DETROIT – Rangers manager Ron Washington talked before Thursday’s game about his decision to intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera.
The manager was not happy when Matt Harrison couldn’t pitch around Cabrera earlier in the game and gave up a two-RBI double.
“They were listening to me vent,” Washington said. “I said, ‘We can’t pitch around that so-and-so without me putting up four so-and-so fingers? Everybody stayed focused ahead. Nobody wanted to talk to me.”
So Washington wasn’t taking any chances and decided to walk Cabrera intentionally with one out and no one on base in a tie game in the eighth inning.
“I put the winning run on the bag, but if I throw to that batter, he could have won the game,” Washington said. “Let somebody else win the game. I could live with it. I couldn’t have lived with it if we make a mistake to him.”
It all worked out when Nelson Cruz ended up gunning down Cabrera on a sac fly attempt to end the inning.
“I just thought it was the right thing to do because we couldn’t pitch around him,” Washington said. “We tried to pitch around him and this guy goes out of the zone and hits the ball. I hate it. I would like to see my pitchers pitch around him. He gets us. I said, ‘I’m going to have to just walk him and hope they pick me up.’ Last night, they picked me up.”
As for having Michael Young hold Cabrera on at first base, that was a product of Cabrera’s underrated baserunning skills and, probably, Mike Adams’ struggles in holding runners on. Runners are 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts off Adams.
“He’s sneaky,” Washington said about Cabrera. “I held him on because he’s sneaky. If we had played behind him, he’d have found a way to take off.”