Game 134: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: Thanks to late inning heroics and awesome pitching the Tigers have a shot at the series. A win today would mean just their 3rd series win of the month, after losing 1 series in all of July.

It will be Jeremy Bonderman against Randy Johnson on ESPN. I wish I didn’t have to work today.

Oh yeah, Infante and Thames are playing. (but so is Neifi)

Game Time 1:05pm

POSTGAME: I know I should rail against another loss. I know I should be worried that Jeremy Bonderman has had a rough month. I should be furious that Neifi Perez continues to get playing time. And yet for some reason I’m okay tonight.

First, the Neifi issue. For those of us (which is basically everyone not named Jim Leyland) who have been hoping that Omar Infante gets the everyday gig until Polanco returns (possibly in 2 weeks) this game was about all we could have hoped for. Infante homered, got a cheap hit, and hit a line drive to right field. Neifi meanwhile made more weakouts, failed to chase down a pop up that led to a run, cut off Marcus Thames throw which may have nabbed Alex Rodriguez and kept him from scoring, and dropped a throw from Pudge.

Marcus Thames once again made the most of a start and has homered in 3 of his last 4 starts. The more he does that, the harder it is to keep him out of the lineup.

And finally Magglio Ordonez has put together a few games now where he’s hit the ball hard. Combined with some better at-bats from Curtis Granderson, the Tigers might be getting a couple of their key offensive components back in time for the stretch run.

And one last note, I’ve complained about umpires who argue back. Home plate umpire James Hoye did it just like he was supposed to with Jim Leyland today. He ran Leyland, and stood there while Leyland had his say while calmly suggesting Leyland head back to the dugout. I’m not going to comment on his actualy umpiring or strike zone, just that he handled the argument well.


  1. Kurt

    August 31, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    Per Danny Knobler, Polanco and Leyland think two weeks is reasonable until his return. Hallelujah. And Ledezma likely starts Sunday. Just call him Mr. ESPN.

  2. Chris Y.

    August 31, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    I’ll give Leyland a break on Neifi today. Apparently the Unit is the one pitcher that Perez has historically been decent against.

  3. Andrew

    August 31, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    Wow! Bonderman put himself in a jam there right away in the first with the bases loaded. I hope that it gets better as the game goes. He was missing the corner on a lot of his pitches that inning.

    Thankfully he settled down and his slider started biting.

    Lets get some runs!

  4. Andrew

    August 31, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    There we go! Thank you Ordonez. Only his 2nd since the All-Star break.

    And there goes Perez. Why? Why did we pick him up? Did we feel a need to make our offense even less potent?

    I hope the reports that Polanco will return in 2 weeks are spot on.

  5. Ken

    August 31, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    How big was it to get out of that 1st inning jam? Way to battle back Jeremy. A quick thank you to A-Rod for the pop up to first. Thank God, we get to see Omar and Thames in the lineup. But why in the hell is Perez batting in the 6th spot. Are you kidding me?! Why do we treat him like he’s not Neifi frickin Perez. I’m starting to consider the possibility that Leyland and Perez spent some time fishing together up in Brokeback Mountain at some time. Moreover, how come Leyland doesn’t have the confidence in Thames to play him more than 1 out of every 4 games, but when he does play Thames, he bats him 3rd or 4th. Why do I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Ooohhh….nice dinger by Maggs just now.

  6. Fritz

    August 31, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    On XM the Yanks’ broadcasters were just expressing 1) how Neifi couldn’t get A-Rod’s bloop, and that Guillen probably would have, and 2) their surprise at how little Thames plays considering his awesome numbers. So seriously, what’s going on here?

  7. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    Chris Y, no break on Neifi today. The sample size is too small. It does not outweigh an entire career of historical suckitude.

  8. Ken

    August 31, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Both those runs are on the home plate umpire. The inning should have been over two batters earlier, on a perfect 3rd strike that was called a ball. That’s completely unexcusable.

