Game 110: White Sox at Tigers

PREGAME: I’ll be listening to this one as I jouney back from Indianapolis. It’s Jordan Tata and Gavin Floyd for whatever that’s worth.

One depressing stat to throw at you. So far in this young month Tigers pitchers have pitched to exactly 8 batters while the team has had the lead. Not innings mind you, plate appearances.

Game Time 1:05

BR Game Preview

POST SERIES: I was in Indianapolis this weekend, and so on Friday I only heard chunks of the game (mlb.tv was no help because Indy is in the White Sox black out region). Saturday I saw 90% of the game. Today I heard it all on the radio. So take these comments with those parameters in mind. I also just got done catching up on the comments for all 3 games and I’ll respond to some themes there as well.

  • I’m not sure that Leyland yelling at the players will help. I also don’t think that any of us are qualified to judge the intensity or effort that players are playing with. Teams look more alive when they are hitting well, or pitching well, or doing something well. A lack of execution can easily be confused as a lack of effort. And just because all of our attitudes are bad because of the losing, assuming that players are thinking the same way is quite a leap. Maybe these guys aren’t playing hard, but I know that I’m not in a position to say one way or the other. And as for the game on Saturday, I saw guys battling through at-bats and working each count. I also saw guys hustling, in essence I saw nothing out of the ordinary.
  • And to the comments that “if they keep playing like this they’ll miss the playoffs” I think that’s kind of a given. If you’re out hit and out pitched the rest of the way you’re going to lose a lot.
  • There has been lamenting about the lack of clutch hitting, but I thought the Tigers did a decent job of that on Saturday night. And just going off the radio broadcast it seemed like they were hitting balls hard, but either at people or the Sox were making some fine defensive plays. Today was a different story with no hard hit balls (again according to the radio) and thus very few clutch opportunities.
  • And that’s really all I’ve got. Another bummer of a series. Tampa’s coming into town, but at this point does it matter? I’d almost rather see a contender just to see how the team would respond.

113 Comments

  1. Kurt

    August 5, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Hip, hip, Tata!

    See, Jeremy, it’s not that hard to get through the first!

  2. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    If Tata remains good for two more games, KEEP HIM UP when Kenny returns!

  3. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    This guy kills us. Another game of playing from behind. (sigh)

  4. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    One behind, I can handle. Beats FOUR!

  5. Angus

    August 5, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I think the count was 5 batters today. We need to answer in a big way.

  6. Chris

    August 5, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    What has happened to the offence? Man I hate this slump!

  7. Angus

    August 5, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Maybe we can trade Monroe for a box of Fruit Loops.

  8. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    OK boys, let’s steal this game like Ryan just stole that base!

  9. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    What is killing me is all of the hits from sub par players. Either our guys are throwing BP over the past few weeks, or someone is stealing our signs.

  10. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Weren’t the Sox suspected of stealing signs last year? Regardless, it sure looks more like BP to me.

  11. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    A pitchout on a 2-1 count with a rookie pitcher???? If the guy on deck was liable to hit into a DP, but it’s ERSTAD!!! I’m gonna call a bounce out here, we don’t get the DP turned and another run.

  12. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Actually, more balls get thrown over the plate at BP. What’s up with Tata?

  13. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Miserable. I’d intentionally walk Thome.

  14. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    New home field rule, ALL opponents’ hits must be in Polanco’s direction!

  15. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    An absolute miracle. I am still besides myself over that pitchout.

  16. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Did I even mention that Placido is my Tiger?

  17. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I swear that some team released a foolproof scouting report on the Tigers pitchers and batters. This is beyond a slump. They can’t hit, run or field right now. Someone has got to step up and make something happen.

  18. Chris

    August 5, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    The cluch hit seams nowhere to be found wit hthis club right now

  19. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    The fielding has been ok, but yeah they can’t seem to buy a timely hit at least of late.

  20. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Oooooh Casey looks in a world of hurt. Yikes. I need a drink. And I don’t drink….

  21. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    I guess the only way we might score a run is if we can get Polanco to start reaching the seats.

  22. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    The good news is Inge is now batting .300. Well, if instead of hits you calculate percentage of ab’s that end in strikeouts.

    Also, I’m pretty sure a career 1:1 hit to strikeout ratio isn’t acceptable unless you’re Reggie Jackson.

