Game 79: Astros at Tigers

PREGAME: Justin Verlander looks to keep things rolling. If I recall correctly this is Justin’s 3rd home start on get-away day. I remember the other 2 (one against the Angels and one against the White Sox) didn’t turn out so well.

The Tigers will be facing Andy Petitte and his 5.75 ERA. The Tigers will be sending out their regular starters, including a rare day-game-after-night-game start for Pudge Rodriguez. His lifetime 394/412/576 line against Pettite may have something to do with it. Also, the Tigers have an off day and then 3 against the Pirates so there may be a few more regulars resting this weekend.

Game Time 1:05.

POSTGAME
: So was Justin Verlander tired of being overshadowed by Francisco Liriano? Verlander turned in his best performance in a month as he shut out the Stros for 8 innings.

Aside from Verlander, it seems like the Astros lost this game more than the Tigers winning it. With 3 runs being unearned, one walked in, and the last scoring on a wild pitch.

Things were a little scary when Magglio Ordonez left the game, but reports are that X-rays are negative and Maggs is day-to-day with a shin contusion.

A day off, and then on to Pittsburgh.

24 Comments

  1. Marshall in DC

    June 28, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    Wow – It took only 112 pitches to clean the Astros from their cleats.

    Verlander for ROY!!

  2. Chris Y.

    June 28, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    Man.

    With Grilli pitching a scoreless ninth, as of today, every Tigers pitcher (incl. Tata, Spurling, and others who are no longer on the ML roster) has an ERA under 4.00. With the exception of Jones, Seay, and Colon.

    Considering those three account for only about 65 of the 711-odd innings pitched this year, I’d say I’m pleased.

    Very pleased.

  3. Scott

    June 28, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    2 shutouts in a row! Too bad he didn’t allow Verlander to finish. After the first 2 innings, Verlander was in total control. The Astros had 1 man in scoring position, and that with 2 outs. And they made the errors (again) when we needed ’em; a bases loaded walk followed by a wild pitch didn’t hurt either. Only 2 of our runs were earned. Sox are on at 7 tonight on WGN; I’ll be watching, hoping the Buccos can pull one out……rock on, boys!………. πŸ™‚

  4. Jeff M

    June 28, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    Too bad he didn’t allow Verlander to finish.

    Eh, I would have taken him out after the 7th. We’re at the halfway point in the season and he’s over 100 innings already. I think they’re planning on keeping him below 180, so there isn’t much point in using up one of his last 80 innings when we have a 5-0 lead after 7. I’d much rather have that inning banked in case we need to fight during the last couple weeks of the season.

  5. Joe V.

    June 28, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    I’m not sure where this concern over innings pitched is coming from. Trust in our great new manager. I remember him saying earlier this year that he is already making plans on giving spot starts to some of the talent from Toledo, giving the entire rotation an extra day off. And that was back in April. He has already shown his willingness to give his position players a day off when needed. While we as Tigers fans have not been in the position for a stretch playoff run in almost two decades, Leyland has and will know how to handle the fatigue factor. Go Tigers!

  6. Jeff M

    June 28, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    I’m not sure where this concern over innings pitched is coming from.

    It wasn’t really much of a concern. Personally, I would have given the workload to the bullpen once we reached 5-0, but I wasn’t too concerned about V pitching the 8th, especially since he was still under 100 pitches. I only brought it up because Scott wanted to see him pitch the 9th and I didn’t think it was a good idea. Pick whatever metric you want (Pitches, IPs, minutes, whatever), but the bottom line is that V is so valuable long term that we need to limit him in some way, shape or form. With a 5 run lead and an off-day tomorrow, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to say “Good job, kid. Enjoy your shower. The ‘pen can mop this one up.”

    All that said, I’m not too concerned. Leyland has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Rob

    June 28, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    I’m at the point in the season where I just shake my head. I’m one of the biggest optimists about the Tigers you’d see the last few years and I would’ve said 90 wins was unlikely before the year. This is just downright silly.

    In their last 46 games, they are 34-12 (.739, or 120 win pace). In that span they’ve had a streak of 14-1 and now they are on a 16-2 stretch. The last time the Tigers were 29 games over .500 was September of 1987. And they now sit only 1 game back of the 1984 Tigers through 79 games and will likely pass them this weekend.

    11 shutouts this year?

    Statistically, this season is so far off the charts that I could dig up numbers for months and not adequately describe what they are doing.

  8. Jason

    June 28, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    I’m sure Pudge is a-OK. He didn’t have to spend much time in a crouch this afternoon.

    I posted this over at Baseball Think Factory:

    “I go to about 3-5 Tigers games per year. I could keep this rate for the rest of my life and not see a more efficient pitching performance than Justin Verlander gave today.”

    “At the start, he struggled with command over his breaking ball and change, but his fastball was sufficient to overpower the Astros lineup. In the third and fourth innings, he started to throw all three pitches for strikes – and he retired the last 13 batters he faced. He faced one over the minimum, because he forced two routine double plays. He did not walk or hit a batter.”

    Verlander’s final line: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 98 pitches.

  9. Lou

    June 28, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Does anybody think the Tigers four most regular staters (Robertson, Rogers, Bondo, and Verlander) are all going to the all-star game? The only one I see not going is Bonderman because of his low W #s (which is of course a ridiculous metric to judge Bonderman on with that K/9 rate, but it’s what’s going to happen anyway).

