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Game 2009.034: A’s at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers journey through the AL Central with 6 wins, 6 losses, and a rain out. So they didn’t really lose or gain anything. Now they go out of the division for a while starting with the Oakland A’s. Kurt and Blake have already written up previews of this series, so I’ll just put my feet up after I tell you a little about tonight’s pitching match-up.

The Tigers look to Edwin Jackson to perhaps bullpen proof this game – or at least minimize the pen innings. Jackson hasn’t received a lot of run support this year, so if the pattern holds he’ll need to be close to perfect. My guess is that tonight’s pen consists of Fernando Rodney, Lucas French, Ryan Perry…and hope. Miner and Seay are likely out, and I’d guess that Jim Leyland would like to give Zumaya and Lyon an extra day after their marathon night on Wednesday.

Lefty Dallas Braden takes the hill for Oakland. He has a sub 6 K/9 rate, but he walks less than half of that and keeps the ball in the park. Lefties only have 33 at-bats against him this year and they’ve only put together 7 singles and a walk. Most of the damage against Braden has been done in the later innings with a sub .700 OPS in the first 4 innings. But the third time through the lineup hitters post a 953 OPS against.

Oakland vs. Detroit – May 15, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: It’s nice not to be in the Metrodome anymore. The Tigers hit 2 grandslams and took advantage of 4 Oakland errors, and got another great start from Edwin Jackson.

On another note, sorry about misleading you about tonight’s A’s starter. I went off of the info on MLB.com’s site. Braden will be tomorrow night’s starter so at least I have a head start.

Posted by on May 15, 2009.

Categories: 2009 Season, Game Post

74 Responses

  1. The Tigers have been so puzzling. Not sure how much to read into this, due to small sample size, but they are 10-0 on Saturday and Sunday, 7-16 on weekdays. So while they play like the ‘03 Tigers on weekdays, the weekend warrior version of the team has been unbeatable.

    Let’s hope EJ can get some support… a nice blowout would do a lot to help forget the debacle over the past three days in the Metrodome.

    by Robo-Tiger on May 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm

  2. man…just compare this year to last year and everything seems so much better.

    on this date last year, we were 16 – 25 in the midst of a four game losing streak and in last place.

    17-16 isn’t that bad…we have to stop thinking we’re going to go on some crazy run like in 2006 where we were 24-13 on this date 3 years ago.

    big game tonight, let’s go Edwin!

    by Adrian from Toronto on May 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm

  3. I’m betting on a 6-3 home stand.

    by David on May 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm

  4. How I love you, rain delay.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm

  5. This is a .500 team with a .400 manager. Inconsistency is the hallmark of mediocre teams, so get used to the “puzzling”, because I’m guessing this is the way it is going to be all year. Games like Weds and Thurs will be pretty common. However, the rest of the division is in the same boat, so the Tigers do have a legitimate shot at the division title. Improvements are possible (and necessary), but with all the dead weight on board and a relatively weak minor league system, it’s going to be tough.

    by Vince in MN on May 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm

  6. I think Leyland is usually brilliant. He’s easily the best manager I’ve seen here in Detroit. Far better than Sparky Anderson. IMO, most people just can’t comprehend how he thinks because they don’t watch enough baseball and how other manager’s manage. It’s not fair to put just one manager under a microscope if you don’t watch others closely. I watch mostly the Braves, Yankees, and Red Sox so I’ll just use those managers for example. From what I’ve seen, Leyland is better than Joe Girardi, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox. I’d rank Terry Francona at the top and Girardi at the bottom. It’s not unusual for fans to hate their own home team’s manager. With every game on TV, managers have virtually no breathing room for errors these days. Fans who just watch their home team will pick up on all the mistakes of their manager and pretty much disregard how other managers do things. These fans will probably NEVER EVER be happy with their current manager if they don’t win championships every other year.

