Game 81: Indians at Tigers

by billfer on July 3, 2007 · 85 comments

in 2007 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: The Tigers will see if their 1-0 Sunday night victory will spark something else for the homestand which has been lackluster to say the least. They’ll also try to even the score against the Indians who won the first 5 match-ups of the season before Detroit took the last 2 in Cleveland.

Tonight feature Paul Byrd. The last time the Tigers faced Byrd they knocked out 9 hits and 4 runs, but came up short.

The reason they came up short was because Nate Robertson gave up 5 runs on 3 homers. Nate will be starting again tonight for the Tigers. He is coming off a strong return from the DL in which he allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Fatigue was his biggest opponent his last time out, this time it will be Victor Martinez.

CLE @ DET, Tuesday, July 3, 2007 Game Preview –

Game Time 7:05 pm



T Smith July 3, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Anybody know the lineup tonight?

stephen July 3, 2007 at 5:35 pm

I want to contribute a rare happy post. Has anyone really looked at Sheffield’s numbers since May 1? They are absolutely insane. He’s hitting freaking .290 and he had a sub .200 April that made me think that 3 yrs at 39m was a big mistake. If he stays healthy this year and next, any question of him being a Hall of Famer will be removed.

Walewander July 3, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Great start!

Kathy July 3, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Grady Sizemore starts off with a bunt. I gotta give the Indians credit. They really know how to play. Natedog is gonna have his hands full. I hope our bats get hot.

Walewander July 3, 2007 at 7:18 pm

Attaboy Nate. 2 big Ks.

Walewander July 3, 2007 at 7:38 pm

This is the Nate I remember – a bulldog, never giving in to hitters.

West Coast Tiger July 3, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Good things happen when your leadoff man gets on.
Way to string 3 hits together and getting the sac RBI.

Kathy July 3, 2007 at 7:56 pm

too many walks.

Kathy July 3, 2007 at 8:02 pm

I don’t think Nate’s gonna last too long.

charlie July 3, 2007 at 8:37 pm

nate’s actually pitching well…throwing a lot of strikes…58 for 90 pitches…but someone has got to find some help for monroe..that last strikout was ugly.

charlie July 3, 2007 at 8:39 pm

joe morgan says both the tigers and indians are in first place in their respective divisions…lol.

rene July 3, 2007 at 8:40 pm

8k’s and may not make it out of the inning, lets hope he makes it.

rene July 3, 2007 at 8:45 pm

ok, nate’s off the hook! now lets hope the bats and the bullpen come thru,

Kathy July 3, 2007 at 8:48 pm

He really got in a groove kind of like Bondo did the other night. I hope Leyland sends him out there for the 6th.

rene July 3, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Kathy, can’t believe Leyland would send him out with a 109 pitch count, but wish polanco would get a homer to give Nate a chance at the win.

Kurt July 3, 2007 at 9:01 pm

oh my gosh that was a bad call. I think. Let’s see it in replay, but I don’t think it was even close.

Kathy July 3, 2007 at 9:01 pm

You’re right. I thought he was still in the 90+ range.

Kathy July 3, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Sheff looked safe to me.

rene July 3, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Kudo’s to HOF’er Pudge for his 2000th game.

PHT in HK July 3, 2007 at 9:07 pm

Very timely double play!

rene July 3, 2007 at 9:09 pm

oops, should’ve said 2000th game caught, MLB shows 2089 games played.

Adam July 3, 2007 at 9:16 pm

if we haven’t put the game away by now, we’ve already lost.

rene July 3, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Adam, dude I’ve got money on this, how about a little positive attitude.

Adam July 3, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Not a good idea rene. Not a good idea.

rene July 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm

My Wife is in agreement.

Adam July 3, 2007 at 9:32 pm


Adam July 3, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Not so yay anymore.

rene July 3, 2007 at 9:56 pm

WOW, that was a first, a ball for taking to much time. Don’t ever remember seeing that before.

