AP Photo

Angels toss combined no-hitter against Mariners

19 Comments

The Angels honored late teammate Tyler Skaggs on Friday night, donning no. 45 jerseys and running a special video tribute to Skaggs prior to the game. Then, during a terrific 13-0 rout of the visiting Mariners, they did something even better to honor him: they threw a combined no-hitter.

Rookie right-hander Taylor Cole led the charge, hurling two perfect innings as an opener for fellow righty Félix Peña. Peña stepped in to replace Cole at the top of the third inning and extended the perfecto into the fifth, when he subsequently lost it on a four-pitch walk to Omar Narváez.

Behind Cole and Peña, the Angels lifted the pitching staff to an unbeatable 13-run lead. In an explosive seven-run first inning, Mike Trout was the first to strike, pouncing on a first-pitch sinker from Mike Leake and returning it to center field for a two-run homer — his 29th of the year.

The home run was followed by a smattering of runs from Andrelton Simmons, Justin Bour, and Dustin Garneau. Trout returned to drive in another two runs on an RBI double, giving the Mariners a substantial seven-run debt to work their way back from. Over the next six innings, Trout accounted for another two runs on a hit-by-pitch and double, while Justin Upton capped the 13-run spread in the seventh with a 388-foot two-RBI blast off of Seattle reliever Parker Markel.

Peña returned in the ninth to finish the no-hitter with just 76 pitches under his belt. He needed just five more pitches to do so, inducing a first-pitch flyout from Mac Williamson and back-to-back two-pitch groundouts from Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith.

The no-hitter is the first in Angels’ history since 2012, when Jered Weaver blanked the Twins 9-0 in May of that season. Coincidentally, 2012 was also the last year the Mariners found themselves on the losing end of a no-no, as then-White Sox starter Philip Humber had completed his first and only perfect game in Seattle the month before.

More than a special franchise moment, however, was the loving way the Angels paid homage to Skaggs throughout the night. Following Cole and Peña’s triumph, the team laid their no. 45 jerseys on the mound in Skaggs’ honor — a moment that most are calling ‘bigger than baseball,’ and rightfully so.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
Getty Images
2 Comments

The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.