Game 106: Tigers at A’s

PREGAME: Tonight looks to be a primo pitching match-up with Justin Verlander taking on Dan Haren.

Verlander allowed only 3 hits and 3 walks in his last start and managed 7 innings.

Haren has a case for the Cy Young award this year. He’s made 4 straight quality starts. The Tigers faced him last year and knocked him around for 7 runs in just 6 innings.

Monroe stays in the lineup tonight, and Mike Rabelo fills in for Pudge Rodriguez who dropped his appeal and will serve his suspension tonight.

Game Time 10:05
DET @ OAK, Tuesday, July 31, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: And another clunker. Macay McBride was awful. Jason Grilli was bad. The defense made 2 errors. The offense failed to score after the 2nd inning. Verlander had no control and couldn’t make it out of the 6th inning. A total team effort.

Congrats to Placido Polanco on setting the record for errorless chances. If he can go 10 more games he’ll break Luis Castillo’s record for errorless games as well.


  1. Ben

    July 31, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Given that Pudge is serving his suspension tonight, I’m surprised that Inge is starting at third. I’d keep him on the bench to avoid the chance that he could get hurt and not be able to back up Rabelo. I suppose it is pretty improbable that he and Rabelo would both hurt themselves, though.

  2. Eric Jackson

    July 31, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Cool stat from the game preview: “Polanco also needs one more putout or assist to match Luis Castillo’s Major League record of 647 consecutive chances at second base without an error.”

  3. Nate

    July 31, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Inge, for reasons I do not understand, is not actually the emergency catcher. Neifi was, before his suspension, and I seem to recall that Raburn is now.

  4. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I feel really good about this game. Oak is probably the one team where Pudge’s demise behind the plate isn’t an issue since they never run.

  5. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    This is our day. I wonder how hard Granderson was running, seems like he should have been able to score there. Though no need to push it.

  6. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Rabelo made me look like an idiot there. At least throw the ball. That run had better not score.

  7. Tbone

    July 31, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    The squeeze with Casey at 3rd – wow!!

  8. billfer

    July 31, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Huh. Interesting squeeze play.

  9. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Love it.

  10. Eric Jackson

    July 31, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    That surprised me. I enjoy it when Leyland unconventional decisions work out, it’s enjoyable.

    Don’t quite like it when they don’t though 🙂 Some of his ridiculous stealing calls during the World Series come to mind.

  11. billfer

    July 31, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Ahead 0-2 and walking in a run. Ugly. This is looking to be a short night for Verlander.

  12. Russ

    July 31, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    That could have been worse

  13. Russ

    July 31, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    2500 for Sheff He still might get 3000

  14. Walewander

    July 31, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Congrats, Sheff!!!

  15. PHT in HK

    July 31, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    60 pitches already. Indeed it does look like a short outing for JV.

  16. Russ

    July 31, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Polly is so f’n valuable

  17. Tbone

    July 31, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Justin is all over the place, 66 pitches through 3 innings. At least he’s been able to limit the damage so far.

  18. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Okay JV, 15 pitch inning

  19. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Okay, I’ll take 10.

  20. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Things are starting to go our way again. This is our game.

  21. Nate

    July 31, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    You were saying?

  22. Kevin in Austin

    July 31, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Guillen = Knoblauch?

    Pls, pls, pls, Leyland, let JV work his way out of this.

  23. Walewander

    July 31, 2007 at 11:53 pm


  24. Eric Jackson

    July 31, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Guillen’s continued bad play at shortstop is bordering on unacceptable.

  25. Dub_scratch

    July 31, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    With a pitching staff so weak, Guillen’s feilding IS unacceptable.

  26. Tater

    July 31, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    Like I’ve been saying, what this team really needs is Jack Wilson.

  27. Tbone

    August 1, 2007 at 12:00 am

    And here come the gas cans…

  28. Dub_scratch

    August 1, 2007 at 12:04 am

    I hate this bullpen…. I’m just about ready to give up on this team….

  29. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Well, let’s not act surprised here.

  30. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 12:04 am

    McBride SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Then again, what other options do we have.

  31. Eric Jackson

    August 1, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Unbelievable. McBride doesn’t look good and to hear that “Grilli is still tuning” is not inspiring confidence..

    Need to run Haren from this game.

