Game 2009.111: Tigers at Red Sox

PREGAME: The Tigers once again venture out beyond the gated community at Montcalm and Witheral to slay road dragons. The Red Sox 35-17 home mark is pretty daunting, but the Sox are struggling and have dropped 6 games in a row and are now tied for the Wild Card with the Rangers.

The Tigers send out Edwin Jackson who pitched into the 9th inning his last time out. Jackson faced the Red Sox 4 times last year, but didn’t get a win despite the fact that 2 of his starts were quite impressive.

Brad Penny goes for the Red Sox tonight. He’s allowed at least 5 runs in 3 of his last 4 starts. The Tigers saw Penny once last year, and chased him in the 4th inning after 7 runs had scored.

Detroit vs. Boston – August 10, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: This one was a heartbreaker. Not because this was one of the games where the pitching match-up favored the Tigers, but because the Tigers played a pretty good game but just came up a run short despite the fact their starter only recorded 12 outs. They played good defense, they got some clutch hits, they hit the ball hard pretty consistently, but in the end they came up a run short, and left the tying run on 3rd and the go ahead run on 2nd in the 8th inning…

The Adam Everett at-bat was awful. One of the worst things I’ve ever seen with 3 swings at balls that weren’t even in the vicinity of the strike zone. Which begged the question as to why he wasn’t pinch hit for, and I can actually defend it. Everett is a bad hitter, but the Tigers didn’t need a hit. They needed somebody to put the ball in play. Aside from Polanco do you know who strikes out least frequently on the entire team? Adam Everett. That he failed so spectacularly and in the fashion he did was a surprise.

  • Everett had that awful at-bat, but he also played some terrific defense tonight and had a sacrifice bunt.
  • Jackson wasn’t good. He was hit hard and often and he threw a lot of pitches. I did like the one he planted in Youkilis’ ribs after Cabrera was hit the inning before.
  • Fu-Te Ni gave up a monster induced homer, but otherwise battled for 2 innings as he amassed 50 pitches.
  • Magglio Ordonez is ripping the ball all over the place and it’s nice to see even if it means the option vests.
  • Placido Polanco is ripping the ball all over the place and his average touched 280 after his 2 out rbi single
  • Zach Miner since July 1st has pitched 16.2 innings and allowed 11 runs, 11 walks, and 19 hits. His place on the team is befuddling to me right now.

160 thoughts on “Game 2009.111: Tigers at Red Sox”

    1. He may end up helping the White Sox this year, but I like what this does to their payroll.

      1. If they like buying bad contracts, then maybe they’ll take Willis and Robertson off our hands too.

  1. Words of doom and gloom here in Twinsland (all in the local press):

    “If the Tigers play .500 through the end of the season, the Twins will need to go 32 and 19.”

    “Twins players should qualify for the Cash for Clunkers Program.”

    “The Twins lost the most important game of the year yesterday.”

    “If the Twins do not win their next 6 straight against Kansas City and Cleveland, they should become sellers in the market — and are not worth any more or our energy.”

    Signs of capitulation?

        1. I am a big Stanley Kubrick fan – “Dr. Strangelove” is my favorite, I guess. Also a Peter Sellers fan. The idea of having an avatar as an alter-ego was appealing and Strangelove somehow seemed appropriate for this site. I mean, look at Coleman for god’s sake.

    1. Not only the press and the fans, but the players have been complaining too (pre-season anyway). Most of the whining is directed at the skinflint ownership. Of course when they are in first place, the program is hailed as a brilliant collection of scrappy underdog players (read: cheap) proving that you don’t have to be the NYYankees to win division titles. Typical.

  2. Edwin Jackson has been fighting it quite a bit the last few starts… Maybe I just have the bad memories of seeing that Cleveland start in person.

  3. Everytime we play a team named Boston or New York, this team forgets how to play fundemental baseball. It doesn’t matter who on our team is pitching, they always are crushed under the pressure.

    1. Part of the thing with Fenway might be that left field wall. Visiting right handed batters come in, see the Green Monster, and their eyes bulge out and they try to pull everything. Visiting pitchers getted psyched too and change their strategies and patterns. Boston has a huge home field advantage and if they have even a half-way decent team they seem to be able to put up pretty good home records.

    1. OK that’s too harsh. But he’s consistency has been a little rough over the last couple… Then I look at his stats and he hasn’t given up 3 ER in a start in months.

      Maybe I’m just being harsh.

    1. Ha! (As I was asking Vince in MN about the significance of Dr. Strangelove, Marcus was pulling a Dick Stuart on the first play of the game.) My Karma or that of Thames?

      The Tigers are not finished for the night.

    1. Mostly they are playing good hitting teams lately. Then factor in some slight (but temporary) inconsistency from Verlander and Jackson along with the two eggs Washburn has layed and the continuously egg-laying Galarraga and suddenly a lot of crooked numbers are going up on the board for the opposition. Things will get better when we play KC (I hope).

  4. Ed-Jack looks really uncomfortable– I mean physically, sweaty, fidgety. If he were a horse I’d go cancel my bet on him. Is he sick?

    1. I am sure the EM will insist on Jackson getting in his 100+ pitches, because that is what starters do.

  5. Any news on how the Jacob Turner/ Andy Oliver negotiations with Scott Boras are coming?
    And does anyone think we have a shot at the Cuban defector, Aroldis Chapman? We apparently have a strong presence in Cuba…

  6. So I’m watching this in a bar in California, and the woman next to me was cheering for the Tigers, so I asked her, naturally, if she were a Tiger fan, fully expecting her to reply “no, Yankee fan.” Nope, she and her friend decided to root for whoever had the best-looking players, which turned out to be DET (“not even close”).  See, now that’s an angle I’d never find no matter how long I spent on the Baseball Reference site. So we got that going for us. 

    Take that, Ugly Sock People!!

