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Don Mattingly pulled his starter with a no-hitter going

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Last night the Marlins started left-hander Jarlin Garcia against the Mets. It was his first big league start after 70 relief appearances. He had pitched wonderfully in long relief so far and the Fish made the call to put him in the rotation. Smart call, as Garcia began the game with six no-hit innings against the red hot Mets.

Even better: he needed only 77 pitches to do it. That was seemingly good news, because here’s what Don Mattingly said about Garcia before the game:

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Garcia — who pitched six and four innings in his two relief appearances this year — is stretched out enough to throw at least 90 pitches Wednesday.

“After that,” Mattingly said, “it will depend on what type of game he’s having. But he could go 105 or 110 pitches if he needed.

Guess that was a but optimistic, because those 77 pitches would be all he’d get. After Garcia left five Miami relievers combined to give up four runs on five hits and two walks, blowing the combined no-hitter and the ballgame.

It’s hard to blame Mattingly, though. The manager’s job is to help his team win, and Mattingly saw stuff during the game that made him question the wisdom of Garcia going longer. Here’s the Marlins skipper after the game:

“It’s real easy, honestly, but I know it’s not popular. I know he’s not going to make it . . . His last two innings he had deep counts, and you could tell he was laboring.”

Garcia was 32 and had multiple 200-inning seasons under his belt, sure, see what he’s got. For a 25-year-old kid who was making his first start, there’s no sense in pushing him and possibly risking him getting hurt.

I know people like to see no-hitters, but we should file this under “Stuff That is Perfectly Normal and Understandable in Today’s Game But Would Make Someone Who Woke Up From a Ten-Year Coma Absolutely Go Nuts.”

Wait, do we have a file for that already? I think we may need to make up that folder. Linda, could you do that for me? And then hold my calls as I prep for my next meeting. Thanks.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”