Game 139: Picking apart Pena’s play at plate

Jim Leyland cited a philosophy in defending third-base coach Tom Brookens and his second-inning call to wave Brayan Pena home on Jose Iglesias’ double.

“I’d have sent him too,” Leyland said. “I thought that was a great call. To me, when the ball gets by the outfielder like that, make them make two good relays. You know he’s dead by 10-15 feet if they make them. They made them. … With two outs, I have absolutely no problem with that call.”

The fact that there are two outs there, he said, changes the aggressive.

“One out or no outs, I’d have had a problem,” Leyland said. “But with two outs, a ball gets by the outfielder like that, make them make two good throws. And they did. You tip your cap to them. Pena ran out of gas a little bit at the end, and Tommy knows that. I think he was a little bit mad at himself, but I told him good call.”

Brookens appreciated the support,but the fact that the play wasn’t close was what had him second-guessing himself after the game.

“My take on it is be very aggressive with two outs, but yet if you’re out, I want it to be a little closer than it was,” Brookens said. “That’s really about it. He was just out too far for the way I like to approach things. If he’s out on a fairly close play, then I’ll always feel like you made a good call. But when they’re out by quite frankly that much, then you probably made the wrong call. And I wish I’d held him up now.”

The idea of testing a defense to make two good relays, of course, is balanced by the runner testing them. Pena runs hard for a catcher his size, but he’s running hard trying to score from first base.

“It’s on me,” Brookens said. “I didn’t make a very good call on that one, quite honestly, no two ways about it. I wish it would’ve been closer and maybe it could’ve worked out on a bad relay, but it didn’t.”

The two-out situation, obviously, makes it look like an early opportunity thwarted with Austin Jackson due up following his leadoff double in the opening inning. Once Lester came back out for the third and struck out Jackson, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera in order, it appeared Lester had recovered between innings. It loomed much larger, obviously, by game’s end.

21 Comments

I don’t think JL thought very hard on his answer. MLB ballplayers can do two relay throws in their sleep. I love the theory of if a base runner can easily make it then send him or if the runner does not have a chance hold him up. The ones in between is the 3B coach call but also take into consideration who is running, who the opposing pitcher is, outfielder and ss/2B arm strength, score of the game and who hitting next.

They can make 2 relays in their sleep, however, I often see them missing relay throws.

I felt that Brookens was not “out to lunch” on this one from the moment it happened. When that ball got past the fielders I looked at Pena and figured he would easily score. He was approaching 3rd. When I saw the relay I figured pena must have tripped around 3rd or something because he was not in the picture. I think Brookens has to know who is running and who runs out of gasw. As I mentioned before, we have a few guys that fall into that category.
BUT, situationally, where the ball was, etc, you would expect a guy to be able to score on that play. Pena fooled Brookens. They are both culpable.
I also didn’t think much of the way Pena “gave up” himself at the plate.
VMart would have danced and hip-hopped at least!
Sounds harsh about Pena but I prefer him right now to Avila. The guy gets his bat on the ball.

On the bright side at least Rich’s prediction will be wrong, we won’t be just 5.5 games ahead after this series. Tonight is another game, anything is possible. Go Ricky, Go Tigers!

Looking back, I made a mathematical error when I said that, which isn’t surprising. I thought Cleveland would take 2 of 3 from Baltimore.

Good synopsis by Jason. I always subscribed to that theory of “make them execute the play” myself, but not blindly. In this case, they could have dropped the relay or thrown it 15 feet up the line and STILL gotten Pena out.
I don’t see how Pena is culpable just because he’s a catcher who couldn’t sprint from firstbase on a hot humid night. I was surprised when he was sent home myself.
As far as Victor dancing, in the similar situation this year he simply stopped on the way down the line, turned right, and trotted into the dugout, not coming within 30 feet of homeplate.

He needed to hustle more. he needed to tighten the corner at 3rd, he needed to at least make it interesting at the plate. He pretty much walked up to Ross like Forrest Whitaker’s Butler..

2E has hit the wall. He is under .200 since the break. Striking out lots.
Maybe he can “run into one” but it shouldn’t be as a starting left-fielder.

How would everyone feel about Peralta being placed on the playoff roster?

I feel like it would never happen.

i have no problem with it

mixed feelings because I want Jose starting at SS every day. Pinch hit maybe. I would be surprised if it happens.

Tigers. 5.1 runs/9 innings.
Times Shutout by Opponent:9
2012:4.59 but only 2 shutouts.

They need the bat .But, the last three games are in Miami, he cant play there( we dont even know if VMart will play).
He is not training with the team unlike Cruz.
And there is the statement by Scherzer, he cant make a difference between Braun and Jhonny without being called out.

On the road, usually you go for home, but it was Peña.

Outs at home.
18
Last year, when runners were ignoring Lamont: 15.
2011, 30.
2010: 20
Still better judgment than Lamont

You are forgetting the biggest issue with the play – Pena should have been on 2nd base to begin with. That was the biggest base running blunder, not getting to 2nd on a gapper to LF. Boston was giving him the bag, he didn’t take it.

Waited for a long time to watch a player like Jose. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. This is what I’ve been hoping for since………..a long time. Yes I miss Jhonny but Jose is a game changer. Fields, runs, bunts, makes contact enough. Jhonny hits home runs and is steady at SS but, again, Jose is a more valuable asset…imho. You can argue in favor of Jhonny’s offense, but it won’t change my mind.

About Pena’s play, it’s over. Lesson learned. I also couldn’t believe he wasn’t even in the camera’s view when the ball reached home. Showed how really slow Pena is. Being that dead a duck I thought Pena did the right thing in pulling up and conceding the tag. No sense in forcing a collision and somebody getting hurt for nothing. While I’m on the subject, I wasn’t too pleased with Napoli trying to take Jose out on Monday night. Bush league play. Not a fan.
In the heat of the moment, and with two outs, Brookens thought Bryan could make it. It didn’t cost the Tigers the game by any stretch. They had plenty of other opportunities they squandered.

Pena proves that you can play at the major league level with darn near “average pedestrian” speed. I really do like Pena as a player. He can hit, he can catch, and he has a great personality and field presence. Just can’t run for beans. It wasn’t game 7 of the WS so lesson learned.

No Miggy tonight.

Two extremes here. Being thrown out at home and running station to station by too many Tigers. I’ve seen many players from other teams go first to third or second to home easily on singles. Do the Tigers always have to have players who forfeit speed for power?

On first with a single and the runner reached 3b or scored: 80 times. 14 for Jackson, 10 for Omar , 11 for Jhonny and 9 for Fielder( 2b by VMart probably and he was unable to reach 2b). Torrii: 8
32 times scored from first on a 2b

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/DET/2013-batting.shtml

75/28 for Kansas

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