Game 102: Tigers at Angels

PREGAME: Back to the left coast, and in search of some sort of groove. The Tigers have been playing pretty uneven since sweeping the Twins. Tonight they’ll take on a team that is in first place despite being in a little bit of a funk. Remind you of another team?

The Tigers will be up against Jered Weaver who they rocked earlier in the year chasing him in the 2nd inning. It was one of only 2 starts this year where he’s surrendered more than 4 earned runs.

The Tigers will send out Nate Robertson. Robertson was knocked around for 11 hits and survived 6 innings allowing 4 earned runs his last time out. Surprisingly this is his first career start against the Angels.

The Tigers will run out the regular lineup which means Sheffield is back batting 3rd. It also means that Craig Monroe is playing left field.

Game Time 10:05
DET @ LAA, Friday, July 27, 2007 Game Preview –


  1. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:00 pm


  2. Ben in Denver

    July 27, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Well all right, this is fun.

  3. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Oh man. EFF mathews. That woulda been so much sweeter off the bat of Monroe.

  4. Ben in Denver

    July 27, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Tough luck CMo. Hang in there.

  5. billfer

    July 27, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Monroe is the only one to hit the ball well in the first inning, and he has nothing to show for it.

  6. Kevin in Austin

    July 27, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Wow. On so many levels. So much so that I’m checking in from the road via my cell. GMJ is a gold glover.

  7. Kurt

    July 27, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    What a revolting turn of events.

  8. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    That sure was a 3rd strike on Guerrero. Glad Rod and Mario confirmed it. Too bad the umpire didn’t agree. Cheated!!!

  9. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Ugh. Already Nate is ready to relinquish the early lead. The starting pitching has sucked since the Twins series. One good start by Verlander yesterday, everything else the last 8 games has been poor. Check that, Quinlan just blooped a single to tie it at 2.

  10. Ben in Denver

    July 27, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    This is less fun.

  11. rene

    July 27, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    When does the pain stop?

  12. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Keith – I know. Everyone and their brother is complaining about the BP and our starting pitchers haven’t been doing so hot either. Well, let’s hope Nate can get out of this inning and get himself together.

  13. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    When will we have a starter come in after we score and STOP the other team

  14. tiff

    July 27, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    okay, this sucks. I’m afraid to keep listening.

  15. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    polly hurt

  16. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Unfrigging believable.

  17. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Wow, so much has happend in such a short time so far!

  18. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Pudge continues his defensive decline. Mike feakin’Napoli just stole second easily off ofPudge/Robertson. He’s a catcher folks.

  19. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    You can almost hear the electricity in the ballpark. Big game. But the Tigers can still come back.

  20. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    SWEEEET get to that bullpen! AWESOME

  21. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Jim, Polly hurt? I thought Napoli got hurt, not Polly.

  22. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Keith, Placido bobbled the ball.

  23. Kevin in Austin

    July 27, 2007 at 10:51 pm


  24. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    After he dropped that ball it looked like he was hurt.

    Anyways I don’t see why we can’t come back Weaver looks like he has no control out there.

  25. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Chuck Hernandez must want to rip his hair out.

  26. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I’m really beginning to hate playing in this park. Remember earlier this year we fell behind 7-0, took an 8-7 lead, before falling 9-8. Even the game we won in that series was very tenuous as we had a big early lead and had to hang on. Of course, who can ever forget that game in the 90’s when Sparky was still managing when we blew a seven run (if memory serves me correctly) lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

  27. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    What the hell is wrong with nate.

  28. Mike R

    July 27, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Nate’s velocity is down. Anyone else notice this is when he gets knocked around if he’s around the plate? He’s in the high 80’s instead of the low 90’s. It’s been like that every other start. Good thing I have to be up early so I’m going to bed right now. I wish I would’ve gone to bed at the end of the top of the 1st.

  29. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Jim, the reason we can’t come back in this one is because Nate is making Grilli look like a good pitcher. Nate gives up six earned in the first, and has allowed a single and a walk to the first two hitters in the second inning.

  30. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Kathy, I can’t even imagine beng Chuck Hernandez this year. I’d be challenging guys to fisticuffs by this point of the year. Its got to be maddening to sit there and watch this crap from supposed major league pitchers. Nate has been bad much more frequently than he’s been good this year.

  31. billfer

    July 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    We’re over 100 pitches and the 2nd inning isn’t over.