  32. Tbone

    August 1, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Leyland takes the ball from pyro McBride and gives it off to the Griller! This oughta shut things right down…

  33. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 12:05 am


    I predict a 17-4 loss. Is tomorrow’s game a day game? I hope so.

  34. Mike in CT

    August 1, 2007 at 12:07 am

    only in the 6th but this one is like the entire (lost) roadtrip…bad fielding, pitiful pitching and brandon inge striking out to end a rally.

    I second T Smith’s thoughts on McBride, except I add an exclamation point. Eisch.

  35. Walewander

    August 1, 2007 at 12:07 am


  36. Kyle J

    August 1, 2007 at 12:07 am

    Surprised they didn’t send the runner from 3rd. Seems like bad scouting. Granderson hasn’t been throwing the ball that well.

  37. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 12:09 am

    If we can manage to WIN a game until the questionable return of Rodney/Zumaya, I’d be surprised. You bring on McBride who can’t record a lousey out? Well done Mckay. Well done.

  38. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Another BS for the pen. That’s 19. NINETEEN. NINEF’NTEEN. I think they are trying to catch Jones for the “any category with ‘save’ in it” team lead.

  39. Kurt

    August 1, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Wow. Bullpen again? Who’d have guessed it?

  40. Tbone

    August 1, 2007 at 12:16 am

    And the Griller keeps them in the park!

    Really, McBride is pitching just like he did in Atlanta. Decent against lefties, but loads of walks at the worst times. In the immortal words of Dennis Green: “McBride is who we thought he was!”

    That inning is a microcosm of the current slump. Mised opportunities on odffense followed by crappy fielding and tired starters giving it up to biggest gas can of a pen in the AL.

    We are in desperate need of a late inning come from behind win. Those have been few and far between this season.

  41. Dub_scratch

    August 1, 2007 at 12:20 am

    What the hell is this team doing in first place?!!!!… I mean, come on……..

  42. Keith G.

    August 1, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Is there some kind of rule that when Cleveland loses we have to lose as well? This team the last two weeks is sooooo 2005 Tigers. Blown chances highlighted by an inability to drive in men in scoring position is the part that smacks of 2005 so strongly. I don’t know if we are expecting to back in to the playoffs agaisn like last year, but its a little for that type of mentality. How can a team go so bad for two weeks straight? A couple of days to a week, fine. Good teams usually don’t look this bad for this long of a stretch.

  43. Mike in CT

    August 1, 2007 at 12:24 am

    cash out those life insurance policies…a tigers pitcher fielded a bunt and made an out, cleanly and jesus, it was grilli!?!??!

  44. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Arguably Grilli’s play of the year.

  45. Eric Jackson

    August 1, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Man that Kurt Suzuki is good!

  46. Jim

    August 1, 2007 at 12:31 am



  47. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Shame on DD for not even trying to get Gagne. Our bullpen is the worst in the league, and who ends up with Gagne? The Red Sox. The team with the best bullpen in the league.

  48. Tbone

    August 1, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Kurt Suzuki = Tiger Killer

    Byrdak warming up! Let’s see if we can keep them under 10…

  49. Kurt

    August 1, 2007 at 12:37 am

    well. this is disheartening and fully expected. I sure hope R is back soon and Z can get the job done.

  50. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Why didn’t Monroe advance on that pitch?

  51. Keith G.

    August 1, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Chris, You are right. Shame on DD for standing pat. I can’t believe we couldn’t put something together for Qualls or Rousch. Meanwhile, Boston gets stronger with Gagne.

    I love how we let a team like Oakland (read: playing out the string) off the hook tonight. Just keep waiting for Fernando Mr. Dombrowski, I’m sure he’s going to make everything allright soon ((heavy sarcasm)).

  52. Eric Jackson

    August 1, 2007 at 12:43 am

    As Jason Beck says, Gagne was not a possibility:

    There was not a good option available for trade. I would have liked to see the Tigers shore up the bullpen as well but who could they have gotten?

    Gagne had a no-trade clause, he put Detroit on it. The Nats insisted Maybin be part of a trade for Cordero.

    There was no reasonable bullpen help available to Dombrowski.

