Game 117: Tigers at White Sox

PREGAME: The Tigers have lost 4 in a row. Their offense has been held to 8 runs over that span. Their defense has been bad. It’s time for it to change.

Freddy Garcia against Zach Miner.

The Tigers have only been swept once this year. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

Game Time 2:05.

POSTGAME
: Yes, losing streaks are no fun. Losing to your intra-divisional mates is all the more painful. Losing badly is…Okay you get the point. Before I talk about today’s game specifically, I will say for the first time I’m troubled with the Tigers performance against the White Sox. I don’t necessarily buy the “they’re in their head” speak, but the Tigers have made a habit of coming up short against the Sox. For awhile I thought it was close games not going the Tigers way. This weekend they were manhandled.

I know there is much concern in that a 10 game lead was halved so quickly. But to be fair you have to remember that the Tigers lead ballooned to 10 games rather quickly as well. Where for much of the season the White Sox and Tigers were in lockstep, for the last 2 weeks the teams have been moving in opposite directions.

Am I concerned? A little. But the Tigers just dropped 5 in a row, and they still have a 5.5 game lead. That is more a testament to the fact that the Tigers haven’t really hit the rough patches that their other counterparts have – until now.

As for today’s game, I’m not doing the sour grapes thing because the Tigers were flat out beat. They swung early and often in the count and chased balls out of the strike zone while Zach Miner couldn’t get a corner (more on this in a minute). Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge both made outs on ball 4 (I at least give them a little credit for getting to ball 3. Even Curtis Granderson swung at the first pitch in 3 of his plate appearances.

All that said, Tim Timmons was awful behind the plate. Miner was wild, but he was also getting squeezed. And that I believe is what led to Rodriguez’s frustration for being called out on a pitch that was close (for the record I actually thought that pitch was a strike). And as I’ve mentioned before, I hate it when umpires keep going after players. Timmons did it with Polanco (horrible call) and Rodriguez. Both were upset with called 3rd strikes and showed their displeasure while walking to the bench. In both instances with the player walking away Timmons takes off the mask and continues the argument. Timmons – you made the call, the player disagreed with it yet went back the bench, why continue the argument?

On a final note, it was a great day by Guillen who saved a run in the early going with a spectacular defensive play and came up with 2 2-out RBI.

43 Comments

  1. Joey the K

    August 13, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    Ken Harrelson is the worst announcer in the league to listen to. If tv’s didn’t have a mute button I would not be able to listen to this game. And everytime I unmute it just for a minute he is saying something idiotic.

  2. Steve

    August 13, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Bummer on the call back, This first base ump is on his game with that and the call at first.

    I agree with Joe these guys are Boooooooooooogus, that why we have the radio Joe.

    Lets get a couple of runs, win it and go spank the B-sox.

    Steve

  3. Adam

    August 13, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Looks like the Tigers forgot how to win.

  4. KS

    August 13, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    This performance against good AL teams is beyond worrisome. They really need to take 2 out of 3 in Boston to have any sort of confidence heading into the stretch run. Of course we draw Beckett and Schilling…

  5. Dan

    August 13, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    ***This comment was edited by billfer for profanity – No swearing please***

    The Tigers haven’t forgotten how to win. They have been lucking into wins all season. I’m not saying they’re a bad club – they’re not. I’m saying that they are nowhere near as good as their record seems to indicate, and when they stopped lucking into one-run wins they started getting spanked. When you keep sending **** players like Monroe out there, and when guys like Brandon Inge and Ivan Rodrigues start really killing the team with their refusal to have any sort of plan at the plate, the losses start to pile up.

    Marcus Thames plays maybe half of the games right now. The guy has a .575 slugging % and he is tied for the team lead in home runs despite having 120 fewer plate appearances than the other guy, Inge. They don’t like his strikeouts, which are almost completely meaningless.

    You cannot expect Kenny Rogers (though he has pitched well in his last couple of starts) to keep shutting teams down, and the magic of Zach Miner had to die off eventually. Mike Maroth will come back and probably be a lot closer to his old self than the weird, Twilight Zone version we saw earlier in the year.

