And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Marlins 8, Astros 6: Houston put a late scare into the fish, but
it was all for naught. Florida wins its fourth in a row, and now sit
3.5 behind Philly. As Pinto notes, having guys getting on base in front of Hanley Ramirez is a good, good thing for the Marlins.

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4: You have to think that this is the end
of the line for Sergio Mitre (5 IP, 6 H, 5 R). And don’t tell me that
only three of those runs were earned. Cano was charged with an error on
that throw to second, but it looked like Mitre really was the one to
blame. And even if he wasn’t, Cano didn’t give up that triple to Joe
Inglett. So, sure, I’ve accepted the fact that no one wants to make
Phil Hughes a starter this year. How about a good old fashioned four
man rotation? Joba rules, schmoba rules; all four of the Yankees good
starters are the kinds of guys that could pull it off. Sabathia would
probably thrive on it. Maybe Joba would even revert back to that
quick-pitch, hyper-efficiency thing he broke out a couple of starts
ago. OK, I’ll shut up now. I realize that by obsessing on the best team
in baseball’s fifth starter that I’m starting to sound like some
deranged Yankees fan.

Athletics 9, Orioles 1: Mark Ellis (5-5, 4 RBI) and Gio Gonzales
(6 IP, 7 H, 0 ER) lead the charge against Baltimore, and now the As
have taken nine straight from the Os. I haven’t mentioned it much for a
long time, but now is as good a time as any to note that the Matt
Wieters Takes Over the World Campaign is currently floundering
(.263/.309/.374).

Red Sox 6, Tigers 5: After being stymied by the Yankees, the
Sox, surprisingly, get to Edwin Jackson (4 IP, 9 H, 4 ER). I guess
that’s home cookin’ for ya.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: Kyle Lohse gets his first win in months.
Johnny Cueto had to leave the game early with a hip injury. Pujols flew
out with the bases loaded in the fifth. Man, that guy just ain’t clutch.

Rockies 11, Cubs 5: Troy Tulowitzki was a one-man gang, hitting
for the cycle and going 5 for 5 with seven RBI. Tulo said after the
game that, under most circumstances, he would have stopped at second on
the hit that ended up being the triple, but that Brad Hawpe had egged
him on earlier in the game to stretch anything even close in order to
get the cycle. I guess I don’t have any problem with that, even though
Colorado had an seven run lead at the time. Anyone know if anyone ever
willingly stopped at first base to get a single to complete the cycle
on a hit that should have been extra bases? That’s the kind of guy I’d
go after. Tom Gorzelanny won’t be inspiring any more of those “the Cubs
steal Gorzelanny” articles like we saw last week after this start (1.1
IP, 6 H, 6 ER), and then he had to leave the game after taking one off
the foot.

Diamondbacks 7, Mets 4: Diamondback Trent Oeltjen made his Major
League debut on the 6th, has played in four games, and now has three
homers. He’s Australian, and says that people back home are watching. I
know baseball is increasingly popular down there with leagues and
everything, but I get a giggle thinking of people gathered around a TV,
taking it in with a certain WTF-ness, much the way people of a certain
age here used to watch Aussie football on ESPN in the early 80s. Miguel
Montero had three doubles, Doug Davis gave up two runs and four hits in
seven innings and the Dbacks have won eight of ten.

Angels 8, Rays 7: Vlad hit his 399th and 400th career homers,
the latter of which proved to be the game winner. According to the game
story, the milestone home run was discussed at the Guerrero home over
the weekend: “My mom kept telling me there’s two more. My brother
Wilton had bad math and said it was one more,” said Vlad. I get this
image of 35 year-old Wilton and 34 year-old Vlad sitting at the dinner
table with their mom, arguing like my brother and I did when we were
kids. They’re eating pasta with marinara, and their mom made them take
their shirts off because they’re messy. Then mom smacks Wilton and
chides him for (a) being bad at math; and (b) slurping his spaghetti.
Wilton cries and Vlad retreats to a peaceful place deep in his head
where no one argues. Then my dad gets up from the table, pours himself
a tall glass of liquor, walks into his den and grumbles about how his
life didn’t turn out the way he imagined it would. Um, I mean Vlad and
Wilton’s dad. Not my dad. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an
appointment with my therapist I have to keep.

Dodgers 4, Giants 2: Matt Kemp (3-run double) and Hiroki Kuroda
(6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) weren’t having any of that “watch out for the
Giants” talk. As expected, “Ramirez was loudly booed by a sellout crowd
in his first game in San Francisco since coming back from a 50-game
suspension for violating baseball’s drug rules — payback for the
treatment former Giants slugger Barry Bonds used to get in Los
Angeles.” I knew it was too much to ask Giants fans to show a little
grace and understanding and take the high road on that point, but I had
kind of hoped they would have anyway. I mean, sure, it’s satisfying to
boo Manny, but wouldn’t not booing him and, instead, just
greeting him with silence send a big F-U to Dodgers’ fans? Or is that
too much nuance to expect 40,000 people to grok?

Mariners 6, White Sox 4: Not only did the Sox lose this one, but
after the game they claimed my mortgage and credit card debt after I
put it on waivers. Seriously, you guys should try this. Kenny Williams
will take anything
.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.

Brad Ausmus out as Tigers manager

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The Tigers just announced that they will not be bringing Brad Ausmus back as manager in 2018. His contract was going to be up at the end of this season and they have decided not to renew it. Ausmus and his staff will manage the club for the final week of the season.

In the press release announcing the move, Tigers GM Al Avila said “[a]s we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best that we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position.” He went on to praise Ausmus for “doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances, especially this season,” a clear reference to the club’s decision at mid-season to blow things up. Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez were traded in July and August, as were some more minor players. The club is clearly embarking on a lengthy rebuild of which Ausmus, who was brought in four years ago to lead a contending team, will not be a part.

In his four seasons at the helm the Tigers are 312-325. He won 90 games and the AL Central in his first season in 2014, but the Tigers were swept out of the ALDS in three games. In the past three seasons they finished fifth, second and will either finish in fourth or fifth this year. Injuries and poor bullpens have been the biggest problem, but clearly this Tigers team was supposed to win more over the past four years.

It’s unclear what direction the Tigers will take in their managerial search, but it’s clear they’re going to go outside of the organization, as Avila said in his statement that the status of the current coaching staff will be contingent on the wishes of whatever new manager they hire.

Happy trails, Brad Ausmus. Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager is now Baseball’s Most Handsome Unemployed coach.