LAKELAND, Fla. -- Manager Jim Leyland was looking for better command out of his high-strikeout specialist, Al Alburquerque, after his three-walk, four-run, one-out performance last Sunday. He didn't see it on Thursday night.
"No, I did not," Leyland said. "I saw some hanging sliders and not very good command at all."
Statistically, the command was better, in that there no walks. From a damage standpoint, though, he gave up a leadoff single and a two-run homer, both off sliders.
Alburquerque was having a very good spring up until last weekend, putting together eight innings of one-run ball on four hits with 12 strikeouts through last Friday. At this point the Tigers have to figure out if this is a brief blip, a mechanical issue or something else.
Whatever it is, Leyland didn't hide his displeasure, even if it wasn't directed at Alburquerque.
"Some guys need to step it up," Leyland said. "We'll find out. Performances are starting to get evaluated. It's getting late."