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Marty’s musings: are no hitters the new shutout?

Another week, another no hitter in MLB. 

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting key pitching matchups.

Last week the White Sox Carlos Rodón pitched a no hitter, the Twins go on COVID protocol, and Yu Darvish, Shane Bieber, and Clayton Kershaw had great weeks.

News & Notes

8 ⅓ - Perfect innings thrown by White Sox starter Carlos Rodón who earned himself a no hitter last week against the Indians. He was only two outs away from perfection, but ended up hitting the second batter in the ninth inning. A no hitter is a great consolation prize for a guy who was previously non-tendered by the club.

2 -Game’s postponed in the Twins / Angels series after numerous Minnesota positive COVID tests, including noted anti-vaxxer Andrelton Simmons. Most teams are going along fairly well amidst an increase in inoculated players and COVID protocols.

7 - Consecutive series the Yankees have lost to the Rays, going back to last year’s ALDS and regular season. New York looked overmatched and underwhelming in Tampa’s three-game sweep in the Bronx. The Yankees’ 5-10 start, the worst in the American League.

3 - Very strange outs on a triple play tuned by the Reds on Saturday afternoon. The hotshot liner was caught by Joey Votto at first base, who then tagged the runner who was leading off first. In the quickness of the play, the runner on third went home, and was called out for not tagging-up on the play.

17 - Rockies hitters who struck out against Mets’ pitching in the first game of their seven-inning-a-piece double header. 17 of the 21 total outs in game one, thrown by Jacob deGrom (14 Ks) and Edwin Diaz (three Ks) led the Mets to a 4-3 victory. deGrom fanned nine in a row, and again pitched masterfully, although the Mets did their darndest to blow another great start.

29 - Consecutive stolen bases for Diamondbacks’ speedster Tim Locastro who was finally caught for the first time in his big league career by Nationals backstop Yan Gomes. Locastro is now 29-for-30 on stolen base attempts.

Injury Report

Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez will miss some time after taking a foul ball off his hand in Saturday’s loss to the Rays. X-rays came back negative, which is good news for the Yankees. He’s listed as day-to-day (to which Vin Scully would comment, ‘aren’t we call?’).

There is no timetable for Cody Bellinger’s return to the Dodgers’ lineup after an x-ray revealed a hairline fracture in his left leg.

Unsurprisingly considering last week’s health news for James Paxton, the Mariners’ starter will undergo season ending Tommy John Surgery.

Pitching Matchups to Watch

Monday, April 19

Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) v. Lucas Giolito (CHW), 11:10 ET

Monday is Patriots’ Day in Boston, where the annual tradition of an early Red Sox game concludes around the time the Marathon finishes. A good pitching matchup, the Red Sox are hoping to continue their hot-streak to start the year.

Tuesday, April 20

Carlos Rodón (CHW) v. Zach Plesac (CLE), 6:10 ET

Rodón has yet to allow an earned run in his first two starts. He has given up only two hits and three walks in his first 14 innings and he’s fanned 17 batters. Plesac had a miserable outing when he got two outs and gave up six runs to the White Sox last week.

Thursday, April 22

Jacob deGrom (NYM) v. Zach Davies (CHC), 7:40 ET

deGrom has been masterful, allowing only one earned run in 20 innings. He’s fanned nearly half of the batters he’s faced. The Cubs offense is struggling mightily, so expect the trend to likely continue.

Yu Darvish (SD) v. Walker Buehler (LAD), 10:10 ET

Musings nailed the matchup between Darvish and Kershaw on Saturday, one of the best games of the season, ending on one of the best players of the season. After a shaky first outing, Darvish has been excellent (save walking Kershaw with the bases loaded on Saturday). The Padres / Dodgers rivalry continues later this week, don’t miss it.

Saturday, April 24

Gerrit Cole (NYY) v. Shane Bieber (CLE), 6:10 ET

Despite neither the Yankees nor the Indians coming out of the gate strong, Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber have been excellent in their starts. Cole took the hard-luck loss in his last outing — an outing where he went 6 ⅓ innings and gave up only two runs. Bieber went eight innings, and gave up three runs to the Reds, earning the victory in a 6-3 Cleveland win. The two aces go up against one another on Saturday evening. BOTH PITCHED SUNDAY

Robbie Ray (TOR) v. Tyler Glasnow (TB), 6:40 ET

In his last start, Rays’ ace Tyler Glasnow struck out a career-high 14 batters in his win over an anemic Rangers offense. It’s too bad he didn’t match up against Stephen Matz who has been Toronto’s finest starter to date. Matz is pitching on Friday.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano