Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category


1 Run – 0 Hits

That’s what the scoreboard at Progressive Field in Cleveland read earlier today.  Ervin Santana threw the first ever no-hitter at the Prog (formerly Jacob’s Field), but he allowed one unearned run off of a passed ball in the first inning.  Despite being down for the first 4+ innings, Santana blew away the Indians hitters by striking out 10 and only walking one.  But the question remains, does this one run taint the no-no?

Ervin Santana
Ervin Santana getting the traditional Gatorade bath

To answer this question, you first have to look at some statistics.  For one, Santana only faced 29 batters, just two over the minimum.  The reason for this is that Santana was able to maintain composure after the early run, only walking one batter in the remaining eight innings.  Next, Santana’s ground ball to fly ball ratio was 12-5.  This means he earned the no-hitter, it wasn’t just his defence making great plays.  For a comparison, the Indians combined GB-FB ration was 4-14.  Finally, Santana recorded the highest game score (see formula below) of the season for a pitcher with 94.  So according to the statistics, Santana pitched the best game that has been pitched this season.

The last time that a run was allowed in a no-hitter was almost 18 years ago when Darryl Kile of the Houston Astros beat the Mets 7-1.  Santana was only 10 years old at the time.  When Kile threw his no-no, the article in the following morning’s edition of The Deseret News did not focus on the one run.  It instead focused on Kile pitching the game of his life only five days after the passing of his father.

Although Santana (to my knowledge) does not have a story like that, I would expect the Los Angelas Times to report on the fact that Santana had only one walk.  Or maybe that he took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning against Baltimore in his last start.

Lastly, the pitch that Ezequiel Carrera scored on was a passed ball, not a wild pitch.  It was actually a strike, but back-up catcher Bobby Wilson couldn’t hold on to it.  Had it been a wild pitch seven feet over Wilson’s head, then maybe the no-hitter would be marked with an asterisk.  But Santana pitched the game of his life.  This no-hitter shouldn’t be tainted for him because of a young catcher’s mistake.  So congrats to Ervin Santana on the third no-hitter of this season!

Formula: 50 + 1*Outs + 2*IP after the 4th + 1*K – 2*H – 4*ER – 2*UnearnedRuns – 1*BB (ESPN)

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Don’t ask me how, but somehow the Pittsburgh Pirates are only 0.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.  The lowly Pirates (who ironically have the 7th most World Series titles) haven’t had an above-.500 season since 1992.  That was also the last time the Pirates made the playoffs.  Barry Bonds led that Pirates team in home runs.  By any measure, the Pirates have been the laughing stock of the MLB for nearly the past 2 decades.  It seems like there is one team like that in every league; a team that is so obsolete that the casual fan may have forgotten that they even exist.  Here are those teams.

NBA – Charlotte Bobcats

Despite being owned by the greatest of all time, the Bobcats do not have much going for them. 

charlotte
Kobe and Gerald Wallace, who was traded to Portland

They have the third lowest franchise winning percentage (.387) and their only playoff appearance resulted in a quick exit at the hands of the Orlando Magic.  Oh and they just traded away their all-time leading scorer Gerald Wallace.  The lockout certainly doesn’t help them either.  If the major market owners get their way (and in my opinion they will), Charlotte will be left out to dry, trapped in a realm of obscurity.  The only other team in the running for the NBA was the Clippers, but Blake Griffin will bring them back up whenever the NBA starts back up again.

NHL – New York Islanders

The New York Islanders might as well play in the AHL (the dragon mascot would fit).  They haven’t made it out of the first round of the NHL playoffs since 1993, a Pittsburgh Pirates-esq streak.  And since the NHL lockout, which canceled the 2004-05 season, they have had only 1 season above .500.  They are also averaging the lowest attendance per game in the NHL with a meer 11,059.  They do have one bright spot in John Tavares.  Unfortunately, he shares the same name as his uncle, who is the all-time scoring leader in the National Lacrosse League.  It’s unfortunate because many people (especially in upstate New York) associate Tavares with a lacrosse stick.

NFL – Buffalo Bills

Like the Pirates, the Bills have not made the playoffs since last century.  But it’s more than just not making the playoffs.  It’s a combination of bad coaching, bad management, and bad players. 

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson making a joke

Their last coach to be tenured more than 4 years was Marv Levy.  He was fired after the 1997 season when the Bills went 6-10.  Their only season above .500 since 1999 came in 2004.  That year, the Bills were one game away from the playoffs when in week 17 they had to play the Steelers.  However, the Steelers had already clinched a first-round bye and ended up playing their JV squad for the majority of the game… and the Bills couldn’t win.  That effectively sums up the past decade in Buffalo, culminating with Steve Johnson’s infamous drop last season.  But hey who know maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick is the guy that Ralph Wilson’s been looking for… or maybe not.

 

At this point, we all know about the Roger Clemens saga.  He was a great pitcher who got even greater, had some roid rage incidents (just ask Mike Piazza), and was named in the Mitchell Report.  Soon after, he testified in front of Congress by his own choice.  Then began the 3.5 year process of gathering evidence to prove that Clemens lied in front of Congress.

Then today, on the second day of the trial, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled a mistrial.  He was infuriated that a video of a Congresswoman reading the affidavit of Laura Pettitte was shown to the jury after he ruled that Mrs. Pettitte’s testimony could not be used in this trial.  Judge Walton will decide on September 2nd as to weather or not the case will proceed.

This should not be a difficult decision for Walton.  Americais about to default on its debt, something that’s never happened before.  There is no reason whatsoever that any more taxpayer dollars should go to this “case”.  Everyone has their opinion on Clemens as to weather or not he did in fact use PEDs.  For the most part, people will not change their opinions based on this court ruling.  Those who say he is clean will say “he’s giving up so that this ugly episode can be over” and those who say he used HGH will say “just because there wasn’t enough evidence, doesn’t mean he didn’t use them.”

On top of that, Clemens’ reputation is already tattered to the point that he will not get into the Hall of Fame through the BBWAA vote.  Despite having over 300 wins and 4,000 strikeouts, there is no way that 75% of voters will agree that he deserves a plaque in the same room as guys like Cy Young and Bob Gibson.  Mark McGwire received fewer than 20% of the  votes this year and he came clean last spring.  People hate liars and Clemens is looking like one right now.

To further prove how little this trial would matter, let’s take a look at his potential punishment.  The worst possible punishment Clemens could receive would be 1 year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine.  Let me get this out of the way: ROGER CLEMENS WILL NOT BE GOING TO PRISON.  The government wouldn’t waste its resources on a guy who will (in all likelihood) never be in this kind of situation ever again.  So that just leaves a fine.  If he were to get the maximum $100,000, Clemens would have no problem paying that.  In his career, he made more than $120 million.  Not only that, but he hasn’t made less that $1 million in a season since 1987.  And none of that is even counting his endorsement deals and other things of that nature.  Sure he isn’t making it now, but he is probably smart enough to put some of it in the bank.  At the end of the day, $100,000 to Clemens is probably about $1,000 to anyone else.

But more than anything else, everyone is tired of seeing Clemens’ face.  No one made him deny his PED use in front of Congress.  He should have not said anything and slipped away into the heart of Texas (something G.W. Bush did right).  When I turn on Sports Center, I’d much rather hear a story about Abby Wambach and Hope Solo than a story about something that is relatively irrelevant to sports in today’s world.