The Rays sent in the wrong reliever last night

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I found it odd that righty Grant Balfour was brought in to face lefty Curtis Granderson last night — Granderson homered — but I didn’t think much about it.  I’m just realizing now that it was a screwup by the Rays: Joe Maddon had apparently wanted lefty Randy Choate, but a
miscommunication with the bullpen left only Balfour warming up.  Maddon copped to it as his mistake after the game. Never heard of that one before.

It’s a bit of a different situation, but I do sometimes wonder how, when there are two pitchers warming up in the pen, the guys down there see the manager’s signal
clearly when he goes out to make the change. The situation usually dictates things, of course — a lefty up with a lefty and a righty warming pretty much tells you that the lefty is coming in — but do they ever screw
up and have the wrong guy run out?  I can’t remember it happening, but
it had to have happened at some point, right? 

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.