Game 152: Tigers at White Sox

PREGAME: Tonight is one of those games that is much bigger if the Tigers win than it is if they lose. After tonight there will be 10 games left and the Tigers will have either a 4 or 6 game lead over the White Sox. Both put the team in line for the playoffs, but the 6 game lead would probably be enough to assure the postseason practically speaking. Now of course there is that other matter of the division title of which the Tigers hold a precarious 1/2 game lead.

Tonight it will be Jeremy Bonderman taking on Jon Garland. The last time the Tigers faced Garland they were shut out. The time before that they were held to one run. And the time before that they shelled him. And the time before that they shelled him. Now Garland is throwing much better now than he did early in the season, so the Tigers will have their work cut out.

Jeremy Bonderman will try to minimize the extent of that work. He bounced back in his last start on Friday night after struggling in his previous 5. His last start against the White Sox was a 4 hit 7 run effort. On another Bonderman note, he is on pace to set the Tigers season record for strikeouts per 9 innings. He’s current at 8.83 which narrowly eclipses Mickey Lolich’s 8.68 mark from the 1969 season.

Game Time 8:05

POSTGAME: When Tiger killer Joe Crede grounds into 3 double plays, I think you know something is going Detroit’s way. Bonderman turned in his 2nd strong performance in a row and hopefully he’s shaken off that late August slump. The bullpen once again didn’t give the opposition much of a chance. And the offense had another solid game.

Number 8 hitter Marcus Thames, number 9 hitter Brandon Inge, and leadoff man Curtis Granderson went a combined 7 for 12 which will help get some runs.

Magglio Ordonez had another fine game with a solo homer to straight away centerfield and a fine diving catch.

Finally, Omar Infante who’s defense isn’t good enough to keep him in the lineup each day made 2 great defensive plays. He made one ranging to his right that save a run, and another play ranging far to his left to take a hit away.

Today didn’t insure a playoff spot, but it certainly made it pretty darn likely.

32 Comments

  1. Adam

    September 20, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    I think if we’re patient, the hits will come. A lot of the reason these pitchers are doing so well is because the hitters believe they’re good pitchers…so they try to rush things. And make the pitchers look even better.

  2. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 20, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    Nice…runs….gotta love them…

  3. Steve

    September 20, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Better start tonight, it may be the mental break we need for Bondo to throw 7 or 8 good innings.

    Lets see

  4. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 20, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Boston is up on Minnesota…lets hope they hang on…

  5. Steve

    September 20, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet a clutch double

  6. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 20, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    Dang, spoke too soon…I am soooooo glad the Twins aren’t on our schedule anymore…

  7. Steve

    September 20, 2006 at 9:33 pm

    Twinkies just scored three to go up 4-2. Bummer

  8. PHT in HK

    September 20, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    At least the Tigers are scoring by getting lots of hits, not just a few home runs.

  9. Cameron in Singapore

    September 20, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Gotta get Konerko here…things just aren’t coming easy any more.

  10. Adam

    September 20, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Go Maggs…straight away center HR too…that’s hard to do.

  11. Steve

    September 20, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Maggs? a HR and a sweet catch

  12. Mark in SF

    September 20, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    Maggs! With the glove!

  13. Adam

    September 20, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    Here we go…seems like the Tigs’ are back on track – that’s TWO series wins in a row, after so, so, so many in a row that we’ve lost.

  14. Kyle J

    September 20, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    I think it’s officially safe to say: HELLO PLAYOFFS!

    Now be honest. Raise your hand if you posted anything like “Goodbye playoffs” a couple weeks ago.

    You gotta have faith!

  15. Andy in NY

    September 20, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    Good all-around win tonight. Lots to be excited about. We strung some hits together to get the first 4 runs w/o the HR. We actually padded a lead in the late innings. We played some GOOD defense, with Inge, Infante and Maggs all making sparkling plays. Bonderman looked ok, and he got the big outs himself to stem the rally at the end of the 6th. And, Zumaya looked great in his 2 innings of work.

    It’s pretty satisfying to put the final nail in the coffin in the White Sox season after they’ve had their way with us a lot this year. No Ozzie Speak in October this year.

  16. T Smith

    September 20, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    Kudos to Leyland tonight. I’ve done my share of questioning him, but I also give credit where credit is due.

    1. Starting Infante/Thames. Great defensive plays by Infante, probably saved a run and maybe killed momentum for Sox. (I don’t even want to travel to that parallel universe where Neifi is playing tonight instead of Omar to see how things turn out) Good offensive effort by Thames, starting the big rally.
    2. Agressive Hit and Run call…it worked tonight.
    3. Small ball. It’s playoff time, folks.
    4. Zumaya for two, begining in the sixth. He’s spent for tommorow, but we needed this game, tonight.
    5. Started warming up Maroth on Jones after one walk in the ninth… Whoa! When was the last time we saw that? I feel a little safer keeping Jones on a short leash

    Great win, great series…It’s nice to see Inge and Granderson contributing. And Mags! He’s on his game now. (Unlike others here, I have always had faith Mags would come around offensively; however, I also have criticized him for lack of effort defensively… but after that diving catch, I officially rescind any statements made to that effect. It made me nervous seeing him go for the catch. I honestly thought he had no chance of getting it and that the ball would likely be rolling to the fence (probably a leadoff triple if he misses it).

    On that note, we may need to take 101 wins to win the division!!! (In theory the Twins could still tie, even if we win every game) Will somebody PLEASE beat the Twins!

  17. Adam

    September 20, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    “Goodbye playoffs” – Verbatim what I posted about a week and a half ago. Boy, am I glad I was wrong. (But really, we can thank the ChiSox for sucking as of late.)

