And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 8, Cardinals 6:  Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, the Mets saved the Braves’ bacon, at least for another day. The Cards had a 6-1 lead after seven, but the bullpen — obviously channeling April — blew it. Or La Russa blew it with the parade of relievers and intentional walks to load the bases and all of that kind of nonsense. Whatever the case, a six-run ninth against a Mets team that looked to be mailing in this getaway day game for the first several innings is inexcusable. If the Cards fall a game short of the wild card, this will the game they look at and wonder how in the frak they let it get away.

Rays 15, Yankees 8: The Rays shave a half game off Boston’s lead by pounding New York. Matt Moore: money. He struck out 11 in 5 innings in his first big league start. I have no idea if Tampa Bay will catch Boston, but I know that they’re gonna be good for a long time after this year.

Blue Jays 4, Angels 3: The Angels, alas, do not make up that half game. Walkoff shot for Edwin Encarnacion in the 12th. Check out the home run call. Pretty fantastic stuff.

Nationals 6, Phillies 1: Look: the 2010 Phillies were pretty dominant in September and they lost in the NLCS, so it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But dudes, seriously. When something called a “Brad Peacock” shuts you down for nearly six innings you have to take a look in the mirror. A sweep by the Nats, who now look to kill the Braves’ season this weekend. Six straight south for the Phillies.

Orioles 6, Tigers 5: The O’s have won eight of ten. Yes, last year taught us not to draw too much from what happens after the meaningful baseball games end, but it’s been nice to see Baltimore play like they mean it these past couple of weeks.

Indians 11, White Sox 2: Asdrubal Cabrera drove in five. Tribe starter Jeanmar Gomez won his fifth straight since being recalled from Columbus. Speaking of guys going up to Cleveland from Columbus, I’ll be at the Indians-Twins game tonight, sitting in the Tribe Social Suite with other bloggery types. I mean look: when you can drive 130 miles to see the 2011 Minnesota Twins play, that’s just something you do.

Twins 3, Mariners 2: Oh, maybe I shouldn’t hate on the Twins too much. They’ll be heading in to Cleveland on a winning streak. A one-game winning streak after dropping 11 straight. Rene Tosoni hit an RBI double with two outs in the ninth to win it.  No, I have no idea who Rene Tosoni is. If you would have asked me before I read the box score I would have assumed that he was a composer. Light opera. Maybe got into some television scoring in the early 50s before he died.

Athletics 4, Rangers 3: Oakland avoids the sweep behind a bullet-dodging start from Trevor Cahill. Ten hits in six and two thirds, but the Rangers weren’t able to string ’em together well enough to do too much damage.

Dodgers 8, Giants 2: Matt Kemp: 4 for 5 with a two-run homer and three doubles. M-V-P! M-V-P!

Astros 9, Rockies 6: Four RBI for Carlos Lee, three for Matt Downs.  Alex White gave up five runs in four and two-thirds innings, hitting two batters and throwing two wild pitches. But hey, at least he’s not in Ohio.

Tyler Moore: the ballplayer everyone is talking about

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For those who don’t know, Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant product. It’s Amazon’s version of Siri or Google Home, but you can use it for a lot more stuff if you have a device such as the Amazon Echo. With simple voice commands it can turn on your lights, turn up your air conditioner, play your music, order stuff you’re running out of, answer questions you have and a bunch of other things. It may also snitch on you to the CIA, but that’s a topic left for another day.

Anyway, Amazon is pretty proud of its product and today sent me a press release touting how fans use Alexa to “get player stats, team records, starting lineups and more!” Amazon also gave me a list telling me how baseball fans have used Alexa in the past year:

“As we enter the MLB playoffs this year, we wanted to share a snapshot of the most asked about MLB players and teams among fans throughout this season, according to Alexa.”

Cool! I love lists. Let’s see who Alexa users are searching for!

Top 10 Asked About Players this MLB Season:

1. Tyler Moore
2. Albert Pujols
3. Aaron Judge
4. Mike Trout
5. Bryce Harper
6. David Ortiz
7. Alex Rodriguez
8. Anthony Rizzo
9. Clayton Kershaw
10. Chris Young

I don’t have any problem with 2-9 on this list, but I gotta tell ya friends, I’m not sure that America’s most searched-for ballplayer is a guy who Baseball-Reference.com lists first as a “pinch hitter” who is sporting a line of .206/.247/.377 for a team ranking 28th out of 30 in attendance this year. I’m also skeptical of Chris Young at number ten, and that’s even if you put the search totals for BOTH Chris Youngs together and count them as one.

It’s possible that there is far greater national curiosity for Moore and Young than I realized.  It’s also possible that Moore and Young’s parents are just heavy duty Alexa users.

I suspect though, quite strongly, that Alexa — or the P.R. staff touting its abilities — is having trouble distinguishing between Tyler Moore and Mary Tyler Moore, who passed away back in January and was likely the subject of many more people’s curiosity than the Nationals’ 2008 16th round draft pick. Though, I’m sure, if given the chance, Tyler could turn the world on with his smile too.

All of which might be a bit distressing for Amazon, given that it’s their business to make sure customers get what they’re looking for. It’s good for us as human beings, however, because it suggests that, perhaps, we are much farther away from the Rise of the Machines than we sometimes suspect.

Brad Ausmus seems to know he’s a dead man walking

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The Tigers have been terrible and the embarked on a rebuild this summer, shipping off Justin Verlander and multiple other players. Miguel Cabrera is hurt and may never be his old MVP-level self. It is, without a doubt, that the Tigers and their fans are about to begin a new chapter in the franchise’s history.

Such new chapters usually involve new managers. Fourth-year manager Brad Ausmus is still at the helm and the Tigers have made no public statement about his future. Ausmus, however, is a lame duck, with his contract ending a week from Sunday. He is also no fool. He seems to know very well that he’s not going to be around next year. From Katie Strang of The Athletic:

Ausmus, of course, has been on the hot seat several times. When Detroit exercised his option for this year, their refusal to extend it sent a pretty clear signal.

If this is the end of the road in Detroit for Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager, it will end with him having missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm of a star-studded team that was expected to Win Now, as they say. Yes, there were a lot of issues with the Tigers — their bullpen has always been a problem and the brass made a lot of questionable choices in signings and trades over the past few years — but there is no escaping the fact that Ausmus’ Tigers under achieved.