Game 52: Tigers at Rays

PREGAME: The Tigers will try and take the series against the Rays. But to do so they’ll have to find success off a good pitcher. And it’s not Scott Kazimir. I know, it’s weird.

I must confess, I didn’t know anything about James Shields until I went to type this up. All his number look pretty good. He fans 7.8 per nine innings and walks only one fourth that many. He’s allowed only 59 hits in 74 1/3 innings. The only slight blemish is 9 homers which still isn’t bad. Plus he’s efficient, last through at least 7 innings in each of his last 7 starts. Who knew?

The Tigers will send out Nate Robertson who is getting torched lately. He’s allowed 37 hits over his last 4 starts spanning 20 1/3 innings and he’s walked 7 while fanning only 8. He thinks he’s figured out the problem which would be timely.

: Things looked so good when the Tigers picked up 2 hits on 2 swings and ultimately plated 3 runs in the first inning. But James Shields started doing what he’s been doing all season and shut down a pretty good offense.

  • This is the first game in a while that offense was really shut down. Sure they’ve had some low run totals, but in the other games they were still hitting balls hard and getting baserunners. Tonight it was one inning of offense and 8 innings of nothing. And aside from Granderson’s triple and Thames single those were the only hard hit balls. Even in the rally they were turf hits.
  • And Shields was efficient enough that he could stick around the whole game. You’d like to see the hitters run up the pitch count, but he was throwing strikes. They just couldn’t manage solid contact.
  • Nate Robertson started off great. He was getting swings and misses and not a lot of solid contact. But then the pitch counts started running up and the baserunners started to accumulate. And again he couldn’t get out of the 6th inning.
  • Plus he allowed 2 more homers bringing his total to 5 in the last 2 games.
  • A couple of the runs came across as the result of miscues. The first was when Marcus Thames misplayed a grounder in the hole. Thames looked simply devastated on the bench after a wild pitch and a double scored the first run. Without the misplay Nate gives up 2 less hits, throws fewer pitches, and saves a run.
  • The other run Nate got himself into with a wild pickoff throw that there was nothing Thames could do about that allowed the runner to advance to 3rd.
  • Magglio’s hit streak came to an end. It’s also the first game in a while where he didn’t have a hard hit ball. Ordonez still drew a walk, but never made solid contact. This includes fouling off a couple of hittable fastballs in his first at-bat. I’m not knocking him at all and it’s only one game. I just hope he’s not slowing down because he’s been amazing to watch. Plus if Guillen is out, Ordonez probably won’t see as many good pitches.

Game Time 7:10pm


  1. Anne

    May 30, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Two pitches, two hits and an early lead. Woot!

  2. Mike R

    May 30, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    The Billfer reverse curse is striking again. Sheilds looks good, billfer makes a note of it, and now he’s getting rocked. 3 straight hits to start the game.

  3. Anne

    May 30, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Hey Billfer, hope you and the Mrs had a really nice anniversary. Would you like to say anything nice about TB’s hitting now? 🙂

    Let’s hope Nate’s got his problems figured out. Last night’s win was great, but it hasn’t quite washed away the bad taste of the 4 previous.

  4. Dead Rabbit

    May 30, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    oh no

  5. Kurt

    May 30, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    WHEW that could have been bad, instead it was just frightening.

  6. Anne

    May 30, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Don’t know what was scarier in that inning, Nate loading the bases or hearing the words “Grilli up and throwing”.

  7. Dave Wagner

    May 30, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    Anne, most of my nightmares feature that phrase being repeated over and over

  8. Anne

    May 30, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I remember when I thought “Grilli’s gone wild” was just a funny play on words.

  9. Dead Rabbit

    May 30, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    D-Rays should move to San Juan where they would be appreciated…Puerto Rico deserves a team.

  10. billfer

    May 30, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Nate has been very frustrating to watch as of late.

  11. Dave Wagner

    May 30, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    I think the Marlins move before the Rays

  12. Dave Wagner

    May 30, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    I’m not entirely sure what to make of his current mediocrity, either, Billfer. I guess it’s possible he’s hiding an injury, but he’s been like this basically the whole year

  13. billfer

    May 30, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    His first 4 starts or so were quite good. He was probably their best starter at the beginning. Lately though, even if he gets ahead 0-2 or 1-2 it still turns into a 5 or 6 pitch at-bat. He’s missing more bats tonight, but he seems to labor every inning.

  14. billfer

    May 30, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Guillen now too? He wasn’t running hard down to first that last time.

  15. Dave Wagner

    May 30, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    He hasn’t looked like himself since that start against Seattle

  16. Chris Y.

    May 30, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Nate was great the first few like you said Billfer. I’m only watching the gameday, what was his velocity. If I was manager, I’d be going to a 6-7 man rotation alternating Maroth and Robertson for a bit. Robertson has looked labored, physically spent, his past few — how did he look tonight.

    Today, I wouldn’t mind a Bondo, Verlander, Durbin, Miner, Miller rotation for a couple weeks. On a completely temporary, voluntary basis.

  17. Kathy

    May 30, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    His hair looks awful. I think he’s going through a rebellious stage. Somthing just isn’t right with Nate.

  18. Joey the K

    May 31, 2007 at 1:23 am

    ok for the first time this season I’m getting nervous.

  19. Motor City Monk

    May 31, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Thankfully I was at my kids’ little league game all night – I caught the first inning and saw the final score when I got back – much less frustrating. I may have to curtail this Tigers obsession which started last year…or maybe not – Indian’s tonight – time to make up some ground.

  20. Dave Wagner

    May 31, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    I’m not worried. Even with all the Tiger injuries, I don’t think any of the other teams in the Central seem any less flawed than we are. At full-strength (by mid-July, hopefully), we should easily be better than any of them.