Game 103: Tigers at Angels

PREGAME: The Tigers will turn to Andrew Miller to try and turn the starting rotation around. Miller will try to get past the 5th inning which is something he hasn’t done in his last 3 starts.

The Angels will send out a young pitcher of their own in Joe Saunders. Saunders just rejoined the rotation last week and shut down the Twins to the tune of 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of work. He’s made 6 starts this year and has a 2.89 ERA despite not striking out many (only 19 in 37 1/3 innings). His strength his keeping the ball in the park with only 2 homers allowed. Left handed hitters only have 32 PA’s but have a meager 194/219/226 line. We’ll see if Leyland goes with his regulars or the Toledo crew for the National TV tilt.

Game Time 3:55

DET @ LAA, Saturday, July 28, 2007 Game Preview –


  1. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 3:33 pm


  2. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    OK, I left the room and they got a run in.

  3. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I wanna see Paul Bunyon knock some wood out of there.

  4. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Maybe later.

  5. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    No rod and mario. Weak.

  6. Dirk

    July 28, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Thank God, a double Play. Pitchers best friend. Vlad (Dracul) is out for the first time.
    Hopefully he will get 0-4 or so 😉

  7. Dirk

    July 28, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    they keep Saunders really busy. Again 2on with 1 out in the 2nd. Nearly 40 Pitches for him

  8. Dirk

    July 28, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    but ,unfortunately, nothing comes around.

  9. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Did you hear that, fewest double plays turned in the american league.

  10. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Kevin in Austin:

    Not sure if you’re tuning in today… If I recall, you had mentioned a few weeks back a way to get to overide blackout resistriction on the IP address on games that are “nationally televised” yet not televised (in our area FOX is airing Braves/Diamondbacks). I contacted and they refused… is there a special number to call or trick to make this happen?

    Can’t get the game today. Since you have had some success, figured I reach out and give it a shot

    T Smith

  11. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Hey T Smith, On June 23rd Kevin posted this:
    Kevin in Austin:

    June 23rd, 2007 at 5:59 pm
    T Smith – if you call customer support, and sit on hold with them for 20 min, they’ll release your IP and override the blackout restrictions.

    Kevin in Austin:

    June 23rd, 2007 at 6:00 pm
    Here is the #:
    Customer Support toll-free number: 866-800-1275

  12. Mark in Chicago

    July 28, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Are you kidding me??!? That last pitch to Vlad looked right down the middle.

  13. Ken from Cincinnati

    July 28, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    T. Smith, I just tried pleading with a customer support specialist at and got rejected also. I let her know that others have been able to get the IP overridden, and she said that they will do that if you’ve been mistakenly blacked out in a local market. This stuff really pisses me off. Why in the hell would I want to watch the Braves in Ohio. I’m closer to Detroit and it’s a much better game anyway.

  14. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 5:40 pm


  15. Nate

    July 28, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    I’m surprised Cincy gets the Braves. Indianapolis has the Tigers.

  16. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Monroe sucks

  17. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Probably depends on which customer service rep you speak with. I’d call again and give it another shot with someone else.

  18. Ken from Cincinnati

    July 28, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Monroe is beyond awful this year. I wish we would have had the foresight to trade him while his stock was high last year. He probably was one of the most overhyped .250 hitters I have ever seen, and I remember several bloggers who thought we should deal him and make Thames the everyday left fielder. Now Thames is going to be that anyway when he returns and Monroe will sit the bench. If we trade him now we’ll get half the player we could have got last year. Oh well. Hopefully CMo will snap out of it and provide us with some offense down the stretch but his confidence looks completely shook.

  19. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    and now here comes grilli who sucks too

  20. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    It sure doesn’t look like any roster changes are coming. Seems like we’d be hearing something by now. Kenny Lofton was a good pickup for Cleveland.

  21. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Grilli in for Miller, similar to Pavlov’s dog I start sweating.

  22. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    I cannot believe we have not heard trade talk about the bullpen

  23. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Me either, mcb. The only one I’ve heard anything about is Gagne and he only wants to be a closer.

  24. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Too bad that run goes against miller. Grilli is just awful.

  25. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    atleast he’s consistant.

  26. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Thank God Grandy’s out in Center.

  27. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Tigers Reliever + Inherited Runner = Run.

