Panicky Mets mess up pitchout, ball hits umpire on Billy Hamilton’s 13th straight steal (Big League Stew)

Cincinnati Reds rookie Billy Hamilton makes things happen. He makes things happen and he makes other teams nervous with his blazing speed. Hamilton makes other teams so jittery when he gets a lead from a base, he can even make the opposing pitcher hit the umpire .
After Hamilton entered as a pinch runner in the eighth inning Monday night, the New York Mets figured he would try to steal second base on the next pitch. After all, Hamilton had not been caught in 12 attempts since being called up from the minors. So the Mets called for a pitchout to help give catcher Travis d’Arnaud a better chance — only the message didn’t get to right-hander Frank Francisco. He threw a 90-mph fastball pretty much down the heart of the plate as d’Arnaud got to his feet and stepped away. d’Arnaud reached back, but could not catch the ball with his mitt, and it drilled umpire Tony Randazzo in the chest protector.
Oh, Mets.
Hamilton slid safely into second base for his 13th steal. Randazzo was OK, if perhaps bruised. It could have been worse, if the ball had hit him in the arm, or facemask. And the Mets looked silly, though we’re not sure if the fault lies with Francisco or the rookie catcher or neither. Maybe the coaching staff messed up. Thankfully for them, kind of, the Reds stranded Hamilton at second. They did manage to score a run in the bottom of the 10th to win 3-2 and help themselves clinch a playoff spot. The Mets could only clench, not clinch.

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Pitch breaks Braves’ Heyward jaw; he’s out 4-6 weeks (Comcast SportsNet New England)

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was struck by a 90-mph fastball from New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese.

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Braves’ Heyward hit in jaw by pitch, sent to hospital (Reuters)

(Reuters) – Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was taken to hospital for X-rays after being hit in the right jaw by a pitch from Mets starter Jon Niese in New York on Wednesday. With two outs in the sixth inning, former All-Star Heyward was struck by a 90 mph fastball and immediately fell to the ground amid groans from the crowd. Head trainer Jeff Porter and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez ran out to attend to Heyward who was then seen by Mets doctors before being taken to a local hospital to undergo further tests. Heyward, an All-Star in 2010, entered Wednesday’s game hitting . …

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Baseball-Braves’ Heyward hit in jaw by pitch, sent to hospital (Reuters)

Aug 21 (Reuters) – Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was taken to hospital for X-rays after being hit in the right jaw by a pitch from Mets starter Jon Niese in New York on Wednesday. With two outs in the sixth inning, former All-Star Heyward was struck by a 90 mph fastball and immediately fell to the ground amid groans from the crowd. Head trainer Jeff Porter and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez ran out to attend to Heyward who was then seen by Mets doctors before being taken to a local hospital to undergo further tests. Heyward, an All-Star in 2010, entered Wednesday’s game hitting . …

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Braves’ Jason Heyward suffers broken jaw after being hit by pitch and could miss 6 weeks (Big League Stew)

It’s about the scariest occurrence in sports: A batter getting hit in the face with a pitched ball. It happened to slugger Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field in New York on Wednesday afternoon, and he was sent to a local hospital as a result .
Update: Heyward has a broken right jaw and will be out from 4-6 weeks, which could mean through the end of the regular season. It’s fractured in two places, X-rays show.
Left-hander Jonathan Niese of the New York Mets apparently lost command of a 90-mph fastball and hit Heyward just below the ear flap on the helmet, on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the sixth inning. Heyward staggered, flicked his helmet off, reached for his face and went to the ground as catcher John Buck and umpire Greg Gibson tended to him. Braves trainer Jeff Porter soon arrived.
It’s one thing for fans, teammates and even friends watching on TV to see, but how about this from Braves sideline reporter Tom Hart:
Jason Heyward’s grandparents are at the game. They have been ushered to Braves clubhouse.
— Tom Hart (@tom_hart) August 21, 2013
Heyward never appeared to lose consciousness, but he was spitting blood as he lay on the ground near home plate. He soon walked off, continuing to spit blood while being escorted arm-in-arm by Porter. Heyward did tap his heart with his fist — apparently in Niese’s direction — perhaps as if to say he’d be OK.
After the game, manager Fredi Gonzalez said to reporters hopefully:
“We’ll cross our fingers that it’s nothing major.”

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Robinson Cano leaves All-Star game after getting hit on knee by Matt Harvey pitch (Big League Stew)

NEW YORK — Oh, no. Another New York Yankees star injured? Exactly what they don’t need.
He tried to stay on the field, but slugger Robinson Cano left the All-Star game in the first inning Tuesday after getting hit with a pitch on the side of the right knee. X-rays showed no break, but an injured right quad was reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Matt Harvey of the New York Mets, the starting pitcher for the National League in his home ballpark of Citi Field, drilled Cano with a fastball after Mike Trout led off the game with a double to right field. The crowd gasped, groaned and seemed to tense up.
Cano seemed to be in obvious discomfort as the trainer looked him over, but he decided to take his base as Miguel Cabrera came to the plate. After Harvey struck out Cabrera, Cano came off the field, through the dugout and into the trainer’s room. There’s no free substitution in MLB’s All-Star game, so Cano was finished for the evening.
Update: Outside of the American League clubhouse, Cano told reporters, “I’ll be good for Friday.”

