5.2 innings, five runs for Dontrelle

I was traveling to Kansas City tonight and didn’t have a chance to follow Willis’ rehab start except to look at the boxscore. The numbers weren’t good — five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings at Charlotte. Three of those runs and four hits came in the sixth, suggesting he might have run out of gas. He walked three, but one was intentional. He gave up a pair of solo homers in the second inning before Charlotte rallied with singles and doubles in the sixth. On the positive side, he was efficient, falling one out shy of six innings with 79 pitches thrown, though just 46 went for strikes.

How much does it mean? Dunno. He has at least one more start for the Hens coming, of course, so a solid outing Saturday will make this one moot.

17 Comments

Mr. Leyland can keep changing the lineup every day, but the Tigers problem lies in their pitching staff that was their mainstay over the past years 06-07. Hiting can not always overcome poor pitching and the pitching coach needs to find the problem and solve it. You can have the best hittinh lineup in basebal and still lose many games without good pitching. The young arms may have been worn out due to over use in prior seasons.

oh this is terrific news!!! our starting pitching is getting rocked by a AAA team… 5 runs in 6 innings……. just take all our starting pitching out in the 5th and we’ll be just fine.
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how bout using our bullpen as starters, and the starters as the BP…. ugh….
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but hey, the good news, is at we didn’t just invest a ton of money this offseason in these fantastic pitchers we are stuck with. they’re doing such a fine job, they should all get raises.
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mike

I’m not going to say that Willis isn’t going to return and be effective. I think we all have to wait and see what happens. Give him another start down in Toledo this weekend and go from there.

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NSM, you are right though. It has been said many times on here by numerous people. It is Pitching, Pitching, Pitching – which we are lacking in as far as the starters go. I don’t remember who metioned it a few days ago, but it does seem like Rogers is the most effective one right now.

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I guess we will see what they can do against KC tonight. I think are starters are going to struggle for a while more, but it really is just a matter of time before the hitters warm up…at least Sheff has been playing better. So far that experiment is going well with him in LF and getting into the flow of the game that way. Hey, whatever works…

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Go Tigers!

Not that we will get anything for him but it will be interesting to see where Jacque Jones ends up. I saw in the Free Press that there is speculation it could be Minny or Toronto. I could see Toronto. Also Florida.
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It’s too bad he didn’t work out but he was always a “hope and dream” type acquisition. He was not the imposing LHB they really needed to get to replace Casey. Moving Guillen to 1B did not alleviate the need for that. It is still something we are missing in the lineup and IMO was one of the failures of DD over the winter.
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One could argue that Renteria and Cab/Willis did not work out. I think it is still a bit too early to draw any conclusions about those deals. Given the team dynamics, the expectations and the adjustment coming over from the NL I think they have a very good chance of working out still.
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I like DD’s willingness to take some chances. I do think the seemingly endless supply of Illitch’s money has factored into some present difficulty though. Too much money has been given in salary too players over 30 and based on previous performance. What happens is you then get ‘stcuk” with them when their production tails off. They no longer are a bargaining chip in possible deals and then you have to resort to your prospects to attract attention.
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Not sure who in the rotation can turn things around. It would be fantastic if Willis could step in and somehow rediscover his former talent and command. The year he won over 22 games he only walked 55 guys in 236 innings. So even though it doesn’t look like he can see the plate when he lets the ball go…he can. That will be the key for him. I think hitters in the AL will have some difficulty hitting him IF he can generally stay ahead in the count.
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I’d also like to see them give Galarraga another shot. He throws strikes, pitches with confidence, shows determination and is not intimidated by MLB hitters. Being taken out of the rotation will test his character. It’s not what I would do (take him out), but if he can swallow this and come back hard when he is given his next opportunity, it may actually help him. It’s only a matter of time before we lose a SP. Kenny amazes me that he can endure the rigors of toeing the mound every 5 days, and Robertson and Bonderman are probably only one or two poor performances away from contracting the mysterious “tired arm” syndrome.
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Robertson has an ERA of over 13.00 against LHB this year and they have an on base % of over .400. I honeslty can’t see how other managers around the league won’t be able to exploit this. On top of that he has given up so many 2 strike hits that it has to be demoralizing to his defense.
While we could all argue that Verlander and Bonderman haven’t been any better I would think he is really a candidate for the bullpen if he can’t get it together by the end of the month. This has been suggested here by someone else and it is making more sense all the time. I would much rather have only 2 southpaws (unless they were Cliff Lee) in the rotation.
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I think Nate is on the bubble.
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KC can give us fits and I think we are in tough against them tonight and for this series.

