Game 118: Tigers at Red Sox

PREGAME: In case you hadn’t heard, this is a really big game because the Tigers have a 5 game losing streak. Actually I can’t be that sarcastic because I kind of believe. At least I believe it to the extent that the longer the losing streak, the more important it becomes to stop it and 5 games is plenty long.

Nate Robertson will take on Josh Beckett. Robertson was on the short end of the stick against the Twins in his last start. He’s actually pitched pretty well in his last 2 starts allowing 6 runs over 13 1/3 innings but he only received 3 runs of offense.

Beckett has been good at home this year, but he’s been pretty hittable since the All Star break with a 266/320/420 line against.

Both Placido Polanco (back) and Pudge Rodriguez (0 for Chicago) will get the night off. Last year Omar Infante had a good game at Fenway peppering a couple doubles high off the Monster and Josh Beckett should provide a decent match-up for him.


POSTGAME
: Well that was certainly more better ;)The Tigers exercised considerable patience at the plate and finagled 6 walks against Red Sox pitching. They also managed to hit the ball with some regularity. The pitching was solid, and it seemed like Robertson’s final line should have been more impressive.

And let me first say that Curtis Granderson is my Tiger. But despite the triple he is all out of sorts at the plate. Six times in the last 2 days he’s swung at the first pitch. That just isn’t part of his game, and he ended up fanning 3 more times.

25 Comments

  1. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    Now that’s the kinda start we all want to see!

  2. Dennis

    August 14, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    i kind of question whether sitting pudge is a good idea since he’s likely to get at least a 1-game suspension for his outburst yesterday IMO.

  3. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    Hey Shawn, how’s lunch?

  4. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 14, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Not that late here yet…just got to my desk at work…my morning responsibilities today include multi-tasking with Gameday at the ready. Already burned up my cell phone battery refreshing ESPN on the train and bus to work. 🙂

  5. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    Do you know any other Tiger fans over there or are you on your own?

  6. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 14, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    There are some other Michigan State grads here but I am not sure if they are Tigers fans. Now, if the Tigers got themselves a Japanese star on their team…

  7. Ken

    August 14, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    What a huge throw out at home. The commentators thought ManRam was running, but it looked to me like he cost them that one with some lead in his legs.

  8. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    How is Thames not hitting for Young in the 7th, against the lefthander? Are we trying to win this game or not?

  9. Dan

    August 14, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    By the way, Ken, Ramirez froze on the line drive there, and he never should have been sent. He doesn’t have the best instincts, and there are a lot of runners who will get a better jump, but you can’t fault a guy for freezing on a line drive, trying to be conservative with his team down a few runs. This is a case of Manny’s reputation haunting him even though he did nothing wrong. Terrible base coaching.

  10. Ken

    August 14, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Fair enough

  11. Joey C.

    August 14, 2006 at 10:15 pm

    Nice stuff. Jones looked real crisp.

  12. Adam

    August 14, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    I really hope it’s not Zumaya we’re going to be counting on down the stretch as the “go-to closer.” Sure, he throws fast, but good hitters eat up fast pitchers. As we’ve seen tonight – AGAIN.

    And I’m really glad to finally see a bases loaded situation where something actually HAPPENED. So many times there’s been one out, bases loaded, and the batter grounds into a DP.

    Dan, don’t worry about Thames. He’ll be back. I think the coaches are just nervous about his late performance – he hits it hard somewhere when he hits it, but he sure isn’t helping when he doesn’t. Same reason they sat Pudge today – 0 for Chicago, and they need to be sure the bats are out.

    My big gripe about the Tigers is their seeming carelessness. Would it kill us to have ONE game without an error? And come on – it isn’t championship baseball when you score three runs and end up losing even though the other team doesn’t have a SINGLE earned run.

    So we didn’t gain any ground back on the other big teams, but hopefully we’ll eke out another win against the Bsox. I mean, they did get sweeped by the Royals. (Or so I’m told.)

  13. Cameron in Singapore

    August 14, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Keep representing Asia, Shawn! I’m the only Tiger fan I know over here.
    Great win tonight. Go Tigers.

  14. Anne

    August 14, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Whew, nice game. Props to Robertson for being the stopper. Although it seems to me it hasn’t been our pitching that’s the problem lately, just everything else. 🙂 Two out of three from the BoSox would be great, but let’s not get greedy.

