#NiceBullpen

In honor of the wonderful job the Tigers Bullpen has done five games into the 2017 season, let alone the last 10 years, I’m starting a new twitter hashtag campaign, #NiceBullpen.

Bruce Rondon’s ERA is 40.50, is that good for your setup man?  Fear not, he has run into some bad luck, opponents are only hitting .500 against him.

Kyle Ryan, Anibal Sanchez, Alex Wilson, and Shane Greene haven’t been much better.

 

Tigers 6 White Sox 0

The Tigers ended a miserable season on a positive note by taking the season finale 6-0 over the White Sox. Daniel Norris and the much maligned bullpen combined on a three hit shutout.

The 74th win of the 2015 campaign was good for a last place Central Division finish and will provide the Tigers with a top 10 draft pick next season.

Here is my Good, Bad and Ugly for the 2015 season:

The Good:

  • James McCann finishes the year without making an error.  He has taken over the #1 catcher position
  • J.D. Martinez followed up last year’s impressive year with another one finishing with 102 RBIs, not bad for a guy the Tigers got for virtually nothing.
  • Justin Verlander looks like he will come back and be the Ace of Tigers staff in 2016
  • Nick Castellanos had a good year at the plate.  Remember this was only his second year.
  • Drew VerHagen, Alex Wilson, and Blaine Hardy look like they will be competent arms out the pen
  • Miggy won is fourth batting title

The Bad:

  • Victor Martinez’s injury riddled season
  • Miggy’s injury ridden power numbers
  • Castellanos’s play at third base
  • The inability to play as a team.  No part of the team “picked up” the other
  • Finishing in last place in the AL Central

The Ugly:

  • The base running – leading baseball in runners thrown out at home plate and just the overall incompetence on the base paths.
  • Hitting into the most double plays in baseball
  • Pitching – 28th in ERA 4.64
  • Bruce Rondon being sent home

The season in over for the Tigers but I’ll still be posting throughout the post season.  I’m predicting a Mets | Blue Jays World Series.  I’d like to see Granderson get a WS ring.

A big Flashin’ Leather Thank You to everyone that reads and comments!  I really appreciate your support!

Tigers 5 Twins 4

Alfredo Simon pitched well, better than his final line indicated.  He ran into some bad luck in seventh but this was a quality start. Both VerHagen and Simon’s outings would look and feel better if they had a little luck but both pitched well.

Victor Martinez had three hits and should have, should have, had four. This is his first three hit game since July according to Mario Impemba.

James McCann had three hits, raising his batting average to .276. I didn’t realize, he hasn’t made an error all season.  This is a very impressive rookie campaign.

Drew VerHagen and Alex Wilson both looked good out of the pen and the Tigers have a chance for a series win tomorrow night.

The Twins missed a chance to pick up a game on the Yankees and Blue Jays who both lost tonight.

UPDATE: I almost forgot to mention the perfectly executed hit and run and safety squeeze the Tigers pulled off in the top of the ninth inning. These two plays resulted in the fifth and winning run.  My first thought was, bravo.  My second thought was, ‘where has this been all year?’ In any case, I guess it is better late than never.

Rays 8 Tigers 0

The Tigers failed to complete their first three game sweep since very early in the season.  The Rays absolutely mutilated Tigers pitching and the offense did nothing.  The game was pretty much decided when Miggy struck out in the bottom of the fifth with the score 3-0, with runners on second and third and two out. After that, the Rays added on and the Tigers never threatened again.

I heard a rumor.  Supposedly Ron Gardenhire will be the next Tigers manager. Again, supposedly, it is a “done” deal and will be announced shortly after the season is over. The comments are not too complimentary of the former Twins manager on the site the rumor is posted on.

I’m not sure what to think to think anymore.  Gardenhire was one of my favorite managers for a long time but Sark made me rethink that position. Paul Molitor seems to have done a good job with the same team Gardenhire had problems with. Also, I’m not really sure what to think about the job Ausmus has done. The Tigers have had horrible injuries to key players with no farm system. Ausmus can only call on who he has available.  What else is he going to do?