Adam July 3, 2007 at 9:57 pm

I thought you got thrown out for arguing balls and strikes. I guess not if you’re Eric Wedge.

rene July 3, 2007 at 10:10 pm

Time for a sayornara home run!

charlie July 3, 2007 at 10:10 pm


rene July 3, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Unbelievable! twice in one game, too much time, called ball. wOw!!!!!!!!

West Coast Tiger July 3, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Nice 3 pitches by Capellan

West Coast Tiger July 3, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Someone must have said something to the Commisioners office about Bettencourt and the crews must have been told to watch it.

Michael July 3, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Capellan pitches very nicely for us. I like… I like.

Adam July 3, 2007 at 10:45 pm

We’re cursed.

Michael July 3, 2007 at 10:51 pm

DAMN IT!!!! Bases loaded with one out and we can’t get one run in.

Jeff July 3, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Couldn’t get a run in because our players apparently don’t realize that a walk in that situation gives you just as many RBIs as a hit does.

West Coast Tiger July 3, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Even with the HR, I like his pitches

Michael July 3, 2007 at 10:55 pm

Pitched well up until that….

West Coast Tiger July 3, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Why not pinch hit thames for Monroe?

Adam July 3, 2007 at 11:00 pm

Um. Thames for Monroe, please. Or let’s leave the guy in who I can’t remember the last time he got a hit, let alone a home run.

Walewander July 3, 2007 at 11:04 pm

That one really hurts.

T Smith July 3, 2007 at 11:07 pm

I don’t know what hurts worse right now, Casey’s knee or my guts

Adam July 3, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Casey’s knee.

Kurt July 3, 2007 at 11:17 pm

I couldn’t even blog that one. well, I could, but just barely. That was awful.

Sam July 3, 2007 at 11:25 pm

May 5th!!!

Game #29.

That is the last time the bullpen has gotten a win!! 52 games with out a bullpen victory. Pretty incredible statistic.


Mike R July 3, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Hm. Capellan proves to be a perfect fit for the Tigers bullpen as he takes the loss. He did pitch well but way too many breaking balls from him. He’s got a plus-plus fastball. Use it. I can see why he’s got trouble walking guys.

What in the world does Craig Monroe have to do to play his way out of this damn lineup? Is it bad I’m begging he fouls one off his foot and is done for 4-6 weeks with a broken foot? This is terrible.

What in the world does Marcus Thames have to do to get some regular AB’s? He hits a game winning HR on Sunday, Monroe’s probably the worst LFer right now on a team in contention not named Jason Tyner, and Thames can’t get a sniff.

I’d like to see if we can re-aquire Matt Stairs to come off the bench in a late situation like tonight. Leyland’s clearly not pinch-hitting Thames for Monroe, maybe a power LH bat off the bench in Stairs would interest him more in making a strategic move that would put us in the best opportunity to win a game.

Oh, wait a minute; that would deviate from what he’s done all year long.

Ryan S July 3, 2007 at 11:40 pm

I can see Leyland wanting Monroe to play himself out of his slump…but enough is enough!!! It’s like spotting the opposition 3-4 outs per game. Brutal!

Mike R July 3, 2007 at 11:52 pm

Since June 1st, Monroe is 15 for his last 84 for a .179 avg/.214 obp/.262 slg, 1 HR, 11 RBI’s, 22 K’s, 3 BB’s.

In that same time span, Marcus Thames is posting:
9 for 44, .205 avg/.227 obp/.500 slg, with 4 HR’s, 8 RBI, 9 K’s, 1 BB.

If you’re going to basically hit for the same average, I’d prefer to just put out the guy with more pop in his bat right now.