  53. CS in Ohio

    August 1, 2007 at 12:47 am

    It seems the Tigers lose a lot of these “milestone” games. They lost when Magglio hit his 300th double, they lost when Craig Monroe hit his 100th homer, and they lost in Pudge’s 2000th game as catcher. Now Gary Sheffield has his 2500th hit. I’m just sayin’…

    Also, the Detroit offense just plain sucked with runners in scoring position…

  54. Tbone

    August 1, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Listening to Dombrowski talk about F-Rod and Zu, he sounds desperate. He IS desperate!

  55. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 12:50 am

    Is there a blown save/loss ratio stat? If not, I’m officially creating it: BS/L

    2007 Tigers: .422
    2007 Red Sox: .095

  56. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 12:58 am

    “Is there a blown save/loss ratio stat? If not, I’m officially creating it: BS/L

    2007 Tigers: .422
    2007 Red Sox: .095”

    WOW!!!!!!! Just a jaw dropping stat…….

    Just imagine where the Tigers record would be if that number were half or the league average….

  57. Mike R

    August 1, 2007 at 1:02 am

    Billfer: I don’t know where you got that Jack Wilson is average defensively but he leads NL SS’s in plays made outside of his defensive zone, has started the most DP’s of any NL SS and is 8th in hard ball times revised zone rating.

    Also: Gagne, like I’ve been saying for days is no option. He wants to close and if he’s not going to close he wanted his bonus money guaranteed. Washington wasn’t trading Cordero or Rauch when they’re both under control for a while unless it was for an unreal deal. Taking on any of the Pirates relievers would mean taking on Jack Wilson. I guess we could take him on and then just DFA him but whatever. The only reliever I didn’t hear anything about that was worth kicking the tires on, is David Weathers who went no where from Cincinnati for some reason.

  58. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Eric Jackson:

    I’m not buyin’ it. #1, Gagne also had a no-trade clause with Boston; they worked it out. It was mostly a matter of paying him the bonus he would have made closing out the games. #2, Tigers could have made SOMETHING happen with #4-#7 chips, including a run at Dotel. I don’t care what Jason Beck says. (Of course every respectable beat writer wants to do a feel-good glass half-full take on an absoute dismal situation).

    The Tigers could have done something… and they didn’t.

  59. Adam

    August 1, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Um. Technically the first FOUR runs Oakland scored were credited to Verlander. And I really don’t see how any of you are counting this as a blown save for the bullpen, seeing as when McBride came in, the game was already tied.

    And it was the freaking sixth inning. Saves don’t exist in the sixth.

  60. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 1:09 am

    I’ll take the blame on this one. 1) I said I had a good feeling (which I did). No more premonitions with this bullpen. 2) I ran to the store to buy a can and some guy asked me to spare a buck. I didn’t. But I should have, I’m thinking that could have turned this around for us. I need someone to pick me up next time they get solicited.

  61. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 1:09 am

    I don’t understand why Detroit couldn’t make Gagne the closer and move Jones to a setup role. In fact, I would prefer it.

  62. Adam

    August 1, 2007 at 1:11 am


  63. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 1:15 am


    Best quote of the day — I believe Kevin in Austin gets the credit:

    “…If we had Boston’s pen we’d be talking about our magic number…”

  64. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Don’t dispare folks… We’ve got Nate “Tired Arm” Robertson tossing the first three innings tomorrow….. ;-(

  65. Adam

    August 1, 2007 at 1:17 am

    So, we’re in a slump. Big deal.

    Cleveland’s in the same slump.

  66. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Chris – nice research. I did something similar for the Rangers three years ago (born in Detroit, raised in Arlington), and I determined that if their pen had finished in the middle of the pack that year as far as blown saves go they would have won the division by several games. Their pen has been solid ever since.

    I still think we have a great shot of winning the division or the WC, but I hate our chances in the playoffs. Even if Rodney and Zumaya come back in ’06 shape I do not feel confident that it will be enough.

  67. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 1:26 am

    Yes Adam, but the big difference between Cleveland’s slump and Detroit’s slump is in the way each team is playing.

    Cleveland has had solid pitching while being over-matched by other team’s pitching. No real problem.

    Detroit has been playing awfully. This seams to be a sinking ship– the titanic.

    Bottom line: Cleveland is way a better team. Solid starting pitching, great offense (especially in late innings) and a bullpen that is good enough.

