Game 133: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: The nice thing about a doubleheader, is that if you lose the first game there is still hope that the day will turn out alright. Tonight will feature Wil Ledezma and Jaret Wright.

The most notable element of the matchup is that Alex Rodriguez has hit homers in 4 of the 5 at-bats where he faced Ledezma. The only exception was a walk.

As for the Tigers lineup, Jim Leyland isn’t making too many people happy. Neifi Perez is inexplicably playing both ends of a doubleheader. What’s more, Marcus Thames is joining Infante on the bench for both games. Leyland’s stubborness is maddening to say the least.

POSTGAME: Okay, I’ll admit it. I was gripping. I snapped at my wife when she switched from the chair to the couch in the middle of a rally only to see it die. I was talking to the TV and yelling at Leyland for letting Neifi hit and trying to figure out why the heck Leyland hates Thames. So yeah, this was a big win.

Tonight’s comeback was brought to you by 4 Tigers. First was Brandon Inge working a walk. Second was Curtis Granderson having a long at bat and working a walk. And of course there was Craig Monroe who came through once again with late inning heroics. (he tried to do his part in the 7th as well with the leadoff double).

Now who is the 4th guy? Carlos Guillen. In the first game of the double header Mariano Rivera retired Young and Monroe on 3 pitches. If Rivera retires the side on a half dozen pitches, chances are he’s pitching in both games. As it was Guillen fell behind 0-2 before turning a 7 pitch at-bat into a single, thus extending the inning and probably keeping Rivera out of the second game.

And just one other thing I wanted to point out. Much was made about the Tigers lack of patience at the plate today. If you actually look at the numbers, you’ll see that the Tigers first time through the lineup of the first game 8 of the 9 players took the first pitch. In fact in the first game the Tigers saw 3.9 pitches per plate apperance against Wang while the ultra patient Yankees saw 3.1 against Robertson. In the 2nd game both starters threw 3.4 pitches per plate appearance.

I’m not saying the Tigers aren’t an impatient team, it’s just that no one complains when they’re hitting the ball – much like Craig Monroe’s first pitch swing in the 9th.

78 Comments

  1. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    nelifi perez, you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him.

  2. Ken

    August 30, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    perez is literally like having a pitcher in the lineup. If I was Thames I would just walk up and slap Leyland in the face, followed by swift kick to the nuts from Omar

  3. McB.

    August 30, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    Marcus Thames can’t play second base, though. If only he could.

    Jim Leyland stuck by Todd Jones during the earlier part of the season, and he’s been doing okay. Sometimes there’s a method to the madness (we hope there is, anyway).

  4. McB.

    August 30, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    Oh yeah, and hopefully this will soon be a non-issue when Polly comes back!

  5. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    could be pivotal moment in tigers’ season. can rodney pitch them out of this jam in front of 53,000 screaming fans??

  6. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    uh, no.

  7. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Rodney has a lax attitude. He falls behind hitters…he pays no attention to jeter who swipes third then scoring on a dribbler. Garbage. Straighten your hat and throw strikes dammit! good thing we are swinging at any pitch that moves. Its soooo much fun listening to the Yankee announcers poking fun at the tigers for not taking pitches.

  8. Tater

    August 30, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Ecccch. You just knew that plunking the #9 guy in the order would not lead to anything good.

    Hopefully Casey can get on leading off the 7th to set the table for . . . I’m not even going to go there, it’s hardly sporting at this point.

  9. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    nice baserunning by casey.

  10. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    i’m at the game, the tigers’ body language is all slumped shoulders and kicking the dirt. ivan: this at bat could turn it around. will he take a pitch??

  11. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    uh, no. that second strike would have hit if he, uh, didn’t swing at it.

  12. Sam

    August 30, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    I listened to the Yankees announcers on XM while driving accross Ontario. They could not believe how bad Nefi played both on defense and offense. What is Leyland’s love affair with this guy?

    -Sam

  13. charlie

    August 30, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    hindsight is great unfortunately we have to live looking forward and not backward. having said that as we go into september for the most part our pitching continues to be of championship calibre. i can’t help but think of what a difference one good, hot, steady bat would mean to this team right now and what a difference it would have made in august…even just to the confidence of the rest of the team.

  14. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 9:28 pm

    Im done! there is no excuse for leaving Dmitri in there against a lefty! He has nothing from the right side!

  15. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    it’s time leyland to get thrown out of a game..

