Bill Baer

Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta reacts after being hit by a pitch during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The Diamondbacks won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Diamondbacks’ and Giants’ benches emptied at AT&T Park


Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta was hit on the arm by a high Josh Osich fastball during Wednesday night’s game against the Giants. Peralta was hit again by Osich on Thursday afternoon in the eighth inning, another fastball that went too far inside.

Understandably, Peralta wasn’t too happy about it. Unlike Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer, who was hit three times in Thursday’s win over the Red Sox, Peralta doesn’t have a penchant for getting hit by pitches. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Peralta had been hit only five times in 865 plate appearances. It was a bit much to just be coincidental, or at least it seemed Peralta felt that way.

Peralta walked towards Osich on the mound, seeming to yell, “Come on!” The benches quickly emptied. Nothing happened, as is usually the case when the benches empty. Order was restored and Osich was relieved by Cory Gearrin, who got the final out of the eighth.

The Diamondbacks lead 3-2 as of this writing and if they can keep the Giants scoreless in the ninth, they’ll complete a four-game series sweep. The two clubs meet again for a four-game set starting on May 12, so it will be interesting to see if the bad blood carries over then.

The Pirates released Michael Morse

BRADENTON FL- MARCH 3: First baseman Michael Morse #38 of the Pittsburgh Pirates doubles to right field during the first inning of the Spring Training Game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 3, 2016 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. The Blue Jays defeated the Pirates 10-8. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Pirates have released first baseman Michael Morse, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The club designated him for assignment last week and couldn’t find a trade partner.

Morse, 34, went hitless in eight plate appearances with the Pirates, making one start and five pinch-hit appearances. Six of those plate appearances came against right-handed pitchers.

Morse, who has played with the Mariners, Orioles, Giants, Marlins, and Pirates over the last three seasons, will probably draw interest elsewhere now that he is a free agent. The Pirates owe him about $5 million of the $8 million total for his 2016 salary.

The Braves may call up Aaron Blair to start Sunday

Atlanta Braves pitcher Aaron Blair throws during a spring training baseball workout, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP Photo/John Raoux
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Braves pitching prospect Aaron Blair dominated the Durham Bulls on Tuesday, tossing seven scoreless no-hit innings with a walk and 10 strikeouts. The club’s fourth-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Blair may now be in line for a promotion from Triple-A Gwinnett to pitch on Sunday against the Mets, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the organization took note of Blair’s performance against the Bulls.

“(Blair) pitched real well — seven innings of no-hit baseball,” Gonzalez said. “We had a real big discussion after the game yesterday. And (president of baseball operations) John Hart was there and watched (Blair) pitch, said he was real good.”

Blair, 23, has a 1.42 ERA and a 22/5 K/BB ratio in his first three starts with Gwinnett.

The Braves optioned Williams Perez to Gwinnett on Wednesday, leaving a temporary gap in the rotation. Gonzalez is also considering Mike Foltynewicz and Ryan Weber as possible options to pitch on Sunday.

Shelby Miller keeps hitting the mound on his follow-through

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Shelby Miller throws in the first inning against the San Diego Padres in a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2016, in San Diego. Miller left the game in the second inning after he injured his throwing hand when his follow through hit the mound. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Update (7:56 PM EST): Miller says he didn’t hit his hand on the mound again, Piecoro reports.


Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller once again had to leave his start early because he hit his hand on the pitching mound. The right-hander lasted 1 2/3 innings in last Saturday’s start against the Padres after scraping both knuckles on his index finger dragging it against the mound on his follow through.

It happened again on Thursday afternoon against the Giants. Miller walked the bases loaded, bringing up Hunter Pence with no outs. Miller appeared to hit his hand on the mound with his follow-through during Pence’s at-bat, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Miller was taken out of the game and relieved by Tyler Wagner.

The Shelby Miller era in Arizona has been disastrous, to say the least. He’s now carrying an 8.59 ERA with a 10/11 K/BB ratio in 14 2/3 innings. The Diamondbacks acquired him in a trade with the Braves over the winter, sending 2015 first overall draft pick Dansby Swanson, pitching prospect Aaron Blair, and Ender Inciarte to Atlanta.

Clayton Kershaw threw a 46 MPH eephus to Tyler Flowers


Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw already has arguably the most devastating arsenal in the game. His fastball sits around 93 MPH and can get into the mid-90’s. With that, he mixes in a slider around 87 MPH and a curve at 73 MPH. On very rare occasions — one percent of the time — he’ll throw a change-up.

Kershaw deceives batters with lots of movement, but imagine if they had to account for severe changes in speed as well. Scary thought.

As it happened, Kershaw decided to start off Tyler Flowers‘ fourth-inning at-bat with a 46 MPH eephus.


The whole thing was made better by Dodgers broadcaster Orel Hershiser saying that Kershaw wouldn’t work on his change-up in a 1-1 game right before the lefty threw the eephus.

The game went 1-1 into the 10th and the Dodgers eventually won 2-1 thanks to a 10th inning RBI double from Yasmani Grandal.