Game 115: Athletics at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s Tata time. The injury replacement has been the most effective starter the last couple times through the rotation. This will be the A’s second crack at him after he held them to 2 runs in 7 innings in the Coliseum.

The Tigers will take on Joe Blanton, who they have no trouble racking up hits against traditionally. They’ve had 9 or more hits in each of the 4 starts he’s made in the last 2 years. But Blanton gets away with the hits by keeping the ball in the park with only 11 homers allowed. He has very pronounced home/road splits with batters posting a 587 OPS in Oakland and a 732 on the road. The bulk of that is driven by a 257 batting average on balls in play at home versus 327 everywhere else. It makes me think he really takes advantage of the copious foul space.

Game time 7:05

OAK @ DET, Friday, August 10, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: So many emotions. This game was all set up to be a huge win for Detroit after overcoming an awful start by Jordan Tata. Marcus Thames gave the team that “extra charge” that Jim Leyland was looking for and Detroit looked to be well on their way. All they needed was 12 outs from the bullpen. Now 12 is a lot mind you, but if you figure that Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones would be plugged in for the last 2 innings, it was a matter of getting through the 6th and 7th innings.

Now Leyland had Macay McBride who had retired all 5 hitters he’d faced come in after a lengthy bottom of the 5th. Why? Not sure. McBride gets the first guy swinging, and plunks the second. At that time it might be a good time to get him. But no. McBride is struggling to find the plate and walks the next hitter, and the next hitter. Clearly gassed you have to get him out right? No. Grand Slam. Pin. Balloon. Ballgame.

Zach Miner came in and threw batting practice for the rest of the inning and the Tigers blew a run down play.

There was no conceivable reason to leave McBride in that long. That’s not his role, and that’s not a role he’s had to perform. That was a horrible job of managing by Leyland, on par with the Cleveland June 1st debacle. He let down everyone in that dugout. The only possible explanation is that McBride was set to be optioned down after the game tonight to get a fresh arm for the depleted bullpen, and Leyland figured he might as well kill him.

It’s one thing when players don’t execute. Pitching and hitting are tough. But to have the manager let people down when all he has to do is make a decision obvious to everyone is particularly infuriating. There’s a reason that Oakland didn’t pinch hit for Jack Cust with Mike Piazza. It’s because Geren would rather have his hitter face a gassed pitcher than Piazza face a fresh arm.

171 Comments

  1. billfer

    August 10, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    After the first inning the Tigers are winning the battle of balls hit to the wall.

  2. Nate

    August 10, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    After the second inning, the A’s are winning the battle of balls hit over the wall.

  3. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    sigh

  4. Mike in CT

    August 10, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    just when you think it can’t get any worse.

  5. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    This is depressing. Is there some unwritten rule that says that the Tigers must allow other teams (NYY, SEA, even MIN) back into the race?

  6. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    They’ve hit bottom and started digging.

    They just seem like the life has been sucked out of them.

  7. Dirk

    August 10, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Oh man, what a debacle. I can’t believe this. Last 3 Games (so far) 3-23 in runs. I had hoped that we can get 6 from 8 in this 2 series to get back on track before the big series against the indians and the yankees. And now this :-(

  8. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Which position player is going to get the opportunity to pitch tonight?

  9. charlie

    August 10, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    like the rest of us here, i just can’t fathom where we are today vs sweeping the twins and the play before the break. this is going past the point of a slump. the trade deadline is past, there is not much we can do to shake things up. in hockey we usually fire the coach, i don’t see DD taking that route… however i don’t know what else he can do. this is just disappointing.

    i do know from my years in hockey that this is a lot harder on the players and their families than it is on us…i also don’t believe for a minute that the money they make makes this any easier. these guys are more competitive than any of us would hope to be.

    this would be a lot easier if we had no expectations at all.

  10. T Smith

    August 10, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Mike in Missouri:

    That’s why Leyland gave Inge the night off.

  11. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Good one T. I owe you a Coke (or a beer) if he pitches.

  12. T Smith

    August 10, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Inge vs. Grilli in claymation pitching matchup:

    Who do you take?

  13. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Now this is Grilli’s element – a blowout in the 4th inning. He can really earn his pay by saving the bullpen for tomorrow. And then Leyland takes him out and brings in one of the LOOGYS. Hmmm… maybe Jim is confused and thinks its the 7th inning. Well, on the postive side I guess it does give McBride a little more experience.

  14. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Maybe Inge can pull a reverse Ankiel and become a pitcher…

  15. T Smith

    August 10, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Mike in Missouri:

    I’ll take the coke. I’ve been drowning my sorrows too much of late.

  16. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I understand, T. You have to pace yourself – football season is upon us.

  17. Kathy

    August 10, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Dave Wagner and cib are both at this game tonight. Hope they haven’t left yet.

  18. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    oh my.

  19. Kathy

    August 10, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Cause they would have missed my Tiger Marcus Thames.

  20. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    oh my. marcus to the rescue.

  21. Dirk

    August 10, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    hey, there is life in it. 8-6

  22. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Makes me wish I could actually watch the game, instead of following it online.

  24. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    OK Marcus, you put us back in it. For a moment I had this irrational fear that Leyland would send up Monroe to pinch hit there – you know, to help him get his confidence back.

  25. T Smith

    August 10, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Followup note to Leyland:

    Tiger’s comeback kinda amplifies that bone-head move to put Grilli in there, eh?

  26. boombotti

    August 10, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else but after the Ordonez single I had a feeling something big was coming.

