Game 101: Tigers at White Sox

by billfer on July 26, 2007 · 191 comments

in 2007 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: Finally the series that wouldn’t end reaches the rubber game. It’s Justin Verlander and John Danks. No Carlos Guillen or Gary Sheffield so Magglio will be lonely in the middle of the lineup.

Game Time 2:05

POSTGAME: I’m usually bummed with get-away day games because I’m at work and the best case scenario is I can listen. I think I was lucky to miss the bulk of this game, and while they are replaying it as I write this I really have no desire to watch it. And yes the bullpen blew it. And they didn’t even really give the White Sox a chance to beat them. They just kind of handed it to them by their inability to throw strikes. Yes, it really really sucks. That’s all I have.

 
 

{ 191 comments }

tiff July 26, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Hopefully Maggs won’t want to be outshined by the Toledo Contingent and will have a monster game himself.

End this tiresome series!

Chris in Nashville July 26, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Verlander needs to go deep into this game to save the bullpen for the West Coast trip….I bet the guys are going to be EXHAUSTED getting to LA tonight……I hope Sheff is back soon, he’s the last guy we need to go down at this point.

Dave T. July 26, 2007 at 1:13 pm

I like Verlander’s ability to stop the starting pitcher’s mini-slump! Hopefully we have a few good cycles through the rotation.

Mike R July 26, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Verlander’s been terrible against the White Sox. Let’s keep that in mind. 1-4 with a 6.96 ERA against the White Sox in his career with 54 baserunners in 32.1 innings.

And it’s worse for him at the Cell: 0-3, 8.04 ERA, 15.2 IP, 31 baserunners. Only Cleveland is a worse place for him to pitch.

Granted, sample size is small, but worth noting, nonetheless.

Dave T. July 26, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Mike R. Maybe you would like to come over and kick my dog while you are at it. Seriously though, I knew he was spotty at the cell but I had no idea his numbers were that bad (thanks for the factual frame of reference). Leyland mentioned his velocity was down last start, my only thoughts were he is due to bounce back.

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 1:26 pm

I’ll go for the glass half full spin: Verlander is due for a good outing against the ChiSox.

Kyle J July 26, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Them Toledo boys are going places–Raburn’s batting #3, Hessman’s batting #5. Of course, this is probably Leyland’s tendency to leave guys in their normal batting slots as much as anything.

The explanation for the White Sox hammering Verlander last year was that they’d picked up that he was tipping his pitches. I trust that’s been corrected since then.

tom July 26, 2007 at 2:12 pm

this is the first time watching Gameday. Are those pitches being called balls really in the strike zone, as Gameday seems to indicate?

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 2:22 pm

The Gameday strike zone is always a little hit or miss. Since each ump has their own strike zone it always plays different from game to game.

His speed his up but his control appears to be way off so far.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 2:24 pm

According to the radio boys if Inge hangs on to that ball Raburn has him nailed.

Kyle J July 26, 2007 at 2:27 pm

I think those pitches are really in the strike zone. With the 3D camera system, the Gameday pitch locations should be quite accurate.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 2:27 pm

I can’t watch on MLB.TV since it’s blacked out in Chicago. Verlander looks to be struggling to throw strikes. Anyone who can see the game want to comment?

Mike R July 26, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Dave T: don’t mention it. And I’m game to come kick your dog if you’d like. But it’ll have to wait after I cut the whiskers off a friends cat. Honestly, I didn’t realize his numbers were that bad against the Sox, either.

Also, just read that the Tigers have called the Yankees about Kyle Farnsworth. I figured this would happen. He’s owed $5.5 million for 08…. YIKES.

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Yes, Mark. Verlander is struggling to locate his pitches. He almost looks like he’s afraid to let the CWS make contact. The way the CWS has slapped the ball around the Cell the past few days, who can blame him? Combine that with his history at this park and it may be a long day for JV.

Also concerning me is that the Tigers have gone quietly agaisnt Danks the first two innings. Six up and six down. My gut is telling me bad things. I’m getting that gut feeling I get from time to time that the Tigers aren’t in to it today. I’m sensing a two run, six hit performance from the offense and that isn’t going to be good enough in this ballpark.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Thanks for the insight, Keith G. Always tough on getaway day, and we can’t have JV struglling to get into the 6th. Sounds like they are playing with fire here…

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 2:36 pm

I’m watching. He’s having problems with his fast ball.

Dave T. July 26, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Hopes he settles down. Fastball issue is with location not speed correct?

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Correct. Got out of the 2nd inning real good.

tiff July 26, 2007 at 2:39 pm

The bottom of the second was 3 up, 3 down right? Maybe he just had a Bonderman-like first.

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 2:43 pm

hope velasquez gets a spot in the starting rotation. like to see kenny at pitching coach one day

Nate July 26, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Well, that was a home run from an unexpected source!

tom July 26, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Omar goes deep!!

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Omar?!

tom July 26, 2007 at 2:45 pm

who knew?

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Threw his bat down thinking he had a walk, then swung at the next pitch and blasted it.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 2:46 pm

In my world, Omar has a 3-0 count. I take it he went yard. Thanks for the update, please keep it coming.

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 2:47 pm

“He almost looks like he’s afraid to let the CWS make contact. ”

I like what Todd Jones said: ya gotta challenge the hitters. 3-0 and then a fat pitch — ain’t good!

cib July 26, 2007 at 2:48 pm

If Omar were used more, you’d see more good results from him and not be so surprised! I like Omar as you can tell.

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Ha Ha! Omar sticks it in the home plate umpire’s keister. Omar took a close 3-0 pitch which appeared to be low/borderline at the knees. He flipped his bat away as though he’s drawn a walk. The home plate umpire made a late strike call and Omar was forced back into the batter’s box. Next pitch in the same spot and this time Omar clubs it into the LF stands.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Am I watching the same game? All I see now is Verlander throwing strike 1, strike 2, etc. Looks like somebody got in his ear a bit.

Sucks he hit Owens, 0-2, tho

Mike R July 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm

I wouldn’t mind Omar taking over after Polanco’s deal is up. Problem is keeping Omar in Detroit that long when he could get a shot to start elsewhere.

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm

“Sucks he hit Owens, 0-2, tho”

no sweat Tome fly out to left

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 2:56 pm

“after Polanco’s deal is up.”

I think Leyland is a good team builder. He’ll have guys who can play I think you can bet on that

Jason July 26, 2007 at 2:58 pm

verlander seems to be doing pretty well (from my viewpoint here on the interweb), contrary to all your remarks about him so far this game.

tom July 26, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Is Pierzynski officially the easiest person to hate in the American League?

Ben in Denver July 26, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I can’t think of anyone else right away.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 3:26 pm

There we go, let’s start something here.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I don’t think there’s any question. Even his own teammates don’t like him.

JML July 26, 2007 at 3:30 pm

I’ve always heard how disliked Pierzynski is. Anyone tell me why?

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 3:33 pm

He talks sh*t to the batters, he causes problems w/in his own clubhouse, he’s a dirty player.

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Well….there’s go my gut feeling of two runs on six hits for the Tigers today. Hessman delivers again. Beware of the wrath of the Mud Hen!

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Nice, Hessman!!!

Are they starting to knock Danks around a bit?

JML July 26, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Ah, just kind of a generic ass, eh

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Okay V, we need a shut down inning after taking the lead here. Haven’t been able to get those as of late.

Dave T. July 26, 2007 at 3:38 pm

Hessman doesn’t want to go back to Toledo (can’t say that I blame him).

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Hawk on Hessman’s RBI single:

“…that just burns my butt…the ump calls a strike a ball and then a guy gets a hit…”

Seriously, do these guys even get paid?

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Agreed, Kevin. A nice 9-10 pitch would be best, keep JV out there until the 8th.

tiff July 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm

He’s already up to 89 pitches in the 6th.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Danks still looks pretty good, but so does Verlander.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Listening to Hawk and DJ is like sitting behind two drunk idiots in the bleachers. Nothing wrong with being a fan and an announcer, but you still have to ANNOUNCE the game and not just bitch when things don’t go your way.

Two guys that are worse are the bulls color guy (dunno his name) and Ran Santo, who does color for the Cubs radio. He is so bad, it’s terrifying. Far worse than either of these knuckleheads, IMO.

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Pierzynski = Anti-Casey

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 3:43 pm

I like it. Another run here or in the 8th would make me feel better though.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 3:51 pm

2-2 to Granderson. What happened?

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 3:52 pm

doh. nevermind.

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 3:52 pm

unfortunatley, a K

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 3:53 pm

Ouch. Grandy’s K in the top of the 7th with men on 2nd and 3rd and one out might turn out to be a huge moment in this game. CWS going to the bullpen now to get rightie Wasserman to face Polanco. Still men on 2nd and 3rd with two down. Tigers are 3-2 for thosefollowing along weho don’t have access to the braodcast.

tiff July 26, 2007 at 3:56 pm

That was indeed a huge wasted opportunity.

Time for another 1-2-3 from JV.

JML July 26, 2007 at 3:58 pm

D’ohmar! (Keeping with FSN’s Simpsons theme)

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 3:59 pm

Omar starts of the CWS seventh by making an error on a routine grounder to SS. Hope this doens’t burn us.

cib July 26, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Argh. Omar. He has shaken my faith. (I still think if he played more often . . . .)

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 4:04 pm

concept of starting pitchers is obsolete. once through the order and put in the next man in rotation

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:04 pm

I just hope management doesn’t overreact to Omar’s gaffe and bring some schmuk onboard…. (history repeating)

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm

“I just hope management doesn’t overreact ”

– I wouldn’t worry about that with Leyland calling the shots

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Verlander overcomes the Infante error. Justin set down the next three CWS hitters in order after Infante’s error on Podsednik’s ground ball to start the seventh. Verlander at 105 pitches thru seven. He’s probably done. Seay and Miner are heating up in the bullpen for Detroit.

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Bill A: Was that sarcasm?

Bix July 26, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Late to the party today…stupid meetings. Thanks to everyone for the comments, it makes for great reading.

Admittedly, some are due to a very small sample size, but it’s really funny to see that the BA’s of the Tigs first 5 guys in the order are:

.300
.332
.417
.355
.333

I like it a lot.

Dave T. July 26, 2007 at 4:14 pm

JV still in the game. Jim Leyland saying I don’t trust the pen!

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 4:14 pm

We reaaaaaaaaaaally need Verlander to get through the heart of the order here…

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Awww hell.

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Well, so much for that

tiff July 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm

The only guy I would trust is Tim Brydak, and he pitched yesterday.

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Verlander allows a leadoff single to Iguchi to start the 8th. Verlander’s day is over as Seay is coming in to face Tiger killer Thome. I hope the bullpen can save this one for Verlander. He deserves a win after pitching pretty well agaisnt this lineup in The Cell.

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 4:17 pm

“Bill A: Was that sarcasm?”

no

I like Leyland, except I think he sometimes doesn’t change pitcher soon enough

cib July 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm

no no no no no no no

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Bill A: Oh. Well, Leyland was all about bringing Neifi on board last yeah when Omar made a gaffe, so I AM concerned. He liked Mesa, too…

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:21 pm

My head is spinning. Panic is setting in. Seay comes on to face Thome and walks him on five pitches. Nice job Bobby. 1st and 2nd with nobody out for the CWS. Miner coming in to try and stop the bleeding. I don’t have positive vibes regarding this scenario.

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm

year*

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm

How ’bout a DP here….

Bill A July 26, 2007 at 4:23 pm

jml: I think Leyland like to give various players a chance. take a good look at ‘em. let ‘em play. and I think he is always working at team building and what we see is part of what he does. IMHO, natcherly :-)

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Bill A: Generally, I would agree. But they needlessly paniced over Omar last year and brought in Neifi. It has left me scared :-P

Jim July 26, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Joining in a little late today, so how about that pen?