Kathy July 4, 2007 at 12:11 am

Right now, Craig Monroe is making the big bucks and is the starting left fielder. His batting average is going to be under .200 pretty soon. And Inge needs his other big toe broken. He’s back to his old ways at the plate.

ron July 4, 2007 at 12:24 am

!#@%$#^&(*&^%$^!@.i’ I’m an easy going guy and never rank on the Tigers until tonite. Bases loaded and one out and two guys who in my opinion should be able to get the winning run home and they both fail. I think Sheffield needs to have a closed door meeting with the team and talk intensity and heart.!$#@%^&*$#

Anne July 4, 2007 at 12:28 am

Just got back from the game about 30 minutes ago, and I have to say, in the 9th and the 11th I was begging Leyland to pinch hit for Monroe and/or Inge. I know that would be a huge no-confidence vote which isn’t really Leyland’s style, but come ON! I’d like to see Sheff in LF and Thames at DH for a game or two.

And that 10th inning! Top of the order, we get the bases loaded with 1 out and can’t come through. Actually I think the WP that advanced Polanco and Sheff is what did us in. With 1B open after that point, Maggs was intentionally walked and never got a chance. Sigh.

It still frustrates me that Cleveland struck out 9 times in the regulation 9 innings AND made 2 errors yet still won.

Well, on the plus side, I got one of those cool Bonderman ’07 posters. Vote Bondo!

cib July 4, 2007 at 12:44 am

I AM SO DEPRESSED AND FRUSTRATED. Sitting up in my section, looking down into the bullpen and seeing #s 20 and 33 just standing there looking out onto the field. WHY DIDN’T WE PINCH HIT IN THE 11TH? Either way, the game would have been over. And Sheffield was So Safe in the 5th. Sigh.

Kathy July 4, 2007 at 12:48 am

I’m just mad as hell! And I sure agree with Anne’s first paragraph.

David July 4, 2007 at 1:15 am

Bad Bad home loss after we really needed one. Carlos wasn’t patient, he wanted it too much and got fisted, which is unlike him.

Leyland is trying to keep Craig going in hopes that he will help carry us after the ASB and into Sept.
BUUTTT I think Craig’s a bum and should have been sent packing in ’05

Even though Inge had a .997 OPS in June I think he is playing through a lot of pain in his back and toe, and should be rested…

Sheff has really been a much bigger addition to this offense than anyone could have thought of or hoped, kind of like Kenny to the pitching staff. His books a great read btw.

I’m not worried though, we have vastly less wins than we should and are only behind three teams in the AL, also that was our 81st game and we are on pace for a sad sad 94 wins after the WS….

I still believe we will win right around 100 and will either win the division or come in and win the WC.

All that being said, would the shut down relievers please stand up?

Stephen July 4, 2007 at 1:17 am

We subtract Ledezma and Maroth and add McBride and Capellan. Somehow, Dombrowski made crappy bullpen crappier. (Yes, i realize the option issue on some of these guys). I’m sure he’s waiting until the end of July to see how the market stands. We should be six games back of the Indians by then. We need two real arms in this bullpen to give it some depth and set people in roles. I don’t care if we have to trade Ernie Harwell to get them, we need more sharpshooters and less cannon fodder. Or we can talk about how great Maybin will be for Erie next year.

Jim July 4, 2007 at 1:24 am

Trade Maybin!

Jeff M July 4, 2007 at 1:36 am

lol, you guys are funny.

- We lost an extra inning game to a team tied for the league lead. Big deal.
- We’ve already suffered more than a season’s worth of injuries
- We are 13 games over .500 (remember 15 months ago when we celebrated being 3 games over??)
- We’re in wild card position and we’re within sniffing distance of the division.

It’s going to be a long, close season, just like everyone predicted. Quit yer b$#chin and enjoy the ride! :)

David July 4, 2007 at 1:43 am

Yup, on pace for 94 wins and a WC spot isn’t bad

Still with a strong pen we would be far and above the best team in the league and could win 105-110 games…

Kurt July 4, 2007 at 2:01 am

Long term, I’m not worried.

Short term, I”m pretty pissed.

ron July 4, 2007 at 2:22 am

We are the best team and that is what is frustrating. I”m beginning to wonder if we have that killer instinct. We score 12 runs in one game then go into a funk. We have a great offense and semi great pitching. I know are record is very good. There has been two winning streaks accounting for 30 % of our victories. Consistency is the key to getting a ring. We haven’t shown that yet.

