Game 123: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: It looks like a pretty clear mismatch on paper. Chad Durbin is taking on Roger Clemens.

Durbin was knocked around in his last start against the A’s and allowed 10 baserunners in 4 1/3 innings. He walked 4 despite routinely getting ahead in the count because he couldn’t put hitters away, or at least get them to put the ball in play. That won’t be any easier against a very disciplined Yankees team.

Roger Clemens can be quite effective, but it isn’t a sure thing anymore. A look at his game log and it’s easy to see you don’t know what you’re going to get. He has only thrown more than 100 pitches once since the beginning of June so the Tigers may be able to chase him relatively early.

Game Time 3:55
DET @ NYY, Saturday, August 18, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

PREGAME
: Going in this game looked like a mismatch. In the top of the 6th inning it still looked that way, but only for the good guys. The Tigers had just ensured that Clemens had pitched his last inning and had put pressure on him the whole game. Meanwhile Chad Durbin had gone through the first 5 innings on 65 pitches retiring 6 Yankees in a row on a total of 13 pitches in the 4th and 5th. The only concern was that the many missed opportunities the Tigers had wouldn’t come back to haunt them.

That concern was founded as Derek Jeter led off with a single and Bobby Abreu hit a homer that seemed more like a pop-up. Next thing you know Chad Durbin is out of the game without recording an out in the 6th, Roger Clemens is in line for the win, and Tim Byrdak and Jason Grilli combine to slowly limit the bleeding. And the Tigers lose going away.

Curtis Granderson had a pretty poor game with the bat. He hasn’t been hitting line drives for the last week or so, but he had at least been drawing walks. That didn’t happen today, and he was a big part of the reason the Tigers didn’t push more runs across. He fanned in a runners at the corners, no out situation in the 3rd and popped out in a bases loaded situation later on.

As for Cameron Maybin, things were definitely better. He did a nice job placing a ground ball to the right side on a hit and run for his first hit. And he drilled his first homer to striaght away centerfield. He also should have been credited with his first stolen base, but the official scorer didn’t give it to him on a nice play by the Yankees, and a poor one by the Tigers. Marcus Thames fanned with Maybin on first and Inge on third. Maybin was running and had 2nd base stolen. Roger Clemens cut the throw from Jorge Posada and ran over and tagged out Brandon Inge who was breaking for home on the play.

In the end the Tigers let a winnable game slip away, and now have to take the finale to muster a split.

Yankees 5 Tigers 2

84 Comments

  1. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 18, 2007 at 9:07 am

    I love this blog. Thanks, Bilfer, it’s great!

    I look at ever game in at least an aspect of team building.

    right now we have some wear and tear on the team and we have to overcome that

    and it ain’t easy. Jim has to look at who he’s got ready to play and put in guy he wants to go with. but that asepect of team building has to come along a little all the time too. so I’ll be watching to see how Cam does later this afternoon

    like I said on the other game thread I like Omar. He plays well and there gonna be a time here and there Jim will need him. I’d like to see him back on the active roster, but hey, couple weeks it’s Sept anyway

    while we’re check on Cam though wouldn’t it be great to find another Rayburn? This Rayburn guy has been great! If we don’t give the young players a chance we won’t find that next Rayburn.

    Tonite’s game will be fun but tonite’s game ain’t the whole season and so that’s the main reason we need to look so much at total team strength not just individual players

    and I think that’s Jim’s strong suit

  2. Mike R

    August 18, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Cameron Maybin projects to be an elite Centerfield prospect that hits for very good power, average, plus stolen bases. Think Carlos Beltran-type player. Though, I don’t think he will reach that, a cut below ain’t half bad. So if he becomes a Ryan Raburn, then that would be a bummer, in my opinion.

    I would not be surprised to see him get a base knock today. Through the left side.

  3. Sam

    August 18, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Perspective on Cameron Maybin:

    99abs – 12hits – 1 HR – 4RBI – 2 walks – 7 DPs

    You know whose line that was??

