Game 125: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: This is kind of a big series ya think? While I’m not one to put too much on any one series, the Tigers really need 2 out of 3. They can certainly recover from less, but then they are relying on others.

Tonight marks the return of Joel Zumaya and the backend of the bullpen is once again healthy and intact. Now if only they can get a lead to protect so we can hear some Voodoo Child.

The pitching matchup is a rematch of last week’s Fausto Carmona/Jair Jurrjens tilt. The good news is that Carmona can’t really pitch any better than he did in his 8 inning, 4 hit, 10 K performance of a week ago.

The Indians will get their second crack at Jair Jurrjens who had a pretty nice debut with only 5 hits allowed in 7 innings of work.

More good news is that Placido Polanco returns to the Tigers lineup for the first time in a week.

Game time 7:05

CLE @ DET, Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Oh to get back that 2 strike hanger to Jhonny Perralta…Tremendous outings for both Jair Jurrjens and Fausto Carmona. I said Carmona couldn’t get better, and he almost did. The Tigers managed only 3 hits, but 2 were of the long ball variety and that was enough because Jurrjens only allowed a solo shot to Perralta, the only hit of the night.

Jurrjens recorded 20 outs, and 19 of those were courtesy of his fielders. While there was quite a bit of weak contact, like pop ups and comebackers, there was also some luck as a couple of well hit balls found Placido Polanco and Ryan Raburn’s gloves. Jurrjens also wasn’t hurt by 4 walks as 2 were eliminated on double plays. Most impressive may have been the efficiency as Jurrjens recorded first pitch strikes on 17 hitters and was lifted after 78 pitches in the 7th inning.

Of course when he was lifted it meant the return of Joel Zumaya who chucked a 98mph seed right down the middle on his first pitch. He eventually got to 2 strikes before picking up a weak bouncer to end the inning, and his night. A one batter appearance in a tight game may have been the best possible way to break him in.

Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings and next thing you know the game was over at 9pm.

As much as I want to think this is a sign of things turning, I’m just not sure. Just look at the emotional win the Tigers picked up a week ago in extra innings, only to drop 4 of the next 5. Still, it’s a big win and something to build on.

  • After pounding the ball into the ground the first 4 innings, the Tigers looked like they were going to jump all over Carmona late in the game. After the 2 homers int he 5th, the Tigers elevated the ball int he 6th with a couple flyouts, a double for Granderson, and a line drive by Polanco. But Carmona self corrected and that was it as the Tigers went quickly from then on.
  • Very nice catch by the fan on the Ordonez homer, that ball should have been a double but it seemed to fool everyone. Grady Sizemore didn’t say anything and Eric Wedge probably couldn’t see it. But a follow up homer made it a moot point.
  • Talk about your tough luck losses, Carmona threw exactly 2 pitches from the stretch all night.

Tigers 2 Cleveland 1


  1. Vince in MN

    August 21, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I hope they’ve got their small-ball shoes on toight, because the way Carmona is pitching (18 pitches, 15 strikes – and all low), they are going to have to scratch for a run or two.

  2. Tbone

    August 21, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I don’t know Billfer, Carmona looks better than last week…

    Both pitchers are dealing so far.

  3. Mark in Chicago

    August 21, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Carmona is unbelievable right now.

    God, I hope we don’t get no-hit.

  4. Erik in CA

    August 21, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Yeah Billfer, you totally jinxed us with that “he can’t pitch any better” business.

  5. T Smith

    August 21, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    No disrespect to either pitcher’s very good preformance, but is this a matchup between two of the worst slumping teams in the AL right now, or what?

  6. Mark in Chicago

    August 21, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Wow, that was a bomb by Magglio. So much for Fausto’s no-no.

    Should have been an out, but I’ll take it.

    And then Guillen???

  7. Kathy

    August 21, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Good Lord, anyone else experience audio problems with the broadcast.

  8. Kathy

    August 21, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    That’s supposed to say “experiencing”. No audio on my FSN broadcast.

