Game 66: Tigers at Phillies

PREGAME: The Tigers make their first journey to a National League park this season. So here we are, real baseball. Pitchers hitting. Double switches. There’s nothing like seeing a sacrifice bunt with 1 out. Or the excitement of seeing a pitcher who’s having a great game lifted for a pinch hitter. Maybe it’s because I’m from an American League city, and I’m at an age where the DH has always existed, but I just don’t get the appeal of the NL. I’m pro DH all the way.

But on to tonight’s contest. The Phillies are currently residing in second place in the NL East. They lead the NL in scoring, walks, and on base percentage. They’re 2nd in slugging percentage and 3rd in home runs. So it’s probably a good thing that Bonderman-Miller-Verlander (aka The Future) are set to throw in this series.

Tonight it’s Jeremy Bonderman’s turn. In his last start, he seemed to pitch pretty well but his final line was an unimpressive 6 runs allowed in 6+ innings with 4 K’s.

The Tigers will be facing Jon Lieber. Lieber’s last start was a complete game 11 K shut out of the Kansas City Royals. He’s been much better on the road with a 651 OPS allowed on the road and 824 at home. Sean Casey is 17 for 38 lifetime off Lieber and Neifi Perez has 2 homers in 21 at-bats against him.

And as a final note, Jose Mesa made his first appearance for the Phillies and allowed 2 runs in 1 1/3 innings with 2 wild pitches.

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME Ergh the bullpen. Again. Is there any other team that can really use every bit of an 8 run cushion like the Tigers?

  • Bonderman had allowed 5 homers all season, and then 4 solo shots tonight. He wasn’t nearly as sharp as his last outing against the Mets, yet the result was the same.
  • Great game once again by the offense, and everybody contributed in one way or another. Casey had 4 hits, but Pudge gets the nod for blowing the game apart with 5 two-out RBI.
  • I really think Casey will get his first homer this series, and really thought he had it tonight.
  • Brandon Inge drew 2 intentional walks. That was the good. After having a great couple of weeks, he went back to looking tentative with a couple half/check swing strikeouts.
  • The one good thing about pitchers batting is watching all the other pitchers laugh at the sacrificial lamb from the dugout. And with Bondo going station to station tonight, there was quite a bit to take in.
  • Technically, Fernando Rodney’s string of 5 straight appearances allowing a run was snapped. Yes he only recorded one out, and yes an inherited runner scored, but the streak is broken.

Detroit 12 Philadelphia 8


  1. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    I forgot you ‘yungans’ didn’t grow up watching traditional baseball. I remember watching and agonizing whether the pitcher would be pulled and all the strategizing that took place. I’m used to the AL style of play now but it kills me to see the pitchers with cold packs and hot packs on their arms between innings and in the NL the pitcher might be stuck on base for the whole inning and run back to the mound and pitch.

  2. Ryan

    June 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Bondo looking for his first major league hit.

  3. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    I’ve got a good feeling about the offense tonight. Granderson had a very good at bat and lined balls down both lines. Polanco sent one to the opposite field warning track. Maggs, just missed his to center. It’ll be good I think…I hope.

  4. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    I’m with billfer on this one. AL Ball all the way. Yikes Rollins HR. We may need a good offense tonight, billfer.

  5. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    That HR came right after Bondo shook off Pudge’s call. Why is it that pitchers will shake their head “no” to a certain pitch and want something else. Does it have to do with their confidence in the pitch or does it have something to do with who’s at the plate.

  6. Walewander

    June 15, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Ah, Jeremy in the first inning.

  7. Walewander

    June 15, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Nice peg by Sheff!

  8. Walewander

    June 15, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    The Phillies guys are being unfair to Burrell about that.

  9. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    I feel a a bunt double play coming here

  10. Walewander

    June 15, 2007 at 7:33 pm


  11. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    …Why would you squeeze with Jeremy Bonderman at the plate? More over, how can Rod Allen “love it” so much? That’s just screaming “here’s 2 outs to get you out of the inning.”

    I don’t get that at all.

  12. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Lieber just pulled a Robertson. Thank you.

  13. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Runs are runs.

  14. Walewander

    June 15, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Hilarious, when it’s not us, anyways.

  15. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    What’s not to get, Mike? Most pitchers can bunt.

  16. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Mike – I can actually kind of make a case for it. With Sean Casey and Bonderman running, there’s a good chance they turn a bunt into a double play unless it’s well placed. This way, they actually take a little pressure off of Bonderman because he doesn’t have to place it well, just make contact.

    I can’t say I agree with it, but there’s an explanation for you.

  17. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Kathy: most pitchers that aren’t born and bred in the American League. If this is Kenny Rogers who’s pitched extensively in the NL I could understand it a bit more.

    billfer: I get the explanation, but what’s more likely? Bonderman not getting the bunt down/popping it up/bunting through the ball and Pudge being in a run down, or bondo getting the bunt down?

