Game 87: Tigers at Mariners

PREGAME: Before the season started, this series looked like a nice one to ease into the second half. But the Mariners are the surprise team of the AL. They’ve won their last 3 and are 14-6 in their last 20.

It’s a great pitching match-up tonight with Andrew Miller taking on Felix Hernandez. Interesting story about the Mariners took place right before the break. The awesome blog USS Mariner wrote that King Felix was throwing too many fastball in the first inning. The post was handed to Hernandez by his pitching coach and mixed things up. The results were sparkling, 8 innings of 2 hit shut out ball.

Here I lamented Andrew Miller’s reliance on the fastball in the Atlanta start. He definitely mixed in more pitches against Boston. I’m still waiting for thanks from Chuck Hernandez (kidding of course).

Placido Polanco is sitting out tonight, and left fielder Marcus Thames will bat in the 2 hole with Omar Infante manning the pivot.

Game Time 10:05pm

DET @ SEA, Thursday, July 12, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Well, Miller pitched good. He mixed his pitches, and kept people off balance. He also induced more ground balls than in his other starts. He’s a ground ball pitcher, as indicated by his extreme differential in the minors, but that hasn’t shown up at the big league level prior to tonight. Of course 3 of those ground balls were mishandled (one by himself) and it probably cost him an inning of work due to the extra workload.

Normally that’s a concern, but the bullpen pitched 4 innings of no hit ball and only allowed a walk and a hit batsman. Macay McBride came in and struck out the side in his inning of work.

As for the offense, not a lot of extra base power, but they did continue to threaten. They just couldn’t push many men across. It happens. The only particularly frustrating spot was not scoring with runners at the corners and no one out.

As for the weirdness, there was plenty and Beltre was in the middle of it all. On a check swing that went past Pudge, Beltre asked for the appeal and had it granted, and ruled in his favor as a swing allowing him to get to first. I don’t recall seeing that before.

And then he stole second, prompting Pudge to get upset about Betancourt stepping in front of the plate and getting tossed. It was interference and it does get called on occasion (I think Pudge got that called against the Cardinals earlier this year). And Pudge did bump Winters, not aggressively mind you, but he did bump him so I won’t even dispute the ejection.

As for the other weirdness, with the Beltre single, and then going to second, and then sliding past second, and then running towards left field while Carlos Guillen repeatedly tagged him, only to have Guillen later drop the ball, and have Richie Sexson come in to score, and have Beltre ruled safe, and then Marcus Thames calling for the appeal that Beltre missed second, and then Beltre being ruled out, and then the run scoring.

I don’t know what to make of it except that Bruce Froemming must have left his heart and his judgement in San Francisco because Beltre did touch the base. Froemming even indicated he was safe during the play. And Guillen did tag Beltre. Eh, what are you going to do except maybe retire? I think Froemming managed to screw both teams on the same play.


  1. PHT in HK

    July 12, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    I just found out that I will be back home in Motown July 20 – 23 after an absence of many, many years and was thinking about taking my wife to her first baseball game on the 21st against the Royals. Last time I saw a Tigers game, tickets were being given away. Now that they seem to be much hotter than then, I was wondering how difficult it is to score a couple of ducats on the on the street before the game. Any advice?

  2. billfer

    July 12, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Here was Miller’s pitch sequence in the first inning (4 is 4 seam fastball, 2 is sinker/2 seam fastball, c is curve)


    Not drawing conclusions, just providing data.

  3. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    You could probably order them right off Billfer’s blog on the right hand side of your monitor probably cheaper than the street. I don’t know that for a fact, but tickets are pretty scarce nowadays especially close to gametime.

  4. billfer

    July 12, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    2nd inning pitch sequence:


    As for scalping, I haven’t tried it. There are some guys around there, but I don’t know what they’re asking. I did stubhub a couple times this year and had pretty good luck. There’s a banner if you go to the main page where I get a fraction of the sale if you go that route.

  5. billfer

    July 12, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    3rd inning:

    way longer than it needed to be. that’s true of each of the first 3 innings

  6. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Mixing up his pitches pretty good. He really has been able to keep his composure under duress.

  7. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Grandy needs a triple and HR for the cycle. This might be the night.

  8. Cameron in Singapore

    July 12, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Gotta get the runners in…

  9. PHT in HK

    July 12, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks for the info! 4 K’s in an inning?

