Game 133: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: Andrew Miller will be pitching on short rest, slightly, he of course of the 4 hour rain delay start. Here’s hoping he pounds the strike zone and doesn’t walk any lefties, like he had a propensity for doing against the Yankees. It was his first start back so I’ll cut him some slack, but he ran into the same pitch efficiency issues he did prior to the injury.

For the Royals it will be Zach Grienke who is back starting after a sabbatical in the bullpen where there was talk of him being a back end guy for the Royals. He made his first start since the beginning of May last week against the Indians and allowed just one hit and one walk in 3 innings before being lifted after 48 pitches. We’ll see how long he goes tonight.

Game Time 8:05

POSTGAME
: Ummm. Andrew Miller. Really, really, really not good. Four free passes and he didn’t even make it out of the first inning. And one of the outs was a pickoff. Nice night for Zach Miner though who came in and picked up 12 outs giving his team a chance to get back in it…but they didn’t.

Eight left on base tonight is a sign that the offense isn’t a total wasteland (it means they are getting baserunners), just very disappointing. The star tonight would of course have to be Timo Perez who had 2 doubles, a walk, and would have had a couple RBI if not for Sean Casey being the runner on first when he hit both doubles. (talk about your irony, hours after I bash the reasoning of “he can score from first on an extrabase hit”). Of course that presented Brandon Inge with 2 2nd and 3rd situations where he fanned both times. One of them being the patented check swing. So much for new approaches and breaking out of a slump.

Now the Tigers are looking to avoid a sweep by the Royals. And the 2 long men in the pen won’t be available after long outings each of the last 2 days. Bad, bad scene.

218 Comments

  1. Dave T.

    August 29, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Running the risk of hyperbole, and, no doubt repeating what many others have said many times previously…this may be one of the biggest games of the year.

    No way the Tigers can lose this series and still hope to get into the playoffs.

  2. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Per Danny Knobler’s blog, the lineup tonight is:

    The lineup: Granderson cf Polanco 2b Thames lf Ordonez dh Guillen ss Rodriguez c Casey 1b Perez rf Inge 3b

    CF, Granderson
    2B, Polanco
    LF, Thames
    DH, Magglio
    SS, Guillen
    C, I-Rod (I’m done calling him ‘pudge’)
    1B, Casey
    RF, TIMOSITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    3B, Inge

    I still contend that a Guillen-Maggs-Thames 3-4-5 would be ideal with no Sheffield, but I can tolerate this lineup. Even with TIMOSITY!* in the lineup.

    It’s now TIMOSITY! the rest of the way instead of boring ol’ Timo.

  3. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Oh, and what happened to “Talent over experience”? Maybin could run circles around Timo and produce the same at the plate AT WORST. Chances are he’d be better considering when he makes contact he hits the ball hard where as TIMOSITY …. doesn’t.

  4. Chris in Nashville

    August 29, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    What happend to Maybin and Raburn? Timo is terrible.

  5. Ryan S

    August 29, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    This is getting ridiculous. We’ve got basically a month left and a decent deficit to overcome. We have to have our best offense starting EVERY GAME from here on out. To me that means Thames at 1st and Raburn in LF. If Casey and Maybin get a few starts, fine. But Timo needs to be late inning defense/pinch runner ONLY.

    Even without Sheff, I think we have the pieces to make a good run at this thing, but only if we field the best lineup available – every time out.

  6. Lee Panas

    August 29, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    I don’t like to complain about managerial moves but this Timo experiment is really irritating.

  7. Kurt

    August 29, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    “Experiment” is giving leyland way too much credit, Lee.

  8. Mike in CT

    August 29, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Yikes. Cleveland already up 3-0 on Santana.

    Hate to say it, Wedgie actually made the right move and dropped Blake out of the No. 2 hole in favor of that Cabrera guy. Leyland, paying attention?

  9. Tbone

    August 29, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    But Seattle got swept away today by the Angels. At least we’ll have a chance to gain a game in Wild Card.

    Go Red Sox!

    Go Tigers!

  10. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I cannot believe Timo is in the lineup again. Ugh

    And Cleveland up, 4-0. Terrific.

  11. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Just walked in the door to see Marcus K.

  12. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    And Timo is in again? Unbelievable.

  13. Andrew

    August 29, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Seeing Timo in the lineup is depressing – and that’s before we even see him fail to hit with RISP.

    You can’t tell me we don’t have more talented players sitting on the bench just so he can be in the lineup.

  14. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Greinke’s looking like he’s got good bite on his slider early on. Not good, he can be downright filthy.

  15. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    When you watch on gameday, you get a great feel for just how bad the release point is for a LH hitter against Miller.

  16. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Should I even bother to watch any more of this?

  17. Chris

    August 29, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    GAME OVER!!! Tigers Lose

  18. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Anytime Miller would like to go to a secondary pitch would be nice. He’s thrown nothing but fastballs.

  19. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    I can’t think of a better start

  20. Tram Fan

    August 29, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Yanks and Tribe are rolling with great pitching; tonight feels like the beginning of the end.

  21. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Send this kid back to the farm.

  22. Chris

    August 29, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    The beginning of the end was in the previous series with the Royals, back in July

  23. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Any time Miller wants to get somebody out would be just DANDY.

  24. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Sure hope Chad Durbin is up in the bullpen.

  25. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Miller is the new Bonderman.

  26. Tram Fan

    August 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Get Miller out of there and into a psychotherapist’s chair. Maybe Bonderman can join and get a 2-for-1 deal.

  27. cib

    August 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Oh good god. Just got in from a meeting. Going directly upstairs to lie in bed and watch the last two episodes of The Closer on the DVR. I can’t do this anymore.

  28. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Reminds me of Mussina.

  29. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Has anyone been out to talk to Miller yet? WTF?

  30. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Does anyone else think Chuck Hernendez is useless? Cuz me thinks he is

  31. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Where’s Grilli when you need him?

  32. Joey C.

    August 29, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    That bottom 4 in the lineup must be sending shivers up Buddy Bell’s spine.

    Yeah, this start is looking like point of a nail being driven into the coffin.

  33. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Seasons over. There, I said it.

  34. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    “Vile thing, you make my butt sting! I detest you! You’re all garbage, all of ya! Back up the truck, back it up!”

  35. Joey C.

    August 29, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Mussina wasn’t anywhere near this bad. And that’s telling us something about this performance.

  36. PHT in HK

    August 29, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    What a disaster!

  37. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Jim, I have to agree with you. We just don’t have the pitching.

  38. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Thank god for buddy bell.

  39. Jeff

    August 29, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Buddy Bell is an idiot. Miller can’t get anybody out and he bunts, even with two strikes.

  40. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Buddy bell with amends for his years here?

  41. Joey C.

    August 29, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Buddy and Leyland are working for different bookies.

  42. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    #9 hitter, 1 for 44 and he walks him.

  43. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    he just wlaked the #9 hitter. Who is 1 for 44 recently

  44. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Where is the reset button?

  45. Mike in CT

    August 29, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    That Royals series back in July started it all, when they just singled Kenny Rogers to death on a Friday night. Last year we owned this team, now in 2007 they’ll probably knock us out of the playoffs.

  46. Tram Fan

    August 29, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    8 innings with a top offensive squad = we should be able to come back and win this

  47. Joey C.

    August 29, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    They nearly knocked us out last year as well.

  48. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Don’t give up yet, because when two .500 teams are playing each other, anything can happen.

  49. Joey C.

    August 29, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I’m getting to that all too familiar feeling of looking forward to the winter meetings.

  50. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    “8 innings with a top offensive squad = we should be able to come back and win this”

    Should and will are two very different things

  51. Andrew

    August 29, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I had really hoped that the Miller experiment would have been done for the season after he went on the DL. He obviously does not have the complete package that a MLB pitcher needs.

    I have seen enough. Peace.

  52. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Whose the better pitcher for the Royals? Grienke or Miller

  53. Michael

    August 29, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    I am THIS close to giving up.

  54. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    43 pitches to get 2 outs.

    He just isn’t ready, simple as that. Ton of talent, but he should be getting these innings at Erie, not in a pennant race.

