UPDATE: Kershaw ended up throwing a three-hit shutout as part of a 3-0 victory. He struck out 11 and walked none and needed 104 pitches to go the distance.
While Kershaw still has a while to go to catch up to teammate Zack Greinke, he has now thrown 29 consecutive scoreless innings. He has 38 strikeouts with no walks in 26 innings over his last three starts. His ERA is now down to 2.51 on the year.
8:47 p.m. ET: Curtis Granderson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a well-struck single to right field, so the perfect game (and no-hit bid) is over.
8:35 p.m. ET: The no-hitter watch was on from the moment the Mets’ lineup was released this afternoon and so far Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has lived up to the billing and then some.
Kershaw is perfect through six innings tonight against the Mets. The southpaw has been in cruise control throughout, striking out eight batters while throwing 47 out of 62 pitches for strikes. He has gone to a three-ball count just once.
The Dodgers currently hold a 1-0 lead thanks to a solo homer from Jimmy Rollins off Bartolo Colon in the third inning.
Stay tuned to see if Kershaw can make some history tonight at Citi Field.
UPDATE: So much for “not serious.” According to Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record, the Mets confirmed that Matz was diagnosed with a partial tear of his left lat muscle. He was given a platelet-rich plasma injection and will be shut down from throwing for three weeks before being re-examined. Brutal news for the Mets, who will likely face questions about why they let Matz pitch after he complained of symptoms after his first start.
8:12 p.m. ET: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that Matz’s injury is “not serious,” but that he’ll miss his next scheduled start on Sunday. That’s encouraging, but the Mets haven’t had the best track record with injuries recently.
8:05 p.m. ET: Mets rookie left-hander Steven Matz has 1.32 ERA over his first two starts in the majors while driving in five runs, but it will be a while before we see him again.
According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Matz will miss “several weeks” due to a sore lat muscle. As Adam Rubin of ESPN New York notes, Matz dealt with some lat tightness after his major league debut against the Reds on June 28, but he received treatment and was cleared to pitch against the Dodgers last weekend. The 24-year-old pitched six scoreless innings in that game, so it didn’t have an impact on his performance, but apparently things have gotten worse. It’s a bummer.
With Matz down, the Mets will presumably go back to a more traditional five-man rotation with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, and Jon Niese. They still have Dillon Gee with Triple-A Las Vegas if they want to go back to a six-man rotation, though they’d have to add him back to the 40-man roster.
Bartolo Colon is the oldest guy in the majors and looks like anything but an athlete. But he’s still getting the job done, and today there is an in-depth story by Dan Barry of the New York Times about what makes Bartolo Bartolo.
So much of it, of course, is about the guy being an genuine athlete, in ways that you or I can’t possibly comprehend. We see the big guy out there and, compared to some of the younger and more fit and trim players, he may not look like much of one. It’s easy to forget that a guy like that is superhuman in just about every way imaginable, though we so often do. Thus we joke and stand agape at his accomplishments.
But in some ways his background isn’t like every athlete’s. Certainly not like those from the U.S. Things we learn about Colon today:
He comes from a hillside village on the outskirts of Altamira called El Copey, which has one main road and dozens of squat houses under zinc roofs and coconut trees. Local lore attributes his strong legs to climbing trees, and his strong wrists to the childhood chores of picking coffee beans and turning the crank of a de-pulping machine.
“From childhood, he was very strong,” his father, Miguel Valerio Colon, recalled. “He was capable of pulping up to 1,000 crates of coffee beans in a day.”
Sometimes, while transporting bags of beans for his father’s produce business, young Bartolo would park his pet donkey, Pancho, beside a sloping lot that served as a baseball field and play a few innings with other children, using balls made of cloth. . . . If the de-pulping machine built up his arms, then throwing rocks to knock fruit from trees developed his accuracy. “Throwing at coconuts and mangoes,” Colon said. “But the coconut was the most difficult.”
A far cry from traveling leagues.
And a great read.