    If there was ever a team ripe for complete collapse, it’s this team. When you hand at bats to crap players, regularly bring in the wrong pitchers, and refuse to pinch hit in situations that completely call for it, this is what happens. The conventional wisdom is that Jim Leyland has been a magical force to this team, and I can’t say whether or not he has added some sort of positive influence that has manifested itself on the field, but I can say this: his tactical errors have cost us a couple of games, at least, and his stubborness ensures that this won’t stop happening. The White Sox have several hitters who are better than ours, and there is no reason to think that our pitching will continue to be leaps and bounds better, if better at all. This situation stinks to high heaven. The Tigers could have really used a big bat, and for the next month and a half you will see how that will have cost us dearly.

    Side note on Hawk Harrelson. He is the biggest ******* on the planet, and that includes everyone. Dictators in Africa, child molesters, corrupt politicians, money-grubbing lawyers, balck market organ dealers, you name it – this man is the biggest piece of **** out there. I live in Chicago and have to be subjected to his absurd histrionics and vastly overblown homerism every year, and I am sick of it, the smugness, the monotonous “catch phrases”, everything. I hope nothing but back luck befalls him until his dying day.

  6. Joey C.

    August 13, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    7 to 3. We aren’t even in these games.

    We’ve now beaten the Sox twice all season. That is not going to cut it. Plain and simple.

    I don’t like our chances against anyone the way we’re playing right now, let alone the good teams in the league. I hope Leyland works a little magic prior to that Boston series.

  7. Jeff M

    August 13, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    They really need to take 2 out of 3 in Boston for us fans to have any sort of confidence heading into the stretch run.

    Personally, I think it’s purely coincidence that we’ve lost a lot to the big teams. We’re playing poorly right now. The pitching is good, but every other facet of our game stinks. It happens. We’re playing so poorly that we lost two out of three to a slumping Minnesota, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that we couldn’t win one in Chicago.

  8. Joey C.

    August 13, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    Dan that post is amazing!

    I hope you’re wrong about this team coming back down to earth. I admit we’ve gotten a lot of breaks this year and I can understand feeling like we’re not as good as our record indicates. However, I felt the same way about the White Sox last year, and they proved themselves pretty legitimate in the playoffs.

    Like I said, I hope that you’re wrong because I’m certainly not sure that you are.

  9. Kurt

    August 13, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Dan is slowly making himself to all the board with the same spiel. Good to see you.

    From Boston’s point of view, they face arguable our top three pitchers, so it isn’t going to get any easier for them.

  10. charlie

    August 13, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    dan

    how do you really feel? don’t hold back this time lol.

  11. Scott

    August 13, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    ya know, everybody’s worried now. Fact: EVERY team EVERY year has a rough spell. Don’t care what year, or what team. Right now, it’s our turn. We’re playing lousy; not getting hits when we need ’em…Miner walks 2 men and they both score, Pudge gets called out on a strike out of the zone….this is what happens to teams playing lousy ball. Know something else? It’ll pass. There won’t be a “big collapse”. If we’re a good team, and deserve to win this thing, we’ll right the ship in due course. The Twins and Sox still have to catch us; they can’t go cold again (which they will, sometime) or it’s back to square 1 for them. Good teams survive these spells, bad teams don’t. Guess we’re about to find out if we’re really that good or not……

  12. Steve

    August 13, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    Dan >> I too love the passion,, but take the whole dose next time. Thats why we play them all and have playoffs, plus there are kids that read up here.
    This season to you, me, or anyone else has been fun. The Tigers will have won more games this year than 03 and 04 together. I like a winner and would love to see them win it all, gotta walk before you run so lets see what happens.

    Off to bean town, my brother is a Bsox fan so we will be watching the games together this week, just like when we were younger.

