Ace Adam Wainwright put a scare into the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, hyper-extending his right knee trying to cover first base on a grounder to the right side in the bottom of the seventh inning. He was 79 pitches into a shutout against the Mets, but had to leave the game after the awkward play. St. Louis held its collective breath.
The Cards' medical staff gave him a battery of tests to prove the knee's stability, and Wainwright apparently passed, he said in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“My ACL, MCL, UCL, all those LCLs, QCLs, all the CLs are good,” Wainwright said, listing actual and fictional ligaments that could have been damaged in twist. “It’s one of those (plays) that looks scarier than it actually was. … I expected it to be more painful than it actually was."Thu, Apr 2410:10 AM PDTSt. Louis at NY MetsPreview Game
Picked up off waivers a week before Christmas, pitcher Collin McHugh performed like few others ever have in their Houston Astros debut.
Called up from Class AAA earlier this week and given only 24 hours notice that he was starting, McHugh struck out 12 over 6 2/3 shutout innings Tuesday night in a 5-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners. McHugh, a 26-year-old right-hander who came in with a career mark of 0-8 with an 8.94 ERA in nine starts with the Rockies and Mets the past two seasons, allowed three hits and no walks in leading Houston to its second straight victory.
The Ultimate Astros blog notes that McHugh's performance pretty much shocked everybody:
“I’ve had a lot of people encouraging me the last few years just kind of bouncing around a little bit not really knowing where home’s going to be,” McHugh said. “For my wife who couldn’t be here tonight and for my family back in Atlanta, this one’s kind of for them.”Thu, Apr 245:10 PM PDTOakland at HoustonPreview Game
For those who have never experienced the pain of getting hit in the male genitalia, let's just say, "good for you." Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price got hit there Tuesday night on a line drive by Joe Mauer but says, somewhat incredulously, that he didn't feel a thing.
Price was wearing a protective cup (which not all major leaguers do, but most infielders do) and it protected him from unspeakable pain and perhaps worse in the top of the fourth inning.
Mauer turned around a 77 mph breaking pitch, hitting it squarely right back at Price, who could not get his glove in position in time to protect his groin. Price reflexively dropped to his knees after getting hit, but only for an instant, and he was back on his feet walking after the ball, which had deflected and come to a stop near the midpoint between third base and the mound. Price's gait suggested someone who had been stunned, but not necessarily injured. Mauer was aboard with a single and the Rays athletic training staff came out to check on Price.Thu, Apr 2410:10 AM PDTMinnesota at Tampa BayPreview Game
When it's all said and done, this is going to be remembered as the worst moment in the history of umpiring in the video replay era. Or else, if there's anything worse coming down the pike, heaven help us all.
Umpires at Tropicana Field lost track of the count in the fifth inning Tuesday night with Yunel Escobar of the Tampa Bay Rays at bat, and when they checked video replay they still got it wrong. Right-hander Samuel Deduno of the Minnesota Twins was credited with a strikeout when Escobar should have drawn a walk. The gaffe did not affect the outcome of the game, won 7-3 by the Rays, but it ought to cast a shadow on everything that MLB is doing with replay.
Major League Baseball wasted no time in acknowledging the grievous mistake made by whomever was watching back at replay headquarters in New York when umpires asked for help.
''An error was made when replay officials and supervisors mistakenly thought one of the pitches was a foul ball when it was actually a ball,'' MLB said in a statement.
We're never going to know for sure if Babe Ruth really called his shot and hit a home run against the Cubs in the 1933 World Series. It's fun to think he did. And we know it's possible, because others have done it.
Albert Pujols did it Tuesday night, his teammates on the Los Angeles Angels said, before he hit career homers Nos. 499 and 500 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Reporter Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register gives us the data:
“He said he was going to hit two homers and drive in five runs,” Erick Aybar said.
Added Mike Trout: “If Albert tells you something, he’s going to do it.”
Sure enough, Pujols belted a three-run homer in the first inning and a towering, 430-foot two-run blast in the fifth to become the 26th player in major league history to hit 500 homers.
Pujols even counted his future RBIs correctly. He's a witch! It makes you wonder what else he's predicted.
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A season ago, the Atlanta Braves didn't know what to make of rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez. After he shut them down Tuesday night, they fell over each other heaping praise on one of the game's top young players.
Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts, allowing three hits (all singles) and walking none over eight innings, combining with closer Steve Cishek for a 1-0 victory by the Miami Marlins. He didn't hit any home runs this time, but Fernandez also went 1 for 3 at the plate.
The Braves expressed no sour grapes whatsoever. Nothing like, "We missed our chances," or "The ump was blind," or "Lucky kid." Via the Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was all happy talk.
• "He pitched amazing. We went up against a buzz saw today" — Chris Johnson
• Braves hitters "were coming back shaking their heads" — Manager Fredi Gonzalez
Tom Sherrill of Pomona, Calif., a 29-year-old Los Angeles Angels fan and a staff sergeant in the Air Force, is the person who caught Albert Pujols's 500th career home run Tuesday night. And what did he want from the Los Angeles Angels in return for handing it over?
"I'll take whatever they want to give me, but I'm not going to be picky. I just want to make sure that Albert gets the ball. I'm just happy to be a part of it," Sherrill told Angels broadcasters Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza on Fox Sports West.
How remarkable is that? Considering the small ransoms some fans charged for a home run hit by Barry Bonds when he was chasing (and surpassing) Hank Aaron, it's pretty refreshing to hear a guy with the ball say he was just happy to be there.
Twenty-six men in major league history have hit at least 500 home runs — 26 men and one "Machine."
Albert Pujols connected for two homers in his first three at-bats Tuesday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., giving him 500 for his career. He went deep for a three-run homer to left in the first inning and, after striking out in the top of the second, followed with a long two-run shot to center in the fourth. Pujols is the first player ever to hit homers No. 499 and 500 in the same game. Both came against right-hander Taylor Jordan. His homers helped give the Los Angeles Angels a 7-2 lead against the Nationals.
Regardless, Pujols got a largely standing ovation from the Washington crowd.
MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has missed the past 19 games as head coach of San Diego State's baseball program while regaining strength and recovering from ongoing cancer treatments. Gwynn had kept the news quiet since March 24, apparently until Fox 5 in San Diego reported Monday that he was on medical leave. Gwynn told the San Diego Union-Tribune that while he's "doing good," he's not sure when he'll be able to return to the Aztecs.
Gwynn, who had surgery on his mouth in 2012, has suspected that his cancer comes from chewing tobacco. He turns 54 years old May 9. Assistant coach Mark Martinez runs the team now, as he has other times Gwynn has been unable.Thu, Apr 244:05 PM PDTSan Diego at WashingtonPreview Game
No other major league manager has been more critical of the new video review system than John Farrell of the Boston Red Sox. He's not just complaining to complain, although the Red Sox seem to have gotten the short end on some big calls so far. Regardless of how it's affected his team, Farrell made a necessary point to MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM on Tuesday: Taking away challenge power from managers surely will speed up the game's pace, even with replay a part remaining of the process going forward:Thu, Apr 244:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at BostonPreview Game