Game 143: Tigers at Twins

by billfer on September 9, 2006 · 34 comments

in 2006 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: I really have no clever set up to this game, so let’s get to it.

Nate Robertson will take the mound for the Tigers and try to fare better against Mauer and Morneau than every Tiger left hander last night did.

The Tigers will be opposed by Boof Bonser who you may know as “the third guy” that the Twins got in the Pierzyinski for Nathan/Liriano deal.

Game Time 7:10

POSTGAME: It’s the same old story. The Tigers open up a series on fire, and then muddle through some frustrating losses. Invariably one of those frustrating losses will belong to Nate Robertson who was excellent. Of course you probably know that the runs came as the result of an Omar Infante error. What I still don’t understand is how Michael Cuddyer was able to run 270 feet in the time it took Ordonez to get the ball and throw home.

The Tigers had opportunities early, which was a pleasant change, but weren’t able to cash in. And then the offense was completely shut down for the 2nd half of the game.

And as for the umpiring, that blown call at 2nd base where Infante flipped to Guillen, Guillen caught the ball, took a step and touched 2nd base, and then went to transfer the ball to his throwing hand, was as bad a call as you will see.

 
 

{ 34 comments }

Jeff M September 9, 2006 at 7:36 pm

Aye, Omar…. Neifi would have turned a triple-play on that one.

Adam September 9, 2006 at 8:15 pm

Neifi? Ha.

T Smith September 9, 2006 at 8:53 pm

I’m officially off Sean Casey. After that swing, let’s put Shelton in. I don’t care if it’s a lefty or righty. That at bat was pathetic.

MIKE September 9, 2006 at 9:02 pm

a 2.71 era in september and we still cannot win games

Eric Jackson September 9, 2006 at 9:36 pm

This is just bad. You cannot ask much more from your pitching to respond with only 1 run.

They had opportunities early and failed. These losses, i think, are hurting the most.

Adam September 9, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Welcome to the Suck.

Pete September 9, 2006 at 9:54 pm

T Smith, welcome to the Chris Shelton bandwagon. Even during his three-month slump, he was better than Casey is now.

Robertson was great tonight. Our pitchers deserve better. I think Bondo will rise to the occasion tomorrow. He’s due for a good outing. I hope our offense can scratch out a couple runs against Santana.

charlie September 9, 2006 at 10:11 pm

in my humble opinion…if nate robertson pitched for a team that gave him ANY run support he would be at/approaching 20 wins already and would also be a cy young candidate. i don’t know when his contract is up but if i were nate i would not re-sign with the tigers until they sign some FA bats…or trade some arms.

it’s been a fun year and a tough last month but this team is not playoff capable right now…they need at least a lights out DH, a strong hitting 1B (not named shelton or casey) and an outfielder…minimum. if they want to win, thats the price…prolly $15M at least.

Bob S. September 9, 2006 at 10:30 pm

The Tigers should have a few dollars to spend this off-season after a summer of capacity crowds.Among potential free agents I’m aware of are David Ortiz,Derrek Lee,and Alfonso Soriano.Personally,I lean toward Lee.

T Smith September 9, 2006 at 10:34 pm

I’ve recently read a piece called “The Curse of Sean Casey” …couldn’t tell you where, somewhere on the net…quite compelling. I don’t usually play the scape goat card, but this is definately not the same team I enjoyed all year long…I mark the change right after that fantastic Palanco catch in Fenway.

Do you think Roberston might get a “W” if he threw a no-hitter? Just maybe? This guy could easily have 17 wins. Pete, I’m with you–and the many others who have been saying it all along. Let’s put Shelton back in. That imfamous at bat Shelton had with the A’s that supposedly “sent him down to AAA” was nothing compared to the at bat I saw from Casey tonight. Swinging at a pitch that hit two feet in front of the plate? Whoa! Maybe we should sent Casey down to Erie after that at bat and open up the roster.

We had our shots tonight. No clutch hits. I think this looking over our sholder thing is really getting into the heads of the Tigers. It just looks like the whole team is “spooked” right now. Hope Bondo can focus and put up 7 shut out innings. Cuz that’s probably what we’ll need. His last outing at the Metrodome was phenominal — he really had a no-hitter going into that Twilight-zone seventh (if you discount the bad throw out call at first)…

Cameron in Singapore September 9, 2006 at 10:38 pm

This is terrible. Free Chris Shelton.

Cameron in Singapore September 9, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Hey wait…why are we all so down? The Detroit Shock just won their second WNBA title! Let the party begin in Motown!…right?

