Game 50: Tigers at Rays

PREGAME: The Tigers head to Tampa to try and heal from a home sweep at the hands of the Indians. The Devil Rays have a history of helping teams heal, however they aren’t the pushover they once were, at least offensively where they rank in the middle of the AL in runs scored. However, they walk in the bottom third of the league and lead all teams in strikeouts so you can pitch to them.

Chad Durbin will be doing that pitching tonight for the Tigers. Durbin has done about what you can expect and hope for from a 5th starter. He’s giving the team 5 plus inning each time up and holding the opponents to 3 or fewer runs.

The Tigers will be opposed by Edwin Jackson. Jackson posts a very solid 7.5 K/9 rate. And that’s the only positive. He’s walked 23 in 37 innings and allowed 48 hits. Of course the Tigers have had their share of struggles with struggling pitchers at times this year. Here’s hoping this isn’t one of those times.

Game Time 7:10pm


  1. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    This game and my beer is for Tiger fans in Iraq and Afghanistan…

  2. JML

    May 28, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    I love when we have a home crowd on the road. šŸ™‚

  3. JML

    May 28, 2007 at 7:38 pm


  4. charlie

    May 28, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    you know, i would like to see ryan raburn batting ninth for a few games..perhaps inge would get going if he felt a little threatened.

  5. charlie

    May 28, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    i would like to see ryan raburn batting ninth for a few games.

  6. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    somebody should throw a fastball off of Durbin’s face…it works wonders

  7. boombotti

    May 28, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Ok, First of all I know I’m not in the situation of our hitters, but those were horrible at bats from Inge, Granderson, and Monroe.

  8. boombotti

    May 28, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    I forgot my second of all, just frustrating is all.

  9. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    lol boombotti, agreed. no way should 3 guys in a row be failing to bring those runs home.

  10. Mike R

    May 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Watching Inge is excrutiating. I’d almost rather see Infante at 3B and Neifi at 2B.

  11. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    not again!!! I’ve gotta take a break, this is too frustrating.

  12. JML

    May 28, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Here we go, once again making a so-so pitcher look much better than he is…. oy vey

  13. boombotti

    May 28, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    I know a homerun is a good thing, but how many of Sheffield’s have been solo shots? Just an observation.

  14. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    “Watching Inge is excrutiating. Iā€™d almost rather see Infante at 3B and Neifi at 2B.”

    I know you’re frustrated, but let’s not say things we can’t take back

  15. phil

    May 28, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    when’s polanco back?

  16. JML

    May 28, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Curtis, I love you man, but … STOP STRIKING OUT!!!

  17. boombotti

    May 28, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Man, everytime I see Carlos Pena I always remember going to the park and seeing on the scoreboard screen question on what would the player do if they had not played baseball. I think Carlos said he’d be a biologist or something, I may be wrong. I don’t have the best memory. That being said, I always liked Carlos as a player.

  18. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 9:12 pm


  19. Steve

    May 28, 2007 at 9:12 pm


  20. Jason

    May 28, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Geez, that was an absolute 2 iron out to center

  21. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    shef is a great base runner….

  22. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    So Leyland makes this big deal about his starters needing to pitch deeper in games, and then when Durbin does six inning on 88 pitches, he lifts him? Durbin could have come out for the 7th. I’m not knocking Miner here, but it’s Leyland saying one thing and doing another.

  23. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    why o why did he not leave durbin in. what is happening to leyland? this is so frustrating.

  24. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Very nice inning by Miner. That triple, and the run, weren’t really Miner’s fault. A couple K’s and a bounce out. Please let him come back out for next inning and not Mesa.

  25. Mike R

    May 28, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    I don’t get taking out Durbin at all. Leyland continues to make confusing decisions.

    Sean Casey has 10 RBIs in 154 AB’s coming into tonight, and Rabelo has 40% of Casey’s RBIs in just 43 AB’s.

  26. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    uh oh, it’s just about time for leyland to do something crazy

  27. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    This move makes sense.

  28. Bobby

    May 28, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    I thought the pitcher was supposed to backstop the catcher, not be the backstop

    I agree, Billfer. This is a good move.

  29. Bobby

    May 28, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Was Rabelo aiming for Jackson’s head?

