Game 67: Tigers at Phillies

PREGAME: Andrew Miller is pitching for the Tigers so the opposing starter must be an ancient 40 year old – ah look, it’s Jamie Moyer. Okay, so it’s only the second time it happened (with Braden Looper being the other starter Miller has faced), but the only possible way to move up the old crafty left hander ladder from Tom Glavine is to go to Jamie Moyer right?

In any case, Miller has limited opponents to a .622 OPS in his 2 starts. A key may be taking care of the leadoff hitter who has reached base in 5 of the 12 innings Miller has started. Of course it hasn’t bothered Miller to pitch from the stretch because over 27 PA’s with men on, he’s held the opposition to a 130/231/261 line.

As for Moyer, he made his major league debut when Andrew Miller was 13 months old. Moyer has been pitching like a guy who is older than dirt over his last 6 starts with a 6.69 ERA and 55 baserunners allowed in 35 innings. Ivan Rodriguez is hitting 369/423/615 against Moyer in his career and that spans 65 at-bats.

Game Time 7:05 – This game is on FSN + so check here for the channel on your cable/satellite system


  1. Michael

    June 16, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    I am headed to this game as well. And Ben [in Denver]… yes they will mind. But the better your seats, the less they will. I made it a point not to sit in the cheap seats for last night and tonight [above RF tonight and by 1st today]. I have lived in the philly area for the majority of my life and have been to many phillies games and seen a lot of bad stuff done by philly fans. Be careful.

  2. T Smith

    June 16, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Does anybody know if Miller can actually bat?

    I guess we’re gonna find out.

  3. Anne

    June 16, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Well, he’s 0-2 so far, but maybe he’s still close enough to his little league days that he hasn’t completely forgotten how.

    Atlanta beat Cleveland again today, so c’mon Tigs! Get some more runs on the board!

  4. Kathy

    June 16, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Just walked in the door. I don’t even know how the Tigs got their runs, but the Phillies are giving them a good game.

  5. Stephen

    June 16, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Another day, another game where the relief corps gives up a run an inning. Man, they gotta make a trade. Just sending the odd man out of the starting five to the pen when Rogers returns is not gonna get it done. They should target Dotel. He’s on a 100 loss team, the Royals wanna dump the salary, and he’s probably not going to cost you a top-line prospect. Dotel’s not the answer–he’s injury prone– but he has a live arm and the Tigers need to start building some depth for the second half. J

  6. Kathy

    June 16, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    I have a real problem with Gene Lamont constantly holding up runners at third.

  7. KS

    June 16, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    That run was meaningless, it’s irrelevant that Polanco scored, unless you’d prefer to lose by 2 instead of 3.

  8. Stephen

    June 16, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    That run meant nothing. You don’t send the guy unless you’re willing to bet your life that guy is going to score. Can’t risky even the smallest chance of an out.

  9. Kathy

    June 16, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Well, at least they made it interesting in the ninth. And, Stephen, the Tigers have got to make some changes in that bullpen. They’re killing us.

  10. Stephen

    June 16, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Kathy, you’re right. Much different 9th inning if the score is 4-3 or 5-3.

  11. Kathy

    June 16, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Hope Ben and Michael tell us about their experiences at the game tonight.

  12. Stephen

    June 16, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Casey’s slg % this year is lower than Neifi’s career slg %.

  13. KS

    June 16, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    That’s insane Stephen, thanks for that info. A starting American League first basemen has a worse slugging percentage than one of the worst offensive players in the history of baseball. That say enough.

  14. T Smith

    June 16, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Casey certainly has not hit for power, but I believe he is mostly just under-achieving right now, in terms of power. His carreer slugging is .452, and he still is batting very good for average.

    And… he had such a dismal April. If you factor that in and look at his performance the last 30 days, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Casey’s offensive production (save for no home runs, which is rather odd)… Even with no home runs he is slugging .451 and batting for average at .363 the past 30 days. I’ll take Casey in the lineup anyday.

    And PLEASE don’t compare Sean Casey to Neifi Perez… that’s downright sacreligious 🙂

  15. Stephen

    June 16, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Well, i think he is terminally underachieving in terms of power. He has 8 hr’s in his last 600 ab’s. I wonder if there’s another regular first basemen in recent memory in either league averaging a hr once every 75 ab’s.

  16. Stephen

    June 16, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    The thing is with the lack of power and being the slowest baserunner in the league, Casey has to make up for it in other ways. He literally has to hit .320 with an oba of .380 to justify him being in the lineup every day. He’s done it for a month and I hope he keeps doing it. But as much as I complain about Casey and Inge—who if he hits .250, oba .333, and smacks 25 hr’s i will be a happy man–they certainly are not the team’s central problem. That would be a plethora of competent #5 starters–Maroth, Durbin, Miner, Robertson-and no one who has proven they can get tough outs in the 7th and 8th. The problem is there’s not a whole heckuva of a market for trading #5 starters for set-up guys.

  17. T Smith

    June 16, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    I agree. If we’re in a 4-2 game in the ninth, Polly comes around to score and we have a 4-4 game. We’ve been playing .500 baseball for a long time now, and until we can fix the bullpen, we’re gonna keep losing these kind of games.

