Game 125: White Sox at Tigers

PREGAME: There’s something going on with my webhost, so I’m not sure if you can even read this. That being the case this is a very short game post. Justin Verlander against Jose Contreras.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Judging by the comment volume, the site seems to be loading now. As for the game itself, what’s not to like?

After a season in which the Tigers kept finding ways to win, they spent a weekend finding ways to lose. As a fan, it was nice to see them rebound with such a complete effort. There was the balanced offensive attack fueled by line drives born of good pitch selection. The defense was solid. And Justin Verlander returned to form.

As for Verlander’s velocity, that is something that he’s been dialing back for quite some time. I think part of it is fatigue, which really is probably to be expected. For a 23 year old to still be throwing 99 at inning totals he’s never experienced may be an unrealistic expectation. The other part is maturity. He had stopped dialing it up consistently back in May. He still seemed to be working at 93-94 most of the game and he did dial it up to 96 for 3 straight pitches in the 6th inning.

And one last note. I’m not ragging on Todd Jones by any means, because he has been very good. But I would love it if he would stick his glove out for a ground ball once in a while. Those ground balls back through the box, he seems to go out of his way to avoid. Not a big deal by any means, but I’m just sayin’.

38 Comments

  1. Pete

    August 21, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    I agree with what everyone has said about Neifi Perez. He is awful. But I’m wondering if we wouldn’t be a little bit better defensively if Neifi played short and Guillen moved to second. My admittedly uninformed opinion is that NP must be much better defensively than CG — CG makes a lot of errors, and NP must be good defensively to keep finding work despite being incompetent on offense. Yes, I know this will never happen. My only question is whether it would improve the team (however slightly) on defense.

  2. Steve

    August 21, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    Bill site is fine, loads very slow. Has been all day.

    Steve

  3. Chris

    August 21, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    **Edited by billfer – please no swearing**
    I would like to here from all of those posters who were crying about getting Casey and those who also said that he sucked. A career 300 hitter dosen’t suck. He may not run worth a **** but he can hit. Eat crow (you know who you are).

  4. Chris Y.

    August 21, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    Nice to finally string a couple innings together here.

  5. Chris Y.

    August 21, 2006 at 8:41 pm

    All of 6 innings into his Tigers debut, but Neifi’s not exactly dispelling any of the acrid fumes of the past 24 hours….

  6. Chris

    August 21, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    If Perez can play above average defense and give us some sacrifice bunts with a few chop singles and stolen bases that’s all we can ask for. Infante can give us the pop out of second.

  7. Joey C.

    August 21, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Wow! What have I missed. Of course the game I don’t watch is the one I’ve been waiting to see.

    Chris Y. how did Verlander look tonight?

    Yeah I see that Perez has left 3 men on base. But that’s okay. We’re paying him over 2 million bucks to do that.

  8. Ken

    August 21, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    Craig Monroe has been “My Tiger” the last few years, and it’s so nice to see him finally succeed. He’s got that sweet, effortless swing that reminds me of Griffey Jr. Hopefully this is a sign of years of consistency and improvement from him. Awesome game tonight from everybody……..except Perez, who hopefully will prove us all nay sayers sooner than later. Also, what the hell happened to our particapatory blog? Didn’t we have 70 some posts the other night. Lately we’ve been lucky to have 10 by the end of the game, even during a rivalry. What the hell is going on around here? See what happens with too much censorship?!

  9. Joey C.

    August 21, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    Also I see that Granderson continues to struggle. I don’t know, but it might be time to move him out of the leadoff spot.

  10. Chris

    August 21, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    my apologies bilfer

  11. Joey C.

    August 21, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Ken, other people might have lives that revolve around something other than the Tigers. I’m not one of those people, but its something to consider.

  12. Ken

    August 21, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    Well, I find it hard to believe that everyone’s schedules are perfectly aligned with one another, but thanks for reminding me my life is one dimensional.

  13. Marshall in DC

    August 21, 2006 at 9:28 pm

    I think everyone is awe and can’t post. I mean what are we going to complain about tonight? God only knows we can’t say positive things . . .can we??

    Perez just grouned into a double play. This guy better watch out or he will be batting 10 in the batting order.

  14. Joey C.

    August 21, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Well at least the Tigers brought our one dimensional lives a little happiness tonight! Big win. Let’s keep in rolling!

  15. Marshall in DC

    August 21, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Got the win – way to go boys! Man was that needed!

