Willis tonight at Lakeland

He gave up three earned runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 37 of his 73 pitches for strikes. Here’s the story on the site.

Our MLB.com reporter covering the game, Brittany Ghiroli, was told by someone in the Lakeland Flying Tigers front office that no one would be available for postgame comment and was initially kept out of the clubhouse. Willis eventually talked on his own against those orders, not that anyone in the minors should be trying to tell him what to do in the first place.

23 Comments

geez, that’s terrible.. pathetic even… what has he been doing the past 2 weeks?

Following orders and keeping a low profile. That is his THIRD appearance since he was sent down. The Willis trae was an embarassment and they are trying their damndest to hide it.

We have a 1 run game now in the 8th but it doesn’t ‘feel’ good. Dolsi in and if we can get away with that then maybe we have a chance at plating 1 but it does not seem in the cards.

Let’s return the favor and steal one here.

Leadoff double and then zilch. You would expect more from Cab but Sheffield continues to not hit when it counts and Marcus is in the bad phase of his bi-polar batting disorder. I didn’t expect anythng from Marcus but Sheffield has to produce in my books in order to keep his job. HRs that don’t matter don’t cut it in my book.

Can’t see much happening in the 9th with the bottom of the order coming up. Unless Joyce or Granderson can run into one.

and, BAM !!!!! There they go….falling like a big rock.

A head or 2 or 3, needs to roll… starting with JL!!!

Sorry Dan, I have to disagree with you regarding the usefulness of Sheffields homers vs. others. I am having a little trouble with the MLB/Tigers website, because I wanted to really see if most of Sheffs were solo vs with men on. Well I was able to get through a few before the website went wacky on me.
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Magglio 7 of his 14 homers are solo shots
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Sheffield 4 of his 8 homers are solo shot
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Cabrera 7 of 17 homers are solo shot
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Thames 8 of 19 are solo shots.
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Anyway my point is that no run in this nights game was insignificant. SHeff scored the 1st run of the game and if that were the only run all game would it have been insiginificant??? I guess I just don’t think that in a one run game any run is useless.
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What I do think is useless is a pitcher who gives up 7 runs in 5 innings. No matter what it was going to be hard to come back after that.
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Very disappointing.

Well…………..what can you say? You’d think Verlander and six runs is enough to win, but JV has to be off on this particular evening. That pretty much sums this one up.
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Seay got some innings to keep us in the game but, and it’s a big one, allowed both inherited runners to score and that’s was the difference, score-wise. Not good enough.
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We usually play just well enough to lose close games to these guys. Entertaining affairs, but losing ones most of the time. Even last season when Chicago was real bad, we managed to lose 11 of 18 games to them. This is a division opponent we’re usually chasing, so that doesn’t bode well for much postseason activity as long as this trend continues. I see nothing to demonstrate that it won’t. JL has downplayed the series because “there’s a lot of baseball left” but a lot of baseball doesn’t change the fact that we can’t beat the teams in front of us. Since the sweep of the Sox (how’d we do that?) in June plus the usual run through interleague got us back in the race, we’ve played 6 games with the teams ahead of us, losing 5. That’s not exactly something to make one optimistic.
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I think that a homer to put your team ahead 1-0 is never meaningless, but I wholeheartedly agree with you, Dan, about Sheffield. He’s not really helping. The problem there is, we need him to help. Since that’s not happening, may as well try someone else. It’s striking that the most famous of our “bad” hitters, Brandon Inge, has comparable numbers, not to mention the defense he brings anywhere he plays.
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Leyland’s mantra of playing meaningful games in September as a goal is exactly what we’re going to get; a week or two of meaningful games in September. His other mantra of “not too high, not too low” is also producing results. The results of that are this: since August of 2006, with 315 games (that’s nearly two seasons), we’ve won 159 and lost 156. Not too high, not too low. Why did anyone think this would be a postseason team?
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Back at ‘em tomorrow. Win or lose, the word is that there’s a lot of baseball left.
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–Rich

Amongst the many problems this team has, is the glaring absence of someone dependable to pull off the bench to get a hit in key situations like the eighth inning. You see, we let that person go, and he got picked up by the World Champions!!! Secondly, I really am surprised we are only 7.5 games out at this point since our only dependable starters are a 40 something year old and a guy who wasn’t even on our opening day roster. Be glad Konerko is having an off year or we might be 16 games out.

–Ed–

Wait a minute, I’m not done yet.
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Leyland doesn’t believe in momentum? I got news for you, pal, there IS such a thing as momentum in ALL sports. Now either you’re a fool or you’re blowing off what are perfectly good questions from the media, and BSing all of us who are dumb enough to listen to you. You inherited an up and coming team from Trammell, received the gift of Rogers, Zumaya, and Verlander, and have still managed to run it into the ground. I’m not impressed with all this old school no nonsense garbage just because you clattered around the dugout in cleats for awhile.
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I’ll probably be sorry I said all that in the morning, but for now, I’m hitting the “submit” button.
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–Rich

Oh well…… why don’t we make it a “fun” year, WITHOUT the team….., JL, and all those cronies…

When Willis comes back(and I hope he doesn’t, cause he’s just a baaaaaaad pitcher), we ought to get into a pool that guesses what his ERA will be? or maybe the number of innings he ends up pitching?