    Steve

  13. Kyle J

    August 13, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    On vacation in Boston, so haven’t seen the last two games. Sounds like it’s time for Leyland to earn his money and make sure the team doesn’t get too down on itself.

    My wife and I will be at Fenway tomorrow night. I’ll post a report upon my return. Eagerly anticipating the game–first time at Fenway.

    Would be great to take at least two from Boston–knock them down a bit and make sure the only suspense (if any) down the stretch is whether or not we win the division.

  14. Nick G

    August 13, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Dan’s a ********** ***. (passionate fan)

  15. Chris Y.

    August 13, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    I am not sure how one can get so upset. I agree that there is a fair amount of “luck” (I’d prefer to call it “movement”) from day to day in baseball depending upon alot of variables (umps, rotations, injuries, etc.). And the Tigers have cashed in for the most part of the first 2/3s of the season, but ALL GOOD TEAMS DO!

    My main complaint about their recent efforts concerns yesterday’s defensive bungles, and that those bungles have been more regular recently and have been critical in big series.

    Look, either they’re good enough or we aren’t. Bailing on a team that has far outperformed all of our expectations and turned in some great performances is not cool. I , for one, am excited to see if the Tigers have the cojones to take the toughest division in baseball. If not, then — hey — they don’t deserve it. Leyland has turned in a pehnomenal performance at skipper and these kids have FUN and play HARD. Go Tigers!

    btw, Hawk is a complete idiot. Heck, that whole crew is horrible. Perfect for the fickle Southsiders….

  16. Nick G

    August 13, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    This is my third season watching the Tigs almost daily on TV from California. I purchased the MLB Extra Innings package on cable for the first time when the Tigers signed Pudge.

    In the last two seasons, about mid August I sort of stopped caring about what happened day to day. I bought fantasy football magazines, or just tried to have a normal sports-free life.

    In a sense, life was easier then, knowing the Tigs were already failures. But, no matter how much stress it gives me, or how this turns out, I wouldn’t give up the fact that I’m still caring for the world.

  17. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 2:26 am

    Sorry about the swearing. I didn’t realize this was a family site. Myself, well, I’mgoing to do the right thing and not expose my children to the Tigers. They’ll thank me later.

    This idea that I should just be happy to be in it no matter what happens and enjoy the ride is totally ridiculous. Oh, you’re right, I shouldn’t get frustrated with the rank stupidity that pervades the game, and I should just sit back and enjoy everything that happens no matter what it is. I should watch the umpires squeeze our pitchers and just say, “Hey, they’ve won more games than I thought they would, so hallelujeh!”

    Give me a break. This is a winning team. I’m happy for it, and I DO enjoy it, but it gives us another framework from which to view the season. You may enjoy losing to the White Sox a thousand times this season because we’re 5 1/2 up (likely about 2 1/2 up by this time next week), but I don’t.

    As for the umpiring – absolutely awful. I have seen a lot of baseball games on TV this year where I had no idea what was a strike and what was not. The state of umpiring in the game is at an all-time low. It is absolutely pathetic. Scott Podsednik got a 2-1 pitch pretty much RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE, and it was called a ball, leading to a walk, which set up the bases clearing double by Alex Cintron, who is a garbage baseball player against everyone but the Tigers. Sheer pain this weekend. Sheer torture.

    You’re damn right it’s the same spiel, Kurt. Why would it be a different spiel?

  18. billfer

    August 14, 2006 at 7:10 am

    Dan –

    I’m confused. Nobody is happy getting swept – it sucks. But first you say the team lucked into wins all season, and then you get upset when they lose. Are they or are they not where they should be in your mind? If they aren’t as good as their record indicates then don’t you expect them to lose a few games? As for collapsing, again if they aren’t that good then it really isn’t a collapse but a regression to the mean?

    As for the umpiring, yes you have to sit back and take it. You don’t have to like it but what do you really expect to do about it? The Tigers have been on the other end as well – it’s how they lucked into some of those wins.

    As for Leyland, I’ll disagree with decisions from time to time but I have a hard time saying that he cost the Tigers any games. Don’t you also have to credit some of the wins to him as well?

