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Stephen Piscotty had the worst trip around the bases ever

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Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty inked a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension on Monday. One might be inclined to describe the 26-year-old as “lucky,” considering that as long as he’s not frivolous with his earnings, he’s set up financially for life. That isn’t so.

On Tuesday night against the Cubs, Piscotty endured the worst trip around the base paths probably ever. It started with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Piscotty was hit on the right elbow by a Jake Arrieta pitch. He then stole second base, but was hit again — this time on the left elbow — by the throw to second from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. With Piscotty on second, Kolten Wong chopped a 1-2 curve to the right of the pitcher’s mound, just past Arrieta. Second baseman Javier Baez charged at the ball, but couldn’t make the barehanded grab. Piscotty raced towards the plate, so Baez fired home, but hit Piscotty in the ear flap of his helmet. Piscotty was safe — giving the Cardinals their first run of the game — but he laid face-down on the dirt in pain.

Piscotty was tended to by team trainers. He sat up and received a round of applause from the home crowd, as well as from the Cubs’ players. He was helped off the field and will assuredly undergo concussion protocol. Matt Adams pinch-hit for starter Adam Wainwright, then stayed in the game to play left field, with Randal Grichuk moving from left to right and Matt Bowman replacing Wainwright.

More should be known about Piscotty’s status after the game or on Wednesday. (Update, via Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Piscotty has a head contusion and will be reevaluated on Wednesday morning, the Cardinals say.)

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.