Game 130: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: This afternoon I watched Tiger Town. You remember the movie right? A made for TV, Disney Sunday night movie about Billy Young, a Tiger legend who was nearing the end of his career and the boy that believed in him.

I only bring this up because if Roy Scheider can lead a team from 16 games back to capture the division, than anything can happen right?

Tonight the Tigers once again turn to Justin Verlander to play the role of stopper. Last month he pitched in Jacobs Field when the Tigers bullpen had been pretty worn out and went toe to toe with CC Sabathia for the victory. Here’s hoping he can have the same fate against Jake Westbrook.

Game Time 7:05

42 Comments

  1. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    No Thames in the lineup tonight. Why?

    At least Perez isn’t leading off.

  2. Walewander

    August 26, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    I’m going outta town tonight, so I’ll miss the next two. My 2 wishes,

    1) We take two from Cleveland
    2) Neifi Perez abducted by aliens

    in no particular order…

  3. Ken from Cincinnati

    August 26, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Neifi has single-handedly ruined my confidence in Jim and the upper management of this team. He’s batting below .100?! We might as well be playing with Rosie Perez. At least she’s mildly sexy.

  4. Miguelito

    August 26, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Rosie Perez is crazy sexy — and she can bunt.

  5. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 26, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    Not sure what’s up with Ordonez, but 2 GIDP’s is not what we are looking for from our clean-up man.

  6. Bryan

    August 26, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    Unbelievable….Perez got an RBI!

  7. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 26, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    Congrats to Ordonez. Maybe this will get him back in sync!

  8. Bryan

    August 26, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    Minnesota is kiling the white sox.

  9. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 26, 2006 at 8:54 pm

    Crap!!! 🙁

  10. DH in DC

    August 26, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    The tigers have been horrible at holding leads lately. And tonite they couldn’t hold it twice. We’re in trouble if Verlander is getting raked.

  11. Stephen

    August 26, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    The Tigers are playing like a prizefighter who wins the first six rounds and then clutches and holds on for dear life in the last half of the bout. I’m predicting an 11th round TKO. They’re way too weak of a lineup for the AL and too green in the pitching department. The latter can’t be helped, the former is Dombro’s fiasco.

  12. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 26, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Another big difference–we have almost same number of hits but Cleveland has 5 extra-base hits and we only have one (empty base HR). We are making ourselves work too hard for each run…

  13. Brian A.

    August 26, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    well it’s been a hell of a run. i’m just glad we finally made .500

  14. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    Hey, what’s with the doom and gloom, guys?! Go Tigs!!!!!!

  15. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    Tigers down 8-5, and Monroe grounds out on the first pitch of the inning against Westbrook, who’s above 100 pitches and has had problems finding the strike zone for most of the night. Smart!

    Let me tell you something. Jim Leyland is a moron. He is a garbage manager. We’ve won 81 games already DESPITE him, not because of him.

    By the way, Young also swung at the first pitch and popped out. Bunch of idiots. I hate baseball players.

  16. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    Thames should be hitting for Pudge here in the 7th, but nope. Let’s keep the guy with 9 home runs in 431 at bats in the game. We wouldn’t want to bruise his ego.

    This team absolutely blows right now. Who could have seen this coming?

    Oh, I remember – I did.

  17. Pete

    August 26, 2006 at 9:28 pm

    I think it’s time to sit Granderson and start Thames, Magglio, and Monroe in the outfield. Didn’t Mags play center in Chicago? We’d lose a little on defense, but we might win the occasional 6-5 game.

  18. Stephen

    August 26, 2006 at 9:29 pm

    who knew that a 90 win season could be viewed as such a disaster!

  19. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Jason Davis just walked the unwalkable.

    Can I ask you a question? On 3-0 or 3-1, why does Neifi back out of the box just as the pitch is being released by the pitcher? What the hell is the point of that? He squares around to bunt, and then he literally backs out of the box and runs backwards as the pitch is coming in. It’s annoying, and it’s bush league garbage.

    That is all.

  20. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    It is a disaster, Stephen. It’s a matter of context. A few weeks ago we were on pace to win well over 100 games, like 108 or something, and now we’re looking at maybe 97 or 98. That’s a disaster. They had a golden opportunity to put a nail in the coffin, and they did nothing. They should have seen this coming. We had been getting lucky all year, and they should have seen that it was probably going to crumble eventually.

