Why Ruffin entered in tie game with traffic

Jim Leyland admittedly didn’t know much about Chance Ruffin when the Tigers made the decision Sunday to give him a shot at the big leagues. He knew enough to have a chance.

“I think this boils down to one simple thing: It appears to me that our people in the organization felt that he was better for us at this point than [Lester] Oliveros was. Period,” Leyland said Monday afternoon. “That’s what it sounds like to me.”

He knew enough to give him a shot in the tightest of situations Monday night once left-handed starter Duane Below lost left-handed slugger Adam Dunn to a two-out walk. Carlos Quentin stepped to the plate. Ruffin was already warming up, preparing for a right-handed hitter.

It wasn’t the situation Leyland would’ve liked to use to debut Ruffin, but it was where he needed a right-handed reliever. And the way Al Alburquerque has been used for the past several weeks, it was too early to use him.

Yes, Leyland didn’t know much about Ruffin. But he also knew the White Sox didn’t know much about Ruffin.

“That’s an awfully tough spot for him,” Leyland said. “They hadn’t seen him. I was just hoping they could get that guy out, maybe get him out and then we’ll go from there.”

Welcome to the big leagues, Chance Ruffin.

“Major League debut in middle of a pennant race, bases loaded and [Carlos] Quentin’s up,” Alex Avila said with a smile. “Good luck.”

It was a rare, for sure. According to Elias Sports Bureau, no Major League pitcher had debuted with the bases loaded in a tie game since Brian Lawrence did it in the sixth inning against the Dodgers on April 15, 2001.

Lawrence allowed one run to score on a sacrifice fly, but that was it. Ruffin started off Quentin with back-to-back 94 mph fastballs before putting a slider where he probably didn’t want it. Quentin pulled it into the left-field corner for two runs.

“It’s a high-pressure situation,” Ruffin said. “It’s fun to be in. You just want to be that guy to come up with the big out. Just didn’t happen for me on that one.”

49 Comments

What is amazing to me is a manager does not know about a player that is a potential call up. Amazing! Yeah, it’s fun to be in a shark cage for the first time with great whites swimming all around. Our first 2 runs were unearned. OK, so Dunn was struck out. Raburn comes up with the bases loaded, 2 outs, and hits a fly to center. Clutch? Peralta is up with 2 on and no outs. Bunt? No, stike out and then Carlos swings at the first pitch. DP! Boesch misses the cutoff and the runner goes to second. Now we think we have to walk Konerko. Cabby finally hits one. Solo shot. Very frustrating and I said good night because I knew we would not score another run. It is another day and we have Verlander. Oh, who said we need a 5th starter? We still have the SOC and his every changing line ups that will not score enough runs.

Why would Peralta bunt? He’s swinging the hottest bat on the team by far. I always like reading these “Fire Leyland” diatribes only to find the person writing them knows absolutely nothing about baseball. In the AL, bunting should probably only be done for a hit or in the 9th inning of a 1-run/tie game.

And yes, we need a SP more than anything else. With Inge finally out of the lineup and Raburn as just a utility player rather than a starter, the Tigers easily have a top 5 lineup in the majors.

Who did we show-casing Ruffin for? Seattle? He is not ready, but this smells like trade bait to me big time.

I wish there was a delete option, so I could have a do-over when my grammar is that atricious.

Perhaps “atrocious?” Sorry, the above post signified concern for accuracy.

Who did we show-case Ruffin for? Seattle? He is not ready, but this smells like trade bait to me big time.

What a tough spot as a rookie. For him though it is a win/win – if he struggles he gets a pass because it was a tight spot and his first time. If he does well it is amazing he did so well, so hopefully this one outing doesn’t do any harm for him mentally. But that is ridiculous for Leyland to say he didn’t know anything about him – I would never admit as a manager to not knowing a thing about a player I just put in. Sure it is management who decides who to bring up, but then doesn’t the manager have to find out for himself what the guy is like?

rough game but those are going to happen. They could have used the whole bullpen last night, JV is up and he won’t want to lose to Chicago.

Here is one for all you AJ fans. How many games has he saved recently because of his defense? How many games has he won because of his offense? How long did it take before Granderson was taken out of the lead off spot? I am a big AJ fan but he needs help. I still have my Granderson jersey hanging in my closet (sigh).

How would we know unless you’re a stat head . He’s made so many great catches that without them, the game would have continued on and on. Only a few days ago, I cried about losing Grandy. He loved Detroit and we loved him back, but Austin was one of the Yankees top prospects and was blocked from getting any playing time with NY. He’s heard over and over what big shoes he had to fill.

