Game 2009.020: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: It looks to be a chilly and blustery night at Comerica Park. The Tigers are looking to extend their winning streak to 4 games and will send out Edwin Jackson to battle Philip Hughes.

Hughes was just added to the Yankees roster to replace Chien Ming Wang. Hughes has dominated AAA for 3 starts this year with 19 K’s and 3 BB’s in 19.1 innings.

The Yankees are a familiar foe for Jackson from his days in the AL East. Derek Jeter has lit him up in 27 at-bats with a 417/481/667 line.

Game Time 7:05

NY Yankees vs. Detroit – April 28, 2009 | MLB Gameday

POSTGAME: It’s my fault guys. I’ll take the hit on this one. I’ve been to 2 Edwin Jackson starts and I’ve seen him pitch 13.1 innings and allow 1 earned run. I’ve seen the bullpen allow 14 runs in those 2 starts. It must be me and Brandon Lyon would prefer never to see me again.

Of course the Josh Anderson misplay is the play that really stood out, but it was actually the 4 pitch walk that Ryan Perry issued to Melky Cabrera that really messed things up. Cabrera was trying to give the Tigers an out, but 4 pitches out of the zone set-up the 2nd and 3rd situation in the first place. But yeah, the Anderson play was catastrophic because the ball was shallow enough that it would have been a tough tag-up situation.

The defense was pretty awful. Beyond the Anderson play there was Everett botching a grounder (more on this in a minute), and Miguel Cabrera not corralling a foul pop-up. There was also a tough play with Granderson and Magglio but I’m not to upset about it.

As for that Everett misplay of a Robinson Cano grounder, the misplay and the at-bat itself may have had a huge impact on the game. Cano battled Jackson for 13 pitches, and he started 0-2 in the count. Jackson was one strike away from being out of the 4th inning and he was at 56 pitches. After Cano’s battle, Everett’s stumble, and a walk to Swisher, Jackson’s pitch count had run to 76. If Cano doesn’t hang in there that long, or if Everett makes the play, there’s a chance that Jackson is still pitching in the 7th.

And to top it all off Hughes was awesome and the Tigers offense didn’t muster anything making runs 2-11 largely irrelevant.

There’s a lot of freaky stats to look at it in this one, but I’ll leave you with this one: Edwin Jackson threw 41 pitches for balls in 6 innings. The bullpen threw 38 pitches for balls in 3 innings.

117 Comments

  1. Dylan

    April 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    My first game in person all year!

    Go Tigers!

  2. billfer

    April 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Oh yeah. And I’m going to this game an am currently enjoying beer at the Park Bar

  3. Chris in Dallas

    April 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Good for you, billfer. As a personal favor, a derisive remark towards Teixeira would be appreciated.

  4. Mike R

    April 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Phil Hughes is back (full disclosure: A a prospect fan, I’ve always believed in Phil Hughes and continue to do so), so this game I think goes to the Yanks.

  5. Steve from Det

    April 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Still little faith in Edwin Jackson around here eh? However I also believe that the Yanks will take the game, but with a late game, bullpen ruining lose thanks to our bullpen. Rapada, and Rodney I think will get lite up after a great pitching duel between Edwin and Hughes.

  6. Chris in Dallas

    April 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Well, (small sample size alert!) the Tigs have pretty much destroyed Hughes in his young career to the tune of an ERA over 10. Of course Jackson hasn’t fared all that well against the Yanks. I’m thinking this could be something like a 9-8 slugfest. Of course billfer’s description of the weather may keep that in check. I’m thinking JMT Cabrera is due for a bit of a bust out game, though. He’s been slumping the past week (.200/.333/.200).

  7. Chris Y.

    April 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I, for one, think Edwin will dominate this game.

    Hughes has still a lot to prove. AAA is not the MLB.

    Screw the Yanks.

  8. Lee Panas

    April 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Chilly and blustery in Detroit? It was 94 in Boston today which I’m pretty sure is a record for this date.

  9. tiff

    April 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    it cooled off but it’s still a beautiful day for baseball! enjoy it billfer! (Did you hear they’ve added Atwater Brewery beer to the selection at the CoPa?)

