It’s been a disappointing season for the Detroit Tigers, who won 90 games last year and expected to be a playoff team again this season. After blowing a late lead and losing 11-9 to the Mariners last night, the Tigers’ record sits at 46-47, and there is talk about the team unloading talent at the trade deadline. Last night’s loss comes with an extra sting, too, as it led to manager Brad Ausmus going Full Yost in his postgame press conference.
The Tigers were up 8-6 at the start of the eighth inning, and the ever-volatile Neftali Feliz came in to shepherd the game to the ninth inning and the hands of closer Joakim Soria. Feliz struggled, and his pitch count neared 30 with two outs, two men on, and a run already in. But instead of yanking Feliz and bringing in Soria for a four-out save—or even going to the perfectly solid Alex Wilson—Ausmus left Feliz in to intentionally walk Seth Smith and then try to escape the two-out, bases-loaded jam on his own. Here’s how that went:
Ausmus’s decision became even more frustrating after the game:
Yeesh. To be clear, this is a professional baseball manager justifying his poor bullpen management by pointing out that he was preparing for an extra-innings game at a moment when his team was up by a run and just four outs away from winning. Remember this moment the next time some play-by-play guy tries to convince you that Ausmus is a brilliant manager because he went to Dartmouth.