Game 109: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME After a 4 game sabbatical against the Devil Rays, the Tigers return to AL Central competition. They’ll be facing the Cleveland Indians tonight and the Tigers currently lead the season series 9-4.

Jeremy Bonderman will be starting for the Tigers tonight. Bonderman is of course coming off the Sunday heart breaker at the Metrodome. The last time he faced the Indians he was shaky with his control early on, but powered by a big offensive first inning picked up the win.

Cliff Lee will take the mound for the Indians. He gave up 6 runs in 4 innings to the Tigers the last time they met, but only one of those was earned.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME
: I missed the 2nd thru 6th innings of tonight’s game. Fortunately I saw the ending. Craig Monroe is raking to say the least. And he certainly has developed a flair for the dramatic. Given how that inning was going, I thought it just wasn’t going to be the Tigers night. What with Magg’s double being swallowed up by Choo on a diving play, Carlos Guillen putting one just outside the right field foul pole, and Monroe putting one just outside the left field foul pole. But Craig really did “straighten one out.”

Much props to Sean Casey finding the gap and knocking home two runs and Todd Jones with an uneventful ninth including a strikeout of Travis Hafner.

Roman Colon kept the game close enough after coming on in relief of Jeremy Bonderman.

And speaking of Bonderman maybe someone who saw the whole game can chime in. I missed most of his innings, but I wonder if it was either physical fatigue after a longish outing pitch count wise, or mental anguish after the Minnesota 8th inning, or he just didn’t have his stuff.

But 2005 minimally will go down as the most successful Tiger season since 2000.

34 Comments

  1. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 4, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    Nice welcome back to the Central. We are getting spanked! :S

  2. Joey C.

    August 4, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    Yeah…Casey really sucks.

    Absolutely huge hit.

  3. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 4, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    HUGE.

  4. DH in DC

    August 4, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    Another clutch hit for Monroe. It seems like he has gotten more clutch hits than any other Tiger this year. Now we need to hold the lead.

  5. Pete

    August 4, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    …and Monroe goes deep!!!! Just need three outs now. The Tribe’s bullpen is HORRIBLE.

    Two questions for anyone reading this:

    1. Which current Tiger has been with the team the longest? Da Meat Hook? Jamie Walker? Somebody else?

    2. How come the Tiges’ games are never on FOX or ESPN?

  6. Joey C.

    August 4, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    Rod Allen’s call on Craig’s homerun was hilarious!

    What a shot! Just watching the players celebrate and the crowd go crazy, gave me chills.

  7. Adam

    August 4, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    That’s right. Those are MY Tigers.

  8. Adam

    August 4, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    That was amazing.

  9. Chris

    August 4, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Who ever thinks Casey sucks is an idiot. This team is solid all the way through the lineup. Major props to Dave D for not making any trades that would disrupt this TEAM. Get ready people this is going to be a magical season! Wow, I’ve had a great time watching this magical ride. WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!

    God this is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Joey C.

    August 4, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    It’s getting hard to pick favorite moments from this season, but that 8th inning might be it.

    And watching the fans come out in droves is so great to see. It really is a shame that this team was allowed to languish for so many years, because Detroit is so much a baseball town. Put a winner on the field and the fans go wild.

    And I’m not just talking about home games either. Every road game I’ve watched the past months has been loaded with Tigers fans. And that’s the way it always used to be. You’d go to any opposing teams ballpark and there would be Tigers fans. All that crap about a new stadium being needed to get people interested again–Illitch could have been making dough hand over fist the past 15 years if he hadn’t let the organization go to crap.

  11. Mike F

    August 4, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    The Question is “Which current Tiger has been with the team the longest? Da Meat Hook? Jamie Walker? Somebody else?”

    The Answer is somebody else… Brandon Inge.

  12. Lou

    August 4, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    The question is “How come the Tiges’ games are never on FOX or ESPN?”

    The Answer is that those games are by and large chosen at the start of the season. Look for a TON more Tiger games on ESPN next year.

  13. Bryan

    August 4, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    okay…I take back what I said about Sean Casey yesterday….when the Tigers were down 5-0 i thought they will probably close it out to a few runs, nice to see them win it though. Imagine if we had traded Monroe away…

  14. Nick G

    August 5, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Billfer, to answer your question about Bondy from my perspective, I think it was about 80 percent head. He chewed out the ump after a questionable call early on and lost his composure. I think a break from the grind would do him well, as well as the one we’re giving Verlander. Bondy’s only 23. That 8th inning Twins meltdown obviously messed with him (see kicked water cooler).

