And That Happened: Thursday's Scores and Highlights

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Trey Hillman OK.jpgRoyals 6, Indians 4: Look on the bright side, Trey: not many managers can say they went out a winner.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Johan Santana and Josh Johnson each went seven innings allowing a single run. I’m going to assume that Fernando Nieve’s pitch in the dirt that allowed the winning run to score was a function of overuse making it impossible for him to simply throw a ball sixty feet any longer.

Padres 1, Giants 0: Work fast? Check. Change speeds? Check. Throw strikes? Check.  Mat Latos follows Ray Miller’s rules to the letter, one-hitting the Giants in a cool two hours and five minutes. He singled in the game’s only run too. Oh, and that one hit he gave up? Infield single that bounced off his glove, and they almost got the runner anyway.

Rangers 2, Athletics 1: Two balks were called on the Rangers by home plate umpire Bob Davidson. The second one was ticky tack according to Ron Washington: “That was Balkin’ Bob back there. That’s all I can tell you.”  Maybe its his rehab or something, but I like the new, 100% honest Ron Washington.  If he and Charlie Manuel got a film crew and went on a cross country tour together during which they basically just talk about stuff I’d watch that every week.

Astros 4, Cardinals 1:  Getting swept by Houston isn’t going to go on the postseason highlight reel, that’s for sure. Chris Carpenter and Carlos Lee jawed at each other after Lee popped out in the third inning. It was ostensibly about yelling or emotions or something, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out.  All I can figure is that there was some unwritten rules violation or another involved. Really, baseball is becoming as complicated as Byzantine tax law or Bolero dancing or something these days.

Tigers 6, Yankees 0: Just about every game yesterday had “getaway day” written all over it, this one included. Sure, most of these teams did actually have flights waiting for them, but they were charters. It’s not like anyone had to play as though they were in such a hurry.

Nationals 14, Rockies 6: The Rockies bullpen is lucky they called this one after eight innings, because there is a limit to how much embarrassment anyone can take. Ryan Zimmerman hit two homers and drove in six.  That was nice and all, but they probably shouldn’t have been playing this one in the first place. The rain was just too hard, the basepaths became filled with puddles and someone could have gotten hurt.

Orioles 6, Mariners 5: King Felix handed Brandon League a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning, but
League frittered it away via a leadoff homer to Corey Patterson — Corey
Patterson?! — yes, Corey Patterson, a bunch of base runners and then a
grand slam to Luke Scott. Mike Sweeney homered, and then he threatened all of his teammates into giving him high fives in the dugout.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, I’ve lifted the ban on using the Mariners’ name because, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Larry LaRue was allowed to stand in the reporters’ scrum in the locker room after this game. Maybe Mike Sweeney is still shunning him — no quotes from him about his homer in LaRue’s story — but apparently some players have decided to get on with their lives. No reason for me not to do the same.

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.