    That was Cal Ripken Jr in from 8/10/81-5/01/82.

    I grew up in baltimore as an Orioles fan. He was also called up at 20 years old (but 6 months older than Maybin). He looked very much overwhelmed.

    I’m sure Maybin is going to look overmatched and probably strike out in 40% of his ABs. But, have patience, it will come. I’m sure by mid next year he will be awesome.

    -Sam

  4. Jeff

    August 18, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    I have no doubt Maybin might end up looking bad in a few at-bats. But it’s important to play him only if he can help the team, not to give him experience and to get past those hiccups. Hopefully he gets it going today.

  5. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    God help us!!

  6. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Nice to see Chad get through the 1st unscathed for a change.

  7. JMD

    August 18, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    I don’t think Maybin is ready. His defense has been awful, let alone his hitting.

  8. Eric Jackson

    August 18, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    That was a big mistake in left for Maybin. But they got out of it, this time.

  9. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Maybin again: not quite ready for prime time playing a position he is unfamiliar with at Yankee Stadium in the thick of a pennant race. He looks completely out of his element in left.

    Rosenberg in today’s Freep said when the Tigers want defense they’ll use Maybin in left, when they want offense they’ll use Thames. So far, that thinking makes no sense whatsoever.

  10. Eric Jackson

    August 18, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    So far, yes but that might change once he gets some of the jitters out and feels comfortable.

    I haven’t watched him play, except yesterday and today, but he clearly has more range than Thames and was playing good defense in the minors.

    He’s up now, time for his first hit. :)

    They should give him some time and but short leash him.

  11. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Why don’t they put Sheffield in left, Santiago at short if that’s what they brought him up for, and let Carlos DH to rest the knees.

  12. Eric Jackson

    August 18, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    And there we go, first hit off Roger Clemens. Wonder if they’ll test his speed out now and take second.

  13. Dylan

    August 18, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    First hit!

  14. Mike G

    August 18, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    He definitely looks nervous out there, but if they were confident enough in him to call him up, they have to let him shake this off. He needs to relax and get comfortabe. Hopefully he will relax more coming back home.

    Good to see him get a first hit. I wonder if they’ll send him now. Show off that speed.

  15. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t know, cib. They keep saying Guillen’s knees are hurting and he can’t go side to side but they keep putting him out there.

  16. Eric Jackson

    August 18, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Well, coming to Comerica Park isn’t quite like coming home for him yet :)

    Hopefully this is the start of a long time playing at CoPa for him.

  17. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Granderson and Thames come up empty and Brandon gives them a freebie. Ugh.

  18. Eric Jackson

    August 18, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I think Brandon was told to go once Posada started throwing toward second. But the Yankees caught em’.

  19. Stephen

    August 18, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Wow, that whole inningwas complete little league. From Maybin’s botch in the field, Inge’s pathetic hit, Grandy strike out, and Thames strikeout and Inge toss out. Wow, that was completely lame.

  20. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    I’ll take a pathetic hit over no hit any day.

  21. boombotti

    August 18, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    I wish Thames would have used the situation at 3-1 or 3-2 to take a pitch, especially that high one to have walked to load the bases for Shef, but thats why hes just an average player.

  22. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Nice job Ryan, that’s how you get the job done.

  23. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    I would have liked to see another “pathetic” hit. What a waste of baserunners.

  24. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Heavily out of the loop due to the start of law school. Maybin is on deck? Jesus. I need to read the previous days posts.

    Glad to see us tie it up, but obviously we need to get many more runs in. We should feel blessed with the start Durbin has given us up to this point.

  25. Brian

    August 18, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Durbin is in the groove. Let’s get him some runs.

  26. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Maybin!!!!!

  27. Eric Jackson

    August 18, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Go Cameron! Home Run!

  28. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    So THAT’s what everyone’s talking about…

  29. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Good god he destroyed that thing! Kid has a nice, quick bat. Looks like the ball can get pretty deep into the zone before he commits.

