Reliever Greg Holland made his Cardinals debut on Monday night against the Brewers, but it didn’t go at all according to plan.
With the game tied 4-4, Holland took the mound to start the top of the 10th. Holland issued back-to-back walks to Travis Shaw and Domingo Santana. Eric Sogard then moved both runners with a bunt. Holland intentionally walked Manny Pina to load the bases, setting up a potential double play and at least a force out at every base. But Holland continued to struggle with his control, walking Orlando Arcia to force in the go-ahead run. Manager Mike Matheny was then forced to bring in Bud Norris to attempt to put out the fire. Norris struck out Brett Phillips and got Hernan Perez to fly out to center field to escape the inning, so Holland was only on the hook for the one run.
Brewers reliever Matt Albers retired the side in order in the bottom half of the 10th to earn the win after having blown the save in the bottom of the ninth.
Holland, 32, signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Cardinals on March 30, the day after the club opened the regular season. Due to the late signing, he is a bit behind since he didn’t spend spring training with a club.
Last season, Holland posted a 3.61 ERA with a 70/26 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings of relief for the Rockies.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”