Tigers hang on for second straight win against Royals

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It wasn’t easy, but the Tigers hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Royals this afternoon at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. After taking the first two games of the series, Detroit now owns a 2 1/2 game lead over Kansas City in the American League Central. Meanwhile, the Royals are temporarily a full game behind the Athletics for the top Wild Card spot in the American League and find themselves tied with the Mariners for the second spot.

This was a day of missed opportunities for the Royals, starting with the very first inning. After Alcides Escobar led off the game with a double against Max Scherzer, Ned Yost had Nori Aoki — one of the game’s hottest hitters- drop down a sacrifice bunt. The decision didn’t pay off, as Scherzer got Josh Willingham and Alex Gordon struck out swinging to end the threat. We saw a similar scenario in the third inning, as Jarrod Dyson and Escobar reached on consecutive singles. Aoki dropped down a sacrifice bunt again, but Willingham followed with a foul pop-up and Gordon struck out swinging again. Yes, you have to give Scherzer a little credit here, but giving him free outs isn’t the best idea.

After Torii Hunter got the Tigers on the board with a solo homer in the fourth and the Royals drew even with an RBI single from Escobar in the fifth, things really got weird in the bottom of the sixth. The Royals had runners on second and third with one out when Omar Infante lined out to second baseman Ian Kinsler. Kinsler made an ill-advised throw in an attempt to double off the runner at second base, but shortstop Eugenio Suarez missed it and Salvador Perez came around to score to give the Royals a 2-1 lead. We then saw mass confusion, as the Tigers attempted to get the play reviewed on the grounds that Perez didn’t step on third base after the catch by Kinsler before coming home. It turns out that the play wasn’t reviewable, but the umpires got together and reversed the call, ruling Perez out. One wonders if they were influenced by the play being shown on the big screen and the reaction of the Tigers’ players and the crowd, but the most important thing is that they got the call right. Still, it was another missed opportunity for the Royals and they had reason to be frustrated with the process involved.

Watch the controversial play below:

[mlbvideo id=”36430619″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

The Tigers took the lead in the seventh after pinch-hitter Tyler Collins and Rajai Davis delivered back-to-back RBI singles to chase James Shields from the ballgame. Eric Hosmer got the Royals closer with an RBI single off Joba Chamberlain in the eighth before Joe Nathan came on for the save in the ninth. Mike Moustakas flew out to left field for the first out, but Dyson and Escobar followed with back-to-back singles to bring the tying to run into scoring position. Aoki grounded out to second base before Yost made his final big decision of the game by bringing Raul Ibanez to the plate as a pinch-hitter in place of Willingham. Yes, the same Ibanez who came into Saturday’s action batting .168 over 267 plate appearances this season. There would be no heroics in store, as Nathan got Ibanez to ground out to first base to end it. It was a compelling and entertaining ballgame, but a very tough loss for Kansas City.

The series will wrap up tomorrow afternoon. Rick Porcello will start for the Tigers and Jeremy Guthrie will pitch for the Royals.

UPDATE: About the controversial play in the sixth inning, Chris Iott of MLive.com reports that the umpires told a pool reporter that the video on the scoreboard was not a factor on the reversal of the call and that the decision was made due to umpire consensus. That’s not going to satisfy Royals fans, but there you go.

Buster Posey has opted out of the season

Buster Posey has opted out
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Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The San Francisco Giants have issued a statement saying that they “fully support Buster’s decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.”

Posey and his wife are adopting identical twin girls who were born prematurely and who are currently in the NICU and will be for some time. They are stable, but obviously theirs is not a situation that would be amenable to the demands of a baseball season as it’s currently structured.

Poset had missed all of the Giants’ workouts so far, Recently he said, “I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well. I think I want to see kind of how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. I think it would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, not only around you here but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country.” He said that he talked about playing with his wife quite a great deal but, really, this seems like a no-brainer decision on his part.

In opting out Posey is foregoing the 60-game proration of his $21.4 million salary. He is under contract for one more year at $21.4 million as well. The Giants can pick up his 2022 club option for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million.

A veteran of 11 seasons, Posey has earned about $124 million to date. Which seems to be the common denominator with players who have opted out thus far. With the exception of Joe Ross and Héctor Noesí, the players to have opted out thus far have earned well above $10 million during their careers. Players that aren’t considered “high risk” and elect not to play do not get paid and do not receive service time.