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Stephen Strasburg throws immaculate inning

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Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw an immaculate inning — three strikeouts on nine pitches — in the fourth inning Wednesday night against the Marlins. Strasburg started out the frame by fanning Garrett Cooper with a fastball-change-fastball combo. Neil Walker then took two change-ups before whiffing at a 95 MPH fastball for strike three. Starlin Castro fell behind 0-2 after seeing a fastball and a curve, then took a 96 MPH fastball for strike three to end the inning.

This is the first immaculate inning of Strasburg’s career. He’s the fourth to do it this season, joining Josh Hader, Thomas Pannone, and Chris Sale (who did it twice). Max Scherzer previously had the Nationals’ most recent immaculate inning, doing so in June last year. Jordan Zimmermann is the only other National to have accomplished the feat.

Strasburg has had mixed results this year. He entered Wednesday’s start carrying a 3.88 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 27 walks across 109 innings. Of his 17 starts, he allowed four or more runs in seven of them.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).