Game 58: Tigers at White Sox

PREGAME: The Tigers will look to avenge an early season sweep by the White Sox. While I’m trying not to place too much importance on any one game, it would be nice to get the series opener and get that first ChiSox win out of the way.

I know that Tiger fans are thinking, “The Sox are struggling, now is a great chance to get back at them and maybe build a little seperation.” Meanwhile, I’m sure White Sox fans are thinking, “The Tigers are stuggling, now is a great chance to keep piling on and close the gap.”

Nate Robertson will take the hill for Detroit and he will be opposed by Freddy Garcia who has been giving the Tigers fits for years.

Who’s your pick for Tiger hero tonight? I’m going to go with Chris Shelton and hope he breaks out of his slump.

POSTGAME
: I’m late to the party on this. I saw it all last night, but I was up late and up early prepping for a presentation. The loss blew. There’s no getting around it. It seemed like the Tigers were cruising, but on closer inspection it wasn’t a complete game at all. They blew an easy double play – again. They made Freddy Garcia throw 100+ pitches in 5 innings, he didn’t have good stuff, but only managed 3 runs. Nate Robertson put men on in every inning, but worked his way out of numerous jams. The Tigers were teetering all night and it caught up with them.

Yes, it is frustrating to see Cintron hit his first homer of the year to give the team the lead. Much like it must have been frustrating for Twins fans to see Vance Wilson hit his first homer of the year for the only runs the Tigers scored off of Johan Santana.

Things happen. They just all seem to be happening at the same time and it doesn’t feel good.

32 Comments

  1. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Immediately a huge at bat for Gomez. Terrible calls the first two pitches he sees. Pops up. Tigers yet again fail to get runs out of bases loaded first inning.

  2. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    I’ll go with Thames for hero.

  3. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Haha… I posted that just before he hit the dinger! I swear!

  4. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    Dig this:

    Hawk Harrelson–sox play by play–just stated that in his book, Pudge isn’t a hall of famer.

    Is he crazy? Or is it possible to look at the career and justify it?

    I think he’s crazy.

  5. Paul

    June 6, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    OMG, f’n kill me… I gotta suffer these tools? I always forget when we’re playing the Sox until I tune in and I get these worthless clowns spewing their verbal diarrhea.

  6. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    HAHA!

  7. Dave

    June 6, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    OK… a lead (on 3 homers), its the 6th as I type. Please no Todd Jones tonight, please, please, please…!

  8. Paul

    June 6, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    AHHHHHHH SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT OZZIE’S PATIENCE!!!! Easily, sooooo easily, the worst announcing tandem in baseball. I’d rather listen to Rosie Perez read War & Peace.

  9. Anne

    June 6, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    My pick for Tigers hero of the night is Nate Robertson (it’s the bottome of the 7th as I write). I’d love to see the Tigs get back to their dominant pitching they had earlier in May. I’d also love to see a few insurance runs, so maybe Jonesy will be a non-issue.

    Hey Joey! Good call!

  10. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    Another botched double play ball. Unless we get a DP, this ensures Thome getting to the plate this inning. Great.

  11. Paul

    June 6, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Struck him out!!!! HUGE K by JZ, get that dirt off your shoulders.

  12. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    Polanco needs to buy Zumaya lunch at Trotters tomorrow.

  13. Anne

    June 6, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    ALRIGHT ZOOM-ZOOM! Ok, Zumaya is now my choice for hero of this game! Not to mention for closer as well.

  14. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    I’m with you Anne. I know everyone else is too.

  15. Paul

    June 6, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    You can shoot me in the FAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCEEEE, YES!!!!

  16. Kyle J

    June 6, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    OK, this one hurts.

  17. Joey C.

    June 6, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Terrible. Like I said. I’m not liking Rodney much better than Jones.

  18. Jeff M

    June 6, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Can we stop with the Jones bashing now? It is an above-average bullpen, but everyone in it is human. As illustrated so clearly tonight, a game can be won or lost in any inning. You can be sure that the three best pitchers in the pen will pitch the vast majority of the high leverage innings and none of them will be underutilized.

