Valbuena should learn from mental error

June, 7, 2013
6/07/13
7:02
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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Though the run ended up being meaningless, Luis Valbuena made a critical mental error in the ninth inning by trying to turn a double play with men on first and third and one out. Lefty Travis Snider hit a hard ground ball to Valbuena, who had Russell Martin dead to rights at home. Instead, he went for the double play, but second baseman Barney was playing deep in the hole and was late covering the bag at second. Snider beat the throw to first allowing the Pirates second run to score.

“I’m not going home because it was hit too hard to me,” Valbuena said. “A double play, the inning is over.”

But manager Dale Sveum disagreed, Valbuena should have been aware Barney was deep in the hole at second and come home instead.

“That run is very, very important,” Sveum said. “We were trying to take the pull side away from (Snider). Barney wasn’t going to be anywhere near the bag.”

Sveum said Valbuena understood the mistake “after the fact”, but that’s not what Valbuena indicated. When asked what he would do if presented with the situation again, Valbeuna responded:

“If it’s hit slow I come home but if it's hit hard I go to second base for a double play.”

Barney didn’t expect a throw either.

“I went through all the situations in my head and that’s not one of them that popped up,” Barney said.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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