  68. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Kevin in Austin said:
    “I still think we have a great shot of winning the division or the WC, but I hate our chances in the playoffs.”

    I would say that Detroit is in a great position to win the division or make the WC, but I don’t think they have much of a shot. This bullpen is so bad I cannot see how they are going to fend of Cleveland or the Yankees. Not a chance!!!!

  69. Anthony

    August 1, 2007 at 1:36 am

    Dude Cleveland is not a ‘way better’ team than Detroit.

  70. Kurt

    August 1, 2007 at 1:45 am

    Most likely, this team is good enough to make the playoffs. It’s better (ever so slightly) than Cleveland, too. The problem is, it’s just going to be a harder task than hoped for.

  71. Chris

    August 1, 2007 at 1:47 am

    I’m sorry to say Anthony, but Cleveland is way better. Look at their starting pitching with CC Sabatha, Carmona and Byrd. Look at their offence with the propensity for late inning rallys. And they have one of the best setup relief pitchers in the came, the workhorse Bentancourt. I think their pen only has 6 blown saves.

  72. Adam

    August 1, 2007 at 1:48 am


    “Cleveland is way a better team.”


    You’re telling me that such a superior team that’s having no real problems – the pitching’s fine, the offense is fine, plus KENNY LOFTON!!!! – still can’t gain a game on us or at least pull even? Come on.

    Their team might be solid, and above average, but the Tigers have had mediocre to HORRIBLE pitching in the bullpen for most of the season and have still have the edge in the standings. Huh.

    Also, you cite their late offense – without which they wouldn’t have won what, 25 games? The difference here is that the Tigers (for the most part) play with a lead, until the bullpen loses in. Cleveland plays from behind (FAR more often), and their bullpen gets a lot of wins – BETTER BULLPEN. How many walk-off wins does Cleveland have compared to Detroit?

    If the answer is more than double and then add a few, that means a lot of those games are games THEY SHOULD HAVE LOST. And it means they lose more of those kinds of games than they win.

    Check out Cleveland’s road record versus their home record. They lose a lot more on the road than at home, which is the opposite of the Tigers. Which would you rather have, a team that wins a lot in MOST parks, or just one? Which would you rather have, a team in position to win most games or a team fighting to come back late all the time? Which would you rather have, a team that doesn’t seem to have any problems but still can’t pull even with a team with several MAJOR problems, or a team with several MAJOR problems who are still there in first place? Which would you rather have, the team with the best offense in the MLB, or the team with Grady Sizemore?

    Just saying.

  73. Nick

    August 1, 2007 at 2:11 am

    I was at the game tonight here in Oakland. Work brought me out here from Richmond, VA and I jumped all over the chance to catch the Tigers play.

    Unfortunately, my recently discovered curse was in full effect. See, I’ve been a Tigers fan for over 20 years (since seeing ‘Tiger Town’ as a wee lad), and was lucky enough to move to Michigan at the impressionable age of 18. I then spent the next 12+ years watching the Tigers suck by any means possible.

    Then last March I took a job in Richmond, VA and moved away…Just in time for the Tigers to go nuts, and nearly with the World Series. I was able to see 2 games in person last year and we lost both of them. Including tonight I’m now 3-3. I’m planning to move back to Michigan in the coming months, but I promise to wait till after October.

    As far as the game tonight goes, it was entertaining. I thought we were in good shape getting the runs early although Verlander never looked completely comfortable. I can’t say what the pitches looked like on TV, but watching from 8 rows above the home dugout, it looked like the strike zone was a living, breathing, moving entity. I got the impression both pitchers felt squeezed at one time or another.

    Obviously the bullpen was useless when we needed it most. McBride did a bang up job of blowing out the game and we seemed to fold from there. I was really excited to see Granderson play because he’s become my favorite Tiger and I didn’t seem to effect him any better. He looked over matched at the plate all night.

    Look guys, in my opinion the season hinges on getting Rodney and Zumaya back for the stretch run, and pitching the way they did last year. I’ve gotta believe that those in the know (Dombrowski & co.) feel that’s going to be the case. Otherwise they would have more actively gone after one of the available arms.

    The offense will be fine over the long haul, and I don’t think anyone elses starting pitching save perhaps the Red Sox is that far ahead of us. The bullpen has to stabilize.

    I took a bunch of pictures with my (relatively) new digital camera. I’ll have to see how they turned out.


