So what was that delivery from Jose Valverde?

Statistically, Jose Valverde has had games like this before. There was the game in Cleveland last month, in which he gave up two runs on three hard hits. There was the three-run ninth inning against the Royals in July.

Mechanically, it was a different Valverde than any version we’ve seen in Detroit.

His delivery looked pretty normal, certainly by today’s standards. His mechanics to get into a position to deliver, though, looked unlike anything he had done here. His back, which he usually stretches a little as he gets into position to throw, arched more before he threw his early pitches. At times, he looked like he was undulating before he went into his delivery.

Whether that had any part in his demise Wednesday is up for debate, no doubt. Even if it didn’t, it just looked odd for him. For someone who has had back issues — he missed time in May with a strained lower back — it was something to pay attention.

Valverde, for his part, said he did nothing different.

“Everything’s the same,” Valverde said. “I think it was the same. I threw my fastball, my sinker, my split. You have to give credit to the other team. There’s nothing you can do.”

Avila said, “He’s fine,” when asked about Valverde. It doesn’t necessarily mean he was the same, but he was fine doing it.

Indeed, if Valverde was having serious back trouble, one would figure it would be more obvious. Still, this late in the year, it’s an interesting development.

63 Comments

Now we know why Dotel has been is so many teams.Miguel has no duty with the press. It is JL who needs to explain the wrong lineup and the wrong plays or lack of.

This is my post, not eltigrevenezolano’s :)

True, but from my understanding (second-hand), the argument Dotel was making was that if everybody talks like normal, it puts forth a sense of the team not panicking.

I noticed that right away and thought, “great, now what is he doing?!” Knew it wasn’t going to be good… it was bad decision to put him in with a game that close at this stage (didn’t like him at all last season, even though he had a “perfect” record! )

I know, that was so odd seeing him throw out a new pre-delivery routine at such a crucial time. I have not ready any posts from yesterday yet – I literally went to bed within a minute of that dreadful last hit. My emotions can’t take much more – we either have to win by a landslide tonight or lose by one – no more toying with my emomtions with a game like that – in our hands and gone just like that. We need much, much more offense tonight and JV needs to go 9 innings I fear. Geez.

Jose Valverde suffers from a terrible condition prevalent among many never-has-beens, suckitus incompetentitis. Symptoms include delivering meatballs down the middle of the plate, never really having the skill to back up your cavernous, bragging mouth, having a charmed season which every break went your way, swelled head, and being generally unable to get three outs when your team actually needs them.

The only known cure for suckitus incompetentitis is to not be resigned by your current team and to be told, “Don’t let the door hit your massive, fat ass on the way out, you career loser.”

He wasn’t amazing last year…but few people seemed to notice how many plays were made by his teammates that actually “saved” and “closed” the games.

Noticed the change in delivery and wondered about his back, his velocity seemed okay. He didn’t seem as committed and dominant as first game though, did he warm up as long? Vision was blurry by that time. Hopefully, his blown save isn’t our lasting memory of him in Detroit. Last year he was amazing, this year he has been human.

He started warming up with two outs in the eighth inning. Looked pretty normal. The one possible difference was that I didn’t notice him playing catch in the middle innings like he usually does. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see it, and you can’t miss the bullpen here in Oakland.

Geez – things get kind of personal when we lose, way more than is necessary. Truth be told, when he is on he is on, when he is off he is off and last night he was off, way off. That ending sucked more than I can say, but we had other failures last night, looking for the good in last night and that was the rest of the pen last night – even Cokie did what he needed to do. For those fans that are still hating the team this morning, the season could be done tonight and you can be out of your misery. I am still going to hold out hope for one more night.

That said – me too – still ticked…

Valverde changed the way he comes to the set position a few weeks ago. I saw it then, I commented on it then. Last night it was much more pronounced. That little wiggle that’s turned into a big wiggle looks like someone easing pressure on his back.
However he comes set doesn’t affect the pitch, but a bad back will. Now we have no closer, so add that to the many issues this team faces.

Well since most peoples are giving negative thoughts I thought I would throw this one out there. At least Valverde was throwing strikes. Nothing is more infuriating then having the closer walk batters. Let’s face it, the hitters for the A’s came through in the end but we let them beat us instead of losing the game ourselves.
JV will get it done tonight and I don’t think that JV is going to let Leyland pull him out of the game, so it will be fun to watch and i can’t wait. GO TIGERS!!

