UPDATE: Matsuzaka carries no-no into 8th inning

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UPDATE: Phillies shortstop Juan Castro broke up the effort with a broken-bat single into left field.  Matsuzaka had two outs in the eighth inning at the time.  Still, a fine showing from the right-hander, who had a 7.89 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in four starts since being activated from the disabled list on May 1.

7:32pm: Daisuke Matsuzaka is putting on a show this evening in Philadelphia and actually has a no-hitter through seven innings.  He has walked three and fanned five.

We’ll keep an eye on the game to see if Dice-K can make history against one of the National League’s best offenses.  He’s up to 93 pitches with six outs to go and David Ortiz has been replaced at first base by the more agile Kevin Youkilis.  This baby’s getting serious.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.