  27. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Mike:

    I think if Inge either pulled or reversed his Ankiel, he would more than likely end up on the DL.

  28. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    This is a HUGE half-inning. McBride absolutely cannot allow a long inning, much less any runs.

  29. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Good points Vince and Mark.

    Maybe this could be the game that will bring them out of their funk.

  30. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    1) Nice job McBride. I criticize him when he sucks, I gotta give him credit for doing a solid job after we scored 5 to get back in it.

    2) Good to see some emotion back. Love hearing the fans go nuts. I have a feeling Leyland was down there preaching his “play nine innings” mantra

    3) Where has this been?

  31. Kyle J

    August 10, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Look at the bright side, T. We’re ahead in the 5th inning . . and there’s no chance whatsoever Grilli can come into the game now.

  32. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Amazing.

  33. Kyle J

    August 10, 2007 at 8:55 pm

  34. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Kyle, that is cool.

    Billfer rules!

  35. Ian C.

    August 10, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I can’t remember seeing a swing in a game like this, when it looked totally bleak, only to turn around into an explosive comeback.

  36. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    This one isn’t over yet – we need to get 4 more effective innings out of the bullpen after all.

  37. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    And again, McBride needs to shut them down.

  38. charlie

    August 10, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    wow…i went for supper at 8-1 and come back to 9-8…the bats are back…now we need some pitching…lets go boys

  39. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Meanwhile in Cleve, pitching phenom Phil Hughes is holding down the Indians 4-1 in the 7th.

  40. billfer

    August 10, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Leyland did this to Mcbride on Wednesday and over extended him. He did his job, give the ball to Zach.

  41. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    I think we’re pushing McBride’s limit here.

  42. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    yeah, Mcbride can go 2 innings and that is it

  43. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    McBride is tired. He’s running on guts and fumes right now.

  44. billfer

    August 10, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Not only that, how often do you think McBride is asked to sit for 15 minutes and then come back in and pitch. This is ridiculous on Leyland’s part.

  45. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    where is Captain Hook when you need him…

  46. billfer

    August 10, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    100% on Leyland. What was he thinking. Stupid Stupid Stupid

  47. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    ok, that is entirely Leyland’s fault

  48. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    This one’s on Leyland. McBride had nothing left for the last 3 batters.

  49. Eric Jackson

    August 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    It’s been obvious the whole time we’ve had McBride that he cannot last this long on the mound.

    Horrible.

  50. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    so much for any momentum from the initial comeback. they are toast now.

  51. billfer

    August 10, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Absolute waste of a comeback. McBride did his job, Leyland didn’t do his. Zach Miner should have been out there to start the 6th, let alone after the HBP or either of the walks. Inexcusable on Leylands part and there is no rational explanation for McBride to be in the game at that point.

  52. Mike R

    August 10, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Can we figure out what guys we want to keep as LOOGY’s and get rid of the 3 LOOGY bullpen? Jesus. Byrdak/McBride/Seay. Keep one. The other two need to go, they’re all the same pitcher.

  53. Tbone

    August 10, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Just walked in. Looked like I missed quite a bit here!

    Leyland once again too slow with the hook. Whay is he afraid to bring someone in with the bases loaded?

  54. Ian C.

    August 10, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    How many times does Leyland need to be shown that McBride isn’t a long reliever?

  55. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Leyland has just ended their playoff chances. Mark my words.

  56. Eric Jackson

    August 10, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    That is a bit overboard there, Mike.

  57. T Smith

    August 10, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    This game can be viewed as a microcosm to the season:

    Tigers heroic comeback thwarted by BULLPEN MELTDOWN!

    I don’t want to EVER HEAR ABOUT ANY OTHER COMMENTARY APOLOGIZING FOR THE TIGERS BULLPEN.

    McBride is perhaps the worst relief pitcher I have ever seen.

  58. Kyle J

    August 10, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    The baseball gods are just toying with our emotions now.

  59. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I don’t know. They could have ridden this win a long way. Losing the lead after coming back is worse than if they would have lost 8-1. I hope they prove me wrong.

  60. Tbone

    August 10, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Anyway you look at this game, it was going to be tough for this bully to hold a 1-run lead for 4 innings. This is the kind of crazy game where the Tigers may not be out of it yet. Need to plug the dam here, though.

  61. Kathy

    August 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    I said last year I never wanted to see Zach Miner ever again and this just reminds me why.

  62. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    C’mon gang! All we need is for Marcus to hit two more grand slams!!

  63. Mike R

    August 10, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    T Smith: call this being a bullpen apologist or what you will, but isn’t a big problem right now that we don’t have anyone in a comfortable role in the bullpen? We have 3 LH Specialists posing as full inning relievers, 1 guy who shouldn’t be on a major league roster (at least not this major league roster) in Grilli, an 8th inning man on his way back from shoulder problems that very well could still be problematic down the stretch (Rodney) and we moved perhaps our best reliever this year (and arguably, 2nd-3rd best starter) back into the rotation due to injuries.

    The bullpen has defined roles. At least, it should. Ours doesn’t.

  64. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    I can’t believe we’re losing to the Raiders.

    Lions suck.

  65. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    if zumaya was back, would that make a big difference?

  66. Ian C.

    August 10, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    I agree – a big problem is that most of the relievers are being asked to perform roles they’re not accustomed to.

    Of course, there’s not a lot of choice but to mix and match these days…

  67. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    I would like to see numbers comparing quality starts this year versus 2006. If the starting pitching isn’t as good, wouldn’t that put the bullpen in bad situations?

