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Detroit Tigers: 5 terrible decisions from the 2022 season

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Detroit Tigers reacts in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 17, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Detroit Tigers reacts in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 17, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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A.J. Hinch leaving Derek Law in for an entire inning when was getting shelled on July 30

Detroit Tigers
Jul 30, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit tigers pitcher Derek Law (48) drops a ground ball by Toronto Blue Jays left field Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (13) in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports /

A.J. Hinch’s honeymoon period is long since over, but if there’s thing he’s still pretty darn good at, it’s managing the bullpen. He usually has a knack for putting the right guys in the right spots. Key word there is “usually.”

On July 30 against the Toronto Blue Jays, after the Tigers had just taken a 2-1 lead, Hinch decided to bring in a freshly called-up Derek Law on in the sixth inning after Drew Hutchison pitched five innings of one-run ball against a potent Blue Jays lineup.

Law, a 32-year-old journeyman, had decent numbers in Triple-A. He still had pretty good stuff too, featuring a fastball in the mid to upper 90s and a nice slider.

But he struggled pretty much right from the get-go. He gave up a leadoff single to Santiago Espinal, then got a groundout. Then he proceeded to plunk Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and commit an error on back-to-back batters. Hinch leaves him in.

Then he allows a sac fly from Bo Bichette that ties the game at 2 apiece. Hinch still leaves him in. Then he throws a wild pitch. Hinch still leaves him in. Five pitches later, Teoscar Hernandez deposits a 2-2 pitch into the seats in right-center for a three-run homer. Law would strike out the next batter, but the damage had already been done. The Jays would go on to win the game, 5-3.

I’m not sure what Hinch was expecting in this situation. The time to bring Law in would have been in a mop-up situation, not in high-leverage. He also had several opportunities to bring in somebody more qualified, like a Joe Jimenez or an Alex Lange, to come in and put out the fire, but he stuck with Law, and ultimately paid the price.

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