Update (9:52 PM): Minor was so close. Kris Negron flied out to right field for the first out of the eighth inning. Zack Cozart then drew a walk, and pinch-hitter Chris Heisey grounded out weakly to third base for the second out of the inning. Billy Hamilton ended Minor’s no-hit bid with a weakly-hit blooper to shallow center field. With 107 pitches under Minor’s belt, manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to the mound for the baseball, ending the lefty’s night.
Update (9:29 PM): Minor keeps the no-hitter in tact through seven frames. Devin Mesoraco lined out to start the inning. Minor then struck out Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick consecutively to end the seventh. Minor will enter the eighth inning at 89 pitches.
Braves starter Mike Minor has the good stuff working tonight in Cincinnati against the Reds. The left-hander has held the Reds hitless through six innings. Minor hasn’t been perfect, though, as he has walked three.
Minor’s opponent, Mat Latos, also enjoyed good results on the evening. The right-hander allowed one run on nine hits and a pair of walks while striking out three over six innings. He exited after the sixth having thrown 95 pitches.
Minor, 26, has had a tough season, entering the night with a 5.16 ERA in 111 2/3 innings across 19 starts. The Reds, however, are on a six-game losing streak and have posted a team-wide .643 OPS in 13 games since August 8.
We’ll keep you updated as Minor attempts to record the final nine outs of the game without allowing a hit.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.