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Game 15: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: Jeremy Bonderman and Gil Meche in a matineee.

Game Time 1:05

POSTGAME
:There wasn’t a lot to like about this game with the exception of Jeremy Bonderman and Curtis Granderson. Bonderman went 7 innings on 86 pitches but wasn’t allowed to come out for the 8th. This is the 2nd time in a week that Jim Leyland didn’t send out Bonderman even when his pitch count and performance probably warranted another inning.

Granderson mentioned this offseason that Gil Meche was one of the toughest pitchers he faced last year. He seems to have gotten past that with 3 hits today, granted one was a dribbler, but he was one of the few to get a solidly hit ball all day. Granderson and Placido Polanco combined to get on base 5 times, and Sheffield failed to do anything to drive them in once again.

As for the bullpen, at least Joel Zumaya was good. I’m not too upset about the Todd Jones blown save. It was the walks which were uncharacteristic for Jones that did him in. He’ll allow hits because he doesn’t strike out many, but normally it takes several of those hits. With the free passes Jones loses his slim margin for error. Blown saves are frustrating, but no closer is perfect.

Fernando Rodney continues to struggle. I understand frustrations with him, because he quite frankly hasn’t been effective. And when Rodney is struggling it is excruciating to watch as he takes a long time between each pitch. Still, I’m not terribly worried. He could be a set-up man for many teams, and he’s only splitting the role in Detroit.

As for some of the moves today, I know this will sound like second guessing due to the timing, but I was questioning them as they happened. I didn’t agree with taking out Bonderman. There was no need to. Jones was going to pitch the 9th no matter what, so using Zumaya in the 8th was unnecessary and rendered him unavailable in the 10th.

I also disagreed with the designated bunter approach. For the chance to move a runner into scoring position which would still require another hit, Leyland was conceding an out. The probability of not scoring with a no out-runner on first situation is 57.8% and in a 1 out-runner on second situation it is 60.4% (in a 4.5 RPG environment). So even if it is successful, it reduces the chances of winning. If it were a matter of moving a runner from 2nd to 3rd I’d agree with the move, but not in this case.

A well pitched game in which the the Royals defense handed a struggling offense some runs slipped away. It stinks, but it is also going to happen. Detroit has come out on the winning end of some of these as well.

Kansas City 4 Detroit 3

Posted by on April 18, 2007.

Categories: 2007 Season, Game Post

78 Responses

  1. pitchers duel!

    by charlie on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:12 pm

  2. can we please score some for Bondo today?!

    Maybe Gilga Meche bought a DVD on how to pitch with all the millions the royals are paying him…

    by Joey the K on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:21 pm

  3. Sean Casey should not be hitting sixth. I know it’s a righty-lefty thing. That’s the reason the Tigers kept Casey over Shelton, I’m sure, even though the splits don’t really agree that it’s a big issue. But Casey simply must be lower in the lineup than Thames and Monroe.

    by Kurt on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  4. LET’S GO CMO!

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  5. Bases loaded for Casey…again.

    by Chris Y. on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  6. Amen, Kurt.

    by Chris Y. on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:35 pm

  7. bonderman the story so far.

    by charlie on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:39 pm

  8. Go Bonder-nator! If anyone can make 3 runs stand up, it’s him.

    by Anne on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:51 pm

  9. Meche has pitched two of three good games previous to this against the Red Sox (1 run in 7 innings) and the Orioles (0 runs in 6), so this shouldn’t be a great surprise. His only bad start was the last one against the Tigers. Maybe the Royals did something right by signing him.

    by Mike F on Apr 18, 2007 at 1:57 pm

  10. When Meche was with the M’s he pitched some great games, followed each time by 2,3, or 4 clunkers… maybe he’s turned a corner, or at least beared left…

    by Joey the K on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:05 pm

  11. Jones goes for save number 8.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:07 pm

  12. Alright, nobody panic. Jonesy will get us out of this.

    Hear me, Jones? GET US OUT OF THIS.

    by Anne on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:16 pm

  13. I remember this Jones…not that I want to.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:18 pm

  14. Nuts and bolts, Bonderman got …

    by Kurt on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  15. Bonderman can’t get a break, sad.

    by rene on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  16. Aaargh. Just when I was getting confindent in Jones. Once again, Bonderman loses out on a much-deserved win.

    by Anne on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:21 pm

  17. Thats a sin.

    If its not, it should be.

    by Joey the K on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:22 pm

  18. Let’s get a Monroe walk-off right now.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:22 pm

  19. Bonderman and Verlander have now given up a combined 11 runs in 47 innings of work . . . and have 1 win total to show for it.

