DETROIT -- The cold weather gets to everyone. With the bases loaded in the fourth inning, J.D. Martinez struck out looking. Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus didn't agree with home plate umpire Paul Emmel's call, or several that followed and it eventually got him ejected. His reasons were a little reminiscent of vintage Jim Leyland.
"I was a little upset with a couple of the strikes called," Ausmus said after the game. "It really went back to J.D. Martinez's strike three with the bases loaded. I thought that was a ball, and it kind of changed the inning."
In all, the Tigers offense loaded the bases three times. New York Yankees starter CC Sabathia had given his team three 1-2-3 innings. But in the fourth he came unhinged, giving Detroit the perfect opportunity to jump back in the game.
Even after walking the bases loaded the first time, the offense could only muster two hits and two runs. The production -- or lack thereof -- was on the hitters. Presented with an equally solid opportunity in the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers again couldn't get it done.
But it was the top of the fifth that did it for Ausmus. Buck Farmer had already thrown a wild pitch, which he'd followed by surrendering a two-run homer to Carlos Beltran. Starlin Castro earned a walk thanks to Farmer's inability to find the strike zone. That pitch, Ausmus thought, might have been over the plate and shouldn't have been a ball.
But in his mind, both that pitch and the strikeout pitch to J.D. Martinez were similarly placed. Intent on arguing over Emmel's calling of balls and strikes, Ausmus mouthed off enough to earn the heave-ho from the umpire. In reality, though, it all went back to the bottom of the fourth.
"Despite the fact that we scored a couple of runs, I thought that was ball four, and I was a little irritated," Ausmus said. "Paul's doing, obviously, his best, and he's not trying to miss any balls, and I couldn't tell you, honestly, if he missed the ball I was upset about."
Essentially, Ausmus was upset about a pitch called by Emmel because of how it affected the inning, but he technically wasn't 100 percent sure whether it was a ball or a strike to begin with. But he voiced his displeasure about it nonetheless, if for no other reason than to yell about it.
The only aspects missing were the arm flailings and long on-field rant. But it was cold out, so it's close enough.
Jim Leyland would be proud.