  55. Tram Fan

    August 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    I am THIS close to throwing up.

  56. PHT in HK

    August 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Surprise, surprise. The hook has arrived. I thought Leyland would have found some rationale for leaving Miller in to finish the inning.

  57. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    PHT: the only reason he’d need is: because he wants to

  58. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    oh, and check out this miner kid. he only needs to see one batter before he gets an out.

    what are the chances bell was really trying to help the kid out with that bunt attempt?

  59. boombotti

    August 29, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I think some people thought when Miller was brought up and Maroth was traded, Miller was not ready for the bigs. I was one of those people and thought it would come back to haunt the Tigers and now it did. Also. after watching Miller pitch, it looks awkward with the way he throws across his body because of how tall he is. I have not seen Randy Johnson pitch often is that how he throws?

  60. Tbone

    August 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Okay – I’m all over this Timo AB…

  61. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    QUIT MOCKING US TIMO

  62. Mike in CT

    August 29, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Two runners in scoring position. How will be Mr. Inge, looking or swinging?

  63. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Captain K is here to save the day, don’t worry.

  64. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Boom:

    it’s how alot of lefties throw, they just look naturally different.

    Btw when your a lefty batter and u see a ball coming at you from that angle it can be jarring

  65. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    This is what happens when you rush kids. Miller is not ML ready, he’s realistically probably a couple of years away. He signed, when, 15 months ago? Jurrgens has more pro experience. And then there is Maybin – same story s Miller. Having both of these guys on the 25-man roster at the same time smacks more of panic than anything else. Expecting a couple of raw 20-year olds to come in and have a major positive impact is delusional.

  66. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Then again, one could argue that Brandon Inge has no business being in the majors either.

  67. boombotti

    August 29, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Jim, I know it’s how some lefties pitch, but Miller looks like he is all arms when he throws. With his body “makeup” ie his long legs, they need to work on his delivery.

  68. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Well, I still love the Tigers. Maybe we’ll get it together next year and at least make it to the playoffs. Last year seems like a dream.

  69. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    As a early MIller supporter, I’ll be the first to admit I thought he could be more of a 9-6 with a 4.80 ERA rather than 5-5 with a 6.30 ERA. He’s not ready. But I’d argue a guy who’s made 13 starts bears about one tenth of the blame for this season as does a 12 hr .239 hitting third baseman, a hall of fame catcher with 6 walks, and a first baseman who has fewer homers in a season than Mark Whiten had in one game. Oh yeah, and a manager who makes choices like he’s on magic mushrooms.

  70. T Smith

    August 29, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    This team will never go anywhere with Brandon Inge continually killing rallies. Just once would I like to see a base hit in that last situation. Instead, of course, the whiff. We can’t win, and win consistantly, with Brandon Inge in the lineup.

    Brandon Inge does not belong in the majors.

    Oh, but he’ll light up the scoreboard when the score is 14-0.

  71. boombotti

    August 29, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Also, I think the Tigers will be all right with the pitcher they have. If Miner pitches good the rest of the game they can put him in Millers spot, or if Rogers can pitch he can take the spot.

  72. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Stephen:

    As far as Leyland goes, it’s the Marlboro’s. It has been scientifically proven that cigarette smoking reduces the amount of oxygen to the brain.

    I don’t know what Casey, Pudge, Inge, etc. excuses are though.

  73. boombotti

    August 29, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Yeah Steve, this has been a collective problem so far this season. Pitching, hitting, injuries, and managerial mistakes all have hurt the team this year. If we lose tonight, which there is still a chance to come back as grienke will not be in long, we still have a good chance at the playoffs.

  74. Brad

    August 29, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Note that Marcus Thames is batting third. Pretty much everyone other than Jim Leyland bats his best hitter third. Jim Leyland bats Marcus Thames third. Someone please explain it to me, because I don’t understand.

    I’d also like to point out that Jack Hannahan, who the Tigs’ deemed completely expendable, is currently starting at 3B for the A’s and has an OPS of .838 (as compared to Inge’s .706 OPS). He won’t start there after Chavez is healthy, but it sure would be nice to have a guy on our 40-man roster who can take a freakin walk.

  75. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Two or three more hits and we should be able to get a run in here.

  76. Tram Fan

    August 29, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Stephen: he’s 5-4, 5.62 (just for the record)

  77. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    5-5 in about a hundred minutes. I was guestimating his ERA as that inning was ending.

  78. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Anybody know what the record is for hits allowed in a nine inning shutout?

  79. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Uh, nice deduction on the name on Miner’s glove! These broadcasters are retards. All they have to do is bone up on the players and they’re still mystified by a name on Miner’s glove. Amatuer hour.

  80. boombotti

    August 29, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    I think Rod and Mario are just as frustrated with the team but can’t come out and say it on the air, so they just start talking nosense, because they have run out of things to say.

  81. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    ps looks like hanahan delivered a walk off single for the A’s today

  82. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    and a second walk to the dude hitting 1-44. I’m so glad Dombrowski didn’t make any deadline trades, this team is perfect.

  83. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Polly will probably get a gold glove award and Maggs a silver slugger. They better get ‘em. And that’s about it, folks.

  84. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Hey Casey, you’re hitting .278 with less power than Rick Ankiel. HOW ABOUT IF YOU JUST SHUT THE HELL UP AT FIRST?

  85. boombotti

    August 29, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Hey, Inge saying if Larue can walk so can I.

  86. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Good summary of Tigers Defense at

    http://www.mackavenuetigers.com/

    The link to Hardball Times site is a pdf file if you want to download that.

  87. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Stephen the way this team has been playing and has been managed, they would have needed a few moves to make anything different.

  88. Tbone

    August 29, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    The Tigers lok like they’ve pretty much given up on the season tonight.

  89. Cameron in Singapore

    August 29, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    This is ridiculous. Let’s waste more chances tonight.

  90. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Whyd they pull miner, was his pitch count high?

  91. Brad

    August 29, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Miner pitched two innings on Monday.

  92. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    I can’t believe we just yanked miner here.

  93. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    ah, didn’t realize he pitched monday

  94. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    I was listening on the radio to the Royals broadcast, but wasn’t that Grandy’s first GIDP this year?

  95. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Double play, Tribe wins

  96. charlie

    August 29, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    maybe some of you can help me with this. although i have been a tigers fan since 61 i am not as knowledgable about the ins and out of baseball as many of you here are. being a canadian i know hockey and earned my living at it for many years. in hockey, we always had to earn our ice time…in fact when i was coaching the first few shifts often determined how much ice time a player was going to get that game based on effort and results. does the same thinking not carry over to baseball? i mean wouldn’t your best performers get the most playing time? i think this should be the same in every sport. please correct me if i’m wrong.

    based on that theory, if in fact it is correct….wouldn’t ryan rayburn play every day…and get as many at bats as possible as long as he keeps hitting…and then wouldn’t the players not producing be forced to sit more often to try and get them more motivated to produce the next chance they have to play?

    does that not make sense here?

  97. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Raburn not playing defies logic.

    Don’t look now, but if we could have won yesterday with 16 hits and tonight against a bad team whose starter was never going more than 4ish innings, we’d be 1 out of the wild card.

  98. Dave Wagner

    August 29, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    I’ve been a Greinke fan since the Royals drafted him, and his performance tonight is a good example of why. His location and (especially) creativity with pitch speed/selection is incredible.

    Also, this game sucks.

  99. Greg

    August 29, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Agreed, I’ve only watched a couple of innings, but they look listless, tired, disinterested.

  100. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    bullpen has been pretty consistant lately…how ironic?

  101. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    charlie – you are right on Raburn. Obviously, some regulars will sit every so often to rest, with Catchers getting the most frequent rest.

    But back to your point about Raburn. Considering I’ve never coached an MLB team I like to give Leyland the benefit of the doubt. Thus I’ve been racking my brain in an attempt to define a reason as to why Raburn is not playing. Best I can come up with is that Sheffield is done for the year and he wants to give Timo an audition before moving Thames to full time DH and giving Raburn/Timosity a full time job for September.

  102. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    But why even give Timo an audition?

    This is (was) a pennant race, not time for auditions.

