The Cardinals beat the Marlins in extras last night, but umpire Bob Davidson made it all the harder when he screwed up a double-switch made by Mike Matheny which cost the Cards Allen Craig.
The short version: when Matheny put reliever Victor Marte into the game, he signaled “five” with his hands, meaning that he was taking over David Freese’s position in the lineup, with Freese being the third baseman or the five-position, defensively (he was batting seventh). After a batter had batted, however, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen came out and said told Davidson that Matheny meant the five-hole in the lineup, which had been occupied by Allen Craig.
Davidson inexplicably agreed with Guillen regarding what Matheny meant, said that the pitcher was supposed to be batting fifth now and that Allen Craig had to leave the game. This later led to the Cardinals having to use a pitcher to pinch hit in extra innings. Which worked out — he got an RBI — but still.
Later the on-field mics picked up Davidson telling Ozzie that he “f****d up,” and that Matheny had, in fact, told him that he wanted the pitcher in the seven-hole. Too late, of course.
Just another day in Mr. Davidson’s neighborhood.
Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.
Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.
Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.
In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.
Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.
So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.
If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.