Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce teamed up again last night, going on stage together at the ESPYs to present the award for “Best Moment.”
Joyce did most of the talking, saying:
Every umpire strives for the same thing, not to be noticed. So much for that. But it’s good to be here and good to be alongside a terrific young man and pitcher in Armando, who will always be remembered for his grace and class, regardless of what the record books say.
I’m in total agreement about Galarraga, who couldn’t possibly have handled this whole situation any better and certainly deserves all the recognition he wants.
Joyce has also handled things well given the difficult circumstances, but ultimately he caused those circumstances by failing to perform his job well and for whatever reason it rubs me the wrong way to see him celebrating that fact, even if it’s being done in the name of celebrating Galarraga. Of course, if it doesn’t bother Galarraga then it probably shouldn’t bother me. After all, it did get him in the same room as Brooklyn Decker.
Galarraga was dropped from the Tigers’ rotation and demoted to Triple-A last week, but has yet to start a game back in Toledo.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.