Game 139: Mariners at Tigers (and Bloggers)

PREGAME: The long awaited bloggers night is here. If you’re heading down to the game, plenty of tickets are still available. Of course you could sit anywhere, but the cool (aka geeky) kids will be sitting in section 212 row 1.

We’ll be watching the struggling Jeremy Bonderman take on Jake Woods. Hopefully a bunch of bloggers will inspire Bondo onto victory, and help Omar continue to stake a claim to the second base job – even after Neifi is healthy.

And Brent Clevlen has been recalled

Game Time 7:05
Happy Hour 5:15 @ Nemo’s

73 Comments

  1. Steve

    September 5, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Well I live in Rochester NY so I dont think I will make it.
    I did the Nemos experience this summer and loved it. Have a great time, maybe me and the Shawn in tokyo tonight on the blog.

    Stev

  2. Pete

    September 5, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Two days in a row with Thames at DH. I don’t want to jinx this, but do you folks think Leyland has finally figured out that Thames is a better hitter than D. Young?

  3. Bryan

    September 5, 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Great start, good to see Neifi perez NOT playing

  4. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    Watch for the rain delay. You guys picked a helluva day to go to a game.

    Anyone see Grandy get hit in the face? Ichiro was paying him back for that leadoff triple.

  5. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    Yeah, things look good so far from Tokyo. Like the fact Ordonez doubled second time around.

  6. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 8:02 pm

    Ouch, write after I wrote that, I looked up at Gameday and saw Seattle runners on 2nd and 3rd…ouch, now bases loaded…OK, please give us the double play! No Japanese mojo tonight please!

  7. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    Ugh…

  8. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    Everyone’s slipping all over the place out there…I don’t see why we’re even still playing right now.

  9. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    Finally, that inning is over with only 3 runs, luckily…one of the few times I will get to see highlights tonight on TV (thanks to Ichiro/Johjima), I want to see us win…

  10. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    On Gameday, it says 72 degrees, partly cloudy…they might try to go far enough to call it…I am not sure what the rules are on that if it is still tied…

  11. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Oh…now it is rain delayed…

  12. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    There’s the rain delay…an inning too late.

  13. McB.

    September 5, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    glad they decided to call it now after we blew our lead… husband is at the game, says the grounds crew is slipping all over trying to put the tarp on.

  14. Kevin

    September 5, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    In case anyone cares….the Mud Hens are playing a one game playoff tonight against Indianapolis, the winner wins the IL West, the loser goes home…and your Toledo Mud Hens are winning 3-0 going into the bottom of the fifth.

  15. Kevin

    September 5, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    7th inning stretch…still 3-0

  16. Alan

    September 5, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    The Red Sox beat the White Sox again. White Sox elimination # is now 19. It looks like the Twins are going to hold at 21. We really need to at least split with them when we play at Minnesota.

  17. gus mirage

    September 5, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Hi. I am watching via gamecast, any word on the rain delay, will it be finished tonite?

    Thanks…. And who is going to pitch, Miner? Tata?? Miller??!?

  18. McB.

    September 5, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Looks like Miller will pitch. So… the plot thickens. Bonderman sort of saved by the rain delay.

  19. McB.

    September 5, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    Not bad, not bad… might have to stay up late tonight for this… who am I kidding, I stay up every night for less exciting things.

  20. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    So, ‘d they win? And Miller looks incredible…Betancourt’s strikeout was classic.

  21. McB.

    September 5, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    I was going to write a message pondering what Magglio could do with his at-bat but he grounded out so fast even Comcast high-speed internet couldn’t post it in time.

  22. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Woooo, game is back to life…nice.

  23. McB.

    September 5, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Ah, too bad. The Sox lost again tonight too. We’ve not been capitalizing on that much lately either.

  24. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    Rookie jitters setting in…

  25. McB.

    September 5, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    Look at KC go too…. starting to be a little more concerning that we still have to play them like 7 more times.

