Phil Hughes has had a fantastic season for the Twins, potentially setting the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio record, and entered his final start today needing to throw 8.1 innings to reach 210 for the year and trigger a $500,000 bonus in his contract.
Hughes has cruised through eight innings against the Diamondbacks, allowing just one run, but now it’s raining heavy in Minnesota and the tarp is on at Target Field.
Hughes needs one more out to get an extra $500,000.
Hopefully the Twins either give him a one-out relief appearance over the weekend and just hand him the $500,000 bonus either way. According to Fan Graphs he’s been worth more than $30 million to the team this season based on his performance.
UPDATE: After an hour-plus rain delay Hughes did not come back into the game, which means he’s officially one out short of reaching 210 innings for his $500,000 bonus.
UPDATE #2: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says Hughes won’t pitch again, so he’ll finish short of the 210-inning mark. Hughes says he was “very aware” of the bonus, but “some things aren’t meant to be.”
Update (11:57 PM ET): And it’s over. Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive double down the left field line off of Stroman, ending the no-hitter. Manager Jim Leyland immediately removed Stroman from the game.
U.S. starter Marcus Stroman has held Puerto Rico hitless through six innings thus far in the World Baseball Classic final. The Blue Jays’ right-hander has held the opposition to just one base runner — a walk — with three strikeouts on 68 pitches.
WBC rules limit a pitcher to throwing a maximum of 95 pitches in the Championship Round, so Stroman has 27 pitches left with which to play. If he hits the limit during the at-bat, he can continue throwing to the completion of that at-bat. Needless to say, though, Stroman won’t be finishing his potential no-no.
The U.S. has given four runs of support to Stroman. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the third inning. Then, in the fifth, Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen both provided RBI singles. Update: The U.S. tacked on three more in the top of the seventh when Brandon Crawford drove in two with a bases-loaded single and Giancarlo Stanton followed up with an RBI single.
We’ll keep you updated as Stroman and any pitchers that follow him attempt to complete the no-hitter. Shairon Martis is the only player to throw a no-hitter in WBC history. However, the game ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule, or as it’s known now, the “early termination” rule.
Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.
Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.
Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.