Tucker Barnhart breaks up Max Scherzer’s no-no in the eighth

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UPDATE #2: Scherzer’s no-hitter is over after seven and a third innings. He gave up a one-out hit to Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart on pitch number 105. It was a clean single to left field with the count 1-2. So, all of you baseball history buffs can stand down

UPDATE: Scherzer’s no-no is still intact, though he needed a lot of pitches to get through the seventh, thanks in part because of an 11-pitch at bat to Jay Bruce that ended in a walk. But he worked around that and gave up no hits. And he reached 99 m.p.h. on the gun in striking out Joey Votto. He’s at 98 pitches and the Nats led 4-0.

4:46 PM: Here’s a change: some drama with the Washington Nationals.

Max Scherzer is on the hill for the Nats in an afternoon tilt against the Cincinnati Reds and he’s got a no-hitter going through six innings. He has struck out eight and walked two. He does have 79 pitches, however, so he’ll have to be super efficient going forward if he is to go the distance here.

If it’s not a no-hitter and the game remains close — Washington leads 3-0 right now — Jonathan Papelbon will not be available to close it out. Just in case you’re just waking up right now and weren’t aware.

Max Scherzer has already thrown a no-hitter this year, of course: against the Pirates on June 20.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.