Game 24: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers look to stave off the sweep and they’ll have their hands full with Johan Santana.

He’ll be opposed by Mike Maroth. Maroth has struggled with consistency this year, and couldn’t make it the 5 innings to qualify for the win last week in LA.

Maroth told Mario Impemba that he’s been struggling with his release point this year. Fortunately we can take a look at this. Maroth has 2 starts in enhanced GameDay parks.
Mike Maroth Release Point
He seems to have a almost a foot of variability laterally, and it seemed to be more pronounced in the Angels game.

Game Time 1:05pm

: Today was pretty much the antithesis of yesterday’s effort. Win or lose, the Tigers played a much more complete game today. While Johan wasn’t Freakin’ Johan today, the Tigers played a part in that. They forced 114 pitches in only 6 innings, drawing 3 walks. And it’s not that Santana was wild (80 strikes vs. 34 balls), but the Tigers managed to hang around in at-bats long enough for something to happen. While they didn’t break through for many runs, they had Santana pitching from the stretch the whole game.

Individually, Magglio Ordonez is as locked in as it gets. And Brandon Inge at least got a one day reprieve from his slump reaching base every time and of course knocking the walk-off homer. Hopefully it’s the beginning of something rather than a blip. It’s always nice to see a struggling player be the hero.

Mike Maroth pitched his best game of the year, and with only 1 walk, seemed to regain some of his control.

The bullpen did their job, although Joel Zumaya did allow 2 walks and a deep fly. At least no runs crossed the plate, and Zumaya retired some tough hitters. I still think there is something more than a confidence problem, but I’ll take the positive results.

And as a final note, Placido Polanco was 6 for 6 in making contact on swings today pushing the streak to 105. (ed waffle note: My numbers are 3 pitches off of the numbers at Baseball Reference for the pitches Polanco has seen. One of those pitches was a strike. So this isn’t “official” but I’m working to clarify.)


  1. Charlemagne Street Cleaner

    April 29, 2007 at 11:58 am

    Damn….lawn work or i think i get divorced…..yet, must somehow watch game…

  2. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Don’t really think you want to…Maroth vs. Santana? Ouch.

  3. Dead Rabbit

    April 29, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Santanna is beatable

  4. Dead Rabbit

    April 29, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    screw it, call my attorney…i have to see how this pans out, lawn work can wait.

  5. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    As soon as Monroe got that ball I was like…”No way is Redmond running.” But he was.

    Then he found out why I said what I said.

  6. Ed in OR

    April 29, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Tigs are doing a great job working the count. Santana is going to be aroun the 50 pitch mark by the end of hte second. awesome.

  7. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Great play at first by Thames there…wow. Horrible lob throw by Guillen.

  8. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    “Had you thought that maybe the Twins wouldn’t take you, seeing as they had taken receivers in the last few years.” – Rod Allen, to Calvin Johnson. He might have meant “Lions.”

  9. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    And…well, let’s just pretend that the “Score after Sheff hits streak” is still going.

    Magglio looks amazing. Nice Jack.

  10. Ed in OR

    April 29, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    go Maggs!!!

  11. colin

    April 29, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Ordonez looks right now like the player most of us were hoping for when he signed. He’s .318/.398/.553 coming into this game — he hit like that all year in ’02 and ’03 and his swing looks great.

  12. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    No better time for it, either, with the rest of the team struggling.

  13. Steve - Roch NY

    April 29, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Hey Charlie I am doing my chores today as well………….. but then I saw Thames’ good play at first. I wonder if with some work with a coach he could be a serviceable firstbase man.

    I also like the Calvin Johnson Pick buy the Lions.

    Maggs you the man… we need a win

  14. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    First pitch Jack by Thames. Love that kid.

  15. Adam

    April 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I hate the Twins more than the White Sox.

  16. Rings

    April 29, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Colin…you’re correct. Maggs has looked as good the past week as he ever has since donning the English D. Even that last fly deep to CF was a good swing.
    He’s not rolling over that pitch to short anymore, he’s driving it the other way.

  17. David

    April 29, 2007 at 2:52 pm


    Thats why Inge is my Tiger

  18. Jeff

    April 29, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Nice win, especially given the pitching matchup.

  19. Dead Rabbit

    April 29, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Inge ran into one!!!!

  20. Rings

    April 29, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Big win and much needed. Inge’s specialty in getting his hits in bunches – of his 12 hits on the year, three games have been multiple hit games and all have included a tater.

    Even a better sign is that the bullpen threw well today and a nice performance by Maroth.

  21. Kyle J

    April 29, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Hard to feel good about picking up 1 out of 3. But winning any game against Santana feels like stealing one, so it sort of makes up for throwing away the game Friday night. Hopefully, this games settles the bullpen down.

    Monroe and Inge look like they may be getting on track. I have a bad feeling about Casey, though. Tough to have a starting first basemen with only 1 RBI through 23 games. I think Thames and/or Shelton are have to going to get a shot at playing 1B full time sooner rather than later.

  22. John Beamer

    April 29, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Billfer. Any thoughts to why the difference in release point between the two parks. Is it an error in equipment set-up … or different mound height (wouldn’t that be illegal) … just wanted to hear if you had any thoughts

  23. Anne

    April 29, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    What a great, great game by Inge. OK, great game pretty much all around, but I love to see Inge get that hit. Bottom of 9th, score tied can hardly count as a no-pressure situation.

    And I too would love to see Thames make the move to 1st. Anything that gets him more AB’s is OK with me. Casey’s a great guy, hard to find anyone more likable, but right now I’d rather see Thames there.

  24. billfer

    April 29, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    John – I’m really not sure. I think there may be calibration issues, but it’s hard to say with only 8 ballparks have the system installed. I’ve seen differences the couple times I’ve looked (this time and comparing Zumaya at Rogers Centre and the Cell), but I was also looking to see differences based on results.

    I’m hoping some AL West blogger will start taking on this analysis because 3 of the 8 parks are in that division. That would provide at least a little higher concentration of data to test for consistency.

  25. Mark S.

    April 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Hey Billfer, I’m curious, what are the 8 parks that have that installed. Based on comments, i’ve picked up that the Skydome, Angel stadium and new comiskey all have it, but what others. (i apologize if i’ve used the wrong names, its out of habbit)

  26. billfer

    April 29, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Off the top of my head:

    Toronto/Chicago (Sox)/LAN and LAA/SD/SEA/TEX/ATL

    During the Tigers last home series against the White Sox, there was some intermittent data in the Friday night game. None that I’ve seen since though. Hopefully it’s coming soon.

  27. Mark S.

    April 29, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    srry, maybe i’m being stupid, but… LAN?, do you mean LAD?

  28. Nate

    April 29, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    I’d assume that LAN is Los Angeles of the National League, in the same way that the White Sox get abbreviated CHA, or Chicago of the America League.

  29. Mark S.

    April 29, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Ahhhhh, right
    srry. I’m being stupid

  30. EZ

    April 30, 2007 at 11:23 am

    A day late, I was gone yesterday, but I will cheerfully give credit where credit is due….

    Great game by Inge. Really clutch. He delivered one when we really needed it.

    Here is to hoping Inge starts to use more fields than just left and he can gain some momentum from this.

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