No Free Passes. Sunday marked the first anniversary of the last base on balls—an intentional walk, in fact—received by Phillie infielder Kim Batiste. Fittingly, Batiste was not awarded a base on balls in his four plate appearances against the Padres on Sunday, giving him 160 plate appearances this season without a walk and 180 in the past year. Should he go the entire season without one, he would be in select company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the players with the most plate appearances in a season without a walk are pitcher Cy Young (148 in 1904), infielder Craig Robinson (148 in 1973) and pitcher Ed Walsh (155 in 1907).
Rookie Mistake. A rare sort of error was committed last Friday by Atlanta rookie catcher Javier Lopez in the first game of a Brave-Cardinal doubleheader. With a St. Louis runner at second, Lopez used his mask to stop a pitch that had bounced and was rolling slowly away from home plate. Card manager Joe Torre, a former catcher, alerted home plate umpire Tom Hallion, who hadn't seen the play, to the violation, noting that it's illegal for a catcher to use his mask to touch a ball in play. First base umpire Angel Hernandez did see it, however, so the runner was awarded third base, and Lopez was charged with an error.