Verlander on steal of home

He basically said he noticed Johjima taking off and purposely threw the pitch in the dirt so that Miguel Cairo couldn’t get off the squeeze bunt attempt.

“I was getting ready to deliver to the plate [when he noticed Johjima], so I spiked it,” Verlander said. “It was a curveball. I can’t change pitches, but I can throw it where he can’t bunt it.”

Leyland said that Pudge would’ve had the ball in time for the out, but he looked up for Johjima as he tried to grab the ball.

12 Comments

Gotta ask the question, if Justin saw Johjima taking off, why not throw the curve high and tight? At least give Pudge a chance to catch it instead of having to block it and then make a play on Cairo. Too many things have to go just right for it to work out for the good guys if you bounce it up there. A batter’s first instinct is to get out of the way of something head high. May have popped it up for a double play. I don’t know, it may just be another in a long growing list of things that just aren’t going right this year.

–ED–

It appears that Guillen is actually going to start in leftfield tomorrow. So Thames, who was given the job Friday night, now has it taken away two days later? Even if Marcus starts in place of Ordonez for this game, there’s the handwriting on the wall again. Meanwhile Larish is back at DH. Now how long is that going to go on? Will it take another injury to straighten things out?
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It’s starting to appear that Leyland is losing it altogether. I never thought I’d say this, but perhaps it’s time to think of letting him go. Somebody tell me I’m wrong. Please.
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This is going to take role players with desire, and they’re all on the bench.
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Anyway, I’ll keep following along. I wouldn’t turn off this reality show now. It’s not about winnning anything anymore, it’s just an amazing, once in a lifetime trip into the bizarre.
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–Rich

It may be wishful thinking, but could it be that they’re trying to make Guillen look good as trade bait? Moving him around showing that he can play multiple positions, always saying that he’ll be fine when… I guess it is a big stretch, but I’m hoping. I’d much rather have Inge at 3rd PERMANENTLY, Thames in LF and Guillen either DH or traded for a couple minor league prospects.

Trying to make sense of this is quite difficult. I’m inclined to agree with Rich. Is JL okay??? Poor Carlos’ journey into the night continues. He’s gonna have this guy selling peanuts next…

Just gonna throw this out there—with interleague play and in the event you make it that far, the World Series, you face the problem of finding a position for your DH. For everyone who only wants to see Carlos DH everyday, you then have a player who gets rusty in the field. That may be one of the reasons JL is trying to keep CG on the field. I’m with you DavidTiger, I think the best scenario would have Cabrera in left, Inge at third and Guillen at first. The shifting all started when it became apparent that MCab and Renteria weren’t going to cover enough ground on that side of the infield–not so much as CG being able to adjust at 1B. I think Carlos would have eventually become a very serviceable player at that position. Well, enough rambling, I have some yardwork to do. Go Tigers!!

–ED–

Good point about interleague play, however, we’re talking six lousy ballgames there. Three in SF and three in SD. Leyland can get through six games without a DH, and it makes pinch-hitters available to him. Even if that was the thinking, why start him today out there? Why not wait till we get to SF? The answer is so obvious it’s laughable. Guillen is a DH now. It’s his time. All he’ll do in leftfield is get himself injured.
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At least JL sees the light regarding Inge at third, if we can take his comments as what he believes, which is always a crapshoot. Santiago and Thames are, in his mind, bench players. Always have been, always will be.
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–Rich

Rich, I would tend to agree with you about Carlos. A guy with bad knees and hemorrhoids should have DH written next to his name. But given that we are 9 games under .500, we need to take 4 or more of those interleague games. And with the best starters for both of those teams being RH, we don’t want Carlos on the bench. Just my opinion. Sounds like once the inflammation goes down he’ll be back at third anyway.

–ED–

It might Rich. It just might take another injury to give JL an avenue to put someone in that changes the dynamic of the team. I also hear you on JL’s strategic moves. Some of them are baffling and I know they are precipitated by a degree of desperation, but they are still baffling.
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Sheffield playing LF.
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Switching Cab and Guillen.
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Announcing Thames gets the LF job then almost immediately withdrawing it.
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The way I see it is the team has not found a common identity. They have not rallied around each other to become a force better thand the sum of its parts. Which is really what you need in a successful team.
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Without using the word “chemistry”, they still have not come together to fight adversity or to exploit momentum. I think they lost that game yesterday when Verlander couldn’t get Jojima out after Granderson’s diving catch. Couldn’t grab the momentum shift. One could argue that Curtis leading off by striking out also sent a negative message. As has been mentioned, when he hits the Tigers win.
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Inge will bring a comfort level and some stabilization to 3rd base but IMO it will be far too little and too late. They need something dramatic to happen to instigate success. It could happen in the form of a trade with a team that is missing a key veteran or two. We have several of those that could be off-loaded.
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I sure am glad my wife and I did not make the Seattle trip this year. We did make a fantastic trip out to NY and while it was a treat to watch the club sweep the Yanks in historical Yankee Stadium, in hindsight, it was still unsatisfying because it should have been the catalyst for a turnaround in their season.
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If I were JL and had to use what is on the roster now this is what I would do:
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Switch Cab and Guillen back. Trust the scouts who say Cab has soft hands and cannon arm. Guillen would be fine at 1st if he would concentrate and not try to be Joe Casual there.
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Give Santiago some playing time against some RHP. Bring him in for defensive purposes if we ever get the luxury of protecting a 1 or 2 run lead in the 9th. Same with Inge at 3rd
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Give a definitive period of time to Marcus and tell him this is a time he can prove he is a full-time outfielder and a chance to start his career.
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If neither Cab or Inge is going to play 3rd then do something dramatic. Don’t play Guillen there. Call up Hessman. He has made only 1 error all year long.
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DH Ordonez once in a while.
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Robertson or Rogers to the bullpen “I F” Willis can be justified being added to the rotation.
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Ed (is that your name or initials?), I’m not saying to put Guillen on the bench during interleague, because he’s the only one that turns in consistent ABs. He can play third, short, and first during that six game stretch. I’d rather sit, on a game by game basis, Inge, Renteria and Cabrera. That would take daily management decisions, not this “here’s the change, so check back with me in two weeks” type of thing.
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Good points as always, Dan. If it’s still true that Hessman hits RHers better than LHers, he makes more sense than Larish, who I think will have a hard time before JL finally returns him for more seasoning. I’m assuming management knows this about Hessman, that is. Heck, maybe they don’t.
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–Rich

