Ralph Branca knows his minor league ERA from 1945

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There’s a whole lot of other stuff in this interview that our friend Bill from The Platoon Advantage did with Dodgers legend Ralph Branca.  Stuff about Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey and the Shot Heard ‘Round the World. All of it interesting and historic and cool.

But I gotta tell ya, the thing that sticks out to me the most was when Bill asked Branca about pitching for the St. Paul Saints in 1945 for a grand total of four months and that Branca knew his ERA — 3.04 — right off the top of his head.

I couldn’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday and Branca knows his ERA from 66 years ago. Mercy.

Great interview. Good job, Bill.  Check it out.

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

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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

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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.