ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume explains why he picked the Astros last year

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Last year, ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume famously picked the Houston Astros to win the NL Central.  They then proceeded to lose 106 games.  Missed it by thaaaaaat much.

Today Berthiaume explains the thought process behind the pick that caused him so much grief:

I had written a piece for this website in September of 2010 and felt obligated to remain consistent six months later despite the realization that a moment of bold optimism had deteriorated into a sinking ship. I naively thought, “Well what the heck, it’s just a harmless predictions list anyway, right?” BOOM!!!! Here’s a link.

Silly Steve Berthiaume. Thinking that consistency and intellectual honesty get one anywhere on the Internet.

But a nice move eating that crow anyway. Most of us just pretend we never made those bad predictions in the first place. It’s actually quite easy!

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.