Leyland: Rotation choice was Verlander or Sanchez for Game 2

It seems like a while ago now, but all the speculation about the Tigers postseason rotation — once Rick Porcello was clearly not part of it — centered around whether Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander would start Game 1. Manager Jim Leyland said today that wasn’t the question. It was Game 2.

Leyland said he watched a postgame show Friday night, with pundits talking about him sleeping better with his decision after Scherzer’s gem, and didn’t take it well.

“If the truth be known, in my mind, I thought it was a no-brainer, the first game starter,” Leyland said. “I thought the second game starter was a tough one, because you could’ve had Sanchez or Verlander. I picked Verlander simply because he’s been on this big stage out here. I thought it would be good for him. He’s shown that he can do it.”

Sanchez’s strength at home also played a part. The debate over whether Leyland made the right choice in Game 1, however, flummoxed him.

“Sleep better? I thought it was a no-brainer,” Leyland said. And now everybody’s saying, ‘Boy, he made a good choice.’ I made a good choice whether he did good or bad. I mean, I made a good choice now because he did good? It was the right choice.”

97 Comments

bigger question is why start Kelly tonight?

No trust in Dirks bat or Delmon Peralta ´s glove

C’mon Iggy. Square up the barrel. He’s not hitting anything hard whatsoever.

3 runs in last 26 inning

i just saw 2E in the dugout talking with Max. But 2E isn’t on the ALDS roster, so does that mean anyone on the 40-man can be in the dugout or what? Hows that all work?

I think they can bring guys I think I saw Holaday in the pen last night too.

They chartered a special plane and everyone’s spouse, kids, significant others and guys not on the roster came along.

Offense is impotent……….no doubt about it. You can talk about a layoff but it’s been going on much longer than that!

Bob Welch vs Reggie Jackson

Another ugly night at the plate……come on guys!

Dan & Jim say it’s almost like when Miggy plays there is a power outage because everyone is waiting on him. When he wasn’t in the lineup, the Tigers took on the mantle. They gotta start hitting..

These hitters are making me disgusted. Kathy, I think you are absolutely right about how they play with Miggy in the lineup.

How many mistakes can JV make tonight and still win? One? None?
Our hitters are negligent.

That’s why they have to win this not only for Justin but for themselves.
.
Let’s light a candle.

And a strike em out throw em out. Not good AJ and Iglesias

AJ has to do beter than that. One of the worst hitters with a man on 3ed I have ever seen. Anti-clutch.
Even ahead 3-0 and you don’t feel comfortable. Brutal.

Should not have swung at ball 4.

Sometimes, they just don’t work the count.

You mean almost never. I’m not sure they don’t try I just think that don’t even posses the ability to foul off tough pitches.

Not Iggy;s fault in any way

Well he can get a better jump he was out by a mile.

Misplay by Torii…..

Well, hope Justin can hold on.

Here we go …….screw up an opportunity and A’s get a gift single because Torii can’t catch a routine ball and a single.

Oh, my. Justin is dealin.

Holy cow. How can these guys not play better behind pitching like this?
I just don;t get it.

Not a straight steal. That was a hit and run. Not Iggy’s fault.

We will have to agree to disagree Dan.

The Tigers very rarely succeed with strike em out, throw em out, because they pitcher and catcher don’t execute it very well.

And then they flip to highlights of the BoSox game and hitting HR after HR.

We can agree that the Tigers aren’t going to progress very far in the post season if they can’t start to hit. Pitching can be great but you still gotta score runs.

7 pitches to the heart of our order and they are out.

Cespedes hit was plain luck. He was late and the ball went to the opposite field and Hunter was positioned as expected against Cespedes who always pulls the ball

Great job by our hitters. Fielder has hit 6 bounces tonight . It’s a bit beyond belief.
We, as Tiger fans, were very justified in our concerns this year about the evaporation of our offense.
It may have disappeared for the rest of 2013.
Get Peralta in there. Where’s Castellanos?

Offense is as flat as a pancake….

The A’s score and we likely lose . Pretty simple really with this offense

It’s not over yet.

Nope but their pen is excellent and well ours is not advantage A’s the longer this goes.

Ya know on a different matter I watch a lot of games around the league and something that I’ve noticed is that the tigers are the only team that buttons up their jerseys, don’t have pine tar all over their batting helmets. They look like professionals…most of these teams look like beer leaguers and the worst offenders the Red Soxs…..they actually look like dirty homeless people. Big pet peace of mine.

