Game 132: Tigers at Yankees

So the game was cancelled just as I was about to post this. I’ll leave it here for commenting, and hopefully it will be applicable tomorrow.

PREGAME: A couple weeks ago the Tigers were coming off a 5 game losing streak and heading to Boston. Things looked bleak with the Tigers facing Schilling and Beckett while the White Sox went off to play 4 games against Kansas City. There were some that predicted the Tigers 5.5 game lead would be cut to 2.5 within a matter of days. The Tigers did the unexpected and took the first 2 games of the series and were able to keep there lead intact.

Now the Tigers head to the Bronx with a similarly daunting task. Their chief competition in the Central are off playing the Devil Rays, and the Royals while the Tigers take on the Yankees. I’m not saying the Tigers will take the first 2 in this series, just illustrating the situational similarities and given the despair of 2 weeks ago, not a lot has changed from the Tigers perspective.

As for the game itself Nate Robertson will take the hill for Detroit. His last start contributed to the worst loss of the season for the Tigers. But at least he almost got through 7 innings on a day when the bullpen was largely unavailable.

Chien-Ming Wang will oppose the Tigers. After putting together 17 scoreless innings over 2 starts, Wang has had uneven results over his last 4. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, but the Tigers are a strikeout team so we’ll see what happens.

76 thoughts on “Game 132: Tigers at Yankees”

  1. Mark Redman is about to pitch a complete game shut out for Kansas City and spoil the Twins hope to gain ground on the idle Tigers.

  2. Yep, KC came through and Redman beat his old team. E~xcellent.

    It’s a run fest in Chicago. That Delmon Young looks pretty good. I would be surprised, but elated, if the Rays somehow came back…

  3. Rays score 9 runs and still cannot win. they blew this game. too many defensive mistakes. But that White Sux pitching staff looks horrid…which is a good sign.

  4. I’ll settle for a split tomorrow. The Sox and/or Twins figure to gain a little ground this week, but the schedule swings in our favor in September. The Sox may sweep the D-Rays, but they have mostly road games left after that. The Sox still can’t pitch and the Twins still can’t hit, what else is new. But of course we have our own problems…

    P.S. There was a CARLOS PENA sighting in Oakland tonight.

  5. Carlos played most of the year for the Columbus Clippers, a Yankees AAA team. He batted .260/.370/.454, he had 19 HR and 89 K in just over 100 games, very Carlosian. I don’t know how he made it over to Pawtucket, but he played a handful of games for the Red Sox affiliate and tore the hide off the ball. That’s why they call him THE STREAK.

  6. Everyone should note that the ChiSox schedule in September is absolutely brutal. They have to go to Boston and travel west to Oakland and Anaheim (purposeful naming). In addition, they have a heavy dose of the Tribe (not always a pushover).

    The Twins, meanwhile, have a similar schedule to the Tigers in September. With the exception of at Boston the 2nd to last week (Wild Card drama unfolding).

    It’s in the bag if the Tigz go .500 out!!!!

  7. I hate to state the obvious…but .500 the rest of the way is not good enough. We need to start winning series reguarly the rest of the season. We need to go into October with momentum, and we should also try to secure home field advantage. If we’re only a .500 team going into the playoffs, what are our odds at taking the Wild Card Series/AL Championship and World Series?

  8. I see both sides. I mean, I think everyone here basically has the goal of “don’t miss the playoffs, gosh that would stink.” Well, that’s mine anyway, a bit more sanitized. Doing something when they get there is a bonus. But accepting that our arms are so young and inexperienced, they’ll probably be back but it’ll be hard this year. (remember, no guarantees in baseball).

    But if this team doesn’t start playing more like it did over the summer, getting some actual runs on the board, it’s going to be a hard September. .500 would still be 97-98 wins, probably good enogh, but I really don’t want to go down to the final week needing those last wins. KC isn’t exactly letting itself be pushed around anymore.

  9. I don’t think this is going to go over too well around here: Leyland rests Ordonez . . . but starts Gomez, not Thames, in his place–batting #2 no less.

