A.J. Burnett: "I don't feel like myself"

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A.J. Burnett didn’t have a great night last night: he gave up three first inning homers and was lit up for seven runs and nine hits without striking out a single batter in four innings. In fact, the entire month has been a waste for him, as he has lost all four of his starts and has posted an ERA of 10.35.  What’s buggin’ ya, A.J.?

“I don’t feel like myself. I’m not having fun right now. Who
would in a stretch like this? But the game is supposed to be fun. When
you come out and take the air out of your team right away for a handful
of starts it gets quite frustrating. I’m going to keep plugging away.
It’s just a matter of getting on a good roll.”

When Javier Vazquez couldn’t get anyone out the Yankees skipped him in the rotation and let him think about things. Given that the Yankees are already giving Phil Hughes a break, there’s really no way they can make the same accommodation for Burnett, so he’s right: he’s just gonna have to plug. 

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.