Game 126: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: Okay, let’s just take this game so that the series is in hand. Enough rubber games. Let’s just win the series. Deal?!

Tonight it will be Paul Byrd and Justin Verlander doing battle. Verlander should be over the flu, which should help. He gutted out 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees but only fanned 2 and threw 119 pitches.

Paul Byrd can be hittable with a .302 batting average against, but he usually does a good job of preventing those runs from scoring. He’s been all over the place in his last 3 starts which include a complete game 4 hit shutout, a 7 run 2 inning affair against the Yankees, and a 6 inning/8 hit/1 run game against the Devil Rays.

Game Time 7:05pm

CLE @ DET, Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Take the walk Pudge! I’m not blaming the loss on Rodriguez, but twice he swung at ball 4 to end the game when a walk would have brought the winning run in the form of Marcus Thames to the plate.

So much for momentum.

  • Verlander has hammered. Even in the first when he escaped allowing one run, the outs were even hammered. This trend continued until it caught up with him in the 4th. He was sitting at 91/92mph very rarely hitting 94. The velocity and overall hit-able-ness are very troubling.
  • The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Zach Miner turned it into a blowout allowing a 3 run homer.
  • Chad Durbin actually pitched pretty good. He came into a 2nd and 3rd 1 out situation and got a pop up and a ground ball. Unfortunately the grounder went through the box scoring a run, and a muff by Granderson made it 2 runs.
  • At least those that thought the team hadn’t been showing life can’t really complain. They knocked the ball around and repeatedly chipped away at sizable leads.
  • Another strong Venezuelan 1-2 punch between Ordonez and Guillen who both homered and added another hit apiece. And both put together good at-bats in late inning situations (Maggs in the 7th and Guillen in the 9th) but without anything to show for them.
  • Cameron Maybin misplayed the first ball hit to him (leading to the first run). He did look more comfortable after that though. Let’s hope this is a real quick learning curve.
  • He did have 2 doubles, and his last at-bat was pretty impressive. He took several close pitches and then went with a pitch on the outer edge. He also showed off an unusual running style with his right arm actually waving

Indians 11 Tigers 8

132 Comments

  1. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Here’s an idea: Put Thames in LF and DH Maybin.

  2. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Man, if we’re DHing a guy who spent one week in AA and is 2 for 11, we’re in deep trouble.

  3. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Thames would have caught that fly ball to left. It’s very nerve wracking to watch Maybin in LF IMO.

  4. Ken from Cincinnati

    August 22, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    From what I’ve seen of Maybin, it looks like he’s never played a game at LF in his life. I mean I’m sure he’s a talented fielder and just needs to get settled in, but he honestly looks like me in high school.

  5. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Give him a backpack and a mechanical pencil, and he could blend right into HS. We’ll love the kid before long, though, no doubt.

  6. Walewander

    August 22, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Patience, please. He did double his next AB.

    And how about Carlos crushing that one?

  7. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    No time for patience; this is a pennant race! Let him learn LF on his own time! It’s borderline GM malpractice. I say you put him in center and move Granderson, the kid can’t play left right now. It’s not his fault, but enough already.

  8. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Another disappointing performance from Verlander. Only 3 quality starts since June 29. This team just doesn’t have a stopper.

  9. S

    August 22, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    The problem is Verlander’s pitching tonight, not Maybin’s defense.

  10. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Texas beat Baltimore 30-3 in the first of two tonight. When was the last time a team scored 30 runs?

  11. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I totally agree, Verlander let us down when we needed a big start. But Maybin got no business being out there in left when the games are this big.

  12. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Justin, what’s the problem, kiddo??

  13. Jeff

    August 22, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    The problem is Verlander’s pitching tonight, not Maybin’s defense.

    Here’s how second-guessing works: Since nobody could object to the idea of starting Verlander tonight, one does not blame a deficit on that decision. Instead one second-guesses one of the marginal decisions, the decision to play Maybin. This allows the poster to pretend to know more than the general manager, rather than deal with the actual issue in this game, which is the way Verlander’s pitching.

  14. Walewander

    August 22, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    How is tonight Maybin’s fault so far?
    Verlander screwed up the 4th. Period.

  15. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Tremblay: we are so happy the O’s extended your contract that we’re gonna go out and give up THIRTY runs. Leo Mazzone, you’re not in Georgia any more!