  23. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Yanks up 5-0 early. Wow.

  24. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    I love Inge, at least for his crazy ass fielding. But he really could use a week or two at batting camp sometimes :-P

  25. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    JML:

    Placido is your Tiger? You mean, there are other Tigers?

  26. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Not the last two weeks, it seems…

  27. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Based on a rough estimate, the Yankees, I think, have best record in American League since June 1.

  28. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Paws is my Tiger. He never disappoints.

  29. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    LOL I can’t stand Paws, truthfully.

  30. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Paws should be the set-up man. The only problem is he has a hard time hiding his grip from the batters.

  31. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Some offense would be nice. OUR offense that is…

  32. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    No, no, I said OUR offense!!!

  33. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    If Rodney does no better than Paws, I might have to take a vacation. My hat boycott is still in place, btw.

  34. Tbone

    August 5, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    What’s really sad is that there is very little confidence in the Tiger’s ability to come back from a 3-run deficit, no matter who is on the mound.

    It’s amazing at how this season has turned upside down in the matter of 2 weeks.

  35. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Note to Hessman:

    If you want ANY chance whatsoever of staying in the big leagues, you better start making something happen.

    That means, NOW.

  36. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Remember was back when our boys scored 10 runs in a game routinely. You know, like WEEKS ago….

  37. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Be forgiving all. Gavin Floyd is a powerhouse, uttered with the likes of Santana, Sabathia, Haren. The Tigers are lucky they’re getting some seeing-eye singles and bloop hits off him.

  38. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Poor Hessman, it’s not his fault. He’s just reverting to his career norm of .227 in 4600 at-bats. IN THE MINORS.

  39. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    So, assuming we get most of our injured guys back in decent shape, can our boys pull out of their funk like they did after April? And do so in time to make a difference? The Twins are once again getting uncomfortably close….

  40. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    This is different than our funk in April. In April we had a competent bullpen and good starting pitching. This is a three headed beast (no starters, no bullpen, no hitting). I’m looking forward to a fun race over the next two months with Cle, but I’m convinced that NYY will win the WC.

  41. Mark in Chicago

    August 5, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    I keep telling myself there’s a lot of baseball left, but it looks SO bleak right now. They can’t do anything right and just can’t beat anybody right now.

    *sigh*

  42. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah, the Twins might pass us, but it’s not gonna be for a playoff spot. There’s no way the Twins can outplay the Yankees and the Indians for either wild card or division title.

  43. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Just stroke Uribe’s ego. I hope he throws his hands up in the air after the IBB.

  44. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    If our offense can get going again I think it gives us an outside chance of overcoming shaky pitching. But that means crazy-good offense which would be hard to sustain. And merely shaky pitching, not downright awful (the magic six inning line looms large, geez). I still have confidence that we have an overall solid team, I’m just not as confident they can regroup in enough categories to pass the test. Injuries sure aren’t helping; Casey day-to-day…

  45. Josh

    August 5, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Obviously not as big a moment, but Grandy’s play was somewhat Jeteresque there. One of those “wait a minute, what the hell is he doing on that part of the field?” plays.

  46. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    As for the Tribe outplaying the Twins, haven’t they been almost matching the Tigers loss for loss of late? Seems like that’s the only thing that has kept us near the top, really. Twins are therefore sneaking up on them, too, therefore…

  47. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Oops, sorry for the redundant “therefores” :-P

  48. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    For crying out loud, I know our boys have scored well with two outs this season, but do they REALLY have to get most of their men on base with two outs these now?? Really, ruling out sac flies and scoring on infield hits is NOT helping, guys! :-P

  49. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    JML, maybe you’re right about the Twins, right now, though, they’re only 3 games over .500, just traded their second baseman, and cheesed off their franchise player. But maybe the whole division will continue to melt down and the Tigers or the Twins could win it with 88 wins.

  50. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Gack. That’s a scary thought.

  51. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    I pronounce the Hessman experiment officially over. He simply cannot play at this level. I almost feel bad for the guy.

  52. Tbone

    August 5, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Tigers have zero wins when trailing by 3 or more runs after 6 innings this season.

    This would be a nice game to change that stat.

  53. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Well, the rest of the Sox bullpen has ERA’s over 5 if I recall correctly. That might help. Not that I enjoy seeing our hopes ride on the other guys being bad, instead of our guys being good. But I’ll take any route to a win right now.