  9. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Are we still giving Leyland a break on Perez, Chris Y? He is not a good fielder anymore, and he has never been a good anything else. He is a piece of crap ballplayer, and let me ask you something – if I know that, and YOU know it, and EVERY-GODDAMN-BODY else knows it, why the **** is he playing EVERY SINGLE GAME?! These are people paid to know the difference. It’s a charade!! This is utter garbage. Neifi cuts a ball off that would have nailed A-rod. Garbage. Total crap baseball, and it just cost us another run.

    Billfer, this is what we mean about not “deserving” to win. Quit qeustioning it because you know what we mean. If you add Neifi Perez to your team in order to start him all during the stretch drive, you deserve to blow the lead. It is a complete misunderstanding of how baseball games are won to play Neifi Perez. It’s horsecrap, and I’m sick and tired of watching it. We are blowing it. Total incomptetence in the dugout.

  10. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    When does realize NOW why we needed to go get a big bat before the trade deadline? Our pitching has to be perfect for us to win. Our offense is based around the Homer. If we don’t get it…we lose. last night we were lucky enough to get it in the 9th and we won.

    Billfer, if you still want to give leyland “Slack” then you are out of your mind. Nefi is killing us. He is a complete empty spot in the lineup and his defense is nothing to talk about. I live in chicago and have watched this idiot play for too long. anyone who thinks Leyland knows what he is doing in regards to Perez is completely off his nut! Leyland has proved that he is a “He’s my guy” type manager. He brought over his buddy from his Rockies days. He has morphed into Don Baylor.

    Benefit of the doubt? Gone!
    Slack? Gone!

  11. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 2:47 pm

    Infante homers…now after the game he will be back on the bench.

  12. Chris Y.

    August 31, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    Really. Why isn’t his guy playing all the time with PP on the DL?

  13. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    no plan!
    infante homers and johnson goes to 2-0 on pudge. down 2 runs, he hacks at the next pitch and grounds out. I agree dan. When you do crap like this you don’t deserve to win.

  14. Chris Y.

    August 31, 2006 at 2:51 pm


    Could you not read the sarcasm in my post? “the one”…should have given something away….

    Plus, if you checked my other posts at all, you’d see how big a Neifi fan I really am!

    (that’d be sarcasm again)

  15. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    2 hits and 2 homers..we just need to hang on and hit more homers right! Go tigs!


  16. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 2:58 pm

    Oops, sorry Chris Y. I was all fired up by the idiots running this baseball team that I couldn’t think straight. My mistake!

    Now watch us lose by the one run that Neifi cost us.

  17. Chris Y.

    August 31, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    I can’t believe the idiocy trotting out Bonderman, at 91 pitches, to face the top of the lineup that’s been all over him today.

    Go to the pen, Leyland, go to the pen….

    Cause a two run deficit isn’t enough against Johnson in Yankee Stadium on a day we aren’t swinging.

    Good Lord.

  18. Chris Y.

    August 31, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    Now bring in Walker with two on and 1 out.


  19. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Bad positioning by Neifi on the Damon stolen base attempt in the 6th. Elementary baseball stuff. No excuse for a major leaguer to field the throw from the catcher standing in front of the bag. Could have nailed Damon if it was handled right. When is this stupid jackass player going to taken out of the lineup.

    I hope he gets mononucleosis or breaks his arm or something. We have a division to win. This man has made a career out of morons’ early misunderstanding of the effects of Coors Field on statistics. It’s amazing that people paid million of dollars can’t figure this stuff out. I’m so tired of being surrounded by stupid people. There are a lot of reasonably smart people around, just not enough to keep Neifi out of the majors and to keep this country out of meaningless wars.

    I’m sorry to bring politics into this, but it’s bothersome. I watch baseball in order to have fun and forget about all the incredibly vapid people and dumb crap in the world, and obviously it isn’t working. No one listens to reason, and now we are confusing kids with this Intelligent Design horse manure. It’s sickening, and I’d rather my baseball team not be the same way. It’s so depressing.

  20. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Don Slaught needs to be fired. we live and die by the homer. 2 hits today so far! all i see on the internet game tracker is “in play out(s) recorded” “in play out(s) recorded” “in play out(s) recorded” “in play out(s) recorded” “in play out(s) recorded” “in play out(s) recorded” “in play out(s) recorded”.