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Good God our pen stinks….

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Aach Miner makes me sick!

tiff July 26, 2007 at 4:28 pm

gaaaaaa!! FRUSTRATION!

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 4:28 pm

I really don’t enjoy watching this bullpen.

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm

PAINFUL!

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Now it’s tied.

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Well so much of JV’s win… :-(

cib July 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Hideous. It’s as if they want to lose. I’m just sick.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm

How has the home plate ump been? I heard on the radio there was alotta complaining?

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm

I’d get Miner out of there.

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Zach did good to get out of that with only 1 run.

cib July 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Sometimes I have this dream. It’s a few years ago, just me and maybe 5,000 other people at Comerica Park. The sunshine is beautiful and the hot dogs are delicious. If the Tigers lose, they lose, if they win it’s a nice surprise. Either way they can’t break my heart because I don’t expect anything, and there’s no stress. :-)

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Disaster averted, but the CWS tie it up. Bullpen (Seay/Miner) walk the first two hitters they face and it costs the Tigers the lead. It also cost Verlander the win. That’s too bad as he deserved better today. Miner recovered nicely after his walk to Konerko loaded the bases with no outs. He got AJ Pierzynski to ground into a double play (which scored the tying run), before getting Dye to ground out to Inge on a full count. Seay walking Thome was the key to the inning. He was brought in to get the left handed hitter and walks him on five pitches. That hurt because he was brought into the game for one reaason and he failed miserably.

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 4:36 pm

But of course, we don’t need to do anything. We can stand pat. Walk-em Miner/McBride are adequate to deliver us to the promised land.

tiff July 26, 2007 at 4:37 pm

what happened to end the 8th? Did Dye strike out? GameCast doesn’t want to tell me.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Dye bounced out to 3rd after narrowly missing a double.

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Jim,

The home plate ump has been fine IMO. He’s been consistent and really hasn’t missed many calls on balls & strikes. I think we got a break when he called a 3-0 pitch on Infante a strike instead of ball four (which I think it was ball four) in the third inning. Infante hit the very next pitch out of the park instead of what would’ve been a two-out walk.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 4:43 pm

gotcha.

btw I think we should trade for Jenks too

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Hoping for extra innings…

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Five walks today. Yikes, not good.

Joey the K July 26, 2007 at 4:45 pm

to quote from all the Star Wars movies….”I got a bad feeling about this…”

Jim July 26, 2007 at 4:45 pm

If this was 2006 Cmo would have caught that ball

Kyle J July 26, 2007 at 4:47 pm

I was about to post exactly the same quote, Joey.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 4:48 pm

If this was 2006, Zumaya would have pitched the 8th and retired the side in order, and Jones would be on attmepting to close it out right now.

Ben in Denver July 26, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Puke.

JML July 26, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Well, THAT was a World Series flashback… :-P

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Pathetic

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 4:50 pm

I don’t even know what to say.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 4:50 pm

I’m just laughing right now. That was so pathetic.

Tbone July 26, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Bullpen lost this series for us, plain and simple.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 4:51 pm

WS flashback? Oh no. Please don’t tell me….

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Can someone with visual let us know if it was a tough play, or if Miner just botched a routine bunt?

tiff July 26, 2007 at 4:52 pm

Yuck. These errors are going to be the death of me. And this team.

Joey the K July 26, 2007 at 4:52 pm

wow.

tough series.

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 4:53 pm

It doesn’t matter. Bullpen sh*t the bed again. They can’t throw strikes consistently, and right now they just aren’t up to the task. Awful, just awful.

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Awesome job, Zach. Is this the World Series all over again? Piching throwing error scores the winning run. Miner throws a routine sac bunt into the RF corner. Ugh. What a disgusting series the Tigers played in Chicago. 2-3 seems like a miracle based on the way they played. Just as an aside: DO we have to treat Podsednik like he’s Lou frickin’ Brock everytime he gets on base? I know the guy has speed but it seems to me that the Tigers did themselves a disservice by paying him all kinds of attention everytime he got on. It seems to me that the Tigers are better served just concentrating on getting the next hitter. We all better hope that Zumaya and Rodney are the 2006 Zumaya and Rodney when they return or this season is going to end in a lot of heartache.

Walewander July 26, 2007 at 4:54 pm

GGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Ben in Denver July 26, 2007 at 4:54 pm

How did he score all the way from first?

Teymour July 26, 2007 at 4:57 pm

This is not good. Every week the Miners and Durbins of the world do something to gain our confidence, then when it counts they blow it. Let’s all hope F-Rod can pitch back-2-back games soon (and throw that fastball at about 94-96).

Jim July 26, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Ben: Miner threw the ball into RF

Keith: Unles I’m wrong with his recent injuries but I know a couple seasons ago he was the fastest white boy in the league

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Kevin, it was not a tough play. It looked like he had to reach twice into the glove before he threw it wildly past Hessman. The thing was that he had plenty of time tomake the play, even with the double clutch. I think Zach may have thought that he had to rush it, but in that situation he’d have been better off eating the ball rather than trying to rush it. I want to stress that it was NOT a tough play. Miner made it into a tougher play than it should’ve been, but it was a routine sac bunt from a hitter with little speed.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 5:00 pm
Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Jim, Podsednik has ggod speed. What I’m saying is just concentrate on getting the next hitter. If he steals second, whatever. They still need another hit to bring him home. It just seems to me that the Tigers got all freaked out every time Podsednik reached first base in this series. The guy is not Rickey Henderson or Lou Brock.

Vince in MN July 26, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Note to Dave Dombrowski:
The bullpen that showed up in Chicago is the real one.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Yes, but you concede second to Pods, with no out. Then they bunt him to third, when all they need is a sac fly.

Kathy July 26, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Have to agree with you on that one, Vince.