They are vicious on the field and have vicious fans.

Pet peeve

The pitchers are dueling each other.

Can AJ please show some signs of versatility if not creativity/ Why not drop a bunt down? JV does not deserve this.
Who would have thought at the beginning of this year that this highly feared offense would actually be a problem?

cause he’s not very good at it?

Not me

102 pitches for Justin.

11K’s. C’mon, Tigers. Let’s win this and go home.

Dropping the ball , wide throw. Not his night for Hunter

Missed scoring opportunity….and bam a lead off pinch hit double. AJ and Torii not coming through yet again.

Al in—mistake. We need a DP—Porcello should be in

SUPER AL!!!

No kiss today , job well done

Only dancing

Maybe Victor can do something.

Middle of the order tigers lineup…..well they freaking suck. He’ll 1-5 suck.

I’d bring in Rick now and see how long he can go.

Good call. Thought the same thing

And AJ swings at a 3-0 pitch in that crucial inning? JL gives him a green light?

That will probably do it folks……A’s first and third and nobody out.

Really Porcello………..

Here comes Rick. Good luck, man!

Jim should’ve listened to me.

Neither Cabrera nor Fielder were at fault. One was preventing the extra-base , the other the SB

And was a pretty good pitch

Like I said earlier you can pitch your ass off if you can’t score a run it doesn’t matter and this team is flat…squashed and looking real bad and have for nearly a month. Don’t get me wrong Gray was good but we’ve played some not so good pitchers lately and looked just as crappy. Not going very far if you can’t score runs.

You need strike out pitchers there not Porcello……not surprising that was the outcome. Good night.

It’s a heartbreaker.

It’s infuriating,

The deserving team won tonight/
:Lots of happy fans and announcers.
{
Pretty disgusted with our hitters.
Peralta should probably be playing 3rd.

Big loss. This team is in real trouble now.
Miggy is ineffective. Biggy is impotent. Ciggy is not managing like a champ. (Letting AJ swing on a 3-0? Hit and run with 2 strikes and a man on 3rd. Everyone knows that AJ is gonna K on that pitch.

Shake it up. Leyland, or it will be too late.

Porcello was the choice there IMO. They needed to get ground balls and they had to avoid a walk or a wild pitch. Something Al is prone to.
Weird scheduling. Am I correct in saying they are playing early Monday afternoon.?

Yes, 1 PM

He should have started the inning. AlAl burned all his adrenalin up in the 8th.

Time to bat AJ 9th. You can’t have your leadoff hitter (table setter) whiffing like that..
Fielder disappearing again, just like last year. No Delmon to supply power we are lacking.
No sure what Leylland is thinking throwing Al that 2nd inning. Certainly after Cespedes gets on you gotta be thinking about the need to get the DP.

Mayo, I agree. JL has made this mistake with Al a few times. Al comes in performs better than can be expected. But instead of appreciating the good fortune Jl sticks with him thinking there will be more. No, with Al, there will be less. Count on it. If you get a key K or 2 then luxuriate in it and count your blessings. Leyland got greedy.

Again, Green light for Austin Jackson with a runner on 3rd?
That one is on Leyland all the way. As was the ill-fated hit & run.

Jim is getting raked over the coals by TBS. Whew! Jim & his BP decisions. Nothing we don’t know about, eh?

We have now had two great ball games in Oakland with the home team gaining the split. Back to Detroit and for those of you going to the game let’s see you make some noise!!! Super pitching by both teams has limited the hitting. Last year we played thirteen postseason games and scored three or fewer runs in nine of those games. Mayo had the right idea with Porcello to start the ninth and then the tenth and eleventh if needed.

Well as far as what tbs say I would take those idiots with a grain of salt. I didn’t mind bringing Al in for the second but would of taken right out when he gave of his first base runner. The problem is there isn’t anybody out there JL can be trust.
.
I was thinking last night after the game was over…how smug we were last year when the Yankees looked so bad at the plate….well the shoe is on the other foot this year isn’t it? A lot of expensive bats looking very outmatched.

They thought Jim was insane for not using his closer. Benoit had pitched 1 1/3 innings the night before is why I’m thinking Jim didn’t bring him out.

It was the studio crew not the play by play guys and you said the same thing earlier in your comments. They needed a strike out pitcher.

