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Game 2009.033: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: After a lengthy game with a disappointing result the Tigers turn to Justin Verlander to stave off the Metrodome sweep. He’ll be opposed by Scott Baker. Both pitchers will be expected to log some innings today as both bullpens were burned up in last night’s marathon. Detroit does have a fresh option in Lucas French, who was due to take his regular turn in the Toledo rotation and is Nate Robertson’s replacement. (Nate hit the DL with a back injury).

With a 1:10 start (noon:10 local time) we’ll see which offense wakes up first.

Detroit vs. Minnesota – May 14, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: It’s not too hard to find someone to blame in this one. Bobby Seay and Zach Miner combined to be awful and give away a 5 run lead before recording 2 outs. The result was a wasted outing by Justin Verlander, and 5 runs which haven’t exactly been easy to come by lately.

Verlander

He was freakishly good yet again today with a career high 13 strike outs. The only knock is that his pitch count crept up too high too early on a day when the bullpen was depleted. But he didn’t surrender a run and didn’t ask his position players to do much of anything. He recorded 15 swinging strikes as batter just can’t find his fastball.

In reading the comments, there is a lot of disagreement as to whether he should have been pulled. Verlander topped the 120 pitch mark when he was lifted and it was the 3rd straight start with a heavy workload. In my mind he certainly wasn’t pulled too early, and may have come out too late.

Listening to the game I didn’t think he’d be back for the 7th inning at all, and if he did I thought it would be to get Joe Crede. With the bullpen spent, I thought a 5 run lead and a clean slate would be a good situation to indoctrinate Lucas French. More on this in a minute.

Verlander Fastball Velocity May 14th

Verlander Fastball Velocity May 14th

As it was, Verlander put 2 men on including a walk to Nick Punto. At this point Leyland had to get him. Whether or not you believe in pitch counts, this had nothing to do with it. Verlander was gassed. Justin is normally a quick worker, and in that 7th inning he was taking longer between pitches. He had fanned Punto on all fastballs in his first 2 at-bats and start to finesse him with offspeed pitches in that last at-bat. And the velocity had tailed off after a flurry at the end of the sixth inning. It was time.

The pen

As I mentioned up above, a clean start with a 5 run lead might have been a nice spot to get French in the game. The downside of Verlander putting 2 guys on was that the situation became much more dicey and did call for Bobby Seay. As one of only 4 options (Miner/Rodney/French) and lefties coming it made sense to go with Seay. Seay didn’t get the job done. Miner didn’t get the job done either. I’m not soured on Seay, but Miner does not seem to pitch well out of the pen. It was a Twins sereis last year where he couldn’t throw strikes out of the pen that led to his demotion and it was more of the same the last 2 nights.

The offense

With 15 runs over the last 2 games it is starting to show signs of life again. Granted, it was helped by Jason Kubel not embracing a direct route to Santiago’s double, but that’s part of the game and the Tigers added on. And everybody that isn’t wearing catchers gear found a way to contribute the last 2 games.

Posted by on May 14, 2009.

Categories: 2009 Season, Game Post

175 Responses

  1. One would hope Verlander continues the dominant roll he’s on. In a feat of Posnanskian inspiration, I looked for some similar 3 start stretches for him to see how the 4th one went. What follows is a true story:

    May 17-27, 2006 – 24IP, 18H, 1ER, 2BB 12K. Next start: 5IP, 7H, 6ER, 4BB, 4K
    June 6-17, 2007 – 22IP, 12H, 3ER, 8BB, 24K. Next: 7IP, 4H, 1ER, 2BB, 11K
    Aug 27-Sep 7, 2007 – 21.2IP, 16H, 2ER, 5BB, 19K. Next: 7IP, 7H, 1ER, 1BB, 7K
    May 14-25, 2008 – 19IP, 15H, 4ER, 8BB, 13K. Next: 7IP, 8H, 4ER, 2BB, 1K

    I’m not exactly sure what this proves, other than the fact that I’m wicked bored. If I were to serve up an estimate for his pitching line today, it would be 6.1IP, 5H, 2ER, 2BB, 8K. Is that enough to avoid a sweep?