  7. Youkilis is the big swing player in that bar situation. He’s like the Jason Grilli of ugliness.

  8. Interestingly the Tigers have made only 2 outs to the right side tonight. Of their five hits 3 are to center and 2 to right.

  9. I’m wearing a Tiger cap and the 2 guys on their right are wearing Ugly Sock People caps, so I’m sure that figured in their calculations. It would make sense. I mean I’m just sayin…

  10. David G: speaking of Grilli I’m glad they made their decision before we started putting Seay and Lyon out there…

  11. How does he do it? How does Cabrera simultaneously put up .400ish OBP numbers and still seem like an easy strikeout? That’s not easy…

  12. Wow, they showed Ni warming up and woman of discriminating tastes says, “is that like the shortest name in baseball history?”

    Dang good question…

  13. It probably depends, if you’re counting first-last name, how much counts? And do you count a hyphen?

    1. I was referring to his last name being the shortest in baseball history but I bet his first and last name together also has a shot at being the shortest in baseball history, especially considering the fact that Asian names tend to be shorter than American/Latino names.

  14. You have to give Youkilis credit though; even if he is a Not Good Looking All-Star as David G points out, he doesn’t just coast on that, he also adds the disturbing “Man I Gotta Pee” batting style…always working to improve…

  15. There are a bunch of 6-digit full names that come to mind–if you count shortened first names. Ron Cey (or Ronald Cey?). The Tigers had a guy named Lu (Luzerne-?) Blue. I doubt Fu is short for Futitious or whatever.

  16. Bah!! We couldn’t afford a KR3L2O this game…and if Laird was awake he could gave either scored or delayed the throw to 1st…

    1. He seems to have that punch-the-ball-to-right-field thing going pretty well right now. If Granderson could only get going our run production should improve dramatically.

  17. Either this inning or next–Avila PH for Everett. C’mon Uncle Smokey, get all crazy, give it a shot

  18. Sorry to say I don’t have a lot of confidence in Miner getting the job done here. He has been so bad lately. But I guess it is him or Lambert in this situation.

  19. Zach Miner since July 1: 15.2 IP, 11 BB, 10K, 11 R, 19 H

    Umm, that’s a pretty long leash and a pretty long period of suckitude.

  20. It would be more difficult to imagine a worse AB than Everett’s AB. Ramon would’ve made sense in that situation.

  21. Having Everett hit their might be the worst decision Leyland has made all year. Having a guy bunt so your worst hitter can bat is just plain dumb. Would haved loved to seen Aviala or Santiago there.

    1. hey Everett!!!!!! at least swing at one pitch that doesn’t bounce up there…terrible at bat and we didn’t even need a hit there the infield back just a good ball off the bat up the middle…fly ball anything

    2. Agreed. Not too bright. Odds are probably better with Santiago to put the ball in play, too — although if you can’t be entrusted to just put the ball in play, you really shouldn’t be in the lineup to begin with. That was also the worst at-bat I’ve ever seen out of Everett. It was as if the pressure to simply put the ball in play buckled him up. My goodness. He didn’t even look like a professional baseball player during that at-bat.

      But look. The Tigers consistently strand a runners on third with less than 2 outs. It’s some kind of curse with them this year. Once every now and then is the law of averages — but for the Tigers, it’s the law of probability.

      There were some positive and encouraging things with the offense tonight — but the bottom line is, if you’re playing a legitimate contender, you’re not going to win by consistantly failing with RISP.

      The most discouraging thing about this game, imv, is that the Tigers had every chance to win the game. When the home team gives you a chance to win at Fenway, you really have to take it. Something tells me this is going to be a very grueling series.

  22. That ones’s on Uncle Smokey. Everett is who he is* PH Avila for Everett there should have been as automatic as running Clete for Maggs.

    *Not completely, but that’s a longer, non-iPhone post

  23. Whatever. PH Ssntiago then. Or Porcello. Or, if you know you aren’t going to PH, since it seems to be an Uncle Smokey Principle Thang (USPT), then let Laird, like, HIT the ball.

    All I know is Papelbon vs Everett = Carmona pounding on Sheff’s head

  24. pretty decent game tonight… lot of effort…
    Grandy–Everett-Guillen stranded 12 though
    Miner gave up 6 shots in that 7th no one warming up at all in that inning. Even the outs were shots

    all in all ….much better road game against a good team… a long time

  25. Was it just me or did Youkilis look like he was swearing every time he was on camera? Someone has a potty mouth.

  26. I guess this game showed why sometimes it’s not good to bunt. In this situation it looked like the pitcher was about to crap himself and I don’t think he threw one strike to either Laird or Everett.

    JL needs to change his mind about how he uses his bench. Screw saving guys like Avila for emergency purposes. Winning is more important. If he’s not going to use Avila, then He probably should of used somebody else to pinch run for Magglio ( like Raburn or Santiago instead of Clete) and had Clete pinch hit for Everett.

    1. I agree the PH should have been Thomas for Mr “one bounce Everett”…if you aren’t going to hit Avila pinch run him….saving him for late inning catching is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of

  27. The decision to bunt Laird for Everett still just blows my mind. We needed 2 runs to win the game so we need a base hit and we just let the guy who is by far our worst hitter bat. Either let Laird hit or ph but sending Everett up there to look horrible was a waste of time.

  28. OK. so you’re determined to have Laird bunt and let Everett bat for some reason. How about a fricken’ squeeze play? You got your pinch runner. And Everett is like the least likely guy on the team to hit Papelbon, but the team’s best bunter. And then the camera pans to Uncle Smokey, who looks like he is half-asleep. Just like when Guillen got jobbed on 2 consecutive “strike” calls.