  10. Dead Rabbit

    July 12, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    you can always get tickets at the window if you don’t mind sitting by yourself. I bought a world series ticket at the window, 13 rows from homeplate.

  11. Dead Rabbit

    July 12, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    is a passed ball K considered an earned run?

  12. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Wasn’t watching, how did Pudge get ejected?

  13. Dead Rabbit

    July 12, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    wow…huge k!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Not unless a run scores, dead rabbitt.

  15. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    And if they did score, yes, it would be unearned.

  16. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Man sheffield is on a tear. Can someone pls tell me what happened with Pudge?

  17. Dead Rabbit

    July 12, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    if the run that scored was on base due to a past ball strike it counts though?

  18. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Yes, runs as a result of a passed ball are earned runs.

  19. Mark

    July 12, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    That ejection was horrible. He attempted to throw the runner out at second, and his throw was off target because Betancourt (I think) stepped all the way across the plate to block him. Pudge called out the ump, and he ejected him to get the attention off his horrible call.

  20. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Dude, sheff, wow.

  21. PHT in HK

    July 12, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    3K’s out of 4 is not bad.

    Stubhub definitely seems to be the way to go.

  22. Dead Rabbit

    July 12, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    ok…thanks Kathy…thats what i thought….

  23. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks Mark. I seem to remember the same thing happening a month or two ago. Did Leyland come out?

  24. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    It was when Pudge made bodily contact with the umpire that he got thrown out. He sure was mad. Still screaming from the dugout until Leyland made him go into the clubhouse.

  25. Jim

    July 12, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    That was just strange with Guillen…

  26. Ben in Denver

    July 12, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    I am so confused.

  27. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    What a complete screwup.

  28. Jason from Somewhere

    July 12, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Huge break for the tigers.

    Quote from the Mariners tv broadcast “…He missed the tag, then he missed the tag again, then he dropped the ball. I mean, it looks like a fat man’s picnic out there!”

    Can someone please tell me what a fat man’s picnic is?

  29. Dave Wagner

    July 12, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    How many bad calls is it possible to make on one play? We have just found out.

  30. Dead Rabbit

    July 12, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    i don’t know….but that was classic lack of hustle at short….we deserved it. whatever a fat man’s picnic is, its some how sums it up.

  31. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    Damn walks. It’s okay, he’ll learn.

  32. Kathy

    July 12, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Kevin in Austin is correct Dead Rabbitt about the passed ball thing:

    From wikipedia:

    In baseball, an earned run is any run for which the pitcher is held accountable (i.e., the run scored as a result of normal pitching, and not due to a fielding error or a passed ball). All others are unearned runs. An error made by the pitcher in fielding his position is counted the same as an error by any other player.

  33. Ben in Denver

    July 12, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Gameday is stumped. It’s frozen with the bases loaded.

  34. Chris in Nashville

    July 12, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    How did that run count? What a BS play

  35. Dead Rabbit

    July 13, 2007 at 12:00 am

    so a passed ball strike isn’t counted as an error on the catcher?

  36. Kathy

    July 13, 2007 at 12:01 am

    It’s not like Carlos didn’t tag him out. He did. Then they say the other player didn’t touch the base and he did in fact touch the base. Huh? And a run scores on top of all that mess.

  37. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Jason –

    the full idiom is “like mosquitoes at a fat man’s picnic”. I can’t seem to figure out how it applies here.

  38. billfer

    July 13, 2007 at 12:02 am

    I still don’t get what happened on that play, but I think that both teams got screwed somehow.

    Plus, on the passed ball it was Beltre that asked for the appeal. How often does the batter ask for an appeal hoping that he went around? Bizarre.

  39. Kevin in Austin

    July 13, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Guillen is really making a case for 1B. He makes spectacular plays, but he sure does get lazy at times. He’s got the 2nd most errors in the AL (behind Betancourt) and 3rd lowest Range Factor…

  40. Vince in MN

    July 13, 2007 at 12:04 am

    With Miller’s high pitch counts, it was just a matter of time before he imploded.

  41. Stephen

    July 13, 2007 at 12:05 am

    I say less talk of Miller’s lack of a third pitch and more conversation about how our fielding–which arguably cost us a world championship last year–now has disintegrated into the worst defense in the league. Eight errors in fourteen innings! That has to be close to a major league record.

  42. Kevin in Austin

    July 13, 2007 at 12:05 am

    How cool is the Wii ad behind home plate?

    We’ll get another run or two, but can our pen hold again?