T Smith September 9, 2006 at 10:44 pm

Bob S… agree 100%. Pick up a free agent–I like Soriano–and deal a couple of our pitchers for some more bats. I’m hoping the taste of success has put Ilitch into a spending mood. It must be nice to see Comeria nearly full every outing. We also have great leverage right now. We are so pitcher-rich, we’re holding the cards to get some great talent, if DD can make the right moves. We have the deck stacked to have a powerhouse lineup and still maintain the best pitching in baseball. I hate to start talking about 2007 already, but really, the boys have been so painful to watch lately…I find myself drifting into next season already, preparing myself

Andy in NY September 9, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Neither Ortiz nor D. Lee are free agents, they both re-upped sometime before this past season. Soriano is THE marquee free agent hitter available. Carlos Lee is out there too. Not a lot beyond that.

Anyone want to put the reverse jinx on Santana for tomorrow? The guy is like unhittable, hasn’t lost since the All Star break, hasn’t lost at home all year, there’s NO way we can win, especially with the way Bonderman has been slumping. Santana cannot be beat. Repeat, cannot be beat.

Bob S. September 9, 2006 at 11:07 pm

Don’t feel guilty-it’s never too soon to think about getting better.Bonderman,Verlander,Zumaya,and Miller are probably untouchable-unless they get Albert Pujols straight up for one of them.Robertson is a tough call.He’s been so consistent it’s my feeling he’s matured as a pitcher and is ready to be a 12-15 wins a year guy with halfway decent support from his hitters(which has been criminally absent this year).It’s hard for me to figure the value of the other pitchers(god,that sounded like Joe Morgan).

Anthony September 9, 2006 at 11:19 pm

They have to improve the OBP of the team, and I think they have to take a long look at moving Inge to a utility guy, getting a decent hitting 3rd baseman, and getting at least one corner outfielder. Mags should DH.

Lets be completely honest, the ‘best team in baseball’ for most of the season is counting on Monroe and Thames, two near career minor leaguers, for the bulk of their power down the stretch. There’s something terribly wrong with that.

I love DD, he has a terrific track record, and has positioned the Tigers to do great things in the years to come. With a 10 game lead at the trade deadline you have to make yourself a viable world series candidate and they did not do that. They seem to think they will be back again soon and its OK not to make a serious run. I totally disagreed with that at the time and still do. Who knows how the pitching will be next year? Look at Cleveland’s season and one can tell that nothing is a sure thing.

They should have had the foresight to see the next couple years in the AL Central being a total dogfight, and not assume that there will be guaranteed staying power for anyone. Couple that with the fact that there are really no truly great teams in the MLB this season and they should have made a serious run at some bats to make them WS favorites. This season might be looked upon in 3 or 4 years as a terrible missed opportunity the same way the Darko pick and subsequent trade is looked upon for the Pistons.

Eric Jackson September 9, 2006 at 11:31 pm

Bob S., I agree that they will spend, but also don’t overlook some big trades that will be available due to Detroit’s pitching. They will likely give up some big names in search of some offense.

Jeff M September 9, 2006 at 11:35 pm

hey seem to think they will be back again soon and its OK not to make a serious run. I totally disagreed with that at the time and still do.

What move would you have made? The price for Soriano was outrageous. In hindsight, it would have been good to have the extra infield depth, but at the time, we were already strong in all of the positions he might play. Even still, his offensive contributions wouldn’t have been enough to avoid this slump.

KS September 9, 2006 at 11:52 pm

If there’s any justice this team will miss the playoffs. They are clearly not one of the 4 best teams in the American League. This will be one of the biggest collapses in the history of baseball. To go from having by far the best record in baseball, to being passed by not 1, not 2, but 3 teams in there own league before all is said and done. Sad really. Wish I hadn’t gotten sucked in and they’d gone 82-80 and been out of it since July. I’d have been “happy” with that kind of year. But I’m not with how this has transpired.

Nate A September 10, 2006 at 12:05 am

Well, maybe DY’s middle name wasn’t “Jonah” afterall. I know this has been the time of year when everyone gets worn down, but poor Robertson was lucky to get the run he did. He’s pitched so many good 1-2 run games that he comes out a loser in. I dunno what the deal is, but it’s once again getting difficult to follow the games. Here’s hoping the bats are strong enough tomorrow to at least give us a fighting chance.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that Jim Price should not be allowed to do the play-by-play anymore. Prolly took me longer than it should have to figure it out, but WOW is he dull. He’s decent at the color commentary and needs to stick with that. I know it’s tradition and all that the Tiger broadcasters switch in the middle innings, but it needs to change.

Jim September 10, 2006 at 12:06 am

Why is nobody blaming Don Slaught for this hitting problem? I am CONSTANTLY watching our batters swing at pitches out of the strike zone and take the ones right down the middle. It blows my mind that they can be so consistently WRONG with their guesses. I mean, it’s 50/50 right? Why don’t they guess right 50% of the time? I thought good hitting was based on “see the ball; hit the ball” but it seems NOBODY sees the ball. They would be better off to flip a coin in the batters box with every pitch to decide if they should swing or not. At least that way they would get it right HALF the time. As of now it looks like they get it right about 10% of the time.