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm

  2. It should be 9 IP, but that looks good.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm

  3. Okay Verlander, only 8 more innings to go.

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm

  4. I’m thinking more efficiency would be in order. 23 pitches in the first isn’t a recipe for going very deep in the game. K’ing the side is nice, though.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm

  5. Guh. He’s already at 23 pitches. I predict 7 innings.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm

  6. I can’t wait for the Metrodome to die. I hate that place, and I usually only “watch” the games on Gamecast.

    by Joel in Seattle on May 14, 2009 at 1:31 pm

  7. Verlander is on pace to strikeout 27.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

  8. Verlander is bringing it again today. I agree though, that he’s burning up that pitch count. He has my permission to either hit Crede or get him out. It’s a win-win

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 1:39 pm

  9. If Verlander turns in another outstanding start today, can we finally put to rest all this nonsense that Galarraga is the ace of the staff? I like Armando, but let’s not get carried away here.

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 1:40 pm

  10. All right, lets put some hits together. Crap, Brandon I couldn’t even push submit before you flied out on the 1st pitch.

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm

  11. Already done… Verlander’s last 3 starts have re-established him, especially since Battlestar has struggled his last few times out.

    by Joel in Seattle on May 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

  12. I think Baker’s going to be pitching for a while if we keep these weak ABs going.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

  13. these are terrible at-bats man…..

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

  14. I think we had slider sightings on the third and fourth pitch to Mauer.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  15. Twelve-pitch inning is better.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  16. Would it be too much to ask them to at least watch one pitch go by this half-inning?

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  17. Another Ordonez GIDP.

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  18. Can we sit Magglio? He’s not himself.

    I mean: Same first-pitch swinging, same GIDP. But HE SUCKS.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm

  19. wow Maggs….regression sucks doesn’t it?

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  20. Getting really sick of all of the double plays this team has hit into as of late, it has absolutely killed several rallies in this series…

    by Brenden on May 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

  21. Slider to K Crede! That was wicked.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

  22. Score for the poor man. 9 strike outs in 4 innings. Crede? Be gone! (Sorry.)

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm

  23. Verlander is going to strike out 146 batters in this game by my projections.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

  24. Insightful…

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

  25. haha

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm

  26. Battlestar….hadn’t heard that one in a while. Good on ya.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm

  27. I want Verlander to strike out every player in the Twins lineup. So he still has Kubel and Buscher to get.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm

  28. Down goes Buscher.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm

  29. Jesus Verlander. That’s another one.

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm

  30. Buscher? Check.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm

  31. What Verlander is doing, just isn’t fair to hitters.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm

  32. HOLY CRAP THAT SWINGBACK FASTBALL WAS AWESOME.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm

  33. Reminded me of this picture.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm

  34. The only downside to striking out so many is that the pitch count is already getting up there… How many times can you throw 120-ish pitches in a row?

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm

  35. So. Verlander’s got about 40 pitches left. Let’s see if he can stretch them over 4 innings. It means he’s going to have to get some pop-outs and groundouts in early counts.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

  36. Can we get him some runs please?

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

  37. he’s thrown too many pitches unfortunately

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

  38. This is starting to enter Holy S*$# territory…

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm

  39. Dylan – if you’ve built up the arm strength, countless times, the question is can Verlander handle it. Just following along online, how’s his velocity/command looking? any signs of fatigue?

    What’s the over/under on K’s for Verlander today? 19? can he break the record?

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm

  40. I say he gets 13.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm

  41. Lets score here fellas!

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm

  42. Pitch count might be put in the backseat for this game. They should keep him out there as long as he’s effective or as long as this is a close game.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm

  43. He won’t get yanked until he’s lost some of his command. Whether that’s at pitch 80 or pitch 140.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm

  44. Yeah let’s finish this game up. I’m hungry and Arby’s is calling.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm

  45. Got to be kidding me. The guy hasn’t thrown any strikes and we just keep swinging anyway!

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm

  46. Ridiculous. That first pitch to Granderson wasn’t even close, then he pops up. Ugh.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

  47. Ramon Santiago!!!!

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

  48. wow……what a golden opportnuity missed

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

  49. Yes. Finally a clutch hit. Way to go, San ti ago.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

  50. Dang. Maggs is up now. Rally-killer Ordonez, prove me wrong.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  51. Where would we be without Ramon Santiago and Adam Everett on OFFENSE. Who would have ever thought we’d be saying that?

