Game 42: Cardinals at Tigers

PREGAME: It will be Nate Robertson taking on Anthony Reyes in the 2nd game of the World Series Rematch.

Nate has lost his last couple turns in the rotation. One was a shellacking at the hands of the Mariners. The other he was worn down by a Boston lineup that fouled off 734 pitches and ultimately out-dueled by Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Anthony Reyes schooled the Tigers in the World Series last year. This year he comes in sporting an ERA in excess of 5, but much better peripherals. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) ERA is a solid 3.80.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Well that game turned out to be way more interesting than I thought it would after the first 3 innings. Still, it’s a win and another great night for more than 42,000 fans.

  • When Nate Robertson first joined the rotation, he was striking out a lot of guys but running up huge pitch counts in the process. Lately the strikeout numbers haven’t been there, but the pitch counts have. I don’t really have an answer for it.
  • The consequence of the high pitch count is that the bullpen is asked to get 9 to 12 outs. That has been problematic. Wil Ledezma a)isn’t fooling anybody, b)is creating his own problems with walks, and c)hasn’t had any luck at all. Everything in play is a hit.
  • Fortunately Tim Byrdak came in and fanned Albert Pujols with a runner on base and prevented anymore damage. He ran into a some trouble of his own the next inning though. Still, he’s been awesome in his first week. He has the advantage for now that he’s thowing a split finger that he just developed and so the book on him isn’t complete. But the addendum will come quickly and hopefully he can keep it going.
  • Nice job by Fernando Rodney with a pretty uneventful inning.
  • And then there was Jones. Only one of the balls (Spezio’s) was hit with any sort of authority. Still, that is what happens with Jones. The ball will be put in play, but usually it takes a few things to go wrong before the game slips away. That’s why Jones can’t walk people. He has no margin for error.
  • Of course it was another nice game by the offense. And it was really a team effort with 5 different hitters getting 2 hits and 5 different hitters picking up RBI.
  • Brandon Inge was one of the few who didn’t get in on the act, save for a HBP. But he contributed with a couple nifty plays at 3rd. The diving play in the hole was nothing short of spectacular. And he nearly started a double play on a slow chopper, still getting the lead runner.

Tigers 8 Cardinals 7

46 Comments

  1. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    I caught the first two runs but where’d the 3rd one come from?

    Pretty quiet night.

  2. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Pudge, I love you!!! 3 run homer.

  3. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    The 3rd was a Granderson RBI ground-ruler.com

  4. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Oooh, his foot might have been in there. Anyway, nice job keeping the bases-loaded-none-out situation to a single run.

  5. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Ok folks, you heard it here first, Maggs is making a run at MVP.

  6. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Ledezma Time for the Cardinals.

  7. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Actually Anne, I think Rod said that in the first inning…:P

  8. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    I wrote a song about Wil. It’s entitled “Can you throw a strike?”

  9. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Grrr, Rod you thunder-stealer. Well, I’m not watching FSN, but apparently the rest of you are, so how about you heard it here second?

  10. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    All of the words to the song are “No.”

  11. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Please Wil, please please please don’t blow this game.

  12. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    For once, Leyland’s not going to let him. Completely.

  13. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Ledezma and Grilli to the Mud Hens, keep Byrdak and Miller.

  14. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Cleveland is currently losing to Cinci, so we really need this win. Let’s see some more K’s from Byrdak.

  15. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I love love love this Byrdak guy. The first one to get Pujols out this series.

  16. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I’m with West Coast.

    How many chances do you get, seriously? I gotta think Ledezma’s about Leyland’s least favorite player at this point.

  17. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    OK, call me fickle but I love Pudge too. (sorry Kathy :) ) And Monroe too, for good measure.

  18. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I’d keep Miner for Miller though, let Miller go back down. After his next start, though. :D

  19. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    I like that plan, Adam. Looking forward to seeing Miller as a full-time starter, so let him take as much time as he needs in the minors to refine his stuff.

