Game 142: Tigers at Twins

by billfer on September 8, 2006 · 44 comments

in 2006 Season,Game Post,Roster Management

PREGAME: I’ve got a good feeling about tonight. After all, there are 2 Tiger blogger birthdays today and the club just couldn’t let us down now could they. Those birthday bloggers are myself and Samara.

Wil Ledezma is charged with making today a Happy Birthday. He’s been outstanding since his move to the rotation. Leyland didn’t let him throw more than 71 pitches in either start, in part due to a stretching out phase, and in part because he was going on 3 days rest. (Speaking of Ledezma, Kurt did some interesting work extending research done by Nate Silver and found that under Silver’s methodology Ledezma may be the current rotation candidate that would most benefit from a move to the pen)

He’ll be opposed by Matt Garza. Garza has made 5 starts, 2 of them good (against Baltimore and KC), 1 of them okay (against Cleveland), and 2 of them bad (against Toronto and New York). I think it is pretty clear that the quality of competition had a considerable influence in those games.

Carlos Guillen returns to the lineup at short (cross your fingers that he doesn’t blow it out) and Infante retains 2nd base duties.

In other news, Don Kelly cleared waivers and was outrighted to Erie while Chris Spurling was claimed by the Brewers. I’ve updated the Roster and Organizational Tree pages to represent the newly configured 40 man roster.

Game Time 8:10

POSTGAME: Sorry ’bout the much delayed postgame report. The game was, umm, frustrating? Who would have thought that on a night when the Tigers drew 3 walks in first 3 innings and Sean Casey pickedup an infield hit, and Magglio had good at-bat after good at-bat, and Carlos Guillen was back in the lineup along with Omar and Thames, that the Tigers would lose. Then again who would have thought that a nobody on, 2 out situation would turn into 7 runs either.

It was just one of those nights. The Tigers made some mistakes defensively and pitching, and the Twins took advantage of them – especially Mauer and Morneau.

I do think that Jim Leyland has become way too platoon happy. He insisted on lefties facing Morneau and Mauer, but if you look at their splits, they are good hitters no matter who they are facing. And Alexis Gomez over Chris Shelton in the 9th?

Wil Ledezma wasn’t sharp. He was both wild outside the zone and couldn’t find the edges of a very large and erratic strike zone, and even the strikes he through he wasn’t locating them well.

And then there was just the bad luck. Thursday night every ground ball with a runner on was a double play, last night it was a hit.

 
 

{ 44 comments }

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 7:41 pm

Happy Birthday!

I also want to have a good start to the day here in Tokyo…

Mark P September 8, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Happy Birthday! Go Tigers! Let’s sweep these Twinkies!

Steve September 8, 2006 at 8:06 pm

Im in for a Happy Birthday ………….

I really liked Spurling, its hard to believe that he could not find a home here or we could not trade him to some pitching sorry club, but thats what DD is for.

Here for a good blow out in the HHH dome, I think a win here would put a fork in the twinkies.

Its an Oatmeal pies and Neifi bashing weekend

Steve

Jeff M September 8, 2006 at 8:40 pm

Did you guys see that? Neifi’s so good he can get hits from the bench.

Steve September 8, 2006 at 8:54 pm

Easy to see why Omar sat, NOT

Mark in SF September 8, 2006 at 9:00 pm

Happy Birthday, Billfer! How many candles in the old Little Debbie oatmeal pie this year?

Pete September 8, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Nice clutch hit by Maggs. We’re having good at bats tonight. We’ve made Garza throw 66 pitches in just three innings. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s relief pitchers are better than their starters (with the exception of Santana). Let’s get a couple more off Garza before they take him out.

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 9:14 pm

If we can get Garza out earlier, we can still extend Minnesota’s bullpen over 4 games…we will need that especially Sunday, when Twins will hope Santana goes long.

Pete September 8, 2006 at 9:28 pm

Good point, Shawn, I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Just armchairing the best I can. ;-)

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 9:45 pm

Garza is out–got him in less than 5. Not bad. Let’s now make their bullpen work each at-bat.

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 10:03 pm

Dang…two coach visits, leave him in, and watch the blood flow. Real sadists, Jim and Chuck.

Adam September 8, 2006 at 10:08 pm

And they keep finding the holes. Dang. Even if we get the lead…how do we keep it?

Nate A September 8, 2006 at 10:13 pm

How’s Guillen lookin out there tonite? Definately do not want to see him go down again.