  74. Mike R

    August 1, 2007 at 2:40 am

    T Smith: There are rumblings that the Red Sox will go with a 2 closer system, alternating save opportunities between Gagne and Papelbon. It would keep both fresh and put less strain on Paps’ arm as they said him being in the bullpen is worse on his shoulder then being a starter.

    2) Dotel wasn’t ever coming here. We would’ve had to overspend because Dayton Moore loves Kyle Davies. What he sees that hasn’t shown through with him yet, I don’t know. But he was obviously willing to take a lesser deal with the Braves as he knows exactly what he’s getting. Plus, Dotel leaves the division and some teams are unwilling to trade within the division.

  75. Stephen

    August 1, 2007 at 2:54 am

    The Tigers are 80-76 in the regular season since roughly this time last year. The bottom line for all the Dombrowski apologists is that you can make all the excuses you what, but somehow, magically, all these other teams were able to fill their needs, whether it be the Braves, Red Sox, or the Indians. We managed to do absolutely nothing to solve a problem readily apparent since Memorial Day. I’m sorry folks, but we match up well with the other contenders in starting pitching and offense, but our bullpen is so woeful that this team could likely collapse before Zumaya–not pitching great this year before his injury and Rodney–same thing–return. I’d like to quote philosopher king Ron Burgundy after watching Grilli, Byrdak, and McBride run out to the mound in a close game that mattered: ‘What is this amatuer hour?’

  76. Stephen

    August 1, 2007 at 3:09 am

    You things are bad when Rob Parker calls BS on the bullpen situation 50 days ago:

  77. Stephen

    August 1, 2007 at 3:09 am

    You know things are bad when Rob Parker calls BS on the bullpen situation 50 days ago:

  78. Mike R

    August 1, 2007 at 3:21 am

    I hate Rob Parker. And the Braves filled their needs by emptying their entire farm system which now sits in the bottom third in the league in terms of systems and if they don’t resign Teixeira then that team is pretty much screwed for, oh, the next few years. And they never addressed their need for starting pitching, so they didn’t really address what they should’ve addressed from the beginning.

    I wanted a trade to get done, but honestly what is out there? Gagne and Dotel are situations that seemingly were out of our control. Dombrowski said he offered someone better then Kyle Davies (not hard to do) to KC and they turned it down in favor of Davies because Dayton Moore knows Davies and likes him. Gagne wasn’t waiving his no-trade clause to come here and we’re clearly not moving Jones out of the closer’s role. The Nats are in no need to trade their relievers. Pittsburgh’s relievers come with Jack Wilson. Outside of that there is nothing.

    I just don’t know how feasible it is to expect a trade when 1) there’s little movement among all of baseball
    2) teams aren’t dumping salaries because baseball is thriving and the money the owners get from the luxury tax kick backs allow teams to keep their payrolls/expand them and they can let the people that are normally salary dumps walk for the draft pick compensation
    3) baseball’s value on the farm system as a result of these thins has increased 10 fold. Boston was able to get Gagne because they have a deep farm system with better parts then what we have. Our system isn’t full of top tier talent like it’s 2004 again.

  79. Stephen

    August 1, 2007 at 4:13 am

    I think I’m gonna go with the Braves’ front office judgement on this one seeing how they’ve made the playoffs almost every year of my adult life. We have to decide if we’re truly a big market team. If we are, you figure a way to get help and turn someone like Gagne around on waiving his no trade clause.

  80. Kurt

    August 1, 2007 at 9:01 am

    I precede this with the statement I never thought Gagne was going to be possible to trade for.


    If the Tigers loyalty to Todd Jones is the reason they didn’t pursue a closer like Eric Gagne, telling him he’d close if he waived his no-trade clause, then we have a definite problem here. Because Todd Jones is not a shutdown closer. He’d hardly a closer. He’s just a pitcher who gets the job done. Rodney, Zumaya and Gagne as your eighth and ninth inning pitchers beats Rodney, Zumaya and Jones every day.

  81. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 1, 2007 at 9:52 am

    I think Jones is OK as closer. especially in recent games. He was on pre-game show and talked about the need to go after the hitters. I liked that and I think when the pitchers do that the have a much better outcome.

  82. Kyle J

    August 1, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Ditto to what Adam said.

