Leyland: I should have never thought about bunting

For all practical purposes, Jim Leyland’s question over whether to bunt the potential winning run over to second base in the ninth inning Thursday was academic, since the signal never got to Ramon Santiago at the plate and Santiago swung away. Still, Leyland said, the question over whether to go for the win or tie the game stuck with him all night.

He had a different conclusion today than he did yesterday.

“I thought about it all night, and I came to the conclusion I [messed] up one thing: I should have never even thought about bunting Santiago,” Leyland said.

He didn’t change his thoughts on how the inning played out from there. With no outs, he was not going to call for a squeeze bunt, nor was he going to have Omar Infante try to steal second and risk a line drive double play.

“Not with nobody out,” Leyland said. “If he hits a line drive, it’s a double play. In fact, if I had sent him with Santiago, it would’ve been a double play. First and third, nobody out, for the most part, no matter who’s hitting, you’ll very rarely see me send a guy, because a ground ball, you get the run.”

Nor was he going to use either of the two hitters on the bench, Delmon Young, or Jeff Baker to pinch-hit in that situation.

“All we needed was contact, anywhere on the ground. Contact, or fly ball, contact anywhere, and we get the tying run in,” Leyland said. “And I was worried about the strikeout, because that guy’s real nasty. …

“The funny part about it was I had Delmon Young ready to pinch-hit, but as the inning played [out], it played totally different than what I needed him to pinch-hit for. I was only going to pinch-hit for him if there was like two outs and nobody on, because it was Avila, Infante and Santiago. With two out, nobody on, I was going to let him take a shot at maybe hitting a homer. But [not] after all we needed was a ground ball or a fly ball.”

The big regret, he said, was thinking about having Santiago bunt, and planting the idea in Santiago’s head beforehand that they might call for the bunt.

“When he went up there, I said look for this first pitch to hit, just like he did to Infante. We didn’t bunt, but I knew he’d lay something in there thinking we were bunting. And I told Santi the same thing. Well, he took the first pitch, and I was actually trying to get the bunt on, which we didn’t. But I should’ve just let him [hit], because I told him afterwards that he might bunt.

“We had the tying run. If he just hits a ground ball or a fly ball or anything, we’ve got the tying run. I should’ve just let him think about hitting all the way, not even mention bunt. Because if he gets the run in with a fly ball, you’ve still got a guy on first. You’ve got Berry hitting. You’ve got Dirks coming up. You might hit and run, you might do something. I mean, we had the tie right there. If he hits a ground ball to second [for a] double play, we’ve got the game tied. I shouldn’t have even been thinking bunt. That’s where I messed up.”

87 Comments

“To be honest with you”, Jim. I don’t believe a word, to tell you the truth.

Gobbledygook, Jim.

In other words, “My mistake was not pinch-hitting, it was bunting, which we didn’t do, so really it wasn’t a mistake at all”. “As far as having two long ball hitters on the bench, when a week or so ago I had none, means nothing since both of them are right handed batters so therefore they would be totally useless against a right-handed pitcher. I mean, who in their right baseball mind would even consider putting a RHB against a RHP? To tell you the truth both of those guys would have struck out since their only job is hit LHP”. “I know these things better than anybody else, otherwise why would I be the manager?”

JL says he did not steal because with the DP , he score a run. Where was the NY´s infield? Were they giving up the run?

For Santiago, Chavez was in at third while Jeter and Cano were halfway. For Berry, Chavez was even with the bag with Jeter and Cano being at DP depth. Berry could have laid one down. He’s becoming less useful everyday.

Thanks. So stealing 2B was a better option than the squeeze everybody was waiting?
The most puzzling bit was that he tried to win not to tie because he was short at bullpen. That is a new for me, the homeclub playing to win or nothing.

I guess we’ve established that he messed up, it’s just a matter of how. Rarely is he discussing this stuff the next day, chewing yesterday’s breakfast, as he likes to say. To be perfectly fair to Jim, this stuff happens fast. Baseball seems to be a slow game, but you can’t call a one-minute timeout to discuss strategy. The umpire might give you what, 15 seconds? The manager has to consider all possibilities ahead of time, and that’s not easy. I might add, having your assistant out there coaching third instead of being by your side doesn’t help.

