ALDS Game 2: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: After losing last night, tonight’s game becomes probably more “must-win” than any the Tigers have played this year.

The Tigers will send out the same lineup as last night, but with right hander Justin Verlander on the mound. Verlander faced the Yankees in June and allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks while pitching with a cut on his throwing hand. Justin will be making his first start since the Tigers clinched the wild card on September 24th. Really, it was the last happy day for the Tigers and their fans. Of course he’s a key to the Tigers success tonight so here’s hoping he’s more rested than rusty.

The Yankees will send out Mike Mussina who dominated the Tigers in May as he was an Alex Rodriguez throwing error away from a complete game shut out. Really he’s dominated the Tigers during his entire existence. The current Tigers roster has mustered exactly 2 home runs in their careers against Mussina. What makes Mussina difficult is that he doesn’t seem to fall into typicaly patters. He’s as likely to throw breaking stuff whether he’s ahead or behind in the count. The trick is to get runners on base – which is no small feat. With the bases empty Mussina’s OPS against is a meager 587 but with runners on it is 775.

Tigers Lineup

CF Granderson
2B Polanco
1B Casey
RF Ordonez
SS Guillen
C Rodriguez
LF Monroe
DH Thames
3B Inge

Yankees Lineup

CF Damon
SS Jeter
RF Abreu
1B Sheffield
DH Giambi
3B Rodriguez
LF Matsui
C Posada
2B Cano

Game Time 8:09 Game Time 1:09

I can’t think of a way that bumping the game to tomorrow will materially effect much. It may mean that Joel Zumaya won’t be used 2 innings, but that’s about it. Oh yeah, and I won’t be able to see it because I’ll be at work.

POSTGAME Of all the days to have meetings all afternoon. I managed to catch the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings on the radio. When I went into a meeting to start the 8th, one of my co-workers made a point of walking by the conference room holding up the score each half inning.

I’ll have a proper wrap up in a couple hours. Thanks for all the comments keeping this place humming this afternoon.

209 thoughts on “ALDS Game 2: Tigers at Yankees”

  1. You were talking about the late-inning substitutions the other day and you mentioned that Guillen will end up playing first when we pinch-run for Casey. What do you think about having Pudge rotate to first instead? Which scenario is best defensively? Is Wilson swinging the bat better than Omar?

  2. If he’s so good, why didn’t he start yesterday?

    He hasn’t done well over his last 10 starts. If V pitches well, we can win this one.

  3. He was messing up names for the Twins yesterday too. I am not a Joe Morgan fan, but I do think it’s tough to put so many names in your head for the playoffs is pretty tough for anyone. Still, I’d think a team’s ace should be one of the names you can remember. It’s not like he’s Joe Ledezma or something, his Jason, uhm, Justin Verlander!

  4. What’s our record with rain delays? Seems like we always, always lose when there’s a rain delay.

    Not good. Most of the rain delays were over the past few weeks.

  5. Hey guys, How would you feel about a rain out and noon game on Thursday, cut work around 12:45 and watch from your favorite lunch spot. Like base ball was in the afternoon.

    They just said they are going to try for 9:30 but also that no one was warming up??? trying to hold viewers maybe.

    Adam you seem to be pretty jack up tonight with going 4 for the last nine posts. The Sabre game is on OLN if you need a fix 😉

  6. “What’s our record with rain delays? Seems like we always, always lose when there’s a rain delay.”

    I checked out a couple Yankees forums and their fans seem to think Mussina doesn’t pitch well when something out of the ordinary occurs–like a rain delay. So maybe that balances things out.

  7. They just said they are going to try for 9:30 but also that no one was warming up???

    Yeah, no way in heck they’re starting in 10 minutes.

  8. Yeah, Kyle. If the game starts and another delay hits, it would be a huge advantage for us. I’ll definitely take our chances on a long bullpen matchup.

  9. If they start at 10 and then have another delay at 11 so that Mussina and Verlander can’t come back after 3 or 4 innings, I think it’s to our advantage. Our bullpen is deeper.

    Not sure who has the advantage if they start at 10 and then have to call the whole thing off.

