Game 146: Rangers at Tigers

PREGAME: I apologize about the continued site slowness/unreachableness. There will be scheduled downtime at 1 am to hopefully correct all the unscheduled downtime. In the meantime here is another brief game thread.

Justin Verlander and Kevin Millwood duel tonight. These 2 met the first week of the season, and things turned out in the Tigers favor. Of course Chris Shelton was still killing the ball at that point. Leyland likes to take advantage of individual match-ups, even in small sample sizes. However Shelton’s 5 for 6 against Millwood isn’t good enough to knock Casey out of the lineup.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: The nice thing about a 2 game series is that the next game is another series opener. Like we’ve seen so often (and as was pointed out during the in game comments) the Tigers can’t put 2 wins together. No matter how dominating or heroic a win the previous night is, the Tigers either frustrate or just plain diappointment the next night.

And one of these nights the Tigers will play a home game sans rain.


  1. Pete

    September 13, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    “Shelton’s 5 for 6 against Millwood isn’t good enough to knock Casey out of the lineup.”

    Nor is Casey’s line of .224/.260/.312 in 37 games with the Tigers bad enough to knock him out of the lineup.

  2. Adam

    September 13, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    It would have been cool if Granderson had at least made some kind of effort to rob Lee of that home run…not saying he could have gotten it, but…it looked gettable.

  3. Slashpyne

    September 13, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    I guess the silver lining of the offensive plumment is that the weakness of the lineup is exposed. If the Twins and WhiteSox weren’t pressing us, management might be content to go with this lineup without major changes into next year.

    As feeble as the lineup is lately, I think everyone can see the need for significant changes offseason.

  4. Lou

    September 13, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Oh well, at least Minnesota already lost.

  5. Joey C.

    September 13, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    You know, if we do make the playoffs, at least we’ll win game 1 of the divisional series.

  6. KS

    September 13, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    Joey C, that was hillarious. I think you’re right.

  7. Andy From K-Zoo

    September 13, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    Somebody said it before, Almost every pitcher we have faced in the last 30 games looks like a genious. Everybody flies out, or weakly grounds out. We had a great bloop single by Guillen earlier tonight. Without him we would have had a L for last night. Good Grief another quick 3 and out after no out Lead off by Maggs. I cant hardly stand this anymore.

  8. Tater

    September 13, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    Unbelievable that you have to go back to August 21-22 for the last back to back wins by this team; even more unbelievable that they are still in first — for at least a couple more days.

  9. Steve

    September 13, 2006 at 9:29 pm

    Lets keep the faith bretheran, We still have a bunch more to play. While it would be nice to coast in, that appears out of the question.

    We need the bats to get going and they will. Lets hope its sooner than later. They will make the playoffs, it will just be harder on our emotions.

    Hopefully this is the last shellacking we get this year.


  10. Steve

    September 13, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    And Tater that is a scary stat, I did not realize it was that long

    ouch ………………….

  11. Kyle J

    September 13, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    Has anyone else noticed how infrequently Jamie Walker has been used of late for a guy whose ERA has been under 2.00 most of the year? Four times in the last month, he’s had four days or more between appearances–including one period of nine days. I don’t think he has an injury issue, does he?

    It seems like Leyland thinks he’s too good to use when we’re behind but not good enough to use when we’re ahead.

  12. charlie

    September 13, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    unfortunately we are headed for third place in the division and should be there right after the series with the white sox. it’s inevitable.

  13. Tater

    September 13, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Charlie, all I can say is the good news is that the Sox’ starting pitching makes them a fair bet to lose any game they play, unless Garland starts. Of course, the bad news is that their hitting makes them a threat to win any of those games . . . and the worse news is that we play them on the road and haven’t had much success against them.

    Even with Liriano being re-injured (which is really a shame), you have to say the Twins are all-around the most solid of the three teams right now. . . .scary, given that their 2nd best pitcher is a rookie named “Boof.”

  14. Joey C.

    September 13, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Tomorrow is a must win. I watch this team play and I’m not seeing any urgency. If you can’t win a series at this point in the season against a team like Texas AT HOME, you don’t deserve to go anywhere. The lightbulb needs to go on for players and manager alike. Play hard. Play solid fundamental baseball. We can lament the lack of hitting till the cows come home–and the lamentation is warranted–but how many of these games the past month could we have won with solid fielding, smart baserunning, and maximum effort. I don’t understand why this team seemed to go into games in July, hustling there tails off, as if each game were the season, and now when everything is on the line, they just look like they’re going through the motions.