  30. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Maybe Mesa pitches better with an orange glove. I saw him breaking that in last week, from the other side of the field. It is very bright.

  31. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I thought maybe, one evening without agony. Well, at least Cleveland is losing to Boston.

  32. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Cleveland also has the tying run on base with 2 outs in the 8th.

  33. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    we sure worry a lot about l/r splits. it’s like watching ozzie guillen manage.

  34. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    In Boston they are going to the 9th.

  35. Jason

    May 28, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I bet everybody put together in this forum doesn’t have the baseball knowledge of Jim Leyland, and thats why its so silly to second guess him, but I just don’t understand this pen management. He’s playing it like game 7 of the World Series.

  36. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Argh. You are all very knowledgable. Do you think it’s healthy to live on peanuts and Xanax?

  37. Jason

    May 28, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    And it worked… of course.

  38. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    i don’t see how it couldn’t be

  39. ron

    May 28, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Leyland has his 10,000 steps a day routine down. It works.

  40. billfer

    May 28, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Jason – it’s not silly to second guess him. Jim Leyland does have a wealth of baseball knowledge, but we have information at our disposal that he claims to ignore. He routinely makes decisions that don’t give his team the best chance to win. Like relying on Neifi Perez last year and Jose Mesa this year.

    He sticks with washed up NL’ers too long. He steals with slow runners and strikeout prone hitters to avoid a double play.

    You can say he’s earned the benefit of the doubt, but second guessing isn’t silly.

    Now when it comes to managing a clubhouse and personalities, I won’t second guess that at all.

  41. Mike R

    May 28, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Me not having over 40 years of professional baseball knowledge doesn’t keep me from 2nd guessing managers. That’s part of being a fan. If you can’t second guess anyone, that takes a big part of the fun of being a fan. It’s like saying someone can’t refer to their favorite team as “we”.

    Tim Byrdak is starting to turn into a full inning reliever instead of the LH specialist-type.

  42. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Dr. Dave. šŸ™‚
    GO GARY!!!

  43. charlie

    May 28, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    i keep hearing the tigers should try and pry salty from atlanta to replace pudge at some point. i think rabelo is making a case that it should be him.

  44. Jason

    May 28, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    bilfer, you said “Jim Leyland does have a wealth of baseball knowledge, but we have information at our disposal that he claims to ignore.” What does that mean? What information?

  45. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    hmmm seems as good a time for a smoke break as any

  46. Jason

    May 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    I’m gonna be ill.

  47. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve got to get a new hobby. This is a disaster and getting worse. oh my god.

  48. Kathy

    May 28, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Billfer’s a stat man; Jim isn’t.

  49. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    at least i have the unstoppable jimmy john’s screaming happy face/aflek goat duo to soothe me

  50. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    This Rays team is close to being a great team. That Shields kid they have is a K monster. Jackson was tough today too. Kazmir….and the fastest offense in the league…they scare me

  51. JML

    May 28, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    I have no words….

  52. cib

    May 28, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I find the Jimmy John’s commercials very disturbing. Good night all. Pray for our Tigers!

  53. Mike R

    May 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Yeah, TB’s on the up and up. And their pitching is 2-ish years away from catching up with their position players. It’ll be even more sick when they can trade Rocco Baldelli, move Upton to the OF, put Dukes at DH or 1B full time and have Evan Longoria at 3B as soon as next season. Plus, Reid Brignac at SS (though he’s overrated, but better then Zobrist) and put Iwamura at 2B. Guys like a Jacob Mcgee and Jeff Neimann will help their pitching. They honestly look scary by 2009 or 2010.

  54. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    The magic is officially over. The thing is with Leyland he manages with his gut and his lack of rationality just sucks. He inspires the guys but his decisions are baffling at times. Unless Durbin turns out to have a torn rotator cuff, you simply can’t pull him after 83-84 pitches when you’re missing 2 key bullpen guys. Its just ridiculous. And the thing is since Detroit is a small media market, the beat writers NEVER call him on this stuff.

  55. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    2 outs, guys on second and thrid…and hafner is up….

  56. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    and he kaaaaaaaaays!!!!!!!!!!! nice.

