If there’s any team that needed a shot in the arm tonight it was the Miami Marlins. As Larry noted their All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for PEDs.
For 7 1/3 innings, it looked like they would get that shot in the arm. Marlins lefty pitcher Adam Conley did not allow a hit to the Milwaukee Brewers. But after 116 pitches, Marlins manager Don Mattingly removed Conley from the game and put Jose Urena into the game. Urena kept the no-no going until the ninth when Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a bloop single. The Brew Crew would score three runs, but the Marlins would win the game 6-3.
Three weeks ago, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling threw 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball (in his MLB debut no less) when he was taken out of the game by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Dodger reliever Chris Hatcher promptly gave up a game tying HR to San Francisco Giants back up catcher Trevor Brown. The Dodgers would lose in extra innings.
Despite the loss, Stripling’s father publicly thanked Roberts for removing his son from the game. Somehow I don’t think Conley’s Dad will be thanking Mattingly from removing him from the game nor any of other relatives living or dead. Conley was seething when he was removed from the game and I don’t blame him.
If a pitcher has a chance to throw a no-hitter give it to him. Unless you’re Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Max Scherzer or Jake Arrieta, it’s usually a once in a lifetime opportunity. Because we see fit to baby pitchers and feminize sports, managers and pitching coaches worry pitchers will have their arms fall off if they throw more than 120 pitches in a game. Would any big league manager have dared to take Bob Gibson out of a game? Gibby would have stared him down.
Don’t get me wrong. The Marlins won the game and Conley got his first win of the season. But I’m sure Conley wishes he told Mattingly he would have to physically remove him from the mound.