Game 64: Devil Rays at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s an intriguing pitching match-up as young phenoms Justin Verlander and Scott Kazmir hook up. Verlander’s June hasn’t been as stellar as his May with 10 runs in his last 11 innings. However, 6 of those runs came in a 5 inning outing against the Yankees with a cut bleeding on his finger. He was solid in his last start against the White Sox. Verlander experienced “tenderness” in his arm/shoulder after the Yankee game so it will be interesting see how long he stays in.

The last time the Tigers faced Kazmir, he had some control problems. He hit Polanco anbd threw behind a couple other guys which prompted Nate Robertson to send one behind Carl Crawford. Robertson was ejected after the first pitch making for a short day.

POSTGAME:
Serious, serious love for Curtis Granderson. I love him swinging away with the corner infielders 40 feet away. I love him seeing at least 4 pitches every at-bat. I love him getting everything hit to center.

The beleaguered bullpen duo of Rodney and Jones combined for 5 scoreless and uneventful innings. With Zumaya still shelved, look for Jamie Walker to serve as closer if one is needed tomorrow night.

The top of the order carried the day going 10 for 29 among the top 5 hitters. The bottom 4 combined for 1 for 22.

30 Comments

  1. Scott

    June 12, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    I was born + raised in Detroit area, but now live in Tampa. Yeah, getting a ton of rain today…..this guy Kazmir is definitely their best pitcher; Tampa really has nothing other than him. If we can knock him out, there’s no one else on their staff worth a damn. This is Tampa’s problem; their pitching staff. Gathright + Crawford are their only “speedsters”….c’mon Tiges, let’s kick some butt tonight.

  2. Scott

    June 12, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    geez, this is not the greatest home plate ump I’ve ever seen – calling balls strikes and some strikes balls…..and his strike zone is anything but consistent…..just saw Shelton get called out on strikes on a pitch wide out of the zone…….. 🙁

  3. Jeff M

    June 12, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    LOL!!!!!!! They gave Inge the error on that popup… that HAS to be the toughest error ever. It was definitely not his ball.

  4. Tim D

    June 12, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    Nice comeback. A waste having Pudge flail away at a bunt, but if Magg’s line drive falls in the game is over. Get ’em in the 10th.

  5. Kyle J

    June 12, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    On the pop up just now in the 10th inning, Inge called off Pudge quite emphatically. Probably figured he deserved at least the put out to help make up for the error.

  6. Kyle J

    June 12, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Thought the bunt call was OK given that Pudge is such a good 2-strike hitter. Apparently, however, he’s not that great a 2-strike hitter when he’s spent the first two pitches trying to bunt.

  7. Alan

    June 12, 2006 at 9:33 pm

    Let’s hope we can get them in the Bottom of the 11th. Otherwise I think Leyland sends in Todd Jones in the 12th because Rodney has pitched 3. All bets are off if it goes to the 12th.

  8. Brian A.

    June 12, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    OH BOY TODD JONES!

  9. Alan

    June 12, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    Get out the pepto-bismo Jones brings his 0-4 record and 6.95 ERA into the 12th inning.

  10. TM

    June 12, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Now that was worth staying up for!

  11. Tim D

    June 12, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    That that Baldelli hit goes out of most parks. But Jonesy did the job. How good is Curtis Granderson? He looks more like Bernie Williams every day.

  12. Dennis

    June 12, 2006 at 10:15 pm

    good win tonite. I was scared when Jones gave up the hit, but it was a broken bat after all, along with the ground out and the end of the inning. Hopefully that “heavy” ball he throws is back.

  13. kdog

    June 12, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    I would put Grilli on Waivers(No options), send down Colon, or send down Big Red to get Spurling up here for tomorrow.

  14. Anne

    June 12, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    Good win Tigs. Nice job Rodney and Jones. Hate to think what shape our pen is in for tomorrow, though.

  15. Kurt

    June 12, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    Yeah. But love to think what kinda shape their bullpen is, and judging by the starters (theirs is 2-8, 6.25 ERA) they might need it a bit more.

  16. Kyle J

    June 13, 2006 at 7:37 am

    Fairly unflattering analysis of the Tigers’ chances of winning down the stretch from CNNSI.com:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....nders.html

  17. Kyle J

    June 13, 2006 at 7:43 am

    Here’s something to cheer you up after you read that last one:

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs...../606130430

  18. Dave

    June 13, 2006 at 8:00 am

    Zumaya shelved?? I know he pitched 3 innings on Sunday and didn’t pitch last night, why is he shelved for tonight..what did I miss?

