Friday's Quick Hits

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– Fernando Martinez was sent back down to Triple-A by the Mets after hitting .194/.286/.274 in 62 at-bats over 18 games.

Once it was determined that Gary Sheffield’s knees were good enough
to allow him to return to left field, it was expected that Martinez
would be sent down, though the thinking was that the Mets would wait
until Angel Pagan was ready to come off the DL. Instead, they’ve called
up Nick Evans to serve as a bench player for now. Martinez didn’t have
any notable hustling issues after getting himself into trouble
initially, and while he never homered in his 62 at-bats, he also didn’t
seem overmatched while striking out just 10 times. In all, his debut
went about as should have been expected.

– The Yankees have chosen to rest Alex Rodriguez for two games following an 0-for-15 slump.

Not sure I agree with this. The Yankees just ended another
homestand, and getting A-Rod out of new Yankee Stadium should help his
hitting woes. It seemed like he was trying to hit one over the
extremely inviting walls with every swing lately, and he was just
6-for- 51 in the Bronx this month. While eight of his nine homers have
come at Yankee Stadium, he’s had a better approach on the road, hitting
.254/.389/.373 in 59 at-bats to date. At home, he’s hit .178/.355/.534.

– Reds prospect Yonder Alonso, the seventh overall pick in the 2008
draft, was placed on the minor league DL with a broken hamate bone.

Alonso was hitting .246/.309/.377 in 16 games since moving up to
Double-A Carolina. Before that, he was hitting .302/.378/.503 in 169
at-bats for Single-A Sarasota. Alonso should be ready to play again in
4-6 weeks, but players who suffer broken hamate bones tend to suffer
from power outages for months after returning. There wasn’t much chance
that we’d see him in September anyway.

Cardinals walk off on controversial double by Yadier Molina

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after he was called out on strike against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the six inning at AT&T Park on September 15, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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Update (11:09 PM EDT):

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From unlucky to lucky, the Cardinals maintained their position in the National League Wild Card race with walk-off victory over the Reds on Thursday night.

The Cardinals went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead over the Reds, but saw the game tied when Scott Schebler dribbled a two-strike, two out ground ball down the third base line. It seemed as if the baseball gods had turned their backs on the Cardinals.

In the bottom of the ninth against reliever Blake Wood, Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk. Randal Grichuk then struck out, leaving all of the Cardinals’ hopes on Yadier Molina. Molina went ahead 2-0 in the count, then ripped a 95 MPH fastball to left field. The ball bounced high and over the left field fence for what seemed like an obvious ground-rule double. Carpenter motored around third base and scored the winning run.

The Cardinals poured onto the field in celebration and the umpires walked off the field. Manager Bryan Price wanted to have the play reviewed, but when he went onto the field, the umpires were nowhere to be found. Price chased after them but to no avail. As the Cardinals left the field and the stadium emptied, the Reds remained in the dugout. The Reds’ relievers were left in a bit of purgatory, standing aimlessly in left field after exiting the bullpen. Finally, the game was announced as complete over the P.A. system at Busch Stadium. The results are great if you’re a Cardinals fan, but terrible if you’re a Mets or Giants fan.

As Jon Morosi points out, the rules clearly state that the signage above the fence in left field is out of the field of play. The umpires got it wrong.

Price, however, also took too long to speak to the umpires. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

If this happened between two teams playing a meaningless game, it would’ve been a lot easier to swallow, but Thursday’s Reds-Cardinals game had implications on not only the Cardinals’ future, but the Mets’ and Giants’ as well.

Freddie Freeman’s hitting streak ends at 30 games

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 28:  First baseman Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves hits a single in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 30 games during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on September 28, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 during Thursday’s win against the Phillies, snapping his hitting streak at 30 games. It marked the longest hitting streak of the 2016 season. Freeman’s streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely ended as well.

The longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Dan Uggla, who hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.

During his hitting streak, Freeman hit .384/.485/.670 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 136 plate appearances. That padded what were already very strong numbers on the season. After Thursday’s game, Freeman is overall batting .306/.404/.572 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI< and 101 runs scored in 677 plate appearances.