  54. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I’m SUCH an optimist….

  55. Tbone

    August 5, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Rodney!!

  56. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I never thought I’d be happy to see Rodney again! Oh wait, I’m not sure I am today…

  57. Mark in Chicago

    August 5, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    How come we never seem to come back on anybody ELSE’S bullpen?

  58. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Heh, there’s a pretty good Zumaya look-alike in the stands today.

  59. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    And if ever there were a bullpen to come back against, it’d be this one…

  60. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    You know things are bad on your club when Monroe is your designated hitter.

  61. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    How much you want to bet the Tigers beat writers over-emphasize Rodney’s and minimize the teams latest loss. Something along the lines of ‘The Tigers may have lost another game, but they may have witnessed the return of a player who can help turn around their season.’
    They’re worse than Pravda.

  62. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Rodney’s return is what i meant to say.

  63. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Did I mention I really don’t enjoy watching Monroe?

    The good news is, in this lineup, the instant out by Monroe isn’t followed by another instant out by Inge.

  64. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    I just want Magglio back…

  65. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Wishes DO come true! Weeeee!!!

  66. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Gosh, if only we had some on base

  67. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you Monroe for swinging at ball four. Otherwise the score could have been 3-2.

  68. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    No matter. Here come the Sox.

  69. ron

    August 5, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Somebody needs to rip up the clubhouse;tip over a water cooler; anything. I know a few people on this site who would volunteer.

  70. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    *raises his hand* I have sap gloves, so I could punch some holes in walls too, really drives home a point :-P

  71. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Nice to see the boys turning double plays again, at least

  72. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Here’s the deal:

    Leyland had better GO OFF on this team after this sweep. There is no excuse. The Tigers just outright played FLAT. No umph, no spark, no will. This just doesn’t look like a team that wants to win.

    If he doesn’t start a fire under this team, it sends a signal to me that perhaps even Leyland is giving up on the team.

  73. Mark in Chicago

    August 5, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Somehow having Hessman up there does not inspire confidence that he’ll get something started…

  74. T Smith

    August 5, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I’m banning myself for two days on account of chronic disgust.

  75. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    I think Leyland should go bugnuts with a broom, to make the point.

  76. Chris

    August 5, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Is it possible that this team won’t win another game this season?

  77. JML

    August 5, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Folks on the White Sox blog are miffed the Sox swept, as it will hurt their draft position. Ouch.

  78. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Hessman is grimmer than grim. But he’s a pathetic spare part, this one’s on Inge hitting .242 both this season and for a career, and Monroe who really is playing himself out of the majors right now. And even if he’s hurt, Casey can kiss it as well. For whatever this team has struggled, if any of them had played even the mean average offensively for their position, we’d be ok. And please no mention of Casey’s hitting over .290 or I’m gonna go internet postal on someone.
    See, wasn’t it better when i stuck with the comedy?
    This team looks like it has given up. And while it’s now three aspects of offense, defense, and bullpen so the whole season can be blamed on the team not being good enough, but I’ll say it for a last time: this team lost its will to live when the bullpen squandered those 4-5 leads in a row. They didn’t get even serviceable replacements for Rodney and Zumaya, and the downfall of this team could and was predicted back then.
    I still think the team has a shot: the division is weak win-wise, and they could sneak in with 88-89 wins, but I don’t see them righting this ship. There’s not a Billy Martin, as a player, or a Tony Phillips type player who is gonna flip over the deli tray and start dropping obscenities and naming names.
    Oh well.

  79. Matt

    August 5, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    I don’t know how much longer I can take this. Between the crappy play and the Jack Wilson rumors I may have to put myself in a loony bin.

  80. ron

    August 5, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    57 years of watching the Tigers and this week end I am reminded of why having a short memory short of alzheimers is a good thing. I guess it’s us who are going to have to put a stop to the Yankees next week. Hail Mary, full of grace……….

  81. K-Man

    August 5, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Somebody help me! This number keeps popping into my head, 2003, 2003, 2003… Make it stop!

  82. cib

    August 5, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    T Smith you are correct. I don’t think the constant mantra of “even keel”, “go on to the next game”, etc. is working. They need to be at least as horrified at what’s going on as all of us are.

