Craig Calcaterra

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A fan was injured by a flying bat at the Pirates-Cubs game last night

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A scary moment at last night’s Pirates-Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell lost his grip his bat on a swing as he led off the bottom of the seventh inning. The bat flew into the stands near the Cubs’ dugout and struck a fan. The fan was carried from the stands on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.

CSNChicago.com reports:

“The patient was conscious and communicating with staff while being transported from the stands,” a Cubs spokesman said in a statement. “We will remain in communication with his family to keep updated on his progress.”

Addison Russell expressed his concern for the fan after the game. We’ll provide updates if and when we hear them.

The Nationals aren’t happy with Andrelton Simmons’ slide into third base

Simmons Escobar
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As I mentioned in the comments earlier, Andrelton Simmons slid into third base hard last night, injuring Yunel Escobar. You can watch the play here. Short version: Simmons was dead to rights, likely knew it, slid late, apparently intending to try to dislodge the ball from Escobar’s glove with his foot. He, in fact, took his whole glove off and cut Escobar’s hand, forcing him out of the game.

The Nationals are not pleased about it:

Said Bryce Harper: “Andrelton plays with a lot of energy, but that was a B.S. play. That slide was definitely uncalled for.”

Said Ian Desmond: “He really didn’t slide at all. It was a pretty ugly slide. You’ve got to be way smarter than that. There’s a right way to play the game, and that’s not the right way.”

Hard to blame them. I love Simmons — he’s probably my favorite current Brave — but it’s hard to conclude that he was trying to do anything other than dislodge the ball there. That doesn’t always lead to injury and some people laud that kind of thing as gritty or whatever, but the fact is is that when you use your cleats as a weapon, there’s a good chance you’re gonna hurt someone. We outlawed home plate collisions for the same reason.

And no, I don’t care if Ty Cobb did it. Ty Cobb was a jackass.

Video: Joc Pederson made a fantastic catch — and throw — last night

joc pederson getty
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Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson has been fantastic so far this year. He’s been hitting up a storm — .296/.458/.556 so far — and his defense has been superb. Defense like this:

Maybe Puig makes that play, but not as easily or as often, I don’t imagine. And Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier probably have little or no chance.

The Dodgers biggest change heading into this season has been putting square pegs in square holes — making sure they have a good, natural shortstop, second baseman and center fielder. And so far it’s paying off.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Daniel Murphy
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Mets 3, Marlins 1: Amazin.’ Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead/come-from-behind three run bomb and Mets improve to 15-5. Murphy also made a nifty play in the field the next half-inning. Adrenaline is a hell of a thing. The Mets have a 4.5 game lead in the East and are eight games up everyone’s favorites, the Nationals. Which, wow.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: MookieMania is running wild, brother. Betts with the walkoff RBI single through a drawn-in infield. Betts said he “got a decent pitch to hit.” He’s only 22 but his cliche game is that of a seasoned veteran.

Royals 6, Indians 2: Mike Moustakas got four hits and Alex Gordon drove in two, which ain’t too bad against the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Bonus from this game came from the Royals’ booth, where I am told Fox Sports Kansas City’s Rex Hudler was talking about my annual Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers rankings. Hudler was quoted by viewers as saying “Did you say it was a guy that made that list up?” Yes, Rex, it was. And have a nice, heteronormative day yourself.

Braves 8, Nationals 4: The Braves beat up the Nats in a game that featured some chippiness following a hard Andrelton Simmons’ slide into third base which led to a cut on Yunel Escobar’s hand. There were warnings and then Simmons was hit by a pitch. And even though he wasn’t in the game Jonny Gomes got ejected for running out of the dugout. Which, hey, he has a personal brand to maintain. The key thing here, though, is the Nats are now 7-13 and sit eight games back with only one team in all of baseball — the Brewers — featuring a worse record than them. Which is quite a thing.

Oh, and another broadcast datapoint: the Braves booth which has, in the past, engaged in all kinds of silly and unwarranted hatred and hostility with respect to Bryce Harper here said, at one point, “He’s a good player. Easy not to like him, but a good player.” I suppose that’s progress. Maybe in another year or two they’ll acknowledge that no one gives a crap if they like him.

