Notice a trend, perchance?
We had a nice little peak there--far longer than the average peak for a reliever--and now Thornton has slid all the way back to where he was just a wide-eyed 31 year-old, not yet learned in The Way of Coop.
One could hate the sinner--and Thornton has done himself no favors by plunking the specific lefty he was brought into retire the last two times out--or they could hate the sin of trusting Thornton to wade through any tight situations with righties.
He's closer to being a LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY) now than he is to the 2010 version of himself, and certainly closer to a LOOGY than WIll Ohman ever was. In real-world application, a LOOGY rarely actually faces one left-handed batter and leaves, but he still faces about 60% lefties, and certainly isn't relied upon to retire Delmon Young with the bases loaded in a tie game.
Dan Johnson has been brought up as part of September call-ups, and his presence means that the Charlotte Knights playoff run will be deprived of their MVP. Johnson hit .267/.388/.494 with 28 home runs this year in AAA Charlotte. He had an awful slump in July and his power has waned in the second half, but it's still been an amusingly dominant minor league season for the 33 year-old journeyman.
Since Johnson doesn't really play a position besides 1st base, it's hard to see how he'll contribute in any way besides being a left-handed pinch-hitter. In other words, he's in a perfect position to hit a super-clutch home run in Game 162 yet again.
Johnson is likely to be the only actual call-up of any consequence, as the rest of the September additions will be the return of injured veterans. Orlando Hudson is already back as of Saturday, Alejandro De Aza will be back Sunday, and Leyson Septimo will have a spot waiting for him too. The Knights being in the playoffs could also drag out the wait for more call-ups. Then again, September call-ups are really only interesting when your team is terrible.
-I fail to see how splitting the final two games and exiting Detroit with a two-game lead wouldn't be a perfectly acceptable result. What's the point of even having a division lead if not for the margin of error it provides in head-to-head matchups?
-Adam Dunn is hitting .189/.311/.437 in 79 games since June 1st. He's also hit 22 home runs in that span, and had awful luck on balls in play, but I fear that the shift is too effective against him to expect his luck to turn. Adjusting to hit the other way more would probably sap some power.
-Jake Peavy has gotten knocked around in his last three starts against Detroit, was a trainwreck in his only playoff appearances in San Diego, and has a angry, panicky mound presence, so he's going to be dealing with 'not a big game pitcher' catcalls until he subverts the narrative.
That might be hard, since he seems to be one of those pitchers who struggles against elite offenses (just like, you know, all pitchers), there might actually be something harmful about never coming off as composed during tight situations, and he's legitimately lost zip on his stuff since he established the ace reputation he's still being held to. He's a good pitcher, though.