From Toledo:
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“Hens Dig the Long Ball; Toledo Leads the IL w/64 HR (Charlotte is 2nd w/38 HR)!TOLEDO, OH (May 13) – The Toledo Mud Hens are off to a spectacular start in the 2008 season. Currently they have the third best record in minor league baseball (26-13) and hold a three game lead in the International League West. The Hens are a run scoring machine, especially in terms of home runs.

The Mud Hens are leading all of professional baseball in home runs with 64. In the International League, the Charlotte Knights are ranked second in home runs with 38. The Albuquerque Isotopes are leading the Pacific Coast League in home runs and are the closest to Toledo in homers, but still only have 57. The Mud Hens are even out hitting the Major League teams. The Florida Marlins are leading MLB with 56 home runs, but that is still eight behind the hot-hitting Hens. Toledo’s parent club, the Detroit Tigers have hit 37 home runs.

Who is behind all of this home run hitting madness? — There are two main culprits in this case. 3B Mike Hessman and 1B Jeff Larish account for 28 of the 64 Toledo home runs. Hessman is Toledo’s all-time home run leader. He has hit 100 home runs in his four years in a Hens’ jersey and currently leads all of professional baseball in home runs (17). 1B Jeff Larish is also on the leader board for home runs. Larish is ranked third in the IL with 11 homers.

Will the Mud Hens keep up this homer happy hitting? — Only time will tell, but if so, the Hens are on pace to hit 236 home runs as a team this season; the Hens highest HR total for one season came in 1999 when they hit 176 home runs. Hessman is on pace to hit 64 and Larish to hit 40.

~Amy Ziemak, Toledo Mud Hens “

A couple of keys I am hoping for tonight are that Curtis starts to hit the ball again and that we hit a couple of dingers with men on. Of course it would be great to get some serious starting pitching but with the way things have gone we can’t count on that very much.
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Wonder how things are going with Vance Wilson. No word yet of a rehab stint so I presume he is not close yet.

I wonder how Hessman and Larish would do against major league pitching? I know Hessman is RH. Is Larish a LH? Too bad there is no way they could be tested in Detroit.

I would bet Hessman would do better than 0 HRs, 1 RBI and a .158 Bat Avg against LHP!

I’ll be at the next three. Hopefully we’ll climb out of the cellar tonight, and maybe this time, we won’t look back.

One of these days, we’ll get a game where the team doesn’t give up five runs. Win or lose, it will be worth much rejoice…

Hessman already has 17 HRs? I wasn’t overly impressed with him last year but what does he have to do to get a shot? I remember he was solid in the field too so that would be a plus.
I sometimes think we should give some of our own guys in the minors a shot instead of spending all this money on free agency just to be stuck with another underachieving overpaid spot on the roster.

Hessman has never been given a real shot. he hit .235 in very limited time last year with 4 HR. Didn’t make an error at 3rd or 1st either. His problem is that he strikes out a lot (not sure why that is any different than a lot of the guys we have carried on the roster) and that he was blocked at 3rd by Inge and at 1st by the need for a LHB.
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He’s 30 now and realistically if he doesn’t get a shot this year it’s probably not going to happen–at tleast in Detroit. Leyland “likes him”, so he has that in his favour but without a trade or an injury I don’t see him being called up anytime soon.