  10. Craig,

    You know better than to say “its in the bag”

    thats not good for business

    Also, if Gomez starts taking atbats away from Thames i will jump out the window!

  11. well gomez is starting in right so he officially taking atbats away from thames. My window is open! Nothing like sending out your banjo hitters to face the yankees.

  12. Another day, another crappy lineup from Leyland. That he will probably win Manager of the Year is a joke.

    In other news, has anyone noticed that Cleveland is 15-5 in their last 20 games? There might be four teams over .500 in the Central by the end of the year.

  13. The time has come for Leyland’s slack to come to an end. No more free passes should be given to this guy. He hasnt had his team ready to play this entire month (save the first 2 games of the white sox series.) his team has had 2 days off and he pencils in a banjo lineup! There has been no adjustments made at the plate this entire month. We flat out refuse to take pitches! Wang strikes out about 2 guys per 9 and we are making him look lIke Cy Young. This tiger team is not a playoff team, and as much as it hurts me to say this, they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

  14. Perfect example of the tigers lack of plan. down 2 runs, we get a 2 out single and Young swings at the first pitch, a pitch he obviously cannot drive because he taps it back to the pitcher (3rd time back to wang this game for DY?) Im glad Thames is sitting there on the bench.

  15. If I hear “another weakly hit ground ball” one more time today I swear I am going to scream! We sure know how to make average pitchers look great. Ugh!

    Where the crap is Thames? Is the Detroit mafia pressuring Leyland to lose games and throw the division crown? Sheesh!

  16. Gomez is starting because Leyland has a massively overinflated idea of what the platoon advange gives you. He’s perfectly willing to start a garbage lefty in place of a righty who can actually hit.

    We are pissing this away. You cannot send out a lineup like this and expect the team to win. When you look at that lineup, it’s simply astonishing that this team has the best record in baseball.

  17. Unbelievably awful error at second base on the double play. Careless fielding by Guillen. Absolutely terrible. All the time in the world, and Guillen tries to look cool turning the DP. Awful, awful play.

  18. ok if Leyland Does not pinch hit for perez in the 8th then he is purposely pissing this season away!

  19. You have to give props to the NYY pitcher Wang…it’s not our faults all of our hitters are giving up ground ball outs. Well, it is, but it’s tough against tough pitching.

  20. Now would be a good time for someone to pick up their game.

    I would insert Thames and Infante into the lineup for the 8th and 9th

  21. You have to give props to Robertson at least for hanging in there against the Yankees lineup.

    Also, Wang isn’t little league. He has shown this year he can pitch. Combine that with poor Tiger plate appearances and he seems close to win 16.

    Feel bad for Robertson…

  22. I predict that Leyland will make no moves in this game. Thames will continue to rot on the bench as Perez will strut to the plate in the 8th. Garbage! No ugency at all from this club!

  23. What’s up with Perez. If i were the scorekeeper, i would have given him three errors by now. And on that throw from Guillen to get out of the seventh, he caught it, but it looked like he was tripping over himslef tring to catch a simple throw. Goosh, when is Placido coming back.

  24. Down 2 runs casey swings at first pitch grounds out!!!!!!!!!!! Perez is hitting in the 8th!!!!!!!! F this!

  25. 1 pitch!!! magglio!!!!!!!!!! no plan at the plate at al!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This team has no business being in a pennant race!

  26. I have no problem with Ordonez swinging at the first pitch, since there is no value in going into a deep count. If he thinks he can drive it, he should swing at it, and he did. What I have a problem with is his weak-hitting ass being in the game in the first place. Thames should have been in there.

    Now we get to see Miller, but none of it matters anyway. Your chances of scoring 2 off of Rivera are slim to none.

    Wang pitched a good game, but we shouldn’t really expect to score many runs with the kind of crap lineup we sent out there today. Awful.

