In other sports, random Wednesday nights don’t suddenly become magical. Also, other sports don’t have Vin Scully.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was the definition of unhittable over nine innings on Wednesday in Los Angeles, striking out a career-high 15 batters and finishing one Hanley Ramirez error short of a perfect game in an 8-0 defeat of the Rockies. It was the first-ever no-hitter for the 26-year-old left-hander, who is sure to flirt with -- and quite possibly achieve -- many more. He did not walk a batter and the only Colorado player to reach base did so on an errant throw from Hanley in the top of the seventh.
By Bill James’ Game Score metric -- which attempts to put a value on individual pitching performances -- it was the second-best outing in baseball history, checking in at 102. Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout effort from 1998 is the highest at 105.
MLB.com has a video package of every out Kershaw recorded, called by Scully. Special stuff.
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Cubs’ Arrieta Proving Able
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta wasn’t quite Kershaw on Wednesday afternoon against the Marlins, but the 28-year-old right-hander was plenty dominant in his own right. He struck out a career-high 11 batters and allowed just one run -- a Giancarlo Stanton solo blast -- over seven innings in Chicago’s 6-1 victory at Marlins Park in Miami.
Arrieta owns a 1.98 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 50 total innings since returning from a shoulder injury on May 3 and he has been especially dominant in June, boasting a 0.73 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 24 2/3 frames.
The former TCU Horned Frog was once a highly-touted prospect in the Orioles’ system and looks capable of sustaining some really good numbers the rest of the way for the Cubs (or a contending team, if there’s a trade). Arrieta needs to be owned in all standard fantasy leagues at the moment.
Wainwright Given Green Light
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright threw a successful bullpen session on Wednesday morning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and has been cleared to make his next scheduled start Saturday at home against the Phillies.
Wainwright was skipped on his previous turn through the rotation due to discomfort in his right elbow. He underwent an MRI which revealed no ligament damage and the Cardinals believe he’s dealing with something similar to tennis elbow. The right-hander will be treated with extra caution in Saturday’s outing, but he threw seven shutout innings on June 10 against the Rays while battling the elbow issue and is capable of dominating the Phils at less than 100 percent.
Wainwright, 32, owns a 2.15 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 91/21 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings this season.
Bryant Gets The Bump To AAA
The Cubs announced Wednesday that top third base prospect Kris Bryant has been promoted to Triple-A Iowa after batting .355/.458/.702 with 22 home runs and 58 RBI in 68 games at Double-A Tennessee.
Bryant is now one step away from the major league level, but there’s no guarantee that the out-of-contention Cubs will call him up before September. Luis Valbuena has been pretty good this year at the hot corner for Chicago and Bryant -- the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft -- has less than a year of professional baseball under his belt.
National League Quick Hits: Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton expects to play Thursday despite leaving Wednesday’s game with a wrist contusion … Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a walk in Wednesday’s loss to the Reds and is now batting .385/.429/.487 over his first 42 major league plate appearances … Evan Gattis extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a two-run homer Wednesday in the Braves’ loss to the Phillies … Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and two stolen bases in Wednesday's win over the Astros … Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud is expected to be called back up from Triple-A Las Vegas next week … Jeff Samardzija has reportedly turned down a five-year, $85 million contract extension from the Cubs … Angel Pagan remains day-to-day with inflammation in his back … Billy Hamilton went 3-for-6 with a two-run single and an RBI double in Wednesday's win over the Pirates … Cubs catcher Welington Castillo (ribs) is expected to begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Triple-A Iowa … Ben Revere is day-to-day with a sore left knee … The Marlins signed veteran right-hander Brad Penny to a minor league contract … Bartolo Colon hurled eight innings of one-run ball and tallied his first career double in the Mets' win over the Cardinals on Wednesday … Jarrod Saltalamacchia was activated from the disabled list Wednesday after missing a little over two weeks with a concussion … Braves slugger Justin Upton (head) is aiming to return to action Thursday … Tim Hudson was shelled for seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday in a loss to the White Sox … Juan Uribe (hamstring) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga … Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis) had the protective boot removed from his left foot Wednesday … Rafael Soriano earned his 15th save of the year Wednesday in the Nationals’ defeat of the Astros.
American League Quick Hits: Indians outfielder Michael Brantley (concussion) is expected to return to action Saturday … John Lackey shut out the Twins for nine innings and struck out nine Wednesday in a no-decision … Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia (knee) is still at least six weeks from returning … Nelson Cruz cranked his 22nd home run of the season in the Orioles’ win against the Rays on Wednesday … Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki is day-to-day with a groin cramp ... Kyle Gibson turned in his third straight scoreless start Wednesday in the Twins’ loss to the Red Sox … Shane Victorino (hamstring) is expected to return from the disabled list Sunday or Monday … Jose Abreu slugged his 20th home run of the year as the White Sox beat the Giants on Wednesday … Brian McCann drove in five runs Wednesday in the Yankees’ defeat of the Blue Jays … Mitch Moreland will undergo season-ending surgery on his left ankle Monday in North Carolina … The Red Sox released outfielder Grady Sizemore … Brandon Workman lost the appeal of his six-game suspension and began serving it Wednesday … Jeremy Guthrie limited the Tigers to one run in 6 2/3 innings in a victory Wednesday … Twins closer Glen Perkins was unavailable for Wednesday’s loss to the Red Sox due to a sore back … Kevin Gausman combined with Tommy Hunter and Zach Britton on a shutout of the Rays on Wednesday … Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (hamstring) threw a successful bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon and could return next week … A’s closer Sean Doolittle picked up his ninth save of the season Wednesday against the Rangers ... Felix Hernandez fired seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday, striking out 10 in a no-decision against the Padres.