Game 36: Twins at Tigers

Virgil Vasquez
Virgil Vasquez – cr. Roger DeWitt

PREGAME: It’s the Tigers first appearance on Sunday Night Baseball this year, and the first appearance ever at the big league level for Virgil Vasquez. Vasquez is of course filling in for the blistering Jeremy Bonderman. The numbers speak for themselves, particularly the 5:1 K:BB ratio and Detroit Tiger Tales has a run down of his stuff.

The Tigers will hope to rough up Boof Bonser and make it a little easier on their rookie. Bonser shut down the Tigers the one time they met last season. This year Bonser is striking out a batter an inning, but can be prone to wildness with games of 7 and 4 walks. Of course those 2 games represent over half his walk total for the season, so it isn’t a consistent problem.

Finally Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s in the DTW readership (like you Anne). I hope you had a nice day with your families and that your husbands/sons did their part today.

Game Time 8:09 with pregame sprinkled throughout Baseball Tonight from 7-8pm

POSTGAME: Aquilino Lopez’s 3 innings on Saturday look pretty significant now, as Jason Grilli, Wil Ledezma, and Jose Mesa all were burnt through last night. None were able to come in and hold down the Twins. Instead, they took each took a beating.

The Tigers offense was okay tonight, save for a rare Carlos Guillen 3 K performance. They racked up some hits, some walks, and some warning track shots, but that just wasn’t going to be close to enough.

Vasquez at least has that first start out of the way, even if it didn’t go well.


  1. Craig in CA

    May 13, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Nothing like the pressure of a National Audience to place on Vasquez in his first outing in the Bigs. What an experience for him and how lucky is the guy to have Pudge catching him. Best of luck to Virgil, what a Mothers Day present for your mom win or lose.

    Not to look ahead but it appears that the Tiger’s will miss Beckett the way the rotations are setting up in Beantown.

    Sweep the Twins

  2. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Rough start for the kid.

  3. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Everyone should play “Beat the Streak” for free on I just started today, and it’s already a lot of fun. You pick 1 player each day to just get a hit, and if you put together a streak that beats Joe D’s 56 in a row, then you win $100,000. There’s also a Beat the Streak for homers where you have to beat a run of 11 games in a row. Anyway, I picked Maggs as my pick for both the hit and the home run, and I’m glad I did. As I write this.. Vasquez is throwing batting practice. Hopefully he can shake off the jitters.

  4. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Don’t know how much more of this we can survive. Gotta get this kid out.

  5. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    the kid has no stuff what so ever. You can’t show up to the bigs with belt-high low 80’s non-moving stuff. put a fork in this kid, you’ll never see him again in a tigs uniform…

  6. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Joe Morgan agrees with me. I hate when that happens.

  7. Nate

    May 13, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Yes, because no good pitcher has ever struggled in his first major league start.

    Let’s not overreact people.

  8. Mark S.

    May 13, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Hey, hes not at his prime yet, hes the tigs best in the minors. Don’t say he’ll never wear a tigers uniform again. You’ve only seen 2 outs. Don’t be so negitive. I know hes not ready for the bigs yet, but hes getttin there.

  9. Anne

    May 13, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks for the Mother’s Day greeting Billfer, that was really nice. 🙂 I know you made this a great day for your wife.

    I had a terrific day and have been looking forward to a sweep of the Twins to cap it off. Never say die but Vasquez is not off to a great start.

    Happy mother’s day to any other moms out there.

  10. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    that being said, i feel for him. poor kid.

  11. Craig in CA

    May 13, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    He looks like he’s playing catch.

  12. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    HUGE PLAY AT THE PLATE! Now let’s hope this kid can settle down for a few innings.

  13. Craig in CA

    May 13, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks Mag’s!!!

