That could've gone better

Funny how stories can change in a day. Before Sunday’s game, I was talking with Todd Jones about this stage of his career, how the highs of saving a game aren’t as high as they used to be and the lows of blowing one are lower. That was just in general terms. Then came four runs in the ninth inning Sunday for his second such outing in six days, raising his ERA for the spring to 24.55.

Jones said afterwards that he was working on locating his fastball, with obviously dire results. He spent the rest of the game in the dugout with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez trying to talk over mechanical issues. With just under three weeks before the Tigers head to Detroit, Jones has time to get his fastball location down.

"I know what I’ve got to do, and I’ve got to try to do it," said Jones, who said he has no soreness or health issues in his arm. "A couple outings to work on some things, hopefully it’ll bounce back."

Because of Jones’ pitching style, obviously, it’s all the more important that he’s on his game or else bad things happen. Unless he blows his arm out, whatever he does this spring won’t affect his status for the regular season, but he could probably use the momentum.

As for other matters, Brandon Inge played third base for much of the afternoon, then shifted to right field late. Considering there was a Dodgers person on hand, it could’ve been an effort on the Tigers’ part to showcase him. However, all the Tigers front-office personnel — including GM Dave Dombrowski — spent the game watching in their usual seats from the stands.

15 Comments

todd jones is starting to scare the living *(insert swear word here)* outta me…. tigers need bullpen help!! or a 200 run lead going into the 9th………

oye….. jason you said in an earlier blog not to get stressed about injuries.. its not the injuries i’m worried about….

i’m gonna go drink a beer in hopes that jonsey gets it together in the next 3 weeks….

I have to start getting ready for my sarcasm and criticism of JL this season. (Much of it is well-intentioned actually.)

Here is a quote from the skipper about todays’s game:

“Jonesy had a rough day, but for six innings I thought we looked real good,” he said. “We looked like a major league team.”

Well now that we feel comfortable with the fact that we look like a Major league team (for 6 innings) I wonder where JL ranks us among the other 29! I guess we should be happy that we don’t look like a minor league team?

He’s a beaut when it comes to quotes and what he says to the media.

“To be honest with you” I think he has pretty much said “I really like him a lot” about just about every name that has been brought to his attention by the media hungry interviews he’s had thus far.

But one thing for sure, I woudln’t trade him for Jimmy ***** AND Joe Gordon.

As far as Jones is concerned I guess we can take solace in the fact that these are pre-season games. But, I think we are going to have a very difficult year in the bullpen until someone establishes himself as a closer. Jones can’t handle the load anymore, and I’m not saying that because he has been throwing BP so far in 2008. I’ve been saying for 2 years that they need to a slam dunk closer. I give Jones a lot of credit for getting by the way he has and for those times every year when he has a real nice streak of good outings and big saves, but I still think that to be a champion in today’s game you need a closer who is so good theat they might even get an odd Cy Young vote.

If we only had a Jenks, a Putz, a K-Rod, a Nathan or a Papelbon–it staggers the imagination.

Just for arguements sake regarding TJ that is I got the last three years stats for the other great closers you suggested and compared them and while they are a little better, it really isn’t all that signifigant. While I agree with the fact that it might be nice to have a guy who just blows people away sometimes, what do you give up to get those guys and that is assuming that they want to be given up by their respective teams. Same old story but this is what I found

2007 2006 2005 total

jenks 6/40 4/41 2/6 12/87

K-rod 6/40 4/47 5/45 15/132

Nathan 4/37 2/36 5/42 11/116

Papel 3/37 6/35 9/72

jones 6/38 6/37 5/45 17/120

the first number is the number of blown saves and the second number is the number of saves he actually had that year. Interesting, not such a big of a discrepency between some of these guys as you might think???

So it seem that Todd always blows about 6 games a year. And that being said it does make me a little nervous that he is having such a hard time especially in the minor leaguers he faced yesterday. Hopefully it is true and he was just working on something yesterday and this is not the TJ we will be getting this summer. GO TODD GO TIGERS.

If you have MLB TV you might want to consider watching Jair Jurrjens throw today.

Another solid start today by Verlander. He hasn’t given up a run (and please note the relationhip here) nor a base on ball yet this spring!

Raburn getting lots of at bats this spring—could they be shopping him?

Inge’s situation has been a little diconcerting perhaps but I give him one thing–he is getting his hits and more importantly he is getting good ABs. He has walked 8 times. That is more than his Ks at this point.

A lot of roster moves depend on Mr Inge. “IF” he stays and they don’t call up Sardinha they just might send Raburn down and keep Guzman. Guzman has impressed and he can fly. Being a switch hitter let’s him play a nice backup role to Curtis. Forget I said that–that’s not likely to happen unless the club were to trade someone other than Inge. I don’t want to see that happen.

