Game 11: Tigers at Blue Jays

PREGAME: Yesterday was pitcher’s duel extraordinaire. I’m not expecting the same today. Chad Durbin was roughed up in his last start, and the Tigers tagged a wild AJ Burnett for 6 runs chasing him in the 3rd inning. Of course Burnett rebounded with 6 2/3 3 hit innings in his next start against the Royals.

Neifi Perez is 9 for 16 lifetime against Burnett, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Carlos Guillen or Placido Polanco get the day off.

UPDATE: Polanco gets the day off, but in favor of Omar Infante who makes his first appearance on the field this year. He bats 9th and Pudge is in the 2-hole.

Game Time 1:07

POSTGAME: Some walks, some misplays, some bloops, and a broken bat got the job done for the Tigers in the end. If you’re a Blue Jay fan stopping by, I can certainly understand your frustration because that one slipped away.

BJ Ryan certainly had control problems, but at the same time there were a couple pitches to Gary Sheffield that I thought could have been (and should have been) called strikes. What appeared to be a very inconsistent strike zone manifested itself in that at-bat and changed the complexion of the inning.

After loading the bases I was thrilled to see Jim Leyland turn to Marcus Thames. After Thames swung through 2 belt high fastballs on the inner half I was just praying it wouldn’t turn into a double play. Instead a shattered bat double was the result.

For those that complain about Todd Jones, he won’t walk the bases loaded setting up rough luck situations. Granted, it wasn’t the norm for Ryan either, but when Jones gets beat it’s because the other team hit the ball.

Other stuff:

  • Jason Grilli draws a lot of ire in internet circles. It’s largely overblown for a long guy in the bullpen. Today Grilli came up big with 3 scoreless innings and gave the offense a chance to get back into the game. Without Grilli’s performance, the Tigers don’t win today.
  • Gary Sheffield seemed to coast a couple times on the base paths. Once with Ordonez’s double and the other time with the bloop hit. I understand that players can’t go all-out all the time, but not scoring either of those runs would have been huge slip-ups.
  • For a guy that was staring down the golden sombrero at one point, Craig Monroe had actually put together some impressive at-bats. His first 3 at-bats were K’s, but he saw 5, 7, and 9 pitches with full counts in the latter 2 ABs. His double off the top of the wall also came on a full count, 8 pitch plate appearance. On the day Monroe saw 33 pitches.
  • Brandon Inge had 3 more well hit balls. The average is still way down, but it’s climbing
  • Props to 2nd base umpire Jeff Kellogg who made a nice call on Brandon Inge’s stolen base. The throw was there, but the tag wasn’t applied in time. It seems obvious, but that call isn’t always made.

I probably need to comment on Chad Durbin as well. Leyland said that he’ll still start as scheduled against the White Sox on Friday, but I’d imagine he’ll really have to show something. He was simply not good today. He doesn’t have to be great, but getting to the 6th inning and giving up fewer than 4 runs would at least be keeping the team in the game. The trouble is Zach Miner has struggled in Toledo, Jordan Tata is on the DL, and Andrew Miller was roughed up in his last start. In other words there isn’t anyone knocking the door down.

Tigers 10, Blue Jays 7


  1. Adam

    April 14, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Just about ready to start watching. Excitement! However, today may be the day we lose our first series.

    Also fun to note that we’re tied for first in the American League. And that the Yankees have a losing record.

    Let’s hope Omar doesn’t look as lost as he did in Spring Training.

  2. Adam

    April 14, 2007 at 11:59 am

    And what does the headline “Tigers seek protection from veteran Durbin” on mean? Must be a joke.

  3. colin

    April 14, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    No joke my friend, no joke

  4. Bix

    April 14, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    I tune in and it’s already 3-0 and Grilli is warming in the pen? Oy.

  5. colin

    April 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Well if outings like this get Ledezma in the rotation quickly, there may be a silver lining

  6. Kurt

    April 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    It’s a 4-game series, so they can’t do anything more than “not win” the series today. Tomorrow, maybe they can lose a series.

  7. Bix

    April 14, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Man he’s a much better hitter when he doesn’t try to be a dead-pull hitter.

  8. Anne

    April 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Can’t help but pleased to see Inge get another hit (each one seems precious, doesn’t it?) AND steal 2nd AND score our first run.

    C’mon Sheff, show us what you can do.

  9. Anne

    April 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Or Maggs. I don’t care who puts us up. 🙂

  10. Anne

    April 14, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Maybe today is just Brandon’s day. WTG, Inge, we’re right back in it.

