Pat Burrell powers Giants to early lead over Braves

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Already a lot going on in this one.

The Giants were fortunate enough to survive an early scare, as Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval collided attempting to track down a foul ball hit by Jason Heyward in the first inning. Amazingly, Posey managed to catch the ball and both players stayed in the game. It could have been a lot worse.

In the bottom of the first, Pat Burrell slugged a three-run shot to give the Giants an early 3-0 lead. Matt Cain tacked on a run-scoring single in the bottom of the second to push the advantage to 4-0.

What’s with all these managers getting ejected in the postseason? Don’t have one in five years, now we have three in two days. Bobby Cox added to his own record by getting the boot from first base umpire Paul Emmel in the second inning. Cox argued that Aubrey Huff pulled his foot off first base on a groundball hit by Alex Gonzalez. It looks like he had a pretty good case. Oh, by the way, Emmel was the same umpire who missed Buster Posey being out at second base last night. It’s either a vast MLB conspiracy, or someone needs to make a trip to LensCrafters.

We’re now in the bottom of the fifth inning, with the score still 4-0. Left-hander Mike Dunn has replaced starter Tommy Hanson, who gave up four runs on five hits over four innings. Matt Cain has struck out four over five scoreless innings for the Giants.  

Nationals place Koda Glover on 10-day disabled list

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The Nationals have placed reliever Koda Glover on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Glover said he is “extremely confident” that he’ll need only the minimum 10 days to recover.

Glover, 24, felt hip discomfort when throwing his first pitch in Tuesday’s relief appearance. He attributed it to the cold, per Janes.

Glover was one of a handful of candidates to handle the ninth inning for the Nationals. It’s been a mixed bag for him, as he has a loss and a blown save along with a 4.15 ERA and a 6/1 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings.

Clay Buchholz apologized to the Phillies for getting injured

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.

According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.

It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.

Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.

Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.