Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Wednesday, April 25.
Last year, I began to check minor league results to find material for this blog. One of the earliest minor league games to attract my attention was a AA perfecto. Tyler Mahle, now with the Reds was the man of the moment in April 2017. He was at AA with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos for whom he pitched a perfect game. The year before he had pitched a no-hitter in Advanced A ball for the Daytona Tortugas. Last night Mahle went 6 innings without giving up a hit against major league hitters. The righty struck out 11 Braves as his team built up a 5–0 lead. He faltered in the 7th and the game wasn’t decided until the last of the 12th when Scooter Gennett hit his second home run of the night for a 9–7 Reds win. Freddie Freeman tried his level best to ruin the Reds’ night. His home run ended Mahle’s bid for a place in history. Then in the 9th he homered again as part of a 4-run uprising that knotted the game at 7. The Reds’ Jared Hughes got the last two outs of the 10th, then retired the Braves in the 11th and 12th to get credit for the win.
Wednesday brings the usual midweek afternoon games and one old-school doubleheader. That will feature the Tigers and Pirates in Pittsburgh after last night’s game there was
rained out. The Astros have the luxury of throwing Justin Verlander at the Angels today in Houston. The Angels needed their offense to back up Shohei Ohtani in an 8-7 win. Their game starts at 2 PM Eastern, as does the game between the White Sox and Mariners. In Chicago, it’s a battle of two real veterans-the Mariners’ king Felix Hernandez and the Sox’ James Shields. The Padres meet the Rockies in Denver at 3 PM with the Nats facing the Giants 45 minutes later. Max Scherzer is up to his old tricks for the Nationals, having struck out 47 men in 33 innings. This leads the league. He is one of two men in modern MLB about whom you can honestly say he could throw a no-hitter on any given day. The other one is also pitching today. Scherzer has done it twice, both in 2015. For the Twins tonight, it’s Lance Lynn’s turn in the barrel at Yankee Stadium. The visiting Twins have lost 14–1 and 8–3 in their last 2 games and are simply desperate for a starter to last 6 or 7 innings. That’s not easily done against this Yankee offense. They’ve hit 4 home runs in each of the first 2 games against the Twins. The Yankees won almost in spite of themselves, making 4 errors in the field. Zack Greinke of the D-Backs faces Jake Arrieta in Philadelphia. Jake looked like the man the Phillies were hoping for when he struck out 10 men in 7 scoreless innings against the Pirates last time out. Both men will have to be at their best to survive at a hitter-friendly ball park. The Red Sox send out lefty Eduardo Rodriguez against the Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez. The Sox were down 3-1 last night, tied the game in the 9th only to lose in the 10th. The Cubs start with John Lester against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer. Lester hasn’t pitched in Cleveland since the 7th game of the 2016 World Series. The Marlins’ Trevor Richards has to face the man I have called the best pitcher on the planet, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. He joins Max Scherzer in the category of ability to throw a no-hitter on any given night. After a 10-inning 6-5 win last night, the Mets will go with Steven Matz against the Cardinals. While Yoenis Cespedes contributed a 3-run home run, it was a solo shot launched by Jay Bruce that ultimately gave the win to the Orange and Blue. The Cardinals tried a review hoping he might have missed first base, as 1962 Met Marv Throneberry did. Bruce’s trot around the diamond was upheld by the umps and the game was theirs once the Cards were retired in their half of the 10th.0