Justin Verlander loses no-hit bid in the ninth inning

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It is August 26, 2015 and Justin Verlander has a no-hitter going against the Mike Trout-led Angels.

Verlander has issued just one walk and whiffed eight through seven innings of no-hit ball at Detroit’s Comerica Park. He’ll head into the eighth, just six outs away from a no-no, with a pitch count of 85.

Verlander struck out Kole Calhoun, Trout, and Albert Pujols in order in the top of the seventh.

This really might happen.

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UPDATE, 9:36 p.m. ET: Verlander opened the top of the eighth with six straight balls, but he eventually got Erick Aybar to ground to second base for an easy double play. C.J. Cron grounded back to Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler for the third out.

Verlander is three outs away with a pitch count of 100.

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UPDATE, 9:55 p.m. ET: That’ll do it. Chris Iannetta roped a ball down the left field line — it actually kicked some white-painted grass into the air — to lead off the top of the ninth inning.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.