Tigers lead majors in wild pitches

Maybe it’s the struggles of Tigers pitchers to locate breaking balls, a trend that started in the cold, damp air of New York on opening day. Maybe it’s mixed signals crossing up Tigers pitchers and catchers. Maybe still, catchers are having trouble keeping pitches in the dirt in front of them.

Manager Jim Leyland doesn’t want to pinpoint a cause quite yet. But the Tigers’ wild pitch total, six of them through four games, is a little disconcerting. The latest, a Porcello slider in the dirt that got past catcher Alex Avila, brought in Baltimore’s first run Monday with two outs in the second inning. Without it, Porcello and Avila get through the inning unscathed upon Felix Pie’s fly out.

“I want to look at that before I comment on it,” manager Jim Leyland said.

Given the possible reasons, it’s understandable. Not only does Detroit’s total top the Majors, it doubles that of almost every other big league team entering Monday night. The only other club with more than three is Pittsburgh, with four. Thirteen teams entered Monday without any wild pitches.

20 Comments

Jason, It’s nice to have the new BLOG running so well. Now we have to get used to how to use HTML!!!!
Thank You.

I agree, Dan. Timestamps don’t seem to be wacko like they were in the past, and my RSS feed of the blog actually works this year!

Wild pitches were huge last year too if I am not mistaken. Unfortunately I called that one today, I just knew it. That one today I completely blame on Avila, that to me really looked like one he should of blocked.

Correct me if I am wrong, but at lease three runs wouldn’t have scored had there not been wild pitches?

If the Tigers don’t straighten up their act, they’re gonna get booed out of town just like Charlie Sheen. And, it’s not because it’s Detroit. People expect to see talent, not BS. We do know the difference.

I’m no expert on catching, but it did look like that WP today should have been collared. The potential problem is that if a catcher can’t sweep up the down breaking pitches, the pitchers become hesitant to throw them. Whatever the cause, this needs to be cleaned up pronto. We are giving far too much away with our defense.
Porcello was up most of the day, sharp at times, other times not. Unfortunately, those winds I spoke of came into play when Roberts’ sac fly was blown into the stands for the game-changing homer. That’s three windblown homers in the last two games.
I don’t think all these guys are getting separate cases of food poisoning. This is more than likely a bug and it’s probably good to have tomorrow off. In the meantime, practice those universal precautions, boys! This sucker is passed by direct contact.

I found this quote from JL regarding Santiago interesting:
“If he was a burner, if he could fly, he’d be a regular,” (Leyland) said. “If he could run like [Brian] Roberts over here, he’d be a regular.”
And here I thought it was because Ramon wears down. We’ve only been told that for six years. Now it’s because he’s not fast enough? It’s pilin’ up deep, folks.

Got to be a real confidence booster for Santiago. There you go Ramon. You just gotta work a little bit on your speed.

Two highlight catches by Raburn so far.

Santiago’s playing time isn’t the issue, it is the starters giving up too many runs. I actually agree with Leyland on Santiago, he is a solid middle infielder. I also think he would wear down if he plaed 120+ games.
The bigger question: is Alex Avilla ready to be a full time starter at catcher. He doesn’t look confident this year.

The wild pitch issue can be summarized by Alex Avila so far. He has not looked good behind the plate. It is early and he deserves a chance but I don’t think it will be long before he gets the hook. With Martinez behind the plate the Tiger’s offense can better utilize both Rayburn and Boesch in the lineup. I think Avila will improve, and I hope it is quickly. Go Tigers!!!!

“I want to look at that before I comment on it,” manager Jim Leyland said.
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This comment is ridiculous. What is there to look at? AA is not smothering the ball. His technique is not good. If you watch on alot of other pitches with men on, he has backhanded alot of pitches low and in the dirt and luckily came up with them. The scary thing is that the 6 could be higher. And this comment from JL is typical. No answer for the fans because we are not bright enough to understand. Right up there with: there is no such thing as chemistry; and my number one starter is the starter today. And then the comment about Ramon … give me a break.
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I wonder if we are leading the league in another stat …. giving up 3 run homers. I bet Earl Weaver wishes he could come back and manager against the Tigers right now. 4 in 4 games.
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At least we didnt make an error yesterday. So that’s progress.
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So far, it is a very uninspiring start. Hopefully, after the off day they will get it going and come back home 3-3. Baltimore can’t keep winning, can they?
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

A DH and a AA as catchers and you expected something else?
That why Laird was good even if he batted with a newspaper

Another thing is the excuses. The cold. The players are sick. The food was bad.
Excuses are suspicious and get old very quickly.
Bucky Showwalter’s record with a reportedly inferior roster to work with has been far bettr than Jim Leylands.
The Oriles had the guts to make a change last year. It looks good on them.
I have no earthly idea why Brad Penny was given the 2nd game. Not that I think Coke’s transition to the rotation will be a cakewalk but it seemed more than sensible to use his left arm at Yankee Stadium.
Leyland gets a bit bizarre when it comes to opening day assignments and who pitches where. I will never forgive him for his abuse of Kenny Rogers in the Series. That was downright plain dumb.
On the positive side, and there ain’t much right now, Villareal looks real. I would much rather see a guy with that sort of intensity than a guy like Penny who looks like a robot on the mound.
I wonder if JL will give Wells a kick at the can if Britton throws against us. Be a good way to DH Ordonez. Could even play “LeadFoot” Santiago at 2B to get an all RHB lineup.
Curiousity: I think all (that is A-L-L) outfielders for Toledo are LHB.

wow! ya’ll a bunch of whiners and yesterday’s-lunch chewers.. Maybe take this day off to go kick the dog or cry to your mommies about it……geesh.

Good ideas Evan. I will go kick your mom and cry to the dog about it.

I wish he’d drop Jackson lower in the lineup. He has struggled all spring and it seems to be continuing. But, that’s our skipper. Gets an idea into his head and can’t get it out even if the team gets crushed by his decisions.

I think a lot of blame with the pitching should be directed at the coaching staff. I just don’t think Rick Knapp is a MLB pitching coach. I heard Jim & Dan on Sunday talking about how great of a year Benoit had last year, and all I could think of was how Knapp is going to screw him up.
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And Knapp isn’t the only one. Lloyd McClendon isn’t cutting it either. Rod & Mario were talking the other day about how he worked all spring with Jhonny Peralta on changing his stance/swing. Peralta had a miserable spring at the plate. I don’t believe for a minute that it isn’t because of Lloyd’s work with him. Funny how both pitchers and hitters suddenly improve after they leave the Tigers organization.

What pitcher has gotten better after he left the Tigers in the last two years since Knapp has been the pitching coach. Most of the one that have left are not even in the majors. Jackson had a better year with the Tigers than he had last year.

From what I have seen in the last 2 years-I like Knapp. Much better than Hernandez.
I don’t care for McLendon. He has had opportunity to make guys better hitters and hasn’t. Laird, Everett, Inge, Larish, Clelen, Clete etc.
He has “mentored” an offense that has trouble moving runners, getting important runs in from 3rd with less than 2 out, cutting down on strikeouts, hitting with RISP.
IMO, he has benefitted frojm the Leyland Loyalty Legacy (the LLL). We’d have been better off with a realism that things that needed improvement haven’t and to correct that.
On another note: I predict Coke will end up in the bullpen, Thomas will be let go, and Andy Oliver will be in the rotation

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