    Given that, we’re lucky our record is what it is. Here’s hoping they can pull out an ill-deserved sweep in extra innings . . .

    by Kyle J on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:23 pm

  20. These are the games that irk me. The ones you’re sure you have won. The “should-have-wons.”

    So we’d better still win.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:33 pm

  21. And Rodney gets his what, third loss? Jesus. Or should I say, DeJesus.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:34 pm

  22. DeJesus, definitely…tho he hasn’t killed us today, for a change.

    by Bix on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:36 pm

  23. Well, we’re not out of it yet, but this definitely qualifies as a “struggle”. Something better start clicking soon, ’cause our schedule is only going to get harder.

    by Anne on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:36 pm

  24. Am I the only one surprised that Leyland went with Jones — who pitched what, 14 hours ago? — in the 9th? Is he pushing for the ML record in appearances or something? I wouldn’t want 2-inning outings to be the norm for Zumaya, but if you’re ever going to do it a day game after a night game, when he had needed just 7 pitches to get through the 8th seemed to be the time. (I know this will sound like 20/20 hindsight, but in my defense I couldn’t type it sooner because as soon as Jones came in I was on the phone with a friend kvetching over just this.)

    And now we’ll have to come from behind in the 10th. Ugh.

    by Tater on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:37 pm

  25. Yeah, I’ll go with you Tater. He did just pitch, and with not even a day’s rest.

    Let’s see here though. Grandy can tie it up here.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:41 pm

  26. OMFG… before someone tattoos the news on Dombrowski’s forehead, could someone do us a favor and please, for the love of god, dump Rodney!

    by Bobby on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:42 pm

  27. Good game everyone. I’m out for the day.

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:43 pm

  28. I thought he’d just go two innings with Zumaya, myself.

    by Kurt on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:45 pm

  29. I know his history says it’ll happen, but is Sheff ever going to start earning his paycheck?

    Ok Guillen, time to pull our chesnuts out of the fire.

    by Anne on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:48 pm

  30. I don’t understand the bullpen usage at all. Bonderman only threw 86 pitches. I can’t watch the game; did he get hurt or something. Let Jeremy at least pitch the 8th.

    I hate when it goes in to extra innings and you’ve needlessly used up most of your bullpen.

    by Deryl G on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:51 pm

  31. Yuck, this one tastes bad.

    by Chris Y. on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:53 pm

  32. ugh.

    by Joey the K on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:54 pm

  33. I’m with you Tater. As soon as I heard Jones was coming in I had a bad feeling. Joel didn’t pitch last night and got through the 8th very efficiently so I was curious that he didn’t pitch the 9th. I know Leyland has forgotten more baseball than I will ever know but that was kinda weird. Oh man this one stings especially knowing that Durbin starts Friday against the sox.

    by Travis in Baton Rouge on Apr 18, 2007 at 2:59 pm

  34. I have always been rushing to the defense of Fernando Rodney — he has the stuff to pitch in the Majors, and pitch lights out at that. Last year before Todd Jones got off his little rollercoaster beginning to the season, Rodney’s changeup was unhittable. I’m unsure what has happened to him, but it seems he just cannot locate his pitches well enough in clutch or late inning situations, which is a same. If he could only locate in the heat of pitcher battle…

    Otherwise, a close game and a pitcher’s duel. As far as pulling Bonderman out with a low pitch count, honestly it may be for the best — he exceeds 100 pitches far too often. Bondy seems to put up elevated pitch counts almost every time he goes to the mound, so it is nice to see him leave the game in line for victory with an efficient number of pitches. Even if he has more in the tank, in the long run, it’s better to put those last innings on the shoulder of the bullpen.

    by ripismoney on Apr 18, 2007 at 3:37 pm

  35. ripismoney-

    I feel like your argument for taking Bonderman out goes something like this:

    Take him out now at 86 pitches, because in the future we will be unable to take him out when he has over 100 pitches.