Let’s all throw in $20.00 each, winner take all at the end of the year!!!!! I’m VERY serious. But, don’t have to stop with Willis.

Maybe, let’s all wager how many wins Jairs will have this year?? Or, here’s a good one, how many double plays Ivan will hit into???

Hey Jason, would it be safe to give you the $$ and let you pay out end of year. Could have mulitple catagories!?

yeah those are kinda the absurd comments that the detroit free press entertain.

Bravo Rich. You said it and said it well. And it needed to be said.
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I don’t know how JL has orchestrated the media and the fans into thinking that they are being unfair to his team. He almost implies that it is their fault!
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A word about Sheffield and the “meaningless” HRs. I guess I could have been more definitive as to a particular HR or in general.
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The HR he hit to get us a run today was not meaningless. It was hit at a time where the game was not on the line though. The 3 run bomb he hit against KC in the 19-4 drubbing was meaningless. He hit it when they were up 12-0.
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My overall point about his contributions are that they are small and that they come at non-critical times of the game. How many are walk-offfs? Game-winners? Lead changers? Back Breakers? Clutch? He does not generate the big hit in the big situations. When you need him to come through with men on, you better hope there isn’t a man on first becasue there is a fair to middlin’ chance it is gonna be a DP to short or 3rd.
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The misguided loyalty shown to Sheffield has hindered the development of younger players who will be the lifeblood of this team eventually. It has, now this is my opinion only, been as demotivational as any other single issue on the team.
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I hope he hits 500 and I hope he hits it for womeone else—becasue that may mean we have settled on a new protocol for our DH and perhaps maybe even gotten a player in return.
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I hope the front office has come to realize the importance of youth, speed, energy and enthusiasm. We haven’t had enough this year but we have seen it create success elsewhere.
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The number of games tell us the season is not over. The number of times the Tgers have stumbled miserably after an impressive run, tells me that we cannot safely feel that this team can find a dominance that can resist collapse.
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I am looking forward to a young exciting shortstop, a game breaking athletic catcher, a slick corner outfielder and a solid all around third baseman to crack our lineup as soon as next year if we can be that fortunate. I think many of our vets will be gone. That may include the head vet himself.
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I can’t rail on JV for his performance. The guy tries and he didn’t have it tonight. This was the first time in June & July that he has given up 4 runs in a game. That’s his last 9 starts before this one.
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Seay pitched OK after he threw more fuel on the fire when he came in to pitch to the guy he is supposed to get out…..the LHB Thome. I don’t want to know his effort but if he comes in and shuts things down, it’s a different game.

And why would JL not PH Joyce for Renteria in the 9th? If he was hoping for a HR it stands to reason that Joyce would have a better chance at that outcome than ER. Maybe he was worried that he would have to play another shortstop out there if they tied the game!

Might not be a bad time to check out the young lefty Oslund.Seay pitched a solid 3 innings,but could`nt prevent the inherited runners from scoring.He could`nt get the lefty Thome out.Fossum would have had about the same odds as Seay.Neither one is overpowering.Both are contact pitchers that have pitched well in non pressure situations,but both have great difficulty getting the leftys out in crunch time.It certainly would be advantageous to have one that can shut down a tough lefty hitter with men on base…..But last night I dont know. 5 th inning is kind of early to bring such a one in.Being down as far as we were,maybe to stop the bleeding,but I think JV got out of sync early enough in the game to make it hard to call on who to throw in there.However,when you see recurring trends,it might be wise to take notice and do something to alleviate those contingencies.We need a power lefty to handle good lefty hitters with men on base….Edgar seems to be making better contact on the ball and he is running better too.Seay and Dolsi threw 5 scoreless innings,but again, the ol inherited runner dilemma.

