Here is how Zack Greinke’s scoreless innings streak ended Sunday afternoon at 45 2/3 …
Kirk Nieuwenhuis opened the bottom of the third with a hit-by-pitch, moved to second on a Kevin Plawecki single, and then advanced to third on an error by Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson. Greinke’s scoreless innings streak goes down as the sixth-longest in MLB history and the fourth-longest since 1920.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been designated for assignment by the Mets.
Nieuwenhuis has been a part-time player for the Mets in each of the past four seasons, hitting a combined .230 with 13 homers and a .676 OPS in 226 games while starting in all three outfield spots. This season he’s 3-for-38 with 17 strikeouts.
His numbers in the minors are better, but still nothing special, so at age 28 the Mets felt comfortable in exposing him to the waiver wire. Triple-A outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, who was hitting .336 in 37 games for Las Vegas but has an underwhelming track record, replaces Nieuwenhuis on the roster.
Update (6:35 PM ET): Despaigne lost his no-hitter after recording back-to-back strikeouts of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Curtis Granderson. Daniel Murphy ripped a high fastball for a double to left-center. David Wright followed up with a ground ball single up the middle to score Murphy. Despaigne departs having allowed the one run and two hits over 7 2/3 innings. He walked three, hit two batters, and struck out five on 123 pitches.
Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne has no-hit the Mets through seven innings this afternoon. He hasn’t been perfect by any means, as he has walked three and hit two batters with baseballs. He loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit batter before escaping the seventh. Despaigne will enter the eighth inning having thrown 100 pitches.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal gave his pitcher some run support, blasting a solo home run to right-center off of Zack Wheeler in the fourth inning. The Padres have scratched out eight hits but have managed only the one run.
Despaigne, making his fifth career start, has been great for the Padres. He entered the afternoon with a 1.35 ERA and a 12/8 K/BB ratio over 26 2/3 innings.
We’ll keep you updated as Despaigne progresses through the game in an attempt to throw the first no-hitter in Padres history. The Mets were last victims of a no-hitter on September 8, 1993, when Astros starter Darryl Kile accomplished the feat. The Padres, of course, watched a no-hitter earlier this season when Giants starter Tim Lincecum held them hitless on June 25.
Between Pedro Alvarez’s first-inning, two-run home run and Jordy Mercer’s walk-off RBI single to center in the 11th, the Pirates couldn’t muster much offense against Mets starter Jeremy Hefner and the bullpen. Pirates starter Charlie Morton held the Mets down through five, but allowed an RBI single to David Wright in the sixth and a solo home run to Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the seventh to tie it.
Rather than use closer Bobby Parnell in the eleventh after exhausting most of their other bullpen options, manager Terry Collins decided to play “by the book” and use 23-year-old Gonzalez Germen, who was making his Major League debut. Including his work in the Minors, he had pitched once since June 29. Andrew McCutchen walked to lead off the inning, then stole second base while Alvarez struck out. Russell Martin was intentionally walked to set up a double play, but Germen struck out Gaby Sanchez swinging for the second out. On the third pitch of the last at-bat of the game, Jordy Mercer snuck a ground ball up the middle, allowing McCutchen to score from second base to seal the win.
The victory is the 55th of the season for the Pirates. As the Cardinals defeated the Cubs earlier 3-2 for their 56th win, they remain one game ahead of the Pirates in first place in the NL Central. The Pirates have a four-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the first NL Wild Card spot.
If you have been out of the loop for the past few hours on this Fourth of July, you missed a wild one at Citi Field. Fending off a pair of dramatic comebacks, the Diamondbacks defeated the Mets 5-4 in 15 innings. It took five hours and 46 minutes to get a winner.
The game was tied 2-2 through nine innings behind solid performances by Ian Kennedy and Dillon Gee, but the Diamondbacks eventually took the lead in the 13th inning when David Aardsma walked Cody Ross with the bases loaded. Heath Bell then came on for the save chance, but after getting the first two outs, he gave up a game-tying solo home run to Anthony Recker. The Diamondbacks responded in the 14th inning with an RBI single by Martin Prado, but the Mets came back to tie it again on another solo home run, this time by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Yes, back-to-back innings with game-tying homers. Wild stuff.
The Diamondbacks moved ahead for good in the top of the 15th inning when Cliff Pennington singled off Scott Rice to bring home Gerardo Parra. The Mets had runners at second and third against Brad Ziegler in the bottom of the frame when Nieuwenhuis came up to the plate with two outs, but he didn’t have any heroics in store this time, as he grounded out harmlessly to first base to end it. It had to end sometime.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, the last team to have two game-tying home runs in extra innings was the 1998 Cardinals. That’s not the only oddity about today’s game, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York notes that it helped secure the longest four-game series in MLB — in terms of time played — since the Dodgers and Astros in 1989.