    I would argue that we should leave him in now, and if there is a later date when he gets an elevated pitch count a little early, take him out then.

    by Deryl G on Apr 18, 2007 at 3:51 pm

  36. Rodney just cannot find the arm slot. I’m convinced it’s something in his mechanics right now.

    I liked taking Bondo out with that pitch count. It’s still just April and only his 4th start. No need to push the limits — especially when he just threw aroudn 100 pitches in his last tough luck loss.

    Why Zumaya only got the 8th inning after just a 7 pitch inning, without going out for the 9th is something I didn’t understand at the time. I thought for sure Leyland would run him back out there with Jones pitching just last night. I agree with those above me that have already said that. It’s a curious move.

    I agree on the Casey not batting 6th, part someone commented earlier, as well. He needs to be lower in the lineup. Lefty-Righty be damned, he doesn’t need to be hitting there.

    I’d like to see the order be:
    Granderson, Polanco, Guillen, Sheffield, Magglio, Pudge, Monroe, Casey, Inge.

    by Mike R on Apr 18, 2007 at 3:53 pm

  37. He should never have pitched in this game, but Rodney currently owns 1/2 of the Tigers losses.

    by Chris Y. on Apr 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm

  38. Rodney was a case last year. I remember having a discussion about it here on the weblog. The point I made was that although his numbers were good, it always seemed like his outings were a struggle. He always ran deep into counts and usually fell behind several batters.

    So I guess I’ve never been a huge fan of his and I basically see the same pitcher from last year–minus, of course, the amazing ability he demonstrated last season to reach back and throw a great pitch when he really needed to.

    by Joey C. on Apr 18, 2007 at 4:32 pm

  39. Just a look at Bonderman’s pitch count this season, in order of starts:

    89, 106, 96, 86

    I don’t disagree, Rip, because I remember his pitch count being in the 100s last season. It just seems once or twice he’s been taken out an inning short of the expected count.

    by Kurt on Apr 18, 2007 at 4:35 pm

  40. You cn tell who the bandwagon fans are. One blip on the radar dosen’t erase what Jones and Rodney have done. Same goes for Guillen and same with Sheff. Relax or jump back off the wagon and back to the whineing Pistons bandwagon.

    by Mt. P Chris on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:06 pm

  41. Rodney is a big concern, but he only gave up a solo shot in this game. It’s Jones who gave up the two-run rally. Those are the first runs he’s given up this year, so I think we have to give him a pass at this point. Every closer has a game like this on occasion.

    As for Zumaya not going another inning, I think you just have to chalk that up to the fact that every manager in baseball has a closer who comes in to pitch the 9th in every close game, regardless of other considerations. At this point, I think it’s actually good that that guy is Jones. Better to have Zumaya to come in to pitch us out of jams with runners on base.

    It’s a painful loss, but certainly no reason to panic.

    by Kyle J on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:15 pm

  42. As for Sheffield:

    • Hitters still riding the interstate include Gary Sheffield (.122), Albert Pujols (.170), Sosa (.175), Andruw Jones (.186), Richie Sexson (.192) and Manny Ramirez (.194).

    [From Jon Heyman's SI.com yesterday.]

    by Kyle J on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:32 pm

  43. So Chris, those of us who dare disagree with anything the Tigers do better get off the bandwagon I suppose? Genius. You really need to realize that there are a ton of fans who are nothing like yourself, thank God for that. Fellow bandwagon fans, bash away.

    by KS on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:54 pm

  44. You can tell Shef is pressing, that last one he slashed at and lost his balance was a high and outside fastball. I think he wants to prove to our fans that he can just like everyone else come up in the clutch and win, untill he does that, I don’t think you will be seeing the good side of him.

