Game 112: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s a rematch of the awesome Zach Miner-Francisco Liriano match-up at the Metrodome. Liriano missed his last start with some pain in his forearm. It will be interesting to see how he starts off, whether he will be rusty, in pain, or fresh and jacked up.

In Miner’s last start he went 5 2/3 innings and allowed only 4 hits, but it took him 106 pitches to get that far.

The Tigers have beat the Twins in all 6 Comerica Park meetings this year. But that was a different Twins team. I’d have to say that another Tiger sweep would be pretty unlikely.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: My son and I went to the game, along with almost 35,000 other souls (although it seemed fuller than that). The Tigers continued their home field dominance of the Twins moving their record to 7-0 on the season.

While I was happy to see the Tigers beat up on Liriano, the news that his arm is a mess is discouraging. Liriano’s having a special season, and is a special talent. Friend or foe, I hope to see him pitching for a number of years.

Zach Miner seemed to be particularly efficient in not allowing any walks and getting through 6 1/3 innings on 81 pitches.

As for our time down at Comerica, 2 things jumped out at me. First, that big whale mural has been covered up with advertising. I don’t remember what the ad was for (it must have made a real impression on me).

Second, Tiger ushers have become very aggressive in not allowing autograph seeking fans in the first row along the 3rd base line. My son has had great success in the past grabbing a couple auto’s as the players finish up their stretching right before the game or as the relief pitchers head to the bullpen. Tiger players have been very generous with their time and for the most part sign right up until they have to return to the dugout. Last night it seemed that the ushers wouldn’t even give the players the opportunity to come over and sign as they broke up a crowd that Jamie Walker was signing for. I understand wanting to make sure seats are open for actual ticketholders, but it seemed overly aggressive last night.

With the Tigers completing batting practice prior to the gates opening, that is the fans only chance for autographs. In the past the Tiger players have been more than willing to sign. I hope that the organization finds a way to allow an important part of the fan experience to continue.

23 Comments

  1. Brian A.

    August 7, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    wow, i thought we got lucky last week when we managed to not lose to liriano, but i know we got lucky today and got him on an off day.

  2. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 7, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Another win with 50 to go. Awesome.

  3. Bryan

    August 7, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    White sox lost, that puts us 10 games in front
    w00t!

  4. Marshall in DC

    August 7, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    And the White Sox’s lost. . . .10 game lead in the AL Central . . .wow

  5. Craig In CA

    August 7, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    A great outing by Miner, with production across the board.
    With everyone concerned about the teams playoff experience, my observation is that this is an unselfish team that is very coachable. I realize the need to protect our young pitchers down the stretch. however I think the front office should invest in some bodyguards for Jim Leyland. He is the one man we can’t afford to lose.

  6. Alan

    August 7, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    When is the last time the Detroit Tigers led their division by 10 games. I can still remember 1984 and they had some tough competition from the Toronto Blue Jays even though they were playing well and pulled it out.

  7. Jeff M

    August 7, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    I think the front office should invest in some bodyguards for Jim Leyland. He is the one man we can’t afford to lose.

    Bodyguards? I was thinking a couple personal physicians.

  8. Ken

    August 7, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    I have the utmost confidence in the Tigers, but honestly, going into this game I figured we would take the loss. The unbeatable Liriono vs. a vulnerable Miner. This just goes to show that you can never count us out this year. And, I’m so intrigued by Leyland’s constant lineup shuffle. Sometimes I wonder whether he’s a genius or just pulling names out of a hat. Either way, it works. Hats off to Craig Monroe, who might be the hottest player in the majors.

  9. Kevin

    August 7, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    a 10 game lead with 50 to go means..

    If the Tigers play .500 the rest of the way, the White Sox can do no worse than 36-16 the rest of the way. Note they have two more games to play than the Tigers. The Twins have to do one game better than that.

  10. Greg

    August 8, 2006 at 1:44 am

    I hope the notion that everyone is “concerned about the team’s playoff experience” didn’t start with me. I think it’s overrated and their experience isn’t bad anyway, given that obviously none of the experience came with Detroit. It was just curiousity. I think it’s more important to have a manager with experience–which we have.

    It is a welcome change to be able to discuss the playoffs. So here’s the next question. Assuming we will clinch early enough for JL to set the rotation, how should it go? My vote: Verlander, Bonderman, Rogers, Robertson. But I could also consider having Rogers in game 1, or even Bondo.

  11. Neel

    August 8, 2006 at 2:47 am

    I think it SHOULD be Bondo, Verlander, Rogers, Robertson. I get a feeling Rogers will get the first game, then Bondo, Verlander, Robertson…

  12. Kurt

    August 8, 2006 at 3:10 am

    I think Verlander shouldn’t have that kind of pressure on to be the first pitcher of a playoff series as a rookie, I’d go with Bonderman probably. Then Rogers, Verlander and Robertson. A lot depends on how guys are pitching in late September though. Neel may actually have stated the most likely case. I think it’s really too early to say though.

