Leyland abuses Verlander’s arm for no good reason

Jim Leyland before the game:

Zumaya’s right shoulder remains a point of concern. Leyland said Zumaya reported “normal soreness” and indicated that he was able to pitch, but Leyland said that description was “not defined enough for me.”

“I’m not going to have it on my plate that I got Joel Zumaya hurt, getting greedy,” Leyland said. “I’m not going to do it.”

Justin Verlander last night:

  • 7.2 innings
  • 6 hits
  • 5 runs
  • 3 walks
  • 8 strike outs
  • 130 pitches

This is categorically stupid. From an in game management sense, the team was only down two runs and still very much in it. You starter has done his job and worked into the 8th inning. After the Dye double, even if he is still throwing in the high 90’s, get him out of there and bring in a fresh arm. Try and keep the game close. Instead he throws 11 more pitches taking a lofty pitch count to insane. That Lopez finally came in and allowed a single is immaterial.

From a pitching management standpoint it is inexcusable. With last night’s start, Justin Verlander now leads all of baseball in pitcher abuse points. He’s thrown more pitches than any other pitcher in baseball this year. And for what? A 5-1 loss in a season that is already decided? The Tigers just wanted to make sure that all their young pitchers end up on the DL?

It seems that this type of move happens when the manager is on his way out of town.