    Bonderman is and should be a horse. The Cy Young contenders pitch 8 on most nights and today he sure as heck could have gone that far if not the ninth.

    Leyland always has reverse Alan Tramell syndrome where he yanks a guy too early be it starters or relievers.

    We could have won today and should have won today, but you have to give the Royals their credit, they stayed close and beat up on Jones and Rodney who threw very hittable pitches at the end. Their starter was strong against us, and their defense wasn’t horrid either.

    In any event at the very least we should take 2/3 from the Chi Sox

    Thursday
    Off

    Friday
    Danks vs Durbin

    Saturday
    Contreras vs Robertson

    Sunday
    Garland vs Verlander

    Comming in their hot hitters are
    Dye (6-18) .333BA with 2 hrs and 12 total bases in the past week and
    Thome (6-13) .462BA with 1 hr and 10 total bases in the past week and
    AJ (4-11) .364BA with 4 total bases in the past week

    Every other starter is hitting (.235) or below in the past week

    Then again we only have 3 starters (Pudge, Ordonez and Polanco) hitting in the .310 – .321 range and everybody else is hitting .240(Carlos) or under in the past week.

    by David on Apr 18, 2007 at 6:02 pm

  45. KS, I think we got ourselves a troll here.

    by Joey C. on Apr 18, 2007 at 6:04 pm

  46. Hey guys, everyone take it easy. It’s a frustrating loss, no need for labeling each other.

    by billfer on Apr 18, 2007 at 6:11 pm

  47. While everyone would like to see Bonderman get the extra inning of work, I have no problem with him being taken out. I’d prefer he get shorter outings in April, then being blitzed by the end of August. No need for 110 pitch outings in April — especially when there’s relievers that need their work.

    What I’ve got a problem with, is a 7 pitch inning from Zumaya (which are rare for the fireballer) and not getting the most out of him today. He should’ve gone out for the 9th. I love having Jones as a closer so Zumaya can be in during what are the more important times of the games (7th, 8th innings), but there’s no reason on this earth as to why Zumaya shouldn’t have gone back out. Short of arm stiffness or something.

    by Mike R on Apr 18, 2007 at 6:24 pm

  48. Fair enough Bilfer, no disrespect intended to you or this wonderful blog you’ve put together.

    by KS on Apr 18, 2007 at 7:22 pm

  49. I think P. Chris was talking to me, anyway, Billfer. Mr. P Chris, you might rethink those kinds of comments; they’re much more uninformed than the opinions you’re angling against.

    I don’t participate a ton here, but I read every word, every day. I live next to the stadium, and I’ve been a season ticket holder for years. I know what I see, and unless you can really come up with some honest value of Mr. Rodney to this team, I’ll shut up.

    In my opinion, the team also plays more cautiously when he’s on the mound; there’s a reflection in the lack of confidence in him. You see it in hockey when a certain goalie is in net, and you can see it when you just know the big hit is coming when Rodney’s on the mound. It’s not just this year, either — I just can’t find any real value in pitching him. It’s not like there aren’t more arms in this organization, or in this league, that wouldn’t give anything to come to this staff.

    I’ll bet donuts to dollars that this is a topic of conversation in the GM’s office.

    by Bobby on Apr 18, 2007 at 7:48 pm

  50. I certainly hope it’s a topic of conversation in the GM’s office. Rodney’s seemed a mess since the end of May last year. Unfortunately we can’t have a bullpen littered with Zumaya’s, but surely a better option than Rodney needs to be found very soon. Since it’s apparent that Ledezma isn’t being considered for the Durbin role (which is insane to me) maybe he can be put in more high leverage situations, like those Rodney has been placed with for the last year. Rodney’s at the point where he needs to work things out, and shouldn’t be costing the rest of the team while he does it.

    by KS on Apr 18, 2007 at 7:57 pm

  51. What did the replays show on the two almost double plays? I was sitting near first base and they both looked like bad calls at first; especially the first one.

    by keith on Apr 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm

  52. Who would you guys prefer in the role, instead of Rodney? Would you rather we kept Franklyn German? I think we’re just spoiled with the amount of talented arms we’ve been able to witness in just the last year and a half.

