Game 52: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers go in search of some suddenly elusive runs. As I’m sure you’ve heard they’ve been shut out by a pair of Johnson’s the last two games. Hopefully they’ll fare better against a Small, and perhaps a Wang on Thursday (there’s a joke in there somewhere).

Aaron Small will take the ball for the Yankees while Roman Colon will make his first start for the Tigers. Colon filled in admirably for Mike Maroth last Thursday. He allowed 2 runs in 5 1/3 innings. In his last two outings Colon threw 70 and 76 pitches so it will be interesting to see how long Leyland will let him go.

POSTGAME
: I don’t know how to feel after this game.

Frustrated? Frustrated that out of two bases loaded, no out situations, the Tigers managed 1 run via a force out. (In all fairness, while Ordonez and Shelton had horrible at-bats in the first, Carlos Guillen had an 8 pitch at-bat that resulted in a line drive hit right at Jeter. It’s hard to be mad at Guillen for that).

Perplexed? Perplexed at the fact that the Tigers have now failed to turn 4 double plays in the last two games.

Relieved? Relieved that the offense finally did manage to put some runs on the board, even though many of those runs came off a booted double play and Kyle Farnsworth making 3-4 pitches that could have been called strikes but weren’t.

Satisfied? Satisfied that the Tigers did come back from 5 runs down to send the game to extra innings. Also, that it was the first time the Tigers were in a game since Saturday.

Frustrated? Back to frustrated after a 3 game losing streak.

14 Comments

  1. Tim D

    May 30, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    I’m saying this after the fact but I wish they had given Grilli the start. Or Zumaya. Grilli has had more success as a starter. Colon’s successes have almost all come from the pen. They see that he has starter’s stuff but he hasn’t put it together yet. Grilli has been around all year and has pitched well of late. Colon just got back from AAA and an injury.

    I really would like to see them consider Zumaya for starting. As a reliever he doesn’t get a lot of chances to work on his off-speed stuff. As good as Colon has been out of the pen, he could be groomed for Zumaya’s spot. I understand why they don’t want to break up a successful combo in the pen but if Maroth is going to be out awhile I would rather see Zumaya or Grilli in the rotation. Or Colby Lewis or Wil Ledezma for that matter.

  2. Jeff M

    May 30, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    if Maroth is going to be out awhile I would rather see Zumaya or Grilli in the rotation.

    I don’t care too much about Grilli one way or the other. Zumaya, on the other hand, shouldn’t be moved to the rotation unless Maroth is going to be out for atleast a couple months. There’s no point in messing with his focus for just a couple starts.

  3. Russ

    May 30, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    It’s Gum Time!!

  4. Joey

    May 30, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Could we do anything else to give the Yankees this game? Absolutely terrible. Other than Pudge’s efforts, this was a terribly played game by the Tigers.

  5. Jeff M

    May 30, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Two questions: When was the last time Jones pitched two innings? When was the last time Jones pitched two innings successfully?

  6. Joey

    May 30, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    Haha.

    To be fair he should’ve gotten us out of the inning only giving up the dinger to Meat-Bag Giambi.

    However, if I have to sit through another botched double play anytime in the next 3 weeks, I’m gonna go crazy. You can’t give a lineup as potent as the Yankees extra at bats. And you can’t fail to get a run in with bases loaded and zero out. We lost this game in the first inning today.

  7. Paul

    May 31, 2006 at 12:21 am

    Agreed Joey, that’s when I knew things weren’t looking good. Ugh, I’m so mad at tonight’s game.

  8. Steve

    May 31, 2006 at 5:56 am

    Ouch, cant leave those guys on base in the 8th. Bases loaded, no one out and only one run. Ouch

  9. Matthew

    May 31, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Personally, I thought Leyland might have left Rodney in for the next inning even after 2 wild pitches in 3 pitches. It would show confidence and I believe he would have come out with something to prove after that last terrible half-inning. And we all know Jones is a little unreliable right now, especially in TWO innings!!

  10. Kyle J

    May 31, 2006 at 12:03 pm

    Back to our favorite subject: Mr. Jones.

    This is not a complaint about last night’s game. Leyland had to use almost the entire bullpen, so everyone was going to get an inning+.

    But Leyland really needs to think about demoting Jones from the closer position. At this point, opponents are batting .329/.366/.461 against him. And he’s appeared in 19 games now–tied for second most on the team–so we’re not talking about a limited sample size.

    At some point, using Jones in key situations–when Rodney and/or Zumaya are available–is going to cost us ballgames.

  11. Nick

    May 31, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    19 games is still a limited sample size. Realistically Jones is probably our 3rd best reliever, but if the “closer” is going to be used primarily in save situations, I’d rather they keep Jones in the spot and let Rodney and Zumaya have longer outings in potentially higher leverage spots during the 7th and 8th innings.

  12. Kyle J

    May 31, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    19 games is a big enough sample to determine that the difference between Rodney’s .120/.250/.227 and Jones’ stats is statistically significant. Jones has faced about as many batters as Thames has plate appearances. If we think Thames’s stats justify more playing time, shouldn’t Jones’s stats justify less (at least in important situations)?

    Agree that it’s not a big deal in games in which all three pitch. What concerns me are:

    1) 1- or 2-run games where the starter goes 8 innings and only the closer comes in to finish it up.

    2) Close games in which only two of three top relievers are used. Leyland has said he wants to avoid using both Rodney and Zumaya in the same game.

    In an ideal world, Leyland uses Rodney and Zumaya in high leverage situations and Jones can have as many 3-run saves as he wants. But given that he’s going to use the traditional set-up/closer system, those two spots need to be filled by Zumaya and Rodney.

  13. Nick

    June 1, 2006 at 8:51 am

    Sorry, but 19 games isn’t close to enough to tell us anything statistically significant about Jones or Rodney. Considering the variance in who they face and the parks they pitch in, along with the regular variance added by defense and pure randomness.

    Do we really think Rodney is going to end up with a 1.17 ERA walking a batter every other inning? Or to put it another way, if a guy had 23 IP in a September callup, would you say that those numbers were representative of his likely performance the next year? It’s 23 innings. One bad outing by Rodney and a good week or two from Jones and suddenly they have their performances are identical.

    If you are talking about Jones’ stats combined with his career stats (which tell us he’s really nothing special as a pitcher) then the sample is plenty big, but we knew he wasn’t anything special before his 19 games. He’s basically been exactly what he’s always been, so if he was the closer going into the season it makes little sense to make him no longer the closer now.

  14. Kyle J

    June 1, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    I don’t think Rodney will maintain a 1.17 ERA from here on out. I do think Rodney’s ERA will be a full run better than Jones’ (or his opponent’s BA will be 0.500 lower–pick a stat) from here on out.

    I think a lot of people questioned the Jones signing from the beginning. To say we have stick with a mediocre pitcher because we already knew he was mediocre doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    Anyway, time will tell. I just don’t want it to cost the team 3 or 4 games before a change is made.