You’re not going to get many positive comments after a game like that.
One of the Tigers’ strengths, maybe THE strength, is resiliency. The ability to put bad stuff in the rear view mirror and move on. That resiliency will be tested tonight in a big way.
Personally, I just wish we didn’t have to stay up watching till past 1 AM, only to get knocked down and having a hard time getting to sleep, then having to get up and work the next day. It’s like the ultimate assault on our perplexed and somewhat reeling fanbase.

Good point Dave, was thinking the same thing, can’t you just see JV going out on the field with JL running after him telling him he is done? I believe Justin will get the job done, but situations like this worry me when he tries to carry the whole team on his back, but those shoulders are used to it. Rich – I hate the late games too, but am glad I am not a Red’s fan where I would not be able to watch the game due to work, so I’ll take the lack of sleep for a few days I guess!

We won it last year in five games. We won on it on our opponents’ home field. Right?? We can do it again. Go Tigers!!!!

If the closer spot is so important, it should go to the guy (by committee) with the lowest WHIP. Where there is smoke (base runners) there will be fire (runs) and to think that the 7th, 8th and 9th inning bullpen jobs are owed to those players is nonsense. I do not give an F as to whether Valverde was perfect last year, he still scared the crap out of the fans often and this is not last year. This year Valverde’s stuff is bad and he tries to wait out the batters as a decoy rather than keep the game going smoothly because he know he has nothing left. I thought Benoit was better, than Valverde, but he is not as he gives up way too many home runs. I say let one of our starters close the game in the postseason as we have plenty of them and because Valverde’s excessive base runners have caught up w/ his blown save stats. I realize the Leyland does not care anymore and that Illitch has lost his mind (which directs Dembrowski), but things have to start making sense.

-Mr Obvious.

All season long our Detroit Tigers have won the battle when the ball is NOT put in play. Our hitters usually draw their fair share of walks which meant we were near the top of the AL in OBP. Not so much this series. Just 5 BB for us. Our pitchers just flat out dominate with the second most strikeouts and second least walks in the league. This series though the A’s have drawn 13 base on balls and four of those were against Justin. Of course, we have gotten our Ks. They strikeout a lot. Tonight, however, the key will be Justin avoiding walks as we need him standing tall on the mound in the bottom of the eighth having thrown only 110 pitches. Use all your pitches Justin and keep them off balance. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!

I am not a Leyland fan, but I would not agree with “he doesn’t care”.
Tonights game will have us all on edge. Hopefully the Tigers can get on the board early and quiet down the rowdy fans.
The best team advances…….or maybe the lucky one……go Tigers.

This is Leyland’s last year by his own choice, regardless of what happens. He quit on us like he quit on Colorado (look it up, by his own admission). I love the tigers, but that does not mean I look the other way whenever Leyland’s foolish old ways get in the way of a championship.

He hasn’t quit on us like he did in Colorado. In Colorado he came to the decision he was burnt out and was doing the team a disservice. He also left money on the table in the 2 million range, which he didn’t have too. Familiarity breeds contempt at times, I however can’t say 4 managers I would rather have lead and love my Tigers more than Leyland (at this time). He is not perfect, who is?

Maybe proof read before posting. Leyland would have a contract next year if he wanted one, since Illitch lost his mind.

There is no point in defending Valverde. He has been horrible this year. On the verge of collapse almost every time out.Many of us here have been seeing this coming for months……months!
To think (and say) he just an an off night and everything will be OK is buying a bill of goods. It won’t. Putting him “right back on the horse” would be the worst thing possible.
His teamates are fearful, pensive, anxious and demoralized when he enters the game. No one can convince me otherwise.
JL may feel like he will stick with him but the truth is he is stuck with him. As all we are.That does not mean you have to pitch him.
It is also the times that Valverde pitches like this. They are the mission critical times. I can’t remember them all in detail but I sure remember the one against the Indians when we were beaten only to be saved by a 3 run super clutch HR by Cabby in the late innings. Enter Valverde and an incredible come from behind victory was turned into a crushing defeat. It shocked the Tiger faithful that Valverde could let this happen after what had preceded.
A manager is not chained by loyalty, or routine. He can make creative decisions and think out of the box.
Ask MayoSmith.
Heck, ask Joe Girardi.
.
I said before this series that JL would need to manage better. He did not make the fatal pitches in that 9th inning. But he has not adjusted to Valverde’s demise this season. He has watched it develop with the same Hope & Dream philosophy that has not worked in 6 years.
.
Some will say we have been in the post-season 3 times.
Yes we have–and we have left losers every time.
.
As to this game. Who do we play. Well it will be the same cast of characters in their familiar places. Leyland will make one more stubborn lineup out.
In my lineup we would have Kelly in and Young where he belongs.
I would drop Peralta in the order and be ready to replace him with Worth if he gets on base.
I’d be batting Dirks 2nd.