  19. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Something should have been done. We needed a bat (a real bat, not Sean Casey), and we needed Tom Gordon for the stretch run and especially for the playoffs. We can’t have Rodney and Zumaya walking whomever they want in playoff games.

    We’ve been lucky, and managment did not take this opportunity seriously. When you’re that far up, you have to put it away. They should have known we were likely to start coughin up games in the final 1/3 of the season.

    That was my point, but nevermind. It’s important to not have a point and not know what you’re talking about on these boards. If you leave an innocuous post full of platitudes and simple observations, everyone is happy. So scratch the above, and here’s my real post:

    “Tough loss today! We need some wins! Man, this team reminds me of the 84 team but sometimes not so much. Umpires are kiiiiiiilling us! Hey you angry guys, tell us how you really feel HA HA HA HA HA!

    Go Tigs!”

    Is that better?

  20. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 9:52 am

    By the way, and I mean this 100% sincerely, thanks for the Weblog. I found it not that long ago, and the minor league updates have been very fun and useful…

  21. Craig in CA

    August 14, 2006 at 10:06 am

    Let’s not get hasty fans. One needs to take a look back at the 84 tigers and the beginning of August. Games 100-115 the “Bless you Boys” went 5-11, with a 4 game losing streak sandwiched in the middle. They were swept 4 games by Kansas City (Who did the Tigers sweep in the playoffs?….the Royals) and they lost 5 of 8 to the Red Sox. They pulled out of their skid by sweeping the Royals in games 116-118……… They went on to win 13 of their next 17 games and the rest is history. By the way the 84 tigers record after 117 games… 76-41.

    Beat Boston

  22. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 11:02 am

    That’s a good point, Craig, and it is some useful perspective. Still, there are some key differences that may render the comparison moot – 1, this Tigers team is not as good as the 84 team, and 2, they didn’t have anyone nearly as good as this year’s White Sox and Twins chasing them down. This team is in a hell of a lot more trouble than the 84 team was at this point.

    Here’s a topic for discussion: why the hell does Marcus Thames not play anymore?

  23. Fritz

    August 14, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Dan:

    You haven’t heard about Craigers’s collection of DD naked pictures have you?

  24. Chris Y.

    August 14, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    The umpire work in MLB has been tremenously variable lately. Last year’s entire postseason stands out as a pretty good indicator of how poor quality umping can ruin this beautiful game (sans BALCO & Co., but that’s a completely different topic). But it is the human element to baseball that makes it so great. You have twenty-seven outs to record. No clock. Between two lines and a fence.

    It kills me to watch a game changed by an ump. And it’s often the guy behind the plate. I’m all for holding them accountable — the players are, they get the W or L. What do the umps get….another season of tenure?

    But, I am learning to acccept that this is part of the game. And what goes around comes around.

  25. Dave

    August 14, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    Alex Cintron:

    Vs. Tigers: 13-for-31 (.419)

    Vs. Rest of League: 49-for-193 (.254)

    The guy is Ty Cobb vs. the Tigers and Alex Average against the rest of the league. I don’t think anyone does better against the Tigers on the Sox.

    I’m a born and raised Detroiter whose lived in Chicago for much of my adult life. The feeling here is stronger confidence on how the White Sox and Tigers match up than it was before the weekend.

    Either way, the Tigers have made a great improvement, are still solidly in first, and are finding ways to win. I’ve been rooting for them all season. I agree with Dan that thinks have broken right, but most winning teams do that.

  26. Jim

    August 14, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    You know, not being able to beat Chicago won’t mean anything if the Tigers finish 1st and the Sox don’t win the wild card. With the Twins and whoever finishes 2nd in the East, that makes the Sox a 3:1 shot just for showing up. I won’t worry about it.

