Some bad news for the Giants, who stand three games back of the Dodgers in the NL West …
Brandon Crawford is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Cubs after leaving Tuesday’s game with tightness in his left oblique.
It’s believed to be a minor tweak — not a full-blown oblique strain — and Crawford is hopeful that he’ll feel well enough to return in a couple of days.
San Francisco has not been able to capitalize on the Dodgers’ recent rut, and losing Crawford for any period of time is a tough blow. There’s no room in the Wild Card race for a team outside the NL Central.
Crawford is having a breakout season at age 28, with an .806 OPS (123 OPS+), 19 home runs, and 75 RBI in 121 games. And he has continued to play upper-tier defense at shortstop.
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.