  19. Sam

    June 13, 2006 at 8:13 am

    I hate the bunt!!! Never liked it as a strategy. I was at the game. When Granderson got up, I’m yelling “hit away”, and he slapped it right past the 1Bman who was 40 ft away.

    Then Pudge gets up. After he failed on the 1st bunt attempt, I would of taken it off. Pudge hits to RF anyway. But he kept it on until he went down 0-2.

    Oh well, if that is the most critism I can give Leyland, he is doing good.

    PS>> Can you tell I grew up a huge fan of the Earl Weaver Orioles!

    -Sam

  20. Steve

    June 13, 2006 at 8:24 am

    The CNNSI article is beyond bizarre. He argues that since the Tigers are 2 games under .500 against winning teams, this proves that they are “pretenders”. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are 1 game under .500 against winning teams but aren’t frauds. Has the guy ever taken a statistics course? He might want to read up on that whole “statistical significance” thing.

  21. Matt in Toledo

    June 13, 2006 at 8:51 am

    I’ve been wanting to do a post about how good Granderson is all season, and last night’s game pretty much forced my hand. Click on my name and you’ll see he’s putting up some pretty serious numbers.

  22. Kyle J

    June 13, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Good point, Steve. Also, as has been noted here previously, the Tigers are 7-3 vs. the Indians, who are above .500 against teams other than the Tigers. Also, the Tigers are 7-2 against the Twins, who are only one game under .500 against teams other than the Tigers.

    So even if one concedes they’ve played poorly against good teams, they’ve still played VERY well not just against bad team, but also against middle-of-the-pack teams.

  23. Kurt

    June 13, 2006 at 11:03 am

    And I still think anyone who watched/listened/analyzed the losses to Boston and Chicago would be hard pressed to say the Tigers played poorly in those games. Some left on base issues and a couple blown games by relievers, but on the all, it’s not like they were blown out of the water. All 4 losses could have gone either way. And suddenly the whole conversation is different. It’s just reading way too much into W’s and L’s.

    His only good point was that the offense isn’t producing real great, but there are ways to fix that. Meanwhile, it’s the defense that’s going to determine how far the Tigers go. I think we’ve heard that story for a number of teams over the years, and most of the time, the story ends pretty well.

  24. Dave T.

    June 13, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    FYI…Verlander is tied for first on the Tigers with 84 Innings pitched in 13 starts. If he makes 33 starts ( Game 64 out of 162 ) at this pace he will have pitched 213 innings at the end of the season.

  25. Scott

    June 13, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    only complaint I can really come up with is: way too many K’s. Thames + Shelton both struck out 4 times?…….. 🙁 And they both didn’t look too good on any of ’em….yeah, that was a ridiculous error call on Inge on that PO right in front of the plate. Sometimes, Official Scorers get weird. Now some good news: Tampa’s pitching is terrible after Kazmir; we should, hopefully, be able to rack these guys around good the next 3 games……

  26. Joey the K

    June 13, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    We just get no respect, this is from the ESPN power rankings: the South Siders return to the No. 1 spot after spanking the upstart Tigers in two out of the three at The Cell.

    Spanking? They won 4-3 in both of their wins and lost one game 6-2. That now constitutes a spanking?!

    Thats fine, let them all dismiss the Tigers, lets prove how good we are on the field and shut them all up.

  27. Jeff M

    June 13, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    at this pace [Verlander] will have pitched 213 innings at the end of the season.

    Yeah, that’s not good. I mean, it’s great that he’s pitching that well, but we just can’t put that much of a strain on him, even if it ultimately costs us a couple games.

    He probably shouldn’t pitch more than 6 innings in a game unless it’s against a top-notch team.

  28. Matt in Toledo

    June 13, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    Is that really all that bad for Verlander? What would be considered a reasonable load for him? He pitched about 130 last year, and isn’t adding 50 innings usually considered acceptable? That would make 180 the goal, meaning they’d have to cut out 33 innings from his current pace.

    That’s about five starts. Would that really be that difficult to do between off days and spot starts from Ledezma, Miner and maybe Sanchez? Leyland seems to be aware of a need to rein him in at some point, so I’m not too concerned.

  29. Jeff M

    June 13, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    That would make 180 the goal, meaning they’d have to cut out 33 innings from his current pace.

    Yeah, I’d be happy with 180. I guess I would just prefer to do trim the pace an inning at a time rather than skipping starts. From an experience standpoint, I think Games Started is slightly more valuable than Innings/Game, assuming the same number of Innings Pitched.

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