  18. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    Well, Kenny didn’t pitch ‘extensively’ in the NL. I was thinking he spent 2+ years and not just half a year with the Mets. I stand by my statements nonetheless.

  19. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Speaking of Kenny: 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s through 2.2 IP so far in West Michigan.

  20. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    If I was an AL manager they’d get bunting practice several times a week. When you get to the world series there’s no excuse for a pitcher not being able to bunt.

  21. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    and not to quadruple post, but Andy Van Slyke’s son, Scott, is playing for the Great Lake Loons (LA Dodgers organization) over in Midland. I didn’t know that. His other son, A.J. is playing High-A baseball in the Cardinals Organization.

  22. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t disagree with you, Kathy.

  23. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Hmm, 6 hits in 2.2 innings of A ball. Is this something we should worry about? Sometimes it’s aggravating not to see/hear the game itself.

    And I don’t think of myself as such a “young’un” 🙂 but I don’t get the appeal of pitchers batting. I know tradition is a huge part of baseball and there does seem something inherently unfair about a guy who only has to hit, not play the field, but still. Let the hitters hit and the pitchers stick to pitching.

  24. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I like the American League, but baseball has been played for what 75, 80 years without a DH. Many, many fans are still opposed to the DH role and do not consider it “pure” baseball. I don’t include myself in that group but, like I said when you get to the WS pitchers should at least be able to bunt. It’s just another tool that can help your team.

  25. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Yay! Bonderman’s first big-league hit! 🙂

    And pitchers bunting in the WS: I agree 100% Kath.

  26. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Bases loaded, nobody out, Sheff and Maggs due up! Let’s go Tigs!

  27. Ben in Denver

    June 15, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    I heard some talk about the idea of playing ‘visitor’s rules’ during interleague play, and I like it. Is there any official consideration being given to the idea? It gives the fans a chance to see baseball they don’t normally see, and for the AL pitchers, at least they would get to hit at home instead of on the road.

  28. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Bonderman scores! Woot!

    I’ve heard a lot of talk about “visitor’s rules” too, Ben, but I don’t know if this is going to happen or not. I personally like it. I also am starting to really like interleague play too, given the Tigs’ success against the NL (the WS excepted, of course).

  29. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Wow, they’re giving Maggs a double. Hey, we’ll take what we can get. And another RBI for Maggs as well.

  30. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Does 7 runs constitute a big night, Billfer. Finally, you didn’t curse something! 😉

  31. Ben in Denver

    June 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Nice, Pudge, nice.

  32. Jim

    June 15, 2007 at 8:36 pm


    I wouldnt worry too much about numbers as far as Rogers start. As long as he feels good afterward that’s all that matters.

  33. Jim

    June 15, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    btw I don’t like the DH and I wasn’t born until 86.

  34. Ben in Denver

    June 15, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Put in Mesa.

  35. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Jim–you’re probably right about Rogers. As long as his arm feels good afterward, he’s doing OK.

    Ben–I never thought I’d hear a Tiger fan say that! It may be nice to be on the receiving end of some of Mesa’s generosity, that’s for sure.

  36. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Another nice quirk of NL rules–I’m certainly no Inge hater, but how often will you see him intentionally walked?

  37. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    I forgot he was there. He pitched yesterday or the day before and got blasted. You don’t think they’ll put him in tonight’s game, do you? Even if not tonight, we might see him in either of the next 2 games. Poor thing, he’ll get killed.

  38. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Let’s hope so, Kathy. 🙂

    Terrific hustle by Granderson for a double.

  39. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I’m not too worried about Rogers results, and only 1 of the runs was earned anyways. This is spring training for him where he’s getting stretched out and working on things.

  40. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Guillen has swung at the first pitch in all 4 abs tonight

  41. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Pudge comes through again!!!

  42. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    I think Casey will get his 1st HR of the year in this series.

  43. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Casey goes yard this series.

  44. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Rod and Mario are stealing my material!

  45. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Almost for Casey. And Brandon’s getting a free pass again. OK, maybe I do like NL rules. 🙂

  46. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I see Billfer’s stealing my thoughts, as well.

  47. Jim

    June 15, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I absolutly adore Rod and Mario. They have so much fun up there it’s great.

  48. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Assuming that Bonderman gets through the 6th, and the offense doesn’t bat around again in the 7th, he should be able to get through 7.

  49. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Mike – that was pretty much simulataneous.

  50. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Sure, sure. We both know I’m the straw that stirs the drink ’round here. 🙂

  51. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Speaking of Carlos…..he just doesn’t have that svelte look about him like he did in spring training. I know he’s a big guy, but it looks like he’s packed on about 15 pounds.

  52. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    For the record, Bonderman had allowed 5 homers on the season before tonight.

