DETROIT - Jordan Zimmermann took the mound for his simulated game hoping to shake off the rust and put up some zeros. Instead he got shelled.
What? No, he pitched fine. It was entirely on the defense. Brad Ausmus, clearly in September form, inexplicably went with a Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe (replaced by Anibal Sanchez shortly thereafter), Justin Verlander and green fence infield defense. It proved costly.
The game is simulated. The infield defense of Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Justin Verlander is real. pic.twitter.com/br0Ro9CaeT— Jason Beck (@beckjason) September 14, 2016
The newly formed “Duck Tanks,” a team consisting of JaCoby Jones, Dixon Machado, Steven Moya, John Hicks and Nick Castellanos sprayed the ball all over the infield and beyond. Hicks was the real star, going 2-2 with a double.
While the Tanks hit a couple balls hard, it didn’t appear to matter as Verlander and Pelfrey’s lack of range proved too much to overcome. With the playoffs so close, hopefully Ausmus rethinks this strategy in the future.
Mark Lowe: First useful thing Lowe has done in 4 months! Way to go Mark!
Jordan Zimmermann: This means he may pitch in a real game soon. This is good.
Nick Castellanos: Despite being the inspiration for the new team, Castellanos refuses to get magically healthy.
Mark Lowe: He didn’t last long. The other infielders kicked him out of the game for his complete inability to play defense.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: