Game 138: White Sox at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers return home and take on the White Sox. The White Sox haven’t been playing good ball lately, but then again neither have the Tigers. The pitching matchup will be Jeremy Bonderman taking on Jon Garland.

The Tigers have only faced Garland once this season and picked up 3 runs on 5 hits in 8 innings.

Bonderman corrected his first inning problems, or at least he avoided them in his last start. He only allowed 1 run on 6 hits in a strong outing against the Royals. He walked none for the first time since July 13th and it was particularly refreshing after he had walked 4 and 5 in his previous 2 starts.

In the good news department Gary Sheffield is set to return on Thursday and is feeling better. So hopefully we won’t see any more situations where Omar Infante is batting 3rd and DH’ing. It kind of shows you how far out of favor that Sean Casey has fallen, plus Infante is 15-35 lifetime off of Garland.

Game Time 7:05
CHW @ DET, Tuesday, September 4, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Another day, another loss, another one of those “this game was a microcosm of the season” efforts. Bonderman alternated between looking great (1st and 3rd innings) pounding the strike zone and hitting his spots with his fastball and slider, and pitching scared where he couldn’t command the fastball and couldn’t find the strike zone. He repeatedly fell behind 2-0 and 3-0 and it eventually caught up to him in the form of Alex Freakin Cintron.

Still he was good enough to keep the game close, even as the Tigers added a couple defensive goofs with Carlos Guillen at first and Marcus Thames in leftfield. Zach Miner provided 3 2/3 scoreless innings, enough to make fans think the Tigers still had a shot.

And then the offense showed some late life, finally breaking the shutout on a tremendous at-bat by Guillen before fizzling out with weak ABs from Pudge and Thames. If only they could have plated that runner on 3rd, then they would be in solo-homer striking distance. But even then, those days where anyone in the lineup could hit one out are gone. Inge hasn’t had that ability for over 2 months now, and Pudge is pretty far removed, and as nice as Ramon Santiago has played he’s not exactly a threat either. Inffact, of the Tigers last 14 homers, 11 have come from the bats of Ordonez/Guillen/Granderson. Not so much the balanced attack of earlier in the year.

Still, some pinch hit success from unexpected sources (Timo Perez and Sean Casey), plus a very surprising walk from Inge (who was choking up with 2 strikes on him) breathed enough life into the team so that you actually thought they had a shot, only to drop another one – this time with Curtis Granderson making the final out.

Another day, another loss.

127 thoughts on “Game 138: White Sox at Tigers”

  1. Come on, Tigers. Make me care. College football really dug its claws into me on Saturday, I can only be bothered to care if you guys are headed to the playoffs!

  2. Garland dominates here at Comerica. We’ve got to put a hurtin on him early. If he pitches 7+ innings this game could last 4 hours because he might have thrown to first 38 times that first inning.

  3. Is there anybody out there? Figures. When I’m too lazy to blog there’s a thread of 250, but when I’m ready to chit-chat it’s just me and this Joel fella who doesn’t even care.

  4. Dye should have been called for interference too, didn’t matter because Pudge threw him out, but the ump still should have said something.

  5. We have to assume the Yankees are going to win tonight with little Wang on the mound. If we move back to 3 1/2 with Chicago at the park, then I may join the nay sayers. At least one blogger has said the season is over for the last 15 games or so. I haven’t gone that far yet, but if we lose ground while playing the Sox, then we probably don’t have it in us this year. Let’s get the frickin bats going and take this.

  6. This is mildly frustrating. It’s not like Garland is overpowering us by any means. I think he’s very hittable, but we just can’t find the gap with these hard hit ground balls. Who’s going to be the hero and knock one out? I’ve got my eyes on Granderson.

  7. Bondo might not look good but at least he’s getting the job done.

    Bats? Someone, anyone….

    If the pitching is on, the offense is off. When we score some runs, the bullpen stinks. Nothing’s been clicking for 2 months. Just one swing away here though. I’m not givin’ up!

  8. It looks like that heartbreaker on Sunday took the life out of our offense…..and our bloggers. I think everyone has tuned out for this one.

  9. I was all but ready to put this season to bed but then Billfer tells me that Kenny Rogers is coming back Wed. and Sheffield on Thur?

    Sigh… “Just when I thought I was out…. they pull me back in”


  10. The Sox bottom four hitters (top BA amoung them – .221) have been on base 4 times tonight. 1 hit, 2 walks and a HBP.

    And as I type this, Cintron goes deep and Bonderman doesn’t make it through the 6th.

    Good grief…

  11. (just venting here)

    How many times do we have to hear:
    Home run by Joe Blow #9 hitter is his first of the year. Or John Blow #8 hitter was in a 1 for 18 slump prior to ripping that double off of Tigers pitcher X.

    Oakland had not rallied to win a game down by more than four runs until Sunday.

    Chi is 18-7 vs. the Tigers at Comerica over the last few years???

    Chi averages just over 4 runs per game vs. the rest of the AL and 5.5 vs Det?


  12. I think it’s great that Leyland has donated the #3 slot to the Make A Wish foundation for the rest of the season. Timo, Infante, and, on Wednesday little Timmy from Lassie!

  13. When my son and I attended my one and only game this season on July 7 against the Red Sox, I’ll never forget when the Tigers won in the 13th inning and Sheff came across home plate and kicked dirt at the Red Sox dugout.

  14. Once again we can make a guy batting less than .225 look like a hero for a night. If we cannot take 2 of 3 or sweep CWS and Twins this season is toast.

  15. It looks like if anything is going to happen tonight it’s going to come from batters 1-5. Bottom of the order is just dreadul.

  16. How many current non-catchers with 2500 ab’s have a career batting average below Inge’s .240? Any stat guys out there know? I’m guessing not a lot! I know none that have 19.5 m still coming to them!

  17. Kevin, you’re right. There are about 15 anomalies and ironies to this season that you could list. Why do the Gods mock me so??!! The Michigan loss, the Tigers stumbling to the finish line. What’s next? The Lions getting blown out by Oakland?

  18. Wow, how about Timo Perez? I watched him play in Toledo a few times this year and he looked pretty good, but I never thought it would ever translate to the majors again. He has been a decent player off of the bench.
    Also, Zach Miner has been looking good lately. He has been throwing his fastball with confidence and letting the movement of it get hitters out. He has always had good stuff, but sometimes he thinks too much and suffers because of it.

  19. I’ll never forget where i was when Timo Perez pinch hit for Omar Infante during the 2004 International League all-star game, uh, i mean the 2007 pennant race.

    Poor Timo, sold his soul to the devil for 30 quality major league at-bats.

  20. Trouble? The whole bunch of ’em look like timmies. I hate thinking and talking negative. This team is gettin me down!

  21. Jenks has no shot against the bottom of our order. It’s deadly. Silent assassins. Well, they’ve got the silent part…


  22. You gotta love Pudge-Thames-Inge-Santiago coming up in the ninth vs. Jenks. The only thing missing from tonight’s coma-induced game is Inge check-swinging at strike three.

  23. Nothing better than four automatic outs to close out a lineup.

    Did Ryan Raburn have an affair with Mrs. Leyland or something? What did he do to play himself out of the starting nine?

  24. Wow, personally, both of those pitches looked like strike 3.

    I love our chances of Casey tying it up right here. Good matchup.

  25. As if I need to relay this, but in their last 26 games the White Sox are 4-18 vs everyone else, and 4-0 vs the Tigers.

    Let me repeat that, 4-18. That’s a winning percentage of .182. Let that number roll around in your brain for a bit…

    These guys have no heart. I know that Bilfer is going to crucify me for saying it, but it’s true. There is no other reason for a team with this much talent playing so incredibly poor. If someone has a better reason, please let me know.

    The season was over last week, but these last three games have been downright awful. I’ll keep listening and watching b/c I’m passionate about the team, but I’ll also admit that I’m embarrassed at the way they have been playing.

    I wonder how many of them have tee times for Oct 1?

  26. part of my definition of heart is picking up your teammates when they’re down or injured. Except for the 16-0 Yankees blow out game, Brandon Inge has no rbi’s since 8/18. Let that sink in for a second. In a pennant race, our starting 3rd baseman has no rbi’s except for one game in 17 days.

  27. I’m starting to lose count of the Pitchers who are below average to horrible seasons, just come in and make quick work of the Tigers hitters. Its as though the scouting reports are out, ‘get them out this way’, and half the lineup just refuses to make any adjustments. If you’re struggling mightily at the plate, and you’re a poor contact hitter, does it really make alot of sense to swing for the fences with 2 strikes? Just doesn’t make sense if they put winning as a top priority. There’s a reason that Maggs leads the league in hitting, he’s always making adjustments, if he’s in a pitchers count, he’s content to tap it the other way for a single. Guillen will make the pitchers work. Same with Sheffield. But the bottom of the order just shortens the game for these starters. White Sox have a bullpen that, outside of Jenks, is one of the worst in baseball, would be nice to ‘make them beat you’ by making the starters throw a lot of pitches. But with the hyper aggresive approach at the plate by some of our hitters, that’s not going to happen.

  28. Don’t go to sleep yet, Stephen. FSN is doing a special segment on Inge and his ADHD. In the promo, he’s laughing about it.

  29. Wait a sec, Inge as ADHD?? Maybe we’re on to something here. New on the banned list for this year include Ritalin, Aderall, and Concerta all ADHD medication. Maybe Brandon just can’t keep focus.

  30. Well that’s a step in the right direction. Last week during the Royals pregame show they were running promos for the Indians home series in July exhorting fans to ‘stick around for the fireworks.’
    man, even the tv station is underachieving.

  31. Mario and Rod are already prepping us for tomorrow saying how we just don’t know what we’ll get from Kenny because, after all, he didn’t do a rehab game in Toledo (said in hushed tones).

  32. Let’s place some blame.
    You cannot blame the pitching staff because they only gave up three runs. Bonderman was not good, but not horrible either. Miner came in and was brilliant, keeping the team in the game.
    You cannot blame Casey, Guillen, or Timo as they all made valiant efforts to try to tie the game.
    You cannot blame Granderson either. Sure he struck out to end the game, but he has still not developed enough to put the bat on the ball in critical situations. I am willing to bet you that a few years he puts the ball in play seven times out of ten in that situation. He is still so young and his job is to start rallies at this point, not finish them.
    I am going to blame unclutch hitting, specifically, Pudge and Thames, who left six runners on base and killed just about every rally.
    I am starting to worry less about landing a playoff spot as I am about actually having a winning record this year.

  33. Half my neighbor’s (I live in Chicago) are headed to the hardware store to buy brooms – and I’m not kidding.

    Will this nightmare ever end?

  34. ..Stay tuned folks….

    …stay tuned tomorrow as the Tigers will match great clutch offense & lights-out bullpen relief with lousy starting pitching…. and on Thursday, more hot hitting but with the twist of great starting pitching, bullpen blowups and defensive miscues…

    God forbid that the Tigers will get all facets of the game to either work well or to fail all in unison.

    .. Stay tuned for more of the Great ’07 Collapse.

  35. This is amazing. The White Sox worst team then the Bottomfeeder Royals, lost 18 of 26, worst team in the Central and they beat us tonight. Didnt get to watch or hear the game thank god i would have cried i think grrrr……I sorry but this loss pretty much offically puts the tigers out of the running, they have a favorable schedule for every other team the tigers cant beat sub .500 teams and they only win against certain above .500 teams. This race is pretty much over.

    Tigers chances of getting into the playoffs according to my analysis

  36. Hi kids, I’m home.
    I don’t know if I can do this anymore. My next tickets are Friday and for the first time in a hell of a long time, I don’t want to go to the ball game.
    Billfer, I’ll still be there next Tuesday, looking forward to the experience of meeting everyone.
    But I’ve got 3 more games after that in my series and I just don’t know if I’ve got the strength.
    Oh, I do think we ought to give Miner another spot start as long as the rotation is circling the drain anyway. With respect to the “heart” discussion, he was one guy who looked intense out there today.
    kathy thanks for thinking about me.

  37. Well, I believe most of the problem is with Leyland and his batting lineups. Just because people are brought up from the minors doesn’t mean you have to play them. With the situation that the team is in, you have to put the best lineup out there every game. At this point if Sheffield comes back Thursday, it doesn’t matter, but I have posted this before. Every game from here on out the lineup should consist of these players(with the occasional day off) Granderson, Polanco, Sheffield?, if not Raburn, Ordonez, Guillen, Casey, Rodriguez, Inge, Thames. I would bat Casey in the 6th spot and Pudge in the 7th. With Guillen & Casey, that gives two leftys back to back.

  38. The Indians were trailing 5-3 in the 9th inning with two outs and nobody on base against Joe Nathan in Minnesota, but Asdrubal Cabrera doubled and then Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer to dead centerfield to tie the game at 5…and then in the 11th Hafner hit a sacrifice fly and Victor Martinez hit an RBI double to give the Indians a 7-5 lead. Joe Borowski pitched the 11th to get his 40th save.

    Ridiculous. Their 20th victory in their last at bat, and according to the broadcaster their 7th when trailing going into the 9th inning. Do these guys ever lose?

  39. Why do people still think they have a chance? Because stranger things have happened, literally, countless times before. But they’re not winning anything until they make some adjustments. First one I’d start with, is Pudge. Ivan, I know you hate taking a walk, but how about down what’s best for the TEAM.

    God bless Carlos Guillen, that’s how to get it done, great at-bat in the….whatever inning it was when he forced Garland to throw 10+ pitches(i think).

    Ever notice how good things usually happen when you don’t give in, battle, and force the pitcher to come to you?

    Did you see that Ivan?

  40. todd,

    Yeah, it’s as if the Indians read and believe what the BP boys have been writing about them the last two years. Sooner or later, I guess.

  41. Go Tigers. Even though you scored only 1 run tonight, I still believe in you. Maybe you can win tomorrow and force a rubber game. That would be nice. I know you are trying your hardest. You have a lot of good players and a heart as big as Tiger Stadium; and that is all that matters. Some people say bad things about your team, but tell Jimmy to keep his chin up. If you don’t make the playoffs (I was wishing you would win the World Series) I hope you have a good off season. Enjoy.

  42. The Indians are on a mission right now. Fortunately, the Yankees and the Mariners are not. You have to be objective. The Yankees are not a good team on the road, 31-35 is their record away from home. They finish with 15 of their final 22 games on the road. NOT good for them. In addition, the Yankees starting pitching has some serious problems right now. Clemens is not right, elbow discomfort, blisters on his feet, and he was inconsistent before all that. He received a cortisone shot and hopes to make his next start, but he’s shaky at this point at best. Mussina is done. Hughes….the only pitch he has confidence in right now is his fastball. He’s been hit hard in three straight outings, and who knows how long it will take this youngster to figure things out. Ian Kennedy….I haven’t seen him pitch, his numbers are very good, but rookies usually go through growing pains. Pettite and Wang are solid, but on balance, this is looking like a team that has, as an upside, the ability to play .500 ball the rest of the way. The other team they have to catch? The Mariners, who have lost 10 of 11, and are coming to town.

    Again, you can’t analyze it emotionally, you have to be objective. As bad as the Tigers have been, over the last 10 games, they’ve gained 3 games on the Mariners, and lost ONE, on the Yankees…….read that again, let it sink in…..right now, they’re gaining ground FAST on the Mariners, and almost keeping pace with the Yankees.


    Gary Sheffield said after batting practive that he felt great. Gary is the LAST person that will simply tell you what you want to hear. He’s an honest straight shooter that tells it like it is.


    Add a healthy Gary Sheffield thursday in the 3rd spot in the Batting order. That totally changes the complexion of the lineup. He can hit for power, he can hit for average, has awesome batspeed, he can get on base, which puts pressure on the pitchers, makes them work from the stretch, everyone else in the lineup sees better pitches to hit. Plus we’ll see those shaky bullpens an inning earlier.

    Also consider this, things started to nosedive after July 21st, when Sheffield colided with Polanco and injured his shoulder. They were 58-37 at that point in time. Winning at a 61% clip. Since the injury, the Tigers are 15-28.

    If Sheffield’s right, they’ll be back in the thick of things. In fact, ‘insiders’ have said that the Yankees aren’t worried about the Mariners, they’re worried about the Tigers, because when the starting pitching is right, the Tigers are a force.

    On top of this, Rogers is coming back tomorrow, if he can just be average and pitch deep into games, that will help. The bullpen is looking better in better. Zumaya’s pressence has solidified everyones roles. Miner looked great tonight, attacking hitters, trusting his stuff, challenging Thome with his fastball, throwing strikes and letting the natural movement of his pitches work for him.
    More good news – 15 of the Tigers next 21 games are at home. This is good.

    So everyone, relax, take a deep breath, Verlander velocity is back, the bullpen, overall, looks much improved. Rogers returns today, Shef is back tomorrow.

    This isn’t a pipe dream, this isn’t wishful thinking, these are real, objective, TANGIBLE reasons to think that things could turn around.

  43. Thank you Greg for reminding us that it is September and we have a chance. As well as a good team that will be fully healthy for the first time this season on Thursday.
    I do not get the people that keep saying that they are done this season. Do they stop rooting for the Tigers? Do they join the ever expanding bandwagon of Red Sox Nation? Do they stop watching baseball?
    Most of us are lifelong Tiger fans and no matter what we hope the best for our team no matter what the record is. I am not going to stop going to games or stop watching just because they have not played well lately. Come on people, lets hope for the best.
    On paper the Tigers have one of the best teams in baseball and they still have not put it together. Lets hope they do.

  44. Greg, you’ve convinced me with that great post. I’m going to be objective when Gary comes back. But at the first sign of things going south, I swear to God I’ll become emotional again.

  45. Greg, you should really give up on the Tigers ’07. Never mind the records and the pool of talent. This is the worse team in baseball.

    They say a team is not as good as they look when they are on a hot streak, and not as bad as they look when they are in a losing stretch. Well the current losing tend has gone on for so long now that I’d have to say that it is an indicator of what kind of team they really are. It is not a losing stretch. It is a losing team with no business being anywhere in contention. And the success they had before as probably not reflective of the quality of this team.

    Back in late July when the Tigers began to settle into the losing true sense of themselves, I said on this blog that this team is going to struggle the rest of the season. My gloomy forecasts about this team seams to always become proven accurate (last year I predicted that they would go on to lose the WS, after gale 1). Now I would say this: the Tigers are going to continue losing until they are completely out of contention for October baseball. That should become official by next week some time.

  46. You people that hang on till the bitter end will only be more crushed in the end.

    They are 14-27 in their last 41.
    They are below .500 vs the AL.

    “Do the Indians ever lose?” Yes, the lost a ton of games back a few weeks ago, remember? The problem is, we lost even MORE.

  47. Greg–that’s a good post, but I kind of agree with Chris-not that we are the worst team in baseball, but that this streak has gone on too long to be dubbed a “streak” anymore.

    At some point you are what you are: a .500 or so team with an inconsistent offense, bullpen and starting pitching. That’s why we are .500–because we can’t conssistently do the things it takes to win.

    Now, as to the reasons:

    I think our good injury karma from last year has turned with a vengeance. but that isn’t the only excuse/reason…as others have said, we have a few glaring holes in the lineup. Also, Bonderman has been a major disappointment, Robertson also–although I would say to a lesser degree (I guess because less is expected of him).

    Can we get the Wild Card (I am not even counting the division–IMO, that is over)–yes. Will we? I doubt it, but we are capable of playing .650-750 ball for a 20 game stretch and winning it. I just don’t see this current team doing it.

  48. Kurt,to answer your challenge from a previous thread that I had to abandon(on a comment,by the way,that was only incidental to the actual topic),it’s Rod ‘Mr.Hyperbole’ Allen who I first heard make the comparison to the World Series champion ’27 Yankees during the short stretch of the season when the Tigers were pounding the ball.It was echoed by at least one commenter(TSmith?If not him,my apologies)on this site.It was the excitable Allen who also compared Jurgens to PMartinez.
    I believe it was Kathy who compared Granderson to Al Kaline,but I cannot remember who made the even more ridiculous comparison to Mays.
    As I said,the only reason I even brought their puffery up was in answer to your accusation that it is I who decieves myself and others by calling the Tigers an average to good team.I stand by that statement and offer their record as well as their play as proof.

  49. Thank you Bob. And Rod Allen, yes, well, he’s Rod Allen. Take him with a grain of salt as a measure of entertainment I guess. I think I do sort of recall it when you mention it.

  50. I have never been more disheartened by a team then this year’s Tigers. Although I have lived in Chicago for ~25 years, I have kept my season ticket’s and attend, on avg., 20 games a year. It was easier to tolerate watching a team lose 119 games (in addition to the other 10 years of miserable baseball) because those were bad teams and bad teams lose.

    After blowing a seven run lead to Oakland, I was convinced that it couldn’t get worse. Losing to the Sox, an absolutely horrendous team that is comprised mostly of late season call-ups, is unbearable.

    There is an intangible that separates talented teams from talented teams that win. Whatever “it” is; heart, drive, determination, desire, thriving under pressure, etc… it is missing.

  51. if ya want a team without gaps ya needa be a NYY fan

    but what are those guys doing, anyhow?

    we have a lot of very good players on our Tiger team and we are gonna win games in Sept.

    and I’m gonna enjoy it. And Pudge and Inge are a couple of my favorite players. cuz guess what: when those guys ain’t play’n whoever is put in misses stuff that Pudge and Inge can handle.

  52. MJC is right. Been watching them 57 years and for me this is the biggest disappointment for any Detroit pro team ever.

  53. Ron, I sorta feel like you do. If I was a teacher, I’d have to grade them with a D since the all-star break. In school, we always got a letter grade and another grade for effort. So for effort I’d have to give them a C-. Growing up in a family of first generation immigrants, my parents worked like dogs. We attended private school all because my parents wanted a better life for us (no new furniture, fancy clothes, crummy car, no carpeting…I could go on and on about the sacrifices they made. We all participated in sports (well, not me, but I was a cheerleader) and every team I ever cheered for was a winner. My brother was All-State, and all my nieces and nephews from both my brother and sister were all-state and always played on winning teams. My son was a tremendous athlete also and played on winning teams including softball at the age of 30. And that ‘s what I like…winning teams. Sure, no one can win all the time, but just having a winning tradition and hanging onto it is so important.

    Michigan is in such dire straits economically. It’s no wonder we have so many fans all over the country as so many people have to move to find employment. And the Tigers brought so much joy to this area and hope for a new winning tradition. To not give 100% to the game and the fans goes against everything I believe in and disgusts me.


  54. Kathy, “FWIW” there’s only 2 on the roster right now where I ain’t sure they really got their heart in the game.

    we went 11-18 in Aug by my count and that is disappointing

    but I’m a Tiger fan

    and guess what: if we can’t get into the playoffs then I wanna see what we can do as far as team building goes

    we’ve talked about this a little here and there and I like to espouse my views on this ( and other things ) as much as anyone

    yeah, I get nipped at here and there but that happens on blogs and boards.

    right now I’m most interested to see how Kenny does tonite. I hope he has a good game. I’m also very interested in what kinda shape Jair is in. I seen some real promise in that guy!

    I hear a lotta writers yelling ( bar tender too ) to kick Inge and Pudge to the curb. that is crap. Inge and Pudge are two of our key players. there’s some out here, all they think about is hitting. but that ain’t all there is to play this game.

  55. Bill,

    I think Kenny’s pitching will tell the story of whether he gets another year extension or not. While I agree that Inge makes some great plays and saves runs, his attitude bothers me. The only reason I like Pudge is his rapport with the pitchers and calling the pitches. However, I do wish Leland would challenge him a little bit in the hitting dept or he would challenge himself.

  56. Kathy, some of the players should read your comments. They would run out of the dugout with a different attitude. Leyland said he was going to change that losing attitude; but we are right back where we started from.

  57. Greg – thanks for that post. With every loss recently, I’ve been ready to come on here and write that “it’s now over” for the Tigers. But somehow, each time, I find a way to regain hope. You pulled me back from the precipice this time. Those of us who are remaining hopeful are surely setting ourselves up for more and more heartache. But isn’t that what being a sports fan is all about? I’ll hang on every game until something’s official – either they’re in or they’re eliminated.

  58. Greg,

    Really nice post. Most certainly you do not have rose colored glasses on. Your comments were written in real world, not dreamland. With the Lions ready to disappoint (again) it is easy to lose track of reality. I need to remember that Dave Dombroski not Matt Millen runs the Tigers. Of course, eventually we do have to suck it up and kick it in, but we are far from dead.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  59. Granderson channeling Inge:

    “It’s funny, in the past few years, I’ve hit about the same against righties and lefties,” Granderson said. “But I think teams have adjusted; I’m just not getting the fastballs that I’m used to getting.”
    I don’t know what he is talking about. Last year there was a differential of over 50 points and this year the difference is 150 points. Is he talking about 05 when he had 25 ab’s against lefties?
    This is what makes me crazy about this team. A complete utter lack of self-awareness. Without that, even a stud like Granderson won’t get better.

  60. You’re starting to strain credibility, Stephen. Do you think maybe Granderson is also working off his experience in college and the minor leagues? Is it really plausible that a player who has increased his overall slugging percentage by 116 points from one year to the next has “a complete utter lack of self-awareness”?

    Hitting adjustments aren’t simple. That’s why a guy like Pujols can struggle for an extended stretch. Granderson’s obviously made amazing adjustments against right-handers. And it’s pretty obvious to all observers that Granderson is one of the brightest young players in the game. The struggles against left-handers this year are perplexing, but are only one side of the coin.

    I guess that’s bit too much complexity in the analysis, though. I guess it’s best to stick with a complete lack of heart, will to win, and self-awareness to explain aboslutely everything that’s occurred this year.

  61. Well, Kyle, no need to get nasty. But in the story he’s clearly talking about his major league experience. I just don’t think Ted Williams, Al Kaline, or Albert Pujols is gonna answer the question that way. Acting surprised and saying he’s not getting fastballs this year is a cop-out not worthy of his talent. If Granderson wants to be a superstar–and not just a star- he’s got to have a different approach other than ‘i’m not getting fastballs’ when it comes to hitting lefties. When two of your regulars, Inge and Granderson, are lamenting how they’re getting pitched as an excuse for poor performance that’s not a championship attitude. I actually don’t ever remember a major league player explaining a slump away with that excuse before and we have two guys using it.