    Hey! Wakeup there! We’re trying to score here, in all senses of the word…

    1. That’s pretty low expectations for a playoff hopeful. Although I hear your noise. They let this one slip away.

  29. Lets face reality our manager is a moron, he has lost his mind and not only likes to go against the book despite getting burned about 90% of the time. Sacrifice bunts prevent scoring runs but they actually make sense if you have a hitter up who sucks like Everett but to sacrifice in front of the worst hitter in the majors this year and one of the 5 worst since the seventies is just asking to fail. I know he likes to go against the book but really, enough is enough. Everett OBS against right handers is 558, most pitchers are better than that. That is against any average right hander but against a guy that throws 95 I bet his avg is lower than .100. This was right after putting in our worst pitcher in a tie game in the highest scoring park in the league with the entire bullpen available. Before that he let Ni pitch to a bunch of righties, just bizarre moves. If somebody bet against the Tigers they wouldn’t have made these moves. I bet Vegas doens’t even pay out this game.

    I don’t get it. He single handly blew this game, the players have to be losing respect for him. As a fan I just can’t take it, we needed this game, the Sox got Rios to replace their worst position in CF. Now not only do we have the worst starter in baseball but not only aren’t we looking to replace him but we sacrifice to get him up in key situations where he has about a 99% chance to fail. I can’t take it anymore, we need to win some road games, the Sox were on their death bed, they might have just rolled over if they lost this game and this guy just does asine thing after asine thing unti it blows up on him. We are lucky Ni only gave up one run, hell we are lucky Minor only gave up one run. We have a guy in the bullpen with an ERA less than 1 in his last 30 apperances and he decides to go with Miner, I’d love to hear that explanation , sure it was a gut feeling. You know he isn’t afraid to lose a game. As a fan I can’t even watch anymore , no way we are going to win playing Adam Everett but now we aren’t even going to pinch hit for the guy with the game on line. Every manager with a brain will just intentionally walk guys to get to him now.

    1. For the record, bringing Miner in was the wrong call too. Miner = automatic pad on the lead. In my opinion, Miner is nothing but a mop-up guy. He just can’t be trusted coming into the game in hold situations.

      I would have tried to get one more inning out of Jackson. He was settling in, and was only at 100 pitches. You get one more inning out him, you can stretch Ni over the 6th and 7th — and then bring Lyon/Seay in.

      This isn’t cosmic string theory, folks. This is really pretty simply stuff.

    2. Hey David, I hear you. I have been saying the same stuff about the EM for the last three years, but I have intentionally put a lid on it this year and rarely make disparaging (though deserving) remarks. Anyway, just wanted to let you know you are not alone in your anguish and frustration. On the bright side he will be throwing games away for only two more years.

  30. Yes I know that now and couldn’t make corrections due to iPhone-ness of posting. I’ve been posting under, um, extreme conditions..the announcers were saying Francona was waiting to see if there was going to be a PH before deciding whether to bring in Papelbon and….uh… well, nevermind.

    Hate to think what Everett would have looked like vs Papelbon.

    1. I think Francona was thinking once Leyland announces a PH he would go ahead and bring in Papelbon because he thought there was no way Leyland was just going to let one of the worst hitters in the league bat with the game on the line. Leyland showed him though.

  31. One thing about Everett though: REALLY nice hair.

    (see what I mean, this is what I’m talking about when I refer to “extreme conditions.”)

  32. Bright spot of the game is that Magglio and Polanco got 3 hits apiece.

    Ordonez avg is up to .273. Has 5 multi-hit games in the past week. Has 12 hits in his last 28 ab’s.

    Polanco’s avg is up to .280 and has an 11 game hitting streak. Has 13 hits in his last 23 ab’s.

    1. I saw that too….Washburn better start delivering for us, or that trade is going to seriously look foolish for DD.

  33. A hard loss to take. I can’t stand Miner, either. Thought for sure he might put Lyon out there instead. We really needed to win this game. We have a better team.

  34. As billfer posted: “They needed somebody to put the ball in play. Aside from Polanco do you know who strikes out least frequently on the entire team? Adam Everett” On top of that, he’s the 4th best on the team last time I checked (last week), in hitting with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out.

    At the same time, he’s kind of all or nothing–even though he is 2nd hardest to strike out, he is tied with Cabrera for being EASIEST to strike out with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out, with 5 in 24 PA (that’s 1 K every 4.8 PA). Weird.

    In addition, it’s worth pointing out his career OPS (that’s OPS, not BA) at Fenway Park is .000. As in NADA.

    1. You are on the road you need a hit to score 2 and win. Even more so when you know you will have Papelbon coming for the next inning and how tough he is.

    2. Just to clarify, since I didn’t put him on my list below, that’s .000 OPS in 10 PA (no sac bunts or sac flies even. Or HBP or reached on error, or…just true nada).

  35. I also want to add the stupidity of not letting Avila pinch hit period. What are the chances he would get hurt in one or two innings, 1 in 10,000 , 1 in 50,000? I have had MLB the last 5 years and watched baseball for 25 years I can’t remember the last time the backup catcher got hurt and an emergency catcher had to come in. I have seen this happen because managers pinch hit or pinch run for the backup catcher in the 9th and they wind up tying it or taking the lead but I can’t for the life of me remember the last time the backup got hurt. So smokey would rather just give up a free out in a key situation which will wind up losing games rather than take the chance of the backup catcher playing an inning or two without getting hurt?

    Obviously he doesn’t understand %’s which is why he always does these bizarre things but if he just forfiet the game everytime the backup catcher got hurt, which is probably once every 5-10 years vs losing 5-10 games a year (like tonight) because he won’t pinch hit for guys who suck we would wind up way ahead. So we will wind up losing 50-100 games before we even had to forfiet one? Great decision smokey, can’t somebody sit him down give him a couple cartons and explain this to him, a 10 year old can get this concept. He has pinch hit Laird who isn’t even good hitter a dozen times this year, believe it or not Laird wasn’t carted off in those games. I really think he has just lost it, things like this just blow my mind, I read this and I thought it was a joke then I read the article in the Det News and just realized our manager isn’t going to make good decisions, the sooner everybody comes to that realization the better it will be for you because you will just get pissed off wondering why he does moronic things.