  28. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    T Smith – just hopped on and saw your post. That only works when you get a local blackout. Sat afternoons Fox has a national blackout. We’ll always be out of luck.

  29. Matt in ATL

    July 28, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Grilli is either the worst pitcher I have ever seen or in league with Tim Donaghy

  30. Ken from Cincinnati

    July 28, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    I wonder if any of the players ever check this blog out. A lot of them read the papers to see what people are saying about them, so you would think that blogs would intrigue them as well. Grilli, if you read this, let it be known that I do not care for you skill set at this time.

  31. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:12 pm


  32. Tram Fan

    July 28, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Perfect, Kathy – we need a closer.
    BTW, when is JJ Putz out of his contract?

  33. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Earth to DD:

    If you want to win one more game this year, get some bullpen help.

  34. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Do you think he ever wonders himself, how am I still here?

  35. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    I’m past being mad at Grilli. Leyland has got to get wise. This is way past acceptable.

  36. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    As a season ticket holder, I am going on record now saying that I will not purchase the playoff tickets if the Tigers do not do something to improve this bullpen. There is another blown save. This bullpen will NOT win a world series.

  37. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Tiger’s reliever plus inherited runer = 1+ runs.

  38. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    What we want is lights out and we’re not gonna get that until the starters can go 7 innings, bring in Zoom and then the closer.

  39. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Kathy – I agree but I do not think they can expect or assume Zumaya will walk out and start throwing 100 mph.

  40. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Putz has 3 more years.

  41. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I am not defending Grilli, but the Fox anouncer has a point, the starters have to go deeper in games. Miller allows the first baserunner to reach and the same with Verlander the other day in his last inning. This puts the pressure on the relievers as soon as they come in. I wish Leyland would sometimes just not let the starters go back out like that when thier pitch counts are high.

  42. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    While that is technically true I think that’s still kind of a cop out. These guys know what they’re supposed to do and they aren’t doing it.

  43. mcb

    July 28, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    The relievers get paid to get out of stressful situations.

  44. Matt in ATL

    July 28, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    It doesnt matter when you are pitching and what the situation, if you cant get outs-you cant get outs. I understand it every once and a while but it is geting obnoxious now.

  45. William

    July 28, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    I agree. It looks like it’s sink or swim, though. If Rodney and Zumaya are 100%, we may be OK, but it’s too taxing to ask your SP to go 7 every night.

    If FR and JZ aren’t OK, then it probably won’t matter–I don’t see this bullpen making the playoffs.

  46. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    I am just saying I don’t like how the situations are being handled. Why not use Cappellan or Byrdak? I agree our bullpen has been horrible.

  47. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Just hold them to one more run Grilli, you can do it.

  48. William

    July 28, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    does anyone remember how much Jamie Walker wanted in teh offseason? his numbers are pretty good at Baltimore.

    of course, the Junior League’s numbers look good compared to what we have had lately.

  49. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    I too don’t quite understand why Grilli gets all the work…

  50. Ryan S

    July 28, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    And Grilli walks the leadoff batter….sigh.

  51. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Too taxing? That’s what they’re paid to do. A good starting pitcher is supposed to go at least 8 innings and then a closer. Now we have set up men and a closer. Ridiculous. They are supposed to dominate and set the tone for the game, not wimp out after 5 innings.

    Bondo and Verlander…that’s about it

  52. Ryan S

    July 28, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Oh sorry, it was the second batter….sigh, anyway.

    (and Rabelo throws him out stealing – incredible)

  53. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Rabelo needs to be the starter. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, I plan soon to take a deeper look and let you guys know what I find.

  54. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    And 6 runners left on base in scoring position. The bats need to fire up.

  55. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    “A good starting pitcher is supposed to go at least 8 innings and then a closer.”

    Sorry what? I didn’t know this was 1940 and SP’s were supposed to go 8+

  56. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Monroe = Rally Killer

  57. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    You have to protect the plate Craig!

    Although that was bulls hit call by the ump. Delayed calls are bush

  58. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    No, it’s 2007. I didn’t say 8+. But they goot be able to give at least 7 or they’re not a starting pitcher. IMHO

  59. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    I didn’t say 8+. The ideal is 8 but asking for 7 innings from a starting pitcher is not unreasonable. If they can’t do it, then they’re not a starting pitcher. IMHO

  60. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    See this is what I mean by letting Grilli start the inning (when he has not been good either) another inherrited runner…

  61. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Lets hope this doesn’t end up the same as the last time.