  103. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    You think Pudge goes back to the dugout and says “Hey Brandon, how can I improve my at bats?”

  104. Kathy

    August 29, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Anyone notice Timo wears his pocket out?

  105. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    hahaha just doing enough to keep playing over Raburn.

    TIMOOOOOO

  106. Dave Wagner

    August 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    “That’s a tough one, pudge. Have you tried striking out without swinging?”

  107. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Check swing strike out? no way

  108. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Jim – I haven’t made it that far yet. I was pretty proud of myself for even coming up with something.

  109. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Kevin: touche

  110. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Anyone notice that Timo gets hits when the team is far behind and the pitcher is grooving fast balls?

    God, Inge what else can be said.

  111. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Inge to Pudge “Did that look like a good pitch to you?”

  112. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    PH Raburn here

  113. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    Granderson can’t bat against a lefty here.

  114. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    You have to lift Inge there for Raburn. The K is just too likely with Inge, which is the main play you can’t have with a guy at third. If you’re thinking “I want Raburn for center when they bring in Gobble to face Granderson” you should remember that you just fired Craig Monroe for a right handed hitter who plays Granderson’s position.

    Also, I think whenever we get behind my 2 or more runs, Raburn should be in for Inge, to the extent he’s not already playing. In the same way that if Raburn were starting at third, I’d want Inge to play third if we got any kind of a lead.

  115. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Raburn. Thank god. Maybe he doesn’t get a hit, but at least we’re playing logical baseball.

  116. Tbone

    August 29, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Brandon Inge needs to sit. Love his defense, but his lack of production at the plate is killing us. Another crtical, clueless K.

  117. Dave Wagner

    August 29, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    that last Inge K was almost at 2006 Shelton strikeout quality

  118. Cameron in Singapore

    August 29, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Ok, that’s it. I’ve supported Inge until now, but enough is enough. Gotta replace him, even if it means playing Raburn there every day. He’s just killing us.

  119. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Leyland: ‘Raburn is the perfect national league player.’

    that’s called damning with faint praise.

  120. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Raburn does somthing productive with men on base?

    How odd.

  121. Greg

    August 29, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Actually, most of the time they take this lefty/righty stuff too far, but in Granderson’s case, its actually warranted

  122. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Raburn will always be the “perfect guy off the bench” when thats how hes pigeonholed and not allowed to play everyday

  123. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    playoff suite packages still available!

  124. Dave Wagner

    August 29, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    that was some impressive nibbling at the strikezone by Gobble. He clearly never faced a player of the caliber of Ryan Raburn before.

  125. Chris

    August 29, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    lack of clutch hitting is breathtaking

  126. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Hard to be mad at PP there. He got a good pitch, put a nice swing on it, just got it up a little.

  127. Chris

    August 29, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    No we should direct our anger at Inge. Runners on 2nd & 3rd, one out, and what does he do?………. WHIFFF

  128. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    I wonder what the probability of scoring no runs in that inning was with runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out with Inge vs. Raburn batting. I’m guessing it’s absurdly in your favor to have a guy who strikes out 30% less per at bat and avoids an out .5 more times per 10 at bats.

  129. Mark in Chicago

    August 29, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Frankly, the bullpen has been good since they all settled back into proper roles.

    Too bad we’re done for.

  130. Chris

    August 29, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    It’s a shame seeing Rodney being used in a mop-up role. This is the problem with getting poor starting pitching. And that is easily the biggest problem with this team in the second half. That has been a big let down.

  131. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Inge looks like a little leaguer who is only playing the game because his dad makes him. His body language at the plate is awful. The way he just drops the bat after crummy appearances is just juvenile and suggests he’s got no mental toughness whatsoever. Which, actually, when you think about it, has been one of the team’s major problems. Bonderman’s first inning struggles and Pudge’s piss poor plate discipline also come to mind.

  132. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    At least we hung on to Maybin. I know Stephen’s going to want to strangle me for this, but hear me out. What were we all suggesting trading him for? Bullpen help. And Dombrowski was exactly right: the bullpen would take care of itself once it got healthy, which it did. Now maybe that was an unwise gamble. But I’d argue it’s a gamble that paid off. In hindsight, it would have been nice to add a great bat…but that would have either cost a lot of payroll or not been much of an upgrade. Frankly, I’ll take the incrementally lower chance of making the playoffs this year for Maybin, who seems likely to outproduce his contract significantly over the next three years.

  133. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    I’m pretty sure that I heard in the pre-game that before last night’s game, the Tigers were averaging 8 runs per game in their last several visits to Kauffman.

  134. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Aw forty…don’t poke the bear

  135. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I’m not saying holding onto Maybin was a nobrainer. I can totally imagine a world where Zumaya comes back and isn’t right, Rodney reverts to his old ways, and the Tigers are experiencing routine bullpen meltdowns. I’m just saying it wasn’t obvious to trade him either, and it would appear at present that Dave made the right move, at least in so far as trading him for Gagne, etc. is concerned.

  136. Anthony

    August 29, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Instead of experimenting with Timo in LF they should be experimenting with Rayburn at 3rd.

  137. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Disagree! But quite respectfully.
    I’m not saying we should have traded Maybin, but if we got bullpen help and/or another bat six weeks ago and didn’t fritter away leads and close games in, say, three-four games we would be right in the thick of it. Rather than looking at a desperate 4.5 games deficit, we’d be entering September with a fighting chance. I said this at the time, losing close games breaks a team’s spirit and when the team nosedives and finishes 83-79, everyone says ‘well, they just weren’t good enough,’ when i argue 3-4 less soul crushing losses and a team gets on a roll and 83-79, becomes 92-70 and AL Central champs.
    It doesn’t matter now. This teams needs four new starters-3rd, 1st, LF, and catcher–the idea we’re just storing up for a run in ’08/09 just doesn’t sound right. I know some will say my first point and my second point are logically incongruous, but i don’t think they are.

  138. Jason

    August 29, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    KC has nothing but Cy Young’s on their pitching staff when we face them.

  139. Chris

    August 29, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    This 2nd half collapse is begining to look like the 1988 tiger season collapse. That year the Tigers were in 1st place much of the year until Lou Wittaker suffered a stupid dancing injury and was out the rest of the season. The downward spiral continued, and the worse it got the more the decine accellerated. The difference was between that team and this one is that no one expected much from the Tigers to begin with. And then the team went in the tank for 18 years.

    I hope that history does not repeat itself

  140. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Yes yes, Forty i agree with you…Althought I will say at the time there was no reason to add a bat because we were hitting anything and everything fair. Simply put out problems in the first half reversed.

    Oh, I was just sayin this topic might bring Stephen out swingin thats all

  141. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    There he is lol I missed it

  142. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    You know, Forty I really do respect your opinon and I’m not gonna be the angry bear here tonight. My little sister just had a baby, making me an uncle for the first time, and I’m trying to be a happy bear as much as i can be under these circumstances. No more talk of trade deadline, instead i will have an unneeded bowl of ice cream and contemplate the fact that the same amount of money that will buy me a studio apartment in Brooklyn buys a lovely 4 br place in Clarkston.
    There’s only one thing more frustrating than baseball: real estate.

  143. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Maybe because of these huge holes in the field we have Dave was actually thinking that 08/09 was a better shot?

    Oh, interesting tid bit from hardball times RE: Cmo

    Back in March, I reported that Monroe had patellar tendinitis in his left knee. Both he and the Tigers admitted it was an ailment that he would have to play through the entire 2007 season. We predicted that his home run total for the season would suffer, and that he definitely would not approach 30 home runs in 2007. It did come as a surprise, however, when the Tigers designated him for assignment a couple of days ago and called up top prospect Cameron Maybin to take his place on the roster. Just a year ago, Monroe belted a career-high 35 doubles, 28 home runs and drove in 92. Is his knee still ailing, and is that the reason for the sharp decline in his offensive output this season? It is a known fact that some players struggle with their mechanics when they have this malady. This is a likely scenario with Monroe. The Cubs made a deal for Monroe, hoping he will provide some power off the bench. Monroe owners should not be expecting a resurgence now that he has been traded to the Cubs. I suspect he will have surgery in the offseason to repair the damage in his left knee.

