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Reliever Roulette

It can’t be a good feeling for Jim Leyland when ever he ambles out to the mound and points towards the bullpen. It doesn’t seem to matter lately who gets the call, they will invariably allow more baserunners than outs. The numbers posted by the pen during the 5 game losing streak are simply staggering.

In the 5 game skid the bullpen has been called on to pitch 14 1/3 innings in 18 “calls to the pen.” Over those 14 1/3 innings they have allowed 23 hits, 12 walks, and 18 runs. Five of those hits have left the park. Only 8 hitters have gone down on strikes. It is simply amazing that they could perform so poorly as a group. They had to face 79 batters to record those 43 outs – and the last out came on a pickoff where Fu-Te Ni didn’t throw a pitch.

After the Royals series I laid some of the blame on the starters not working deep enough into games and thus exposing the less dependable members of the relief corps to high leverage innings. But in Saturday night’s game Jackson got the ball to Brandon Lyon – who picked up the blown save a wild pitch. And then a tie game was handed over to Fernando Rodney – and he allowed a 2 out 2 run homer. It doesn’t matter who comes trotting out, they are going to allow baserunners.

Of those 18 calls to the pen, the incoming reliever was charged with at least 1 run 10 different times. Miner, Bonine, Perry, Seay, Galarraga, it doesn’t matter. They’ve all been charged with runs in the last week. Ni is the only one to see his ERA unblemished and he even walked one of the 2 batters he faced.

Until the bullpen gets out of its collective funk the starters will need to find a way to pitch deeper and the offense will need to find a way to put games out of reach (in a favorable way). Neither of those events have been occurring and thus you have a losing streak.

Posted by on September 12, 2009.

Categories: 2009 Season

One Response

  1. Oh man, that’s not fun. Willis is probably chomping at the bit. “I could do that.”

    Thanks for running the #’s billfer.

    by Kevin in Dallas on Sep 13, 2009 at 12:25 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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