Game 66: Devil Rays at Tigers

PREGAME: After a strong outing by Kenny Rogers, the Tigers bullpen is back at full strength. Hopefully they won’t be needed as Jeremy Bonderman will take the mound for the Tigers. Lifetime against the D-Rays Bonderman is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings.

He’ll be opposed by lefty Mark Hendrickson who sports a better ERA than Bonderman at 4.11, but has mustered only a 3-7 record.

I’m off to the game!

: It’s not just Todd Jones giving up runs in crucial situations. It’s the fact that for the 3rd time in 2 weeks he’s turned a close game into a blowout. Ergh! Awesome outing by both starting pitchers. Bonderman of course deserved better. Ergh!

37 thoughts on “Game 66: Devil Rays at Tigers”

  1. I’m glad Bonderman didn’t get the loss with the way he pitched. It’s a shame he didn’t get the win.

  2. Does it make any sense to have your top reliever be a pitcher with a 7.36 ERA and a 1-5 record? I tell you one thing if this was New York owner George Streinbrenner wouldn’t allow that.

  3. Sigh. Of course it’s not entirely Jones’ fault. If the batters had taken care of things — at all — we wouldnt be in such a familiar position of sticking needles in our Jones’ bobbleheads.

  4. I think this has to be the end of Jones’s closing for awhile. It’s bound to get into his head at some point.

  5. Jones has got to be demoted. A 7+ ERA? That’s ridiculous. Put him as setup man for a month and see if he can get fixed-if not release him. Rodney is a much better closer than Jones is, or ever will be again.

  6. deja vu all over again

    Tigers fight back late to get a game into extra innings only to have Jones come in and blow it.

    The only two times Jones has gone for more than 1 inning this year he has been terrible. I’d hope LEyland will start to limit him to absolutly no more than one inning at a time from now on.

  7. At least Texas is routing the White Sox, so we will still have the 1 1/2 game lead in the division.

  8. Yes, it’s not entirely Jones’ fault. It’s one game. But it’s one more game in a long pattern of Jones being almost completely unreliable.

    We’re now over 40% through the season. The man has an ERA over 7.00. How anyone could argue he is any better than our fourth best reliever is beyond me.

    By contrast, Leyland plugged Monroe into the 6 hole tonight based on him being 5 for 6 against Hendrickson. So he, rather than Thames, came up in the first inning with the bases loaded.

    So five at bats is a big enough sample of data, but 25 innings isn’t?

    I’m not that upset about the game. We stole one Monday night; can’t expect lightning to strike every time. But Jones has clearly run out of lives as a reliable relief pitcher for this team.

  9. I’ve figured out Leyland’s strategy with Jones. He’s trying to keep the Tigers from getting overconfident!

  10. Add me to the chorus. I just don’t get it. Leyland is a smart guy. He’s got a lot of baseball experience. Jones can’t cut it; he can’t even keep the Tigers in the game. He was a mediocre pitcher when the Tigers were a bad team. Now that they are arguably a good team, the Tigers have got a lot better, and the 2nd coming of Todd Jones is worse.

    Why, why, why??? Leyland is a baseball manager; he’s a professional; we’re not. Either he’s a lot dumber than we think, or someone’s pressuring him to keep playing Jones (which I doubt JL would put up with), or there’s something else….


  11. Has anyone (or, more specifically, Jim Leyland) noticed that Chris Shelton sucks now? The other night he went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.

    Tonight we had the winning run on third base in the bottom of the ninth, Shelton comes up, 0 for his last 100 (or whatever he is), and Leyland doesn’t pinch hit for him. That was our best chance to win tonight — after that, we all know it’s only a matter of time before Jonesey blows it. Do we have anyone else who can play first base? Maybe we shoulda kept Carlos Pena…

  12. I did expect a pinch hit in the ninth, actually. My guess: Leyland doesn’t want his players to get discouraged, we can see that much. So he gives them chances. And somedays, like Shelton yesterday, he gives them off. I don’t know. He might have his finger on the pulse of their self confidence or discouragement a whole lot more than we do. He wants to give them chances to succeed. I think he has shown to us he has very good instincts or decision-making skills, so I’m not exactly going to second guess him on this, although trust me, I really want to.

    I still have to think Shelton’s gonna have to take a seat for awhile, and we have to find a way to get Jones fewer meaningful innings based on how they’ve performed.

    But did anyone watch the post-game press conference? He had a real look of discouragement himself. I wonder if he believes that Jones is running out of chances fast and doesn’t want to make the move. Of course, Lee Panas thought he saw th smae thing a week ago and nothing changed. So who knows.