and me, i’m waiting to be at angel stadium 2/3 games, tuesday and wednesday. taking the treasonous little sh*t (my 10 year old son) to the tuesday game, and i’m going with a bunch of friends (bought my ticket :) ) to wednesday’s game. so i’m gonna have a lotta fun. i’ll be wearing my oldschool tigers hat, and tuesday i’ll be upper deck, along 3B line… i sure hope they win both those games. but ultimately, i really dont care.
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for all those whining about all the whining in previous blogs:
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baseball is a sport. baseball is a business. baseball is baseball. whenever you take 25 men and throw them into the public eye with huge contracts to play a hobby of most of us, then there should be reasonable speculations and observations. to think otherwise and to blindly follow the tigers as if they are the re-incarnation of Jesus, is absurb. Players, Coaches, Management, whoever, needs to be held to a certain level of accountability. ESP. when you have created a team that by all rights, shouldn’t even have lost a game this season (exageration, i know, but i dont CARE)….
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i mean….. depending who you ask, the tigers are either #2 or #3 in payroll. the starting pitching is being paid a lot of money. the lineup is being paid a lot of money. the bullpen is being paid a lot of money, as are the coaches, the training staff, the med. staff…. and who is paying for all this?
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WE ARE.
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is baseball was a wall street investment (and it may be, i dont know jack crap about wall street or investing) YOU and I would be the investors. just the same as if you go to the store and buy your favorite soda (or POP for you all still stuck in the midwest or cananda :) ) its the same. yeah, your soda isn’t being paid millions to entertain 40 thousand, but the coke or pepsi still quenches peoples thirst. and all across the land, from the US to China, there’s baseball fans. Fans that are committed to whatever team they enjoy watching. To move from your couch to your $20 walmart bought computer chair and ‘complain’ about the ‘whiners’ puts YOU right in the same bucket as us ‘whiners.’
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now, that being said, i can’t possibly invest as much money into the Detroit Tigers as other posters with season or 28 day tix or 1/2 season or WTF ever, as i live out west in SoCal, but i can tell you that my minor investment of $20 a month kills me whenever i have to turn the game off MLB.tv. KILLS ME. and i’m only talking about $20 a MONTH. i bet i’ll pay twice that at angel stadium in a couple weeks for the two games.
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my point being……….. how DARE anyone march into this, or any blog, and be mr. or mrs high and freakin mighty. just cuz you haven’t posted on here before, and now think its the oppurtune moment, while the tigers are slumping, losing, choking, drowning, whatever verb or adjective you want to throw in there, is, or should be, and insult to the baseball world.
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without FANS there would be NO BASEBALL. baseball and football, both iconize america. nothing much else does these days. and when you watch a game, and you hear the national anthem being sang by god only knows who. you should remember the history of the game, and while you’re thinking of that history, marvelling at the power of the jets that may or may not fly over head, you should be nothing but proud. this is AMERICA. and we INVENTED a democracy that most countries wish they could somehow immitate. we create the jets that are soaring over your heads, whether it be passenger or millitary.
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please, for God’s sake. all you newbie reader/posters, leave your hate at the freep.com sports section like most everyone else. You haters and drew sharp would have a great banquet and party, might even turn into a detroit sports hating orgy for all i know. but please, leave it out of here. opinions are nothing but opinions. I for one, think the negativity should be left for the freep.com’s terrible horrible, ugly, ‘fanbase’ of haters. damned if they do damned if they don’t.
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tell you what, you go buy tickets anyways, you enjoy the game, win or lose, you have a hell of a time. you take your kids, you teach the meaning of sportsmanship, and you enjoy yourselves. pretend, just for a minute, that
BASEBALL IS A GAME. games are won, games are lost. enjoy your team, and continue to support them, or the team might leave.
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MIKE

Ok, now I don’t have to go to church this week. Already heard a long sermon…

Mike, all I ask is that you use a capital letter where it shoud be. Maybe then everyone would listen(or read). And I told you to think positive thoughts. The D-train can here you.
Hey Ty, I said it. Pitching! And now Renteria makes a dumb play, I am typing this hoping I can go back to the TV and see the Tigers win. I am not going to give up watching my Tigers this season!
Go Tigers!
–Dave

i guess i didn’t realize that caledoniakid was an english professor. who cares.
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and for that matter, where did i once post a negative thought about D-train in my last entry?

Why has nobody from the Tigers organization addressed the fact that Verlander has not returned to his 100 mph velocity since his no-hitter? I think throwing 102 in the 9th inning of that game might have done some serious damage to his arm. With his arm up to speed, he is amongst the most prolific pitchers in the league, but with his current 91-95 mph fastball capabilities, he’s mediocre at best.
Don’t get me wrong; I understand that he’s getting no run support. Even still, however, this is something that should at least be talked about. I am guessing that he’s scared poopless that he might never be the same. I feel genuinely sorry for him.

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