PHT in HK July 4, 2007 at 4:24 am

One thing nobody has really talked about regarding the bullpen problems in this forum is the fact that the pitch count seems to be the determining factor when a starter gets pulled. Perhaps Leyland should in general let the starters go a bit longer. What is the point of “protecting” arms if the result is so many losses that you finish out of the money?

Jon D July 4, 2007 at 9:52 am


Your post says it all.

Kathy July 4, 2007 at 10:35 am

And, will the real All-Stars please stand up!!

ron July 4, 2007 at 11:11 am


ron July 4, 2007 at 11:23 am

And where is Kirk Gibson when you need him? Or Kaline for a single? Or Trammel for a walk? Even Ty Cobb would have leaned into a pitch to get that runner home. Where are the All Stars?

Kathy July 4, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Basking in the limelight!

Walewander July 4, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Let’s not forget that Pudge came pretty damn close to hitting a grand slam in the 10th. Cleveland got just about every break in that ballgame.

Kathy July 4, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Frankly, I’ll be glad when the All Star game and hoopla is over.

Walewander July 4, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Complain if you want, but I’m way happier to see these guys repping the Tigers than having Jeff Weaver or Robert Fick as our lone All-Star.

Bob S. July 4, 2007 at 4:03 pm

So complaining means we were happier with Weaver and Fick as All Stars?That kind of nuance earns you a spot in the Republican primaries,Walewander.

Mike R July 4, 2007 at 4:14 pm

I hate all this “on pace for 94 wins” junk. Our Offense won’t hit this way the 2nd half. Magglio will top out .330 AT BEST. We’re not going to win 94 games. I don’t care what our ‘pace’ is.

You know what feeling I’m getting with this team? 2006 White Sox.

Hit then don’t pitch. Pitch then don’t hit. Offense was great 1st half, pitching let them down. Then the starters got it together, and the bullpen faultered. It’s very reminiscent, in my opinion.

Walewander July 4, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Bob, I guess it’s a shame I’m Canadian, then!

I was talking about complaining about the team (which I do long and loud), just complaining about the All-Star hoopla. PErsonally, I’m very happy my team has a bunch of players there, and of course our manager. It’s the sign of an elite team, which we can be if we ever get the bullpen and the black holes of suck (LF and 1B) sorted out.

Kurt July 4, 2007 at 5:03 pm

You don’t like “on pace for 94 wins” but you do like “on pace for 2006 White Sox”?

I think people just use “on pace for” because it’s a general estimate of where the team would be if it continued, more or less, the way it’s been. Just a ballpark figure. Maybe it gets healthier and wins a few more, maybe it doesn’t and wins some less.

About the best thing you could have said to back your argument is “there won’t be 18 NL teams in the second half, so 94 is probably a bit high.” The fact is, you don’t know that this team will duplicate the 2006 White Sox any more than someone knows it will win 94 games.

Which is to say, in the end, I agree with you. 94 is quite likely too high. But until we see what the team looks like after the trading deadline, it’s really too early to say for sure what to expect in the end.

Adam July 4, 2007 at 5:47 pm

The Cardinals won the World Series by being just two games over .500 in the regular season.

Oh, to be an NL team.

Chris Y. July 4, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Too dang much gripping going on, guys.

Either it will happen or it won’t, just enjoy the ride.

Jettisoning Monroe (my “Tiger” at the beginning of the season, for what it’s worth) would make that ride a bit easier to enjoy.

Anne July 4, 2007 at 8:43 pm

If last season showed me anything, it’s that record doesn’t mean anything in the post-season. As long as yours is good enough to get there, it’s more about which team gets hot at the right time. How often, in any sport, does the team with the best regular season record win it all?

Anne July 4, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Hey Walewander, I understand the discontent with Monroe in LF, but what exactly is so bad with Casey? Is it strictly lack of power or is there more? I’m honestly asking in the spirit of discussion, not trying to be sarcastic or argumentative.