  68. Kathy

    August 10, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Jim Price just said “you don’t just know what to say anymore.”

    AMEN.

    We don’t have ANY pitcher that seems to feel comfortable = we have no pitching!!!!!

    Good night, everybody.

  69. Mike in Missouri

    August 10, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    The question is: When we score the touchdown, do we go for two?

  70. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    31 minutes, 57 pitches, and a touchdown later, it’s over.

    and we have are three measley field goals.

    lions are terrible.

  71. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    lmao.

    Has there ever been a game that evokes so many emotions?

    This is amazing. I really want sheff or someone to criticize the bullpen afterward. I mean how much can these guys do if they’re just gonna blow it?

  72. billfer

    August 10, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    T Smith: Miner was awful tonight, no doubt, but there’s no way that McBride should have been into allow that homer. McBride was way overtaxed. He was gassed, and it’s Leyland’s job to get him out of there. 45 pitches and a long layoff for a guy that is used to pitching an inning at a time and you can’t figure out why he couldn’t succeed?

  73. tigerfan

    August 10, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    ABSOLUTELY UN”FRICKIN”BELIEVABLE BETTER LUCK NEXT SEASON BECAUSE THIS ONE IS OVER NO WAY TIGERS EVEN MAKE IT TO THE POST SEASON WITHOUT A MAJOR TURN AROUND

  74. Nate

    August 10, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    @Mark in Chicago: What are you watching? The Lions beat the Bengals last night. They aren’t playing tonight.

  75. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Where’s Stephen?

  76. Erik in CA

    August 10, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Mark in Chicago – i’m laughing. Thanks for cheering us up.

  77. Erik in CA

    August 10, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    HAHA! Just saw the comment from Nate. Nate, I’m laughing. Thanks for cheering us up even more.

  78. Matt in ATL

    August 10, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    They need to hire Dr. Phil. This is in their heads. Other than tonite the the bats are silent, the decision making atrocious, and I will not even dignify the pitching staff with a comment. Cleveland/NY coming up and its the playoff as far as Im concerned. I hope they wake up!

  79. Nate

    August 10, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Yikes, I’m terribly unobservant. I’m going to sit in the corner and feel shame.

  80. tigerfan

    August 10, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    AND TO THINK ONCE THIS DEBACLE OF A SEASON IS OVER ALL WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO IS THE LOUSY LIONS

  81. Nate

    August 10, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Apparently, I’m a terrible speller, too.

  82. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    The good news for us tonight is the Yankees beat the Indians. The other bad news for us is the Yankees may be the best team in baseball right now. If you think tonight’s game is embarrassing…….

  83. Mark in Chicago

    August 10, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Nate,

    I’m just pointing out that the score is more like a football score than baseball. If it’s football between Detroit and Oakland, it’s gotta be the Lions and the Raiders.

    ;-)

  84. Eric Jackson

    August 10, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Rally Time!

  85. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Our clutch bench guys will come through here.

  86. Mike R

    August 10, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    McKay McBride has thrown 73 pitches in the last 3 days.

    Why? Dude is a LOOGY, why is he getting this much action. Is Capellan’s shoulder okay? Where’s de la Cruz or Aquinio Lopez? Why haven’t we sent McBride down and brought up someone who can go a full inning?

  87. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Ya gotta love the 6, 8 and 9 spots in the order – 0/11 with a walk tonight – pretty typical.

  88. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Mike: shouldnt you be wondering why Grilli is still up here first?

  89. Joey C.

    August 10, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Don’t blame the bullpen entirely. Kathy’s right. This is just a plain bad pitching STAFF right now. And I’m afraid that there are just too many holes to fill. A trade wouldn’t have fixed it. Our guys coming off the DL won’t be enough to fix it. The only chance we have is for these guys we’ve been watching suck for the past month to turn themselves around. Bonderman in particular. He has been a monstrous disappointment and I fear that he will never be the pitcher some of us thought he was destined to be. An ace doesn’t go down the toilet when his team needs him most.

  90. Kevin in Austin

    August 10, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Ty Webb said it best when he told Al Czervik: “You’re not, you’re not good, Tigers Bullpen. You stink.”

  91. Kyle J

    August 10, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Going back to the fangraphs.com link, Tigers pitchers have a total WPA of -1.013 tonight. This is roughly equivalent to pitching bad enough to lose two games with a neutral performance from your offense.

    As the self-proclaimed Mr. Sunshine of this community, even I am ready to acknowledge that it’s cloudy and raining–downpouring, in fact.

  92. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Hopefully Tata, Grilli, McBride, and Miner tired the A’s out by making them do all that running around the bases tonight, and they will come out flat tomorrow.

  93. Mike R

    August 10, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Jim: I’ve openly wondered why he’s still employed for months. He’s just another piece of the problem. Guys pitching in roles they shouldn’t be in. In his case, he shouldn’t be in the role of “MLB Reliever””.

  94. Mike R

    August 10, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    First of all, Bondo’s still not even 25 years old yet. To say he’s “not going to be the pitcher we thought” is simply premature and short-sighted.

    Secondly, he’s had 4 bad starts. Does that negate his other 18 starts when he was good-to-great?

  95. Kevin in Austin

    August 10, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    No, not enough to give up on Bondo. But let’s call a spade a spade, he has had 4 HORRENDOUS starts. Games so bad that it was over when he left after a few innings.