    The issue is not, as Billfer mentioned, the strikeout thing. The issue is the team’s reliance on homers against a guy with extreme ground ball tendencies. Zero adjustments were made, and we just went down with a bunch of weak grounders. A guy like Monroe had no chance today and therefore should not have been playing. I don’t think Leyland thought of that because he just does whatever he wants to do, based on his “gut”, and he probably doesn’t know jack about GB’FB ratio. Mayb e he does, but I don’t see why we’d give him the benefit of the doubt at this point. This team sucks right now. Just plain sucks. Not too long ago we were in a position where if we played .500 ball for the rest of the season we’d finish with about 101-102 wins. Now we’re lucky if we get 97. We are going to blow this thing.

    Now the Yankees get another lefthander, and a young, inexperienced one with control issues. We don’t have much of a chance at winning the nightcap either.

    We are in serious trouble.

  27. Toledo,

    There was 1 first pitch swinging out to start the 9th for Young. He is worthless. i don’t care what anyone things. He is terrible.

  28. Horrible lineup…horrible game. We lost with a loaded gun sitting on the bench. wasnt that one of Earl Weaver’s rules? Never loses a game with loaded guns sitting on the bench? Robertson pitched a great game but the hitting sucked. Ledezma will get shelled. we are in bad bad bad shape. Anyone still want to give Leyland the benefit of the doubt??? check out the funky ass lineup he carted out there against the yankees after 2 games rest! check out the lack of fire this team has been playing with all month. That falls on the manager. I wonder if Jim now thinks this is a “big series”

  29. Mike, we already determined that you’re not allowed to pinch hit for a future Hall of Famer, no matter how much it increases your chances of winning a baseball game. You see, winning baseball games isn’t the most important thing about the sport. What’s most important is doing things “the right way”, so don’t worry if we end up blowing a 10-game lead because you can always rest assured that, Jim Leyland, and honorable old baseball man, has done things “the right way”.

    Don’t worry about Thames, who doesn’t actually exist and is merely a figment of our imaginations. He’s not a real person, so it’s a non-issue, and now the great Pudge Rodriguez doesn’t have to get pouty in the clubhouse because he was pinch hit for. So everybody’s happy, right?


  30. yes i am happy dan because This season has been a great ride! i mean who would have known that we would be this good??? right? Wrong!

    Everyone knows that we are going to get swept. Why do we know this? because we made no moves that increase our chances to beat teams like the yankees. We did nothing. We got sean casey and that was that. We brought up gomez because he is left handed. I’m left handed! Why not me? i played college baseball so why not me. When’s my right time! As the roster expands watch Thames to get even less atbats. he will be passed over in favor of the Feckless young and a roster full of other “lefty bats”.

  31. wait till we read the central standings tommorow after we get swept and both the twins and Sux win. Its going to look like a Jackson Pollack painting. But rest assured!!! the schedual softens up in Septeber… so Me worry????? nah!!!!! we got Leyland! and he plays the game right!

  32. is there a starting pitcher anywhere in the majors as good as robertson that gets lower run support than he does? i know the tigers are not hitting well as a team at the moment but game in, game out he is a real hard luck guy.

  33. michael – why do you do this to yourself? Of course they are going to get swept. I mean duh! And of course every other team is going to win. It’s a foregone conclusion.

    As for the lineup, it’s a double header and everyone will play at some point today. Yes, we know that Thames should have been used as a pinch hitter, but we also know that it isn’t going to happen.

    And really the whole we don’t deserve to make the playoffs stuff is kind of nonsensical. Who does deserve it, the Yankees who were rather pedestrian the bulk of the season? The A’s who were basicallya 500 team until after the All Star break? The Twins and White Sox who must be twice as awful as the Tigers seeing as they can’t even catch them? I think the only team that really deserves it is the Mets.

  34. It’s not just that the Tigers are not hitting well at the moment. They are not a good hitting team. Period. It’s because throughout the organization there is no concept of plate discipline or having any sort of plan in the batter’s box. This happens year after year. Low walk totals, high strikeout totals, and middling hitting, at best. If we don’t get home runs then forget it. We’re not going to score more than a couple of runs.

