One of the features that has made Matt Garza a consistently reliable starting pitcher year in and year out has been his control. Since becoming a regular starter in 2008, he has only once walked batters at a rate higher than 7.6 percent. Depending on the year, that’s average to slightly above-average control. Garza also doesn’t hit many batters: he entered tonight having hit two batters all season and has hit more than seven in only one season in his nine-year career.
It was odd but permissible when Garza hit McCutchen with a pitch in the third inning. It was hard to give Garza the same benefit of the doubt in the fifth inning, when he hit McCutchen again and was ejected, along with manager Ron Roenicke. Both benches were also warned. Garza seemed visibly upset at himself, punching his glove in frustration, but it’s hard to imagine a guy with his experience and control could accidentally double his season total in HBP’s in one outing.
Marco Estrada took the mound in Garza’s stead. Garza finished with 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six.
This is not the first time McCutchen has been at the center of a beanball war. Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado fired a fastball at McCutchen’s back on August 2, which was revenge for Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri hitting Paul Goldschmidt and breaking his finger the previous day.
Here’s how far Ernesto Frieri’s stock has fallen in a short time: He opened the season as the Angels’ closer. Then, after struggling, he was stripped of closing duties and traded to the Pirates for Jason Grilli in a swap of relievers needing a change of scenery. And now he’s been designated for assignment by the Pirates.
In between all of that Frieri posted a 7.34 ERA in 48 appearances, which is shockingly bad for a 28-year-old who came into this season with a career 2.76 ERA and 315 strikeouts in 231 innings.
Plenty of teams should seemingly be willing to take a flier on Frieri, who was one of the better setup men in baseball for several years and has still managed 48 strikeouts in 42 innings this season while struggling overall.
Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt suffered a broken left hand when he was hit by a fastball from Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri on Friday night.
As Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports, Goldschmidt has a non-displaced fracture. The first baseman won’t undergo surgery to insert any plates or screws. D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson said of the recovery timetable, “Realistically, it’s eight weeks. So he’s done.”
The Diamondbacks entered play Sunday at 48-63, the third-worst record in the National League. Not much else can go wrong for them.
MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a fractured left hand and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list as a result. Goldschmidt suffered the injury when he was hit on the left hand by an Ernesto Frieri pitch in last night’s contest against the Pirates, having entered as a pinch-hitter on his night off.
Though the Diamondbacks are clearly out of contention in the NL West, losing Goldschmidt is clearly bad news for them. The 26-year-old finished as a runner-up in last season’s NL MVP balloting and was having another fantastic season, slashing .300/.396/.542 with 19 home runs and 69 RBI. He’s the current National League leader in runs and doubles with 75 and 39, respectively.
The Diamondbacks recalled outfielder Alfredo Marte from Triple-A Reno to take Goldschmidt’s spot on the roster.
Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was hit in the left hand on a pitch from Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri last night and Adam Litchstein of MLB.com reports that X-rays came back inconclusive.
Goldschmidt didn’t start last night’s game, but entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth inning and stayed in to hit for the final half-inning. The injury was added insult for the Diamondbacks, who saw a 4-1 lead turn into a 9-4 loss. Goldschimdt had his hand wrapped in ice after the game and will be re-evaluated today.
“I’ve never had any broken bones or fractures or anything like that,” Goldschmidt said. “It felt OK, but obviously there’s still some pain because it hit it pretty good.
“I don’t know what it would feel like if it was or wasn’t anything wrong with it.”
One of the few bright spots for the Diamondbacks this season, Goldschmidt is batting .300/.396/.542 with 19 home runs, 69 RBI, and nine stolen bases over 109 games.