Detroit Tigers Heroes and Zeroes Week 12: J.D. Martinez rises

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Jun 16, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain (44) makes a throw to first to get Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kris Negron (17) out in the ninth inning at Comerica Park. Cincinnati won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

#5 Zero: Joba Chamberlain 

Let’s get the negative out of the way early and take a look at the one glaring issue of last week, and all season really, Joba Chamberlain.

The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox staged a back-and-forth contest in the opening of their four-game series (which became three after the Saturday postponement) on Thursday. After a shaky effort from Alfredo Simon, the Tigers were able to come back and tie the game and force extra innings.

That’s when Joba went to work. A lot has been made this season about Joba’s WHIP numbers versus his ERA numbers. He has been continually brought on in jams and has been unable to get the key out to preserve a lead or tie. However he’s been very good at only allowing inherited runners to score (driving up the WHIP-1.500) while keeping his ERA relatively low.

So while he appears to be having a good season unless you dig down into the numbers, his ERA climbed to 3.15 when he allowed a 5-5 tie in the 10th to become an 8-5 Chicago advantage. The Tigers came oh so close to tying or winning it in the bottom of that inning, but it was too high of a mountain to climb thanks to Joba.

I don’t think many fans wanted to see Chamberlain return to Detroit this year after his meltdowns down the stretch and into the playoffs last year, however his $1 million contract was really a bargain for the Tigers, yet even $1 is looking like too much.

How many times can Brad Ausmus stick this guy in high pressure situations? I understand outside of Alex Wilson, the Tigers don’t have too many better bullpen options, but it’s hard to think there are currently any worse options.

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