  16. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Wow! Not quite sure where I said Maybin was costing us the game. What i was saying was he’s got no business playing a new position in the middle of a pennant race. That’s not rocket science.

  17. Chris

    August 22, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Time to yank Justin.

  18. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Have a seat and chill out, Justin. Destroy a Gatorade barrel or something if you need to. Ask daddy Leland for a 5 day nap until your next start, so you are good and rested. Oh, and pass Zach my note, it says “Don’t screw up!” :-P

  19. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Verlander’s fastest heater was 92 tonight. Maybe he is suffering from the ubiquitous “tired arm?”

  20. boombotti

    August 22, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Is it me or did something seem odd about Verlander tonight? It looked like he just gave up out there, just lobbing them right down the middle.

  21. Eric Jackson

    August 22, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    So much for the bullpen holding them down.

  22. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Zach, did you READ my note??

  23. S

    August 22, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Pudge, Inge, and Casey have no business starting “in the middle of a pennant race”

    But they’re the best we have. Thames isn’t very good this year and is a poor LF, so Maybin deserves a shot in left. He very well may be the best we have to put out there.

  24. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    My god. 30 runs. I’ve never, ever seen or heard of that kind of score before. I actually checked my calender to make sure it isn’t April first.

    It’s really tough to remain optimistic about this season isn’t it?

    Sheffield is shelved and Verlander has a terrible outing. The memory of last night’s victory is fading fast.

  25. Ken from Cincinnati

    August 22, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    I honestly can’t believe we haven’t won a series since the All Star break. I mean that literally makes us a bad team. People are not remotely scared to play us.

  26. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    S: Agreed, however i have a hard time thinking there wasn’t a spare outfielder to be had at the deadline. We knew Monroe was awful three weeks ago and we knew Maybin had never played left field before.
    But i agree, he’s not the problem, but just another symptom in a season that is proving to be the most frustrating Tigers season since the ’85 hangover.

  27. Chris

    August 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I wish this team had an ace. Cleveland has two.

  28. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I am, however, scared to watch.

  29. Eric Jackson

    August 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    We swept the Twins in the second series after the All Star break, Ken. But you’re point is still valid :)

  30. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I think this loss will put us exactly at .500 against American League teams.

  31. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    10 in a row by “Cy” Byrd.

  32. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    It is amazing to think just a year or so ago other teams FEARED our pitching. And a couple MONTHS ago they feared our offense. I fear I must start breaking out the voodoo dolls now…

  33. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    S:

    Thames is a good LF. My comment at the start of this game thread was a response to Maybin’s inept fielding of a ball hit to LF. That was a sure out for any experienced LF’r. Because of that misplay, the score would now be 7-3.

  34. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    How long to the Tigers half of the 5th last? Did it eclipse 3 minutes?

  35. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    How long to? That should read, “how long did the Tigers half of the 5th last?”

    Crap. I gotta get back to the books. Goodnight all.

  36. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Kathy, you’ve won me over. Maybin should dh, but i doubt Leyland is gonna slot him there.

  37. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    The whole conversation about Maybin being the DH because Thames is a better fielder depresses the crap out of me.

    Kathy, I have to disagree that Thames is a good fielder. I think he’s pretty bad actually.

    But the fact that your point still has merit due to the utter lack of options at this point, really puts things in perspective.

    Bleak.

  38. T Smith

    August 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Rod Allen jinxed us. He started talking about the “rubber” match tomorrow when the score was still 3-1.

    This game is so deflating. The Tigers just can’t seem to build momentum.

  39. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Pudge on a pace to tie major league record for fewest walks in a season with 500 ab’s. Art Fletcher holds it at 6, but he got hbp a dozen times so his oba is not as bad.

    I’m wondering what the smalles difference between a player’s ba and oba is has been in the past 100 years? Pudge is at .281/.291 for only a ten point difference. I think Ozzie Guillen had a 10 point spread, but not sure if i remember a single digit spread before.

    I’m pretty sure that won’t be on Pudge’s HOF plaque.

  40. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Stephen:

    The Tigers are
    16-14 vs East
    13-15 vs West
    25-25 vs Central (if we lose tonight)

    Looks like a .500 team to me.