  21. Stephen

    August 26, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    dan, i totally agree. the sad thing the twins and sox will pass them by sept 10. the tiger season is like the howard dean campaign, a phenomena that could not survive the tough times.

  22. Brian A.

    August 26, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    the disaster is that the things detroit has done wrong all year like hit for a poor OBA are finally catching up to them. i’m sorry for the doom and gloom, but it’s hard to deny that our team OBA of .329 does us any favors or allows our pitchers much of a margin of error.

  23. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Pete, if any of those guys played center, it would be Monroe. He has some innings there in his career, and Magglio is already almost a DH. He is a horrific fielder, so no, that wouldn’t work at all.

  24. Pete

    August 26, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Well, Granderson going 0-for-5 every day while Thames sits on the bench isn’t exactly working either. But your point is well taken — obviously my proposed change would have happened a long time ago if it wouldn’t be a disaster in the field. Maybe Clevlen should play center more.

    I’m still not giving up on this team, not with a four or five game lead. The teams chasing us have their own problems, and we do have two series with the Royals left. I’m sorry a 100-win season is slipping away (probably should be past tense, slipped away), but we can still win the division. We just need to straighten a few things out. Getting Maroth back should help a little.

  25. Dan

    August 26, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Pete, you just wrote a message that made it sound as though I was coming out against Thames playing more often. Are you new to the bulletin board?

  26. hawk

    August 26, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    While I haven’t given up on this team, the lack of plate discipline irks me to no end. This team doesn’t do the simple things that you are taught in little league. When the pitcher throws 4 straight balls to the guy in front of you what do you do? ? ? ? ? ? Cmon, you all know . . . . sit back ’til ya get a strike!!!!! Magglio is swinging at anything remotely round – he looks like he can’t wait to get his AB over! I have no problem not pinch hitting for Pudge (you just don’t pinch hit for a future HOF), but you sure as heck pinch hit for Granderson!
    (*&(&&$$%$#& it sure is nice to be so angry about our first place team choking it off instead of hanging our heads over another season of 20 games under .500 !

  27. Miguelito

    August 26, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Ordonez in center field would give the opposition 2-3 runs every game. It is pretty clear that not only is he incapable of playing right field but he is not even an everyday player in the big leagues. He has looked exhausted for two months and has some of the worst at-bats I’ve ever seen. At the end of June he and Shelton were tied with 16 HR and they both hit one in July. Shelton goes down to Toledo and Ordonez manages 1 HR and 9 RBI (including the 2 tonight) in August. His slugging percentage is 459 which puts him behind Derek Jeter and not to mention leadoff hitters like Damon (517) and Sizemore (522). If you want to talk about cleanup hitters its Ordonez at 17 HR 86 RBI .294 Ave 459 Slg.
    Hafner 39 111 .305 650
    GIambi 36 103 .298 597
    Its not as though his outs are like Monroes, ripped line drives and deep fly balls, they are in fact all too often like the 2 rallies he killed tonight, weak, confused swings early in the count.

    I really don’t understand why people are waiting for him to return to a form he never had. He wasn’t so awful early in the season but its been obvious for a very long time that he is not a clean-up hitter or even a good RBI guy.

    I assumed Dombroski would make a deal for a bat at the deadline. All Tiger fans knew we had perfect pitching and not much else. You can’t count on having a great start every night. I am heartbroken with Managements paralysis and am having nightmares about Neifi Perez. Caey was a good pick-up (he has more RBI in August than Rodriguez and Ordonez together) but who really thought that a solid first baseman was all we needed?

    I thought the Jones signing was a diaster but I was completely wrong and Dembroski looks like a genius there. But Magglio Ordonez at 15 million for (I forget) 5(?) years has been a collossal mistake.

    I guess if Neifi can lead off then Ordonez should hit clean-up but that is a time that won’t even finish .500. But we do have Thames who has 16 home runs against right-handed pitching to Ordonez’s 17 overall — in well less than 1/2 the at-bats. Yet Leyland has him platooning, and sitting against right-handed pitching.

    I love Granderson but its clear the pressure is killing him and he needs to go down in the order and sometimes sit against right-handers and let Clevlan play. For the good of the team and for Granderson. I like Leyland but honestly, what is he thinking??? Why does Clevlan not see right-handers? Give him a chance. Why can’t Monroe bat clean-up?