Yankees 4, Rays 1: Brian McCann homered, Adam Warren pitched effectively and the Yankees’ winning combination so far — good defense, just enough hitting and a shutdown bullpen — kept things chugging along. A-Rod did not tie Willie Mays in this game as he went hitless. But someone asked Brian McCann about it afterward and McCann said A-Rod’s place on the all-time home run list is “an amazing accomplishment.” I presume the Yankees will fine him now given his failure to follow team policy which prohibits the stating of the bleedin’ obvious.

Reds 9, Brewers 6: Jay Bruce homered and drove in three. Jason Marquis allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings. He also hit an RBI single, probably to spite me.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Taijuan Walker allowed one unearned run in seven innings in his second solid start following a couple of disasters to open up the season. Both of these teams had to be exhausted, as they didn’t get into Texas until the wee hours of the morning due to severe storms which diverted their flights. Then this one started an hour late due to a rain delay. Hope their cell phones are on Do Not Disturb this morning.

Cubs 4, Pirates 0: Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 and drove in two. Jason Hammel tossed eight shutout innings. The Cubs won their third straight and snapped the Pirates’ five-game winning streak. Bryant has driven in nine in ten games. Scary moment here, though, as a fan was taken away in an ambulance after being hit by a flying bat during an Addison Russell plate appearance.

Tigers 5, Twins 4: Yoenis Cespedes had a homer, a double and three RBI. Jose Iglesias hit a homer and a triple, notching three hits in all. He’s hitting .397. All of us wanted to talk about how the Tigers would do after losing Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in the offseason, but between those two it’s as if the Tigers added two plus bats to an already potent lineup.

Phillies 4, Cardinals 1: Cole Hamels doesn’t need a ton of run support, so when he even gets a little bit here that’s enough. As it was he struck out nine in seven innings and allowed only one run. Don’t tell anyone, but the Phillies have won three of four and are ahead of the Nats in the standings.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer in the first. Tyler Matzek limited the Diamondbacks to two runs on five hits in five innings. He had to leave early with a leg cramp, though, and the bullpen just barely held on. The Rockies have won five in a row against Arizona.

Dodgers 8, Giants 3: Joc Pederson and Justin Turner went yard. Pederson also doubled in a run and made a sweet play in the field, ranging back to the wall, catching it with his back to the field and then turned around and doubled off Nori Aoki, who had broke from first on the play. Pederson is hitting .296/.458/.556 on the year and doing that kind of crap in the field. Mercy.

Astros 9, Padres 4: Colby Rasmus homered and drove in three as the Astros won their fourth in a row. Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro also homered. The book on Astros hitters this year was that they’d lead the AL in strikeouts and be near the top of the league in homers. At the moment they lead the AL in strikeouts and are fourth in homers, two off the league lead. So, yep.

White Sox vs. Orioles: Postponed: Unrest in Baltimore continues, which may move this series out of the city and down to Washington or someplace else. Baseball, however, seems very, very unimportant compared to what’s happening there. But this is important. You should probably read this.

Source: Josh Hamilton rejected a trade to a National League team because he wanted to go back to Texas

hamilton getty
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A source familiar with the Josh Hamilton trade negotiations tells HardballTalk that, prior to the deal to send him to the Rangers, the Angels had put together a trade that would’ve sent Hamilton to a National League team. Hamilton rejected the deal, however, because he waned to return to Texas.

The source further tells HardballTalk that, if Hamilton had accepted the trade to the NL team, the financial and/or contractual circumstances of the deal may have been better for him there than those under which he agreed to go to Texas.

Hamilton possessed a full no-trade clause under the deal he signed with Anaheim prior to the 2013 season. At the time the potential deal with the National League club was presented to him, Hamilton was aware of the Rangers’ interest. The source tells HardballTalk that the Rangers were “always around” since the notion of trading Hamilton emerged as a possibility.

During Hamilton’s introductory press conference which  just concluded, Hamilton said that the Rangers were his “first choice” when it became apparent that he’d be traded. He added that “If I could change the past . . . I probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere, I would’ve stayed here.”

This may explain, in part, why the Angels are eating so much of Hamilton’s contract.