Cardinals starter Michael Wacha takes no-hitter into 9th against Pirates

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning Sunday against the Pirates.

Wacha had allowed just two runners to reach base through eight innings in St. Louis. But, Pirates infielder Colin Moran led off the top of the ninth with a pinch hit single. Wacha was then removed from the game.

The anonymous sender warns Hardwick, who still resides in the San Diego area after retiring from the NFL in 2015, not to go to the police because doing so won’t stop the evidence from destroying your life. The letter’s conclusion clarifies that the purpose of the specific asking price is to spare the former center’s bank account.

A bank account that most recently includes income from a three-year, $13 million contract, $5.3 million signing bonus and $4.4 million annual salary would be pretty hard to break. Though the letter gives no indication of how Hardwick should pay the $7,650.

There’s still no contact permitted and that won’t change until training camp. When camp does roll around, Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison has something in mind for the team’s top draft pick.

Harrison said he knows running back Saquon Barkley can play, but wants to see what he’s made of and is excited to test that by laying a hit on his teammate.

You get in between the lines, you get the ball in your hands, I don’t give a damn what anybody says. It’s time to work, Harrison said, via the New York Post. I don’t think we’ll be able to hit him too hard, but I’m gonna hit his ass.

Mike Tyson‘s been quoted as saying that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Should Barkley show his plan isn’t altered by such a shot, Harrison and the Giants will be even more excited about what he can bring to the team.

Which QB would you rather have: Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes or Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky?

Which QB would you rather have: Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes or Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky? NFL Highlights • Jun 7, 2018, 9:46 PM The Good Morning Football crew debates which QB they would rather have for the next five years between Redskins QB Alex Smith, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky.

The competition for this distinction on the Buffalo Bills roster was a neck-and-neck battle between starting defensive backs Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer, both of whom played major roles despite having average annual salaries in the range of $3 million. 

Witherspoon’s contract is a little more costly ($971,166 per year versus $764,093 for Harold), but his upside makes him the slightly better bargain. 

Gray has been on his game in two June starts as much as he was in his Oakland Athletics heyday after a lot of early season struggling, and Romine catching him is a big part of the turnaround.

He puts in a lot of work, Gray said. He just knows his stuff. He knows the hitters.

Against the Jays, Romine kept calling for sinkers and curveballs when Gray was thinking fastball.

There was a 3-2 curveball I threw one time to Teoscar (Hernandez) that I went with and I threw it with conviction and executed, Gray said. And there were quite a few there with runners on base where I threw some sinkers in to (Kevin) Pillar, a sinker in to (Devon) Travis.

During Gray’s one troublespot, Romine’s pitch selection keyed the Blue Jays coming up empty in the fifth despite having runners on the corners with nobody out and the bases loaded with one out.

Two ground balls got Gray out of the inning, the last a 4-6-3 twin killing.

That was a huge double play there, but it started with throwing a pitch with conviction (to Hernandez)… a pitch maybe that was something that I wouldn’t have done, Gray said. But the pitch selection was great. I was all on board.

Expect more of the same for Wilson and Co. this season, and keep them in your prayers.

The Buccaneers made it a point to get better on the defensive line this season. They now have a full two-deep depth chart of linemen who are paid to be contributors.

Presumably, the starters will be Jason Pierre-Paul, whose cap hits in Tampa over the next three years will equal $39.5 million; Vinny Curry, who just signed a $23 million contract; Gerald McCoy, who is playing out a $95.2 million deal; and Vita Vea, the 12th overall pick in the draft. Behind them is Noah Spence, a 2016 second-round pick; William Gholston, who is on a $27.5 million contract; Mitch Unrein, who signed a $10.5 million deal this offseason; and Beau Allen, who signed a $15 million contract this offseason.

Washington’s offensive tackle situation, with Trent Williams starting on the left and Morgan Moses starting on the right, is one of the best in the league. They also famously drafted right guard Brandon Scherff, who has made the last two Pro Bowls, as the fifth overall pick in 2015.

Last year, the Panthers shocked the football world by signing Matt Kalil, who peaked as a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings, to a five-year, $55 million contract. Kalil struggled last season, but the weight of his dead cap, which doesn’t even drop to seven figures ($9.8 million) until 2020, will keep him on the roster for a couple more years.

The issue is, the Panthers didn’t add any competition to Kalil’s position this offseason. Instead, they lost talent on the left side of the line, as guard Andrew Norwell signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Norwell, who signed a $66.5 million contract, is significantly more talented than Jeremiah Sirles, who is the projected starting left guard in Carolina.

A hole at left guard might just make the Panthers’ weakness at left tackle worse. Compounding offensive line issues, without adding talent, is not how you win in the NFL. In an NFC South in which the Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added high draft picks and valuable veterans to their defensive lines over the last few seasons, quarterback Cam Newton may be in a world of trouble.

Quinten Rollins in for a battle to make Packers’ roster at cornerback

Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins, who tore his right Achilles in an October game against the Vikings, is back practicing on a limited basis.

“It feels good,” Rollins said, via Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I didn’t have no setbacks since I started rehabbing. I’m day by day Cheap Blank Hockey Jerseys still with it, and every day is different. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time.”

Rollins has never played a full 16-game schedule, seeing action in 33 games in his first three seasons.

“It was unfortunate the injury he had, and you’re always waiting to see guys come back and where they’re at from those kinds of injuries,” Gutekunst said. “He’s another guy that needs to play. Obviously playing one season of college football he had some really good moments early before he got hurt the last couple years, but he needs to play. He needs experience. He needs to grow. We’re looking forward to getting him back.”

McClellin told Mike Reiss of ESPN.com that he’s content with coaching high school football in Idaho, but is still willing to listen to offers.

“I’m still staying ready, still working out,” he said. “I’ve learned to never say never, there’s always a chance that I could still play again, but for now all my focus is on coaching high school.”

McClellin, 28, spent last year on injured reserve. He attempted to come back during a two-week window of practice, but said the lingering effects of the concussion returned.

“It’s difficult whenever you get an injury that holds you out, when you kind of feel like you’re good and then find out you’re not. It’s always tough,” he said. “I think it was just over time, it wasn’t just one thing. I’ve had five documented concussions, and probably more than that which aren’t documented. It was just residual effects that I couldn’t overcome, which is unfortunate. But sometimes that’s the way it plays out and you just have to deal with it. . . .