  10. Anson

    April 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Anyone have a line-up?

  11. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I think the Yankees suck. They have terrible defense, highlighted by the worst SS in baseball named Jeter.

  12. Jeff

    April 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Assuming that the Tigers have a late lead, I doubt Rodney would be out there after pitching the last two days. Zoom Zoom Zoom.

  13. Steve

    April 28, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Wow sounds like a somewhat angry mob tonight, I hope that the Tigers provide us a good game……………………. I live in upstate NY and love it when the “beloved” Yankees lose. Since there less than advertised start we have not had to listen to how great they are. While I liked CC on the Brew Crew, he better turn it around soon as the fans will be all over him and Pavano will look like a deal.

    Steve

  14. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Everett just made a million dollar play there. Nice.

  15. billfer

    April 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Instead of the pitch count and mph there is a comcast ad. Disappointing.

  16. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Jackson makes pitching look easy. I love his Smoltze like mechanics.

  17. Brian P

    April 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Cabrera was shaking that right wrist again after the single. Not promising.

  18. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Jackson thru 2 – 22 pitches – 16 strikes.

  19. Dylan

    April 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Billfer:

    I noticed that as well. For a while I was hoping it changed after the inning started. Disappointing. Guess you’ve got to compensate for the free ads in center somehow.

  20. Dylan

    April 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    And by the time I type that it’s gone…

  21. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Jackson thru 3- 44 pitches – 30 strikes.

  22. Forty

    April 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    We’ve gotten big breaks on could have been called third strikes to laird and everett

  23. Adam

    April 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    EVERETT!!! What a bum!

  24. Jeff Molby

    April 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Did anyone other than Rod see that “wicked hop” on Cano’s infield “single” to Everett?

  25. Brian P

    April 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Oy. Now Miguel takes a pitch off that same right wrist.

  26. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Jackson after 4- 76 pitches – 49 strikes.

  27. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Jackson after 5- 90 pitches – 59 strikes.

  28. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Jackson thru 6. 117 pitches – 76 strikes. 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 k’s.

  29. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Is Dancing with the Stars on or something? Where is everyone?

  30. David

    April 28, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Just got home.

    Lets win this game! Here is your bad weather Bill. ;)

  31. Forty

    April 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I’m ready to be done with hughes

  32. Kyle J

    April 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    In a battle of the bullpens, the advantage goes to us, right?

  33. Kathy

    April 28, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    deep breaths, deep breaths

  34. Kyle J

    April 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Maybe not.

  35. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    @ Mr. X: Sorry, was too busy checking your figures against those on Gameday. Looks like you got them correct. :P

    American Idol is what took up my time, btw. ;)

  36. Jeff

    April 28, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    This isn’t a time for experimenting with Perry’s confidence. Maybe he pitches out of this. But it’s not worth the risk, not in a 0-0 game and not with the back of the Yanks’ bullpen.

    EDIT: Well, that wasn’t Perry’s fault. Huge rookie error.

  37. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Hmmmm….Perry…

  38. Forty

    April 28, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Oh my god the defense today has been awful.

  39. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Darn it Anderson. That hurt.

  40. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Perry dug himself a hole, jumped in it, then dug the hole a little deeper.

  41. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    wow. gerald and brandon will save us all. ( i hope)

  42. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    ugly.

  43. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    The new Robertson is the same as the old Robertson. No wonder why he was used sparingly.

  44. ouchudied

    April 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Funny to watch Nate’s ERA go down on gameday as he is giving up these runs.

  45. ouchudied

    April 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    And now it just went up…

  46. Mcb

    April 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    A waste of Jackson’s performance

  47. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Welll, it turned into a Verlander type blow-up inning, minus the Verlander.

  48. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    @ Mr. X: Sounds like you’re chaneling The Who. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…certainly seems he has old stuff back.

  49. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Lordy! How long are they going to keep the man in there?!? 3 more runs isn’t enough?

  50. Adam

    April 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    We might have been out of this inning without any runs scored if it weren’t for Josh Buckner out in left.

