Leyland: We're not pounding the ball

Not that it’s a news flash or anything, but after so much was made of the errors Friday night, Jim Leyland wanted to make a point that a few more runs would’ve made a miscue like that pretty well meaningless.

“We’re supposed to pound the ball around, and we haven’t done it,” Leyland said.

And as the record shows, they have to hit, since they’re now 0-23 when they don’t score at least five runs.

The lineup has just one change, with Ryan Raburn giving Placido Polanco a day off. In the spirit of getting a power hitter up there and stacking some left-handed hitters, Matt Joyce will hit in the second spot.

The full order:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Joyce, LF
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Rodriguez, C
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Raburn, 2B
  9. Galarraga, P

For Arizona:

  1. Chris Young, CF
  2. Stephen Drew, SS
  3. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  4. Conor Jackson, 1B
  5. Justin Upton, RF
  6. Eric Byrnes, LF Mark Reynolds, 3B
  7. Mark Reynolds, 3B Jeff Salazar, LF (Byrnes scratched)
  8. Chris Snyder, C
  9. Max Scherzer, P

35 Comments

Well…………..this is yet another Leyland comment I find disturbing. “Pitching and defense wins championships.” “Nobody ever slugs their way to a championship.” These axioms are as old as the game itself. No one, and I mean no one, is going to reach the postseason if they can’t win 3-2 ballgames.
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I don’t know the context in which Leyland was speaking, but on the face of it, it just sounds like an excuse for a self-made weak defense. A defense of his own creation, I might add. I always thought JL’s biggest strength was putting ballplayers in a position where they could succeed. He’s doing the total opposite right now. He doesn’t blame Guillen for his physical error last night and I agree with that. The error is in putting people where they don’t belong. In a position where they won’t succeed.
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–Rich

With all the talk, it’s still crazy to move Cabrera anywhere else. He’ll be fine at first. I agree with Hessman at 3rd for a while, with Guillen DHing. You can’t move Guillen back to first again! Then Sheff has to go. Although the Tigers’ ERA is still the worst in the AL, it is actually getting better, IMO. Bonderman is okay now. Rogers is pitching some ok games, which is about all you expect out of him at age 63 or however old he is. What bothers me more than anything is Verlander. What is up with this guy?????

Any theories?

You are so right, Rich.

Putting people into a position to succeed also applies to to what they are directed to do at bat.. i.e. Pudge up with 2 on and no out and the club in a funk having trouble scoring runs. B-U-N-T!!!.
C’mon Leyland get your head out.
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BTW another example of how these guys are beating themselves is the Raburn dropped ball. He just had to catch the ball but did you notice he tried to tag the runner out!!
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That’s why he dropped the ball–he was looking at the bag to apply the tag. True it didn’t come back to bite us, this time. But if they don’t start playing heads up ball it will eventually.
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Sheffield not playing tonight so I guess I have to pick on Pudge. Another example of not hitting when it counts and a pefect example of an undisciplined AB.

How is it that every with common baseball sense understands that Pudge should be bunting in that situation except Leyland and Pudge. Same ol’ Tigers different day!

I miss Rabelo.

There’s a little redemption for Guillen…Nice two out hit. We’ve been missing that!

No bunt after a leadoff double!

Might not be a bad idea to PH for Galarraga. He has had a nice game but how long can it last?

Willis at least somewhat effective tonight 6 innings, 4K’s, 1 ER (4BB) – better yet 96 pitches, 55 for strikes. Thoughts?

Nice job of pitching by Galarraga. Would have been nice to see Pudge bunting last inning with man on 2nd and no outs. Play for the add on run.

Well the kid got his bat on the ball and isn’t an automatic out. Came back with a good inning too.
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I wonder how long he can last. We really need runs as 2 runs (you know how the 4 and less rule works for us) is not gonna cut it especially with a preserve the win bullpen being largely untested. Cruceta and Jones are no lead pipe cinch.
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Boy, Granderson and Renteria are just finding it impossible.

Holy Toledo!

Joyce has pop in his bat doesn’t he? He has officially earned a starting job in left.

They have to take him out.

Our bullpen has had some trouble with inherited runners. It’d be sweet to see them come in and shut the door. A DP would be pretty nice right now. I would be putting Polanco in along with Rapada.

isn’t sheff not starting, a change in the lineup ? i remember him starting yesterday in LF and then was lifted later

Here we go again.

Not an excuse.. but i get JL’s point .. we spent big bucks on our lineup and not the rotation or BP .. so we expect them to perform and not score just 3 runs or so… it doesn’t excuse the sloppy fielding though …

No team should have such a record .. 0-23 when we score 5 or less .. is it? our 119 loss team probably had better pitching :) ..

Here comes AZ ..

it’s less than 5 runs .. 0-23 when scoring 4 or less

Wouldn’t mind seeing a defensive change or two.

The bats die after they plate acouple —every time.
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I can tell ya one thing, it doesn’t ‘feel” good–three poor ABs kind of signal a weary and resigned team.
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It is going to take exceptional pitching to get us through this one.

First of all I would not have taken Lopez out. Second, why does he throw a hittable pitch on 0-2?
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So much for the exceptional pitching. Cruceta tends to walk people too. We need a big play.

Well there is the big play. And the fact that the whole thing didn’t go south on us is a big surprise.
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How about some runs though? Cause we know who is comin on in the 9th.

risky … but pudge made something happen ..

Polanco in and Inge should be too.

