Game 73: Tigers at Braves

PREGAME: And all of a sudden the Tigers have a 5 game win streak. What may be most remarkable, and some kind of record, is that in each of those games, the Tigers have had an inning in which they’ve batted around (or Tiger’d around as my 6 year old son calls it). Five straight games sending 9 men to the plate in an inning.

Today is a Fox “National” game in which only a quarter of the country gets it. That quarter will get to see Justin Verlander in his 2nd game removed from his no hitter.

The Tigers will be opposed by Kyle Davies. Davies has a 5.65 ERA. He’s allowed 10 homers in 71 2/3 innings and he walks a batter every other inning.

For more relevant stats: DET @ ATL, Saturday, June 23, 2007 Game Preview –

Game time 3:55

: After spending the last month bludgeoning teams into submission, the Tigers tore a page out of the 2006 playbook. A solo homer backed a great starting effort while the bullpen made a narrow margin stand up.

It was the first game the Tigers have won this year when they’ve scored fewer than 3 runs. They won 10 such games last year, and 6 at this point in the season. Then again, the Tigers offense has only failed to muster 2 or fewer runs 11 times this year. Last year it happened 38 times, and 17 at this point in the season.

Justin Verlander has turned himself into the strikeout pitcher that we all thought he could be with 29K’s in his last 22 innings. Like the no-hitter, he had command of 3 pitches, and against a struggling offense he had an easy time of it.

Tim Byrdak surrendered a leadoff double, but retired the next batter and Fernando Rodney retired the next two batters without drama. Todd Jones pitched well in the 9th keeping the ball on the edges of the strike zone and the only blemish was a 2 out full count walk to Andruw Jones. That’s 4 routine nights from the pen in a row, and the results is a 6 game winning streak.

Tigers 2 Braves 1


  1. Luke

    June 23, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Tim McCarver is the worst color man in the history of the world. Being injured makes a player a better hitter? What an annoying moron.

  2. cib

    June 23, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Why do their pitchers keep hitting our players??!!

    Amen on McCarver. I have to watch with the sound off.

  3. T Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Why wouldn’t Velander lay down a bunt? Bases loaded one out?? Good chance for a squeeze …

    I don’t understand the call

  4. Sam

    June 23, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    The 4th Inning is over.

    Each 18 games represent 1 inning of a baseball season. The Tigers record so far in each Inning:

    1: 10-8 86-79 17-9-235/313/380 5-2-110.2-3.66 5-6-8-4.68
    2: 13-5 112-97 23-10-308/377/518 9-3-102.1-4.84 4-2-8-5.03
    3: 7-11 110-96 26-7-310/364/517 7-7-110.2-3.99 0-4-3-7.80
    4: 13-5 136-75 20-5-324/390/508 13-4-103-4.37 0-1-2-3.47

    I have added stats to each inning. ST is the starters, RE is relievers. I will talk more about the pitching later.

    The offense averaged 7.6 runs/game. They hit double digits 5 times (15,15,12,11,10). Magglio hit 1-18-.476/.558/.635 (7 doubles). Sheff was 5-19-.385/.474/.708. Guillen was a quiet 5-15-.319/.373/.702. INGE was 3-18-.364/.446/.600 as he should thank God he broke his toe which kept him from over striding. Heck even Neifi was over .200 (.217/.280/.261). The only issue is the Monroe/Thames twins who were a combined 2-13-.230/.256/.356. Their AB’s were limited by a lot of games in NL parks.

    I was surprised as anyone by the relievers having a better ERA than the starters. It is kind of funny how the pen had 0 wins (only 1 loss) and 2 saves. In the First inning the pen had 11 out of 18 decisions and 8 saves. The last reliever to get a win was Jose Mesa on May 5 against KC (43 games ago). Another interesting note is that after playing extra innings in 7 of their first 20 games, the Tigers haven’t played one since.

    The starter’s ERA was negatively effected by Nate’s performance in Texas on June 5 (6er with no outs). Take away that performance and the starters had a 3.84 era. Verlander led the starters (3-0-1.23). Bonderman was 4-0 but had a 5.70 era. Durbin was 2-2-4.30. Maroth was 2-0 with a 4.24 era but had 32 runners in 17 innings (with 0 Hrs). Andrew Miller split his 2 starts with a 5.56 era.