  96. charlie

    August 10, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    16 runs and the A’s don’t have even one .300 hitter in the lineup…what happens when we play someone (like the yanks) with big bats?

  97. Mike R

    August 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    So then what’s the point of saying anything about what type of pitcher Bonderman will be? Also, he wasn’t going to win 9 out of every 10 starts. The entire team is slumping.

    If there isn’t bullpen reconfiguration (i.e., losing the 3 LOOGY thing we’ve got going) I’m going to be infuriated.

  98. Eric Jackson

    August 10, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Good to see a strong outing by Rodney.

  99. Kevin in Austin

    August 10, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    (I know I’m chiming in late here, but I just got off the road)

    I’ll put this one on Leyland. From botched hit and runs to mismanaging the bullpen…he can’t get it right.

    Also, can anyone remember the last time we had an OF assist? Or a catcher caught someone stealing? I think I remember one runner CS in the MIN series right after the break.

  100. Tbone

    August 10, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    What a week for the pitching staff:

    5 games, 41 runs, 64 hits

    Ugh.

  101. Eric Jackson

    August 10, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    there was a CS in the Aug 4th game: http://www.baseball-reference......8040.shtml

    one in LA as well.

  102. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Kevin:

    When a team is pretty much guaranteed 15-20 baserunners and 7+ runs a game on average, there really isn’t much need to try to steal bases or take chances on the basepaths. The Tigers opposition is doing pretty good playing station-to-station these days.

  103. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    After tonight’s game the Tigers will be 11th in ERA, just below the Mariners and Royals (!).

  104. Joey C.

    August 10, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Really Mike? He’s still only 25? Wow! I wasn’t aware of that! Thanks for setting me straight! Amazing how you dig up such nuggets.

    And, try to read my comment accurately and don’t misquote me. I said “I fear he will never be the pitcher…” I learned a while ago to temper any desire to make declarations about future performance.

    So, yes Bonderman is only 25 (to reiterate that fact for the other regular posters who somehow failed to recognize that fact) but it’s his 5th season in the league and when I look at those 5 years, I don’t see the kind of progress I’d hope to see from a young pitcher with his kind of stuff. He had a great year last year, but posted and and ERA over 4. His ERA this year is at 4.75 and going up. And I know it’s not en-vogue to speak of things as ephemeral as a pitcher stepping up performance when he most needs too, but outside of last years playoffs, I’ve yet to see Bonderman do so. People used to speak about Bonderman in the same breath with Peavy, and I think it’s pretty clear that nobody outside Detroit would even consider doing so at this point in their careers.

    But the real news is, I don’t really need to come here and post an opinion about my disappointment in a player and my fear that he isn’t turning into the player I hoped he would without someone slighting that opinion with pejorative words.

    I anxiously await your 49th complaint about Leylands shortsighted over-use of a LOOGY.

  105. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Casey is one of the top 500 homerun hitters of all time. Fact.

  106. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    I was censored by Billfer yesterday for my comments on Bonderman (perhaps for a good reason, although I didn’t use any profanity). I will try to be more diplomatic. Bonderman suffers from ADHD. He was a sped kid growing up. Now, I k now many people overcome these things, but in his case I swear this affects him in terms of taking it to the next level. His early inning troubles can not be explained by mechanic nor coincidence. It seems to me to be a text book example of not being able to focus due to a learning disability. You can tell when he talks he’s not all there upstairs. He may not have the mental capacity to be awesome.

  107. cib

    August 10, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    I am home from the game. This was the first time in YEARS I have left a game before it was over. Part of the reason is that the bugs in the park were horrible, I think some of them were those fish flies from the east side. But most of the reason is that I am just so damn demoralized. When we went up 9-8, everyone was going crazy and I just thought, big deal, we still have to pitch to them and we’ve got nothing.

    Oh, Inge was out because they have a new baby, born yesterday.

    It was fun seeing the Tigers Wives scooping the ice cream at Ben & Jerrys before the game. Maybe a couple of them can pitch tomorrow.

    I’ve had it. Goodnight all!

  108. Kevin in Austin

    August 10, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Ladies and Gents – let’s not jump on each other. Project it at the pen, or Leyland, or Juan Uribe. We all want the same thing here, just a few innings of ball where we actually have the lead.

  109. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Casey is in fact the all-time homerun leader of the Mudville Nine. You can look it up.

  110. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Mike is right to say it is shortsighted to write Bonderman off this early in his career. Sorry, to “fear” it.

    Bonderman is not an ace. When we were a poor team he was viewed as the future ace because of his surroundings. But looking at his stuff anyone could tell he was never going to be a god on the mound. He has one plus pitch, and a decent fastball. His change is devolping I guess, and he has a crap 2-seamer.

    “But the real news is, I don’t really need to come here and post an opinion about my disappointment in a player and my fear that he isn’t turning into the player I hoped he would without someone slighting that opinion with pejorative words.”

    Welcome to the internet. You need thicker skin.

  111. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    were the tiger wives hot?

  112. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Justin Verlanders GF is highly, highly attractive.

  113. Kathy

    August 10, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    McKay McBride is nothing but what goes around, comes around. Look who we sent over to the Cardinals to get him and that’s what we got in return. Coincidence? NOT!

  114. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    mmm…yes….she is….was she a scoopin’ ice cream? i should have gone a gotten me a cone only in my raincoat….

  115. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    by the way..i was a lions coach last year…

  116. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    baaaa-zing!

