Dotel’s biceps injury and Detroit’s bullpen

So how did the Tigers end up in the situation that proved their undoing, with young Brayan Villarreal pitching with the bases loaded on walks and nowhere to put Ryan Doumit? It was a series of events.

Some were obvious, like the Tigers’ struggles against Scott Diamond, who said after the Tigers loss that he adjusted his game once he noticed the Tigers adjusted theirs. Drew Smyly’s pitch limit, too, was obvious.

But fast forward to the seventh inning, when Octavio Dotel replaced Phil Coke after Doumit’s two-run home run, and you see where the bullpen order begins to fray.

Though Doumit is a switch-hitter, providing a right-handed bat against a left-handed reliever (Coke) who has struggled against righties on the year, Doumit has hit right-handed pitchers about 45 points higher for average (.290) than lefties (.245). In addition, 12 of his previous 16 home runs came off right-handed pitchers, resulting in a 150-point bump in OPS.

Once Doumit homered, in came Dotel. Once Dotel got through the inning, he was dealing with some sort of biceps problem.

“I feel a little bit of soreness,” Dotel said. “Hopefully I’ll be OK tomorrow.”

He doesn’t think it’ll it’s a big deal, and if it was an emergency, he might have been able to keep pitching. The worry was that if he made it worse, it would become a big enough issue to sideline him longer term, possibly taking out the postseason.

“I don’t want it worse,” Dotel said. “It’s better to wait a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Al Alburquerque on track to get a second day of rest after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief in Wednesday. Thus, enter Villarreal, whose leadoff walk to Denard Span set things in motion in the eighth.

“He didn’t pitch good,” Leyland said. “He didn’t throw the ball over the plate and he didn’t pitch very good. That happens.”

7 Comments

Is this what we should expect from a team fighting for a post season berth. My bicep hurts. Oh no my fingernail is dirty!.. Well now we know why dotel has played for more teams than anybody.durability of a butterfly.

Thats all very interesting but I think everybody can agree – if Villareal is coming in for the 8th you want to have some arms warming in the pen. Period. Tonight, instinct would say that would’ve been Downs and Al (2 innings plus TWO days ago notwithstanding). To have nobody warming makes Leyland look unprepared. Yes, sometimes Bryan is lights out, but when hes not, he really isn’t. Downs doesn’t have the stuff? Even after being misused and abused by Leyland, he has had a remarkable year. After Bryan’s walk I believe you have to pull him. But if you are absolutely stuck – for whatever reason – never intentionally walk someone with Villareal on the mound. He can get out anybody; or walk anybody. You have to know he doesnt respond well, yet, to pressure. Let him try to strike out Mauer.

I dont know what the record is for outfield assists against one team in one week but I believe we may be in danger of setting it. Peralta finally stopped running against Francoer, who has been throwing him out for years but, well, seems to have delusions about his ability to move through space and time. We watch all those grounders sneak up the middle past him so we have no illusions. In the last two weeks, aside from Lamonts egregious choices we’ve seen Jackson, Avila, Boesch, Peralta make unbelievably bad choices on the basepaths. We all hate it that three singles doesn’t guarantee a run for the Tigers. Its too bad. But sending the runner who hasnt touched third before the outfielder grabs the ball is a mistake. Fielder’s beautiful squib double is the exception that proves the rule. With the difficulty we’ve had scoring runs this squandering of hope on the basepaths seems especially ill conceived.

