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Just What the Doctor Ordered

After a rough patch the past couple of weeks, the Tigers have now rattled off four straight wins.  Last night’s game was particularly important because after a series of days, the bullpen had been taxed.  The team didn’t get a day off on Monday, so one of two things had to happen on Tuesday.  Fortunately, the Tigers accomplished both of those things.

Step one to resting your bullpen is getting a nice long start from your starter.  Kenny Rogers went eight innings, something he had only done twice prior to this in 2006.  That’s the easy one.  The longer your starters go, the less you need your pen.

The second thing, which is probably just as is important, is scoring some runs and the Tigers did that as well last night.   Even if Rogers left after seven innings, they could have went to the back end of their bullpen to finish the game.  In this one, they only needed one inning from Jason Grilli.  If the bats weren’t there and the game was close then Leyland would have been forced to either pitch one of his front end bullpen guys on short rest or risk the game by throwing someone like Grilli in a high leverage situation.

The White Sox have kept pace with the Tigers over the past few days and they still sit a game and a half back.  Just as important, the Tigers have outplayed the Yankees and Red Sox, so they’ve created a larger cushion (4 1/2 games) when it comes to the wild card.

Jeremy Bonderman throws against Mark Hendrickson tonight.  One more win, and the Tigers will have matched their season win total for 2003.

Im tired of it! there is now defending Jones anymore! here is garbage! 0-2 to baldelli and he hits him to load the bases! then? back to back doubles! I sick of it! Why not Rodney! Monroe needs to go too! we cannot pick up one friggin game on the sox!

Posted by Michael on June 14th, 2006 at 6:26 pm

Nice work by Todd Jones again tonight. The only good thing that can possibly be said about this, MAYBE, is that this might be the game that convinces Jim Leyland that you can’t rely on Todd Jones.

This game was lost because of rank stupidity. The fact that the Tigers could only get one run off of Hendrickson notwithstanding, this is yet another instance in which Jim Leyland’s lack of understanding of bullpen usage very well may have cost us a ballgame.

Why does a video editor from Chicago understand this better than Jim Leyland? There were a couple of moments in the 12th inning there where you really could have used a strikeout, and you had one of the worst guys for strikeouts in the game.

When the game is tied 1-1 in extra innings, it is the single highest leverage situation. The value of each out by a pitcher is at the very peak of where it can be for a baseball game, and Leyland has one of his worst relievers in the game. That is just plain idiocy.

Todd Jones is a shitty pitcher being paid like a good one. His ERA isbefore tonight’s game was 6.38, and he has 7 strikeouts in about 25 innings this year. What is so difficult to understand about this? The more balls that are put into play, the better the chances for a hit or a string of hits. This is pretty much a well known fact at this point, at least by anyone who has ever studied the situation in any objective way. To lose a baseball game in the 12th inning when anyone other than your best ready reliever is in the game is inexcusable incompetence.

I am happy that the Tigers are doing well in general, though they have been no better than average for a while now, and I do appreciate whatever it is that Leyland might be bringing to this ballclub, but we should all insist that he understand his job better than this. Okay, so you want to bring Jones back out for another inning, fine. You were wrong for bringing him in in the first place, but fine. The moment someone gets on base, Rodney should be in the game because Todd Jones doesn’t have much of a chance of striking anyone out.

What the hell is wrong with managers in baseball. What is so difficult about this concept.

I know what kind of a guy Leyland is. I’ve heard him talk about his distaste for computers and all that stuff, and it’s very clear that he is one of these old baseball curmudgeons who thinks he knows everything already. No nerd can tell him anything new about the game because he learned from some old guys a long time ago, and he already knows what there is to know. This type of crap should not be tolerated.

Make no mistake. Todd Jones did not cost us this ballgame tonight. He goes up there and does his best, meatballing, homophobic, backwards hillbilly that he is. I’m sure he tries to get batters out. He just can’t do it with any consistency. Leyland’s intransigence cost us this ballgame. I’m tired of seeing it. Total garbage.

Now before you say “HAH, isn’t it YOU, Dan, who thinks he knows everything about baseball?!”

No. It’s not. If I were that type of person I wouldn’t study it as hard as I do to this day. I understand that there are different viewpoints out there, and I’ve been willing to listen as long as these viewpoints are supported by evidence, and as long as they hold up in rigorous analysis. Last time I checked, if pitcher A is better than pitcher B, it is better to have pitcher A in there when the ballgame is on the line.

Complete garbage.

Posted by Dan on June 14th, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Just remember, the guy who runs this blog said just a week ago that Todd Jones should be the closer. Don’t piss him off!

Seriously…. Todd Jones isn’t cutting it. I agree totally; he’s not the “3rd best reliever” as our fine blog host says – there’s 3 guys in Toledo and 2 in Erie pitching better.

He was a mediocre choice his first time here; but OK for a bad team. Now, for a good team, he’s a bad pitcher. 7.36 ERA? 7 K’s in 25 innings? Several big losses in sequence. He needs to get a shot to get his confidence back first. IF that doesn’t work; eat the salary.

Posted by Dave on June 14th, 2006 at 7:52 pm

The only problem is that we cannot afford to have jones blowing games (wether in the 7th inning, 9th inning, or 12th). we cannot afford to bring him in to boost his confidence. He should not be summond from the pen unless its for mop up work. contrary to what leyland is saying, these games are massively important. If we played in any other division in baseball we would have much more room. it just so happens that the white sox seem to win every single game!

Posted by Michael on June 15th, 2006 at 5:57 am

If this doesnt bother anyone else, then maybe I am crazy. But read this and wanted to jump out a window

Monroe badly wants to play at Wrigley Field because of the atmosphere and the stories he’s heard about playing there.

More importantly, the Tigers won’t have the DH spot available. So if Monroe is going to start at all that series, or the three-game set at Milwaukee that follows it, he’ll have to be somewhere in the field.

“He’s going to have to be able to play this weekend,” Leyland said. “I’ll play him at first base if I need to.”

Monroe is well aware of the series looming.

“It makes it frustrating that I’m not playing,” Monroe said. “It makes it frustrating as heck because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Posted by Michael on June 15th, 2006 at 12:50 pm

“The moment someone gets on base, Rodney should be in the game because Todd Jones doesn’t have much of a chance of striking anyone out.”

Just to clarify for everyone Dan would be referring to the frist batter Jones faces.

Posted by Ryan on June 16th, 2006 at 9:27 am

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