the Detroit bullpen induces hairballs even this early in the season

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Are you really surprised, though?

I should start by saying that I did not actually see any of this game, due to this’n’that. I was, however, hopeful. I had watched the game closely the previous night, and it had rewarded me with only sorrow. Perhaps if I stepped back and looked away from the pot, it would come to a healthy boil, you know? And yes, I realize that this is insane thinking, but you know what I mean.

You’re reading a baseball blog. You know what I mean.

I come home to find out that Edwin Jackson pitched 7.1 innings, precisely what the Tigers needed after last night. He gave up two hits, one of which didn’t even come until the 8th inning. He did this on 89 pitches, right after Justin Verlander had required 80 pitches to stagger through 3.2 innings.

Inge homered! Miggy had a single and a double and two walks!

And all was wasted by the filthy stinking rat-urine excuse for a bullpen, by which I of course mean ‘The Wrong Brandon’ Lyon. He told them he was good to go, but he was just Lyon! You see what I did there? The badness of that pun is equivalent to the badness of this performance.

It isn’t just that he gave up a two-run homer to put the Jays in the lead, and it isn’t just that he gave up a walkoff flyball because he couldn’t keep the stupid bases clean. Annoying as it is, that stuff happens to most relievers sooner or later (pity it had to be ‘sooner’, but anyways). No, this richly-deserved blown save is particularly egregious because it took away from what was by all accounts a wonderful pitching performance on the part of Mr. Jackson.

You pitch 3.2 innings, you deserve to lose that game. You pitch 7.1 innings and only give up two runs and your offense has given you sufficient support? You ought to win that game. I mean, this was just cruel! Who knows when Jackson will have his pitching and the bats align again? If we learned one thing in 2008 it probably should have been that wins cannot be taken for granted. Poor Edwin may not get another shot at a W for, like, a month…. although if he wants to pitch like this every time out, you know, I would be OK with that.

I am trying to give the new cats the benefit of the doubt. It’s only been two games! So Adam Everett hasn’t had much of a bat yet: that’s not what we got him for anyways! So Gerald Laird sometimes looks like a bobblehead: we may come to consider this an endearing trait! But CATDAMMIT LYON, YOU HAVE MADE THIS DIFFICULT. I know it’s early, I know, I know, and it’s one outing, and blah blah. Despite it all I am now bothered by a nagging, persistent doubt.

I don’t think I really need to tell you that I am going to let those hairballs pile up unless the Tigers win some games. And we don’t really want to see that, do we? DO WE, TIGERS?

7 responses to “the Detroit bullpen induces hairballs even this early in the season

  1. Coming out of Spring Training I think we are all worried about Lyon. He didn’t show much this spring and I was disappointed to see him in a crucial situation right off the bat. I was really hoping we’d ease him into tight situations since he was having a rough time this spring.
    Here’s to Miner trying to hold the ship together tomorrow.

  2. Beer was banned in the stadium during the game, partially as a result of the ruckus on Monday night.
    When asked about the banning, Leyland said, “That has no bearing on me. I don’t drink beer, especially during the game.”
    Considering the filthy stinking rat excuse of a bullpen he has (except for Seay), Leyland will probably have a keg in the dugout by May.

  3. Samara Pearlstein

    Paul, right, precisely. His spring made me nervous, but it’s just spring, you know? NOW HE’S MAKING ME NERVOUS DURING REAL BASEBALL. That is not OK, Lyon.
    Mike, Jim Leyland’s body is a temple, he will not sully it with copious amounts of alcohol. He’ll just smoke more cigarettes. I expect he’ll be up to 4 or 5 packs a day by the end of this month.

  4. This season is going to be hairy.

  5. I believe fans knew there would be no beer at this game sooner than the opener. I don’t think it had anything to do with the tomfoolery of the first game.
    I’d like to petition Leyland to immediately put Lyon on the “Todd Jones rules”. One inning only. Never comes in with men on base. He doesn’t strike batters out and he’s not that much of a ground ball pitcher.

  6. @ Matt in Toledo: Remember that Fernando Rodney is our closer du jour (how scary is that), which is why Lyon was in there for the 8th, rather than the 9th. And does anyone else remember Earl Weaver, long-time manager of the Baltimore Orioles? He had a similar Leyland-ian addiction (actually, considering the chronology, it’s more correct to say that Leyland has a Weaver-ian addiction, but I digress) and had a nickname for his roller-coaster-esque reliever, Don Stackhouse: “Two Pack”. Cuz he could smoke his way through two packs in the time it took Stackhouse to close out a game. Note to self: Many more Tigers fans are smokers than just Jim Leyland. Buy stock in RJR Nabisco (or whatever they go by these days) immediately.
    Oh, and, Zoom, wherever you are… GET WELL SOON!!!

  7. I don’t really care about roles in the bullpen. These guys should be put in situations where they are most likely to succeed. That situation in the eighth was tailor-made for a strikeout and Ryan Perry was more likely to give it to them than Lyon.

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