Leyland on Verlander

In the aftermath of last night’s season-opening bouncing of Justin Verlander, manager Jim Leyland was ready to make some points on his young ace. One of the first points is that he shouldn’t feel like he has to be the ace.

“The biggest thing with Justin Verlander, in my opinion, I think he’s got to eliminate putting too much pressure on himself to be the horse of the staff,” Leyland said. “He puts a lot of pressure on himself that he doesn’t have to put on himself. …

“It sounds cold, and maybe it is, but No. 1 guys aren’t designated. They’re No. 1 guys becuase they pitch real good. I think Justin Verlander has every capability to do that.”

Leyland insists he isn’t worried about Monday’s outing. He likes the adjustments he made in Spring Training. He just needs to stick with them. But he made another point about the way Verlander gears up with his fastball at times.

“With the way he pitches and the assortment he’s got,” Leyland said, “he doesn’t have to pitch max effort in my opinion.”

In other words, he can be more effective at 93-94 mph than at 96-98. Considering all that was made about Verlander and a velocity drop last season, that’s an unexpected point for him to make. We’ll see where that leads.

Lineups, anyone?

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, LF
  6. Laird, C
  7. Thames, DH
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Everett, SS

SP: Jackson

BLUE JAYS

  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Alex Rios, RF
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Adam Lind, DH
  6. Scott Rolen, 3B
  7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  8. Rod Barajas, C
  9. Travis Snider, LF

SP: David Purcey

34 Comments

Anderson 4 for 7 against this pitcher.. would rather see him in there tonight than last.
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hopefully jackson can be solid tonight in his first start and they can get the bats going against this guy.

It’s already a better night- no scoring for us yet, but at least their pitcher has thrown alot more pitches than Jackson.
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Leyland’s comments about Justin are what I’ve been saying all off-season. Everyone calls Verlander our Ace- local media, national media, and it just seems like it’s a given, and he gets a pass for a horrible 2008 season. I say make him the No.2 guy and let him pitch.

-Tracey

was the rotation ever announced?
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is it verlander, jackson, miner, porcello, and galarraga on friday?
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Yes- exactly. The G-Man gets the home opening day start.
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Love the manufactured run by Inge, Everett and Curtis. Don’t want to get over-zealous- but it IS the first lead of the season!

-Tracey

Jackson looks awesome. We just need to give him a few more runs. I feel like I’m talking to myself. :)

-Tracey

Jackson looks awesome. We just need to give him a few more runs. I feel like I’m talking to myself. :)

-Tracey

crowd is dead in toronto… bring back the beer!
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bats are as lifeless as the crowd.

i hope verlander is taking notes tonight..
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complete game shutout?…
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Pitch count is manageable enough to do it.. i’ll be irate if Leyland puts Rodney in to throw the 9th with a 3-0 lead and Jackson at 90 pitches..

The ball-strike ratios have been outstanding for Jackson all night. If Jays hitters are getting cheated, it’s not for lack of pitches. Just as impressive, he’s tuning up his velocity at select times, such as the fifth inning, much like Leyland would like to see from Verlander.

The ball-strike ratios have been outstanding for Jackson all night. If Jays hitters are getting cheated, it’s not for lack of pitches. Just as impressive, he’s tuning up his velocity at select times, such as the fifth inning, much like Leyland would like to see from Verlander.

Gotta say this before I forget. Jackson pitched a great game and I wish he could have had the support he needed from Laird (missed the sac bunt) and Inge, (struck out with man on third). Yuk.
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Ordonez is gonna drive me nuts with his lack of speed–seems wrong to be that sluggish when you don’t weigh 250 pounds. He downright should have scored on Cab’s 2 out double to the deep part of the field. Cost us a run and the Blue Jays are not out of it just 3 runs down.—oops, now 2 runs down.

The ball-strike ratios have been outstanding for Jackson all night. If Jays hitters are getting cheated, it’s not for lack of pitches. Just as impressive, he’s tuning up his velocity at select times, such as the fifth inning, much like Leyland would like to see from Verlander.

Tough break for EJ on Inge’s error. Kinda though Cab might have bailed Inge out on that one though.
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Good move by JL taking him out and preserving his outing. Up to Seay to come through.
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Inge (and I have said this a number of times) is not at his best when he has time to THINK about what he is doing. When it is all reaction he excels, but when he has to think about what is going to happen or what just did happen, on a play he has problems.

Yiakes–what is going on with the hi-falootin’ left side of the infiled so far?