  62. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    Can’t blame Grilli for that one.

  63. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    well not the same, only worse

  64. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    What can ya do. He hit his spot. Anderson went down and got it. Nice hit. Oh, and the fan reached over but who cares right?

  65. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    We got robbed. But the next guy got a big hit too.

  66. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    They keep showing that kid that caught the ball. GRRRRR!!! Reached right over the railing.

  67. Mark in Chicago

    July 28, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    I hate this bullpen.

  68. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    “No, it’s 2007. I didn’t say 8+. But they goot be able to give at least 7 or they’re not a starting pitcher. IMHO”

    You’re kidding right. Exactly one starter last year with a min 32GP averaged 7ip a start.
    Brandon Webb averaged just over 7ip. He’s it.

  69. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    btw this game’s over

  70. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Its getting really hard to watch these games lately. Bloop hit after bloop hit, weak choppers, bad defense… I could go on and on

  71. Mark in Chicago

    July 28, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    This is comical. I do not envy the players right now, because Leyland is going to seriously let them have it.

    Monroe absolutely CANNOT be counted on for any meaningful situation. He is a complete black hole in the lineup. With all the talk around bullpen help (deservedly so) it would not surprise me to see DD land a left fielder. Not too many saw the Casey pickup coming last year, and LF is clearly a weak spot on the team.

  72. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    lmao. this is a joke

  73. Mark in Chicago

    July 28, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Nice pitch, Capellan. Not that it matters, but it would be nice to see good execution even though this is out of hand.

  74. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Seems to me things went south very quickly after Thames got injured..

    Man remember that three game set against minny? man those were the good ol days.

  75. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 7:19 pm


  76. boombotti

    July 28, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Man, on national tv too

  77. tigerfan

    July 28, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    sorry folks this team is not a world championship caliber team
    if it wasn’t for the offense they would not be where they are
    now.defense just better than average, starting pitching just ok
    and the bullpen stinks. And besides all that they don’t deserve
    a world championship. look at last year they played an inferior
    team and with all the blunders managed to give the champion-
    ship away.Sorry I know we all want them to win,but realistically it ain’t gonna happen.

  78. Bryan

    July 28, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    what the fark!@#!@#!@#!@#!@!!!!!!?!?!?!?
    3-3 -> 10-3 in one inning !?!@?!#?!@!?#!@?!@

    They NEED to trade for bullpen help. waiting for Rodney and Zumaya to return just isn’t an option anymore. By the time they return, we’ll be behind too much to catch up

  79. JML

    July 28, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Live by the pitching, die by the pitching

  80. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Well, Jim, it’s a mystery to me. It really is. I guess the game has changed pitching wise.

  81. Matt in ATL

    July 28, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    I agree with Tigerfan- Too many errors, walks, wild pitches and hit batters. The offense can only do so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Matt in ATL

    July 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    I am talking season lont btw

  83. Kathy

    July 28, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    And the offense isn’t doing that much. Some of them might have high averages but we let too many runners stranded and don’t get the hits when needed. The Angels are hot and we’re not.

  84. JML

    July 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I’m on strike, in protest. For the first time ever, I am not wearing my Tigers hat on a daily basis until they do something about the darned bullpen. This has gone too far.

  85. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    what, no postgame!? i want to see what leyland says

  86. JML

    July 28, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    The game was on the Fox Network, they don’t give shakes what Leyland has to say. Until he says “we’re revamping the bullpen”, neither do I, frankly…

  87. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Hopefully this will support me:

  88. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    “Well, Jim, it’s a mystery to me. It really is. I guess the game has changed pitching wise.”

    Well, the Holds stat was created in 1986. That was 20 years ago. *shrug*

  89. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    I’m starting to agree with Tigerfan. Maybe I need to lower my expections.

  90. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    5ip 2er from Miller. I’d take that any day of the week for a 4/5 starter. Well, bullpen aside that is.

  91. Jim

    July 28, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Astros deal Wheeler:

    I doubt they’ll give up Lidge or Qualls now

  92. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Mark in Chicago:

    Four weeks ago I was screaming at whoever would listen:


    We don’t need to pick up a LFer… and I doubt DD will do anything. Raburn, Thames (he’ll be back soon) even Timo Perez for all I care… Ricky Henderson wants to play. He can take the spot. Anybody but Monroe. ANYBODY.