  43. billfer

    July 13, 2007 at 12:06 am

    The pitch count run ups were largely because of defensive lapses by himself, Inge and Infante. It probably cost him 15-20 pitches.

  44. rene in Oki

    July 13, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Wow, 1pm here and power just came back on, in the middle of super typhoon. Sounds like I missed some interesting plays.

  45. Kathy

    July 13, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Dead Rabbit: Someone else will have to answer that one because I don’t know for sure. I would think any passed ball is called an error on the catcher but don’t quote me.

  46. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Passed balls are never counted as errors, as far as I know.

  47. Kevin in Austin

    July 13, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Dead Rabbit – I had a typo. A PB is an error on the C and an UNearned run. A WP is earned to the pitcher.

  48. Jason from Somewhere

    July 13, 2007 at 12:13 am

    I don’t really get the phrase, but I hope Guillen makes up for his error by hitting like a mosquito at a fat man’s picnic.

  49. billfer

    July 13, 2007 at 12:13 am

    It’s not the worst defense in the league. Sure it looks like it the last 2 games, except for the really nice plays, but they’re average to above average. The outfield is among the best and the infield is about average. And the offense that managed 11 runs in 5 games was just as big a factor in the WS.

  50. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:13 am

    see, now that usage made sense

  51. Kevin in Austin

    July 13, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Well, not that I think about it, I think Dave is right. A PB is not an error to the C. But I am sure that it’s an UNearned run.

  52. Kevin in Austin

    July 13, 2007 at 12:15 am

    10 hits off of King Felix in 6 1/3 is pretty impressive.

  53. Cameron in Singapore

    July 13, 2007 at 12:18 am

    10 hits and only 2 pathetic runs cause we’re leaving runners all over the place.

  54. Chris in Nashville

    July 13, 2007 at 12:20 am

    8 errors in the last 2 games? That is terrible. I’m glad nobody else understood why that run counted, I honestly don’t know.

  55. Stephen

    July 13, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Well, I know empirically they’re not the worst fielding defense in the majors, they’ve got some really swift fielders out there, but they seem, and this is subjective, to blow a lot, and i mean a lot, of routine plays.

  56. rene in Oki

    July 13, 2007 at 12:22 am

    How often does Ichiro go 0’fer?

  57. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 12:28 am

    My first post.

    I hope counters this pitching change with one of his own.

  58. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 12:29 am

    Leyland, that is.

  59. Kathy

    July 13, 2007 at 12:30 am

    If a run scores from the result of an error or a passed ball it is an unearned run.

  60. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:31 am

    “they seem, and this is subjective, to blow a lot, and i mean a lot, of routine plays.”

    I’m pretty sure almost anyone that watches every game a team plays feels like that at some point

  61. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:32 am

    1) Awesome work by McBride and
    2) Craig Monroe walked? wtf

  62. Cameron in Singapore

    July 13, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Too bad Leyland didn’t leave Putz in a little bit longer to blow out his arm on Tuesday night…:)

  63. Kathy

    July 13, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Inge made an error, Miller made an error but I don’t know about Carlos. The officiating has been nothing but unbelievable.

  64. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:34 am

    I wouldn’t blame the scorers of this game for just guessing at this point

  65. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Coincidence or not, but this game went downhill very rapidly after Pudge’s ejection.

  66. Kathy

    July 13, 2007 at 12:38 am

    Keith, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  67. Dave Wagner

    July 13, 2007 at 12:40 am

    I’m not sure I like this strange new world in which the Mariners are no longer goddawful

  68. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 12:40 am

    At least we’ve got the top of the order starting the ninth. Can the new guy hold em for one inning?

  69. Tram Fan

    July 13, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Magglio Ordonez: one extra-base hit since June 20….

  70. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 12:47 am

    That is unacceptable! Take him out.

  71. Jason from Somewhere

    July 13, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Dear Tram Fan,

    Great name. Aren’t we all?

  72. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 12:53 am

    I’ve worn number 3 since I was 3 feet tall.

  73. Jason from Somewhere

    July 13, 2007 at 12:54 am

    Is Polanco available to pinch hit?

  74. Cameron in Singapore

    July 13, 2007 at 12:54 am

    I am also proud to be a Tram Fan

  75. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Come on Maggs!

  76. Jason from Somewhere

    July 13, 2007 at 1:01 am

    How come we havent pinch run for Thames yet? We gotta have a faster guy on the bench. And will Seattle be playing Thunderstruck for the remainder of the series? It’s very annoying at the 100th time.