  9. Mark in Chicago

    August 21, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Fantastic job by Jurrjens

    Perfect spot for Zumaya, too, awesome to see him back

  10. boombotti

    August 21, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Even though that gave me some excitement seein Zumaya coming out of the bullpen, Jurrjens deserved some of those cheers too.

  11. Mike G

    August 21, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Wow.. Jurrjens was only at 78 pitches and Zoom hasnt pitched in months… I hope this works out.

    Go get ’em Zoom!

  12. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Jurrjens looks like he could be here to stay. His last start, Rod said he reminded him of Pedro Martinez. Seemed like hyperbole at the time. At least for tonight, Rod seems to have been spot on. Compact motion, good breaking ball, throws strikes.

  13. Dirk

    August 21, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    my doesn’t work today, so I have to “watch” it via Gameday. Great Effort by Jurrjens, but why was he pulled after only 78 Pitches?

    Nonetheless, great to have Zoom Zoom back

  14. Ben in Denver

    August 21, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    I joined late tonight. Why the switch at 3rd?

  15. Chris

    August 21, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I think Jurrjens has a spot in this rotation. Easily the best starting pitching performence for the Tigers in weeks. If they can hold off the Indians and beat the invincible Carmona, it would be HUGE!

  16. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    The switch in the starter at 3B? Because Inge hasn’t been hitting a lick.

    The switch back to Inge last inning? Because Leyland made a judgement that Inge’s defense was worth letting him hit once (given that the 9 hole had been up in the previous inning).

  17. Jim

    August 21, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    pulled jurrjens after only 78 pitches?

  18. Dirk

    August 21, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    @jim: That was my question, too

    Rodney looks great . 9 Pitches . I ‘ ll keep my fingers crossed. That would be a huge one, if we can keep this score

  19. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    I think Leyland was going to Rodney in the 8th regardless and wanted to get Zumaya into the game at least briefly.

    Plus, with a rookie starter, better to get him out while the going’s good to buoy his confidence.

  20. cib

    August 21, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Agree boombotti, unfortunately timing for Jair; he really deserved all of that love!!!

  21. Ben in Denver

    August 21, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks, Kyle. I did mean the switch back.

  22. Dirk

    August 21, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Carmona needed only 77 Pitches through 8 Innings.

  23. Vince in MN

    August 21, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    OK, time to hold your breath.

  24. Joey C.

    August 21, 2007 at 8:59 pm


    I’m nervous. This would be a monstrous game to steal.

  25. Mark in Chicago

    August 21, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    It’s a little early to think Jurrjens has solidified anything, but as long as he continues to pitch well, Leyland says he’ll run him out there. Remember, Miner started something like 6-1 last year, and now he’s in the bullpen.

    At any rate, Jurrjens was great tonight, hopefully he can keep it up once teams get a scouting report on him.

  26. tigerfan

    August 21, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    here we go I don’t know if I can stand to watch after such a good game it would be such a shame to loose because of you know who

  27. Tbone

    August 21, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    My palms are sweaty…

  28. Dirk

    August 21, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    2 to go

    Come on TJ

  29. tigerfan

    August 21, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    this would be such a boost to the team if they can pull it off

  30. Dirk

    August 21, 2007 at 9:06 pm


  31. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Zumaya to Rodney to Jones.

    The old gang is back together!

  32. cib

    August 21, 2007 at 9:06 pm


    Jair has to be player of the game.

  33. Dylan

    August 21, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Great game today. Offense struggled against Carmona who was lights out. But thats what we need in the bullpen. Have to build off this.

  34. Mark in Chicago

    August 21, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Amazing game, what a win. Just what the doctor ordered.

    Now, for Verlander to follow it up tomorrow….

  35. Kathy

    August 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    9:06 p.m and it’s lights out. What a game! What pitching!

  36. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    a. Players of the game:

    1) Jurrjens
    2) Carlos
    3) Magglio
    4) The guy who snagged Magglio’s HR, ensuring that it was in fact a HR
    5) The bullpen

    b. Throwing a 77-pitch complete game and losing has to be some kind of record.

    c. Only 31 comments so far tonight. Seems we’re collectively more chatty when we’re losing.