Seems that one could simplify things a great deal just by grabbing the best and/or most experienced hitter available and sending him up there. Quit managing so much.

Let’s hope dugout decisions don’t cost us ANY games these last couple of months.

I said it yesterday nd I’ll say it again first and foremost Benoit can’t be giving up ll these gopher balls……it beyond mind boggling what has happened recently.
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And I typically dont like to beat up on JL and I o still put blame on Santiago and Berry for doing absolutely nothing! But to say he didn’t even think bout pinch hitting teo better hitters for at least one of those guys is nuts… And if you look at Sorionos numbers righties hit him 60 points higher than lefties. This is something that JL shoud know and use his resources accordingly.

Will someone tell Mario the game is on TV….not radio. We could see that guy was going to catch the ball on the grass way over the fence….he gives us the ” Jackson going back….way back….still going back”….give me a break.

Is Napoli the catcher that had a problem with the Ump who did not want to give him the ball to throw it to the pitcher?If so It is happening again.

I remember the story but don’t remember who the catcher was.

Just looked it up and it was Russel Martin. Hilarious.

Thanks. Looked like the same situation

It was Russell Martin.
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– Bob

Thanks

Boy Tigers through the first two innings are making Feldman look real good….. Meanwhile Max just so so. Max and the rest of them need to do better.

This one could get real bad real fast. So far we look pretty clueless at the plate and on the field. These guys have a whack of players who seem to hit us rather well.
Scherzer is all over the map tonight. He even looks discombobulated.

A ya Max looks very all over the place.

Well no-hitter tonight? Trying to jinx it!

Anybody want to take a square in the What Inning of What game Will the Tigers Bunt? pool?

you guys go ahead. Me, I’m just wondering when we’re gonna win a game again.

Max at this rate with how many pitches he is throwing won’t make it through 5. Meanwhile our guys are easy outs.

And he hits em on an 0-2 count terrific!

It’s Max’s mess. When you hit a guy on an 0 – 2 pitch, you get what you deserve. His pitch count is through the roof again.
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– Bob

Uh-Oh. Murphy up now with the bases loaded. This guy has hurt us badly in the past.
Max is awful so far.

Murphy imitated DY … first pitch swinging to kill a rally.
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Max got lucky and if we dont start hitting soon this game will get ugly.
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Is there some law that says they cant hit in road grays????
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– Bob

Here’s an interesting situation a runner on 3 rd and nobody out can the tigers get the run home?

Miggy can!

Effectively Wild? No, the lucky one

A few players in the league that I can’t stand the sight of…Hamilton, Weaver, Youklis and Alex Rodriguez.

I like to see our base runners actually think about going from 1st to 3rd once in awhile. Avila was aggressive but you also have remember who is in CF. Nice play by a good ball player.
Has Max ever fielded a ground ball up the middle?
I don’t see Max getting past the 6th. Actually if he does maybe we’ll still be in this game.
Let’s start pulling the ball boys—Hamilton is swallowing everything up the middle of the field.

Fielding isn’t exactly his strong suit. We got spoiled watching Kenny Rogers do his thing. The rest of our pitchers do a pretty good job, though.

Scherzer is in no position to field the ball after his delivery…it’s frustrating.

Change it and it ruins his pitching mechanics( if that is possible)

Those beauty 3-run homers.
I hope Max can get through the 6th. We need him to.

Well we will be going to the pen now?? Let’s hope or better results today.

I never thought I’d see the day.

I recently read or heard an opinion that Max has better stuff than JV. He just does not PITCH like JV. I gave the opinion some thought and I think I am on board.

Interesting……if Max could just harness it and be more consistent.

Amen

Gotta love the inside the park homer!

Boy that field looks horrible on tv…..lots of divots I guess itch the het down there it doesn’t stand a chance.

Man, Max gutted it out and turned it up. I expect his night will be through.
I’d bring in Villarael.
Yikes, Cruz?!
Nice to see the Tigers hustle, Infante, Dirks and Miggy. Oops, I guess AJ even more so!!!!

