Game 4: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: Mike Maroth returns to the scene of his last start last year, where he was hammered for 3 homers and 6 runs while only recording one out. Of course he was hurting and landed on the DL following it. (The Tigers actually came back and won 13-8).

Meanwhile the Tigers will take on Gil Meche, he of the very much laughed at contract this winter. Still, the Tigers struggled against him last year. Meche only allowed 5 runs in 20 innings spanning 3 starts. He posted a 17:7 K:BB ratio against

This is the one game that won’t be seen anywhere for the Tigers this season. The 2:10 start time falls during Fox’s exclusive window, and the Royals just weren’t enough of a draw to get a national game.

POSTGAME: This 6-5 Tigers win was more along the lines of what we saw last year. There were 3 homers, all solo, powering the offense. The starting pitching kept the team in the game and handed over a lead to the bullpen. The relievers limited the other team to 1 run over 4 innings. And everything was backed by solid defense.

Good times.


  1. Walewander

    April 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Except on – and Sheffield homered!

    Granderson and Monroe also made two great catches in the 1st.

  2. Ed in OR

    April 7, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    My MLB.TV says it’s blacked out. Is there a trick to seeing it?

  3. Walewander

    April 7, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Dunno, i just clicked the link. You live in Oregon and it’s blacked out? I’m in BC. Weird.

  4. Ken from Cincinnati

    April 7, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    My isn’t working either. I’m dying to know how you got in, Walewander

  5. Ed in OR

    April 7, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    The bloackout announcement says US, Japan, Guam and S. Korea are blacked out; it’s gotta be that you’re in BC then since Canada isn’t listed. So that means those in Windsor can watch the game?

  6. Ed in OR

    April 7, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Please let Grilli pitch well! I hate to see Maroth lose his first game back.

  7. Ken from Cincinnati

    April 7, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Grilli scares me. I wish Zumaya could pitch every inning of relief.

  8. Walewander

    April 7, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    I’m probably the only person in Canada watching this.

    All three Tigers homers were crushed, BTW.

  9. EZ

    April 7, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Inge. 0-12 with 5 K’s. He is striking out at nearly a .500 clip! Inexcusable. Start Perez or Infante ahead of him. I am serious as a Jihadist about that. No amount of “defense” can make up for this schlock.

  10. Ken from Cincinnati

    April 7, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I can’t wait to see Sheff’s homer on Baseball Tonight. Where was it hit?

  11. Travis

    April 7, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Damn, Monroe and Inge are really struggling out of the gate. I hope its just the bad weather. I think Inge has now struck out in half of his AB’s so far.

  12. JML

    April 7, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Inge has an ok bat, he’s just starting off slow. It happens. Start Perez? As my mother would say, “Sick in the head!”

  13. Walewander

    April 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Left Field. It wasn’t deep, but a line drive that had to be travelling fast to beat the wind out.

  14. Tim

    April 7, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Maybe it’s too many years of watching the Tigers let me down, but I’m nervous about the ‘pen. Give Monroe and Inge a chance, they’ve both been around long enough that we can trust they should put up their usual numbers (not heroic, but relatively solid).

  15. David

    April 7, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Anyone who says to bench Inge this early is a FAIR WEATHER FAN. He, Ordonez, Guillen, Monroe, Shef will heat up, 4 games is nothing to judge a player by.

    Glad to see we won, wish Maroth would have pitched alittle better, but he won it so I’ll take it.

    Go Bondo!

  16. Dave Wagner

    April 7, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Good lord, EZ, please don’t be like this all year. Four games is a hilariously meaningless sample size.

  17. Rings

    April 7, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    David & Dave…I like Inge, but at some point, there has to be a day off or reckoning for Brandon. The above rhetoric aside, he is struggling – through spring training and to open the season. Of that, there can be no debate. I’m sure he puts as much pressure on himself as anyone, but seriously, there has to be some production eventually. It’s one thing to start slow, but he’s left a small village on base and is striking out at a horrific pace, failing to move runner, etc., continuing a trend from last year’s post-season.
    Honestly, look at his PRODUCTION over the past month and ask who is being “fair weather” and who has said that it’s time for, at least, a break to clear his head.
    Also, it would be nice to get Thames a few AB’s. The man has the best power (HR/AB) on the team. My goodness, why keep him on the team if he’s never going to play.

  18. David

    April 8, 2007 at 12:39 am

    First of all Brandon hit really well in the second half of ST. Last year he hit around .240 before the break and hit around .290 after it along with nearly 30 homeruns. He almost always had a web gem a night and sometimes 2.

    Every player in the Majors and Minors has good and bad weeks, heck this isn’t even half a week.

    Everyone who is a novice baseball fan is so obsessed with batting average, and striking out. I’ve heard aton of times from other fans last year you’ve got to drop Inge; he strikes out too much etc. In reality OBP and pitches/ab (something he is very skilled at), small ball etc. is a much better indicator of consistent run production.

    If you want to look at batting average why not tell Tony LaRussa to dump Prince Albert (1 for 17), or dump Rolen (2 for 17) or Francona to drop Ortiz (3 for 19) or the Twins to drop Santana because he has a 6.00 ERA. Do you think that over the course of this year any player will have the same averages that they have so far? Or pitchers will have the same ERA for the season as they do after one start?

