Anaheim, Calif. — There were replays and reviews, ejections and rejections, rebuttals and refutations, all on display and subject to debate Saturday night during what otherwise was a baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
The Angels beat the Tigers, 4-0, with the only drama, from Detroit’s perspective, arriving in the third inning when manager Brad Ausmus was ejected for arguing an overturned replay.
Ausmus had protested a replay overturn that began after Tigers shortstop Eugenio Suarez was ruled safe on a pickoff attempt at first base.
The ball was returned to Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker, a Trenton High School product and former Eastern Michigan pitcher who was Tuesday night’s starter, and winner. Shoemaker touched the pitching rubber, which in Ausmus’ apparent view, canceled any bid for a video replay of the Suarez ruling.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia instead bounded onto the field intent on asking for a review, which was directed by crew chief and first-base umpire Jim Joyce.
Three minutes later, Scioscia had won his appeal and Suarez was out. Ausmus, though, was incensed. He bounded onto the field to protest, holding in his hand printed sheets detailing big-league baseball’s newly incorporated replay rules, and was instantly tossed, which didn’t keep him from jawing and gesturing animatedly with Joyce and home-plate umpire Cory Blaser.
Ausmus, after a long tirade and a couple of parting shots returned to the dugout, and then, to the clubhouse where he was exiled for the remainder of the game.
“The rules are pretty black and white,” Ausmus explained after the game in the visiting manager’s office. “The umps have the discretion (to order a review) but they clearly did not initiate.
“They (big-league baseball and Saturday’s umpires) can candy-coat it any way they want, but it’s not in the rules.”
Ausmus’ position was that Joyce would not have reviewed the play if Scioscia had not initiated. And, the manager argued, by the time Scioscia trotted from the dugout, play had resumed and no replay was permissible.
“If Mike Scioscia doesn’t come out of the dugout,” said Ausmus, “I don’t think anyone takes a second look at it.”
Joyce differed — on most points.
“I understand what Brad was telling me,” Joyce said, speaking from the umpire’s dressing room afterward. “But I have the responsibility as crew chief, and at the crew chief’s discretion, to look at any play. Anything.”
Joyce, memorably, was the umpire at first base in a 2010 game at Comerica Park that saw Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga miss a perfect game when Joyce, admittedly, missed the call on a ground ball that would have sealed Galarraga’s jewel.
Ausmus insisted that rules emphatically state once the rubber has been engaged and a batter is in the box, the allotted time for any review has expired. And, he repeated, Joyce clearly was acting at the behest of Scioscia.
Joyce, again, had another view. While he contended, “I don’t initiate anything,” he said Scioscia’s jog to the field ensured there would be a review Joyce had every right to grant.
There will be no official game protests from Saturday’s spat since, as Ausmus acknowledged, replays “are non-protestable.”
Ausmus spent the remainder of the game in the clubhouse as bench coach Gene Lamont filled in as manager. As an Angels shutout unfurled, inning by inning, energy from the Joyce-Ausmus debate bypassed Detroit’s offense on what became a forgettable evening of baseball for the Tigers.
The Tigers got only three hits against Shoemaker, who got the victory against a team he grew up cheering for, thanks to his heritage living in Wyandotte and Trenton, which led him eventually to Ypsilanti and EMU.
Austin Jackson had a pair of singles, Ian Kinsler doubled and Suarez singled, which accounted for all of Detroit’s alleged offense.
“We haven’t swung the bats great the last couple of days,” said Ausmus, who had seen his team score a run on only six hits Friday against the Angels.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Shoemaker. He moved the ball in and out, and he has a very good split-finger. We have a pretty experienced offense, and he was able to shut us down for seven innings.”
Verlander & Co.
Justin Verlander started for the Tigers and, in his manager’s view, “he looked good today.”
Verlander allowed six hits in seven innings, and three runs, the first of which scored on Efren Navarro’s third-inning leadoff home run. He struck out four and walked three.
“I pitched OK,” said Verlander, who is 9-9 with a 4.79 ERA. “Not great, but OK.”
Joakim Soria worked two outs into the eighth inning and threw 24 pitches, his first shift since the Tigers got him in a Wednesday trade with the Rangers.
Soria allowed a pair of hits, which included a baserunner advance on right-fielder Torii Hunter’s error. Soria walked a batter and was charged with a run during a 24-pitch initiation designed to get Soria a measure of work following a four-day layoff.
First pitch: 3:35 p.m., Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.
TV/radio: FSD/97.1, 1270
■RHP Rick Porcello (12-5, 3.42), Tigers: He had two absolutely awful starts against the Angels last year, but he did pitch a gem against them in April.
■LHP Hector Santiago (2-7, 4.02), Angels: He’s never beaten the Tigers (0-3), but he’s pitched well against them, with a 2.08 ERA in 11 appearances.