White Sox 6, Tigers 3
This game was quite something. The particulars are that the Tigers gave up an early run, came back with two homers to take a 3-1 lead, then allowed a grand slam and solo homerun to give back the lead. Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 92 IP, 2.93 ERA, 2.31 FIP, 3.3 WAR) in sum, was a bit uneven allowing 5 runs (4 earned) across 5.1 innings, but he did strikeout six. However, the story of this game was a bit more than the above information, which could easily be gleaned from the box score. Let’s take a look:
- Immediately following Cabrera’s homerun, Chris Sale threw a pitch up and in to Prince Fielder.
- Prince was upset, but not confrontational. Leyland yelled at the umpire from his seat in the dugout.
- No warnings were issued.
- After Sanchez gave up some runs in the 6th, Putkonen came in and threw behind Ramirez, the second batter he faced.
- Ramirez started coming to the mound, pointing and yelling.
- Putkonen was ejected.
- The benches cleared.
- Leyland was ejected.
- Everyone went back to their benches.
- Leyland kept arguing.
- The benches were warned.
- Leyland finally realized he was ejected.
- The fans booed Ramirez during the rest of the at bat.
- Ramirez hurt himself running to first base.
So while the 14 lines above can nicely summarize it for anyone who missed it, it’s also important to evaluate the situation. I think Sale’s pitch was intentional and I don’t advocate throwing at anyone or fighting in baseball. However, the umpires have a responsibility to warn the benches to prevent further issues. Also, Putkonen did a nice job making sure the pitch was behind Ramirez and down near his backside, assuring there would be no injury. If the umpires want to effectively police this stuff, which they should, you have to issue warnings earlier and you can’t eject someone for throwing behind a guy when you haven’t issued warnings. Basically, Sale shouldn’t have done that, the umpires handled it like idiots, Putkonen did a nice job not to make his pitch dangerous, and the players on both sides did a nice job by not resulting to punches and whatnot. All in all, the Tigers lost 2 of 3 to the Sox, but Chris Sale is a legitimate ace, so you can’t be too upset about this one. They’ll have 15 more chances to beat the Sox, but they’ll turn their attention to the Rangers, who will see Doug Fister (6-5, 115 IP, 4.07 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 2.6 WAR) Friday at Comerica Park.
The Moment: Jim Leyland gets his money’s worth arguing the umpire’s terrible game management.