Umpire Jeff Nelson’s error on Omar Infante call costs Yankees (Video)

The Yankees were hurt by a brutal call during the eighth inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Tigers on Sunday that cost them two runs in a 3-0 loss.

Tigers second baseman Omar Infante was advancing from first to second on a two-out single to right by Austin Jackson. Right fielder Nick Swisher threw into second to catch Infante off the base, and Robinson Cano tagged him out. Unfortunately, second base umpire Jeff Nelson called Infante safe, keeping the inning going for Detroit.

The next better was pinch-hitter Avisail Cabrera, who blooped a single to right to score Infante and make it 2-0. Yankees manager Joe Girardi went out to replace pitcher Boone Logan, and was ejected after arguing with Nelson about the awful call.

Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to score Jackson, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. They eventually got out of a bases loaded jam and escaped down just 3-0, but not before the blown call cost them two runs.

Girardi was ticked off about the call after the loss.

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Derek Jeter has fractured ankle, out for playoffs (Video)

Derek Jeter is out for the postseason after fracturing his ankle while fielding a ground ball at short during the top of the 12th inning of ALCS Game 1 between the Yankees and Tigers on Saturday.

The Yankees shortstop was trying to field a grounder from Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta when he went down to the ground in obvious pain. He tried passing the ball to Robinson Cano to make a play, but his efforts were fruitless and Peralta reached on an infield single.

Jeter was carried off the field and replaced by Jayson Nix at shortstop. Detroit scored on the next batter to increase their lead to 6-4.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the media after the game that Jeter suffered a fractured ankle on the play and that he was out for three months. Eduardo Nunez will replace Jeter on the postseason roster.

Girardi also told the media that Alex Rodriguez was not an option to replace Jeter at shortstop and that it would either be Nix or Nunez playing shortstop.

“I wouldn’t do that. It’s just been too long,” Girardi said.

Rodriguez was a Gold Glove shortstop before switching to third base when he signed with the Yankees. He’s only played shortstop five games since joining the club.

Jeter has been bothered by an ankle injury since September. He left a Sept. 12 game at Boston with a sprained ankle and served as the team’s designated hitter the next few games while trying to heal. He also hurt his left foot on Oct. 10 against the Orioles.

Davey Johnson’s bullpen mismanagement costs Nationals

The Washington Nationals blew the biggest lead in a clinching game in MLB postseason history when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 9-7 in Game 5 of the NLDS on Friday night. The Nats gave up a 6-0 lead after three innings, and a 7-5 lead in the ninth. Though some may say it’s unfair to pin the loss on manager Davey Johnson in light of the team’s regular-season success — they led MLB with a 98-64 record — I can’t see it any other way.

The Nats were up 7-5 entering the 9th inning when reliever Drew Storen was brought in for the save. Storen, who underwent elbow surgery in April, was pitching at least an inning for the third day in a row for the first time all season (he had pitched three days in a row two other times in the season, but never an inning each time). He gave up a lead off double to Carlos Beltran on a laser off the wall. He got Matt Holliday to ground out on a breaking ball, and Allen Craig to strike out.

The Nats were an out away from the NLCS when Storen fell apart.

Storen had a 2-2 count on Yadier Molina before throwing two balls to walk the catcher. Then he went 1-2 on David Freese before throwing three straight balls to load the bases. At that point you figure he had lost his stuff and it was time to pull him, but Johnson gave him another shot to close the game.

Daniel Descalso swung at the first pitch and roped a ball that went off shortstop Ian Desmond’s glove for a two-run single to tie the game at 7. By then, Storen had given up two walks and two lasers out of the six batters he faced. He clearly didn’t have his stuff, and Johnson should have gone to the pen to bring in someone to get the last out of the inning to preserve the tie. But no, Johnson stubbornly stuck with Storen, who went 2-2 on Pete Kozma before allowing another line drive hit. Kozma’s two-run single made it 9-7 and gave the Cardinals a lead they would not relinquish.

Let’s look at priorities for a second.

