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Dodgers yank pitcher with no-hitter

The world of Major League Baseball is beholden to pitch counts. If somebody starts to approach 100 pitches and gives up a walk or hit, the manager sounds the alarm and the bullpen frantically gets up in typical double-barrel action. There is no wiggle room because the pitch counter says so.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers took it to an embarrassing extreme. Rookie Ross Stripling was making his first major league appearance and had his stuff moving against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Stripling pitched through 7.1 innings without allowing a hit with the Dodgers staking him to a 2-0 lead. Incredibly, manager Dave Roberts yanked Stripling after throwing 100 pitchers. Los Angeles would immediately give up the lead.

Sometimes, there is more to the sport than a ridiculous pitch count. This is the kid’s major league debut and he has a chance to throw a no-hitter. There is a very good chance he will never be that deep into a game with a no-hitter ever again. If this was 20 years ago, Stripling would have pitched until he gave up a hit or his arm fell off his body. Now? It’s all about how many pitches has the kid thrown.

For Roberts – a first-time manager – this is an appalling lack of common sense. Let’s say Stripling throws 20-25 more pitches to get the no-hitter. What is that going to do? This is a young man who has thrown millions of pitches in his career. Are those extra throws going to blow his arm out? It’s patently insane.

The Dodgers got what they deserved on this night, with the Giants winning the game in the 10th inning with a Brandon Crawford walk-off home run. Unfortunately, Stripling was denied both his first-career win and potentially a no-hitter. It’s absurd.

Cubs lose Schwarber for the year

The Chicago Cubs are the overwhelming favorite to win the World Series for the first time since 1908, but they lost a big bat for the season on Thursday night.

After a nasty collision in the outfield with Dexter Fowler against the Arizona Diamondbacks, left fielder/catcher Kyle Schwarber tore his ACL and LCL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the 2016 season, per ESPN.

“A young man in his sophomore season in the big leagues,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday, “one of the most refreshing and talented in all of Major League Baseball. Now to be out for the rest of the season, it’s not easy.”

General manager Theo Epstein commented on the situation as well, talking about the situation both Schwarber and the Cubs are in moving forward.

“Everyone who knows Kyle was sick watching that play and the aftermath of that play. Just devastated for him. It’s tough news. It’s really devastating news, but we have to follow his example. In the wake of this injury, he’s putting the team first.”

For Chicago, there is ample talent still on the roster, but it is a tough blow.

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