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But here’s another thing about tonights game that I’m surprised nobody brought up…the umpires. Late in the game they got 2 very bad calls against them. That catch/error by Guillen was clearly an out, then a transfer error. That umpire should send an apology to Guillen for that one, but then in the top of the next inning Casey was called out looking on a pitch at the armpits. That hasn’t been a strike since the late 60s. You may argue that those calls didn’t cost us the game, but I’ve played and been on the spitty end of bad calls and I can tell you that I don’t perform well when it seems the ump is against you. I’m used to it in hockey, but baseball has the best officiating of any sport and it’s a shame we have the umps going against us during this rough streak.

==========

We all know that something other than batting .170 for 3 weeks is what got D.Y. booted…we just don’t know what yet. Maybe something did happen Thursday; maybe DD and JL had a deadline to evaluate his production and that was it; maybe other players were complaining about his attitude…whatever. What really surprises me is letting Chris Spurling go. He had pretty good number for several years now. Just from a numbers standpoint it doesn’t make sense. Again, there must be some PERSONAL reason he was let go. It sure wasn’t performance, the guy only pitched 11 innings in the bigs, but he had an ERA in the low 3s. At Toledo his ERA was 2.05 with a 1.08 WHIP. Normally those numbers get you promoted, so what gives? He must be a jerk. Which brings me to Soriano. When all-star players keep jumping teams it makes me thing they have some personal problem. BOBBY Bonds comes to mind. I’ll pass on him. However, the Nationals do have something I want…

==========

Nick Johnson. He’s one of those rare .300/.400/.500 guys. Why is it the Tigers have trouble finding a good firstbaseman? I really thought Shelton would be it, but he was the first to start his clueless guessing at the plate this year. The last time we had a firstbaseman actually have a GOOD year was Tony Clark in ’99. And for the record he had 3 good years in a row. I would only count Cecil with 3 good years, and they weren’t in a row (3 out of 4). Before that you have to go back to Hank Greenberg to find 3 good years in a row. Darrell Evans never hit above .250, Jason Thompson only had 2 good years, Norm Cash only had 2 years where he combined average with power, and they were 10 years apart. You would think 1B would be an easy spot to fill, but it looks like we’re closer to getting a SS and moving Carlos to first.

==========

Let’s not forget though, that it’s September 10th (not June 10th), and the Tigers are 3 games ahead in first place.

Pete September 10, 2006 at 12:06 am

How about no move at all?

Casey: 122 AB, .230/.266/.320

N. Perez: 40 AB, .150/.209/.150

In Dombrowski’s defense, the Casey acquisition seemed like a good idea at the time…

Pete September 10, 2006 at 12:11 am

My last comment was in response to whoever asked, “what move would you have made?”

One other observation from today’s game, which I actually got to watch for once: I hate to knock a guy who has contributed a lot this year, but have you ever seen a player with less command of the strike zone than Curtis Granderson? It’s like he decides before the at bat, “OK, I’m swinging at the first, third, and fifth pitches and taking the second and fourth, regardless of where any of those pitches are actually thrown.”

Jim September 10, 2006 at 12:24 am

Nate A: When Jim Price started doing radio he was TERRIBLE. Now I think he is a pretty decent color guy, but I agree about his play-by-play…he’s not quite there yet. In his defense though, it seems Dan (the other DD) Dickerson is out of the booth when Jim is at his worst. Maybe he’s more of a PARTY kinda guy. But hey, we’ll never have another Paul & Ernie…and compared to Rath & Rizbun (or whoever those jokers were), I’ve kinda grown to like Jim.

wired September 10, 2006 at 12:27 am

by this time next week the tiggers will be in 3rd

ILTigersFan September 10, 2006 at 1:54 am

Dombrowski let the team down big time and failed to do the right trade before the deadline…this team needed a disciplined hitter who can produce a lot of RBIs and we didn’t get one.

Charly Streetgang September 10, 2006 at 8:41 am

Some defense of Casey: 1. He hustles his ass off. (I know there was that one play when he didn’t run). 2. Money-ball analysis; Casey has been getting robbed on a ton of nice swings. Line shots foul by an inch. Seeds right at someone. Finding a player to blame is impossible. I’ve been guilty of this myself with my rants against Maggs. We are simply a terribly hitting team that overachieved for awhile. A poster here had it right. We are relying on career minor leaguers for the most part. Last night, I threw a major temper tantrum. Walked around the house dropping f-bombs and angered the wife. Then, after about three beers, it all came clear. Baseball enlightenment. I’m going to sit back, stay positive, and enjoy one of the most startling baseball stories of all time: the 06 Tigers. They still may sneak in. I don’t care if they do back in the play-offs. I still can’t imagine watching the Tigers in the post season. This post was long and pointless…just sorting my own thoughts out. Sorry.

