Game 22: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers return home from their 2 city, 3 game road trip to take on the Twins. The Tigers found some offense on the road while the Twins went into a funk. Over the last 5 games Minnesota has only managed 12 runs.

It is a battle of sub 3.00 ERAs tonight on the mound with Nate Robertson taking on Ramon Ortiz.

Ortiz has allowed only 8 extra base hits this season. He’s also only given up 2 walks in 29 innings. Combined with a low K-rate of 3.72/9IP means that there are lots of balls in play, and some pretty quick at-bats.

And here is your interesting stat for the night:
Placido Polanco has only swung and missed 3 times this season That’s right, 3 times. Out of the 139 times he’s taken a hack, he’s missed the ball only 3 times. His last whiff was April 11th against the Orioles meaning he is riding a “contact streak” of 88 swings.

Game Time 7:05

: It’s a frustrating feeling when no lead feels safe. The starters do their job, only to have the pen undo it. Jim Leyland is sending out his best guys, but no matter who he turns to, the job isn’t getting done.

I put less of the emphasis on the game winning hit. Zumaya followed up the strikeout of Hunter by getting 2 quick ones on Joe Mauer. He then forced a jam shot to center, which is just unfortunate. The bigger problem was the doubles off the wall. Those were the products of 98mph fastball left up. We saw in Chicago that Zumaya couldn’t get the ball down and didn’t have the same velocity. It could be mechanics, it could be injury, but something ain’t right.

Bobby Seay did turn in a nice performance.

By and large the offense did okay. They didn’t strike out, they worked some walks, made the Twins throw some pitches. But Brandon Inge continued to struggle, and as several have mentioned, enough with the check swing K’s. Inge did make an outstanding play on a pop-up early in the game.

92 thoughts on “Game 22: Twins at Tigers”

  1. That is truly amazing. I was going to say we should call him “Mini-Ichiro”, but I think that must surpass even what Ichiro is capable of.

  2. Pudge will be sitting tonight. He has a bruised foot from a foul ball against the CWS. I like Robertson tonight and the Tigers continuing to get better offensively against Ortiz.

  3. Yeah…that is amazing about Polly. I got guys on my softball team who have missed more in the last 4 games.

  4. Because Monroe, Rabelo and Inge are batting 7th, 8th and 9th. Count this half-inning as a 1-2-3…

    It’s like playing with two different teams.

  5. Working the magic tonight:
    -Hasn’t allowed many XBH – 2 so far
    -Only walked 2 all year – 3 so far
    -Quick AB’s, 13 pitches per inning – 70 pitches through 3

  6. c-Mo dpubled as I typed that – my jinx worked!

    I’m more worried about the pen than the run support.

  7. I’d really prefer to see Monroe wait for the ball to clear the fence before he begins the trot.

  8. I’m mystified at the lack of production from Rabelo. He’s now had 13 major league at-bats without a hit. Honestly, he doesn’t look very comfortable at the plate. He’s a .274 hitter in the minors with 350 AB. I wouldn’t expect him to be hitting the lights out, but one hit by now would have been nice.

    Maybe when he gets that first hit he’ll settle down. Go Tigers!

  9. I’m aware that nobody on God’s earth is interested in someone else’s fantasy baseball world, and I will refrain from every posting about it again. However, I want the world to know that in a keep ‘um league (10 players) I traded Boston SS Lugo for Granderson and a first round and second round draft pick.

  10. Placido’s 2B made me think. Occasionally pitchers with less than outstanding stuff can get an edge and be effective with a quirky delivery – Quiz, Eichorn, Nomo, etc. PP is the only guy I see who still chokes up – does that make it harder for pitchers to approach him?

  11. Play Shef in right, dh maggs problem solved…or should i say, problems solved

  12. Hey, so. Um. Remember the whole clutch/nonclutch debate thing we had the other day? Well, they were just talking about Polanco’s RISP percentage…and I’m wondering, how do you even have a stat like that that ends up being so different from BA if the idea of “hitting better in a RBI situation” i.e. – “clutch” didn’t exist?

