And That Happened: Sunday’s playoff highlights

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Tigers 3, Yankees 0: Anibal Sanchez: great midseason pickup, no?  And I don’t care if it would or would not have made a difference in the outcome of the game, Joe Girardi’s postgame comments about the need for Major League Baseball to get on the stick with instant replay are on point. The call on the Infante play in the eighth was clownshoes.

And that would still be the case even if the Yankees weren’t all decrepit zombies at the plate lately. Even if it was a 10-0 game at the time of the call, it is an utter embarrassment that millions of people at home can instantly see that a call was missed yet MLB insists that it would somehow disrupt the flow of the game to allow the umpires to have the same benefit of technology.

But really, man, the Yankees offense is a car crash. Well, as ugly as one anyway. Unlike the Yankees offense, crashing cars tend to hit things.

Cardinals 6, Giants 4: I spent part of yesterday afternoon watching Felix Bumgartner in freefall. Then I spent about an hour and a half last night watching Madison Bumgarner do the same thing. Coincidence? I think n– er, yeah, it probably is a coincidence.  Anyway, the Cardinals were no-hit between the fourth and ninth innings. Those first four, though, like that first step for Bumgartner, were a real doozy.

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.