  10. Neel

    June 28, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    I can see Rogers and maybe even Verlander going, but I doubt Bondo or Robertson will be selected

  11. Jeff M

    June 28, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    Statistically, this season is so far off the charts that I could dig up numbers for months and not adequately describe what they are doing.

    Yup. Ain’t life grand? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Does anybody think the Tigers’ four most regular staters are all going to the all-star game?

    Nah, Bondo’s W/L and ERA aren’t All-star level, so I can’t picture Guillen choosing him. Also, V will probably get snubbed, simply because he’s a rookie. I don’t know how they could pass on Robertson and Rogers though.

  12. Kyle J

    June 28, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Lou, I was just thinking today that it’s almost like the four regular starters are trying to outpitch each other to grab an all-star spot. I’d guess that Rogers and Verlander will make it. Robertson is probably equally deserving, but they won’t take three guys from the same team and his W-L record isn’t as gaudy.

    Pudge and Magglio are probably the only positional candidates? Maybe Guillen? We’d probably all agree that Granderson is actually the most deserving.

    Read that going into today, the Tigers were two games off the pace of the 1984 Tigers. That team lost games 79 and 80. So if the Tigers win on Friday, they’ll have matched the 1984 team through 80 games.

  13. Anne

    June 28, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    ….Pudge and Magglio are probably the only positional candidates….

    I think there’s probably still some bad blood between Maggs and Ozzie Guillen, so don’t look for Ordonez in an All-Star uniform. Pudge, Rogers, and Verlander all deserve it (as do Bonderman, Robertson, Granderson, Carlos Guillen, etc), but I think the best we can hope for is Pudge and Rogers. The all-East Coast team will start, and I just don’t think many Tigers have the name recognition to earn a berth. Plus, does anyone else think it’s a bit of a slight that Leyland was left off the coaching staff?

  14. Scott

    June 28, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    nah, not many of the Tigers will make it; but that’s ’cause we’re a smaller-market team, and they’re just now starting to attract the attention of everybody else. But that All-Star stuff is way overrated anyway; I’ve heard many a player say it’d be preferable if they just had the 3 days off. Everybody can use the rest; I hope Guillen doesn’t pick any of ’em. The “dog days” are coming; we need rested arms.

  15. Lou

    June 28, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    You know, the all star reserve selection process has changed. Players actually vote for the first backup and each posistion and the pitchers and the manager fills out the rest of the lineup with oversight from the commission’s office. So Maggs getting there isn’t all up to Guillen.

  16. Tim P.

    June 28, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    I think it is going to be two starters (Rogers and Verlander; the crafty veteran and the hot rookie) and no position players. Mauer will get the backup catcher slot (deservedly so) behind Veritek and Ordonez first-half has been too quiet to get a reserve OF slot.

    I agree with Scott; keep the All-Stars and give us a fresh team for what is sure to be a tough stretch run.

  17. Mike F

    June 28, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    Plus, does anyone else think it’s a bit of a
    slight that Leyland was left off the coaching
    staff?

    Nope. Leyland has stated multiple times that he should not be a coach for the All-Star game and would most likely declined if offered a spot. He felt that in would force a snub of a more senior AL manager.

  18. Taylor

    June 28, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    This season has been waaaay too much fun. Go Tigers!

  19. Kurt

    June 28, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    At my blog, I looked at who I thought should go. Even then I had a hard time finding any shoe-in Tigers and I stretched with my grab of Zumaya as a setup man (even if he pitches in our seventh).

    Who do I think WILL go?

    Rogers and Ordonez.

    As much as Robertson has the numbers to go, I don’t think he will. Verlander is a rookie, that knocks him out I’m pretty sure since he isn’t having an incredble season by MLB standards, just a really good one. Pudge deserves to go, but he won’t because the All-Star voters are big-market biased and Joe Mauer must make the team.

    But I think Ordonez has decent numbers and goes about his game in a way the players and coaches notice, so he will be voted in by them. And I think Rogers has the name and numbers (and receives credit for lifting the other Tigers pitchers from previous levels) and gets the nod.

    The reason the Tigers are winning now isn’t that they have the top one or two playerss, it’s that they have pretty good players at most places and great pitching driven by four starting pitchers having awesome years. But even then, those seasons are top tier enough to warrent inclusion (except maybe Robertson). So no one stands out as must-have All-Stars even if the team is having a great year. Granderson will be an All-Star in the future but he’s too junior a player to warrent it yet.

  20. Kurt

    June 28, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    should be “are not top tier enough”

  21. Jason M

    June 29, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    I say let everyone keep overlooking the tigers, the all-star game is overrated any how. i think a chance at a ring is far more important.

  22. Jeff M

    June 29, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Is anyone else on the DetroitTigers.com mailing list? I keep getting emails saying “Pudge needs your help! Vote the full 25 times!”

    I understand the marketing side of it, but I can’t imagine Pudge actually cares. Doesn’t he already have a dozen of these things?

  23. Anne

    June 29, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    Hey all, not to change the subject, but did anyone notice the Pirates beat the White Sox? WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Kyle J

    June 29, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    I did notice the White Sox lost. Thought they were going to pull it out late again, but Pittsburgh won it in the bottom of the ninth. Glad to see the Sox lose, of course. Also glad to see Pittsburgh break their losing streak before we arrive. Hopefully, they’ll get complacent and we can sweep them:)

    My two cents re: the All-Star game: Good to have several Tigers make the team to re-establish Detroit as a place for big stars to play. Also, Pudge is my 5-year old son’s favorite player, so I’d like him to be able to see him play in the game.