The loss on Thursday was their fifth in a row. It was their eighth in the past nine games, a stretch in which they have scored two runs or less in all eight of the losses. It also was their 14th loss in their past 17 games.
Designated for assignment and released by the Angels, Pujols found a home with the defending World Series-champion Dodgers, and he rewarded that faith with his first homer for his new club, a two-run shot to right field in the second inning of Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“According to Statcast data, deGrom threw 25 four-seam fastballs, averaging 94.5 mph and topping out at 101.9. He mixed in 15 sliders and a single changeup.”
Imagine being some Low-A minor leaguer, doesn’t even get paid minimum wage, probably has to work at McDonald’s between games to pay the bills. You show up to the ball park, hoping to continue your development to hopefully get to the big leagues one day and BAM you’ve got to face the greatest active pitcher in the game.
But pitching is also far more imposing than it’s ever been. Once upon a time, a guy who threw in the upper ’90s was an anomaly. Now it’s your average bullpen. Easy to say that a hitter should go the other way to beat the shift; harder to do when you’re looking for a 99-mph fastball and you get a 90-mph slider or 83-mph changeup instead.
Unless MLB really likes all these games where fans sit around impatiently waiting for something to happen, it needs to get proactive. The last time it was close to this bad, when players hit .237 in ’68, MLB officials responded by lowering the mound. The numbers rebounded, and everybody was happy.
So who could throw the next no-hitter? That could be hard to predict. Betting markets would likely put the odds on a DeGrom or Darvish type of arm, but in the sample size of seven no-hitters — yes, Bumgarner’s getting credit for his gem on the mound — those pitchers don’t look like the ones who have blanked teams in the hit column.
“No-hitters are cool and I have all the respect in the world for Corey Kluber and Bum and all those guys that have thrown no-hitters,” Kershaw said. “But to have one happen every night … it’s probably not good for the game. Fans want to see some hits, I get that, and some action and not many people striking out.