  37. Tbone

    August 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Wow – huge win. Incredible effort from Jurrjens, and the bullpen was 2006 all over again.

    Now we can’t let down, this is the 3rd straight series opening win in a row. Have to cash in tomorow and/or Thursday.

    Go Tigers!

  38. Dirk

    August 21, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Wow, fantastic. Great Pitching, great Bullpen. Only 1 hit against this lineup (ok, we had only 3 and Carmona needed only 77 Pitches through 8 Innings, but we won)

    Good Night from Germany (it’s 3 am here 😉 ) I’ll sleep good tonight

  39. Eric Jackson

    August 21, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Great win; Fun game. Felt like old times (well,,, last year 😉

    Step 1: Quality Start
    Step 2: Couple of Power Hits
    Step 3: Zumaya
    Step 4: Rodney
    Step 5: Jones

    That was good Tiger baseball.

  40. cib

    August 21, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Makes me a little sad to think of what could have been – – – but we’ll take it and move on! I will be at the next 3 games, hoping the tide is turning!!

  41. boombotti

    August 21, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Yeah, Kyle it’s funny how the negative brings bloggers out of the woodwork, but I think this game had everyone on the edge tonight. In a good way.

  42. Kathy

    August 21, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    What’s to complain about? Nothing. We won.

  43. KS

    August 21, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Kyle, I don’t even usually tune in anymore until around 9, and by that time the game was over. The speed of the game limited the comments I’m sure.

  44. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Good point, KS. I suppose I need to adjust my comment stats for game length. We could call it C/3 (Comments per 3 hours). 🙂

  45. Chris

    August 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    This is what you would call a quality pitching performance by everybody who got on that hill. Jurrjens was awesome, the Tiger pen was very ’06 and Carmona looked better than ever (much easer to swallow since the right team won).

  46. Ryan

    August 21, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Wow. That looked like… baseball. The one game in the series that looked really tough going in is now won. Like Rayburn, you’ve gotta keep finding Jurrjens starts until he cools off. I don’t know what happens when Kenny and Miller come back, but JJJ has to stay for the time being.
    GO TIGERS!!!

  47. Vince in MN

    August 21, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Funny game – 4 walks, 4 Hits, 3 double plays, 3 solo homeruns, 2 LOB (both Indians). Official time 1:59.

  48. boombotti

    August 21, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Oh, yeah how did Oakland get Jack Hannahan from us?

  49. Vince in MN

    August 21, 2007 at 9:39 pm


    Tigers got professional minor league outfielder Jack(?) Perry for Hannahan.

  50. Andrew

    August 21, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, I feel like I time-warped back to 2006. Course, it’s only 1 game, but it definitely shows that there is still promise in our pitching.

    Loved it!

  51. Jim

    August 21, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Post game was great.

    Leyland said he was worried Jurrjens might hang one for a shot..(I guess he hung a few early on and got away with it)

    Great to have zoom back. It’s nice to see someone who sounds like a kid from California with the mans, dudes and awesomes. It’s easy to see why the kids love him. (me too)

    Poor Jurrjens first interview after the win and he’s covered in shaving cream. HA!

    Are Yankees fans ever reminded this is a kids game? Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like these guys (and kids) have a lotta fun in that clubouse.

  52. Jojo Sun Devil

    August 21, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    ONE HIT!! Holy Crap!!

    Juurjens is definitely here to stay.

  53. T Smith

    August 21, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Although it worked out for the best, I question pulling Jurrjens after 78 pitches and one hit. He had the Indians competely figured out. I understand completely the reasoning…. go to the 2006 formula of Zoom/Rodney/Jones…. and at the same time provide some electricity to the crowd/team, etc. And I actually wanted to see Zumaya pitch, so part of me was psyched when Jimmy made the move… but I’m just not sure it was necessary. I’m thinking Jurrjens easily gets out of the inning unscathed and THEN maybe you bring Zumaya in for the eighth, saving Rodney for the remainder of the series… but even then — the way Jurrjens was pitching, he could have gone out in the eighth as well. If a starter is dominating a game, why mess with it?