  26. Kevin

    September 5, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Mud Hens won..will play Charlotte tomorrow

  27. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    miller looks, for the most part, talented with a real future. however, with the best staff in the majors i have no earthly idea what he is doing pitching in a tied game in a pennant race. i mean he was pitching to aluminum bats nine weeks ago. another leyland head-scratcher.

  28. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Dang dang dang…come on. A first inning like that and we can’t do anything else? Jeez.

  29. Michael

    September 5, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    Don’t you just love it when the tigers decide not to score anymore runs? 3 in the first and thats enough.

  30. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    about to go 9-18 over the last 27 games. worst in the majors. good times!

  31. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    I damn near thought Monroe hit a homer with that one. But no. It was ten feet short.

  32. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Need to be pinch hitting for Clevlen in the bottom of the 9th.

  33. Pete

    September 5, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    That’s 3 2/3 perfect innings by the great Joel Pineiro — eleven up, eleven down. Our offense is just pathetic.

    To answer Stephen’s comment, I don’t really blame Leyland for bringing Miller in. He’s generally used Colon and Ledezma in long relief situations this year, and neither was an option tonight. He could have brought Miner in earlier or used Grilli, I suppose, but those guys aren’t exactly lights out.

    Maybe we can rally against Putz in the ninth (yeah, right).

  34. Adam

    September 5, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    It’s 3-3 right now if Miller wasn’t allowed to pitch 2 innings. Come on…Angry Making.

  35. Michael

    September 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Why pitch Miller 2 innings???? oh thats right…Leyland is an idiot!

  36. Andy in NY

    September 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Leadoff man on! Shocking.

  37. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Ok, let’s see what kind of rally we can put together~~

  38. Steve

    September 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Pudge leads off with a single

    Leyland let the boys swing away

    NO bunting

  39. Michael

    September 5, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    Double play… didnt see that coming.

  40. Andy in NY

    September 5, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    Slowest non-catcher in the majors right there.

  41. Steve

    September 5, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    DP Stinker

  42. Michael

    September 5, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    we have not the ability to string together 2 wins. this team is in bad bad shape.

  43. Steve

    September 5, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Maybe the Lions will beat Seattle this week

  44. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    It’s official: Tigers deal with the devil expired on August 1. They officially suck. Seriously, they might hold on for a playoff spot, but they’re gonna get swept. they simply do not have enough good players. i’m not talking pitchers, players. i swear bobby abreu takes more pitches in a game than the entire tigers lineup.

  45. Steve

    September 5, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Bummer for the bloggers that went tonight. I see no energy in the club right now. We need to pick it up,

    pretty soon

  46. Andy in NY

    September 5, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    It’ll be real interesting if we’re at a 4-game or less lead come Thursday with that Metrodome filled with homer hankies. I’d say tomorrow’s a must-win. We’ve got to take a series here sooner or later, right?

  47. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 5, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    It was an odd game to begin with considering the rain stopper…we can still come out winning the series…plus Sox lost to Boston. Twins won, but Santana is pretty much a guaranteed win this time of the year anyway…

  48. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    the thing that is the most annoying is how they sucked everyone with the first 100 games. i mean if they blow this playoff spot, completely possible, it will be one of the epic collapses of all time. somewhere, bobby higginson is laughing until he wets his pants.

  49. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    shawn in tokyo, an eternal optimist! god bless you.

  50. Steve

    September 5, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Sooner would be good,

    Good lunch time game on Wednesday, lets hope they can get one going away.

    Lets also keep things in perspective. We would have all be very glad to know what is happening right now in March, so I for one am bummed they are losing but is sure beats where we have been the last dozen years. Last year at this point we were 9 games under 500 and staring in to the white porcelin bowl.

    Steve

  51. charlie

    September 5, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    i remember reading that illitch said if the tigers were close at the deadline he would spend some money and better the team. i sure hope that this is not the closest the tigers will get in the next five years. this team is in big, big trouble and the unthinkable a few weeks ago is a real possibility now.

  52. Mark in SF

    September 5, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    I don’t mind the move with Miller — good experience in the middle innings of an important game. Plus, given the odd situation with the rain delay, Miller was likely to feel comfortable (given his background as a starter) and the Mariners bats were likely to be cold (they were for at least the fifth inning, and for all but one batter in the sixth).

