Game 161: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: I’ll get this up nice and early today in case anybody cares to comments on the Twins/White Sox game this afternoon.

As for the Comerica Park match-up it will be bullpen mishmash day. Zach Miner will take the ball for Detroit. He hasn’t thrown more than 40 pitches in a game since August 18th, and he threw 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see how long Leyland will let him go.

For the Royals, they will use Ambirorix Burgos who will be making his first career start after 126 relief appearances over the last 2 years.

It’s cold, rainy, and generally miserable today. But I don’t think there’s anyway Detroit wants a double header tomorrow so they’ll play it one way or another.

Game Time 7:05

UPDATE: Twins go down to the White Sox. The Magic Number is at 1. I’m sure the Royals would just assume not be part of 3 clinching celebrations in a one week span, but for everyone’s sanity please take care of this tonight.

POSTGAME: This is becoming unnecessarily stressful. I actually missed the first 4 innings of this game due to another commitment, but when you’re starting pitcher lasts 1/3 of an inning, it certainly doesn’t bode well. After Andrew Miller through 56 pitches (that seems like a lot for a guy that prized but circumstances certainly weren’t favorable), Jason Grilli and Chad Durbin pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing only 1 run. The offense tried clawing back, but like Thursday the deficit proved to be too much.

The one question is have is, where is Jordan Tata? I thought Leyland may be saving him to pitch in Bonderman’s spot today, but given how last night transpired it became pretty clear Jeremy would make his start.

Game 160: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: Who would have thought that a Tigers-Royals series to end the season would mean so much back in March? Who would have thought it would have meant this much back in August?

In any case, the Tigers have used up any margin for error they had accumulated in the early part of the season. The Twins have tied them and the magic number is at 3 with 3 to go.

For the Royals it will be Runelvys Hernandez who was shelled last Sunday. He’ll be opposed by Wil Ledezma who was quite good, save for a fielding error, in his last start against the Royals. The Tigers hopefully won’t need perfection from Ledezma tonight, but a solid 6 innings would be wonderful.

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Yeah, this one hurts. The Tigers blew the 5 run lead early, could have put the division away, and…yeah.

Pudge was decidedly un-clutch between the pop-up in the 9th and the double play grounder in the 11th.

The Clevlen tagging up decision was, ummm, surprising?

Taking Ledezma out after 5 effective and efficient innings when you need your whole bullpen for the next day was, ummm, curious?

I’m just pretty much speechless.

As a heads up, tomorrow’s Twins/White Sox game starts at 11:10am.

I’m just saying

A collection of observations, links, and items of note from the last week:


How many times did we hear this year that the Tigers own the Twins, and the White Sox own the Tigers? Now a popular refrain is that the A’s are a more favorable first round opponent than the Yankees because the Yankees own the Tigers. (I’m not questioning that the A’s are more favorable, just the reasoning). Now did anybody notice that the Tigers went 7-7 over their last 14 games against those same White Sox who owned them. Or more troubling, that the Tigers went 8-8 over their last 16 games against those Twins who they owned?

As for the Tigers 2-5 record against the Yankees, keep in mind that 5 of those games were decided by 2 runs or less or went to extra innings. And as for that last series, the Tigers were outscored by a whopping 2 runs (11-9) over 3 games in the Bronx.

Getting loaded

Since September 15th the Tigers have had 16 at-bats with the bases loaded, or a little more than one a game. During the mighty slump, spanning August 8th to September 14th (34 games) the Tigers only had 12 at-bats with the bases loaded.

I’m not even worried about how they did in those stretches. It’s all about the opporutunities.
Continue reading I’m just saying

Tigers Business is Booming

The Tigers success has been bringing people downtown all summer. The Tigers are only 55,285 fans away from setting a new record in Comerica Park attendance. It will pass the 2,533,752 fans who came to Comerica Park in 2000. It will also become the 2nd largest crowd in Detroit history.

Now a study shows that the possible impact of a long playoff run could bring as much as $71.7 million into the city (reg required). That number assumes that Detroit would host the maximum number of home games which would be 11. The estimates include tickets, parking, food, drink, entertainment and souveneirs.