    Out of the pen the Tigers got perfect performances from unlikely sources as Seay, Miner, DLC, and Lopez combined for 12 scoreless innings. Grilli had a 2.08 era in 13 innings. The only relievers over 5 were Ledezma (5.14 in 7 innings) and Rodney (8.10 in 6.1 innings allowing 14 runners!!)

    As you can see a 13-5 inning is an impressive performance. The run differential is staggering. The next inning will feature a 13 game homestand with tougher competition (but the Tigers have been better on the road). 10-12 wins in the 5th inning would make me happy.


  5. Luke

    June 23, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    JV had a few good swings there. I’m guessing they didn’t try the squeeze because, just as he doesn’t have experience hitting the ball, Verlander doesn’t have much experience bunting, and if he really can’t be counted on to put the bunt down in a squeeze situation.

  6. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 4:39 pm


  7. Luke

    June 23, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    McCarver: I don’t like that term, “on pace”. If he gets hit and goes out for awhile he’s no longer on pace.

    Thanks for that enlightening nugget Tim.

  8. Michael

    June 23, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    I live in Pittsburgh…. MUCH closer to Detroit then NY or SF. But I get the NY-SF game…. damn bastards.

  9. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Ick, only two hits so far?

    Sheff, Ordonez , Guillen next inning. Shouldn’t go down 123.

  10. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    I love it when they say “Sheffield in Leffield.”

  11. T Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Yeah.. what really sucks is you can’t even get the game on It’s completely antiquated & retarded. Dah? Who’s in charge here? I guarante whoever’s in charge makes close to a seven figure salary… figure it out guys. It’s not brain surgery. Why blackout a game that isn’t even televised in your area?

    Sorry about the vent… I’m assuming most get to watch this game while Dan Dickerson and I enjoy the afternoon together…

  12. Walewander

    June 23, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    How has Maggs looked? I worried about him.

    I’m watching on…. Canada does have it’s pluses.

  13. T Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 5:53 pm


    Apparently Verlander does know how to bunt. I still say that was the play with bases loaded one out.

  14. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Anyone smelling a TJ BS? I is.

  15. Kevin in Austin

    June 23, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    T Smith – if you call customer support, and sit on hold with them for 20 min, they’ll release your IP and override the blackout restrictions.

  16. Kevin in Austin

    June 23, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Here is the #:
    Customer Support toll-free number: 866-800-1275

  17. Luke

    June 23, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    T Smith – If he can bunt then I agree with you that they should have thought about the squeeze.

    The only reason I can even think of to not squeeze in that situation if Verlander is a good at putting bunts in play is to expect Verlander to make a non-double play out and put all your money on Curtis driving in some runs. I love Curtis, but that’s still not a bet I’d take. Trading 1 out and the bases loaded for 2 outs and the bases loaded doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  18. Nate

    June 23, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Disclaimer: I am not saying that the squeeze was the wrong play in that situation. But…

    Leyland has on numerous occasions expressed his dislike for, or lack of comfort with, that play. Here is one example, I am sure you can find others:

    You can say he should have squeezed, but you can’t say that you expected him to.

  19. Kevin in Austin

    June 23, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Byrdak and not Rodney…nice. I’m not saying that Rodney won’t get that role back, but I’m glad to see Leyland make a change here.

  20. Kevin in Austin

    June 23, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    As I write that he rips a double. Great.

  21. cib

    June 23, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    It’s Rod Allen who loves the squeeze!!

    I have not enjoyed this game so much. So many frustrating at-bats.

  22. JMD

    June 23, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    I don’t get it. Who bunts with the bases loaded? I certainly wouldn’t squeeze with an inexperienced batter. And not squeezing would be dumb with the force at home.

  23. Kevin in Austin

    June 23, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Well, upon further inspection, I’m assuming Leyland went with Byrdak v. Harris, then Diaz PH.

    Come on Rodney, we need you here.

  24. Kathy

    June 23, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    That’s why all pitchers should take bunting practice several times a week.

  25. Kurt

    June 23, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Man I hate these Fox games. They’re awful. They’re cliche. They’re guys who can’t remember anything about the team other than the World Series. They’re shoving Barry Bonds down our throats even though they’ve already limited the game to only cities that actually care about the Tigers and/or Braves.

  26. Sam

    June 23, 2007 at 6:26 pm


    Rodney actually didn’t give up a run ;-).


  27. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    THANKS RODNEY. Phew. I was sure that run was scoring.

  28. Kurt

    June 23, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Let’s see if the Tigers can show how the Braves how it’s done

  29. Stephen

    June 23, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    You should pinch-run for casey, yes? I know we have a lead, but is his marginally better first sack play worth not getting extra run?