Well, I guess that proves that Justin is an ace! I don’t know too many people in GR that like Jimmy Smokes. Dan, did not see the game so I liked your comments, El Tigre as well. We will hit homers on Monday afternoon and win these next 2. Go Tigers!

BTW: A´s hitting cant be found either. 3 runs for each team so far. Last year, it was the same for them

“We hoped if he hit it on the ground, we could stay out of a double play,” Leyland said. “And it was a 3-2 pitch, probably a ball, but that was easier said than done.”
Hope and dream or delusion and denial? 129 SO during the season. The 12 GIDP were nothing compared to that. Earl Weaver had no sign for hit and run, because you dont want the batter swinging at a bad pitch. And he had to with iglesias running. The TV crew here was expecting a squeeze play, they dont know JL

Melvin gave us a gift bunting with Reddick. The game could have been over before the bottom of the 9th.

I’m just discussing strategies here, not saying we lost because of, so don’t go there.
We’re not scoring, we won’t begin scoring, so each game has to be handled as such. That’s the reality. In that reality, the manager’s decisions are paramount. Two bad ones last night, the obvious ones.
Putting Iglesias in motion in that situation was not the right call. The Tiger “hitters” don’t handle it well and quite often swing and miss. Better to have let Jackson and Hunter take their hacks.
You never send Alburquerque out for a second inning, ESPECIALLY if he’s just danced off the mound after escaping a big situation. I assume Jim is thinking matchups and such, but we know Al won’t get it done the second time around and so should Jim. Besides, wasn’t that the exact situation where you’d use Porcello? He could have gone several innings.
This isn’t second guessing, I thought these things at the time. Granted, if we score that run in the 5th and Al mows ‘em down in the 8th (both unlikely scenarios), we’re not having this discussion.
Jim, you may be a prince among men but your game decisions leave a lot to be desired. And we’re going to need you at the top of your game with our current lack of runs.

With Sanchez and Fister going at home we should see a return to what is called “a ground ball’. Maybe it will take a great play by Iggy to fire up his mates? Well actually I take that back. There does not appear to be anything that can fire up an iceberg.
If the performances we saw from Max and JV couldn’t do it what can? Those guys walked off the mound pitching their balls off (pun intended) 14 times without inspiring ONE SINGLE SOLITARY run from their team-mates.
Al did his job in the 8th and could not inspire the troops. (No way should he ever have walked out on the mound the next inning). Leyland doesn’t hesitate to yank Smyly after a batter or two but after declaring how he doesn’t really need a lefty because Al gets them out with aplomb–he tried to prove a point.
Well the point he proved is Al is a big strikeout pitcher but not a two inning reliever.
Let’s hope he recognizes that now.
the damages is done, the game is lost. Hopefully not Al’s confidence along with it. This is a guy who pitches on the razor’s edge. complete loss of control is a breath away. like I said yesterday, JL needed to be happy with what he did in the 8th and count his blessings and good fortune.He should not have dared to expect it would carry over to another inning.
Get Austin out of the leadoff spot. Put Omar there. Bat Kelly (or Dirks) 2nd. then Torii, Fielder, Victor and Peralta.
I think it may be time to sit Miggy. Watching him flounder may be contagious to the rest of the team. They actually have played pretty well without him.
Play JP at 3rd.
Don’t be afraid to PR for Avila when beneficial. Playing Pena afterwards is not a dire consequence of that move.

Miggy isn’t the problem he hit the only ball last night that was hit hard by a tiger. Not exactly floundering and ruining the tigers chances in my opinion
.
Is JL really the problem here? He has a pen which is unreliable. He had $82,412,000 dollars worth of hitters on the field last night and they stunk it up. Bob Melvin has many good options in the pen…..Leyland has 2 1/2 options. That’s on DD.

Did anyone say Leyland is the problem? Myself, I’m talking about strategic moves with a team that has problems. There’s no single blame in a team sport.

Agree about Miguel Only him has hit in both games. He had an RBI in the first game.
Watching him playing injured is something you expect would works as an example.

All I’ve read all night/morning (heck all year when they lose) is Leyland’s decisions are wrong. I rarely read especially in a loss responsibility put on a player or players. Conversely if they win he never gets any credit. Do I love every decision he makes…no but frankly he can not be as big of an idiot you would be lead to believe reading here or listening to local radio and been in his position for decades..???? Sorry I typically believe in putting most of the blame/ credit on the guys on the field. You need players to execute……..these guys couldn’t get a baseball out of the infield.