  16. Chris Y.

    August 21, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    That’s more like it. Good to see Verlander get back to it.

  17. Anne

    August 21, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Hey Ken, I think maybe losing 3 in a row to Texas had more to do with the perceived lack of activity than any sort of censorship. It just seems easier to find something original to say when the team does well.

    Before tonight, I was thinking we could expect to win 1 out of 4 from the Sox, but now who knows? 2 or 3 seems very do-able. Let’s hope Perez pays his way with the glove, since he doesn’t seem like he’s going to with his bat.

    And what is up with the Red Sox? Losing 5 to Satan’s minions in pinstripes is not a rivalry, it’s a joke.

  18. Pete

    August 21, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    If you’re keeping score at home, the Tigers are now a perfect 1-0 with Neifi in the starting lineup.

    Neifi 4 Perez-ident!

  19. Kyle J

    August 21, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Baseball sure is a funny game. Verlander is lights out against a team that had hammered him in every previous start, and Contreras is highly hittable after completely baffling the Tigers the last time around.

    The Perez thing is very strange to me. Maybe Infante’s shoulder still isn’t 100%? We haven’t heard much about that since spring training. Regardless, I’m willing to give DD and Leyland the benefit of the doubt at this point.

  20. Steve

    August 21, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Pete, are you in advertising???

    Good win by the Tigers tonight. Monroe hit one when we needed it most.
    I dont know about you but is was good to get the first one from them and a decent whipping at that. I was a little bummed when Inge hit into that DP early in the game with men on 1st and 2nd 1 out, but C-Mo bailed every one out.

    Casey seems decent to me, in the times he has had to produce it seems like to me that he gets a hit. Not a real power guy but hits the gaps pretty well.

    Hope all is well with you guys becuase by the end of this series one of us will need the paddles.

    Steve

  21. Mike F

    August 21, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    I think the grounder through the legs the other night has a lot to do with Infante going back to the bench.

  22. Cameron in Singapore

    August 21, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    Much nicer to win than to lose, even with Neifi in the starting lineup.

  23. Craig In CA

    August 21, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    Hey I was away this weekend on Back Packing Trip in the Sierras with my family. I was completely stressed not knowing what the Tigers were up to. On Sunday morning we met a horse packer who had a long range two way radio and he got me the scores. I think I preferred the stress of not knowing.

    Great game tonight. This team is going to get things going and I believe they are ready to make a statement.

    Verlander is terrific.

    Go Team

  24. Jeff M

    August 21, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    Verlander is lights out against a team that had hammered him in every previous start

    He switched to a larger glove because they thought he was tipping his pitches. Apparently, the larger glove masked whatever he was doing.

    how did Verlander look tonight?

    He pitched well, but I thought he looked tired. I think he topped out at 96 and was down to 93 by the 6th inning.

  25. Nick G

    August 21, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    C-MO!!!!!

  26. Joey C.

    August 22, 2006 at 12:03 am

    Thanks for the update Jeff. I–of course!–made the decision to pull Verlander from my lineup in fantasy. Well, that’s the way it goes.

    I thought he looked pretty fatigued his last outing–lots of stuff missing high–so I’m a little disheartened to hear you say he looked tired again despite a solid showing.

    Mike F…I wondered the exact same thing about Infante’s error maybe leading to his being placed back on the bench. But that sure seems like a knee-jerk reaction. I mean why not DH Guillen if a few errors here and there are such an offense?

    Lots of interesting stuff brought up tonight. Nice that it’s all in response to a win.

  27. Bob S.

    August 22, 2006 at 12:11 am

    Zumaya’s inability to find the strike zone with the first batter he faces is starting to be too predictable.I’m of the impression he leaves the bullpen more appropriately psyched to play middle linebacker.Once he learns to control his emotions a little better,he’s the closer.

  28. Kurt

    August 22, 2006 at 12:21 am

    Speaking for myself, I thought I’d take advantage of the chance to go fishing.

    Plus I, too, sat Verlander on my fantasy team. If that’s what it takes, I won’t start him ever again!

  29. Nick G

    August 22, 2006 at 12:28 am

    i.e. The censorship issue. I believe Billfer is trying to run his web site like a daily newspaper. Go to the “Detroit News” or “USA Today” or any other reputable rag, and see how many F Words or S Words are in their editorial pages. Those newspapers self-censor for language, and exhibit a level of discourse that doesn’t mean censorship, in my mind, but class. Meanwhile they try to accept differing views.