  83. Kathy

    August 5, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Ron: Our Father, Who Art in Heaven…..

  84. Sam

    August 5, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Even if Casey hit .300, he is worthless. 2 Hr and 40 RBI for a 1B just does not cut it.

  85. billfer

    August 5, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Stephen -

    During this 17 game skid the bullpen was only handed a lead to protect 7 times. Don’t you think that’s a bigger problem? Two of those times the team won (once in extra innings and once when Miller came out with the bases loaded in the 5th inning of a game). So in the last 17 games, 3 of the losses have been those ever so demoralizing bullpen collapses. During that entire stretch there have only been 4 instances where a starter went past the 6th inning and kept the team in the game (Vasquez, Verlander once, Robertson once, Tata once).

    And never mind the fact that before this stretch the bullpen had gone from June 28th to July 20th and only surrendered one lead. I’m not sure how that period led to the mental wearing down of the team.

    The losses are losses, so blame doesn’t really matter a whole bunch. But to continue to point to the bullpen when they haven’t been given a lead to work with all week is confusing to me. I do understand what you’re trying to say, but it just doesn’t fit.

  86. BobS.

    August 5, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I think I’ll go to one of the Tampa Bay games.I want to get a look at that young power hitting first baseman they found.

  87. Mike R

    August 5, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    I’m with Billfer on this one; there’s plenty of blame to go elsewhere then the bullpen. Hard to hold leads when you’re not given leads.

    Also, as long as Sean Casey keeps his OBP above .350 he’s fine at 1st base with the extraordinary amount of productions we get at other places (namely, shortstop and CF). Couple that with being tied for 2nd in terms of most plays made outside of his defensive zone and having to pick out throws from both Inge and Guillen routinely, he’s got value. Is he ideal? No. Is he abhorred? Definitely not.

  88. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Billfer, I’m not gonna argue the point here again. Well, ok one more time just because we are never going to agree on this.
    We have statistically one of the worst bullpens in the majors. There have been periodic gruesome meltdowns since Memorial Day that far outstrip what you expect from a legit contender. Our offense and starting pitching covered that up for most of the year. You give this team a decent bullpen and we have 5 more wins this year no matter what the weird plus/minus bullpen ratio goes. Suddenly,this awful stretch isn’t as awful. That’s why we were able to survive 19-31 last year. At the trade deadline, the team sees their management get no help and, perhaps subconciously, some players say ‘well even if the lineup turns around and the starting pitching gets going we still have this awful pen so nothing is going to change.’
    I said this two months ago, once the bullpen broke the team’s spirit, the rest of the team’s game would break down to the point where everyone could say ‘well, see they just weren’t a good team over all, bullpen help wouldn’t have mattered, thank goodness we didn’t trade prospects.’ If this team goes 85-77, the statistical gobbleygook might say a ‘normal’ bullpen would have got them to 89, but i think in terms of spirit crushing, a ‘normal’ pen would have got them to 94. Sure, we’ve been killed by injuries, but the margin of error should have been greater with better relievers. If we had got bullpen help in June when Zumaya and Rodney went down, whatever the cost, do I think this situation would be completely different? Absolutely. I do think the best case scenario is try and steal this division with 88-89 wins and, as we found out last year, anything is possible.
    And like i said, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree.

  89. Mike R

    August 5, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    I think speculating on the teams “spirit” from afar is foolish and that you argument, in my eyes, is essentially moot. What’s next? Examining the chi of the clubhouse? Whether or not Jim Leyland’s fung-shui’d his office?

  90. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Mike: How about this:
    The bullpen sucked and continues to suck.
    Management did absolutely nothing to improve it.
    The bullpen is the only part of this team that has consistently sucked.
    If this bullpen sucked only half as much, we’d still be up by 4 games.
    Simple enough?

  91. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Mike re: “As long as Sean Casey keeps his OBP above .350 he’s fine at 1st base with the extraordinary amount of productions we get at other places.”

    That statement absolutely astounds. How about ‘As long as our starting pitching keeps its ERA under 5.50, they’re fine with the extraordinary productions we get at other places.’ Or as long as the bullpen only blows every other game, they’re fine with the extraordinary production we get at other places.’

