J Ellet Lambie of Hazaa recently offered his opinions on Randy Johnson’s persuit of 300 wins, which came to a successful end yesterday at Washington. You might recall that the Nationals are the former Expos, which is the team Johnson broke in with, and where he won exactly three games before being shipped off to Seattle.
Many kudos to the Unit on that historic accomplishment. From a freakishly tall guy who had no clue where the ball would go when he pitched, to a 5-time Cy Young winner, it has been an honor to watch his greatness develop.
So much for the good news:
Over the past three days the Tigers have been pounded into submission by the bullies from Boston. Sadly, Detroit offered little resistance, both from the offense (if you can even call it that anymore), to the pitching staff. Only Armando Galarraga offered a decent performance among the starters, and the bullpen was a combined terrible at worst, shaky at best in all three games.
Getting swept is never fun, getting swept at home is worse, and getting swept at home, by Boston, without putting up a real fight is maddening. A quick check of this morning’s standings show the Kitties still sporting a 2.5 game lead though. It can’t be that bad, right? Right? The Tigers’ blogosphere disagrees.
Rogo of DesigNate Robertson thinks the Tigers are rapidly becoming the Knicks and compares Dave Dombrowski to Isaiah Thomas. Ouch.
Ian at Bless You Boys leads the parade of fans leaping from the D-Train bandwagon.
Kurt at Mack Avenue Tigers passed along some notes from Lynn Henning, and outlined what he believes the Tigers must do going forward. He’s been banging the Zach Miner to the rotation drum for a while now, and I agree. I just hope to see him starting for Colorado or Seattle soon.
Rock n Rye of (746 miles) From the CoPa offers a short post on the train wreck that was, and wonders if Dontrelle has thrown his last pitch as a Tiger.
Blake at the Spot Starters gives us some historical perspective on Dontrelle’s efforts yesterday.
Jen of Old English D laments the inconsistencies of this Tigers team so far.
To all of this I say that I agree, to a point. From what I saw of Willis yesterday, he was getting squeezed a bunch in the third. If he gets a call on one or two of those pitches to Pedroia or Drew, the Sox have to start swinging, and maybe the inning ends differently. But he didn’t get those calls and they didn’t have to swing, and the end was what we all witnessed. Ugly.
Jim Leyland seems likely to stick by Willis at least for now though. He mentions in Jason Beck’s blog that control hasn’t really been a problem until now for Dontrelle. I certainly hope we have not seen the last good performance of Willis’ days as a Tiger.
The winds of change are certainly blowing in Tiger Town, however. The imminent return of slugger Marcus Thames and pitcher Jeremy Bonderman will mean roster moves. There has been talk of possible trades, as the Tigers look for a bat.
Could Thames be moved? That may depend on the severity of the Miguel Cabrera injury, as Thames could have to fill-in at first base until El Martillo gets back. I look for Ryan Raburn to head back to Toledo when Marcus is activated.
Bonderman’s rehab stint is over, he figures to start game two of Monday doubleheader with Chicago. When Bondo is activated, someone has gotta go.
Could this be the right time to DFA Brandon Lyon? I barring a trade, I’d doubt you would see someone else released. Ryan Perry is the only real candidate to be optioned out, and I don’t see that happening yet. Freddy Dolsi has been having a very good year in Toledo, and can provide depth in the bullpen to fill Lyon’s role once a starter is moved out.
And make no mistake, a starter must be moved out. The way it stands, Detroit figures to carry 7 or 8 starting pitchers on their staff, for only five slots. The cost of moving Robertson or Willis will probably mean a trade could be on the horizon, likely involving a less expensive pitcher, like Miner or Galarraga.
The Tigers are also in need of a left handed bat to hit in the middle of the order. From what I’ve seen, Jeff Larish is not the answer. I’d like to see him as part of a package to Colorado, maybe with Miner and some minor league arm to try to get Brad Hawpe. I wonder if that would be enough?