    It’s really time for the big guns to step up though, this is getting very frustrating.

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  52. i eat my words readily :)

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

  53. The reverse jinx works on Magglio :-)

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

  54. The jinx worked!

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

  55. Stop it with the ground rule doubles.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm

  56. Take THAT, Paul Schreiber!

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm

  57. These dome bounces are taking away runs. Magglio would have scored on grass.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm

  58. nice work adam

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm

  59. Larish makes pitchers work at his pace. He steps out of the box alot and calls time often. I love it.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  60. Whoa, Cabrera was burning it home.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  61. Poor Baker. This game looks like JVs first few starts.

    by Kevin in Austin (now Dallas) on May 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

  62. Minus the strikeouts and the stuff.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

  63. “Magglio would have scored on grass.”

    Yeah, he really should smoke more pot.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

  64. I doubt it’s on MLB’s PED list.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 2:53 pm

  65. hopefully JV can bring this home

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

  66. I have a feeling this will not end well. The tired bullpen will need to be used…and soon.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

  67. Verlander pitches the 7th.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

  68. Leyland has a certain fascination with the number 7 when it comes to starting pitchers, I think we see at least one more inning from Verly.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

  69. 109 through 6. Let him start the 7th.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

  70. “Tired bullpen.” We’ve got Miner who only pitched two outs last night, Seay who only pitched an inning, and Rodney. So, I think we’ll be okay. Plus that new kid.

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm

  71. tough day at the office for cougar

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm

  72. no “cougar” allowed around here, pls.

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm

  73. JV was probably in there a touch too long

    by Dave T. on May 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm

  74. That was a good time to yank him. It didn’t look like he had much left in the tank.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm

  75. uh oh

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  76. Seriously, Seay?

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm

  77. It’s tough to tell from Gameday, but the last 2 pitches to Tolbert look like strikes. Is Bobby getting squeezed on the strike zone?

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm

  78. Is it just me? or does it seem like Seay’s #1 priority in life is allowing inherited runners to score?

    Maybe I just catch him on bad days, but seems like he’s mr automatic in that dept. whenever a watch him.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  79. Walking in runs….

    by jason on May 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  80. Do the runs get charged to Verlander if Seay walks them in?

    by Matt on May 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  81. It’s a real shame that JV gets those runs charged. Let’s hope Seay doesn’t get any.

    by Kevin in Austin (now Dallas) on May 14, 2009 at 3:26 pm

  82. Matt – yes they do, that’s one of the reasons why ERA is pretty much a worthless stat IMO.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  83. Jim Leyland is officially senile. These 120+ pitch counts are going to kill Verlander. Oh well. Hold on to it, Bobby!

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  84. so JV’s ERA skyrockets .36 since he left the game

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm

  85. Seay sure has has sucked recently.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm

  86. @ Chris in Dallas:

    So you think Seay should have been brought in sooner?

    ;)

    by Matt on May 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm

  87. THAT WAS A TERRIBLE TIME TO YANK HIM!

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  88. I’d have to look at actual stats, but based solely on when I follow him, I’d only use Seay when noone is one base, the wheels always seem to fall off when he inherits runners.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  89. WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST LET VERLANDER FINISH THE INNING?! HE’S THE ONLY GUY WE HAVE WHO HAS HAD ANY SUCCESS PITCHING AGAINST THIS LINEUP. GAH!!!!

    by Adam on May 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  90. Haha. Seriously, though, it would’ve been a better situation to come in to start the inning for Seay.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

  91. Does anyone not expect Miner to let these two runs score?

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

  92. Not to toot my own horn, but look at the first post in this thread. I nailed Verlander’s pitching line…except for the K’s.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

  93. were gonnnnnna lose now

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

  94. ok, this officially sucks

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

  95. Yeah! Tiger’s bullpben! Woo!

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  96. oh goody. it’s crede.

