St. Louis has played on Sunday night in two straight weeks as part of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” game, with another appearance slated for May 25, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is sick of having a different schedule than other teams.
Here’s what he told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
That reply, “Consider yourself lucky”–that doesn’t mean anything to us. Our job is to win games, and I feel that this is something that affects us one way or another. Nobody is going to give us any sympathy on this but if you’re seeking an honest reply and what they keep telling us–consider it fortunate–it just doesn’t fit to us. …
It is a compliment that they want to see us on the national scene. (But) I don’t think it’s taken into consideration at all that it makes it harder for us. You get back at 4 a.m. and have to play the next day? You’re telling me that’s not going to affect you? We’re not looking for excuses, but it’s happened to us. You start watching guys get run down.
It’s certainly a fair point and one I’ve heard raised by prominent NFL teams that frequently play on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday nights instead of the usual Sunday afternoons, but like Matheny says it’s tough to feel sorry for a team when the reason their schedule is different is that they’re consistently so good and everyone wants to watch them in primetime.
Goold notes that the Cardinals’ upcoming May 25 appearance on “Sunday Night Baseball” is followed the next day by an afternoon game against the Yankees, so that’s exactly the type of quick turnaround Matheny is frustrated by.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.