  144. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Congrats to uncle stephen!

  145. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Chris: I wrote this last year in a recap of the Tigers’ struggles for Slate.com. The lead in paragraph was about Darrell Evans getting picked off third in the ’87 playoffs:

    The Tigers lost the game, and, the next day, the series. From that moment on, Detroit fared worse than a used K-Car in the Kelley Blue Book. Sure, the Tigers contended in 1988, but they faded down the stretch, largely because second baseman Lou Whitaker was lost for September with a knee injury incurred while doing the hustle. That is not a misprint. The next year, the team lost 103 games.

  146. T Smith

    August 29, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    ***No we should direct our anger at Inge. Runners on 2nd & 3rd, one out, and what does he do?………. WHIFFF***

    Twice! Don’t forget he did the exact same thing in the second inning.

    So let me put this in perspective. Brandon Inge could have single handedly put us back into the game with two base hits. We’d have a 5-4 game. That’s exactly the problem. Rallys are wasted and squandered and extinguished the minute he comes to the plate. You can’t win like that. I don’t care if you muster 30 hits a game. If you have an Inge, and a Pudge, and a Casey getting the outs and putting holes in the lineup, all the hits will go wasted. You’re essentially asking all your guys who do produce to bat 1.000% to win. That’s not realistic. Polly and Maggs and Guillen and Grandy all have to be PERFECT, just to give us a chance.

    Inge has cost us many, many, many games. I don’t see him improving next year. He’s now past his peak. How God-awful does he have to be before we bench him, designate him, whatever? So he can jump in the stands and nab a ball? Those fetes and the occasional highlight at third are just hurting us, because it’s keeping him in the lineup.

    At this point, I’d rather see Hessman up there than Inge. And God knows Hessman is no major league third baseman either.

  147. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    I never really paid attention to/followed ranger baseball but I wonder what it was like to watch pudge in his prime?

  148. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I hear you, an extra three or so games would taste pretty good right about now. I have trouble thinking about what losing tough games does to a team’s psyche and how that translates to win/loss. I completely agree that Pudge, Casey, and Inge have to go (especially Pudge…the thought of throwing 13MM at him is just laughable). I’m less convinced one of Maybin/Granderson can’t be your LF.

    I guess my point is that all I can really think about is the ~3 games we might have won with an extra guy in the bullpen. And when you layer on the salary that guy would have gotten, the fact he might not have made an improvement (Gagne), and the fact that Maybin seems somewhat likely to be a steal at a rookie contract for above average production in center for the next 3 years…it starts to look a lot more reasonable to say holding onto Maybin is the right call. I do not mean we should just be in “wait until 08, 09″ mode. Just that as a GM, you have to make some intertemporal tradeoffs, and trading Maybin doesn’t seem like it was the right one (though it did look like a better idea at the time).

  149. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Pudge swung at 15/20 pitches he saw today (took 5 balls all day, 1 each in his first two ABs, and then 3 there; didn’t take a strike). I don’t have the energy to go back and look at previous games, but I’ll be sure to track it moving forward.

    I’ll also check BP to see if they track this.

  150. tigerfan

    August 29, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    my only comment for tonight is “this team is in real trouble”

  151. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Haha, just read your last post Stephen, sorry was busy thinking/typing away. Not trying to be argumentative. Congrats on being an uncle.

  152. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    And on a simpler note, boy do I miss winning.

  153. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    thanks guys. At times like this I turn to philosopher king Bill Murray for inspiration in the life-chaning film Meatballs:

    Tripper: And even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child joined hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they’ve got all the money! It just doesn’t matter if we win or if we lose. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!

    Rest of group: IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER.

  154. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Leyland does it again, clearly Timo was the player of the game

  155. Stephen

    August 29, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    And Inge with the bat drop again.

  156. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    I spent my formative years in Arlington and Pudge was an absolute thrill to track night after night. His presence alone led to the highest level of conservatism on the basepaths and his swing first mentality wasn’t an issue with his speed and strength (see Vlad Guerrero).

  157. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Can’t wait for the non chalant post gamer with Jimbo

  158. Bobby

    August 29, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    A real shame. You can really feel the air being let out of the balloon.

    I refuse to complain loudly; I got to experience something last year that I **never** thought I’d see. Cop out? Yeah, but I’m inclined to realize the future is still very bright for this club, and I’m willing to give them some slack.

  159. Kevin in Austin

    August 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Maybe Rayburn will get more than 5 innings at 3rd tomorrow.

    Could it be possible that Perez is auditioning for LF b/c Raburn will be the new third baseman?

  160. colin

    August 29, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    trade leyland

  161. Jim

    August 29, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    The only way we’ll make it now is if Cleveland gives it to us a la us last year and minny

  162. Forty

    August 29, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    This isn’t the most well-thought-out idea and I have no data to back me up, but here goes anyway.

    I think our offense is somewhat poorly conceived on the whole. We have really emphasized slugging over obp, up and down the lineup (Pudge, Inge, Thames, and Monroe come to mind). And the problem with doing that is that you really increase the variance of your run output. Even if you are maximizing expected runs, that’s not the only name of the game. I think there should be more of a goal around scoring 5-6 runs per game. The issue is that the marginal benefit of an incremental run is so high when you are in the 2-3 area for the game, but so low when you are in the 7-8 area. That’s why teams like Anaheim that don’t have a lot of sluggers can prosper. They score the runs that matter: runs 2 through 6. Winning 16-0 is great for your average runs per game, but it’s only 1 win.

  163. punisher2006 the indians fan (& baseball fan in general)

    August 29, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Yeah I agree with that Forty…and a lot of that goes back to the patience at the plate. The Tigers are 12th in the league in walks, and those walks give you extra opportunities. Pudge has only taken 6 walks this year, and he has certainly swung at a lot of ball fours this year. If he were to take even 30 walks, that’s 30 fewer outs and thirty more opportunities, and of those opportunities you can likely expect at least 10 additional runs just out of Pudge’s walk, and likely more from the extra scoring chances with one less out.

    So you’re potentially talking at the very least 15-ish additional runs over a season (more if there’s home runs in those situations) just if Pudge takes some more walks.

  164. Alex

    August 29, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    good teams, bad teams the opponent doesn’t matter: 81 – 81 here we come. another stellar night for pudge.

  165. Mike R

    August 29, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    I agree with what you’re saying Forty whole heartedly. However, when Sheffield is out of the lineup, Leyland constructs the lineup terribly. At some point we need to reward guys with playing time. We’re keeping a guy who homers every 14 AB’s on the bench in Thames, a guy who’s done nothing but hit at a .335 clip or better while playing flawless defense in Raburn, Mike Rabelo has the same amount of walks as Pudge in a 1/3rd the AB’s.

    And if I’m these guys, (Thames, Raburn, etc) what incentive do they have to stick around and resign for next season? Raburn (who I’ve doubted when he was in Triple-A, not going to lie) toiled in Toledo for a couple years, Thames slugs whenever he’s in the lineup albeit while hitting for a low average and OBP, and they don’t get to play while guys like Timo Perez get back to back starts and Brandon Inge Check Swing K’s time and time again.

    Lineups without sheff are terribly constructed, Leyland doesn’t follow through on his word of playing talent over experience when we have 5 OFers more talented then Timo Perez and we’re an old lineup that’s getting older.

    Honestly, I don’t see it getting much better. The FA market this offseason is HORRENDOUS so any and all moves to make us better are going to come via trades and our farm system honestly is middle of the pack in baseball AT BEST.

    Not to mention the fact that we’ve rushed Bonderman, Miller, and Maybin to the show for absolutely no reason. Bonderman may never develop the change up and now I’m starting to question his mental toughness. We’ve stunted his growth for years and for what purpose? I was against Miller coming up from the beginning and what good does it do for Maybin to come and sit on the bench? What happened to TALENT OVER EXPERIENCE?

    The Hope Train is officially derailed and out of commission.

  166. punisher2006 the indians fan (& baseball fan in general)

    August 30, 2007 at 12:04 am

    The only real big name center fielders on the market this winter, at least that I know of off the top of my head, will be Torii Hunter and MAYBE Kenny Lofton, unless you guys know of others. The problem is that both play center field. Any other ideas?