    What I don’t understand is why Sean Casey was permitted to swing away. At least so far as I have seen, Casey does nothing other than ground out to the right side of the infield. With Pudge on first, that means a double play unless it finds a hole, which is especially unlikely today given the wet grass.

    Why on earth wouldn’t we try a hit-and-run or at least a sacrifice bunt? Casey’s a safe bet on the hit-and-run because of his penchant for ground balls. Plus, Pudge had already stolen a base today. Even a sacrifice would have at least forced Adrian Beltre or J.J. Putz or Richie Sexon (none of whom are all that agile) to contend with the wet grass. Then, we would have at least had two chances at bat to tie. Any thoughts? I was stunned to see him swinging — and on the first pitch no less.

  53. Kyle J

    September 5, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    Adam and Michael, do you really think Leyland should have pulled Miller after he pitched a 10-pitch 1-2-3 fifth inning–with four innings still to go? I think that’s some pretty weak second guessing.

    As I posted in the previous game thread, this team is not getting dominated. It’s losing close games with a lot of bad breaks along the way (Magglio getting thrown out at second when no one was there to cover the bag on time, for example). Early in the year, the breaks went our way; now they’re not.

    We all hope the offense picks up and things start breaking our way again–but you can’t just take the good breaks we got early in the year for granted and then chalk up all the bad breaks to Leyland being “an idiot.”

  54. Kyle J

    September 5, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    On the topic of Leyland being criticized in the cyberworld, Jason Beck had a great response to a question in his mailbag:

    Carlos Guillen at first base, Polanco at second, Inge at shortstop — go get a third baseman in the offseason. Make Chris Shelton the designated hitter or trade him. I believe Leyland has lost at least 15 to 20 games alone on his managing blunders.
    — Paul M., Allen Park, Mich.

    Really? So you think this team should’ve had around 100 wins by the end of August? Seriously? That is fascinating stuff, especially with all the reasons and examples you mentioned. Funny, though, I never heard anybody saying the Tigers were a 110-win team in the making before the season started.

    http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/.....8;c_id=det

  55. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    I’m not chalking up the bad breaks to Leyland being an idiot, unless we miss the playoffs by one game and then Leyland’s insistence on playing Perez for two weeks is laid at his doorstep. The fact that the team isn’t being ‘dominated,’ is really not the point. Baseball, by its nature, lends itself to close games; the best team and worst team split the first two games, but the best team always wins the third one. and the argument that ‘well, last year we were nine games under .500 is fairly specious. Unless you’re the Yankees or the Red Sox, a franchise’s opportunities to contend are finite and you best take advantage of them at the time. there no promise that the tigers’ pitching will be this good next year And for the tigers not to improve themselves at the trade deadline was negligent. Yes, we would had to part with a talented young arm, but you have to give up something, to get something. you trade garbage, you get garbage.

  56. Anthony

    September 5, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    Maybe they trade for Tejada and move Guillen to First? They could also get a 3rd baseman and make Inge a super-utility guy who could still play 4-5 days a week because of his versatility. They desperately need to upgrade the pathetic OBP in the off-season.

  57. charlie

    September 5, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    i think in baseball as in life you make your own breaks…if you wait for them to happen…chances are you won’t be successful. i blame illitch! if the tigers had gone out and acquired two proven bats they would not likely be losing these one run games. we are down two of our better batters and the rest of the team cannot carry the load…in fact many of them are playing to their capabilities right now. you can’t blame neifi for this anymore than you can expect brent clevlan or chris shelton to fill in for the missing bats.

    talent wins and if that talent works hard you win even more…we are two bats short of the required talent to win.

  58. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    and i will give leyland all the credit in the world for establishing a no-nonsense winning attitude with the tigers. however, he doesn’t play the percentanges and is incredibly stubborn. he plays favorites and hunches. the last manager to play that many hunches was gene mauch and he’s remembered for blowing at least two pennants. it’s like blackjack, you might hit on 17 and win a few chips, but do it on a regular basis and the house takes your money.

