Seattle — Turns out, like a lot of Tigers fans Friday night, reliever Jason Foley was angered and confused by the video challenge in the eighth inning of the Tigers’ 5-4 win.
The difference between Foley and the fans, his anger and confusion will cost him some money.
It was 5-3 when Julio Rodriguez tried to score from first on a double to left-center by Jarred Kelenic. The Tigers executed a strong relay from Matt Vierling to Nick Maton to catcher Jake Rogers. Kelenic was initially called out by home play umpire and crew chief Marvin Hudson.
Foley was perplexed that a video review of the play was initiated since the Mariners had already burned their challenge earlier in the game.
“I didn’t know you were able to just review a play at will at any moment without a challenge,” Foley said before Saturday’s game.
It isn’t often applied, but rules permit teams to request a crew chief review in the eighth inning or later on plays that could impact the outcome of a game. The Mariners asked Hudson, he complied and after the subsequent review, the call was overturned.
Suddenly, instead of two outs, a runner at third base and a three-run lead, it was 5-3, one out and a runner at third. Foley was hot. He channeled his emotions initially, striking out both Teoscar Hernandez and Eugenio Suarez to end the inning.
But on his way off the mound, he expressed his displeasure with Hudson, using some colorful language, and was ejected.
“I got a little frustrated,” Foley said. “I probably shouldn’t have.”
Tigers manager AJ Hinch wasn’t pleased with Foley’s outburst.
“To be honest, I didn’t like that,” Hinch said after the game. “I didn’t think it was the right time. I didn’t think it was worth it. I think we had a bunch of baseball left and you’re getting the umpire pissed off as we’re going to hit in the ninth inning.”
Hinch and pitching coach Chris Fetter discussed the issue with Foley Saturday.
“The rules are for everyone to know,” Hinch said. “It’s just wasteful energy. It wasn’t going to help us. That’s kind of my theory in general on that stuff. If you yell at those guys (umpires) at the wrong time, it can only be a disadvantage.
“He learned a lesson. And it’s going to cost him some money.”
Eduardo Rodriguez set down 10 straight Mariners hitters Friday night until All-Star Julio Rodriguez sizzled a line drive single up the middle that barely missed drilling Rodriguez .
He gave a wry smile when asked how he avoided the drive.
“You think I got out of the way?” he said. “No chance. That ball, I literally saw the ball pass by. I had no chance to get out of the way. You just pray to God that ball don’t hit you.”
It left Julio Rodriguez’s bat with an exit velocity of 109.8 mph and didn’t appear to be losing much steam when it got to center fielder Matt Vierling.
In his first at-bat Friday, Rodriguez hit a ball 395 feet that just about everybody in T-Mobile Park thought was a home run. Vierling, though, tracked it to the wall and snared it with a perfectly-timed leap as it was leaving the yard.
Vierling made the play so calmly, Rodriguez and most of the fans thought the ball was gone. His first indication that he made the robbery was his fist-pump to right-fielder Kerry Carpenter.
“I was trying to back him up and get the ball off the wall if he happened to miss it,” Carpenter said. “Just give him the freedom to go after it. Which he did. He usually comes down with those. That was pretty sick.”
Of course, the baseball gods have a way of evening things out. Rodriguez in the eighth inning hit a ball with a launch angle of minus-62 and an exit velocity of 56.3 mph. The ball traveled two feet. Infield single.
Starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull took a big step forward in his recovery from a neck injury Saturday.
He threw between 20 and 22 pitches in a live bullpen session against minor-league hitters at the Tigers’ complex in Lakeland. It was the first time he’s faced hitters since going on the injured list May 7.
“His velocity was up a little bit,” Hinch said. “He reported no issues, no problems.”
Turnbull is scheduled to throw another live session early next week as he works toward a rehab assignment.
Hinch said he thought infielder Ryan Kreidler might have been one of the hitters in the session. Kreidler, who made the Tigers roster out of spring training, is working his way back from core muscle surgery.
Tigers at Mariners, T-Mobile Park
TV/Radio: Bally Sports Detroit, 97.1.
RHP Reese Olson (1-2, 4.05), Tigers: The Tigers limited his workload before the break, using him as the bulk-innings pitcher following an opener. He pitched two innings or less in two of his last three outings. But the restrictions are apparently coming off, at least through August. With his 3,000-rpm slider, he’s limiting hitters to a .152 average with a 40.6% whiff rate. They are hitting .158 against his 95-mph four-seam fastball. With the success of those two pitches, he’s only had to throw his changeup, one of his main weapons, 13% of the time (47% whiff rate in the short sample).
RHP Bryce Miller (5-3, 3.97), Mariners: He’s been on the injured list since June 30 with a blister on his right middle finger. The Mariners were expected to activate him before the game Sunday. In his 11 starts before the injury, the rookie had a sub-1 WHIP (0.949) and held hitters to a .203 average. He blanked the Tigers over seven innings and allowed only three hits on May 13.