    And I think you mean the 8th, billfer.

  13. Well, all hitters tend to hit better with men in scoring position…i think

  14. Joel Zumaya coming in. We’ll see first hand how “humbled” he was by his “ego” that developed crashing in on him in Chicago.

  15. Zum is going to be light mofo out…watch. prepare for pitching domination

  16. I just sat down in front of the computer. I agree with Leyland, going to the pen here is the right move. Nate has pitched a solid game.

  17. I can’t fathom how hard it is to bunt a bal at 98 that perfectly down the 3B line. Great bunt.

  18. Where is the change up from Joel? Reliever or not, when you’ve got a changeup that was voted “Best in the Organization” after the 2005 season, you may want to break it out at some point.

  19. Zum has major problesm right now. I can see it in his face. He’s afraid to pitch. He has no control of his fastball and is afraid to throw the curve

  20. Well, they were just talking about Polanco’s RISP percentage…and I’m wondering, how do you even have a stat like that that ends up being so different from BA if the idea of “hitting better in a RBI situation” i.e. – “clutch” didn’t exist?

    I’d tell you that if you take a .301 hitter (like Polanco) and look at 100 plate appearances the 95% confidence interval is .211-.391. So there could be a huge variation.

    Also, I’d point to Polanco’s career .242 batting average over 477 plate appearances with RISP and 2 outs.

  21. That was the right time to turn to the pen. Nate had done his job, and had gotten in a little trouble. Pitch count just shy of 100.

  22. 1) It’s 0-2 on Mauer and you just busted out a brilliant breaking ball, why come back with the fastball inside.

    2) I think he’d benefit much more from throwing the change up.

  23. Zumaya didn’t do so hot did he? Rodney finally admitted he was having issues in his neck. I wonder if there’s something Zumaya isn’t telling too.

  24. I’d tell you that if you take a .301 hitter (like Polanco) and look at 100 plate appearances the 95% confidence interval is .211-.391. So there could be a huge variation.

    Exactly. Going into this season, Polanco’s career RISP average is .309 (854 ABs) vs. a .301 career average (3,812 ABs), that’s statistically insignificant.

    The reason why BAs with RISP can vary a lot more than that for a given hitter in a given year or two is sample size.

    Grossly oversimplifying, flip a coin 10,000 times and divide it into groups of 100. Roughly 10% of the time you’ll get at least 57 heads and roughly 10% of the time you’ll 43 heads or less. 10% of your flippers are 14%+ better than average, and 10% are 14%+ worse than average. Obviously it’s random, but it sure looks significant.

    Okay, none of this makes me feel better about Zoom or Inge.

  25. Bottom of the lineup is pulling us down bad. It’s been painful to watch the later innings this year.

  26. Jeff, I mean this with all due respect and realize that I’m probably the village idiot here, but at this very moment I could care less about obscure stats….i want to fight Inge

  27. ARRRGGGHGHHHHH!!! This sucks…

    So far Zumaya looks NOTHING like he did last year, Mauer was waiting for that pitch and did just what he was supposed to.

  28. We have to take 2 out of 3 this weekend – the division is so tough we can’t let it get too far away this early.

  29. McB: The fact that it’s this early is a good thing, not a bad one. We’ll be playing the Twins plenty more times this year.

    Don’t worry, we still have the walk-off home run by Magglio that’s going to happen.

  30. Jeff, sorry about the misplaced agression. I’ll take out on Mario…he never seems to give a f when things go bad. I’m sure he learned that in journalism school

  31. And what they just showed Leyland saying is exactly what I said after the loss to Anaheim on get-away day.

  32. Ed: Leyland said that the loss to Anaheim wasn’t a heart breaker because it was a 7-0 game that we battled back to take a lead in when we had a cross country flight staring us in the face later that night and that he was proud that the Tigers battled back. He took it as a great sign instead of “one we let slip away”.