  117. cib

    August 10, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    LOL still here guys, you are funny, yes most of the wives are very attractive and Emily, Justin’s girlfriend, actually waited on my daughter and me and we had a chance to talk with her quite a bit, she is genuinely charming and was so nice to my daughter. We also met Mrs. Guillen and Mrs. Bonderman.

  118. cib

    August 10, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Oh, and I agree with the comment above, let’s not take any of these opinions and comments too personally; we’re all so very frustrated but Billfer provides us with this friendly forum to cheer, sigh, vent, etc., so let’s not ruin it. Without the weblog we’d probably all be jumping off the ledge right now!

  119. Jim

    August 10, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    poor taste…

  120. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    that last comment was wrong…please censor me Billfer….I need big brother….

  121. Kathy

    August 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    cib, I saw a short clip on Tigers Live showing the wives at Ben & Jerry’s. No mention of Ivan’s wife. Were you able to take pictures? If so, I’d love to see them. What a bummer of a game. I was worried you might have gotten so disgusted that you might have missed Marcus HR.

    At least the offense was good and Rodney. As for Justin tomorrow, who knows what’ll get, but I’ll be right here watching with the rest of you.

  122. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    “poor taste”

    you don’t like ice cream?

  123. Dead Rabbit

    August 10, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    your right though…it was….i need to go to bed…

  124. cib

    August 10, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Hi Kathy – no, I didn’t see anyone who was identified as Mrs. Rodriguez. And my daughter is 13 therefore EVERYTHING I do, say and wear is a complete and total embarassment to her, so I was not allowed to take pictures. She just about died when I asked Emily how the Inge baby was. However, I remember that last year, the Tigers Weekly show on FSN had a feature on the Ben & Jerrys promotion so they probably will do so again on next week’s edition.

    I stayed til end of the 7th, it was 16-10, my daughter was really getting bitten up by all those gnats or whatever the heck was bombarding the ballpark tonight.

  125. Dead Rabbit

    August 11, 2007 at 12:02 am

    I’m actually disgusted with myself for that last comment…that was for charity too….and ripping on wives aint cool….

  126. Kevin in Austin

    August 11, 2007 at 12:09 am

    Genius

  127. Dead Rabbit

    August 11, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Kevin in Austin, please project it at the pen, or Leyland, or Juan Uribe.

  128. Eric Jackson

    August 11, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Tigers got McBride from Atlanta, not St. Louis; trading away Ledezma.

    Ledezma’s off to a good start in SanDiego.. though that is just 3 innings of work :)

  129. Jim

    August 11, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Ledezma will pitch good in the minors..then suck in the bigs..just like usual

  130. ron

    August 11, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Stephen lives in NY like I do. He’s probably holed up in some abandoned building in Brooklyn trying to avoid Yankee fans. It’s hard to do because they’re actually coming out of the woodwork like little rats.

  131. Dead Rabbit

    August 11, 2007 at 12:28 am

    i will be in nyc for the yankee series…but i only have a ticket for friday.

  132. ron

    August 11, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Can Bilfer take the filters off the blog for one day. Cussing can relieve tension and anger(according to Psychology Today).

  133. bob

    August 11, 2007 at 12:34 am

    To think that the Yankees are coming to town for four games soon…

  134. Dead Rabbit

    August 11, 2007 at 12:43 am

    bob, we have to go to nyc first…

  135. T Smith

    August 11, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Okay, I’m a little more calm, now. So:

    #1: Someone explain to me the point in trading Ledezma for McBride. Just to mix things up a little? At least Ledezma could throw 45 pitches without rendering a spagetti arm/game decisive grand slam. I find no redeeming quality whatsoever in McBride. Call him a “lefty specialist” if you will… excuse him by saying he should only be pitching to a batter or two, whatever. The only thing he specializes in, in my book, is putting men on base and walking batters. Horrible.

    #2: Grilli: Equally horrible. Can I audition to pitch? Apparently the Tigers organization will give the job to just about anybody.

    #3: Yes, Billfer. Of course you are right. I probably would have pulled McBride after he plunked Buck. He was outta gas two batters before the grand slam. Why in the world you would let a pitcher stay on the mound after hitting a batter and walking two after the fact is beyond me. Another Leyland snafu.

    #3: Mike R: Yes, the bullpen is a mess. I get the point. Asking McBride to fill a long relief role is like asking Casey to play center field. All the more reason we should have tried to shore up the pen by trade deadline. But that’s a dead argument. Don’t even want to go there. So what do you do then? Just throw up your hands and say, opps! Ohh, well. We just scored 8 runs in the last two innings — the team is all fired up and ready to take control of the game/series/season — but no matter. On the other side of the ball were just gambling/winging it with the patch-work we got. If that’s the mentality, why not give Inge a shot at getting some batters out?

    #4: Every single game from this point on is CRITICAL. If you disagree I would say you’re delusional. Your club gives you a gift, coming back from an 8-1 deficit; it is imperative you cherish the gift and WIN the game. Dah? Talk about a pivotal game. Leyland talks about the missing spark — the team answers the diatribe and provides the spark, and the BULLPEN proceeds to piss on the spark and extinguish a potential turning point of the season. Unbelievable. Please don’t argue this isn’t demoralizing to the team. What, they’re not human beings? And I don’t care who’s at fault here, be it Leyland, McBride, Grilli, Miner, whomever. At that exact point in the Detroit Tigers 2007 season, after the Tigers rally and come back from an 8-1 defict to acheive a miraculous 9-8 lead, after slumping horribly and teetering on bowing out of contention, I would have flirted with the idea of throwing Verlander in there in the sixth and maybe even the seventh inning to provide the best shot at winning this monmumental game, and then skip him in the rotation if necessary. What, is 25 pitches gonna kill him? Who cares? We’re apparently wingin’ it anyway (as pointed out by others), and we so despirately needed to win THIS GAME! And, yes, the season is on the line! It’s not a crazy idea. Anyone who watched the Sox/Indians game the other night (when the Sox heroically came back on the Tribe) would note that Ozzie did the same thing by putting Contreras in the game in late innings after the Sox game back.

