CLEVELAND — If you initially wondered what in the world Quintin Berry
was doing Saturday afternoon when he took off in what appeared to be a
bizarre and ill-advised attempt to steal third base, well, you weren’t alone.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was just as surprised.
“The first time, I was dumbfounded,” Leyland said Sunday morning. “I didn’t know what he was doing. I’m not going to lie about it. ‘What in the (expletive) is he doing?’ Then it dawned on me and I realized what happened.
“But when he was first out there in no-man’s land, I was like, ‘What in the (expletive) is he doing?’ “
The details of the play are complicated, but in essence Berry was trying to get caught stealing, which would have negated an appeal the Indians were planning to make that Alex Avila had missed third base on the previous play. If Berry could have baited relief pitcher Tony Sipp into making a play on him before throwing the ball to third for an appeal, the Indians would have lost the opportunity to appeal.
Berry was basically trying to make an out to keep a Tigers run from coming off the scoreboard.
Berry broke for third base twice. The first time he did so, he was sent back to second because time was not in. That’s the one that had Leyland puzzled momentarily. He tried a second time, but the umpires upheld the appeal and ruled Avila out.
The play was the result of some quick thinking by third-base coach Gene Lamont, who heard someone in the Indians dugout calling out for an appeal.
“He was smart enough to take the information that he got and program it quick,” Leyland said. “He knew when they came down and were yelling that something wasn’t right, and that was what tipped it off. They must have seen the replay.”
Sticking with the team
pitcher Max Scherzer had the option of heading home to Detroit
Oakland A’s or to stay with the team for the one-day trip to Chicago.
chose to stick with the team. He said he needs to play catch Monday to
prepare for his start but also wanted to be with the team since it was
playing such an important game.
Scherzer (16-6, 3.77 ERA) will
match up with A’s right-hander A.J. Griffin (6-0, 1.94 ERA) on Tuesday
at Comerica Park in the first game of a three-game series with the A’s.
In the bullpen
Leyland said Joaquin Benoit will not pitch today in the series finale
against the Indians. He has pitched in four of the past five games.
Leyland also said he would “like to stay away from” Jose Valverde, who
also has pitched in four of the past five games. But Leyland said there
is a chance Valverde might pitch if the Tigers find themselves with a
save situation in the ninth inning.