    Please free Omar Infante

    Today

    Ordonez in center field? Not even if he got a buzz cut; I’d rather bring back Ron Leflore

  28. Kyle J

    August 26, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    “This team absolutely blows right now. Who could have seen this coming? Oh, I remember – I did.”

    Congrats. What an achievement–to be the guy who gets to say, “I told you so” when his own team starts losing.

    As for Leyland, you’ve finally convinced me. What an idiot. Think how much better this team’s record would be if he had just followed the advice of his critics here:

    1) Move Shelton up in the lineup.
    2) Demote Jones from closer.
    3) Bench Monroe for Thames.
    4) Don’t bring back DY.
    5) Move Rogers to the bullpen.

  29. Kyle J

    August 26, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Serious post: I still wonder whether the reason Infante isn’t playing every day is his shoulder. I recall statements from spring training that they didn’t think his shoulder couldn’t handle playing every day. I don’t know anything about shoulder tendenitis. Is this something that lingers for a long time?

  30. Kurt

    August 26, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    and Dan wonders why no one believes he’s a fan or respects him… that statement is why.

  31. hawk

    August 26, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    Kyle, good point. I had forgotten about Infante’s shoulder. I would think that it would be better, but without rest tendonitis could linger.

  32. hawk

    August 26, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    As far as Leyland goes, there is no way this team would be where it is without him. He, along with his coaching staff, made these guys believe in themselves. I have always been concerned that they may not react well to an extended losing streak, but they haven’t faced one until now. I just hope they (coaching staff included) can recover.

  33. Miguelito

    August 27, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Since Perez has joined the Tigers he has started everyday at second base. Do you really think Infantes’ shoulder has anything to do with it? Not two for Perez and three for Infante — Dembroski and Leyland think he is the guy. It’s sad but true.

    That guy had nothing tonight so how did he make it through 7 innings against us tonight??? How did we only hit one home run?

    Curtis Granderson is going to be a great Tiger for years to come but Leyland is not doing him any favors by continuing to bat him leadoff. Only Clevlan and Monroe have the defensive skills to play center and they should split the time there but not on the basis of a strict platoon but about three games each till one of shows that hes the guy.

    Thames needs to play everyday and between right field and DH we have the at-bats for him. I know that Ordonez is getting 15 million but you just have to consider the vast majority of that to be a contribution to the Troy Percival fund. Unfortunately for Iltch it is not tax deductible.

    You can’t pinch-hit for Rodriguez (1 HR 7 RBI yes 7! in August) but I sure wish Pudge would make adjustments against a sinkerball pitcher instead of having the same at-bat 4 times.

    Well, Inge and Young had some great at-bats tonight but Shawn in Tokyo is right, we need more doubles and homers. Can anyone remember the Tigers last three-run homer? I can’t. If monroe hit 4th tonight instead of Ordonez do the tigers get 4-5 more runs?

    Anybody still think we don’t need Soriano?

  34. Dan

    August 27, 2006 at 12:31 am

    Up yours, Kurt. I was making the point that I was called crazy for making exactly the same points that everyone is now making. All of the sudden, the lack of plate discipline is killing everyone. I was ripped on for the “doom and gloom” and for being hypercritical, and now that the Tigers are tanking it, exactly as I predicted, no one bothers to mention it. I was one of the only realistic people on this board when I arrived, and all I got was BS about it, a bunch of whining from uptight wankers about how I was ruining the experience of the board. Pathetic.

    Kurt, I am a huge Detroit Tigers fan and have been for my entire life. If you look at the way these “conversations” have gone down, what it has really been is me getting teamed up on for the crime of being opinionated and of saying things that people did not want to hear. I may be confrontational, but you can go ahead and go back to find many instances in which I’ve had reasonable exchanges with non-defensive, reasonably secure posters. That is, in between being patronized by jerks like yourself.

    Get bent, Kurt. I’ve commited the always unforgivable crime of knowing what I’m talking about, and people like you hate that. I’ve called out the old, curmudgeonly, willfully ignorant luddite manager of ours, and you don’t like it. I’m perfectly willing to discuss the game with you if you can drop the holier-than-thou garbage.

