Well, I really think we could use another day off, as could the team. But none is forthcoming, so here we are.
Ausmus on last night’s game: “Anaheim was a slap in the face. This is a punch in the gut.” I don’t know. I was thinking more “kick in the…shins.” But I guess nobody’s reaction could sum up the game better than Grand Slam Boy. If only they’d had that kid’s glove at 3rd base.
This seems like a good time to also throw in a gratuitous link to Villanova’s Crying Piccolo Girl.
Now where were we? Oh yes. One thing is clear: these guys are in a funk right now. If it’s not the pitchers letting the hitters down, it’s the hitters–and fielders–letting the pitchers down. The at bats of the Tiger hitters the last 3 innings were awful (including Miggy whiffing on a chin-high pitch), as if the grand slam took the wind out of their sails. But the grand slam never would have happened without a couple of clown plays in the field. I can almost forgive the klutzy Castellanos attempt to corral the Iglesias throw, because, well, that’s just who he is (I think it was Jud who pointed out that of all his defensive liabilities maybe fielding throws is his weakest point). But what was Kinsler thinking?
Kinsler said he just had a “gut reaction.” He also added that there shouldn’t have been a guy on third in the first place, but they blew that out. Bus, meet 3rd baseman. Poor Nick. After weeks of struggling at the plate, he finally came through with a big hit, what could have been a game-winning hit, then was partly the cause it all fell apart. For his part Nick explained that he felt he had to lunge for the ball because he didn’t think it would get there in time. Usually the ball travels faster than your glove, although it is true it was not a full-speed throw by Iglesias. Castellanos just isn’t quick enough with his hands to snag a ball that way though. Poor Nick: he should have stopped there. He went on to add that also Lawrie is notorious for “coming into bags pretty hard,” which makes him sound like he really didn’t want to be on the bag for that anyway.
And might as well throw Ol’ Punch-Gut under the bus here too: with bases loaded and a lefty up, this is why teams have that lefty reliever, to get that one guy at that one key spot of the game. Unfortunately, Detroit doesn’t have any lefties in the bullpen. Oh wait…it looks like they have two, they just didn’t use either. But hey, they’ll be fresh for tonight’s game!
I’ll end by going back to this again. Yes, the grand slam was a punch in the gut. But instead of coming back with some fight, they curled up in a ball and went home. There were still 3 at bats left–that’s 1/3 of a baseball game. Winning teams play as if they intend to win, even after things have gone very wrong.
Tonight’s Since It Worked So Well Last Night Lineup:
- Anthony Gose, CF
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- JD Martinez, RF
- Tyler Collins, DH
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- James McCann, C