8/2/2014 6:51 P.M. ET
Frieri apologetic, D-backs upset over hit-by-pitch
Goldschmidt goes on disabled list after breaking left hand
By Tom Singer and Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Aaron Hill best described the feeling in the D-backs' clubhouse after news that All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was being placed on the disabled list with a fractured left hand.
"I don't know if that's a common injury, but it seems like we've just been kind of snake bitten," he said before Saturday's game against the Pirates.
Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch from Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning of Friday's game, won by Pittsburgh, 9-4. Goldschmidt entered in the top of the ninth as a defensive replacement and had just the one plate appearance, after having been slated to have a full day off. He stayed in the game and took first base.
Frieri was apologetic after he heard the news of the first baseman's injury and said the pitch was not intentional.
"I was so sorry when I heard he had to go on the DL," he said. "I didn't think it was that bad.
"I don't even know if I ever faced him before. But even if he had done something against me, I'm not the kind of guy who would want to get even for that. I pitch inside, and I'll keep doing that. With the Angels, I stayed away, to both left- and right-handed hitters, and when I came here I knew I had to change."
D-backs catcher Miguel Montero, however, was upset by the pitch -- a 93-mph fastball that ran high and inside on the right-handed Goldschmidt -- and by the fact that several D-backs players had suffered injuries after being hit in the hand. Hill and former D-back Willie Bloomquist both missed time with hand injuries last year, and outfielder A.J. Pollock is currently on a rehab assignment after a pitch from the Reds' Johnny Cueto fractured his right hand in May.
"Obviously the guys have been trying to go in on our guys and not going in to get them out," Montero said. "Apparently, they're going in up to hurt them because they're going in too high. ... It's been happening over and over and over and over, and it's just getting old, you know?
"Guys command the fastball that well, and then just, 'Oh, one came out of my hand like that, and I hurt him in the hand.' What if it's in the head?"
Pitcher Bronson Arroyo was a little more understanding. Although he was upset Goldschmidt may miss the rest of the season, he said he doesn't expect opposing pitchers to throw down the middle -- no matter the score.
"I find it hard to believe that anybody on the defensive side of the ball could honestly say there's ... some point in the game where you don't throw inside," he said.
"There's a lot of guys that are fighting tooth-and-nail to stay in the Major Leagues, and to tell a guy like that to give up two runs in the ninth inning because you're team's up by seven because you can't pitch inside is crazy."
The D-backs have been battling injuries all season. Five pitchers are currently on the disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Goldschmidt is now the third everyday starter to wind up on the DL with a serious injury.
"It hurts, because obviously all the injuries that we've had all year and we've been battling through it. Now this major injury right here, and it just hurts," Montero said.
Cole throws bullpen session instead of rehab start
PHOENIX -- Instead of stepping atop the mound of Indianapolis' Victory Field, as originally scheduled, Gerrit Cole on Saturday stepped into Jim Benedict's laboratory.
Under the watchful eyes of the Mr. Goodwrench of Pirates pitchers, Cole threw a bullpen session in his ongoing search for, in manager Clint Hurdle's words, "the feeling he had before the initial setback."
By that, Hurdle meant the sore shoulder that first sent Cole to the DL on June 8. Cole returned from that injury, very briefly, on June 28, and was back on the DL with a sore latissimus muscle 11 days later.
At the time of the 23-year-old righty's return to the DL, Hurdle removed any gray area from the second comeback. "We want him to get right, so when he returns, he's back to pitching freely," Hurdle had said.
Although the end result was good, that sense apparently wasn't there while Cole was blanking Rochester for five innings in Monday's first rehab outing. So the second rehab outing was placed on hold.
"He made a comment. I made a comment. He's working on getting his game together. Repeating the delivery. The different slider, curve, change slots," Hurdle said with a simple shrug. "That's it. No smoking mirrors, or trickery."
Hurdle presumably referred to the popular perception that Cole's aborted rehab start set up an earlier than anticipated return into the Bucs rotation.
"There's no urgency, because of a pennant race. His health is the first concern, and the correct mechanics to pitch is the second concern," Hurdle said. "We told him to take the appropriate time and honestly evaluate how he feels and how the ball is coming out of his hand. So when he gets back, he's able to throw it in gear and get after it."
First number, last word
13: Times Russell Martin has been hit by a pitch, through Friday, the most in the Majors. Teammates Starling Marte and Neil Walker were tied for fourth, with 11 each. As a team, the Pirates led MLB with 59 hit-by-pitches.
"We'll pitch the way we feel we need to, to be effective, to get outs. To say, you're five runs ahead so you should start pitching away from the batter ... no, I wouldn't agree with that." - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, responding to one of the criticisms leveled at Ernesto Frieri for getting too far in on Paul Goldschmidt in the ninth inning of a 9-4 game, breaking a bone in the Arizona first baseman's left hand.
• Neil Walker was scratched from Saturday's lineup with lower-back tightness, as a precaution. Walker was considered available off the bench.
• With his eighth win in Friday night's comeback, Tony Watson tied Edinson Volquez for the team lead. No one is predicting the lefty reliever will be able to maintain that status, but, if he does, he would be the second reliever in club history to share the lead in wins.
In 1959, ElRoy Face (18-1) matched Vern Law (18-9) as top winner on the Bucs' staff. The last Pittsburgh reliever to post wins in double figures was Jeff Robinson, with 11 in 1988.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.