  14. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    No dude. This kid stinks. Its not that he’s struggling its how he pitches. He’s mediocre at best. If you throw 80’s, you better be painting corners and throwing hooks. When Dice-K struggles, for example, you can tell its just that…struggling. This kid throws bp. That may be effective making minor leaguers fly out deep, but not in the Bigs.

  15. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Happy mother’s day to you, Anne. My son’s a big guy now and bought me some delicious steaks and a ride in his boat.

    But this game is killing me. Oh, Lord have mercy for Virgil’s mom. His parents and family are in attendance at this game.

  16. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Mark S. if he starts another game and does not let up 4 or more runs meet me at a game of your choice and you will have a ticket and all the beer you can drink on me. You won’t even have to hang out with me. Just go to my section for your beverages.

  17. Nate

    May 13, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree about his prospects. But I’d give him more than inning before you consign him to the dustbin of history.

  18. cib

    May 13, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Why would they bring him up, obviously not ready, when Ledezma, for example, has experience with spot starts?

  19. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    dust bin of history…that cracked me up for some reason…but, consign him i do.

  20. Kurt

    May 13, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Yah, I’m sure he struck out 50 by throwing chest high batting practice. Get real. The kid’s heart was in his throat making a debut.

  21. Nate

    May 13, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Agreed, Kurt. He’s struck out over 1 per inning so far this year at Toledo.

  22. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    We need middle relief for Red Sox…can’t afford to miss Ledezma for that series. I think it was a simple gamble. The funny thing is he still could get the win the way we hit. But I predict this missadventure isn’t over yet.

  23. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    At least I put my money where my mouth is and bet the over.

  24. Mark S.

    May 13, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Dead Rabbit: Maybe i’ll take u up on that deal, b/c i am confident he’ll be back in the majors soon.

  25. cib

    May 13, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    good point Dead Rabbit. And I see Cleveland lost today so the gamble isn’t fatal to first place. But I agree with the other ladies here, as a mom, I want to give the poor kid a hug! LOL

  26. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    I might be an annoying bastard tonight, but I am an honorable one. If you see him pitch as a Tiger and doesn’t get shelled for 4 or more runs, beer and tic on me.

  27. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Man, I never realized how great a base runner Shef is until he came aboard…

  28. Dead Rabbit

    May 13, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    good…hook him out of there, Jimmy.

  29. billfer

    May 13, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Well, time for the bats to get going. Not a good start for the kid. At least the first one is out of the way.

  30. billfer

    May 13, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I should say bats keep going. They’re doing okay.

  31. JML

    May 13, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    First one? That blister better not last long enough to require a SECOND out of this kid!! 😉

  32. Anne

    May 13, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    OK, 6-3 is not insurmountable, but as has been mentioned it’s a shame to blow out our bullpen with 4 games against Boston coming up.

  33. JML

    May 13, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Yeah, we can come back three, easy. Still, if we do lose, it least we won’t really lose any ground in the standings. Although a sweep would be REALLY nice, driving the Twins deeper into the ground. We gotta do that when we can….

  34. billfer

    May 13, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Yes, there will be more. Maybe not later this week, maybe not this season, but there will be more.

  35. billfer

    May 13, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t typically rag on ESPN, and don’t get too flustered about the Yankees/Red Sox centric coverage. But…Does anybody else find it odd that they centered their coverage around former Yankee Sheffield? He hasn’t been the best player (Ordonez), he hasn’t been the hottest as of late (Monroe). It just seems forced and contrived.

  36. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Pudge was just inches away from a HR. I hope this is the start of his bat getting hot again.

  37. billfer

    May 13, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Meanwhile, this is Grilli’s 4th ineffective outing in a row. I don’t have really high expectations – he’s the mop up guy. He’s basically there to eat some innings and minimize the damage and as the last man out of the pen that’s fine. But he hasn’t even been able to do that save for a couple games.

  38. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    We can still come back here. We’re gonna get more runs. Although, they probably will too.

  39. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    MIssing zoom zoom.