  16. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Its time for the game to throw leyland out.

  17. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    the saddest thing of that last inning’s fiasco, there were multiple opportunities for leyland to go out and jaw with umpires and fire his team up; didn’t happen. the scariest thing: if casey got on base, perez was going to bat. no pinch hitter anywhere to be seen.

  18. Brian A.

    August 30, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    I’m pretty sure Sean Casey is the slowest player in baseball.

  19. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    We dont need a manager to go jaw with an umpire to fire up his team. we need a manager who manages!

  20. Tater

    August 30, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Agreed — if this team needs to see a 73 year old man in a baseball uniform wave his arms and drip spittle to play their best, they’re in bigger trouble than we all think. Better if that 73 year old man were to put on the field the players most likely to succeed in a given situation, e.g. by pinch hitting for Young and burying Perez deep on the bench.

  21. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    well,if he’s not gonna manage, he might as well get the team fired up. there reaches a point with a team where the manager has to sendout a symbolic ‘this will not stand.’ you can’t do it often, but you need to do it now and then. these guys are uniformly pressing at the plate, they need something to blow off some steam. Short of hiring comfort women for back at the hotel, Leyland blowing a gasket should be an option.

  22. Sam

    August 30, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    Nefi is hitting in the 9th!!!!

    OMG

    What is Leyland thinking!

  23. Tater

    August 30, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    And with that, Stephen, we can at least agree on this much: “he’s not gonna manage.” Un-frigging-believable.

  24. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    i’m sorry, but i can root for a team that allows perez to bat for himself in the ninth. i’ll give you that leyland was instrumental to getting the tigers where they are, but now it’s just hubris on his behalf as he manages the tigers into oblivion. i really can’t believe the beat reporters have not called him on any of this crap. in new york, they would eat him alive. it reminds me of how gene mauch managed the phillies out of the ’64 pennant.

  25. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    This is beyond comprehension! Perez leading off the 9th! How much slack does leyland have left with you Billfer?

  26. Tater

    August 30, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    Sweet approach by Pudge — fresh off the walk, take a hack at the first pitch, no matter that it’s a foot outside!

  27. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    It amazes me that we never use the pinch hitter… only to get pudge in the game…Thames just sits there. Leyland needs to be held acountable for this.

  28. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    now that’s an at-bat. proctor is tired, he’s been pitched too much including in the first game. he’s due to give up a long one.

  29. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    huzzah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Chris

    August 30, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Now that’s the kind of 1st pitch swinging I like to see!!!

  31. McB.

    August 30, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    YES! Monroe rocks….So much of making fun of the Tigers for not taking pitches…

  32. Tater

    August 30, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    From Stephen’s mouth (keyboard) to God’s ears!

  33. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    i know no one will believe me, but i wrote the prediction before he hit it! i have witnesses here at Yankee Stadium. the comedy of fandom: poor proctor just got booed to death even those torre put him in an untenable situation.

  34. Dan

    August 30, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HA HA!!!!!!!! Monrooooeeeee!!!!

  35. Nate A.

    August 30, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Anyone still wonder why Monroe is playing? Gotta love it!

  36. McB.

    August 30, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    I still can’t watch Jones pitch for a save in an important game without getting queasy…..

  37. Dave

    August 30, 2006 at 10:15 pm

    Gee…. who said Monroe isn’t all that good (29, at his prime, not the answer…)?

    BTW, I live in the Chicago area (born and raised Detroiter) and thought you might want to know the perspective of the Cubs’ fans I work with on Neifi Perez. The most cited comment was “great trade! who’d we get for him?”.

    For the slow here, they’re just happy to get rid of him and get something in return.

  38. Stephen

    August 30, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    biggest win of the season..

  39. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Chicago here as well Dave. Dan and I are both transplanted Detroiter’s. Wow what a massive win despite Leyland’s managing. That inning came down to Granderson’s great at bat. Back to back walks and 1 grooved fastball…. Huzzah!

  40. Michael

    August 30, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    I agree stephen. Biggest! plus the twins and white sux are losing.

  41. DH in DC

    August 30, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Stephen is right. Biggest win of the year. Great job by Granderson getting the walk. Craig Monroe is the best clutch hitter on the team. YES!

  42. Sam

    August 30, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    OMG!!!!

    I woke up my 11 year old screaming. The best thing was rewinding to show C-Mo’s HR to her.

    This could be the Momentum swing the Kitty’s needed.