  10. That rain coming at 11 looks nasty on radar. I would not want to risk losing Verlander. Especially, with Rogers planning to pitch game 3. He is terrible at Yankee stadium. I would rather play tomorrow at 1.

  11. I think it could actually make sense to send Ledezma out there at the start. You can bring Verlander in in the 4th if it’s not raining with the the hope he finishes the game. If it does rain, you bring him in after the rain. If they don’t start back up, you start him tomorrow. (Avoids possibility of Rogers pitching tomorrow–good point, Mark.)

    Probably too far out of the box by major league baseball standards.

  12. Will they still play in Detroit on Friday with no travel day? Is this the type of fluke that explains why it was said that it is much better to play the Yankees in a 5 game series.

  13. Here’s the problem I have with this rainout: It’s not raining here. This is like a Michigan snow day. They anticipate there’s going to be a ton of snow the night before, so they close the schools. But when they look outside the next morning it’s sunny and the roads are clear… Why not start the game? It wasn’t raining at 8:00p. I live 3 miles from Yankee Stadium and it has not rained anything harder than a drizzle here in the last 2.5 hours. Granted, it looked like the rain in the Bronx was a little steadier than here, but it’s not like it was piling up on the tarp or anything. Why not try to get something in?

    I think the Tigers got kinda screwed in the end. I know we haven’t played well after rain delays this year, but all logic points to the fact that if the game had stopped midway for a rain delay, Mussina wouldn’t have come back out and then would’ve gotten to the Yanks middle relief, which is their weakest link. So, the decision to not start the game at all, nevermind finishing it, seems a major advantage for them. Plus, now the Tigers lose the travel day rest, they have to spend another night in the hotel, which regardless of whether the series is 2-0 or 1-1, hurts.

    And, all that aside, I’m bitter that I won’t be able to watch the game tomorrow.

  14. Yes indeed. To use the National Commentators’ language, the “Yankees’ Game” will be tomorrow afternoon. For those of you who missed it, the “Yankees Game… against the tigers (little t intended)” will be tomorrow afternoon. This is good for both teams. Mike Mussina is 37 and the Yankees would not want to risk that he exit the game early. Such an event would cause the Yankees to have to go to their bullpen, which has been either “hot or cold”. This postponement is good for the Tigers because Justin Verlander is inexperienced and has never faced this invincible Yankees’ lineup.

    Did I mention that the Yankees have a formidible offense? Let’s go to our expert commentators and get their opinion. “To be frank, I am surpised the Tigers even bothered to fly to New York. The Yankees’ team is unbeatable. The Tigers by contrast bribed scoring committees around the country in order to fix scorecards for 94 of their 95 wins.” “Well, I would not go as far as bribed score keepers, and I will admit that, given time, the Tigers might actually develop into a somewhat respectable (not by Yankees standards but by the standards of recent Royals teams or the 2006 Cubs, for example) ball club. Probably not a play off team, but maybe in a three or four years they can aim at 500. But enough about the minor leagues, how about that invincible Yankees’ lineup? Have you ever seen such an offense?” (here follows a rally call of sorts with one commentator asking the questions in lower case letters and all the commentators saying the answers, typed in capital letters, together) “have you ever seen such a potent offense in the long history of professional sports?” “NO!” “whose going to win today?” “YANKEES!” “i couldn’t hear that! with some spirit! i said, “whose going to win today?!” “YANKEES! (this time said with more enthusiasm) “and who is going to lose!?” “……” here silence fills the studio as in their enthusiasm about the Yankees’ omnipotent line-up, the commentators seems to have forgotten that the Yankees are in fact still playing another team. No one, however, at ESPN seems to remember which team that is! ESPN executives call their friends over at FOX. Unfortunately for the predicament at ESPN, the people at FOX all had thought that the baseball play-offs were already over! “Didn’t the Yankees already win the World Series?”, they ask. After frantic calls to the research department, the commentators find out that the Yankees are, it seems, playing the Daetroyt Tiggirs, a tee-ball team. Contented, the commentators resume their discussion of the Yankees’ offense.

