Leyland on Smyly vs. Konerko

Drew Smyly owns two saves this season through the three-inning rule: If you pitch the final three innings in relief in a victory, you earn a save, no matter what the margin. He hadn’t entered to finish out a one-run lead before, but with Joaquin Benoit off on Sunday, Smyly got the chance to stay in for the ninth after striking out Adam Dunn to end the eighth with the potential tying run on third base.

Konerko, a right-handed hitter was 4-for-6 for career off Smyly, all singles. He also entered Sunday batting .317 (20-for-63) off left-handed pitching with four doubles, three homers, nine walks and 10 RBIs. Yet he had been slumping badly for the entire series, to the point that Leyland was more worried about Conor Gillaspie, the left-handed hitting rookie behind him who had two solo homers off Tigers pitching this season.

So Leyland took a shot and kept Smyly in, with right-hander Jose Veras warming in the bullpen. Konerko was 0-for-2 off Veras, but with two walks, both this year.

“Obviously I know Konerko was 4-for-6 off of [Smyly],” Leyland said afterwards, “but he had no extra-base hits, and Gillaspie’s hurt us with a couple long balls. I wanted to be in a situation where if they wanted to leave him in to hit, I’d have the left-hander. I didn’t think it was impossible for Konerko to get a hit obviously, but I thought he’d keep him in the ballpark, which he didn’t do. So then as they changed their lineup, you’ve got Gillaspie and [Jordan] Danks, two lefties back to back, so you’re hoping to get that first out.”

Clearly, it backfired. Smyly felt like he made his pitch, but Konerko got it.

“It was an 0-1 fastball down and away,” Smyly said. “I looked at it on video. Couldn’t be in a better spot, but he turned it around. There’s nothing you can do about it. That’s why he’s such a great hitter. Cap call to him.”

37 Comments

Konerko is a good hitter, and he got ahold of a goos pitch by Smyly. Good that things worked out with the win, but it’s the offense that needs to step up a bit. Tigers pitching has been amazing recently, so I don’t think this is an issue.

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

well without omar, hunter, prince and miggy…..one expects the offense to struggle.

there’s always Kelly!

don’t forget about PED Peralta….

AJ (as long as no one is in scoring position), Pedalta, Vmart were really the only bats in the lineup….Alex (facing a righty) if you are being optimistic…
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seriously tho, yesterday’s defense was a joy to watch in person.

It’s going to be a tough series in Cleveland, without our best hitters I’m just not feeling good about it…..

I was just looking at Jason’s tweets about Miguel it just ones not sound good. Here’s the thing because we used him yesterday you can’t even backdate the DL stint if he has to go.

good point! yesterday i said to my wife “either JL is putting Cabby in to end this – or Coke”

This is a big, big week coming up, Cleveland and our boys have been on fire. I am heading out on vacation which means limited Tiger viewing this week so I will be in withdrawal, plus going crazy trying to keep up on my phone to see how we are doing against the Tribe.

Have a great vacation, TigerGirl.
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Well, here we are talking about yesterday’s breakfast. But, it was a delicious breakfast. One of the best games this year, imo. Great pitching and a walkof win in extra-innings. Just a great game. Not sure whether it was the right or wrong decision re Smyly, because he’s always been so good in those situations. It was my gut instinct that Veras would start that inning, but that doesn’t mean I was right. Konerko is a great hitter. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!! We have a huge road trip.

Kathy, it was yesterday’s dinner the game went so late. Sorry JL, excuses don’t cut it. I am very confident we can take this series because I majored in chemistry! Go Tigers!

If Smyly exits and Gillespie homers, JL gets ripped for taking him out. His reason does not sound like an excuse.

“Among players accepting 50-game suspensions: #Rangers’ Cruz, #Tigers’ Peralta, #Phlllies’ Bastardo, #Mets’ Valdespin, #Padres’ Cabrera.” Rosenthal

Just read that……..:(

I think people the Tigers are really going to miss him. Yes Jose has a glove but his at bats are going to probably look a lot more like yesterday which was bad rather than what we saw the first 2 days. That’s based on what people with more knowledge of him than what I have. And I said it before that’s ok but you need others to pick their hitting game up, Fielder, Dirks whoever is at 2nd and we need Miggy to get back. There are a few people on this team it wouldn’t have surprised me but Jhonny does. I was hoping it wasn’t going o be true.

Not sure if truth has much to do with this business.

I think you might be right on that. I’d still like to know what when and where?

I’ll miss him, his quiet personality, and great hitting. He was happy here in Detroit because Cleveland didn’t appreciate him. But, he’s doing what I hoped he would do and take the suspension.

I have no illusions re Iggy and his bat. We’ll appreciate when he does hit and we’ll love what he can do with his glove.

Between Peralta gone and Miggy’s injuries, they may need to give Castellanos a shot soon.

Leyland could have gone in either direction yesterday, Smyly or Veras. Both sound moves. In the end, the result dictates the reaction. If Paulie flies out, we’re not having this conversation.

Just because something doesn’t work out doesn’t always make it a wrong decision, it’s still humans who play the game. And let’s face it Konerko isn’t even the same threat he was last year.

Castellanos in the OF with Santiago/Kelly at third. Santiago has been giving his best effort in a while.

Has anyone seen Castellanos play recently? About a month ago, I read something to the effect he’s OK in OF if you give him 2 gloves. That is still a brand new position for him.

You think Nick could play thirdbase? He hasn’t this season, but it was his position. Nobody seems to know when Infante is coming back.

He has not even played recently. He has been off the lineup with paternity leave.
We had DY in LF, how bad can he be?

well folks tonight is a big night. Anyone know the status’ of Omar, Dotel or Miggy?

Sorry, I did not mean to say excuse but Veras has the stuff to get the job done. With our starters we don’t need many runs. Bad boy Jhonny. Why? I liked you being a Tiger!

About Peralta, I reserve my moral indignation for the real issues. HGH is not even a PED. And steroids? Well, you need to make contact first and hitting HR is more a function os wrist speed than raw force.
And if they want to damage themselves with dangerous , it is their business not mine since they are grown up people. The kids? I educate mine not Jhonny or ARod or Cirus Miley or the next fallen star

Castellanos played last night. Went 1 x 2 with a couple of walks.
We actually need his bat with Peralta gone. I expect he will be brought up before the end of the month, much like they did last year with Avisail.
Marcus Thames is masquerading as 2E and can’t be given regular time out there. Dirks is very dependable in the field but undependable at the dish.
We can get by for a while longer without Infante but losing Miggy (and Torii is gimpy now too) really hurts. We need that RHB. September we will likely get to see Dorn and/or Lennerton.

I read last Friday Wagner complaining for the shortened roster of Toledo and he mentioned that Castellanos was on leave again. I failed to check for his return.

Dan Dickerson was just interviewed and he said personally how much he will miss Jhonny because he liked him. But, he says, Jhonny’s issues never entered the clubhouse and his performance. Jose is now the SS.

Saw it

Is this entire thing MLB’s attempt to “get” A-Rod and the other suspensions are just collateral damage?

I think so….I wouldn’t be shocked if the Yankees were funding the investigations. They have hundreds of millions to gain???

It all started with Melky Cabrera and his “enabler” Bosch. So, no, I don’t think the other guys were just collateral damage for A-Rod. .They used Bosch also.

If a player had admitted it to MLB prior to the deal with Bosch, they would likely get less of a suspension. The players were all denying and refusing to talk to MLB.

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