After the first two months of the season, the Tigers have had two reliable arms out of the pen, Wilson and Hardy.  They had 1.5 reliable starters, David Price and Alfredo Simon. After Price got traded, Verlander became serviceable but Simon fell from half a reliable starter to a quarter of a reliable starter.

The offense has been pretty much feast or famine.  I guess the one thing I could put on Ausmus is the atrocious base running.  The Tigers make so many outs on the bases that it is hard to stomach and it costs them especially in close games.  Also, Dave Clark might be the worst third base coach in the history of baseball. But it is hard to put this abomination of a season on the shoulders of BA.

This team is a mess and I’m not sure a new manager is going to fix anything.  This team seems to play hard for BA for whatever that is worth.

Tigers 9 Orioles 8

With the Tigers leading the O’s 9-2 I said to sometimes contributor inlovewithbaseball, ‘what if the Tigers make a run? What if all these moves change the chemistry?  What if JV keeps pitching they way he has in three out if his last four starts and Sanchez pitches well, and Lobstein comes back? That gives the Tigers three quality starters and hey, the offense is showing signs of life’.

What an idiot!!

All it took was a nine run outburst for me to lose my head and forget what I’ve watched for 100 games.  I forgot how many times the offense has tricked me with one game explosions.  And how could I forget what was lurking in the bullpen.  I think the Shane Greene bullpen experiment needs to be over although I’m not sure there are anymore options.

Where would the 2015 Tigers be without Alex Wilson, 20 games under .500?  He has to be the team.

The ball hit in the seventh or eighth inning that ate up Nick The Quick, does anyone think that should have been an error? Would an average third basemen have made he play?  I’m not sure?  It was a shot.

Oh well, I’ll take a W anyway they can get them.  Wins are hard to come by.

Mariners 7 Tigers 6

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that the Tigers have no answer for the 3-5 starting slots and unfortunately Kyle Ryan doesn’t provide one.  The offense staked him to an early three run lead that he promptly squandered.

Ryan couldn’t complete three innings and he departed the Tigers were down 5-3.

All things considered the pen did a good job. They were called on to pitch 7.2 innings, allowing 9 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, and struck out seven.  If that were the starters line the outcome would have probably been different.

Alex Wilson pitched another 2.1 strong innings last night and, ‘where would the Tigers be without him’? How many more times can they call on him and ask him to pitch multiple innings?

I’ve been very critical of Nick “The Quick” Castellanos. Last night, he followed up the first four hit game of this career with a two run shot.  I hope he stays hot and consistent. I really don’t want to see him traded.  I’d like to see some home grown talent on this team.

Blue Jays 10 Tigers 5

The Blue Jays avoided a sweep by putting 10 runs on the Tigers pitching staff, seven off of former Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander. For four innings JV looked pretty good. He surrendered only one run in the first off of a bloop double and a ground ball single then retired 13 straight.  He got into trouble in the fifth and that was all she wrote.

Ausmus found no relief in the pen either. VerHagen, Wilson, Hardy and Farrell didn’t look very sharp collectively. That being said, when a team scores seven off the starter you probably aren’t going to win too many of those games.

I was really impressed with former Tigers prospect and current Jays second baseman Devon Travis.  It is a small sample size but he looks like a keeper. I’m not sure if you saw Mike’s comment, from Minoring in Baseball, from yesterday’s post.  Yesterday when McCann picked off Travis at first it was an “all Whitecaps play, McCann to Avila, picking off Travis.”  There is something nice about homegrown talent.  Unfortunately there is not a lot of it on the Tigers.  Which brings me to another thing I’ve been thinking about.

Dave Dombrowski’s philosophy seems to be draft power arms then trade them for what you need to fill out the roster.  It is hard to argue with the success he’s had with the trades he’s made.  The Tigers have gotten the better end of the vast majority of his deals.  However, shouldn’t baseball be littered with former Tigers pitchers?  The only one I can think of that is still around is Andrew Miller?  Is the scouting that bad that nobody the Tigers scout and draft ever pans out anywhere?  I guess Cameron Maybin looks like he’s turned things around but he’s not a pitcher, but who else?