With the original post at 500 comments, let’s roll things to a new post. It’s also where I’ll hit my postgame.
Todd Jones blew it. Todd Jones lost this game. Todd Jones has not been pitching well. The management (Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski) realize this. It’s why Joel Zumaya was left in to close the game in Baltimore. It’s why Leyland said he’d be using him less often. It’s the reason that Aquilino Lopez was warming up before the 9th inning even started.
But this wasn’t a typical Jones outing. There was no rollercoastering. He retired the first 2 hitters with ease and was ahead 0-2 on Quentin. Lopez sat down with Jones firing strikes and being one out away. A single wasn’t even that alarming in and of itself because one of Jonesy’s positive traits is that he keeps the ball in the park (this was only the 11th homer since he rejoined the Tigers in 2006). With a 2 out single, the other team is usually a couple batters away from taking the lead. And then the bomb. This wasn’t a rollercoaster, it was Demon Drop.
Yes, I acknowledge that Jones isn’t as good as Rivera/Papelbon/Nathan/Jenks/K-Rod. They are all better than Jones. I’m sure the Tigers would love to have one of them. But the fact of the matter is that there are about 20+ teams who would love to have one of them. I don’t think they are available so the Tigers are stuck with who they have, or paying through the nose for a veteran player who happens to be having a really good year. That’s worked so well at other positions for Detroit.
As for who they have, zumaya throws fast, as does Dolsi. But both walk a batter an inning. And Dolsi isn’t even striking anybody out. Rodney is probably the best option right now in house, but how does that sit with people?
Not a good night for Pudge Rodriguez. There was the double play grounder ending an inning. But most costly was a passed ball turned error turned tie ball game. And he did nothing to redeem himself with the bat.
I read through the game log and saw the consternation about brining Robertson back for the 7th. I have to say it didn’t bother me. Zumaya was getting ready and starting an inning with a guy with a pitch count of 82 with a 3 run lead against the bottom of the order didn’t seem like a bad play.
The two calls I thought he did blow were leaving Marcus Thames on the bench and the “stay out of the double play” steal attempt with Cabrera which led to the Ordonez run down. I hate that play in general, and especially given the players involved.
Definitely a mixed bag in terms of baserunning tonight. I won’t kill Ordonez for the rundown because that was the result of a managerial decision. Gary Sheffield got antsy and got a tremendous jump on a steal attempt. So tremendous Floyd hadn’t started his windup. That’s bad.
But it wasn’t all bad. Curtis Granderson had a very heads up play taking an extra base at third when he saw that it was uncovered. Also, Placido Polanco quickly read a wild pitch that didn’t bounce far away and went to second base taking a double play out of order.
Very nice bounce back game for Robertson. He walked a few too many with 5, but they seemed to be temporary bouts of wildness (I think 2 were 4 pitch walks) rather than a general lack of control or confidence in pitching in the zone.
This game was rough. I was there. I was on my feet one strike away from celebrating a victory. Still, the season isn’t over. The series isn’t even over. A sweep was going to be unlikely, and as long as the Tigers can avoid being swept there is still a reasonable chance at staying in this.