  59. Kyle J

    September 5, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Stephen, I was all for upgrading before the trade deadline. But there wasn’t much to be had. Abreu wanted to go to NY. Soriano would have cost more than just one young arm. There wasn’t really anything out there substantially better than the two guys we did add to the roster (Casey and DY).

    Charlie, not sure who those “two proven bats” would have been.

  60. Joey C

    September 5, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    I missed the “Abreu wants to go to New York” headline. The reality is we didn’t even make a play on the guy and I think that was a big mistake. Especially when you consider that the Yanks basically gave up a couple of second tier prospects and a bucket of chicken to get him.

    Maybe we would’ve lost out in the bidding to the Yankees, but to not even make a play and find out, was moronic.

  61. billfer

    September 5, 2006 at 11:46 pm

    Joey – Abreu did say he’d only go to New York. He had a no trade clause and that was the only place he agreed to go (or at least that’s what was reported. That’s why the price was so low, the Yankees at the Phils over a barrel.

  62. billfer

    September 5, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    You can always tell the score just by looking at who’s commenting. I love it how Michael doesn’t chime in until the team falls behind. It’s kind of getting old.

  63. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    exactly joey c! the top prospect the yanks gave up for a #1 draft pick bust. i fear they just didn’t want to spend the money on abreu for next year.

  64. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    meant to say the top prospect was a #1 draft pick bust.

  65. T Smith

    September 5, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    I have to agree with stephen. 9-18 over the past 27 is not a good way to roll into September. We’re definately not a playoff-caliber team right now. Our 110-pace “win equity” is the only thing that hasn’t dropped us out of this race altogether. While I’m not as harsh on Leyland as some of the others here, I definately raised my eyebrows when he brought in Miller for a second inning. It may well have been another 1-2-3 inning for Miller, but I still think it was risky. That risk cost a run, which decided the game. Every single game right now is important to win…and manage….as if it were a world series game. We had a good chance not to just take the series against this M team (who is playing horrible on the road) but to take the sweep…which we despirately need for momentum going into the Metrodome.

    Total Leyland blunder…letting Casey swing away? We need a bunt from Casey with Pudge on first and no outs in ninth. If nothing more, the squeeze avoids the double play. It gives us a chance to tie the game. Dah? Managing 101. If bunting isn’t something Casey does, as Rod Allen would say, then pinch hit Clevlen for Casey, or somebody else who can bunt (and even possibly get an infield single given the wet infield)…we need to start playing like a team and stop worrying about the egos of the Casey’s, Pudge’s, DYs, and Maggs of the team.

    To cut this sinking team just a little slack: it’s hard to calculate the impact since Planaco (and now Guillen) got injured. While Infante is doing a great job, you just can’t take away a guy who is .374 with RISP and your most consistant hitter and think their absenses won’t effect the team. There is a huge hole in the lineup. With Palanco and Guillen sidelined, it’s a .500 caliber lineup at best, and certainly not a playoff-caliber lineup. I think it’s no coincidence that this “slide” just so happened to coincide at the time Palanco got injured. We need him back! Let’s hope come mid-Sept we’ll see Palanco again (and some kind of win-margin over the Twins).

  66. stephen

    September 5, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    a last thought: tigers batting coaches OBA…

    Don Slaught: career oba: 338.
    AAALeon Durham: career oba: .356
    AA Pete Incaviglia career oba .310

    Anyone seeing a trend here? You hire coaches that are hackers, you get a team of hackers.

  67. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Good point by Mark in SF. Casey swinging away with Pudge on first is a recipe for a double play. I hate bunting, but what about trying to steal a base? We have 40 guys on the team now, right? Is there one of them who can come off the bench and steal a base? Or just let Pudge try to steal, or hit and run.

    As for everyone debating whether Miller should have pitched two innings (or at all), I think we could have played 20 innings tonight and we still would have had three runs. The M’s would have gotten to 4 and won the game eventually.