    “. . . but somehow, magically, all these other teams were able to fill their needs, whether it be the Braves, Red Sox, or the Indians.”

    Really? Let’s take the Red Sox. Do their needs include a RF hitting better than .248/.354/.375? Or a SS hitting more than .221/.325/.287? Or only having four regulars slugging over .430?

    The bullpen is killing us all right now from an emotional standpoint. But (1) there are potential solutions that become available down the stretch, (2) at some point the guys we have right now will revert to the mean, (3) there just wasn’t a realistic option out there, and (4) if you’re going to have a weakness, a bad bullpen is the weakness to have.

  83. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 1, 2007 at 9:58 am

    I think we have some good arms in the bullpen. why do we always focus on he players? what do we want the pitcher to do: keep the ball away from him — or — make him swing at something!

  84. Jason

    August 1, 2007 at 9:59 am

    I agree with Kurt. If Jones was the reason we didn’t make a deal, then I say get rid of him. He is nothing special.

    For some reason I am less upset this year that we didn’t make a deal. I was furious last year. I think maybe after last year, I kind of expected them to do nothing again this year, and that is why it did’t bother me as much.

  85. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Last time I checked they were still playing baseball in high school and the Tigers organization was still actively nurturing/finding/discovering NEW prospects.

    Will the Tigers farm system EVER find another up-and-coming prospect again? Golly, if we were so bold as to trade Jurrjens/Tada/Trahern, Heavens knows our farm system would never recover. But the good news is, we will be higher in the draft choice next year due to our lower standing at the end of this year — so that should help.

    Of course if you’re a Braves/Red Sox kinda organization, dedicated to win, establish and/or maintain status as a big market team, your pepetual run at championshps don’t hurt you so much at draft time. You have more leverage in the free-agent market to help balance out your farm-grown talent. And if you are a Braves/Red Sox kinda of organization, you would never leave your players having MVP-caliber seasons nor hang your aspiring batting-title players out to dry, waiting for the glorious 2010 season just around the corner. But I guess the Tigers just aren’t there yet.

    Yes, I’m frustrated. But I realize I’m frustrated cuz I’ve been rooting for the wrong team/wrong players this whole time. Anybody out there know the details how to get a cable package that carries the Teledo/Erie/West Michigan games?

  86. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 1, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Jones has shut down the batters in the 9th plenty of times. He’s a good man.

    what’s gonna matter from here on out is how we use the guys we got! And a big factor in that is we got Jim Leyland and he’s gonna know just how to go about it.

  87. Mark in Chicago

    August 1, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Not to frighten anyone, but the Twins are only 6 games back now and have been playing rather well. As a frame of reference, they were 9.5 games back on August 1 last year.

    Nobody said it would be easy….

  88. Kurt

    August 1, 2007 at 10:44 am

    The problem lies in the fact the players we have are not at all set up to be a bullpen. Three left handed guys who can’t get right handers out? I’m sure they’re fine, acceptable gentlemen in their own regard, but we have two too many.

    This bullpen needs revamping, and now it just has to come internally.

  89. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Let’s just face it, we’re f’d.

  90. Adam

    August 1, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Oh dear, we’re all going to die!!! Drama and hissyfits!

    Can someone please wait a week or two (or at least till we’re out of first place) until saying “We’re F’d”?

    This is just ridiculous.

  91. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 11:39 am

    I know this is a family site and all, but I want whatever Adam’s on.

  92. Mark in Chicago

    August 1, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I have faith this team will make the playoffs, I’m generally an optimist.

    But I am also a realist, and if Minny continues to come on and the Tigers bullpen (pitching staff as a whole, really) doesn’t improve, it is entirely possible they could be on the outside looking in. Hopefully a nice long 11-game homestand will let them get the house in order for a while.

    FYI, PECOTA still has them at a 77% chance to make the playoffs, 59% to win the division. So we got that going for us.

  93. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 1, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    ok let’s go play the next game

  94. Kyle J

    August 1, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    “Let’s just face it, we’re f’d.”

    If I had more time, I’d go find the thread(s) from August of last year containing similar comments.

    Of course, claiming that success is still possible this season no doubt makes me a lily-livered, rose colored glasses-wearing, small-time market thinking, Dombrowski apologist.