The point about Max’s stuff is valid. The problem is that half the time Max has no idea where his stuff is going. It has to do with his crazy delivery with too many moving parts. That is why he is inconsistent. He has a hard time repeating his delivery.
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The boys have battled back well tonight.
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Let’s close it out.
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– Bob

I am beginning to hate BB being replaced . He is ok defensively, can run and has pop. If things go sideways on our bullpen, and he is out, we have a problem.

BB’s bat is then the issue.

I think AJ would have beaten Usain around those bases tonight!

Cruz leaves the game with a ” sore back” so that’s why he dropped a pop up? Or was he too embarrassed to stay on the field? Lol

Well white Soxs just hit a walk off home run…..it’s amazing

They hit 4 solo shots. What lo amazes me is that Chicago beat up Texas, beat up the angels beat Oakland who is good non of the good teams are helping us out?

Fast your belts , please. The roller coaster is here

Amen again. Valverde better get his act together. He deserves respect given he has led his respective leagues in saves 3 of the last 5 seasons.But now is now.

In fact ,he leads MLB in % of saves since he is a Tiger.

All´s wells than ends wells

That save % is impressive. Makes me appreciate him all the more.

Forgot to mention the obvious, we won.

Tha last trip to Texas was good to Avila too. He seems to bats better there

Another one of those nights when I complain about Max, say I can’t stand to watch him pitch, then look up and he’s still standing with a 5-2 lead. It’s tantalizing and maddening. Unfortunately, I don’t think he gets better. This is how he’ll be. Funny, Dan, I said the same thing about whether Max has ever fielded a groundball.
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Dotel just doesn’t look like he should be that good, but he is. One team that would love to trade for Austin Jackson would be Texas, I’ll bet. Nothing like a 3-run jack (I think all jacks are of the 3-run variety). Cruz did not represent himself well tonight. I guess we found out how to pitch him; don’t throw fastballs down the middle. Now if we’d only known that in the playoffs……….
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The White Sox are one of those teams who pitch and hit homers. That’s all they do. Keep ‘em in the yard and they can’t score. I wonder which team has the highest percentage of runs on homers?
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I’m also beginning to have a problem with this Berry for Boesch thing. Seems like it’s earlier every night.

Is Valverde our closer or finisher of wins??

Good evening all. Max(all arms and legs) somehow does it again. What a great way to open a series. I sense that Texas is a little ragged right now, especially with the pitching. We need to pounce on that and get 2, and with some luck, get all three.
I know its being greedy, but they are such a dangerous team;like a wounded animal; get them while they’re down before they strike back. The Chisox find ways to win; I knew they would. All the more reason we need to really be aggressive in Texas. I know we’re all agreeing how much fun it is to watch Miggy and Biggy each night. The Bigster ends up with 28 HR’s and 123 RBI’s.(I’m a part time psychic). I’ll take that any year, especially a year when you are changing leagues. He is a true professional.

There were three things that I liked about tonight’s game:
1. Max strikes out the side in the sixth, after going over 100 pitches. His best inning of the evening was reserved for then. I fuss and fume, but by George, the guy has a talented arm(and legs)
2. Alex has four plate appearances; 2 walks and 2 well stroked hits. He’s coming around just in time.
3. The Ajax inside the park HR; these are so rare anymore; it was wonderful to see Austin glide around the basepaths like a gazelle.

Delmon got a big hit, but he and Jhonny wasted a lot of AB’s. But you know, you can’t have it all. It would have been nice to get the coffin run, but VV was pretty much tuned in. JV brings his A game tomorrow, and we are 2-0 after that game.
Good night !

I was blacked out of the Yankee series and, due to work, wasn’t able to listen to that last game. Tonight was a treat. Tigers were able to get to Feldman…….”from across the hall”.
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This morning as I was pouring a bowl of Mini Wheats, for a brief moment I contemplated going with the Wheaties instead. But I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it and so ended up sticking with the Mini’s. Turns out the Mini Wheats didn’t give me the usual energy my active day required. It was a bust. I don’t know, I thought about it all day long. Turns out the only mistake I really made in this mornings’ decision was that I ever considered the Wheaties in the first place….. Glad to get this off my chest. Go Tigers!

