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.