    Is he lights out? Hardly.
    Is he as bad as we make him out to be? No.

    by Mike R on Apr 18, 2007 at 8:01 pm

  53. Rodney is fine.

    I love how everyone is ready to throw him off the bus after 7 bad innings.

    In the last 2 years he has given up 90 hits in 116 innings. He will be fine, just relax guys.

    -Sam

    by Sam on Apr 18, 2007 at 8:05 pm

  54. What did the replays show on the two almost double plays?

    They were safe.

    In the last 2 years he has given up 90 hits in 116 innings. He will be fine, just relax guys.

    Agreed. He’s an above average reliever that made some HUGE outs for us last year. Are there better pitchers? Of course, but even if we could acquire one of them, Grili or Seay would be the one out of work, not Rodney.

    by Jeff M on Apr 18, 2007 at 8:27 pm

  55. I think it’s just one of those games. Would we have won had Zumaya pitched the ninth as well? Almost assuredly yes. However, it’s not as if Jones has had ANY bad outings this year so far, (what was Leyland to think? should he go with his sophomore talent or with his veteran closer – who was not only perfect until that inning, but who also STILL leads the league in saves…) and he gave up two runs (one, I might add, which was a VERY close play at first, and if the ball had gotten there a split-second sooner or if the runner had been a split-second slower out of the box, we would have won right there.)

    Just a tough-lucker tonight. I don’t blame Jones, I blame DeJesus. And I don’t blame Rodney, because we likely would have lost anyway. The Tigers are NOT an extra inning ball-club. Out of 4 extra-innings matches this year, we won one. And that because of a lucky two-out grand slam. If we had only gotten, say, a solo shot, or a small ball run, we most likely would have lost that game as well, seeing as the Royals scored in the bottom of that inning, and would have tied us (again!). They’re a pesky bunch. It’s strange they’ve only won four games, and half of those from us.

    If we’re tied after the ninth, don’t expect a win. Just be happy when it does happen.

    Don’t worry too much (or at all) yet, guys. Thirteen games in and we haven’t:

    *Lost two games in a row
    *Gotten shut out
    *Lost a series

    And think, none of the guys (-Grandy and Pudge and Polanco) are hitting yet!

    by Adam on Apr 18, 2007 at 8:40 pm

  56. Would we have won had Zumaya pitched the ninth as well?

    I don’t think it’s a rip on Jones to say that Zumaya should have pitched the 9th. It’s the fact that Jones pitched 18 hours earlier and Zumaya had only thrown a few pitches, so why not give Jones the day off and let Zumaya finish?

    by Jeff on Apr 18, 2007 at 8:48 pm

  57. Don’t worry too much (or at all) yet, guys. Thirteen games in and we haven’t:

    *Lost two games in a row
    *Gotten shut out
    *Lost a series

    Read that a couple more times, guys.

    I know expectations are higher and I know the schedule is going to get tougher, but let’s not forget where we came from. These are the good times. Soak ‘em up with a smile, baby. :)

    by Jeff M on Apr 18, 2007 at 9:15 pm

  58. Got to disagree with David. Two of three from the Chi Sox this weekend? We have struggled with the lowly likes of Kansas City and Baltimore. Nearly no one is hitting, and the starting pitching which has looked great in spots now faces Jim Thome (2 HR’s today, three on the week), Paul Kenerko (who kills Detroit pitching better than everyone in the universe except Joe Crede), and Joe Crede (see previous parantheses).

    Up against that we have Durbin (and that makes us feel good how?), Robertson (ok, there is a win), and Verlander (who has awesome stuff against everyone else but Chicago. Remember the whole “Verlander tipping pitches” thing last year? Thome and the Sox have creamed JV).

    There is not an easy game in this bunch. These aren’t the Royals or Orioles coming to town.