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  97. Hopefully Miner doesn’t pitch like a coal miner’s daughter. Thanks, I’ll be here all game.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  98. um what happened to the game I was feeling so good about like 10 mins ago?!

    by Joey in Portland Or on May 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  99. good thing they’re walking all these guys.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  100. JV is averaging 108 pitches per start. Pretty reasonable.

    by Jeff on May 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  101. without a doubt, grandslam here.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  102. This is the series from Hell….

    by Tbone on May 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  103. why not just kick me in the nuts, it would feel better.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  104. WOW
    \MINER AND SEAY ARE SH**

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  105. well, at least Seay gets charged with 4 Runs and can’t get the win now, serves him right.

    by greg on May 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  106. This sucks.

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

  107. wow

    by Joey in Portland Or on May 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

  108. I’m at work, what did Gardenhire get ejected for? Was he unhappy with the “ball four” call?

    ;)

    by Matt on May 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  109. OK I’ll be back in a little while. I’m going to go light myself on fire.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  110. Wow…love this bullpen….I’m doubting the offense can score enough runs to save us today….I’m thinking we’re about to be swept out of the dome….What a joke…

    by Brenden on May 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  111. The Twins are our nemesis. They just toy with us, and we can do nothing about it.

    by jason on May 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  112. what a joke…Miner and Seay should ne smashed with a baseball bat by Verlander

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  113. Paging Ryan Perry….

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  114. Leyland taking out Verlander at that point?! You can bet that the Tigers relievers will give the game away 80 percent of the time. I could have made a lot of money off this game once he made the move to the pen. Totally Leylands fault. This was a given with the Tigers relievers. No surprise at all…

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  115. Perry is unavailable today right?

    by Dylan on May 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  116. Even if we put up another 5-spot, I would remain skeptical that we could win this game.

    I hate this team and this dome. Not like I hate the White Sox, but close.

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  117. Said Verlander to Seay.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  118. Yup….it’s over….after a play like that…..there is no hope….I hate this Twins team and I hate even more being swept by them….What a kick to the face…

    by Brenden on May 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm

  119. Huh? Verlander was done. Already at his limit and nothing left in the tank.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm

  120. Worst game of the year? I’m voting yes.

    by Joey in Portland Or on May 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

  121. Really? Raburn is our last hope? Wow…Raburn? Really??? That is who we want batting right now?

    I retract my statement….

    by Brenden on May 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

  122. I don’t care about the Verlander win or the score. I’m over it. The Twins bullpen is just as bad. This one ain’t over yet.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

  123. why Raburn

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

  124. I agree with you Mark, the Twins are trying to get me to hate them as much as the White Sux.

    by Joey in Portland Or on May 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm

  125. its over

    the twins r too good a team to let their one lead get away

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  126. Verlander was not done. Not close in my opinion. One single and a walk where most of the pitches were close? Verlander looked angry that he was being taken out. Seay pitched a lot yesterday and not well. talk about nothing left in the tank..

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  127. I don’t blame Leyland for this one. He’s in a no-win situation. If he leaves Verlander in and he starts giving up runs, we all would have yelled that he’s up over 120 pitches and Jimmuh is crazy for leaving him out there.

    If he goes to the bullpen, he’s got to use Seay since there’s a bunch of lefties coming up and nobody else is really available. And Bobby couldn’t get anyone out, he pitched terrible. So I think most of the blame has to rest with him (and to an extent, Miner).

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm

  128. Half the people here say Leyland was stupid for leaving Verlander in too long. The other half say that Leyland was stupid for yanking him early.
    This is about as stupid as it gets. Can’t do nothing right.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  129. Remember when we had a 7-0 lead against Boof Bonser here and lost? I just had that random flashback.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  130. 120 pitches + two consecutive batters reaching base = Done.

    Any manager in the league would have pulled JV at that point.

    This ain’t on Leyland. It’s on the bullpen.

    by Matt on May 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

  131. Let’s not get too worked up. We all knew what our pen was heading into the season, this isn’t anything out of the ordinary. If we get swept here, I’ll feel good about getting swept and still being a game over .500, and possibly in first place, in the middle of May.

    by Kevin in Austin (now Dallas) on May 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

  132. I love Leyland, don’t get me wrong, but I think that was the wrong time to pull Verlander especially because, yes, the bullpen is suspect. The thing is, it’s 6-5 to right now. Wrong decision. Do you really think if he had left Verlander in that it would be 6-5? i don’t. Maybe 6-3. Maybe.