  77. Cameron in Singapore

    July 13, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Well, this was a bad loss.

  78. Keith

    July 13, 2007 at 1:04 am

    The Tigers should not have lost that game. I hope they are all upset with themselves. Look for a 10 spot against the M’s tomorrow.

  79. Kathy

    July 13, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Let’s get ’em tomorrow!

  80. Stephen

    July 13, 2007 at 1:08 am

    Today’s fun fact: Former Tiger infielders with more HR’s and a higher slugging % than Casey. Not definitive.

    Eric Munson
    Tony Clark
    Matt Stairs
    Dmitri Young
    Damion Easley

    Add up their salaries and they barely touch Casey’s.

  81. Kevin in Austin

    July 13, 2007 at 1:18 am

    In case anyone hates watching Sportscenter after a loss like me, they are showing Live Earth concerts on MTV.

  82. Mike R

    July 13, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Stephen, Casey’s also made the 3rd most plays out of his defensive zone among AL 1st basemen. Not saying Casey’s contract is great or that he’s the best 1B in the majors, just pointing out that he’s also an impact defensively. Oh, and the rest of those guys are bench players. Whether Casey’s a full time quality MLB 1B is debateable, but what’s the point in comparing people with half or a third of the sample size to Casey, offensively speaking?

    On to the game. . .

    Pudge’s ejection is warranted by rule, but it was a weak bump. More of a nudge. And I understand his complaint however, it was a pitch high and away that the hitter (was it Betancourt?) was attempting to protect the runner on and in his lunge, he stepped after the swing onto home plate. Swings like that take place numerous times throughout a game and hundreds of times throughout the league. Rarely is it called and Pudge should know this. His complaint was more of the dropped third strike, I think, then the interference.

    Did Carlos Guillen leave his right hand in SF? He had problems picking up the baseball.

    Glad to see Bruce Froemming was and equal opportunity terrible ump tonight. Guillen put at least 2 tags on Jose Guillen, and Jose Guillen clearly touched 2nd base. If you’re going to completely blow a play, multiple times, might as well maximize your sucky-ness.

    Glad to see we couldn’t capitalize on the base runners. 1st and 3rd with no outs, it is inexcusable to not score a run there. Hit into a double play for christ’s sake. Something other then a weak line drive to 2nd and a couple of K’s.

    How abysmal was that Infante-Inge spots of the order tonight? Yikes. Double yikes.

  83. Adam

    July 13, 2007 at 2:15 am

    Bad loss – what loss isn’t a bad loss?

    If we’d have won, it would have been a bad win, right? Like the last game against Boston?

    I was hoping Maggs could drive in his third run of the game there in the ninth…how many games have we played where he = all of the RBIs?

  84. Kurt

    July 13, 2007 at 2:19 am

    It’s slightly less annoying a few hours later. but maybe that’s because I’m imagining joel zumaya as a litle kid wanting to play catch with “uncle ‘nando” after reading his quote about being too excited to sleep.

  85. Adam

    July 13, 2007 at 2:20 am

    Mike – it was Beltre, not Guillen. Beltre, Beltre. I hate him.

  86. ron

    July 13, 2007 at 2:25 am

    We’ll get ’em tomorrow! And the next day and the next day and the next day……
    Thank you Albert for being a big cry baby; now the Tigers will have home field advantage in the World Series. I don’t know about some of these ballplayers today. Kirk Gibson could barely walk when he went to the plate in the ’88 World Series for the Dodgers. The rest is history. The LA fans always vote that at bat the number one play in Los Angeles Dodger history! You gotta be ready at all times whether you’re making $2 million or $20 million. This guy is in the shower before the game ends?

  87. Mike R

    July 13, 2007 at 2:34 am

    Ahh, Beltre. Thanks Adam. I don’t hate him. I would like to shake his hand for turning down the offer(s) the Tigers extended after he had that monster contract year in LA and then spurned us for Seattle. God, watching him since then day in day out would’ve been abysmal when you think about that money he’d be pocketing.

  88. Mike R

    July 13, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Ron: Are you comparing an All-Star game to the 88 World Series?

