2012 first-rounder Chris Stratton hospitalized after being hit by liner

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Giants first-round pick Chris Stratton is in stable condition after taking a line drive off his head during batting practice for short-season Single-A Salem-Keiser on Tuesday.

Stratton was transported to the hospital by ambulance, CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reports. The Giants wouldn’t confirm that, but they did comment on his condition:

“He’s at the hospital now being evaluated to make sure it’s nothing more than a concussion,” vice president Bobby Evans said. “He does have symptoms of a concussion. They are working on the diagnosis to confirm that. They are going to be cautious and thorough.”

Stratton, a right-handed pitcher, was injured while standing behind second base during batting practice.

The 20th overall pick in the June draft out of Mississippi State, Stratton was 0-1 with a 2.76 ERA in 16 1/3 innings for Salem-Keiser. He pitched just 9 1/3 innings in his first six appearances, but he had thrown seven scoreless innings in his last two starts.

Stratton turns 22 on Wednesday.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.