Until last night, no Colorado Rockies pitcher had brought a no-hitter into the eighth inning – but Ubaldo Jimenez not only did that, he finished the job – cruising the last four innings and beating the Atlanta Braves. Jimenez battled his control for five innings before his pitching coach, Bob Apodaca (a former Met, a team without a no-hitter in nearly 50 seasons) suggested that he pitch from the stretch to keep the ball in the strike zone. After averaging more than 18 pitches an inning through five, Jimenez needed only 45 to finish the last four innings. [MLB]
Funny story about that. My friend, Steve Dubin, has Jimenez on his fantasy team – but was trying to protect an ERA and WHIP lead, so he left his starters on the bench. So, he didn’t even get the fantasy points for the no-no. Ouch.
Meanwhile, the Fox Sports team put in some overtime – the game of the week between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals was a scoreless affair through eighteen innings before the Mets finally got a run off of outfielder Joe Mather to open the nineteenth inning. Mather was the tenth pitcher used by Tony LaRussa – and SECOND position player (Felipe Lopez pitched a scoreless 18th inning). Meanwhile, the Mets trotted out nine pitchers. The eighth was closer Francisco Rodriguez – who blew the save opportunity. Rodriguez admitted he was tired – he had been up and down in the bullpen and threw at least 100 pitches before heading to the mound. Mather, however, stayed out a second inning and the Mets reached him for a second run in the top of the twentieth inning. Mike Pelfrey, who was itching for a chance to participate, became the 19th pitcher of the game and earned the save. [MLB]
Looking ahead to today, the Mets are out of pitchers – a bunch of guys threw at least 2 innings and 30 pitches, so Pelfrey may have to close again today. Both managers will be hoping the Sunday night game starters, John Maine and Adam Wainwright, go the distance.
From the Training Room…
Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand was hit in the earflap of his helmet by a Vincente Padilla fastball, breaking two bones in his cheek. With Rowand heading to the DL for two weeks, the Giants recalled infielder Matt Downs.
Wondering who Matt Downs is? Downs was a 36th round draft pick in 2006 out of Alabama, but has made steady progress through the minors by hitting for a decent average, showing some power, and running the bases pretty well. He even hit .372 in spring training this year… Looking at his stats at Fresno, I think it transfers to a guy who might hit .250 with a dozen homers, a few walks, and ten or more steals, which on the Giants is an above average hitter… I don’t know if he’ll stick but he became a better prospect than Kevin Frandsen, who was allowed to go to Boston instead. Look for Downs to get some playing time – but he may not stay for long.
Royals infielder Chris Getz heads to the DL with an oblique strain that occurred diving into a base. The Royals considered bringing back struggling infielder Mike Aviles, but brought back Alex Gordon instead. Gordon, who missed most of last year following hip surgery, and then – feeling fit – broke his thumb diving into a base during a spring training game, may not be in the field right away. [MLB]
Giants outfielder Mark DeRosa left Saturday’s game with a tweaked hammy. He’s day-to-day. [MLB]
Cubs pitcher (and Jayhawk alum) Tom Gorzelanny was drilled by a liner in the left shoulder and left the game for a pinch hitter in the third inning, but he says he won’t miss a start. After getting drilled, Gorzelanny stayed in and finished his inning – he just didn’t stay in the game after that. [MLB]
In this case, the injury might be an ego. Addressing a story on FoxSports that ownership turned down offers from Cal Ripken, Jr. to become more involved with the Orioles operations, owner Peter Angelos said that if Cal wants to be a part of the team, he’d welcome that discussion. [ESPN]
Angels closer Brian Fuentes is scheduling his minor league rehab in hopes of a mid-week return. [MLB]
Indians closer (?) Kerry Wood will pitch a simulated game before heading to rehab and may return before May. Wood is out with a sore back. [MLB]
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hopes to return to Texas, but his next rehab stint will be in AAA. With soreness in his left shoulder and upper back, the Rangers want to see Salty catch nine innings before he returns next week. [MLB]
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is on the DL with a strained calf. The Phillies have been successful, in part, because so few regulars have spent any time on the DL… (Brad Lidge isn’t a starter, but he’s spent the most time on the DL over the last couple of years.) [FoxSports]
Pirates ace Ross Ohlendorf heads to the DL with back spasms… In his place, the Pirates recalled starter Daniel McCutchen. McCutchen faces the Reds, against whom he has his only MLB victory. [MLB]
Orioles infielder Miguel Tejada strained a groin (hopefully his own) running the bases and is considered day-to-day. Tejada, for all it’s worth, hasn’t missed a whole lot of games in his career. [MLB]
Staying in Baltimore, outfielder Felix Pie strained his left shoulder batting on Thursday and was placed on the 15-day-DL.
Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan returned to the lineup this weekend after missing a couple of games with bruised left ribs sustained while making a game-saving diving catch on the hard warning track last Tuesday. What he needs to feel better might be a few two-hit games… [MLB]
Chan Ho Park, Yankee long reliever, headed to the DL with a hamstring strain that occurred while warming up in the bullpen. If you injure yourself warming up, what does that say about your level of fitness? [MLB]
Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron returned to the lineup this weekend after passing a kidney stone (must have been SOME kind of a stone!). [MLB]
Royals outfielder Jose Guillen took time to discuss his leg injuries from 2009 and revealed that he had life-threatening blood clots during the off-season. [MLB]
Giants outfielder Fred Lewis was disappointed with his lack of playing time – so he requested a trade. San Francisco obliged his request, sending him to Toronto for future considerations. Fred Lewis himself broke the story on his Facebook page.
A New Jersey man was arrested for his obnoxious behavior at a game after similar behavior got his friend removed from the stadium. Angered by that, Matthew Clemmens then made himself vomit on a man and his 11-year-old daughter. The man on the receiving end was an off-duty police officer who showed remarkable restraint by not pummeling Clemens (which, admittedly, I would have considered if someone had done that to me or my son). Seriously – some credit is due the off-duty cop for his restraint. Clemmens gets charged with a variety of offenses (disorderly behavior, assault, reckless endangerment) and should get to spend time in jail. He should also be banned from attending any sporting event. [FoxSports]
Music mogul Jay-Z is suing David Ortiz because Ortiz named his new Dominican nightclub 40/40 – the same name used by Jay-Z in nightclubs he owns… [FoxSports]
Longest Division Games in the AL?
Boston – New York average 3:39 – well over the league average of about 2:56. Joe Posnanski did the work – read his article.
From the Transaction Wire…
Twins pitcher Jose Mijares heads to the DL with an elbow strain. Coming up from Rochester is pitcher Alex Burnett – a converted starter that has been nearly unhittable as a reliever since 2009.
The Braves need an extra arm and are extending a short stint to pitcher Jonny Venters. If you saw his career stats, you’d know he’s a non-prospect.
With Esmerling Vasquez struggling, the Diamondbacks are giving a few innings to Kris Benson… He’s still around? Benson pitched for Texas last year and had an ERA of about 8.50 – and hasn’t been below 4.00 since 2000 when he was still in Pittsburgh. Isn’t Pedro Martinez still available???