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Mark Melancon to have surgery for a rare muscle disorder

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The other day Bruce Bochy hinted that Giants closer Mark Melancon might have to be shut down for elbow surgery. Yesterday the Mercury News reported that it was a bit more complicated than that: Melancon has been diagnosed with pronator syndrome, which results in a chronic compression of a muscle in his right forearm. It’s akin to carpal tunnel syndrome, in that it attacks the sheaths which cover the muscle, leading to chronic tightness.

Melancon can still pitch for now and wants to finish the season, but surgery is imminent, and Bochy says that Melancon is day-to-day. Meaning that, on any day, they could simply say “no more” and send him to surgery. Given where the Giants are now you’d think they’d want to get it over with as soon as possible, but it’s their team I guess.

Melancon is in the first year of a four-year, $62 million contract with San Francisco. He’s 1-2 on the year with a 4.13 ERA and 11 saves in 30 games. While his strikeout rate has stayed steady this season, he’s walking more batters and giving up a dramatically larger number of hits, resulting in a WHIP of 1.376, which is the worst he’s had in any season in which he’s pitched 20 games or more.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.