    Most everyone is correct, no time to panic, not in April. But there is only margain for a few loses between post season and not. We just gave one of those loses away. It is not must win, but it is of great importance to take two of three. It is just going to be really hard to do so.

    by EZ on Apr 18, 2007 at 10:01 pm

  59. /frustration with the last couple of days’ bullpen management

    Why couldn’t Bobby Seay pitch a whole inning? (Even though he’s a lefty)

    by colin on Apr 18, 2007 at 10:35 pm

  60. If we lose a few more games to KC we need to take a few more from Chicago.

    They were the one of the two teams last year (the other being the Yanks) prior to the postseason that had our #.

    I really don’t like the fans from Chicago and would love to see a sweep, but will take 2/3.

    We’ve beat up on Garland before, and if Contreras is off as he has been it shouldn’t be too bad. Don’t forget that after Durbin we have red-hot Robertson and Verlander who was alright last time out.

    It should be nice for this set and I think I have tickets for saturdays matchup.

    No these aren’t the Royals or Orioles but Thome is a year older, the’ve gotten rid of Freddy, and like us last year they were not very sharp from August through September.

    Maybe resign Higgi who loves to bash the chi sox. ;) JK

    Oh and on Rodney, he either has been throwing too many change-ups in a row, or locating his fastball in the upper half of the strike zone. Don’t drop him I remember last year he blew a game in Baltimore and then another, but I think he’ll get it together.

    And although Jonsey is a great guy to have on the club I don’t think he should ever be brought in unless its a non-save situation (up/down by 4+ runs)

    Mesa is the real guy who worries me, I doubt that he has any left in the tank and don’t understand why this organization went out and got him. Rockies relievers aren’t in real high demand.

    Even so I’d trade Rodney and Mesa and 2mil for Jamie Walker.
    He’s a funny dude if you’ve ever met him at a game or fan fest or w/e.

    by David on Apr 18, 2007 at 10:38 pm

  61. I think this one’s on Leyland. Lifting Zoom after a quick 8th was probably the most crucial decision. I’m fine with Jones overall, but there’s no reason to think Zumaya can’t close a game every now and again when the situation dictates. I think we need to keep Rodney out of high leverage situations for a while, until he finds his stuff again. And I too groaned with the pinch-bunt decision. (I double groaned when they nailed Monroe at second).

    Rodney’s funny. He reminds me a lot of Armando Benitez. Lights out when he’s got it, but treacherous when he’s off (and streaky in both respects). He’ll be fine in the long run. Let’s just hope he can limit the damage going forward until he finds it again.

    by Ryan S on Apr 19, 2007 at 7:00 am

  62. Jeff M hits the nail on the head. We’re 9-6 and we think we’ve been playing badly. It’s a cliche’, but that’s the sign of a good team.

    by Kyle J on Apr 19, 2007 at 8:09 am

  63. No Jones unless a 4 run lead?? Granted he almost always make it exciting letting guys on base, but they don’t get too him for runs very often.

    by jim-mt on Apr 19, 2007 at 11:02 am

  64. No we have not lost 2 in a row, but you could do that over a course of a season and still go .500.

    No we have not lost a series but with the talent we have including the starting pitching (and relief) we tote out there every night do you plan to lose a series to some of the worst offenses in the AL (not that they are bad, its just if you compare them to most teams the Royals or Orioles they will not score as many runs). Not to mention that they don’t have the best pitchers themselves.

    Yea its nice that we have not gotten shut out (even by Halladay), but I we have only scored 3 runs or less in EIGHT, count em’ 8 games so far thats over 50%.

    We could have and should have swept the Royals at least this series, and to lose both games against Halladay and the Toronto lineup I understand but it would have been nice to split, due to the fact that we had our ace on the hill.

    Anyways your right it is nice to be complaining with a winning record, but they are a team comming off of an AL Chamionship and expectations have rose. Only going .600 against the Royals is not one of them.

    by David on Apr 19, 2007 at 3:12 pm

  65. Face it-we have the shakiest closer of all the AL contenders(Yankees,RedSox,WhiteSox,Twins,Angels).As nice a guy as he seems to be,”HeartAttack” Jones flirts with disaster too often.No way-NO WAY-should Zumaya have come out after 7 pitches in the 8th,especially with Jones on so little rest.This loss is on Leyland.

    by Bob S. on Apr 19, 2007 at 3:40 pm

  66. David: We’re thirteen games in. We have a better start than we did last year. This is baseball, and it doesn’t change just because “expectations” have risen.

