Blogs: Dugout Dispatch

Chris Heston Throws First No-No of the Season!

chris heston giants no hitter

It took a couple months, but the 2015 MLB season has its first no-hitter. 

Last night, San Francisco Giants rookie pitcher Chris Heston tossed the no-no in a 5-0 victory against the New York Mets at Citi Field. He threw 110 pitches, struck out 11 batters, and allowed no walks. But it wasn’t quite a perfect game.
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SABR 45: Honoring Mr. Cub and the Cuban Missile

sabr 45 banks minoso

SABR 45 continued Friday with another outstanding day of panels, research meetings and tributes.

One highlight was a luncheon that featured a tribute to Chicago baseball legends Ernie Banks (second Baseman for the Cubs) and Minnie Minoso (centerfielder for the White Sox), both of whom died within the past few months. national columnist Phil G. Rogers highlighted what these two figures meant to the baseball world and spoke about how each player faced diversity challenges on and off the field. 
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Florida Gators Win Back-to-Back Women’s College World Series!

florida gators 2015 women's college world series

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Florida got everything right — except its championship celebration. As the Gators reveled in their second straight national softball title following their 4-1 win over Michigan on Wednesday night, Lauren Haeger and coach Tim Walton participated in postgame interviews.

Two players tried to douse them with Gatorade, but the bucket was too heavy. They ended up just getting Walton's ankles.

The resilient Gators even recovered from that. Well after the game ended, Florida huddled in the circle, swayed back and forth in unison and sang "We Are The Champions."
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Giancarlo Stanton Crushes a Homer Out of the Park, Literally

giancarlo stanton miami marlins

Last night, the Tampa Bay Lighting closed out the Montreal Canadiens to move to the Eastern Conference Finals in the NHL. And in the NBA playoffs, the Houston Rockets gave the LA Clippers a taste of their own medicine in a 124-103 drubbing to even that series 2-2. With so much great postseason action, chances are you weren’t watching the LA Dodgers host the Miami Marlins last night. And that’s OK. But you missed an earlier contender for home run of the year.

The shot came off the bat of Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Naturally. In the top of the first, Stanton crushed an 0-1 pitch literally out of Dodger Stadium. Statcast measured it at 475 feet (the third longest recorded by MLB’s real-time tracking system), and it left the park at a speed of 114 miles per hour.
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A-Rod Passes Willie Mays on All-Time Home Run List

alex rodriguez willie mays

A year ago, Alex Rodriguez was serving a season-long suspension for having used performance-enhancing drugs. The closest he could get to a ballpark was watching his Yankees teammates on TV. But that was probably for the best. The last time he was on the field, in 2013, he was booed nearly everywhere he went, from Boston to the Bronx to the Bay Area.

Last night, though, things were different. The attitude, the scandal, the suspension — none of it mattered. Because A-Rod made history.
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A Primer on Sabermetrics

sabermetrics advanced stats

In our April issue, we have a feature on stats that makes the case for better ways to evaluate baseball players. The alphabet soup of advanced metrics include OPS+ (Adjusted On-Base Percentage Plus Slugging Percentage), FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), and UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) — and they’re likely to give you a headache. But don’t worry! Some kids in the Heschel SABR Club in New York have your primer on some key sabermetrics you need to know to be a better fan.

sabermetrics advanced stats mike trout clayton kershaw

1. WAR (Win Above Replacement) is by far the coolest name on this list. But it’s also a key advanced metric. It counts how many wins a player adds to his team’s total compared to an average replacement. While not a perfect stat by any means, WAR is becoming more and more popular. This year, both Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw, the AL and NL MVPs, led their league in WAR.
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Orioles Defeat White Sox in Historic Empty-Stadium Game

baltimore orioles chicago white sox empty stadium

Major League Baseball has been around since the year 1876. So you’d think that there’s not much it hasn’t seen. But a game played in front of zero fans? That’s a first.

Today, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox, 8-2, in front of an empty Camden Yards. Fans were left out of the stadium, and the game was pushed up to a 2 p.m. start time, in response to violent protests against police in Baltimore.

The previous two games against the White Sox had been postponed, and instead of calling off the final game in the series the league decided to play but to keep the stands empty in the interest of safety.
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