This was what I was afraid of. You GIVE away a game after the max effort and dominance that we saw from a starter..
Shame–on the left side of the infield and on Lyon.

it just wouldn’t be spring without our first blown save of the year!

Not a good game for Inge. This one hurts real bad. Demoralizing–top of 9 now but you can FEEL this one is over. And I thought Todd Jones retired.

typical jl if you ask me. jackson pitchin a great game gets in a little jam instead of letting jackson try to pitch out of it he uses our bullpen which may cost us the game

and pulling our good bullpen pitchers after 1 batter and putting in our garbage.
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he did the same thing with robertson last night.. he’s stretched out, throws 9 pitches to lefthanders and he pulls him, and puts rincon in and bye bye any chances we had.. though rincon was solid in spring.

go get perry

Gonna be a long season with this fellow as our closer or set-up man. This is what happens when you go ‘cheap” when ypu play the free agent market. If you don’t play for the big boys then stay out altogether.

Same old story, bullpen cant do crap. The more things change the more they stay the same. A lot like last year huh?? How many more ways can I say it.

How come a left-handed starter and a right-handed reliever can pitch to anyone, but in Leyland’s mind, our left-handed relievers can only pitch to left-handers? Sick.

-Tracey

Like I say—demoralizing. 2 games into the season and the WHOLE damn team now feels pressure to win the next one. They had this game and though it is extremely easy to engage indulge in hindsight, what the heck is lyon coming in for in the 8th? Let Seay finish the 8th off, and bring him in the 9th or (as previously announced) bring in Rodney.
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JL outsmarts himself far too much for an American league manager.
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I don’t care if Inge has 2 HRs or if he came back in the 9th and tied it up—he blew that game with that throw. He panicked and when he had the time to think about what he had just done he could not then do the NEXT best thing, which was to make a solid throw.
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I must be getting very old and very cantankerous, because that game has me really ticked off.

not a good outlook for tomorrow.. our 5th starter against their number 2.
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maybe if they go 0-4, opening day ticket prices on stubhub will drop and i can pick some up.

The Tiger website says “Tigers suffer walk-off loss in 9th inning”. No, we didn’t suffer. We got killed. Lyon is going to kill us. He can’t pitch. He is not a closer. He was awful in Spring Training and hasn’t changed. We can’t win with this guy being our closer.

Tracey, your comment was very wise in it’s simplicity. Sometimes a manager should just use his more reliable pitchers. Anyway……………..
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We got an outstanding effort from our new starter, received every break we could possibly receive, and still managed to lose the game. I’m not sure we’re talking about the Inge play or the Everett play if Lyon is able to keep the d__n ball in the ballpark. When did he turn into a launching pad? When he came to the superior AL? What is it, six homers in his last three innings? Can’t use him if this is what he is. I hope this doesn’t become another Jason Grilli situation. The bullpen looks very very weak, now that the season has started.
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Our guys like Nate and Zach, if he’s returned to the bullpen, have to contribute out of the pen. These are experienced pitchers who could get us some big outs if Leyland allows them to stay in the game long enough to do so. Nate especially is in a position to really help this team. I’m afraid he’ll just become another “lefty specialist” down there. These managers drive me nuts the way they all use the same book. They all do it. No original thinking.
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Nice work on the first run with the double, sac bunt, and sac fly. My wife and I actually applauded for that one. In the 10th, I think it was, Granderson had a base stolen but Polanco fouled off the pitch. Shouldn’t he take the pitch in that situation, or are we really not making a steal attempt there? I like getting the runners in motion, but I also like to see some real steal attempts. I’m not sure Leyland is up to this. I do agree with him lifting Jackson when he did and Trevor Thompson (who is STILL here) shouldn’t even have mentioned it.
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And I’m already tired of the “April in the D” song. It’s well written and well played, although I don’t care for that singing style the guy copied, but it’s already been overplayed. How long till May?
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–Rich

Good pitching shuts down good hitting… & Edwin ? Man! He pitched a marvelous game! I am sure he isn’t the only starter to see the game blown after he sits down.

The Tigers (DD among others),are excited to see what they paid $4.25 million for, purposely for the closer spot. Time will tell who rises to the top, and who is going to lock down the closer spot. Rincon has looked great in spring, and yesterday wasn’t his day… Lyon has given up bombs in spring training, and a few days later, he has made no drastic change in his pitching!… They can always bring up some young guys if this doesn’t work with Lyon. We had to suffer and watch, D Willis & my fav – Rentaria fail , amidst all the hoopla!