    PS>> Enjoying anice cold budweiser after that 1!

    -Sam

  43. Pete

    August 30, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    That would be Dan. But I don’t want to put words in his mouth. Here is what he wrote:

    “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.”

    I just think looking at career numbers can be misleading. Look at Sean Casey’s career numbers — you would think he’s a power hitter, but he’s not anymore. Carlos Guillen’s career numbers are nothing special, but he’s developed into an excellent hitter since joining the Tigers. Monroe has gotten some big hits this year. Anyway, nice win tonight, let’s hope the D-Rays and Royals can hang on and we will actually GAIN ground on a day when we basically played like crap for 17 innings.

  44. Dave

    August 30, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    Michael,

    Thanks. I’ve posted several times over the last 5 months – albeit only once every other week; I usually mention the Chicago connection. I started posting when the local announcers started commenting on the Tigers keeping pace with the White Sox.

    Good to know there are other transplants on the board.

  45. Pete

    August 30, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    Oops, my previous post was in response to Dave’s question:

    “Gee…. who said Monroe isn’t all that good (29, at his prime, not the answer…)?”

  46. Dave

    August 30, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    So… are we all chipping it to pay Stephen to give timely predictions?

  47. Marshall in DC

    August 30, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    On national TV no less…

    Kudos to Granderson for getting the walk. (leyland needs to go into the clubhouse and tell hs players that is how you manage the plate.) I saw Monroe on the on-deck circle and thought, “If we can just get him to the plate, we might have a chance.”

    I agree – the biggest win of the season thus far.

    Go KC and Tampa.

  48. Alan

    August 30, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    To top it off, the Royals just beat the Twins so we gain a game on them.

  49. Lou

    August 30, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    I live in the Bay Area. My first exposure to Giants baseball was the 2002 season and I remember everyone (myself included) ripping Dusty all summer long on his innane in-game decisions. They just didn’t make sense. Yet, he would get tremendous production out of guys that just shouldn’t be producing. I’m seeing the same thing with Leyland. Almost across the board, guys are having career years, yet you look at his in-game decisions and they just don’t make any sense. I’ve always thought that teams should have two “managers” one to motivate the players and one to make the right tactical decisions, kind of like the Torre/Zimmer combo with the Yankees. DD needs to hire a Zimmer.

  50. Nick

    August 30, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    WOW!

  51. Bob S.

    August 30, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Ninth inning home run to win a game at Yankee Stadium in the middle of a playoff race?That’s one of the biggest home runs I’ve seen in over 40 years of rooting for the Tigers.Monroe’s the hero,but a tip of the cap to both Inge and especially Granderson for working the count.Let’s see,how can I say this for a PG audience-(expletive deleted) the Yankees!

  52. Jason

    August 30, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    Craig Monroe, to my joyful astonishment, has torn the cover off of the ball for two consecutive months. His grand slam against the White Sox (in July) meant that the Tigers could play with the big boys. Tonight’s home run shows that this team is not folding. They will stay in the pennant race!

    Managerial blunders:

    1) Zumaya should have entered in the 6th, not Rodney.

    2) Even “conventional wisdom” says you only attempt to steal 3rd with 1 out. Rodney’s ignorance was inexcusable.

    3) When Casey reached in the 8th, Infante should have pinch-ran for him, with Guillen shifting to play 1B.

    4) Any & all decisions to let Perez bat.

    1a) Torre couldn’t use Rivera for one out? Or even Farnsworth? I could not believe it when he left Proctor (who leads MLB in games pitched) in vs. Monroe.

  53. Jason

    August 30, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    Lou,

    I understand your point about Dusty Baker and the 2002 Giants. But you miss this: Baker blew the World Series with dumb, inane managerial decisions in both Game 6 and Game 7. Imagine how bitter the sting if Leyland were to do likewise.

  54. Jason

    August 30, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Whoops, only “blew the World Series” was supposed to be in italics.

  55. Taylor

    August 30, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Go Tampa!

  56. Scott

    August 30, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    whew….definitely the biggest win of the season; and against the hated Yankees…. Get this guy Perez out of here!! How disgusting!! He can’t throw like Inge; he ROLLED 2 balls to 1st base….from 40 feet away. Both Robertson and Ledezma pitched very well today / tonight….too bad we only got 1 win out of it. I wonder what Omar did to be relegated to the doghouse? Thames, too. We’re not hitting worth squat right now; this whole month has been an offensive bummer. Maybe that’ll change come September…..

