Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The agony (updated), the amusement and the bunts

The Twins are no longer in first place, but there are worse things than falling into second.

What happened in the eighth inning to Joel Zumaya, for example.

The Tigers reliever was diagnosed Tuesday with a fracture of the olecranon, the tip of the elbow. (I had no idea I had an olecranon, and I'll wager you didn't either.) He's out for the rest of the season.

He threw a 99-mph pitch to Delmon Young and collapsed in agony. The sight of his right hand convulsing was frightening to see. Bad as this is/was, it's probably better than the shredded elbow ligaments I expected.

Zumaya's string of significant injuries is one of my informal data points for the notion that some athletes are doing things that the human body simply cannot support. That he throws 100 mph consistently even after his shoulder has given way, even after his finger has given way, is remarkable. But he continues to go down with injuries.

Dick Bremer, during the postgame show, called Zumaya one of the game's top relief pitchers. That's overstating matters a bit. He's talented, to be sure. He's certainly one of the hardest-throwing hurlers. But he is out of action with injuries so often that he can't be rated above Matt Guerrier, for example, and Guerrier isn't making any All-Star teams.

I suspect that given the choice, the Tigers would rather have lost Monday's game and have a healthy Zumaya. They don't get that choice.


From the painful-to-witness to the hopelessly hilarious: Jim Thome's triple. I'm pretty sure Alex Voigt ran faster in his marathon a couple of weekends ago than Thome did Monday.

It's not that Thome isn't trying. He simply is about as swift as an anvil.


I've long been an advocate of bunting for hits on power pitchers, most of whom finish their delivery off balance and don't particularly like to run around. The Tigers laid down three bunts on Francisco Liriano without the Twins getting an out.

I can't even blame the right fielder-playing-third for any of them — all three were to the first-base side. These were on Liriano, Orlando Hudson and Justin Morneau. (And the Tigers deserve credit for some good bunts, too.)

1 comment:

  1. Ed, you've just been promoted to general manager. What three steps or changes would you implement?