  21. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    so now we have 6 outs in which to hit 2 homers or 1 2 run homer. But that wont happen because no one will get on base for the 2 run job. We dont score any other way. i bet we lead the league in solo homers too. Who wants to draw a walk? Its like Randall Simon all over again!

  22. Pete

    August 31, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    The rest of the league tees off on Randy Johnson (ERA over 5.00 if you take out his two starts against us), and we make him look like, well, Randy Johnson.

    I’m starting to think Bonderman is just not a good second half pitcher. The Yanks lineup isn’t too tough today — no Giambi, A-Rod hitting like Neifi Perez lately — and Bondo gave up 11 hits.

    I love that when Leyland decides to give one of his regulars a day off, he picks SEAN CASEY.

    I completely agree with everything that’s been said about Neifi (with the possible exception of comparing his career to the Iraq war). Just inexcusable. If (when) JL wins MOTY I am going to scream.

    OK, A-Rod just hit a home run as I was typing this, so maybe he’s coming out of his slump…

  23. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Good to see leyland leaving Walker out there to give up more and more runs. I guess he has decided that this game is over.

  24. Stephen

    August 31, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    the best apart about leyland getting thrown out was he starting screaming profanities at the ump. when they started playing ‘god bless america’ leyland stopped yelling and stood at attention. then, after the song was completed he completed his tirade.

  25. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Perez’s career is exactly like the Iraq War in this sense: Certain peoples’ unwillingness and/or inability to make informed conclusions based on observable and statistical evidence have caused both to happen. Am I wrong?

  26. Tater

    August 31, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    So help me lord, if Neifi bats as the tying or go-ahead run in the 9th I will set my skin on fire.

  27. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    AJ Pierzynski, the biggest piece of dog excrement in the league, just put the White Sox ahead with a 2-run homer. There is simply no justice in the world. Zero.

  28. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    Well, the Tigers lose ANOTHER game. Leyland has thrown away at least a couple of games in the last three weeks, so if we lose out on the playoffs by that many games I’m going to personally send him an angry letter until opening day next year. I’m tired of the ignorance.

  29. Dan

    August 31, 2006 at 4:10 pm

    So we’ve pissed away most of a 10-game lead, and chasing us are two teams who are both better than we are. Must have been all that doom and gloom, so Michael and I accept full responsibility.

  30. Pete

    August 31, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    Prediction: the Tigers will still win the AL Central.

  31. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    We lost by 2 runs…Leyland mismanaged the bullpen leaving in Walker far 2 long He gave up 2 runs.

  32. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    Thames slugged another one. thats 24 homers for a bench guy. He can join infante back on the bench tomorow because we play “Leyland Ball”. Page 1 says Nefi is my Guy! he gives us the best chance to win!”

  33. Joey C

    August 31, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    You know, we’ve one a lot this year and I’m thrilled with the improvement, no matter the outcome.

    However, there remains one constant from the past 15 years of losing and that is that the Tigers field a team that doesn’t have a shred of plate dicipline. I don’t understand it. All I know is that I’m sick and tired of watching a buch of unlearning morons step up the the plate year in and year out. And the truly disturbing thing is that short of a major offseason shakeup, I don’t see any hope of improvment in 2007.

    I’ll be surprised if we win the division Pete. We’re hanging by a thread and don’t look to be improving.

  34. michael

    August 31, 2006 at 4:53 pm


    I completely agree. Plate dicipline starts in the low minors. The tigers have proven that they have no system in place that teaches how to have a plan at the plate. I hoped that when Dombrowski took over he would clean house and bring people into our system to teach this, from A up though AAA. Is it s a surprise that teams that consistantly make the playoffs are loaded with good pitching and with guys who have high on base perecentages? That is the real formula to winning. Pitching and getting on base. Maybe the average fan doesn’t get it. Maybe their perception of a patient hitter is screwy. i have had many arguments with people who think manny Ramirez is a free swinger. They think, because he has a devil may care attitude and appearence, that he must be a guy who doesnt give a shit in the batter’s box and swings away. Ramirez is one of the most patient, selective hitters in the majors. He is a horrible outfielder but because he gets on base and slugs at such a high clip he is worth far and beyond the runs he will give up with his defense. We went out and got a so called “glove guy” in perez who will literally never get on base, nor will he ever see more than 2 pitches an atbat.

