Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What do Tigers dream of, when they take a Tiger snooze

Well, never say never, but it looks like the Tigers' season is over.  Down 3 games to 1 against the Rangers, I don't think they will be able to win three games in a row.  And here's why...

I have never been a Jim Leyland hater, I actually think he's a really good manager, and a lot of the Tigers' success comes from him (before he was manager the Tigers hadn't had a winning season in 13 years).  However, the reason the Tigers lost today is in large part due to his decisions.  For starters, playing Delmon Young when he is obviously injured is not helping, and actually cost the Tigers a run in Game 4 when he was unable to come up with a ball hit to him, and was barely able to make a throw to home plate, allowing the Rangers to take a 3-2 lead.  He can't hit with his injury.  He's a defensive liability.  Why play him?  Well , the obvious answer is, who else do you play?  Honestly someone off of the bench like Dirks is a better option at this point.  So that was a bad call, at least in my opinion.

Second, having Jose Valverde pitch in this game for multiple innings after he had pitched the previous two days, one of those outings being a muli-inning appearance.  I do not blame Valverde for the Game 4 loss, he was just gassed.  Who else to pitch though in that situation?  Well, I will admit I shuddered when Brad Penny was put on the post-season roster, but Leyland has not used him at all.  This is an extra innings game that is a must-win for the Tigers, and the Tigers have the luxury of a fifth starter ready to go in their bullpen...  there were options that were better, only because of Valverde's workload recently.

Also, sending Cabrera on Young's flyout, and of course walking Beltre to face the hottest two hitters in the the Rangers' lineup...

Now, none of this may have mattered.  Although, on second thought, that's a lot of questionable decisions by the manager.  The Tigers have been decimated by injuries, and the guys who aren't injured are not delivering in key situations.  I think it just comes down to the fact that Texas has a better team than the Tigers do.  But you know what?  I'm not mad at all that the Tigers are likely finished, they are one of four teams to make it this far out of 30 MLB teams.  That's a damn successful season.  And with a few changes in the roster, they should be a much better team next year, that will be much more hungry to go further.

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