  27. solbro

    August 14, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    I’d worry about it. The igers looked like crap against the World Champs. This is where the game starts to get interesting. If the Tigers don’t suck it up in Boston, watch out. Even so, they are bound for early exit IF they make the playoffs… Not enuf bats or arms. And BTW, who would u rather have? 15 million Mags or 5 million Dye? Very disappointing.

  28. Sam

    August 14, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    Did anyone really think they would play out the season without having this kind of stretch?? The Whitesox last year had a 7 game losing streak from 8/12-8/20 last year against Boston, NY, and Minny to see their lead shrink by 4 games to the Indians. We all know how it ended up.

    The Tigers do not have the bats that the White Sox do, but we do have better defense (even with all the errors this weekend), and I will take our pitching over theirs.

    -Sam

  29. solbro

    August 14, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    Better pitching than the Sox? No, I don’t think so. Not with the McDougal/Thornton/Jenks… Verlander’s toast. Rogers can be hit. I’d love to have any Sox starter (maybe not Freddy)… Granderson/Anderson a wash… Dye better at D than Mags. Sox infield superior. Maybe it’s time for us Tiger fans to get real and see the team for what it is… It won’t be an easy road to the post. But that’s okay. Adversity builds character

  30. Andrew

    August 14, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    The Tigers were due for a rough patch. What doesn’t hurt you makes you stronger, right? Craig in CA already made the point I was going to about the ’84 Tigers having some August doldrums.

    Dan, you are also correct that the ’84 Tigers did not have a team of the same quality as the White Sox chasing them down the stretch.

    That being said, we were 5 1/2 games up about three weeks ago. Not too shabby to be no worse off with a month and a half to go.

    By the way – 11 of our final 14 games are against Baltimore (51-67, 4 game losing streak), Kansas City (41-77, 4 game losing streak), and Toronto (63-55, although currently experiencing some troubles of their own). By the end of the season Toronto might just be playing out the string and make those three games all but freebies for the Tigers.

    All but three games against Kansas City are at home. Oh yeah, we also have to play the White Sox Sept. 18-20 in Chicago during that stretch :).

    Go Tigers!

  31. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Yeah I think the time has come to stop touting our defense. It’s average at best and certainly not something that separates us from the whitesox.

  32. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    That’s a good point about the nice stretch of bad teams at the end of the season, but I don’t want that to be a high pressure stretch, do you?

    The Tigers pitching has been better than the White Sox’s, better than everyone’s for that matter, but can’t you see how that is unlikely to continue for the rest of the season? Why does no one understand this concept? It is the same reason Monroe plays every day, rather than Thames. Monroe had a warm streak there for a while. Is he LIKELY to hit that way from this day forward? No! You have to trust the numbers. Thames has done nothing but kill the ball for three straight years now, in the majors, in the minors, in spring training, everywhere! Instead, Monroe is thought of as an every day major leaguer, and Thames is thought of as a guy who strikes out too much. It’s garbage.

    Is the Tigers pitching LIKELY to be better than that of the White Sox for the rest of the season? If you say yes, then why? Rodney has gotten a lot of luck so far, and it’s now wearing off. He and Zumaya are walkingt too many batters. The Gambler clearly needs to sit out a few hands. I’ll admit that he has picthed pretty well the last couple of times out, but is it likely to continue? No. Go look at his splits for the last few seasons, and consider his age.

    Can Zach Miner keep it up? Maybe. Probably not. Can Verlander keep getting by without striking a lot of guys out, now that he’s thrown more innings than he ever has before? Who knows! Will Todd Jones continue to buck the odds? It is not likely.

    This is where the Tigers failed. They refused to accept the fact that they had been very lucky, that they had won a lot of one-run games, and that everyone was playing near the top of their capabilities, and there were very few injuries. This is a team that still thinks Dmitri Young is worth carting out there. Teams like that don’t win jack.

    To Andrew, are you kidding me? What doesn’t hurt you only makes you stronger? What on earth is that supposed to mean? I mean, that is just a cliche that you are breaking out, and you don’t even know what you mean when you say it. How did getting swept by the Sox in a series right before we play New York and Boston not hurt us? I mean, maybe it didn’t, but probably it did!

