Junkballing: Pitchers, Playoffs, Plunkings

Debating Saturday’s starter, some news on a tiebreaker playoff game, and more from MLB’s punishment roulette wheel.


Alfredo Figaro has been tabbed for the start in a very key game on Saturday. This is the product of a rainout on Monday and a very young starter who’s arm warrants careful protection.

Rick Porcello simply isn’t an option for this game. Nick Blackburn, also bumped by Monday’s postponement is going on 3 days rest. Quite frankly the Twins don’t have the same type of investment in Blackburn’s future that the Tigers do in Porcello’s. This isn’t a matter of saving Porcello for the rest of the season, it is a matter of not being foolish with an elite talent.

Now Rob Neyer has suggested that the Tigers would be better served by pitching Verlander on short rest on Saturday and giving Porcello the start on Sunday. This is much more palatable from a workload perspective. Verlander looks to be a freak in terms of  his ability to handle high pitch counts…so far. We’ll know more by how he responds next year.

Leyland has a tight rope to walk in terms of planning for the next week and planning for the next day with his pitchers. As slim as the lead is, the Tigers are still in the lead. The Tigers are likely to need a horse to pitch 1 of the last 2 games, and possibly games on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Verlander and Porcello can’t pitch every game and Jackson’s reliability is questionable. So what is assured to be the lowest pressure game that the Tigers face from here on out? Saturday.

I understand that a win today makes everything easier from here on out and if the Tigers were in the Twins position the Tigers would have to absolutely go Verlander-Porcello and hope for the best. The Tigers slim lead does afford them some flexibility.

Regardless, Figaro isn’t going to lose the Saturday game for the Tigers. He won’t be left in long enough to let things get out of hand and if things take a bad turn Zach Miner will be in quickly. With a rested bullpen the Tigers are well equipped to handle the task.

Tiebreaker Tuesday

If a tiebreaker game is needed, the Twins would get to host it. The trouble is that tiebreaker would normally be played on Monday and the Vikings are hosting the Packers that night. If the game is needed it looks now like it would be played at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Yankees have until 1 hour after their playoff opponent is known to decide if they’d like to start the series on Wednesday or Thursday.

Suspension Roulette

Jeremy Bonderman was suspended for plunking Delmon Young in Thursday’s game. This really isn’t surprising. Warnings had been issued and Bonderman threw at Young intentionally. I am surprised he’s appealing the suspension.

What’s surprising (in an equity sense and not a MLB’s randomized punishment structure sense) is that Jose Mijares who everyone admits threw at Adam Everett with intent and unprovoked received no suspension. Whatever MLB.


  1. Keith (Mr. X)

    October 3, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Lets get the champaign ready. Hopefully there will be a big celebration Tonight.

    • Mith

      October 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

      Champagne, man. Champaign is where University of Illinois is.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        October 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

        I have had a bottle of champagne on ice since Wednesday night. Let’s hope we pop the cork tonight. If so I will drink it out of a Tiger beer mug we gave our Dad in 1968. What a season! Glad to have DTWEB with me.

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        October 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

        LOL. I’ll be drinking the stuff no matter how it’s spelled..

      • Coleman

        October 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm

        Or “sparkling wine” if it’s grown in the US…(or, I suppose, “Champaign,” if it’s grown in Illinois…)

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      October 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm

      Darn Greinke. The shampain is on hold for now. Have to stick with beer for Today’s game.

    • jim bennett

      October 4, 2009 at 9:31 am

      Your kidding, right?

    • jim bennett

      October 4, 2009 at 9:34 am

      What a group of choke artists. They all should be ashamed. I feel sorry for Leyland for having to manage these spoile, overpaid underachievers!!!

    • jim bennett

      October 4, 2009 at 9:35 am

      I have never been this disgusted and disappointed!!!!!!!

    • jim bennett

      October 4, 2009 at 9:37 am

      Get the rose colored glasses off. This team should be booed out of Comerica Park. I can`t believe the fans are putting up with this. This is Jason Grilli times 10. Chokers!!!!!!!!

      • Mith

        October 4, 2009 at 10:11 am

        Feel better yet, Jim? Yeesh, take it easy.

  2. Chris

    October 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    What if there is either a Twins loss today or a Tiger win. Perhaps JL should bump Verlander for Porcello in Sunday’s start. Then if that doesn’t work and the tiebreaker is needed, Verlander will pitch that game.

    • Mith

      October 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      That’s not a horrible idea, but I don’t see any way where JV doesn’t start and tomorrow if the division is on the line.

  3. Keith (Mr. X)

    October 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Funny how some people complained Thursday about Polanco not playing, then the Tigers lost 8-0 Yesterday with Polanco in the line-up. What a difference maker he is.

    • jb61973

      October 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm

      You don’t get it do you? It really doesn’t matter if he ends up making a difference, it is the manager’s job to put his team in the best position to win. Who knows what would have happened in the game (remember Santiago failing with the bases loaded when the game was still close?). You do not sit one of your top guys in that situation to put Adam Everett in the lineup.

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        October 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm

        If you don’t think JL puts out the best team that he thinks can win, then you just don’t get it either. (remember the day before when Santiago had the 2 run single to put us ahead 4-2?)

        • jb61973

          October 3, 2009 at 6:02 pm

          Good. keep Santiago in the lineup. At SS. Play Polanco. You do NOT arbitrarily give the guy a rest with 4 games to go and a chance to clinch the division. In no scenario does Adam Everett in the lineup give you your best chance to win. JL is dumb.

          • Keith (Mr. X)

            October 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm

            He’s not dumb. You just don’t understand the circumstances for POLANCO NOT PLAYING!!!!!!!!

          • jb61973

            October 3, 2009 at 7:03 pm

            There are NO CIRCUMSTANCES, short of the guy being unable to play, that you play Everett over Polanco. None. I understand the bs reasons Leyland gave. THey were idiotic.

          • Keith (Mr. X)

            October 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm

            Whatever…. cry all day if you want.

          • jb61973

            October 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

            I’m not crying but if I want to I certainly will. I’ve invested enough of my time and money into this team over the years. People like you who can’t even acknowledge that the manager they love made a mistake are a huge problem with sports. Other decisions can be debated, this one is clear. WHy are you afraid to admit that Leyland made a mistake? What about starting Figaro last night, are you behind that awful decision as well?

      • Briggs45

        October 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm

        There’s no correlation between the two games. IMO it would’ve been a pyschological boost for the team on that given day. You know…send a message we’re here to wrap this thing up. That’s how most of us felt that day anyway.

  4. Briggs45

    October 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    And there you have it. Twins get a walk. Sac moves the runner to second. Grounder moves the runner to third. Mauer started down 0-2 then delivered a run scoring single. Twins up 1-0.

  5. soulBunny

    October 6, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Damn. Good insight and you were right about Saturday. Yankees will always choose to play the next day after a marathon game. Good luck to Tigers next season.
    Two Voices | Two Guys