So, yeah, it’s probably still a thousand-to-one shot, but in his rematch with the Twins tonight, Jered Weaver would seem to be better set up for back-to-back no-hitters than any pitcher in memory.
Here’s how tonight’s Twins lineup has hit right-handers this season:
CF Denard Span – .321
SS Brian Dozier – MLB debut (.316 in Triple-A)
C Joe Mauer – .214
DH Ryan Doumit – .269
3B Danny Valencia – .210
1B Chris Parmelee – .189
LF Trevor Plouffe – .056 (1-for-18)
RF Erik Komatsu – .125 (3-for-24)
2B Jamey Carroll – .186
That’s certainly a no-hittable lineup. Josh Willingham, who is hitting .300 against righties, isn’t playing, which can’t hurt Weaver’s chances.
For what it’s worth, the players above are a combined 18-for-91 against Weaver, good for a .198 average. Mauer, with a .280 average, and Valencia, who has two homers and a single in 12 at-bats, have hit him best.
The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”
While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.
The deal has not been confirmed by the team.