May 6, 2021

1. John Means throws an almost perfect game no-hitter

No hits. No walks. No errors.

And the first solo no-hitter for the Orioles since Jim Palmer, in 1969:

The only baserunner came from a dropped third strike in the third inning — who then got thrown out at second base.

27 up, 27 down. And so, a slightly imperfect perfect game no-hitter:

2. BREAKING NEWS (1:48pm ET) — Albert Pujols is being released

Unclear what this means just yet, if he’s done for good or if another team with take a flyer on him. But wow.

He came into the league in 2001. The oldest active player in MLB. Career WAR of 99.4. Home runs: 667. RBI: 2,112.

3. It’s Jose Altuve’s birthday, and he’s spending it at Yankee Stadium

Ouch.

Here’s what it was like last night, for the second night in a row — in case you missed it:

4. The Yankees won again last night, can sweep the Astros today

Giancarlo Stanton is playing out of his mind. Another two-run HR, another game with a hit in just about every at-bat.

5. Ohtani says “sorry!” after snagging a line drive

The man might just be the most likeable player in baseball.

6. Anthony Rizzo hits a walk-off at Wrigley, the Cubs sweep the Dodgers

11th inning. Rizzo into the game late after having an “off day”. And the guy who’ll have a statue outside of Wrigley someday, raises the W flag:

And he just kept on running, and running and — what’s that Forrest Gump quote?

The Cubs are now just about back up to .500 on the year, and the Dodgers (after starting 13–2) have, somehow — fallen to 17–15.

7. Things get heated with Angel Hernandez

Brady Singer coming off the mound in Kansas City — completely irate, and not at the wrong guy. The most name brand, well-known figure for umpire notoreity this side of Country Joe West.

Brady Singer, you are all of us.

8. Kyle Finnegan throws an “immaculate inning”

Nine pitches. Nine strikes. Three strikeouts. Inning over.

They’re become more and more common in recent years, with strikeout rates going up, but still — wow:

9. Tony La Russa to reporter: “You know the rules better than I do”

In extra innings, with the runner-starts-on-second rule, there’s a twist it where, if the last player to have batted was a pitcher, the manager can send out the next guy in the lineup to second base.

Not knowing this, La Russa put Liam Hendriks (the closer) on second. Tenth inning, they failed to score and maybe could have.

White Sox lose.

Ozzie Guillen ranting about the inning is hilarious:

10. New York’s two biggest stars are struggling

Aaron Judge went 0–5 last night with five strikeouts.

He’s batting .265 on the year, so still doing fine — but the same cannot (at all) be said over in Queens, for one Francisco Lindor.

Zero hits in his last 24 at-bats. Batting average of .157. It’s early, but the fans are starting to turn.

11. Fan clip of the day: this kid after Mike Trout got hit by a pitch

12. Aroldis Chapman has been very very dominant in 2021

13. When you think you hit a HR and you completely did not

Bat flip. Announcer going wild. Fly ball to the warning track.

But, to be fair — it was an RBI, it did tie the game in the 10th, it did keep the game alive, and the Cubs went on to win in the 11th.

So hey, bat flip away.

14. A strange typo in the Twitter trending headlines

15. And lastly, the Reds and White Sox played a very boring game

Fun way to end the newsletter, no?

Scoreless after regulation (seven innings), and just four hits total. The kind of day where this tweet applies, throughout:

Then a scoreless 8th , even with the runners starting on second. A scoreless 9th inning. Then finally, one run in the bottom of the 10th, and the Reds win 1–0. Here was the one bit of excitement:

Oh, and Jose Abreu, earlier in the game — sprinting for the dugout. Unclear if an emergency use of the facilities was in order:

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The Baseball Newsletter

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