  57. Toledo

    August 30, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Bilfer… I appreciate your comments about patience and pointing out that Monroe hit a 1st pitch out of the park. My issue is Mnroe has not been in a slump. I can tell the team as a whole laid off the first ptch in the 2nd game. When your on your on be aggressive, when your not, work the count.
    Curtis had better at bats today.
    Hear me everyone so did Neifi.
    I agree it confounds me as to why Thames does not see more at bats…

    We have great pitching, it is what is going to win this for us. This was the 2nd tier today and we only gave up 5 runs to the Team from the Bronx.

    Go Tigers, it may not have been a pretty August, but I know they can do it.

  58. Adam

    August 30, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    The Moment I Knew

    Believe me or not, I don’t care. I just think it’s amazing.

  59. Josh B

    August 30, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    27 years as a Tigers fan and tonight’s game (11th row, behind home plate!!!!) was by far the most rewarding thing I’ve seen since I watched Pat Sheridan win Game 3 of the ALCS in ’87.

    I agree that Leyland is a HORRIBLE in game manager–and I must admit my allegiance to Trammell makes it sting all the worse–but somehow this team seems to have the magic to overcome it. I’m glad to see Inge and Granderson getting the props they deserve. Their at-bats were absolutely vital, both because they gave Monroe baserunners, but because Proctor had showed every pitch he had numerous times and Monroe knew exactly what was coming.

    When he rocked it, the 250 or so Tigers fans in the stadium went nuts. It was an awesome feeling…I hope it carries us all the way to October…with Polanco, not Perez, playing second.

  60. Ryan S

    August 31, 2006 at 12:01 am

    First time posting here…

    I’m off to the game tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing the Tigers live for the first time in many years. If I’m really lucky I might even get to see Marcus Thames bat two or three times before being lifted for DY or Alexis Gomez in a critical situation. Meanwhile, Neifi will not miss an at bat under any circumstances. I’ll take solace in Monroe’s HUGE shot tonight and the fact that my 1 1/2 year old son will be attending his first major league game tomorrow! I wish it could have been Tiger Stadium like my first game all those years ago, but Tigers-Yankees in the Bronx isn’t a bad second choice.

  61. Stephen

    August 31, 2006 at 12:01 am

    Proctor was the only option. Farnsworth tweaked his back between games and no way was Torre going to use mariano in both ends of a dh with an eight game lead.

  62. Kyle J

    August 31, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Excellent point re: patience at the plate, Bilfer. In this afternoon’s thread, Casey was ripped for swinging at the first pitch in an at bat (despite the fact that he’s probably our most patient batter). Tonight, he swings at a first pitch and drives in the second run.

    And the Monroe swing at a first pitch obviously speaks for itself.

  63. Jeff

    August 31, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Swinging at the first pitch isn’t necessarily bad. But it should be a pitch right in the wheelhouse, not just any pitch that might be called a strike.

    A slider that is going to nip the lower outside corner isn’t something that should be swung at on a 0-0 count. It’s better to take a strike in that situation than swing at a pitch that likely will result in a tap to the 2nd baseman.

    That’s the real frustration with all this first-pitch hitting–it’s not about swinging at the first pitch, it’s about not waiting until you get a pitch you can really hit.

    The pitch Monroe got? Under 90 mph and down the middle? Swing away. And I’d say that even if he had popped out.

  64. Kyle J

    August 31, 2006 at 12:12 am

    Fun graphs of playoff odds for AL teams over the course of the season. Check out the Twins’ line hugging the x axis for several months.

    http://www.armchairgm.com/mwik.....ds_Roundup

  65. Nate R

    August 31, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Another transplanted Michigander wallowing away in Chicago here (coming up for the Angels and Mariners this weekend, though). Lots of frustrating things happening with the Tigs these days, but you can’t help but feel good about the way Monroe’s been playing lately. You know what you’re going to get from him at this point, “career year” or not – solid, unspectacular play, with a decent amount of pop and a low OBP. He’s not gonna be your best player, but he certainly is not the biggest problem in a lineup where the regular RF admits he needs to do some weight training in the offseason. Any way you slice it, though, CM seems like he’s a heck of a teammate. First thing he did running out to the outfield in the bottom of the ninth is yell over to Grandy, “You’re the f***in’ man!” Giving credit to the guy who got on base so he could hit that homer (which, as I saw him swing at the first pitch, I reacted automatically by hanging my head until I realized that the pitch was hanging right over the plate and he took it out of the park). I heard Dan Dickerson interview this guy earlier in the year. Craig had just basically lost his job to Thames after his injury, but came into that game and knocked in the winning run. He practically begged on air to stay on the team and be allowed to do anything, pinch hit, whatever, in order to help the team win. Sure, maybe he shouldn’t play quite as much as he does when the team has a guy with an OBP like Thames’ available, and he misplayed a ball today. I guess my point (do I have one?) is that it was great to see him hit the ball out tonight to win it. By the way, don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this at all, he’s second in the league with 13 homers in the 7th or later this year.

