Brad Ausmus talks about his bullpen decisions. Short version: he wouldn’t change a thing.

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Brad Ausmus has given his first full-length interview since the Tigers bowed out of the playoffs last week amid two bullpen meltdowns in three games.

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News asked him about his bullpen decisions. Specifically, only using a very effective Anibal Sanchez for two innings and 30 pitches in Game 2 and by not using Al Alburquerque at all in a series where Joba Chamberlain and Joakim Soria melted down in the eighth inning on two occasions.

As for Sanchez, Ausmus cites the fact that he had only pitched a single inning since coming back from an extended stay on the DL prior to the end of the season and that the plan was always to limit him to two innings at a time. Ausmus says that he’d make the decision if he had to do it again. As for Alburquerque, he was never an option to help in those eighth inning disasters. Why?

“No, for me, Albie, who had a great year, his best place is in the sixth or seventh inning,” Ausmus said. “There’s really only one time we might have used him, in Game 2, and we had Sanchie.”

I’m not sure what’s more grating: that Anibal Sanchez’s nickname is “Sanchie” or that Ausmus is so locked in on set roles for his relievers that he’d not consider using one of his more effective ones to stop an implosion because it just happens to not be the inning which, God apparently, has deemed it to be his.

Video: Aristides Aquino becomes fastest player to 10 home runs in MLB history

Aristides Aquino
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There’s no two ways about it: Aristides Aquino is having a rookie year for the ages. The hot-hitting Reds outfielder tacked another item onto his already lengthy list of accomplishments on Friday, clubbing a two-run, 396-foot home run off of Adam Wainwright in the sixth inning of the Reds’ 13-4 loss to the Cardinals.

The blast came far too late in the game to upset the Cardinals’ nine-run lead, but was otherwise perfectly timed for the rookie. It marked his 10th career home run in just 16 major-league games, officially making him the fastest MLB player to 10 homers in league history. (On a less-thrilling note, it was also the first home run allowed by the Cardinals in 32 2/3 consecutive innings.)

So far in 2019, Aquino is batting a robust .353/.400/.961 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBI, a 1.361 OPS, and 0.8 fWAR through 55 plate appearances. Friday’s feat follows other impressive performances from the 25-year-old, who collected three homers against the Cubs last Saturday and tied Trevor Story‘s previously unbeaten record for most homers through his first 10 career games. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon adds that Aquino’s torrid home run pace also eclipsed the standing record held by the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, who delivered nine home runs through his first 16 career games in 2017 (per Elias).