    The national media in general, and at this moment the national sports media in particular, makes me sick. The Tigers need to win this if for no other reason than to wipe the smug smile from all their faces. In Spring Training, the Tigers were predicted to lose. When they started winning it was a fluke. When they kept winning it was all a prelude to the inevitable collapse. When the slide came, it was viewed as prophecy fulfilled. Now that they are in the play-offs, you would think that the Tigers actually won 15 games this year on occassions when the other team simply decided not to show up.

    Knock some teeth out of those bleached smiles! Go Tigers!

  15. Brian, Nice rip at 11:00 at night. Love the passion. I agree, I live in Rochester NY and its like Yankee land around here, so I have had to hear it every day ALL day since it was decided that it was NYY vs DET. People treat us like hey thanks for showing up but theres the door. It really is a shame that the Yankeee and a few others are allowed to spend so much, yes they pay the tax but it seems that this was not the idea, that a whole other topic for adiffernt day. For now I say lets pack one right down their throughs today.


  16. Ok- I have a point to make.

    2 of the last 4 years the Yankees did not make it past the ALDS. Both times they were beaten by Anaheim. Both times, the Yankees won game 1 (once at home, once on the road).

    SO…. It can be done!


  17. Random question that occurred to me last night:

    I’ve seen an article somewhere on what the best team the Yankees’ $220 million payroll could buy is. What I’m wondering is what’s the WORST team $220 million could buy? My suspicision is that that team would still be a playoff contender.

  18. I was at the game last night.

    It was a very unusual rain delay. So let me give you my take on the home-field advantage:

    At 8:10 pm, the grounds crew began rolling out the tarp, to the absolutle puzzlement of the fans. No rain! What?

    The Yankees could have started this game. It didn’t start (drizzling) until about 8:35 pm, and then it only continued to drizzle lightly until approx. 9:30 pm. They easily could have played through the drizzle. The front blew out, and there was absolutely no rain until 11:10 pm. Again, fans were absolutely bewildered as to why there was no baseball.

    Of course, if you start a game and do have to pause for a period, when you resume, you lose Mussina. And who do the Yankees have to go to in that case? Might as well leave Yankee stadium 1-1. Conclusion: there is absolutely no way the Yankees were going to start this game if there was any risk of sitting Mussina due to rain, and allowing the Tigers to exploit their ONE advantage in this series.

    The second risk is actually getting in a few innings, and then having to cancel the game anyway, only to start Cory Lidle the next day at 1:05pm. (Again, pretty good chance Yanks leave the homestand 1-1 under those circumstances).

    All the Yankee fans I talked to were livid that their team didn’t try to get this game in. It made no sense to them (Of course, since most Yankee fans assume a “W” is a foregone conclusion, and therefore don’t even bother trying to analize or give credence to the opponent) I truly think 99% didn’t understand the huge advantage it would give the Tigers if they attempted to play the game. It made perfect sense to me why the Yankees were milking this very strange, rainless rain delay/cancelation, as a Tiger fan) Nevertheless, we should have played baseball last night. But hey, more power to ’em. They are hosting us. Wining the division and the achieving the most wins in the American league gives them that right–the ever-sought “home-field advantage” In previous threads I have not held back my opinion about the importance of securing home field advantage. We easily could be in their position if the last week of baseball played out just a little differently, but we’re not.

    Let’s hope Verlander can get it done today. (I’m using my rain check, by the way).

    Go Tigers.

  19. From Elias:

    Wednesday night’s postponement at Yankee Stadium gave us time to take a closer look at Tuesday’s opener. The starting lineup in Game 1 was unlike any other. No, it wasn’t the Yankees’ batting order, comprised entirely of former All-Stars. Teams had posted such a lineup in 15 previous postseason games. The first-of-its-kind batting order actually belonged to the Tigers. It was the first starting lineup in postseason history in which the players in the seventh, eighth and ninth spots all hit at least 25 homers during the regular season (Craig Monroe 28, Marcus Thames 26, Brandon Inge 27).

  20. Wow, cheap shot by the “sideline” reporter Bob Holtzman. The Tigers were frustrated Wednesday not because their pitcher was warming up after the Yankees were informed of the cancellation. No, they were frustrated because of losing the division on Sunday — they only had to beat the KC Royals, a AAA team for pete’s sake!! and they couldn’t do it.