When you have the Chisox GM stating he is close to blowing up his lineup if the team doesn’t start winning over the 10 game home stand started last night, in a tied game why not go with your rookie you know nothing about.
The SOC never ceases to amaze both with his forked tongue and wierd explanations when attempting to elaborate his decisions. No wonder he tries to hide behing his typical gruffness and short interviews.

Sorry Dave to add to your memories but Curtis this year is leading the AL with 89 runs scored (Bautista is 2nd with 76), is 2nd with 27 HR’s and 2nd also with 76 RBI’s.
For comparison, Miggs leads the Tigs with 69 runs, 21 HR’s and 65 RBI’s – yes he has scored more than driven in.

I thought last night was a perfect spot for Coke. Or in a tie game bring alburqurque in to get quentin. It was a huge spot. And with Verlander going today you could have used more resources from the pen instead of a rookie closer in the 5th.
Also, I think we are doing some harm to Furbush’s development. The kid is a starter. If he isn’t ready to start here (ie you go with Below) then keep him in AAA.
As for AJ, the sophomore slump is real. He needs to keep battling. There is a book on him now and he needs to adjust. I am not too worried about AJ.

Thanks Statman, I will always like Curtis even though he is a Yankee. And yes, that was a perfect spot for Alburqurque, not for a rookie debut.

Not much point in comparing Jackson to Granderson. Comparing Jackson to Wells has some merit.

Yes, it mentioned as being too early for Q? I disagree. It is never too early to get a tough hitter out in a tough situation. Our chances a re way better with Q. He comes in gets the out and pitches another inning and then you go from there.
Forget the dream of the “formula” that Q is your 7th inning guy, he was needed there badly and we lost a game that maybe could have been won (though I doubt it).
Every game ( and we know this better than most)) is as important in the standings in the end as those ….at the end. You wind today–you go for it like there is no tomorrow.
You don’t go into concession mode.
Leyland was wrong, he mismanaged, that’s all there is to it. We all knew he would do this with the new guy and true to form he did.

I’m not defending Leland, but some managers have been known to use a rookie callup to surprise the other team, but this time it didn’t work. Villarreal was great doing that but only for a few games. I’ll never forget when Leland put him in the game and not throw one pitch except that exceptional pickoff move to first. Won’t forget that anytime soon.
.
Seems like most minor league players live for the moment they get called up if they are truly competitive. Might as well find out now if he can handle extreme pressure.
I’m sure other teams are watching all our prospects and some teams may still like his potential including the Tigers.

And while I’m still bugged, I didn’t care too much with the reaction from Chance. It’s great that he has the resilience and character to get around this initial setback in the bigs but the situation is bigger than him alone. It happened to the whole team and not just him. There is a bigger, a much bigger, responsibility to consider than it just being fun for yourself and just not happening “for me”.
“It’s a high-pressure situation,” said Ruffin, who was called up from Triple-A on Sunday night to help stabilize the club’s middle relief. “It’s fun to be in. You just want to be that guy to come up with the big out. Just didn’t happen for me on that one.”
I’m not blaming the loss on him or anything I’m just hoping these guys enter the pennant race mentally right now and think it isn’t that important yet.
Beating the Sox and the Royals now is extrememly important.

It just appears to me like there are certain games where JL deliberately decides winning the game is of less importance than getting his team in shape for subsequent games. Do other managers do this? I don’t know. Bottom line, he used all rookie pitchers and Purcey in this game. Make your own assumption. I do think that this approach filters down to the players and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, that we weren’t going to win this one anyway.
It’s kind of like putting the runner in motion then patting yourself on the back for staying out of the DP when the hitter hits a grounder. By putting the runner in motion, you cause the hitter to swing at a pitch he’d rather take and he ends up………hitting a grounder. I’m not a fan of this strategy unless you have a running team, which we definitely do not. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we have so few homers with runners on base. Too busy swinging at garbage to protect a plodding runner who has taken off for secondbase. Again, you’re creating the exact situation you’re trying to avoid. Last night’s game was one of those?
It’s rather astounding that, with all the variables in baseball, so many managers go by that unwritten book.

When deciding if it was appropriate to use Ruffin at that point in the game, or whether to bring him up at all, one must remember he was drafted last summer. Very little pro experience there. I guess management thinks he has the stuff to do this. We’ll see. A big league bullpen is only allowed to have one less than stellar pitcher, and then only if the guy is used in mop up situations. Anything else is courting disaster. We’ve got our mop up guy in Purcey.