JML July 26, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Well, Farnsworth would come in handy if we have a brawl…

Mark in Chicago July 26, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Part of the problem, IMHO, is that Miner and Durbin are better suited to middle relief, and aren’t late-inning guys. Not sure how to explain or quantify it, but this just isn’t their role. And when they struggle, they get shifted to another role, so no one gets settled. Hopefully this gets resolved when Z and Rodney get back and pushes them earlier into the games.

It would also help if they threw strikes consistently. I’m looking at you, Jason Grilli.

Vince in MN July 26, 2007 at 5:27 pm

I’d pass on Farnsworth: 40IP 45H 20BB 26SO 1.61 WHIP .280 BAA. We have enough relievers who walk too many batters and don’t strike out enough.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Let’s hope that the Farnsworth thing remains a rumor

Rodney is back next week, Zumaya in the middle of August. If we can get through LAA and OAK at 3-3, then we set up nicely for a long homestand.

That homestand is followed by 13 games v. NYY and CLE in a row. We have to have the pen situation worked out by then.

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Wow. I can hardly stand to watch past the 7th inning. It’s no longer even enjoyable. We literally have a WS-caliber offense/Starting-Five coupled with a Little League bullpen. My new viewing strategy, in games with a 3 run lead or less, will be to turn off the TV in the seventh, take a deep breath, run out to the local spa, maybe do some Yoga and practice some some relaxation-breathing, maybe get a massage, maybe tune into some harps and strings from the good ‘ol I-Pod, and then return home in a renewed state of mind before I flip on ESPN to learn how the Little League fared.

I’ll say it again, and again, and again, and again, and again… and again:

McBride/Durbin/Miner et. al are all good pitchers — that’s not the issue, and I mean no insult or disrespect to them as players/pitchers — but they’re long guys — NOT SETUP GUYS. They’re the guys you want when your starter falls off the mound in the 3rd or 4th or 5th inning.

In the seventh and eighth inning (and ninth inning, too) you need a strike-out pitcher who throws strikes, throws hard, and doesn’t give up the walk. On top of that, ask a guy like Miner to be a SETUP guy, and he will likely pitch WORSE than normal. He will likely produce more walks/errors/wild pitches, etc. than he would in his comfortable role (oops — I’m really not a genius — yes, yes, I admit — I SAW the game).

Since I hadn’t formulated my more Zen approach prior to this latest bullpen melt-down, I guess I’ll just now succumb to my more pedestrian routine and head off to the bar…

Good night all.

Vince in MN July 26, 2007 at 5:53 pm

I don’t think we can afford to wait around in the “hopes” that Zumaya and Rodney will solve the situation. There are no guarantees that either one will be able to come back and make a positive impact, to say nothing of both of them doing so.

West Coast Tiger July 26, 2007 at 6:00 pm

I just watched this game taped, and I don’t understand Leyland pulling JV after 1 hit. It was his 3rd all day. Considering Miner and Say have struggled to find the strike zone as of late. Especially with this umpire calling the smallest strike zone we’ve seen lately.

This one may haunt them

West Coast Tiger July 26, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Seay

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 6:13 pm

T Smith – How much for a copy of your “2007 Tigers Bullpen Relaxation Program?”

Keith G. July 26, 2007 at 6:18 pm

A bit off-topic but I just saw breaking news on SportsCenter that Wake Forest head basketball coach Skip Prosser passed away today.

Vince in MN July 26, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Verlander was at 109 pitches and his control had been shaky. Leyland was playing the percentages with Seay and then Miner. I also question Leyland’s decision in the top of the eighth to have Infante sacrifice (he had homered and walked against Danks in his two previous AB), with Granderson up next. Despite Curtis’ nice game against Burleigh on Monday, he has been atrocious against left-handers this year, with over a 33% chance of striking out, which is what he did. Leyland was playing for one run I guess, but going for the big inning seemed to make more sense to me there. But the bottom line is that the bullpen blew the game. When your late inning relievers come in and walk the bases loaded with none out in a close game, you are in big trouble.

Stephen July 26, 2007 at 6:29 pm

I think the bullpen is fine. Besides, we’re just trying to build toward being a consistent winner rather than a 2007 World Series champion. No worries, Rodney’s gonna be fine, Zumaya’s dislocated finger is going to heal perfectly and he’s gonna return w/o missing a beat. Our year is 2010, Maybin will be hitting .340 and driving in 110 rbi’s by then.
Be patient everyone!

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Stephen – would you trade Grady Sizemore for Eric Gagne?

Mike R July 26, 2007 at 6:42 pm

I don’t even feel bad about this loss. I missed the endings to most the last two games as I was out and about during the games, but I watched today and I just don’t feel bad. I just chuckle and turn the station.

Honestly, how upset can we be about pitchers under-perform in roles they shouldn’t be in?

Stephen July 26, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Re: Stephen – would you trade Grady Sizemore for Eric Gagne?

Kevin: Boy, that’s a false analogy. Yeah, i want to trade a bonafide, proven major league all-star for eric gagne. Try again.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 7:11 pm

In case Stephen doesn’t take the bait –

(disclaimer – I’m okay with trading young talent. I am not okay with trading Maybin for anything other than bona fide top prospects/established potential all-stars in return)

I have been thinking about this for a few months, and I am not convinced that you do not overpay for relief pitching in MLB, regardless of our bullpen problems. Maybin for anyone throwing 50 innings a year would be the biggest coup since alcohol snuck up on Lindsay Lohan. Closers are significantly easier to find than 5 tool prospects with + arms, ++ speed, power, etc. I did not say “easy,” just “easier.” We have not had a position player prospect like Maybin in a dozen years, and it may be another decade before we do. I can think of one closer that I would consider trading him for – Papelbon (b/c of his age and starter potential). I know that the naysayers will reply with “Congrats to Maybe winning the 2010 ROY and no championship!” The thing is, with our current team and MO, every year for the next 6 could be a championship year. We start dumping talent to bring in Gagne for three months, and we’ll have one shot.

There are amicable solutions out there. We just need DD to work a little harder.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 7:15 pm

(repost b/c I had a typo which clogs my argument)

In case Stephen doesn’t take the bait -

(disclaimer – I’m okay with trading young talent. I am not okay with trading Maybin for anything other than bona fide top prospects/established potential all-stars in return)

I have been thinking about this for a few months, and I am now convinced that you do not overpay for relief pitching in MLB, regardless of our bullpen problems. Maybin for anyone throwing 50 innings a year would be the biggest coup since alcohol snuck up on Lindsay Lohan. Closers are significantly easier to find than 5 tool prospects with + arms, ++ speed, power, etc. I did not say “easy,” just “easier.” We have not had a position player prospect like Maybin in a dozen years, and it may be another decade before we do. I can think of one closer that I would consider trading him for – Papelbon (b/c of his age and starter potential). I know that the naysayers will reply with “Congrats to Maybe winning the 2010 ROY and no championship!” The thing is, with our current team and MO, every year for the next 6 could be a championship year. We start dumping talent to bring in Gagne for three months, and we’ll have one shot.

There are amicable solutions out there. We just need DD to work a little harder.

Walewander July 26, 2007 at 7:29 pm

Saw this on MLB.com:

“Rockies: The Denver Post reports that the Detroit Tigers have sent scouts to check out first baseman Joe Koshansky and third baseman Ian Stewart of Triple-A Colorado Springs. Koshansky leads the Pacific League in RBIs, and Stewart has regained the form this season that made him the top prospect in the Rockies’ organization after the 2004 and 2005 seasons.”

Whatever can it all mean?

billfer July 26, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Stephen -

Why do you continue to misconstrue what others say and taunt them? People who don’t want to sell the farm aren’t aiming just for 2010. They’re aiming for 2007-2012. It is possible to do both.

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Kevin in Austin:

The price for the 2007 Tigers Bullpen Relaxation Program might go for as little (or as much, depending on your point of view) as, say, a Jones 1-2-3 ninth (surely you have some influence) or a string of, say, three bullpen saves in a row without enduring a game-deciding disaster? Come on, man. Pull some stings, and it’s all yours.

Stephen July 26, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Huh? You don’t think the ‘hold on to prospects’ camp hasn’t, on occasion, totally misconstrued my ‘trade a prospect’ theory into i want to trade maybin and all our prospects for a middle reliever?
(see above post asking me if i’d trade sizemore for gagne)

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Kevin in Austin:

“I don’t even feel bad about this loss… I just chuckle and turn the station….”

Sorry. I’m priced out of the market. You need whatever relaxation regiment Mike R’s on.

T Smith July 26, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Kevin in Austin:

In all serious discussion, I completely agree with you. You’ll see this bullpen pull off one save (see last night’s threads), and all of a sudden all the “hold-on-to-all-prospects” lobbyists come out of the wood work. Problem is, every other day or so the bullpen blows a game and you hear a lot of crickets. A few of the bold still advance the “hold-on-to-the-prospects” argument.

The thing is:

You gotta try to make a deal. So here are the ground rules:

Hold on to Maybin, yes — unless you get a Papelbon (unlikely). Maybe even hold on to the number 2 prospect. After that, it’s free game. None of this, “the top five prospects are untouchable” nonsense. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the discussion in a nutshell. There are no guarantees either way — but you absolutley need to make a move with this bullpen. The goal is to try to secure the most advantageous trade given the ground rules above.

Jeff July 26, 2007 at 8:22 pm

It is rare to have a closer who provides consistent excellence combined with near-perfect health (the ones who do are Hall of Fame caliber relievers).

This concern is especially valid with closers who have not had perfect health (i.e. Gagne). It’s one thing to mortgage the future for a proven healthy player. It’s quite another to do so for a guy whose arm may fall off in the next month.

Furthermore, the playoffs are a crapshoot, which is evident from the number of wild card teams that have advanced to or won the World Series. The key is getting into the field. This bullpen needs shoring up. It does not need a panic move.

Look at last year–the concern was a lack of thump in the lineup. The most available guy out there was Soriano. The Nats wanted Maybin. The Tigers were outscored in the World Series by 11 runs. Does anyone think replacing Monroe with Soriano would have made up that gap?

billfer July 26, 2007 at 8:23 pm

I guess I read the Sizemore for Gagne question differently in that is what kevin is hoping for from Maybin in the future. I didn’t read it as a taunt. I guess it could go either way, and regardless it isn’t the best analogy as you point out.

billfer July 26, 2007 at 8:30 pm

I’ll make one more comment on the matter, okay I’ll make lots more probably but there’s one thing I want to clarify in terms of my viewpoint.

I’m working off of the assumption that the Tigers won’t be able to a real legitimate impact bullpen guy straight up for a Trahern or the like. They’ll get someone who could help, but it will be someone with flaws. So then you start talking about 2-3 top 10 prospects which is a signifcant price and that’s where my apprehension is. Maybe the market isn’t that expensive, and if so it becomes more palatable.

While I come down on the opposite side of the fence as Stephen, at least I think that we agree on what the cost of a substantial upgrade would be.

Oh – and T Smith I did write the hold prospects thing after the bullpen spectacularly blew a game. No crickets from me.

Mike R July 26, 2007 at 9:02 pm

I have never strayed from my stances on the trade deadline. I say that Maybin is pretty untouchable, and everyone else is fair game. After all, beyond Maybin, this system gets very bleak with some interesting players and some solid arms but no more ‘gems’ after him (even though he’s being over-hyped and overrated — again, a stance that I haven’t strayed from).

It’s just that the market’s bleak and there’s no need to make a Herschel Walker to the Vikings-like deal for someone like a Dotel. The Royals apparently asked about Maybin, but I’m not concerned as talks have to start somewhere so the top prospect is a place to start and back your way down from.

Oh, and no to Joe Koshansky. Yes to Ian Stewart but where’s he going to play? Unless you move Inge to SS and Guillen to 1B in 2008. Hm, that’s a possibility, I wouldn’t mind that. I would like to go back and un-sign Inge to that 4 year deal. Ugh.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 9:31 pm

“Huh? You don’t think the ‘hold on to prospects’ camp hasn’t, on occasion, totally misconstrued my ‘trade a prospect’ theory into i want to trade maybin and all our prospects for a middle reliever?
(see above post asking me if i’d trade sizemore for gagne)”

Well, you are the one who suggested we trade Maybin. I think it just kind of snowballed from there.

Stephen July 26, 2007 at 10:17 pm

I guess i look at the playoff window a bit differently. To me, the window is 06-09. (Realizing ’06 was a magical convergance) That makes the trading of, say, your #2 and #6 prospect seem wise. I realize you’ve got young studs in Bonderman, Verlander, and Miller, but to think all three are going to be healthy come Maybin’s arrival seems overly optmistic. I know the Braves kept a starting three intact for years, but the odds are not with us. Sheff, Maggs, and Pudge are in their late prime. Could we replace them and make a run in 09/10 with Maybin? Possibly. But Murphy’s Law is that one of our next round of free agents will be a Dean Palmer-like bust and we’re gonna be in the 85 win territory.
I’m not going to argue statistics on how many games can be won or lost based on the acquisition of one player. But it can change the whole tenor of a ballclub. A prime reliever allows folks like Durbin and Miner to go back to long relief and restore the natural order of things. Do we really want to go into those Yankees/Indians series without an actual setup guy with experience coming in the 8th or in the 9th when it’s tied? That’s like a football team heading into New England in January with a rookie placekicker.
People say this is now a big market franchise. Well, big market teams overpay for bullpen help with the confidence that their scouting system will find new prospects AND that increased revenue allow you to paper over holes with free agents.
My advocacy of trading Maybin was largely on the premise of getting a youngish closer AND a youngish set-up man in return. (And that are locked up thru ’08). This seems like good value for a guy at Lakeland with 8 home runs as August approaches. I don’t back away from that statement philosophically, but in reality that would take a three team deal which usually only happens in the off-season or in fantasy baseball.
The thing I find most interesting regarding the ‘be conservative with trading prospects’ camp is the ‘we must guard the franchise’s future’ argument. Well, last time I checked none of us are actually assured of a future, we’re all here day-to-day, and the number of times the Tigers have been playing .600 ball at the end of July in my lifetime can be counted on one hand. Now’s the time to do this.

Jim July 26, 2007 at 10:25 pm

Good counter Stephen.

I think what we’re all bickering over though is largely moot.

You know all we’re gonna get at the deadline is probably an aging NL’er right?

Jim July 26, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Oh, a :P incase anyone thinks im serious.

Stephen July 26, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Thanks Jim.

Kevin in Austin July 26, 2007 at 10:36 pm

1) Fantastic, learned input all the way around. I really enjoy reading this thing.

2) CLE is down 5 in the 8th.

3) NYY is down 5 in the 7th.

We may live after all.

T Smith July 27, 2007 at 7:44 am

Stephen:

Knock-out punch. You nailed it.

Bill A July 27, 2007 at 8:07 am

JML “Bill A: Generally, I would agree. But they needlessly panicked over Omar last year and brought in Neifi. It has left me scared”

could be, I think, but too, I see Leyland like to put guys like Omar in and out of the line-up. That’s why I like seeing Hessman now as an alternate esp. at 1B, Ryan Raburn has played well for us and I liked Valesquez. I’d like to see Valesquez pitch another game and I sure do think I’d like to see Kenny as pitching coach

Leyland is gonna change guys around. we’ve been seeing that. but I see it as a good thing — helps the team through a tough schedule — and we are playing a tough schedule — and it helps with team building too.

Bill A July 27, 2007 at 8:48 am

Leyland needs to get a hold of his pitching coach and straighten some things up. back to basics. challenge the hitters, go after them just like Todd Jones sez. Do not get behind in the count but don’t throw any cookies either. Keep pitch count down. A good measure of pitcher performance is average number of pitches to get batter out. And above all do not walk anybody let alone the lead off man.

Nate July 27, 2007 at 9:03 am

Bill A., do you really think that Hernandez and Leyland aren’t telling their pitchers these sorts of things, or even that their pitchers don’t know these things. Sometimes knowing what to do isn’t enough; you have to be able to do what you know.

Kyle J July 27, 2007 at 9:06 am

To me, one thing that would help in this dicussion is to talk about actual relievers on the market, not just “bullpen help” generically.

Octavio Dotel (ERA: 3.27, WHIP: 1.46)
Chad Cordero (ERA: 2.70, WHIP: 1.32)
Eric Gagne (ERA: 2.16, WHIP: 1.05)

Now let’s compare them to the guys who blew the game last night:

Bobby Seay (ERA: 2.96, WHIP: 1.17)
Zach Miner (ERA: 3.18, WHIP: 1.50)

Gagne would be great, but would require Maybin or a major package of prospects–especially in light of the injury situation with Otsuka. Beyond that, we’re talking about a single reliever who’s going to blow his share of games, too.

Again, getting bullpen help would be great, but the impact has to be viewed realistically. We’re not going to be bringing in Jonathan Papelbon to throw a 1-2-3 eighth inning in every close game.

Bill A July 27, 2007 at 9:19 am

THIS IS WHERE GAME 101 WAS LOST
Chicago – Bottom of 8th
Score: DET 3 CWS 2
Justin Verlander pitching for Detroit
T Iguchi singled to center
B Seay relieved J Verlander
J Thome walked, T Iguchi to second
Z Miner relieved B Seay
P Konerko walked, T Iguchi to third, J Thome to second
A Pierzynski grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first,
T Iguchi scored, P Konerko out at second, J Thome to third.
Score: DET 3 CWS 3

Iguchi moved to 3d because of WALKS. And that is the problem Det. needs to fix

Bill A July 27, 2007 at 9:25 am

Nate: “Bill A., do you really think that Hernandez and Leyland aren’t telling their pitchers these sorts of things, or even that their pitchers don’t know these things. Sometimes knowing what to do isn’t enough; you have to be able to do what you know.”

that is certainly a good point and well taken, but hey — it’s the pitching coach job to transform that plan into results.