    Of course I totally understand the shot in the arm it gave the team to go to the Zoom/Rodney/Jones tandem in a close one run game. Just curious…

    I have to say, if I were managing, I probably would have left Jurrjens in there.

  54. Chris

    August 21, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    I think the idea was to bring Zumaya in for a limited outing for the first game, to break him into the role. Perhaps, if it were a blow-out on either end, he would have had a whole inning to pitch. But I don’t think Leyland does not want to throw him into the fire on the first game.

    And, thanks to that awful last weekend in NY, Rodney hasn’t been worked and must be pretty well-rested. My guess is that he will be avalible tomorrow if needed (meaning the Tigers have a lead going into the eight). Or perhaps we’ll see Zoom for an entire inning.

  55. T Smith

    August 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Yup. Neither Zoom or Rodney were worked too hard. I’m guessing both are available tomorrow. Like I said, it worked out for the best.

  56. Shane trapped in Athens, Ohio

    August 21, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    I would not say Jurrjens had the Indians figured out. Many of his outs were long fly balls that the Indians hitters just missed hitting out. He left a lot of pitches hanging. It could have gotten ugly really quick. Not to take anything away from Jurrjens, but Leyland made the right move.
    I watched the games with some Indians fans tonight and they are really scarred. Like us Tiger fans, they know that it is only a matter of time until the Tigers get it sorted out and go on a long winning streak to put the division away. Especially because the Indians have a long tough road ahead with something like 26 games in 26 days. Good luck.

  57. Mike R

    August 21, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    T Smith, I kept waiting to see someone say it (maybe someone did and I skimmed over it) as I was skimming the comments: Why in the world was Jurrjens yanked with 2 outs in the 7th after 78 pitches? This is a night where you save your bullpen. He could’ve gone the distance on 105 pitches tonight, that’s if he had stressful final 2 innings. Whether it worked out or not, I don’t get the point of yanking a guy who was relatively cruising just so we can get Joel and outs worth of work.

  58. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Man, just got home and saw the result. No complaints: a 2 hr game won by your August call-up!!!!!!! As noted Tigers fan Jesse Jackson says: Keep Hope Alive!

  59. Keith G.

    August 22, 2007 at 1:15 am

    This win means nothing if we let the next two get away. Verlander must pitch like the ace that he is tomorrow and the hitters need to figure out Byrd. A 6-2 win Wednesday night would do my baseball soul good. I don’t wnat Thursday’s game to be a rubber game. I will be officially back on the bandwagon if we follow this up with a win Wednesday night. JV we need you at your best tomorrow night! I’ll be there trying to root the boys home. I’m only 1-2 in games attended this year so hopefully the boys will get me back to .500

  60. ron

    August 22, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Gotta score more runs. Only 8 in the last 4 games. Hopefully a new beginning. Loved Mags going full speed to snare the foul ball. The boys are back in town.

  61. Keith G.

    August 22, 2007 at 2:46 am

    Hey bilfer! Do you know of any Cleveland Indian blogs that are anywhere near as good as yours? I was looking for some perspective from the other side of the fence, but almost every blog I found was terrible (not updated since July in many cases). Thanks in advance if you know of one.

  62. ron

    August 22, 2007 at 4:22 am

    It’s a lovely day in the neighborhood.

  63. billfer

    August 22, 2007 at 6:30 am

    Let’s go tribe is part of the SB nation and they are pretty active. It’s actually kind of odd, I don’t really have any Indians blog contacts.

  64. Anthony

    August 22, 2007 at 9:11 am

    I love the pace at which Jurrjens works.