  32. Mike R

    July 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Wow, settle down. The starting pitching’s in a slump. It happens. It cycles. Teams go into funks. Teams get out of funks. It sucks. It’s baseball. I get the frustration but Nate’s shown he’s more then a “supposed major league pitcher” the last 2+ years. He’s fighting it right now and his velocity is down around 87 which is un-Nate-like. And that leads me to believe that there’s still something wrong with him. His velocity was down in his last start as well, if I remember correctly.

  33. bob

    July 27, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    This keeps getting worse and worse for Robertson…he appears not to have any control at all tonight. With Cleveland blowing out the Twins earlier, the Tigers have their work cut out for them if, even if Robertson does ultimately settle down.

  34. Mike in CT

    July 27, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Hey. After trawling this site for a long time, I had to finally post…mainly to vent.

    After five count them FIVE games of enduring the infuriating Hawk Harrelson in Chicago, I thought I’d catch a break in Anaheim.

    When the Tigers were out there earlier I didn’t recall Rex Hudler being that bad…until tonight. Big Daddy Vladdy? Are you kidding me?

    At least the next two games are nationally televised…except for some reason in Connecticut I’m stuck with the D’backs and Braves. I suppose more people want to watch a third place team play a second place team instead of two first place teams duking it out. What do I know.

    Well at least now I feel a little better. Probably right around how Nate’s arm feels right now.

  35. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t know if it’s his speed on the pitches or what. The Angels just seem to be hitting everything and the Tigers aren’t. Inge stood there and took 2 straight fastballs over the heart of the plate. I just think the team is in a slump.

  36. Jim

    July 27, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Atleast he got the guy whose batting .111 out

  37. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Remember when they couldn’t beat Kansas City last year to save their souls let alone the Division title and then went on to play magnificently. I’m hoping they’re just in a slump and not the beginning of the end. The Tigers have a great team, but they’re just not runnin on all cylinders.

  38. Keith G.

    July 27, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    They went 15-4 against KC last year. I guess you’re referring to the final series of the season where KC swept us in Detroit, but prior to that the Tigers were the picture of dominance against the Royals as we were 15-1 versus them up to that point.

  39. Kathy

    July 27, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Yes, that final series that almost killed me and the slump starting in August.

  40. Ben in Denver

    July 27, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Skepticism aside, we’re in the ball game and can get this one.

  41. billfer

    July 28, 2007 at 12:02 am

    I think Nate just can’t pitch from the stretch. That 5th inning he threw 11 pitches, 10 for strikes.

  42. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Just made it home. FYI for you out of town subscribers, if you have Firefox and IE, you can use both to run TV one on and then the Tigers radio broadcast.

    This is ESPECIALLY handy when Rex Hudler is calling the game. Goodness I would rather listen to Stephen Hawking call the game.

  43. Nate

    July 28, 2007 at 12:13 am

    I hate games that Robertson starts, because my first instinct is always that people are talking about me when they say, “Nate.”

    Of course, Billfer is right: I can’t pitch from the stretch.

    Or the wind-up.

  44. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Stephen Hawking calling the game:

    “…the universe is expanding…”

  45. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Boy we sure do sacrifice a ton by way of those outfield arms. I mean, I’ll take the offense from CF and RF, but it would be nice to make a throw here and there.

  46. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 12:31 am

    Monroe is gonna tie this thing up.

  47. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 12:31 am

    I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I think CMo is due.

  48. T Smith

    July 28, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Or not.

  49. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 12:34 am

    That was your pitch Monroe. Send him down. Hessman would have put that one in Hollywood.

  50. Walewander

    July 28, 2007 at 12:36 am

    My internet was broken, and when I saw 8-2 I thought I should save myself the aggravation and exposure to Rex Hudler. Should I switch it on? \Do we look like we can make a comeback?

  51. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 12:40 am

    What happened? I stepped out for a beer.

  52. Keith G.

    July 28, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Durbin in a bit of a “slump” himself right now. Gives up the three run bomb Tuesday night in Chicago, coughs up a three run seventh inning tonight to effectively end this game. Its now 11-6 Angels thru 7 innings.

  53. Kevin in Austin

    July 28, 2007 at 12:54 am

    We all knew what was going to happen when the game went to the pen. Durbin shouldn’t be pitching in the 7th, we all know that. It would have been better had we brought him in in the 2nd.

  54. Keith G.

    July 28, 2007 at 1:13 am

    11-6 final score. Angels beat our Tigers. Miller vs. Saunders tomorrow afternoon and then Bonderman vs. Escobar on the ESPN Sunday night game of the week. This road trip has been rough so far.