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Nate McLouth barely misses out on home run off foul pole (Video)

The Orioles missed tying Game 5 of the ALDS against the Yankees by inches when umpires ruled that a fly ball hit by left fielder Nate McLouth was foul.

McLouth was batting in the top of the sixth with the Orioles down 1-0 went he blasted a 3-1 pitch deep down the right field line. The ball seemed to be foul, but then it started curving toward the pole at the last second.

The initial call by the right field umpire was that the ball was foul. The umpires gathered to review the play using instant replay, and let the original call on the field stand. McLouth struck out on the next pitch.

Later in the game, TBS sideline reporter Craig Sager says he spoke with an usher who believed the ball “nicked” the foul pole.

Replays were inconclusive, but after seeing zoomed-in, spot-shadowed looks on TBS, I believe it did touch the pole. The trajectory of the ball changed as it got to the pole.

Instead of being tied 1-1, the Orioles remained down 1-0 and didn’t get on the board until the eighth inning. They lost the game 3-1, and the Yankees advanced to the ALCS.

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Joba Chamberlain knocked out of game by flying broken bat (Video)

Joba Chamberlain left Game 4 of the ALDS between the Yankees and Orioles in the 12th inning after being hit on the elbow by a broken bat.

The Yankees reliever rolled in his first inning of work and was looking to pitch a second inning when he was hit. Chamberlain’s second pitch to Matt Wieters splintered the Orioles catcher’s bat, and a large chunk went flying to the mound where it hit Chamberlain in the elbow.

X-rays on Chamberlain’s elbow came back negative, and the team says he has a contusion.

It’s hard to say if his early exit cost the team, but the way he was pitching he could have gone two or three innings. That may have delayed David Phelps’ entrance into the game. Phelps took the loss after surrendering two doubles in the 13th.

Between this and the freak accident in March, it’s safe to say it’s not Chamberlain’s year.

Tim Lincecum knows ‘what a chick feels like’ after being sprayed in face

Tim Lincecum was hit in the face by a cork and sprayed with champagne during the Giants’ celebration after winning their NLDS against the Reds on Thursday, and he naturally provided us with some authentic, albeit inappropriate, commentary.

The two-time Cy Young winner complained that he was “hit in the f–king face with a f–king cork.” He supplemented that comment by getting off the mother of all remarks: “Now I know what a chick feels like.”

After being burned by Lincecum dropping an F-bomb not once but twice in the span of a week during the 2010 playoffs, you figure television cameras would have learned to stay away from him with their live microphones during celebrations. They obviously haven’t.

Thanks to Timothy Burke and his rabbit ears at Deadspin

Miguel Cabrera didn’t speak to media after loss, Octavio Dotel called him out over it

The Tigers had a great opportunity to close out the A’s on Wednesday and become the first team to punch their ticket to the ALCS, but they couldn’t get the job done late in the game. Detroit took a 3-1 lead into the ninth before outfielders Seth Smith and Coco Crisp combined for three RBI to lead Oakland to a thrilling walk-off win.

It was the type of loss that makes a team dread having to talk to the media, but as professionals they have a responsibility. Miguel Cabrera apparently decided he wasn’t going to fulfill his, which irritated pitcher Octavio Dotel since the Triple Crown winner is supposed to be a clubhouse leader. From Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:

Third baseman Miguel Cabrera entered the scene, he playfully slapped a pair of male reporters on their rear ends and smirked. It appeared the Triple Crown winner was already over the loss and ready for Thursday’s finale. But the mood in the clubhouse took a serious turn and tension surfaced when veteran Octavio Dotel told Cabrera to address the media because it was his job as the leader of the team

Cabrera turned down all interview requests and sat at one of the tables in his dress clothes with his arms crossed. Dotel, still in uniform, sat at the other table and shook his head.

Players have different ways of dealing with losses, but Dotel has a point. If Jose Valverde has to speak to the media after blowing his biggest save opportunity of the year and having pitchers from other teams mock him on Twitter, Cabrera should be able to say a few words. In any event, it’s safe to expect exactly zero carry-over from the situation when the Tigers take the field for the series finale on Thursday night.

Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE