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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Henning: Implosion Leaves Tigers’ Bullpen a Mess

Let’s play it again, Casabianca?

“We haven’t really made any decisions,” explained Leyland, who left Valverde in the game even after a leadoff single by Russell Martin and Ichiro Suzuki’s home run cut the Tigers lead to 4-2. “We want to put our heads together and discuss it first, and get together as a coaching staff and talk about it.

“But I don’t really have any final information on it yet.”

At some point today, Leyland, general manager Dave Dombrowski, assistant GM Al Avila, and the coaching staff will decide ahead of Game 2 (4:07 p.m.) how to deal with replacing the bullpen’s most critical pitcher.

This isn’t a simple matter of shelving and replacing. It goes beyond roles, and extends beyond simple numbers.

“Say, Father, say,
If yet my task is done”

fra paolo Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:55 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alcs, bullpen, closer role, jim leyland, jose valverde, tigers

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   1. fra paolo Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4269416)
Re-posted from the OMNICHATTER thread:

858. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4269192)
To recap:
Any manager not as dumb as Leyland would have had 1 or 2 forgettable Tigers pitchers finish out a 4-0 9th inning, leaving him in great position to turn Game 2 over tomorrow afternoon with a 1-run lead to a well-rested and seemingly recouped Jose Valverde.
Instead, he wins Game 2 anyway, burns up the secondary levels of both bullpens, now knows (?) that Valverde is a basket case on the road now (and even if he doesn't, he can't be dumb enough to use him tomorrow anyway), AND the breaking-down Jeter is broke and now done for the season.
Leyland is a genius.
One could argue that Leyland actually broke with his normal 'his guy' philosophy. Because it wasn't a save situation.
On top of that, as mgl noted here, Valverde has a bit more trouble with LHB than RHB, at least in that this season he's suddenly found them harder to strike out. Plus, Yankee Stadium's short right-field is going to work in favour of LHB.

Paradoxically, Leyland should probably have stuck to The Book: 'It's not a save situation, so I'll keep Valverde's powder dry.'

And if you want to rebuild a player's confidence, isn't it something better to do at home?
   2. Tricky Dick Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4269442)
I notice that Valverde's average velocity is declining each year. He averaged 93.3 this year and was at 95.7 in 2007. I didn't watch the game, but was Valverde's velocity down a bit?
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4269454)
Smyly looked good, use him to close and don't mess with anybody else's role. Being a closer isn't some magical power, it just requires the ability to get guys out at a reasonable clip which most MLB pitchers are capable of.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4269544)
Leyland said that Valverde will not close today. Didn't say who will.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4269551)
I notice that Valverde's average velocity is declining each year. He averaged 93.3 this year and was at 95.7 in 2007. I didn't watch the game, but was Valverde's velocity down a bit?
His first fastball was an even 90. He managed to get up to 92-93 after a bit. It wasn't nearly enough.
Smyly looked good, use him to close and don't mess with anybody else's role.
Given the heavy LH tilt of the Yankee lineup, Smyly could be very useful in a lot of roles in the bullpen.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4269555)
Any manager not as dumb as Leyland would have had 1 or 2 forgettable Tigers pitchers finish out a 4-0 9th inning,


The hallmark of every postseason is that a manager - one who has just guided his team over the course of 162 games into the playoffs - makes a suboptimal tactical move, at which point BTFers who don't know anything about what he did over the regular season decide he must be "dumb," if not an outright bad manager.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4269559)
Smart people do dumb things all the time. I always wonder, when people claim that managers are simply "dumb" because they didn't pull reliever X, if people know any smart people. They're frequently dumb, and in particular smart people tend to be smart about certain things in certain situations, and less smart about other things in other situations.

I want to maintain the option of both saying that Leyland's bullpen management last night was stupefyingly dumb and that I think Leyland is generally a good, smart manager.
   8. Shock Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4269566)
I actually think it was smart to use Valverde up 4-0. Any pitcher should be able to close that out and maybe it "restores confidence" if he gets through it unscathed. But after giving up the homer to Ichiro, with the slew of lefties due up (Valverde's numbers against lefties have not been great the last two years,) it was probably time for Smyly or Coke.
   9. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4269569)
Right--the horrible decision was leaving Valverde in after the Ichiro homer. The fireable offense, even after everything Leyland has done for the team and the city, was leaving Valverde in to face Ibanez. Do I really believe that Leyland should have been fired this morning? No. But it's a justifiable gut reaction.
   10. Tim D Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4269576)
Tigers announced that Valverde is still closer he just isn't going to close. For now. Well, they won, and whoever the non-closer closer is will be better, so that's a win-win in my book.
   11. franoscar Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4271385)
Walking Ibanez seems like a smart move to me.
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4271435)
No manager will ever be as smart as the dumbest robot.

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