    THAT’S EXACTLY THE POINT. You’re not going to get that kind of production from the rest of your team for the entire season. You can’t carry the dead weight of Casey and the bullpen for 162 games

  92. Kurt

    August 5, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    My problem is that with this being a team with a lot of older players in the field, I worry that whatever we’re saving up prospects for won’t be enough if those players start to break down. But that’s sorta off topic. Young pitching is great, but a slow defense behind it will make it an uphill battle. I really think they had to make the run this year.

    But with so many injuries, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. I just keep coming back to that.

    In any case, the season isn’t done yet. We have to see how they respond.

  93. Cameron in Singapore

    August 5, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Can it get any worse than this? Win a game guys.

  94. David

    August 5, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Latley I agree with Billfer, even if our pen would have been perfect in this 5game skid we STILL would have lost every single game. Over the last five games our bullpen has pitched 15.66 innings and allowed 4runs good for a 2.30ERA which is good. Especially considering that our starters only went past 6 one time (BONDO).

    Over the past 7 games there is only one real regular who stands out Polanco – hitting .409 with 3 extra-base hits.

    Inge :(, Guillen :( and Shef :( are hitting under the Mendoza line in that span.

    Maggs has an OPS of .618

    Granderson has K’d 9x

    Oh and Bondo and Miller have ERAs over 13.00

    Verlander is at 5.06 which isn’t great either.

    Both sides have mostly stunk except for the ‘pen and Placido and Monroe (who should be cut but is somehow 7/21 but all singles)

    In any event I have no doubt that our offense will come back and so will our pitching.

    Even going 4-13 (.235 W%) we still had a winning July, have the WC and are only 1/2 game behind Cleveland.

    We now play TB and Oakland.

    Go Tigs

  95. Stephen

    August 5, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Tigers major league team rankings:
    Offense: 2nd
    Starting Pitching: 15th
    Relief Pitching: 25th (last among contenders)

    If baseball historians look back in 50 years at the stats, don’t you think they’re gonna come to the conclusion the reason Tigers didn’t make the playoffs is because of their relief pitching? I just don’t know even know how that point can be argued. If you guys don’t want to buy my ‘the emotional debilitation of a team because of a raggedy bullpen,’ that’s fine. Don’t want to trade prospects for bullpen help, that’s fine, I don’t agree but I respect the thinking.
    But how can we even logically suggest this team’s fatal flaw is anything other the bullpen? It’s like arguing that the Confederacy lost the Civil War because of its Navy and not because the North had a 3 to 1 troop superiority.

  96. Jason

    August 5, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    At least we still have the wild card! (sarcasm)

  97. Kevin in Austin

    August 5, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    I’m with Stephen – imagine that the pen is Annakin/Vader and the rest of the team is Amidala. There nothing wrong with them, but they have just lost their will to live.

    Just caught up on the late innings, funny stuff. Starting to get heated too, which is good – just means that people are passionate about this team.

    But I’m going to put my cynicism on hold and suspend reality and support the team with unbridled faith for the next few weeks. If nothing else, because they simply need it.

    That, and I’m meeting up with a die hard Yankee fan in Vegas in two weekends. One of those annoying punks who makes me wonder why I even tolerate his company much less invite it.

    So it starts now. We’ve got our ace going manana against Tampa Bay. Looks like a great start towards turning the tables and winning a series. I may draw on an old English D on my forearm in the morning.

  98. Jojo Sun Devil

    August 5, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    OK.. OK… the Tigers have sucked, BUT

    Cleveland has also sucked. As bad as the Tigers are they’re still only a game out of first. In fact, with the exception of the Yankees, every good team in baseball has been playing bad. Teams like the Diamondbacks, Yanks, and Mariners are making pushes. Why this is happening? Who knows?

    But here’s the bottom line. The Tigers are still only a few games out of the best record in baseball, they still have a lot of good young pitching, and they have one of the most experienced managers in baseball. They still have a lot of good cards in their hand, and they can bring it together.

    Tampa Bay is coming in town, so this should be a gutcheck for the Tigers and a chance to remind every one they are still a force to be reckoned with.

  99. David

    August 6, 2007 at 12:22 am

    First of all the Tigers are going to make the playoffs IMO

    Second in this losing streak the ‘pen hasn’t been the problem, its been the starters which is what I said in my previous comment

    Third if you look back at what I’ve said for awhile I though we should have traded for Lidge or another reliever with plus stuff.