    1. What’s with all the insults?

      Sure JL made a few wrong decisions in this game, but he’s been hitting the right buttons most of the time this season. Most teams don’t win many games with the kind of hitting we’ve had. The Tigers are near the bottom in almost every offensive statistic, but we have scratched out enough runs to have a winning record and to be in 1st place.

      LJ has used this pitching staff masterfully. We don’t have one spectacular pitcher in the pen, yet he’s getting super performances from guys like Seay, Lyon, and Rodney. He’s got those guys working like robots right now. When those guys pitch, it usually means we have the lead and we’re probably going to win. We never had a lead in this game, so he kept his big guns holstered. That’s how the best managers use their bullpen.

      JL also had to pull Jackson after 4 innings. He had no choice but to think about damage control early and try to use as few arms as possible. Ni and Miner done a decent job at keeping the game close. They gave up 2 runs combined in 4 innings of work, which is not terrible at all. We also don’t have a day off to rest our pen this week. We didn’t have a day off last week either. We’re playing 17 days in a row without a day off during the muggiest time of the year.

      I do understand why you’re mad though. At least we can all be happy that the White Sox lost.

      1. “We never had a lead in this game, so he kept his big guns holstered. That’s how the best managers use their bullpen. ”

        No, that’s a terrible way to use a bullpen. Why would you use your best relievers only when you have a lead? There’s not one logical reason for this. If anything, it’s even more important to use your best relievers when behind or tied, because you have less room for error than when you’re ahead. The fact is that Leyland, like most other foolish managers who can’t think for themselves, has succumbed to the idea that your use your “setup guy” and “closer” only when you have a lead, which is based on no rationale other than because it has become the rule in the managerial handbook.

          1. “Could you elaborate?”
            Sure, I’ll try.
            If this were a playoff game, then you might be right.
            In reality, that was just one game out of a 162 game season. You have to plan accordingly because each bullpen arm will pitch about 60 games if they are good enough to stay on the team. You might be setting the team up to lose tomorrow if you throw your best relief pitchers Yesterday when you’re already not winning. You need to save those arms to preserve leads that can actually get you a win. It’s also about damage control, especially when you get no days off to rest the bullpen.

            Also, each guy in the pen gets trained to pitch in a distinctive role. In general, workers are just more productive when they learn through repetition. You just can’t pick up a book and learn how to pitch, or hit, or how to handle pressure, or how to manage a baseball team. You can only learn by repetition and experience. That’s just a plain simple fact.

            It’s impossible to make the right calls every time when there is another manager on the opposite end making decisions to combat your very own. If a .500 team’s manager has 1000 critical decisions to make over the coarse of a season, probably only 500 of those decisions will be correct. As a fan watching the game, you’re only seeing those mistakes. The mistakes are easy to see and it’s easy for fans to get obsessed over them. That’s whats great about the game of baseball.

          2. The bottom line is bullpen use should be based on leverage — using your best option when the game’s outcome hangs in the balance (regardless of whether losing, tied or winning), and using your worst options in situations that are less likely to affect the game’s outcome. It’s not dependent merely on whether you’re ahead or behind. A 3-run lead in the 9th inning is not as crucial a situation – and therefore doesn’t justify using your best option as much as – a tie game in the 7th inning.

            “You might be setting the team up to lose tomorrow if you throw your best relief pitchers Yesterday when you’re already not winning.”

            Tomorrow might be a blowout. And the next 3 games might also be blowouts. It makes no sense to save your better options for tomorrow when there’s a decent chance you won’t need them. When you have a game that you have a 50% chance of winning in the 7th inning, that’s the highest leverage situation you may have for the next several days. All you would be doing is saving your guys just in case you encounter a similar situation the next day.

            “You need to save those arms to preserve leads that can actually get you a win.”

            This strategy maximizes the number of games in which you preserve a lead, but it minimizes the number of games you win after you’re behind or tied. That’s why a better basis for deciding who to use is the likelihood that the decision will affect the outcome, not simply whether you’re winning or losing.

            “Also, each guy in the pen gets trained to pitch in a distinctive role.”

            I agree, but it shouldn’t be that way. It didn’t use to be this way, so there’s no reason to think it needs to be. Managers have pigeonholed relievers into roles rather than giving them the opportunity to succeed in different situations. Rodney, for example, should be able to pitch while losing or tied, if the situation calls for it.

            “It’s impossible to make the right calls every time when there is another manager on the opposite end making decisions to combat your very own.”

            The fact that the other manager is combating your decisions means that the outcome won’t always be in your favor (that’s the way it goes in a game of hundreds of random events), but it doesn’t excuse not making the right call in the first place. If the other manager is going to combat, you also need to account for that (for example, if you know he’s going to respond with a move that puts you in a worse situation than you were in to begin with). But for example, you need to use Seay in that situation because the Red Sox lefty hitters are poor vs. LHP and they didn’t have many PH options. The problem is Leyland too often makes decisions that are clearly wrong at the time and turn out to be wrong. This isn’t a results-based analysis. If he were making the right decisions and due to chance they just happened to backfire, I wouldn’t complain.

        1. I’ll jump in. Whether or not Leyland uses the big guns only when he has the lead is beside the point. He can’t use them all every day, so other guys have to contribute.

          1. I agree, but if there’s any time to use your best relievers, it’s a tie game in the 7th inning against a team you’re potentially competing with for a playoff spot. Miner can be used in lower leverage situations.

      2. “The Tigers are near the bottom in almost every offensive statistic”

        This is absolutely wrong. I can’t find any meaningful statistic in which the Tigers are “near the bottom.” And even if so, why does Leyland get the credit for remaining competitive in spite of this, and not the blame for this fact?