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Answer Man: Dwight Gooden talks ’86 Mets, grandkids, addiction, sobriety and Tuffy Rhodes (Big League Stew)

With a top fastball and unparalleled curve, Dwight Gooden burst upon the major league scene at 19 years old in 1984 with the New York Mets. By the time he won the Cy Young Award in 1985 with one of the best seasons ever, Gooden already had begun a decent into drug and alcohol abuse that made success impossible for him to enjoy, contributed to stunting his growth as a pitcher, and nearly killed him.
Gooden recently published a critically acclaimed memoir, and has been participating in All-Star game festivities the Mets have been hosting. We got a chance to catch up with Gooden at FanFest for the latest Answer Man session.
David Brown: The reaction to the memoir has been good, but how is it selling ?
Dwight Gooden: It’s been a lot better than I expected. I put a lot of hard work into it — nine months, it took, to complete. The reviews, the sales and just the feedback I’ve been getting from fans has been overwhelming at times. I got into some real depth about my life. The good and the bad, all of the details about what I was going through at that time. But it’s also been rewarding, and great therapy for myself. I’m happy I did it, it was a big burden off of me. Coming clean. You’re only as sick as your secrets. My goal was not only to help me, but to help others who are struggling, either in situations like I was, or those who may have a family member or friend going through that.
DB: You wrote a memoir in the past about your life. How is this one different?
Doc: This one is totally different. I put my heart into this. I was ready to do it. I think when I did “Heat,” I was telling half of the truth, but not the whole truth. Plus, at that time, to be honest, I was in a little bit of denial that I had a problem, that I suffered from the disease of drugs and alcohol. I did “Heat” because friends were saying, “Hey, you should do a book.” This time around, after doing “Celebrity Rehab” and getting involved with with NAA, I felt it was time to tell my story in my words, to put my heart into it and remove that mask and know that I am an addict and an alcoholic, but I’m just not active in it. I just felt the time was right. I would just write down chapters myself, things that I would talk about — the things I struggled with.
DB: How long has it been since you were high?

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Skaggs sparkles in Diamondbacks’ 5-0 win (The SportsXchange)

PHOENIX –Tyler Skaggs’ commanding fastball led to Arizona’s overall dominance of National League West rival Colorado on Friday night.

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The Juice: Ichiro power! Suzuki hits walkoff homer for Yankees win (Big League Stew)

The Juice returns for season No. 6! It’s almost eligible for free-agency! Stop by daily for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more.

No matter that ace right-handers Yu Darvish and Hiroki Kuroda were on the mound, Yankee Stadium yielded six home runs Tuesday night with Ichiro Suzuki — never known for the long ball, even in his prime — hitting the final homer to give the New York Yankees a 4-3 victory in their final at-bat against the Texas Rangers.
Ichiro’s fourth homer of the season came against Tanner Scheppers and it broke a 3-3 tie after aces Darvish of Texas and Kuroda of New York got touched up with deep flies. Darvish only made it into the sixth inning in the all-Japan starting matchup, throwing 110 pitches and allowing solo blasts to Travis Hafner, Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix. Darvish has not been as sharp going back for the past several starts.
Right guy, right place: Kuroda allowed two homers to No. 9 hitter Leonys Martin over eight innings, but closer Mariano Rivera picked up a vulturous victory — his first of the season — by pitching a scoreless ninth. Earlier in the day, Mariano also was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters . What?
“Cheating”: On the winning hit, Ichiro seemed to be expecting another fastball from Scheppers, who said he threw one too many. One of the Yankee announcers referred to Ichiro’s approach on the fateful pitch as “cheating,” when a batter starts his swing a tad early and opens up his hips in order to pull the ball. Hey, it ain’t cheatin’ if you win, which the Yankees hadn’t been. The Yankees had hit only four homers, and had won only six times, in their previous 15 games.
Another New York team, another walkoff: But it’s not in New York, it’s not a victory and it’s not the Yankees. It’s the Mets, who fell 5-4 to the Chicago White Sox after Alexei Ramirez lined a game-ending single against LaTroy Hawkins in the bottom of the ninth. Here’s the Hawk Harrelson version . Chris Sale struck out 13 over eight, but was denied a victory because of a hilarious error by the White Sox in the ninth that caused Mets announcer Gary Cohen to make the funniest sound in major league broadcast history .

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The Juice: Braves rally against Sergio Romo in ninth to upend defending champion Giants (Big League Stew)

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The Juice returns for season No. 6! It’s almost eligible for free-agency! Stop by daily for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more.