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 7:51 pm

  7. I would like to see how everyone ranks our former managers from best to worst-

    Jim Leyland
    Alan Trammell
    Luis Pujols
    Phil Garner
    Larry Parrish
    Buddy Bell
    Sparky Anderson

    I’d go-
    Leyland
    Anderson
    Garner
    Trammell
    Parrish
    Pujols
    Bell

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm

  8. Oak’s defense is helping us out. Nice to be on the other end of this for once.

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 8:26 pm

  9. RABURN!! Grandslam!

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 8:30 pm

  10. Edwin Jackson finally getting some run support.

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 8:31 pm

  11. Anderson has been a little wild, but with the defense being displayed tonight, no one can blame him for pitching away from contact.

    by Brian P on May 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

  12. The last thing we need is for Jackson to slip on the diamond dust and injure his knee like Willis did last year. I wonder if they’ll call this after 5.

    by Brian P on May 15, 2009 at 9:17 pm

  13. Well then the 2nd-to-last thing we need is for the game to be called after 4 and for Jackson to discover a game with run support was just an illusion

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm

  14. Only 12 comments? wow, and this is actually a great game

    Every team Leyland has managed in the MLB has had a sub .500 record except here.

    He is NOT a great manager. Granted a lot of it has to do with the city your in and the team the GM surrounds you with. But he has been given a wealth of resources here and has never played in a superpower market. (ie NY, Boston/LA/Chicago)

    He doesn’t know at all when to yank pitchers and he messes with the lineup way too much. He also is too loyal to certain underachievers and ignores some solid players with no apparent reason. He also in my opinion doesn’t use enough small ball, although infusing some speed into the lineup has been nice.

    Watch Ken Macha, Mike Scioscia, Ron Gardenhire, Ozzie Guillen. I’m sure in that group you’d find at least two you’d prefer over Leyland.

    by David on May 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm

  15. I’m at a bar with no sound on the tv. They planning to start the game back up?

    by james on May 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

  16. Awesome. This game isn’t even going to count.

    by Adam on May 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

  17. My amateur meteorology skills (ok, the moving maps on Weather.com) indicate that the rain should lighten very soon, and then stop. At least enough to get in a half inning…

    i hope.

    by Tom on May 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm

  18. David,
    Leyland won the World Series with the Marlins in ’97, with a regular-season record of 92-70.

    by Carolyn on May 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm

  19. Radio guys just said that the rain had stopped (for the moment) at CoPa and he was GUESSING they would get underway in another twenty or so.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm

  20. Sparky comes in second to no manager on that list.

    by Chris Y. on May 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

  21. Per various tigers twitter feeds. 10:35 start.

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

  22. Scoscia is probably my favorite AL manager. Gardenhire is pretty good. Guillen is amusing, but not a great manager. Nothing to special about Macha.

    If I had to fit Leyland in there, it would be next to Gardenhire, I guess.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm

  23. And it’s back on. Ugh

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm

  24. Then again, Beck said it just started pouring again.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 10:28 pm

  25. Yeah… I was on my phone. Started pouring again. It’s dry in A2 right now so maybe they will have a chance to squeeze the fifth in.

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm

  26. And now the tarp is off! This sure is exciting. What will happen next?!

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

  27. Sorry I got the starter wrong tonight guys. I went by what was on the MLB.com site. Oops. It seemed to work tonight though. Should I describe the wrong pitcher every time?

    Looks like Jackson is going to come back and throw another inning or two.

    by billfer on May 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm

  28. Why not give Frenchie a shot?

    Jackson’s been sittin’ a long time.

    by Chris Y. on May 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm

  29. I think French will get a shot. But with 63 pitches and an hourish delay, he probably threw 25 pitches or so underneath and is good for an inning. He gets a chance to get the win, and it’s 3 less outs for the pen to get. Hopefully.

    by billfer on May 15, 2009 at 10:42 pm

  30. Sure, I’d prefer Scioscia, Gardenhire, or Guillen over Leyland. Those are some of the top guys, but Macha is idiotic with the way he uses his pen.

    Leyland can only try small ball with certain players. Last season’s team had no candidates for small ball. The team stunk for that style of play.

