Jose Valverde has been OK in save situations. Tie games, well, they don’t stay tied for very long.
Valverde was charged with six runs — one earned — in two-thirds of an inning Friday as the Rockies broke out with eight runs in the 10th inning and beat the Tigers 12-4, snapping an eight-game losing streak.
It was the most runs scored in an extra inning since the Angels scored nine in the 13th against the Orioles on Aug. 16, 2009.
Valverde dug his own hole tonight. Eric Young Jr. attempted a sacrifice bunt after Michael Cuddyer singled to lead off the 10th, and Valverde threw the ball away, giving the Rockies runners on first and third. The Tigers were able to cut down the go-ahead run at home plate on another grounder afterwards, but Wilin Rosario broke the tie with a two-run single.
Valverde remained in after that, but he wishes he didn’t. He was finally replaced after a walk, a sac fly and an RBI single. Luis Marte took over and immediately gave up back-to-back homers to Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, scoring the final four runs of the frame.
The Tigers fell to 30-34 with the loss.
The Rockies had been 0-9 against American League teams this season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.