  30. rene

    August 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Perhaps we brought him up too late.

  31. Mark in SF

    August 18, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Joey C –

    I was fortunate to attend law school between 2002 and 2005, when it was actually more pleasurable to study contract law than to watch a Tigers game. Good luck this semester. :)

  32. Brian

    August 18, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I think that little nothing Maybin got his first time up might have calmed him down.

    When this kid fills out, he’s going to be launching some bombs.

  33. Mark in SF

    August 18, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Durbin: 8-pitch fourth, 5-pitch fifth — I’m speechless.

  34. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Mark in SF, thanks a lot. The first week has my head spinning and I’m feeling guilty as I type this because I should be reading.

    But damnit! I just saw Cameron Maybin’s first dinger on national TV!

    I know I’m late to the party, but I’m really upset about the Infante move. It’s nice to know he’ll likely be back for the stretch-run, but I don’t understand the move. I feel he’s been unfairly defined as a sub-par fielder. But Leyland gets to see him up close every day and I’ll defer to his and DD’s opinions on the subject. I’m not looking forward to those lineups when we have Inge and Ramon filling out the 8 and 9 spots.

  35. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    How is that a hit?

  36. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Joey where are you in law school? Turn back before it’s too late(just kidding, 25 yrs in practice here). I agree with you about Omar.

  37. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I’m at CUNY in Queens New York.

    Wow. Nice base-running Ryan.

  38. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Lots of luck, it’s a great adventure!

    Argh!! Oh, Curtis….

  39. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Curtis is in a mini-slump, it seems. Not picking the ball up real well. He’ll break out of it…

  40. Ben in Denver

    August 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    National TV??? Oh, wait, let me guess. Fox.

    Cubs/Cards here. I hate that. The Cubs have their own network. Isn’t that enough?!?

  41. Ben in Denver

    August 18, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Hang in there guys. You’re in this one. You’re getting hits. Stay in the game.

  42. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    This feels like a playoff game.

  43. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Yeah, I’m in New York, so the home of Yankee baseball, FOX, is broadcasting the game here.

    Thanks cib!

  44. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Good Grief. Does anyone else feel as if this game has lasted about 9 hours already?

  45. charlie

    August 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    is it true that 99.5% of lawyers give the rest a bad name?

  46. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Ah, the middle relief blues….

    And who do you turn to for the stopper? It’s the Griller!

  47. Shane trapped in Athens, Ohio

    August 18, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Here comes the “Cheeseman” and he does not get mad here gets revenge!!!

  48. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Oh my god. I am getting really tired of the 6th inning.

    Charlie, it’s more like 5 percent, but those are the only ones you hear about.

  49. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Grilli on National TV.

  50. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Well, Grilli didn’t look too bad. The hit he gave up was pretty weak.

  51. Mark in SF

    August 18, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Cheese. Why?

  52. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Good. Just in case he’s being scouted by someone.

  53. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Obviously we can get to Farnsworth. Let’s get some runs!

  54. T Smith

    August 18, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Is it too much to ask our middle relief to keep this a one run game?

    It’s crushing. Tigers can’t seem to get the 2 out clutch hit all day, and the Yankees get two in a row off our middle relief corps.

    Guillen is really becoming a liability at short. Love the guy, and his bat, but he sure isn’t getting it done on the field. Executing the force out on second nips this rally right in the bud.

  55. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    They just victimized Sheff.

  56. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    I can’t really put into words how much I dislike McCarver. Pair him with Rosenthal and you have the worst broadcasting team in the history of the world.

  57. Ben

    August 18, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    I can’t blame the bullpen for this. Byrdak gave up two ground ball hits, including one that could have been an out and one that could have led to a runner being thrown out at home. Grilli gave up a bloop single. The defense hasn’t been great (Maybin at LF, Raburn at 2B, Guillen at SS and Thames at 1B add up to a pretty awful defense, with Maybin looking especially awkward today), but the main problem has been the offense blowing some really good opportunities.

