Umpires know the Rules of Baseball, terribly complicated as they are, incredibly well.
But sometimes they get into trouble making a call that looks, at least on TV, easy enough for your or I to make.
With Omar Infante on first base and two outs in the top of the seventh, Austin Jackson lined a single into right field. Infante had designs on third base, but thought better of it and scrambled back to second. Too late, though. Unless you're second-base umpire Jeff Nelson ...
Nelson clearly missed this one, and it's not clear how or why. Infante's poor baserunning should have cost the Tigers a great scoring chance, but it didn't. Instead, Nelson's error cost the Yankees a run when rookie Avisail García parachuted a single into right field, with Infante coming around to score.
That brought Joe Girardi out of the dugout to remove left-hander Boone Logan from the game. And with that task complete, Girardi resumed his early argument about the play at second base, and before long drew an ejection from the proceedings. Girardi obviously wasn't going to get a judgment call overturned, so he's either exceptionally frustrated or hoping, in the late stages of a terribly important game, to light a fire under his moribund hitters.
It'll have to be one hell of a fire. With Joba Chamberlain in the game, Miguel Cabrera drove an RBI single into right field to give the Tigers a three-run cushion. Logan got one batter, and Chamberlain got one batter. Lefty sidearmer Clay Rapada came in for his one batter -- Prince Fielder -- and got ahead in the count, but wound up walking him. Finally, righty sidearmer Cody Eppley came in for his one batter -- Delmon Young -- and struck him out to end the interminable half-inning and the modest carnage.
So the Yankees are down 3-0, and down to their last six outs.