The Blue Jays announced late this afternoon that bullpen coach Pat Hentgen has been given the year off in order “to support his family and his father’s current health issues.” Triple-A pitching coach Bob Stanley will replace him on the major league staff for the 2014 season.
Hentgen served as bullpen coach for the Blue Jays in 2011 and was brought back last season when John Gibbons was brought back as manager. He previously served as a club ambassador from 2007-2010 and in 2012. He’ll surely have a job waiting for him in the organization if and when he’s ready to return.
Hentgen was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 1986 and pitched in the majors with the club from 1991-1999 before finishing his career there in 2004. A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1996.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.