Houston Astros rookie Max Stassi needs a mulligan. Or two. The 22-year old was the victim of a hidden ball trick in his big league debut Tuesday night. Wednesday night, he drove in his first career RBI in one of the most agonizing ways imaginable — he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
In the eighth inning of a 4-3 game with the bags juiced, Stassi was plunked by Texas Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers with a 96 MPH fastball. Jason Castro came in to score but the recent call-up left the game and was hospitalized overnight for observation. Astros manager Bo Porter weighed in on the unpleasant scene. “It definitely was a scary situation," said the first-year skipper. "I think it hit his shoulder first and then got him in the face. That actually probably lessened some of the blow, but still it was very frightening.” Elvis Andrus eventually hit a walkoff sacrifice fly as the Rangers won 5-4.
Moving to NBA news, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is the new president of the National Basketball Players Association. CP3 is the highest-profile player in the role since Patrick Ewing in 2001. Paul takes over for Derek Fisher.
Finally, Maria Sharapova withdrew from the U.S. Open. The 2006 champion is battling bursitis in her right shoulder. The season's last grand slam event gets underway Monday.