In less controversial news, the Cardinals announced this afternoon that outfielder Jon Jay was placed on the 15-day disabled list with what is being termed as a left wrist stress reaction and a bone bruise. The move cleared a spot for Tim Cooney, who will make a spot-start against the Padres tonight in place of Jaime Garcia.
Jay has been dealing with the injury all year and has already had one stint on the disabled list. The 30-year-old batted just .185 with a .542 OPS in 27 games after his return, so he wasn’t doing the team much good. The hope is that some additional rest will do the trick.
Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk will both be regulars with Jay sidelined, but the hope is that Matt Holliday could be ready to return from his quad injury around the All-Star break.
We often take intentional walks for granted. Four tosses to the catcher. How hard can it be? Pretty hard, at least sometimes. Take it away, Ronald Belisario:
One the the potential pace-of-play rule changes that was tested in the Arizona Fall League last year was that pitchers wouldn’t have to throw four pitches to issue an intentional walk. Who knows if or when that will make it to MLB, but it would rob of us moments like this. Sure, 99 times out of 100, it’s uneventful and boring. But that one keeps you on your toes. I promise the next time your favorite team’s pitcher starts his four tosses to the catcher, you are going to be more paranoid than normal.
With Brandon Phillips sidelined due to a hand injury, Billy Hamilton was moved back into the leadoff spot tonight against the Twins. He responded by stealing four bases as part of an 11-7 victory.
Hamilton went 2-for-4 with two walks and three runs scored on the night. He had two steals in the second inning, one in the third, and one more in the fifth.
On the strength of 19 steals this month — including a five-steal game on June 14 against the Cubs — Hamilton is now up to 40 stolen bases on the year. That leads the majors by a wide margin. Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, who ranks second in the majors, has 26 steals.
To put things in further context, Hamilton has more steals than 15 out of 30 teams in the majors. You are reading that correctly. While it’s a remarkable feat, imagine what Hamilton could do if he got on base more often. He’s hitting .224 with a .273 on-base percentage through 67 games this season.
You’ve probably heard this advice for hitting knuckleballers before: If it’s low, let it go. If it’s high, let it fly. Well, Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval took that to the extreme tonight against R.A. Dickey of the Blue Jays:
Yes, not only did he swing at the pitch, he made contact. This is the most Pablo Sandoval thing ever.
Here’s some more context on what we witnessed this evening:
UPDATE: Anderson’s bid for a perfect game came to an end with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, as former Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore took him deep for a solo home run. Of course that happened.
The Indians haven’t had a no-hitter since Len Barker threw a perfect game against the Blue Jays on May 15, 1981. The wait continues.
9:02 p.m. ET: Making just his second major league start, Indians right-hander Cody Anderson is perfect through six innings so far tonight against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
This is actually Anderson’s second straight start against the Rays, as he tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings against them in his major league debut last Sunday. The 24-year-old is mystifying them again. While Anderson has struck out just one batter, he has been very efficient, throwing 50 out of 70 pitches for strikes. The Indians currently have a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning.
Stay tuned to see if Anderson can make some history.