  51. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    We got our whipping boy Grilli pitching now. I mean Lyon.

  52. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Chuck Hernandez must of snuck into the ballpark or something.

  53. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Lordy. And who’s bright idea was it to get this *wonderful* talent?

    Are they trying to throw the ailing, pitiful Yanks a bone or something?

    WALK? YGBFKM!

  54. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    This is too funny. 10-0 now.

  55. Joey in Portland OR

    April 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Gas to the Flames.

  56. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    6 perfectly fine innings down the tubes…wow. Grand slam…

    Lyon needs to go.

  57. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Lyon didn’t want to walk in another run, so he cleared the bases. Smart move.

  58. Forty

    April 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Kyle j – we do not

  59. mcb.

    April 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    How much more of Brandon Lyon do we need to see? I literally cannot watch this game any more.

  60. David

    April 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    when it rains it pours

  61. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    one out dud. one out is all you need. one!

  62. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    finally.

  63. Joey in Portland OR

    April 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I guess I can do a couple things in the yard or watch the Blazer game from the beginning…

  64. David

    April 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    the funny thing would be is if we actually won this game

    however atm i’m just looking to win this series

  65. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    well. one thing can be said about Lyon. He sure plays like a Lion. At least he’s consistent. Unfortunately, he’s playing the wrong sport.

  66. Joel in Seattle

    April 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Lyon should finish off this game. No use wasting a good arm on this debacle.

  67. Mr. X

    April 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I made fun of it earlier, but watching Dancing with the Stars would of been the best move here.

  68. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    @ Joel: Looks like Jim heard u.

  69. Brenden

    April 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    So….what the crap happened with the bullpen? Way to screw Jackson, holy crap. I hope this isn’t a tread, because that was just awful….

  70. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    well. shucks.

  71. Jason

    April 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    this is just disgusting. i’m guessing this slots in zumaya and crappy rodney tomorrow night.

  72. Brenden

    April 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Well, the bullpen has been good up until this point, I just hope that this was just a bad night…

  73. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    big inning. i can smell it. 32 run inning! here they come! okay. 12 runs will be scored this half inning (maybe).

  74. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    inge. on base at least once every game so far. wow. he rocks.

  75. Russ

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    everett. if ever there was a time

  76. Andrew in Toronto

    April 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    At least the White Sox and Royals are losing.

  77. scotsw

    April 28, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Mega props to “Steve from Det” who wrote pre-game:

    “Still little faith in Edwin Jackson around here eh? However I also believe that the Yanks will take the game, but with a late game, bullpen ruining lose thanks to our bullpen. Rapada, and Rodney I think will get lite up after a great pitching duel between Edwin and Hughes.”

    The names may have been wrong, but the script was dead on, Steve.

    Agreed, Lyon should have been sent out for the 9th to shovel out the stables. Why waste anyone else’s arm? He’s been a bitter disappointment, to say the least.

  78. Steve from Det

    April 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    thank you very much scotsw.

    I must say that I should be a prophet when talking about Edwin Jackson’s nights pitching. Man what a bust in Lyon, I’m sooooooooooo disappointed. I was really happy he was coming but guess that was my off-season dead wrong pickup.

  79. cib

    April 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Just got home. Ew. I never leave early. But I left early. What a debacle.

  80. Mark in Chicago

    April 28, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    looks like I didn’t miss much tonight, yikes.

    if it makes anyone feel better, coming into today, the Tigers had a 45% chance of winning their division, way ahead of the next best odds in the Indians at 19%. So we got that going for us…

  81. Mike R

    April 29, 2009 at 2:16 am

    Glad that I wound up having to miss this one. I will say that as a staunch opponent of the Joyce-Jackson trade I still:

    1) Don’t believe in Edwin Jackson and that we got the worst of that deal.
    2) Am loving that Edwin Jackson’s making me look like a fool in my convictions.

  82. Steve from Det

    April 29, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Hmmm lets see here Mike. Even though you wont change your mind here are the stats:

    Edwin Jackson:
    W-L ERA K BB WHIP
    1-1 2.25 21 8 1.03

    Pretty Good Id say lol.