    If you don’t lose two in a row all season, the chances that you didn’t WIN two in a row (i.e. going .500) is almost zero.

    The “worst offenses” in the AL. The Royals, sure. I’ll take that one. The Orioles? Before we played them, they took two out of three from the Yankees. They’re not horrible. The Blue Jays? Lead the league in pretty much every batting stat and we still split (and could easily have won all games in) the two series’ we played.

    Don’t tell me you were expecting the Tigers to do as well against the Royals this year as we did last year. Last year it was just one bad team against another – no one cared. This year they’re out to get us. As is every other team. The chances we win 95 again this year are almost zero. So, with that in mind, remember where we’re at right now, and extrapolate it. That’s an end-of-season-record of 97 and 65. You’re going to complain about that?

    by Adam on Apr 19, 2007 at 3:49 pm

  67. Everyone’s panicking. Settle down. No need to fret. If no one’s hitting, Rodney’s still struggling, and Todd Jones is blowing games left and right by the end of May (when one can finally draw conclusions on trends for the baseball season) then we should press the panick button.

    For now, I’m just going to relish in the fact that we’re 9-6 and have 6/9ths of our lineup looking like AAAA hitters. And that won’t last for much longer.

    by Mike R on Apr 19, 2007 at 4:04 pm

  68. And wow. Did i really just say 6/9ths? hahaha, change that to 2/3rds.

    by Mike R on Apr 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm

  69. I never said the Blue Jays lineup was bad, in fact I think it is one of the better ones in the league.

    The Orioles on the other hand do have a few quality hitters but would you take their lineup over ours? Chicagos? Clevelands? NY? Boston? Toronto? Texas? Minny? I don’t think so.

    Oh and it would be great it would be great if we played one good team and two bad ones on average throughout the year but that won’t be the case.

    Oh and no I do not expect the dominance over the Royals I do think they are a much improved team with Grienke/Meche Sweeney returning, Buck, Teahen, Gordon, Shealy etc. BUT, IF WE GET THE START LIKE WE GOT OUT OF JEREMY BONDERMAN, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO WIN EVERY TIME OUT AGAINST THEM.

    by David on Apr 19, 2007 at 7:44 pm

  70. Every team gets great starts from pitchers and has trouble scoring runs in said starts, some times. It happens. Nothing to get worked up over.

    by Mike R on Apr 20, 2007 at 3:50 am

  71. I’m not worked up, just disapointed that we could not pull out a W against them when our “supposed” ace throws a gem.

    by David on Apr 20, 2007 at 3:59 am

  72. Thank goodness we have clear thinkers here like MikeR and Sam to admonish us to relax and not panic(I guess second guessing Leyland for misusing his pitching staff and blowing a game is referred to as panic in true believer vernacular).
    I’m pretty sure no one here expected 162 wins this year.I’m also reasonably sure that games in April count the same as games in September.One game in the standings could be the difference between the playoffs or not(it’s been known to happen),and losses like Wednesday’s are particularly painful.It left me with the same sick feeling as the debacle in Minnesota last year.
    And just think of what you’re missing-if you relish 9&6,you could be downright giddy at 10&5.

    by Bob S. on Apr 20, 2007 at 11:55 am

  73. I guess second guessing Leyland for misusing his pitching staff and blowing a game is referred to as panic in true believer vernacular

    First, I’ll assume this isn’t literally “second guessing”. I’m sure many people disagreed with the decision the moment it was made, so I play the hindsight card.

    But the problem is that the misgivings rarely get voiced when things go well. Did Leyland’s decision backfire? Sure. Is that any guarantee that we would have won had Bonderman or Zoom pitched longer? We’ll never know.