    I’m no fan of Todd Jones unless he is our cheerleader.

    Yes our ‘pen has not been great but you probably will agree with me it hasn’t been everybody.

    Has Seay, Byrdak, Miner, Durbin, McBride been bad? The whole group has lost 2 games in relief (both Miner)

    Or has it been Rodney Grilli and Jones? Who together have lost 12…

    *Mesa, Capellan and Zumaya aren’t on the team for three different reasons and have lost 3 games combined.

    If you want to look at everything, Nate has been a lot worse this year than last, and Kenny was out. How many shutouts did we have last year?

    Players adjusted to our team, we were studied heavily after the WS I believe.

    Hunted not the Hunter.

    We are still in the thick of things and if we can pull out of this nose
    dive soon we should be just fine.

    The biggest thing that concerns me is how we are playing come the playoffs and if everybody can stay healthy.

  100. Mike R

    August 6, 2007 at 3:50 am

    Stephen, as a whole, has our production from the SS and CF positions wained at all? What’s that? No? And is Casey over a .350 OBP? Yes? Then his production at 1st base can be tolorated, however, I’d prefer to move him down in the order, but then you have the rally killers of Pudge, Monroe, and Inge hitting higher then they should be (and at this point, is Pudge’s .292 OBP helping ANYONE? It’s to the point where defensively this year, and this year alone, there isn’t a big dropoff between No. 1 and No. 2 catchers and Rabelo’s been more consistent the last 3-ish weeks, go with the hot hand/bat/catcher, but I digress).

    I don’t know how you make the jump to what the starters vs. bullpen when I’m talking about Casey’s production vs. the rest of this order. We can carry his ‘dead weight’ as long as Guillen is relatively healthy and Curtis Granderson (who, by the way, is completely wasting away, in my opinion as a leadoff hitter — especially when Sheff’s out. I’d say drop him, but honestly, who’s there to hit leadoff? I digress, though).

    The pitching as a whole is bad. Terrible. However, I don’t blame the bullpen for blowing leads that the starters don’t give them. And like billfer has said, they had a great stretch for a month, and have gone back to being crappy like they’ve been the majority of this season.

    Right now, this stretch is just the perfect storm to sink the club — the bullpen being mediocre like it’s been the majority of the season. But also, the strength of this team (starting pitching) hasn’t been there either. It’s not going deep into games, not maintaining the few leads they get before handing it over to the pen, and as a result is taxing the bullpen. No bullpen, no matter how good, can be dominant or even passable when they’re consistently throwing from the mid of the 4th or 5th innings onward. Couple that with an offense (mainly Magglio) coming back to earth, or his unwillingness to drive the baseball — however you want to look at it, and every thing is going terribly at the same time.

    I just think you’re dumping everything on the bullpen when the entire team is sucking. The offense is down, do you think we should’ve gone out and landed an enormous bat with what is amounting to a decent-but-not-overly-good farm system?

    And the whole speculating on the mood of the team, their energy, and their thought process is just plain stupid. None of us know what their thought process or energy level or confidence in the rest of the team is and to even speculate on it just makes no sense at all to me.

  101. billfer

    August 6, 2007 at 5:34 am

    Sure if you look back 50 years from now the bullpen will look like the weak link, because it is. But that’s not what you were arguing. You’re blaming each loss in this string on the bullpen and how it weakened their spirits. If you look back on yesterday’s box score 50 years from now, you won’t blame the bullpen. You’ll blame the offensive who couldn’t hit off a guy who’s given up a run a an inning in his professional career.

    And to say they did absolutely nothing to address the bullpen just isn’t true. They dumped Mesa and added Capellan, McBride, Miner, and Durbin. They also converted one of their minor league starters who was having success to the pen and game him a try (de la cruz). The additions of Durbin and Miner coincided with the pen putting a nice run together.

    Just because you didn’t like the moves, doesn’t mean that they did absolutely nothing.

  102. William

    August 6, 2007 at 7:54 am

    I agree with both Stephen and Billfer: I think the bullpen started the slide, but the starting pitching then went into a major slump–right after the Twins series in Minnesota. We have had what, three quality starts in 17 games? Then the offense decides to slump at the same time.