    Then again, this isn’t playoff baseball, so Bondy most likely arrived in Detroit at 2 a.m. with the rest of the team after the Rays game of Thursday. Could just be tired.

  15. Nick G

    August 5, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Rod Allen is my favorite announcer. He genuinely gets joy out of his fellow African-Americans doing well, and I enjoy that. In a city like Detroit with its record, and a team that doesn’t really have a sparkling rep with race historically, he’s a breathe of fresh air. WOOOOO-HOOOOO!!! CRAIG DID IT AGAIN!!!

    I know these are big, divisive issues, so on a more “Go Tigers!” level, tonight was like a 1968 win.

  16. Scott

    August 5, 2006 at 12:18 am

    man, ya gotta feel for the Indians (well, not really). Unbelievably horrible bullpen; in the span of 1 week, Big Papi twice and Monroe all steal wins. It looked again like the Tigers would lose, especially after Soo robbed Mags in right-center, and then Guillen was oh-so-close. Billfer, Bondo just didn’t have it tonight; was missing with his fastball…right down the middle of the plate…..he allowed 5 runs, and probably would’ve allowed more had Leyland not hooked him. It looked pretty hopeless when it was 5-0, but Polanco’s 3B seemed to “light the fire”; they seemed to hit better after that. The Cleveland starter was tiring, too; Wedge kept away from his bullpen as long as he could. A pretty wonderful ending to a “lost” game….. πŸ™‚

    Rock on, boys

  17. Sam

    August 5, 2006 at 12:36 am

    Was there with some friends from Ohio. What a game!!! I had to agree, figured it wasn;t our night after Monroe’s fly ball went just foul.

    Did you notice how Colon came out for the 9th to give Jones extra time to warm up. Another Brillent move by Leyland.

    -Sam

  18. Chris Y.

    August 5, 2006 at 1:46 am

    Another perspective:

    I watched through the 6th tonight and we were generally having our **s handed to us. I had a class to go to at 6:30 PT, so I was thinking man this sucks (with the TB series fresh in my mind). We had no chance playing the way we were, Bonderman was showing a Minny hangover, blah, blah.

    Fast forward to 9:30pm PT, after class I am getting a growler filled at the pub before the walk home. The Seattle-Oakland game is on and while I am waiting for the growler to be filled, a fly ball brings the scoreboard into view: Det 7, Cle 6.

    They’ve done it all year. They find a way. I will never doubt again.

    I love this team. It’s like I am 9 again and absolutely absorbing the box scores in the paper the following day as Detroit plowed throught the East. That Beast of the East is no longer the Clown of the Central. More like the Khan of the Central.

    Go Tigers.

  19. Jeff M

    August 5, 2006 at 3:49 am

    Bondy most likely arrived in Detroit at 2 a.m. with the rest of the team after the Rays game of Thursday. Could just be tired.

    Doesn’t the next starter typically travel ahead of the team in a situation like that? Does anyone remember if he was even at Thursday’s game?

  20. Steve

    August 5, 2006 at 7:30 am

    I was there as well, Great time. I was never at a Tiger game with so many people. It was really loud when Monroe pounded that one.
    >>> Since I was at the game,

    I missed a couple things.

    What was the deal on the Third base call around the 2nd or 3rd inning. The The thirdbase ump callled the play safe. I was standing up telling the ump at third base telling him he was out of his mind and then Inge and Leyland start out after the umpires, I thought Inge got bounced for a quick second, Then everyone ran off the field.

    So what happened? (or did the ump change his mind because I was yelling at him)

    What did Rod have to say on Craigs home run?

    The last thing I wanted to mention is that catch in the stands by Inge. He may need to pick up his average a bit, but his play at third base has been excellent this year. The kid is all heart and I like his can do attitude.

    Well the trip is over and I must drive home from Troy today.

    Steve
    (PS I love NEMO’s, but not I75… is that thing ever just open for traffic,,, thumbs up to the stadium guys for telling us it was closed))

  21. Sam

    August 5, 2006 at 7:41 am

    The call at 3B-

    The ump initially called the runner safe because Inge had tagged him late. Once the Ump realized that it was a force play so that the Tag didn’t matter, he corrected himself and called the guy out.

