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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.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.