  62. In case we didnt have enough working against the Tigers playoff hopes right now:

    “After Jim came over, [Bonderman] said that his elbow bothered him a little bit,” Rodriguez said, adding that Bonderman wanted to stay in the game. “And then he threw the next two pitches at 88-89 [mph]. So probably, he was protecting his arm in that situation.”;c_id=det

    Just great….

    Also, incidentally, I learned that for whatever reason, this reply form doesnt work from the laptop that I took with me to California for work this last month, so I have been forced to be silent through the slide….

  63. Not trying to be nasty, Stephen. Just trying to get some explanation of the thinking behind your neverending stream of negative comments.

    Here’s the full story:

    (The headline, BTW, is “Granderson having a remarkable statistical season.” But, again, better to discard any positive commentary–too confusing.)

    He refers to the “past few years.” He’d only been a major leaguer for one full year prior to this season. So maybe that covers the minors, too?

    And there’s nothing in the quote that indicates he’s using the lack of fastballs as an excuse. On the contrary, isn’t recognizing that you’re not getting as many fastballs the sort of thing you need to do before you make adjustments?

  64. Mike,

    I read that too, and that is concerning. We just have to hope that he is ok, I don’t have a good feeling about that one. If his elbow is bothering him, it would explain alot. In any event, if he’s NOT ok, we really NEED someone to recognize this(if he’s not right, him continueing to pitch would only hurt the team now AND in the future(if he he makes it worse by pressing through it)) and then we can plug someone else in there. Either Miner, who has shown signs that he might be capable of stepping up in such a role recently, or Jair, in a couple of weeks, if he’s ready.

  65. My endless negative thinking has been driven by my beloved team’s second straight second half collapse. I’ve said many times on this blog that Granderson’s a great player, but I’m sorry that i interpet G’s remark as a). a recent problem when it has been prevalent over the last 90% of his mlb at-bats and b). expressing surprise or whatever you want to call that he’s not getting fastballs. Granderson’s inability to hit lefties is what stops him from being a potential MVP player. It as if Prince Fielder said ‘I don’t know, i’m not eating pizza, but i continue to gain weight.’ That’s not what i want to hear; i want to hear ‘i’m gonna lose weight before i eat my way out of a Hall of Fame career.’
    I will admit that using the phrase ‘self-awareness’ was incorrect and sounds like i just got out of an est-psych seminar.

  66. To sum up:

    Hitting a breaking ball = Not eating pizza

    The idea that what a player is saying publicly when they’re in a slump is somehow a measure of how much they care about getting better is pretty implausible to me. All hitters sound like idiots when they’re in a slump.


    “Quality at-bats, that’s what you want to have here in Spring Training,” Pujols said. “Obviously the last couple of weeks have been tough. I haven’t been seeing the ball too good. I’ve been working the last couple of days and I’m seeing the ball better and putting [together] better at-bats. That’s where you want to be.”;c_id=stl

    Albert seemed to really care about “seeing the ball better”–yet somehow he had had a terrible April, too.

  67. Kyle, are you a lawyer? ‘Cause that would explain you reducing my argument to a literal comparison of eating pizza and hitting a breaking ball.

  68. OK. It’s not a literal comparison. But it’s clearly a comparison, right? (“It’s as if . . .) Not eating pizza is a matter of effort/willpower. Hitting a breaking ball is not.

    This boils down to the same debate that’s been going on here the last few days. Does everything just boil down to lack of heart/effort? Or are there other complexities (and a certain amount of random bad luck) that have to be considered?

  69. LOL, hey guys, chill out. I am a lawyer and (I hope!) you don’t want to offend me . . .
    Keep an eye on my Tigers for me tonight. Going to a friend’s for dinner and movies, we were both at last night’s game and several of us have decided to take a little sabbatical this evening. Too stressed out! (And no we are not having pizza!)
    Smile. We’re talking about Tiger baseball in September. We can’t play for them, we can just sit, watch, eat, drink and cross our fingers . . .

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