    #5: If I hear one more person say, “at least the Indians lost,” I’m gonna puke. You don’t win pennants and championships by LOSING and counting on your rival to lose. YOU HAVE TO WIN. Period. I don’t care if the Indians lost. WE HAVE TO WIN.

    #6. Did I mention Leyland should have thrown Verlander out there and skipped him in the rotation? Yes, after a little thought, maybe it is a crazy idea. But if you have NO BULLPEN whatsoever, what do you do? Warm up Inge? I’ll say it again, this game was the turning point of the season. A “W” here would have have rekindled this team. It’s only a crazy idea if you have any semblance of a bulllpen, but apparently, the Tigers have no one comfortable pitching in a long situation, according to Mike R., and our pitching is in total disarray and chaos anyway… as far as I’m concerned this game was just as important to win as game 162 with the wild card or pennant on the line.

    What’s likely gonna happen now, is Verlander is gonna go out tomorrow and pitch seven brilliant innings against CY Young and the Tigers are just going to lose 3-1 anyway. We needed to win THIS GAME to provide momentum going in against Mr. Young. (if 10 runs aren’t enough to win, it’s time to concede).

    This loss ranks right up there with the blown Cleveland save. But I’m now getting numb to loss after loss… each one brings me closer to the realization that this Tigers team is just gonna be sitting in front of their TVs come October time.

  136. Jojo Sun Devil

    August 11, 2007 at 1:14 am

    This all started when I lost my lucky Tigers cap. When I find it we will win again.

    The Tigers right now are TRULY one of the five worst teams in baseball. They’re that bad

  137. T Smith

    August 11, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Jojo Sun Devil:

    Interesting little statement. I’m curious, though, what four teams are worst than the Tigers?

  138. Stephen

    August 11, 2007 at 2:09 am

    I’m so glad i chose to go out tonight with an incredibly hot girl, had a nice steak, got drunk, and ended up making out on the street rather than watching this game!

  139. ron

    August 11, 2007 at 2:15 am

    47 games to go. We’re gonna go 34-13 or 13-34. I mean, really, how long can this last?

  140. Mike R

    August 11, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Joey: Bondo’s also had his growth stunted/elongated thanks to the Tigers rushing him to the show by the age of 20. He (and most pitchers) shouldn’t be up that early at all or make a leap from A ball to the majors. But why his growth is being discussed is beyond me, anyways. And don’t take crap so personal.

    And T Smith: No, I don’t say “oops.” But I’m not going to relay my thoughts on the deadline again and again. We traded McBride because he still has options and I thought we were going to use that and if we didn’t that he’d be our LOOGY, but apparently that was a bad assumption as well. If you’re not going to be able to get a trade done, the least we can expect is guys to be used smartly and in the roles they’re most likely to succeed. Neither of which are being done.

  141. Cameron in Singapore

    August 11, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Seriously, why is Grilli still on the roster? He is horrible and has been horrible for some time.

  142. Joey C.

    August 11, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Wow. Jim. You’re amazing. Thank you for misrepresenting what I said a second time, arguing against that misrepresentation and in the end managing to reinforce my opinion.

    Mike, Peavy was up at 21. Does that one year make all the difference?

    I know, I know….Peavy is the exception to the rule.

    Of course the issue of hurting a pitcher by rushing him doesn’t have anything to do with what I was saying, which is basically this:

    My feeling is that the Tigers’ problems run much deeper than their pen and we can probably not focus solely on it for the team’s recent slide. I think that the starting pitching has been awful and Bonderman is probably the most glaringly bad of the bunch because he isn’t living up to some of our expectations. (Jim, thats SOME not ALL. As you know I’m still quite new to the internet–thanks for the welcome–and as a result I’m still trying to figure out how to embed a venn diagram to help you with this concept)

    There are, of course, some lucky men who are so learned in the game that their assessment of potential borders on the clairvoyant. I however, am not one of those lucky few and there was a time when I thought Bonderman had the potential to be our ace. So seeing him pitch so poorly lately leaves me feeling disappointed. I’m disappointed in what seems to be a certain degree of un-ace-like inconsistency. This inconsistency is displaying itself in his past 4 or so starts in that he’s been pretty damn bad, while earlier in the season, he looked so damn good. He has displayed this frustrating inconsistency throughout his career. This latest example of inconsistency coincides with a time when our team most needs a starter to come in every five days and give us a great chance to win.

    This is germane to the discussion of our team’s over-all woes because the kid needs to turn it around or we’re looking severely cooked (we may be cooked regardless of his performance, but as billfer mentioned a couple of days ago, we can basically forget the playoffs if he continues crapping up the joint every time he starts.)

    However, I’m left with the sinking feeling that he isn’t going to turn it around this year, because he doesn’t have the ace-like ability to kick it into another gear when he needs too. And for me, 5 years of worth of evidence is enough to worry that he isn’t ever going to be able to.

