Game 160: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: Who would have thought that a Tigers-Royals series to end the season would mean so much back in March? Who would have thought it would have meant this much back in August?

In any case, the Tigers have used up any margin for error they had accumulated in the early part of the season. The Twins have tied them and the magic number is at 3 with 3 to go.

For the Royals it will be Runelvys Hernandez who was shelled last Sunday. He’ll be opposed by Wil Ledezma who was quite good, save for a fielding error, in his last start against the Royals. The Tigers hopefully won’t need perfection from Ledezma tonight, but a solid 6 innings would be wonderful.

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Yeah, this one hurts. The Tigers blew the 5 run lead early, could have put the division away, and…yeah.

Pudge was decidedly un-clutch between the pop-up in the 9th and the double play grounder in the 11th.

The Clevlen tagging up decision was, ummm, surprising?

Taking Ledezma out after 5 effective and efficient innings when you need your whole bullpen for the next day was, ummm, curious?

I’m just pretty much speechless.

As a heads up, tomorrow’s Twins/White Sox game starts at 11:10am.

36 Comments

  1. Tim D

    September 29, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Go Curtis!

    Big Unit having epidural injections in his back. Harden back for the A’s. Not sure I wouldn’t rather see New York first.

  2. Dave from 'The ATL'

    September 29, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    With the way the Tigers have handled KC all year long, I really think we’re goint to win the division and face Oakland at home!

    Go Tiges! I’m on my way back to Atlanta for Beijing. Can’t wait for Tuesday’s opening game no matter who we play!!!!

  3. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    This team doesn’t deserve to win the division. How do we not close this game out?

  4. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Wow. Gene Lamont. That fat piece of crap makes Alex Grammas look like a freakin genius.

  5. Jeff M

    September 29, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    It was bound to happen eventually, Joey. Our bullpen is one of our biggest assets, but they’re human. I’d rather it happen now than next week.

    I agree that it was a horrible decision to run. It was a bad throw and they still got him easily. Did anyone notice if Lamont sent him or if he went on his own?

  6. Kyle J

    September 29, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    Ahhh. It’s been a while since we had a good “Tigers don’t deserve to make the playoffs” post. (Of course now it has to be “Tigers don’t deserve to win the division” since they’ve clinched the playoffs.)

    Here was a great discussion on this topic from a month ago:

    http://www.detroittigersweblog.....t-yankees/

    I’m curious who does deserve to win the division. The Twins, with their seven losses to the Royals?

  7. Chris Y.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Pathetic coaching….

  8. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    Teams that win down the stretch when they need to, deserve to win the division and deserve to make the playoffs.

    The Cards? I suppose they deserve to make the playoffs as bad as they’ve blown the past week? I don’t think so.

    The Tigers are lucky as can be to still be in first the way they’ve played since mid August. And that’s my point.

    They’ve been bad. Plain and simple. Being deserving of something means you’ve earned it. I don’t think the Tigers have earned a spot anywhere the way they’ve played down the stretch.

    Thanks for that Awesome link though Kyle! Don’t think I’ll be reading a 48 comment thread to try to glean your point!

  9. Cameron in Singapore

    September 29, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    No no no no…The Twins are doing it again. Unbelievable.

  10. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    This is painful.

    Hey, thank god for the wild card.

    The Twins are getting it done in late innings again.

  11. Steve

    September 29, 2006 at 10:34 pm

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  12. Chris Y.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    No team deserves anything. They eran it or they don’t.

    Lamont is responsible for Clevlen running and Leyland is responsible for leaving Walker in to face a glut of righties. They are the coaching staff, remember. Could Walker have pulled humself to give us a chance in the bottom of the inning?

    Let’s hope the guys regroup quickly for tomorrow, not time left to waste.

  13. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Yeah, maybe we’ll get the inverse of the usual pattern and take the final two games.

    Twins have bases loaded with two outs. Down a run. Come on JENKS!!!!

    We’ll we’re not done here yet.

  14. Kyle J

    September 29, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    The point of the link is that certain posters seem to have a tendency to turn on the team at any sign of adversity. To save you from reading the whole thread, I’ll quote the most relevant sentence (from Bilfer):

    “See, I thought it was the teams with the best records that deserve to make the playoffs . . .”

  15. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    Jenks got it done.

    Phew…

  16. Steve

    September 29, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    Twins lost

  17. billfer

    September 29, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    Twins lose

  18. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Yeah Kyle I’m a fairweather fan.

    Sweet point. You really know how to make a case.

  19. Chris Y.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    I guess I have a beef with the word deserve. The teams with the best records go to the playoffs. The one playing best in October win the playoffs.

    btw, thanks Jenks!

  20. billfer

    September 29, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Joey – do you truly think they don’t deserve it, or is this in game anguish and frustration?

  21. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    In case you missed the sarcasm…

    Appealing to an authority–in this instance the moderator/webmaster and therefore all knowing billfer–doesn’t really carry much weight.

  22. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    Billfer I truly believe they don’t deserve it.

    That sense is heightened because of frustration over the current game, but I do believe it and I’ve believed it ever since what was once a 10 game lead shriveled to less than 5–and WE STILL COULDN”T WIN BIG GAMES.

    Honestly do the Cards deserve it the way they’ve played?

  23. Chris Y.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    Joey’s a pessimist to avoid frustration (that goes for everything), but never question his devotion to the Tigers.

    Being deserving is an odd state of being. Too close for entitlement for me. I’d just rather be a winner.

    If I recall, division championships aren’t officially handed out until the season’s end. Let’s not fall apart here.