  55. Keith G.

    July 28, 2007 at 1:33 am

    One more minor concern not related to pitching: Sheff is looking like the SHeff of April. He’s 1-for-his last 13 and more troubling than that is that he’s not hitting the ball hard and getting robbed. Mostly pop-ups and lazy fly balls. We need Sheff to crank it up again.

  56. Joey the K

    July 28, 2007 at 1:54 am

    a) holy crap re that EGG a tigs fan got on the forehead in the front row during the 9th inning. OUCH.

    2) Huddy is music to my ears after having to endure Hawk for the last series! (altho actually on MLB extra innings, I had Mario and Rod tonight, they were having a good ol time with the old guy in the pointy birthday hat. I had to drink for general Rod silliness for that.* -See the Rod Allen drinking game)

  57. bob

    July 28, 2007 at 2:20 am

    The Indians looked scary today with Kenny Lofton back in there…they were hitting everything, they looked like a completely different team. I saw an inning in which Josh Barfield beat out a grounder, Grady Sizemore walked, and then Kenny Lofton bunted himself aboard, back-to-back-to-back…ridiculous speed in that lineup now with Sizemore, Barfield and Lofton. The Indians scored 6 runs in that inning. I personally think that the Indians have a 1-2 punch now that rivals Grandy and Placido. The Tigers have the edge in getting on base, but the Indians have a huge advantage in speed.

    I can only imagine what would happen if their starter Jake Westbrook returns back to form and the Indians actually get a decent 5th starter, now that they sent Cliff Lee down to AAA. I still think their bullpen is their biggest weakness (but then again, every team says their bullpen is their biggest weakness), but a lot of that has to do with the fact that aside from C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona and Paul Byrd, their 4th and 5th starters haven’t given them quality starts, meaning their bullpen gets overworked.

    Overall I think the struggles with Sheffield and Guillen won’t last long. They’re too smart of hitters for it to last that long. Obviously Monroe’s struggles are of much bigger concern, because that makes it easier for the opposition to pitch to not only Monroe, but also to Inge and Casey, and that makes the bottom of the order that much less effective and makes Thames’ injury that much more costly. But still, the Tigers have got some tough pitching matchups in the coming days, including Joe Saunders, Kelvim Escobar, Joe Blanton and Danny Haren, so they will have to do their slump-breaking against some tough customers.

    And tonight another disappointing job by a Tigers starter. It’s just one of those phases where you have 3 or 4 bad starts in a cycle through the rotation. Thankfully for Jim Leyland (and Chuck Hernandez), Robertson settled down after that rough start, saving the bullpen some much unneeded stress.

    If anything bright comes out of tonight’s start for the Tigers, it’s that Grandy’s amazing July continues, Placido continues to hit everything (8-13 in his last three games), and Guillen is showing signs of life. As long as those guys set the table, Sheffield, Magglio (I should point out that Maggs is hitting .298 in July with only 2 HR and 17 RBI) and Guillen will have plenty of opportunities to get that middle of the order slump ironed out.

    On a final note, ANY broadcaster is golden after having to hear Hawk shouting all that bird crap from his mouth for even one game, let alone five.

  58. Mike R

    July 28, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Polanco has been a BEAST lately. 17 for his last 43 in his last 12 games, which is a .390 average. He’s also got a .409 obp and a .627 slugging in that time span.

    Guillen in those 12 games is still hitting .292 (12-42), he’s just not driving the baseball with only 2 xbh’s in that time span, both were doubles.

    Sheffield since July 17 is hitting .157 (6-38) with 2 doubles and a HR.

    Granderson’s hitting .390 in the last 12 games (16-41) with 3 doubles and 3 HR’s in that span. He’s got a .444 obp and .682 SLG in that time span.

    He and Polanco have carried the offense since then with contributions from Hessman and Raburn. Raburn’s slugging .900 and hitting .350 (7-20).

    Also, Magglio isn’t driving the ball like he was early in the year and in Seattle/Minnesota. Just a .448 SLG in his last 49 AB’s, although he is hitting .326 in that span (16-49), 12 of his 16 hits are singles.

    I’m kind of doing a Sam with the whole tracking stats for 18 games thing but I’m using things like Iso Power, XBH%, BABIP for hitters and FIP (to see who’s really pitching well by taking the defense out of it), GOSO (ground outs+strike outs – good measure as a strike out of keeping the ball out of the air are the two best things a pitcher can do), and WHIP and various other things.