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

  133. 5-3 sorry..

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm

  134. I bet Seay’s pitches looked like grapefruits to the hitters after facing Verlander.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  135. ooo… tough loss. Damn

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

  136. What’s encouraging is that we really are just 1 or 2 relievers away from legitimately having a shot to win the central. It hasn’t happened in a while for us, but relievers can be found.

    by Kevin in Austin (now Dallas) on May 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

  137. Large grapefruits..

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

  138. Honestly, it probably doesn’t matter.

    Even if Leyland keeps JV in and then turns to the bullpen in the 8th inning they probably still give up 6 runs.

    by Matt on May 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

  139. I can’t wait for the pitch-count haters to have fun with this…

    I’m not watching the game, but I’m listening to it. Kinda sounded like JV was gassed, or close to it. Even if it looked like he had “something” left, JV was at over 120 pitches (that’s three straight starts of about 120 pitches). The radio guys are right, Leyland has to manage with the whole season in mind.

    As far as Seay, there weren’t a lot of options to go to in the pen after last night. Do you put Perry in? Oh…that’s right, he walks a lot of guys and there’s already two on. So they go to the guy who’s been their best option so far. That’s the logical choice, right?

    This isn’t Leyland’s fault, pens should be able to hold a 5 run lead. If they can’t, then there’s not a lot a manager can do to win games.

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  140. Andre,

    see my comment above^

    nice that we’re on the same plain… ;-)

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  141. I agree. Good team. Bullpen help is needed. If the starting pitching can hold up. Maybe Dontrelle pitches ok, Bonderman can make comeback etc…… We have a good chance.

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  142. I agree that the pen should hold but it hasn’t been. Even Rodneys last outings have been nail-biters. There’s where you have to get away from the numbers for a minute. Let him go one more batter. A bullpen in need of rest and not pitching well warrants letting a starter that has struck out 13 in 7 innings, one more batter.

    by Dave on May 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm

  143. The Tigers pen isn’t good, but they were getting the job done for the most part. This was only the 5th blown lead for the Tigers pen this season. The major league average is 5 blown . Take a look at how the pens for the Yankees, Indians, and Twins are doing. They are actually doing much worse than the Tigers.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm

  144. JV had 122 pitches, only one out and two on when he got pulled. He hadn’t gotten a GIDP all game, granted that he hadn’t really put himself in a situation to be able to. So how many more pitches for those two outs?

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm

  145. Ok, shout-out to all my fellow transplants in Chicago. I’m heading over to Tin Lizzie’s for the Wings game tonight. I’ll be the guy with the beard and the Datsyuk jersey.

    JK, there’s gonna be like 30 dudes that match that description. If you recognize me from my goofy @$$ avatar, feel free to say hi. Unless you’re gonna follow me home – I’d just assume you didn’t in that case.

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm

  146. Nevertheless, it was another great outing by Verlander.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm

  147. This team just seems to have a problem with this team giving up one big inning a game that costs us. Really crappy loss today.

    by Walter55 on May 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

  148. It’s time to bring back the old school game. Especially after you deplete your bullpen in a 14 inning game the night before. Verlander was far from done. He had plenty in his tank. This was just textbook stupid. Verlander had this lineup spinning.

    The debate about pulling a pitcher after 100+ pitches is the most asinine debate on the floor. There is no reason whatsoever to pull a pitcher unless he’s throwing meatballs or can’t find the strike zone. That didn’t look like the stuff Verlander was dealing when he walked off the diamond. Are you kidding me? Verlander was done because of his pitch count? What? To allow an arbitrary quantity dictate the game is one of the most puzzling phenomena I’ve seen seize the minds of otherwise critically thinking men since the documentation of vast herds of bumbling lemmings blindly leaping one after the other over the Norwegian cliffs. Someone — anyone — has to break this insanity. This is collective unconsciousness at its best example.

    by T Smith on May 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

  149. That’s just like, your opinion, man…

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm

  150. Andre,

    Glad to see you’ve hopped on the Tin Lizzie’s bandwagon, it’s definitely a fun bar. I would normally plan to crash your party for some double-sugar kool aid while we discussed politics (especially since the ol’ lady is out of town), but I have class on Thursdays and a paper due. As such, I will be texting Google from my phone every 10 minutes until the Wings are up by 6. Or down by 6.