    Matt Joyce:
    G AVG HR 2B 3B RBI BB K SLG
    3 .100 1 0 0 1 1 2 .400

    If they would put him in more games well Id say that it was a pretty even trade with the edge going to Detroit in the trade. Not to mention we don’t need him now that we have speed and defensive(most of the time) reliable Josh Anderson. But I digress, great trade still, we needed Jackson more then Joyce by far. Lets just hope he keeps pitching like he has been.

  83. MCM

    April 29, 2009 at 9:35 am

    So who would have caught that Anderson outfield mishap….Guillen? No. Raburn? No. Thames would have been there and made the catch, even if he had to do a diving roll to make sure it was caught. Jus sayin…

  84. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Well that was…something. What a nice way to screw up their run differential. Anyhoo, I’m surprisingly not that upset about an 11 run loss to the hated Evil Empire. I must be getting old. EJax pitched well. I’ll mail Robinson Cano a turd sandwich for running up the pitch count and preventing him from going 7.

  85. Andre in Chi

    April 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Steve in D,

    I was formerly in the same camp as Mike R, and my feelings now echo his #2 point.

    Having said that, it is only April and as such may be a little early to claim statistical victory in a trade involving players as young as Jackson and Joyce. There’s a lot of season to be played, and even more to be said/done in both their careers.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Jackson acquisition turned out to be even more important given the Tigers pitching needs and OF excesses. Jackson’s start to the season is very encouraging in light of what many people thought to be a deceptive, and long awaited, improvement last year. It feels good to see some pitching transactions go in our favor.

  86. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Dre: Yeah, I agree with you there. I wasn’t all that upset with that trade at the time anyway. I’m starting to get the feeling that EJax just might be a late bloomer, which you’ll see from time to time. Joyce was/is good but he was expendable due to the OF excess on the club. Plus I think they were trying to go a different direction which was evident when they brought in Anderson. A little bit more speed to a team that was a station-to-station group.

    What I find striking about Jackson at this early stage is that his ERA actually outperforming his FIP (2.25 vs. 4.25), which is the opposite of his historical trend. His obscenely low BABiP accounts for that. Whether he can continue that is debatable, but you’ve got to like that he’s really throwing strikes. His BB/9 is thus far lower than it’s ever been, which is continuing a trend from 2006 onward. That’s kinda what leads me to think that maybe he’s “figured it out” and can be a solid middle of the rotation guy for this team, even when he starts giving up a few more base hits.

  87. Andre in Chi

    April 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Chris in Dallas,

    I hadn’t checked FanGraphs on him recently, and now I’m a little worried to hear that his FIP is that high. I hope that’s a result of small sample size and that it comes down…I would prefer that great luck on BABiP was not needed.

    Time will tell! Go Tigs and Go Wings.

  88. Ken in Vegas

    April 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    All in all, its been a fantastic trade. It seems like Josh Anderson, Clete Thomas, and Matt Joyce are all fairly interchangable and all have a couple useful tools. Without Edwin, however, we would probably be a win or two behind our current pace. The guy should be a servicable starter for years to come, at the very least. I’m still wondering what our intentions are with Dontrelle. Let’s say we groom him back to form at the same time that Bonderman becomes healthy. Do we really even have room for the guy, especially if Porcello pitches well? Would we stick him in the bullpen? I find myself pulling for Dontrelle, but not sure what to do with him.

  89. Ken in Vegas

    April 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Oh, and I think Raburn, Thames, or Guillen would have made that catch in left. It wasn’t a hard play. He just completely timed it all wrong. He looked pretty retarded actually, and I’ve been cursing his name all morning. I need to ease up on him I guess.

  90. Ken in Vegas

    April 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    One more thing: What do you guys think the best free sites are for statistics? I like MLB.com, but I can’t find team batting average split versus lefties and righties. I can get the player splits, but not the team. I’m trying to create a more methodical approach to my baseball betting and this is an important piece of information to consider.

