Game 64: Brewers at Tigers

PREGAME: I know I should probably write something about tonight’s match-up between Chris Capuano and Mike Maroth. Instead I’m still basking in the glow of yesterday’s events. The obsession has been fed by all the attention, both national and local. Claims that it was the greatest pitching performance many have ever seen kind of lends to the intrigue. Plus, unlike the Magglio Ordonez homer last year which was a specific moment that will never be forgotten, this was a novel. A page turner that you couldn’t put down for a little over 2 hours. You knew how you wanted it to end for the protagonist, and even if you were sure of the outcome, you wanted to see how the author brought the story to conclusion.

Plus this was our guy. This wasn’t watching the last 3 outs from some other pitcher on some other team when ESPN breaks into coverage. Sure you root for them because you want to see history. But this was our history, with our team.

Oh yeah, tonight’s game. Sorry, got carried away there. But one more thing…Craig Monroe didn’t field a single ball last night. Dude stood out there all night and he could have packed his glove full of stale bread to give the seagulls.

Mike Maroth’s biggest bugaboo this year has been the home run. He’s allowed 15 in 66 innings and only made 3 starts – including his last one – in which someone didn’t trot around the bases. Too complicate matters, the Brewers are one home run off the lead in the National League.

Neifi Perez starts at shortstop again, and he’s probably earned a little reprieve from being called Neifi $&#*@! Perez.

Game Time 7:05

: Ugh. Rodney. The things is, this wasn’t bad Rodney tonight. Stick with me for a minute, while I’m still sick, I think I’m lucid enough for the moment. Bad Rodney is when he comes in and the count is already 2-0. Or when he gets ahead of a hitter, then throws 3 straight pitches no where near the strike zone. Rodney actually had control last night. Of his 21 pitches, 18 were strikes and all 3 balls went to Bill Hall who has implemented some kind of force field around the strike zone – just ask Justin Verlander. And even 2 of those balls to Hall were pretty good pitches, just off the plate on the outside. They were pitches that could have been tantalizing enough to Hall to swing at, or for the ump to call a strike. It didn’t happen though so with the payoff pitch he grooved a fastball down the middle and Hall grooved it over the bullpens.

Is this the pitching equivalent of a slump. That you struggle and struggle, and then when you finally do something pretty well, your rocket off the bat finds someone’s glove? I know many of you think that’s probably crazy and that Rodney just sucks and I don’t have the energy, confidence, or evidence to refute you given his recent performances.

  • Mike Maroth allowed 13 runners in 7 innings, but only 1 scored. He was helped by some double plays and some bad baserunning. Yet he stuck around and ate up 7 innings. He also kept the ball in the park.
  • The Tigers offense wasn’t that bad. They had 12 baserunners of their own. The trouble was they were spread out, and only 2 of the hits were for extra bases. So while there were baserunners, they weren’t blowing a ton of scoring opportunities.

I’m feeling a little better, so the minor league wraps should resume tonight.


  1. Chris in Nashville

    June 13, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    I agree with the sentiment. I was too young in ’84 to remember Morris’ no-no…and I can’t even remember a time when a Tiger pitcher came even remotley close to a no-no. I always get nervous watching someone go for a no-no, but like you said, when its your guy..who you’ve watched since his first MLB start…it made it completely nerve racking. The national pub for this guy is great, because it seemed like even after the ROY last year, people weren’t giving him the respect he deserves. He’s the real deal…I just hope he stays healthy, because he has the stuff to do this a few more times in his career.

  2. Kathy

    June 13, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    And tonight’s game brings us back to earth.

  3. Dave Wagner

    June 13, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    7 hits, 0 runs. I have no clue how he does this.

  4. Kathy

    June 13, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Slowly. A pickoff here, ground out there, here a ball, there a ball, now and then a strike.

  5. Dave Wagner

    June 13, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    These Brewers are certainly excellent on the basepaths. Good lord.

  6. Kevin in Austin

    June 13, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    I hate to say it, but we need one more inning out of Maroth. I’m scared of our pen…

  7. Kevin in Austin

    June 13, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Okay, I’m officially on the Neifi bandwagon. He’s good for what he his. An able bodied back-up who can bunt.

  8. charlie

    June 13, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    neifi has sure been playing some defense plus a nice sac.

  9. charlie

    June 13, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    we need a bullpen

  10. Austin

    June 13, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    i could feel the air get let out of the stadium down here in columbus after that one….way to go fer-nan-do

  11. PHT in HK

    June 13, 2007 at 9:38 pm


  12. Kathy

    June 13, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Gum Time!

  13. Kevin in Austin

    June 13, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Has anyone checked Rodney’s splits. He gets absolutely murdered by right handers. I guess it’s because that fastball moves in on them vs. away from lefties and he’s starting it over the middle of the plate.

  14. PHT in HK

    June 13, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    How many straight appearances has he given up at least 1 run?

  15. Ben

    June 13, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Howzabout we give the setup man job to byrdak for a while

  16. Dave Wagner

    June 13, 2007 at 9:45 pm


    this would be #3

  17. Dave Wagner

    June 13, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    scratch that. Make that #5

  18. Dave Wagner

    June 13, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    don’t worry guys, it’s cool. grilli’s in so everything’s under control

  19. Eric Jackson

    June 13, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Why is Neifi batting in the bottom of the ninth?

  20. Ben

    June 13, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Infante should be hitting for Neifi

  21. Ben

    June 13, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Too late

  22. Adam

    June 13, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Why is Rodney pitching in the eighth?! is a better question.