San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo was a little off on Saturday afternoon, and the Atlanta Braves took full advantage. For the first time in 176 appearances — the longest such streak in baseball dating back to Aug. 28, 2010 — Romo issued multiple walks. That helped turn a precarious 5-4 ninth inning lead for the Giants into a dramatic 6-5 walk-off win for the Braves .
After striking out Ramiro Pena to start the inning, Romo walked Atlanta’s pinch-hitting ace-in-the-hole, Evan Gattis. An error by on third baseman Joaquin Arias would set the Braves up with two baserunners, and then Jason Heyward singled to load them up. That set up a confrontation with Justin Upton that Romo ended up losing after a borderline 3-2 slider was ruled ball four. From the outside looking in, it was a tough pitch to take and even gutsier pitch to throw, but Upton got the call.
After pinch-runner Reed Johnson trotted home with the tying run, Freddie Freeman would step in and deliver the winner when he pulled a 1-1 fastball into right for a clean single. It was a terrific piece of hitting, but the talk after the game went back to the 3-2 pitch against Upton. Here’s more from Charles Odum of the Associated Press.
”It was a close pitch but I obviously think it’s a ball,” Upton said. ”Pitchers want that pitch. It went my way.”
Asked about the 3-2 pitch, Romo said ”It really doesn’t matter what I think. The outcome of the game is already settled.”
Romo said he didn’t let the walk affect his concentration against Freeman.
”I was fine,” he said. ”I had to focus. We were still in the game. Although they tied the game we still had an opportunity to keep playing. You got to dig down deep right there and stay focused.”
When people say it’s a game of inches, they aren’t lying. Tomorrow that same pitch could go the other way.
Rockies offense stays hot despite Tulo’s absence: Though Josh Rutledge — Troy Tulowitzki’s replacement — finished 0 for 6, the Colorado Rockies received multi-hit games from seven different players — including starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood — as they snapped a six-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Phillies with a commanding 10-5 victory. The Rockies did the majority of their damage in the first inning, scoring six times on seven hits, and were finished scoring by the fourth. Catcher Wilin Rosario and rookie third basemen Nolan Arenado led the way with three hits and two RBIs each.
Dodgers blow another lead, win anyway in Pittsburgh: I think most of us are catching on to the belief that pitcher wins isn’t nearly as important a stat as we’ve treated it, but that doesn’t mean Clayton Kershaw wouldn’t buy one if they were for sale. The Los Angeles Dodgers ace remained stuck on five on Saturday despite holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run over seven innings. The reason? The Dodgers bullpen — in this case new closer Kenley Jansen — blew its league worst 15th save.
That’s not a good number at all, but there was some salvation this time around. After the Dodgers plated two runs in the 11th to take a 5-3 lead, recently replaced closer Brandon League nailed down his 14th save in the bottom half. That made a win of Peter Moylan, who now has 21 over his eight year career.
Cubs 5, Mets 2: Scott Feldman held New York to two hits over seven innings and contributed an RBI single in the win. Starlin Castro’s two-run double in the eighth locked it down.
Red Sox 5, Orioles 4: Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp each homered as Boston bounced back nicely after being shutout on Friday.
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 1: Toronto extends their winning streak to four while Texas drops its season worst fifth in a row.
Brewers 6, Reds 0: Yovani Gallardo (six shutout innings) and Juan Francisco (three RBIs) spoiled Dusty Baker’s 64th birthday.
Cardinals 13, Marlins 7: Carlos Beltran homered twice as St. Louis overcame a career worst seven runs allowed by Lance Lynn in five innings. Lynn still won — his ninth — while Clayton Kershaw quietly weeps in Pittsburgh.
Rays 5, Royals 3: Tampa Bay can breathe a sigh of relief after learning Alex Cobb suffered only a mild concussion when struck by Eric Hosmer’s vicious line drive.
Nationals 7, Indians 6: Washington hits five home runs, including Anthony Rendon’s go-ahead blast in the ninth inning.
Twins 6, Tigers 3: After missing three weeks with a left calf strain, Trevor Plouffe returned with three hits and three RBIs to pace Minnesota’s offensive attack.
Angels 6, Yankees 2: It’s the fifth straight loss for the Yankees, but the bigger story is that Mark Teixeira aggravated his wrist injury and is headed back to New York for an examination.
Mariners 4, A’s 0: Henry Blanco’s first grand slam since 2000 provided all of the offense.
Padres 6, Diamondbacks 4: Yasmani Grandal capped a five-run fourth inning with a three-run homer to help San Diego improve to 33-34. They’re only four games back in a packed NL West.

”It’s always nice to beat them. When someone tells you that you can’t play for them and they don’t think you’re good enough there’s a little chip on your shoulder when you play them.”
— Lucas Harrell after he led the Astros to a 4-3 victory over his former team, the Chicago White Sox. He’s now 2-0 in two career starts against them.

Umpire Paul Schrieber and Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole are coming for YOU.

• David Ortiz has multiple triples this season for the first time since 2006.
• With their three consecutive wins over Texas this weekend, Toronto has evened the all-time series at 195-195.
• The Yankees are the first team to lose four straight games scoring exactly two runs in each game since the 2007 Mets.
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