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Noah Syndergaard has a one-hitter through six but is losing 2-0

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I made a poor choice today. With two day games on, I picked the Royals-Tigers game over the Nationals-Mets game. Yes, I know the Mets and Nats are both better teams than either the Royals or Tigers, but I’ve watched both of those teams 2-3 times this past week and I wanted a change.

Bonus: the Royals and Tigers inspired me. Their matchup made me imagine a book proposal in which the author would follow the Tigers, Royals and White Sox this year as they “fight” for third place, but cover the “race” in the same tenor and tone as a real pennant race. I don’t have time to do that, but I feel like it would make for a good story. Three or four innings in and I realized that the flaw to that ideas is that you’d, you know, have to watch a ton of Tigers, Royals and White Sox games and that’s not something anyone could do easily. I’d need a big, big advance to take on that project.

Anyway, I looked up at the Mets-Nats scoreboard and saw that Noah Syndergaard had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. So I quickly switched over and as soon as I did . . . Victor Robles hit a solo shot to left field for a homer. The no-hitter was over. It was only then that I realized — and I’m not sure how I missed it — Syndergaard didn’t even have a shutout going before the Robles homer. He surrendered a run in the second by walking two guys, uncorking a wild pitch and then giving up a sac fly.

So it’s now 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Syndergaard has give up only one hit on 98 pitches and . . . stands to be the loser.

Oh, and his opponent, Stephen Strasburg, has a one-hitter going through six and hasn’t allowed a run. That’s a bit more normal, yes?

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.