As I'm sure most everyone else felt, I figured the Tigers were done on Saturday once B.J. Ryan came in for the ninth inning save. He was lights-out as a closer last year, and might have been the best in the majors last year. The only thing holding him back from 40+ saves was the number of opportunities the Jays gave to him.
But the guy who pitched on Saturday looked nothing like that. Everything was high and outside. He couldn't have been that afraid of Sheffield, Ordonez, and Guillen, right? As it turns out, it's not that Ryan didn't want to give them anything to hit. It's that his elbow didn't allow him to do anything else with the baseball.
On "Baseball Tonight," Orestes Destrade and Eric Young thought it might be a delivery issue. It looked like he was "throwing uphill," they said. (E.Y., by the way, has turned out to be pretty good, I think. Very shaky start, but I shouldn't talk considering how much I mess up doing a podcast. You could also send yourself to an emergency room if you took a drink every time he says "I tell you what," but I could count how often I say "you know," and make myself pass out, too.)
But what do the Will Carrolls of the world tell us? A problem with velocity equals shoulder trouble, and location means it's the elbow. Do I have that right? Oh wait - no, it is about his mechanics.
So the Tigers end up the beneficiaries of Ryan's bad fortune, in what was a tough early season series. And if you're a fan of baseball in general, not just the Detroit Tigers, you wonder how this could affect the AL East race. (Or your fantasy team. Oh, did I have Ryan as one of my closers? Son of a...) Because from what I've seen in six games from the Jays, they look like a serious challenge to the Red Sox and Yankees (especially since any one of us could be a starting pitcher for the Yankees over the next week or so). Remember, Toronto actually finished second in the division last year.