    Surely, we all can drop F Bombs whenever we want, and I know I do, but there’s no reason to do so and take away from this site’s aspirations to be taken seriously.

    Just my 2 cents.

  30. Taylor

    August 22, 2006 at 12:47 am

    I read somewhere that Jimmy L loves Nefi and remembered him from the Colorado days. (99, I think) Says he plays with energy and emotion. He *did* win a gold glove back in ’00. Who knows. Not many people predicted Casey would help us out this much. I’ll put my faith in Leyland.

  31. Joe V.

    August 22, 2006 at 8:29 am

    The team looked comfortable, not intimidated, against the Sox tonight, first time I have seen that look against them all season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take 3 of 4.

  32. Kyle J

    August 22, 2006 at 9:13 am

    As much as we think Infante has a fair amount of potential, his batting numbers thus far in his career haven’t really been any better than Perez’s. Here are their career averages:

    Infante: .249/.294/.384
    Perez: .269/.299/.378

    The advantage tilts Infante’s way if you just look at this season’s stats–althought Perez’s numbers probably understate what we can reasonably expect as his numbers from last year were in line with his career numbers.

    Infante: .269/.311/.378
    Perez: .250/.262/.338

    If Leyland and DD think Perez’s glove makes up for the difference in offensive performance, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. To date, the two big decisions Leyland has made where the numbers didn’t seem to back him up have worked out pretty well: (1) playing Monroe over Thames down the stretch and (2) not demoting Jones from the closer’s role.

  33. michael

    August 22, 2006 at 10:45 am

    hey I just wanted to post to say that I am very happy that Monroe is doing the job. i have appeared to be wrong about him. i am very happy to be wrong about him. Last night was a massive win.

  34. michael

    August 22, 2006 at 10:48 am

    hey I just wanted to post to say that I am very happy that Monroe is doing the job. i have appeared to be wrong about him. i am very happy to be wrong about him. Last night was a massive win. One thing that does concern me is that Perez will be starting at second. Infante is a much better hitter than perez and thats not saying much. baseball prospectus lists perez as one of the top worthless players in the game. This move concerns me. If they wanted to go get a glove man as the back-up then i have no problem with that. But to cart Perez out there nightly over infante is a massive mistake…and I don’t think Infante is that good! If we win the division it will be in spite of moves like this…not because of them.

  35. Mike F

    August 22, 2006 at 11:22 am

    Infante has a history of mental laspes: failing to run out grounders (I vagely remember him making an out of a throwing error because he returned to the dugout back in ’03), bone head errors, etc. So I don’t know if his replacement is a knee jerk reaction or not.

  36. Matt in Toledo

    August 22, 2006 at 11:29 am

    Putting Perez in as the starter has me shaking my head. I don’t mean to pile on the guy, but I just don’t get it. Each of his at bats yesterday had comically bad results (1st out on the first pitch he saw in a rally inning, led off inning with a first pitch out, fouled out to 3rd for 1st out with man on second, grounded into double play in nine pitch at bat). I only say comically because the Tigers won. I know you can’t judge a guy on one game, but it’s so predictable that he would be bad.

    There are two things I’ve told myself in consolation of the Tigers getting Perez and now Leyland saying Perez is pretty much the starter. 1) It’s not like the Tigers have been getting great production from second this season. PP’s OPS was only .684. 2) At least Leyland isn’t hitting Perez second (yet). That may actually work in the Tigers’ favor since whoever they stick in there is likely to be more productive than Polanco was in the 2 spot.

  37. Marshall in DC

    August 22, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Great points Matt.

    Frankly – If the Tigers loose down the streach it will not be because Perez is worse than Infante, but because Maggs can’t turn it around. The Guy (a life time .305 hitter) is batting only .192 in his last 7 games. (with only 2 RBI, and one homer)

    We need consitant prodcution from our Headline Hitters to stay in contention. While Perez is a big step down from Polanco, If our headline hitters play they way they should – we will be fine!

  38. Marshall in DC

    August 22, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Great points Matt.

    Frankly – If the Tigers loose down the streach it will not be because Perez is worse than Infante, but because Maggs can’t turn it around. The Guy (a life time .305 hitter) is batting only .192 in his last 7 games. (with only 2 RBI, and one homer)

    We need consitant prodcution from our Headline Hitters to stay in contention. While Perez is a big step down from Polanco, If our headline hitters play they way they should – we will be fine!