Here’s the state of affairs in a nutshell. Regardless of what happens out west this week, Detroit has four games with Cleveland this weekend followed by three with Chicago. Home games, I might add. I don’t care that it’s the first week of June, these games absolutely have playoff implications and need to be played and managed as such. They’ve dug a hole and are now forced to play these early division games to the hilt. They’ll need 3 of 4 from Cleveland and 2 of 3 from Chicago. It’s imperative that they start gaining ground now. If this doesn’t happen, we may as well start looking to next year.
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There’s a precedent for this. Does anyone remember the Chicago series in late June of 2005? This was the series where the Freedom Festival fireworks were going off while an extra inning game was being played at Comerica. I remember a recently called up Chris Shelton staring up at the fireworks between pitches. The upstart Sox were in town and the newly competitive Tigers were chasing them. Those three games, all won by Chicago unfortunately, were played at playoff intensity and was the best baseball I saw in Detroit all that season. We’re going to need that intensity between June 6 and June 13.
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–Rich

I can’t understand JL’s fascination with LH’ers .. ever since Casey etc .. we have always accommodated people who bat Left Handed even though they stink .. and that too they stink at batting :) .. Casey(good guy, but sub par with the bat), Jones.. finally released .. Matt Stairs ?? and now calling up people from Toledo just cuz they bat Left .. are you kidding me ? In the end, lots of player are going to hit better than LH’s .. Maggs, Guillen(Left or right) Polly, etc .. Granderson is a good hitter who bats LH, although he needs to improve against LH pitching ..

I know we are not hitting right handers that well, but we need an approach, not sub-par LH bats or LH bats that are not ready..

We want our best players out there everyday, so this is what the regular lineup should look like IMO.. and Larish is not an everyday starter right now.

Granderson (Everyday)
Polly (Everyday)
Guillen (Everyday) DH/3rd/1st
Maggs (Everyday) Right/DH
Thames (Everyday) Left/DH
Cabby (Everyday) 1st/DH
Renteria (Everyday) SS
Pudge (Everyday) C
Inge (Everyday) 3rd/Catcher/Center

Now these 9 should get the max AB’s and they will pull it off .. rest players every now and then.. pudge more often and use Larish on days that you have to rest 2 or more regulars .. don’t rest Inge so Larish gets AB’s

Defensive switches that JL employs are good .. so that would take care of giving bench players some action. But they will only get a chance at the end of games when/if we have a close game .. and we need CG,Inge and Thames to start games to score and defend and keep games close..

But bottom line is, this club needs to get it going .. I hope i see the players communicating with each other more in the dugout, and during games.. Play like they want to and enjoy it. Not act like they are now…

“It’s starting to appear that Leyland is losing it altogether. I never thought I’d say this, but perhaps it’s time to think of letting him go. Somebody tell me I’m wrong. Please.”
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Okay, I will. We’re just now entering June. Despite how bad we are right now, we’re only 6 games out of the division lead and not one team in the division looks like it’s going to run away with it. Leyland’s not the one underachieving at the plate or on the mound. He also isn’t the one hobbling around with injuries like half the team has through the course of the season. He’s the one making changes, trying to make something work with this team. He isn’t panicking because he knows Detroit will turn it around eventually. By the way, he got us to a World Series two years ago, so I think it’s a bit jumpy to start pointing the finger at him. Who would you rather have leading this caliber of a team?
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I do not agree at all with any notion that Leyland’s job should be questioned. 24-32 is nothing to panic about. I don’t care what history says. I distinctly remember the Twins being 10 games out in Aug. 2006 and still winning the division. And that year’s Tigers team was better than every team I see in the division this year. Miguel’s not going to end 2008 with a .271 average. Rogers, Verlander and Robertson are not going to finish with 5+ ERAs.
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Stop paying attention to our record and worry about games behind in the division. If there’s anything to worry about with Leyland, it’s his health. He has to have gone through 128247324 packs of cigarettes since April.

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