Rich,Cant blame you for venting.Let it all out.Could`nt agree more with you about the momentum deal…..But, I would contend with you about JL being old school.He is no where near old school.I dont know what school he is,but I assure you,it is not old school.And, I think that JL would be the first to tell you 159-156 aint all that bad.After all it is a higher winning percentage than he has made in his entire major league coaching career.He is doing better than his average has been.What more can we expect from a lifetime sub .500 manager.And he has been instrumental in extending the careers of some of the elderly.Face it Rich, He cares about old ball players, I`ll give him that…..If Zach does`nt do well today we are in big trouble.We may have a lot of ball left,but 8.5 would be a huge margin to overcome……Don`t want to get into a rumor mill debate,but word is that Tampa is interested in Shef. I have relatives in Fla. that root(heathens) for Rays and his name has been floated down there as a potential hitter that could help them down the stretch….If we lose today I`m betting DD goes on a selling spree,regarless of this weeks earlier news releases to the contrary,One thing I`ve learned from JL and Tiger Management is take anything they say with a grain of salt. They could compete with Obama and McCain for the propaganda championships.But,I`m not giving up on the boys just yet.I wanted to see Minor starting now for a long time.Today should tell me more about his chances of being a full time starter.Lets see if he can keep his head in the game and his team in the race now that the going is tough.He`s had a couple years to straighten himself out.Its time to perform.I`m pulling for him.

All I can say iw WOW, to the games and all the comments. I had so many things going on I was only able to watch parts of both games. In 2006, we had a system that worked. For example, Robertson goes 6, Zoom in the 7th, Rodney in the 8th, and Jones in the 9th. JL is just not consistent. On Saturday, Maggs leads off with a double and MC does not get him to 3rd. I’m sorry but I would have my batter, whoever that would be, bunt. We need 1 run to tie and we have the home field. Dan, did you see polite baseball? Rich, momentum and chemistry? Absolutely! Greg, enjoy your comments. Remember, players have up and down years, but I think Leyland does not get it. I want him to show some emotion, I want to see Cabrera break a bat over his knee, and I want JL to decline all post game interviews and just have a blank stare and say “no comment” I have rambled enough for today! Go Tigers! –Dave

Noteworthy in last night’s game is the fact that Ozzie used 5 pitchers in a winning effort and JL used 3 pitchers in a losing one. This points to what I think is one of the big reasons we continually lose to Chicago. That is, Ozzie manages them like they are the big games they are, while JL is always looking to tomorrow’s game. You can probably say the same about the Twins. JL won’t start using pitchers on back to back days until September, when it’s often too late.
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In short, Ozzie sees them as important games. JL downplays the importance. That didn’t work on Verlander who knew darned well it was a big game but, with the way the Tigers just float along, not too high, not too low, he couldn’t handle it. Got too excited.
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Two responses to posters here. Dave, the Zumaya in the 7th and Rodney in the 8th business is a creation of the national media. More often, JL alternated them with each throwing two innings. And that is just fine with me if he wants to do it now, if we had an effective closer. Bruce, that was exactly my point about the old school business. This too is a media creation.
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–Rich

I am pretty neutral when it comes to placing a lot of blame on Sheffield. Seems like a lot of Tiger bloggers are pointing their finger at him for the failure of this team. Truth be told, the White Sox have a guy with pretty similar numbers. His name is Konerko. I admit, what Gary’s doing isn’t very Sheffield-like. As you can see, however, the Sox aren’t letting Konerko’s year drag them down. The answer is pretty simple folks and it’s something that has been alluded to by Rich, before. PITCHING. The Sox have 3 starters with ERAs under 4. They keep their team in ballgames. They have over 170 more Ks than Tiger pitchers and over a 100 less walks. They get good middle help from Thornton and Linebrink and Dotel and Jenks finish up. I believe in the old adage that good pitching will stop good hitting. Until we can get a staff that can shut down other teams, we will continue to flounder around .500. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching!!!

–Ed–

Tigers Brass proved one of either 2 things in the off-season: They either thought they had enough pitching(LOL!!!) or it’s not something they put a high enough value on?? (what IQ does it take to pull the string on that Renteria trade???).

Based upon a 06 WS showing/ and a joke of an 07 year, I’d lean toward the latter….. which makes be bring up my early comment; “Heads must roll,” and hopefully now rather than later….

Ed,No question about it.We have had too many problems with our staff.But,one of the reasons Sox pitching is so good is because of the defensive fielders that Chi continues to run out there on a daily basis.How many hits did Chicago take away from us in the last 2 games up the middle alone.Without the defense that Chicago has you can add at least1/2 a run per game to the team ERA,most likely more than that. The Tigers have a terrible defense.We could take some of the defensive pressure off our guys by DH ing Maggs,Carlos,Cab,Joyce to suit certain situations,artificial turf,sinkerball pitchers,left handed pitchers,old worn out aging legs,hemmorroids,hamstring injuries and countless other maladies that occur throughout the year.Problem is;We have a Hall of Famer who is hurt,and/or slumping filling up the DH slot that is producing very little in comparison to even the good fielders that are part time or role players.This club went in the opposite direction of stressing good pitching when they went out and got sluggers that could`nt field or run bases well.It doesnt matter how well you hit when you are trying to throw some one out at the plate from left.No amount of home runs is going to get you that grounder up the middle,come in on that bunt and get the lead runner at second,or chase a foul pop50 feet down the first or third base line.There is no such thing as good pitching with horrible fielders since Koufax retired.

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