Tigers postmortem

Leyland on taking out Robertson: “Really didn’t want to take a chance with him. To me, that was a no-brainer. He hadn’t been out there for quite a few days, hadn’t really pitched much. I thought it was great for him to do what he did and walk away with a good feeling. We just didn’t hold it, that’s all.”

Eventually, that last part started building for Leyland, until he just went off on the pitch location on the eighth inning — specificially Seay’s leadoff walk and Rodney’s 0-2 pitch to Rajai Davis that ended up as the game-tying triple that set up the game-winning sac fly.

“This is simple,” Leyland said. “This has happened to us way too many times this year. We walked the guy to lead off the eighth inning, and walks will haunt, that old saying. We’ve been making the same mistakes all year long, 0-2, giving guys a fat pitch to hit, which we did to Davis, and he hit it. You can’t make these mistakes, and that’s why we’ve lost so many games from the seventh inning on. You just can’t make those mistakes. It’s that simple. Guys can talk about it all they want. You can be patient and all that type of stuff, but it can’t happen if you’re going to be successful up here.

He said he used Seay to keep Oakland’s left-handed bats on the bench, but then he got back to the pitching.

“It’s a perfect situation, in my opinion,” Leyland said, “and we walked the first guy. You can’t do that. If you want to stay up here and pitch and be successful, you can’t make these mistakes. [On] 0-2 all year long, we’ve gotten killed, night after night after night. I mean, eventually you get tired of watching it. 0-2, right there, fastball right down the middle of the plate. You can’t do that and win up here. You can’t win close games doing that in the big leagues. It just won’t happen. It’s that simple. And we’ve done it time after time after time after time. It’s not excusable. That means to me that you’re just throwing the ball. You’re just throwing the ball without any idea what you’re trying to do.

“Doing the job part-time is not acceptable up here. It’s just not good
enough. You can’t do the job part-time. You’ve got to do the job up
here most of the time.”

As for bringing in Rodney in the eighth, Leyland testily asked a reporter who he would’ve brought in. And that’s when he said that Kyle Farnsworth was not available. We talked with Farnsworth after that he said that he’s day-to-day with a sore groin. It surfaced when he was pitching Sunday at Minnesota and it was worse by Monday. The worry, on his part and the athletic trainers, is that he could try to pitch through it, compensate for it in his mechanics and end up hurting his arm.

“We’re trying to get rid of it,” Farnsworth said. “It’s just day-to-day right now.”

One thing that I think gets overlooked tonight was the speed of Davis on what would’ve been a game-tying double for maybe 97-99 percent of the league. He was flying out of the box and around second base, and ended up turning that into a triple — which, in turn, set up the go-ahead sac fly.

Still, it was the pitch that got to Leyland

“I’m not second-guessing the choice of the pitch. I’m second-guessing
the location. You have to make sure that you don’t throw a ball right
down the middle of the plate, 0-2, in that situation. You can’t do it.
You throw one up out of the strike zone or a changeup down out of the
strike zone. But the one thing you can’t do is throw the ball down the
middle of the plate.”

8 Comments

Leyland has himself to blame. Why are these guys throwing fat 0-2 pitches down the middle of the plate (as he says), over and over again, time after time? If he is the manager has he not :
A) addressed the problem and
B) corrected the problem?
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If he has a closer(s) who is(are) not listenting to him then, why does he keep handing them the ball?
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Leyland has to share the blame this season and in this game. The offense did not produce like it should have. Leyland still did not bunt in bunt situations, and he did not recognize the fact that it would be a better possible outcome to stay with Robertson when he was so in command. He did not recognaize that Seay has not been getting people out lately. Seay has now been scored upon in his last FIVE outings. Scored upon-not just aloowing inherited runners to score, but givivng up runs himself! That’s not a good sign and one that should be easily read by JL and his staff.
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The managing has been as equally poor as player performance this year.
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My mantra:
new nanager
new shortstop
new catcher
closer
starter

We still need to find solutions for those problems.

Dan,
I would have to agree with you. Leyland says we keep making the same pitching mistakes over and over again, why does he keep using the same pitchers, that make those same mistakes, over and over againg in those situations. Sometimes it seems Leyland deliberately trying to lose games. So many times he takes out a pitcher that is doing well and puts in one of his favorites, which all seem to have control issues.

I was very pleased for Nate last night and too bad it ended up like it did. I agree – the managers don’t throw the ball but they should be getting through to the pitchers on what should be happening in that position and if they can’t perform, don’t let them try.