  15. Adam

    September 13, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    Uh…Joey? There’s no game tomorrow.

  16. Jojo SunDevil

    September 13, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Oh Boy, we need the starting pitching. The starting pitching has to pitch well to keep us in it. We get Polanco back soon though and thats good, no more Neifi!! I repeat no more Neifi!!

    Come on Casey and Inge start hitting!! Please!! We need the playoffs! The Lions are gonna suck this year. Pistons, no more Ben, and Red Wings, do they even show up for the playoffs!! Tigers youre are last hope!! Represent D-Town!

  17. Dave

    September 13, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    Oh Lord, Carlos is back and Neifi’s STILL playing!?! And to think, I was on the Leyland bandwagon all season; now I really don’t get it!

  18. Joey C.

    September 14, 2006 at 12:25 am

    Well then I guess we already failed to win a series against the Rangers when we needed to.

    Because Adam is such a literalist, let me expand my tirade to include the upcoming series against Baltimore. Let me expand it to include all remaining series against teams that aren’t very good.

  19. Nick G

    September 14, 2006 at 1:46 am

    We miss Polanco! I don’t know how much more simply it can be put. Table setter. Clutch hitter. That’s him. We need a pesky guy in our lineup. Look at Tyner in MN. We need that guy. You stat guys can say exactly how well Placido was hitting with runners in scoring position, but last I checked when he played, it was second in the AL.

    How often does somebody get voted “Player of the Year” by a baseball team and only play about half of a season for them? That was Polanco last year.

    He’s our rock.

    Come back soon, Placido, please. Hope the rust isn’t too bad.

  20. Nick G

    September 14, 2006 at 2:21 am

    And, Billfer, your new bio photo is a huge improvement.

  21. Jason

    September 14, 2006 at 8:13 am

    On the bright side, I saw and liked the fourth inning, when Ordonez, Casey, and Inge collected opposite-field base hits. Of course, then I saw the top of the fifth – after which I turned off the tube.

  22. Kyle J

    September 14, 2006 at 10:03 am

    OK. Everyone chant with me: “The Baseball Prospectus computer can’t be wrong. The Baseball Prospectus computer can’t be wrong. . . .”


    [Technical note: The ELO-adjusted odds do account for recent performance. And these odds are a little high, but aren’t wildly out of line with current on-line betting trends.]

  23. Bobber

    September 14, 2006 at 10:09 am

    “all I can say is the good news is that the Sox’ starting pitching makes them a fair bet to lose any game they play, unless Garland starts.”

    Who knows if this means anything, but you’re behind the curve, Tater. Their starters have a cumulative ERA of 2.11 over the last two turns through the rotation (ten games).

  24. charlie

    September 14, 2006 at 11:50 am

    freddy garcia was 4 outs from a perfect game yesterday. but really it doesn’t matter as we still have the chance to control our own destiny…the problem is we don’t seem to be able to do it. at this point in time we are a lot closer to the teams that aren’t very good than to the ones who are.

    it is all mental…when we were pulling out games late in july and earlier i’m sure the hitters felt they were swinging at grapefruits and now i’m sure they are seeing golfballs. leyland seems to be affected even though he seems to remain calm as his decision making is often questionable and now even the pitching is starting to show signs of failing. there is no easy way out of it…keep working hard…hope for a few breaks that can change the mental thing…i don’t know if there is enough time. however, i have been a fan for over 40 years and i’m not going to change that…no matter the final outcome. lets go guys…beat the orioles.

  25. Tater

    September 14, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    Wow, Bobber, you’re right, I hadn’t at all realized that’s what the numbers said. Now where am I supposed to look for silver lining?

  26. Kyle J

    September 14, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    I have two tickets to Sunday’s game I can’t use. Section 333, Row 17. They’re $20 tickets (each). I’d take $10 each plus $5-$10 for FedEx costs ($25-$30 total). (I live in Lansing)

    If anyone’s interested, let me know today/tonight ( We should have time still to arrange PayPal/shipping.

    Bilfer, if you’re not comfortable with commercial transactions being handled here (legal ones, mind you), feel free to delete this. I thought I’d check if anyone could use the tickets, though, rather than have them go wasted.

  27. Bobber

    September 14, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Projecting from a combination of Aug-Sep records and strength-of-schedule going forward, I’m seeing the Tigers and Minnesota making the cut, with the Twins maybe winning edging out the Tigers for the division, and a range for both of 94-96 wins.

    Chicago is the one that’s hard to figure at this point. Even with the starters coming on at a 2.11 clip, they’re still only 5-5 over that period.