May 17, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT
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.
- Stephen Strasburg exits start in the second inning with an apparent injury 0
- More than half of polled baseball fans prefer having the pitcher hit 18
- The Marlins aren’t happy with the Dan Jennings hire 38
- Andrew McCutchen is doing just fine now, thank you 15
- The schedule: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it 69
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 71
- Eduardo Rodriguez dazzles in major league debut 23
- Masahiro Tanaka expected to rejoin Yankees next week 4