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Baseball Insider: July 5, 2009 - July 11, 2009

Giants' Sanchez Throws No-Hitter

Jonathan Sanchez threw the first no-hitter of the season, striking out 11 as San Francisco got an 8-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Sanchez needed just 110 pitches to complete the career-defining feat and had a perfect game going before an error in the eighth inning.

By CJ Holley  |  July 11, 2009; 12:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Giants , Padres  | Tags: jonathan sanchez, no hitter, no-hitter, san diego padres, san francisco giants  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Sometimes you just want to expose a great photo, and this is distinctly one of those moments. Meet Astros pitcher Mike Hampton, pitching to Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson. Someone pat the AP's David J. Phillip on the back, because that's one heck of a still frame.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 10, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Astros  | Tags: Astros, Mike Hampton, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Orioles Review and Preview: Mariners, Blue Jays

The Orioles return to Baltimore after going 3-4 during a West Coast trip to host the Toronto Blue Jays who are licking their wounds after being handed a three-game sweep by the Rays in Tampa Bay.

By CJ Holley  |  July 10, 2009; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Blue Jays , Mariners , Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Talking Behind Their Back, toronto blue jays  
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One Long Hit Streak

James McOwen, a 23-year-old outfield prospect in the Mariners system, had a hit in his last 45 games for the High Desert Mavericks entering last night's game against the San Jose Giants. McOwen's streak is the longest put up in the minor leagues in 55 years, a notable achievement considering the amount of times any player will have to save a streak with a last at-bat hit in any long stretch. He had one of those hits -- a broken-bat single -- on Tuesday night to reach game No. 44, needing less drama during his 2-for-4 performance on Wednesday night.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 10, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mariners  | Tags: James McOwen, Mariners, hitting streak, minor league baseball  
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When It Clicked: Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann has made a career out of coming out of nowhere. He was lightly recruited out of Auberndale (Wisc.) High, developed into a top prospect at Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, then blitzed through the Washington Nationals' farm system in a mere 22 months from the time he was drafted (second round in June 2007) to his big league debut this April 20. In other words, the past, say, six years has been a series of rapid-fire "clicks." What was the most critical stage in his development? He says it was the transition from high school to college.

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 10, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Nationals  | Tags: Dave Sheinin, Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals, When It Clicked  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I see it after the ball got out of the park." -- Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez who missed his team's game winning homer in the eighth because he had placed a towel over his head Seattle Mariners 3, Texas Rangers 1 Felix Hernandez allowed...

By CJ Holley  |  July 10, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "There's not a baseball player that's not superstitious. And if they tell you they're not, they're lying." -- Dodgers pitcher Randy Wolf, speaking for crazy baseball players everywhere Nationals 11-4, Astros 10-9 Officially, the Nationals went 1-1 yesterday, earning a win for a pitcher who...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 10, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Torii Hunter isn't the shortest player on the field, as he proved by pulling in this deep drive off the bat of Texas's Hank Blalock on Monday. At the same time, not even he was tall and athletic enough to block out all of Anaheim's divisional titles on an outfield wall, thanks somewhat ironically to the one crown he has helped the team win since landing in Anaheim.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 9, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Angels  | Tags: Angels, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Torri Hunter  
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Nuke LaLoosh Headed for A Different Hall

The man who allegedly served as the loose basis for Nuke LaLoosh's character in Bull Durham is about to be enshrined in a Hall of Fame, just not the one that first comes to mind.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 9, 2009; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles  | Tags: Bull Durham, Hall of Fame, Nuke LaLoosh, minor league baseball  
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The Worst Radio Call Ever

During the ninth inning of a tight game between the Dodgers and Padres, Los Angeles radio announcer Charley Steiner, he of former ESPN laughing fame, completely botched the end of the bottom of the ninth inning. While Steiner called the eventual third out of the frame as a game ender, the game actually went on for another four innings, with the Dodgers pulling out a 7-6 win in 13 innings.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 9, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Charley Steiner, Dodgers, Vin Scully, media, play-by-play  
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The All-Ryan Team

In honor of next week's MLB All-Star Game, here is a team that, from the looks of it, could give either official all-star team a pretty good fight. (How would you set up the top half of this lineup? Maybe Theriot, Ludwick, Braun, Howard, Zimmerman?) It comes courtesy of 13-year-old...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 9, 2009; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Get Off My Lawn and Into the Voting Booth

With less than a full day remaining to vote for the final spot on each league's roster, all-star campaigns have gotten pretty creative led by the "Bran Torino" joint effort of the Tigers and Phillies.

By CJ Holley  |  July 9, 2009; 10:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Diamondbacks , Giants , Phillies , Rangers , Tigers  | Tags: All-Star Game, Bran Torino, all-star voting, arizona diamondbacks, brandon inge, detroit tigers, mark reynolds, pablo sandoval, philadelphia phillies, shane victorino  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I don't know who was pitching worse. Him or the kid across the way. It was kind of a race, who's going to get run out of there first." -- Blue Jays Manager Cito Gaston on his starting pitcher (Brian Tallet) and Rays starter Scott...