  65. Mike R

    August 22, 2007 at 9:21 am

    I know I’m looking ahead and beyond this series, but with Miller getting the start on Friday against the Yanks, is anyone else concerned? He’s got a propensity for high pitch counts early in games, how does he last even through 4 innings against one of, if not the most, patient team in the bigs?

  66. tiff

    August 22, 2007 at 9:39 am

    I loved in the Zumaya post game… “the bash brothers are back again!”

    Leyland says you can’t look back to win in the future, but this one sure felt like vintage 2006. And that was a very good year.

  67. Walt

    August 22, 2007 at 10:16 am

    I think that Leyland pulled JJ when he did not only to re establish the Zoom, Rodney, TJ sequence but to ensure JJ’s 1st win or at worst a no decision.

  68. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 22, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Leyland explained why he pulled JJ in post game. JJ had hanged a couple balls here and there and with a man on Jim didn’t wanna risk one of the Tribe knocking one outta the park

  69. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 22, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Miller getting the start on Friday against the Yanks, is anyone else concerned?

    I don’t care who starts against the Yanks ya got a game to play

    I’ll be looking forward to watching Miller again. Ya gotta bring these youngsters along. look at the gem we got in Rayburn and I’m gonna risk goin’ out on a limb and say Jar is gonna end up on the top shelf too

    for all you anti-Inge guys I just wanna note Jim put Inge back in a 3d to insure defense. I did like that line-shot that Rayburn grabbed though. Kinda like to see Rayburn at 3d again

  70. Anthony

    August 22, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Yes Bill, Leyland put a 7 year vet in over a rookie not playing his natural position. If Inge was injured and Neifi was available, he probably would have put Neifi in. I’m not sure thats a mark for Inge but rather a mark against Rayburn’s inexperience. I was surprised that he put Inge in knowing he was due up, therefore trading a probable 3-pitch K for defense.

    I’m just hoping that Rayburn keeps turning in solid defensive efforts and earns Leyland’s trust.

  71. ron

    August 22, 2007 at 10:52 am

    The Zoom, Rodney, Jones trio neutralizes the Joba, whomever, Rivera connection this weekend. We have to score early and often because the Yankees are scoring a ton of runs while losing. Let’s sweep the Indians first. The “best” division in the A.L. seems to have shifted from Central to East to the West as the season has progressed. Let’s hope it cycles back to the Central by playoff time.

  72. Mike R

    August 22, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Don’t know if this was mentioned when it happened, but a couple nights ago Jack Hannahan hit his first career HR for the A’s while they were in Toronto. Congrats to the former Tiger farmhand.

  73. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 22, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Yep, Leyland put Inge back in at 3d. Cuz hitting ain’t all there is to this game

  74. Coach Jim

    August 22, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I think bringing Zumaya in with 2 outs in the 7th was Leyland’s plan all along. The reason is that even if he struggles, he’s very unlikely to give up a run (inherited runners charged to previous pitcher). I mean, how low would most pitcher’s ERA be if runners were cleared off the bases after every out? In addition to managing the game, Leyland is great at managing his players. That brief appearance was a nice confidence boost for JZ and (here’s the most important part) the rest of the team.

    Zumaya coming back could be the kick this team needs to turn around their recent slide. It certainly had an effect on the 40,000 people at the stadium. At home, I stopped what I was doing to pay attention. I think we all FELT it. So what if the players felt the same thing? It wouldn’t surprise me to see them pound out 5-1 to finish this Indians-Yankees stretch.

    Now the bad news: I heard on 1270 driving home that Sheffield has his shoulder wrapped in ice. He won’t play tonight. He said last night it hurt so bad it dropped him to his knees. The MORE bad news is that to fix it would put him out the rest of the year. He will probably play hurt the rest of the season. Expect him not to play much from here on out.

  75. Jim

    August 22, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Voodoo Chile’ never sounded so good…

  76. tiff

    August 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Just heard that about Sheff. Out for the rest of the homestand, possible stint on the DL. Waaaah! The time to go on the DL was when we were in our injury period. We are in recovery period now, Sheff!

    I hope this doesn’t affect Maggs too much.