  41. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Jeff what pearl do you have to explain the mechanism behind T Smith blaming Rod Allen for the loss?

  42. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Rod Allen should go back to chasing Japanese pitchers around Tokyo with a bat. At that, he was a hall of famer.

  43. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    I blame this one on Coleman Young.

  44. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    MAGGS!!! Fire ‘em up, man!

  45. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I blame Gary Coleman.

  46. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I’ll shortly be blaming Billfer for my bad grade in criminal law.

  47. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    CARLOS!!! MARCUS!!!

  48. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    And the Tigers….

    Crawling back in it baby!

  49. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Yea, Thames is sooooo bad, Joey C.

  50. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    I’m going to continue to blame coleman young as long as we keep rallying. he was so corrupt!

  51. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    I think I might stick to monosyllabic exclamations for the rest of the game. Heeee!!!!

  52. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    crInge!

  53. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Wow. People need to work on reading comprehension.

    Was Thames in the field when he hit that homerun Kathy?

  54. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I like how everyone takes criticism of their favorite players so personally. It’s kinda cute. I like ‘my player right or wrong’ approach. It’s sports Marxism.

  55. William

    August 22, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    holy cow, Texas actually trailed 3-0 after 3 innings in the game they won 30-3.

    still hope for us, I guess :)

  56. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Trade Maybin!
    I swear I’m gonna go postal if Leyland brings in Grilli with us only two down.

  57. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Oh you know the cheese is making an appearance.

    Did Maybin go around on that pitch?

  58. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Joey C

    Marcus stats certainly don’t show he’s a bad outfielder, so I don’t know what the basis of your criticism is. He has no errors while playing LF and nearly ripped his hammy apart making a catch that was a web gem. Besides that, he’s my Tiger!

  59. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    TRAM!!!

  60. Tbone

    August 22, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Late to the dance tonight, but count me in the “Maybin doesn’t belong in left camp”. And forget center or right, too. He is lost out there – makes ManRam look like Al Kaline.

    Thames is a solid and dependable outfielder. Maybin needs more experience, but this is certainly not the time to be experimenting. Every run counts right now and he is a liability out there.

  61. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    BYRD!!!

  62. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    That’s fine Kathy. I appreciate your redirecting your ire to what I actually said.

    I think Marcus takes bad routes to the ball, has terrible range and has a sub-par arm. I also think he would have some errors if he had more than 22 appearances in LF.

    As for the web-gem, even bad fielders are capable of making diving catches–the fact that he tore his hammy seems irrelevant to me. On top of that my memory of that play was that he got a poor jump on the ball, which resulted in him needing to dive to make the play.

    Billfer probably has some fielding metric on Thames that shows him to be adequate out there. But just from watching games, I don’t think he’s a good fielder.

  63. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Come on Maggs!

  64. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Meanwhile, Inge giving in-game interviews:

    “That first at-bat Byrd pitched me like I was Superman’s son. The second time, he battled me like I was Ike and he was Rommel before the Luftwaffe was wiped out. That last time, Cleveland pitched me like I was Jesus and it was the End of Days. I can’t catch a break!’

  65. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Deflating.

  66. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Stephen:

    LMAO

  67. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    DRAT!!!

  68. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Hey, didn’t i just Maybin in that movie, ‘Superbad?’ He was nerd #3 in the Home Ec scene.

  69. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Vince, thanks we laugh so we don’t cry.

  70. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Actually, Joey, he has 31 appearances in LF and it’s too bad we had to watch Monroe (the almost 5 million dollar man) take away Thames playing time and probably all those extra base hits and HR he would have hit.

  71. Joey C.

    August 22, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Baseball reference indicates he has 31 appearances at 1B. 22 in LF. Unless I’m reading the page wrong.

    As for your last point, you are never going to hear me arguing against it. Between Craig and Marcus, I’ll take Marcus. Believe me, I want Thames in the lineup.

  72. Eric Jackson

    August 22, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    If last night felt like 2006, tonight feels like 2007 again. :/

  73. Stephen

    August 22, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Oh bullpen, why have you forsaken us? Can you never keep a game close and allow us a chance of a spirit-lifting comeback.
    I’m no longer blaming this on Coleman Young. I blame it on the Tetons. Man I need a cold one.