    I don’t see how anyone can complain about how Leyland uses the pen. The Tigers have had no top tier relievers. So how would you pick your poison? DD got most of these arms out of the scrap yard. I think Leyland has made the best with what he has.

    The only pitchers that aren’t rejects are Verlander, Porcello, Zumaya, and Perry. Every other pitcher was rather questionable when they got here. He’s getting the best out of guys like Jackson and Galarraga.

    IMO, Leyland has protected a few players from looking bad (Thames). He finds ways to play guys when they are HOT. Like Thomas and Larish right now. Thames is not good, just look at his stats since last July. Hit hit about .180 in Spring Training also.

    As for being loyal to certain underachievers. Sure, but only to a certain point. Sheffield was released, now he’s with NY Mets and they are dealing with his .190 bat instead of us. It was Leyland who called Sheff into his office and gave him his walking papers. It was Leyland who wanted nothing to do with Renteria again. That’s not loyalty, that’s shrewd management considering everything we gave up to get those 2 guys. We’re still paying Sheff $13 million to play for the Mets. Last season was a lost cause no matter who was managing. Nearly every player on the roster was playing hurt or was on the DL at some point.

    Back to the game…….

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm

  31. Jackson looks good after all the rest.

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm

  32. One-two-three. nice and quick. That’s all he needed to do.

    Let it rain :-)

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm

  33. Not a fan of Jackson coming back out. This is pushing it in a 9-1 game. I just don’t see a need for it.

    by billfer on May 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm

  34. All future stadiums should have the retractable roof.

    by Brian P on May 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm

  35. Leyland probably wanted to give him a chance at the win. The layoff was only an hour, and he was staying loose the whole time. He was only at 60 pitches when he left, and he’s at about 80 now through 6. You figure he threw an innings’ worth of pitches during the delay. I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable. He’s got to be done now. French should go out and get the 3 inning save.

    by Eric Cioe on May 15, 2009 at 11:02 pm

  36. Wow… Kansas City just started their game? I guess they are an hour back but geez. Greinke..

    BRANDON INGE!!!

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 11:04 pm

  37. Inge baby Inge. Grandslam!!

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm

  38. question for anyone on the board.

    i listen to games via the MLB app on the iPhone (don’t hate me.)

    tonight when i tuned in, instead of the WXYT feed with Price and Dickerson, it was the FSD feed with audio from Mario and Rod (basically the reason I use the radio.)

    did anyone else experience this tonight. sort of an oddball/niche question, but it’s 9-1 and i feel somewhat confident.

    by Mike in CT on May 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm

  39. Ahh! I was watching Nathan blow a save and missed the grand slam.

    by Brian P on May 15, 2009 at 11:06 pm

  40. BINGE!!

    At this point we’d probably be safe putting Gene Lamont on the mound for the rest of the game…

    (I thought the A’s were supposed to be good at Muddyball?)

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:08 pm

  41. Jackson is still in!?!?!

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 11:09 pm

  42. LOL Moneyball. Funny how they have the worst offense year in and year out and they are famous for walks.

    Not saying walks aren’t important, but I’d much rather have a hitter like Granderson who can hit and with authority than a guy like Sheff, who can’t.

    by David on May 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm

  43. My iPhone has Price and Dickerson… Odd.

    by Dylan on May 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm

  44. btw…Inge caught up with Cabrera in RBI at 26, even hitting about 100 points less.

    by Mike in CT on May 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

  45. The Twins’ pen has been brutal this year, just as bad as the Tigers.

    by Mr. X on May 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

  46. Having Jackson in at this point is just dumb. What better situation to get French into a game?

    by billfer on May 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

  47. I’m not sure why Jackson is out there, unless he said “Uncle Smokey, can I pitch one more?” in which case he’d get a “sure, OK.”

    Either that or Leyland is sending a message to his bullpen about not walking guys when you have a lead..

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm

  48. >> He also in my opinion doesn’t use enough small ball, <<

    Actually he uses too much small ball. You get 27 outs per game. Too many managers like to give them away.