I don’t know if I’m right about this or not cuz I’m just a fan but right now, and it ain’t just me, we ain’t seeing the bullpen challenge this hitters the way we think they should. like too much “keep the ball away from the hitter” and not enough “make him swithg at it”.

I know it’s a fine line, but hey — that why we have a pitching coach ain’t it?

Nate July 27, 2007 at 10:19 am

Bill,

I’d argue that this sequence also contributed a great deal to the loss:

- C. Monroe walked
- B. Inge singled to left, C. Monroe to second
- O. Infante sacrificed to pitcher, C. Monroe to third, B. Inge to second
- C. Granderson struck out swinging
- E. Wassermann relieved J. Danks

Under most circumstances, I wouldn’t get too upset about the bunt here, but I’m not sure I understand the logic of having a right-handed batter sacrifice against a LHP, leaving the critical at-bat to a strikeout-prone left-handed batter who struggles mightily against LHP.

Granted, I don’t know that Infante would have gotten a hit; nor do I know that he wouldn’t have GIDP. But I don’t think Leyland (or Omar himself, if the bunt wasn’t called) managed this situation particularly well.

Kyle J July 27, 2007 at 10:20 am

BTW, visiting the webpage below each morning is the only thing that gets me through the day:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_oddspec.php

Mike R July 27, 2007 at 11:00 am

Stephen: My only contention is where are the young closers and set up men you want in return? They aren’t lying around and the ones that are out there, teams are reluctant to trade. It’s a novel idea, but not plausible.

T Smith July 27, 2007 at 11:02 am

Off the trade debate a bit, but still on woes of letting games like yesterday slip away. In response to very soothing threads ameliorating pain, tracking the Indians/Yankees scores (very fortunate indeed):

Yes the Indians and the Yankees lost; yes those losses serve as a much-needed ointment to the wound — but every winnable game this team lets slip away — regardless of what the other horses are doing — also narrows the margin of error in the remaining games. You don’t ever want to get to a point where you have to play damn near perfect and hope for help down the stretch (e.g. see New York Yankees task).

I’m glad both the Yankees and Indians lost, but it would be nice to be 3 1/2 games up right now, which we should be by all rightful accounts. Since I’m not expecting very exciting news from the club by July 31 to shore up my confidence, I for one don’t want to charge this team with the task to pull off a nearly perfect stretch. If we’re gonna get to October, we need to win the games we’re supposed to win.

Keith G. July 27, 2007 at 11:16 am

Billfer (or anyone else for that matter),

Can you tell me a good site for historical information? Specifically I am looking for a site which will display all-time franchise records vs. other franchises (example: Tigers vs. White Sox all-time). Thanks in advance for anyone’s help.

Mike R July 27, 2007 at 11:21 am

I don’t know why but yesterday’s loss just doesn’t bother me. I guess I just can’t get upset over pitchers blowing games when they’re pitching in roles they shouldn’t be in.

Nate July 27, 2007 at 11:33 am

Keith G: I believe all that information is available at http://www.baseball-reference.com

Check on the teams page.

Coach Jim July 27, 2007 at 11:46 am

Billfer, I have a question/suggestion. Is there a way to segregate the “during-game” comments like “Omar goes deep” from the post-game discussion? Could you have an ongoing in-game thread that gets reset every day…or maybe a real-time chat window for that, a-la IRC. Both have value and are valid expressions, I just think they are different animals.

This is the only baseball forum I participate in, so I’m not complaining about content…I love it here!

Kurt July 27, 2007 at 11:48 am

I wasn’t bothered by the loss, in ands of itself. Of course I didn’t see any of the game, either, so that helped.

Coach Jim July 27, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Kyle J: you put in numbers what I’ve been thinking. I don’t want BULLPEN HELP just to have more of the same. We have some guys with decent numbers as far as ERA and WHIP (my favorite) go.

Here’s the stat I want to see for relievers: percentage of shutout innings. Jones usually gives up runs in bunches, so while his ERA and WHIP will be high, his ratio of converted saves is pretty good, which is why he can be an effective reliever with a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He probably has a 90% shutout inning rate. It would be a hard stat because relievers don’t pitch complete innings…but still, we have some smart guys at Elias, they could come up with something.

I think if DD pulls the trigger on a reliever trade, it will be so Miner or Durbin can go somewhere and be a starter. Does anyone have a good bullpen and lousy starters? Texas and Seattle come to mind.

Cordero would not be my first choice from Washington, I’d rather have Rauch.

Keith G. July 27, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Nate, I cheked it out but under the teams profile I could only find the individual teams overall all-time won/lost records. I was unable to find info on head-to-head all-time won/lost such as the example I gave above (DET vs. CWS). I’m trying to find the Tiger’s all-time won/lost percentages against current American League teams. I want the info at my fingertips for all-time Mariners vs. Tigers, Angels vs. Tigers, Yankees vs. Tigers, Royals vs. Tigers, etc. The site you gave me did not provide that unless I was too dumb to find it (which is entirely possible).

Kurt July 27, 2007 at 12:47 pm

I did a google search, which led to a “yahoo answers” which led to this:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/games/head2head.shtml

tiff July 27, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Looking at those stats, I’m honestly surprised that we have winning records against everyone in our division EXCEPT Kansas City. Wierd!

Nate July 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm

It’s easy to forget these days, but for the first two-thirds of their existence, the Royals were a darn good organization.

T Smith July 27, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Kurt said:

“I wasn’t bothered by the loss, in and of itself”

I say:

If this were 2003, I wouldn’t be bothered by the loss, in and of itself. But this is 2007, the Tiger’s vying for the pennant, and I say we can’t afford to gift-wrap games.

