Game 120: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: A depleted Tigers team will take on the Indians tonight. Placido Polanco and Craig Monroe remain out, and it has now spread to Carlos Guillen, Pudge Rodriguez, Todd Jones, and Kenny Rogers. Mike Rabelo will start at catcher, but Carlos Guillen will remain in the lineup and play shortstop. Todd Jones may or may not be available.

A different kind of fever is probably impacting Jair Jurrjens who makes the jump from AA Erie to make his Major League debut tonight. Jurrjens has been lights out in Erie his last 3 starts with 2 earned runs allowed and a 24:1 K/BB ratio.

The Tigers will try to get to Fausto Carmona. Carmona has gone at least 7 innings in his last 6 starts so getting him to throw a lot of pitches early will be a challenge. They did get to him for 10 hits and 5 runs in 6 innings back on June 1st. You remember June 1st don’t you?

POSTGAME: Some losses are easier to take than others. tonight was one of those easier ones. Carmona was pretty darn unhittable as he racked up a career high 10 strikeouts. It wasn’t until the 8th inning that the Tigers picked up their first extra base hit, which was also Curtis Granderson’s 19th triple.

What made it palatable is that the Tigers got a strong start from Jurrjens. He didn’t look rattled, and even after being a little roughed up in the 3rd he came back with strong innings in the 4th and 5th. He lasted 7 innings and held the Tribe to 5 hits which is all you could ask from a 21 making his debut on national TV.

There were some disappointing elements to the game though. With Granderson on 3rd and nobody out, the Tigers had the chance to cut the deficit to one. Instead the 2-3-4 hitters failed to get the bal lout of the infield. And instead of hanging close, Bobby Seay had a rough inning and walked Travis Hafner to force in a run – although he did make a couple nice pitches to Hafner that he couldn’t get calls on. Which was surprising since the strike zone was big for both teams tonight. Still, Seay made his own mess in the first place.

Also, the Indians weren’t exactly sharp tonight. Victor Martinez made a baserunning mistake, and Ryan Garko forgot to stand on first base for a force play. But Carmona was just too much to overcome.
Game Time 7:05

DET @ CLE, Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Game Preview –

82 thoughts on “Game 120: Tigers at Indians”

  1. Great. We’ve got an outbreak of epidemic proportions in the clubhouse. Someone send for Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding Jr.

  2. Read today in a piece from Lynn Henning that the country of Curacao is broadcasting this game Nationally. That’s got to make Jurrjens feel so good.

  3. I have to give kudos to the Indians STO network. Unlike the Sox ding-bats, their broadcasters are actually bearable to listen to, professional, and do not make excuses for their team.

  4. Mike R. —

    How could you forget about former Tiger Randall Simon? Born in Curacao, he had a couple moderately productive years in Detroit (19 HR, 82 RBIs in 2002) and later became famous, however briefly, for Whacking The Sausage during a game in Milwaukee.

  5. I’m liking what I am seeing from him tonight. Showing some pretty good stuff. Glad we didn’t trade him for Wilson, haha. Even moreso.

  6. Jurrjens looks like he is having trouble getting his breaking pitches over. Lots of fastballs and they are up in the zone. He may not last too long if that is all he’s got.

  7. Well, Jurrjens is throwing strikes–40 strikes, 25 balls. Can’t ask for much more from a guy making his first major league game. Usually the jitters get to guys in this situation and he’s pitching from behind all night.

  8. He looked good that in that bottom of the 4th though Vince. He threw a number of nice breaking pitches.

    I actually like what I’m seeing out of the kid.

    Now if we can just get to Fausto here.

  9. I think Jurrjens has pitched well for his ML Debut being in the heat of the AL Central race, in Cleveland, nationally televised on ESPN and all across his home country of Curacao. Like to see him come in on Hafner more (ideally, knock him down next AB/make him move his feet) but he’s been solid.

  10. I think Jurrjens made some adjustments in the 4th. No pitches out over the middle of the plate like in the 2nd and 3rd. That was a good inning for him.

    Carmona looks unhittable right now. He’s jamminng the right handers or just keeping the ball low. He must have a nasty sinker or slider because he is getting a lot of swings on pitches low or below the strike zone. There were no hittable pitches thrown in the top of the 5th if Gameday is trustworthy.

  11. 7 innings. 5 hits. 2 walks. 4 runs. Not a bad debut, assuming he’s done for the night. The kid looks like a keeper.

  12. Overall, I think Jurrjens pitched pretty well. Six hit allowed is pretty good. That full count HR came on a 3-2 count after a questionable called ball, that should have ended the inning. Without the wild pitch, the Indians don’t score the third run.

    I guess I’m okay with this loss.

  13. How many times in the past 5 weeks have we gotten 7 innings out of a starter? I’m really pleased.

    Another trip for Granderson. I have to admit, the kid has exceeded my expectations.

    Let’s knock him in!

  14. Garko doesn’t look very comfortable out there. Did they re-score that error charged to Carmona on the pick-off throw and give it to Garko?