By CJ Holley  |  July 9, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "Frustrating? Look ... what else can I say? There's nothing else to say, there really isn't. You've just got to swing the bats better if we're going to do anything the rest of the year, and that's really the bottom line. I said it before...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 9, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Not only did Tony Gwynn Jr. make an impressive catch on a ball hit by Diamondback and former Nat Felipe Lopez, he did so with aesthetic flair, leaping for a grab and leaving his feet a bit star-crossed, just for good measure.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 8, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Padres  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Padres, Tony Gwynn Jr.  
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Manny Ramirez: Bad Tipper

We don't know if Manny Ramirez is a stingy or exorbitant tipper, but we do know one thing: He'd rather save some dough and effort that adhere to traditional major league customs.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 8, 2009; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Dodgers, manny ramirez, minor league baseball  
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How to Thwart God Bless America

Ever wondered how you can countervene God Bless America, the seminal song of American folk lore and, in more recent years, an extended break between the top and bottom half of the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium? It takes a lawsuit.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 8, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Yankees  | Tags: God Bless America, Red Sox, Yankee Stadium, Yankees, lawsuit  
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The List: RBI < (HR x 2)

Josh Willingham is on the verge of history. At the mathematical midpoint of the Washington Nationals' season, the outfielder has amassed 10 home runs but only 21 RBI. In other words, he is within another solo homer of the magical formula that is the subject of this week's The List....

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 8, 2009; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The Toronto Pitching Pipeline

Last year, Toronto only needed eight starting pitchers to make it through the season. This year the Blue Jays have already used 12, including six rookies, yet still have managed to stay afloat in the uber-competitive American League East.

By CJ Holley  |  July 8, 2009; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Blue Jays  | Tags: cito gaston, j.p. ricciardi, roy halladay, starting pitching, toronto blue jays  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "When guys are locked in, the ball looks like a beach ball and stuff. And then there's the exact opposite of that where it looks like an aspirin coming out of a shotgun." -- Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay who hopes he is getting...

By CJ Holley  |  July 8, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "It really woke us up. We came in, said we have to wake up, do the little things and we can't let the same things happen." -- Cincinnati outfielder Brandon Phillips on his team's win a night after a 22-1 loss. Dodgers 8, Mets 0...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 8, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Ok, so this Fenway Park groundskeeper wasn't actually hopping his way to a glorious victory in a very soggy sack race in Boston. It's just a lot funnier if you imagine that he was, isn't it?

By Cameron Smith  |  July 7, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: Fenway Park, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Red Sox  
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The Top European Prospect Ever

Some scouts are saying Max Kepler-Rozycki, a 16-year-old German outfielder who signed with the Twins for a near-continental record $800,000 bonus, may be the best European baseball prospect ever. Keith Law of ESPN broke the story last week, with Baseball America confirming it after the deal was consummated Saturday, the second day that teams could sign international free agents.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 7, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Twins  | Tags: Europe, Max Kepler, Twins, minor league baseball, prospects  
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Should Pablo Sandoval Be an All-Star?

San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval entered the season as a curious aberration -- some fantasy leagues made him eligible as a third baseman, catcher and first baseman -- but little more. Across a first half of the season that's been better than anyone could reasonably have hoped for, Sandoval is second only to the starter at his position, New York's David Wright, in batting average (.338). Somehow, he's already in double-digits in home runs, despite just three in his admittedly small sample size last year. In that first campaign for the 23-year-old, he played 41 games and hit three homers.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 7, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Giants  | Tags: All-Star Game, Giants, Pablo Sandoval  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "If it wasn't for Nick's little hit out there to left, he's got a perfect game." -- Orioles first baseman Aubrey Huff noting that Mariners pitcher Jarrod Washburn was one hit away from a perfect game Seattle Mariners 5, Baltimore Orioles 0 Jarrod Washburn pitched...

By CJ Holley  |  July 7, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

"I can't really put in words, even if I try, to be in the position I'm in when they told me I was going to make a couple of starts early in May." -- Cubs starter Randy Wells on his fourth straight victory since being called up from AAA. Rockies...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 7, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

No, Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner is not about to bequeath a miraculous birth on the world, it just looks like he is. Instead, he's being treated by New York trainer Gene Monahan after hitting the center field wall chasing down a deep fly. Luckily, he's got plenty of his friends around for the event, if that helps.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 6, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Yankees  | Tags: Brett Gardner, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Yankees, concussion  
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Orioles Review and Preview: Angels, Mariners

Baltimore looks to discover a way to win on the West Coast as the Orioles lick their wounds after dropping three of four against the Angels and head up to Seattle to face the Mariners.

By CJ Holley  |  July 6, 2009; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Mariners , Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Talking Behind Their Back, los angeles angels  
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Who Is the Least-Deserving All-Star?

Though he put on a show at last year's midsummer classic, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton may unfortunately be the least-deserving all-star on either of the 2009 rosters.

By CJ Holley  |  July 6, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Mets , Phillies , Rangers , Red Sox , Yankees  | Tags: 2009 all star game, boston red sox, carlos beltran, josh hamilton, new york mets, new york yankees, philadelphia phillies, raul ibanez, texas rangers  
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Three Up, Three Down

Zim: Nats 3B makes first all-star team three months after signing $45 million contract. Majestic Athletic apparel agrees to make special uniform saying "Natinal" League. Nyjer: New CF Morgan impresses Nats teammates with stellar defense, leadoff skills. After 4 ½ years and too many Nooks and Endys, have Nats finally...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 6, 2009; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "It's nice to see David feel good about himself." -- Red Sox Manager Terry Francona on David Ortiz who hit a home run despite sitting on a 3-0 count Boston Red Sox 8, Seattle Mariners 4 The Red Sox scored five runs in the seventh...

By CJ Holley  |  July 6, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night "Sometimes that's all it takes, just a little kick in the butt to get guys going." -- Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds whose rant after a loss Friday night has been followed by two Arizona wins Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Colorado Rockies 3 Mark Reynolds hit...

By CJ Holley  |  July 6, 2009; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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