  53. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    OK, if I can’t worry about Rogers, can I worry about Bonderman? Maybe it’s not such an issue when your team scores you 11 runs, but what’s up with the homers? That’s 4 he’s given up. Not typical Bondo at all.

  54. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Mesa! His red glove hasn’t come in yet I guess, and the orange probably would have clashed.

  55. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Even though he’s in a Phillies uni, seeing mesa getting hit gives me some flashbacks.

  56. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    I wish him well, even though he was awful in Detroit. He was one of the best for many years and probably still loves to play.

  57. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    I just looked outside and the lightening bugs are out. Summer really is here.

  58. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Finally nice to hear Rod saying something negative about the bullpen. I love him as a color guy, but i like guys that tell it like it is and the bullpen is just atrocious. I’m glad to hear him say it on the air.

  59. Matt in ATL

    June 15, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    SERIOUSLY-What does it take to realize Rodney is horrible?

  60. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Atlanta managed to put away Cleveland, 5-4, so let’s not waste this opportunity. And the Yankees are down to their last outs with the Mets up 2-0. Go Mets.

  61. billfer

    June 15, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Umm, well. It looks like Rodney will break his streak of appearances where he was charged with runs. True, he only recorded 1 out, and he allowed an inherited runner to score, but the streak is over. Woo

  62. Mike R

    June 15, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Speaking of that Yankees game, last I knew the mets were 5 for 6 in stolen bases in that game and stole like 3 in one inning.

  63. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    5 stolen bases in one game? Zowie, that’s speed. Looks like the Mets hung on for the win.

  64. Matt in ATL

    June 15, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Rodney, Grilli, Ledezma, Jones dont pitch on a championship team- I understand we are depleted by injuries. I dont live in Detroit anymore so I dont hear the buzz. What are the rumours? ( As far as trading Maroth or an everyday) We can score runs with anyone but we give up just as much. Sorry new to the Blog and looking for news outside the Braves.

  65. DH in DC

    June 15, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Does anyone recall us EVER having a 1-2-3 ninth inning this year?

  66. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Hey Matt, I hear Maroth is trade bait (and for what, I’m wondering? 1st base? bullpen? Anyone have any ideas?) but I also hear Maroth and/or Robertson and/or Durbin will be sent to the bullpen when Rogers returns. Usually Maroth is the leading candidate in that scenario, as far as I’ve heard. Anybody else hear any potential moves? I don’t believe Dombrowski will stand pat, but it seems our biggest need is in the bullpen, and pitching of all kinds (except mediocre to bad) is pretty scarce.

  67. Matt in ATL

    June 15, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    I understand, but Casey at 1st is defensively sound, they can bat around him, and he surprises every once in a while WS 2006. The key is to get a clear setup guy. This is where we truly falter. Last year was the strengh of Zumaya but so far this year i think he has thrown 100 MPH of @#%/. Leyland is smart but loyal it will be interesting seeing what he does (of course Dombroski is involved). Thanks Anne!

  68. Ben in Denver

    June 15, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    A nice win, but it’s a shame when you have your ace on the hill, score 12, but at no moment feel comfortable that we’ll win. After those bombs in the first, I wasn’t so sure at all. I’ll just shut up about it and be happy for the win.

    Going to the game tomorrow. Will the South Philly faithful mind my Tiger jersey? I’ve heard the Eagles fans are rabid, the Phillies I don’t know much about.

  69. Anne

    June 15, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    I’ve heard the Phillies’ fans booed Santa Claus. You may want to be on your guard Ben.

  70. David

    June 15, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Hopefully Maroth does not get traded, along with Inge and Guillen he is my fav. player.

    I went to his 1-hitter against the Yanks (thanks Shef)

    I think that so far for most of this year he has been recovering and would be shocked if he didn’t turn into a poor man’s Tom Glavine this year or next.

  71. Matt in ATL

    June 15, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Maroth is the most tradable starter. Once Rodgers comes back, Bonderman, Verlander, Rodgers, Durbin, and Robertson are as good, if not the best 5 in MLB. My concern is- the strategy of the opposing teams is to be within 6 runs in the 6th inning and in to the BP. At that point please tell me if you are not nervous, Trade Maroth for a veteran closer/setup.

  72. Kathy

    June 15, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Well said, David.poor man’s Glavine. Alot of people aren’t quite as fond of Mike as you are, but he can be dynamite. What’s more interesting to me is what is going on with Nate. I hope and pray he can get back in the groove.

  73. Mike R

    June 16, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Completely disagree. Verlander/Bondo/Rogers/Maroth/Robertson/Durbin (whatever combo are the 4-5 starters) are no where near the Boston Red Sox starting 5.

    Maroth is the most tradeable, but what’s his value? I can’t gauge how much he’d bring in return with questions on his elbow and being a below average starter this season who is pitching worse then his numbers actually indicate (6.61 FIP for us statheads).