    Should they survive this round, class may have to wait a few weeks, as I do not intend to miss what will be an epic conference final against the Blackhawks.

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  151. “…Any manager in the league would have pulled JV at that point…”

    Which is exactly the point.

    by T Smith on May 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  152. I just narrowly avoiding a bar-fight with Hawks fans on Tuesday night…and we aren’t even playing them…yet! Time to take some boxing or MMA classes methinks. Or just get bigger friends.

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm

  153. Sorry, what point? You made a lot of statements, eg:

    “To allow an arbitrary quantity dictate the game is one of the most puzzling phenomena I’ve seen seize the minds of otherwise critically thinking men”

    without providing any hard data yourself. How critically thinking is that?

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm

  154. Am I the only one that thinks that Verlander was pulled exactly when he needed to be pulled? If not for that 13 inning, bullpen-depleting game last night, I think Leyland would have pulled him after the 6th. He wanted to see if he could get an extra inning out of Justin because the bullpen was gassed. I have no problem with that. With a 5-0 lead and the tying run still in the dugout, getting two outs before losing the lead should not have been too difficult. Leyland did a fine job given the crappy circumstances.

    by Eric Cioe on May 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm

  155. Verlander looked done.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm

  156. Let’s just all agree this was Seay’s fault. End of debate.

    by Brian P on May 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

  157. He pulled him at the exact same time I would of pulled him. Verlander’s command wasn’t good anymore. I wouldn’t risk Verlander’s season or career just to see if he can get out of the inning. I’d rather risk Seay’s or Lyon’s arm. Verlanders arm is one in a billion. You have to protect it.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

  158. I second that notion.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

  159. Agree, Eric and Brian. Leyland played the hand he was dealt, and Seay (mostly) crapped the bed.

    by Mark in Chicago on May 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

  160. I HATE the Twins.

    by Chris in Nashville on May 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm

  161. If I failed to convey the point it’s certainly not for lack of one — the point is pitch count is dictating the game over common sense. There will be times when a guy is toast after 80 pitches and other times when he has the stuff in the tank to strike out the side after 130, 140, 150, even 160 pitches… That’s just common sense. But if you want empirical evidence or data, I give you Nolan Ryan’s entire career. There’s ample evidence there.

    Assigning a pitch count to the point in the game when you pull a pitcher, say 100, or 110 — (or in this case, to pull a pitcher after his first mistake or first sign of trouble after a certain number, say 100, or 110 pitches) makes no more sense than saying after a certain number of assists or putouts you need to pull your shortstop and replace him because he’s spent. What?

    Why 100? Why 110? What data or reasoning is there? Show me. But wait… I’ll tell you exactly the cornerstone of the reasoning at play here. Forget the data — let’s look at the origin of how this arbitrary and ridiculous number crept into the game. If you’re going to argue the pitch count, you need to look at the history, which traces back to one manager (who happened to be a very, very smart and highly respected baseball guy) back in the 60s who was promoting a young and inexperienced pitcher right out of high school (last time I checked this is not JVs profile). This was an extremely controversial move and the manager was heavily (and perhaps rightly) criticized for doing so. So what did he do? He countered the criticism with a strict 110 pitch count to placate the media and justify the decision. So there you have it. That’s why every manager in the game employs the pitch count today (whether they know it or not), and that’s what’s created this very platform for debate, and that why the Tigers lost the game today… because the media was a little harsh on Paul Richards for promoting Larry Dierker’s major league pitching debut on his 18th birthday.

    Even so, the origin of the pitch count is a case where the manager employed a specific strategy due to a unique circumstance. This circumstance doesn’t apply to every situation, yet managers blindly follow in almost every situation, seemingly knowing not for what or why they do. What started with one manager for very valid reasons graduated to couple more managers who took heed and followed Richards lead, to the next generation of managers who adopted the strategy cuz “that’s how you play the game”, and so on, to the point where a seemingly valid debate exists over a non-issue, and to the point in the game of baseball today where every single manager in the entire game abides by an irrelevant pitch count rule, like lemmings over a cliff.