    So this had nothing to do with the rain, the MLB, or the Yankees. It had to do with the Tigers choking. Nice analysis, really.

    Why do I bother. ESPN is just going to do what I expect anyway.

  21. 19 pitches thrown by Mussina in the first inning. Not too bad. If the Tigers can just keep working into these counts and not strike out when they get there.

  22. Gameday showed the second pitch to Jeter was well within the strike zone but it was called a ball. Are we getting squeezed again?

  23. Amazingly, this umpire crew sucks and blows at the same time!

    Welcome to the MLB playoffs.

    Seriously, can we please get someone behind the plate who calls it consistently for both sides? We would get stuck with McClelland and Diaz behind home plate for the two games in NY.

  24. And now the first pitch to Curtis is well out of the zone and called a strike (per gameday). Anybody watching – what is it looking like?

  25. Right now, Mussina could practically bounce one into Posada and as long as it trickled over the plate he’d get the call.

  26. We have to get something going against Mussina. Verlander will be out of the game earlier than anticipated due to number of pitches, so it would be nice to have a 2 or 3 run lead.

  27. After that bunt attempt with 2 out and a man on third by Monroe I stabbed myself in the eye with a fork.

  28. DUDE!!!

    Can someone please explain that bunt for me!

    Between that and the hit and run that didn’t go anywhere on Tuesday, we’ve given up some crucial outs.

    Justin looks fierce today.

  29. So that really was a bunt attempt? I figured they just made a mistake on gameday. Trying to squeeze with Monroe?! I really don’t get into questioning Leyland, but that is a head scratcher.

  30. Unbelievable.

    What are the odds that Granderson gets this run in? I really don’t think you can bat Inge and Granderson in consecutive spots in the lineup. Way too many Ks.

  31. I’m watching this on Gameday and there have been numerous Mussina pitches out of the strike zone that have been called strikes, and numerous Verlander pitches in the strike zone that have been called balls. Does the real thing look as ridiculous? Is the ump really this bad?

  32. Going back to the bunt, the announcers tried to play it off like Monroe was bunting on his own due to ARod playing back. Could be. Either way the execution and the decision were both bad.

    It does look like we’re getting squeezed on both sides of the dish. Not sure what we can do about that one.

  33. Is Pudge like 0-7 now? Damn!! I figured he would do well in this series as one of the few guys with playoff experience.

  34. Looks like we are not going to get the yanks’ bullpen soon enough again. That’s two innings in a row where mussina has thrown about 8 pitches.

  35. Heh, quiet crowd now. Well done Guillen.

    I’m forced to watch on Gameday as well, and these calls do not match the given strikezone. I gotta say tho, I’m not impressed with the new “improved” gameday. Its great that they’re finally showing pitch speed and easy access to previous at bats. But the pitch graphic is irritating, I don’t like not having access to the game stats, and not seeing where on the field the ball is hit to. Back to the classic version for me.

  36. Is it almost time to pull Verlander? with 95 pitches or so, and our deep bullpen, i say yes. Definately can’t go out for the seventh inning

  37. Did they just pull him in the middle of the AB? Gamecenter isn’t very clear on what just happened.

  38. Anyway. Awesome outing for Verlander…only let the Yanks tag one…for all their runs. I don’t know about Walker right now though.

  39. Verlander is over 100 pitches. I was skeptical of having him pitch this inning, but now that Posada’s on, why don’t we see Walker or Zumaya now???

  40. No, Verlander isn’t hurt. Leyland just thought that the last pitch he threw showed he didn’t “have it” anymore.

  41. Why would Leyland do that?
    In the middle of an at bat
    interesting strategy, Cano is dangerous
    give him two right handed ptiches, then finish him off left handed?

  42. Sweet DP ball…that’s a walk if Cano doesn’t swing. Let’s see if Thames can tag one now.

    Um…oh yeah. Cano is like Pudge – I don’t think either of them has a hit in the series yet.

  43. Wow, you don’t see guys getting pulled in the middle of an AB often. Strange move by Leyland (maybe Walker wasn’t ready when Cano came up to bat?) but it certainly paid off.

