Game 122: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: The Tigers continue the 13 game stretch of schedule that is titled So you think you’re a playoff team. Episode 4 takes place tonight with the Tigers taking on the Yankees in a battle of lefties.

For the Tigers it will be Nate Robertson. Nate has pitched better over his last 3 games with 2 quality starts. His last game he limited the damage to 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings despite allowing 5 walks. The walks were uncharacteristic as Robertson had allowed only 6 walks combined over his last 5 starts.

Andy Pettitte takes the mound for the Yankees and he hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since July 6th. Over that span of 7 starts he’s fanned 41 in 45 2/3 innings and only allowed 1 homer. Curtis Granderson and Sean Casey remain in the lineup and I’m not sure if it is because the team is still sick, or because lefties have a 871 OPS against Pettitte this season.

And if you were wondering about Cameron Maybin, he’ll bat 2nd and play left field tonight. He’ll be sporting the number 4.

Game Time 7:05pm
DET @ NYY, Friday, August 17, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: With so much excitement throughout the day, I think it’s safe to say that the game was nothing more than an eh.

Cameron Maybin didn’t look particularly good with 2 K’s, an out on a bouncer that he hit when he was leaving the box. He also didn’t look very comfortable in left nearly overrunning one ball. A second ball looked like it could have been catch-able, but with the only angle they showed it was hard to tell. Maybin has played much left, and with the rains couldn’t get on the field prior to the game. I don’t know how much of a difference either made, but it is something to consider.

But I didn’t think the debut was all bad. I thought that each at-bat seemed to get better. He showed some plate discipline laying off borderline pitches, and in his last at-bat he drove a ball on the outer half of the plate well to right field. Leyland has already said he’ll play tomorrow, so we’ll see if things get better with one game under his belt.

As for the rest of the game, the story was Andy Pettitte. He was good, and the Tigers couldn’t really muster anything off of him. That pretty much was the game.

Nate Robertson pitched better than his final numbers show. He would have been out of the 3rd inning with the lead and in good shape on his pitch count if not for a high hop over Guillen’s glove. He allowed 10 hits, 2 of which were the infield variety, one was the high bounce over Guillen, and one was the ball past Maybin in left. Those incidents accounted for the bulk of the runs Nate allowed.

Brandon Inge knocked in the only Tigers run on a double so that was good. But Inge had another check swing strikeout. It’s not so much the strikeouts themselves that bother me, it’s the indecisiveness that is so frustrating.

Ryan Raburn was the only Tigers hitter to figure out Pettitte and he picked up a double and a single.


  1. Cameron in Singapore

    August 17, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    And the Cameron Maybin era begins with a bang…:)

  2. Kathy

    August 17, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Is it me, or does Ramon Santiago look like he’s packed on about 20 lbs.?

  3. cib

    August 17, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Well, everyone must be glued to the TV. So far, I kinda wish Omar were in left field and swinging the bat. I think our phenom is still a bit raw. But I’m hoping for the best.

  4. Mark in Chicago

    August 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Maybin can’t pick up the ball. He hasn’t even been close on any of his swings.

  5. Mike R

    August 17, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Well, with Maybin comes strikeouts. Even in the low minors. Anyone looking for him to not K is naive.

  6. Kathy

    August 17, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Right now, all I’m lookin at is Nate.

  7. Kathy

    August 17, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    crybaby spankees.

  8. cib

    August 17, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I’m going to sleep now.

  9. Dylan

    August 17, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks Guillen…

  10. Mike in CT

    August 17, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Yeah, this is overstating things and jumping to conclusions, but Guillen’s butchery at short is maybe the No. 1 reason for the Tigers recent struggles. He’s giving away an out or two a game and tonight he just killed Robertson, tough hop or not.

  11. Eric Jackson

    August 17, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Nate needs to finish this inning out and get us back up to bat. I think we can get to Pettite

  12. Nick

    August 17, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Guillen would have had to been 10 feet tall to make that out

  13. Nate

    August 17, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Dylan, I don’t think you can blame Guillen for that one. The ball took a truly bizarre hop. Unless your shortstop is Stretch Armstrong, that ball is going to find the outfield.

  14. Nick

    August 17, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Guillen’s D might reason 27 for their struggles, it isn’t close the #1

  15. Mike in CT

    August 17, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Think of all the hits up the middle that most MLB shortstops would get to in the last month or so, to me it seems like a lot. Not to mention his trouble getting the ball out of the glove. It’s definitely a factor. Of course when Ramon Santiago starts putting up 0-for-4s I’ll moan about that too.

  16. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    A few thoughts thus far:

    1. When is Polly coming back? Shoot the guy up with some potent antibotics, spoon feed him some green tea, force some chicken soup down his throat, something. Anything. He needs to come back. NOW.