  13. Andrew

    August 8, 2006 at 7:02 am

    Unless Rogers is on fire down the stretch I would prefer Bonderman to get Game 1. Boy were we socking the ball around last night. I love it when the boys rise up to the challenge of a top pitcher and take care of business.

    Nice work by Miner. I can’t say enough about him. What could have been a disaster with Maroth going down has been a fairly smooth transition instead. I surely did not expect Miner to step in and the Tiger machine to keep running the way it was.

    A pleasant surprise just as this whole season has been.

  14. Brian Dukeman

    August 8, 2006 at 7:35 am

    Hey guys, make sure you get over to mlb.com and vote for Maggs. He’s been nominated for the Hank Aaron and Comeback Player.

  15. Jeff M

    August 8, 2006 at 8:36 am

    It’s a shame to see top talent wasted, but I have no sympathy for them. Hopefully it serves as a negative example for our guys: If your arm is feeling bad enough that you skip a start, don’t you DARE try to pitch through pain in your next start.

  16. Bob S.

    August 8, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Jeff M,an M.D. I know shares your concern about Leyland’s health.It is too bad about Liriano’s apparent injury.That,and Kazmir’s recent injury,reinforces my feeling that the Tiger’s should protect their young arms by going to a six man rotation when Maroth gets back(Ledezma probably earned himself more starts as well).The only choice for starting the Tiger’s first playoff game in nearly two decades is Jeremy Bonderman.

  17. Scott

    August 8, 2006 at 10:35 am

    a double-digit lead; I can handle it. And an absolute bomb by Thames….way back in LF. No complaints; things are going well…. πŸ™‚

  18. Anne

    August 8, 2006 at 11:35 am

    I was at the game last night, too. After the super-heroics against Cleveland last week-end, beating up on Liriano almost seems routine. πŸ™‚ Can’t say enough good things about Miner, especially his two starts against FL.

    I agree Bonderman should get the first spot in any play-off rotation. He’s a dominant pitcher that seems to fly under the radar a bit, considering the phenomenal crop of rookies this year, but he’s also earned it, IMHO, after paying his dues with the 2003 team.

    A big question in my mind is where Maroth might fit in. Hopefully he’ll be back with the team in Sept so we can all get a good idea of what kind of form he’ll have.

    Wow, baseball play-off talk in Detroit. Man, I love this team!

  19. Laurens de Jong

    August 8, 2006 at 11:48 am

    About the ushers, and autograph seekers: I went to a game earlier this season and was in my seat earlier than normal. Second row, third base. I just wanted to relax a little in the sun, eat peanuts, watch the players warm up, but it wasn’t possible. The mad rush for fans to get to players is beyond words. I can’t describe it. I’m not talking about kids, I’m talking about adults. My brother got wacked in the head by this one guy’s walking stick. The autograph seeker was jumping over the seats to get to Chris Shelton. Not even an apology.

    I shouldn’t have to leave my seat when other fans want autographs. But without the ushers’ help I would have to.

    At the same time, I wasn’t there last night. Perhaps they’ve gone overboard. Of course, they haven’t had to deal with crowds for years. But I just wanted to present another side to this story.

    I feel bad for your son, though. It would be okay with me if the ushers let just kids go to the field β€” no adults without tickets.

  20. Greg

    August 8, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    Due to both an insane schedule and an empty bank account, I’ve only yet made it to one game this year–the late inning marathon against the Yankees early in the season. I’m happy to say I’ll be there tonight. I can’t wait. That game vs. the Yanks was the first time in a long, long time I’d seen such excitement at a Tiger game and it was long before most of the doubts about the ’06 team had been laid to rest.

    This summer has been so damn fun.

  21. Dave T.

    August 8, 2006 at 1:07 pm

    Regarding playoff rotation: I think Rogers would have to start any playoff series as he is the oldest pitcher and least able to come back after 2 days rest. If you pitch him first he can start a potential game 5, go 3-5 innings, then have Bondo come in to finish it off. I pity the hitters who would have to from junk ball lefty to flame throwing righty in the course of a game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Verlander is used as a long man out of the pen in the playoffs. Don’t forget that Maroth is coming back, and he was lights out earlier in the year.
    So…I think it may go like this, Rogers, Bondo, Robertson/Maroth, Verlander. In my estimation, Verlander is the least likely to be asked to pitch on short notice, so he would be the most likely guy to pitch 4th.

  22. Bryan

    August 8, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    I want to see Bonderman starting game 1, in my point of view he’s our best pitcher this year. Well, the one I have most confidence in anyways…

  23. billfer

    August 9, 2006 at 5:55 am

    Lauren – I completely understand your perspective and agree that the behavior is totally unacceptable. I’d like to hope that there could be some middle ground.

    But maybe that middle ground isn’t there to be had and the only way for ushers to prevent what happened to you is to get rid of everyone all the time.

    In any case it is a shame.