  44. Wild pitch last inning, passed ball this…it looks like the Yankees are the ones with the yips right now.

  45. These two suck. The way they on Sheff’s jock for routine plays at 1st??? GTFOHWTS!! Calling Justin Jason. Morgan has always been awful, and Jon Miller still has a great voice, but he’s clearly lost a step in terms of knowing what’s going on.

  46. “Clutch” Curtis!

    So much for the $19 Million Dollar Man. The New York staff is starting to look real accessible from here on in the series.

  47. If we win this game, I think we have the series. And I’m not even kidding. Good chance against Johnson tomorrow, and Wright on Saturday.

  48. Let’s get this one first. 🙂 I’ll worry about tommorrow and Saturday once my heart starts beating again.

  49. Adam, without sounding cliched. Let’s just take it a game at a time. I like our chances overall as I did when the series started. They showed a lot of fight in game 1 despite losing and this game is looking great. Let’s keep an even keel, not get too high or too low. I love this team so much!

  50. ZOOM ZOOM!! 103! Went through the heart of the line-up, like it was the Royals! (Oh Wait a minute)

  51. Good god!!!

    What a performance by Zumaya!

    Can he come out in the 9th too?

    Do you think he’ll be closing games next year?

  52. Joey, isn’t Jones signed thru next year? If so, I think Zumaya stays as set up man next year and then closer in ’08 and beyond.

  53. Re: Zumaya in the ninth.

    I don’t understand the current complex management approach to relief pitching, but since he’s not yet been through a complete cycle of the lineup , it’s hard to understand why he shouldn’t come out for the ninth.

  54. Bobber, can’t put JZ in for three innings when it’s something he hasn’t done all year. Plus, having just gone two, he might be available for one tomorrow. Plus, you gotta show some confidence in Jones as your closer.

  55. Good points, Paul.

    I also notice that Jones’ walks rate is less than a third of Zumaya’s (not that JZ’s is high). A good decision overall.

  56. Now that was the Tiger baseball we all loved an enjoyed this season! Series tied up 1-1 going into Comerica was all I could hope for.

    Ooh baby!

  57. Agreed Andrew. Regardless of what happened in game 1, a 1-1 split was very much going to be best case with this offense that NYY puts out. Then after losing game 1, it is so excellent to get out 1-1.

  58. P.S. – Hey ESPN, FOX & all other media outlets that have already engraved the Yankees name on this years series trophy – Put that Tigers Win in your pipe and smoke it!

  59. Final Analysis:

    Well – I didn’t do the inning by inning stuff as that was bad luck. Took a late extended lunch and watched the 1st 3 and last 3 innings while listening to the middle 3.

    Great game be the Kittys. They needed to prove to themselves that they could win a tight game as they were 4-19 in 1&2 run games in their last 50.

    Verlander struggled some with his command and got squeezed a few times. Everyone else in the bullpen did their job.

    Our family is going tommorrow night and the park will be rocking. Looking forward to it.


  60. Bet you ten bucks the announcers are going to try to pass that win off as a fluke somehow.

    “Well, the Tigers seemed to get lucky by being in the right places at the right times, and somehow were able to touch their bats to the ball…it won’t happne again.”

  61. Words… I can’t really find them right now. That was amazing. A win. In Yankee Stadium. I just spent the last inning on the phone as my girlfriend put her end up against the radio so I could hear the 9th. Saw innings 4-8, Verlander was electric, Zumaya unhittable, and Jones, as always, nerve wracking. Just the way I like it. I could really get used to this winning in the playoffs thing. GO TIGERS!

  62. Andrew, you’re dead on…

    That was the way this team was playing before the slide. Absolutely beatiful.

    Verlander and Zumaya showed the country what fantastic talents they are.

  63. I can’t stop shaking here at work. I wanna go nuts but it would seem a bit wierd.

    Aww screw’it . . . .

    BoooooYahhhh! Tigs win!!!!

  64. The bullpen should be the player(s) of the game the way they pitched lights out baseball. Maybe now the talking heads will realize that good/great pitching in the playoffs (especially a short series) can overcome a lineup of All-Stars.

    I am SO hyped up right now. I really shouldn’t have had that coffee after lunch.