  40. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Bilfer, Honestly I normally enjoy ESPN’s coverage and think they do some good sports reporting, but if I have to hear one more comment on how the Tigers pitchers are keeping the ball up in the zone, I might lose it. They’ve driven that bit of analysis into the ground, hopefully like the Twins will be driving the baseball over these last 5 innings.

  41. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Man, I hate Sheff’s attitude.

  42. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Joe Morgan is terrible…but we all already know that.

  43. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    BTW, it looks like we just drove Sidney Ponson back into the minors. He’s been designated to assignment

  44. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Ponson is the no-talent equivalent of Steve Howe. How many chances is that guy gonna get?

  45. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Well, Ken, I guess what goes around, comes around. Back to back AAA pitchers.

  46. JML

    May 13, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Sure, the noob may be back someday. I just don’t want it to be within a week! 😛

  47. JML

    May 13, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Man, Boof (HAHAHA Sorry, I just can’t say that without laughing) has Carlos’s number. Cripes.

  48. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Joe Morgan just mentioned he was a hardcore tennis player after he hung up the cleats. Kind of funny to imagine.

  49. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Without inducing an onslaught of racial profiling and stereotypes…why aren’t there ever any black catchers? I’ve never even really consciously thought of that before, but I can’t think of one current example, or even an example from history.

  50. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    There was a black Yankee catcher but can’t think of his name. On the tip of my tongue…

  51. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    I never thought I’d say this but Joe Morgan gets on my nerves. He repeats himself over and over and thinks and reports like a Yankee.

  52. Mark S.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    I hate ESPN. They just sound sooooooo espnish.

  53. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Uh, Roy Campanella?

    When you say black to you mean African-American?

    If not, Sandy Alomar Jr. is a player from recent years.

    The Tigers had Phil Clark come up and play a few games.

  54. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    It’s like no team is worthy unless Joe thinks they are and all the rest of those broadcasters.

  55. Luke

    May 13, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Charles Johnson from the marlins and roy campanella (!) come to my mind in the few seconds I thought about this.

  56. JML

    May 13, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Kathy: Huh??

  57. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Roy is the one, Joey. A great catcher in his day and ended up in a wheelchair.

  58. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Right you are Kathy…although he was a Dodger.

  59. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Ah yes, Roy was an easy one.

  60. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    I feel a bit retarded now, but it’s still quite rare

  61. Nate

    May 13, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Here’s an article entitled “Where have all the black catchers gone?”


    Don’t feel too stupid. Someone else had the same idea and wrote an article about it.

  62. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Right guy, wrong team. He was a good one, though.

    On another note, looks like the Twins needed an ego booster and it’s our night to give it to them.

  63. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I actually just found the perfect article for this discussion.

    The article claims that there is not one African American catcher in the league today.

  64. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 13, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Ah, Nate, you beat me to it.

  65. Adam

    May 13, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    If wearing out Ledezma means we can’t have him pitch later on this week, I’m fine with that.

    Guy has ABSOLUTELY no control.

  66. Cameron in Singapore

    May 13, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Well, two out of three isn’t bad…

  67. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    That article could just as easily be “where have all the African American baseball players gone.” Why focus on catcher?

  68. Joey C.

    May 13, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Wings just lost in OT. Looking to be a bad day for Detroit sports.

  69. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Yes, great article but we’ve beat this topic with a dead stick. MLB is now funding little league teams in the cities to help out.

  70. Adam

    May 13, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Pistons, Tigers, Wings.

    Guess they don’t like Mother’s Day.

  71. Adam

    May 13, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I’d rather be beating it with a dead rabbit…

  72. JML

    May 13, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    I curse Bondo’s blister! Our boys would still be very much in the game were it not for that darned blister.. He’d have given up 2 in the 1st, maybe one more since… I’m going to send that blister a nasty-gram 😛

  73. cib

    May 13, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Speaking as a mom again, my suggestion is to put a lot of Neosporin cream on that blister, new skin will form overnight. And Bondo, quit picking at it!
    Speaking as a Tigers/Wings fan, aarrgghh. What a night.

