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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.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.