Thursday, August 25, 2011

Real simple: If Brandon Inge goes to first base, the Detroit Tigers probably win Wednesday - this is why

It was the worst possible decision, at the worst possible time.
Tigers' third baseman Brandon Inge had an easy out at first base Wednesday on a routine ground ball. He didn't take it. He went to second base instead - and the result was the deciding run scoring in the Tigers' 3-2 10-inning loss to the Rays.
In my opinion, there is no defending Inge on the play.
This is why:
- The runner, Sean Rodriguez, on first base had a lead. There were two outs. He was running on the crack of the bat. He has above-average speed. It was going to be a close play at second base - regardless if second baseman Ramon Santiago got to the base right on time for the throw.
- Santiago, with two outs and a force at any base, was playing deeper than usual, and therefore had a longer run than usual to the base. It added to the margin of error of Inge going to second base.
- The ball was essentially hit right at Inge. His momentum wasn't moving toward second base. That was not a factor.
- If Inge threw to first, the hitter, Elliot Johnson, would have been out by a wide margin. The game goes on. Real simple.
- Third base was the second-best choice. Either tagging the runner, or if he stopped, Inge running over and tagging third. The force was on.
But first base was so routine. It should have been Inge's decision even before the ball was hit.
In my opinion, it was a mental error in the heat of a pennant race by veteran player put into the game for defensive purposes.
As you know, if you have read this blog before, I feel a lot of the criticism of Inge is over-the-top, unnecessarily personal and mean-spirited. But there is no defending what happened on this play. And, no, I'm not buying his explanation afterward.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a ridiculous play all around. Ground ball to third, throw to first is an out 99% of the time. Who goes to 2nd when the runner already has a lead-off? Santiago was nowhere near the base; again the obvious choice is 1st. For a late inning defensive replacement, that was horrid play.

10:10 AM 
Anonymous chief said...

The Tigers didn't hit all night. They were probably going to lose on a play like that given the amount of chances Tampa had. Saying they were going to win is a bit much.

10:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning Leyland said Inge should have tagged third, not thrown to second - or first.

11:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tag/run to third would have been the best decision. But the reality is that in that situation, you're playing on instinct. Maybe the problem with Inge is that he plays too MUCH on instinct, but if he's been taught to go to second, we shouldn't expect him not to go to second.

12:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tigers should cut ties with inge.he will never be a baseball player again .send him down to toledo it did not help him.

8:56 PM 
Blogger Steve said...

Thank you, Pat, for putting in print (although Leyland did the same to a lesser extent) the idea that Inge did, in fact, blow that game.

However, you and I disagree on the point that I do not think Inge has taken too much criticism. In my view, this is a man who had a decent 2006, and one good HALF a year the year he made the all-star team. Otherwise he is an average to well below average (at the plate) baseball player. Plus, many people do not remember this, but when the Tigers signed Pudge Rodriquez, Inge was our catcher at that time. He proceeded to complain about the signing and even had the gall to say that he expected to be the starting catcher even though we had just signed one of the best catchers in the game with some good years left in him.

Then, just look at his comments regarding his throw to second on Wednesday. He says his throw was text book because he fielded the ball to his left. First, he did take a step to the left when the ball was hit but fielded the ball directly in front of him. Second, he should know that the throw to first is the easiest of outs because of the position of the runners.

PLUS, look at his comments about his bobble that took place earlier in the game that prevented the double-play: He says the ball hit the edge of the grass and took a different spin, thereby making his grip different. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Does he EVER make a bad play or bad decision in his opinion?

Is he the reason the Tigers have not won a division or a World Series since he's been on the team? No, or course not. Has his play been a major contributor to that fact. Yes...definitely, yes.

10:59 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think that Inge dug his own grave on this one with this defensive, and maybe downright arrogant, comments after the game. The decision of where to go with that play has to be made before the ball is even hit. I was annoyed after the play happened, but listening to his defensive attitude after the game is what pushed me over the edge.

If he admits that he made a mental error, maybe we would have all talked about how the Tigers offense went cold for a night because I think that was the true story of the game. All of this, and they take 3 out of 4 in Tampa, starting off the road trip on a great note. You would never have known it based upon fan reaction the past 2 days, though.


1:08 AM 
Anonymous Chris said...

I agree with the other posters. Inge should have gone to first base or stepped on third. Inge loves to go to 2nd for a force out, he does this play all the time. So it shouldn't be a surprise that he tried to make the same play again when the game was on the line. However, his comments after the game were a bit arrogant. He wouldn't acknowledge he made the wrong play, and said he would do it again the same way. His smug demeanor has worn thin. If he starts becoming a defensive liability, he won't play at all. Nor should he, given that he made 2 defensive mistakes in the 10th inning of that game, and that his bat has once again gone cold, apart from Saturday. Hard to find too much fault given how well the Tigers have been playing lately, but a sweep in Tampa would have been awesome to witness.

8:51 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home