    Tigers need a plan at the plate. We havent seen a plan from this team in over 20 years. We don’t even sign free agents who are patient. We sign aged stars who are in decline and who hit into way to many double plays.

    Its sad because we have the pitching to make a serious run. We just didnt do a damn thing before the trade deadline to get the thump that we need. this was the year to do it. Next year The twins, sox and Indians will be popping on all pistons. We have played over our heads this year so you can expect that we will bounce back towards the norm. Its not a given that because we had a great year that this is how its going to be from now on. This was the year to grab the brass ring…to make a deal that when it was pulled, the wind imediately went out of the sails of the sox and twins. we didnt do it. so now we have to hold our breath’s in september. If we do make it to the playoffs, we don’t have the thumpers to get us past the Yankees or the White Sox for that matter.

  35. Jared

    August 31, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    so did anyone think the tigers would have 81 wins?…whats with all the yelling? ok I know with the first 81, we set a precident of winning, but come on, we’ve overachieved, do I think we’ll make playoffs, yeah, division title, maybe not, but come on, lets keep a level head about things.

  36. Pete

    August 31, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    Just to recap this week…

    Tigers lose two of three to Yankees
    Twins lose two of three to Royals
    Sox win two of three versus D-Rays

    The only mildly surprising series was Royals over Twins. Otherwise, this is about what you would expect. This week could have been a disaster. Thanks in large part to Craig Monroe, it wasn’t. We lost a game to the Sox, big deal. The schedule tilts in our favor in September. We’re not going to win the division if we keep playing like we did in August, but I think the team will play a little bit better in September and hold off the Twins and White Sox. Yes, we suck right now, but I seem to be the only one on this board who doesn’t think the Twins and White Sox are very good either. (I’m very glad we’re not in a pennant race with Oakland or the Dodgers or the Yankees right now.) I’ll take my chances against the Twins and Sox.

  37. jim-mt

    August 31, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    reading Dan’s posts sure makes me feel better;

    Tigers can still do this; they aren’t losing by much and if the bats come alive and if Neifi were to disappear, then ……..

  38. Cameron in Singapore

    August 31, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Neifi Neifi Neifi…Starting him every day is driving me absolutely crazy.

    But not as crazy as Dan’s comments. How about we all agree to not read anything he posts anymore?

  39. Kyle J

    August 31, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    I’m with Pete. This team is poised to turn things around and win the division down the stretch. Let’s also not overlook a big positive of the Yankees series: our pitchers held the most potent lineup in baseball (even minus Matsui/Sheffield) to 11 runs in 3 games.

    Now that doom and gloom is the trend around here, I’m hoping to become an iconoclast who preaches optimism and hope!

  40. Craig in CA

    August 31, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    We got what I expected. 1 of 3. The balance of the schedule tips in the Tigers favor. I agree with Leyland Bonderman was getting squeezed. The key to the game we were contantly down 0-2, the Yanks were constantly up 2-0.

    I’m sure Neifi’s giving it his best.

    The Yankees are an amazing team.

    Tigers 17 @home 11 away 3 days off
    White Sox 11 @ home 18 away 2 days off
    Twins 14 @home 16 away 1 day off


  41. Bob S.

    August 31, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    You’re right,Craig-1 of 3 isn’t bad.As far as Perez goes,it’s not too much to expect any pro to be giving his best.Unfortunately,Perez’ best was mediocre years ago.He was defended on this site as a good gloveman,but his defense has been Horrible(note the capital H).Although he would probably make a better playoff goalie than Legace.

