The first walk-off home run to ever kill off a no-hitter in extra innings. Ever. The 22nd perfect game of the modern era was not to be. The 297th no-hitter in history would be someone else’s.
Alex Claudio admitted he hasn’t thrown a four-seam fastball since 2015, whose sinkerball doesn’t scare 90, who flicks at and teases the strike zone with sinkers, sliders, changeups and various articles of funk.
From here, the challenge will be to be less imperfect than everyone else. To drag innings from their starters. To build a bullpen nightly. To win another one-run game. Then another. They’re good at that.
In three starts as a Dodger, 17 days after three minor leaguers went to Texas for him, Darvish has been good, OK and OK.
The new regime can choose the easy path, get out from under the hundreds of millions of dollars coming due and promise tomorrow will be better. Or, it can take Stanton, for all that makes him great and fragile, and aim for something better.
Judge did more than his share for the New York Yankees in the first half. He carried the few days in Miami between halves. And then it was time for sliders again.