    That said, I almost had an aneurysm when Maggs pinch hit in the first game instead of Thames, when Leyland left Young in to hit righty and when Perez led of the ninth. There’s so many ways to look at why Leyland does what he does, but decisions like this one are really going to hurt the team if he doesn’t stop making them. I have to think that his strategy with Perez has a lot to do with the fact that he knows he’s stuck with him, and he wants to get him going as much as is possible. Unfortunately, having watched Neifi! as much as I have been forced to do while living in Chicago, I know that he doesn’t have much more than what he’s showing now. He can look good over a short period of time, but he really is a terrible player when given too much playing time. We’re not up by as many games anymore and can’t afford to give away 5 at bats a game here. Neifi plays hard every game, he’s good in the clubhouse and seemed always to be almost like a coach on the field (especially where the Cubs’ young pitchers are concerned), but he can’t hit and is not nearly as good in the field as his reputation makes him out to be. I wish there was a way out of this, but they panicked when Omar had a couple of rough games.

    Sigh. For now, let’s just revel in the night when Craig Monroe played the role of the best clutch hitter in the league and Todd Jones was just as unhittable as Mariano Rivera. It makes me wish that Trammell, and Gibby and Parrish, and Tony Clark, Damian Easley, Higgy (lumps and all), and the rest of that hard luck ’90s crew could be here to see this. This team has countless flaws right now, but on nights like tonight, fueled by my late night budweiser toast watching the homer replayed on Baseball Tonight, I can just about believe we can do this thing. Of course, now I sound like the “rah-rah!” guy, but, you know what? I’m okay being that guy for one night here.

  66. ron

    August 31, 2006 at 12:57 am

    I am a tiger fan from way back.I work at JFK airport and they can take that bazillion dollar yankee team and flush it down the East River. I hope the tigers meet the yankees in the playoffs and then the mets in the world series.I am sick and tired of hearing about an upcoming subway series.Go tigers.

  67. Lou

    August 31, 2006 at 1:26 am

    Jason, I completely forgot about Dusty blowing the Series! I’m totally freaking out now. I hope I didn’t jinx anything.

  68. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 2:47 am

    I’m happy to be wrong about Monroe tonight. I promise I won’t question him anymore! He needed to find a perfect pitch, and he did.

    Jason, how could you not include in your managing blunders: Letting DY hit right-handed for himself with Thames on the bench!?

  69. George L.

    August 31, 2006 at 8:56 am

    Billfer, of course yer right about the statistics, but the Tigers team still lost patience with Wang. People on this forum griped about the Tigers not having a batting strategy, but I think we did have one at the beginning–working the count, and forcing Wang to abandon his sinker and throw strikes–but after failing to put runs on the board after the first couple of innings, our boys got frustrated and abandoned that strategy. Hence our quicksand offense and the plethora of groundball outs.

    I think Leyland is taking a lot of crap but I’m not completely convinced that it is justified. Leyland doesn’t have the baggage a lot of long-time Tigers fans have. To him, our current slump is just business as usual–that’s baseball, and it’s August, a perfectly timed slump for us to explode in September and carry the momentum into postseason–but to the fans, even me, this slump is like the dawning realization of all our most dreaded fears. OMG we really do suck, before was just a fluke, we’re going to get eaten alive in the playoffs. This is honest reactions to tough times, but it might be a bit rash (as for me I was a fan in the Cecil Fielder years, but I turned my back on baseball for a while for more typical adolescent interests; sex, drugs, r ‘n’ r, which probably accounts for my dopey armchair Freud posturings…I came back this year, but I came in relatively early, around the third or fourth game., back when a winning season was still pretty far from a sure thing.)
    Anyways my point is that when the Tigs play a series against the pale hose or the Yankees we want to see some kind of validation that we are going to beat these guys in postseason, but I don’t think that’s how Leyland is playing them. If we were only one or two games ahead in our conference we might see more of Thames, but if he can give rookies like Gomez and Miller a taste of the Yankees to help them prepare for the postseason, well we’ve gone through certainly our worst stretch and still managed to keep our lead pretty thick. You guys are right, Thames needs more playing time, and I think he will get it, but if we were to play balls to the wall right now, we wouldn’t have anything left for when it REALLY does count.