        “but we have scratched out enough runs to have a winning record and to be in 1st place”

        Having a winning record shouldn’t be the goal for a team with one of the highest payrolls in baseball. And I hate the “1st place” argument – in any other division in baseball, a team with their record would not be in 1st place. The ineptitude of the rest of the division isn’t a reason to praise the Tigers’ performance.

        1. You just really need to look at the stats.
          14 teams in the AL-
          We are-
          10th in OPS
          10th in SLG
          10th in OBP
          11th in AVG
          10th in RBI
          11th in TB
          14th in 2B
          11th in Hits
          10th in Runs
          14th in AB
          10th in SO
          10th in BB
          13th in IBB
          14th in SB
          13th in SF
          13th in GDP
          12th in XBH

          Do you realize that nearly everyone of our hitters is having a below career average season? Did you watch last season?

          1. I think if you want to boil it down to one stat, 9th in Runs per Game pretty much does it…not horrible, but below average–certainly not where you expect to find a division leader, even of the Central. Luckily the White Sox are 10th.

            To be fair, we are ranked higher in some categories:

            Triples: 3
            HBP: 3
            CS: 7 (OK, wait that’s not good. Especially when we’re 14th in SB).
            Umm, I’m sure there must be something else…

        2. Don’t get too hung up on the payroll. It doesn’t buy wins, but it does help water down the bad contracts, such as Willis, Sheffield, Bonderman, Robertson, Inge, Guillen, Ordonez, ect.

          1. It doesn’t buy wins, but it does and should affect expectations. Either way, the point is that simply having a winning record shouldn’t be the goal. It should be much higher than that with the talent they have.

  36. Everett needed to be PH for, but only Santiago, just give yourself the benefit of the LH-RH matchup for a run to tie the game. Pretty simple.

    1. anybody with a pulse should pinch hit for Everett , I would have been fine with Santiago but I would have pinch hit Avila personally and I would have left him in to catch on top of that just in case he needed to bat again.

  37. I like Bilfer and I know he has the blog and all but Everett stinks, he is the worst hitter in the majors that has more than 50 at bats , no exceptions, it was a horrible decision, the worst old smokey has made in a while, worse than bringing in Miner in the premier hitters park in the league in a tie game in the bottom of the 7th and that is saying something. He may not strike out the most on the team but he hits weak pop ups and grounders that won’t get a guy in from 3rd more than anybody on the team or the league for that matter. He also swings at bad pitches more than anybody so even if the pitcher throws balls he still makes outs, hence the career and this years on-base % under 300, that kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident, you have to really suck. It actually is hard to do because nobody is usually dumb enough to keep playing you or keeping your roster spot when you are under 300, that is against everybody, he is a robust 279 against righties this year, against good righties I can only imagine how bad the numbers are.

    If they bring the infield in I bet he would have the lowest % of getting the runner in from 3rd than anybody in the majors with more than 50 at bats because weak grounder right to the fielders are another one of his specialties, normally on the first or second pitch. The only thing worse I can even imagine is having Neifi Perez up with 2 outs.

    1. Actually he is not the worst, or the worst shortstop, or even the worst shortstop that has been on the Tigers recently.

      A certain Tiger ex-shortstop named Edgar, or Ham Sandwich to his friends, has has been platooning and scratching out a few hits here and there, and committing errors right and left (2 on Friday, and should have been 3), and has managed to work his OPS+ to 62 from 59 to better Everett’s 61, but I’m betting that won’t last.

      1. As bad as Renteria was, Everett is much worse. He is the worst starter in MLB in WARP + VORP, you can argue they aren’t perfert rating players but the guy is tied for 1132 out of 1170, I think you would have a hard argument showing he doesn’t suck or anybody could possibly be worse unless they don’t play pro ball. All the guys below him are either in the minors or cut. He is above average defensively but not great, his range isn’t that great and he makes a lot of errors. He is a horrendous hitter, the sub 300 OBP is hard to do, he doesn’t work the count or make the pitcher even throw strikes and has 0 power or speed. He hits into double plays , pops out like he is getting paid extra for it. Sure he doesn’t strike out a ton but honestly a strike out is better than a pop up sometimes, at least the pitcher has to throw some pitches, they might actually walk the batter or hit them if they have to make more than 2 or 3 pitches. There is a lot better chance of a passed ball on strike 3 than an infielder dropping a popup. I don’t think you could create a worse hitter so that more than cancels out the good D and equals a horrible player, sometimes the Value Over Replacement doesn’t take everything into account but when the guy is negative I have a hard time believing it is that far off. Renteria’s range sucks but Everett makes more errors and Renteria wasn’t helpless at the plate. I’d take Renteria in a minute over Everett. Hell I’d rather see Dlugach, if he was replacement level he would be an improvement. Now that we only have 3 guys on our bench we are going to see Everett up a lot in key situations, other managers actually try to play the percentages and they will be walking people left and right to get to Everett if old smokey insists on not pinch hitting for him. The only good things is after 5 more times somebody is going to make Leyland pinch hit for him, or DD might actually have the sense to cut him so Leyland can’t keep putting him up there thinking he is due. I have no idea why anybody would think he can get a guy home from 3rd unless they are giving him a free ground out, he probably has hit 5 balls the entire year that outfielders had to back up on. I fully expected him to pop out to the shortstop or second, that is his MO. The strikeout wasn’t even that much worse , except for the fact the pitcher didn’t come close to throwing a strike but if the guy threw it right down the middle 95 there is no way he wasn’t popping out, best case he hits a bloop that would land in no mans land. The guy can’t handle good right handed pitching period, if somebody makes a mistake he can get a hit but if a righty hits his spots he is helpless. Not a guy you can leave in and cross your fingers and hope the pitcher makes a mistake, normally guys that pitch in late game situations on good teams don’t make too many mistakes so you have to take advantage of anything you can get, not give away free outs.