    Rod Allen’s Call-
    Go to MLB.com and you can hear the whole call. Rod’s voice got really high.

    -Sam

  22. Scott

    August 5, 2006 at 8:56 am

    to Joey C: the Tigers futility – I don’t think it was Illitch’s fault. I can’t say when he bought the team, but the real “destroyers” were Monaghan + Randy Smith. Monaghan totally allowed the farm system to go to hell, and Randy Smith would trade Verlander for my mother (who’s 79), if you asked him nicely. This “Clueless Duo” was the real reason for the franchise’s 15 yrs of futility, unmatched in franchise history. The Tigers were always one of the best-managed (ownership-wise) franchises in baseball throughout its history. Look at the stats, you’ll see the Tigers had very few last or next-to-last place finishes. Illitch isn’t one to fire people; when he took over, Smith had to prove himself to be an “incompetent boobie” to finally get fired (I threw a party that day). In fact, with his handling of the Wings, I think Illitch is a damned good owner; and which is why I think this resurgence is gonna be no fluke. He’s hires very competent people (Jimmy Devellano, Kenny Holland, now Dombo) and leaves ’em alone to get their jobs done. And I suspect Dombo, like the other 2, will have a job in Detroit until he no longer wants to work anymore, or he dies. To Illitch, it’s his “family”; this was the reason it took him so long to can Smith. I still think it was pretty classy the way he treated Konstantinov; told me alot about his character. I think Leyland recognizes this too, which is why he came back after 7 yrs off. A new dawning in Detroit!………. πŸ™‚

  23. Anne

    August 5, 2006 at 9:21 am

    That must have been some yellin’, Steve. πŸ™‚

    Scott–as much as I admire Ilitch and everything his family has done for Detroit, I don’t think you can give him a free pass on the Tigs’ decline. I can’t remember the exact year he bought the team, but it was around 1990. Yes Monaghan and Smith started the fall, you’re 100% right on that, but Ilitch did nothing to reverse it. It took the embarassment of 2003 (the year we don’t talk about) to turn things around. Ilitch has always been committed to making the Red Wing into winners, so props to him for that, but untill recently the Tigers have seemed like the red-headed stepchild in the Ilitch organization.

  24. Scott

    August 5, 2006 at 10:14 am

    you may be right; I don’t know when Illitch bought the team. I could’ve sworn Monaghan owned it into the mid-90s. Since moving to Florida, I’ve lost the day-by-day stuff on the team, but my memory tells me 1995-97 time. I wonder if that’s even close?
    But one thing’s certain: Randy Smith couldn’t even flip burger at a Macs and get it right…….. πŸ™

  25. Tater

    August 5, 2006 at 10:32 am

    Scott, Ilitch bought the team in 1992, and Randy Smith wasn’t hired until 95.

  26. Chris

    August 5, 2006 at 11:13 am

    I have to agree with Nick G. Rod Allen is great at what he does. I told my wife earlier in the year that we Tiger junkies should be very pleased with are announcing crew. Rod and Mario are great together and should be praised as such more often.

    On another note does anyone miss George Kell? I do, he was a great announcer.

  27. Joey C.

    August 5, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks to Tater and Anne for pointing out that Smith was brought in by Illitch.

    Certainly the management from the late 80s–Bill LaJoi and Jim Campbell–let the farm system fall off a bit. Things like the now legendary Doyle Alexander trade depleted our farm system in order to keep the big league club competitive in the short term. They also had some pretty bad drafts late in their tenure.

    However, the most serious damage done to the organization occurred in the 90s under Illitch’s watch. The focus was on getting that stadium built–I think to a certain degree he neglected the team in order to make the situation appear more dire than it really was. At any rate, once it was clear the team would be moving to a new park, Smith was brought in to rework the system. As we all know he did an awful, awful job at both the major and minor league levels. But Illitch signed off all those bad moves, and Illitch cut the payroll, and Illitch left Smith in charge for seven long years.

    I give him credit for belatedly recognizing the dire situation and bringing in the right guy, but I can’t help but feel a little bitter about the way the organization was handled and the way fans were treated all those years.

    At the moment, however, Dombrowski is my hero! I would love to be able to thank the guy for turning things around. It really is amazing how swiftly he has righted the ship.

    Hey Billfer how about we all cut you a checks and we can place in add in the Free Press thanking Dumbro for giving us our Tigers back?

