Sunny days favor the pitchers

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If it truly is always sunny in Philadelphia the Phils are going to have a better year than we thought, because that stuff favors the pitchers:

It turns out that batting averages go up when the sun ducks behind a cloud, according to a new study that looked at thousands of major league baseball games played between 1987 and 2002.

And hitting isn’t the only thing – the presence or absence of clouds affects baseball in all sorts of ways, from strikeouts to errors to which team wins, Wes P. Kent and Scott C. Sheridan report in an analysis published by the American Meteorological Society.

There’s a lot more date in the linked story. Seems this was all part of Kent’s master’s thesis in climatology.

In other news, I always smile when I see that people have managed to shoehorn baseball research into non-sports academic studies. You can almost picture them laughing to themselves and rubbing their hands together when they realize that the convinced their adviser to let ’em get away with fun stuff like that.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.