I do not understand why Leyland did not ask Peralta to sacrifice with runners on first and second and no outs in the fourth. Huge mistake on my opinion. Maybe I am wrong.

that’s like asking a pig to fly

Well I certainly agree with you and said so at the time. This is my problem with Leyland. He is a linear thinker. Narrow-minded and stubborn. The shame is he has so much experience he should be able to do better. He has it in his head that certain players can or can’t do certain things. Well I will tell you that Jhonny Peralta can sure hit into DPs with 2 men on base and nobody out just about as predictably as anyone in the game of baseball.
He certainly should have been bunting. And like I said yesterday, he gets that bunt down he is a hero in that dugout and is personally stoked the rest of the game.
Peralta will play again today. I admit I like the idea of Worth there better than JP. But not for today. JP has been showing signs of a better swing lately. Also unfair to expect Worth to perform under duress like that.
Now if JP came up to bat in the 5th in that situation I would make him bunt or put someone in who can.
I do NOT play Delmon Young today. There’s something wrong about that guy and possibly the impact he has had on the squad this year. Maybe it’s the extra “L” in his name?
Just kidding—-not going to “delmonize” him for the team’s tribulations. But how long do you play a guy that has lost his power and can’t drive in runs?
Put in Kelly. The guy actually thinks on the ball field and is a team player.

this isn’t the time to change up the formula.

Evan = Jim Leyland

Definitely a bunt situation with Peralta last night, simply because Oakland was going to score a limited number of runs. Even a 3-0 lead in the 4th would have changed the game entirely. At the time, not in hindsight. If Peralta can’t bunt, we’re playing the wrong guy for the lineup we have.
In the 9th, pitching to Crisp with 1stbase open and two out, Stephen Drew on deck. If that’s not an intentional walk situation, what is? We could have pitched to Drew and also had a force play on. Was Jim stunned or something?
People defend JL, want to know what he does wrong. We’ve been giving examples here all season. He doesn’t have it anymore.

I was expecting the intentional walk as well, him on base meant nothing, so why not try for the force?

I’m still waiting for the answer to that one. Without it, this will go down as a managerial meltdown.

As I understand it, Leyland quit the Colorado job because he couldn’t handle the type of ball played up there in the thin air. Can’t say as I blame him for that, but the “burnt out” business might not be entirely accurate, perhaps partially.
For anyone who uses this argument, one’s inability to name potential managers isn’t a very good reason to keep the one you have.

On to tonight’s game. My biggest fear is the ability of the Oakland hitters to foul off pitches. Even Verlander can’t go 150 pitches. If we score 3 runs again, we lose.

game 5 with justin verlander starting on regular rest. stay positive fellas.

If his arm is healthy, Albuquerque will be a great closer. He is brave.He went there and got the job done under real pressure.

Al was really good last night.

I’m not gonna blame anyone. As far as I’m concerned the score should have been 2-1. Tigers 2, Oakland 1. That’s how I saw it.

Still ticked off. The big boys need to finally show up! Thats all there is to it.

There’s more to it than that! They also have to swing the bat properly!
They also need their manager to be willing to try something different.

Here’s the best suggestion that won’t be used that I’ve read in years. I can’t take credit for it because it comes from another site. Here it is:
Porcello starts the game, goes 2 innings, then Verlander comes in.
Talk about thinking outside the box. There’s Justin on the mound in the 9th with 91 pitches thrown. Think about it.

well then I’d rather start with smyly

That’s the exact same first comment on the site I read.

I used to do that when I coached little league. Start a younger kid to give him some experience, then bring in an older experienced pitcher.

I’d rather win 15-0.