    I think Nate Robertson, come the end of July, would be the best bet to bring back any needed help. Especially a combo of Monroe and Robertson. I’m with Billfer on that Thames at a fraction of the cost in LF is not a bad option and should put up similiar power numbers to Monroe. With the depth of our pitching in the minors (Virgil Vasquez could deserve another shot at a spot start, or else Zach Miner could be given a few starts), only Bonderman/Verlander/Rogers/Zumaya/…probably Rodney too, should be untouchable.

    That said, about tonights game, I never felt the outcome was in doubt. Also, didn’t Jones have a 2 K, 1-2-3 9th inning against the Mets or the series before that? I think it was the mets because Beltran was at the dish and I remember thinking (and the announcers talked about it) it’s the matchup of the last out in Tiger Stadium’s history when Jones K’d 2, including Beltran to end the game.

    Like I said before, I’m glad to finally hear Rod allude to the fact that this bullpen is a major weakness right now. Finally. we aren’t going to win games 12-8 all the time. Magglio will cool down, the offense will eventually scuffle. We need the bullpen to get fixed.

  74. David

    June 16, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Thanks Kathy, I hope they do not trade Mike Maroth.

    Here are some names they could trade for

    Damaso Marte (0-0, 1.23ERA), career 3.16 ERA plays for Pittsburgh

    Brad Lidge (2-1, 2.34ERA), Houston
    I’ve wanted the Tigs to pick him up for a few years now

    Dan Wheeler (0-4 6.03ERA/ 37K in 31.1IP) Houston, career 4.01 ERA
    might not have to give up as much for him as Lidge and might be very effective considering most AL hitters never have seen him

    Brian Fuentes (0-0 2.08ERA, 18/20 saves) Colorado

    Chad Cordero (1-1 2.81ERA, 10/15 saves) Washington D.C., career 2.63ERA

    Akinori Otsuka (1-1 2.10ERA) Texas
    Eric Gagne (1-0 0.53ERA, 7/7 saves) Texas

    JJ Putz (0-0 1.19 ERA, 19/19 saves) Seattle
    Brandon Morrow (3-1 2.49ERA) Seattle

    Soria (1-2, 3.04ERA, 10/13 saves) KC
    Dotel (0-0 3.12ERA, 4/4 saves) KC

    Al Reyes (1-0, 1.95ERA, 15/15 saves) Tampa

    Chad Bradford (0-3 3.46ERA) Baltimore
    Jamie Walker (1-1 3.55ERA) Baltimore

    Casey Janssen, Jason Frasor, Brian Talleet, Jeremy Accardo Toronto

    First of all let me just say I’m not worried about us and don’t think that our bullpen is nearly this bad.

    Also, I know its harder to trade to a AL team, esp one in your own division and also it’s harder to trade with a team right around .500.

    With all that said this is a list of teams I think have next to no shot of making the playoffs that might trade with us, and have something we could use.

    I’m still on the Lidge truck. One can dream…

    Anyways go Tigs!

  75. Adam

    June 16, 2007 at 2:44 am


    Frankly, I think Durbin’s proved he can pitch in the bigs.

    And I’d be taking a chance on Miller, seeing as I’ve only seen his two starts so far, but we’ll watch carefully tomorrow.

    I’d love to trade for Gagne as long as the cost wasn’t too high – tradable position players include Casey and Monroe…

    Also, I live in Midland where the Loons play, I still haven’t seen a game this summer – maybe I should get on that.

  76. Mike R

    June 16, 2007 at 4:30 am

    Lidge is pitching so well right now, the price for him would be high. I don’t think Wheeler’s available. No team in the NL Central is out of the race.

    Damaso Marte doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of AL hitters.

    Otsuka/Gagne — I expect 1 of the 2 to be dealt this year at the least.

    Fuentes, not so sure about.

    Putz and Morrow both aren’t going anywhere from Seattle.

    Soria/Dotel, possibilities, but really, would they be upgrades at all?

    Tampa won’t take on a big contract like a Monroe or Maroth. i don’t think Reyes is getting dealt from Tampa.

    Walker’s WAYYYYYYYYYY too much money for what he does. Bobby Seay is fulfilling his job for a fraction of the cost. Bradford is a specialist from the right side.

    Toronto is interesting but none of those guys are interesting except for Accardo, who I doubt they’d trade.

    Adam: Go on a night Clayton Kershaw pitches for the Loons. He’s the Dodgers No. 1 pitching prospect and he’ll be in the bigs around mid to late 2009 and dominate. He’s got great stuff.

  77. Michael

    June 16, 2007 at 11:02 am

    I was at the game last night and it was not so much agonizing but a step or two below that when the bullpen started pitching. Had a lot of fun, especially rubbing it in to my [Philly] friends.

    Going to tonight’s game as well…. woo!