  58. cib

    August 18, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    So as long as we’re chatting about various issues here, is it horrible and disloyal to say that I am waiting til the last possible moment to pay for my postseason tickets? I just don’t think it’s right for them to hold all that money thru September . . .

    Grilli doesn’t look so bad today.

  59. T Smith

    August 18, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Grilli will get kudos from me if, and when, he pitches this way when the Tigers are ahead by one run in the sixth.

    Holding the Yankees to a three run lead does not constitute accolades.

  60. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Well, I’m outta here. Have to go to a party. Wouldn’t it be something if we come back in the 9th and win.

  61. T Smith

    August 18, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    How important is it to bring up the tying run to the plate in the eighth against Vizcaino? Important enough NOT to swing at ball four maybe? And then take strike three? (You know who you are).

    These are the things that completely frustrate me with certain players.

    But I guess we’ve got a better shot at scoring three runs against Mariano in the top of the ninth.

  62. T Smith

    August 18, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    ***but the main problem has been the offense blowing some really good opportunities***

    No arguments whatsoever. I would like to know the failed percentage rate, in the MLB, of getting runners at 1st and 3rd, nobody out, and then failing to score a run. Anybody up to the challenge?

  63. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    T Smith, I think if Inge goes up 3-0, he should be given the take sign on the next two pitches. It should just be standard procedure with him. That was a horrendous at bat.

  64. Joey C.

    August 18, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Crap. Tomorrow’s a tough matchup against Wang. This would have been a nice one to steal.

  65. Tbone

    August 18, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    What a let down. If the Tigers end up looking in from the outside come playoffs, this is the type of game you look back at and think you should have won.

    An excellent start from Durbin, a pop-up homer and a fisted single end up being the difference makers. Nine straight series without a win.

    The 3rd and 6th innings were major wasted opportunities. There just not enough games left this season to let ones like this slip away.

  66. Jim

    August 18, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    This is the type of game we should have won. Offense didnt do it. Too many hits and not enough runs

  67. ron

    August 18, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    It’s bad when the star of the game for the Tigers is a kid brought up yesterday. Thank God for Sheffield. At least he looks like he has some fire in his belly. Casey gets a high five for working Rivera for a walk in the ninth? Please. Three runs off two aging Yankee pitchers in 18 innings. The team is laying down at the most inoppurtune times. And don’t mention execution. I’ve seen better execution by a lot of Tiger teams in the past who were out of the race by July 1st. When you don’t execute this late in the season in the middle of a very tight race and don’t win convincingly at home all season long, it may be that you’re just going thru the motions and making sure someone has signed your paycheck.

  68. ron

    August 18, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Oh yeh, and Inge being tagged out by a still bloated Clemens is an embarassment. And don’t think that plunk on the arm of Maybin by Clemens was unintentional. That little tap on Inge’s chest galled me too. This team is just too nice. I vote Sheffield for team counseler.

  69. Matt

    August 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Honestly, this loss really doesn’t bother me that much.

    Yeah, mistakes were made. Opportunities blown.

    But it was a fairly tight game versus Clemens, an extremely good pitcher.

    I’d be more upset if I was a Yankee’s fan. Think about it:

    They barely got the win versus a Tiger’s team that…

    1) Sat one of their best hitters (Polanco)
    2) Started a rookie who’s only been in the bigs for 24 hours (Maybin)
    3) Gave the mound to a relief pitcher forced into the role of starting pitcher (Durbin).

    I’m not making any excuses, I’m just not that upset about the loss. If this loss came against Verlander, Bondo or Kenny Rogers, I’d be a little more upset.

    On that note, I expect good things from Bondo tomorrow.

    Polonco was sitting out… our left fielder has been playing Big League ball for less than 24 hours and our starting pitcher isn’t even a starter.