  57. Mike R

    May 28, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    Stephen, I agree on the beat writers. i hate how the media doesn’t question their sports coaches/managers like they should. Danny Knobler defends every decision.

  58. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Now trying to win two seasons in a row with guys like Inge and Jones playing major roles that’s not Leyland’s fault. That is on Dombrowski.

  59. Chris M

    May 28, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Leyland is working with the players that Dombrowski has given him.

    It’s up to Dombrowski to get a good setup man via trade.

    Or if the Tigers want to take a risk, they can convert their top pitching prospect to middle relief, Andrew Miller, like they did with Zumaya last year.

  60. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    yeah dude….we’re in a great play off race…3 games up on the wild card…and the magic is over…don’t panic…its a called baseball…in which we deal with injuries….injuries will occur to our foes as well….relax…

  61. ron

    May 28, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Yea Papelbon.

  62. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    The only problem with TB on the upswing is that Dukes will probably be in prison by 2009. Seriously, that guy makes Dmitri Young look like Ghandi

  63. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    this loss was a freebie…

  64. Ben in Denver

    May 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    The Tigers have lost 4 straight…and meanwhile, closer to home, the Rockies have won 6 straight? This is bizarre.

    I just tuned in. Anybody get hurt today?

  65. Chris M

    May 28, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    And pulling Durbin, who was pitching well, after 88 pitches with the shaky bullpen situation was ridiculous.

  66. Kathy

    May 28, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    After all the years of watching baseball, I have yet to see any manager’s decisions not being scrutinized millions of times and called every foul name in the book. All those guys left on base. Who’s fault is that?

  67. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Dead Rabbit, ok, maybe i’m over-reacting but I need to hear someone ask Leyland why Durbin wasn’t given at least one batter into the 7th. I realized Miner pitched well, but you could have pushed him back to the 8th. I am a doom and gloomer, but it’s hard to see this team without seeing huge holes. And yes, they had the same holes last year, but it’s hard to see them doing that two years in a row. I want them to become like the Red Sox and the Yankees– before this year– who are consistently good, have smart players, smart managing and don’t rely so much on catching lightning in a bottle.

  68. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    agreed kathy

  69. Jim

    May 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Time for Bondo to be a stopper tommorw.

  70. Motor City Monk

    May 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    FACT: Jones is not reliable as a closer with a mere one run lead. Time to re-think this crap. He’s way too easy to hit.

  71. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Stephen…point taken….i get pissed and doom and gloom at times myself….Durbin should have stayed in…maybe….but if ifs were 5ths we’d all be drunk…and if my uncle had t*ts he’d be my aunt….

  72. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Kathy: Isn’t it possible that the batters, relief pitchers, AND Leyland all botched it today? I just feel like there is a cult of personality surrounding Leyland which isn’t helpful. When your team is down players and coming off a home sweep, I’d like the manager to not be playing his hunches. For once, I’d like him to explain why he pulled this guy, rather than smoking a cigarette, throwing his hands up, and gruffly saying ‘they hit more than we did.’

  73. Jim

    May 28, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Still very early in the year people. Too bad to see some people alreayd jumping off the bandwagon.

  74. Jim

    May 28, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Jones has been our best reliever this year thus far. What’s that say?

  75. Dave Wagner

    May 28, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    in happier news, the Yankees are now last in the AL East, meaning that all is finally as it should be

  76. Chris Y.

    May 28, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Sorry I haven’t been around of late, but I’ve been lurking. Just not enough time with an impending move.

    One, and only one comment:

    This bullpen situation sux. The only solution I see is completely remixing the entire staff, which won’t happen. The sad thing is the only guy with any overpowering “stuff” out of the pen is Byrdak, a scrap heap claim that more likely than not will come back down to Earth in time. Simply hoping a couple guys will snap out, while needing EVERYONE LEFT to snap out, still won’t solve the injury issue.

    This is a tough division. This is a crippling pen.

    Blaming the starters is a joke. A real joke. Having lost Rogers and Maroth back to his old form hasn’t exactly helped to be sure, but what was to be expected? Durbin has stabilized and performed admirably. Maroth still has mediocre stuff for a starter, but he will be on the outs soon enough once they make the decision on Miller (this year, this week — I pray, or next). Time to clean-up the Grilli-Mesa-Jones & Ledezma Junkyard Co. Superfund-style. Put the fear of their jobs in them. We’ve got enough pitching depth, guys that have earned a chance, that those guys blowing leads like Daryl rode the rails is becoming an injustice.