    If Inge is hitting under the Mendoza line for the month, then he might merit a day or so off.

    Also considering they’ve played in frigid temperatures for 3 of their games I’m surprised Placido, Pudge and some other Tigers are doing as well at the plate as they are.

    Oh and you talk about last year’s post-season? Are we talking about the same player? 1.134 OPS in the ALCS with a .333 BA (if you still love batting average) and a .353 BA in the world series (one of only 3 tigers to hit above .300).

    You are either a fair-weather fan, have a poor memory, only watch a few games a year or a combination of them. In any event recheck your facts before you point out fallacies and support novice fans.

    Oh and where do you plan to get Thames a few at-bats, at third? He got quite a few AB’s last year and I’m sure he’ll get some this year especially if one of our OF/Shef goes down.

    We have only played 4 games, 4 GAMES!

    Go Tigers
    Go Inge, may he win the Gold Glove this year over Chavez and Crede

    And don’t ever call me a fair weather fan, I bleed Orange and Blue

  19. Adam

    April 8, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Curtis is my Tiger so far. Anyone see that diving catch he made? Then going 2 for 3 with a home run? Batting .375 with a .938 slugging average? Not to mention the 7 RBIs and the Granderslam. Seems like what we’re missing in Brandon we’re making up in Curtis.

  20. ron

    April 8, 2007 at 3:14 am

    I wish some of the fans would wait till we’re 20 games into the season before freaking out. IT’S A LONG SEASON.

  21. David

    April 8, 2007 at 6:52 am

    Yup if Curtis did that the entire year he’d win MVP and a Tripple Crown prolly….

  22. Drew

    April 8, 2007 at 8:45 am

    I’ve heard you can now insure season tickets. Anyone know where I can buy this?

  23. EZ

    April 8, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I wish certain posters wouldn’t fair weather, it is a long season, and the sample size is too small to make any comments about Granderson. Because the sample size is too small we have to say Granderson is the same player who struck out 174 times last year. What Granderson did in the playoffs and spring training doesn’t count either, due to sample size. Due to sample size every single Tiger player is exactly the same right now, with no differences between any of them. Let’s wait till May before we discuss it. The difference between being in the playoffs and out will only be a few games, so waiting to May won’t hurt anything.

    — Look at that goobledygook I just wrote. Imagine how ridiculous it looks if you are trying to defend the indefensible, or at least put a foot of whitewash on it… Inge has a career whiff average of .234. He lead the team in whiff’s last postseason (at a .340 clip). He lead the team in whiff’s this spring. If you can’t at least admit he is struggling and looks lost at the plate then you must be wearing Jason Grilli’s “celebration goggles” covered with a thick layer of bacon grease in order to predend you don’t see how awful he has looked.

  24. Nate

    April 8, 2007 at 11:35 am

    No one is saying that every player on the Tigers is exactly the same right now. That would be silly: obviously each Tiger has his own unique combinations of talents, histories, and injury risks that will affect how the rest of his season plays out.

    What is true, however, is this: it is too early to assume that any player will perform way above or way below the performance that you expect from that player. This is not the same thing as saying that each player is exactly the same right now.

    Here’s the deal as I see it: you are advocating benching Brandon Inge, a player whom the Tigers signed to a 4-year extension this offseason. Now, I can’t say that you are basing your judgement of Brandon on a small sample size. It seems like your distaste for Brandon’s play pre-dates this year. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m assuming that you wouldn’t have signed him to that extension.

    But the Tigers did sign him to that extension. Like it or not, the Tigers have hitched their wagon to Brandon at 3rd. It would be absurd to give up on him so early into that contract.

    To tweak your Granderson analogy, giving up on Inge right now would be as ridiculous as giving Granderson a major raise and an extension on the basis of his performance in the playoffs, spring training, and first four games of this year. No sensible GM would do either.

    One last thing: I’m not sure anyone here thinks that Brandon is one of the best players on the team. However, he is pretty good for a guy who hits in the 9 hole; and I think he’s a pretty good fielder at third base, and most defensive metrics agree with me. Yes, he makes more errors than you’d like (and this is true, even given the extra opportunities his range allows him), but I’d wager he saves quite a few runs on hard hit balls down the line (holding them to singles, if not converting them to outs) and on foul pop-ups. I also think, regardless of how much he Ks, he is better than the in-system alternatives.

  25. EZ

    April 8, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Nate, Really really nice post. That was a pleasure to read. Truly.

    Great points made about GM’s. The problem there is that seldom to you see “sensible” and “GM” being synomous. Examples being Zito’s contract, Matt Millen and anyting, and I would argue Gil Meche’s contract.

    You make eloquent statements pretaining to Inge’s contract. But just because we have him signed doesn’t mean we ought to put up with play this poor. You are right, I would not have signed him, but am on record saying it wasn’t a terrible signing provided he produces. While returns are early indications look really bad. We have swallowed bad contracts in the past: Damion Easly, Fernando Vina, Dmitri Young, and Phil Garner (mgmnt). If a player does not live up to his contract then there is little choice but to move. Contract extention gives some security but can’t cover up for what I have seen to date.