    You score runs when you get men on base and when you get extra base hits to score them. One run strategies are for the 8th inning onward (and when pitchers or Sardinha are hitting). Crooked numbers are the way baseball games are won (and lost).

    by Jeff on May 15, 2009 at 11:19 pm

  49. @Mr X – when I said Leyland mismanages pitchers what I mean is that he USUALLY yanks starters usually WAYYYY too early. (not today) And does the opposite with the pen – leaving them in to blow it.

    It isn’t as bad as what I saw from Tram, but then again Tram didn’t have nearly as much to work with.

    @ Carolyn,.. I never said Leyland didn’t have a winning record over 1 season. I’m saying with any individual teams over his tenure he has been a consistent loser except here in Detroit.
    (SEE HIS BASEBALL REFERENCE PAGE)

    Now you can call fire sale on his final Florida season, but he still was the manager and they were horrible – almost the worst all time with only 54 wins. He had some talent on that roster. However, every position player except one, and all of his starting pitchers were under 28.

    Still he CHOOSE to stay there.

    by David on May 15, 2009 at 11:20 pm

  50. And don’t think the Inge grandslam was meaningless.

    When he laid off a tough 2-1 pitch I said to the guy next to me “bet you a beer next pitch is a grandslam.” (I’m watching in a bar). He said “you’re on..”

    Mmmm beer…

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:21 pm

  51. lol, now you have to repeat the sequence in a bar every time Inge comes up to the plate with a 2-1 count. You’ll be drunk as a skunk for free and Inge will hit his 800th hr in no time! :)

    by David on May 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm

  52. I guess French has assumed the Robertson role of the bullpen pitcher who doesn’t get used.

    by billfer on May 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm

  53. Seriously, what better situation could there be to get French some innings.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 11:26 pm

  54. They might be saving him in case of an early exit from Porcello. I worry about that every time he pitches.

    by Eric Cioe on May 15, 2009 at 11:33 pm

  55. I’m no Leyland fan, but one could very easily argue that 54 wins was a result of great managerial skill IF you think the avg. manager would have won say, 42 games that year under those conditions.

    Winning % alone can be misleading, Joe Torre, in my humble opinion, is terrible, and he has a great winning %. I think his teams have won DESPITE him being the manager.

    by greg on May 15, 2009 at 11:35 pm

  56. The problem with Moneyball is that it assumes you can quantify everything, and you can’t.

    No, I’m not talking about “scrappiness” or any of that. I mean things like Does the guy have a good baseball name?

    I mean, Landon Powell? Sure, if you’re GM of, say, Manchester United.. Bobby Crosby? Hockey name…Rajai Davis? Cricket maybe…Jack Cust? Company softball league…

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:38 pm

  57. To be fair I’d have to concede “Brandon Inge” may not be one of the best baseball names ever…

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:42 pm

  58. Yes, the ol’ “time to get French” situation…

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:45 pm

  59. He can be like Darko, the human victory cigar.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm

  60. Inge passed him now…also he passed Granderson and leads the team in runs scored, which I think is more surprising…

    by Coleman on May 15, 2009 at 11:50 pm

  61. Nice to see the big boys go a combined 6-7, 6 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB tonight.

    by Ryan P. on May 15, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  62. What’s dumb about it? His control looked good the entire time. What’s the common wisdom about this – generally SPs don’t pitch after a rain delay? I guess I just don’t know. If he pitched a simulated inning in the tunnel (which I don’t know if he did or not) to keep warm, it’s really just like sitting down and watching your team score four or five runs.

    by Adam on May 16, 2009 at 12:17 am

  63. It was an hour and thirteen minute rain delay. That is way more than an inning. I wasn’t nervous he was going to falter and cough up the lead. It was a senseless use of a stud pitcher though with a double digit lead.

    by billfer on May 16, 2009 at 12:20 am

  64. @ David
    Well, most people think Leyland doesn’t yank his pitcher early enough.
    Who is it that should be left out there longer?