    2. Nate is doing pretty well, overall. One bad hop leads to the big inning… other than that, he’s on I think.

    3. I’m not too impressed with Pudge throwing out base runners these days. Yes, Abreu got a good jump, but the throw was off line.

    4. Raburn continues to impress.

    5. Petitte is carving up Granderson. But since there is no platooning option, what other choice is there. See point #1.

    6. Inge did get a good shot off Petitte, but then proceeds to K when we needed him to come thru. Inge being Inge. The two Ks after Raburn’s double hurt.

  17. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    I say Monroe makes that catch in left.

    (Just kidding, just kidding)…

    Seriously, though, that was a catchable fly ball. You catch that, the score is still 3-1 and we’re still in this game.

  18. David

    August 17, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Inge is 1-2 (double) knocking in our only run and started a double play. What the **** do you want?!

    Please don’t get on Inge when he delivered and Grandy is 0-2, Maybin 0-3, Shef 0-3, Ordonez 0-3, Pudge 0-2, Casey 0-2.

  19. Kathy

    August 17, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Raeburn is pretty good with the bat and decent at 2nd but we’ve been spoiled by Polly. Alot of the balls that get by Raeburn, Polly would have scooped up. And, Cameron looks pretty “green” out there in LF.

  20. Mark in Chicago

    August 17, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Nate deserves better, he’s had some things go against him. At the same time, we’ve got nothing off Pettitte. You can’t ask Nate to be perfect.

  21. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Add Casey on that list of lefties Petitte is carving up.

  22. Kathy

    August 17, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Have to agree with T Smith, Monroe probably would have caught it and Marcus would have caught it.

  23. bob

    August 17, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Cleveland wins a real squeaker in Tampa Bay…2-1 the final score. Tigers will have to stage a big comeback tonight to remain in first place.

  24. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 10:43 pm


    I rescind my Inge comment! (I forgot how sensitive the Inge contingent is) and yes, I fully acknowledge he knocked in our 1 run thus far. Way to go Brandon!

    My frustration with Inge is the perdictable K. I guess if he just managed to put the bat on the ball it would be less frustrating. That said, I have no argument with you; the entire lineup is coming up rather short this evening.

  25. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Previous post submitted prior to the 8th inning Inge at bat (I promise I won’t say anything!)

  26. Nate

    August 17, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Nate deserves better

    I fully agree. Oh wait, you weren’t talking about me…

  27. Kathy

    August 17, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    I was so hoping we’d win this game tonight as Durbin has really pitched poorly his last two starts. Maybe his arm is stretched out by now and he’ll surprise us.

  28. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 10:55 pm


    Don’t sell yourself short. I believe Mark in Chicago WAS talking about you…

  29. T Smith

    August 17, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Kinda anti-clamatic Maybin debut.

  30. Mark in Chicago

    August 17, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I definitely think BOTH Nates deserve better.

  31. Jim

    August 17, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    *shrug* what can ya do i guess?

    Here’s hoping for a whoopin of Clemens tommorw..and I hope Van Slyke gets out there and hits Cam some fly balls tommorw

  32. Tbone

    August 17, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Sorry,but Cameron Maybin looked not yet ready for prime time. His play in the outfield concerns me more than than his bat. He looked nervous from the get-go, but you can hardly blame him for that.

  33. Doc

    August 18, 2007 at 12:43 am

    The only big positive from tonight is that Raburn continues to rake, and it’s definitely not all luck (although tonight’s single was pretty lucky). The kid gets a lot of line drives. My only real concern is that he needs to draw walks at least once in a while if he wants to keep producing at a high level. But I think that will come–he walked a fair bit in Toledo.

  34. BobS.

    August 18, 2007 at 2:19 am

    So,to review,in his major league debut at Yankee Stadium the 20 year old future of the franchise is also asked to play a new position.I don’t expect coddling,but you think that might explain the ‘deer in the headlights’ expression and the tentativeness of his outfield play?
    And if Leyland insists on playing the overmatched Granderson against lefthanders(at least tonight you can argue there were few good options)why does he have to lead off,where he’s most likely to face the starting pitcher the most times?When Polanco returns,what about an outfield with Sheffield and Ordonez in the corners and Rayburn in center against lefthanders?

  35. Stephen

    August 18, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Man, i hate to carp on this, but as much as i like Grandy look at his career numbers against left handers and it’s hard to argue he’s an all-star, much less a potential superstar. i mean he’s in the .220s for his career. that’s not good.

  36. David

    August 18, 2007 at 3:47 am

    BobS – I agree somewhat with your first paragraph, but he also is what? 20 and has only played just over a year in anything above HS. I’m sure it is going to take time for him to judge everything hit to him perfectly in the field, Van Slyke should help whip him into shape so to speak.

