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