That said, I wasn’t bothered by Tuesday’s 5-3 loss, in and of itself. The team played hard, pitched okay, and just came up short. Even had we come up short on Wednesday night (we won 13-9) I wouldn’t be too bothered, in and of itself. Tigers were down early in the game, came back twice, then managed to take the lead and hold it. It was a see-saw battle from the beginning that the Tigers so happened to end up on top of. Good break.

However, for some reason I just can’t share the same sentiment in game 3 and game 5 of the past series. In game 3 you got a rookie pitcher shuting down the opponent and our offense lighting up the board, in tandum, to the tune of a 7-1 score through six innings. Then, the bullpen comes in and the momentum immediately shifts, and shifts HARD — so hard you can’t stop the train wreak within 9 lously outs. A few batters latter you got Jim Thome at the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd and Durbin practically quaking in his shoes. He’s so afraid of Thome he refuses to throws a strike, and as a result, Durbin back peddles into a 3-0 count. Then he proceeds to throw a meat ball right down the center of the plate. Dah? If you’re that afraid of Thome, for God’s sake, throw ball four and attack Konerko per the modus operandi a la Kenny Rogers.

Perhaps the most telling stat that Durbin should have known — or Hernandez should have come out to tell him if he didn’t know — is that Thome WOULD be swinging on 3-0, and of the 33 times he’d done so in his career, 17 flew out of the park (I’m citing that stat by memory, but if it’s wrong, it’s not off by a lot. Thome literally has about a .500 homer rate swinging on 3-0 counts). I’m not suggesting Durbin should have thrown ball four (that opens up a whole new can of worms), all I’m saying is, why throw him a meatball there? Try to throw him a located strike. IMO, biggest mistake of the game.

No matter. We all know how the game turned out.

Then, in yesterday’s game, you got your hurler working through seven innings with the lead, allowing only THREE hits to his credit, and the bullpen comes in the eighth and, again, the momentum IMMEDIATELY shifts.

Result: within three recorded bullpen outs you got multiple walks, a run scored on a fielder’s choice DP (two of the outs), a base hit, an E-1 and a walk off bunt. Wow that stings. The opponent doesn’t even earn the walk off.

I know I should just consider a loss a loss, (which I think is Kurt’s point) and a win a win. I know I should just be content looking at the bigger 162 game stretch — happy to be on pace to win 6 of 10, ecstatic if we actually DO win 6 of 10. I know I shouldn’t sweat the inevitable losses and just move on. I guess some are just harder to swallow than others — and ohh-so avoidable.

Bill A July 27, 2007 at 3:11 pm

T. Smith — I think you have a fine analysis there

the thing I’d like to add is — I’ve seen all our relievers throw some good innings. We need better consistency and that’s what the radio announcers were saying too.

and what I’m looking at is maybe we are looking under the wrong rock here so to speak. If our relievers have got good arms and I think they do — then let’s figure out how to be more effective

–i’ve been reminded it ain’t easy and I respect that

but I keep thinkin’ wat Todd Jones said about his turn-around — “got to challenge the hitters”

as I see it throwing a cookie 3-0 isn’t really the problem the problem is why did you get to 3-0 ?

same is the news lamenting Zach threw the game away with that error. not all there is to it. them 3 walks that set up CWS to time the game at 3 in the previous inning is where the real trouble is

ya can’t fix problem at the surface ya gotta get into ‘em

Mike R July 27, 2007 at 3:17 pm

But can you really blame Zach Miner for losing a game he’s trying to close out when he’s not a late inning reliever? That’s why I can’t be bothered with the results on the field; what do we expect with pitchers pitching in roles they aren’t accustomed or supposed to be in.

Bill A July 27, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Mike – 1st inning, 9th inning — doesn’t matter. only one thing matters and that is get the batter out.

Chris in Nashville July 27, 2007 at 4:12 pm

You are correct Bill A, but it is still far more difficult to get a guy out at the end of a game, with the outcome in the balance. That is why certain guys don’t make good closers, because they can’t handle the pressure. I bet if you gave Miner some truth serum, he would rather be a starter/long reliever than an 8th inning guy, because that is what he’s comfortable with. But at the end of the day, as you said, you have to get the guy out no matter what inning it is.

Coach Jim July 27, 2007 at 4:51 pm

I’m with Bill and Chris. It is no harder to paint the black in the 9th inning than it is in the 1st. Anything else is in your head.

Kurt July 27, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Look, baseball is 162 games. You will have games you steal from the other team you had no business winning. You will have games the other steals from you they had no business winning. You’ll have comebacks in the ninth. You’ll give up stupid things. The results of one specific game cannot be allowed to bother you.

But all along, I’ve said the bullpen needs upgrading. I’m sure you remember I’ve made that point repeatedly and on my blog. That doesn’t change whether the Tigers win 3-2 or lose 4-3.

So, I wasn’t bothered by that specific loss.

T Smith July 27, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Kurt:

Thanks for the explanation. And yes, yes. That’s a very sober, sensible, and reasonable outlook. You’re also very correct. I’m all for the it-all-irons-out-in-the-wash theory.

However, would it also be fair to say that the games you steal from the opponent vs. the games the opponent steals from you should roughly reflect your win/loss percentage — or even 50/50? Obviously there is no way to quantify such a stat, but it seems reasonable to me that if a team is winning at a .600 clip they should take about 60% of those kind of games.

Again, there is no way to quantify, but it just seems to me the Tigers in no way take games away from opponents that they should have rightly lost at that %. Thus my frustration.

Then again, I may be completely bias and wrong about this.

Kurt July 27, 2007 at 6:51 pm

I don’t have a specific count myself, and have the hunch you’re right that they give away too many. But on the other hand, we all expect to win every game. So maybe we don’t remember an 8th inning comeback with the same vividness as we remember the 9th inning thrown away.

Mike R July 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Bill A: The bullpen has clearly defined roles. We have guys pitching in roles they shouldn’t be in. You wouldn’t ask Magglio to be your leadoff hitter, why would we ask the guys we’re asking to be the late inning guy?

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