The Upper Deck

Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.


Rich Hill had a fantastic game, with the exception of one pitch. The Dodgers lefthander took a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Pirates before an error ended that bid. In the 10th inning with the game still scoreless, Hill gave up his only hit—a walk-off homer by Josh Harrison.

“It falls on me in this one,” Hill told reporters. “One bad pitch. . . . Late in the game like that, you have to make better pitches.”

Hill became the first pitcher in history to lose a perfect game in the ninth inning on an error, according to SABR, and Harrison was the first player ever to break up a no-hitter with a walk-off home run, according to MLB Network.

At 25 years old and yoked with the righthanded first baseman stigma, Triple-A Omaha’s Frank Schwindel isn’t thought of as a prospect. But his exploits the past month are hard to overlook. Since July 15, Schwindel, an 18th-round pick of the Royals in 2013 from St. John’s, has the third-best OPS in the minors at 1.185 with a .750 slugging percentage in that span of 39 games, which also ranks third in that time. Schwindel is 66-for-160, a .413 clip. The scouting report on Schwindel gives him plus raw power, but with a slow bat that takes advantage of mistake pitches.


The Kraken was released again in the first inning Wednesday, as it was on Tuesday. Gary Sanchez, nicknamed “The Kraken” by general manager Brian Cashman, launched a first-inning homer to spur the Yankees’ second straight rout of the Tigers. August has been a good month for Sanchez in his brief big league career. In 43 August games in the majors, he has 20 home runs.


While Rich Hill’s no-hit bid ended in a walk-off loss, low Class A Beloit, an Athletics affiliate, successfully navigated a combined no-no. Lefthander Zach Erwin went the first six innings against Quad Cities (Astros), with reliever Joe Camacho finishing out the final three for the first combined no-hitter in team history.


Players Weekend is this weekend, and it has been highly publicized that big leaguers will wear nicknames on the back of their uniforms instead of surnames. But bats are getting in the act as well. Louisville Slugger unveiled its color-splashed bats that will be in use. Tim Newcomb had the story.


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