The gods just keep punishing the Mets

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090804_castillo.jpgMore bad news for the New York Mets: David Wright will be going on the DL after being attacked by an angry house cat while on his way to the ballpark on Tuesday.

OK so I made that up, but the way things are going, would you be surprised?

It wasn’t Wright who was hurt on Tuesday, but Luis Castillo, who sprained his ankle while slipping on the dugout steps. You might assume that some clown (Omar Minaya?) dropped a banana peel for Castillo to stumble over, and you wouldn’t be that far off. It was actually a glove left innocently on the steps that he was trying to avoid when he fell.

OK so losing Castillo isn’t like losing Carlos Beltran. Or Carlos Delgado. Or Jose Reyes. (Want the whole list? Find it here. And beware, it’s lengthy.) But he is a starter – and a pretty decent one at that – who was hitting .377 with a .473 OBP over the last month.

So what exactly did the Mets do to anger the baseball gods? Is it Bill Buckner’s revenge? Is the new stadium cursed? Maybe it’s a nasty bit of karma for those putrid shirts J.J. Putz was allowed to design.

Either way, this is getting ridiculous. And I think it’s about time the ghosts of the game ease up on the Mets and their fans. But just in case they don’t, the team might want to consider wrapping Johan Santana in bubble wrap.

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On a side note, is it time to stop pitching to Albert Pujols when he comes to the plate with the bases loaded? After hitting a grand slam to beat the Mets on Tuesday, here’s his line this season with the bases juiced: 7-for-9, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs. Intentionally walk him every time and he’s 0-for-0 with 0 HRs and 9 RBIs. I mean this tongue in cheek. I realize Tuesday’s blast was in extra innings. I understand there’s no guarantee you get the next guy out. Just wanted to point out that Pujols is kinda sorta good. Newsflash, I know.

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Dustin Pedroia leaves game with a sprained left wrist

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Bad news for the Red Sox today. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was involved in a collision at first base with Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Pedroia stayed in the game at the time but was replaced by Josh Rutledge in the second.

The injury: sprained left wrist. Which, no, is not good, but there was some initial concern that he may have aggravated the knee which has been bothering him of late. They’ll no doubt provide an update after the game. As of now, the Sox lead the Sox 1-0 in the bottom of the third.

 

Brad Ausmus is not a fan of the Tigers’ schedule

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Everyone in baseball has a tough schedule. The season is a grind. Some teams, however, due to weather and happenstance, have stretches which are a tougher grind than others. The Tigers are in one of those right now.

Detroit played the Astros on Thursday night, and lost in a three-hour and thirty minute contest. It was a getaway day, er, night, and they didn’t get to Chicago to face the White Sox until the wee wee hours of the morning on Friday. Waiting for them: a double header which was to start at 4pm. The first game of it was rained out, though, so they woke up after a short “night’s sleep for nothing. Then the nightcap was delayed over an hour, giving them another late bedtime. On Saturday it was another double header, so it was another early wakeup and another long day at the park. And, of course, another day game on Sunday, before a flight to Kansas City.

This stretch has made Brad Ausmus grumpy. Here he was after Friday night’s late finish:

“Give some credit to the White Sox pitchers, give some credit to the schedule we have. We’ll try to get about 5 hours of sleep and come back tomorrow and play two more.”

He was particularly miffed at the scheduling of two doubleheaders in a row:

“You can’t control the weather but I think it would have been prudent to play the second game tomorrow in August,” he said. “That would have made a lot more sense to me.”

Ausmus did note, however, that it’s not the White Sox’ job to make a schedule that is convenient for their division rivals.

You can look at this in a few different ways. One one level, Ausmus is understandably upset about a particularly arduous stretch of games. On another level he’s probably trying to protect his players, who have looked flat, by changing the subject from their play to the schedule. On a different level, you could say that he’s making excuses for a team that is underachieving. And, of course, those three things are not mutually exclusive.

The thing is, though, that the Tigers have lost seven of ten, are five out of first place, four games under .500 and could conceivably leave their series with the Royals this week in dead last in the Central. Ultimately, extenuating circumstances like the weather and an unfortunate schedule don’t save a manager whose talented and highly-paid team struggles like the Tigers have. If they don’t turn it around soon, Ausmus could be hitting the bricks and the Tigers could be fixing to sell off and rebuild.