Jordan Zimmermann’s ‘stubbornness’ vs. C.J. Cron costly for Tigers

St. Petersburg, Fla. – In hindsight, Jordan Zimmermann would have done things differently.With an 2-0 count against Rays first baseman C.J. Cron and a base open, Zimmermann decided to go after Cron with a slider down in the zone. But it stayed up and Cron hit a three-run homer to give the Rays the lead and eventually a 4-2 win to complete the sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday.After the Rays got runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Zimmermann looked like he might escape the jam after retiring Jake Bauers with an infield pop fly. But he got behind to Cron and chose to attack instead of put him on base.”Knowing when I got to 2-0 – be careful and pitch around this guy,” Zimmermann said. “But my stubbornness came in and I thought, Let me throw the slider down in the corner, paint it and get this guy out.’ Those are the ones you hang and three-run homer and we lose the game.”I’ve got to be better and when I get 2-0, pitch around him, put on him on base and move on to the next guy. That was the last thing we needed in that situation but that’s what happened. That’s the way baseball goes.”Cron has eight hits and seven RBI in his last four games.Zimmermann said catcher James McCann pointed to his head before the at-bat, telling him to be smart, but Zimmermann didn’t see it.”(Ji-Man) Choi was on deck and we had a little bit more success with him,” McCann said. “We had an open base and Cron is definitely their guy right now. He’s been hot. The thought was we’re going to see if we can try to get him to chase and if he doesn’t then, oh well, ball four and we’ll go after Choi.”But somewhere there was miscommunication. Maybe I should have gone out to the mound and reinforced it; it was that big of a spot. At the end of the day it was a mistake, a mistake pitch, a mistake way of attacking him. It was just a mistake all around.”Zimmermann (4-1) lost his first decision since Sept. 21, 2017 against the Twins, a span that covered 12 starts.He said has not finalized his plans for the All-Star break and will make a decision on whether to go to Dallas for treatment on his back after talking with the training staff.”We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Zimmermann said. “I feel pretty good now. Tomorrow and the next day are the two worst days for me so we’ll see how it is and make a decision tomorrow.”