  89. ron

    July 13, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Mike, it doesn’t matter. Jeter was on the top step of the dugout as if that all star game was a world series game. Regular season, all star or world series-some of these players think they’re bigger than the game.I guarantee that Gibson would have been in the dugout at the end of the game.Pujols even let his manager take the bullet.I always like to use Gibson as the ultimate ballplayer.I believe you should play every game as if it is a world series game. Is that too much to ask of these athletes.

  90. Stephen

    July 13, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Mike R: my point was all these guys have significantly less at-bats and all these guys have more homers. I’m not asking for a lot, but i’m just really frustrated that we’re playing a first baseman who has ONE homer and we’re almost 90 games into the season.

  91. Jeff H

    July 13, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Sheffield is leading team in SB and is on pace to set a career high at age of 39. He’s a very smart runner — is he taking advantage of pitchers concentrating on trying to get Maggs out?

  92. T Smith

    July 13, 2007 at 10:56 am

    This loss reminds me of the first loss to Cleveland in the last series with them. Hopefully, the series will yield a similar result.

    There are some losses that are just so aggrevating. Starting with runners on the corners with no outs… How about the squeeze play by either Infante or Inge? Perfect time to do it. Is it too much to get that run in? I said to myself, I hope the utter lack of execution doesn’t come back to haunt, and of course it did.

    We need Polly in the lineup. When the team is executing poorly, it always seems Polly is out. I hope his injury isn’t too serious.

    I’ve also haven’t commented on this, but I’ve thought it for a while now. Is Maggs in a kind-of slump? I know it’s not realistic to expect .370/.675/1.000+ numbers every night, so I’ve put the question out of my mind for a while. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve seen him strike out more than once in a game all year, let alone — what was it, three times? He just didn’t look comfortable at the plate last night. And there has been a considerable power-drought thing going on for a while now with him. In addition, save for last night’s RBI off weak balls in play, I’ve tallied a lot of missed RBI opportunities the past few weeks. Anyway, hope he snaps out of it. The fear of his bat and the ensuing pitching strategies to Sheff/Guillen is a major catalyst to the Tiger’s offensive dominance.

    Multiple error games and multiple walk innings = “L” in low scoring games. There really is no way to tweak the equation to yeild any other result. I hope to see an error free game the next time I tune in.

  93. Tbone

    July 13, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Froemming got the call wrong twice, but the Tigers got screwed more than the Mariners. Guillen clearly got him on the helmet during the slide. Inning should have been over, tied at 2-2.

    Instead, he makes up for his bad call by making another wrong call saying Beltran missed the base, which he clearly did not.

    But that third run was the difference, and it shouldn’t have counted.

  94. Matt in Toledo

    July 13, 2007 at 11:55 am

    I will start by saying I didn’t stay up to watch the game last night, as I have to get up at 5:30 to do my minor league recaps. So perhaps I shouldn’t comment on how frustrating or not frustrating a loss this was.

    However, when I went to bed last night, they had just stranded runners at first and third who were there when the inning began. Since they were going up against Felix, and had blown what I figured would be their best remaining chance to score, I wasn’t even a little bit surprised to see they lost 3-2.

    I winced a little when I saw the score because I figured the bullpen blew another one, but when I looked at the box score I saw they got to Felix for ten hits and the bullpen seemed to do great (it was even two of the new guys). Then I read the recap and find out they may/may not have been screwed on a weird play at second.

    I’m sure it was crazy frustrating to be watching that mess unfold, but this is not a loss like when they blow a big lead in the ninth. This is not a loss that shines light on a major hole in the team’s makeup. It sounds to me like it was a loss Tiger fans may be able to have a beef about, but it’s just one loss in a four game series against the pitcher you’d most expect to lose to.

    That seems to me like one where you shrug your shoulders and hope they take it out on Washburn tonight.

  95. ron

    July 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    I dont think last nights game was a bad loss. Just bad luck. That Cleveland loss was bad. We gotta play .600 ball the rest of the way. Win 3 lose 2; win3 lose2….easy.

  96. Joey the K

    July 13, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    ok I was at that game and I have never seen anything Screwier than that play at 2nd. What a crock. I”ll be at the next 3 as well, lets just win them all!

  97. Anne

    July 13, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Does anyone know if video of that crazy Beltre play in online anywhere? I searched Youtube and the Tigers’ website with no luck. If anyone has a link, I’d greatly appreciate it.

    Hey Cameron in Singapore:

    “Too bad Leyland didn’t leave Putz in a little bit longer to blow out his arm on Tuesday night…:) ”

    That is wicked! 😀 I love it.