11 strikeouts and is at 113 pitches. Three outs to go.
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Rangers starter Yu Darvish is working on a no-hitter. You’ve heard it before and you’ll certainly hear it again. The right-hander has held the Red Sox without a hit through seven innings tonight, striking out ten and walking one in the process.
The no-hitter stayed in tact thanks to a controversial ruling by the scorer. With two outs in the seventh, David Ortiz hit a blooper to shallow right field and it dropped untouched after miscommunication between rookie second baseman Rougned Odor and right fielder Alex Rios. The scorer assigned the error to Rios. Darvish followed up the event with a walk to Mike Napoli before getting Grady Sizemore to fly out to right field to end the inning.
In this writer’s humble opinion, that would have been ruled a hit in 29 out of 29 other ballparks and in 100 percent of non-perfect-game-related situations. So Ortiz’s bloop should have been ruled a hit. Here’s the video.
At any rate, we’ll keep you posted here as Darvish attempts to get six more outs to seal the no-hitter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.