Leyland mentioned that they didn’t get enough runs in his closing statement.. well, top of the ninth, Thames, strikes out, it looked pretty much lost hope , till Brandon made up for the error, and tied the game. Lots of things happen in baseball..,thats why I love it so much. You can’t always bet on the obvious!

Best part of tonights game, I loooved seeing, was the silly and rusty play by the Boo Jays, trying to walk Inge, and then throwing the ball into the outfield on wild throws.. . You can bet they’ll be discussing that play in the locker room!.. ha ha ha…2009 is young.
Two down, 160 to go….

Here we go again. Runners stranded. Defense poor. And then Farnsworth gives up the 3-run homer. Oh, wait. That was for KC. Our new improved guy is Lyon. He wouldn’t do that too, would he? Where oh where is the new bullpen that did so well in spring training? (groan)

This is the pits.. I had a comment ready to submit, and its gone.. after clicking on submit. Arggghh!

The seaon is young.. the bullpen has to prove themselves too.. Lyon had better get his act together.. they have shipped off more expensive players, there is no room to go in and blow a third of an inning like that. It happens, but not a good beginning for the new “closer” with the GM watching the game.

It appears that after we hit the submit button, our posts don’t seem to go through then the server times out. Looks to me like our posts actually do go through when this happens. This is also why we’re getting those double posts.
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No excuse for this MLBlog performance, but this is my guess as to what’s happening. I’ve also been copying my post to the clipboard before submitting, in case I do have to re-send it.
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–Rich

I’ve lost a post here tonight too. Probably a good thing–it wasn’t a nice one.
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Not impressed with JL for not sticking with Seay. He should have let Seay finish the inning and see what he has to offer in that situation.
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The pre-game plan for yesterday was Rodney as closer. Then it was Lyon today. JL seems out manages himself and in the American League that’s somewhat hard to do.
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My beef (besides Inge for panicking and then not doing the NEXT best thing which to make a firm solid throw–that’s my point again about having too much time to think) is JL emphasizing good and smart base-running and then we see Ordonez running at octogenarian speed on a 2-out double to the deepest part of the ball park. When that ball went off the wall I cringed as I knew the Tigers would find a way to blow this game without that being a 2-run HR.
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Yes I am going to be on Ordonez’ case again this year. he has to learn how to appreciate the whole game of baseball and not just think it is all about hacking at first pitch fastballs. That was a big run that did not happen because someone is not willing to be an all-around ballplayer. And even worse- he didn’t even THINK of scoring on that play.
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Everett thus far has come up short thus far, though it is quite obvious he is a gifted fielder..
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It won’t be long before Ryan Perry is closing for this team. Lyon will likely end up being Aqulino Lopez (hopefully).
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How is this team going to respond to adversity tomorrow? you know Miner isn’t going to throw a gem like we had today.

Just thinking………..when Ordonez got on in the 8th inning, wouldn’t that have been a good time for JL to use some of that flexibility he talks about? He could have pinch run Anderson who then could have gone into RF for defense. You can bet Anderson would have scored on that double. In fact, I think they’ll need a faster runner than Ordonez in front of Cabrera. It looks to me like Maggs is much much slower than he was last year.
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I’d prefer to see us using our more dependable pitchers regardless of matchup. Tonight, Seay should have stayed in there. Lyon shouldn’t be pitching in any tight spots till he proves he can do the job, something he hasn’t done yet since arriving. I’d rather challenge Nate with some important situations. I’d like to see veteran Rincon with the game on the line. We’ve just had the longest spring training in history so why are we still experimenting with all this?
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I’ll tell you one thing I know for sure. JL could have had Mariano Rivera out there and he wouldn’t have brought him in for the 9th because it wasn’t a save situation. I know this because there’s not a manager in baseball who would, and Joe Torre proved it. You could throw all 30 managerial minds into one pot and not find one original idea. You could fire Leyland and his replacement would do the same old tired stuff.
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–Rich

Rodney is the closer, not Lyon. But with a tie game on the road, Leyland decided to hold the closer unless and until they took a lead into the bottom of ninth or extra innings.
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Rincon wasn’t available after throwing all those pitches Monday.

Right Jason, the tie game on the road thing is exactly what I was referring to when complaining about all manager’s “rules” on how to use a closer. I’ve seen games lost while the skipper never even used his best pitcher at any time. They will, at times, use a closer if the game stretches long into extra innings. My point was that all managers, not just JL, need to think outside the box a little more.
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With Rincon, I was making another general comment. I wouldn’t have used him on Monday in that kind of game.
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–Rich

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