  11. charlie

    April 14, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    i think time for durbin to see some more AAA batters.

  12. Ben in Denver

    April 14, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Carlos Carlos Carlos – come on, tie this game up!

  13. Bryan

    April 14, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    smack one out

  14. Bryan

    April 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    one more inning to get back. after that its BJ Ryan

  15. Chris Y.

    April 14, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    agreed, charlie.

  16. boombotti

    April 14, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    man, this is a good game, just as close as yesterday. Reminds me of last year.

  17. Austin

    April 14, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    hey marcus!

  18. Ben in Denver

    April 14, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Whoo hoo! Way to hang in there fellas!

  19. Adam

    April 14, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    OH MY GOURD. Weirdest thing was, Thames’ first two swings were completely off. I had a feeling that if he hit it, he’d hit into a DP. And if he didn’t hit it? Well, that’s what folks round here like to call a good ol’ country K.

  20. charlie

    April 14, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    i hope jones can get it done. either way, this has been a fun game to watch. i am concerned about the 5th starter at this point. any ideas what leyland may do? even though the jays are a good hitting team, i don’t think durbin is a good major league pitcher.

  21. Erik

    April 14, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Defense wins championships.

    What a game!

  22. Ben in Denver

    April 14, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    What a win. 7-4 at this point, with a long road trip, Kenny hurt, and a handful of hitting slumps. I’ll take it. See ya tomorrow. Now, where did I put those tax forms…?

  23. Rings

    April 14, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    This is the kind of win that champions get. We took everything the Jays gave us.
    We’re lucky to be 7-4 with our offense at this point, but its good to win “ugly” as it’s way better than losing pretty.

  24. Mark

    April 14, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Just a side comment: I’ve been out of town and havn’t watched games lately; what is FSN+ on the schedule? Can i still get those games on the normal FSN Detroit?

  25. Anne

    April 14, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Wow, what a win. The antithesis of last night’s game. I definitely feel like we stole one today. And yikes, what happened to Ryan? He couldn’t find the strike zone to save his life there for a while.

  26. Eric Jackson

    April 14, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    fsn+ is channel 8 for me on Comcast. You can get the channel list here:;c_id=det

  27. Steve

    April 14, 2007 at 8:27 pm


    Just got back from the game in TO. I have been to plenty of road games but this one I would say had the highest % of Tiger fans. The crowd was decent, although we expected more at the game.

    What a game to be at. The highs and the lows were something. Inge looks like he is coming around and Monroe as billfer stated was at bat for a ton of pitches.

    If you have never been to Toronto, its a great city to go to and watch the Tigers.

    This will be a moral builder on some accounts and a reason to be concerened on another. We need a #5 starter and if that means Ledezma I would be fine with that.
    Durbin does not look like he will be that guy. I am willing to give him a couple more games understanding that we have few options at this point. On the plus side the guys never gave up and gave Thames a good shot at a clutch hit and he came through. It was not a one hp liner to right but it never the less is what we needed.

    Go Tigers


    PS this was the first time I saw Frank Thomas play. We had 4th row tix behind first and this guy is really big. I hope he gets to 500 HRs.

  28. Ed in OR

    April 14, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Regarding Durbin and possibly swtiching Ledezma into the role: I’m willing to say that Durbin might still be a bit skittish. Coming into such a great a rotation and trying to perform in a manner similar to what Rogers has been capable of doing has to be a bit unnerving, so at least one more start (probaby two) to prove he can be in that role with some success I think is in order. If he can’t pull himself together then I don’t see a reason why Ledezma can’t have a go at it. He’s been performing well thus far and he is a southpaw; that would put back the balance in the rotation at least. I think he can do it. I’ve enjoyed watching him throw this year.

  29. Walewander

    April 15, 2007 at 2:39 am


  30. T Smith

    April 15, 2007 at 7:47 am

    …The trouble is Zach Miner has struggled in Toledo, Jordan Tata is on the DL, and Andrew Miller was roughed up in his last start. In other words there isn’t anyone knocking the door down…”

    How about Ledezma?? Reading through the comments, I see others think so too. I’m sure Wil Ledezma can get us thru 6 innings without yielding too much damage. I’ll take his 1.29 E.R.A. over Durbin’s 12+ E.R.A. as a no brainer. Grant it, Ledezma has only gone 7 innings thus far, but Durbin has only gone 8.2…

    It would be nice to see Bondo and Verlander finally get some Ws for their pitching bravura.