  70. Jeff

    August 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    T Smith *** I would like to know the failed percentage rate, in the MLB, of getting runners at 1st and 3rd, nobody out, and then failing to score a run. Anybody up to the challenge? ***

    Neat site that I found a couple years ago during arguments about the efficacy of bunting:

    http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/users.....druns.html

    There’s a 13% chance of no runs being scored in the 1st/3rd, nobody out situation (1 – .870). That’s based on old data and blends in NL (pitchers hit) data, so it’s probably closer to 10% in the current AL offensive context.

  71. Mike R

    August 18, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Hahahaha, I love people jumping on Maybin’s case for his defense. That’s the last thing that we’ll be complaining about. Kid is a year younger then I am and made the jump essentially from High-A baseball to a major league debut in Yankee Stadium, in the heat of a pennant race for a floundering team being riddled by injuries and illness, facing Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens in his first two games on top of having to play a position he hasn’t played since at the least, High School. If ever.

    I don’t think he’s ready for the Majors, but the defensive aspect of this game is not the one that’s lagging.

  72. Stephen

    August 18, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Well Matt, if the idea is not so much to win games and make the playoffs, but rather show how close we can keep a game before losing it, yeah, then i’m not bothered by this loss at all.

    And Mike R, it is Maybin’s defensive game that is lagging. I’m sure he’s a great centerfielder, but the problem is he mishandled three plays in two games in a way that a first baseman pressed into the outfield during an extra inning game might. He’s playing out of position and that’s not his fault, but if he fields like the first two games, he’s gonna cost us a game sooner rather than later. From what I’ve seen so far, he’s not an adequate left fielder at this point in time. Again, not his fault, but it’ll cost us all the same.

  73. Dave Wagner

    August 18, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    I’m pretty Matt didn’t tell you not to be bothered by the loss, Stephen – he said that HE wasn’t. Were you just lacking for attention or something?

  74. Dave Wagner

    August 18, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    I meant pretty “sure”, obviously. I wasn’t telling Matt that I was pretty (though maybe I should have)

  75. Stephen

    August 18, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Oh Dave, stop projecting.

  76. Kathy

    August 18, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    I saw Inge’s last at bat before I left and just cringed with 3 balls and no strikes. I would have made him throw 3 strikes. But, oh no, not our boy Inge. Terrible at bat. Maybin is pretty special but he needs a lot of work with Andy VanSlyke. They say he has a very strong work ethic and is very teachable. Grandy, Maggs, and Thames seem to be in mini slumps. Sure is disappointing that we left all those guys on base. Durbin looked real strong and I was ready to throw him under the bus last week.

    Hope we have a good day tomorrow and Polly’s back in the lineup.

  77. billfer

    August 18, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    That Inge at bat was awful. Yes, the called 3rd strike was borderline (prolly still a strike though), but if you swing at a ball at your shoulders you don’t really get to argue a pitch that close.

  78. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 2:45 am

    I guess Matt does not get upset because we did not put our A- team on the field and we were going against Clemens. Sounds like a pretty good excuse to me. We’re going to need a few more, though, if we continue to implode.

  79. Sam

    August 19, 2007 at 7:40 am

    You guys crack me up about Maybin. Yeah his Defense has been shaky, but he is still getting used to LF. His speed and range will come thorugh soon enough.

    Most people in the organization during spring training were saying that he would eventually move Granderson to LF. As good as Grandy has been this year, I don’t see it happening yet.

    It is nice to have two CFers in the OF though.

    -Sam

  80. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Sam, I’m not saying Maybin isn’t a special player and might not blossom into a great defensive outfielder. (From all reports, he’s a great center fielder) All i’m saying is we’re in a pennant race today and right now–August 2007-he is a severe liabilty in the field. It would be like moving Inge to short tomorrow. Does he have the tools and range to play the position? Probably. But he’s gonna toss a few balls into the stands until he gets his bearings. Might Maybin’s left field IQ change in 7-10 games once he gets his bearings? Sure, but i think there’s a whiff of desperation in putting a 20 yr old playing a new position on the road during a pennant race; much like last year when the Yanks tried to teach SHeff first base on the fly. I think there’s something to be said for making Granderson, a seasoned player, play left field when they both play. It’s not ideal, but it seems better than the current option.
    Again, I’m not knocking Maybin’s fielding potential, knocking the harebrained scheme of teaching a 20 yr old a new position on the fly.

