Update #2 (10:32 PM EDT): The Giants tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh when Brandon Belt hit a two-run double. Bumgarner proceeded to strike out Yasmany Tomas, but Jake Lamb broke up the no-hit bid with a line drive single to right field.
Update (10:11 PM EDT): In a brisk eight-pitch seventh inning, Bumgarner struck out Michael Bourn, then induced consecutive ground outs — 6-3 and 5-3, respectively — from Paul Goldschmidt and Welington Castillo. He’s two innings away from completing a no-hitter.
Madison Bumgarner, who has been replaced on the National League All-Star roster because of starting on Sunday night, is in the midst of a no-hit bid against the Diamondbacks. The lefty was working on a perfect game until a fielding error by Gregor Blanco with two outs in the fifth inning. Thus far, Bumgarner has faced one over the minimum, walking none and striking out 12 on 86 pitches over six innings.
The Giants gave Bumgarner some early run support, scoring twice in the first inning against D’Backs starter Archie Bradley. Buster Posey hit an RBI single and Brandon Crawford brought in the second run on a sacrifice fly.
If Bumgarner can finish the no-hitter, it would be the second of the season and the Giants’ first since Chris Heston on June 9 last year against the Mets. Bumgarner, shockingly, has yet to toss a no-hitter in his career.
We’ll keep you updated as Bumgarner attempts to keep the Diamondbacks hitless in the final three innings.
Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda blew past his previous career-high of nine strikeouts, striking out 13 Padres in a win on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander gave up only one run, on a fifth-inning home run by Derek Norris. That was one of two hits he yielded while walking none along with the 13 punch-outs across seven innings.
Maeda, now with 18 major league starts under his belt, set his previous career-high on June 8 against the Rockies. He currently owns a 2.95 ERA with a 107/31 K/BB ratio in 103 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers signed Maeda to an eight-year, $25 million contract back in January, paying him $3 million annually. The deal came with a bunch of performance incentives based on games started and innings pitched. Maeda can earn an extra $6.5 million by reaching 32 games started by season’s end, as well as $3.5 million if he reaches 200 innings. He’ll need to average 6 1/3 innings per start to reach 200 innings, but he’s currently averaging 5 2/3.
While introducing the players in each team’s lineup during Sunday’s Futures Game at Petco Park, MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian referred to players as “property” of their respective teams multiple times. It’s a colloquial way of saying a player is in a particular team’s minor league system. I made a tweet about one particular instance in which Vasgersian referred to Hunter Renfroe as “property of the Padres” and received a handful of replies noting that this isn’t exactly new behavior for Vasgersian.
This isn’t meant to single out Vasgersian because he’s not the only one to have called prospects “property.” As fans and media types have gained awareness of the labor issues in the minor leagues, referring to players that way has gone out of style, deservedly so. But we haven’t eradicated it yet. Let’s do that.
The plight of minor leaguers has made headlines recently when a proposed bill sought to change language in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that Major League Baseball could continue to underpay its minor league players. One of the two Congresspeople who backed the bill, Cheri Bustos (D-IL), rescinded her support after receiving widespread public criticism. MLB doubled down, saying that minor league ball “not a career but a short-term seasonal apprenticeship.” They’re professionals right up until the time MLB has to cut a check.
So how much do minor leaguers make? According to MiLB.com, they earn $1,100 per month maximum in their first contract season, or $13,200 per year. They earn $25 per day in meal money at all levels, only for road games. Teams typically haven’t focused on making sure their minor league players eat well. The Phillies made headlines earlier this year by investing about $1 million to make sure their young players have healthy meal options. Most of them have to live on gas station grub, fast food, and ramen noodles. They’re sharing apartments with more roommates than there are bedrooms, often by a factor of two or three. Or, as was illustrated in the movie Bull Durham, players shack up with friendly locals known as “host families.”
The players are treated like indentured servants, so it follows that the language reflects that. Paying attention to the language can be a small step towards paying minor leaguers a living wage, as it forces people to empathize with them.