  167. ron

    August 30, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Fire Leyland now. Hire Bill Laimbeer. Cheryl Ford from the Shock pours in 17 pts. and 10 rebounds on a bum knee to save the Shock’s season. Laimbeer says, “Her heart is enormous”. What can Leyland say or do to install some sort of heart into the Tigers – nothing. Fire Leyland and tell him not to let the door hit him on the way out.

  168. Greg

    August 30, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Offseason move, the start of a dynasty:

    Sign AROD and put him at short. Yes, the price tag will be hefty, that’s a given when dealing with AROD’s agent Scott Boras. But the Tigers have shown again and again that they’re willing to give Boras what he wants. Mike Ilitch will pay the big bucks for quality players, that has never been a problem. Alex is great friends with Sheffield, and would prefer to be out of the limelight in the Big Apple. Detroit has a great fanbase that has shown that they’ll support a winner.

    Put Arod at SS, move Guillen, arguably the worst defensive SS in the AL since Julio Franco played for Cleveland, over to 1B where he’s at least adequate defensively. Arod won Gold Gloves at SS. Now picture THAT ‘up the middle’ defense: Granderson in Center(best defensive CF in the game in my opinion), Polanco at 2B(errorless streak speaks for itself) and AROD at SS(gold glover).

    Offensively, you’d have:
    1) Granderson
    2) Polanco
    3) Sheffield(assuming he’s healthy)
    4) Arod
    5) Maggs
    6) Guillen

    as your top 6

    Maybin would fill out the bottom somewhere at first, and at Catcher/3b, plug in whoever you like, there’d be so much production out of the top 6, it just wouldn’t matter.

    Can you imagine Sheff’s production if he had AROD and Maggs hitting behind him?! You’d have MVP numbers from your 3, 4, and 5 hitters. They would be a LOCK for the playoffs, playing out the season would be just academic.

  169. ron

    August 30, 2007 at 12:36 am

    In 27 games played in August the Tigers have scored 125 runs. 63 runs were scored in 6 games. 62 runs were scored in the other 21 games. This is clearly a team that is not ready to play everyday. That is the manger’s fault.

  170. David

    August 30, 2007 at 1:18 am

    29 games remaining

    we need to go 19-10 to have a solid shot in my mind

    Bonlander need to really step up every time out

    Maybe use Grilli and Miner in the 5th spot til’ Kenny comes back.

    Hopefully Nate and Durbin do well.

    In Nate’s start yesterday I really think the ump cheated him.

    It can be done we still have 18% of the season!

  171. Anthony

    August 30, 2007 at 1:35 am

    I’d kill for A-Rod, and I agree with Forty.

    I have another question, why aren’t they wearing patches on their jerseys? Isn’t that what they do when players die? Didn’t Pudge die like 2 months ago?

  172. Mike R

    August 30, 2007 at 2:19 am

    ARod would be awesome (I brought up that exact scenario earlier this year) but it’s unlikely. With the Yankees, Angels, Cubs, and Boston all potentially jumping in, I see the Tigers backing off.

    But, if we want to play that game, let’s go this unrealistic route:
    Sign A-Rod. Move Guillen to 1B. Then, in 2009 when Miguel Cabrera is a FA (assuming he doesn’t re-up with whatever team trades for him because Florida won’t keep him) we sign him, let him flounder at 3rd base for a year while Sheffield’s contract ends and then we DH him. Get younger, better, and have a great bat to build around when Magglio is limping around RF by that time with his cane.

    But for real, signing A-Rod would be lovely, I just don’t see it happening.

    As for the FA Centerfielder’s that someone was asking about earlier, they are:

    Andruw Jones
    Mike Cameron
    Torii Hunter

    The rest don’t really matter.

    The only position players of note that will be FA’s after this year are:
    Mike Lowell, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeny, Matt Stairs, and the CFers I mentioned above.

    The following have either team options, mutual options, or player options for next year:
    Bobby Abreu, Jose Guillen, Adam Dunn.

    After that you’re dissecting the Reggie Sanders and Shannon Stewarts of the world. The FA Market is SLIM pickings so a trade is the best way to better the ball club and that’s frightening because we have a middle of the pack farm system at best. Even our strength, pitching, has questions about each arm.

  173. punisher2006 the indians fan (& baseball fan in general)

    August 30, 2007 at 2:27 am

    Sorry guys but I got drunk after the Indians beat Johan Santana for the fourth time this year and after Leyland started Perez again…but Timo Perez sure was a surprise. And yeah, A-Rod would be an upgrade at third in place of Inge and he could solidify the Tigers offense. But I’m afraid I need to sorta need to sober up a bit so I’ll get back to you all later. Peace.

    This is kinda like Harry Doyle. Woohoo

  174. colin

    August 30, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Vlad has way, way more walks than Pudge…his career walk rate is almost twice that of Rodriguez.

  175. Mike R

    August 30, 2007 at 4:08 am

    I counted Miller’s pitches on Gameday, and of the 43 he threw, 40 were 90 mph or harder, give or take one or two I could’ve missed.

    If that doesn’t scream “rushed” and “no confidence” in a breaking ball that was a plus pitch for him coming out of college, I don’t know what does.

  176. cib

    August 30, 2007 at 6:38 am

    Just woke up. I had a dream that I was sitting on my couch, wearing a Timo Perez jersey, watching Craig Monroe hit a home run in the World Series.

  177. Jim

    August 30, 2007 at 8:30 am

    drop pudge, free up that money. get arod. im all for it.

    Id glady take Rabelo everyday if that meant we had arod

  178. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 8:31 am

    this is not fantasy baseball guys. ya gotta figure out how to win with the guys ya got

    and ya got a lot of good players

    yeah, we’ve had a couple games where we didn’t kick up as much offense as we might like

    but remember what Leyland said: ya can’t win on hitting all the time and this game was one of those times

    pitching is and has been the problem right along and Leyland noted this in his comments on last night’s game

    and we have talked about that problem here, previously

    course, here on the blog, that’s all we get to do, is chitter chatter. but that’s OK, we don’t run the team , Jim does

    and I’m satisfied Jim sees he has a problem. I just worry the prblem is deeper than the players on the roster. who ya got is only one thing, the main thing is how ya play with the players ya got

    this is a challenge but if anyone is up to it, Jim’s the man!

  179. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Mike — I think that was a good analysis of Miller’s pitching lat night

    and guess what: this screams COACHING PROBLEM to me

    the guy’s out there and trying to over-throw the ball. He needs to get with Kenny and get some confidence in a little finnesse

    pitching is all about location and movement. 92 is plenty on the fastball if it has some good late movement to it

    it is CRITICAL that the pitcher be able to throw all his pitches for strike and he should have a two fastballs, a good change-up and a curve or slider to work with

    sinkers are good when ya got the guy 0-2 and nobody on

  180. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 8:56 am

    of necessity we may have to incorporate Zach Miner and Chad Durbin as starters and get Lopey, Tata and Vasquez back up here

  181. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I still feel the concept of starting pitcher is obsolete in terms of modern baseball. pitcher should go through the opponent’s batting order one time only at most and then next man up

    this will allow pitchers to get in play more often and that will help them stay sharp and too, at no time do we wear a pitcher down totally like we do now trying to get 7 IP

  182. BobS.

    August 30, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Shorter Bill A : yaaaaaay!
    I think of the names you mention Mike R,Lowell is the most intriguing.Probably Inges’ equal with the glove,though not as flashy,and a huge upgrade offensively.The trick would be outbidding Boston(maybe not that big a problem if they make a serious run at ARod).
    The outfield isn’t a huge problem,although I’ve always liked the underappreciated Mike Cameron-plus,with his tendency to strike out often,he’d fit right in on this team.I don’t think the ‘name’ players Jones and Hunter would be as valuable to the Tigers as the bigger money that it would require to sign them.
    I see Cabrera as a future first baseman for the Yankees,Red Sox,or Angels.

  183. T Smith

    August 30, 2007 at 9:25 am

    On the persuit of A-Rod:

    If we don’t pick up Pudge’s option, we have a $10 M surplus to work with right there — what else can we do with the payroll to ease the hit, and how much would it take?