  15. Scott

    August 14, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    whew! Well, at least that’s over….for now. I think Ramirez expected to be stopped at 3rd; to me, it didn’t look like he ran hard ’til he rounded the bag. And, after Youkilis hit that HR, it really looked like the Tigers were “hanging on”…almost like they were ready to lose. Wilson really came thru in the clutch; I knew we’d win after that hit….and Jones looked really sharp; got the Sox out with no problem in the 9th. Chisox are playing KC; we can’t expect much help from that end…..

    Rock on, boys……… 🙂

  16. Craig In CA

    August 14, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    Dan- I agree with you regarding Thames he should be seeing alot more action. I said the exact same thing in the 7th.

    Do the Tigers know the difference between a ball and a strike? I know its easy to say from the couch, but come on they are swinging at alot of ball 4’s way out of the strike zone. It is not going to be easy down the stretch if that doesn’t change.

    I love the Tigers, and I do think they will hang onand win the Division.

  17. Lou

    August 14, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    Whew. I almost forgot this team had the best record in MLB. Seriously, there is WAY too much gnashing of teeth by Tigers fans over the losing streak. I don’t know about you, but the Tigers rarely seem to give their fans astonishing heartbreaking fades like other teams (Red Sox, Angles, etc.). They normally just suck. Let’s act like we’ve been here before. (Even if it’s been 22 years)

  18. MHS

    August 15, 2006 at 12:51 am

    Shawn,

    I am another Tiger’s fan and MSU grad. I live in Tsukuba (Ibaraki prefecture), but I come to Tokyo often. Have you found a place/way to watch the Tigers in Japan? I was frustrated when I had cable because it seemed to be the Mariners/Yankees show, and if the Tigers were playing one team, inevitably the other game would be on instead. Send me an e-mail if you get a chance — we should get together to watch MSU or the Tigers! (tsukubapassover AT gmail DOT com).

    And great job over the Red Sox today, Tiggies!

  19. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 1:28 am

    Detroit Tigers Weblog…

    Bringing people from around the world closer together.

    Whaddup ASIA!!!

    Stick to the Tigers MHS and Shawn. Another season of John L. football might be too depressing to bear.

  20. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 9:47 am

    I hope you’re right, Lou.

    On the at bat by Wilson: Fantastic. Two strikes, he watches what must have been a deliciously decadent high fastball go by,then he fouls off several curves until he gets one he can drive back through the box. Excellent at bat. Wilson has given us a few at bats like that (not to mention the homer against Johan Santana), which is a nice surprise because I didn’t really expect much of anything out of him.

    I understand the point about Thames, but this “playing the hot hand” stuff can get really out of control. Is Monroe hotter than Thames right now? I’ve heard a lot of complaining about Thames’ strikeouts, but what difference does it make how often he strikes out,so long as he blasts a homer, draws a few walks, and hits a fair share of doubles? There is a chicken-and-egg argument here. People tell me that Thames isn’t playing because he hasn’t been hitting, but I think it’s the other way around. They sat through extended streaks of Monroe having no idea what he’s doing up there, and they finally got a hot streak out of him. If you’re a fan who’s decided he likes Leyland, you’re bound to interpret that as Leyland knowing who to get in there and when to do it, but the reality is that there are favorites being played on the basis of god knows what. If you let Thames play you’d see streaks of a lot of strikeouts, peppered with mammoth home runs,and perhaps a hot streak where he’s killing the ball nearly every time he comes to the plate. When the dust settles, Thames would be doing more for the club than Monroe. I am confident of this.

    Monroe is better on defense, and maybe this is a consideration. Can’t be enough to make up for their offensive differences though. I’d really like to have Thames’ homer for every 15 at bats now that Ordonez has decided to stop hitting them for the year.

  21. Jim

    August 15, 2006 at 11:38 am

    Is it my imagination, or does Joel Zumaya get roughed up a lot in his 2nd inning of work?

  22. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    That would be a good thing to explore, Jim. Let me look into that and see what I find. I think what you’re talking about has been only relatively lately, like in the 2nd half of the season but yeah, I think that rings a bell now that you mention it…

  23. Mark S.

    August 15, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    MHS
    -If you want to pay for it, you can get tigers games streamed live on MLB.com. i think its like, 60 bucks a year or something like that, and you can watch all the MLB games live or on delay.

  24. Kurt

    August 15, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    Just looking into the past 2 months of game logs, I don’t really notice any pattern of 2nd inning occurances for Zumaya, just a glance at the play-by-plays.

  25. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks, Kurt. Could just be in our heads.

    How often does Zumaya come into the middle of innings? It seems fairly regularly, so this could be what we’re noticing. If he’s brought in because we really need one or two outs, then he might be giving up more baserunners in his second inning simply by virtue of him having to get more than one or two outs. Just a thought…