  24. Kyle J

    September 29, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    Yes, your point is much stronger:

    “Teams that win down the stretch when they need to, deserve to win the division and deserve to make the playoffs.”

    How do we petition MLB to give our playoff spot to the Angels? They’re 18-8 over the last month.

    I really don’t understand why they even play the first 120 games of the season.

  25. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    Chris, you’re right on with that assessment of my pessimism.

    At heart I’m pretty optimistic. I work through **** with an ample doses of pessimism though.

    Be that as it may, I don’t feel the Tigers haven’t EARNED their upcoming postseason appearance, based on the way they’ve played in exceedingly important games down the stretch. We’ve witnessed a pretty bad collapse here.

  26. Anne

    September 29, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    Ai-yi-yi, how in the world did we let this one get away? I admit I was also playing the “don’t deserve the post-season” card (at least in my head) but in my case it was pure frustration with this messy loss. Ugh, at least the White Sox got the job done against the Twins.

  27. Tater

    September 29, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve never been so happy to hear Hawk Harrelson’s inane “he gone!” as I was when Jenks fanne Nevin to end it.

    On our end, an absolutely horrible game to lose, and I agree with Billfer’s observations about the dubious coaching decisions. I would add: how many times have we seen that Jamie Walker just can’t do it over more than one inning? Of course there were few choices at that point . . . due to the bad decision to pull Ledezma in the first place.

    As far as “deserving” to make the playoffs is concerned, it goes without saying that’s nonsensical on a purely literal level — by definition, the teams entitled to advance to the playoffs are those with enough wins over the course of the season — but I understand it; for me, it’s not so much in-game frustration as it is a shorthand way to say that we’re clearly not playing well and haven’t been for some time, so I’m mentally preparing myself for what could be a very short postseason. Won’t stop me from enjoying every minute of it, though.

  28. Cameron in Singapore

    September 29, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Of course the Tigers deserve to be in the playoffs…They’ve won 95 games, which is a very good season.
    That doesn’t change the fact that their play lately is very disappointing and disheartening, but we can’t ignore the 76-36 start! Their tremendous start built them a huge reservoir of grace-their bad play of late does not annul their great start.
    They’ve won 95 games and thus deserve to be there.

  29. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 11:22 pm

    My feeling is that games are played vacuums. I think it’s a much different story to win games in June or July than it is when a team is the thick of a pennant race and the season is hanging in the balance. Say what you will, but certain games do have greater weight. They all count the same in the end, but obviously a win against a division rival that’s breathing down your neck in September is much bigger than a win against a cellar dweller in July.

    When you’re tied for first with only three games left? These are basically post season games. We need to win these games. And the way I view it–personally keep in mind, I’m not stating this as a fact–when you don’t win games you need to win, and instead you rely on the failure of other teams playing behind you, you didn’t earn it. You were given a nice, neat, little present. And that’s what I mean by earn or deserve.

    And for future reference, question my loyalty to the Tigers–which is most certainly what you were doing Kyle–expect to have me come at you.

  30. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    Games aren’t played in vacuums that should read.

  31. Tater

    September 29, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    >>>when you don’t win games you need to win, and instead you rely on the failure of other teams playing behind you, you didn’t earn it. You were given a nice, neat, little present. And that’s what I mean by earn or deserve.

    Joey, on this definition, I would describe the failure of teams playing behind us to win — also critical, postseason type games — as making them equally undeserving, and obviousl someone goes to the playoffs, which is why I find levels of “deserving” an unhelpful way to describe the situation. I agree with your core concept: the Tigers are playing critical games right now, and their failure to win in those situations with any regularity is a strong indicator that they will not win many critical games in October.

    (Boy do I hope someone is shoving those words down my throat in 4 weeks.)

  32. Joey C.

    September 29, 2006 at 11:40 pm

    That’s certainly a fair point Tater.

    And of course had this team not blown a 10 game lead and been playing such exhilirating baseball for the first 2/3 of the season, I wouldn’t be feeling so upset over our recent woes.

  33. Kurt

    September 30, 2006 at 1:05 am

    We’re going to look back and remember 2006 quite fondly. It’s just a bit annoying tonight.

  34. Jojo SunDevil

    September 30, 2006 at 3:20 am

    So the Tigers didnt get first overall in the American league. This is a little disappointing because the Tigers pretty much had this the entire season. I became pretty confident in the Tigers bats were coming around and they wouldl have pulled out the home advantage.

    That being said, the Tigers are in the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. The Tigers have great young pitching and outstanding players for the next 4 yrs. Also for this year, Johnson is possibly out, Harden, and the Tins gotta finsih against the Sox, so the Tigs should win thse last two, and get home in the first round.

    But the Tigers have one big regret, and that was that not getting Soriano or Abreu. I don’t kjnow which one would have helped mroe, and that really doesn’t mattter. One of them would have been tremednous in the middle of the lineup, and enough to kick us over. And the Tigs hitting, does really struggle.

    It will be an interesting postseason

  35. Andrew

    September 30, 2006 at 9:36 am

    Limping in, backing in, sliding in – the fact I enjoy is that the Tigers are IN the playoffs. I am sure everyone here that is lamenting the Tigers play of late will gladly eat their words if the Tigers do well in the playoffs.

    I expect them to do well, whether or not that means a World Series appearance/win – I don’t know. I am just looking forward to seeing the Tigers play in the playoffs for the first time since Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Seven.

    I expect some good things this week no matter who we face in the opening round.

    Oh yeah, we can also still win the division – even after all that has happened down the stretch.

    Lets Go Tigers!

  36. Kyle J

    September 30, 2006 at 9:47 am

    And make nonsensical statements and expect to have me come after you.