    Hats off to Verlander who pitched his best game in a while. Believe it or not, but I the Yankees actually left more men on base than the Tigers. Huh? Go figure 😉

  65. That was beautiful. Zumaya has to be one of about 3 pitchers that could make the 2 through 5 hitters of that lineup look that harmless.

    On to game 3! (Literally for me–lucked into infield “terrace” seats when the second batch of tickets went up for sale!)

  66. Wow, what a game. My boss let me watch the 9th in the conference room. Great job by the bullpen, great job by Granderson, Guillen and Thames, and a nice starting performance by Verlander.

    We need Rogers to come up big tomorrow night. I wonder about Zumaya’s availability tommorrow. No more off days in this series, and we are going to want to ride him as much as possible.

  67. living in western canada i don’t see many Tigers games on TV but i todays made up for all the games i missed in the regular season. stuff it right down their $220 million dollar throats twice more. go boys!

  68. YEAH BABY!!!! whew that was tense. my phone has been ringing off the hook, you’d think i just got drafted or something!

  69. Brian, your post of last night was hilarious. Today we had our TV on with the sound off (listening to Dan and Jim on 1270) because the way the Fox commentators fawn on the Yankees makes me want to puke. I don’t know who I hate more–the over-priced collection of prima donna sell-outs in pinstripes, or the lapdogs kissing their butts on national TV.

    Actually, it’s no contest. The Yankees are evil and must be defeated. GO TIGERS!!!! YEAH BABY!!!!

  70. I’ve been critical od him all year so I’m going to eat tons of Curtis Granderson crow tonight. Huge game AGAIN. In my opinion the kid just erased a lot of doubt as to what kind of ball player he will be.

    Curtis Granderson > Chad Curtis

  71. I watched the entire game:

    Here’s what I thought…

    Verlander is gonna be good. Damon was guessing and turned on an inside fastball. It happens. But dang, Justin dug deep and was throwing 100mph for 5 innings. Amazing. His curveball is hitting for strikes and his change is right on (for the most part). I like it.

    Walker did what he does. A situational Lefty. I’m glad we have him.

    Zumaya is unreal. He blew away Giambi like he was pitching to T-ballers. Jeter and A-rod as well. Those are 3 VERY meaningful strike outs.
    You think Zoom-Zoom might be starting next season? I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Great small ball played by the Tigers. The 2 out bunt by Monroe was an AMAZING idea and was called by Leyland. A-Rod was playing so deep you might have called him a left fielder. The problem was the pitch tailed in on him hard. It came at his hands so fast he could only play it towards the pitcher. Craig looked pretty angry, he was miming to the dugout how it came in too hard and he had no chance. Against a normal fastball, that would have been a run. Guaranteed.
    Very clutch hitting today for the most part. We took advantage of our opportunities. Great batting by Granderson (he’s gonna be good) with runners on third. 2 RBI’s for the young man and one of the at-bat’s he used like 9 pitches.
    Pudge’s swing is looking better and better. He’ll get it together soon, i’m sure of it. He is swinging easier and flatter than he has been lately. Even the ESPN announcers, who talked about the Yankees as much as possible, noticed it.
    Guillen is stroking. We’re so lucky to have him healthy.
    And obviously, Thames looked wonderful up there. He wasn’t intimidated at all.

    Let’s hope we can rattle some runs off of the Big Unit tomorrow and Kenny can keep the Yankees semi-quiet. I wanna win this series!

  72. Taylor,

    Normally, I’d wait a day before raining on your parade, but we lost our off-day, so I have to do it now.

    Verlander was missing outside way too often today. He’s gonna have a very good career, but he deserved the trouble that he go into today.

    Zumaya definitely definitely definitely needs a plus third pitch before he can start successfully. If he doesn’t, he’ll go down in the books with Matt Anderson.

    Now that I’ve got the realism part of it out of the way, GO TIGERS! That was a HUGE win! It was a winnable game and we did it. I really like our chances going home 1-1. We’ll probably split the homestand and I’m not a big fan of our chances in Game 5, but this is several orders of magnitude better than being down 2-0.

