Posted in Baseball, Baseball Game Reports, Uncategorized

Do you ever pull a pitcher working on a no-hitter?

RCBB DSCN4552Angel Yepez DSCN4549Hudson Valley Renegades pitcher Angel Yepez didn’t allow a hit over six innings last night as the Tampa Bay Rays farm team held on to beat the Staten Island Yankees 7-5.

“He was in an unbelievable rhythm,” said Renegades pitching coach Brian Reith told “He walked the leadoff man in the second, and then he just caught fire and retired the next 15 in a row. It was great to see.”

Yet just when those of us in the stands were starting to think about the possibility of watching a no-hitter, Hudson Valley manager Tim Parenton already knew we weren’t going to watch Yepez try to complete one. He had reliever Diego Castillo warm up in the top of the seventh while his team was hitting.

And Castillo came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh, yielding a hit to Griffin Gordon to spoil the bid and three runs to the Staten Island Yankees to get them back into the game.

Yepez, who did earn his first victory of the season for his efforts, threw just 63 pitches – 42 for strikes. But the 20-year-old prospect had not pitched more than five innings this season and pitched just 72 2/3 innings over 19 appearances with the Venezuelan Summer League Rays and Gulf Coast League Rays last year. A complete game performance just wasn’t in the cards.

My friend Greg couldn’t understand why Yepez wasn’t allowed to stay in until he gave up a hit or finished the game. I’d assumed a pitch count much closer to 100 (unlike major league stadiums, there’s no pitch tracking info on the scoreboard at Richmond County Bank Ballpark), or I would have been wondering the same thing.

But as the Tom Verducci column I linked last week pointed out, baseball has changed. The idea of starting pitchers throwing complete games is antiquated. Shutouts are more of a novelty than a measure of a pitcher’s dominance in 2015. No-hitters are probably on their way to becoming even more of a rarity than they already are.

And that’s a shame. You can show me all the numbers you want to prove that it’s better to send out a reliever for that third or fourth trip through the batting order — I know you’re right. But I miss watching starting pitchers facing that challenge.

Barring an organizational mandate to pull him at a certain pitch count, I would have sent Yepez out to start the seventh inning last night. And I would have let Johan Santana pitch just as long as Terry Collins did on June 1, 2012.

But let’s hand you the lineup card and put you in the dugout: when would you take the ball away from a pitcher working on a no-hitter?

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Sorry for spoiling you party, Chipper (well, not really)


Lucas Duda hits against the Braves during a 2010 game at Citi Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Lucas Duda hits against the Braves during a 2010 game at Citi Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Lucas Duda and Jonathon Niese led the Mets to victory last night, spoiling the Braves’ Chipper Jones love-fest and preventing the Braves from taking advantage of the Nationals’ loss to gain ground on Washington.

It was nice to see Niese end his 2012 season with a strong start, and it was surprising to see Duda come through with the big hit.

Maybe in 2020 or so, we’ll be watching the Mets honor David Wright with a similar ceremony at the end of his career.

Also, congratulations to Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds, who pitched the 7th no-hitter of 2012.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Not quite a no-hitter, but still a good game: Bowie 3, Trenton 2

Saturday was a beautiful night at the ballpark, unless you were a Trenton Thunder hitter

I went to last night’s game between the Bowie Baysox and the Trenton Thunder with my friend Freddy. The original draw was the chance to get an autograph from former New York Giants & Philadelphia Eagles punter Sean Landeta, but we saw a pretty good baseball game.

Baysox starter Jacob Petit took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Trenton shortstop Addison Maruszak hit a 4oo+ foot home run to dead center field to break it up. That cut Bowie’s lead to just one run.

Ronnie Welty led off the ninth with a home run of his own to give the Baysox a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Trenton scored a run and got the tying and winning runs on base, but Kyler Newby was able to escape a bases-loaded jam to earn the save and preserve a 3-2 victory.

Posted in Uncategorized

Newark’s Ness Pitches No-Hitter

Mike Ness pitches for the Newark Bears on Opening Day (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Normally, I don’t mind missing midweek day games very much. Today, I would have liked to have been at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.

Mike Ness pitched the second no-hitter in Newark Bears history, the first since the team moved to the Can-Am League.  And he did it against the league’s best team, the Quebec Captiales, who entered play today with a 33-17 record.

Ness struck out eight and walked only one  while earning his sixth victory of the season. He managed a shutout despite his defense making six errors behind him, which is almost as remarkable as the no-hitter. (Three of the errors occurred in the third inning, and one each in the fourth, sixth and seventh.)

Center fielder Quentin Davis went two-for-four with an RBI in his first game back from the shoulder injury he suffered on June 1st when he tried to make a diving catch against the St. Paul Saints.

Maybe the return of Davis and Ness’ no-hitter can serve as catalysts for the Bears to start a winning streak. At 17-35 and 12 games out of second place, it’s probably too late to expect them to make a playoff run… but getting out of last place and playing winning baseball from here out are both achievable goals.

Here’s the Bears’ press release:

Continue reading “Newark’s Ness Pitches No-Hitter”