    I’ve been hard on Inge in the past, but at least he comes thru every now and then. Monroe is absolutely dismal. And when you have a rally with Monroe on deck and Inge in the hole, it’s bad news.

    Monroe is abosutley the most un-clutch player we have. For the life of me I do not understand why Leyland continues to play him when you have Raburn. I’m through complaining… I honestly don’t understand it. Maybe a gambling scandal al la NBA? I just don’t get it.

  93. Mark in Chicago

    July 28, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    I dont doubt it, T Smith, and you have not been alone in that regard. And it’s not so much me finally giving up on Monroe (I’ve been agreeing with you for weeks), it’s more of a guess on my part of what DD might do. Since nobody was expecting him to go out and get help at 1B last year, I suspect he may again do something different than what many of us expect.

  94. Adam

    July 28, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    What a joke.

  95. Joey C.

    July 28, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Karros made that comment about it being on the starting pitcher when he can’t go deeper into a game and a reliever lets the inherited runner in.

    Here’s the deal. Miller wasn’t given the opportunity. And neither was Verlander the other night for that matter. I know he had a rough 5th inning and his pitch-count wasgetting up there, but why the automatic yank after one walk? I mean, I’d feel better with Miller in that situation than ANYONE in the pen right now–expecially Grilli! Totally ridiculous and I think this is a good example where blind adherence to pitch count orthodoxy can hurt a team. Verlander walked ONE guy to start the eight in his last appearance, and immediately here comes the hook. And what happens? This mess of a pen blows it.

    And to be honest, the starters have looked pretty mediocre during this rough patch. The only guy I really have confidence in at this point is Verlander. Even when he’s off, he keeps us in it. Bonderman, Kenny and Nate have not looked good. And Nate I’m really concerned about. Dead arm? Remember when that trip to the DL was the solution? He just looks bad. Period. And I don’t know if he’ll turn it around.

    Although he looked nice after he gave up 8 last night. For whatever that’s worth.

  96. Joey C.

    July 28, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Also, we should keep in mind that we’re still in first place, and this team has gone through these rough patches a couple of times arleady this season, only to turn it around for a stretch. I don’t think we need to get too worked up here…yet.

  97. Kurt

    July 28, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Joey, Lee, sometimes commenter here, posted on Motown Sports forum that Tigers starters average 6 innings this year, and they averaged 6 innings last year, so there’s no change there.

  98. Stephen

    July 28, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    If we end up not making the playoffs ,I’m sure management will suggest ‘well see, we weren’t good enough aren’t you glad we didn’t trade prospects?’ It becomes a complete chicken or the egg thing: if we end up 89-73 then Dombrowski can justify making no moves. But talk all you want about this bullpen costs us only 3-4 games statistically, the bullpen can break a team’s spirit and then the hitting, fielding, even starting pitching collapses out of depression and frustration. Then, management can blame it on all aspects of the team, when no, actually it was just the bullpen sucking that broke the team.

  99. Lurker

    July 29, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Kathy,you’re obviously an enthusiastic Tiger fan and that’s a wonderful thing,but you seem to have more holes in your understanding of the game of baseball than some of the others who frequent this blog.It might be to your advantage to stick to cheerleading and reading AND understanding what some of the very insightful commenters here are writing instead of engaging in silly arguments that betray your naivete.
    I wonder if the starters aren’t feeling some pressure knowing they have to eventually turn the ball over to the arsonists in the bullpen.On the bright side,we can always have Grilli throw batting practice to any slumping hitters.

  100. boombotti

    July 29, 2007 at 2:41 am

    At least Leyland admits the team sucks right now too, including himself:

    “That’s very disturbing,” Leyland said. “Right now we’re doing all the things that add up to losing. We’re not managing good, not hitting good when we have a chance to add on runs and we’re pitching badly.”

    “Evidently, I haven’t pushed the right buttons”

  101. T Smith

    July 29, 2007 at 9:48 am


    I’ve been coming to the site for a long time now and I find Kathy very insightful. I’m not certain exactly what comment you’re referring to, but I’m sure it didn’t warrent such a harsh response.