The estimates are for $3.9 million per ALDS game, $5.5 million for each ALCS game, and $9.5 million per World Series game.

I’m typically skeptical about these types of estimates, but this set actually seem reasonable. If you assume 43,000 fans per game the estimates are $90.69 per fan for the ALDS, $127.90 for the ALCS, and $220 for the World Series. I think it is a safe assumption that thousands of fans without tickets would be coming down to enjoy the games in local establishments, so those per fan averages are probably even lower.

Now given the current standings, it is unlikely that Detroit would have a shot at having 4 home games in the ALCS. Regardless of the number of playoff games, the study says taht the increased attendance has already resulted in an additional $36.2 million coming into the city during the regular season.

Game 159: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME: A Tigers loss, a Twins loss, and a Yankees win, mean that the Tigers are still in good shape for the Central Division, but don’t really have a shot at homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The magic number for the division is 3 and the magic number for homefield is still 6.

Today it will be Kenny rogers against AJ Burnett in an afternoon tilt. Rogers was the last starter to make it into the 7th inning. Here’s hoping he can stick around long enough to keep the long guys out of the game so they can be available this weekend.

Game Time 1:05pm

: I think the lineup issues from today have been pretty well hashed out in the comments. My 2 cents are that I’ll assume that Polanco and Ordonez were sore. With a short turnaround it seems possible and plausible that Leyland would take the safe route with those 2. As for Neifi Perez over Infante, I think that can be attributed to Leyland’s love of platooning.

A ton can be made about the substitution decisons (which I was surprised came so early) but the fact of the matter is the offense produced 6 runs. You can certainly question the decision making, but the results were favorable. The problem was run prevention which can partially be attributed to defense and largely attributed to Rogers.

Right now the bigger concern is that the long relievers have been used heavily this week due to Robertson’s and Rogers’ early exits. At this point Jordan Tata will probably be starting on Saturday, and it may force Bonderman to start on Sunday.

ALCS Tickets and more ALDS Tickets

The Tigers announced their plans for selling ALCS tickets and additional tickets being released for the ALDS.

Individual game tickets to potential 2006 American League Championship Series games that could be played at Comerica Park will go on sale Monday, October 2, 2006 at 10 a.m.

In addition, a limited number of newly-released individual tickets for the American League Division Series games to be played at Comerica Park will go on sale this Friday, September 29 at 10 a.m.

Tickets will only be available online at and by phone at 248-25-TIGER. Tickets will not be sold at ticket outlets or at the Comerica Park Box Office.

Individual ticket prices for potential League Championship Series games at Comerica Park start at $75 – while ticket prices for the Division Series games start at $35. Fans will be allowed to purchase up to six (6) tickets per game, per customer, subject to availability.

The American League Championship Series is scheduled to begin Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Maroth not on playoff roster

Jim Leyland made the announcement today that Mike Maroth won’t be a member of the playoff roster.

This is the right choice and hardly a surprise. Maroth has barely pitched since coming back from injury, and he hasn’t been effective with his limited opportunities.

As a fan though, I feel horrible for MIke. He endured 2003 and he did it with class. He was given the opportunity to be taken out of the rotation to avoid 20 losses, yet he took his turn each time.

This season saw him start off great only to be sidelined with bone chips. He wasn’t able to continue what looked to be a promising personal season, and his elbow limited him to gum-chewing duty as the team enjoyed more success than this city has seen in years. He stayed with the team and was always seen in the dugout.

And on top of all that, he has a reputation as being one of the all around good guys in all of baseball.

Now Maroth isn’t getting “the shaft” by any means. It is simply a matter of unfortunate circumstances. I’d love for him to be a contributing member of the roster, but it won’t change the fact that he’s still a part of the team.

Game 158: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers will look to extend their 4 game winning streak and continue to move closer to the AL Central title. The magic number is currently at 4 for the Central, and 6 for the homefield advantage.

Tonight it will be a southpaw battle with Nate Robertson toeing the rubber for Detroit. Nate was far from sharp in his last start in Baltimore as he walked 5 and hit a batter.

