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Bartolo Colon loses perfect game bid in eighth inning against Astros

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Update (10:07 PM ET): Aaand it’s over. Josh Reddick doubled down the left field line after Correa walked, putting runners on second and third with no outs to begin the eighth.

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Update (10:04 PM ET): The perfect game bid is over, but the no-hit bid is still alive. Colon walked Carlos Correa on five pitches to lead off the eighth inning.

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Update (9:49 PM ET): Colon is perfect through seven innings. He got George Springer and Alex Bregman to ground out, then Jose Altuve lined out to center field to end the inning. Colon is at 83 pitches. Not that it matters.

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Rangers starter Bartolo Colon has seen 18 Astros come to the plate and has sent all 18 of them back to the dugout unhappy. The right-hander has thrown 76 pitches and will take a bid for a perfect game into the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. He has struck out seven batters in the process.

The Rangers gave Colon his only run of support in the top of the third inning when Robinson Chirinos hit a solo home run off of Astros starter Justin Verlander. Verlander has had a good game himself, limiting the opposition to just the one run on one hit and a walk with eight strikeouts.

If Colon is able to hold the Astros hitless the rest of the way, he’ll become the first Ranger to throw a no-hitter since Kenny Rogers tossed a perfect game against the California Angels on July 28, 1994. The Astros were last victims of a no-hitter when the Giants’ Matt Cain threw a perfect game on June 13, 2012.

We’ll keep you updated as Colon attempts to make history as the oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter (let alone a perfect game). There have been only 23 official perfect games in baseball history.

Starters? Openers? Who cares? It’s the lack of offense killing the Brewers

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The talk of Game 5 of the NLCS — and, indeed, the talk of the postseason so far — has been the Brewers’ creative use of their pitching staff. Indeed, Craig Counsell calling for Brandon Woodruff, and removing Miley from the game after just one batter and five pitches, stands as one of the more audacious acts of bullpenning in recent memory.

In light of that strategy, it was tempting to compare and contrast the Brewers’ approach to that of the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw gave up an early run and, as has so often been the case lately, didn’t look super sharp early. But as the game wore on he got stronger, his curve got more devastating and he turned in an ace-like performance, leaving after seven innings of work, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. The Brewers may have an army of pitchers they throw at you, but the Dodgers, on this night, had a Hulk.

That’s all a lot of fun, and it was a tempting narrative to grab a hold of, but you know what? It doesn’t matter a bit. The fact of the matter is that the Brewers have scored two runs in the last 17 innings between Games 4 and 5. Two runs, with one of them being an oh-by-the-way run with out in the ninth tonight. They’ve only scored three runs in their last 24 innings. They could have a college of coaches using a murder of pitchers and they’d still be staring at being down 3-2 like they are right now because the bats have gone cold.

The presumptive NL MVP, Christian Yelich, was 0-for-4 in Game 5 and is only 3-for-20 with three singles in the entire NLCS. Ryan Braun is 5-for-21. Lorenzo Cain is 6-for-24. Games 3 and 4 have, obviously, been the big problems for the Brewers. In those games the entire team is batting .168 with 26 strikeouts and they are 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Craig Counsell could go back in time, bring back Pete Vukovich, Rollie Fingers, Teddy Higuera, Moose Haas and Jim Slaton, use them all for an inning and two-thirds each and it wouldn’t matter if the Brewers can’t score. That’s the story of the series so far. No matter how much we might want to talk about the pitching shenanigans, that’s the only thing that really matters.