Yu Darvish's no-hitter attempt
It's not a perfect game any longer, but a no-hitter is within reach after seven frames.
Yu Darvish was working against the Astros in the sixth inning in Houston, in the midst of a perfect game attempt. At least he was, until umpire Ron Kulpa called a potential strike three breaking pitch a ball. That brought the count to 3-2, and the next pitch clearly missed, leading to this exchange between catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Kulpa:
It's not clear what Pierzynski said, but Kulpa reacted quickly and tossed him from the game. From this second angle, you can see that it looks as if Kulpa is all fired up and looking for a fight after issuing a walk, while Piersynzki seems like the level-headed of the two.
Pierzynski might have said something more menacing than his appearance suggests -- it's not the first game he's caught, you know -- but it's hard to tell.
That's the end of the perfect game attempt, but the no-hitter remains intact, albeit without Pierzynski calling the shots behind the plate. There's also an outside chance at 20 strikeouts, but with 12 punch outs and just nine outs remaining -- and an angry Kulpa behind the plate -- that might be the more difficult of the two to pull off.
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