  13. See Kolb, Danny:

    2003 MIL 41 34 39 19 1 2 21 1.96
    2004 MIL 57 50 21 15 0 4 39 2.98
    2005 ATL 57 78 39 29 3 8 11 5.93

    This is about where Atlanta gave up on hom last year. Guys pitching better than Jones right now:

    Grilli (yes)
    Colon (him too)
    Seay ? (hasn’t pitched enough to know)
    Colby Lewis
    Humberto Sanchez
    Chad Durbin

    If you don’t think I’m right you need to look at some of the Toledo numbers. Jones is awful. 0-2 to Baldelli and he hits him? To give Cantu a shot? Jones needs to be in Toledo. Maybe he can get straightened out and help them down the road. They are better off with any of the guys above getting more IP.

  14. Probably not, but I still don’t get it. Leyland has more professional baseball experience than all of us combined, I’d imagine, but my 4-year old son says that Todd Jones can’t pitch. Someone tell me…. does Jones have something on Leyland or something? Maybe its a blackmail situation. Just kidding, but I can’t figure it out otherwise.

    On Shelton; he’s struggling, no doubt. Big difference from April. Too early to bail on him; but something needs to be looked at.

    Finally great job by Bonderman. Maybe he’s sticking pins in a Jones bobblehead doll.

    Oh, yeah, and I looked at the Minor League stats. There’s a couple guys at Erie with ERAs below 2 as well. Some strong performance. Sanchez looks to be a real good one.

  15. With Jones, Leyland is clearly showing his time that one or two mistakes are not an immediate ticket to the bench or AAA. This is often known as being given the chance to fail. Strangely, people seem to perform better when they are given this opportunity. But,
    if you take the “chance to fail” theory to far, everyone else starts to resent the non-performer and in turn starts to under-perform to their true ability. I think that point is now and Leyland/DD have to make a change.

    Both a Walker/Zumaya/Rodney and a Sanchez/Zumaya/Rodney combination of ace relievers is intriguing and worth an experiment.

  16. Jones 2 innings in a row is crazy. A guy his age should not go two in a row. It worked the other night, but you can[‘t go to the well too often, and in this case, too soon again.

  17. Chris if you were playing first for the Tigs, I wouldn’t miss Carlos Pena. That guy is that bad. Shelton needs to be given the benefit of the doubt at this point. I think he’ll pull out of it before too long.

    He has been miserable though.

    Kyle, I was also upset with Monroe batting higher in the order than Thames. Thames has done enough to prove that he should be no lower than 5th in this lineup.

    And I am pretty upset about this game. It’s frustrating to watch Bonderman throw such a great game–arguably his best of the season–and the Tigs struggle to scrape together one run against Hendrickson?

    Another bases loaded first inning situation with nothing to show for it. This seems to be a recurring theme in games we end up losing.

  18. Oh and I really believe that the money we’re paying Jones has a lot to do with the exceedingly long leash we’ve put him on. He was one of our two big off-season acquisitions and I think it’s hard for management to own up to a bad signing and demote somebody of Jones’s supposed stature.

    11 Million for 2 years! I believe that the only other team giving serious suitor was Boston and they were going to offer him 2 or 3 million for a single season. So we go out and double it. That’s money well spent!

    At least he’s proven a bargain compared to the 2-year, 12 million deal we gave Percival.

    Maybe Dumbro should lay off signing Methuselahs to close games for us.

    What’s next? Trevor Hoffman gets a 3 year deal for 18 million?

  19. Alan, he’s not our top reliever for one and for two, what does Steinbrenner have to do with anything? Not only that, but his team is trotting out slugs left and right. Six guys (with 173.33 innings of work) toting ERAs over 5.00. So not only shouldn’t Steinbrenner be mentioned because it’s irrelevant, but also because the vague point you were trying to make wasn’t even accurate.

  20. The problem is Jonesy is being used as the top reliever when he is not even close.

    You can’t blame Jonesy for the fact that Leyland keeps putting him in these crucial situations when he clearly can’t do the job.

  21. I can here a chant starting: JONES, JONES, HE MUST GO!!! Yes, he’s that bad. We can always dump Jones and bring back Spurling (could he be worse?) But, I gotta question some other stuff, too: why does EVERYBODY strike out so much (especially Shelton, Monroe + Thames)?? Why can’t we put the bat on the ball? Why does Leyland absolutely refuse to allow Jamie Walker to pitch to more than 1 man? Don’t care if it’s LHP v RH batter….this game should not have gone into extra innings; we should’ve won easily. And what’s up with 2 PBs by Pudge in the 10th? Our starters are superb right now; Bonderman pitched great!! Just as good as Rogers.

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