By Jeff Moss
June 24, 2016
I didn’t want to write another article this week. I have provided you people with enough content already. But I could not let the events of Thursday’s Tigers/Mariners game pass without documenting them for posterity.
Because if I don’t do this, who the hell will? I will try to keep this as short as possible. For those of you who were at work and missed yesterday’s game, consider this a public service.
Even in the midst of a four-game winning streak, Brad Ausmus once again showed us his ass during the series finale against Seattle. Repeatedly.
And let me be very clear here, the Tigers defeated the Mariners 5-4 in ten innings DESPITE every effort of their mimbo manager … starting with the lineup card he handed in that left out the names “Victor Martinez” AND “Cameron Maybin.”
Now, I understand that players aren’t robots or machines and that both V-Mart and Maybin have their frailties, but the consistent resting of TWO regulars for the same game is mind numbing. SPREAD IT OUT. Especially when you are already missing J.D. Martinez for the next month.
And it seems whenever the Tigers get on any sort of run, Ausmus can’t handle the prosperity and starts doing this shit. But once the game started — a must-win against a Mariners team forced into pitching an emergency starter due to Adrian Sampson’s elbow discomfort while warming up for the first inning — shit got even worse.
The first seven innings of the game were fairly issue-free, but the first sign of trouble was the bottom of the eighth inning of a tie game. Ausmus actually allowed Andrew Romine and his .516 OPS to come to the plate with both Maybin and Martinez waiting in the wings.
That was actually a MINOR transgression compared to what occurred minutes later …
To start the tenth inning, Ausmus decided to go with Kyle Ryan instead of Francisco Rodriguez WHO HAD BEEN WARMING UP EARLIER. The same Kyle Ryan who called Toledo his home until a few days ago.
What made this decision even dumber than normal is that the Mariners had emptied out their bullpen due to Sampson’s injury — and the previous three losses against Detroit — and were ONLY left with the reliever currently in the game, Steve Cishek.
All of this meant that extending the game was of extreme importance because at some point the Mariners MIGHT have had to use either a position player on the mound or a dude who threw 39 pitches less than 24 hours earlier.
Confronted with this information — and I am taking a big leap presuming the Dartmouth Dummy knew any of this — Ausmus decided to run Ryan out there instead of his closer.
LUCKILY, Ryan escaped a situation where a runner was on third base with NOBODY out in the top of the tenth which sent us to the bottom of that frame and to a sequence events that I still cannot fully fathom ….
With one out and nobody on, Steven Moya took a walk. Now, the same manager who had refused to pinch hit Maybin in the eighth for the light-hitting Romine decided to swap Maybin for Moya on the base paths.
Even though the odds of Maybin’s speed advantage over Moya becoming an issue at this point were infinitesimal. Not to mention we were only a couple of batters away from Romine BATTING again!!!!
Which chasm do you think is greater? The difference between Moya and Maybin on the bases or the difference between Maybin and Romine at the plate? If it took you more than a millisecond to answer that question, please don’t EVER leave your house without a batting helmet on your head™ (John Olerud).
Anyway, with James McCann due up, Ausmus decided to finally use V-Mart. And the man with a .524 slugging percentage promptly hit a ball in the gap, leaving runners on second and third with only one out.
At this point, Mariners’ manager Scott Servais ordered the intentional walk of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But before he could do that, Ausmus did something I have NEVER witnessed in five decades of watching this beautiful sport.
He inserted Mike Aviles for Victor at SECOND BASE even though Martinez’s run OBVIOUSLY meant nothing at all. Ausmus’ bench was already decimated and he IDIOTICALLY uses his last option left.
And why did the Ivy League Imbecile remove V-Mart from the game even though Victor SHOULD have gone to first to replace Salty, who in turn was going to have to replace McCann behind the plate?
Ausmus wanted to give him the entire day off.
Ausmus wanted to give him the entire day off!?!?!!
Well, guess what? I want to watch Margot Robbie go down on my wife, but this isn’t a perfect world with unlimited roster space and the Tigers aren’t currently sitting atop the AL Central by 12 games.
And can we talk about the necessity of giving a DESIGNATED HITTER an entire day off in the first place? I mean, Victor isn’t exactly a coal miner.
Even with his gimpy knees, on most nights the man makes four or five plate appearances. The night before, Martinez went 1-for-4, meaning he had to work about as hard as a Tony Soprano “No-Show” laborer.
I don’t think it was going to kill Martinez to play a couple of innings in this crucial matchup.
Furthermore, if the Tigers don’t win the game in the bottom of the tenth, they are playing with a lineup sans V-Mart, Moya and McCann (who had homered earlier in the game). At that point, maybe Nori Aoki COULD have retired them in order.
And who was now up with the BASES JUICED and one out?
Instead of having Maybin at the plate in that crucial situation, Romine predictably struck out, leaving everything up to Ian Kinsler.
And after ALL OF THAT, Ausmus got a bigger bail out than Goldman Sachs when Cishek threw a wild pitch allowing Maybin to score. Keep in mind, the pitch was so off target that Moya would have easily made it to the plate as well. Along with Scott Anderson, Nell Carter and Louie Anderson.
Look, this isn’t 20/20 hindsight. I didn’t sit up on my sofa last night puffing on a pipe ruminating about all of these situations. All of my comments on this idiocy occurred in real time on Twitter.
And it’s not like these were tough decisions.
I am pretty fucking sure the third base coach for the opposing team, Manny Acta, could have made the appropriate moves in his sleep.
Yesterday was the 400th game Brad Ausmus has managed in a Tigers’ uniform and he still hasn’t learned a god damn thing.
There is no way my heart will make it if this team makes the postseason. Or for that matter, if it doesn’t.