    It is a perfect storm. they can pull out of it, but IMO, the starting pitching is the key. We are down to Verlander and Bonderman (who is realy not pitching well at all) and who…? Miller? Tata? Roberston has been hideous. Rogers is hurt again–and wasn’t pitching well before his latest DL trip.

  103. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 6, 2007 at 7:59 am

    some of the comments here continue to focus on the players. I kinda object to that. we got good players. our guys are as good as anybody and better than most

    now why the slump

    well even the best teams slump here and there. and we’re only a half game back. we can pull out of this at any moment and I’m gonna be there rooting for our Tigers when that happens

    Yesterday Maggs hit one 434 ft into straightaway center field and Grandy stole No.14 so easy he made the defense look helpless. That’s our Tigers

  104. ron

    August 6, 2007 at 8:08 am

    How did we leave the showroom driving a Towncar and before we got home it turned into an Edsel? Am I dreaming this or what. I had visions of Maggs hitting .400. Hey, we’re still in the thick of things. I’m with Jojo on the gut check. Kind of like after that bad Cleveland loss when we made a nice run. If we get to the Yankee series in decent shape, then we’ll find out if we’re pretenders or contenders. And Bilfer, I think the team has taken on your personality. You don’t see anything out of the ordinary? These players are paid to execute. With this much talent, we should see more consistent execution. They can’t win every game, but a sweep by the White Sox in our house at this juncture of the season is totally unacceptable. Would someone please channel Billy Martin. That fung shui thing is overrated.

  105. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 6, 2007 at 8:13 am

    About The Game (hopefully Bilfer will comment)

    I think it was back in 68 when they lowered the mound from 15″ to 10″ and installed the DH. And yesterday on ESPN Game Analysis I heard they are using a harder baseball and harder bats

    and all of this to get more action on the field in some kind of effort to counter the perception of the general public that “baseball is boring”

    any sport is boring if ya ain’t a fan and not everyone is a fan so I ain’t really sure doin’ all that to help the hitters has helped the game. it pretty much put an end to the complete game pitcher and this was discussed a lot as Gavin picked up no.300. The announcers were speculating he’d be the last pitcher to collect that honor — and this due to stacking the game for the hitters.

    how do we respond to this?

    I’m just a fan, so hanged if I know– guys like Leyland gotta work on this.

    but the one thing that seems apparant is that if the game is stacked more for the hitters now then to some extent ya gotta score more to win. and that ain’t been happening for our Tigers. We gotta sting that baseball!

    I would like to see hitting a foul on a full count score as strike 3 though — give a little back to the pitcher. what’s happening now is on a 3-2 count the pitcher has to come in each time with something over the plate — and sooner or later he’ll throw one the batter can hook up on. and it runs the pitch count up. a lot.

  106. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 6, 2007 at 10:22 am

    let’s don’t pick on Casey he hit a couple 2-sackers in the last couple games

  107. Kathy

    August 6, 2007 at 10:30 am

    I’m with you, Bill. Let’s not mess with Casey until after the season and then make a decision about him. He’s steady eddy at 1st and thank god he is, becasue alot of the throws he gets many other first basemen couldn’t get to.

  108. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 6, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Hey,– thanks, Kathy!

    Yep, Old LB hitting .293 as of today and that’s way cool

    hope he hit another 2-sacker tonite!

  109. Kurt

    August 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    So Bill, forgive me if I missed this before, but is “Kal MI” Kalamazoo or Kalkasaka?

  110. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 6, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Kalamazoo

  111. ron

    August 6, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Leyland says the team is in chaos. Do something; you’re the manager! And I don’t believe Sheffield has anything to do with this “chaos”. Amazing!

  112. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 6, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    where did he say that? ain’t no way to rally the troops!

    I wanna see tonite’s lineup. let’s play ball!

  113. billfer

    August 6, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Ron – I know they are paid to execute, but it doesn’t always happen. Good players and good teams hit funks. I see nothing out of the ordinary in terms of effort. But as I mentioned I only saw 1 of the 3 games this weekend.

    As for Leyland’s comment that the team is in chaos he was talking about the piling up injuries and it’s true. He can’t wave his hands and make hits start falling in or pitchers keeping the other team off the board. He’s having to start a bunch of backups due to injuries.

    Bill-I see no reason to change the rules other than a more consistent calling of the rule book strike zone. Things are cyclical and there will be another 300 game winner.