Austin Jackson CF, Quinten Berry LF, Miguel Cabrera 3B, Prince Fielder 1B, Delmon Young DH, Andy Dirks RF, Jhonny Peralta SS, Alex Avila C, Omar Infante 2B, (Justin Verlander P)

oakland:::: Coco Crisp CF, Stephen Drew SS, Yoenis Cespedes LF, Seth Smith DH, Josh Reddick RF, Josh Donaldson 3B, Brandon Moss 1B, Derek Norris C, Cliff Pennington 2B, (Jarrod Parker P)

That’s all pretty interesting actually. Smyly might do OK 1st time through the order. though I do think he would feel too much pressure. Don’t know why our guy would feel more pressure than any of the Oakland rookies but I think they do.
Porcello seems to do well for 3 innings so that is a very interesting idea.
I can just see the sneer on Leyland’s face and the fear in the reporter’s eyes if this subject were broached.
GK, I remember those 15 zip games. We had a few in previous years..
I’d be interested in a straw poll here among our Bloggers as to who they think will win this game. I don’t know why but I think we will.

Maybe you think that because JV is pitching?

The commentators said Crisp had the 3rd highest BA for RISP in the AL at around .375 from memory. The commentators alluded to what would happen with the stat but JL simply froze in the headlights.
Funny thing about closers but the A’s season opening closer, Fuentes isn’t even on the team with the A’s happy to eat the 4th highest team contract. Balfour also had at least two goes at the closer role with Cook also given a go.
I think we all kidded ourselves hoping the Tigs would close this out pain free but that wold have been a huge anomaly on the 2012 season. I think they can still win provided Miggy has some AB’s with runners in scoring position – 2 opportunities in 16 post season AB’s wont get it done. Fielder has also had limited opportunities with 3 AB’s from 16 with RISP. JL has to change the 2 hole so that these two stop having to try and do everything.

Agree with you and other posters who want Dirks in the 2 hole. He hit .462 (last I checked ) in the first inning this year. In game 1 against this very pitcher, Berry did a good job so we hope for deja vu. Splitting up our lefthanded batters is very important but the best combination is to have them hit 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 9th. Our problem still remains how do we score runs. Justin’s history with the A’s this year: 5/13 3-1 W, 9/19 6-2 W, 10/6 3-1 W keeps me smiling. Go Tigers!!!!

Oh well, with Berry in the 2 hole, miracles do happen, particularly this playoff season. Still can’t believe watching Raul yesterday and the Giants the past 3 days.

That bottom line of our order reads: Justin Verlander P!! Right?? Nobody better. We can do it!!! Go Tigers!!!!!!

Mayo, partly but I also have come to believe the Leyland mantra that our hitters will start hitting. I’m pretty sure they will go through 166 games with this “going to happen”. Leyland seems pretty sure that none of this is any big deal and “is what it is” and all his positivity has finally rubbed off on me.

The team with the fewest home runs advances first. Of course, Posey’s grand slam was key to their three game sweep on the road. Back in 1972, Oakland won two at home, and then came to Detroit. Same 2-3 format used this year. Do the baseball Gods owe us a victory in the fifth game this time?? We will find out early tomorrow.

I was at that 5th and deciding game back in ’72.

Four team have comeback from 0-2 in the ALDS. Twice vs A´s.
Giants are my alternate team. They went thru. But I wont need them

Here’s the lineup:
1. CF Austin Jackson

2. LF Quintin Berry

3. 3B Miguel Cabrera

4. 1B Prince Fielder

5. DH Delmon Young

6. RF Andy Dirks

7. SS Jhonny Peralta

8. C Alex Avila

9. 2B Omar Infante
.
Is there any doubt that The Formula will also be employed. This is Leyland at his worst “In-Your-Face” managing. It leaves nothing to the imagination.

When asked who will win tonight, I try to fall back on my “neutral observer” stance. And in that stance………..I have no idea.

My alternate team is the Nationals and they’re tied at 1-1 in the middle of the 8th. If they win, I’ve got tickets to tomorrow night’s game 5.

Nats win

Put in on the board. Tigers win 7-1.

If they win 7-1 Greg you are not compelled to give us 3 “good thins”!!

Valerde is being PAID OFF to throw these games,iF ya can’t see that then I don’t know whatto tell ya and Leyland is in on it to!!!!

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