Game 41: Cardinals at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers return home after a disappointing end to an otherwise good road trip. They’ll kick off a 9 game homestand against the Cardinals, who I think were pretty good last year – at least good enough to win the World Series.

Andrew Miller’s debut is perhaps overshadowing the world series rematch. I’ve written about Miller’s minor league numbers already. So I’ll just say that I hope this goes better than the first starts for Virgil Vasquez, Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, and Zach Miner. Miller at least has the benefit of having some big league experience.

The Cardinals will send out Braden Looper, who through the first 572 appearances of his career was a reliever. He’ll be making his 9th start of the year (and his career). He’s doing quite well with an ERA of 2.29. He’s done it by striking out twice as many as he walks, and keeping the ball in the park with 2 homers allowed in 51 innings.

Interesting Looper stat #1: Opponents putting the first pitch in play only have a 515 OPS.
Interesting Looper stat #2: He’s been great the first 5 innings, but as it gets later in the game and past the 75 pitch mark he gets more vulnerable.

So, make him throw pitches and wear him out. Sounds simple enough huh?

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME
: I had some other commitments tonight, so I just got home and watched the condensed version of the game on mlb.tv. Nothing like a good thumping in front of a sold out crowd as a welcome home present. I’ll take a closer look at Miller’s outing tomorrow. Even without seeing him pitch, the results look to be pretty impressive. But I don’t think this will change the Tigers plans with him. Although it will put less pressure on them to get Bonderman back in his regular spot (of course they could monkey with this anyways with the off day and Mike Maroth being available).

  • Sean Casey destroys Cardinals. He of course torched them in the World Series, and added 4 hits today. If only the Tigers and Cardinals were in the same division…Seriously, it was nice to see Sean get rewarded today after having a couple hard hit balls yesterday end up in Hinske’s glove.
  • Placido Polanco has pulled 4 doubles to left field over the last 2 games. After he began the season slapping everything to right field, teams began to pitch him inside. I think it’s safe to say he’s adjusted.
  • Jason Grilli – awful again.
  • Now granted, Monroe and Inge are a little better than many 8 & 9 hitters, at least in terms of power. That said, each picked up 2 walks tonight which had to drive LaRussa nuts. Four walks to the bottom 2 guys in the order has to be infuriating.
  • The Tigers walked 5 times tonight. That 5th walk went to Pudge Rodriguez bringing his season total to 2.
  • Looper didn’t make it out of the 5th, meaning that Tony LaRussa used quite a few bullpen arms. Here’s hoping the Tigers can make Anthony Reyes work tomorrow night as well.

Tigers 14 Cardinals 4

34 Comments

  1. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    I’m not worried about Miller’s early numbers in the minors (mainly at Lakeland) as a stud like Home Bailey has struggled. Miller’s delivery was being altered to keep him from throwing across his body.

    Although, he’d probably get more of a test against the Double-A Springfield Cardinals lineup then the St. Louis Cardinals, but that’s a plus.

    My prediction: 6 IP, 4 K’s, 3 BB’s, 7 H, 2 R.

  2. Mark S.

    May 18, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Gameday is extremly slow and wrong today. More than usual

  3. Mark S.

    May 18, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    THE CHEF IS COOKING TODAY!!!

  4. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    Anyone trying to catch a Gary Sheffield HR takes their life in their own hands.

  5. Mark S.

    May 18, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    If anyone has noticed, we’ve dropped to 7th in ESPN power rankings, if that means anything

  6. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Looper is at 36 pitches with a 1-1 count on Inge through 1.1 IP. I like how this is starting.

  7. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Anyone have any predictions how long Miller might last in this game?

  8. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    My prediction before the game started was: 6 IP, 4 K’s, 3 BB’s, 7 H, 2 R.

  9. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Magglio and Kenny chit-chatting. I love it.

  10. Anne

    May 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Hey Mark, we had kind of a tough stretch there, our road trip was OK at best. I too watch the power rankings (ESPN and SI) but don’t put too much faith in them. If we go 4-2 this coming week (no reason why we can’t) we’ll go up.

    Gotta say I’m loving this game so far, great for the morale after losing the double-header yesterday. Again, I’m only listening, how does Miller look out there? 6 innings seems very possible for him, only 58 pitches through 4.

