FORT WAYNE – TinCaps manager Jose Valentin has had enough.
He’s done talking. He’s done teaching. He’s done because his team keeps making the same mistakes, and there’s not much else to say.
Valentin ripped into his club after a 4-2 loss to South Bend on Wednesday at Parkview Field. For the first time this season, frustration boiled over in a public setting.
It was awful, Valentin said. Most of the guys up there got over 100 at-bats already, and that’s not the first time you faced that team. We were pretty much like a high school team today, not professional players. We just went up there and – yeah. We can say that we tried, we tried, but this isn’t about trying.
It was a far cry from Valentin’s previous comments, in a win or a loss, this season.
The reason was simple: Young or not, he’s fed up with his team’s lack of discipline at the plate.
Fort Wayne starter Max Fried gave up four runs in his first three innings but battled to keep the game close through his final three. After his outing ended, reliever Matthew Shepherd stepped in and delivered three innings of shutout ball.
But the TinCaps (25-18) couldn’t close the gap. They could hardly get on base. And they couldn’t hit the ball hard, either.
I think you can hear me, the way I talk, I’m not happy today, Valentin said after the game. I’m not gonna tell them nothing. They know what they’re supposed to do. It’s close to 50 games, I think 60 games in the season, and what other thing can I try to say to those guys?
I’m tired of talking to those guys every day and not seeing any improvement.
The TinCaps have played 42 games so far, but the point stands.
Catcher Dane Phillips said he could see Valentin’s point. The TinCaps had one player – second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum – who recorded multiple hits. Tissenbaum also recorded both of Fort Wayne’s RBI, one on a home run in the third and another on a single in the ninth.
The TinCaps batted .194 in the loss. South Bend improved to 26-16.
Like he said, we had some undisciplined at-bats and didn’t have too much clutch hitting, Phillips said. Any time you have those two things, you’re not gonna score too many runs. They talk to us about that all the time, and it’s something that we work on every day.
I don’t know what else I can do, Valentin said. I have to just try to put a better lineup tomorrow and see what happens.