Jim Henderson has pitched really well since taking over the closer role from John Axford in Milwaukee, but he could be headed for an extended absence. Henderson strained his right hamstring in the ninth inning last night while attempting to finish off the Brewers? victory against the Pirates. He appeared to suffer the injury as?
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Anibal Sanchez's bid for his second career no-hitter fell just two outs short on Friday night. After retiring Jamey Carroll on a somewhat questionable strike three call to begin the ninth inning, Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer laced a 1-1 pitch right back up the middle for a clean single, which keeps Sanchez from joining Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay as the only active pitchers with multiple no-hitters. At least temporarily. The way he's throwing this season, another bid is probably around the corner.
''It's not that I go to the mound and want to do something special, it's just that I want to go nine innings, go deeper, get a good command, get a good game,'' Sanchez said. ''When I come to the eighth inning, I think about it. But when I come to the ninth inning, it's really tough with those guys.''
Much like his Friday night start back on April 26 when he struck out 17 Atlanta Braves, Sanchez had everything working against Minnesota. That was especially true during a stretch from the second inning to the seventh inning where he retired 18 straight batters. He ended up going the distance for his fourth career one-hitter , striking out 12. The outing required 130 pitches, which is sure to make a few fans uneasy, but he's been no worse for the wear after throwing 122 in the April start.
As for how Mauer felt about his latest history-breaking hit, which by the way is his third career ninth inning knock to break up a no-no attempt.
''He's nasty, and he had everything working tonight,'' Mauer said. ''Obviously, you know exactly what is happening, and you don't want to get no-hit. I'm just up there trying to put the bat on the ball. He threw me a really good cutter and I was just able to square it up.''