Category Archives: Pitching

Signs of the apocalypse; fans feel the first stirrings of panic

For Tigers fans, there are very specific events that might signify a coming apocalypse.  Inge batting above .250, Scherzer pitching with control for two consecutive starts ( . . . can you tell I’m watching the game right now?), etc.  I don’t know if any of you noticed, because he doesn’t belong to us anymore, but something happened this weekend that makes me think we may not have much time left.

Fernando Rodney has a win and a save this season for the Rays.  Already.  In fact, he got a save yesterday on one pitch.

I know, right?  I really have nothing else to say about it.  Just thought you all might want to be aware.

In other news, while our bats have proven as magnificent as we could have hoped (get it together, Brennan), the pitchers are responsible for the first stirrings of panic in our hearts.  I’m not talking about the 37 pitches Scherzer just took to get through one inning, either.  Fister is the first regular season DL victim, which I declared The Worst Thing yesterday, proving that I am not immune to the hysteria.  For those of us freaking out, Jim Leyland offered these comforting words:

“[Brayan] Villarreal has joined the team and we will have a starter at the appropriate time. Who it is, I have no clue. None.” (MLB.com)

I thought it was obvious that Below would be the starter, especially since Below pitched well above my expectations when he took over for Fister and thus can be on the same rest schedule as Fister, and Smyly would be pulled up as scheduled.  However, this also happened yesterday

Smyly- 1.2 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO

Ladies and gentlemen, your fifth starter!

Pitching status = awesome*

Porcello, Pauley, and Below

Oh, Pauley.

*This will be explained momentarily, though some of you may already know where I’m going with this.

Well, I was going to wax poetic about our beautiful, perfect spring record, but then PAULEY happened.  Whatever.  I’m using all caps for his name from now on, because that is the magnitude of my frustration with him.  The other reason is, of course, the errors.  Come on, guys.  This is why Kenny was in camp.  This is a known issue, you work on it, and this STILL happens.  First, Scherzer blows a pickoff, then Balester (who I generally like) ALSO lobs one into the outfield on a pickoff.  The infielders have also made their share of errors this week, and I’m not talking about the babies. I’m talking about guys who know better.

All that aside, though, the pitching.  I know that there have been a grand total of 7 games, and those games are spring training games, so small sample size, non-roster invitees, blah blah, but wow.  In 7 games, we have scored 45 runs, while the opposition has scored 15.  Almost half of those were scored against us TODAY.  Granted, we also scored 18 in one game due to freakish wind situations, but the wind works both ways and the Braves scored 3 runs in that game.  The four known starters all have ERA’s of zero with minimal control issues (…Scherzer).  But Pauley.  I’m harder on Pauley than some of the younger guys who have struggled because a) he has pitched in the majors and b) he was terrible last year.  He’s had three outings in a week with 4 walks and 8 hits.  Today, he didn’t even make it through an inning.  I believe the word for that is “guh”.

I mean, the hitting has definitely been pretty great, too, but I felt the need to highlight the pitching due to the number of games where the opposing team scored 3 or fewer runs.  Love.  This.

My husband and I listened to the soothing, familiar tones of Dan and Jim on WXYT today in our respective offices.  I missed the first part of the game, but got a text from my husband that Santos and Kelly had apparently had a nasty collision on an infield pop-up.  Santos took a while to get up, which led to a visit from Leyland and a trainer.  My husband reported that Dan or Jim said of Santos, “He might have taken a knee from Don Kelly in a bad spot”.  Heeeeee!  Later, someone hit a liner off the Phillies’ pitcher, which led to Dan and Jim adorably going on about him being hit in the “backside”, how much padding was there, giggling at themselves, then finally flat-out saying that he was hit in the “butt”.  Man, have I missed Dan and Jim.

Remember before when I said I was impressed by the hitting from the minor league and nonroster guys during batting practice?  Keep an eye on Patterson, Head, Berry, and still Strieby.  I keep being impressed by them in multiple ways.

Also, I think the panic about Miggy can cease.  It was only a week, people, and he’s obviously just fine now.

 

they must be anxious for spring at MLB.com

Because nothing else can explain the horribleness of this headline:

“Southpaw no longer Below the radar”

I clicked on the headline thinking “There’s absolutely no way this is actually an article about Duane Below”, but there it was.  Sometimes journalists come up with truly clever headlines, and sometimes this happens.  I can only imagine that, as the off-season winds down and we can smell pitcher and catcher report, they must be getting punchy over at MLB.com.

All kidding aside, it was a good article, and I’ll definitely be watching for Below at spring training.  I’ve gotten used to the revolving 5th spot in the rotation, and honestly, I don’t think it can get worse than a 5.30 ERA and 1.563 WHIP (…Penny).

And now I’ve surely jinxed the rotation.  Well done, me.