T Smith July 5, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Anne — and anyone else:

The only problem with Casey is lack of power and lack of base running ability. Other than that, he’s an exceptional player. Too much emphasis is put on his SLG or lack thereof… in this forum especially. On this team, I’ll take the average and consistancy at the plate over his lack of slugging and lack of speed, given the over abundance of SLG elsewhere on the team. Come on? What are you all thinking? The Tigers lead MLB in SLG% — and you’re complaining about a .300+ hitter who contually makes sparkling devensive plays at 1st? Who cares if his SLG% is sub-par? SLG is not a hole this team needs to fill. Everytime Casey comes to the plate I feel good about it, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for a whole handful of other Tigers’ batters (named Monroe, Inge, Perez — and some others, too). Since there is so much Casey bashing going on, I’ll officially say, as of today, Casey’s “my Tiger”… I’ll take the hitting for average at .300+ and the occasional doubles, and clutch hits, and above-average defense. The guy comes through. If we could have got Casey up bases loaded one out in the 10th, we got ourselves a walkoff “V” on Friday. No question about it. No disrepect to Guillen — he’s a marquee player and every now and then what happened to Guillen on Friday just happens — even to the best hitters.

The point is, I put Casey in that camp of hitters. In that situation we don’t need a HR to win the game, we don’t need .675 SLG, we need a player who can put the friggin’ ball in play, excuse my language. In that case, Casey’s your man.

Stephen July 5, 2007 at 1:02 pm

The only problem being if Casey puts the ball in play any time with the bases loaded he runs the risk of hitting into the first quadruple play.

I agree Casey isn’t high on the list of Tigers problems and he is relatively cheap. However, Maggs and Sheff will inevitably cool off and then the reality of an American League first basemen in this homer mad era with, uh, one hr will sink in. I agree that slugging % can be overrated, but c’mon, Casey’s slugging % is down in the slick fielding, little hitting middle infielder category. He has hit near Wade Boggs-like to justify that. The thing about the Tigers is they can carry underperformers, for their position, like Casey and Inge, because they’re compensating at other positions like second and short. Their shortcomings get magnified when the overacchievers get hurt like they did in Aug/Sept of last year.

Nate July 5, 2007 at 1:09 pm

I’ll agree with T. Smith, but only to a degree.

I started the year as a loud voice in the anti-Casey camp, but have decided that I am fine with Casey, so long as his batting average remains high. I still worry, though, because Casey’s production is more susceptible to a slump than a player who hits for more power.

Both his OBP and SLG are extremely dependent on batting average — that is, on balls in play turning into hits, rather than outs (only .093 of his .387 slug comes from extra-base hits; an above-average, but not great .065 of his OBP comes from walks). Thus, when he is scuffling, or is even just plain unlucky for a stretch (a victim of the at’em ball, as Jim Price would say), his value all but disappears, as we saw this April.

Think about it: if has a stretch when he hits .250, and his walk rate and isolated power remain the same, you have a first-baseman with an OBP falls to .315 and his slug falls to .343. That’s pretty terrible.

But, if you have a stretch like he had in May and June where he hit .349 and .355 respectively, you have a very valuable player.

This is a long way of saying, I’ve come around on Casey, but he’s still more susceptible to a slump than someone who hits for a lot of power or draws a lot walks.

Stephen July 5, 2007 at 1:12 pm

All good points, but when your first baseman’s slugging % this year hovers around the career slugging % of a guy name Neifi Perez you shouldn’t be getting 500 ab’s on a contender.

Nate July 5, 2007 at 1:26 pm

His OPS the last two months: .823 (May) .949 (June).

He’s actually had a pretty decent season — much better than I thought, before researching these posts — if you exclude April.

colin July 5, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Over-abundance of SLG? Is that like an over-abundance of runs, or wins?

I agree that Casey’s defense has been plus this year. This is also the only year of Casey’s career that his defense has rated above average. I share Nate’s concerns about Casey’s lack of secondary skills but agree that numbers-wise he’s at least an acceptable option at 1B if he can keep his average up. Which he might be able to do with plenty of support from Tigers fans.


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