Game 121: Rangers at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers return home and face the Rangers. If it seems like it’s been a really long time since Detroit played Texas, well it has. You have to go all the way back to the first week of the season when Chris Shelton was smacking a home run a game. After hanging around in the AL West most of the season, the Rangers are now 6.5 games behind the A’s and trying to hold onto playoff hopes.

Tonight the Tigers will send Kenny Rogers out against his old team. After an awful July, Rogers has bounced back somewhat in August with a pair of 7 inning, 4 hit starts but with an 0-1 record to show for it.

He’ll be paired against right hander Edinson Volquez who is making his 3rd start. In his last outing he pitched 7 shut out innings against the Mariners.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Here is the super ultra delayed post game. The family and I went to the game last night, got home late, and I got a slow start this morning. I agree with most of the comments already left so I won’t add too much more.

Is it me or did that game seem like shouldn’t have been that close. The Tigers were hitting balls hard all night, and getting guys on base. It really felt like it should have been a blow out.

Carlos Guillen’s homer was a laser. Craig Monroe continues to smack the ball around. And Tiger pitchers keep walking a frustrating batter an inning.

And on one final note, if there was anything positive to come out of the Polanco injury (which now looks to be a 4-6 week thing), it is more Omar Infante at-bat music.

26 Comments

  1. Ken

    August 17, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    Everybody is so quite tonight! Cmon gang, we’re up 2 zip on another Casey RBI. I’ve totally changed my outlook on this guy. Nice play at first too.

  2. Nate A

    August 17, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    I’ll chime in and say that last half inning with the 2 walks made me a bit nervous. Especially with Lee at bat. Good timing for that DP ball there. Just hang in there Rogers.

  3. Joey C.

    August 17, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    Lamont screws up more plays…

    Good god! What game is he watching?

  4. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 17, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    Checking in, checking in…seems like a good game so far. Monitoring from the Tokyo desk…

  5. Mandy

    August 17, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    Hey, I tuned in late, where is Pudge’s orange mask? Doesn’t he always wear it?

  6. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 17, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    I turned away for a few minutes, then turn back and see Texas has bases loaded, no outs! Dang…Zumaya is in the pressure cooker now…

  7. Bryan

    August 17, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Zumaya will own them

  8. Alan

    August 17, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    One run is not bad to give up considering that 6th inning. It’d be nice to boost Rogers’ moral and give him the win. If we can hold on for 9 more outs. With White Sox winning, we have got to keep that 6 1/2 game lead.

  9. Bryan

    August 17, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Jonesy time

  10. Steve

    August 17, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzumaya, Seriously, dont you want to hear George Thorogoods: Who you love guitar intro when he comes in to pitch.

  11. Scuba

    August 17, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    I threw a tantrum when they waved DY home. I knew immediatly he’d be out.

    Great job by the bullpen. Rogers owes Zumaya a beer.

  12. Cameron in Singapore

    August 17, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    Ah yes…Good win tonight, hopefully we can get 3 out of 4 this weekend.

  13. Craig in CA

    August 18, 2006 at 1:17 am

    What a wonderful game with the exception of loading the bases in the 6th. Zumaya was the man. I hope Rogers bought him dinner after the game. I owe him an apology for my last comment, he pitched two solid innings tonight. Jones has great command these days. The bullpen really makes this fun. Will someone tell Craig Monroe emphatically, NO MORE DIVING into THE STANDS!!! Great effort but we can’t affor any more injuries.

    Inquiry, I saw Marroth in the pen.. when will we see him, and in what capacity.

    This is fun every night, at least for me. Being on the west coast most of the late innings occur around or during dinner time… I now have a Monitor in the dining room so we don’t miss a pitch. My wife had a look of disbelief on her face when I commented that there were only 41 games left to go.

    Let’s take 3 of 4. Go Tigers.

  14. Miguelito

    August 18, 2006 at 3:59 am

    Watching another Kenny Rogers outing is always worth it if only because we will probably get to see Zumaya do his thing. Absolutely fantastic. When Leyland called for him I changed into my Zumaya jersey for good luck. He even got some off-speed stuff over tonight. Oye Zumaya — sabroso.

  15. Anne

    August 18, 2006 at 8:53 am

    Hey all, I didn’t catch the game last night (at a family gathering), I could only read the box score and recap afterward. Just wanted to ask for a few comments:

    Everyone seems pretty high on Zoom-zoom (as I have been too) but didn’t he walk in a run? Yes I know Rogers loaded the bases, but Zumaya does seem to walk batters at an alarming rate, somewhere around 4.5/9 innings. It seems to me that may be the only thing holding him back from being our closer of the future. What do y’all think?

    Also, Rogers seemed like he turned in a pretty strong performance, other than giving up 4 walks (still better than Verlander’s total Weds night, however.) Just wondering what people who actually saw the game thought of him, considering how much is riding on him down the stretch.

  16. Joey C.

    August 18, 2006 at 10:33 am

    Anne, I definitely agree with you that Zumaya’s control is an issue and will only become more of an issue the longer he fails to improve it.