  74. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    .500 teams have days like this. Inconsistent in all phases.

  75. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    And cib is at this game. She’ll probably give us her take on the game when she gets home.

  76. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Someone must have complained to Inge about all his strikeouts. He saw a total of 6 pitches tonight – so much for working the pitcher.

  77. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Tigers have made 85 errors. Only 2 teams with more.

    Joey, you’re right. MLB stats show he played in 31 games in LF but started in 23.

  78. Eric Jackson

    August 22, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Pudge’s at-bat started out so well.. and ended horribly.

  79. JML

    August 22, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    BAH!!!

  80. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    That’s the way to pitch to Rodriguez – get him to 3 and 2 and then throw a pitch a foot outside, that he can’t possibly hit, and he will be guaranteed to swing at it – it works every time.

  81. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I thought maybe, just maybe, he could hold out and try for a walk. I should have known better.

  82. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Kathy, don’t forget to add WP and PB to the 85 errors. I’m pretty sure we lead in WP. PB are right up there too.

  83. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    I think your right, Vince. But the pitching is what’s really killing us. I thought last night would be something that would carry over to Verlander’s game tonight. What a disappointment!

  84. S

    August 22, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Good games by Maybin and Maggs. Carlos choked a little in the clutch.

    Would have been good if Sheff was healthy, or Grandy wasn’t crap.

  85. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    I-Rod last walked on July 5th.

  86. Rings

    August 22, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Disappointing outing by JV…one has to wonder if he mechanics are screwed up again, as he suffered about this time last year, before he recovered in the playoffs.
    (I listened to the first 5 innings before getting in front of a TV, so didnt’ see it)

    As fast as Maybin is, he’d be much faster if he wasn’t flailing all over the place when he runs. Funny.

  87. Rob Howard

    August 22, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Wow, this one was dissapointing. You had to love our chances with Verlander going against Byrd, but Verlander succumbed to the usual problems our starters have faced since the All Star Break: Not putting hitters away with 0-2 counts. Ridiculous.

    Obviously the starting pitching is the primary reason we are now a mere ten games over .500, after it looked like we might have a better team than last year! And you know what, for a cruel, but brief, period of time, we did. But the injuries to certain key players have just killed this team. I’ll name some of the biggest in order:

    1. Kenny Rogers. Does anyone doubt anymore that he was the true staff ace? Remember last year, when he was pretty much the only pitcher who performed well in the second half? The damage it has done to our team to not have Rogers is inestimable: because he was our losing streak stopper. Let’s face it: we have a good staff, but they are mostly kids. Verlander is still a year or two away from blossoming, as is Andrew Miller. Bonderman is still just 24. Robertson is a terrific 4th starter, but he is not an ace, just a workhorse who is having an off year (he’ll be fine next year, IMO).

    Verlander and Miller are pitching as advertised: Brilliant sometimes, erratic others. Obviously Bondo’s the big dissapointment. He was improving every year, and looked like he was improving this year, but now it is clear he has taken a step back.

    2. Zumaya and Rodney’s injury issues. They are both back and look great, thankfully, but the games we blew in the early going (probably about a dozen) because they weren’t there or weren’t right are really costing us now. Teams go through bad slumps in a long season, and you need to fatten up while you’re hot. As we learned last year, you can stink badly in the final week of the season, only to catch fire in the playoffs, so the 2006 formula of piling up a ton of wins and “sliding” in, while not ideal, isn’t so bad. We didn’t do that this year, mainly because of those critical injuries. We can’t slide, we have to get hot again in September.

    3. Brandon Inge, Craig Monroe, Sean Casey, and to a lesser degree, Pudge’s decline. This is mostly Inge and Monroe, since Pudge and Casey aren’t really doing anything more than we thought they’d do. The Tigers took a gamble and gave big money to a couple of guys with questionable talent, that, through commendable hard work, improved themselves. But I always wondered if 2006 was a peak year for them, or a sign of a steady improvement arc. For Craig, it is definitely the former. I’m not so sure about Inge. He might be in a simple off year. Yet Leyland has stuck with those guys way too long, and has hurt the team’s offense. Which leads to my next point:

    4. Not giving a full time job to Marcus Thames. This has mystified me. Jim, listen to your brother, Father Thomas Leyland. Thames can hit the ball a mile. He can hit it a mile with regularity. For goodness sake, he hit a homer on a BROKEN BAT. What more does this guy have to prove to get steady AB’s? Seriously, he’s the sort of hitter that, everytime you find yourself thinking, “hey, he hasn’t hit one out in awhile…” BANG, there goes another big fly. In a full season, he might only hit 230. But he’d hit 230 with 35-40 homers, which is potent when placed deep in the lineup. Let me give the usual line: I love Leyland, but his loyalty to certain guys has cost us a couple of games.