        1. I fully agree with your general feelings, but a couple things:

          1. I’m not sure if VORP includes defense, but until this year Everett was statistically one of the very best SS in baseball according to UZR. Year to year defensive stats aren’t very robust, so I’d still argue he’s one of the best despite his down year defensively. He’s definitely been better than replacement value every year because of his defense.

          2. He’s decent offensively vs. LHP. He would be fine as a platoon player with Santiago. I have no idea why they’re not platooning.

          3. He makes $1M. Considering their contracts, he’s tremendously more valuable than Renteria.

          4. There’s no way DD would ever cut him. If he had the sense to cut underperforming players, Magglio and Robertson would be gone and Galarraga and Willis would be in Toledo.

          1. Both VORP- Value over Replacement Player and WARP- Wins Against Replacement Player both include Defense. His UZR is above average but is not in the top 15. He actually was very good in the first two months on D but since not so great, still above average but too many errors, not great range. He hasn’t played this many games in 3 years and is 32 so it might not be a down year but just a regression. I would give him the benefit of the doubt on the D but his offense has always been horrible, career OBS under 300, no power, patience or speed. I will concede for the money he is better than Renteria, who I by no means did I like or enjoy in a Tigers uniform but I also think Dlugach would be better and he would make the min.

            I wouldn’t have a problem with him only playing against lefties but I think we all know our manager hardly cares about splits and can’t help himself at the most inoppourtune times no matter how bad a matchup is, has he ever stuck with a platoon? The clete and Magglio thing lasted a week. I honestly think he left Everett in so Papelbon wouldn’t come in even though the odds of Santiago or Clete getting a hit off Papelbon are way higher than Everett getting a hit off a good right hander but I don’t think he really understands the percentages or either just doesn’t give a crap, you know he isn’t afraid to lose a game. I could go on about Miner also, since Fenway has been in the Top3 in runs scored pretty much every year since it was built. Here is a dirty little secret about the Red Sox hitters, most of them aren’t that good, Pedroia is an average offensive player, he just builds up his stats at home. I would think you have to add 25-50% on pitchers ERA’s pitching there yet we are going with Miner over Perry, Lyon, + Seay in a tie game late. Plus Miner has been the lucky as hell, he allows most of his inherited runners to score and doesn’t have to pitch complete innings and has the Todd Jones thing working where guys line out and hit it hard right at the outfielder so his ERA should be a lot worse than it is.

            Another bizarre decision on the catchers, despite having a righty and lefty now they are going to platoon on who our pitcher is not the opponent, doesn’t matter if they have to catch day game after night game or a game goes in extra innings. Verlander and jackson are harder to catch according to smokey. I don’t even know what that means, I don’t think any pitcher is that much easier or harder except a knuckleballer, if anything they actually are easier to catch since they actually throw the ball where they want more than the others. I am betting Jackson would rather have more offense in the lineup since he has gotten screwed out of about 7 wins already. The only good thing is he never sticks to anything he says so I give this platoon 10 more days before he switches it up. Even better he isn’t going to pinch hit despite a 1 in 10,000 or 25,000 chance of the backup catcher getting injured in an inning or two, who knows maybe a game will go in extra innings and he might have to roll the dice on 4 or 5 innings from a catcher without getting hurt. Of course the chances of going in extra innings would be reduced if we scored more which most hitters do if they have better matchups, but that is just too logical and again would be using percentages to your advantage which isn’t Leyland’s thing.

            I’d like to see us win but now that the Sox have Rios they are a much better team, they are replacing their worst player with an above average player and I just don’t see things going well, we are not going to replace our worst player or even pinch hit for him when he is completely overmatched for that matter. We needed a win on the road bad , the Sox were reeling they would have started pressing more and doubting themselves but thanks to smokey’s going against the grain (and sanity) if we lose tomorrow we are looking at getting swept by a team that we could have swept. We have Galaragga vs Beckett on Wednesday so I give that one about a 10% chance, that would have been a great time to pitch Miner. Then we face Grienke on Friday so I would suggest us not going against conventional wisdom on Tuesday and Thursday if we want to make it through the week in first.

        2. Everett: PA: 274 .240 .287 .321 .619 RBI: 32 SB/CS: 4/2 GIDP: 8 PPA: 3.61 Sac Bunts: 9
          Renteria PA: 395 .249 .305 .314 .619 RBI: 39 SB/CS: 5/2 GIDP: 13 PPA: 3.79 Sac Bunts: 5

          I don’t see how you can pick between them offensively; I’d rather have Everett’s higher RBI/PA numbers, someone else might prefer Renteria’s higher OBP. To me they look about the same, except for the one stat Jeff alluded to:

          Everett: $1,000,000
          Renteria: $8,000,000

          Even if Renteria were as good defensively (which he isn’t), I find it hard to believe anybody would rather have him for 8mil than Everett for 1mil

          If you’re comparing Everett to how Renteria was last year, sure he was a bit better (.699 OPS)–AT THE COST OF JAIR JURRJENS AND $10,000,000. If only we could have been so lucky to have Everett last year instead…

    2. This could have all apply to Inge’s career with the exception that his career OBA is .305:
      “hence the career and this years on-base % under 300, that kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident, you have to really suck. It actually is hard to do because nobody is usually dumb enough to keep playing you or keeping your roster spot when you are under 300, that is against everybody.”

      1. Except that he’s been good his whole career with the runner on 3rd bit that started the Everett discussion–he hasn’t even been striking out, which must be about the only situation where he doesn’t strike out considering his K totals…why he can’t do the Not Strikeout And Put the Ball in Play thing at other times is a mystery.

  38. Time for Miner to be toast…the guy has been useless as of late, and honestly he has been less reliable than Jason Grilli. I have never been a fan of Miner and never will be. We have better talent, or at least talent that deserves a shot. The leash for Miner has been way too long and Leyland instills way too much trust in the guy, especially in such a big series against Boston.