  18. Michael

    June 17, 2007 at 1:31 am

    Last night was a lot more fun… I can tell you that. I was sitting 12 rows up from LF and Sheffield was right in front of us. Guillen hit his homer right at us. I just had the feeling if it was a close game, the bullpen would bite us in the ass… but it just turned out to be the lack of bats. I thought we could beat up on Moyer. His fastballs were at 81 sometimes! Oh well, hopefully Verlander can win tomorrow and take the series and my dignity back.

    I hoped that Sheff would have launched a HR ball into the seats behind me and broken the teeth of the a-holes jawing the entire time but alas….

  19. strummer

    June 17, 2007 at 7:01 am

    Well, i think he is terminally underachieving in terms of power. He has 8 hr’s in his last 600 ab’s. I wonder if there’s another regular first basemen in recent memory in either league averaging a hr once every 75 ab’s.

    All-Star Mark Grace, for much of the first half of his career.

  20. KS

    June 17, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Again in Mark Grace’s case, in my opinion it’s baseball’s ridiculous obsession with batting average, and first basement who can “pick it”. Give me a guy who can crush the ball any day at first. I agree with Stephen, if Casey’s not getting on base at a .380 rate he’s beyond worthless. Marcus Thames would give a much better return offensively if given the opportunity.

  21. Ben in Denver

    June 17, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Thanks for thinking of us Kathy.

    I arrived early for BP and was surprised to see how many Tiger fans were there. I even met another guy who had flown in from Denver for the game. Our hitters were wowing everyone with the display of power in BP, which is of course meaningless, but I overheard multiple comments from the Phillies fans about how our guys were giving out many many more souvenirs to the fans in the outfield seats than the home team was. I liked to hear the tone of respect before the game even started.

    Interesting pregame presentation. They awarded the Babe Ruth Award to Ryan Howard for his home runs last year, and it was presented to him by the Babe’s 91 year-old daughter. I found it moving to be in the presence of someone so closely connected with what’s become almost mythological by now. She’s holding up pretty well too, so I suspect she didn’t inherit her father’s propensity for fast living.

    But then Moyer owned us. He threw 80% changeups, sometimes reaching as low as 68, so I can’t explain it but it worked. Normally my concern in such a close game would have been the ‘pen, but no. It was the bats. It got a little interesting facing Alfonseca in the 9th with the tying run at the plate, to no avail.

    All in all, a nice park. Interesting that the out-of-town scoreboard shows outs and men on base in each game. We don’t have that at Coors Field. I bypassed the endless cheesesteak line. My seats were 1st base side, pretty high up, and had no bother from the locals whatsoever, even in my 80’s era Tigers road jersey. Like I said, there were a ton of Tiger fans, all showing their colors and I didn’t see or hear any confrontation anywhere. Filing out after the game, we would pass each other and say that we’ll get ’em tomorrow.

  22. T Smith

    June 17, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Although the pen didn’t technically “blow” this game, they still played a big part in the loss, allowing two runs. I think the ninth would have played out much differently if the score was 4-2, instead of 6-2… including more agressive base running which sends Polly to the plate

  23. Stephen

    June 17, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Strummer/KS: The problem is Grace was a gold glover, hit 310-320, and could run the bases. Casey’s hit .278 in those last 600 ab’s, slowest runner in the league, and not exactly Keith Hernandez with the glove.

  24. Anne

    June 17, 2007 at 10:23 am

    We can debate Casey’s offensive numbers, or lack of, but it’s mostly academic. This team’s problem is not lack of offense, or even power, but its bullpen. If we upgraded at first with someone who can mash, it might give us a bigger cushion to absorb bullpen ineffectivenes,, but isn’t it better to just fix the bullpen? (I know, easier said than done.) My point is, we have enough power as it is, relief pitching is our biggest need. Maybe we can convert Casey to a middle reliever? 🙂

    I like Thames at 1B for one main reason-showcasing him for a potential trade. I like Thames in general, but having him and Monroe both seems redundant. Craig hasn’t helped his stock recently, so Thames seems likely to bring us a better deal. Plus I’d like to see him catch on with another team where he can really shine, kind of like Carlos Pena with the Devil Rays. Hey, maybe Pena’s available!

  25. Michael

    June 17, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Honestly… it was weird there was nothing said to either of us. I wore my Tigers hat and a Ford t-shirt. Only time something was said was when my dad pointed out me to a beer vendor and he tried to say get me a tissue after the game. We traded a few verbal barbs and then I replied with “1983” [the last time ANY Philadelphia team won a championship] and told him Detroit had won 7 since then [I “missed” the Tigers championship by motnhs because I am 22]. He said “Don’t be starting anything” and walked away.

    I’ve seen much worse at Phillies games, probably because they were playing the Mets. I normally sit in the upper deck since that is cheaper and for one game, I wasn’t paying attention to the game for the 3rd through the 7th just because of all the junk that was going on.

    I grew up fighting Philly fans off…. I’m used to it by now, haha.