  15. Although I’m not okay with a runner on third, no outs, not crossing the plate.

    That’s not cool. Poorly executed.

  16. Stuff happens when you walk the lead-off batter. Seems like the pen has done that a lot this year.

  17. All five of those pitches to Haffner looked pretty close. You have to wonder how much of his reputation as a guy who draws a lot of walks came into play there.

  18. Coming into this game, Bobby Seay had an ERA of 2.94 and a WHIP of 1.22. I do not know how this is possible.

  19. Walking in a run:

    Not cool. Very disappointed. And to top it off, here come’s Grilli. Time for me to tune out.

    Ohh, before I do, Indians score three more runs, minimum. Mark it down. We just went from a respectable 4-2 score, to a 8-2 defeat.

  20. My apologies to Grilli and his assummed meltdown. I went with the sure thing and didn’t bet on the longshot.

  21. I hope those guys get over the flu pretty quick, because I’ve got a sneakin’ hunch Guillen is playing hurt.

  22. Gameday shows all three balls on the 2-run HR at bat as legitimate–all close, but all balls. And it actually shows the second strike in the at bat as a ball, too. So I don’t think we have a beef on that one.

    Strange to think that we’re the first group of baseball fans in 130 years of the sport’s history to be able to legitimately nitpick ball/strike calls to within half an inch.

  23. Well, we would have been happy with a split going into the series, so I guess we have to be happy with a split after the fact.

    Bring on the Yankees.

  24. An expected outcome, given the matchup coming into this game. Some positives to take away, not the least of which was the start we received rom Jurrjens. He looks very promising.

    Bring on the Stankees!!

  25. flu, paternity leave, bereavement list. what next? pink eye? Somehow, i’m seeing the michael jordans and ted williams of the worlds not missing games with the flu or taking 3 day vacations to be with the wife at births. Take one day and get back. I come from a military family where you miss birthdays, work through the flu, and generally suck it up. It’s called being a professional. It’s the least you can do when you’re making more per game than a soldier makes in a year.

  26. I feel ya, Stephen. Just mindboggling to me how many leaves these guys take. Having a baby? So what. No ballplayer would go home for that. Sick with the flu? So what. Maybe take a day if father is dying and go to funeral. It’s in their contract and they sure take advantage of it. Times have changed.

  27. And so the clawing cats of Wayne County, stymied by Fausto Carmona, must now continue their quest for their second postseason berth since 1984 against the Boppin’ Bombers of the Bronx. A four game set there with Verlander against Mike Mussina in the first game, Robertson against Andy Pettitte in the second game, Durbin against the Rocket in the third game, and an undetermined starter against Chien-Ming Wang in the fourth game. This begins a stretch in which the Tigers will face the Yankees eight times in a span of one and a half weeks. After this series, the Indians will go up against the Tigers at Comerica for a three game set, followed by a four game home bill against the Yankees. This is a crucial stretch for the Tigers in determining just the sort of playoff potential they have.

  28. The team has to make a statement in the next eleven games; such as an 8 and 3 mark. They have to show us they have a killer instinct which has not appeared all season. If they do not win the World Series this year, it will be the longest they have gone without winning a championship since it took 34 years to win their first one. I’ll bet none of the players even know or care about this; but their long suffering fans know and care. A championship every 23 years is not too much to ask from the best sports fans in America.

  29. To top that all off, the Indians’ next six games are against the Devil Rays and Royals. The Indians offense is still showing little sign of waking up from its second half slumber, but the team’s pitching has been solid lately. The good news for the Tigers is that they got good starts from their starters two nights in a row, so their bullpen can go into New York rested and ready to go. The bad news is obviously that flu bug, and Jim Leyland has to hope that his lineup can get healthy and return in short order, because lately it seems that the only way to beat the Yankees is by outslugging them.

  30. Yes, David, Andruw Jones, Randall Simon, and Jair Jurrjens are the three players to whom I alluded. I haven’t heard of the other four players on the list.

  31. Stephen:

    That is an absolutely hilarious article. It actually makes me like the “Cheeseman” even less. Not that he shouldn’t be offended, but his response just made him seem like kind of a d-bag. And I’m not entirely sure that the instigator will receive more than a few e-mails. I just can’t imagine that there is a loyal contingent of die hard Grilli fans that would still be supportive after being a consistent detriment to the team. Really funny, all the same.

  32. As much as I dread seeing the Grillers come into a game, I guess the mom in me takes over my emotions. I know he puts us through hell, but if I was his mother, my heart would be broken for him. The Tigers would almost be doing him a favor by sending him to another team where he could start fresh.

  33. @ Stephen:
    While I do agree that not playing while midly ill, or even just ill, is a little wimpy when you are a pro athlete, I do not think it is bad in any way to be with your wife and baby when that baby is born. That is such an important and blessed event that it is entirely justified to take a few days for that.

    @ Ken:
    We need to lay off of Grilli. His home stats indicate that the fans, while having every right to boo, actually hurt his performance. And he does have quite a few fans actually. And I would be one of them. That idiot who emailed him got what he deserved.

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