    But hey, man, that’s just my opinion.

    by T Smith on May 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm

  162. I agree that you have to go on a case by case basis. Verlander seems to be one of those guys, like Sabathia, who can throw 120 and it doesn’t bug him much. Other good pitchers don’t have gas tanks as deep as Verlander’s. Dan Haren’s done around 105 most of the time. The trick is to identify those guys, and then use them accordingly. Now that Verlander’s got a couple of full seasons under his belt, and isn’t 24 anymore, Leyland seems willing to let him go longer than he would Galarraga, for instance, or even Jackson.

    If Verlander’s mostly cruising, I have no problem with him throw 130 pitches or more. But if it looks like he’s running out of steam at 110, pull him then. I think Verlander was probably tiring by the end of his game today.

    So on some day where he’s not had any really long innings, but maybe has been a little inefficient, I’ve got no problem with him going 130, or even beyond, if it doesn’t look like he’s tired. But if he has labored some, and looks tired through 95, I’ve got no problem pulling him out there, either. You have to take it on a case by case basis, I agree, but you also have to be careful and not overextend a guy who doesn’t have any gas left.

    by Eric Cioe on May 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm

  163. I love when people trot out Nolan Ryan as the counter-point to pitch counts. He’s such a great baseline for general pitching comparisons.

    I’m curious, did you watch JV today? I didn’t, but from the announcers and others it sounds like he might have been close to done (that’s just their opinion, of course). Maybe not entirely used up, but even if you don’t believe in strict pitch counts, Verlander was in the process of recording three consecutive “high” pitch count games.

    In any case, I’m sure that Billfer will shed some light on this, and hopefully we’ll even be able to spawn a full-blown pitch count analysis post…although I think I remember one already on this site, I’m just too lazy to look for it.

    Dear RedWings,

    Please help me forget today’s collapse.

    Thank you in advance.

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm

  164. you also have to be careful and not overextend a guy who doesn’t have any gas left.

    Ask Grady Little about that one.

    Anyhoo, there’s merit to a pitch count. Managers get gunshy about keeping a guy in there too long for a few reasons that have nothing to do with winning that day’s game. First, the significant investments in these guys arms dollar-wise. Nolan Ryan was never on a $160 million contract. Secondly, you don’t want to get a reputation as a destroyer of arms. I don’t think free agent pitchers are clamoring to sign with a Dusty Baker-led club. FWIW, I’ll link to the most extensive study on the issue I’ve read.

    http://www.baseballprospectus......cleid=1477

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm

  165. Dre: You’re dealing the snark today. Good on ya.

    by Chris in Dallas on May 14, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  166. You have to be able to count on your bullpen to hold a 5 run lead. JV was done and Leyland did the right thing by pulling him.

    5 friggin’ run lead. Seriously.

    To the tune of the National Anthem –

    Oh Seay can you see by the dome’s crappy light,
    The five run lead we had before JV was leaving,
    The bullpen gave up six runs, Tigers were up late last night
    O’er the infield hits went cross the plate Twins were streaming
    Seeing Leyland’s mean stare, f-bombs bursting in air
    Gave proof through the game that the bullpen was bare
    Oh, Seay, does our bullpen need to get a big save
    Or the central division, will be lost I’m afraid

    by Andrew on May 14, 2009 at 6:50 pm

  167. I was at work and didn’t see this one live, so I just watched Verlander in the 7th inning. He was absolutely done. Watch it and look how long he takes between pitches as he tries to catch his breath and muster more energy. Verlander normally works very quickly.

    Also, look at what he did to Punto. Punto’s first 2 times up he threw 4 seamer after 4 seamer and fanned him twice. His last time up he starts finessing him. I konw there is some game theory at play here, but it’s Nick freaking Punto. He was finessing because he was reaching back for everything he had and only getting 93 mph. The guy was done and I don’t care what the pitch count was.

    by billfer on May 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm

  168. If JV was done then I guess we were just destined to lose this game. Apparently there wasn’t one pitcher on roster who could have stopped the onslaught of runs in the 7th inning. JV did look a little shaken — but I still think he could have pitched out of it after pitching the kind of game he pitched. It kind of reminded me of the 7th inning bases-loaded jam he pitched out of a few starts back. Our bullpen was extremely thin and beat up from the night before — nobody was going to offer up anything more unhittable that a tiring JV, IMO.