  102. Kathy

    July 29, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Thanks T. I surmise they are referring to the remark about starting pitchers getting in more innings. I admit I’m not a stat person, but I have watched baseball for many, many years. I don’t feel that I had an argument with anyone during this game but a difference of opinion and that’s OK by me. We have differences of opinion on this board almost every game and it’s usually among the guys.

    And, Lurker, just because you’re frustrated with the Tigers, don’t take it out on me.

  103. T Smith

    July 29, 2007 at 10:27 am


    If that’s the case, that’s a legitimate debate. Dan Dickerson and Jim Price were just talking about the very same thing yesterday (see Mickey Lolich and Jack Morris pitch counts last two seasons Tigers went to WS). I wasn’t following their point too much, but I think they may have been leaning on giving pitchers more pitches in a game, if the team needs it.

    I’m not necessarily advocating it (case in point why you shouldn’t is Mark Fiddrich) but, still, it is a legitimate debate.

  104. Kathy

    July 29, 2007 at 10:29 am

    And, for the record, I did do some research of my own. I checked all the stats for pitchers in the AL. Games started, Innings pitched, earned runs and strikeouts. Among Tigers, Verlander is our best going about 6.4 innings, followed by Bondo. I can see that most of today’s starters, even the best ones, are mostly in the 6 innings range.

  105. Mike R

    July 29, 2007 at 10:30 am

    At this point, I’m game for making a deal that would bring in a Jason Grilli replica. At least give me a new face to yell at everytime he comes out of the bullpen.

    It’s clear the Tim Byrdak experiment and outstanding pitching game is over. We can not give him the ball anymore and I’ll be fine with it.

    Andrew Miller over compensating for his walks by not throwing hard and it just resulted in 4 walks and only 5 innings. But, this is what you get from a kid with 77.0 career minor league innings under his belt.

    The more I think about it, the more I would’ve liked to have packaged Monroe and Robertson in the offseason to really fill some holes. Imagine what we could’ve gotten in return. And in the early parts of the season, the guy at speculated that maybe Robertson + good prospect would be enough to get Saltalamacchia from the Braves. How sweet it would’ve been.

  106. Mike R

    July 29, 2007 at 10:33 am

    T Smith: If you routinely give pitchers higher pitch counts game in, game out, you’d wear them down. That would be a trend that’d have to be started in the minors other wise you’d have guys in the 7th throwing meatballs up there with 125 pitch pitch counts.

  107. Kathy

    July 29, 2007 at 10:41 am

    I agree, T. And it really is a mystery to me why pitchers pitch fewer innings. Is it because they throw faster now, different pitching styles, save wear and tear on the pitchers. I really don’t know, but it’s something I’m going to look into. I watched the games in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and pitching has changed.

  108. Lurker

    July 29, 2007 at 10:45 am

    An argument is a discussion in which disagreement is expressed about some point.Like what constitutes an argument.
    People who argue that starting pitchers should be taking the mound and routinely throwing for more innings and higher pitch counts despite decades long trends show their naivete.

  109. Jim

    July 29, 2007 at 10:48 am

    It’s different now from before in that now 1-9 in most lineups can hit a homerun. This is the american league too mind you and the DH has changed pitching as well. Pitchers now can’t just cost threw the 7-8-9 hitters anymore. Pitching is also more speciailized, they pay attention to matchups alot more as well.

    Also I suspect with all the money being paid now they don’t want to risk anymore Kerry Woods either. They baby the starters.

  110. Jim

    July 29, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Oh, and people like Bill James and ‘sabermetrics’ have changed things a bit too i think.

  111. T Smith

    July 29, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Mike R:

    I actually agree with you. I was just pointing out that the suggestion to possibly give your starter a few more pitches (especially where there is no viable relief in sight) isn’t a novel idea and subject to debate. Yes, the way pitchers are conditioned today, they’d be throwing meatballs by 125 pitches. I for one, also don’t think you go back to the kind of pitch regiment where they throw 125+ pitches. Still, I don’t think it’s a ridiculous premise in and of itself, as pointed out by Dan Dickerson and Jim Price yesterday.

    Interesting little note on the subject: I’m almost sure that when Jim Leyland first came back to the game (after his little hiatus) he was so old-school that he was quoted as saying, something to the effect, “…let ’em pitch. They’re paid to pitch, stop babying them…” I’m grossly paraphrasing, but it seems to me he was an advocate to increase pitch counts. They, mysteriously, after being in the game just a few months, he backpeddled and changed his tune altogether.