    Verlander’s arm might fall off soon if he keeps on going this deep into games. Bonderman was always a head case and throws 30 something pitches in the 1st inning most games, so he gets yanked after about 6 innings. Kenny Rogers had nothing to give after 2006, so he’d just get what he could from him. Nate Robertson was never more than a 5 inning pitcher. It’s easy to tell when Edwin Jackson is done. He loses command after about 80 pitches and starts walking guys. Leyland has used Jackson perfectly so far. Galarraga is easy to figure out also because he starts getting hit hard after 6 innings. Usually when Leyland leaves someone out there past the 6th inning they usually get into trouble right away. Problem is we have nobody in the bullpen that can pitch when they come in with men on base. Not one reliever can be depended on to get us out of a jam.

    by Mr. X on May 16, 2009 at 12:22 am

  65. If that’s the worst thing we can find about tonight’s game, then that’s good.

    Let’s imagine that he threw some pitches halfway through the rain delay. That’s the equivalent of him having a quick half inning between two long half innings when his offense is up to bat. Maybe that’s not what happened. I don’t think what Leyland did was particularly reckless today.

    by Eric Cioe on May 16, 2009 at 12:27 am

  66. I agree that it was a very long day for Jackson. Also add to the fact that the game started with a hour long rain delay. I think it was just as much mental endurance than it was physical. To be focused for that long is just incredible. I’m starting to think the best is yet to come for Jackson. Hopefully we can keep scoring a bunch of runs for him. He deserves to get more wins pitching the way he is.

    by Mr. X on May 16, 2009 at 1:31 am

  67. @ Mr X

    I guess I’m of the “old time baseball” camp where I think starters should go deep into games.

    To be honest I liked the four man rotations and I hate pens for the most part. How could guys pitch 300 innings back in the day, but most guys fail to get to 200 today with 33 starts. Starting pitchers pitch every fifth or sixth day, they should be darn able to get through 6 innings almost every start unless they are getting hammered (ie Oakland tonight).

    This sport is slowly evolving into football, and its grossing me out. Soon we’ll have 6 man rotations and have certain players playing once a week. It has already become slow pitch softball with the amount of guys swinging for the fences. We’ve got a DH in 1/2 the leagues.

    Heck why not have 9 DHes and 9 Brandon Inges? Be great for the game, fantastic diving plays all over the infield on sharp hits.

    Heck why don’t we expand the roster and have everyone be a reliever specialist. Have 200 man rosters.

    All joking/raving aside, do you want me to list the games?

    Well I’ll do the first 5, since I don’t want to spend too much time.

    1) Game 2 of the season, where Jackson pitched 7.33 with 1ER and had 89 pitches at the time of his departure. He should have gone at least another inning and 2/3, that should have been his game to win (or blow – which Lyon did 2x).

    2) Game 3 of the season. Miner goes 5.67 with 1 ER. If it were me I would have left Miner in until most likely he had at least gotten into the eighth.

    3) Game 5. Home opener. I would have most likely left Armando in all 9 innings.

    4)Game 6. I would have left Verlander in most likely for at least another inning.

    5)Game 9. I would have let Armando finish the 7th and most likely let him pitch the 8th if he felt like it.

    I could keep going, but that should give you a good idea on where I’m coming from. If you agree with it is another matter.

    One thing I will say is that yes you are right on JV, Leyland has been taxing him lately, as he should. Verlander needs to be an ace, and a workhorse. 220-250 innings is not unreasonable and should be expected yearly by now of someone of his caliber, that has his stuff.

    If you (by you I mean anyone) complain or whine that he is taking them out too late and then our pen blows it – well… I’ve got to say I told you so.

    Starters are starters for a reason and are by definition meant to be taxed. If Robertson can only pitch five innings then he (in my opinion) is not a starter, he is a long relief guy.

    Starters if they are throwing well and have 3 or fewer ER most often should be allowed to continue throwing until at least 120+ pitches.