  28. Joey C.

    August 5, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks to Tater and Anne for pointing out that Smith was brought in by Illitch.

    Certainly the management from the late 80s–Bill LaJoi and Jim Campbell–let the farm system fall off a bit. Things like the now legendary Doyle Alexander trade depleted our farm system in order to keep the big league club competitive in the short term. They also had some pretty bad drafts late in their tenure.

    However, the most serious damage done to the organization occurred in the 90s under Illitch’s watch. The focus was on getting that stadium built–I think to a certain degree he neglected the team in order to make the situation appear more dire than it really was. At any rate, once it was clear the team would be moving to a new park, Smith was brought in to rework the system. As we all know he did an awful, awful job at both the major and minor league levels. But Illitch signed off all those bad moves, and Illitch cut the payroll, and Illitch left Smith in charge for seven long years.

    I give him credit for belatedly recognizing the dire situation and bringing in the right guy, but I can’t help but feel a little bitter about the way the organization was handled and the way fans were treated all those years.

    At the moment, however, Dombrowski is my hero! I would love to be able to thank the guy for turning things around. It really is amazing how swiftly he has righted the ship.

    Hey Billfer how about we all cut you checks and we can place an ad in the Free Press thanking Dumbro for giving us our Tigers back?

  29. Joey C.

    August 5, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Sorry about the double post.

  30. Jeff M

    August 5, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    how about we all cut you checks and we can place an ad in the Free Press thanking Dumbro for giving us our Tigers back?

    I like the idea, Joey, but there’s no need to pay for an ad. Let’s just send him a letter with as many signatures as possible. Of course, the website would be mentioned prominently on the letter and may help Billfer get another interview.

  31. ginn

    August 5, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    wow. i love craig monroe. i’m so glad we didn’t replace him with soriono.

  32. Nick G

    August 5, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    Another great moment from last night that deserves mention was when Jones struck out Hafner on a 3-2 count in the 9th. Rod Allen said it was probably the hardest pitch Todd threw all year.

  33. Joey C.

    August 5, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    I’d be willing to do the letter for sure.

  34. Kevin

    August 6, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Don’t know if anyone is still reading this….but from what I’ve read, Monaghan let the farm team die and mismanaged the team a bit in order to make a bigger profit selling the team. As far as leadership, Bo Schembechler was brought in to be the team president about this time. He did some genious things like firing Ernie Harwell and trimming back the farm team. Most player acquisitions were the signing of over the hill veterans to keep the major league team going. Lloyd Moseby, Gary Ward, and Rob Deer were all veterans brought in about this time that did almost nothing. Cecil Fielder may have been the only highlight from this scrap heap of free agents. The draft picks in this era were atrocious, and no one ever made any impact in the majors from this period.

    Mike Illitch did buy the team in 1992 and Randy Smith was brought in during 1995. Smith was an assistant GM with the Rockies before they even played a game and the GM with the Padres from 1993-1994. San Diego had a tightwad owner in Tom Werner. Smith was forced to dismantle an exciting team in 1993 and traded Fred McGriff and Gary Sheffield away for almost nothing. But the Padres did turn it around a bit with a cheaper team by 1995.

    In 1995, the Tigers were just an old team. A few of the 1984 Tigers were even still hanging on. It was basically just an organization with no direction and a barren farm system. When Randy Smith came to Detroit, it looked like a great decision based on what he did with the Padres. He also got everyone excited when he discussed the now infamous “five-year” plan to build up the farm team. Randy Smith even won an award in 1997 (?1998) from Baseball America stating that the Tigers were the organization of the year for what they were doing down in the minors. My opinion: this award reinforced to Illitch that Smith was doing the right things and bought Smith extra time to continue destroying the team.

    I’ve read varying reports on who exactly was at fault for the Tigers fall from grace during the late 1990s-early 2000s. I’ve heard that Illitch would change organizational philosophies from year to year and this would screw with what was trying to be accomplished. But, Randy Smith did nothing as you seen by the umpteen trades though at this time that accomplished nothing with the Padres and Astros that all involved Brad Ausmus and CJ Nitkowski either coming or going. The drafting continued to be horrible.

    Dave Dombrowski was brought in during 2002 as the team president. Randy Smith was gone shortly after. I think you can pinpoint the trade for Dmitri Young as the first Dombrowski trade. Since then the farm team has been built back up with excellent scouting and shrewed trades, and well the rest is history.