Ruffin was the CORRECT call – Alburquerque needs to not be on the DL at the end of the season (e.g. overplaying him is a bad idea….he pitched the day before). Besides – how the heck are you going to call someone up and be afraid to play him!?!?!

anyone seen all the carlos doubters lately? They were here just two weeks ago….

As far as getting another starter I feel the most important numbers DD should be looking at are the WHIP.
Shields and Kuroda are under 1.25. Everyone else that has been rumoured is above that level. We need a starter to keep men OFF base.
We have a couple of guys that tend to put men on and with our infield that is courting disaster. We have no range on the infield whatsoever. I’m not sure about Betemit, but I suspect he is likely a less than average fielder. Peralta and Guillen up the middle are dependable enough but Carlos has verly little range and Peralta’s is only a bit better. Cab has limited range at 1st. So do we need a high ground ball ratio pitcher? Yes, I guess, provided his WHIP is low and he can strike people out too..
To illustrate the effectiveness of WHIP.: The best WHIP in baseball is JUSTIN VERLANDER.
Better than Weaver, Beckett, Halladay, Lee, Haren, Lincecum, Hernandez et al.
You want to win? Don’t let runners on base.

Sorry, but Cab was a third baseman. He sometimes goes too far. In the infamous last out of the perfect game,other firstman would have let it to 2b.And he needs to because both Guillen and Raburn play too close to second even with lhbs.
With bad defensive you need an Ashburn or a Bedard, in dl until Friday.They induce flyballs that are easier to play , especially in a big park.With good kees

Yeah-Evan—a bases loaded double and 2 dingers in a pennant race. Absolutely the correct call.

how many games is there in a season, dan? I stand by you don’t over use al-al. not to mention Ruffin’s #s have been really good in the minors.

Hopefully, we can take the next 2. Go Tigers!!!!!!!

Well, that got some comments going. Do you think Peralta should have bunted? How many games in a season? Can you say 163?

I thought it was certainly worthy of consideration (bunting) but I also realize that these guys don’t want to bunt, don’t know how, that JL despises the bunt with anyone other than Santiago, AJ or a minor league call-up, and the fact that Peralta has been hitting the ball very well. I still think it was a bunt situation that should have been used. The only guys I would not ask to bunt are Cab and Magglio.
You could have told Jhonny go ahead get 1 good rip and then drop one down.
JL plays for the 3 run HR and hasn’t realized that we have had very few of those this year.

In pursuit of another starter? I’d suggest that Shields will cost too much, Kurdoa may be too costly as well.
Look at Erika Bedard. He is coming off an injury ( I know people will bring up Washburn) and the Mariners ned to make some changes. He could be affordable. great pitcher, who knows how to pitch, can get you K or a ground ball and has a very nice WHIP even this year. He gives us a much needed lefty in the rotation and not a chump lefty, but a quality pitcher. He’s no Jarrod Washburn.

I agree here: Bedard’s oft. injured but if his upside is humongous (sp?). ERA is always (since 04) under 4 and his WHIP this year is ~1.11 as well. With that said – if we sign Erik we MUST get another pitcher too…..Koji Uehara. That would pretty much guarentee a pitching fix.

Ruffin was the correct call?!? Evan Evan Evan, my man, Evan. You don’t really believe that, do you? There are any number of ways that inning could have played out. Alburquerque could have pitched to one hitter. Coke could have pitched to Quentin then AJ. Coke could have pitched to Dunn and Quentin doesn’t even come up. Why is Coke out there? To strengthen the pen, I’m told. JL tied his own hands last night by not anticipating possibilities. In the end, I’m sure HE didn’t want to bring Ruffin into that spot either! The kid was pitching in college last year, for heaven’s sake. This scenario hasn’t happened in TEN years. If I’d have been JL, I’d have gotten myself thrown out of the dugout too. Better than having the entire team sitting behind me, thinking I’m nuts. The only other explanation is that JL had already decided who was going to pitch in this game, come hell or high water.
I’ve dialed down my Leyland attacks considerably lately because it’s a waste of time, but his handling of the 5th inning was just dumb. And if you watch the player’s reactions to things, they obviously didn’t get the memo that this was a throw away game.