I was kinda wondering if his quick return might be more of a team leader stepping up in a slump kinda thing, but if he’s playing SS tonite, I guess he’s serviceable at least. Does he appear to be having any trouble?

Adam September 8, 2006 at 10:19 pm

He looks really good, Nate. Lots of hustle, doesn’t seem like he’s in too much pain. Plus, the plays he’s made, he’s made look easy.

Pete September 8, 2006 at 10:19 pm

Sean Casey is now 1-for-26 in September. I know guys go through slumps, but enough is enough, especially given:

(1) when he’s not in a slump, Casey is not that good a hitter (no power anymore), and

(2) we have another option at his position.

FREE CHRIS SHELTON! Come home, Chris. All is forgiven!

Adam September 8, 2006 at 10:24 pm

Yeah. Let’s replace unreliable with unreliable. Woo.

Adam September 8, 2006 at 10:24 pm

WHY IS MILLER PITCHING?!?

Adam September 8, 2006 at 10:33 pm

Load the bases with walks. Sweet job, Miller.

Mark in SF September 8, 2006 at 10:34 pm

Twelve balls in thirteen pitches. I bet that’s the last we’ll see of Miller in a clutch situation.

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 10:37 pm

He will learn quickly I think.

Alan September 8, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Miller is really lousy.

Shawn in Tokyo September 8, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Just doesn’t seem like we have the mojo tonight, that’s for sure.

Steve September 8, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Ouch

Pete September 8, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Uh oh, the wheels are coming off.

What’s up with bringing Miller in to a tight game like this? Isn’t Grilli capable of throwing more than 13 pitches?

stephen September 8, 2006 at 10:43 pm

good thing we released dmitri and kept casey. and good thing we have the best pitching staff in the majors and leyland has now chosen to go to miller twice in crucial pennant games in his second and third career appearances. that is the arrogance of leyland rather than the logic of a good manager. you think torre’s going to miller in this situation?
i’m all for leyland getting credit for turning the attitude around in motown, but his lineup choices–perez, miller etc..– have been grady littlesque. little reported fact in the detroit media: leyland’s career record as a manager–sub .500

Jeff M September 8, 2006 at 10:56 pm

What’s up with bringing Miller in to a tight game like this? Isn’t Grilli capable of throwing more than 13 pitches?

Leyland wanted to play the Lefty/Lefty matchup.

As important as these games seem, they’re still far less important than the ones in October. Leyland tests his players like this so that he knows what they have. He only asks his players to give him what they’re capable of. No more. No less. This is how he finds out where that line is.

That was a HORRIBLE relay throw by the way. That should have been an easy out, but instead Inge gets sliced up. Don’t worry, Sam… he’ll make it.

Joey C. September 8, 2006 at 10:58 pm

You gotta love the Metrodome fans booing Inge for calling that time out after getting spiked in the hand. What a bunch of fools.

stephen September 8, 2006 at 11:09 pm

Uh, Jeff, sorry I’m not buying your Leland apologia. The Tigers will have to make the playoffs for Leyland’s tests to matter at all. I wonder how many more at bats he gives perez before he figures out what he’s capable of? sheesh. Managers don’t do that; test guys out to see how they handle situations, not with the pennant on the line. Do you think Bill Parcells is going to bring in a rookie QB in a game with playoff implications just to test his mettle? I doubt it.

Joey C. September 8, 2006 at 11:26 pm

Well Maroth looked okay.

Otherwise, that was a pathetic game on every level.

Jared September 8, 2006 at 11:28 pm

so stephen your saying leyland has been an abismal faulier even though he brought the once laughingstock of the MLB to legit playoff contenders, so what if we dont win the world series, were better now, thanks to Jim Leyland, give the man some props

Adam September 8, 2006 at 11:29 pm

On every level? Our bats got it done. 5 runs isn’t shabby.

Jeff M September 8, 2006 at 11:32 pm

I wonder how many more at bats he gives perez before he figures out what he’s capable of?

I wasn’t defending the Perez situation. I’m not sure why he’s out their either.

Do you think Bill Parcells is going to bring in a rookie QB in a game with playoff implications just to test his mettle? I doubt it.

Not an accurate analogy. Football has an extremely short season and endurance is not an issue with quarterbacks.