    Sorry for the tirade, but it’s something I’ve been riding for awhile and haven’t found the time to comment. Good to see the numbers are up and new folks are chiming in — GO TIGERS!!!!

  77. Cameron in Singapore

    May 28, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Wow…this really stinks…

  78. ron

    May 28, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Listen to Dead Rabbit. Tell me you weren’t hanging on every pitch tonight, and checking the Cleveland score every five minutes.The Tigers aren’t catching anyone by surprise this year. This is baseball at it’s best. Considering the Tiger’s past history,be happy they are where they are. They will be in it in Sept.

  79. Mike R

    May 28, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Stephen: before the recent incident with his girlfriend, Dukes looked to have turned the corner. however, it’s not like if he is in prison that they won’t have enough talent. A Crawford/Upton/Young OF is more then enough to make up for it, especially with Iwamura being signed to a multi year deal, Evan Longoria, and Reid Brignac on the immediate horizon.

    And I’d hardly call the Yankees “smart managing”. Joe Torre is a bad manager, but good at controlling the egos on that team. He was on cruise control through 4 titles (not saying that I wouldn’t love to have that, because I would). they completely depleted their entire farm system, gave terrible deals to guys like Johnny Damon that work out for a year, but not for the other 3 or 4, and Carl Pavano is only the 2nd worst FA signing ever behind the Rockies signing Mike Hampton.

    Also, Boston’s made questionable moves as well. See: Coco Crisp and annointing him the CF of the future with Jacob Ellsbury hitting all through the minors.

    That said, I understand what you’re saying. You, and us, just want consistent success year in and year out. And with this young pitching staff, that, barring injury, is almost inevitable to NOT be successful year in year out.

  80. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I like Leyland, it’s just he isn’t infallible. He’s been doing this for two decades and his record is just south of .500. I realize that’s a product of your talent–see Joe Torre before the Yankees–but he doesn’t exactly have a rep as a brilliant tactician.

    This is what happens when your team gets good, you pick apart losses like this one. It’s much better than the alternative.

    I think.

  81. Jim

    May 28, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Chris summed it up well. You can’t really blame the starters, definatly not Maroth or Durbin who have gamed. Really I’m most upset with Nate lately.

  82. Motor City Monk

    May 28, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Jones is overrated. The Tigers need to turn one of these firethrowers into a closer and fast. Byrdak is capable of taking over the spot or at least put him in when things are tight at the end (1 or 2 run lead).

  83. ron

    May 28, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    And enough with the stats. Go shoot some hoops before the game and enjoy the summer.

  84. Dead Rabbit

    May 28, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I blame all losses on Bilfer

  85. Kathy

    May 28, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    As Mario and Rod told us 50 times, they didn’t get in til 4:15am. Let’s get ’em tomorrow.

  86. Kathy

    May 28, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Stephen, I think the cult of personality surrounding Leyland includes his coaches and players. The loss is a team loss. So, yes, all of them have to take some responsibiltiy.

  87. Stephen

    May 28, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Kathy, your unbridled optimism is wonderful. If I ever need a defense lawyer I’m calling you.

  88. Kevin in Austin

    May 28, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    Just read all the posts, great chatter tonight. Even though I was out all night, I was hanging on every pitch (via cell phone updates). Last summer was fantastic, even when we lost, b/c of the ups and downs. We’re fortunate to be in this situation. I can’t wait for the game tomorrow.

  89. Kathy

    May 28, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you, Stephen. I used to be a Court TV junkie.

  90. Chris Y.

    May 28, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Hey, as long as we are on the therapeutic Yankee bashing: how about all the hub-bub for Clemens return, like he’s some sort of Superman. Even if they win 15 of his maybe 20-odd starts, they still are only on pace for 85 wins. I don’t know anyone who thinks that’s enough to take the East OR the AL wild-card, no matter how much intra-division bashing goes on in the Central.

    Even worse, winning 2/3 of Clemens starts might be a stretch.