Rich, first of all I believe that it takes very little to second guess someone. Then let me retort!
1) Al^2 is the wrong answer because he pitched yesterday (2 words: Elbow Fatigue). And the FACT that Al^2 walks WAAAY more rightys than lefties – I’m good on Al^2.
2) COKE hasn’t played in a few days however he can’t pitch to righties – there BA is .344 and the majority of his given up RBI’s. And Rios (righty) was behind carlos bed shittin quentin.
3) Furbush has played OK the past few outtings -> but I’d stay away because Charles is not good on the road (.377 BA) and not good against righties (.319BA)
4)David Purcey sucks and in the past 7 days his WHIP is 3.60 with an ERA of 16+
5)WAY TO EARLY FOR BENOIT, we need him getting back on track (he has been) and this wasn’t the time.
6) the reason we lost the game was lack of clutch hitting – we only really earned 1, maybe 2. You can’t do that when you have a kid pitching like that – and you’re on the road.

So as you can see, putting the kid in there wasn’t optimal or anything – but it was the correct call if you see it how i see it.

Not second guessing. As with Purcey last week, I thought it was the wrong move as it was being made. I can’t prove that unless I set up a Twitter account or something. I still think all of the above mentioned options were better than using Ruffin at that point in the game. Chance may have come in later and gotten rocked, who knows, but that situation last night was bad. Calling what I see at the time. And I didn’t say it cost us the game, I only said it was a dumb move. I would have said the same if Ruffin had blown Quentin away with three pitches, followed by a comment about JL pulling that one out of his………back pocket.
Coke is going to have to get RHers out or he’s only of limited use.

I know why….Leyland is a moron

Additionally, Inge just cleared waivers. IMO this was a classy move and I expect him back in det at some point (e.g. due to injury, fall roster, next year maybe IDK).

I’m a Carlos doubter. He’s been good. He’s helped. But for how long?
How many balls between between him and Cab are we going to have to bound through to Ordonez?
How close does Carlos need to play to the bag at 2nd with runners on 1st?
My doubts for Carlos are that he will reinjure himself and that his lack of range at 2nd exacerbates the range problem we already have in the infiled.
Is there an alternative? Not really. They aren’t gonna trade for a 2nd baseman. They are committed to Carlos for this year. I guess I am to.
Pulling for Bedard.

Figaro? He also debuted with bases loaded against Manny Ramirez. GS.The game was not tied

Whether that was a classy move on Inge’s part is debatable. Other than retire, he didn’t have much choice, as he wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he wasn’t playing baseball. He’s not the type to go fishing like Bonderman. He’ll be back all right, and probably beg himself into the lineup again. He’s also as good with fans as anyone I’ve ever seen work an autograph line.

We all hope that Carlos can make it through to the end of the season, however effectively missing 1.5 seasons over the past 2.5 makes you face reality.
Carlos also adds to the problem of our pedestrian base running, poor base stealing and the ludicrous situation of our #1 slugger slow chugging the bases for more runs than he has hit in.

I think it is clear the team has to change. The disturbing thing is that even when we get guys with speed we rarely use them that way enough. AJ doesn;t run enough, Curtis never did, Rhymes, Kelly, Wells, Josh Anderson have all been under utilized on the bases.
This is not going to change this year, and it if it does it will be an individual rather than a philosophy. However, next year, they have to start thinking more speed, Dirks, Wells and whoever they pick up for 3rd and 2nd hopefully.
Dombrowski: there are a few of us here on Beck’s Blog who are very willing to give you some advice on some possible trades. And we’ll even factor in the $$$$$s too!

Well AJ did run the 1st inning. I’d like to see a replay of that steal as it looked like he got tagged pretty high.
I’d also like to see AJ start tosquare up on the ball. Everything is pretty soft lately.

Speed Kills. Pierre just murders us.

Don’t throw another fastball to Dunn

Crap—I just knew it. Man—with a RHB up next what the f are you thinking?

My point exactly—what is JV thinking. Get out of that old (young) JV mindset where you think you can blow it by at will. That’s arrogant and it is the only thing that sepaerates this man from greatness.
Throw him the nasty curve, slider or change it up after he saw that many fastballs. I’m just not sure why JV thought he could get away with that as Dunn had good rips on fastballs and foluled ‘em straight back.
The Sox might be the death of us. These guys are in our heads and have been for too long now.

I apologize for not dropping this but I am PO’d that Justin was so dense.

I hope we don’t see the ump miss any more of those pitches (against Rios). That was brutal

So far we look stupid against Peavy.

For all of you Jim Leyland haters out there…how many of you have managed as long as Jim has? Won any penants, been named manager of the year, won how many games (so far)? Probably not one of you, so, until you can claim half of the accomplishments that he has, you know where to go.

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