  30. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 6:38 pm


  31. Ben in Denver

    June 23, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    I was disappointed that I have NY/SF too, but after learning it’s McCarver and hearing you guys, no, Dan and WXYT is doing just fine this afternoon.

    Come on Jonesy.

  32. T Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 6:39 pm


    I don’t get the calls. We’re in a 2-1 game — on a rare day when the offensive is struggling. Casey is second NO OUTS. Come on…! At the very least Inge should lay down a bunt — probably should have a pinch runner come in for Casey, too.

    Then a ball in play scores the run….

    Instead we leave the inning 2-1.

    I sure hope Jones can pull this off so I’m not more aggrevated that I am by the lack of small ball (when needed).

  33. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 6:44 pm


  34. Kurt

    June 23, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Pinch run for Casey wasn’t open and shut. You need two things. 1) someone who really gives you a difference. 2) Solid defensive replacement. Obviously anyone is going to be faster than Casey, but there’s not exactly a speed demon on the bench. Also Thames isn’t as good as Casey at first. So it wasn’t really that big a deal.

  35. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    Thorman walk-off homer? He.

  36. cib

    June 23, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Whew. I was actually sitting here trembling. I’ve gotta get a life. All of you fellow posters are so knowledgable and I enjoy reading this while pausing the Tivo and doing all of my game-watching rituals. Have a great evening, all.

  37. Stephen

    June 23, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Seven wins on no-dh road trip! I don’t care if they start perez, monroe, mickey stanley, and darrell evans tomorrow, this road trip is already more than could ever been hoped for.

  38. T Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I love Dan Dickerson…

    After the last out, “Jones get’s em one, two, three!…’er (catches himself) I mean, a relatively ‘routine’ ninth-inning outing for Jones

  39. T Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    Kevin in Austin:

    Thanks for the info… I actually thought of that, and was wondering if would do that or not, but the last time I called (It was actually the Bonderman/Holladay pitching duel game), I was on hold for over thirty mintues, so I just gave up. Next time, I will DEFINATELY call and hold.


  40. Kevin in Austin

    June 23, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    T Smith:

    It’s a pain to get through the hold (I recommend a phone with speakerphone), but once you do the process is quick.

  41. Anne

    June 23, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Hmmm, I think SOMEONE (*cough* Adam *cough*) owes Jones an apology. 🙂 Or a beer.

    What a great game. Deja vu to ’06 all over again, eh? I actually missed the 5th inning on due to a graduation party, so I didn’t have to suffer the palpitations Rodney and Jones usually give me. I just got to enjoy the final score. And wow, Billfer’s right, Verlander is suddenly a strike-out machine.

  42. Adam

    June 23, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Tell me that the next time he blows a save…’sides, I’m not old enough to drink.


  43. Mark S.

    June 23, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Come on Nats, 3 more outs.

  44. Mark S.

    June 23, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats a gift gone

  45. Anne

    June 23, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    OK Adam, next time Jones blows a save, you won’t owe him an apology. Five months to his next blown save, or five months to the big 2-1?

  46. Ryan

    June 24, 2007 at 12:26 am

    The M-Live article about the game raves about Jason Verlander’s start. Did Joe Morgan switch jobs?

  47. ron

    June 24, 2007 at 12:45 am


  48. Jeff

    June 24, 2007 at 12:59 am

    *** Pinch run for Casey wasn’t open and shut. You need two things. 1) someone who really gives you a difference. 2) Solid defensive replacement. ***

    While I’m no fan of #8, you pinch-run Neifi for Casey in that situation. That takes care of the defense issue (Guillen to first base, Neifi to SS) and I’m guessing Neifi’s a bit faster than Casey.

  49. Adam

    June 24, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Not much, Jeff. He’s got maybe a half a stride on Casey down the line…

    Can someone please do the actual math – Casey’s speed getting down the line versus someone fast, like Granderson, and then someone slowerish like Neifi?

    Just time it, and do some math…or something.

  50. Sam

    June 24, 2007 at 6:38 am

    I have a spreadsheet, so not too long.

    He didn’t run for Casey because he was holding back Neifi for an extra inning pinch hitter 😉


  51. PHT in HK

    June 24, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Belated thanks to Sam for posting his in depth analysis of the statistics. Early in the season I was amazed at how many wins the relievers were getting, but never actually saw the stats. Good to see that the problems with the bullpen seem to be sorting themselves out.