On Friday night, Takashi Saito was pitching to Brian McCann in the eighth inning when a passed ball resulted in Clint Barmes reaching first base after swinging and missing.
The ball drilled the umpire in the shoulder before winding its way to the backstop. That led to Dexter Fowler's two-run single that padded the Rockies' eventual 5-2. win.
Could the mix-up have been due to Brian McCann's vision struggles, which has required LASIK surgery and goggles over the past two years?
Nope. Instead, it's Saito's own struggles, as Mark Bowman of MLB.com found out . Saito's limited version at night has forced Brave catchers to abandon finger signs, instead needing to touch various parts of the body to signal pitches.
Saito has a 2.87 ERA in 47 innings for the Braves, punching out 62 and walking just 13 in his first season with Atlanta. He spent 2009 with the Red Sox as a top setup man. Prior to that, he racked up 81 saves in three seasons for the Dodgers, finishing eighth in Cy Young voting in his rookie season.
-- Evan Brunell
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