    This team is going to have to learn to win against Boston and New York if it wants to seriously contend.

  39. I think Dr. StrangeVince had a good point. I think certain hitters–RH hitters to be specific–get sort of hypnotized or something by the Green Monstrosity. Aside from Everett and his .000 Fenway OPS (very small sample size BTW, since most his PA have been with the Astros), just browsing there seem to be a lot of players for whom Fenway stats are way better or worse than average. So who are which?

    Fenway Mashers:
    Ordonez .953 OPS 174 PA
    Granderson .933 OPS 36 PA
    Polanco .752 OPS 61 PA (.433 OBP)

    The Hypnotized:
    Laird .470 OPS 40 PA
    Guillen .552 OPS 114 PA

    Clete 2.000 OPS 2 PA
    Inge .657 OPS 90 PA*
    Thames .335 OPS 28 PA
    Cabrera .396 OPS 27 PA
    Santiago .528 OPS 20 PA

    *I put Inge here because his stats look bizarrely variable by years he was catching (.508 .205, .413 OPS and playing 3rd 1.400, .708, 1.136 OPS).

    Other than Clete and maybe Inge the “inconclusives” seem to be leaning toward “nah.” When you look at the group as a whole, I say heck try Avila, call up Wilkin again, whatever. Yikes.

  40. The problem with Leyland’s decision to let Everett hit is that I don’t think you play for the tie there. You are on the road and Papelbon is looming, play for the win by trying to get a hit there. Everett gave you a far worse likelihood of a hit than Santiago there, IMO.

  41. David hit the nail on the head. Leyland is garbage. He absolutely threw this game away, as he has done many other times with incomprehensible on-field decisions.

    1. With regards to the Everett at-bat, the best option would have been to have Santiago run for Magglio and Thomas hit for Everett. Francona would have put in Okajima, but I’d rather have Thomas vs. Okajima than Everett vs. Ramirez (or any RH pitcher). Or have Santiago hit for Everett if you like his chances vs. Ramirez rather than Thomas vs. Okajima, since it’s unlikely Francona would have put in Okajima just to turn Santiago around. Or have Santiago run for Magglio and Raburn hit for Everett, if you’d rather have him vs. Ramirez than Thomas vs. Okajima. I don’t know if I’d have hit Avila as some have suggested. Let’s not forget we’re talking about a guy who was only a marginally above-average AA hitter until last week.

    2. As has been well said already, throwing away an out by bunting Laird in that situation is questionable, but if you’re going to do it, you’d better only do it if both of the next two hitters have a decent chance of getting those runs in.

    3. Having Miner pitch the 7th is inexcusable, not because he stinks, but because he was to face Drew and Kotchman, two lefties who hit lefties poorly. Leyland was obviously saving Seay to face Ortiz later, which is a tough call. He should have had Ni face Drew, then bring in Miner or Perry to face Bay. If one of them gets on, bring in Seay for Kotchman/Green/Ellsbury. If not, you have some room for error with those guys and let the righty finish the inning, and then you have Seay for Ortiz/Drew if necessary in the 9th. This team really needs a 3rd lefty in the pen, so you don’t have to save Seay like this. I don’t understand what there is to use – if you don’t need the 3rd lefty, he can always be the mop-up guy but there are plenty of situations where he would be needed. There’s no excuse for ever having to have a right-handed pitcher face left-handed hitters with big splits late in a close game, as they did tonight.

  42. the worst part of the Miner inning was NO one was throwing that inning in the bullpen. It was Miner all the way . He has pitched very very few 7th 8th innings all year. You would at least have Seay and or Lyon warming up….Even the three outs were shots hit off him especially the 409 foot out….Miner is a long relief mop up or hope to hold us in there guy,,,,He is not a 7 8 or 9 inning game on the line guy. Poor managing, maybe Chuck Hernandez was a guest in the dugout helping

  43. About Rios- Does he make the White Sox any better this year? I’m not so sure. He’s been on the decline in nearly every offensive and defensive statistic for the last couple seasons.

    The White Sox already had Podsednik, Dye, and Quentin in the OF. So where does Rios fit? Pods was having a very good season as their lead-off hitter. Dye and Quentin are good run producers. Thome and Konerko are at 1B/DH. Acquiring Rios looks more like a move to fill holes for next season if they let Dye and Thome leave via FA.

  44. @ Jeff-
    After Jackson left the game in the 4th inning, we were trailing 4-2, and we had to play some damage control. Is there an echo in here or did I say that already?

    Then Ni pitched 2 innings and gave up a run, now the score was 5-3, Boston with the lead at the end of 6 innings. At that time it sounded like to good move to get Miner warmed up and ready to pitch since we were losing by 2 runs. It would of been absolutely wrong to have Seay warming up at this time. One reason, is that we already used our other lefty in pen (Ni), who is surely going to be unavailable the next day because he just threw 49 pitches.
    Fortunately, while Miner was getting ready to pitch in the top of the 7th inning the Tigers scored 2 runs and tied it up.
    Question 1 – was there enough time to get Seay ready?
    Question 2 – who is better, who is worse? Seay has been pitching bad lately. In 5 of his last 7 games he has given up runs.
    Question 3 – do you really want a lefty pitching when Bay is due up and he just hit a HR off of Ni in his last AB?
    Question 4 – Do you want to try to get 2 innings from this pitcher and save the bullpen?

    IMO, with all those questions answered, Miner being the guy to pitch was the right call last night. If Seay was going to pitch, it’s was only going to be to one or two hitters. Then you’ll have to find somebody else to finish the 7th inning and pitch in the 8th inning. Miner did pitch a clean 8th inning BTW.

    1. Ni pitching to Drew in the 7th was out of the question. He just threw 49 pitches. No way he comes back out even for 1 batter.

      Perry hasn’t been effective his last couple games either.

      I do agree that we need another lefty in the pen for situations like that.