  35. I’ve been lukewarm on Leyland this season but I don’t know how else to say it but he threw this game away. If Gomez is good enough to start — and he looked pretty good at the plate — then he’s good enough to hit in the 8th. But Ordonez??? What could possibly make you think he’s the guy to have up with the game on the line.? Really depressing stuff.

    Dimitri was just pointless: he had the same at-bat four times today. First pitch swinging against Rivera? It had better be right where you want it. He’s just not a three hole hitter on a playoff team. Period. I’m happy he turned his life around but I can’t stop thinking that every at-bat he gets is one less for Thames. By the way, a strange stat I worked out: the Tigers are 17-4 when Thames homers. And he homers every 12.5 at-bats.

    Guillen was embarrassing out there today. Is it possible that Perez is contagious? There is something disturbing about just how slow and awkward Perezs’ footwork is. Even by the inrcredibly low standerds he has already set.

    Inge continues to look awfully good at the plate. He had the pitch to drive out of the park in the eigth and just missed it though.

    I don’t want to incite you Dan but maybe go a little easier on Monroe, he is the least of our problems. I’ll be sitting near the Tigers dugout tonight and I promise you, if Thames is not playing, Leyland and I will have a sit down.

    Robertson really pitched his heart today: tremendous guts and desire overcoming some really inexcusable defense. He deserved so much better.

    As for a sweep, has anyone seen Jared Wright this year? I say the Tigers take 2 out of three. Ledezma and Bonderman will get it done. Thames and Infante should be in the lineup both games and lets face it, the whole team is due.

  36. Never before during this season has one loss gotten me THIS down. The Tigers have become the team they were last September. Punchless.

    I was less concerned than I should have been (20/20 hindsight) about the Tigers not adding any offensive punch at the trade deadline. I also will admit that I was wrong in thinking it a stupid move to “rent” Alfonso Soriano.

    Right now I would give up quite a few prospects for Soriano if it meant that our lineup had some punch and fire and we were able to ride that into the World Series. Wouldn’t you? There are no guarantees that we will be any good next year. You never know what can happen and when you are a player or two away from having all of the ingredients for a World Series Championship – you take them (the Yankees did just that).

    If things continue like this we will not even get a sniff of the postseason let alone the World Series.

    Best Team in Baseball? Only with their record and even that won’t be true after the Yankees are done with them. The Mets will probably have the best record in baseball by then.


    If the Tigers go on to tank and not even make the playoffs would you consider this worse than their 119 loss season?

    I will. Let me explain why –

    At this point in the season I also do not want hear “I was just hoping for .500 anyway” or “I was just hoping for a winning season” because if we are ALL honest with ourselves we expect much more than that.

    You don’t have a team play at a .670 clip for a good chunk of the year and at the end of the season be happy to hang your hat on a winning season instead of a playoff birth for the first time since NINETEEN EIGHTY FREAKIN’ SEVEN.

    There my rant is over. Please do not be angry with me for getting that off my chest.

  37. I just don’t get why you guys believe Thames is the answer. What has he shown since the All-star break to make you think he’s the answer? And besides, we don’t believe in clutch, so there’s not that factor at work either. Look, like I said, I like Thames. But just because he did not get to hit does not mean he would have got a hit.

  38. Billfer,

    Its not nonsense. the team that deserves to make the playoffs is the team that looks at itself and makes the changes necessary to get better. The tigers ignored gaping holes in its lineup and did nothing about it. The yankees were playing subpar, picked up a player that draws a gazillion walks, a good pitcher, and a first basemen that we would never look at simply because he is right handed. Do you think we deserve the playoffs? take of your tigerfan hat for a second and be honest! No they don’t. the current roster no long scares anyone. Plus, they don’t play with any sort of sense of urgency or fire. And they have a geriatric thinking manager who is preoccupied with matchups that are meaningless. We don’t deserve to make it. Would i like them too? absolutly!

