Leadoff man opens with hit in 14-pitch AB, is removed after not running out grounder
By Kyle Beery
DETROIT -- Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera led off Monday's game against the Tigers with a 14-pitch at-bat against Mike Pelfrey, which ended with a base hit. He went on to get hits in his next two trips to the plate, starting his night 3-for-3.
But Herrera's solid start to the night turned sour when he didn't hustle down the line on a ground ball hit back to the pitcher in the seventh inning. Manager Pete Mackanin pulled Herrera from the game, and the Phillies went on to lose, 5-4.
Mackanin was willing to make a sacrifice to send a message to his team.
"One of the ingredients to our success, to this point, is the fact that these guys play with energy, they play hard," Mackanin said. "We're training them, basically, to play the game the right way, and not running is not the right way. It's more important for me to set that tone than to take our best hitter out of the lineup."
Mackanin said Herrera knew right away he had made a mistake. As he was approaching Herrera, veteran Ryan Howard was walking up to him to send him the same message.
"You've got to keep going. I know it's not the at-bat he wanted, or whatever, but look at me, I'm still grinding," Howard said. "You never know on a ball like that, he might mess up because you're running hard."
Mackanin said Herrera has had a bit of an issue with similar situations throughout the season.
"I've seen it in the past, and it's been trickling in, and I just didn't like it, and I just made the decision," the manager said.
Herrera will be in Tuesday's starting lineup, Mackanin said.
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.