  11. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    To me, he looks really relaxed, although I’ve never seen him show too much emotion. All the players seem very upbeat and happy to be home, plus the crowd. Looks like one big party and I wish I was there.

  12. Anne

    May 18, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Good to hear he looks relaxed. I was a little worried with that bases-loaded first inning, but he seems to have settled down.

    My hubby and son have tix for Sunday, I know they’re going to have a great time.

  13. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Miller with 78 pitches through 5 IP. It looks like he throws a couple different breaking balls. he threw a couple to Duncan that were high 70′s (around 77-78) and then he breaks off one with more bite in the lower 80′s that seems to be more the strike out slider.

    He does looked relaxed. a 5-0 lead with the bases loaded and no one out in the 5th will help ease that. Also, the Cardinals scoring the fewest runs in the majors helps, too. I thought he worked more in the 94-95 range but he’s been more 92-93 and dials up when need be. Overall, he looked nervous missing spots early but has really settled in.

  14. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Tony LaRussa may implode.

  15. Anne

    May 18, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Yikes, this is getting embarassing. Maggs is 2-for-2 this inning. Miller’s performance isn’t so relevant anymore, but a shut-out through 5 is kinda nice.

  16. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Finally, Pudge gets a good hit. 14-0.

  17. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Turn out the lights, light a candle.

  18. Mark S.

    May 18, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    WOW- 13 men to the plate, 9 runs scored, i stranded, three outs. WOW. I’m hoping the Tiger’s pitching doesn’t take the liberty of letting a lot of runs in. This may be selvish, but a shutout today would do wonders for my fantasy team.

  19. Mark S.

    May 18, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    14 runs of 15 hits. This reminds me of the September 15 game of last year against the Orioles. 18-2 or something like that. (I only remember the date b/c it was my birthday and i went downtown and the tigers gave me a great birthday victory)

  20. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I’m assuming Miller’s done for the night. My prediction was fairly close.

    Prediction: 6 IP, 4 K’s, 3 BB’s, 7 H, 2 R.

    Actual: 6IP, 2 K’s, 3 BB’s, 4 H, 0 R.

  21. Anne

    May 18, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Hey Mark, I was at that game. Inge hit a grand slam–a huge thrill for my son who is probably Brandon’s biggest fan.

    Kinda seems like the Tigs are taking out their frustrations with Boston on the Cards.

  22. Adam

    May 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Haha not really Mike…not really.

  23. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    We have Gum Time. The other teams have Grilli Time.

  24. Mike R

    May 18, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Hahaha. Adam, sure it is. Kind of. Maybe. A little.

  25. Adam

    May 18, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Haha Grilli Time.

    Why not have Miner and Miller work the bullpen?

  26. Jim

    May 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Wow. Grilli is tryin really hard to pitch his way off the team. Too bad, a friend of mine met him and he was really nice.

  27. Anne

    May 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    If any more of our pitchers end up on the DL, I half expect the Tigers to hold open try-outs.

  28. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    And he loves the fans. He’s always right up there signing autographs and hamming it up. Everyone says he’s a nice guy. Most of the other teams just smile when he comes in to pitch.

  29. Anne

    May 18, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Great game for Casey so far, 4-for-5 with 2 ribbies. Nice to see him doing well.

  30. Kathy

    May 18, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    LaRussa and his pitching coach both have looks on their face like the Grim Reaper.

    Maybe Mike R. should always make a prediction about our pitchers before every game since he was ever so close on this one.

  31. Ben

    May 18, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Yikes. I hope that, in the interests of fairness, we see a “Grilli’s Struggles” post soon.

  32. Ben

    May 18, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Still, fun game all in all

  33. Travis in Baton Rouge

    May 19, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Fun Stat: We scored more runs tonight than we did in the 5 games of the World Series.

  34. Andrew

    May 19, 2007 at 9:24 am

    I know it is not the same Cardinals team that played in the World Series and there wasn’t a World Championship on the line, but . . . .

    . . . I truly enjoyed the fact that the Tigers took the Cardinals out behind the woodshed last night! They took out their frustrations from the Boston trip and I really believe they took out some of the World Series frustrations too.

    Then Girlie Grilli had to go and remind everyone of how silly the Tigers pitchers looked at times during the World Series with the overthrow to first base. Sheesh!