  91. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Dre: I didn’t look at Fangraphs – I came up with all of that off the top of my head!!! ;-) Anyhoo, all of his other peripheral doohickeys are pretty much in line with what we should’ve expected so I’m not worried about a huge regression when it comes to young Mr. Jackson. I’d bet he can win 14-16 games and post an ERA somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.80 before we put this season on ice. I’d take that over the production of a 4th outfielder anyday. And Jackson’s still a young buck so he’ll probably be good for at least a couple more years. One thing I don’t know is his contract status and when Dombrowski will feel it’s necessary to overpay him. Provide me with this info, DTW Nation!

  92. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Ken: I like a mix of FanGraphs, baseball-reference, ESPN and the Hardball Times for my number geek fix. Each has its charms.

  93. Ken in Vegas

    April 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks, Chris. I’ll check em out.

  94. Mike R

    April 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    @Scott in Det, Chris in Dallas and Andre in Chi:

    1) Why all the locations?! haha.

    2) Edwin Jackson’s been worse than his surface numbers indicate. He’s got a 4.25 FIP, but his TRA (think FIP, just better with more things brought into the equation) is 5.06. He’s still striking out a below average amount of hitters and even though his BB rate has improved, that still makes him nothing more than a No. 3 at best. In the end, I am a Joyce believer more than a Jackson believe because Jackson’s given me more data indicating that he’s not the pitcher he’s been early in Detroit.

    I would LOVE to be 100% wrong on this, though, long term. Would gladly admit it, too.

  95. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Who’s Matt Joyce?

  96. Andre in Chi

    April 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Mike R,

    First of all, how dare you.

    Second of all, I’ve just started to grasp FIP, and I don’t appreciate you trotting some new stat-type for me to wrap my head around. Consider me thoroughly hurt, upset, and…hurt.

    Without defining the significance of order-numbers as they relate to starters, if you had told me that Jackson was going to be a possible #3 starter at the time of the trade, I wouldn’t have been against it at the time. For me it was a question of Jackson looking like he was going to compete for the #5 spot, and not represent a better option than what the Tigers seemed to already have in-house.

    All in all, I’m quite pleasantly surprised, despite my initial assumptions. I also highly recommend viewing all incoming players as rubbish, its much more fun to be wrong in that scenario.

  97. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Mike: A number 3 at best is fine if you’re under the assumption that Galarraga and Verlander are a 1 and 2 in some order. (The jury is still out on this). My thinking is that EJax is a more valuable player than is Joyce, though. A corner OF with a little bit of pop and a huge platoon split is much easier to replace than even a number 3 starter in this league. I’m probably a bit too bullish on Jackson so far, but I like the way he’s been trending in a lot of ways. Subjectively, he has a live arm. Objectively, he’s been greatly reducing his bases on balls per 9 (6.19 in ’06, 4.92 in ’07, 3.78 in ’08 and 2.25 so far this year). Less baserunners = less runs. Not only that, last night nothwithstanding, he should be able to go deeper into games and alleviate some bullpen stress in the process. I’m beginning to think that Brandon Lyon should be chained to a radiator in the clubhouse for Jackson’s starts, though.

    He’s a pretty middling guy K-wise (especially with his stuff) so that’s kind of a red flag. But he’s also decent enough at keeping the ball in the park too. Not Brandon Webb like, but not exactly Brett Myers either. And I like calling him EJax. Keeping in mind that this is only his 3rd year as a full time starter, I’d say he’s continuing to improve. How much more he’s got left to go until he reaches his ceiling is unknown, but for a 4th OF this will probably end up looking like the Tigers got the better of the deal. Until Dombrowski gives him the 5/$80 extension.

  98. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Dre: I’m the opposite. I try my best to defend the guys when they’re here (with some notable exceptions. Eff you, Juan Gonzalez), and then accuse them of being syphillitic carpetbaggers when they leave (again, eff you Juan Gonzalez).

  99. Mark in Chicago

    April 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Even if Jackson ends up as a slightly-below average starting pitcher (which would presumably equate to a #4 slot in the rotation and an ERA around 4.60) the fact that he will give you 30 starts and nearly 200 innings every season has tremendous value.