  95. Ryan S

    August 1, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    For all the people crying over DD’s supposed lack of effort in pursuing Gagne, here’s a quote from Scott Boras (Gagne’s agent):

    “Eric wanted to be in a playoff environment,” Boras said. “He has respect for Papelbon, and I’m sure Papelbon has respect for him. While he won’t be a fulltime closer there, it was an opportunity to win.”

    Looks like Gagne has accepted a setup role in Boston. So this most likely had nothing to do with moving Todd Jones from the closer’s role and everything to do with Gagne not wanting to come to Detroit. I’m not sure what people expected Dombrowski to say that would lure Gagne to the Tigers?

    I’m disappointed that nothing was done, but I’m also realistic about the situation. It’s not a supermarket where you can just pick up whatever you need on aisle 5. Getting a deal through requires the buyers and sellers to be on the same page. In this case, it’s obvious they weren’t.

  96. Adam

    August 1, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    You know what, you guys are all right.

    We have no chance to win the World Series, let alone win the ALDS or ALCS, and we darn sure aren’t going to get to the playoffs.

    You know how I know this?

    Because I can see into the future. The bullpen gets worse, Sheffield, Guillen, Maggs, Inge, Polanco and Casey ALL go on the DL, Kenny Rogers never comes back, Zumaya and Rodney come back and they SUCK, our starting pitchers don’t get one more win the entire season, and basically we turn back into the 2003 Tigers.

    How many of you actually thought we had a chance in the playoffs against the Yankees last year?

  97. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Kyle J:

    I agree. About the same sentiment as late August/early September last year. Difference being, of course, was the margin of error afforded to us last year. Let’s see, we were what? Ten games up on the second-place team on August 7 (who had a better record, by the way, than this year’s 1st place Tigers)?

    I understand there is a lot of “the sky is falling” sentiment going on here. However annoying, pessimistic, panic-riden — whatever — the sentiment is nonetheless valid. This isn’t 2006. We’re 1 game over the Indians (a small miracle in itself) and 4 games over the Yankees. One trip into the Bronx playing like we did on this past road trip wipes out the entire margin. Oh yeah, that road trip is just around the corner.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving up on this team. But it’s gonna be a painful 56 game stretch — and I AM disappointed in DD, explanations be damned — and if we have ANY shot at all the bullpen HAS TO SHOW UP, (that means you Grilli, Durbin, McBride, Seay, Byrdak, Jones) has to get hard outs (ibid above), has to kill rallies (ibid above), has to strand inherited runners (ibid above), in short, has to execute its primary function.

    Given the hand granade that apparently dropped into the pen (smoke still smoldering) coupled with the fact that the pen consistently faills at executing its primary function (what on earth kind of reasoning leads you to believe it will miraculously turn itself around?), I certainly don’t think it’s out of line to express the very painful realization, that, yes, this team might just be “f’d.”

  98. T Smith

    August 1, 2007 at 3:19 pm


    I think the 2003 Tigers bullpen was actually BETTER than the 2007 Tigers bullpen.

    Other than that, there’s no comparing the two teams. I have no problem with the Tigers team — just the bullpen.

    And I for one went on record right after game one of ALDS (the one we lost) that we could beat the Yankees. I wouldn’t be so fast to do so again unless we put Verlander & Co. on an instant conditioning program to endure 150 or so effective pitches by the upcoming series with the Yanks.

    I’ll prop up this team till the cows come home — I’ll give credit where credit is due, and I’ll even apologize, condone, and even give them the benefit of the doubt for certain underachieving moments, but there is NO way in hell I’m going to apologize for the bullpen.

  99. Kevin in Austin

    August 1, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    (FYI – moving over to game 107)

    I’m pulling just as hard as anyone else. But if you were to present me with the info at hand for any other team to which I have no attachment, I would take a critical look at the flaws (bullpen), strengths (offense, pitching to some degree, though the last few weeks have been shaky) and threats (NYY, MIN historical 2nd half strength) and likely come to the same conclusion.

    I’ll be in Vegas in a few weeks and I’ll gladly put money down on the Tigers to win the division. That said, come October, and we’re asking our pen to run through Cano/Jeter/Arod/Matsui/Posada or Youk/Papi/Manny/WMoPena…I don’t think this current set of arms can handle it.

    (WMoPena was a joke)