    Despite this (good lord this is a long post now), I am not ready to jump off the balcony just yet. We have one big difference from Cleveland: we have very good players coming off the DL (Miller, Rogers, Zumaya, Rodney) who are difference makers. Cleveland is healthy, they have no help coming. When we were 22 games over .500, we had the Gambler and The Kid pitching for us, and we’re getting them back.

    Nate’s absolutely HAS to get a win for us tomorrow, though.

  88. Vince in MN

    August 22, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Kathy:

    Yep, it is all about pitching and defense. Even with the weak spots in the lineup, the Tigers score enough runs. The fact is that the whole pitching staff has fallen on its collective face this year. Yeah sure, Rodney, Zumaya and Rogers were/are injured, but what about the rest of them. And it isn’t just the bullpen. Out of all the starters there isn’t one that you can give the ball to with the hope that we have a pretty good chance to win on any given day. I mean, its just a crapshoot.

  89. cib

    August 22, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Well I just got home from the game and I don’t know how much more I can take. I actually left at the top of the 9th. The bugs were chewing us up again. I sit over left field (sec 338) for most games and what I saw out there was not pretty. If they want someone out there who’s going to let everything bounce once, they could send ME. But they should at least put in Raburn and not Maybin.
    Boombotti you are correct. Verlander looked spaced out. Remember the line on him was he used to pitch so fast? Now he’s as slow as Betancourt. It’s like he can’t decide what to do. I am really forlorn. I’m going tomorrow because I want my Magglio cap but I am disheartened.

  90. Kathy

    August 22, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    I’m just so disappointed, Vince. Who knows if Kenny is coming back? My God, he hasn’t pitched in about a month and he’s still not saying his arm is better. Verlander’s performance tonight in the midst of a pennant race just says it all.

  91. cib

    August 22, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Oh, on a lighter note – it was “80s night” at the ballpark. They played a bunch of awful 80s music and some people were dressed up like Madonna. Personally I no longer have my stirrup pants and high heels, so I just wore a Springsteen t-shirt because the Boss is a man of all decades. If anyone wants to see me I am on the fanfoto page, gallery 22, page one, 8 rows down the 3rd photo over, that’s me with my friend Kim sitting near the Brushfire Grill watching people before the game starts.

  92. S

    August 23, 2007 at 12:54 am

    I like Marcus Thames but with an OBP under .300 you can only contribute so much.

  93. Keith G.

    August 23, 2007 at 1:38 am

    cib, I was there tonight too, in Section 337.

    On to the game: Verlander was awful tonight, the biggest disappointment of the night in my eyes. I know he’s only in his second season but we really needed him to be good tonight and he was 180 degrees from good. I would agree with whoever made the earlier observation that Verlander appeared to have the dreaded “tired arm”. His pitches had no zip on them and he looked less than ordinary tonight. I think we need to adjust our rotation in the future to have JV not face CLE whenever possible. The Tribe owns Verlander.

    Maybin looks unpolished in LF to say the least. This is the prospect that we couldn’t trade for Soriano last year? Ugh. I know its only been a handful of games, but the great ones shine early and you just know they will be great. Maybin is not inspiring that kind of confidence from me right now, especially in the OF. Five tool player? Baseball Jesus seems a tad overrated to me right about now. Based on all the media reports and on blogs like this one, Maybin is Baseball Jesus (my new name for him going forward). He was supposed to come to town and save us all from the misery and gnashing of teeth. Instead he is causing more of it.

  94. ron

    August 23, 2007 at 2:01 am

    Thank goodness for J.J.’s gem or we’d be 3 and a half games back. These guys should have tasted blood when they were 21 games over .500. I was hoping they would go at least 8 and 3 against the Yankees and Indians and get back some swagger. Ain’t going to happen. Can’t depend on anyone now. And the season gets shorter and shorter.

