Well all good streaks must come to an end, although this apparently does not apply to the Kansas City Royals, which means the 6 – 1 Tigers are now in 2nd place.
Last night was a rough one for Mr. Castellanos, which is Spanish for “goat.” Last night there was one of those pivotal game moments that Kevin was talking about this weekend: with bases loaded and nobody out, the Tigers looked poised for not only a big inning but potentially a huge inning. Then, in 2 pitches, it was all over–Castellanos obligingly hit the first double-play ball pitch into a double-play, Avila popped up the next pitch, and in a matter of a couple of minutes it was done with only one run to show. A possibly disappointed Sanchez then gave up a few more, and a JD Martinez-fueled 9th inning rally fell short when Nick Castellanos, again, grounded into a double-play.
After the game Brad Ausmus explained that Castellanos is really quite a horrible hitter, kind of a poor man’s Brandon Inge without the glove, but that the team was stuck with him, so there’s not much he can do.
Well, actually, Brad said
“Nick’s a pretty darn good hitter. He took some good swings today, too. I felt Nick had an opportunity [to get a big hit] as well.”
Ausmus had considered the idea of pinch-hitting Martinez with the bases loaded–as some of you suggested he should have done–but decided to save him for later. As frustrating as yesterday’s game was, do you really, at this point in the season, pull your #7 (well, #6 yesterday) hitter, a guy who is supposed to develop into a real threat with the bat, for a pinch-hitter? What does that say to Castellanos? Does the added pressure and show of no-confidence have a long-term effect on him that goes beyond this game? Will the show of confidence help Castellanos weather the little slump he is in? Was the best move for this game possibly not the best move for this season? Isn’t baseball interesting?
Anyway, be kind to Mr. Ausmus, today is his birthday.
The Tigers will try to end their one-game skid tonight, as Shane Greene tries to repeat his very good first performance. The Tigers have yet to win a night game this season–then again, they have yet to play one.
Tonight’s MLB Network-Televised Lineup:
- Rajai Davis, CF
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- JD Martinez, RF
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- Alex Avila, C
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Shane Greene, P
The Tigers have historically had trouble with Pirates starter AJ Burnett. The two with the most history against him have underwhelming numbers: Miguel Cabrera (5-for-25) and Ian Kinsler (5-for-26). Maybe Rajai (4-for-9) will provide a spark–and if he does, it should be noted that Burnett has a reputation for being easy to run on.