    Huge. Huge. Huge. I’ll be at Games 3 & 4, enjoying every minute of this run. I’ll be there early to soak up some beer and you all should be too! 🙂

  73. I couldn’t find any Big League Chew, so I substituted some Bazooka in it’s place. I Popped a second piece in after Jones gave up the single to Matsui in the ninth. In my superstitious dream world, that was what got us through for the win. What a game!

  74. Jeff M — I think Zumaya can relieve right now. I think Zumaya’s no Matt Anderson. Anderson never struck out a batter an inning, let alone more than 1… Plus, Zumaya is only 21!

    As to the rest of your point, GO TIGERS!

    Today was the 193rd anniversary of the Battle of the Thames, which protected Detroit in the war of 1812. [No, I’m not stupid — the War of 1812 lasted until 1814 — 1815 if you count the Battle of New Orleans which was fought after the peace treaty was signed. Yes, it is a stupid name.] A perfect day for Marcus Thames to celebrate!

    I heard the part about the Battle on WWJ this morning — I was hoping it would create some karma.

  75. No offense Jeff, but that’s a little over the top with your assessment. I think Zumaya has already surpassed Anderson’s potential and contribution in his first season.

    He may never be a starter, but he’s also already put up one more full season with a sub 3 ERA than Anderson did. For that matter he’s put up as many sub 4 ERA seasons as Anderson did…

    And I don’t ever remember Matt Anderson being composed or in control enough to mow through an inning (let alone 2) of the hitters like the yankees sent up today. Let alone in the playoffs.

    I get your overall point though.

    Great win by the Tigers! Taking down moose is a big deal. Real good friend of mine and avid Yankees fan was very confident Mussina would get the job done. The Yankees nation sees him as their playoff ace, and they’ll be shaken to not have won this one.


  76. No offense Jeff, but that’s a little over the top with your assessment (re: Zumaya).

    I stand by my first sentence, but I should have tempered this one:

    If he doesn’t, he’ll go down in the books with Matt Anderson.

    I should have said “could go down”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m counting on Zumaya for the next couple weeks. I don’t want to see anyone other than him, Rodney, Jones, and sometimes Walker. But, we have to keep in mind that Anderson had his day in the sun too. He was on a much worse team, but we were all pretty proud of his 21 straight saves. I guess my bottom line is that a triple digit fastball is not all that it’s cracked up to be. We all know that, but it’s easy to forget. Unless he perfects his curveball (or develops two pretty good pitches), his ceiling is limited.

  77. Unless he perfects his curveball (or develops two pretty good pitches), his ceiling is limited.

    I also forgot to mention: We shouldn’t be shocked if Dombrowski manages to trade him to a team that doesn’t realize this. Zumaya’s value is high. Maybe as high as it will ever be. If our staff doesn’t think he can start, but thinks he can fetch a big league bat, it would be senseless not to pull the trigger.

  78. Tttttttttthhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeee Tigers Win!!

    Is it just me or is Joe Morgan frigin’ brutal? He can’t even get Verlander’s name right! Keeps calling him Jason! I think he’s in love with Sheffield. He makes a flip to Mussina to get an out at first and Morgan’s acting like he just made the play of the game!

    The umps is horrible! He gives Mussina the outside corner but not Verlander! It’s amazing we won this game given all the Yankee love-fest by the umps!

    I HATE the Yankees!

  79. Morgan is most definitely an idiot. After Jeter blew the bunt, the first words out of Morgan’s mouth were, “He plays to win.”

  80. Pete desevers some props for this sentence from the last thread:

    “I’d like to see Verlander-Zumaya-Jones hold the Yanks to three or four runs tonight, and hopefully we can win 5-3 or something like that.”

    Pretty prophetic–would have been spot on if Polanco hadn’t hit that ball right at A-Rod after Granderson’s triple.

  81. Kyle, thanks for noticing. I was off by one run and one pitcher (Walker). Awesome game. Can’t wait til tomorrow night!

  82. If we go with Rogers on Friday do we go Bondo Sat then what about Nate and Verlander again.

    Will Bondo have it, he has looked tired lately but so did Verlander before today. That was not just running on adrenaline for 5 plus innings, he looked fresh. There are some real decisions comming by Leyland. We have the arms and the different styles.

    Ken from Cincy, I think you were the original Little Debbie oatmeal pie guy, I had one today, way to much sugar for me but I am having another Friday since we one.