    As for not deserving to make the playoffs, bull@#%&! We took one of the most intimidating offenses in our league and made them play our game of baseball. I saw the day game and it didn’t look like a typical Yankees fireworks display, it looked like another ho-hum Tigers game. This series we are tied on runs, 5-5, and we still have all sorts of weapons in our arsenal. Great job, Robertson and Ledezma!

    Speaking of unused weapons, what’s the story on Shelton and Clevlen. Is there any news on whether they are returning to the majors for playoffs roster?

  70. Marshall in DC

    August 31, 2006 at 9:42 am

    When I was asked what I want, at least, out of this series I said two things:

    1) I’d like at least one win. One win keeps the Sox and the Twins at bay, And a Yankee sweep I think would be tough to stomach confidence wise.

    2) I’d like competivive games. Both games thus far have been competitive. Tigers didn’t get blown out.

    While it would be great to have the Tigers win today, I’m happy that we got at least one win, and have the chance to win the series.

    BTW – I love Monroe’s swing . . .It is so fluid. When he smacked the HR it didn’t look like he was swinging that hard. WOW.

  71. Steve

    August 31, 2006 at 9:57 am

    I think thew way they won was as important as the win. They did not give up and mail it in in the ninth. This is an important feature of any team – believing -. I also do not understand some of Leylands moves and he certainly is not accountable to me, but it would be nice after the season to understand how and why he has made some of the decsions he has made.

    I am off the reast of the week and my son and I are going out for lunch to watch the ball game at Champps today. – Go Tigers –

    Steve

  72. Chris Y.

    August 31, 2006 at 10:00 am

    Nice to see the Tigers win ONE despite playing two of the worst managed games I’ve watched since…..well, there probable isn’t precedent.

    Leyland needs to “put the filter back on his cigarette” and take stock of his team. The reason the Tigers are where they are is they let the better guys play this year. Until Dmitri came back. Until Polanco went down. Until…what’s next dude?

    Terrible.

  73. T Smith

    August 31, 2006 at 10:14 am

    It would appear there is only one remedy for Leyland’s complete insanity continuing to play Perez…and in clutch at bats!!!! and that is Palonco’s return into the lineup… Let’s hope we can hold on until Placido comes back … I haven’t read anything on this lately…anyone heard how he’s doing? Last I heard he was on the 15 day DL…which could mean his return is imminent. Anyone have the latest on this?

  74. Jeff

    August 31, 2006 at 11:52 am

    While we’re ripping Leyland, let’s take a moment to rip Torre as well. What if he’d brought Rivera in instead of Proctor with the bases loaded in the eighth in game 1? He could have gotten Maggs on on pitch, someone else could have picked up the candy save the Rivera did end up getting, and Rivera could have pitched game 2.

    Managers should use their best pitchers in the most important situations. Rivera wasn’t available in any of the most important situations yesterday. Torre left Proctor and Bruney and Villone and Proctor again to get out of them, and finally it cost them. And boy was I happy when it did.

  75. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    Jeff, Torre said before the game that Rivera was unavailable.

  76. George L.

    August 31, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    All of my previous dopiness notwithstanding, I have to agree with everyone who thinks Perez is a black eye in the lineup. Every time he comes up to the plate, all I see is ‘out’. You can tell by his stance in the batter’s box; he looks like a hunched chicken with a bat in his hand. The worst part is that he’s Polanco’s replacement. Polanco, it turns out, was a big component in the team’s crucial small-ball game. Neifi “Worst Offensive Player Ever” Perez does nothing but suck life out of the offense.

    Luckily we have Craig Monroe, who is actually doing a semi-decent impression of Big Papi. Of course, when it comes to power, the comparison is ridiculous, but if you have Ortiz at the plate in the ninth with two outs, you just know all the baserunners are coming home. Now, it seems, the same can be said for C-Mo. Way to be, Craig!

  77. Leelanau Sports Guy

    August 31, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    Great stuff on the Guillen at-bat!