    One pitcher is not a team. Esp. if he can only physically take 5 inn./game.

  91. ron

    May 29, 2007 at 12:03 am

    I live in NYC and it’s going to be mass suicide off the Triborough bridge any day now. GO TIGERS!!

  92. Mike R

    May 29, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Chris Y: I understand why there’s the hub-bub around the Yanks/Clemens; the Yankees rate on TV. So topics about them get viewers everywhere. I don’t think clemens is the savior. What the savior for them is when their offense comes around and they get their league average pitching — and both will happen. When that does occur, they’re good enough to win 90+ games even with the terrible start. This is the same team from last year that got better by adding Andy Pettitte who can actually go deep into games, unlike Jaret Wright. They just pitch and don’t hit, or hit and don’t pitch. When it all comes together everything will be right.

    I was trying to say this earlier but DTW wasn’t responding or something so I just left and went out with some buddies:

    “Stephen just summed it up. This is baseball at its finest and when your team is good — which we are — one tends to overreact as well as pick apart whatever holes our team has. I’d gladly take 2nd guessing Jim Leyland, lamenting our bullpen injuries, hating Jose Mesa and wondering who Dave Dombrowski will make a deal for in 2 months over being 15 games out and not being able to turn off any Tigers game because I’m a baseball fan and suffering through a 119 loss season. Though, until last year, the greatest feeling I had watching the Tigers was their rally to stave off the 120 or MLB Record 121 loss season.”

  93. Chris Y.

    May 29, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Eh, Clemens and his play-half-a-season approach might be enough for the Yanks, but I think it took a toll on his production a bit last year. He averaged less than 6 innings per start, which is almost a full 2/3 inning shorter than the previous 4 when he played full-time.

    The Yanks are old. For instance, Mussina has an ERA near 6 and hasn’t pitched 200 innings since 2003. And while its critical to get the staff in sync with the bats, its also important to stay healthy. We are having our troubles and we aren’t nearly as long in the tooth. If you count Wang as their #1, the Yanks 2-4 starters average out at 40 yrs old .. then you have a rookie. Age (real and drug-assisted) isn’t exactly on the position-players side for the Yanks either (see Damon, Giambi, Abreu, etc.).

    They will always get tons of press because of their history and their current soap-opera/Trumpian lifestyle in the largest media market, and its expected. However, tracking every push-up Roger does or how many changeups he threw to a lineup of 20 year-olds is a little over the top.

  94. Dave Wagner

    May 29, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    It’s unprecedented: for the first time this century, I’m almost nearly sort of bordering on ruling the Yankees out of the playoffs. They might have to build a whole new nucleus for this team (aside from Jeter), because I don’t see much of a future for the one they’ve been working with in the Torre Era.

  95. Mike R

    May 29, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Well tracking clemens is over the top, but it’s what ESPN must show since that’s what rates. Yankees draw and that’s a fact. I just don’t ever get caught up in the hoopla of it all.

    That said, I just told my friend yesterday that the Yanks are on the cusp of a blow-up-the-team-and-rebuild mode. I don’t know how that’ll sit with Yankee fans, but that farm system is starting to be rebuilt and with their collective age, like you mentioned, coupled with possibly being out of the race at the deadline, they may be sellers. And for any other ball club, that’d be a disappointment but not a catastrophe. However, in NY, it’ll be catastrophic and I feel bad because Cashman, yes, made a lot of bad deals but he’s trying to right the ship by rebuilding the system in a place where rebuilding isn’t accepted. And it’ll probably cost him his job.

  96. Bob S.

    May 29, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Yeah,Dave,I’ve also been wondering how long before Steinbrenner freaks out and blows up the Yankees.They’ve let that team get too old.
    There’s nothing wrong with second guessing Leyland-he’s not that great a tactician and as a judge of talent(Mesa,Perez),he’s stuck in 1996.I think his primary value is probably as a clubhouse guy who was able to command the respect that Trammell couldn’t-he added badly needed stability and allowed a pretty good collection of players to focus on the game.He lucked into a situation where several of his young pitchers matured,another was as good as any rookie pitcher since Gooden,and their prize free agent pitched better than almost anyone expected.On top of that,the White Sox(led by the freak show that’s Ozzie Guillen)stumbled.