Originally written on Tigers Weblog  |  Last updated 11/16/14
43-36, 1st place, 1 game up on Cle… Well, last night was incredibly disappointing, and the Rondon outing led to an outcry of criticism regarding Leyland’s bullpen management.  Hop over here if you want to discuss. Even more concerning that the bullpen issue is Justin Verlander. Yes, he went 8 and allowed only 2 ER, but he allowed 9 hits and 4 walks. That’s a 1.625 WHIP. With only 4 Ks. Not a good outing. As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I couldn’t find league-wide count specific data, so I decided to list the same counts, with JV’s OPS+ against: Count OPS+ 0-0 66 1-1 148 2-1 221 3-1 34 For whatever reason, JV gets hammered on 1-1 and 2-1 pitches. Note, even when the next pitch isn’t put into play, the OPS+ against for all events after 1-1 is 137, and after 2-1 is 147. He’s having a lot of difficulty when he gets behind in counts. Let me rephrase that, because I’m certain that every pitcher has a lot of difficulty after they get behind in counts. JV is having an unreasonable, and unusual, amount of trouble once he’s behind in the count. The Tigers have baseball ops guys who I’m sure have all of these stats, plus some, so JV knows or will know all of these things. Curious to see when he gets it worked out. ************ Porcello gets the call in today’s rubber match. The last two times out have been pretty bad for the kid, but we’ve seen stretches of good stuff from Porcello. And those stretches seem to be getting longer and longer. He’ll be opposing Jeremy Hellickson, who would be 4-0 with a 1.87 ERA in June if you remove a 8 earned in 5 2/3 inning outing vs. the Royals in the middle there. ON the season Hellickson is getting a lot of run support. Despite a 5.11 ERA he’s 6-3.  He doesn’t strike out man (6.74/9), and gives up nearly 1 HR per start. He’s given up 10 to lefties already this year. In 16 starts this year he’s given up 5 or more ER 6 times. He’s got 6 quality starts, 3 of those in his last 4 outings. Also, let’s not forget the Rodney – Cabrera subplot which came to the forefront during post game interviews. In case you missed it, Cabby took a shot at Rodney by shooting an imaginary arrow into the rafters after the win on Friday night. Rodney responded by buzzing Cabby last night. Cabrera struck out on the next pitch. Leyland wasn’t too pleased, though I’m not sure if we can coin Leyland’s response as a “threat”. Considering the think ice that is the bullpen these days, I’d prefer to focus on winning the game without getting anyone ejected. The best way to show-up Rodney and TB would be to win a series on their home field. We gotta win series. Today’s Lineup: 1. Jackson, CF 2. Hunter, RF 3. Cabrera, 3B 4. Fielder, 1B 5. Martinez, DH 6. Dirks, LF 7. Infante, 2B 8. Santiago, SS 9. Holaday, C    

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