  33. Ah well, this is another game the Tigers played well enough to win, save the performance of one or two players.

    Today, that player is Zumaya.

  34. damn, my softball rained out, Tigers blow it…it doesn’t feel like Friday night anymore…i have the 27 game sat package…looking forward to the game tom…

  35. I am still completely confused as to how someone freezes Joe Mauer on a breaking ball to run it to 0-2 and then throws him a fast ball pretty much down the middle to give up the game winning hit. I just don’t get get it.

  36. Zumaya HAS to learn to throw more than his fastball – yes it’s a GREAT pitch, but everyone knows now that is all he throws.

  37. Hey, any change that Inge, uh, just isn’t very good? He’s 30, has nearly 2500 ab’s and he’s a .239 hitter with a .299 oba. I’m no sabermetrics expert, but i don’t the odds that he’s going to hit even .270 with a .350 oba is that great.

  38. Stephen, you might be right dude….those numbers put it in perspective…he really might be not that good

  39. Pre-Emptive Note: I’m not arguing that Inge isn’t stinking up the ballpark so far this year.

    Inge is .239/.299/.395 career, if you look at his year-by-year stats his batting line improved a lot when he quit catching fulltime in ’04. Prior to that he was among the worst-hitting MLB regulars. So his career line might be a little decieving.

    I’m don’t think Inge is capable of putting up a .270 ba with .350 obp this year but if he did and hit a few homers to boot he would be pretty valuable at the hot corner as a two-way player.

  40. if my uncle had tits he’d be my aunt too……Inge sucks…I’d love 270 20 hrs but that aint happening

  41. Colin, you’re wishful thinking.
    Inge is a heck of an athlete and good guy, but he’s your basic “guess” hitter. He hopes he guesses right and doesn’t miss it.
    His career numbers at .239 are better than they should be because they benefit from his one decent statistical year, 2004, when his career average was an overwhelmed .202 from the previous three seasons coming in.
    Opponents simply challenged him with straight fastballs that season until he proved he could hit it, which he did for awhile after a trip back to AAA, racking up a .287 average in that season, his “super sub” year.
    Since then, he’s moved to third permanently and digressed offensively (except for HR’s, when he guesses right) as opponents now “pitch” to him and mix their approach, as they would to most any non-pitcher.
    As discussed above by others in adjusting the sample to the norm, if you take away that one “statistically abnormal season,” his lifetime average sinks to .229.
    This year, he’s 19 appearances from the magical “100 appearance” sample size that we’re supposed to use to judge a player’s season and, as we know, he’s hitting .129 and striking out at a .371 rate.
    He’s 30 and no longer “young.” He has over 2500 plate appearances and he’s been given every opportunity and respect a player could receive from a franchise, including a shiny new contract.
    He’s not going to get better.

  42. Pre-Emptive Note: I’m not arguing that Inge isn’t stinking up the ballpark so far this year.

    “Pre-Emptive” means “designed or having the power to deter or prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence”

    I know he’s past his peak and won’t improve, I’ve argued that point already in other game threads from around game 4 or 5 or so when inge was in an 0-fer. Have a good night. Colin

  43. Should of brought in Rodney!

    We have to cut Zoom, he stinks.

    Anybody detect a bit of sarcasm 😉

    Long year guys, be patient. This thing will come down to whoever in the division plays best the last 2 weeks.


  44. That was nothing short of frustrating, yet again. I hope they’re just getting it out of their systems and it just so happens to be in April…. but I’m not so sure.

  45. The shots of Zumaya on the bench really show that he’s rattled. I was glad to see Kenny in the dugout – hopefully he can settle him down.

    I’m flying in this weekend and catching the game on Sunday for my first visit to COPA and I’m totally fired up. Sunday looks to be the best weather of the weekend too, so I’m grateful for that. Hate to fly in for a rainout. My seats are 1st base side, and I guess there’s a wheelchair area over there or something because I’m bringing my dad and grandfather. Three generations taking in some Tiger baseball. Should be pretty special.

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