  42. Bob S.

    September 1, 2006 at 12:05 am

    I typed and submitted a comment which disappeared,so if it appears somehow as a second post,I apologize for appearing redundant.Craig,I agree that 1 out of 3 from the Yankees ain’t that bad.But geez,what a tepid defense of Perez.He’s a pro in a pennant race,he better be giving his best.Unfortunately,at his best,which was back when Bush was only forcing Texans to suffer his mistakes,he was mediocre.His staunchest defenders on this site noted his defense,which has been Horrible(note the capital H).However,to be fair,he probably would be a better playoff goalie than Legace.

  43. Ryan S

    September 1, 2006 at 12:13 am

    I was at the game today. Let me tell you. I’d have only a minimally worse chance at getting on base in the majors than Neifi Perez. All this guy does is stick his bat out, hit a weak ground ball and pray it somehow finds a hole in the infield (assuming it has enough steam on it to clear the infield). He does not swing! It looks like some sort of swinging bunt attempt. He just jabs at it. He looks like a boy amoung men. I don’t care if he were Ozzie Smith in the field (which he is NOT). He couldn’t possibly make up for the fact that we’re basically conceding 3-4 outs per game when he plays. When you play a team like the Yankees, you need all 27 outs, 23-4 ain’t enough.

    Marcus Thames, on the other hand, looks really solid up there. You’d think his erratic playing would affect his comfort level at bat. But he looked great. Worked the count well and finally connected in the ninth.

    Seems like reversing the playing time trends with these two guys could mean a couple wins more over this last month. And a couple wins could mean a lot to the Tigers postseason chances.

  44. Dave

    September 1, 2006 at 12:26 am

    For all you Thames boosters (and I’m one of them). Who would you take out for him? Young? Casey? Ordonez? Granderson? Monroe?

  45. Pete

    September 1, 2006 at 2:55 am


    At this moment, Young. A couple weeks ago I would have said Ordonez. Other commenters have convinced me that Granderson must remain for defensive reasons. I would also (slightly) prefer Thames to Monroe, but that’s basically a toss-up and they should both play every day. Finally, I would start Thames at second base before I would ever write Neifi Perez’s name in a lineup card.

  46. Dan

    September 1, 2006 at 4:30 am

    Well, no one answered my question. Cowards.

  47. Andrew

    September 1, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Swap out Young for Thames. Easy decision in my book. Personally, I never wanted to see Young back in the English ‘D’.

    Neifi must have some serious blackmail on Leyland.

  48. Bobber

    September 1, 2006 at 9:05 am

    “meaningless wars…intelligent design…horse manure…dog excrement…so tired of being surrounded by stupid people…vapid people…dumb crap…no one listens to reason…”

    It’s only September 1, there, Danny boy. Twenty-eight-plus games left.

    You might want to talk to someone about padding those walls you’re bouncing off or pre-arrange to have someone to post the name of the hospital and your room number .

  49. jim-mt

    September 1, 2006 at 10:54 am

    let thames play second; I could play it better than neifi!

  50. Dan

    September 1, 2006 at 11:25 am

    Good one, Bobber! I know my psycho-scatalogical posts are really getting in the way of the discussion, so sorry about that. I can see that you’re doing your damndest to elevate the conversation, so by all means, don’t let me get in the way!

    Great stuff! Keep it up!

  51. Pete

    September 1, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    Dan: the answer to your question is no, not really. At least nobody has died as a result of Neifi Perez’s career (but the night is young!).

    And for what it’s worth, I’ve named my fantasy football team the Devout Cowards in a nod to Matt Millen…

  52. Kyle J

    September 1, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    Dan, here’s a question for you: Have you observed any good decisions made by Leyland this year? For example:

    1) Sticking with Jones as closer.
    2) Keeping Monroe in the lineup when he was struggling.
    3) Not moving Shelton up in the lineup.
    4) Resting Granderson against left-handers as he started tiring but then putting him back full-time–just before he recently started pulling himself out of his slump.
    5) Resting Verlander to save his arm.
    6) Agreeing to bring DY back when commentators were claiming he’d ruin the team’s chemistry.

    Or does all of this qualify as “total incompetence”? We’re all in agreement about Perez–but one bad decision (that will probably last no more than a month) does not a season make.