  95. Stephen

    August 23, 2007 at 2:06 am

    Baseball Jesus is excellent. I think everyone should have to use it in a sentence. As in Inge quote after his fourth out:
    “They pitched to me like i was Baseball Jesus but i’m really a mere lottery winning shepard counting my cash and biding my time before I end my career batting .242 for the Hiroshima Carp in 2011. Baseball Jesus is up AFTER me.”
    Or…
    I tried to believe in Baseball Jesus but after he boxed a ball in the outfield for the fifth game in the row, I realized he wasn’t Baseball Jesus but merely the reincarnation of Torey Lovullo.

  96. Stephen

    August 23, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Hey Today’s game: Anybody in Brooklyn looking to meet up at watch the game this afternoon? August was made for playing hooky. If anyone’s interested, email me at strodrick@aol.com
    thanks.

  97. Chris

    August 23, 2007 at 4:07 am

    This team is dreadful. The starting pitching is falling apart. Nate “Tired Arm” Robinson will for-sure make this series another loser. Our ace is a rookie who has had only two starts in th bigs. Pretty pathetic.

  98. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 23, 2007 at 8:20 am

    don’t yell at Pudge. 11-8 was lost on pitching

    and that is a pervasive problem for the Tigers

    Jar comes up from AA ball a throws a splendid game and our regulars get in there and throw the ball all over the place

    what is the common element in this problem?

    Jar said after his last outing “I just let them get themselves out. I let the infield do their job!”

    and we do have a splended infield, and that includes Inge and Pudge is one of the best catchers in the business

    the problem is the common element in the pitching problem. Now let’s make a change here and I’m voting for Kenny as the new Tiger Pitching Coach

  99. Walt

    August 23, 2007 at 8:28 am

    The sky is falling.

  100. cib

    August 23, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Bill may have something there, if not for this year then ongoing – in today’s Free Press there is an article about Kenny and he says Detroit is his last stop.
    Keith G if you are going to be there again Friday evening I am in 338/C/14. Today I’m in a different spot; 219/F/1, I just want my Magglio hat and probably going back to the office early.
    Stephen, now seeing your email address I realize that I know your writing from New York mag. Kudos.

  101. ron

    August 23, 2007 at 8:37 am

    MAYBe he will catch the ball, MAYBe he won’t.

  102. alex

    August 23, 2007 at 8:50 am

    The defense isnt the problem, we need quality starts from starting pitchers. Verlander, Bonderman and the rest of the rotation need to step it up for the rest of the homestand.

  103. ron

    August 23, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Maybin reminds me of a young Babe Ruth.

  104. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 23, 2007 at 9:03 am

    good stuff here this morning I think we are starting to take a deeper look into the Tiger Troubles

    here’s what I notice

    our pitching coach come out to the mound for guidance & morale and the result is nill. Now I just have a feeling if we sent Kenny out there, like when the starter walks the lead off man that Kenny is gonna know what’s happening and can help the pitcher make the needed correction

    I went out and read Chuck Hernandez resume. It don’t show me much and all I see on the field is pitching troubles. Jar comes in and does great. But guess what: he’s under the guidance of the AA ball coach. Maybe we need to get that guy!

    and Jar throws a gem. and then tells us how to do it: “I just let them get themselves out” he said “I let the infield do their job!”

    man, I loved that

    the Art of Pitching is in enticing the hitter to swing and hist a ground ball or a pop up

    ya try to keep the ball away from the hitter ya get behind in the count run up a high pitch count call on the bullpen and throw cookies on 3-1 and 3-2 counts

    the best way to start a batter is 0-1 and the worst is 1-0

    Tigers have to DO something and it better be today.

  105. Mike R

    August 23, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Bill, if Chuck Hernandez is no good, how was our pitching so dominant under his watch last year? Kenny wasn’t making trips to the mound last year either and the results were vastly different.

  106. Chris

    August 23, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Maybe we can send Kenny out there to advise the pitchers and to slip them some pine tar.