Don’t have time to read all the post tonight, got to get to bed, need to get up early in the morning. But I wanted to say a couple of things.
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FINALLY YES
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Nice play by Pudge, that was sweet.
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I was really upset when Leyland left in Galarraga, even before anything happened I was already pissed. He just seem to lose it after a certian point. Granted it is usually around 80 pitches, so he went longer but to me Leyland was playing with fire and it almost blew the game for us. He never in my opnion should of brought him back out in the 8th. Not happy with that.
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Goodnight all. Good win. Even though it scared the #### out of me.

Sure wish Jones whould get some ground ball outs! He sure makes your heart race.
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Galarraga threw a really nice game. It is starting to look like JL will not be able to make the easy decision when Willis comes back. You know, the one that Galarraga goes to the bullpen and Willis gets the rotation.
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GK, maybe we’ll have a better night’s sleep tonight but something has to happen with this offense soon.
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Granderson hung in there against the lefty and Joyce did too, he missed an RBI single by a couple of inches on that 2 strike pitch. Showed me something as he looked overmatched and set up.
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Santiago made a heckuva play on the DP that Pudge started. And he had a good AB to draw the walk. Nice level swings, fouled off a couple of pitches. He looks like a better alternative out there than Renteria right now.
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I hope they give LF to Thames tomorrow.
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Thames’ HRs this year have been hit against lefties and he has 2 dingers vs Johnson in 9 career ABs
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As I posted earlier Sheffield is hitting just over .150 against lefties this year with 0 HRs. He is a career .150 hitter against Johnson with 1 HR in 46 plate appearances.
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Even JL should be able to interpret those stats.

Eric, Thoughts on Willis’ rehab…….I think he needs a little more rehabbing………Bob’s (I mean Armando’s) doing just fine.

Ol’ stubborn has said that Willis gets the rotation spot and Galarraga gives it up when Willis comes back. Well that’s the official line but even the most gullible fan knows that that ain’t gonna happen.
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Larish hit 2 tonight in Willis’ victory He’s got 14 now.
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Galarraga has had a quality start in every game he’s pitched I think. Jl can’t ignore that.

Actually, the Sheff lineup change was expected. Leyland said Friday that was going to happen.

Leyland would be crazy to take Galarraga out of the starting rotation now. You’ve got to play the hot hand while you have it, especially since we are winning about one game a week anymore. Look how Carmona ended up as a starter for Cleveland last year. Westbrook went on the DL around May and they never looked back. I don’t know if he can be as dominant as Carmona but he has been the most reliable starter for the team so far this season.
Also Joyce is looking like an everyday player in every facet of the game. More decisions for JL and company. I agree on playing Thames tomorrow though.

How about that? A win by the exact score of 3-2. It can be done after all. Actually, I prefer to see them win one this way, rather than 11-2 or something. This is a bigger confidence booster.
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Some good things tonight. Whale of a play by Pudge there. Sure, it may seem that it was obvious, but you have to do some quick thinking to pull that off. I think a lot of catchers would have just caught the popped up bunt.
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I did like the way JL put in the defense late, and that was a nice double switch. I was thinking that a lot of our starters have begun the seventh inning this season and failed to get an out. It happened again tonight. Probably shouldn’t have sent Galarraga back out there, but that’s also kind of hindsight. If he shuts them down, it’s great managing.
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Joyce has a nice looking swing. A word of caution, though, because the pitchers don’t know him yet. Jury is hopeful, but still out on him.
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Santiago brings to the table so much more than Renteria, it isn’t even close. Edgar, you’re going to have to prove me wrong on this assessment. Razor made a great relay on Pudge’s DP, seeing as how the timing got thrown off. That stuff is priceless, and winning baseball. Then he hangs tough at the plate and draws a walk in the ninth, a walk that nearly became a huge insurance run.
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I’m usually fairly confident with Jones in for the save, more so than many I guess. Tonight though, I had a terrible fear that NOW he’d blow one and become the subject of tomorrow’s “woe is us” blogging. Man, I’m glad that didn’t happen. :-)
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I agree, how can you remove Galarraga from the rotation after he’s been effective in every single start? But who gets dropped? A few weeks ago I would have said Robertson, but he’s pitching pretty darned good. If you remove Rogers, the Gambler may as well retire. Won’t be Bondo. Willis has to return at some point, because he’s not being paid to start games for Toledo. That leaves Verlander. Justin should become our new closer, blow away hitters for one inning with 100 mph fastballs. And that’s a JOKE, people. :-) Seriously, I don’t know what you do here. One of those “nice problems” to have, I suppose.
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So………Sheff tomorrow in left. Then there’s Thames. How about next Tuesday we make Renteria the DH and have done with it. I’m not kidding, Santiago has shown me something the past two years.
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–Rich

Dan, completely agree with you on Willis. It would be nice to see him show some consistency before being called up – doubt it though. We’ll probably have to watch him struggle for a couple of starts up in the majors and I will likely lose more sleep trying to figure out what the hell is going on with the pitching. Even sadder will be watching JL put Galarraga in the pen for Willis. Let’s home for the best!

I have read that Leyland was saying that they have watched film on every pitcher that they could face in a game. My opinion is that they are watching to much film. Once they get up to the plate, they are thinking too much about what he could throw. They have already seen most of these pitchers, why are they thinking so much. This is a kids game and they do not think that hard. If you see the ball you hit. Don’t worry about watching so much film it is only getting to the heads of the players. Just play ball like you did when you were a kid, HAVE FUN!!!!

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