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The one about the bullpen last night

Gut wrenching losses are good fodder for second guessing (and page views). My thoughts and perspective on what happened last night (some of these may sound like a defense of decisions made or not made, that’s not necessarily the intent).

1. Why take out Edwin Jackson, he was pitching awesome? Edwin Jackson had been pitching awesome, until he lost his control. For those that hate pitch counts as a reason to pull a pitcher, you should love this decision. Clearly the 89 pitches weren’t the issue. It was the fact that after peppering the strike zone all night he started falling behind hitters.

2. Why only one batter for Bobby Seay? Leyland was playing platoon advantages. Look at the righties coming up after Snider. There wasn’t a lefty in sight. Seay did his job.

3. Why not Ryan Perry then? The popular belief is that this was too much of a pressure situation for a debut. I don’t believe it, and I don’t think Leyland does either. When Zumaya debuted it was in a hold situation. He’s not afraid of that at all. And really, if Perry comes in a blows it then how many question why he was brought into a pressure situation to debut? A ton. Most questioned when Rodney and Zumaya were brought into pressure situations when first returning last year, and they’d faced those situations before. No. The real reason was because at the moment Leyland views Lyon as his second best reliever behind Fernando Rodney.

4. Why use your second best reliever in such a high leverage situation? This is the better question, and one that stat heads have been hammering on managers for for years. But if it’s not the 9th you can’t use your closer for some reason.

5. Why leave Lyon out there in the 9th? I’ve got nothing. This was stupid. Even if you let him start the inning, when he continues to struggle why not go get him. Ridiculous.

Posted by on April 8, 2009.

Tags: , , ,

Categories: 2009 Season, Managing & Strategy

13 Responses

  1. Agree with your take, Bill. Jackson was pitching fantastically because he was getting ahead of batters. Then he started falling behind hitters and it was time to yank him. I’m still mystified why Lyon was out there for the 9th inning too.

    by Jeff on Apr 8, 2009 at 5:12 pm

  2. In complete agreement with you, Billfer. I was not happy when Perry didn’t start the ninth. Funny thing is, my head almost exploded when he brought in Zumaya in a 3-1 game in the 2006 season opener. But after Lyon gave up that homer, I had no problem with Perry coming in. At that point, I would’ve been happy to see Dombrowski come in.

    by Mr. Jimmy on Apr 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

  3. Also, to argue against the whole “too much pressure” for Perry excuse, Leyland had said that if we went into 10 innings, he was going to put Perry in (Beck’s blog).

    As for leaving Lyon in, the response I got from Beck was this:
    ” Leyland: “We were asking a guy who was a closer last yr and some thought maybe our closer this year to get 1 out in the 8th inning.” ”

    Makes no sense to me, but I guess that’s our answer.

    by Anaaki on Apr 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm

  4. 5. Why leave Lyon out there in the 9th? I’ve got nothing. This was stupid. Even if you let him start the inning, when he continues to struggle why not go get him. Ridiculous.

    Yup – Epic win! or in our case loss…

    by David on Apr 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  5. once again (just like last year), defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. I watched Perry in spring training; he looked good to me. This guy Lyon: get him outta here! What a joke! I bought a DirecTV baseball package for $179 – if this is what I have to look forward to, I’ve wasted my $ big-time. And it remains to be seen if Rodney can throw strikes or not; he couldn’t last year. Another loss for the ‘blowpen’……..

    by Scott on Apr 8, 2009 at 6:01 pm

  6. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    by Mr. X on Apr 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm

  7. Oh. It’s 5. All good questions, but the first four are, let’s say, a matter of opinion. None of those are terrible, just questionable. 5 is terrible, and it’s the exact terrible that happens over and over and over with Leyland. More than the IBBs, more than the lineup shuffle, this is why I can’t stand his managing. I don’t blame Lyon, just like I didn’t blame Jones last year when he was allowed to go forty pitches with nothing. There is NO excuse to bring Lyon back after the eighth he had. None.

    by Ryan on Apr 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm

  8. Bilfer,

    I couldn’t agree with you more! good work.


    by Sam on Apr 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm

  9. “5. Why leave Lyon out there in the 9th? I’ve got nothing. This was stupid. Even if you let him start the inning, when he continues to struggle why not go get him. Ridiculous.

    Yup – Epic win! or in our case loss…”

    I am totally with you, Dave, and everyone else on point 5 as well as the rest of this post. Nice work, Bilfer.

    by Travis on Apr 8, 2009 at 11:13 pm

  10. Okay, the consensus of opinion seems to be that this loss gets chalked up to Leyland. Let’s try and keep a running count on when a critical decision either helps win or costs a defeat. Jimbo is 0-1 so far.

    by Vince in MN on Apr 9, 2009 at 1:29 am

  11. [...] remember where I saw the stat. If he came out in the ninth, he should have been replaced. (Detroit Tigers Weblog) Sphere [...]

    by Bunt singles: Is bullpen help on the way? » Mack Avenue Tigers : A Detroit Tigers Blog on Apr 9, 2009 at 1:29 am



    27 year old fan was killed Opening Day Angels A’s

    by David on Apr 9, 2009 at 3:51 am

  13. It’s slender, but here’s an argument for leaving Lyon in:

    With the score tied heading into the bottom of the ninth, there is a prospect of extra innings. With Bonine not available, Seay used up, and Robertson likely limited to an inning, perhaps Leyland was starting to think he ought to conserve arms. After all, if it went, say 12 innings and was still tied, it could have blown up the bullpen for the rest of series — and everybody would be criticizing Leyland for wasting two arms on two outs back in the eighth.

    by Dave in New Have(n) on Apr 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

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