  107. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 23, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Mike R — was Chuck the reason pitching was good? or was it good whether Chuck was there or not,– and now this year– when we need coaching maybe we ain’t getting what we need?

    we have to look deep to find these troubles and when you are doing this kind of trouble-shooting you cannot just not check some key part of the puzzle

    why are we having pitching troubles across the board? what element is common across the board? “tired arm” ? I doubt that very much. one guy, yeah, it happens.

    but something ain’t click’n and gues waht: the problem ain’t Inge and it ain’t Pudge

  108. Nate

    August 23, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Maybin reminds me of a young Babe Ruth.

    He’s a pitcher?

  109. Chris

    August 23, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Maybin will be fine as a fielder & player, IMO. We can now see that he has what it takes to be a devastating offensive threat. It is much, much more easy to develop your fielding skills, when you don’t have IT, than it is to develop hitting skills when you don’t have IT. Maybin is the real deal and I’m glad the Tigers brought him up to help develop him for next season (forget about this season, because the Tigers are NOT going to the playoffs…and that won’t be because of Maybin’s fielding).

    Two seasons are almost complete and we can now see a trend develop with Verlander. He has some serious physical endurance problems where his velocity falls like a stone as the innings pile up. And he supposedly tried to fix this problem during the last off-season with conditioning and strength training and that somehow didn’t seam to do the trick.

    Withthat in mind I’m wondering if:
    a) Velander may have to move to the bullpen in the future

    b) He can become an effective closer in this role.

    Any thoughts?……

  110. Nate

    August 23, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Maybin looks unpolished in LF to say the least. This is the prospect that we couldn’t trade for Soriano last year? Ugh. I know its only been a handful of games, but the great ones shine early and you just know they will be great.

    Mike Schmidt’s rookie batting line: 196/.324/.373. He was three years older than Maybin when he posted that line in his rookie season. Went on to become possibly the best thrid baseman ever.

    Robin Yount’s rookie batting line: .250/.276/.346. In his sophomore season he made 44(!) errors at shortstop. Went on to win two MVPs, get 300 hits, and be an above average defender at shortstop and centerfield.

    Greg Maddux carried a 5.61 ERA over 156 innings in first extended major league season in 1987. Went on to win over 300 games.

    Maybin has 3 extra base hits in his first 15 at-bats. He hit his first homerun of the greatest pitcher of my lifetime, who even at age 44 is still better than a lot of pitchers in the league. I would say that qualifies as ‘shining early.’

    Yes, he looks shaky in the field, but he’d never played in left until he was called up. Of the players I listed above, only Yount was younger than Maybin when he made his big league debut. I’m not saying that he’ll be as good or better than any of those guys. In fact, I’d be surprised if he was, because they all rank among the best players of my lifetime. But to write him off when he’s still twenty years old strikes me as a bit presumptuous. To decide on the basis of five games that he should have been traded for a rental player is bit insane.

  111. Stephen

    August 23, 2007 at 11:10 am

    cib, thanks. our publisher will be happy to know nymag has readers in michigan.

  112. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 23, 2007 at 11:10 am

    yep, let’s just watch Maybin and see what he can do. too early to tell at this point

    Chris, at this point we don’t know who’s going to the playoffs; the Tribe has a rough schedule ahead too

  113. Kathy

    August 23, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Chris,

    I don’t think they’ll make him a relief person in the near future. However, I was thinking the same thing regarding Miller because he really has only one pitch and seems to do well for a few innings. I thought maybe his role could be as a set up man, in lieu of a healthy Zumaya, or a closer role. But absolutely nothing at this point would surprise me.

  114. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 23, 2007 at 11:13 am

    it is critical to have a guy like Durbin in the bullpen for when the starter has a bad start

    why did we send Lopey down I thought he was a good prospect

  115. Mike R

    August 23, 2007 at 11:20 am

    So, Chuck Hernandez get’s no credit for last year and is getting the blame for this year? How does that work?

  116. Coach Jim

    August 23, 2007 at 11:21 am

    First, Chuck Hernandez. The pitching staff is in a slump, but before the All-Star game they were pretty good, even with the injuries. I seem to remember last year we had a similar pitching problem at a similar point of the season. I would be inclined to think the problem doesn’t lie with the pitching coach, but the CONDITIONING COACH.

