Game Report 4-29-2005

I don’t normally do reports on individual games, but there was enough interesting stuff going on last night to warrant it.

First, the Tigers had no business winning that game last night. Tigers’ pitchers gave up 11 walks and they hit a batter. In the irony of ironies, Franklyn German didn’t allow any of the walks as he picked up the save with the easiest inning of the night. Between 1970 and 2003 there were 596 times that a team amassed 11 or more walks in a game (I love Retrosheet). However, only 48 of those times did the team fail to win the game. Only six times did those teams fail to score more than 2 runs. The White Sox had the leadoff hitter on in 9 different innings and only mustered one run. That game was the White Sox for the taking, but they failed to do so. That being said, I don’t want to take anything away from the Tigers. They picked up the win and they deserve it. They got the hits when they needed them. This was just one of those games that they happened to “steal.”

Second, something is wrong with Nate Robertson. He only hit 90mph a couple times that I can remember last night. I know it was cold so his 87mph velocity in the first couple innings didn’t concern me because he was probably still getting warm. However, he never really moved above that throughout the game. With his 7:1 walk to strikeout ratio last night, his numbers for the season are 15 walks, and 9 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. Don’t let the one run and 4 hits fool you, last night was not a good performance. He benefitted from two balls being caught at the wall, and two double plays. His BABIP for the season is .260, against a league average of .297. That is probably going to catch up with him sooner rather than later. I’m concerned that Robertson is injured. Often times a loss in velocity is a sign of shoulder troubles, while a loss of control is indicative of elbow problems. Nate seems to have lost both. Hopefully there is just a problem with his mechanics, but it is safe to say that Robertson is the pitcher that should have Tiger fans most concerned.

Third, I haven’t written much about Nook Logan, simply because I didn’t expect him to be in the lineup this much. I knew he was fast, I knew he could play defense. I didn’t know he’d hit as well as he has for as long as he has. When his hit in the 11th inning made it to the wall last night, you knew it would be an easy triple. I’m still doubtful that he can hit enough to warrant a spot in the lineup, but I’d be more than happy to have him prove me wrong.

So in the end, the Tigers got the win. They survived shaky pitching, due in large part to Chicago’s shaky hitting. In any case, they’ve won five in a row against division rivals (and the real kind of rivals, not the Royals). They’ve also guaranteed themselves a .500 record in April. All in all, not a bad month.

8 thoughts on “Game Report 4-29-2005”

  1. Great analysis of Nate Robertson’s struggles. I wasn’t watching as closely, while flipping between the Tigers and Pistons. But even while tuning in and out, I was amazed that the Tigers weren’t giving up any runs despite all the baserunners.

    Nook Logan really impressed me last night. I had my misgivings as well, but he’s been performing ever since Magglio’s injury gave him the nod in centerfield. Maybe he’s this year’s Craig Monroe.

    And despite Percival blowing the save, I’m impressed with the bullpen. That’s two straight games they gave the team a chance to win, living up to the expectations formed in the offseason.

  2. Not sure I think Robertson is physically hurting, but being such a competitor, he’s just the type of guy who could hide it. His release point seems to move around alot and at times he appeared to dip his shoulder a little. We need him to be the guy he was last year if we plan on being .500.

    Winning one run games usually takes a little luck and we got it last night. Lets hope we can keep it up!

    Logan has added a new dimension to this team. Even if he flames out, which may or may not be inevitable, the utility of his skills in this lineup cannot be overlooked. We need a quality defensive CF and someone who can set the table for this lineup.

  3. I’m not worried about robertson yet… he had the flu and 9 days without pitching in a game so I expected him to be a bit rusty. We’ll see if it continues.

    Nook is a huge spark for this team. He created the first run pretty much completely on his own today and drove in another. I’ve always liked his tools, he sort of reminds me of devon white, but he’s been very impressive lately. I wouldn’t expect him to hit higher than .280 in a season even with the way he’s swingin the bat right now, but it’s been quite fun to watch. Hopefully it will continue for awhile.

    Also, i understand the need to rest the starters, but going against the division leaders when we’re on a 5 game winning streak and building momentum wouldn’t it be smart to NOT rest two of the key elements in those wins in the same game? Seemed a bit much to me, even with a tough schedule coming up.

  4. Hey everyone, any thoughts on Tramell’s management of the team through 22 games, including lineups and handling of the pitching staff?

    He looks confused to me – in over his head for sure; this comes from a guy who had A. Tramell posters draped all over his room as a kid. He’s just not decisive. Waiting for evidence will kill a manager.

    If Sparky was there last night after the rocky 6th for Johnson he would have yanked him at the littlest sniff of trouble in the 7th. Tramell needed more time….too much time for the Tigers benefit.

  5. He’s been inconsistent… i think he has the ability to be a great manager, but he hasn’t quite found his way. He’s made both great and terrible moves this year and he’s probably an average manager when you compare him to others around the league.

    The one thing he has been incredible at is motivating the team and bonding the guys together. You can tell this team has great chemistry and that’s something that really does make a huge difference on the field.

    He’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

  6. Spark was Doc Hook. I remember plenty of times when I’d be going nuts because he was pulling someone going great guns and throwing in poor ol’ Guillermo.

    Does anyone else remember how hard Detroit fans would ride that guy once his skills dimished? That cat would just take heat everytime he rolled out to the mound.

    Man I miss Tiger stadium.

  7. Right so I guess the point is, that it’s always a tough call when to pull a guy, and although I do think he waited too long on Johnson, there have also been plenty of times this season where I couldn’t believe he was giving someone the yank. So it’s a damn fine line–one that Trammell seems to be having trouble negotiating.

    Over all I’d say he has looked pretty bad at in game decisions.

    Last night I lost it when he pinch hit Ramon Martinez for Pena with Monroe on first. Why Martinez is going in there in the eighth when we’re down a run is beyond me. How about Inge Tram? Or even Thames or Higgy? No, he goes with the guy who just flew in from a rehab assignment in the minors.

    And then he has Monroe attempt a steal of second! Couldn’t Pena have stood up there and watched as Monroe got easily gunned down? Why remove his defense? Maybe it was a hit and run and Ramon missed a sign or something. Monroe wasn’t even close to stealing that base.

  8. I too cringed when I saw Johnson take the mound in the seventh Saturday. But considering the Tigs had gone 12 innings the night before, and considering the next day off isn’t until May 12, I can see how Tram figured he may as well ask Johnson for another inning.

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