  81. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 19, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Sunday morning. rain. hot coffee.

    I just read all the chitter-chatter. lotta good stuff

    I like the effort to ge Cam into action. I like it a lot. The season takes its toll as it grinds along week after week and it is total team strength that counts in the roll-up. And I see building that total team strength at Leyland’s major asset.

    If Cam could become a left field Grandy! I’m gonna be wathing for progress!!

    That don’t mean we don’t need a player like Omar. we do need him; we need guys like Omar a lot because of his versatility. If you look around the field and look at each position you know who the first string player is. but who do ya put in if ya gotta put a guy in? that added strength contributes greatly to total team strength and that helps al lot as the season grinds along game after game

    so while some folks fussn’ over what was missed here and there I like to look at the aspects of team building the Leyland is working on

    Durbin looked sharp. I think he pretty much matched Clemmes through 5. but when he let the first guy get on in the 6 I though C’mon Jim change pitcher now. should have. hoping for 7 innings from a starter is getting a little optimistin I think — although Durbin had thrown what — 83 pitches when they pulled him? didn’t seem all that high but ya gotta go by how the guy is doing and when you get into that range you need a light trigger on that trip to the mound

    Grilli did look better and that was encouraging

    I’ll be ready for the game at 1. it’s raining here in Mich for today and tw hopefully it will be a Good Day for Baseball in Yankee Stadiium

  82. BobS.

    August 19, 2007 at 10:26 am

    I agree with Stephen.Along with everything else that may have been going through Maybin’s mind,he was put at a new position where he had to think instead of simply reacting like he would in centerfield.At least he wasn’t put at second base.

  83. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Matt,

    First off, of the 54,000 Yankee fans in attendence (or however many), I guarantee you not ONE of them was “upset” because their team managed to eek out a ‘W’ against a depleted Tiger team without their best clutch hitter, a 20-year-old OFer, and a bullpen starter. What the? All they care about is that they won, that the Red Sox lost, and that they are one more game up on the Tigers in the wildcard race. Second…. second… What? How can you possibly not be affected by this loss? This game is yet another shapshot of what has continually ailed this team in its now extremely prolonged slump. Starting pitching excels, offense doesn’t execute. Offense goes gang busters, starting pitching blows. Starting pitching delivers and hands lead to bullpen, bullpen proceeds to throw match into gas refinery. Ordonez is on fire, Sheff can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Sheff is on fire, Ordonez can’t hit the broad side of a barn. One thru five in the order begin hitting like MVP candidates, 6-9 in the order K every other at-bat. Can this team just for a few games hit on all cylinders?

    Your comment makes no sense. If I’m a Yankees fan, I’m ecstastic the team took adavantage of opponents mistakes, managed to lay down a handful of key 2-out clutch hits, and executed in general like a playoff team. Besides that, I hardly consider a 5-2 score, just “barely” winning. The Yankees executed and took advantage and the Tigers didn’t.

    And who really cares if you manage to pull together a healthy roster with 5 starting pitchers and a solid bullpen by October? By then this team will be watching the action from their livingroom couches. We need to win NOW. Every ‘L’ is a disappointment. But especially ones we gift wrap and hand to the other team with apologies and excuses. We could have easily plated 7 runs with the rallies we had brewing and the runners we had in scoring position (with the lineup we had)… if only we managed just a couple clutch hits and a sacrifice or two. In my estimation, that would have been enough to win this game. Horrible.

    If you consider yourself a “contending” team, going against a “contending” team, you have to take adavantage of opportunities given and execute like a contending team. If you don’t, you’re not going to win, and you’re certainly not going to be a contending team for long. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening here. 1 1/2 games back and sliding.

  84. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    T Smith, You said it all.