  39. Well Kurt, let me ask you, how did you feel when you saw Ordonez was going to pinch-hit for Gomez?

  40. You’re not inciting me, Miguelito. I’m happy to talk about it.

    I disagree, however, that Monroe is the least of our problems. He has a hot streak and hit his way into the top of the order. This wouldn’t be a problem, ordinarily, if we weren’t talking about a player with zero promise. He is a career .268/.312/.464 hitter in over 2000 plate appearances, and he is 29 years old. He is in his peak, and the results are so-so. He is a corner outfielder, and he needs to hit better than he has recently. It upsets me because you can’t count on managment to recognize it as a simple hot streak. In other words, how Monroe has been handled IS part of our problem.

    Jared Wright has been good lately, and he’s given up just 5 home runs this year in 110 innings. This is a bad sign. Most of our power is right-handed (quite a bit of it sits on the bench every day, actually), and Yankee Stadium is one of the worst parks for right-handed power hitters. So no, I don’t think your prediction is right.

  41. Michael,

    See, I thought it was the teams with the best records that deserve to make the playoffs, even if they do it with geriatric managers. I just don’t get this “deserve” business. If the Tigers lose their games and drop out of the playoffs then, and only then do they not deserve it. If they hang on one way or another then they do.

  42. PLus Billfer i wasnt concerned with any other team deserving the playoffs. I dont care who is. All I know is that the Tigers arent.

  43. I didn’t feel “well if it was thames, we’d win!” that’s for sure. At least Magglio leads the team in RBI%. I’ll give you, he’s not exactly ripping things up either. But he’s the guy.

    Some acknowledge this team is not a good hitting team, then blamed Leyland when the Tigers don’t get a hit.

    This must be what sports radio sounds like.

  44. Would you all just calm down? Sure, these three games are important, but they’re just as important as any other three games left in the season. A win against the Royals is worth as much as a win against the Yankees. If you’ll remember, we were 3 and 1 against the Yankees before today’s loss. Us sucking against them isn’t anything new. We’re 10 and 1 against the Royals, and we have 6 games left agains them. Losing to the Yankees doesn’t spell gigantic defeat – EVERYONE LOSES TO THE YANKEES. Because they’re the ones spending forty zillion dollars to have the all-star team. We’re the red-headed stepchildren of the MLB. So something is right.

    So just shut up.

  45. Kurt,
    i never said that if we had thames in there we’d win. It just makes no sense to play Young over a guy who hits a homer ever 12.5 at bats. Im sure Leyland doesnt know that stat though.. it would involove turing on a computer.

  46. Michael, you do realize Leyland is a guy known for playing the splits and stats? He doesn’t need to turn the computer on at his desk. It’s such just a fallacy, it’s amazing, that you keep rolling that out.

  47. I would have been perfectly happy to let gomez hit for himself Kurt. I was shocked that the deeply slumping Ordonez would come off the bench with the game on the line. With a .350 slugging percentage for the last three months I’m not sure that it can still be called a slump but I do know that again today, he was not “the guy”.

    Not at all clear what the sports radio comment is about.

  48. Um, it looks like the Yankees will make the playoffs as the Red Sox are swooning off into another September sunset.

    If we have no chance of beating the Yankees now, what chance do we have in October (if we manage to get there?)?

  49. Kurt, you are wrong about Leyland. I don’t know where you got that idea, but you just couldn’t be more wrong.


  50. There is no such thing as any team “deserving” anything in professional (or really any level) sports. The whole point is you settle the game on the field by playing the game. Winning is all that matters. If you win more than another team and make the playoffs you make the playoffs.

    There is no psychology when it comes to a group of players “deserving” or not “deserving” to make the playoffs.

    And as for questioning leyland… do any of you think we’d even be in the playoff hunt if he weren’t around?

    Everyone needs to calm down and realize that every game we play this month, whether we make the playoffs or not, is an incredible gift for a team that has not been in contention in longer than many of us can remember.

  51. Yes, Luke, I think we would be in the playoff hunt. No manager makes that much of a difference. I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but it’s the right one. There’s no such thing as a manager who just comes in there and turns a bunch of losers into a winning team. That’s Hollywood crap.


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