Max Scherzer has a non-zero chance of pulling a Vander Meer

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Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher in baseball history to throw back-to-back no-hitters, doing so on June 11 and 15 during the 1938 season for the Cincinnati Reds. Long have we thought someone would eventually join Vander Meer, only to be disappointed each and every time.

Max Scherzer no-hit the Pirates on Saturday, a comparatively disappointing result as he was one strike away from a perfect game before he hit Jose Tabata with an errant slider. If ever someone was going to pull a Vander Meer, it’s Scherzer, considering his upcoming match-up. He’s on schedule to open a series in Philadelphia against the lowly Phillies on Friday.

The Phillies entered play Sunday averaging 2.5 runs per game over their last 25 games and rank last or close to last in the league in a slew of offensive categories. Last in batting average (.236), last in on-base percentage (.287), last in slugging percentage (.348), last in home runs (41), third-worst in walks (157). They did manage to score nine runs to beat the Cardinals on Sunday, but it marked only the fourth time all year that they had scored more than six runs. The Phillies are still the worst-hitting team in the league and are among the worst teams of this millennium:

Regardless of how bad the Phillies are, the odds are still overwhelmingly in favor of Scherzer not throwing a no-hitter his next time out. According to the math, he has over a 99 percent chance to give up at least one hit. But this is the best confluence of variables that Scherzer — and we, fans of baseball rarities — could ask for. His next start on Friday in Philly will be must-see TV.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.