    2. “It would of been absolutely wrong to have Seay warming up at this time. One reason, is that we already used our other lefty in pen (Ni), who is surely going to be unavailable the next day because he just threw 49 pitches.”

      First, Seay is fully capable of throwing two days in a row, so even if Ni won’t be available the next day, Seay would be even if he pitched. Second, even if Seay wouldn’t be available, you don’t even know whether you’ll need a lefty the next game. See my post above – you don’t save people for future situations in a game that hangs in the balance and there’s a decent chance they won’t even be needed the next day.

      “Question 1 – was there enough time to get Seay ready?”

      At the point that they tied it up, maybe not. I think the real issue is Leyland was saving Seay for Ortiz/Drew the next time around, which is a reasonable move. If that’s the case, they need a 3rd lefty in the pen. If not, Seay could have been ready to pitch to Kotchman/Green/Ellsbury that inning.

      “Question 2 – who is better, who is worse? Seay has been pitching bad lately. In 5 of his last 7 games he has given up runs.”

      Seay is a far better bet than Miner vs. lefties, regardless of recent stats with small sample sizes.

      “Question 3 – do you really want a lefty pitching when Bay is due up and he just hit a HR off of Ni in his last AB?”

      This is a good point. It comes down to whether you want a lhp or rhp vs. Drew/Bay/Kotchman. You pick your poison bc you’re going to have a bad matchup for at least one of them. But even if you decide on a righty to pitch to Bay, Lyon or Rodney (and maybe Perry) is probably a better option (ignoring the discussion about “defined roles” earlier).

      “Question 4 – Do you want to try to get 2 innings from this pitcher and save the bullpen?”

      No. You don’t save the bullpen when you have a situation where the outcome of the game hangs in the balance in the 7th inning. See my post re: leverage above.

      “If Seay was going to pitch, it’s was only going to be to one or two hitters. Then you’ll have to find somebody else to finish the 7th inning and pitch in the 8th inning.”

      He would have been used through Ellsbury, which in all likelihood would have been the end of the 7th or 1 out in the 8th. Then you bring in Lyon for Pedroia/Youkilis.

      I don’t really blame Leyland if he was saving Seay for Ortiz/Drew later, but that just shows why you need 3 lefties.

      1. It’s not often that you need 3 lefties so I don’t think that is so much the problem. The bigger issue was Jackson only making it through 4 innings in the opening of a 4 game series against the Red Sox. Yes, you don’t know what bullpen elements you’ll need the rest of the way, but the Tigers have Porcello and Galarraga going the next 2 nights and the bullpen will be needed and will likely be asked to throw at least 7 innings. You do have to look at more than just the current game, especially in this situation. If there is an off day in the near future or the previous game was a complete game it’s one thing, but Leyland does need to look at future needs as well.

        1. You’re right that it’s not often you need 3 lefties, but at the same time there’s no benefit to having 5 rhp (except that capable ones are much easier to find). One of the mop-up guys could be a lefty, and while he wouldn’t often be needed to pitch to lefties in crucial situations, he could provide tremendous value in a game like this. Joe Maddon bewildered opponents last year with this strategy.

          I posted on this earlier in the thread – you need to use your best option in the highest leverage situations. If you burn through your bullpen to get a win, the worst case scenario is that some of them aren’t available the next day and you lose, but either way, you’re 1-1. On the other hand, there’s a very good chance many of them, if any, won’t be needed the next day anyway because the game might be a blowout. When you have a game where the outcome hangs in the balance in the 7th inning, you need to pull out all the stops. You don’t save guys just for the possibility that 1 or 2 days later you find yourself in the same situation, when that possibility isn’t guaranteed or even likely.

          1. So you really think Seay, Lyon, Perry, and Rodney would of combined to pitch 3+ scoreless innings Yesterday?

            The Tigers failed to score more runs in the 8th and 9th too, so we couldn’t of won the game in a regulation 9 inning game. It was extra innings at best if we played it your way. Then the pen was going to be depleted and we might not have a win to show for it. I don’t like that strategy at all. It reminds me of bad poker player who will bet most of his chips on a flush draw.

            Miner isn’t that bad of a pitcher anyway.

          2. “So you really think Seay, Lyon, Perry, and Rodney would of combined to pitch 3+ scoreless innings Yesterday?”

            I don’t know, but I know that the odds were better than of Miner doing so.

            “The Tigers failed to score more runs in the 8th and 9th too, so we couldn’t of won the game in a regulation 9 inning game anyway. It was extra innings at best if we played it your way.”

            You’re analyzing it based on hindsight. Decisions should be evaluated based on the situation at the time — there was no way of knowing whether they will score 0, 1, 2 or more runs the rest of the game. You need to put yourself in the best position to based on the information you have. Yes, if the Tigers didn’t score the rest of the game they would have lost no matter how you look at it. But if they had come back and won by 10 runs, I’d still criticize the decision to use Miner (and the Everett fiasco) because it was wrong at the time.

            Also, I don’t think it’s analogous to your poker bet because worst case, what are you losing? A couple guys having to pitch two days in a row?

    1. It’s getting to be that time of year…I’m not part of the bullpen bash so I won’t comment on that, but it’s not hard to understand the exaggerated complaints about the Everett AB if you watched it. I mean nobody ever mistook him for Tram, but even by Everett standards it was bizarrely bad, and at the key point of the game. I don’t know the last time I saw an AB like that that didn’t involve a pitcher batting. But that’s just how it works out sometimes I suppose…

  45. @ Jeff,
    So you’re saying in hindsight, Leyland made the right decision?
    but it was the wrong decision at the time.

    1. You mean w/r/t Miner? Well, no because I don’t think Seay would have given up a run in the 7th (though I still think maybe he was smart to save Seay for Ortiz/Drew later on). So then you have a tie game going into the 8th. Then, who knows what would have happened.

Comments are closed.