Coming into tonight, there were 20 games left on the schedule. In a close race, they ALL have playoff implications. Are you going to pitch Walker, Zumaya, Rodney and Jones in all 20? Even if you did use them as much as possible, do you think they would be as effective as usual? Even if they were, would they still be that effective in October?

It’s a LONG season. Leyland will shorten the bench, but not yet. You can’t start sprinting when you’re still this far away from the finish line.

P.S. In case you think Leyland’s the only professional that believes this, Ozzie Guillen, who has even more reason to step on the gas pedal, used a 6’5″ 22 year-old left-handed rookie (September call-up) named Logan in a 1 run game tonight. And Torre used two rookies out of the bullpen, though Baltimore jumped out to a quick lead in that one.

Pete September 8, 2006 at 11:51 pm

Wow, Bobby Jenks got rocked tonight, I hope the Tribe’s crappy bullpen can get three more outs.

I would just like to note that Neifi Perez was used PERFECTLY tonight: a defensive replacement in a game that was already decided, and then he got pinch hit for with Alexis Gomez. That should be Neifi’s role on this team for the rest of the season.

Eric Jackson September 8, 2006 at 11:54 pm

and cleveland’s bullpen couldn’t get it done. boo.

Jeff M September 8, 2006 at 11:54 pm

I would just like to note that Neifi Perez was used PERFECTLY tonight: a defensive replacement in a game that was already decided, and then he got pinch hit for with Alexis Gomez.

Yeah, I’ll agree with that. I just didn’t want to get sidetracked by that argument.

Ian C. September 9, 2006 at 12:03 am

Well, the clock struck 12, so I’m officially a day late, but Happy Birthday, Bill. (I did manage to catch Samara just before midnight, however.)

And hey, maybe your guys’ birthday candles lit a fire underneath Magglio’s behind. 4 RBIs tonight!

Joey C. September 9, 2006 at 12:22 am

Adam, that is indeed true.

I just forgot about those runs after the bottom of the 6th.

stephen September 9, 2006 at 1:06 am

torre could use the rookies because their lead is bigger and the red sox have been decimated by injuries. there is no way, they’re gonna catch new york.

i’d only use the starting five and then miner, maroth, jones, rodney and zumaya. that’s ten guys, miller should only pitch in blowouts. he can be the 11th man. i think that sounds like fairly sound strategy, don’t you think? the guy was pitching in the college world series 90 days ago!

Trammell was crucified when his teams went 10-20 in different slots. Leyland just needs to be held accountable.

Jeff September 9, 2006 at 1:47 am

Trammell got “crucified” (to use your term) because his teams went 43-119, 71-91, and 70-92 in 162-game schedules.

Miller had pitched well until tonight (the run the other day was on a weak hit to right). You can’t wear out your top pitchers and expect to win key games. That’s why Grilli was out there in a tight game in the 5th inning instead of Rodney.

Jojo SunDevil September 9, 2006 at 6:48 am

Maroth two shutout innings, was that good enough to start?

Jeff M September 9, 2006 at 9:56 am

Maroth two shutout innings, was that good enough to start?

No, he’ll need a couple more solid outings to stretch him out.

Jeff M September 9, 2006 at 10:14 am

torre could use the rookies because their lead is bigger and the red sox have been decimated by injuries. there is no way, they’re gonna catch new york.

I acknowledged that that was my weaker example. What about Guillen’s use of Logan?

i’d only use the starting five and then miner, maroth, jones, rodney and zumaya. that’s ten guys, miller should only pitch in blowouts.

That could work if you never had more than a couple straight close games.

the guy was pitching in the college world series 90 days ago!

Yeah, I think that indicates how talented he is. I don’t recall any complaints when he pitched in Yankee Stadium last week.

Trammell was crucified when his teams went 10-20 in different slots.

Yeah, and that was just as silly. Managers affect the outcome of maybe 15 game per year. The rest is up to the players. It’s not Leyland’s fault that Inge let a line drive carom off his glove. It’s not Leyland’s fault that Guillen threw a two-hopper to third. It’s not Gardenhire’s fault that his outfielders botched two routine singles. It’s certainly not Leyland’s fault that Miller, who is known for his control, couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn last night.

It’s also worth pointing out that Miner, one of your top 10, went up against the bottom of the order and he couldn’t get anyone out either.

Tim Mc. September 9, 2006 at 2:34 pm

I was looking at the 40 man roster. I am a BIG fan of Kyle Sleeth, who is on the roster. Anybody got anything new on him?

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