There’s no crying in baseball. Remember that maxim handed down to us via Tom Hanks’ character to Madonna’s in 1992’s A League of Their Own?
But there is heartbreak.
Last night at Tropicana Field, Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco came within one strike of throwing the Indians’ first no-hitter since Len Barker’s perfect game way back in 1989. But on an 0-2 pitch, Tampa Bay Rays hitter Joey Butler lined a pitch over a diving second baseman’s glove, and the no-no was gone. Carrasco took a perfect game into the seventh inning, losing that when Butler walked on a 3-2 changeup after fouling off two pitches. The Indians won, 8-1.
Meanwhile in Miami, the defending world champion San Francisco Giants blew a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning last night, when the Marlins’ Justin Board hit a three-run homer off Giants closer Santiago Casilla and won the game, 6-5.
I wasn’t crying, but it was a crying shame. (Yes, the Giants are my team.)
But let’s talk baseball as we approach the 4th of July. My only columns on the Rays this year have been about the (per usual) lackluster attendance, but until this week, the Rays have been one of the surprises of the 2015 MLB season, impressing everyone by leading the American League East despite a rash of injuries and with their virgin manager, 37-year-old Kevin Cash.
But what’s up this week in St. Pete?
On Monday, Cleveland rookie Cody Anderson set down the first 19 Rays he faced. On Tuesday, the Indians’ Danny Salazar tossed five perfect innings to start the game against Tampa Bay. And last night, Carrasco retired the first 19 batters he faced Wednesday. The end result? The Rays’ eighth loss in 10 games, and they no longer lead the division.
But let’s move forward. One of the most disturbing trends in the game in recent years has been the explosion of pitchers coming down with serious arm injuries. Today at the Trop, Matt Moore will start for the first time since April 7, 2014, when he walked off the mound in his second and final start of the season, headed for Tommy John surgery.
And in Miami, the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez starts for the first time since May 9, 2014, when he reported elbow discomfort and later underwent Tommy John surgery. He goes up against the Giants’ Matt Cain, starting his first game since July 9, 2014, where he’s had arm problems (but did not have Tommy John surgery).
Both those games start at 12:10 p.m.
In other news…
Although Jeb Bush has been polling strongly on a national basis since he officially announced his candidacy for president last month, he ain’t doin’ so well in the Hawkeye State. A Quinnipiac poll released yesterday shows Scott Walker sort of running away in Iowa, with Bush and Marco Rubio well off the pace.
It’s going to cost you a little bit more per day to keep your car parked at Tampa International Airport at all three garages come this October, unless there’s a groundswell of populist dissent at today’s Hillsborough County Aviation Authority meeting.
The United States plus the European powers’ negotiations with Iran will continue until at least next week regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Like so many issues, Florida’s two senators do not see eye-to-eye about what they’ve heard so far about the process.
Another issue where Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio are on opposite sides is with the announcement that the U.S. will soon have an embassy in Havana. That announcement was made yesterday by President Obama, and Tampa Bay area U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was mighty pleased to hear about it.