Sean Newcomb
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Sean Newcomb exits game after line drive to head

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You never want to see a ball strike a person at a baseball game, be it from a foul ball sent screaming into the stands or a fastball erroneously placed on a hand, arm, or leg. During the third inning of Saturday’s Phillies-Braves game, Atlanta starter Sean Newcomb had a close call in the worst way possible after J.T. Realmuto‘s 102-m.p.h. line drive ricocheted off of back of the pitcher’s head.

As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported, Newcomb was able to exit the field without additional assistance. It’s expected that he’ll undergo a more thorough evaluation later tonight or tomorrow, at which point the extent of any potential injury will be revealed.

Prior to the incident, Newcomb recorded just 2 2/3 innings with three hits, two runs, two walks, and three strikeouts allowed. The lefty was swiftly replaced by Touki Toussaint, who finished off the third inning with a hit-by-pitch and two run-scoring plays, including an error by Josh Donaldson and an RBI double that brought the inning to a close as Tyler Flowers tagged Jay Bruce at the plate for the third out.

The Phillies currently lead 4-2 in the fourth inning.

Whistlegate: MLB finds no wrongdoing on the part of the Astros

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(photo caption: an unknown woman gazes upon a framed copy of the Unwritten Rules)

Yesterday it was reported that the Yankees were angry at the Astros for allegedly stealing and relaying signs via players in the dugout whistling to Astros batters. Ken Rosenthal reported a little bit ago that Major League Baseball has investigated the matter and found that the Astros “did not engage in any activities prohibited by MLB policies.”

Our brief national nightmare is over.

This may not, of course, mollify the Yankees. That’s because even if the Astros did not violate any MLB policies, those policies only speak to teams not using technology such as cameras, or cell phones or, I dunno, Apple Watches, to steal and/or relay signs or signals. As Andy Martino’s original report on this noted, however, some on the Yankees may believe that even if there was not an official violation of rules, the whole whistling thing could be a violation of the ever-so-important unwritten rules. With all of the exhausting incoherence those entail.

No word if the Unwritten Commissioner of Baseball will weigh in — verbally, obviously, — on whether there was a violation of the Unwritten Rules. I sort of hope he does, though, because the lapsed attorney in me really wants to see how one cites an unwritten rule in an unwritten opinion.