  74. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    And what about Bondy’s blister problems? I’ve had two big blisters on my right foot for 2 weeks. They turned into calluses and I’m still wearing the shoes that I got them from. I guess this is something he hasn’t had a problem with before.

    Oh, our pitching is awful tonight.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Humiliated on national TV.

  76. ron

    May 13, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Yankee catcher was Elston Howard; one of the best.

  77. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Who’s next after Mesa?

  78. Adam

    May 13, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Hey, it’s not a big deal. They only scored four times as many runs as us, only had three times as many hits.

    I mean, the only inning they didn’t score in was the second…

  79. Adam

    May 13, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I mean we only struck out twelve times.

  80. Kurt

    May 13, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    the only big deal is that several relief pitchers were worn out before a series with a good team. The exacts of how bad the Tigers lost today otherwise don’t matter as much. It’s just one of those freak happenings. Every team will be on both sides of one from time to time.

  81. Kathy

    May 13, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    They gotta pick themselved up and get ready for Boston.

  82. David

    May 14, 2007 at 12:39 am

    Is it only me or is Joe Moran THE WORST TV ANOUNCER EVER? He’s terrible send him down, ” Jason Verlander has 95mph heater”. You’d think ESPN would just put him down gently.

    Not a great game, but I think most here could suspect that VV was overthrowing especially early. Reminds me slightly of Verlander’s 2 starts in ’05 where he was roughed up.

    Lets go for 3/4 at Fenway!

    PS Inge got another multi-hit game, where are you Inge-haters? where?


    PPS Carlos Pena is on a mini-tear for the Rays (10 for his last 20, with 2 bombs 4 walks and a double)

  83. Adam

    May 14, 2007 at 2:36 am

    I have a horrible bad feeling about Boston…

  84. Anne

    May 14, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Actually, I’m not worried too much about Boston. We’ve got Robertson tonight, followed by Verlander, Maroth and Durbin. We can easily take 2 out of 4, possibly even 3 out of 4 if super-Durbin shows up (though that seems less likely against the Sox.) And the way things are going now, I’d rather face Dice-K than Beckett, and that looks how things are setting up. 2 out of 4 in Boston will give us a 4-3 road trip and I’m happy with that.

  85. Jason

    May 14, 2007 at 9:57 am

    David (and others):

    What do you have against Joe Morgan? I happen to like him.

  86. Kathy

    May 14, 2007 at 10:17 am

    I’ve always admired Joe as a player and a broadcaster. But, lately, I’ve noticed during these Sunday games on ESPN that he tends to repeat himself many, many, many times and also is always talking about individual performances. That’s my beef about him.

  87. Andrew

    May 14, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I didn’t expect the rookie to pitch lights out due to the pressure and big lights with a national tv audience. That said, I didn’t expect to see this box score either.


    I, too, would be happy with 2 out of 4 at Fenway.

  88. Mike R

    May 14, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I have a bad feeling about Boston as well. i’m not counting on anything more then 5 IP, 4 runs or less from either Maroth or Durbin. Dice-K’s pitched much better then his numbers indicate (and really only had 1 bad start against the yankees) and this is the first time Tigers are seeing him, so he could very easily throw 8 IP of 5 hit ball with 10 K’s tonight.

    Nate Rob I’ve got confidence in though his Lefty/Righty splits aren’t his normal dominance of lefty’s.

  89. Kurt

    May 14, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I don’t expect much out of Morgan. He mostly gets in the way of Miller, who is excellent.

    I have mixed feelings on Boston. Two wins, I’m happy.

  90. beejeez

    May 14, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    For a comprehensive rundown on why Joe Morgan, perhaps the greatest second baseman evver, is also kind of a jerk, the irrefutable evidence is at
    Still, he did make a couple interesting points about Sunday’s game.