    It would be a dream lineup. But it’s just such a rich price tag, and agree, probably unlikely.

    However, if we did persue it, It would help to develop a guy like Rayburn at 3rd (that would be a productive and cost effective solution at 3rd to make more room for A-Rod) and try to trade for/get somebody to pick up Inge’s contract.

  184. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 9:38 am

    this ain’t fantasy baseball and sayn’ if we had this uy and if we had that guy we could win

    our players can win; we have a good season going

    and yeah, we have room for improvement here and there but guess what: ya gotta get out and play to show what ya can do, what needs work

    we did that last night

    and in my book what needs work is pitching coaching

    putt’n Miller out there last night they way that happened was not cool

  185. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 9:43 am

    An Effective Commander inspires confidence. For when the men believe they can succeed they will in fact succeed.

    US Army Leadership Training manual

  186. Mark in Chicago

    August 30, 2007 at 10:05 am

    It just hit me. We’re the White Sox. The Sox, after winning the World Series in ’05, added a big bat with an injury history for their lineup (Thome, now represented by Sheffield) played really well for the first half of ’06 and had Contreras go 9-0 before his stuff flattened out and he started getting pounded (Bonderman, who started 10-1) and only stayed reasonably close all year because they got an MVP-caliber season from Dye (Magglio). Their starting pitching, a strength during their postseason run, took a step backwards, some say due to all the extra innings of 11 games (I don’t buy this, but that’s an argument for another day) and their bullpen soiled the bed with injuries and inconsistency. Their inneffective rookie Brian Anderson played CF, ours is Andrew Miller (not fair to put Maybin in this group), most likely not for lack of talent, but lack of experience. They got solid seasons from a couple of guys in their lineup (Crede, Konerko, Pierszinski) as did we (Polanco, Guillen, Granderson), but had too many black holes to really put a streak together (Uribe, Podsednick, Anderson for our Inge, Casey and Monroe). Basically, everyone reverted to levels that are more consistent with their overall ability. In short, the Sox went from a veteran team to an old team virtually overnight.

    I am not suggesting that we’re going 72-90 next year, but further decline from here is quite possible, given the age of some guys and their history of injuries. One huge advantage we have over the Sox is that we have a core of young pitching (that Kenny Williams won’t trade away), some decent everyday players, and an owner who will spend.

  187. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 30, 2007 at 10:15 am

    decline ain’t in the cards

    and the reson I say that is cuz we got Leyland and he works for DD

    now that combination = Team Building

    you ain’t gonna win it all every year. nobody does that

    but every game is an opportunity for Team Building. but that is only for those who are willing to learn and work to improve

    and it’s my impression that is what Jim Leyland is all about

    if you think the other guy can do it better then go buy a ticket an watch him play

  188. Anthony

    August 30, 2007 at 10:17 am

    I think the biggest problem with Miller is he’s a thrower and not a pitcher. When he came up and was using 90-95% fastballs who didn’t forsee teams starting to hit him once there was some video on him?

    Compare him to Jurrjens, who actually mixes pitches and speeds pretty well. His ceiling isn’t as high as Millers but right now he’s a better ‘pitcher’.

  189. T Smith

    August 30, 2007 at 10:26 am

    ***this ain’t fantasy baseball and sayn’ if we had this uy and if we had that guy we could win***

    This is exactly fantasy baseball. Reality baseball is the Tigers are done for 2007. The only room left for discussion is 2008 and beyond.

    ***our players can win; we have a good season going***

    Have you been on voyage aboard the spaceship Endeavor for the past 10 days, totally isolated from the planet Earth? If so, I’m sorry you’re learning it first here: The Tigers are done for this year. And, ahh… they apparently CAN’T win. The Lowly Royals are throwing them a beating right now. And a win today (I’m not going so far as to perdict one) doesn’t hoist the hope train back on its rail, either. We needed at least a series win to keep hope alive, and more realisitically a sweep to keep the hope train crawling. Right now it’s not only derailed, it’s on its side in the embankment, smoking, burning, ready to combust.

    Amid this wreak, I take some solice in dreaming about possibilites of a contending team in 2008 — althought admittedly, those are just dreams, too.

  190. Anthony

    August 30, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Also, at the rate Pudge is going I think its a terrible idea to pay him 13 million next year. They can get a season out of a Wilson/Rabelo platoon at a fraction of the cost and use the money they saved to get a first or third baseman that can hit. There are too many holes in the lineup right now, and that is what is killing the team.

    You simply can’t win if 1/3rd of your lineup is sub-.300 obp on a nightly basis. Especially when one of those spots strikes out almost as much as he gets on base.

    Also, Inge, Pudge, and Casey are all in the bottom 15% in the league in OPS. The LF spot is in that neighborhood too if you add in Monroe’s totals. Thats crippling, when 4 of your 9 lineup spots are bottom-tier. That is why this team is losing and its actually surprising their record is not worse.

    I put this on management. Other than Pudge’s drop-off, Casey, Inge, and Monroe/LF are pretty much near where one could have realistically predicted their performance to be. Going into the stretch run with almost half your lineup being inept and:
    -an unwillingness to make a consistent change (why is Rayburn not starting 80% of the time?)
    -asking a 19-year old to play his first ML games in a position hes never played before
    -putting a pitcher with one pitch into the rotation
    -allowing Jason Grilli to exist
    -having Pudge protect Guillen
    -Going a significant stretch with 15 LOOGYs in the bullpen
    -BATTING TIMO PEREZ 3RD

    Combine this stuff with the injury problems and you have a nose-dive. Its the 2nd year in a row this team has gone bottom-up after the all-star break. Thats a management issue.

  191. Rings

    August 30, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Put a fork in ‘em. They’re done.

    Yep, there’s a chance that they rally, but they’d need to do better than the 19-10 mentioned above to overcome three teams (2 for WC or 1 for ALC) and a 4 game lag. The best chance is for the Tribe to collapse, but we seem to have got them kickstarted last week.
    The frustrating part is that I believe we gave away faaaar to many games and opportunities this year, especially early, and this team is showing no signs of urgency right now.
    Leyland did things like hit Wilson third last year, and it worked. This year, Timo didn’t have the same fortune in the three hole. Last year, we were winning games with “gum time”…this year, the bullpen suffered horrendous collapses, especially mid-year.
    Injuries and an over-reliance on guys named Monroe, Neifi, Inge, Casey, Grilli, etc. for the bulk of the season, along with an inexplicable unwillingness to give guys like Thames, Byrdak, Seay more work have created a situation that will be VERY difficult to overcome. Even Shelton would have given us more from 1B than Casey has and certainly would’ve scored twice in this game instead of being held at third.
    Looking down the road: for too long, this organization has neglected developing a catcher, third baseman, or shortstop and these are all going to be part of the “fantasy” dilemma for next year.

  192. Kurt

    August 30, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Yeah, this wasn’t supposed to be a team that made you think about 2008 in August. Maybe it wouldn’t make the playoffs, but certainly it wouldn’t make you long for 2008 in August. Rather disappointing.

  193. Greg

    August 30, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Who knows if they will sign AROD or not, but if they don’t, it’s hard for me to see money being an obstacle, given their recent history of spending top $ on players such Pudge, Maggs, Guillen, Inge, Porcello, Miller, Porcello.

    They spent $10 million a year on Pudge, $12 million a year on Guillen, in 2009 Maggs will make $18 according to one source, $15 million in most other years, in terms of production for $ spent, Inge’s contract is one of the largest in baseball, Porcello and Miller, I believe they had some of the largest bonuses in history coming out of the draft.

    These aren’t signs of ownership unwilling to spend the big bucks, these are signs of ownership that have and will continue to spend whatever it takes to put a winner on the field.

    If they don’t sign AROD, it will be because they think said money would be better spent elsewhere, not because he’s expensive. $28 million a year for the best offense in baseball and , guaranteed trip to the playoffs, and 162 sellouts guaranteed? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

  194. Greg

    August 30, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Who knows if they will sign AROD or not, but if they don’t, it’s hard for me to see money being an obstacle, given their recent history of spending top $ on players such Pudge, Maggs, Guillen, Inge, Porcello, Miller, Porcello.

