The decision to cut outfielder Julio Borbon after his 9th inning baserunning gaffe Friday was a purposeful message to the team to play smarter.
“You don’t see really good teams do that very often,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said Saturday. “The Cardinals and the Pirates this year, by and large they play solid, air-tight baseball, and we have to do that more often.’’
Borbon was designated for assignment hours after the play when he doubled to lead the ninth but then tried to take third on a pitch to the next batter, David DeJesus, with the Cubs trailing 6-2. Borbon was out and DeJesus eventually walked.
“That was a frustrating play, for sure,’’ Hoyer said. “If nothing else, we could have had a chance to have multiple base runners. We have to make better decisions [as players] and hopefully it doesn’t happen again.’’
Manager Dale Sveum admitted being angered by the play.
“Those are things that are controllable,’’ he said. “Knowing the game and thinking ahead and understanding the ramifications. In that situation, you mean absolutely nothing. You can literally stand on second base and not do anything and everything will be perfectly fine.
“One of the biggest things you obviously try to do is have talent, but you have to have a combination of talent and smart players who are playing the game, thinking ahead, what’s the score—just the most common things in the course of a baseball season.
“If you look back and see things like that constantly, even if you lose one game because of them, that’s too many.’’
A defensive play by Anthony Rizzo in the fifth inning Friday also was a mental error, Rizzo throwing to third when there was no force play as Juan Uribe advanced on a ground ball.
“You don’t mind guys trying to make the plays, but it’s the awareness of what’s going on and knowing the runner and leaving your position too early when there’s no play on—these are the things that have to be done,’’ Sveum said.