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White Sox and Nationals discussing a possible David Robertson trade

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Ken Rosenthal reports the Nationals are talking to the White Sox about closer David Robertson.

Man, it’s as if they have no faith in Joe Nathan. And as if they’ve lost Jonathan Papelbon‘s phone number. Sad.

Seriously, though, the Nats could use a closer having watched Mark Melancon leave via free agency, and Robertson is probably the best one who could be had. The issue, of course, is that the White Sox promised him a lot of money when they signed him and he’s still owed $25 million over the next two seasons. As for last season, Robertson posted a 3.47 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 75/32 in 62.1 innings while notching 37 saves. He’d probably do a heck of a lot better pitching in the NL — a change of scenery away from the South Side of Chicago can do any pitcher good — and, of course, he is a Proven Closer.™ But he’s nowhere near as good now as he was when he was setting up for the Yankees and that contract is a lot to take on for a reliever.

The Nats haven’t done a ton this winter. And they may not really have to in order to win the NL East, but this is probably one worth watching.

Mike Leake loses perfect game bid on leadoff single in the ninth

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Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.

It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.

The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.

In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.

Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.