    To many bulletin boards consist of about three people who know what they’re talking about, puncutated by other people spouting cliches and hackneyed moronisms, and it becomes more and more difficult to pick through everything in order to have an actual conversation of any substance whatsoever.

    The Baseball Prospectus odds for a division championship for the Tigers have dropped from 95% to 84% in a matter of days. These do not take into account the fact that many of the Tigers played over their heads for the first 2/3 of the season. It doesn’t take into account the fact that Magglio Ordonez has 1 home run in his last, like 130 plate appearances. There are problems, and those problems weren’t solved because they thought they could coast. It was stupid.

    I hope I’m wrong. If I’m wrong I’ll come back here and apologize to you fine people for being such a jerk. I don’t think I’m wrong though. This team is going to tank it and go down in history as one of the quintessential examples of total collapse down the stretch.

  33. Andy

    August 14, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Question to all, Who was the home plate umpire in Chicago for game 117? I cant help but understand the frustration of Pudge yesterday, especially considering the impending 5 game losing streak when he got tossed. Pudge got the crappy calls for his at bats, but remember he was right there for all the “balls” called against Miner that were obviously over the plate. We cannot do anyting about it but the umpire obviously had a bias.
    Miner had pitched I think 59 pitches in 2 innings. and the Sox just went 1 2 3 with us with great efficiency. It just seemed we had to work much harder throuout the whole series to get K’s or any strikes. I understand our guys are a “free swinging” team, but come on . I went to only one game this year with my family at Comerica Park, I live in Kalamazoo so it is a pretty big one day trip to go there for a game, I was there in July to see them get spanked by the Sox 7-1 the opener of that series. This series on TV was the same as that aweful feeling, times 3. Chicago has confidence and presense that is immesurable, but remember they have had success and it is only a thin cloak, and they could unravel at any time.
    I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Tigers were a suprise to the establishment this year, and are going to have to fight like underdogs the WHOLE season, they need to turn thier anger into motivation, and management needs to make tough decisions, and follow the statistics of the game and not the “streaks”.
    Even if the Tigers do not make it through the playoffs or even to them period, as a life long Tigers fan I want to just know that they never quit the whole season.
    I Watch Tigers Weekly and have noticed that early in the season when they were met with success, they kept a very diciplined attitude about the next challenge, but this week interviews showed they were perhaps a little more relaxed, (filmed before Chicago series) this outward appearance could not have happened at a worse time. Remember the underdog. Our record shows best in baseball but not the best team…..yet.
    GO AND FIGHT LIKE TIGERS Andy

  34. Nick G

    August 14, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    “To (sic) many bulletin boards consist of about three people who know what they’re talking about, puncutated by other people spouting cliches and hackneyed moronisms, and it becomes more and more difficult to pick through everything in order to have an actual conversation of any substance whatsoever.”

    Too many bulletin boards are filled with bullies who have superiority complexes. Sadly, I think the DTW is becoming one of those.

  35. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Olney’s blog today discusses the Tigs poor plate discipline…which is something we’ve all discussed throughout the season. Obviously we hit a new low this past weekend. Olney points out that we walked ONCE vs. 22 Ks ALL WEEKEND? ONE WALK FOR AN ENTIRE SERIES? Obviously that’s not going to cut it.

    Olney goes onto provide the following numbers which I think counters the assertion that our record against the elite AL teams is coincidental…although we’d really need to see these numbers against all other teams to really get a sense of the degree of aberration.

    Against the Red Sox: five walks and 28 strikeouts in three games.
    Against the Yankees: 13 walks and 27 strikeouts in four games.
    Against the White Sox: 19 walks and 78 strikeouts in 12 games.
    Against the Angels: 12 walks and 37 strikeouts in five games.

    Olney calls these teams “veteran clubs” and that they’re better at victimizing our undiciplined hitters. I’m not sure if I buy that story exactly, but maybe our hitters press when we match up against the power clubs in the league, and stop being as selective as they should.

