Ausmus on pinch-hitting Martinez, Salty in 8th

The questions for Brad Ausmus before Monday’s loss centered on whether he expected to walk Bryce Harper. That wasn’t a surprise. The questions after Monday’s loss included Victor Martinez’s pinch-hit intentional walk in the eighth. That wasn’t a big surprise, either. In the end, Ausmus anticipated it, and opted to take his shot with an extra run for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Once first base opened with Miguel Cabrera thrown out at third and Nick Castellanos taking second in his place, Ausmus expected Nationals manager Dusty Baker would walk Martinez if he hit for James McCann with two outs. If Saltalamacchia pinch-hit, that probably wouldn’t happen.

However, Ausmus believed this was his inning for using Martinez in a high-leverage situation.

“I assumed that Dusty probably was going to walk him,” Ausmus said. “But ultimately, you’re going to end up getting Saltalamacchia at the plate. I either hit Saltalamacchia right away, or I hit Saltalamacchia with two guys on instead of one. I was in between, quite frankly.I wasn’t sure we’d have another opportunity to use Victor, because we’re at that point in the lineup. We were coming around to the top of the lineup in the ninth inning.

“I was in between. I decided if Dusty walked him, hopefully Salty gets a big hit with two guys on. You would end up getting Salty vs. somebody either way.”

Martinez hit for McCann and was walked, replaced by Andrew Romine as a pinch-runner. Saltalamacchia hit for Anthony Gose and struck out. The exchange ended up including three Detroit players off the bench, ending with Romine in center field and Saltalamacchia behind the plate. But Ausmus ultimately decided it was his inning to go for it.

Before the game, Ausmus held a lengthy media session that included him talking about his future and his decision-making process as speculation built about his job security.

“Before I was ever hired, I said it in a [job] interview: I will never make a decision because I’m afraid to get second-guessed by the media, and I’ll never make a decision because I’m afraid to lose my job,” Ausmus explained. “I’m just not going to do it.”

He reached that conclusion out of observation from his playing days.

“I’ve seen managers make decisions because they were worried about what the media was saying,” he said. “That’s not why you make decisions. You make decisions because you think it’s the right decision to help your team win. Now, are you going to always be right? No, of course not. Managers are human. And so many times, there’s a gray area where maybe you should or shouldn’t do it. If the pick works, it looks like it’s great. If it doesn’t, then it gets questioned.”

Asked if his outlook of managing on the hot seat has changed at all from last September, when speculation about his job was higher than this, Ausmus indicated not much his changed.

“I’ve been on the hot seat for a year,” he quipped. “It hasn’t changed much. I guess I’m more comfortable with it now.”

10 Comments

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hopefully Salty gets a big hit with two guys on.. a Hail Mary in baseball
hoping he ran into one.. I heard that before

“Why should I try extra hard? If you try to do too much extra, you won’t get anything accomplished” Mike Cameron
Aníbal wanted that out badly but pitchers must leave fielding to the IF. Miguel wanted to score but his foot got dangerously trampled in the base and it was hurting( should have been). They were playing for the manager. It was clear that they wanted to win.

No question that they wanted to win. Unfortunately they’re expecting to lose by this point. Can’t perform that way. Everything they touch turns to pond scum.

It’s what I thought. Brad was rolling the dice for the entire game in the 8th inning. Never mind that the Nats had just finished a four game sweep topped off by a grueling 13-inning loss the day before. Guess he figured their bullpen would outpitch ours.

I get BA’s reasoning for his decisions. If he.s right, he’s a genius. If he’s wrong, we burn him at the stake.

Doesn’t work that way for me. I thought he was wrong as soon as he called for Victor, and if Salty hits a 3-run bomb, it was still wrong in my view. Victor wasn’t even in the dugout when that sudden decision was made. Surprised they were able to wait for him to get there.

My very first thought was the same as others. Why not Salty in that situation. Victor was probably in the batting cages like he usually is in these situations where he might be called upon. However, I do not remember whether the pitcher was a RH or LH when Victor came in. I really enjoy NL baseball because of all the twists and turns and the manager has to be quick thinking all the time.

Our rotation continues to be a huge question mark at best. JZ (6) and JV (5) have 11 Quality Starts between them Pelfrey (1) and Sanchez have a total of 1 Quality Start. The rest of the staff has 1 more Quality Start (Greene). The upshot is the Tigers have 2 reliable starters and now a BP that has turned combustible with a closer who has still not established dominance in that role.

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