    However, it’s not his lack of accuracy with the heat that worries me. He throws that thing so hard it doesn’t really matter where it goes as long as it’s close to the plate. He doesn’t need to spot it.

    But his inability to consistently get the curve or change over for strikes is a problem. Somebody posted a comment here about this after he gave up the Morneau homer. He relies way to much on the fast-ball, because it’s the only pitch he can throw for a strike. So of course you get guys sitting fast-ball. And if they at least fend a couple off and extend the at bat, Zumaya is forced to show them something else, which is usually a pitch out of the zone. If he falls behind early by missing with the fastball, it’s obviously even worse.

    And god forbid he loses any velocity on the heater before he gains control of at least one more pitch. Remember Matt Anderson?

  17. Scott

    August 18, 2006 at 10:38 am

    I also felt this game should’ve been a blow-out. Volquez didn’t pitch well at all; we should’ve lit him up like a Christmas tree. And usually, sending the runner home on 2 outs is a good thing to try – but not that time….I also knew he’d be out as soon as he was sent. But I’m getting a little irked at these guys just giving up. What ever happened to trying to bowl over the catcher and knocking the ball loose? Mags won’t run into the fence, DY gave himself up….and Mags earlier in the year also “gave himself up” on a play at the plate. Back in the day, you’d be relegated to the bench for crap like that. At least Monroe gave it his all on that foul. And Z’s just gotta learn to control himself; when he “loses it”, the ball goes up and in to a RH batter (it would be kind of scary to get hit in the face by a 100 mph fastball coming in at your face). Remember Tony C?

  18. Marshall in DC

    August 18, 2006 at 10:53 am

    ZoomZoom did walk in a run, however – He is young – comming into a game at home – (where his last outing he gave up a HR) – I’m certain he was juiced with adrenaline.

    After 4 straight balls and walking in a run and pair of balls to start the next batter, the Pitching Coach went in and after which I believe 11 of his next 12 pitches were strikes.

    Frankly – In this case – Zumaya needed to just settle down and trust that most people can’t hit his fastball just outside the strike zone. (can’t lay off them either)

    As for Rogers, he had good pitches and bad pitches. He had some great defence behing him last night. Early on with a man on second, Sean Casy snagged a line drive that had double written all over it. That get through – you have a whole different ballgame. I think the Tigs had 3 double plays last night as well.

    What I saw of Rogers is that he is a vet who has to battle through the line up becuse his stuff aint there anymore, but he battles well. (sounds like Todd Jones) He will give up the walks but he will manufacture the Double play, He has no physical attributes (left arm touched by the gods) that we can say wow about, but he plays a very sound game and last night got the win.

  19. Joey C.

    August 18, 2006 at 11:12 am

    Scott I can’t imagine facing Zumaya. Really I can’t imagine facing any big league pitcher…but Zumaya is a madman. I’m really surprised we haven’t seen a Kruk vs. R. Johnson moment this year.

  20. Bob S.

    August 18, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    Zumaya has terrific control for a 21 year old learning to pitch in the majors.I agree with you that Infante playing regularly is the silver lining to the dark cloud of the Polanco injury.I think Infante has the potential to be an All-Star second baseman.

  21. Matt in Toledo

    August 18, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    Scott – the catcher isn’t the only one who can get hurt when you go blasting into a play at the plate, so I don’t mind when the Tigers just concede that trying to score when they’re out by twenty feet wasn’t a good idea.

  22. Anne

    August 18, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for the insights, everyone. I guess walking in a run is better than giving up a bases-loaded double. And I’m really pulling for Rogers to do well down the stretch. I’d say Bonderman and Verlander are 1-2 right now, but the Tigs are going to need more than just two pitchers, especially since Rogers is the only starter with post-season experience.

  23. Ken

    August 18, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    That’s exactly what I was going to say, Matt. The last thing we need is Dmitri seperating his shoulder from trying to run over the catcher who has been holding the ball for 5 seconds. A close play–you got to do it, but not that one.

  24. Taylor

    August 18, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    On the Zumaya thing… He’s young. He has great movement in his fastball. The problem Matt Anderson had was that he threw straight balls. No movement at all. Major league hitters eat 100mph straight balls for breakfast. Zoom-Zoom is getting control of his change and curve. It reminds me of Verlanders control issues right now. It’s mechanics. They’ll sort it out. Hopefully in time to make a run in the playoffs.

  25. Mark S.

    August 19, 2006 at 10:53 am

    I agree with Matt in Toledo. If Dmitri didn’t give himself up, there is possibility that he’s injured. Jim Leyland once said something to the effect of… “at the beginning of the year, my bench was Omar Infante, Vance Wilson, Ramon Santiago and Marcus Thames. Now I have Vance Wilson, Omar Infante, Brent Clevlen, and I’m really not sure who the fourth bench player is.” With DY injured, we’d lose that flexibility.

  26. Boston Fan in Michigan

    August 19, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    //And on one final note, if there was anything positive to come out of the Polanco injury (which now looks to be a 4-6 week thing), it is more Omar Infante at-bat music.//

    This is like something I would say. I am wicked happy to see an assessment of the situation like this over here. Because it is TRUE.