    Regardless it’s been an obvious concern all year and I hope they can correct it enough to at least have a chance to finish off the season with a winning record and make some noise in the playoffs.

  36. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    Oh and Dan…eat a freakin valium.

  37. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Sorry. I just get carried away. I love this team and want it to win, and this losing streak has me worried like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t mean to be a bully. I just don’t want to be punished for bringing up real issues with the club. That’s what happens. You bring up real issues, it’s not what people want to hear, and they go nuts because they are afraid to talk actual facts.

    Joey C., I saw the stuff by Olney, and it’s shocking, if not surprising. You can tell just by watching this team that the hitters have no plan at the plate and don’t understand the strike zone. Most of them anyway, but to see it in the relief in which Olney shows it, that’s rough.

    Not sure anything can be done about this. I don’t believe that players can just turn on a switch and understand smart hitting because someone told them to. I highly doubt the Tigers staff is stressing plate discipline up there, but I suppose you never know.

    Up to this point, a high number of home runs has kept the offense afloat, and if those die then look out. We made Freddy Garcia, who has been awful this year, look like Tom Seaver.

  38. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    Haha…wouldn’t you know it. Dan your favorite player just walked.

  39. Steve

    August 14, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    Dan, You seem to have a lot of love and a large aptitude for the game. Myself, I am not a numbers weenie or writer, I just like to watch ball games at night after work with my son. Many people just dont have the emotional fire that you have, so its hard to (for some) understand that level of passion for the team. People engage everything at their own level.
    People who are overly passionate are often misunderstood as the passion and seemely aggresive behavior are not the make up of the vast majority of people. That is why a cliche or light observation is pretty much their style.

    I hope you continue to write in (I love the passion), but understand why people are slightly less agresive than you.

    PS I would love to hear you on ROME someday. Let us know if that happens.

    Steve

  40. Andrew

    August 15, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Um, Dan I might have thrown out a cliche, but I had substance to my post. We are still 5 1/2 games up on the White Sox. No worse off than we were three weeks ago. Is 10 games up better? Of course.

    No offense, but I don’t expect to see you on Baseball Tonight breaking down ball games anytime soon with your expert average joe analysis.

    Like all of us, you are a fan. Don’t beat down other fans (unless they are not Tigers fans :)). I post on here to join in a fun conversation. Since when did DTW require a certain Baseball IQ to join a conversation?

    Bilfer, if this blog becomes Dan’s Baseball Breakdown Tonight and everyone who has a casual observation “hackneyed moronism” view gets blasted I will not be checking back in. This has been fun until a few days ago.

  41. Andrew

    August 15, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Um, Dan I might have thrown out a cliche, but I had substance to my post. We are still 5 1/2 games up on the White Sox. No worse off than we were three weeks ago. Is 10 games up better? Of course.

    No offense, but I don’t expect to see you on Baseball Tonight breaking down ball games anytime soon with your expert average joe analysis.

    Like all of us, you are a fan. Don’t beat down other fans (unless they are not Tigers fans :)). I post on here to join in a fun conversation. Since when did DTW require a certain Baseball IQ to join a conversation?

    Bilfer, if this blog becomes Dan’s Baseball Breakdown Tonight and everyone who has a casual observation “hackneyed moronism” view gets blasted I will not be checking back in. This has been fun until a few days ago.

    By the way, did it ever occur to you that when I posted the “what doesn’t hurt us makes us stronger” comment that it just might have been an intentional cliche just for the heck of it? Nope, your kneejerk reaction proves that you didn’t.

  42. Andrew

    August 15, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Sorry for the double post. Guess my “moronism” came into play with my computer ;).

  43. ron

    August 18, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Dan, go outside and get some fresh air.When a team has the best E.R.A. in baseball after 120 games , collapses do not happen.Now run to the record books and prove me wrong.You seem to have a need to tell people “I told you so”.Relax,your analyzing this thing to death.The Tigers are going to win it all because of their pitching period.