High & Inside: NL Notes
History lesson When Boston's Daniel Nava drove a offering from the Phillies' Joe Blanton - the first pitch he had seen in the big leagues - into the right-field stands for a grand slam on Saturday night, he entered the record books.
When Boston's Daniel Nava drove a offering from the Phillies' Joe Blanton - the first pitch he had seen in the big leagues - into the right-field stands for a grand slam on Saturday night, he entered the record books.
The only other player to hit his first major league pitch for a grand slam was Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Oakland A's in 2006. Jeremy Hermida of the Florida Marlins had a grand slam in his first at bat (but not the first pitch) in 2005.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other player with a grand slam in his first major league at-bat was Bill Duggleby, who did it for the Phillies against the New York Giants on April 21, 1898 in Baker Bowl, then known as National League Park, at Broad and Lehigh.
Weird injury of the week
Dioner Navarro has been out since Thursday with a stiff neck suffered when he dropped his wife and son off at the airport that morning.
"When I got out of the elevator, I looked to the right, and when I looked to the left, my neck popped," the Tampa Bay Rays' catcher told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's one of those freak things."
Gavin Floyd of the White Sox and Ted Lilly of the Cubs both had no-hitters alive on Sunday when a group of Chicago Blackhawks sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch.
"This was stunning," wrote Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. "How could there be a lack of hitting with Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Eager in the house?"
As Rogers pointed out, the only time opposing pitchers had no-hitters for nine innings also was in Wrigley Field, back in 1917. The Cubs' Hippo Vaughn and Cincinnati's Fred Toney both pitched nine hitless innings before the Reds broke through on Vaughn in the 10th.
Comforts of home?
The Los Angeles Angels entered Monday night's game against Milwaukee as the major's hottest team, having won 13 of their last 16, including 11 of 14 games on a recently concluded road trip. Baltimore, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Arizona haven't won 11 road games all season.
Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals was named the NL player of the week Monday. The righthander was 2-0 with 22 strikeouts and a 2.19 ERA in his first two big-league starts. . . . Oscar Azocar, who played for the Yankees and San Diego from 1990 to 1992, died Monday in Valencia, Venezuela. He was 45. . . . The Cardinals signed 35-year-old Jeff Suppan, who was 44-26 in three seasons with St. Louis, through 2007.