    The only guy I’d baby somewhat this year would be Porcello, just because it is a huge jump in competition along with workload. But eventually I have the a similar judging mark for him as I do Verlander. He should be able to get there(220 innings) by the 2011 or 2012 season in my opinion.

    by David on May 16, 2009 at 1:41 am

  68. Just because guys could throw 300 innings, it doesn’t mean it was a good idea. How many careers were shortened due to overuse? Do you know there are only 44 pitchers who ever topped the 300 inning mark more than twice in their careers? If you limit it to post 1920 there are only 17 guys on the list. So yeah, guys used to do it, but not many did it often.

    And most the guys on that list got to face a pitcher and 1-2 weak hitting middle infielders. There aren’t as many holes in the lineup today.

    by billfer on May 16, 2009 at 8:37 am

  69. Mr. X,

    “Sure, I’d prefer Scioscia, Gardenhire, or Guillen over Leyland”

    Guillen? Ozzie effing Guillen? Say whatever you want about Leyland, but seriously? Guillen? Maybe its just b/c I read a lot more about him…but the W. Sox success has a lot more to do with Kenny Williams than it does Ozzie. That guy is a straight up bigoted punk, and I wish the next guy that he calls a p.o.s. would smack him.

    errr…rant over.

    by Andre in Chi on May 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

  70. I wasn’t advocating 300 innings pitched. Although you bring up a good point, not in your favor however. And if 17 guys live ball era did it 2x I wonder how many did it at least one time.

    I was advocating 220-250 year in year out if 32-33 starts are given. That is an average of 6.67 to 7.57 IP/start.

    Still I was under the impression that, and please correct me if I’m wrong, Verlander and Porcello are supposed to (or will in time) have wicked league tops stuff.

    Lets quickly look at several current or recently retired pitchers who I consider to be elite or close to that level(my impression of Verlander and Porcello) and see how many innings they could log if they had ~33 starts.

    Roy Halladay
    He has had 31+ starts 5x so far… He has logged 220, 225.33, 239.33, 246.0 and 266 IP. This year he is on pace to log according to ESPN 260 IP.

    Johan Santana
    From 2004-2008 he was given 33 or 34 starts. He logged anywhere from a min. 219.0 innings pitched to 234.33. This year he is on pace for ~223.333.

    For the rest I’m going to take the average from baseball reference if the player were to play a full season

    Jake Peavy 216IP
    Roy Oswalt 222 IP
    Cliff Lee 209IP
    Roger Clemens 236IP
    Randy Johnson 232 IP
    Mark Buehrle 224 IP
    Dan Haren 215 IP
    Greg Maddux 229IP
    Tim Lincecum 220IP
    Carlos Zambrano 213IP
    CC Sabathia 223IP
    Andy Pettite 216IP
    Felix Hernandez 218IP

    I could keep going but this I think is a large enough sample size.

    All I’m saying is that these guys are averaging between 6.33 and 7.33 IP/start.

    Verlander and Porcello(in time) should be going 7 on a regular basis and pitching not 90 or 100 pitches but be allowed to get into the 120 range.

    If you overtax the pen they get exposed. Thats why if Robertson and Miner are in the rotation and Jim yanks them after 5IP it angers me. Its a surefire way to muck up the entire week.

    It might be OK to have one guy last that long on average (ie Porcello) but IMO there is a big difference(both short and long term) between the pen logging 28 IP/week or 18 IP/week.

    And to say there aren’t many holes in the lineups of today…
    1) Good pitching should always beats good hitting
    2) Oakland or KC or Chicago or Seattle so far this year has a strong lineup? And the rest can’t be dominated by an excellent SP? I realize there are some strong hitting ball clubs, but they can be put to sleep on any given night if they are facing a hot and/or talented SP. (ie what we’ve been seeing from Verlander lately)

    Plus, I think that although there probably wasn’t as much talent in the leagues in the past, hitters on the average were better (they on average had a much better approach). They were more like Polanco in that they didn’t K and like Ordonez in that they went the other way. Especially the further back you go.

    Plus, they were on the average much faster than the players of today. There were not nearly as high a % of slow sluggers.