Rich I don’t think that am being to hard on Curtis right now, he may have hit two okay, but he has grounded out softly to first or second in the last two games I think about 5 times struck out 3 or 4. He isn’t seeing the ball and has been killing rallies.
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Secondly regarding that play where Inge didn’t go home it was pretty clear to me that that ball wasn’t going to get caught. I guarentee you most other team would of scored on that.
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I was curious when you guys are saying that we should of bunted, I can only assume that you wanted Magglio to bunt instead of hitting into the double play. Does, a guy like Magglio bunt?? Or is there another situtation in last nights games that you are talking about.
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Regarding Rodney and Seay, believe me I wasn’t thrilled however who is he supposed to bring in??? He is bringing the best of what he has in?? And that is DD. This is our best. And Farnsworth has been doing well as of late (even if he was feeling okay) is just as likely to give up a bomb. Does anyone remember his first few weeks here. Then we would be complaining about how he should of brought in someone else. I guess what it comes down to is that there is nobody in the pen that can be completely relied upon, which is JL’s point. But he has to work with what he is given. He cannot snap his finger and have Zeigler appear for our team, or Pappelbon (by the way he blew a save yesterday himself). Anyway you get my point.
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Last night the only one that showed up completely was Nate, the others well??? They didn’t hit or pitch. It kinda reminded me of a Nate outing of old. He pitches great and eithe cannot rely upon run support or a good pen outing to hold the game. In this case it was both.

There were many opportunities to bunt. Some of them resulted in hits anyway but most not. However the opportnity for a sac bunt presented itself and JL shows no hurry to bunt in any situations.
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– 2nd inn BOTH Renteria and Inge were up with 1st & 2nd and nobody out
-5th inn Ryan with a man on 1st nobody out
-5th again, Granderson 1st & 2nd nobody out (This one was real dumb-as CG is struggling and this could have set the table for the middle of the order-also puts pressure on the D because of CG’s speed. DUMB
– 5th again. Arguably you could have bunted with Polanco after curtis POPPED OUT!
– 9th inn Curtis was up (and remember he’s not finding holes) with 1st & 2nd and 1 out. A bunt here puts pressure on the D. You might even beat it out or get a wild throw.
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So there were a number of times that JL could have elected to try SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
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As to bringing in Seay–as I said before (I didn’t know Farnsworth was ailing)-either Farnsworth or Glover.
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Seay has to strike the first guy out to get pumped up. He does not trust his stuff unless he gets off to a good start. Compound this with the fact that he had been scored upon every time in his last 4 outings.

Maybe he knows that these guys cannot bunt? I agree with you in a couple of situations. Inge in the second, but not with Renterian in the second, that would of been a squeeze bunt with Cabrera on third to me that is not an option.
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In the fifth it probably would of been a good idea to bunt with Granderson. Granderson has been pitiful the last few games. But by the time Polanco came in there were already one out and that would of made two and I don’t ever agree with bunting when that would of made the second out. Which is the same situation that would of come up in the 9th (that would of made two outs) What I could not figure out in the 9th is why after Curtis got on with the force at second why didn’t he get his butt over to second. I don’t think that they ever would of tried to throw him out?? At least you have the winning run in scoring position instead of on 1st.
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I believe in theory we agree, that there are always different things that can be done. But I wonder if we sitting at home or in the stands always know about certian things. (Like maybe Ryan cannot bunt, he is a big guy and sometimes I just don’t think they can bunt well.) Or that Kyle Farnsworth has a groin problem. Or whatever it may be. It is easy to sit here an second guess after the fact. Lord knows I do enough of it here??!!! I wish that Curtis and Sheffield would steal more. I wish that sometimes they would bunt. I do think that JL is more fond of the hit and run though. I wish that Magglio wouldn’t ground into so many freaking double plays. I wish this team new how to hit a stinking sac fly. I wish that we had a different pitching coach.
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But I do know this everything that JL did in 2006 worked in 2008 it all seems to backfire. Like when Brandon lined out on that terrific play or when Magglio grounded into that double play, I alway say in 2006 that ball gets through and in 2008 it is a double play. It all just seems to go wrong this year.

So Farnsworth was hurt. That’s exactly why I asked, since nothing else made sense. If that was the case, I now think Nate should have gone back out for an inning.
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Last night in Boston, after a “good” closer Papelbon blew the save, the Red Sox had the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury on first with none out, trailing by a run. Francona had Varitek attempt a bunt twice, which failed. After that, Ellsbury stole second. I’m not making any particular point here, just pointing out a similar situation and how it was handled by another manager. And this was in a hugely important game.
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As I recall my thoughts during the game last night, the only time I thought bunt was Granderson in the 5th. We’re not a bunting team and if we want to be, we’d have to get different players. There aren’t many, if any, that you can count on to consistently lay down a good one. In fact, Santiago is the only one.
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As far as throwing 0-2 pitches right down the middle, that’s a team problem, not an individual one. So JL, you need to address it as such. How, I don’t know, I’m not down there. But this is why you get paid to do this. Perhaps your coaches aren’t giving you the straight skinny on the pitching staff. Maybe the pitchers are confused with the complaints over running 0-2 counts to 3-2. Maybe all of our pitchers are just bad. All of them?
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–Rich

If JL is so taken with trying out so many young position players (which has resulted in what seems to be the most haphazard job of managing I may have ever seen), why does he keep stickng with Rodney? At this point I say let Inge pitch-he could be better than 7 for12 in save opportunities.

Instead, we get the typical Rodney-fail to locate, throw in a walk and a couple of hits, and the result is another game given away by Fernando.

Are we sure he’s on the Tiger’s payroll?

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