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Joakim Soria Newsbeat

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tigers’ Brad Ausmus ‘would do nothing different’ about poor bullpen management

I guess an education at Dartmouth ain’t what it used to be.

With two outs in the eighth, Neftali Feliz, a struggling reliever who the Tigers picked up for a pittance—the latest existential shot in the dark—was reverting to his floundering self. He had passed 30 pitches and had already allowed a run via a wild pitch. With two on-base, Seth Smith was walked intentionally, loading the bases. It should have never gotten to this point. Instead, Ausmus stuck with Feliz, who served up what can arguably be called the season-worst home run: A grand slam.

So, with that being said, why did Ausmus not go to the bullpen for either Joakim Soria or Alex Wilson, who have both been solid this season?

“We were running short on pitchers as it was,” Ausmus said. “We can get into the second guessing based on results, but the truth is I would do nothing different at all in that game. You try and put the players in the position to succeed, you try and get through the game. We were running short on pitchers from early on in the game. But quite frankly that’s exactly how I would do it again.”

Soria, the Tigers’ closer, is useless if the team doesn’t hand him a save to preserve. He was available. Wilson was available. Neither were warming up during that entire eighth. And the crux of it is, Soria has recorded four-out saves before—it should also be noted that his last four-out save was on June 5 against the White Sox. Ausmus has used him in these exact situations before. And succeeded. There were options.



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