  143. ron

    August 11, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Cameron, thanks for mentioning Grilli. We’re showing some consistency now by losing two games in a row by the same margin. Has anyone on the team blown their stack yet; or are the fans the only ones upset . A little emotion from the team would be nice; especially from the manager. That constant pacing in the dugout reminds me of Coocoo’s Nest. Maybe Leyland choking out Grilli ala Nicholson on Nurse Ratchet would help.

  144. Jim

    August 11, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Would you like a hug?

    *hug*

    Now let’s look forward to a good match up tonight!

  145. ron

    August 11, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Stephan, glad to see you have a life .Very disappointed. Got pictures?

  146. ron

    August 11, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Jim, what are you doing up so early on a Saturday morning? Those lovely Tigers don’t play til 7 tonite.

  147. Tony P

    August 11, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Everyone relax. I’m attending these next 2 games and the Tigers are 4-0 when I’ve been in attendance this year. Problem solved.

  148. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 11, 2007 at 11:23 am

    welcome to “modern” baseball. the folks who are promoting baseball today ( replace that with your favorive pejoritive if you like ) have decided that we have to have a lot more action to sell baseball in today’s market

    I don’t know if all that’s true. I never like that thinking myself as I’ve always felt folks that don’t like baseball could — well let’s let thm find something they like better

    but this is just another rant on my part I guess about shifting the game to favor hitting

    oh well that’s how the game is in this day and age

    but how does a team react to this shift

    one way is to load the offense with power hitters and just try to out score the opponent

    and our Tigers have done that. a lot. but this time guess what: what goes around comes around.

    still, it would be nice to hold the opponent to about 5 runs so we can clobber him and that seems to be the issue

    the question is how to do that when the pitching staff ain’t got 5 aces

    do we have 3 aces? if so we oughta be able to win some here and there like maybe each one the 3 aces drops the other two guys and the bullpen could pck that up. that would yield .600 baseball — like the Red Sox and that’s what we’d all like to see

    now in the ace dept we got a good hand

    we got Verlander, Bondo, Nate and hopefully Kenny if he’s OK which we all hope he is

    but, again, in modern baseball a starter ain’t gonna go the distance. it just doesn’t work that way anymore

    which means ya gotta have backup and that needs to cover the 6th inning through the end of the game cuz I don’t see asking a starter to throw more than 5. at 20 pitches/inning there’s your 100 pitches right there

    personally I think it’s time to look at changing the starter/bullpen concept entirely. Plan on using at least 3 starters. cut the start down to 3 innings or once through the batting order and then get that guy out of the game so he can picth again in 3 days. this might help the “regular rotation” to stay sharp — by getting them onto the mound more often and for shorter outings.

    that being the case we need to take a look into htat bullpen and look for guys who could start or throw 3 innings. Prospects would be guys like Miller, and Tata, and Durbin. Certainly having some firemen there too is a good idea and I like all three of our guys in that dept. Jones, Rodney, and Zumaya but with the note that I’ve seen both Jones and Rodney doing better recently. But to make this work 3 short relievers is probably all we can afford we need to work with guys like Miller and Tata and Durbin

  149. T Smith

    August 11, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Bill A\ Kal:

    So, let me get this straight: the game is shifting to a hitting game to induce more excitement, draw in more fans, produce more revenue, more advertising, and create a cascading trickle effect of more $ across the board, right? So I gather there is also a conspiracy afoot?

    I’m sorry to say I’m not sure how much weight I’m willing to put on the theory, but if it in anyway points to the reason the team continues to put Grilli out there (that would certainly support your theory), your explanation makes as much sense as any other conceived reason why Jason Grilli should continue to pitch.

  150. Dave Wagner

    August 11, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Grilli is now my favorite relief pitcher, due to my kneejerk urge to behave entirely contrary to the idiots at Comerica who felt it necessary to boo our own pitchers.

  151. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Dave, you were there. The fans booed the other pitchers, too?

    A full house almost every home game and the team plays abomidably the majority of the time. It must have been great to see Thames homer. And Rodney did a nice job. Did you stay long enought to see the fireworks? I’m kidding! People are just frustrated.

  152. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    And Bill A from Kazoo,

    It’s well documented the game has shifted to a more offensive style. However, I have read that guys who aren’t good enough to be starters, are the relievers. Unfortunately, our starters aren’t doing too well and neither are the relievers. I mentioned several weeks ago I thought Miller might be good as a reliever. If they keep insisting that he start and keeps getting bombed then he’d be better off in Erie or Toledo until he gains more control of his pitches. Otherwise, have him pitch a couple innings and yank him. The whole pitching staff is unreliable at this point.

  153. Nate

    August 11, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Bill A. \ Kal MI:

    How do you explain the following?

    Runs / Game (1929-1939)

    AL: 5.23
    NL: 4.69

    Runs / Game (1996-2006)

    AL: 4.99
    NL: 4.70

    Were they playing “modern baseball” in the thirties? Run scoring environments have fluctuated wildly throughout baseball history. We’re currently in a high run scoring environment. You clearly don’t like this, since you’ve posted about it every day for the last week. But its hardly a unique era in baseball history. The low run scoring environments of the mid-to-late 60s were every bit as aberrant as the offensive explosions of the 30s and late 90/early 2000s.

  154. Dave Wagner

    August 11, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    I left at the beginning of the 8th, as we were pretty much bored to tears (Zach Miner is the most boring pitcher alive… fastball, curve in dirt, fastball, curve in dirt, etc). The 6th inning alone must have taken about an hour. I haven’t seen the Tigers pitching look so overmatched in years, if ever.

