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Jose Valverde: 49-for-49 in saves in 2011, blows one on Opening Day, vultures win

Apr 5, 2012, 4:21 PM EDT


UPDATE: Yup, he vultured it!  After blowing his first save of the season, Jose Valverde gets the win when Mark Melancon couldn’t keep the Tigers off the bases and Alfredo Aceves couldn’t keep Austin Jackson from singling home the winning run.

4:08 PM: Jose Valverde was absolutely perfect for the Tigers last year, saving all 49 of his 49 save opportunities. I guess it’s a new season, however, because he just blew his first chance in 2012.

Justin Verlander pitched eight shutout innings, and Valverde came in to pitch the ninth with a 2-0 lead. He then gave up a double to Dustin Pedroia, a single to Adrian Gonzalez, a sac fly to David Ortiz which scored Pedroia, and a triple to Ryan Sweeney which scored pinch runner Darnell McDonald. The top of the ninth ended with the score tied at two.

We’ll update if Valverde vultures a win.  Some pitchers just know how to win, you see.

  1. - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Did he go through his entire “act” while blowing this save?

  2. legacybroken - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    A vintage Jim Leyland decision to blow up in his face.

  3. buffalochris - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Well BSOHL didn’t help him with loss of 15lbs at the start of camp LMAO!

  4. yankeesfanlen - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Well, at least AJax comes through with the walk-off. Even I would agree with pie-time

  5. phukyouk - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    WHEW! btw i think he blew a save in the post season last year but i could be mistaken.

  6. randygnyc - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Perfect. Verlander doesn’t get the win and the Sux still lose. Lol.

    • kopy - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Verlander just doesn’t know how to win. He’s not a gamer like some guys in the league – usually the ones with the most run support.

  7. - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Seriously, If a guy has a 49 of 49 in save conversions…I’m not betting that they keep that pace up.

    With the exception of Rivera. Dominant closers are exceptional for about a season and a half, and then they come back to earth.

    I’m not saying Valverde is going to “suck” now. Just don’t expect that type of production to continue.

    • pharmerbrown - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      See Rodriguez, K.

      Also, I like the term “vulturing” a win. Is that like taking an interview then negotiating with your boss? Because I need to vulture me a raise…

  8. butchhuskey - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    My hate for the “win” stat knows no bounds

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      That’s about right. An 18.00 ERA and doesn’t hold it for Verlander. Some winner.

    • spudchukar - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      While I understand the angst, awarding Valverde the win, I just cannot contemplate who else should be given the win. Certainly, Verlander deserves it, but that would open a Pandora’s box of trouble. Since no one else pitched, Valverde gets the nod, but it is lame.

      • kopy - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        The Tigers should get the win. Why do we need to give one to a pitcher in the first place?

      • spudchukar - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM

        Mostly cause that is a pitcher’s primary goal.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        As opposed to the hitters, who care diddly squat about getting wins. They’re there to entertain the masses while pitchers do the work of actually winning the games.

      • spudchukar - Apr 6, 2012 at 8:15 PM

        What that is down right dumb. Of course hitters are trying their best to keep pitchers from winning games, and doing all they can to help their pitcher win. I assume, most people understand their prospective teams are trying to win, but maybe that needs to be explained too.

        The point was, and also clearly stated, that sometimes life is unfair, but also bad options, are the only choice. A team win category is frought with problems. Team errors, a good idea, a team save maybe, a team win, is not an intelligent choice.

  9. cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Did he do a vulture dance in the dugout?

    • rambodiaz - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      He did the dance of a man whose BABIP was .247 last year and is at .263 for his career. It’s a man who’s had a pretty good run of luck.

      • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM

        Oh. That dance. I’ve seen that one a few times.

      • rambodiaz - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:22 PM

        So how you feelin’ about the Jays this year, buddy?

      • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

        Real, real, REAL good. How do the Pirates look?

      • rambodiaz - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM

        As Pedro Alvarez goes, so go the Pirates. He looked okay out there today – way better than he did in the Spring, at least. The lineup’s not strong enough to stand on its own yet, but the rotation and the pen are solid. Not a .500 team, especially if Pedro doesn’t rake. Something to build on, though, and that feels pretty good.

  10. aceshigh11 - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I almost fell off the goddamned treadmill when Aceves blew it. Typical start to the season.

  11. pisano - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Valverde was super lucky to go 49 and 0 in saves last year, a total fluke, this guy is no Mariano Rivera, as a matter of fact he couldn’t carry Rivera’s jock, so don’t be surprised about a blown save.

  12. bubba56 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    The real story today is that the Bosox got a really good start on a strong 4th place finish in the AL East. Boston in gong to have to cancel Valentine’s Day hereafter.

  13. scoregasmic - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I hate how the fact that JV through a masterful game isn’t even being talked about anywhere…but johan Santana’s 5 inning game is everywhere on espn

  14. 24missed - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Mesmerizing work by both starting pitchers on Opening Day. This was a pins and needles game and it was well worth waiting to watch later at night. The rally by the Sox was the momentum to shift the game, until Melancon. It was tough to see Aceves eat the final two, ’cause he’s a guy that’s been given five minutes notice to be the closer. Either way, a tip to Verlander and to Lester. They kept the bats pretty quiet.

    *Sweeny can hit, but where is J.D. Drew in RF? Sweeny looked so lost.

    161 to go.

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