    He is far more useful than what projects to be a fringe-starter in a corner outfield spot.

    Good trade, hands down. Even if Jackson doesn’t continue his hot start.

    EDIT: Chris in D, I just read your post, and you basically say the same thing I just did. So, yeah, that too.

  100. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    The best indicator of pitchers performance is just to watch the guy pitch. If a pitcher consistently throws strikes around the corners and gets easy outs, then stats like BaBIP shouldn’t even matter. It’s a flawed stat because it doesn’t put skill set or pitch toughness into the equation. A fastball down the middle on a 2-0 count is far easier to get a base hit on than back door slider on a 1-2 count. Anyone can hit that fastball hard into one of the gaps, but that slider is more likely to be weakly grounded to a middle infielder. Don’t get fooled by stats, because some are just aberrations.

  101. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Mr. X: I will disagree in general with your premise, but totally agree in the specific instance of Verlander’s start against Seattle. If you look at his final line (7.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8K) you might think he had a rough night. If you watched the game, though, he was essentially unhittable except for the one inning. Anyway, the scouting vs. stats argument has been covered in many other quarters of the intertubes so I’ll keep it at that.

  102. Andre in Chi

    April 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Mr. X,

    I think the aberration in this case is his BaBIP this year vs. career:

    2009: .233
    Career: .315

    I’m pretty knew to BaBIP, but he’s well under his career norm, which suggests that regression is likely to some degree. Again, I’m very happy with Jackson so far and we can take heart that if Galarraga hasn’t shown the regression some expected him to yet (knock on wood), maybe this won’t matter either. However, its nice to keep these things in mind.

  103. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    The worry among the stat crowd about Galarraga was that his .249 BABiP from ’08 would be unsustainable year-to-year based on studying this particular metric. (Also, he never really showed any signs in the minor leagues that he’d be able to do what he’s done, so there’s that). They were right! Galarraga’s BABiP so far is much more in line with the league average (.289). He hasn’t skipped a beat because he’s magically figured out how to get swings and misses, cranking up his K rate to 8.88 per 9 (up from 6.35). As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, ‘mando is looking a bit more filthy out there. Now I don’t think he’ll go 32-0 with a 1.85 ERA like his pace would indicate, but if he keeps getting swings and misses with his slider he’s going to have a very nice year. I wonder what’s up with Michael Hernandez?

  104. Mike R

    April 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Sorry, guys, No. 3 was a typo. I think he’s a No. 4 at best and am awaiting his regression to No. 5 starter numbers — or worse. Add in his impending Arbitration raise this coming offseason and the very cheap pop and good defense from a corner spot that Joyce gives, I still don’t approve of said deal but that’s digging back up the dead horse just to beat it again (sounded wayyyy dirtier then that should’ve…..).

    Also, I agree that No. 4 numbers over 30 starts/200 innings has value, it shouldn’t be something that (1) makes that trade okay or (2) something we should be striving for, in my humble opinion.

    That said, he’s been very good this year. In 07 and 08 he had Win Values of 1.5 and 1.4 in those years and he’s already at 0.6 WV this year and barely an eighth of the way through the season.

    Edit: Just want to say that it’s good to see Andre and Chris in Dallas ’round here still.

  105. Andre in Chi

    April 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Mike R,

    Thanks for nullifying an entire afternoon’s worth of posts. I hate you and I won’t be back for months.

    (j.k.) in the unlikely event that any further absences are noticed, blame playoff hockey…and my gf.

  106. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    You can blame my intermittent absences on either a) drunkedness or b) laptop malfunctions. I’ve gotta upgrade that thing. It’s now got a negative VORP. The Neifi Perez of personal computing devices.

  107. Andre in Chi

    April 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    ^post of the year, without a doubt^

  108. Mike R

    April 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I didn’t even know you two had “intermittent absences” ’round here. I wasn’t here the whole offseason. Playoff hockey and dealing with insane people know as ‘females’ will definitely do that, though.

