When Jason Kendall took the field for the Royals on Monday, he became one of only five players to have ever caught at least 2,000 games. He joins Ivan Rodriguez, Carlton Fisk, Bob Boone and Gary Carter.
07/28/2010 12:30 PM ET
Jason Kendall joins elite group
Veteran one of five to have caught at least 2,000 games
"It's just his durability," Royals manager Ned Yost told MLB.com. "I think it's most remarkable to me the way his mind-set is focused on the marathon of the season. He doesn't allow any issue to come into his mind that would cause him any slowdown.
"With pain and fatigue, it's a mindset. He doesn't recognize it, he doesn't feel it. ... He's ready to go, and he's the same the first day as he is the last day. It's amazing that somebody can do what he's done. It's a huge accomplishment."
Garza didn't fret on way to no-hitter: Matt Garza was aware he was throwing a no-hitter. He remembered allowing only one batter to reach base -- a walk in the second inning. He also took notice that his teammates in the Rays' dugout seemed to be in the exact same spot the entire game.
"The ninth inning I roll out there," Garza told the St. Petersburg Times, "I look up, and I go, 'Oh, crap.'"
Garza then retired the Tigers without allowing a hit to record the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay history.
"I just told myself, well, we can go about this two ways -- I can try not to get contact and get in trouble, or go at these guys and if it happens, it happens," he said. "And if it doesn't, I've got a guy that comes in in the ninth inning [closer Rafael Soriano] and shut the door for me."
Garza faced the minimum 27 hitters and retired the final 22 batters he faced. He also got a great catch in right field by Ben Zobrist to keep the no-no alive.
Verlander acknowledges Garza's feat: Justin Verlander wasn't rooting for Matt Garza to no-hit the Tigers, but as a pitcher he appreciated the accomplishment and acknowledged it.
"Obviously, it's not something you want to see," Verlander, who threw a no-hitter on June 12, 2007, told MLB.com. "Don't get me wrong. I'm rooting for [Ramon Santiago] to get a hit there, give us a chance to win. But once it's over, you've got to give credit where credit's due. He came right at our guys, made good pitches. Not an easy thing to do."
Scherzer matches Garza through six innings: Max Scherzer went toe-to-toe with Matt Garza on Monday night, with each pitcher carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. But despite Garza's eventual no-hitter, Scherzer says he wasn't feeling any additional pressure.
"With a no-hitter, there's really no pressure on the pitcher," Scherzer told MLB.com. "You're still out there executing pitches. You're really not trying to be too fine. Your goal is not to give up a hit every time you face a batter. Sometimes when you have a perfect game going on and you can't walk a batter, that's when the pressure's on. You fall behind 2-0, and now you have to try to lay it right in there. That's when perfect games are the ones that are pressure-packed, whereas no-hitters, those are fun to compete in."
Hamilton MVP chatter begins: There is nothing Josh Hamilton does on the field that can surprise his teammates any more. All season, Hamilton has been hitting for average, hitting for power, driving in runs and playing outstanding defense.
"In my opinion, he is [an MVP candidate]," teammate Ian Kinsler told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If he doesn't win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger and the MVP, just going the way he's going, then no one is really noticing how good a player he really is."
Entering Tuesday night's game against the Athletics, Hamilton was hitting .432 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs since June 1. During that time, the Rangers went 32-17 to build a seven-game lead in the American League West.
"Honestly, I just want to do something every night to help contribute to the team winning the ballgame," Hamilton said. "If I do that, good things happen."
Watson's determination leads him back to Majors: When Matt Watson made his Major League debut in 2003, he never dreamed he would still have rookie status in 2010. Yet that's the way things have played out for the 31-year-old A's outfielder, who battled back from being released to make it to the Majors this season.
Watson had nearly walked away from the game before deciding to give it another shot when the A's offered him a Minor League deal in the offseason.