    The atmosphere at Comerica is just toxic right now: Tata, McBride, and Grilli all incurred the wrath of the crowd. The Thames grand slam was awesome, though.

  155. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    The Tiger organization seemed to have no problem dumping Mike Maroth. As for Grilli, his father was a Detroit pitcher and I often wonder if that might have anything to do with their hanging onto him.

  156. Dave Wagner

    August 11, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    I maintain my theory that Mike Maroth was the secret core of the entire team

  157. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    The pitches need a sports psychologist added to the payroll.

  158. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    The pitchers could use a sports psychologist is what I meant to say. Couldn’t hurt.

  159. Dave Wagner

    August 11, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    When Bobby Seay is your ERA leader, there might be something fundamentally wrong with a team’s approach. Pitching coach? Manager? Who knows.

  160. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Yea, Maroth and Neifi. The Tigs have played sluggish ever since Nef left. Do you suppose he was supplying the greenies.

  161. Dave Wagner

    August 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Good point – Neifi’s absence matches their slump almost exactly. He must be some kind of inspirational genius.

  162. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    They liked him in the clubhouse. I was never a Neifi hater and hated the bashing. Could’nt hit if his life depended on it but his play in Verlander’s no-no is how I like to remember him.

  163. Kevin in Austin

    August 11, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Dead rabbit – just noticed that you may have misinterpreted my “genius” comment. As off color as your two scoops quip was, I though it was genius.

    Also, over the past 22 games, all of which I’ve listened to or watched in some form or fashion, the Tigers are 10 games under. I’ve got plans tonight (hopefully we’ll be able to move past the parking lot) and won’t be able to do more than follow via cell phone. Anyway, I’m thinking that this may be a good thing, b/c all of my attention towards the Tigers as of last has doomed them.

  164. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Nate: “You clearly don?t like this, since you?ve posted about it every day for the last week”

    I sympathize with the pitcher in any game. don’t know why — it’s just me, I guess.

    as far as harping on the same theme goes, well this blog — and don’t get me wrong here — I like this blog — but this blog has been harping on “this guy’s no good” and “we need to get that other guy”

    reminds me of corporate menatlity where folks seem to think they gotta hire a consultant in order to do anything. I don’t like doing that. I’d much rather put the time and training into my own people.

    and that’s kinda what I see here. what can we do with the guys we got. ain’t no use to fuss over what we could do if we had some other guys cuz guess what: we ain’t got them other guys the other guys has got them and we goot go play ‘em and beat ‘em

    and even if we did have “them other guys” them other guys — like the A’s, Halos, Sox etc etc — well them guys would round up some more players again and then we’d still have to play ‘em

    now the question is can we beat ‘em? right now it’s “run what ya brung” so let’s get out there and win this thing tonite.

    alas,– I’m just a fan– so all I get to do is watch the game at the local tavern and type up some notes, here on the blog.

    it’s All Good

  165. Kyle J

    August 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    There is currently a large quantitative gap between the rational and emotional sides of by brain:

    The Vegas line and tradesports.com both give Detroit a slightly better than a 50% chance of winning tonight (with Verlander pitching against Haren).

    At this point, I feel like they have about a 20% chance of winning.

    If I trusted my emotional side, I suppose I’d call my bookie . . .

  166. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 11, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Kyle: The Vegas line and tradesports.com both give Detroit a slightly better than a 50% chance of winning tonight (with Verlander pitching against Haren).

    At this point, I feel like they have about a 20% chance of winning.

    that is certainly a feeling many of a share,– me too, for one, anyway.

    but, like we’ve been taught: “can’t never did nothin’”

    the trouble that looms of course — is in both barrels, — first will Verlander have his A-game? Second, when the Bullpen takes over — and we know they will have to do that — will they hold?

    Right now, if V goes 7 and Rodney has a good 8th and Jones throws well in the 9th — then yes — we do have a good chance to win.

    but if V crashes in the 4th or 5th then what? this is the area that Leyland needs to focus on — “IMHO” . I think we’ve got good players and I’ve said that several times — this week. So if we ain’t winning then we gotta look hard at what we are doing and it’s Jim’s job to do that — and make something happen!

    all this is just my views as a fan though cuz hey! I don’t even know how to throw a fastball let alone break off a good curve!

  167. BobS.

    August 11, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    It’s hard betting against teams you root for Kyle J-just remind yourself it’s a business for the players,too.If the Tigers win 88 or less this year,the drinks are on me thanks to what’s increasingly looking like a smart bet back in April.

  168. Kathy

    August 11, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Tata and McBride are gone. Lopez and DelaCruz called back up.

  169. Dave Wagner

    August 11, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    McBride got screwed.

  170. Nate

    August 11, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    I’m assuming the demotions aren’t punitive, but rather were made to make sure we had enough people who could pitch in today’s game.

  171. Mike R

    August 12, 2007 at 3:07 am

    Joey, Peavy being up when he’s 21 is deceptive. He also had 430.2 IP in the minor leagues compared to Bonderman’s 156.2 IP. In the 250+ extra innings Bondo could have gotten in the minors, he could’ve have developed that change up and his ability to dominate much more quickly. This has all gotten off track and now, after a win and not a horrendous loss, I get what you were saying. I think, though, had Bondo had the normal time alloted for a high school pitcher to come through the minors, he could have been at this talent level 2 years ago, thus, I think we slowed down his growth A LOT by using him so early as the ace of the staff.