:-)
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We sure are spoilt with the stars on this team, all with a burning desire to win yet still play the game the right way.
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Max has regained the ML strikeout lead. Funny with his 4.65ERA, the next 5 behind him are all sub 3.0
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Hey, my night was made with a late innings reliever going 2.

the Texas Delmon – aka Cruz – made that inside the park HR possible! I was present when Granderson ran an inside the park against Johnny Damon and the yankees. One of my favorite plays.
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Alex is seeing the ball very well and his stroke looks great. Prince continues to impress!

also important: AJ went 2-4 with the gapper…..I don’t want to see him slump at all this year

Pretty impressive win. Timely hitting, big strikouts by Max, good relief pitching, solid defense. All against a very good ball club.There are a lot of Tiger killers on that team and they were mostly avoided.

I like that Chico Fernandez gravatar. Reminds of a time when, as kids, one of the gang suddenly showed up with a Fernandez card in hand. Well, we all went crazy bidding and dealing for that card. I mean, it must have looked like the stock exchange, a total cacophony. I pulled out every big gun card I had to no avail. The winner ended up trading away a Mickey Mantle MVP card, a Yogi Berra MVP card, AND ten cents, which is like several thousand dollars to a 1961 kid. Were we Tigers fans or what?

Chewing on Thursday’s breakfast for the second time, JL’s diversionary tactics seem to have worked. He’s got people talking about blown bunt signs, thinking of bunting, what Santiago was thinking, etc., and blows off the pinch hit question with the R-L thing. The R-L thing is a strategy, Jim, it’s not a law. The fact is, Soriano this season is .202 BA against lefties and .268 against righties. Both Baker and Young have higher BAs against righties than Santiago, and were more likely to hit a sac fly. Berry’s .293 against righties is kind of nullified because of the situation, and even moreso when you remove a bunt from the equation. Berry’s name hasn’t even been mentioned in this ridiculous conversation.
I actually thought Jim had a plan when he didn’t use pinch hitters and that was my own mistake. I should have never thought that he’d pinch hit, and that’s where I messed up.

That’s when I turned if off, Rich. Didn’t put in a pinch hitter. I couldn’t believe it.

The CWS placed Konerko on the DL.

Will it slow their offense down tho? [nervous laugh]

Has anyone ever heard JL say the phrase “we need to get santiago going”?
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Santiago’s last 37ABS: 5 hits, .256OBP, 0XBH, 2GDP

Al Al,with Toledo: 5.40 ERA (1.2IP/1ER) and 3 SO

why has he not pitched since august 6th?

Tigers notes:”Following a review by Major League Baseball, Russell Martin has now been credited with a hit in the seventh inning on August 6versus the Yankees. The ball was originally ruled a fielding error on Miguel Cabrera.”

I saw your entry on Al and then visited the Toledo site. That team has to be one of the worst in Triple A.

.383 winning %

Geez…That is horrible. No wonder slowbyrne has offered Toledo as a trade chip.

i’ve seen some articles about how JL doesn’t care about the sunday DAY game (as opposed to night). He’d rather get to Minnesota quickly than play in cooler weather.
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But there is more to it.
a) We have lots of people native to warmer climates – so much we used to blame cold weather on them not hitting.
b) the tigers this season are better daytime ballplayers. We’re 31-18 during the day and 30-34 at nighttime.
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The game will feature porcello vs. Darvish….which you’d think would mean advantage Texas (so who cares if you are playing in the heat)…..but honestly Darvish’s past 3 games have been worse than porcellos….and porcello faced 3 good offenses (BOS, NYY, TOR).

Derek Holland gives up the xtra base hits to righties….Tonight is Delmon Young’s night to do some damage (hitting .500 in 12ABs with 2 HRs, lifetime)!!
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And i would guess Omar to do good tonight.
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MY lineup tonight would be:
AJ, OI, MC, PF, JB, AD(Lf), JP, DY(dh), G$
Alex gets the night off and plays tomorrow against the RHP. Santiago and Berry can DR/PR later in the game.

ACTUAL LINEUP: Jackson CF, Infante 2B, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young DH, Baker RF, Peralta SS, Dirks LF, Laird C, (Verlander P)

Cruz is playing RF today for texas….btw.

CC put on DL….elbow isn’t feeling right.

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