Ausmus: Ankle prevented Joba from pitching ninth

The price of relief pitching likely just went up on the trade market. Whether the level of disorder in the Tigers bullpen did is another matter.

While Joe Nathan remains the Tigers closer, he was not necessarily the automatic choice to pitch the ninth inning. Brad Ausmus said after Nathan’s three-run ninth that he wanted to keep Joba Chamberlain in the game for the ninth inning (he used just six pitches in the eighth) until his ankle became an inning.

“We were going to send him back out there,” Ausmus said. “Ankle was bothering him. I don’t expect it to be an issue tomorrow. We were considering that.”

It’s an either-or situation with a tie game in the ninth inning, especially since neither had pitched since last weekend. With no save situation, there’s no reason to save the closer. If the setup man is the better pitcher, though, there’s nothing requiring the closer, either.

Whether the lack of work left Nathan rusty, the results weren’t pretty.

“I don’t know if it was the layoff or what,” Ausmus said. “He seemed to have trouble with his command a little bit. Fastball kept riding. Two-seamer kept riding quite a bit away from lefties and into righties.”

Said catcher Alex Avila: “His sinker was really moving a lot, probably a lot more than normal, and he was having a tough time commanding it. That’s been a big pitch for him lately. It’s been working really well. He hasn’t pitched in a while, and today you could just tell he didn’t have a real good feel for it.”

As for Chamberlain closing, Ausmus said, “I haven’t considered that at this point. … There’s a possibility that I could reach the point sometime. I’m not near that point. I’ll let you know when I am.”

Whether Nathan was closing would not have had an impact on Saturday night’s loss. Whether Nathan’s struggles has an impact on the Tigers’ bullpen search remains to be seen.

23 Comments

Win now? Soria, Sipp and Papelbon.
Since Porcello was available, why risk Scherzer?

Always lots of excuses. But really today Nathan was really only the straw that broke the camels back. A really crappy weekend of baseball all around.
.
I was at the game last night so I missed if there was something wrong with Scherzer other than the guy throws way way too many pitches.

Getting old really fast…..Joe, the hitting and the whole script.

Iott:
The Joba Chamberlain ankle thing doesn’t sound like an issue. Old injury. Bothers him on occasion. Long day.

Lineup: Jackson, Kinsler, Cabrera, Martinez, Martinez, Hunter, Castellanos, Avila, Romine. Smyly starting.

The “double” and the passed ball did not help him

They are going to Arizona. I guess Victor cant play catcher right now. And the offense is ,well,… offensive. Will they risk him?

Kind of leaves them with the Victor 1stbase Cabrera 3rdbase scenario. Not entirely beyond the realm of possibility.

Has to be that way

I forgot about 3b. He started twice at 3b during the inter-league. Entered late twice

I used to blame JL for ostrich-like behaviour. Perhaps he was taking his cue from David D who seems to have his head firmly buried in the sand. Getting humiliated at home by a division rival is never a good thing. DD should be handling this team as though it were on the brink. You let this carry on any further and the façade that the starting rotation and Miguel Cabrera will be enough wilil be very evident to an increasingly angry fan base.
.This team needs RBIs from Castellanos and Avila very badly
Letting Street and Soria slip by will be disastrous. Benoit will be under too much pressure to perform here and he will be mis-used as the set-up man with the stubborn intent on seeing Nathan “fix” himself.
Nathan has suffered and uncharacteristic ratio of balls to strikes It is killing him and his team. Couple that with his “dead arm” and
it is easy to believe his days of dominance are surely done.
Admit this and DD will be able to move on.

Until they acquire a reliever(s) they have no choice but to say that Nathan is the man. Desperation drives up the trading price.

The Cleveland-Detroit series have been odd, with one team totally dominating each one.

When was the last time we gained so much as a split in a doubleheader??

In y mind if DD haw not improved the ball team with a solid closer and a LHB OFer by the end of July-it will be a very frustrating summer and fall.

Cafardo:
“The consensus from the Astros’ staff is that the team could use a veteran presence in the lineup, and more importantly in the clubhouse. A Torii Hunter type to bring the young guys together and teach them how to win”

Maybe in exchange for a LHP?

Jackson leading-off:313.357.453.810. He is not the problem . Kinsler is the problem: 260 .293 .415 .708 batting second

Ausmus: “Don’t be shocked if Miggy’s at 3rd for a game in Arizona.”

As we get ready for the final game of this series, Terry Francona will have a ten man bullpen. Almost all season long he has had at leat eight men in the bullpen. Of course, they have needed to carry that many because the starters have not been going many innings. They also go most of the time with a three man bench. I like the idea of an eight man bullpen but cutting our bench to three men is nearly impossible. Anyone see a way to do it??

Holaday, Romine can play SS and 3b(he could bet he late innings replacement of Castellanos but has never been used for that),and JD could play 1B. But for what purpose? he goes with the same four relievers once and again

Joe Nathan continues to be a Tigers killer but now as a teammate! This was an ugly acquisition from the start and now your on the hook for 2 yrs and $20MM.

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