    I have nothing to cite on this, and am just going on memory. Can anybody else confirm or deny this?

  112. Mike R

    July 29, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Oh, I get what you mean, T.

    And Jim, as someone who’s mildly into the Sabermetric p.o.v., I like the impact Bill James has had on baseball. Although, I only got into that sort of thing after getting into prospects.

  113. T Smith

    July 29, 2007 at 11:16 am


    I wouldn’t say “decades long trends” Actually the idea of limiting a pitcher to 100 pitches or so is rather novel relative to the history of the sport. In the early 1970s, most managers didn’t go by pitch counts at all. In the 1980s many many pitchers pitches well over 125 pitches a game.

    In fact, prior to Steve Busey’s infamous rotator cuff tear (he threw 200 pitches many times in the early seventies) the idea of pitch count hadn’t even taken off.

  114. Kurt

    July 29, 2007 at 11:22 am

    T Smith, he said that in reference to Justin Verlander having a ceiling on his innings last year. Could be that double-D asked him to keep pitch counts and innings down because he wanted everyone to stay healthy. Although with Verlander hitting 200 innngs last year, it sorta seems to be Leyland’s viewpoint won out.

  115. Lurker

    July 29, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for supporting what I said by citing evidence from ‘decades’ ago.There was no switch that was flipped in 1997.The game has evolved,or,if you like,trended in that direction.

  116. Kathy

    July 29, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Here’s a great article from Baseball Prospectus regarding pitch count and young pitchers that explains a few things we were discussing:


  117. Lurker

    July 29, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I salute you,Kathy.Hopefully you have discovered it is better to 1)research,conclude,argue than to 2)conclude,argue,research.

  118. Kathy

    July 29, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Gee thanks, Lurker. And, yes, I was a cheerleader…captain of the cheerleaders.

  119. T Smith

    July 29, 2007 at 11:51 am


    Point taken. The way I read your post it seemed like you were implying the trend stemmed from the days Cobb, Ruth, and Koufax, when in reality, a “couple” decades probably best describes the trend. At the end of the day, though, it would appear we’re talking about the same time frame.

  120. T Smith

    July 29, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks, Kurt. I remember now.

  121. billfer

    July 29, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Lurker –

    Not cool. First and last warning.

  122. Jeff

    July 29, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Now that Bill James’ name has been brought up, it’s important to note that James isn’t as focused on the pitch count issue as some analysts are. Of course pitch counts matter, it’s clear that pitchers get worn down in individual games and over seasons.

    But I think the BP approach that you calculate “pitcher abuse points” based on (x – 100) ^ 3 is too cute a formula by far. Isn’t it remarkable that the threshold just happens to be 100? I guess if we all had 11 fingers the threshold would be 121.

    Cubing the difference from 100 looks to me to overstate things. That means that once you’ve gotten to 110 pitches, throwing 3 more pitches doubles the total amount of stress on your arm FOR THE ENTIRE GAME.

    That doesn’t mean throwing 120 pitches game in and game out is a good idea, just that the way the impact is calculated in the SABR world is overstated.

  123. Musa D

    July 29, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Actually, using Mordecai Brown and Antonio Alfonseca as a sample, it appears that, in fact, a higher number of fingers on a pitcher’s throwing hand correlates to a lower pitch count!

    Look like someone else needs to learn to start with research!

    Oh, wait….

  124. Lurker

    July 29, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Actually,using a sample of 2 to reach a conclusion about fingers and pitch counts,it looks like someone needs to learn to start by learning something about statistics.Or satire.
    Otherwise,warning taken to heart,Bilfer.

  125. Jim

    July 29, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Mike R:

    I like what James has done too. After reading Dollar Sign on The Muscle and Moneyball among other stuff I hate the way back in the day a player was more highly thought of based on his “face” Blech.


    Cool article 🙂

  126. Jim

    July 29, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    btw I love this place. Outside of here I have no one else to talk to intelligently about baseball besides my father.

  127. Ryan

    July 29, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Detroit News reports Kenny is on the 15 day DL and Tata has been tapped to take at least his next start. I guess the baseball gods felt the Tigers still needed a little more hate.