    They spent $10 million a year on Pudge, $12 million a year on Guillen, in 2009 Maggs will make $18 according to one source, $15 million in most other years, in terms of production for $ spent, Inge’s contract is one of the largest in baseball, Porcello and Miller, I believe they had some of the largest bonuses in history coming out of the draft.

    These aren’t signs of ownership unwilling to spend the big bucks, these are signs of ownership that have and will continue to spend whatever it takes to put a winner on the field.

    If they don’t sign AROD, it will be because they think said money would be better spent elsewhere, not because he’s expensive. $28 million a year for the best offense in baseball and , guaranteed trip to the playoffs, and 162 sellouts guaranteed? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

  195. Kurt

    August 30, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Maybe not “disappointing,” maybe frustrating was the the term I wanted. Because the injuries to the pitching staff are as frustrating as it gets. It’s just the disappointing showing in the pas month that get to you.

  196. Bobber

    August 30, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Mark in Chicago,

    Nice work on the analogy. Over the last 5 years, it’s been tough for a team the year or two after its WS appearance.

    The lone exception is St Louis, and that’s only because they play in the pathetic NL Central. To think they’re only 2 games out now when they’ll be lucky to win the 83 games they won last year. Heck, they’d be 5 games behind the Tigers.

    None of that type of comparison makes the Tigers any better, I know.

  197. T Smith

    August 30, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Jim Leyland on last night’s loss:

    “Now is not the time for a rah-rah speech. This is a big man’s game. These guys know what they need to do.”

    Respectfully disagree! Some of these guys (including Leyland himself) have no clue what to do. Let me point out the obvious:

    1. PUDGE: Be patient at the plate. Take balls — That means STOP SWINGING at ball four. Guess what? You do this, pitchers will actually start to pitch to you again. Maybe you’ll see some balls to hit and come around. Not to mention improving your OBP.
    2. Brandon Inge has absolutely no clue what to do. Recent comments of idoicy withstanding. It’s not his fault — guys lose their way — but that doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean he knows what to do. He’s just lost. I’m surprised he can navigate his way to the park right now.
    3. MANAGER: Stop managing baseball with the aid of an Astrology chart. Create a lineup that gives your team the best shot at winning/actually scoring runs. Play guys that produce. If you have a guy who hits the ball over the wall every 14 at bats, play him. Bench any player that actually strikes out 40% of the time. NEVER ALLOW AFOREMENTIONED PLAYER to bat when the game is on the line, or when it’s imperative not to end a rally. Show some URGENCY.

  198. Coach Jim

    August 30, 2007 at 11:31 am

    I saw someone was keeping track of how many pitches Rodriguez (he has lost the right to have a nickname) swung at.

    I’ve been keeping track of how often a player swings at strikes and takes balls (good) or takes strikes and swings at balls (bad).

    As expected, Polonco, Ordonez, and Guillen are pretty darn good at that. Surprisingly, so is Casey.

    Granderson and Thames are middle of the road.

    Inge and Rodriguez are AWFUL. I mean really AWFUL. They get it wrong almost 90% of the time. I’m at work right now, so I don’t have my “records” with me, but its true…90% of the time they make the WRONG decision. They both swing at balls and take strikes. It tells me they don’t SEE pitches, they just have swinging patterns. When opposing pitchers figure that out, they’re toast. Just like they figured out C-Mo would chase a low and away breaking ball with 2 strikes.

    They both would be better off flipping a coin in the batters box to tell them whether to swing on the next pitch or not. They would get it right 50% of the time which is WAY better than what they do now.

  199. BobS.

    August 30, 2007 at 11:43 am

    T. Smith,haven’t you been paying attention to Rod Allen?Leyland has an uncanny genius for making the right move at the right time.Of course,that’s the same Rod Allen who was fond of comparing the 2007 Tigers to the ’27 Yankees.Is it fair to say their performance since the All-Star break more closely resembles another NY team,the ’61 Mets?
    I compared this years Tigers to last years Sox in a previous thread commenting on not only fans but medias tendency to ‘predict’ the previous season.The Tigers 2006 and the White Sox 2005 were unforseen by anyone,and yet the following year everyone seemed to feel it was a foregone conclusion those teams would repeat their unlikely success.

  200. Rings

    August 30, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Magic Numbers:
    AL CENTRAL
    Tribe vs. Tigers = 26 (30 games remain)
    Tigers vs. Tribe = 35 (29 games remain)

    WILD CARD
    NYY vs. Tigers = 27 (29 remain)
    Tigers vs. NYY = 33

    Mariners vs. Tigers = 28 (31 remain)
    Tigers vs. Mariners = 34

    Those are the closest races/chances they have.

    As far as A-Rod: I’d be shocked if Detroit acquired him. To me, this is very unlikely. Here’s why:
    A) It’s very doubtful he’d opt out, as the Yankees would not pursue him (they’d lose the Texas $$ on his contract if they did), which means a good portion of the “highest bidder” would be out of the F.A. race. A-Rod would be taking a huge risk that he’d actually increase his $$ in his new contract versus what remains in his current deal. The pursuers would be (maybe): LAA? NYM? Boston? Plus, he’s finally becoming appreciated in NY after carrying the Yanks early this year.
    B) If he did opt out, it would take around 50% per annum more than his current deal ($27m/avg over the remaining three years.) to sign him. This means at least in the $35m/yr range for a deal a minimum of 5 years, or $175m. I’ve read some speculation as high as another $250m.
    Yes, the Tigers have shown willingness to spend $$, but that’s silly to tie up such a huge portion of your bankroll on a guy who’s never won anything, despite playing on some pretty good teams in NY. Also, DD has a track record to supplement his teams (not build them) with free agents, but historically has built his teams via the cheaper method of drafting and stockpiling power arms.

  201. Thinking Man

    August 30, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Rings,

    Whether it’s A-Rod, another good-hitting 3B or LF, the Tigers must do something to stabalize their offense for next season. Sheffield provided that while he was healthy. But when he went out, so did the Tigers’ offense.
    If I were GM, here’s what I would be focusing on for 2008:

    1. Trade for or sign a 3B.

    2. Sign another veteran starting pitcher. If Rogers can come back great, but they still need another arm.
    - Andrew Miller has been rushed to the Major Leagues. He needs to put together a solid half-season at Erie or Toledo before the Tigers look at him again. He’s got to throw more strikes and work on his breaking ball.
    - Ideally, we don’t have to count on Durbin/Miner/Miller as 4th and 5th starters. Hopefully, the rotation will be Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson, Veteran, Rogers.

    3. Move Guillen to 1B. Depending on whom they can sign or trade for at 3B, we can with Mr. Goodfield/No Hit Santiago or whomever.

    4. Let Maybin play everyday at Erie/Toledo. He’s clearly not ready. I think he and Miller in the same boat … they both just need some nire minor league experience.

  202. Ghost of Tigers past

    August 30, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I have to agree with Coach Jim, Inge let’s a lot of first pitch down the middle for a strike go by.He has good defensive skills,But could be a good offensive player too for the whole package.(It would surely justify the money they gave him!)Pudge needs to start hitting the ball to left or up the middle instead of trying to pull the ball.Maybe Maggs is giving hitting lessons!No wait a minute!Stop the presses! The astrology chart said this weekend Chief Wahoo & the Indians will stub their toe & go into a slump!

  203. BobS.

    August 30, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    If I thought ARod would seriously consider playing in Detroit I would be very much in favor of spending what it took to sign him.If not the best position player in baseball,he’s arguably one of the top several.
    Other players who didn’t single-handedly win the World Series for their teams while playing the nine man game of baseball include Ty Cobb,Ted Williams,Ernie Banks,Tony Gwynn,Barry Bonds,and Ken Griffey Jr.I agree with you Rings that we should hold it against ARod that he proved himself incompetent as the starting pitching staff in NY>

  204. Kurt

    August 30, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    l

  205. Kurt

    August 30, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    How is it I have a blog but I can’t make a link in Bilfers?

    http://blog.mlive.com/tigersin.....ez_to.html

    Some pitching moves, and Perez is batting third.

