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Jim Leyland is not happy with Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer

May 17, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT

Jim Leyland Reuters

Before the season, whenever a radio host asked me to make my division winner picks, I would say something like “if I had to bet my children on the outcome of any race, it’d be the AL Central. The Tigers are a lock.” So far, not good. Sorry Mookie and Carlo, but you’re gonna have to pack your little bags and go live with the nice people at the casino or whatever.

Jim Leyland seems more unhappy about than I am, however (look, my kids can be annoying sometimes). And his ire is directed mostly at his third and fourth starters, who are not getting the job done:

“It has to get better. It’s hard for any bullpen to survive a couple starts like we had the last couple days. Two days in a row and 100 pitches by starting pitchers in the fourth inning? That’s not acceptable.”

But as Leyland notes, sending down either of them is not on the table. There really isn’t anyone else to take the job. This team, to be successful, has to have Scherzer and Porcello eat innings at the very least. To keep them in ballgames. To give the offense a chance and to minimize the amount of innings a flawed bullpen is forced to pitch.

And boy howdy have they not been doing that.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    It would help if Fielder also picked up his game. So far he has hit like a !0 million ball player rather than a $20 million ball player.

    • proudlycanadian - May 17, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Edit: $10 million.

  2. lazlosother - May 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    If I got to bet my kids I’d have bet the Astros.

    • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      ….to win the NL central?

      I don’t think picking a team to finish last is quite the same as “to make my division winner picks”.

      • ThisIsBaseball - May 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        Maybe he hates his kids and that’s part of his master plan?

      • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 9:42 AM


  3. number42is1 - May 17, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Craig – 2 questions:
    1) how old are your kids
    2) do they read HBT?

    if the answer to # 2 is yes i hope you saved up a bunch of monies for therapy. j/k i tell me kids how annoying they are all the time and it seems to have no effect at all. I mean my parents did it to me and i turned out just fine… those fuc*kers!

  4. sgtr0c - May 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Betcha’ he wishes he had a punk like Cole Hamels now……..

    • dexterismyhero - May 17, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      beat me too it……have a smoke Leyland……………

  5. Ben - May 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I think they’ll both be fine.

    Scherzer’s striking out over 10 per 9. His fastball velocity is actually up a bit. Walking a few more too, but not quite to Jonathan Sanchez territory.
    But his BABIP is over .400. That’s going to screw a pitcher no matter what. The thing that makes me wonder about Scherzer (besides him maybe being a headcase) is that his offspeed stuff is moving much quick than last year. I wonder if there isn’t enough separation and it’s letting batters catch up to pitches. Then again, he’s striking out a ton of batters.

    Porcello, same story. He’s actually striking out more batters and walking fewer of them, his groundball rate is better than it was last year. But his HR/FB ratio has gone from 9.9% to 16.3%. Once that drops he’ll be the Porcello we know and love, despite never quite making a leap to the next level.

    • pestiesti - May 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      If ever a comment on a baseball blog could feel like a hug, it’s this one.

  6. azvikefan - May 17, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    You know it’s bad for the Detroits if the Twins beat them in a high scoring game,

  7. fusionix7 - May 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    It would also help if he would actually leave the productive starters in the game when they have a low pitch count. Fisters last two starts, and Smyly’s last start for example.

  8. scoregasmic - May 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Dont blame Max and Rick, the bullpen can’t keep the lead with in the last two innings to save their lives

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