  68. Kurt

    September 6, 2006 at 12:57 am

    1) Abreu was only going to New York, he said so, as has been posted. We had no shot. Too bad, that was the best bet, but he said no. I think baseball should do awya with the no-trade clause because only the best teams can get better with it, but that’s the rules, so don’t fault management.

    2) I wanted Soriano, but Washington wanted Sanchez AND Maybin, who would agree with that? Now like I said, I wanted Soriano, you’ll all remember, and I was fine with Sanchez-Jurrgens-a batter for him, but that’s not the deal Washington reportedly wanted.

    3) The Tigers are above their pythagoran win expectancy and their Baseball Prospectus second- and third-order wins expected. To me, that means either they’re lucky to have this many wins, or they have a good manager.

    4) Somehow it’s Leyland’s fault Miller gave up a run. but it would be Leyland’s fault if someone else relieved and gave up a run after Miller’s easy inning. Or it would be Leyland’s fault tomorrow if a reliever wasn’t available. And it’s not Leyland’s fault the Tigers batters hardly got on base after the rain delay? I’m not saying “don’t second guess the manager” but the second-guessing gets to the point where he can’t do anything right. And you can say “No one said or thought any of those things” but I’ve been around here for enough losses to predict them.

    4.5) Who am I to say what’s valid criticism or not you ask? I’ll agree with you. It’s just my opinion. You’ve got yours. We all get frustrated by some nutty things Leyland does (starting Neifi leadoff…or at all). On the other hand, crediting the players for a 1-run win and debiting the manager for a 1-run loss gets old. People just expect the players to be successful, not that he puts them in positions to win. He won’t always be right, but when he is, no one credits him, when he’s not, people go nuts.

    5) I think these dang close losses have all our baseball nerves frazzled, so I cut us all some slack. Hopefully everyone else does the same.

  69. Andy in NY

    September 6, 2006 at 9:10 am

    A couple of things from last night’s game:

    – I don’t think you can ask Casey to bunt. I like the idea, although I didn’t think of it at the time, to put Pudge in motion on a hit-and-run. The reason I didn’t think of it, perhaps, is because I have rarely if ever seen Leyland try that this year. But, in our depleted lineup, Casey has been one of 2 run producers over the last month (Monroe being the other, and that’s almost exclusively via the HR), so I think you have to let him swing, but cover yourself by getting Pudge moving in case he hits a weak ground ball.

    – Leyland said they’re brought Miller up to use him, so they’re going to. Get used to it. The rainout forced his hand a little bit last night. Miller gave up a walk in his second inning and that’s the guy who came around to score and that’s always the way it seems to work in these one-run games, but Miller’s had good command in his two appearances, so I can’t fault anything he did last night.

    As for today,

    We have Rogers going, he’s been a great stopper of late and we saved the heart of the bullpen to have at our disposal, so things are stacked in our favor on paper. I’m ok with that kind of conservation, unlike Torre on the Yanks, who uses the same 3 guys out of the bullpen in every game where the margin is less than 3 runs. Leyland uses everyone on the roster, mostly it works, and from everything that comes out in the press, the players really respect that and play hard because of it.

  70. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 9:39 am

    Chime this billfer! your turtleneck is getting old!

  71. Rob V.

    September 6, 2006 at 11:05 am

    Neifi would look great in a turtleneck.

  72. Andrew

    September 6, 2006 at 11:10 am

    I believe that today’s game and the 4 up in Minnesota will be THE turning point for the season. We will either look back on this season and think that, “yep, that is where the Tigers picked up their game and won the division” or “man, they really blew it when they lost the Seattle and Minnesota series in September.”

    I need to go out and purchase a case of Big League Chew at lunch. If ever there was THE time for “Gum Time” it is now.

    I really hope that the Tigers don’t fall out of the playoffs. The way the Lions looked in preseason doesn’t give me much hope of drowing my sorrows there.

  73. Steve

    September 6, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    Rob V.. >> Neifi would look better in a Cubs uniform, like he was before DD lost a bet.

    Steve