"I was really contemplating a post-baseball career, [and] whether I wanted to get into coaching." Watson told the Oakland Tribune. I heard a lot of times this year, why don't you just come back and play for the independent league team in Lancaster, where I'm from. You can't really [explain to people about] health insurance, financially how much better it is [in organized baseball]."
"That's what I pride myself most on," Watson said of his perseverance. "I was a 16th-round draft pick. I was the fifth out of five outfielders in the New York-Penn League my first year. I know that's a lot of credit to my family, my wife helping me stay with it. My parents, my upbringing. Never burning any bridges. Have people believe in you, and you'd be surprised how long you can stay around this game."
Victorino takes over at the terminal: Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco -- along with the Phillie Phanatic, some ballgirls and members of the Phillies broadcast team -- greeted passengers in the Southwest Airlines terminal at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday afternoon in a promotional campaign to thank Southwest employees and fans for their support of the Phillies. Afterward, Victorino mentioned that he wished he could have done something that the Phanatic got to do.
"I was jealous, I wanted to bring the plane in," Victorino told MLB.com. "But that's all right, I get to read to our fellow passengers and get them on the plane and on their way."
Ross earns midseason contract extension: The Braves have been very happy with both the on-field and off-field production of David Ross. So happy that they made the unusual midseason move of locking up the catcher with a two-year extension, which means Ross will be with the club through the 2012 season.
"Just seeing how what an integral part our bench is," Braves general manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Not only is he a top notch backup -- he's one of the very best -- but he's also a big part of our team, our team chemistry and that group of guys on our bench that have strong leadership capabilities and guys rally around."
"When you're a role player, an extension in the middle of the year is kind of a dream come true," Ross said. "You don't ever expect that."
Uggla makes his mark for Marlins with homers: A two-homer night on Tuesday from Dan Uggla gave him 21 for the season and a place in the Marlins' record book. Uggla became the first player in Marlins history to reach 20 home runs in five consecutive seasons. It was his 11th multi-homer game and gave him 142 home runs as a Marlin, one behind Mike Lowell's team record.
"It's one of those numbers you do want to reach before the end of the season," Uggla told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about 20 homers. "I've done this for the fifth time. I'd like to do 30 for the fourth time and keep things going."
Brian Wilson brings color with spikes: Players frequently wear flashy footwear at the All-Star Game. Brian Wilson donned a pair of orange spikes for the game, but he was not content in wearing them for just one day. He broke them out again in a game against the Marlins.
"I saw them in the dugout," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. "They worked out well in the All-Star Game, so I didn't say anything. I have no problem with them."
Colvin making adjustments to find success: Tyler Colvin is having a stellar rookie campaign, and Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo believes he can do even more.
"I told him he's really doing good because he's having to make adjustments at the big league level for his first time, and he's done really well at it," Jaramillo told MLB.com. "Of course, you always want him to do better.
"He's got some great attributes going his way to become a really good big leaguer out there. He's got a plan. He's learning what it takes to be a professional."
Sanchez taking advantage of playing time: Shortstop Angel Sanchez entered Tuesday's game against the Cubs hitting .305 and executed a suicide squeeze bunt in the seventh inning to give the Astros a 1-0 lead in a game they went on to win 6-1.
"[Angel] Sanchez has done a real good job for us," manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle. "Angel has done a very good job [at shortstop] and offensively he has done a really good job as well."
Edmonds still making his presence felt: Jim Edmonds is battling an inflamed Achilles' tendon, an injury that he will likely have to deal with for the rest of the season. But the veteran outfielder, who sat out last season, vows to play on in what could be his last season and be productive when he sees playing time. On Monday night against the Reds at Miller Park, Edmonds hit a game-winning, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning to lift the Brewers to a 3-2 win.
"I just said I want to play these last weeks the best I can," Edmonds told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Coming off the bench isn't the greatest scenario right now, but I'm getting a little bit better, and I'm trying to get healthy enough to get out there."
-- Red Line Editorial