When “go on contact” turned into gridlock on basepaths

Watch the video clip of the double play that ended the seventh inning, and you’ll see a notable sight in the bottom right-hand corner. As first baseman Joe Mauer touches first base, spots Miguel Cabrera off second and fires there, Victor Martinez — who hit the fateful ground ball — sees the same thing. As the confusion becomes apparent, Martinez throws up his arms in frustration.

It not only summed up the play, but the game as a whole, the night, and the series in general. Somewhere along the path of the Tigers’ roll through Minnesota on their way to Kansas City, the Tigers tripped up. Wednesday’s double play, as well as Tuesday’s ill-fated diving attempt by Ezequiel Carrera, will be the lasting images.

At first glance, the double play looks like a miscue by Cabrera, caught too far off second base as Martinez grounds out and Torii Hunter stays at third. Another look, however, shows Hunter not breaking home on a ground ball where the Twins were pretty much conceding the run.

“The first baseman started in and moved back,” Brad Ausmus said. “Torii saw that. He initially was not going. He was going on contact to any of the other three positions in the infield except for the first baseman, because Mauer had been up. But then he backed up, and I think it just caused confusion.”

It was a cautious move on Hunter’s part, not wanting to squander an opportunity with an out at home plate. His reaction, however, left Cabrera out to dry.

Said Mauer: “Everything was in front of me. Victor hit it pretty good. So I just tried to make sure I fielded it first. I think Torii saw I could throw home. So I went to first for the out, but could’ve thrown home if needed. And then I saw Cabrera off, and so it was a good double play.”

Hunter took responsibility for the action.

“I got two steps right there, you have to make sure that you’re safe for sure at home. I didn’t want him to throw the ball and I’m out at home. That would’ve looked worse. I just took a jump and probably got Miggy off in no-mans land. I accept that — full responsibility. I misled him. It’s my fault.”

Cabrera did not appear immediately after the game for comment.

30 Comments

I wonder just how many base running drills the Tigers completed this year ? These are things we learned in high school ball . How many runs have the 2014 club lost out on because of poor base running ? Lost runs= lost games .

that was a crushing loss – 2 in a row just doesn’t work right now

I just am amazed even though I shouldn’t be that these so called ace pitchers can’t get through or heck give up 2-3 runs or less. I didn’t see the game because I’m out of town but even with this base running gaff….gues what the starting pitching can’t continually give up 4-5-6 runs. It’s completely unacceptable.

Things like this wouldn’t have been a big deal before the trade..but, boy are they magnified now. And Price hasn’t changed anything for the better, so this will be one weekend they have to win.

i think it’s safe to say omar vizquel hasn’t had the positive effect i was hoping for.

“Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat”

You cant teach instinct and certainly not to Hunter or Kinsler (they are not rookies and would take offense like Verlander with Morris is given advice)

yeah well not even the youngsters have ran well this year. why have a base running coach if you can’t teach base running?

The true,I was expecting them to lose last night. Not all losses are equal and Tuesday´s night was a devastating one.
Price? I know most here will dislike this but his peripherals remain good.Smyly went better, Price went worst. What makes the difference? Jeff Jones and the catchers. The bullpen have been bad with the great game caller and the marvelous pitching coach and the rotation not as good as it was.
Kinlser, Nathan and Hunter? there is a common factor that explain why their old team left them walk or traded them. They are in decline or can cope with the long season.I know from a reliable source that Odor ( he is from Maracaibo) was named his successor well before the trade and was assured he would debut in MLB this year by July 2013
Kinsler? oddly enough, he supposedly has added 9 run by his running. But his OBP and OPS are below his career average.Maybe, it is time to give Rajai another opportunity as lead-off
Tigers 59 Outs on base second worst behind LAA (70) 20 at home like in 2013( second worst in the AL behind NYY)
16 PO second worst behind Texas
Fans can keep piling on Cabrera , Holaday or Suarez but the culprits are Kinsler, Hunter, Avila and Davis
3,4,5 are doing the job
BTW: Miguel
318( 10 points in two days)..379 /.526/.905 AL leading 48 2B and 103 RBI. That contract looks better now
The RBIs? 138 PA leading off inning 28,8 % of his PA after the first inning with no runners on

wait, did price start performing worse? Ken R. is claiming he’s pitching better (based on FIP, GB rate, HR rate) and Price is doing worse because our defense stinks.

I said the same about his peripherals lat night but Rogacki claims that Price is not using the breaking ball because he does not trust the catchers.

And I said during the game ,I posted his FIP while he was allowing 3 runs.

he isn’t using a pitch because our catchers are inept? really?! makes sense, but, holy cow!

WAR:Suarez 0.8 Carrera 0.0. Kelly -.0.3 Castellanos -0.4 Hunter: 0.2. Romine -0.1

well if the tigers are going to play ball like they did last night, i’d rather them save me the time and just lose the wildcard game.

while I am cranky about the loss – what the heck kind of music do the Twins play during coaching visits? Polka? Glad I don’t go to those games, it was driving me nuts on tv last night.

It sure wasn’t Wiz Khalifa.

who the!? *heads to google* oohhhh. *shakes head* kids these days!

Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the Tigers elevated their game into the stratosphere this weekend. They’re like a gifted child with a short attention span.

BTW: Price BB/9 is up and his K /9 down. Bad framing:
http://www.statcorner.com/CatcherReport.php

Or bad umpiring like last night or pitching against teams who’s entire goal is to get into the famously weak Detroit bullpen.

The sample is more than 5000 pitches . Why other teams are not subject to the same bad umpiring in that extent ?( excluding Joyce and that Michigan´s guy)

I’m sorry, I thought you were talking about Price with Detroit. Never mind, my bad.

Beck retwitted a history about Thomas. This is going on too:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11539728/feds-interviewing-cuban-players-us-part-investigation-smuggling
Certain well known pitcher was caught while trying to leave the island and became an informer in exchange to be part again of the National Team. He left this time for good and is a MLB pitcher.
They go to a third country and not the USA to avoid been subject to the MLB draft and sign as FA for more money

I guess everyone noticed the enthusiasm of the Twins. They were enjoying beating the team that was supposed to win the division by 10 games.

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agreed tent. in other news, the A’s continue to stink….lost to Texas tonight!

Brennan Boesch is 2 for 3 tonight. He played in 95 minor league games this year and in about 400 ABs has pounded 25 homers, driven in 85, stolen 10 bases all while hitting.332.
I always loved the guy.
I hope he can realize his potential.

my daughter keeps asking when he is coming back to the team!

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