    Lets all try to settle in for the night. Long weekend series and you all need your rest. If you have cable centre ice is free so watch the Wings or the Leafs-Senators game tonight.


  83. Interesting thing about today’s game: if the great MATT STAIRS had been eligible for the playoff roster, he probably would have started today instead of Thames (as he did most games after the Tigers acquired him), and we almost certainly would have lost.

  84. LOOOOOOL at comparing Zumaya and Anderson. That’s foolish at best. I’ll leave at that because I don’t want to start a fight, but what a ridiculous assessment. I’m not ready to make Zumaya a starter by any means, but to say he could head down a Matt Anderson path is just hilarious.

  85. Hmmm. Confirmation that (1) the whole world revolves around New York and/or (2) the MLB front office is lacking in common sense: Game 4 has been scheduled for the same time slot as the MSU-UM game.

    As an MSU fan, I don’t mind missing the football game. The problem is that I have a 6:00 dinner commitment. I was sure I’d be OK–that they wouldn’t schedule the baseball game for the same time as the football game.

  86. Wow after the game I was out and about and had a bunch of strangers congratulate me on the win, and this is in Portland Oregon!

  87. I don’t think Zumaya’s going to be starting — ever. I remember reading somewhere that Zumaya used to be a starter, but that the pitching coaches in the Tigers organization noticed some problems in his mechanics. Their fear was that his mechanics would not permit him to sustain his fastball over longer periods of time without doing damage to his arm. Rather than fix the mechanics, which is a difficult process of unlearning motions that a pitcher has made thousands of times, the organization decided to use him in the bullpen. The coaches felt his arm would be just fine, mechanics unchanged, with fewer innings per outing.

    I’m not sure why people are evaluating his worth in the organization as a starting pitcher. My view of it is that he looks much like Mariano Rivera did when he broke into the league — a dominant set-up man, who eventually became the everyday closer. That’s exactly what I imagine Zumaya will be once Jones’ contract is done.

    The trade idea is interesting, but I think the Tigers would send off Tata, Walker, Rodney, and maybe even Robertson, for a big bat if we decide to ship our pitching elsewhere.

  88. Mark, I’m in your camp with JZ. I don’t see him as a starter, I love him as a setup then closer. I think he’s perfect in the K-Rod & Mariano career path as you mention. I think maybe because there is so much talk about Papelbon moving from the bullpen to the rotation that for some reason people want to do the same with Zumaya. His career is as a dominant reliever in my opinion.

  89. My how are our minds wondering, its game 2 of the ALDS and we are considering trading or Starting Zumaya, Dudes, boys, guys …..lets get a grip. That is all fodder for December 99th. Not that its not important but does ANYBODY really want to trade Zumaya for anyone except Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb. We have what practically no one else has in him;;; a young flamethrower in the pen, Lets get Illich to fork over some pizza money and get a bat with cash and keep Z.

    I agree why in the world are all the Michigan games on at once. Where I come from we call that getting boned.

  90. Steve,

    What’ya smokin’? Bonderman’s pitchin’ Saturday, of course. That’s the rotation 1) Nate 2) Justin 3) Gambler 4) Bondo

  91. That is all fodder for December 99th.

    Well said. 🙂

    does ANYBODY really want to trade Zumaya for anyone except Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb.

    Yeah, if our guys think he’s overvalued. It would need to be a very good package, but I would go for something along the lines of the Weaver trade. That was a perfectly example of trading a guy that had already peaked to a team that didn’t realize it.

    Lets get Illich to fork over some pizza money

    Heck no! He might try to raise the price of my $5 pizzas. 🙁

  92. Jeff M, you might be right about Zumaya needing a third pitch, but remember that Matt Anderson threw 100 mph straight balls. Joel’s fastball moves. That’s the biggest difference. Couple that with a curve ball that can be thrown for a strike and he’s head and shoulders above Anderson.
    And for Verlander. I thought he looked good. I believe someone already pointed out that Mussina was getting the corner and Verlander wasn’t. I thought he was hitting the strike zone… the umps didn’t. Plus he was pitching to one of the greatest lineups ever assembled. That makes it even better.

    Just my .02

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