    During preseason, Billfer illustrated how the difference in expected production between the best batting order and the worst batting order was very minimal. I suspect that the same is true of the bullpen, so please, let’s find something more constructive to discuss.

    On another note, let’s not take this loss too hard. This is the regression that we had to expect. The bounces (ground rule double) won’t always go our way. Leyland isn’t Midas. Our pitchers can’t get out of every jam. We’ve stolen a bunch. Now we’re giving some away. It happens. Life goes on. All they can do is put it behind them and give 100% again tomorrow.

    GO TIGERS!

  19. Paul

    June 6, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Jeff, with all due respect, I’m getting tired of people saying that we can’t get upset about these losses to the high-caliber teams. Sure we expect some regression and the Tigers weren’t going to stay on their torrid pace, but this is just unacceptable.

    It happens. Life goes on. All they can do is put it behind them and give 100% again tomorrow.

    Got any more cliches? Ugh. It’s not a bad thing to show some emotion and get worked up over a game.

  20. Walewander

    June 6, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    I agree with both of you. Weird, huh?

  21. Anne

    June 7, 2006 at 6:58 am

    All I can say is, Jeff I hope you’re right. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about the rest of the season. If the Tigs can’t hang with Boston, NY and Chicago now, how will they fare in the post-season where they’ll likely be facing these same teams again? I agree .700 ball is impossible to maintain, but just how much are we going to give back? Sorry, I don’t mean to be negative, but 12 years of losing can do that to you.

  22. Jeff M

    June 7, 2006 at 7:32 am

    ’m starting to get a bad feeling about the rest of the season…how will they fare in the post-season

    It’s not a bad thing to show some emotion and get worked up over a game.

    12 years of losing can do that to you.

    I guess I just have a different perspective on it. I hope these guys really are the best team in baseball. I hope they do capitalize on this opportunity to win it all. But, honestly, I’m just thrilled that they’re winning again. If they put 90 wins on the board, I’ll consider this season an amazing success. Even 85 wins would be a good season.

    We simply don’t have the depth to be a shoe-in. All it would take is another injury and some rookie regression and this team will once again have to claw for victories from the Cleveland and Minnesota, nevermind the eastern powerhouses. Even barring any further injury/regression, they’ll probably get to the playoffs and make an early exit. It’s ok though. It’s valuable experience and this team is geared to be competitive over the next 5 years.

    I just see this as the year that we get the monkey of our back and I’m going to slow it all down and enjoy every single moment 🙂 Last night’s game? Yeah, we could have won it. Maybe we even should have won it. Me? I’m still beaming from Saturday night’s game.

    Got any more cliches?

    Nope, that was all of ’em. I did it for effect.

  23. Dave

    June 7, 2006 at 7:45 am

    Yeah… this one was really tough though. We’ve been singing the praises of Fernando Rodney; and just like Todd Jones did recently – he gave up a game-winning homer. Sure, it happens, but that’s seeming to be the Tigers’ Achilles heel. What’s even tougher is that (and I know this living in the Chicago area) is that Cintron isn’t really considered much of a factor for the White Sox. This was his first home run of the season, I believe. There’s really no one less likely from the local perspective to pull off such heroics.

    Well… tonight I’ll be at the game. The born-and-raised Detroiter (mainly Taylor) who’s lived in Chicago for 14 years going into enemy territory and rooting for the Michigan opposition. If I don’t post here any more, its because the local White Sox fans took it out on me.

    Go Tigers.

  24. Kyle J

    June 7, 2006 at 8:05 am

    Intellectually I’m with Jeff (although not necessarily about Jones). We need to keep perspective on how well this season has gone to date.

    Emotionally I’m with Paul. This is the first loss I could feel in my gut afterward.

    This is the only downside of the Tigers winning–being a baseball fan now involves actual emotions, both exhuberation and anxiety.