  18. Lee Panas

    September 20, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    Rod Allen after the final out: “He Gone”.

  19. T Smith

    September 20, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    Yeah, I was wondering what that Rod Allen, “hegone” was all about. Just tongue-in-cheek ribbing Hawk–I gather.

    I can’t believe I’m thinking this, but I actually kinda want to see the Sox rally a little bit hear toward the end, so that final series with the Twinkies actually means something (of course I won’t really start wanting the Sox to win till we officially clinch a spot–it seems virtually impossible not to clinch now, though); it would be nice to see the two of them beat each other up the last three games to our advantage with taking the division

  20. Kurt

    September 21, 2006 at 12:03 am

    I’d like to see the Sox rally enough to keep the Twins off our tail, assuming we take care of our own business from here out.

  21. Cameron in Singapore

    September 21, 2006 at 12:37 am

    Yes…we’re gonna be in the playoffs.
    I agree that now we want to start seeing the White Sox win some games, so that hopefully they’re within 3 of the Twins going into their final series so they’ll both be playing for something.

  22. Anne

    September 21, 2006 at 12:47 am

    Good-bye playoffs–I never posted it, but I confess I was thinking it for a while. Still, the Tigers’ mantra this season has been “nine hard innings” so I guess we owe it to them to not lose faith now. I just wish it wasn’t quite this exciting.

  23. Ryan S

    September 21, 2006 at 8:47 am

    Great gut check moment in the game for Bondo. After the homer to Iguchi and the single by Dye he looked reeeeeaaaallly rattled. You started to sense an impending meltdown with the tying run at the plate in the form of Jim Thome (with Konerko on deck). Pudge went out to the mound and really gave him what looked like a serious pep talk. He comes back and strikes out Thome and gets Konerko to ground out. That’s got to be huge for his confidence.

    With Bonderman, I keep thinking back to the twilight zone game/inning against the Twins at the end of July. He had out pitched Santana, then saw it all slip away in an instant. That game was the start of his skid. Tonight, you saw a little panic in his eye after the Dye single – a little “here we go again.” But he battled through and got the job done. Let’s hope this puts him back on the right track for the end of the year and the imminent post-season.

  24. Andrew

    September 21, 2006 at 8:54 am

    I am glad for all of this excitement. The Tigers have been dormant in September for far too long.

    Two series wins in a row and the boys are playing some solid baseball. No backing into the playoffs here. It looks like we will be heading in playing some good baseball in the playoffs where anything is possible.

    Man! Isn’t this great?

  25. Dave T.

    September 21, 2006 at 8:58 am

    During the tiger’s torid start earlier it seemed the bottom of the order was always driving in runs, and making other teams pay…glad to see we got a little bit of that back!

  26. Bob S.

    September 21, 2006 at 9:33 am

    RyanS,I agree with you about that horror show in the Metrodome and it’s effect on Bonderman.
    “number 9 hitter Brandon Inge.” Is there a more productive number 9 hitter in baseball? I think one of the secrets of the Tiger’s success is that,despite their lack of star power in the middle of the order,the bottom of the order has 20+ home run guys like Thames and Inge.

  27. Coach Jim

    September 21, 2006 at 10:09 am

    I think the Bonderman 8th inning Ryan S talked about is the most famous inning the Tigers have had this year. Is that when the slide started? The thing I remember most about that inning was that Bondo was making good pitches, getting easy ground balls. There were a couple fielding miscues and 4 infield turf hits in a row. They were all easy ground balls, but in the “gaps” of the infield…and even then, on long grass like beloved Tiger Stadium they still would have been outs. Bondo wasn’t bummed out that inning because he was pitching bad; he wasn’t bummed out because he was getting hit; he was bummed out because a joke of an infield ROBBED him of a good pitching performance.

    What ever happened to contraction? Weren’t the Twins and Expos supposed to fold a few years ago?

  28. Chris Y.

    September 21, 2006 at 10:50 am

    Bondo’s work to get out of that jam was great to see. He has that tendency for the big inning and he stemmed it tonight. Maybe he should clean his cleats everytime things look rough.

    CoachJim, don’t be too rough on the Twins — you can’t compare them to the Expos. They are a solid organization with low payroll that gets by on good scouting and solid management. Most teams would still be jinxed by losing a guy like Ortiz. Now, it doesn’t make it any easier to lose to a team loaded with scrappy (that’s saying it nicely) guys like Nick Punto, but every small market team should take a page out of the Twins book. I’d rather line up against the Twinkies any day over a club that goes by the name Yankees, Bo Sox, or Mets.

    They deserve a new stadium. That team is rotting in the Metrodome.

  29. Kyle J

    September 21, 2006 at 11:00 am

    I agree they deserve a new stadium–they deserve to lose the 10 extra wins the Metrodome gives them every year!

  30. Brad

    September 21, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    I was at the game last night. I have to think that the reason Rod Allen probably said that on the broadcast is because those exact words were used over the stadium intercom when the Tigers 3rd out was recorded at the top of the 9th. It seemed really odd because there were minimal announcements prior to that.

    Side note The Tigers need to alter the dimensions of Comerica to be more like “US Cellular”, the run production would go way up (400′ dead center as opposed to 420′) Of course that would mean getting rid of Todd Jones, as all those warning track fly outs would then be HRs.

  31. Chris Y.

    September 21, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    Kyle J – agreed!

  32. Joey the K

    September 21, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    I’m sorry I missed Rod doing “He Gone!” altho I know I was saying it watching the game on ESPN too!

    The announcers were really going on and on about how that pretty much ends the white sox hopes and chances, it was great.