  206. ron

    August 30, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    T Smith, right on. Leyland says this is a big man’s game. Wrong. It’s a kid’s game played by big men. Men who have never lived in the real world. Men who put things in their bodies so they can be the biggest guy on the block who hit the most home runs at the park. Men who know no loyalty to family. Who know no loyalty to former mentors. Who have no idea what it cost for a real man or woman to take a kid to a ballpark. Men who look no further than their own resume and who will always have a job no matter how much they underperform. We support them because they represent our city ; not because their A ROD, I ROD,F ROD or whatever. So for Leyland to expect them to have a normal reaction to urgency, well , it ain’t going to happen. It’s HIS job to get them back to the real world. But the statement he made last night begs the question, what world is he living in?

  207. Joey C.

    August 30, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    I think we’ll make a run on Teixeira. Although his bizarre desire to go to Baltimore may trump all other considerations…

    Wait a minute, what am I talking about….he’s a Boras client. Of course he’ll end up making the money grab.

    Bottom line, if we decide to pay for him, we’ll get him.

    ARod being an option will depend largely on whether or not the Yankees make the playoffs and then his performance in them. If they win the wildcard and then lose in the divisional round and ARod does his usual disappearing act, he’ll get out of dodge. No way he’ll stay here to take that abuse for another year.

    If they don’t make the playoffs, I’m guessing he stays on because his MVP year is going to prevent the blame for the team’s failure from landing on him. Unless he tanks down the stretch, which will of course bring out the, “he can’t do it when it counts” complaint often heard here in NYC.

  208. ron

    August 30, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    I swear to God Bill Laimbeer would be a better manager than Leyland. You don’t have to play the game, just know how to win.

  209. Mike R

    August 30, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Mike — I think that was a good analysis of Miller’s pitching lat night

    and guess what: this screams COACHING PROBLEM to me

    the guy’s out there and trying to over-throw the ball. He needs to get with Kenny and get some confidence in a little finnesse

    pitching is all about location and movement. 92 is plenty on the fastball if it has some good late movement to it

    it is CRITICAL that the pitcher be able to throw all his pitches for strike and he should have a two fastballs, a good change-up and a curve or slider to work with

    sinkers are good when ya got the guy 0-2 and nobody on

    Kenny Rogers is a veteran. He is not a pitching coach. You blindly follow all of Jim Leyland’s moves and refuse to see his shortcomings, yet don’t trust Chuck Hernandez. There’s no way he did nothing all of last year and had a young staff succeed. Jim Leyland has even told Miller to get away from the fastball and he refuses to. That’s more a confidence issue then a coaching issue and we have the organization to thank for potentially stunting Miller’s growth. You’re looking at another Bonderman (2 pitches, confidence problems) rather then another Verlander (3 pitches, confidence, all of which Miller could have been).

    Shorter Bill A : yaaaaaay!
    I think of the names you mention Mike R,Lowell is the most intriguing.Probably Inges’ equal with the glove,though not as flashy,and a huge upgrade offensively.The trick would be outbidding Boston(maybe not that big a problem if they make a serious run at ARod).
    The outfield isn’t a huge problem,although I’ve always liked the underappreciated Mike Cameron-plus,with his tendency to strike out often,he’d fit right in on this team.I don’t think the ‘name’ players Jones and Hunter would be as valuable to the Tigers as the bigger money that it would require to sign them.
    I see Cabrera as a future first baseman for the Yankees,Red Sox,or Angels.

    Boston doesn’t want Mike Lowell back and I don’t want him here. We’re already an old position player team, and getting older while paying Brandon Inge $24 million to do nothing doesn’t work. I don’t even see Cabrera playing a position. He’s still listed at 210 but he’s easily 235+. He’s got DH written all over him.

  210. Mike R

    August 30, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    WHY IS TIMO HITTING 3RD AGAIN!?

    I’m on the west side of the state, who all covers the Tigers for the Detroit newspapers. I’ve got Danny Knobler, Lynn Henning, who else? I’m going to send out a mass email.

  211. Rings

    August 30, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Joey, I’d love to see them make a run at Teixiera. We could move Guillen to 3B also (he played about 100 games there for Seattle) where his range wouldn’t be as much of a factor and let Brandon be the super-sub again, where he’d be much more valuable.

    I wasn’t suggesting above that ARod wouldn’t be worth chasing – he’s obviously a great player. His lack of a WS title wasn’t a dig on him, just that – as BobS states (and DD believes) that the pitching staff is more important – and no player, he or the other HOFers mentioned, can carry a team alone.
    I just believe with 99.99% certainty that it would never happen for the reasons above-stated by myself and others, so there’s not much sense in Tiger fans “hoping” so or imagining the possibilities.

  212. Mark in Chicago

    August 30, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Teixiera prolly isn’t available, and he’s not a free agent until after next year. I suspect DD may want to move Guillen to first and try and trade for Renteria, who Atlanta is rumored to be shopping. I would think they would like some of our young arms (Tata or Vasquez) and perhaps a position prospect (like Gorkys).

    I think we’re stuck with Inge at third and Pudge behind the plate, those are hard positions to fill (everyone is looking for young catching) and we have no quality prospects to step in.

    I’m so glad we’ve given 14 or so ABs to Perez in this series. Bonus that he’s hitting third again today.

  213. Mike R

    August 30, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Tata or Vasquez aren’t bringing back anything of note. It’d be more like “Jurrjens or De La Cruz”.

  214. Mark in Chicago

    August 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    You’re probably right, Mike, I was throwing out names to illustrate the point. I have heard that it’s strictly a salary reason for Atlanta to unload Renteria (and they have the kid Escobar to take his place), and so Atlanta may be willing to take a weaker package in order to dump the salary. That said, other teams will be looking o upgrade at SS also, and Baltimore might look to move Tejada, so either way, I think it will be an interesting offseason. Fact is, major changes should be coming.

  215. Mike R

    August 30, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Yeah, I got your point. I don’t want to get in the running for Miguel Tejada. He’s just as bad defensively as Guillen, just with less range. Tejada’s got 3B written all over him, to me.

  216. greg

    August 30, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I’m actually perplexed that anyone would be ‘shocked’ if they signed AROD. As for me, …it may or may not happen, but I wouldn’t even be slightly surprised if he was signed. As far as ‘opting out’, it all depends on how sweet the deal is, the sources I’ve heard say he’ll likely make more if he opts out, now, they could all be wrong, but I’m hearing this from multiple sources, time will tell. Obviously, he has to opt out or the discussion is moot.

    As far as the cost, its all relative to the Return on Investment. I don’t think that paying 3 mediocre players 30 mil a year is any better than paying one of the greatest hitters of all time 30 mil. If you look at the projected marginal increase in revenue the Tigers would get as a result of AROD’s offensive production. They’d make money. And if you really must, don’t sign Pudge, he’s been a black hole offensively, then the $28-$30 million effectively becomes $18-$20 million. I’ll take my chances with Rabelo if we can get AROD.

    As far as AROD ‘not winning anything’, in my opinion, teams win championships, not players. If anything, he’s likely to be more hungry than someone who has ‘been there, done that’.

    Respectfully disagree also that it’s unlikely due to the fact he’s a veteran. DD has repeatedly built his teams, wisely, veterans, rookies, mix, whatever it takes. Rogers, Maggs, Sheffield, Pudge, that’s plenty evidence for me he’s willing to sign another veteran.

    I’m getting the feeling that, some people simply don’t WANT Arod here, for some reason, which is fine, just surprising.

  217. Mark in Chicago

    August 30, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Why did Leyland pull the infield in? It’s the 4th inning, and the KC guy isn’t exactly dominating. That ground ball should have been an out, and now Bondo has to work that much harder.

    Sigh. Overmanaging.

  218. Mark in Chicago

    August 30, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    I would take A-Rod in a heartbeat. I hate him, but it turns out he’s very good at the game of baseball. One of the best of all-time, really. I would be VERY surprised if we landed him, however. Dombrowski has repeatedly made the point in the past that no single player should take up more than about 15% of the payroll, and Maggs is right at that limit, give or take. I think DD will find some creative ways to improve the team, but I highly doubt it will involve A-Rod.