But why is this becoming a definition of a Jim Leyland team? I don’t have the answer but I do know that his teams go into team wide prolonged slumps. They are composed of respected sought after big league players but yet can appear as helpless as a lineup of Quintin Berrys or Matt Youngs.
A team that can appear to be mis-matched against whomever may be pitching that day. I’m not talking Sonny Gray here. I think there are times (that seem to go on for weeks) that Wilfred Ledezma, Zach Minor, Nate Robertson or Alfredo Figaro, could shut us down.
It’s not all Jim’s fault but it is his problem. he needs to solve it. That’s his job, and if hecan’t then you need someone who can.

Times scoring two run or less….
Dodgers….57
.
St. Louis….47
.
Pittsburg….56
.
Atlanta….53
,
Oakland…..47
.
Tigers…39
.
Tampa….47
.
Red Soxs ….38
.
While I’m extroidinarily disgusted and disappointed with the offense.,it doesn’t appear to be a Leyland problem …it just appears to be something that happens to all teams. These guys just picked the worst time ever and yes it is prolonged. 11 of the 39 game happened in September. They have got to dig themselves out and Leyland can’t hit for them.

Let’s hear from Rogo. He has more time to write than I do.

http://detroittigersnark.blogspot.com/2013/10/both-good-leyland-and-bad-leyland-on.html

Agree with you Rich regarding Al. One inning tops. And the dancing off the mound at the end of the 8th (IN OAKLAND) was just another example of poor impetuous judgement. If that’s how he celebrates UNFINISHED business, he shouldn’t. Talk about giving the home team and fans motivation.
I think JL has misused Rick twice now, and it’s yielded the same result. He did it in the Miami game and again last night, bringing him in with the bases crowded and game on the line. He’s not a closer. JL should have brought him in to BEGIN the 9th as Rich stated. Let him control his own situation. Anyway Jim should have recognized that the dance routine by Al used up his remaining energy reserves.
I don’t fault JL on the hit and run play. He was trying to get things going. But at this point I’d like to see the lineup shaken up a bit. Austin isn’t getting it done. Try Omar or Jose at number 1. Move Austin down to 7, 8 or 9. At this point I’d stick with Miguel. He’s hitting the ball better than most of these guys. Just no power. Sad really, the injury taking away so much of his power. Maybe at least give Jhonny one start in LF and hope his bat makes it worth it. But Kelly, with a little bit of offense, has not hurt the team.
I’m worried about what’s going on with Torii. He’s been in a funk on both sides of the ball. (Except for that perfect bunt base hit in game 1). Last night he just wasn’t himself. He overreacted to the pitch up and in which didn’t look intentional. He’s playing very tentative. I wonder if there are some bad feelings left over from when he played with the Angels. The two teams being obvious rivals. Were the Oakland fans getting to him? He’s the unquestionable leader of he 2013 Tigers, including the pitchers. He needs to display the joy and of the game he displayed all season and the confidence he modeled. A lot is on him but IMO he’s the true leader of this team. Hands down my favorite Tiger. Looking forward to Torii leading this team back out of their funk. Coming home will help a lot.
GK, agree with you, the players need to get the job done.

Thanks Rich for the Rogo read. Why should Leyland get credit if the tigers win? He is not the one playing on the field! He makes bad decisions as a manager. Yes El Tigre, where was the squeeze? Oh yeah, JL is the manager. Where was Rick in the top of the 9th, oh yeah, JL is the manager. Let’s hope the good JL shows up on Monday, or the tiger bats! Go Tigers!

If he’s going to get the blame when they lose you need to give him credit when they win. You can’t have it both ways.

Saying a manager can’t hit for the hitters or pitch for the pitchers is therefore a valid excuse for every manager ever fired.

It’s not that a manager cannot affect a game….but there are a million decisions in a game but a manager could make right decisions but if the people actually playing the game don’t execute it doesn’t matter. Players affect the outcome more than any manager ever can.

I can understand the reticence of many (of any) to replacing Miggy. He can hit as well as anyone for sure.
but, is the team capable of playing good enough ball with him in the lineup? Are they waiting for him to lead the way? Are they getting as discouraged as he must be with every at bat and the inability to drive the ball?
I don’t know. I do know that without him in the lineup I recall their W/L record as being very good. Perhaps they play better knowing he’s not there.
Would I take him out as a manager/ No. No way.
I’m just wondering out loud what is wrong with this team.

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