WHIP — Walks and
Hits per Inning Pitched
— is 1.60, second worst
among AL qualifiers.
It really doesn't matter if a low-strikeout rate pitcher is one of the manager's "guys." He's going to lose out to ineffectiveness at some point, and even if the manager is too stubborn (or without superior alternatives), the pitcher's going to get hurt.
Blackburn has 148.1 innings for the season, 183 hits allowed, 54 walks and four HBPs. That's 241 baserunners allowed. The ineffectiveness part is certainly there.
And now, so is the injury part.
Swarzak pitched well in relief of Blackburn, getting out of the bases loaded jam and lowering his ERA for the season to 3.12. But like Blackburn, his strikeout rate is too low (4.5 K/9 so far this season) to believe that he's a long-term solution.
|Curtis Granderson slides past Drew Butera with his inside-the-|
park home run.
The Monday print column — on the virtues of Curtis Granderson — was written well before his exploits on Sunday. I touched it up after his inside-the-park home run to noted that he had tied Jose Bautista for the AL lead in homers.
But I failed to check on Bautista later in the day. Bautista homered Sunday as well, and thus maintained a one-homer lead on Granderson.
Taking nothing away from Granderson's hit — he smacked it well — but the Twins outfield play added a base or two to it. Ben Revere and Jason Kubel converged on the wall, and the ball hit high enough on the fence that it ricocheted hard and back toward the infield. Ron Gardenhire fingered Revere as the guy who should have pulled back. Not that it mattered in the final outcome; Mark Teixiera followed with a traditional over-the fend homer, so the Yankees would have gotten two runs out of the two batters even if the Twins had held Granderson to two or three bases.
The multiple surfaces of the right field wall proved tricky from the time Target Field opened. It's bound to bite the unwary and the inexperienced from time to time.
The Tigers swept the Indians this weekend, but I took particular note of this bit of foolishness:
A couple weeks or so ago, there was a kerfuffle involving the Tigers when Magglio Ordonez tarried at homeplate to see his his home run went fair or foul, and Angels starter Jered Weaver took exception. Later, Carlos Guillen put on a strutting display after his home run, and Weaver threw his next pitcher over the head of Alex Avila (and was ejected).
OK, so the Tigers figure it's OK to stand at homeplate to watch homers leave, right?
On Sunday, Asdrubal Cabrera tarried at home plate to watch his ball go foul, and Detroit's Rick Porcello threw his next pitch behind Cabrera's back.
Conclusion: It's OK for Tigers to do it, but not for their opponents.
This is known as Tony LaRussa logic.