  23. Kevin in Austin

    June 13, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t mind losing, but the way we lost was heartbreaking. Rodney has got to start concentrating for us to make a run.

  24. Adam

    June 13, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    How can you back a guy who continuously fails when you have a guy who continuously succeeds who can pitch in the same spot?

    Who’d you rather hand the keys to your Mercedes to?

  25. Kevin in Austin

    June 13, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Man, with Sheets tomorrow it is going to be tough to take this series. I hate this feeling that I have right now that unless we hand it over to our pen with a 3 run lead we are screwed.

  26. Adam

    June 13, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Overall, giving up just 3 runs, it’s a plus.

    What really lost us today was our offense, which just wasn’t there.

  27. Kyle J

    June 13, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    It seems like it’s never good when you face a last-minute replacement starting pitcher.

  28. Kathy

    June 13, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Well, the Brewers aren’t exactly bums. However, we could and should have won today’s game, regardless. We also had a dead offense today. I’m looking forward to see Chad pitch tomorrow and the bats start heating up.

  29. KS

    June 13, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I guess what bugs me most is guys having jobs based on last year (Rodney). I agree with an earlier poster, it’s time to give Byrdak a shot here. He’s really earned it, and has been by far the best reliever we’ve had since he’s been here.

  30. Bobby

    June 13, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    …because you can’t spell Fernando Rodney without ‘L’.

  31. Stephen

    June 14, 2007 at 12:45 am

    And the grace period for Perez ends…right about now. Seriously, he’s 22 for 118 as a Tiger, that’s .186 with an oba in the low 200s. You can’t give outs away like this in the American League, best offense notwithstanding. I’m sure he’s a good guy, but look at it this way: he will make more this year than most of us in our lifetime whether he’s on the team or not. There has to be an utility infielder who can hit at least .220. And we got to get an effective set-up guy. Can’t wait to the training deadline. Dotel, maybe? I’m open to other suggestions. I know it ain’t easy pulling a reliever from another team in a pitching weak era,, but the Yankees are coming hard and they ain’t fooling.

  32. David

    June 14, 2007 at 4:13 am

    I was at the game and it was sad, but wheres the Brando bashing now?

    I swear Nando must do drugs his eyes are either bloodshot or yellow or both.

    Spurling musta had quite a night, Leyland sent him down last year, he pitched well for the Hens and signed on w/ the Brew Crew this past winter as a FA.

    Oh yea and Neifi just does suck, most of the “spectacular plays” would not look so spectacular if not made by Neifi because of
    1) Neifi plain out blows so you expect him to find a way to botch it.
    2) He normally gets a late break on the ball, so has to make up for it by tryin’ to get some extra reach.



    His stats (44runs,15 doubles, 2 trips, 14 hrs, 48 rbis, 41 BB, 11SB, and a .956 OPS) with the Hens don’t lie.

    Heck bring up Shelton and let him start over Casey (0 HRS by mid-June)

  33. Jason

    June 14, 2007 at 9:01 am

    “Spurling musta had quite a night, Leyland sent him down last year, he pitched well for the Hens and signed on w/ the Brew Crew this past winter as a FA.”

    Speaking of former Tigers, Cordero got the save. It hurts to see him on another team. I never liked giving him up, I liked him when he was with the Tigers.

  34. Ryan

    June 14, 2007 at 9:40 am

    I think it may be time to trade Rodney. Until this year, his road ERA has always been about 2.00 higher than his home ERA, which is sort of what you expect for a Comerica-based power reliever. This year, even with the best K/9 and BB/9 stats of his career, his home ERA is about 4.30 higher. Small sample size, I know, but just looking at his body language at home and on the road, he seems to hate pitching at CoPa. He’s lights out when he’s right, but I don’t know how he gets back to that. Maybe a trade straight up for another talented guy who just needs to get the hell out of town, Brad Lidge?

  35. Kurt

    June 14, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Trade Rodney? He may be at his lowest value yet. I think you wait it out but I just don’t know if you can wait it out with him in the setup role. Problem is, I can’t name anyone I’d rather see in the setup role right now either. The Tigers seem to have 2 lefty specialists, 1 lefty I don’t trust, two righties I don’t trust and a righty rookie. So yah. I have no clue what I’d do in that situation either.

    Whether or not rodney has lost it, never had it or if he’s fighting an injury or what, I have no clue.

  36. charlie

    June 14, 2007 at 10:22 am

    the tigers are apparently seriously shopping maroth and i would expect to see some bullpen help in return. he certainly had a good showing last night and that might help.

  37. Chris in Nashville

    June 14, 2007 at 10:43 am

    I had to leave after the 7th last night and heard on ESPN radio there was a 2 run HR and I knew who the culprit was. Rodney has been bad this year…and honestly…when Zumaya was healthy..he wasn’t that great either. I thought the bullpen would be the strength of the team this year at the beginning, but it has been a major disappointment. So much so that I don’t feel comfortable until we have a 5 run lead. Not sure if anything can be done about it, because EVERYBODY needs bullpen help…these guys are just going to have to produce like they did last year. It’s going to be tough to get bullpen at the deadline.

  38. jim-mt

    June 14, 2007 at 11:58 am

    For Neifi to be the 220 hitter desired, he only needs 2.5 hits. I do wonder if he makes routine plays look spectacular, but since Leyland likes him-best learn to love him.