He’ll be opposed by Ted Lilly. In his last outing against Detroit Lilly allowed only 5 baserunners (3 hits and 2 walks). Unfortunately for Lilly, all 5 scored.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME Bulletized thoughts on tonights game:

  • In Nate Robertson’s last 2 starts he’s had exactly one 1-2-3 inning.
  • Anyone else notice that on the 3 run homer allowed to Molina, Robertson shook off Pudge? I’m sure that not everytime Robertson shakes off a pitch it results in a homer, but it seems that often times when it is a homer, it came off a shake-off.
  • By having to use Zach Miner a couple innings tonight, will he be able to pitch Saturday? I have to imagine that factored into Robertson staying in as long as he did.
  • I’ve been wanting Thames, Shelton, and Infante to get more playing time. They haven’t made me look good.

It’s a Pep Rally

The Tigers will host “Rally Monday” from 11am to 1pm on October 2nd. The free event at Comerica Park will feature:

  • Jeff Daniels performing Life Long Tiger Fan Blues Revisted
  • Autographs from former Tigers Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Gates Brown, and Dan Petry
  • Mario & Rod emcee’ing
  • An appearance by Ernie Harwell
  • Free rally towels to the first 2500 fans
  • Opportunity to win ALDS tickets

Setting up the playoff rotation

Jim Leyland announced today that Justin Verlander wouldn’t be making his start on Saturday. This is probably good on a couple fronts.

First, Verlander’s velocity was down in his last start. He’s well eclilpsed his previous innings threshold and fatigue is certainly a reality. I can’t speak to how much a couple extra days will aid in recovery, but it certainly shouldn’t hurt.

Second, it sets up what will likely be the Tigers playoff rotation. I’m guessing it will be Rogers-Verlander-Robertson-Bonderman, unless Bonderman gets for his next start on Sunday. Each of the 4 would be pitching on normal or extended rest. The Twins losing at some point would certainly facilitate that.

Game 157: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME: The playoff bound Tigers return home to try and secure the AL Central and possibly the best record in baseball. The magic number for the Central is 5. They are currently tied with the Yankees for best record, but the Yankees hold the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage so the Tigers actually need to beat out the Yankees.

The Tigers will send Jeremy Bonderman against Dustin McGowan. McGowan is making just his 2nd start this year, and his first since July 29th. He’s filling in for Roy Halladay who was shut down for the year.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Magglio Ordonez left the game with back spasms, which is certainly a concern. In the postgame interview, Leyland didn’t think it was serious. Also, Marcus Thames wasn’t with the team tonight as it sounds like he is ill.

As for Bonderman, the final results look okay, but it was a bumpy ride. He was missing with considerable regularity with his fastball and his slider didn’t seem to be as sharp, and he didn’t seem to throw it as often. Frankly it is the most concerned I’ve been with him in the 2nd half. He admitted that he had been pitching through a sprained ankle, and I only hope that he didn’t adversely change his mechanics to compensate.

The relief pitching was solid, and Joel Zumaya deserved better. He was squeezed on what would have been a called third strike that would have retired the side. Instead 2 runs came around to score on a tweener and a passed ball.

The bats managed to do just enough with Placido Polanco finding a hole with the bases loaded, and later laying down a squeeze bunt. Monroe was on 3rd base at the time because of a double steal that preceeded an RBI single by Brandon Inge. For those small ball afficionados, this was a game you had to love.

2007 Schedule Released

The Tigers released their 2007 schedule today. They open on April 2nd against the Blue Jays and close the season on the road against Chicago.

Things of note include:

  • After opening with 3 at home against the Blue Jays, the Tigers head on the road for 10 games against KC, Baltimore, and Toronto.
  • The Tigers have a 13 game homestand leading up to the All Star break
  • There is only 1 off day between August 3rd and September 10th
  • September looks to be tough with 6 against the White Sox, 6 against the Twins, 3 against the A’s, and 3 against the Indians. Nine of the last fifteen games are on the road.
  • Interleague opponents are the Cardinals, Mets and Brewers at home. The Tigers go to Philadelphia, Washington, and Atlanta.

Here is the schedule on Word format.