Astros starter Mike Fiers no-hit the Dodgers on Friday night, but his achievement was quickly downplayed on social media when an image showing what appeared to be a shiny substance on the inside of the right-hander’s glove. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly never questioned it, nor did anyone else on the team, during the game.
Asked about the alleged substance after the game, Fiers said, “It could be different lighting or something,” as Jose de Jesus Ortiz reports.
Even after the fact, the Dodgers aren’t interested in pursuing the matter. Via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
“I don’t want to take anything away from his night,” outfielder Carl Crawford said.
Manager Don Mattingly also viewed the social media-driven controversy as a non-issue, saying, “I think it sounds like you’re whining if you look at it and talk about it.”
The consensus around the clubhouse was that a significant number of pitchers use something to improve their grip on the ball.
“I think it’s pretty much accepted, unless it’s blatantly obvious somebody’s doing it,” Mattingly said.
Fiers donated his cap and one of the balls he threw during the no-hitter to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Those and other items were authenticated, as Astros manager of authentication Mike Acosta tweeted on Friday night.
Yankees starter Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games last season when he was caught using a “foreign substance” on his neck.
Former major league catcher John Baker, when asked to cite the percentage of pitchers who liked using a foreign substance, said, “100%.”
Update (10:43 PM EST): Jimmy Rollins hit a deep fly ball to right field to lead off the ninth inning, but it was tracked down by Jake Marisnick. New Dodger Chase Utley hit another fly ball to Marisnick which required much less effort to corral. For the final out of the no-hitter, Fiers got Justin Turner to strike out to end the game.
In Fiers’ nine shutout, hitless innings, he walked three and struck out 10 on 134 pitches.
Update (10:25 PM EST): Fiers struck out Carl Crawford, Enrique Hernandez, and Joc Pederson consecutively to get through the eighth inning. He’s at 120 pitches and has struck out the last five batters he has faced.
Astros starter Mike Fiers has no-hit the Dodgers through seven innings. He has walked three and struck out six on 107 pitches.
The Astros have given Fiers three runs of support, coming on two home runs. Jake Marisnick went yard with a man aboard in the second inning against Brett Anderson, and Evan Gattis tacked on a solo shot off of Anderson in the sixth.
Fiers is attempting to become the first pitcher to complete a no-hitter for the Astros since Darryl Kyle on September 8, 1993. The Astros had a combined no-hitter involving Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, and Billy Wagner on June 11, 2003.
We’ll keep you updated as Fiers attempts to keep the Dodgers off the board in the final two innings. The Astros acquired Fiers along with Carlos Gomez from the Brewers on July 30 in exchange for Domingo Santana and minor leaguers Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser.
Yasiel Puig has not started three of the Dodgers’ last seven games, all against righties, as Don Mattingly has tried to work Carl Crawford back into the outfield rotation. Puig sitting in such situations is not something anyone would’ve predicted before the season — he seemed like the one true lock in the outfield — but a year of injury and frequent ineffectiveness has made that the right move, to be honest.
Mark Saxon of ESPN reports that Mattingly had a sit-down with Puig about it before yesterday’s game, and that it actually went OK:
“I just let him know that he’s not just going to automatically be out of there against righties. He’s going to be in there, it’s just occasional days off,” Mattingly said. “I know a couple have come here recently as we want to mix Carl back in.
“He seemed to be OK with it. He didn’t look like he was ready to hit me or anything,” Mattingly joked.
Man, that Puig. Not showing any fire when told that he’s not gonna play every day. A real scrappy professional would’ve been ready to hit his manager in that situation.
In all seriousness, though, Puig could use the time off. Look at this bat flip:
Need to get back on track before he completely forgets how to flip ’em.
Carl Crawford is done rehabbing in the minors and will rejoin the Dodgers after being out since late April with a strained oblique muscle.
Crawford hit .353 with a 1.012 OPS in 10 games during his rehab stint, but Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles writes that manager Don Mattingly’s “plan is to keep the starting outfield intact” and use Crawford sparingly while sticking with Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, and Yasiel Puig as everyday players.
Early in the season Crawford was the Dodgers’ starting left fielder and Ethier was typically on the bench, but during Crawford’s absence Ethier has hit .282 with eight homers and an .828 OPS in 66 games. By comparison, the last time Crawford topped an .828 OPS in a season was 2010 and he’s posted a .745 OPS in 236 total games for the Dodgers.
We’ve already seen the Dodgers’ outfield plans change several times due to injuries and performances, but for now Crawford will be a $20 million bench player.
Carl Crawford was the primary left fielder for the Dodgers prior to suffering a torn oblique in late April. Andre Ethier has returned to form during his absence, hitting .275 with nine home runs and an .840 OPS over 65 games coming into Monday’s action. It’s been enough for him to have the advantage in playing time upon Crawford’s return:
Crawford was batting .245/.260/.408 in 50 plate appearances prior to the injury. Mattingly told Plunkett tonight that the 33-year-old is probably 10 days away from playing in games. He’s expected to require a lengthy minor league rehab assignment after missing two months, so a return will likely happen after the All-Star break.