Miner had a rough outing and he is very vulnerable with the option he has left IMO.

Yes JV had another decent outing, it looks like this one was a little more difficult than the last. Miner on the other hand didn’t it looked like he was going to fly through his two innings then a bloop, a walk and a HR later we are tied up.

Saw that Jurrjens had another really good outing, man I liked that kid, he was IMO our biggest offseason lost.

GO TIGERS

Greetings from beautiful Viera, Florida. Attended the game today and took some good natured ribbing for wearing a Tigers cap with a Nationals t-shirt.

It was a beautiful day weather-wise. Verlander was outstanding, which is becoming his norm. He is a very dominating person out there on the mound. Pudge, as always, amuses me when hitting leadoff. He worked a 3-1 count, fouled off several pitches, then clobbered a homer to left. The dude just fits the role when put there. Santiago was his usual smooth self at short. Miner was actually having a strong outing, sinkerball working and all, then got two on with two out in the eighth. He got ahead, 1-2, then frustrated me by nibbling. I’d like these guys to just trust their stuff a lot more. Inge, as expected, looked very comfortable in centerfield. I’m going to continue to mention the name Freddy Guzman, because he can cause headaches with his speed, and is a leadoff type hitter. He worked a walk today, then drew a pitchout on the first pitch. The following pitch was a ball so there was Larish with a good hitter’s 2-0 count. Then Guzman swiped second. This is valuable stuff here. Possibly a useable backup there.

I’m not going to worry about Todd Jones. You can’t get anyone better at this point anyway.

Dan, it’s funny that your attempt to mention former manager Jimmy Dikes (actually spelled with a “Y”) was axed by the auto-censor.

Next stop Winter Haven, split-squad against Cleveland. I’ll get to see Porcello pitch, but in the process will miss my one chance to see Dontrelle, as he’s pitching the other game.

This is fun. This is the place we should all meet someday.

–Rich

i agree rl… solid running teams always have success, and if a team that can throw in some runners late in the game, in crucial situations, then its nice to have that option.

tigers will (and have already been previous 2-3 seasons)be hitting the ball real well so the run game hasn’t been ‘focused’ on as much, thats not to take away from granderson’s achievements, and the weirdness of seeing gary sheffield stealing a base at 40 years old.. but its good fun.

but in a slump period, good baserunning nickels and dimes in runs. take the angels, a heavily dependent running team, and they still will be year. i’m forced to pay attention to the angels and make my way to the angels/tigers games every single year (this year tigers only play angels once here, twice in det. so i’m upset but will be there none the less may 26-28) argh, lost my train of though with that. anyways, yeah i like the running game, steal bases, advance runners, sac them in if needed. be aggressive, but not stupid.

have a great day kiddies, and as always… GO TIGERS

I forgot one comment. I watched Cabrera in BP and the game, obviously, and the ball just jumps off his bat. An easy swing then bam! It’s quite noticeable. We’re going to have fun watching him.

–Rich

Nice job in the 9th by Dolsi?!

What do you guys think of him? Heres what JL says:

“I like him. I like him a lot.”

Coach,
Your little research failed to mention one thing. In 119 of TJ’s 120 saves the tieing run was on third and the winning run on second.

JT–really? TJ knows how to pitch under pressure—trouble is he often exerts the pressure upon himself!

On second thought–now way JT. TJ seems to have a lot of those 1 inning 3 run saves over the last couple of years.

We gotta get the stats on that.

Cheers!

JL on Raburn:
“I really like him. He’s a very usable player.

JL On Guzman:

“He’s a nice-looking player,” Leyland said. “He can do some things.”

Cut me a break, I’m just kiddin’ around!

Rich thanks for the observastions. It is really hard to try to get a feel for the game by paying attention to the box score. Because it seemed to me that JV and Miner had a few problems. I love this can you stay down there for the rest of the spring.

JT – Obviously Jones is a to contact pitcher and it isn’t always going to go his way, but more often than not it does. But I would hazard a guess that some of the saves that those other guys blew were also leads of more than one??? But you are correct TJ doesn’t give up the homerun, he gives up the seeing eye singles. And I will also say that it seems like TJ typically blows the game when he does have a lead to work with not when the margin is much smaller.?? Not sure that is true just seems like it is.

Anyway, I think that it is too soon to get on anyones back, spring training has barely started, and I am going positive energy down then and try not to focus on the negative. Like how Sheff doesn’t have a hit, and how Cabrera wasn’t hitting until the last few days. And we still do not know about Cruceta or what is going on with Rodney?? Need to think positive.

I’d love to stay here all spring because “I like it. I like it a lot.”

Bear in mind that I’m only offering impressions and observations and may get a fact wrong here or there since I’m not keeping score or anything like that.

–Rich

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