Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grousing after a win

Alexi Casilla has had repeated opportunities to claim a regular middle infield job. He's always handed the job back -- sometimes through injury, more often with slipshod play.

So his mental error on Friday -- failing to cover first base on a sac bunt in the sixth inning -- is worthy of notice.

The inning begin with a play Casilla didn't make that was originally scored an error and later changed to a hit. Hit or error, he should have, but didn't, make the play. The next man bunted, and Casilla didn't get to the bag. Liam Hendriks walked the thrid batter, then induced a double play, which scored the first runner to tie the game at 2. Then Evan Longoria untied with with a two-run homer.

Rerun the inning with Casilla still not making the original play but getting the out on the sac bunt. The walk puts runners on first and second, one out (rather than loading the bases with no outs); the double play ends the inning, and the Twins still lead 2-1.

On the other hand ... the sixth inning damage makes Hendriks' line score a more accurate representation of how he pitched. Coming into the sixth, the rookie from Australia had allowed one run on two hits and a walk, which looks pretty good. But he had barely more strikes than balls, and that isn't good.

He wound up with four earned runs allowed in 5.6 innings, 56 strikes and 45 balls.  He can do better than that, and he will.

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