  109. Mike R

    April 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Also, I’m with Andre … outstanding post, Chris.

  110. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Joyce wasn’t anything special in the minors (.270 hitter , .806 OPS, with average speed, with a rather poor K/W ratio. IMO, the Tigers sold high on him and were lucky to get anything good in return. DD was in the right place at the right time.

  111. Chris in Dallas

    April 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    *takes a bow*

    I thought Joyce was/is promising enough. What it comes down to in my eyes is average starting pitcher > average corner outfielder. The only real downside is that Joyce plays for the league minimum and EJax will be arby eligible, which I believe someone brought up in one of those other posts up there.

  112. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I still think BaBIP is silly. Miguel Cabrera has a lifetime .350 BaBIP. It’s not because he’s lucky, it’s because he smashes the living heck out of the ball to all fields.

  113. Mark in Chicago

    April 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Agree that the Tigers should not be “striving for” innings eaters to fill out their rotation, but every team needs those guys. The arb-elibigibility is a bit worrisome, if only for Dombrowski’s habit of giving away long-term contracts like they’re going out of style. But they have to pay SOMEONE to run those 30 starts out there.

    Joyce is the better value because he is locked up for another two years and can provide decent offense. But those types of players are much easier to find than a guy you can depend on for 30 starts. You have to pay up for that scarcity.

  114. Coleman

    April 29, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I think BaBIP can, like some actors/actresses, look somewhat silly from certain angles. I don’t think it helps that it became (or started out as, I don’t know) a very handy way of judging how well teams do at overall fielding; the back-end of the thing is almost more useful than the front end.

    But when you try to use it as a primary number for judging hitters and pitchers then–especially in times of small sample size–then it becomes somewhat silly if you don’t factor in what happened to those balls NOT in play. On someone like Thames for example, his BaBIP for 2008 was .258–but it only accounted for 62% of his AB…whether he has 120 HR or 120 K in the other AB won’t become apparent no matter how long you look at the BaBIP. For guys like Polanco, who must easily have over 90% of his AB result in BIP, then how much does the BaBIP add to what you get just from his BA?

  115. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    My problem with BaBIP is that it’s saying that all balls in play are outs 70% of the time. It’s a stat that’s homogenizing pitches and pitch situations. To me that’s like saying pitching is no different than rolling dice. It’s saying that pitching is mostly luck. It’s saying that after the pitcher throws the ball, the pitch has no influence on how the hitter hits the baseball. That’s a crock of bull in my book.

    If you could break down BabIP to situations, pitch type, and pitch location, then it might mean more.
    The average BaBIP on a slider is something like .286 I think. What is the average BaBIP on a slider or sinker that is below the knees? Probably much lower than .286.

    BaBIP stat would say that someone like Nate Robertson was unlucky last season. How is it unlucky that he hung most of his pitches belt high and over the plate? He was basically throwing batting practice. Where is the logic in that?

  116. Coleman

    April 29, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Mr. X: True; and in line with my point above, the one time I really really want to see a “ball in play” is with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out–like we just had–and hey, “ball in play guy” at bat too, can’t beat that–and of course if the batter successfully sacrifices home the runner, the AB disappears into non-BIP non-eventness…

  117. Andre in Chi

    April 30, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Mr. X,

    “I still think BaBIP is silly. Miguel Cabrera has a lifetime .350 BaBIP. It’s not because he’s lucky, it’s because he smashes the living heck out of the ball to all fields.”

    This is the last I’ll say on this: but if all of the sudden Cabrera’s BaBIP ballooned to .400 or dropped to .300 at some point in his career, would you not expect (over time) for those numbers to come back to the center? Also, while you did it subjectively-ish, you can at least explain why Cabrera’s BaBIP is so high…its because he’s that good. If Jackson’s BaBIP are traditionally much higher than he’s showing now (regardless of league averages), it makes sense to assume that they will return to his career norm, unless there are factors to explain his BaBIP staying that low (relative to Jackson’s career).

    That’s the only thing that has me genuinely worried right now (about Jackson), and even then, I’m not THAT worried…