    Anyways my first point is the main one. JV and RP(within a few years) should be logging at least ~220 IP/33 starts. And I’m hoping we can find (or have found in Jackson or Bondo or through trades/free agency $$ or the draft) one or two more guys who can do that.

    by David on May 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm

  71. I don’t have a problem with JV throwing 220 innings. But part of that is on Verlander being efficient enough to pitch that many innings. Forcing someone to go 7 innings when they are gassed or ineffective or have run up a high pitch count doesn’t make sense.

    And how does pointing out that 300 inning seasons isn’t sustainable for players hurt my cause? I’m sure a handful of players could go and throw 300 innings this year, and I’d bet that most of them would never be able to do it again.

    As for your point about offenses of the past, there were always bad teams with bad offenses. But team in and team out there is more offensive depth now than before. Do you have anything to support the fact that hitters in the past were better? Going the other way and not striking out doesn’t inherently make you a better hitter.

    by billfer on May 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  72. @ your first paragraph

    You are right and I agree with that. But, as I pointed out, Verlander (since he has dominant stuff) should be pitching to contact somewhat and still missing bats. He should be going 8 innings unless he gets shelled.

    Even a “gassed pitcher” such as Verlander still has above average stuff, and should be able to locate his pitches for another inning or two to get guys out. This is a guy who has an excellent fastball, and excellent curve and two other good pitches.

    Nearly the only times I’d advocate yanking a pitcher is when they are getting hit hard – ie multiple line shots within a short period of time, or they can’t find the plate.

    @ Paragraph 2
    For this point again I wasn’t for having guys throw 300 innings. And if 17 could do it at least twice, many more could do it once or get very close to it. And I’m in agreement that it probably for most pitchers is not a good thing. Then again in today’s 5man rotation I think it would be near impossible – 300innings/33starts = 9.09 innings/start. Now that would be real durability! and an average of over a complete game/start. Still all in all I see where you are coming from. I agree and if he averages 220-230 IP from here on until he is 35 I would be happy.

    @ your third paragraph

    I’ll use two current hitters. One who is in the mold of many pre 1920 players and even quite a few pre 1980 players.

    You tell me if you were pitching who you’d rather pitch to(if you had ace type stuff) with the game on the line. (ie guy on third 2 outs)

    Tony Gwynn or Adam Dunn

    One makes contact, fouling off tons of pitches, uses the entire field, is a thinker, plays with max. effort and can beat out a infield hit – is not slow.

    The other is usually all or nothing. (or possibly a walk)

    One is a Hall of Famer, the other is well nicknamed The Donkey. Take your pick. :)

    I’d rather pitch to Adam Dunn 10 out of 10 times

    heck change Adam Dunn to Jack Cust or Curtis Granderson or Brandon Inge or dozens of other current players players who might not be as extreme example as him, but still are more on his side of the fence than Gwynn’s side.

    Baseball is NOT a power display. (For winners at least) “It is a display of hitting ‘em where they ain’t.” And being a quick man both with the mind and the feet.

    by David on May 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm

  73. A runner on third and down a run or with the score tied and two outs I’d take Gwynn. If I’m down two runs or if the bases are empty I take Dunn. So I can play the situational game as well.

    Or how about this? Would you rather face Ray Oyler or Adam Everett in the same situation? It’s probably a more apt comparison. A weak hitting defensive specialist shortstop from one era versus the same of another era. Comparing a marginal All Star to a Hall of Famer and someone who is one of the best at what they do isn’t really a fair fight.

    by billfer on May 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm

  74. I’d still take Tony in that situation. And Dunn is a marginal All-Star/World Baseball Classic starter because of how he plays.

    I guess what your saying is the talent pool is greater. I agree. It is pretty obvious if there is a large population vying for a slightly greater # of spots you’re going to have more talent. Also with all the off field improvements. My point is that it has/had shifted towards power/strikeouts guys and away from speed and contact on most teams.

    Oh and if it is Everett from this year, I’d for sure take him. :)

    by David on May 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

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