    So all of these blames and complaints are just that. The fact of the matter is Leyland, as a former catcher who has been in the game for 150 years, is above average when it comes to determing what a pitcher has left in the tank. He made a call and I guarantee he’d make the same call if he had it all to do over again.

    Did the call turn out to be wrong? Of course, but guess what: He, and every other manager in the league, will be demonstrably wrong dozens more times this season.

    You can’t sit there and say “9-6…10-5″ because they only way they win (which isn’t even a given) Game 15 is if Leyland changes his decision making strategy. So now you’re playing “What if we had a different manager?” The results would probably favorable for Game 15, but you have to reevaluate Games 1-14 too. It’s fair to assume that Manager X would make different decisions all along the way and could have records of 14-0, 10-4, 4-10, or 0-14 leading into the oh-so critical game 15.

    The bottom line is the guys everyone is complaining about have very good track records. Baseball is a numbers game (and you ALL KNOW THIS!) they will all have bad days, but unless you’re prepared to suggest an available replacement, quit complaining and enjoy the fact that, from top to bottom, our organization is significantly better than most and LIGHT-YEARS ahead of where we were two years ago.

    by Jeff M on Apr 20, 2007 at 12:37 pm

  74. so I play the hindsight card.

    So I won’t play the hindsight card.

    by Jeff M on Apr 20, 2007 at 12:37 pm

  75. Bob S: I second guessed Leyland already a few times in here. You may want to go back and re-read those. I thought he made curious moves. However, people calling for Rodney’s head is a bit absurd. And my point isn’t that I’m giddy about a 9-6 team, I’m giddy about a 9-6 team with only 3 guys hitting with any regularity and a lineup that still has Sean Casey hitting 6th. THAT makes me giddy. Not just being 9-6.

    by Mike R on Apr 20, 2007 at 3:32 pm

  76. Mike R.,yes,you did second guess Leyland.I suppose I took offense to the implicitly condescending suggestions by you and others to relax,don’t panic,etc.That was a bad loss Wednesday brought on by Leyland’s overmanaging and overreliance on a very mediocre closer.While this is a good team,it’s not so good it can afford to go on pissing away games.
    Jeff M.,I’ll quit complaining when I die.I’d venture to say I’ve spent a few more years than you riding the highs and (mostly) lows with Detroit sports teams as well as dropping a large chunk of change in their collective coffers.If my investment of time,emotion,and money entitles me to anything,it’s to complain.I’m not advocating for Leyland being replaced,but as my wife will attest,I very loudly objected to his decision to send out Jones for the 9th.Your argument that a different manager might have an 0-14 is a little disingenuous,since most of managing is cookbook stuff,as managers themselves will tell you.Any one of us here could probably make the right tactical decisions most of the time.There are very few “WTF is he doing?” moments and pulling Zumaya after 7 pitches was one of them.

    by Bob S. on Apr 20, 2007 at 6:55 pm

  77. No problem. I apologize if I come across as condescending, I’m not trying to be.

    by Mike R on Apr 20, 2007 at 7:06 pm

  78. I’ll quit complaining when I die.I’d venture to say I’ve spent a few more years than you riding the highs and (mostly) lows with Detroit sports teams

    It’s unfortunate that you consider Game 15 a “low”. With so much experience with true “lows”, I would expect a greater appreciation of just how good we really have it right now.

    Your argument that a different manager might have an 0-14 is a little disingenuous

    My argument was that a different manager would likely have a different record. 0-14 was just one of several that I tossed out. I realize a typical manager is only going to alter the outcome of a modest fraction of games, but he is going to alter the outcome in some of those games and Jim Leyland is widely considered to be among the best at his profession.

    By expecting that he could alter that single quirky decision without also reconsidering every other quirky decision in his life (many of which were very successful) you are asking for a better Jim Leyland. That’s completely understandable; if I had a magic wand, I’d improve everyone from DD to the usher in section 214, but that’s just not realistic.

    For the most part, anyone with a handful of years in the MLB isn’t going to improve much further. You basically just have to accept them as they are or replace them with someone who fits your needs better.

    by Jeff M on Apr 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm

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