I appreciate being set straight on Delmons last six days or so but I’m not sure what that could possibly mean. We are taking Delmon approch as a team and it is literally killing us. Its no accident our only runs were via the homer tonight. What will it take for us to be patient as a team, pick our pitch and drive it. I know this team will hit – I can hear Jim saying it but sadly the time is now and only now. I appreciate that the team seems to like Delmon and I’m sure in the end he is a good guy but he can never carry a ballclub because he is so erratic in every way. Even against Sale when he had the big bases loaded hit he had some of the sadest at bats you will ever see. Yes he killed New York in the playoffs last year but does anyone remember that he was 2-13 against the Rangers. They were both homers and both solo but yes, 2-13. Its not his fault of course but it remains remarkable to me that we signed him to play left field EVERY day and bat fiifth and still we were picked to go to the World Series by so many writers. Because we are sluggers? Really? Delmon and Peralta have maybe one 20hr season a piece and other than that only Cabrera and Fielder have done it. I thought Boesch would hit 30 this year but I was so wrong. No speed, no base running, no subterfuge, no intensity, no defense, dont hold runners on or move them over – only fictional power in a gargantuan ballpark. And as for the free agent bidding war some have suggested will commence over Delmon, I would caution a brief look at the numbers. An outfielder who cannot find or throw the ball; a designated hitter who cannot get on base or run the bases or try to understand situational hitting who slugs about .430 could not possibly interest Brian Cashman and the Yankees. Their shortstop slugs higher than that with a considerably more compeling on base percentage. And sorry to say this, but Jewish culture is part of the fabric of daily life in New York as it is maybe nowhere else, and being arrested for an anti-Semitic hate crime means that if Delmon were twice the ballplayer he is New York still wouldnt care. No he gets a one year deal in Oakland or Seatlle for a pay cut…maybe…

But for now hes a Tiger and I hope he finishes his time honorably. And frankly, I think hes due to get hot.

I love Quentin Berry to pieces but hes had 12 of the worst at bats in a row this week. Hes just not a major league player yet. Time to split the time between Boesch and Garcia – and start Garcia against a right hander, he can’t do worse than Q.

Infantes swing is looking better, please Jim, leave him batting second every day.

Thank goodness we didnt pick up Soriano at the trading deadline cause we sure dont need another bat.

JIm moved Dirks down to 6th and you know what, its a good idea! Maybe even a great one. That he moved Peralta up to 6th tonight because a left hander was pitching is one of the many reasons JL needs to go.

Its a little late in the day to think about Worth at SS, but I have been having dreams about Mickey Stanley the last few nights.

AJ is an enigma, he can look so bad and then swing so beautifully in the next at bat; if he doesn’t hit we lose. We are so lucky to have him – I just love to watch him play.

Cabrera and Fielder are both due to get hot and we continue to get the best pitching in the AL – who says we can’t win the last five in a row?

We were given the splits for Doumit during the telecast, although Rod was nearly interrupted by the guy’s homer. The splits didn’t mean much against THIS lefty, the struggling Phil Coke. In the previous inning, he tried to throw a back door slider but it ended up at the front door for a strike. So he missed his location by what, 2 feet?
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Again, having to use B-Rreal in that spot also dictated they need to have someone up in the pen just in case. If the second reliever comes in and fails, nobody is skewering JL this morning. The issue is that he wasn’t prepared and that’s bad managing.
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I considered Alburquerque having pitched two days ago, and decided that this is a pennant race in its final week and the manager has to break his own rule to try and get an out or two. It’s not June here. Call it a sense of urgency if you will.
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We’ve seen this stuff before, in 2006 and 2009 as prime examples. We’re playing our 158th game of the year today. Uh, this is kind of important?
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The hitting, fielding, and baserunning won’t suddenly improve in the final week so they have to find ways to win games, not lose them.

Right on Michael.
Did anybody here the jerk (maybe near the broadcast booth) last night? Prototypical bad foul-mouthed, venom-spitting homer.
Here’s an idea fellas! Go out and hit the damn ball after you have waited for a pitch to hit. Get a good lead, build on it, reward your starter and help Miggy relax so he can do his thing as you win 4 of the next 5.

2 items. 1.) Downs has a 4.70 ERA since the ASG; 2.)Since the last 7 is not a large enough sample to satisfy some regarding DY, he has the second most RBI (20) and is hitting.287 (third best of the regulars) over the last 30.

As JL might say, DY is what he is. His swing early and swing often approach works for him because he misses so much. It is his best chance at making contact.

Oh, and for your information, Peralta has had four 20 (or plus) HR seasons

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