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Michael Wacha loses bid for no-hitter in ninth inning

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Update (4:32 PM ET): After the Cardinals added a run in the bottom of the eighth, Wacha lost his no-hitter to the first batter in the top of the ninth inning. Colin Moran lined a single to right field. Matheny took Wacha out of the game at that point, having thrown 111 pitches.

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Update (4:09 PM ET): Wacha struck out David Freese, then got Gregory Polanco and Sean Rodriguez to ground out in the eighth inning. He’s at 107 pitches with the no-hit bid in tact. The last time Wacha threw 107 or more pitches in a start was on July 18 last year in a shutout against the Mets.

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha has held the Pirates hitless through seven innings of Sunday’s home start. He has thrown 95 pitches, walking two and striking out six.

The Cardinals have scored four runs in support of Wacha, all coming on Marcell Ozuna‘s grand slam in the bottom of the first inning off of Nick Kingham.

We have seen three no-hitters already this season from Sean Manaea and James Paxton, as well as a combined no-hitter from Walker Buehler and the Dodgers’ bullpen. A Cardinals pitcher hasn’t thrown a no-hitter since Bud Smith against the Padres on September 3, 2001. The Pirates were last victims of a no-hitter on June 20, 2015 against the Nationals’ Max Scherzer.

We’ll keep you updated as Wacha attempts to get through the final two innings without giving up a hit. The Cardinals have adhered pretty closely to a pitch limit for Wacha, removing him around 100 pitches in most of his 11 starts this season. Sunday’s start is the first time he got out of the seventh inning this season, in fact. It will be interesting to see if manager Mike Matheny sticks to the plan or lets Wacha rack up more pitches in pursuit of the no-no.

Nationals virtually unveil 2019 World Series rings

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On Sunday evening, the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals unveiled their championship rings online. The Nats took down the Astros in seven hard-fought games last October to win their first Fall Classic in franchise history, with starter Stephen Strasburg winning MVP honors.

As the video highlights about the ring, the Nationals honored “Baby Shark,” a children’s song that became part of the team’s identity last year thanks to reserve outfielder Gerardo Parra. The ring also has all kinds of mementos referencing the Nationals’ triumphs throughout the years, including a reference to 2006, when the Lerner family bought the franchise.

It is a shame that, due to the global pandemic, the Nationals haven’t been able to properly get their rings like past championship winners. But they will, in due time. For now, the players can look forward to receiving their rings in the mail.