Fisticuffsmanship! The Mississippi Braves and Mobile Baybears throw down

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We don’t see that many full-blown fights in major league baseball these days. Everyone knows the potential costs aren’t worth the benefits, I suppose. Or else they’re all friends and stuff.  But the minor leagues still give us a good fracas now and again.

On Saturday it was the Mobile Baybears vs. the Mississippi Braves. There were two out in the bottom of the ninth when a wild pitch caused the Braves’ pitcher to have to cover home plate as a Baybears tried to score from third.  The runner took out the legs of the pitcher and then …

I’ll say this much: normally in a fight that involves a pitcher you see the pitcher sort of back off and other players come in to mix it up. It was interesting then to see Braves pitcher Michael Tarsi take the lead here.

Not that I approve of course. Say no to violence. Stay in school. Only you can stop forest fires, etc.

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.

Ivan Nova finally issued his first walk. It was to an AL pitcher taking his first major league at-bat.

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Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.

That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.

Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.