As I turned off the computer last night, I was pondering Tyler Colvin getting seriously injured with a bat shard and Jason La Rue’s career apparently ending due to an assault by a Reds pitcher. Then I picked up the book I’m reading about baseball in the 70s, “Big Hair and Plastic Grass.” In the space of a few short pages I came across anecdotes of two incidents I hadn’t thought about in years:
- The big brawl between the Reds and Mets in the 1973 NLCS, capped by a player — Buzz Capra — getting sucker punched by Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon; and
- Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager getting hit with pieces from an exploding bat while standing on the on deck circle in 1976, piercing his esophagus, and requiring surgery to remove the shards from his throat.
Baseball is a sport which clings strongly to its past, but this is ridiculous.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.