  20. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I don’t see what Jim was arguing?

  21. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    1270 is saying the Cards’ pitcher may have balked. Or do you mean you didn’t see a balk and you’re wondering why Leyland is out there?

  22. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Adam

    I like what Zack showed us the other day.

  23. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    By the way Strong endorsement for Direct TV’s MLB xtra innings package. I’ve had it for about a month and I love it, keeping an eye on the Tribe and Cinn.

    Plus the ability to record.

  24. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    This game has the word disaster written on it in capital letters.

  25. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    It’s starting to make me nervous, too. And, Anne, I absolutely adore Pudge. I love it when he gets emotional.

  26. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    You’re more constant than I am, Kathy. :) I usually love whoever just got the big hit or the pitcher that just got the big out.

  27. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    I guess the Cardinals came to play 9 full innings. I’d hate to lose this one.

  28. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t even know what Ledezma did. As soon as they said he was warming up, I got busy in another room.

  29. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Sorry Anne, I missed your comment. I did not see any sign of a balk.

  30. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    I think we’re good. Let’s just hope Jones doesn’t feel like blowing this one.

  31. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    The balk Leyland was arguing was that Flores threw the ball to Pujols who wasn’t even on the bag. The first baseman has to be on the bag or at least get back there during the play, or it’s a balk.

    Pujols didn’t even know it was coming. He was looking at the batter and then he looked back and the ball was coming right at his head.

    I don’t understand how the umpires don’t call it, even if Leyland was yelling about it. I mean, isn’t that blatant?

  32. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    C’mon Jonesy, we’ve had enough bullpen drama tonight. Quit messing with us and put this one away.

    Cinci now up 10-4 over Cleveland.

  33. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks Adam

    Meanwhile, Jones is making it interesting as usual.

  34. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Man, I hate that Spezio guy. And his little soul patch too.

  35. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    I’m gonna die.

  36. billfer

    May 19, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Really, how many insurance runs is the offense expected to score?

  37. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    I have faith in JOnes.

  38. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    If we win, the play of the game goes to the fan who picked up the ball. We’re tied without that.

  39. West Coast Tiger

    May 19, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Cinn up 10-4, lets not waste this.

  40. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Oh, ye, of little faith.

  41. Adam

    May 19, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Yep. Give the play of the game to that guy who picked up the ball and made that a ground-rule double. He was getting berated for it too…any way we can give him a save?

  42. Anne

    May 19, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    He deserves it more than Jones.

  43. Dead Rabbit

    May 19, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    yeah…that fan is my tiger

  44. Kathy

    May 19, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    A great team effort, Billfer. No one player being the star but lots and lots of great defense, some great throws and great hitting spread all around. Loved it!

  45. Mike R

    May 20, 2007 at 2:58 am

    Billfer, can I just say how much I love the use of the FIP statistic? Because I really do.

  46. Nate

    May 20, 2007 at 11:17 am

    When Nate Robertson first joined the rotation, he was striking out a lot of guys but running up huge pitch counts in the process. Lately the strikeout numbers haven’t been there, but the pitch counts have. I don’t really have an answer for it.

    Last night, I think Nate’s early and high pitch count was a result of some shoddy defense behind him — the botched double play ball forced him to face two more batters (and throw eight more pitches, if memory serves) in that inning.

    In contemporary baseball, I think that the real price of poor fielding is not so much the unearned runs that may result from an error, but the fact that an error forces the pitcher to face more batters, and throw more pitches, than he otherwise would have.

    I know eight pitches might not seem like a lot, but if Nate had finished the fifth at 92 pitches rather than 100, I think there’s a chance that Leyland allows him to pitch part or even all of the sixth.

    This observation really only holds for last night’s game, and can’t explain every start in which Nate is up around 100 in the fifth inning. I guess I’m not sure that we should be looking for a holistic explanation for his recent struggles.