Dave Brown at Yahoo! caught former Tigers/Twins/Jays ace Jack Morris saying something after last night’s Twins-Yankees game that, in addition to being dumb, was pretty damn hypocritical too. He’s talking about Francisco Liriano here:
“The good guys never let it slip away, and he let it slip away.”
As Dave notes, Morris isn’t one to talk, because for as long has he’s dined out on Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, he let plenty of post season games “slip away.” Click through to see Dave’s takedown of the winningest pitcher of the 80s.
Personally speaking, I’m not surprised Morris brought this kind of negativity to the party. I’ve mentioned it before, I think, but I will never forget the time I met Morris in person. It was 1984, and he was signing at a card show in suburban Detroit. Because my dad knew a guy, my brother and I got to hang out with Morris in a private room before he went out to sign autographs.
What do you say to the ace of the Detroit Tigers? If you’re a ten year-old boy like I was you ask him if he was pitching that night. “No,” he said. “Glenn Abbott is.” If you’re Jack Morris, you then go on to talk about how Glenn Abbot isn’t very good and how no one on the team is all that confident in him. And maybe they weren’t — Abbott was released and his career was over not long after that start — but it’s not the kind of thing a team leader necessarily repeats in front of a bunch of kids and strangers, is it?
Maybe Morris was being sarcastic or something and I just didn’t catch it. Maybe he was having a bad day. Either way, that has always colored my impression of him. And when I hear him come out and bury Liriano like this, it doesn’t do much to make me want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Liriano’s game didn’t end that well for him. But please, spare me the “good guys never let it slip away” malarkey, OK?
Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.
Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”
“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”
Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.
Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.
The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.
The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.
The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.
The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.
Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.