Nationals starter Max Scherzer would have preferred to strike out Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson to polish off his second no-hitter of the season, but instead he induced a weak pop-up. He had struck out the previous nine batters he had faced and finished with 17 punch-outs.
Scherzer finished with a 104 game score. By this measure, it’s the best pitching performance since Kerry Wood struck out 20 in a complete game one-hitter against the Astros in 1998. Scherzer and Wood’s performances are the only game scores of 104 or better achieved without pitching extra innings.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports that Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle will pitch two innings on Sunday, then retire. He is not expected to be included on the Blue Jays’ post-season roster.
Two more innings would bring Buehrle to 200 innings for a 15th consecutive season. The 36-year-old has vastly outpaced the competition in this category, as his closest competitor since 2001 is James Shields, with nine 200-inning seasons.
Buehrle currently holds a 15-7 record with a 3.82 ERA and a 91/32 K/BB ratio in 198 innings this season. Over his 16-year career, he’s 214-159 with a 3.81 ERA and an 1,870/733 K/BB ratio in 3,282 2/3 innings.
Update (9:26 PM EDT): Scherzer struck out Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda to start the ninth inning, then got Curtis Granderson to complete the frame and notch his second no-hitter of the season. He set a Nationals record and a new personal-best with 17 strikeouts. He struck out nine batters in a row prior to Granderson’s pop-up.
Update (9:12 PM EDT): Scherzer struck out Kelly Johnson, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Kevin Plawecki to keep his no-hitter intact. He’s at 93 pitches with 15 strikeouts. He has struck out the last seven batters he has faced.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer has no-hit the Mets through seven innings thus far on Saturday night, his final start of the season. It would have been a perfect game, but shortstop Yunel Escobar committed a throwing error to allow the leadoff batter to reach base in the sixth inning.
Scherzer has thrown 80 pitches and recorded 12 strikeouts. He is looking to become the first pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the regular season in the same year since Nolan Ryan in 1973. Roy Halladay threw a perfect game in the regular season and a no-hitter in the NLDS in 2010. Scherzer no-hit the Pirates at home on June 20.
The Nationals have provided Scherzer with two runs of support. Wilson Ramos hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and Dan Uggla clubbed a solo home run in the seventh.
Opposing starter Matt Harvey pitched well, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out 11 and walking none in six innings. The Mets were no-hit already this season, with Giants starter Chris Heston accomplishing the feat on June 9.
We’ll keep you updated as Scherzer attempts to complete the no-hitter.
According to FanGraphs, the Angels had a 1.4 percent chance of winning Saturday’s game in Texas against the Rangers, as they entered the ninth inning trailing 10-6. That number is based on historical precedent, meaning that when the team entered the top of the ninth inning with a four-run lead, they won 98.6 percent of the time.
The Angels didn’t get the memo. They rallied for five runs to bring an 11-10 lead into the bottom of the ninth with reliever Joe Smith on the hill. The Rangers appeared to be going down quietly, but Elvis Andrus singled with two outs on a line drive to center field. He attempted to put the tying run in scoring position by stealing second base. And it worked, for about a second. Andrus slid off the second base bag as he had too much momentum, and shortstop Erick Aybar applied the tag to end the game.
The Angels are now 85-76, two games behind the Rangers in third place in the AL West. They trail the Astros, who play the Diamondbacks on Saturday night, by half a game for the second AL Wild Card slot. Buckle up, folks, this is gonna be a wild one.
Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA reports that the Dodgers have activated outfielder Yasiel Puig from the 15-day disabled list. He had been sidelined since late August due to a strained right hamstring. Puig is batting sixth and playing right field in Saturday night’s game against Padres starter Robbie Erlin.
Puig, 24, has had a forgettable year, as he has only been able to play in 77 games due to injuries. He was on the disabled list between April 25 and June 5 due to a strain of his other (left) hamstring. Overall, he is hitting .256/.324/.440 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 306 plate appearances.
The Dodgers have already clinched the NL West, so they are just using the final two games to judge Puig’s health and ability before setting their post-season roster.