File this under Things You Don’t See Very Often. Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd somehow broke his bat despite swinging and missing at Mets starter Jon Niese’s 89 MPH fastball in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game. The stub of the bat remained in Byrd’s hand while the remaining 90 percent of the bat was flung about 70 feet, in between first base and the pitcher’s mound.
Byrd finished 1-for-5 with a solo home run in the Phillies’ 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Mets.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.