    I’m not worried about Maybin. The kid is still so young. I don’t think he should be in the majors yet…still too much to learn, but if he can learn faster being here, then maybe DD is throwing in the towel and playing for next year. If Maybin does his learning now, he could be very Granderson-like next year. Oh, and I don’t support moving Grandy out of CF. He’s just been too good there. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    About a month ago I said everyone on the team looks like they need 2 weeks off. Sheff gets his now. Guillen will be next.

    I’m not worried about defense in LF, I’m worried about SS. Guillen has trouble going side to side. I don’t think playing him at 1B will be any better, that position is ALL side to side movement. Unless he sits out, this will last the rest of the season.

  117. Nate

    August 23, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Bill A, Lopez is 32. He’s a journeyman, not a prospect.

  118. Stephen

    August 23, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Nate, I don’t think anyone’s disputing Maybin’s potential. The difference between Baseball Jesus and the other guys is that none of them were making their ignominious debuts in pennant races.

  119. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 23, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I would be inclined to think the problem doesn’t lie with the pitching coach, but the CONDITIONING COACH.

    good point; another rock to look under. we got trouble someplace and we need to find it

    Mike R: just because we had good pitching last year doesn’t necessarily mean the coaching caused that to happen. ( maybe we had good players that didn’t need coaching )

    but this year when we are having trouble coaching is certainly one place to look especially when the problem is affecting the whole staff as it appears to be. what is common to the whole staff? wear. coaching. and like Coach Jim noted — also conditioning

  120. Kathy

    August 23, 2007 at 11:54 am

    As usual, Marcus gets the shaft. Of course, Maybin is a diamond in the rough. IMO, they’re throwing him to the wolves. The media was in the locker room asking him about the play in LF. His bat is a needed addition, but not his glove. He’s not ready yet. If the team has conceded the season, then yea, leave Baseball Jesus out there. Then Marcus has to ride the pine. It’s not fair.

  121. Kathy

    August 23, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    And Verlander? He reminds me of Inge…lackadaisal attitude.

  122. Mike R

    August 23, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Bill, if we had such good players that didn’t need coaching, what’s the problem? We still had Robertson, Bonderman, Verlander in the rotation. And if Chuck didn’t have anything to do with the success last year, couldn’t one assume that he might not have anything to do with the downward trend of the staff this year? How can a coach be so insignificant one season and then have such a large (negative) impact the next? And Kenny’s been around the ball club for the better part of 4 months during his rehab/starting/being hurt again and it’s done nothing to help.

  123. Mike R

    August 23, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    How is Thames getting the shaft? Was he not in the lineup last night? He was. With him being able to play LF, 1B, and DH, with Sheffield out there are plenty of options to get Thames into the lineup.

    Also, I’m not sold that Maybin can run that ball down in the corner to start the game last night. And if he couldn’t, no way could Thames run it down, either.

  124. Andrew

    August 23, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    These guys pitched a lot of innings last year including the playoffs. Look at all of the tired arms and injuries to our pitching staff this year.

    Perhaps, the extended season last year has something to do with it.

    It seems like out pitching staff has been held together with bubble gum and duct tape this year. To be where we are with all of those injuries and still be within sniffing distance of the playoffs is pretty good.

    Still, I’d like to see them play better and actually get IN the playoffs.

  125. Kathy

    August 23, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    “You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Charley”

  126. tiff

    August 23, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Whatever happened to Gum Time???

    I think that is where our season has gone wrong.

  127. Nate

    August 23, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Nate, I don’t think anyone’s disputing Maybin’s potential.

    Stephen, I don’t think you’re disputing his potential, but when someone says:

    This is the prospect that we couldn’t trade for Soriano last year? Ugh. I know its only been a handful of games, but the great ones shine early and you just know they will be great.

    It certainly sounds to me like they are disputing even his potential.

  128. Jim

    August 23, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Stephen:

    If I was ever in New York I’d love to have a beer with you.;

  129. ron

    August 23, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Pitch Maybin.

  130. Vince in MN

    August 23, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Relax people, you’re taking all of this too seriously. It’s all rigged. Everbody knows that professional sports are controlled by the big gambling syndicates in Las Vegas.

  131. ron

    August 23, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    If someone will tip over the water cooler, then we’ll be ok.

  132. Joe in Montgomery

    August 23, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Andrew, couldn’t agree more with your comment about last years extended season hurting us this year. And IMO, not just the pitching staff. The whole team looks tired.