  35. Dan

    August 27, 2006 at 12:36 am

    I don’t understand this idea that “you can’t pinch hit for Pudge”. Can someone explain to me why? There is a guy with 22 homers on the bench, a guy who leads the team in slugging percentage by a wide margin. We needed 3 runs. The only time anyone ever pinch hits for this team is when Leyland pinch hits FOR THAMES! No one has given me an even remotely logical reason why you can’t do it. We’re trying to win a division here.

    What does Pudge’s future HOF status have to do with the fact that Thames is roughly 5 times as likely to go deep? Give me a REASON, people, not just some empty declarative statement.

    I mean, this is annoying me twice as much as I’m annoying you. Trust me.

  36. Miguelito

    August 27, 2006 at 1:04 am

    Dan I sympathize with your frustration but I fail to understand why you don’t understand. Rodriguez is hitting .300, is the spiritual leader of the team and even has a walkoff homerun against Cleveland in the last month. Thet will never pinch hit for him there nor should they. It was the 7th inning, all we needed was a gapper from Pudge and its a one run game — and Caseys up next. He had another lousy at-bat but that is no ones fault but his.

    I can simply not understand why Thames does not play every day but as I’ve said above those at-bats should come at Ordonezs expense. With 16 HRs against right-handed pitching Leyland has him playing exclusively vs lefties. On a team that is averaging 3 runs a game and is struggling for every run. That is sheer madness. And what does Clevlan have to do to get a start against a right-hander?
    Platooning regardless of success doesn’t seem Leylands style and I just don’t get it.

    But it wasn’t just Rodriguez tonight, Guillen(though you really can’t complain about him at the plate), Casey, Granderson and Ordonez all failed to produce with two on. Just one of them gets a double and its a different ballgame.

    Tomorrow is a new day and a new game.

    Go Tigers!

  37. Dan

    August 27, 2006 at 1:13 am

    Well, I don’t buy the “spiritual leader” argument myself, but I can see what you mean, and I know you’re not alone in that opinion. Actually, we maybe should have thought about making a bid for the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the trade deadline.

    We have a division to win, and Thames was our best chance at a 3-run shot. We had a loaded gun on the bench, and, as always, Leyland flatly refused to use it. I don’t understand it. No amount of Hall of Fame honors or unquantifiable, mystical leadership capabilities can change the fact that Thames was far far liklier to get an extra base hit, and hopefully the variety that winds up in the bleachers.

  38. Craig

    August 27, 2006 at 1:40 am

    Here is a reason:

    Thames–Runners on–AVG: .236 SLG-.520
    RISP– AVG: .197 SLG-.368
    RISP w/2 outs: AVG: .146 SLG: .250

    That might be why? Perhaps Lelyand knows what he’s doing. Seriously you would rather have Thames up ther than Pudge? Pretty sure he’s been in way more clutch situations than Thames. I’ll take the HOFer with the game on the line everytime.

  39. Dan

    August 27, 2006 at 2:00 am

    Those sample sizes are far too small and besides, do you really think Thames is fundamentally incapable of hitting with runners in scoring position? Thames has 22 homers, many of which were hit while there was a man or were men on base. 22 homers in far fewer at bats than Pudge.

    Who here believes that Pudge’s numbers w/RISP justify using him over a far more powerful hitter?

  40. Bob S.

    August 27, 2006 at 2:25 am

    It’s not just a matter of numbers,although they do seem to favor Pudge.I don’t think it’s wise to humiliate a player of Rodriguez’ stature by pinch-hitting for him in a clutch situation.

  41. Dan

    August 27, 2006 at 2:57 am

    He should join a knitting club then. The object is to win baseball games.

    I suppose you’re right though. You don’t want to create a clubhouse problem. It’s really frustrating that that is the reality, but I admit that it is.

    But the numbers do NOT favor Pudge. That’s a misconception as to how statistics work.

  42. KS

    August 27, 2006 at 8:05 am

    Why is Dan not a fan? Because he doesn’t blindly support his local team? Because he can find faults even when they’re winning? That tells me the guy really cares, and wants better for his team. I’m much the same way. There’s a lull that happens when you’re winning. Coaches in those situations would prefer a good loss so they can drive the point home of what’s going wrong. Winning isn’t always the best thing, when it promotes long term bad habits. This Tigers team is currently hideous, and has nearly no shot the way they’re going of making the playoffs. That’s a disaster. Heck, the 78 Red Sox only got passed by the Yankees. Before it’s all said and done we’ll be passed by the Yankees, Twins, and White Sox.