    As far as your second paragraph

    The Tigers had 5 players before today that have hit over .300 with over a .800 OPS this season against southpaws. They are as follows

    Magglio .438, 1.289
    Polanco .331, .825
    Guillen .315, .965
    Monroe .302, .858
    Inge .300, .813

    Also Thames (.296, .845) and Sheffield (.278, .924) both have OPS over .800

    If it were me I would have not brought up Maybin today. We don’t really need OF and he could use another season down there.

    If it were me I would have switched Inge and Grandy, but w.e Andy was dealin’ tonight anyways.

    Oh and Stephen he def. should have been a All-Star. Look at TB he’s at the top, but I agree he can’t hit lefties worth a lick.

    This season he is even worse at .162

    But then again he’s not alone. Tell me if any of these names ring a bell.

    Alex Gordon, Bobby Abreu, Justion Morneau, Josh Barfield, Gary Matthews Jr., Jim Thome, Nick Punto. All players that are in the AL with a min. 100 PA against lefties batting under .220 for the year.

    Against Righties Granderson has the second most hits (behind Ichirio and Derek Jeter) and is tied with Alex Rodriguez for the most Total Bases!

    Here is my little comment, I kind of have a feeling why we haven’t done it but I still think we should do it.

    I think this would help our D out a lot
    But, it sounds kind of Crazy

    C – Rabelo – has been roughly equal to Pudge this season
    1st – Guillen – feel much better with him at first to save him extra pounding on that knee and also due to his drastically declining range
    2nd – Pudge – still speedy, I’m sure he can field and although has lost his cannon it still isn’t bad
    3rd – Polanco – not great range, not great arm strength but has played all over the IF and would make plays on the majority of the balls hit his way
    SS – Inge – in my mind a defensive whiz, excellent range, and a gun, once in awhile rushes
    RF – Sheffield – great instincts and is faster than Maggs
    CF – Granderson – has roamed center like he owned it
    LF – Raburn – good speed and is experienced in the OF the last few years
    DH – Ordonez – better as just a hitter with spot duty in the OF

    Just my opinion, but I think this defensive scheme is superior to our own and over the next 40 games could win at least 3 or 4 more if put into effect.

    I know it won’t be but I wish it was.

  37. ron

    August 18, 2007 at 6:47 am

    At game Fri. night; Maybin looked and played nervous. First game in NY, 53,000 fans. He can only improve and hopefully put on a little more muscle.

  38. Jim

    August 18, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Whatd they list Maybin at? 6′4 180? That is allllllll kinds of potential to fill out. I think one day in the future (hopefully) he will actually look pretty imitating at the plate.

    Of course he needs to get rid of those braces first. (holy heck braces!?)

    One game fellas, let’s see how he does tonight.

  39. JMD

    August 18, 2007 at 8:44 am

    David, Your defensive scheme is all kinds of crazy. I’m glad Leyland doesn’t turn to you for defensive advice!!

  40. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 18, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Cam — time will tell

    one of the things that you cannot ignore is the toll the season takes on the players as the season grinds on. and that is why it is so essential to keep rotating guys around a little, here and there

    Mr. Jim will bee keeping a close eye on all this, you can bet your boots on that

    one thing that is generally missed in the discussions, I think, and that is the total essential value of defensive play. that is where players like Grandy and Inge really shine and it has been noted we have been missing Poly out there at 2d

    I must admit I was a little disappointed then sent Omar down. Omar plays well and is effective in a variety of spots.

  41. Mike R

    August 18, 2007 at 10:05 am

    That proposed defensive lineup is all sorts of crazy. Count me out of that. What? Casey in CF didn’t sound like a good idea? Come on now.

  42. Ben

    August 18, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Those check-swing strikeouts are bothering me too. The thing is, Inge isn’t normally bad at distinguishing strikes from balls. I think he’s concerned with striking out so much and has gotten inside his own head.

  43. BobS.

    August 18, 2007 at 11:36 am

    I agree it’s just one game for Maybin.It’s just unfortunate the adults put him in a situation that was certain to overwhelm most 20 year olds-the biggest stage in baseball at a position he clearly wasn’t comfortable playing.
    Bill A,you have no special insight into the value of defensive play-we’ll all stipulate as to it’s importance.In the case of Granderson vs. lefthanded pitching,however,you need to factor it against simply giving away 3 out of 4 at bats.Perhaps Maybin could be eased into the line-up by platooning him and Granderson in CF.

  44. Anthony

    August 18, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I think its a great idea to move Pudge to 2nd in the middle of a pennant race.

  45. Stephen

    August 18, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Jose Mesa has an Era of 3 with the Phils. Not saying we shouldn’t have released him, but we didn’t catch a break. If only we had cut the cheeseman.