Jojo SunDevil September 10, 2006 at 8:42 am

Hey yo!! The season aint over yet. This team can pull it out yet. The pitching has been aswesome, it still is. They just need some hitting. THe hitting has to step it up. Magglio and Shelton specifically, if those guys start hitting we can win this thing. This isn’t difficult, stay patient at the plate, and Mags be more aggressive. The pitching has been there.

This season aint done yet!!!!!

Bob S. September 10, 2006 at 8:42 am

Sorry to hear that Ortiz and D.Lee are off the market.I seem to recall that Nick Johnson was also hitting the FA market this off-season.Not a bad choice-left handed hitting first baseman entering his prime.I haven’t heard or read anything about Soriano being a d***-he just always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.The only time I didn’t mind Ernie Harwell sharing the mike was when he worked with George Kell.Otherwise,him sitting out the middle three innings was like having Frank Sinatra sing back-up for me.

Sam September 10, 2006 at 9:22 am

Guys,

1st off the Guillen call was correct!

He never had control of the ball. If you watch the ball comes out of his glove BEFORE the xfer. I hate to admit it, because I was screaming at the TV, but upon reviewing it further, the ump made the right call.

2nd Don’t give up yet:

The pitching has been very good. Pitching wins in October. Our offense is not as bad as they have been playing the last 2 weeks. We need to wake up the sticks and then we will be fine.

-Sam

Jim September 10, 2006 at 9:54 am

Two weeks? They have had crap for hitting for more like a month. What we are seeing is a pretty good team playing very bad ball. About once every third game they wake up and pound the other team. Then they settle back into sleep for two or so more. Specifically, I’m talking about the bats. I am at once encouraged by the fact that they HAVE been getting more hits of late, and equally discouiraged that they can’t string them together to score runs. It’s so ’05. Poor Nate, he should leave the team, he deserves better.

Coach Jim September 10, 2006 at 11:46 am

Hey, another Jim…what gives? From now on I’m going to be COACH JIM. Note: I’m the Jim that posted that 5 paragraph monster seperated by ==========

Jeff M September 10, 2006 at 11:59 am

What I still don’t understand is how Michael Cuddyer was able to run 270 feet in the time it took Ordonez to get the ball and throw home.

That one’s easy: Maggs didn’t budge an inch until he saw the ball go by Omar. I know it’s different in the bigs, but I’ve played a lot of rightfield and I always have a play on that runner at third simply because I don’t assume that the infielder will make the play.

Then, after about three beers, it all came clear. Baseball enlightenment. I’m going to sit back, stay positive, and enjoy one of the most startling baseball stories of all time: the 06 Tigers.

Amen, brother!

Dombrowski let the team down big time and failed to do the right trade before the deadline…this team needed a disciplined hitter who can produce a lot of RBIs and we didn’t get one.

Who? At what price?

Billfer, can you set your spam filter to screen out any vague posts about the deadline? j/k :)

1st off the Guillen call was correct!

He never had control of the ball. If you watch the ball comes out of his glove BEFORE the xfer.

I disagree. It appeared that the ball was firmly in his glove when he turned around an slammed his foot on the base. Then it looked like he tried to flick the ball to his hand and missed.

How about no move at all?

Casey: 122 AB, .230/.266/.320

N. Perez: 40 AB, .150/.209/.150

They were both relatively inexpensive moves that added depth. You can debate the amount of playing time they’ve received, but the moves themselves weren’t bad.

You may argue that those calls didn’t cost us the game, but I’ve played and been on the spitty end of bad calls and I can tell you that I don’t perform well when it seems the ump is against you.

That’s a perception problem that I hope major leaguers are able to overcome. The umpiring was bad, but that’s just how life is. It’ll all balance out in the end.

If there’s any justice this team will miss the playoffs. They are clearly not one of the 4 best teams in the American League. This will be one of the biggest collapses in the history of baseball.

Wow. It must be hard going through life as such a pessimist. As bad as they’ve struggled, they still have the best record in the AL and the best ERA in the majors (quite a feat for an AL team). Maroth and Guillen are back. Polanco should be back soon. It’s very conceivable that this team could rattle off 10 straight and put this thing away. Will it happen? I have no idea, but you can be sure I’ll be at just about every home game between now and November.

Jim L September 10, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Yikes, I hadn’t paid attention that someone else was going by “Jim”. Sorry about that. I’ll go by Jim L from now on, not that I will likely post too much. I’m more of the lurker type.

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