UPDATE: Carlos Beltran led off the top of the eighth inning with a hard-struck ball which deflected off first baseman Richie Shaffer for a single. Tough way to lose it, but the no-hit bid is over.
9:04 p.m. ET: Rays right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is working on something special tonight against the Yankees, as he has yet to allow a hit over the first seven innings.
Ramirez has allowed a pair of walks while striking out six batters. He owes an assist to Mikie Mahtook, who just made an excellent leaping catch at the right field wall to rob Brian McCann before doubling off Brett Gardner at second base to end the top of the seventh. Amazing play. Ramirez is currently at 88 pitches.
The interesting thing here is that CC Sabathia has thrown six scoreless innings of his own. The Rays haven’t scored a run in 20 innings. Something’s going to have to give for Ramirez to finish this off and make some history.
Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes was named as the National League Player of the Week today for his recent power exploits. It looks like he’s trying to take the honor in back-to-back weeks.
Watch this long solo home run Cespedes hit against Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino tonight…
Absurd. Ridiculous. Insane. You name it, that’s Cespedes right now. He now has 17 home runs and 42 RBI (and counting) in 41 games with the Mets.
Jonathan Papelbon is back in Philadelphia today for the first time since he was traded to the Nationals on July 28. According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNMA.com, Papelbon spoke with reporters for “roughly nine minutes” this afternoon before a Nationals PR official cut off the interview. Not surprisingly, he didn’t hold anything back.
Here’s Papelbon’s response when he was asked whether he has any regrets about how he handled the end of his tenure with the Phillies:
“No, if I say something, I mean it. It feels from the heart. I’m not going to take anything back that I’ve ever said or did, because I believe that it’s right. I don’t know if I got a bad rap here or whatever, but I can promise you I was by far (from) the bad guy on this team. I was one of the few that wanted to actually win, and I was one of the few that competed and posted up every day. Other than that, that’s all I view an athlete or a baseball player. I don’t have any regrets, no.”
Yes, wanting to win was the Phillies’ issue, not an abject lack of talent. Papelbon eventually backtracked a bit, saying that it was an organizational approach. In other words, they are rebuilding. Papelbon seemingly referenced some brutally honest (and realistic) comments from Phillies CEO Pat Gillick last winter.
“I think the blame goes all the way from the front office all the way down to the bat boy. When you don’t have an organization that wants to win, it’s pretty evident and they go out and publicly say: ‘We’re not going to win.’ So, what more? You know what I mean?”
Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies in November of 2011. He posted a 2.31 ERA and 123 saves during his time in Philadelphia and made two All-Star teams.