Joe Mauer broke up Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid last night with a one-out single in the ninth inning. He has made a habit out of spoiling history.
Last night was the third time in Mauer’s career that he has broken up a no-hit bid in the ninth inning. He previously did it in on May 6, 2008 when he doubled off White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd with two outs in the ninth. He later struck again on August 23, 2010 when he singled off Rangers’ right-hander Neftali Feliz with one out in the final inning.
If you could pick anybody as a likely candidate to break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning, Joe Mauer and his .324 career batting average would figure to be near the top of the list. Still, it’s a pretty rare occurrence. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mauer is tied with former Yankees infielder Horace Clarke for the most no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning since 1961. The amazing part about Clarke is that they were all within one month in 1970.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.