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Minor league team loses despite throwing no-hitter thanks to new extra innings rule

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We’ve talked before about the new rule in the minor leagues in which extra innings begin with a runner on second base in order to speed things along. Some people are fine with it. Some people hate it with the energy of a thousand suns. I’ve been to one of these games and it was . . . fine I guess? I dunno. I’d be mad it if ever was utilized in a game that truly mattered at the major league level, but I suspect that won’t happen any time soon. It’s an experiment for now. A weird experiment.

The experiment got weirder down in Florida on Monday night when the rule caused a team to lose a game despite throwing a no-hitter. Indeed, despite nearly tossing a perfect game.

The game was between the Phillies affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers, and the Yankees affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League. It was only a scheduled seventh inning game, so the extra frame was the eighth inning.

The details: Tampa starter Deivi Garcia tossed seven perfect innings, but it was tied 0-0 at the end of seven. Clearwater began the top of the eighth with an automatic runner on second. He went to third on an error. Two batters later, he scored when a Thresher batter grounded out to first base. Tampa went down in order in the bottom of the eighth and that was the ballgame.

Losing a no-hitter is pretty dang rare. Losing a nearly perfect game is probably even more rare. But we’re in strange new times, I suppose.

Report: Joe Girardi waiting for opening with Cubs

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.

Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.

Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).