And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 19, Orioles 7: This was a multifaceted butt-whupping, but it got started with Chris Tillman’s butt. Which is a shame considering that five short months ago he was in the Best Shape of His Life. All of those runs for the Twins despite hitting only one homer. It was a Gashouse Gorillas-style conga line around the base paths. I wish Ron Gardehire had kept Anthony Swarzak in the game for a third inning of relief, however, because this game really needed a save.

Red Sox 5, White Sox 1: Did you know that Kevin Youkilis was the first player who was ever traded by a team to then face his old team in a baseball game?  It’s true! At least if you read the stuff in the Boston papers over the past couple of days. Youk was good enough — he went 3 for 4 — but Adrian Gonzalez drove in four, including a three-run homer. Aaron Cook allowed zero earned runs over seven innings.

Marlins 5, Nationals 3: Well, we missed out on any Ozzie Guillen-Bryce Harper fights, so it sort of feels like a letdown. But Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Carlos Lee drove in two.

Indians 3, Rays 2: 11 pitchers were used in a nine inning game. A ball that was initially called a homer was changed to a double after a replay review revealed the initial call to be incorrect. If Bud Selig had his way the latter would never happen because it screws up the pace of the game. Sometimes you just have to laugh so you don’t cry.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 3: The Reds announce that Joey Votto is going to have surgery and then they go out and find themselves down 4-0 in the first inning, effectively ending things before they start.  There have been better nights in Cincinnati.

Mariners 9, Royals 4: Gonna go out on a limb and say that the Royals did not win the Jonathan Sanchez-Melky Cabrera trade. Sanchez: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R. His ERA balloons to 7.76. Casper Wells drove in five with a three-run homer and a two-run triple.

Yankees 6, Blues Jays 3: Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam, but that was the least of the Blue Jays worries last night, as they lost Jose Bautista for what will likely be an extended period. Tendon problems on power hitters = potential ugliness.

Tigers 8, Angels 6: Quintin Berry had three hits, two stolen bases and scored twice. Brennan Boesch had a two-run homer. Detroit has won 11 of 15 and are now two and a half behind the White Sox. I called them a sleeping giant before the All-Star break. The giant stirs.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: A nice duel between Lance Lynn and Mike Fiers, but neither figured in the decision thanks to Jonathan Axford giving up three runs on three hits and two walks while blowing a 2-0 lead in the ninth.

Phillies 3, Dodgers 2: Ryan Howard hit his first homer and, in doing so, picked up his first RBI of 2012. And tonight: Roy Halladay comes back. Slowly but surely the Phillies are becoming the Phillies again. But I strongly suspect it’s too late.

Astros 2, Padres 0: The Astros vs. the Padres had an official attendance of 26,000+. I assume the promotion was “free money night” or something.  Houston finally wins one on the road.

Rockies 5, Pirates 4: This one went into a rain delay in the top of the ninth with the Rockies up by three. I was tempted, before I went to sleep, to simply write it up, figuring that it was over. Then I thought “eh, Coors Field, anything can happen.” Wise choice, as the Pirates tied it up after the grounds crew dried it up when Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run bomb. Dexter Fowler won it on a sac fly in the bottom of the ninth. I wonder how many actually stuck around for that.

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.