    I would have thrown the dice to let him work out of the jam and then rolled out the bullpen with 8th. But as someone else commented, it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

    One thing is sure… I don’t think JV himself wanted to come out. He looked pissed.

    by T Smith on May 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm

  169. He looked spent, too.

    The bullpen didn’t have to be as unhittable as Verlander was today. All they had to do in the 7th was get two outs before the guy who was in the hole crossed home plate. It wasn’t a tough situation. It was real simple. Even if they let both of Verlander’s runners score, the game is still 5-2. They had to get two outs and couldn’t do it. Bobby Seay does it pretty regularly so I’m not going to give up on him. But it’s a tough loss.

    by Eric Cioe on May 14, 2009 at 9:21 pm

  170. The reasons for pitch counts in an effort to attempt injury prevention are 2 fold. One is just the cumulative usage as a player repeatedly undertakes an unnatural motion. The other is the thought process that when a pitcher is tired the mechanics start to go and this can increase the risk of both acute and rsi.

    My take on this situation is that Verlander was tired. Looking at data (velocity), results (walk to Nick Punto), and subjective observation (change in pitching pattern to Punto, taking longer between pitches to catch his breath) is what brought me to this conclusion. I also know that he was in the 120 pitch range in each of his last 2 starts.

    He may still have been the best option to finish the inning, but that doesn’t make it necessarily the right decision to leave him in. He’s just too good and too valuable to risk on one game. Not to mention it was a 5 run lead.

    The other thing at play here is that last year Leyland seemed to leave Verlander in too long. He’d turn a decent outing through 6 innings into a crappy outing through 7.

    As for him not wanting to come out, that’s not a surprise. Pudge didn’t want to platoon last year. Players want to play and contribute. I’m sure that Verlander wanted to get through 7 knowing what the team went through the night before.

    by billfer on May 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm

  171. I think Leyland should have gone to the bullpen at the start the seventh inning. The Tigers had a 5-run lead, no reason to leave a starter who regularly throws a lot of pitches in the game to do so again.

    Leyland abuses Verlander. He will be gassed by the end of the season. Look for his usual 5+ ERAs with horrible command come August and September.

    Leyland and the bullpen will kill Verlander’s ERA this season, just like last season, too.

    by leyland = dusty baker on May 14, 2009 at 9:49 pm

  172. I don’t think that’s true at all.

    You also have to remember: the bullpen just pitched 8 innings the night before. You can’t just look at this game in a vacuum.

    by Eric Cioe on May 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

  173. You want to know what it’s like to be in the real crap house, then put your feet into the shoes of a Cleveland Indian’s fan. Tiger fans should have nothing to complain about at this time in my book. You know what, we’ll still probably be in 1st place at the end of the day.

    Tigers are playing good baseball for the most part. There have been many blunders here and there, but we are making fewer mistakes than most other teams. We are new to this style of baseball also. Just give it a little more time. We didn’t even imagine playing small ball like this in Spring Training, but we have been playing that way for the past 6 weeks. If we keep playing this way the chips should fall in our direction. We might even run away with this division if things get better.

    by Mr. X on May 14, 2009 at 10:54 pm

  174. Thank you Justin, I started you.

    Sorry Seay, I started you too.

    Thank you Billfer.

    Thank you RedWings.

    I’m tired, wasted, and happier than I’ve been in months!

    by Andre in Chi on May 14, 2009 at 11:47 pm

  175. I agree with you, Billfer. I think JL waited too long to get Verlander. I don’t for the life of me understand why he used Seay and Miner again when neither had been effective the day before. I think this goes back to traditional baseball thinking. I would argue that Rodney should have come in with the two guys on base. The game was on the line right there.

    Good teams don’t give away games like this.

    by Scott on May 15, 2009 at 7:15 am

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About the Site Detroit Tigers Weblog was launched in July, 2001. At the time it was the only Tigers blog and it resided as a blogspot page. There were multiple authors and it mostly consisted of links to the rare times the Tigers were mentioned in the national media. We only had a few dozen […]more →

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