Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 7/26/17
Okay, here’s the situation. Bottom of the 13th inning, tie game. Two outs, runners on first and third. The #2 batting average in the American League is at the plate. On deck is arguably the single worst hitter in all of major league baseball this season.
This is an absolute no-brainer from where I sit. Second base is open. I’m walking the good hitter and will happily load the bases for an opportunity to maintain the tie against a guy who cannot hit a lick.
John Farrell is the manager of the Boston Red Sox. He decided to pitch to Jean Segura with the game on the line. He did so with Danny Espinoza on deck and no one on the Seattle bench to hit for Espinoza.
I’m not making any of this up, nor am I exaggerating. Espinoza, who was recently designated for assignment by the Angels, has been astonishingly awful this season. He’s never been a good hitter, but this is ridiculous. Espinoza’s slash this season is sadly hilarious. You can make a great case that he’s the worst offensive player currently on any big league roster.
Yet Farrell opts to pitch to Segura. The fact that Segura won the game with a soft grounder that just happened to get hit in a good spot is of no consequence. The bottom line is that he never should have had the opportunity to swing the bat. Segura should have been walked and Doug Fister should have pitched to Espinoza. I thought this was one of the absolute worst decisions I’ve seen all season by any manager.
By the way, and this is important to note, there are no sour grapes here. In fact, just the opposite. I had a bet on the Mariners. Thanks to Farrell’s strategic incompetence, I won my wager.
A very nice 3-1 Tuesday on the heels of the Monday sweep. So I’m in a good frame of mind right now. It’s also not a bad time to check out my early signup deal for Football 2017. I’ll also discount the remainder of the baseball season for anyone who decides to subscribe. For complete info, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tuesday free play was no action as the Padres scratched scheduled starter Jhoulys Chacin. On to the Wednesday comp.
ROYALS (Kennedy) at TIGERS (Sanchez)
Take: ROYALS +105
Two teams heading in very opposite directions and with what I suspect are two very different mindsets here. The Royals are on fire and with their win on Tuesday, the team jumped into the second wild card spot in the American League. The Tigers are dead in the water and appear poised to start selling off pieces as the trade deadline approaches.
As for this matchup, Ian Kennedy got roughed up last tine out for KC. But I’ll give him a partial pass as this was a day game in very hot and humid conditions. Not exactly a picnic for any pitcher. The Royals righty had been pitching pretty well prior to that glitch and I can see him having a reasonably good outing tonight.
Anibal Sanchez will throw for the Tigers. Sanchez has been mostly okay since coming back to the big club. But the old pro is also pretty much only good for a couple trips through the batting order. That means a good likelihood of at least four innings of work for the shaky Detroit bullpen.
The one little fly in the ointment is that Salvy Perez might be out tonight for KC due to a rib issue. It’s apparently pretty minor. But Perez can certainly use an extra day off considering his enormous workload and he’s actually got some pretty lousy career numbers against Sanchez to boot.
I can’t see KC as the underdog here. The Tigers are anything but go with right now and the road team is blazing hot. At any plus price, I’ve got to side with the Royals.