Tigers fire pitching coach Rick Knapp

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After beating the Giants 6-3 behind a strong outing from Rick Porcello, the Tigers terminated pitching coach Rick Knapp on Sunday, replacing him with bullpen coach Jeff Jones.

Knapp had spent 2 1/2 season as Detroit’s pitching coach after replacing the fired Chuck Hernandez.

The Tigers are 45-40, leaving them just a half-game back of Cleveland in the AL Central, and they just had both Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde named to the AL All-Star team, but they do rank 12th in the AL with a 4.40 ERA, leaving them ahead of only the Orioles and Royals.  Verlander is the team’s only starter with a sub-4.00 ERA.

Max Scherzer’s inconsistency and the lack of development from former first-round picks Porcello and Ryan Perry could have been factors in the dismissal.  Scherzer is 9-4 this season, but his ERA stands at 4.90 following another poor outing Saturday.  Porcello is at 4.96.  Perry, who was drafted with expectations that he’d emerge as a closer down the line, has an 8.20 ERA in 18 2/3 innings this season.

Must-Click Link: The Day a Mascot Got Ejected

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Today Jonah Keri gives us a fantastic story about a crazy game.

The Dodgers played the Expos in Montreal 28 years ago today. The game went 22 innings. It was a 1-0 game. More notable than the 21 and a half innings of scoreless ball, however, was the fact that Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda got the Expos mascot — Youppi — ejected. The Dodgers and Expos didn’t score much that year overall, but when have you ever seen a mascot ejected?

Some good lunchtime reading for y’all, complete with silly GIFs and a video of the whole dang game if you hate yourself so much that you’d watch it all in its entirety.

Nicholas Castellanos hit an inside-the-park homer that shouldn’t have been

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Last night the Yankees pasted the Tigers in Detroit, but the hometown crowd did get something entertaining to send them on their way: an inside-the-park homer from Nicholas Castellanos.

At least that’s technically what it was. It would be a single and a three-base error if our official scoring made any sense.

Watch the play below. It’s all put in motion by Jacoby Ellsbury‘s decision to try to make a slide catch on the ball, misjudging it and allowing it to skip over 100 feet to the wall:

Since Ellsbury didn’t touch it it wasn’t called an error — errors are rarely if ever called on poor plays that don’t result in a fielder actually touching the ball — but it was certainly a mental error to not let the ball bounce and ensure that it didn’t get past him. Especially with such a big lead.

Oh well, that’s baseball for you.