It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 48 which means it’s time to talk about another one. Somehow, someway, the 2021 MLB season has made the no-hitter feel like an afterthought. The main story for tonight was Tony La Russa being an out-of-touch, old, useless idiot who somehow still has power because the system is designed for him to retain his power despite being a clear and obvious failure and piece of shit who deserves nothing. That’s the lead, but then Spencer Turnbull had to and one-up Wade Miley. There’s another one. We told you this was the next year of the pitcher [and hopefully the MLB makes the same drastic changes that were made after the last year of the pitcher]. A no-hitter will always be lead, as Tony La Russa has been a piece of shit for too long for that to really even be news.
Kansas City Royals right-hander Kris Bubic found himself in a familiar position once again today. The Royals righty made a start and did not allow a run. This is his third start of the season, and the future ace once again did not allow any earned runs. That’s not 16.2 innings out of the rotation where Bubic has not done everything a starting pitcher can do to help his team win a game. Zero runs. He now has both a 0.96 ERA and 0.96 WHIP and is a prospect with a pedigree. Bubic is the reason why you don’t give up on pitchers when they get optioned or moved to the bullpen. When they’re young, they will come back. They might not come back strong, but at a minimum, they will be back. Bubic is back.
Angels lefty Andrew Heaney was lit up by the Indians in the first inning. Jose Ramirez hit a two-run dinger, Harold Ramirez drove in two more on a Phil Gosselin error, and then Yu Chang even did something noteworthy hitting a sacrifice fly to score Ramirez. That’s five runs before three outs were recorded. Heaney’s line ultimately looked far better than this first inning suggested. One of the runs was unearned, and Heaney did manage to go another two innings before giving way to Jaime Barria. He left the game allowing as many homers as he did strikeouts (1). This was an awful start any way you slice it, and when you’re at home against an offense like Cleveland’s on a four-game losing skid, you expect better.
Brandon Woodruff continued his excellent run this season with another gem today, this time against Brady Singer and the Kansas City Royals. Woodruff went 7.2 innings allowing just one earned run. This was the “worst” start since Opening Day for Woodruff as he only had four strikeouts, but when a 7.2 inning start with one earned run is “bad”, it’s a good year. Overshadowed by Corbin Burnes to start the season, he’s not overshadowed in my eyes. This season is going to have a ton of elite pitching performances, and Woodruff’s should not be forgotten.
We all know it’s not 2013 anymore, but seeing Matt Harvey struggled to hold a rotation spot in Baltimore is just tough. He feels like the right-handed mirror to Dontrelle Willis. Such amazing success to start the career, but so much forgettable blah to end it. Today he went 1.2 innings allowing six runs. In his last start, he went 4.1 innings allowing seven runs. That’s awful. It’s DFA worthy. It stinks that Harvey has become such a punching line, but it’s deserved. It’s yet another reason to remember that at any time, injuries or ineffectiveness can happen and success will never return.
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
Miguel Sano awoke from his season-long slumber blasting three homers today in the Twins big dumb win over the White Sox. Sano entered today with only three homers on the season, and he has looked everything like the next great former power hitter. Perhaps today is a sign that the 1B and 3B eligible Sano could break out in a big way, but I’m not buying it. This is a guy who can barely hit .200 but hits a bunch of dingers. We’ve all seen the way Pedro Alvarez’s career looked like, and that’s what Miguel Sano’s will look like when it’s all said and done. Maybe you’ll get a hot week, but you won’t get a hot season.
The James Shields Award
It feels like every time Zack Wheeler and Zach Plesac pitch they give their teams distance. There’s a reason why innings eaters get paid, and pitchers who are good and also eat innings earn the megabucks. Wheeler was the good side of the distance starter allowing zero runs across 7.0 innings, whereas Plesac was the bad side allowing five runs in 7.0 innings. The elite start got the no-decision, the bad start got the win. Baseball. We also had the season’s true breakout star Anthony DeSclafani shut down his former team the Reds allowing one run over seven innings striking out seven while getting the win. We already touched Spencer Turnbull and Brandon Woodruff, so let’s talk Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias. They combined for 13.2 innings, 15 strikeouts, 2 wins, and 7 base runners. Both are elite left-handed options. Both don’t get talked about enough, or get talked downed as not elite too much. Those opinions are both wrong.
The Brad Lidge Award
The Dodgers blew up Kevin Ginkel for four runs over 1.0 innings. The Diamondbacks’ closer position has been anything but steady. Joakim Soria got hurt early, Stefon Crichton couldn’t close the door well, but the presumed favorite to take over, Kevin Ginkel, has been awful all year. He now has a 7.16 ERA and 1.71 WHIP and deserves every piece of those bloated numbers. He just flat out stinks. There are plenty of reasons to chase saves in-season, but for every success story like Cesar Valdez, Yimi Garcia, or Emmanuel Clase you have an utter failure like Kevin Ginkel. Still, that’s three successes for one failure, and that’s a good ratio.
The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. There have been too many no-no’s in too short of a span. Fans are becoming desensitized to just how amazing and rare a no-hitter is. I will always be in awe. When I got to watch Dallas Braden throw a perfect game, I was nearly moved to tears. Not because I care about Oakland or Dallas Braden, but because I knew how rare and amazing a perfect game is. By the end of that season, we had “just” another perfect game by Felix Hernandez. Right now we are having “just” another no-hitter. Don’t let it not mean as much simply because there have been many this season. It’s still an amazing feat, and it always will be.