  25. Scott

    June 7, 2006 at 8:28 am

    Leyland simply “overmanaged” this….why not just leave Z in the game? Leyland’s stuck in a groove: Z in the 7th, Rodney in the 8th, Jones in the 9th (when we’re ahead). No matter what. Show some flexibility with the thinking! If Z is pitching good (which he was), leave him in the damned game! You know we’d have seen Jones in the 9th if that HR wasn’t tagged. I still don’t like Rodney much, he was overthrowing again, like usual. Here’s the deal: Z + Walker split closing duties; Jones or Rodney as the set up men. Seay + Spurling (who shouldn’t be in Toledo) when the starter gets knocked out early and we’re behind….Grilli should be in Toledo; did he even throw a strike last time out? I guess since Minnesota’s crapped out, Cleveland is average, and KC is horrible, we’ll still have plenty of wins come September, but we won’t make wild card if we keep blowing games like this. That makes 3 now (1 each v NY, Bosox, Chisox). And the latest due simply to inflexible thinking. C’mon Leyland, show some of this managerial talent you’re supposed to have……

  26. Kyle J

    June 7, 2006 at 9:20 am

    Interesting column from Lynn Henning: He thinks Leyland may be with those of us who would prefer Rodney as closer. Of course, this was probably written before last night’s game.

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb.....70392/1129

  27. Joey C.

    June 7, 2006 at 9:24 am

    Scott I agree with you. Yesterday Lou asked why the fascination with three pitch starters, and I feel the tendency towards having a 8th and 9th inning guys is another example of entrenched baseball theory being too inflexibly observed. There is no doubt in my mind that Zumaya should have been run out again in the 8th. The dude is nearly unhittable when he’s on, and last night he looked great. It just drives me crazy to see a manager stick to a script regardless of what’s happening on the field–but you guys have heard me go nuts on this topic before.

    I know we established that Rodney has a respectable onbase against average. But there’s something about the guy that drives me insane. Maybe it’s the overthrowing. All I know is that I’ve watched a vast majority of this year’s games, and he’s always keeping me on the edge of my seat. I think he’s had a tendency to fall behind hitters and take too many batters to full counts and last night it really caught up to him.

    These are big games. However, we play the Sox a whole lot more this season, so there’s room to make up ground. Still I hate to see us dropping so many games we should have won to teams we’re in direct competition for playoff berths with. We are not even close to a sure thing for the playoffs at this point. We can’t have dudes coming into the 8th or 9th innings of games in which we have a slim lead and walking the first two batters they see. Not against these teams…and most certainly not at US Cellular.

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  29. Joe V.

    June 7, 2006 at 10:28 am

    If you saw the pregame show on FSN (and a quick shout out to Mario, Rod, and John for awesome coverage of the Tigers!) then you could say Leyland predicted the outcome of this game. Relying to much on the longball and not getting runs in with the small ball. Bases loaded in the first and no runs to show for it. They will not make the playoffs unless they get that part of their game under control.

  30. Nick

    June 7, 2006 at 1:38 pm

    The problem isn’t that they are relying to much on the long ball, it’s that they rely to much on the solo home run. They need to get on base more often if they want to be anything more than a middle of the pack offensive team.

  31. Anne

    June 7, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    But, honestly, I’m just thrilled that they’re winning again. If they put 90 wins on the board, I’ll consider this season an amazing success. Even 85 wins would be a good season.

    Before the start of this season, Jeff, I would have been happy, in fact overjoyed, with 81 wins, just to see .500 again. Since then, though, it seems like the hot start has raised the bar. Will I be disappointed if the Tigs don’t make the post-season? Honestly, yes, a little bit. Even a first-round sweep would be better than nothing.

    And Nick and Joe V, maybe you guys are right. Maybe if they were scoring a little more, they could absorb a run or two given up by the bullpen. No closer is going to be perfect.

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    September 9, 2006 at 3:06 am

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