Game 142: Mariners at Tigers

PREGAME: Is it too much to hope for a 4 game win streak and a UM win for mine and Sam’s birthdays today?

As for today’s matchup, it will be Nate Robertson taking on Jeff Weaver.

Weaver was really bad at the beginning of the year and had amassed a 14.32 ERA before hitting the DL. Whe he came back he was much more effective going 4 straight starts allowing 1 or fewer runs. But then he’s been kind of not good again since then. In his last 2 starts he hasn’t made it out of the 5 th inning and surrendered 5 runs on 8 hits in each. He’s also allowed 2 homers in 6 of his last 8 starts.

For Robertson, he appears to be turning a corner with very strong outings against Cleveland and Oakland, with a clunker against the Royals in between. He hasn’t won since August 12th though because the universe hates him – or at least the bullpen and offense take turns hating him.

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Well, half of that birthday wish came true. While I witnessed the most embarrassing effort by the University of Michigan football team that I can remember (Mike Hart really does deserve better), the Tigers also put a hurting on the Mariners. So that is good. Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone. Being that we took a family trip to Disney World last week there would be no presents this year, but I did get a box of chocolate donuts this morning for breakfast and a baseball shaped cake tonight for dessert so it was all good.

As for the game, Nate Robertson didn’t pick up a win, once again. But this time it was all Nate’s fault. He was handed a 3-1 lead, a 4-3 lead, and a 5-4 lead, but he held none of them and was lifted in the fifth. I won’t get on him for the Beltre homer, because that was all Beltre hitting out a pitch at the letters. That’s a pitch you want him to swing at. But the rest was pretty bad.

Fortunately the offense kept getting those add-on runs that Jim Leyland talks about. The resurgence of the offense can largely be traced to Pudge Rodriguez and Brandon Inge coming to life. And of course his Timo-ness getting 3 more hits. And his Timo-ness added 2 diving catches which helped Robertson escape the 4th also.

Curtis Granderson added another triple, that really looked like it could have been an inside the park homer as the throw in went to no-man’s land but Gene Lamont had already held him up.

Gary Sheffield was hitless again, but it wasn’t because he doesn’t have his swing back. He smoked 2 balls, but one was caught at the wall by Suzuki and the other was a sinking liner to left.

The Rod and Mario exchange of the night took place after Pudge’s 3rd hit:
Mario: That’s 3 hits for the Pudge-meister
Rod: Did you just call him the Pudge-meister?
Mario: Don’t you call him the little Pudgy one?
Rod: [giggling] yeah, I do [more giggling]

76 Comments

  1. Coach Jim

    September 8, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    I like Nate. He’s this generation’s version of Milt Wilcox. I hope the media doesn’t start hating on him and run him out of town like they did Mike Maroth.

  2. Coach Jim

    September 8, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Oh, and let me be the first today to wish Billfer and Sam goodwill on this anniversary of their transition from fetus to infant. Joyous nascency fellas.

  3. charlie

    September 8, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    and let me be the second today to congratulate you both on yet another step towards impending old age.

    cheers

  4. Kurt

    September 8, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Happy birthday, bilfer, but even then, you won’t catch me rooting for Michigan!

  5. cib

    September 8, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Billfer and thanks for maintaining this great site! And Samara too – you both really have the same birthday?? Look forward to meeting you both on Tuesday.

    And I hope Nate FINALLY has the luck he deserves tonight!!

  6. Andrew

    September 8, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Please, please, please 4 in a row, okay?

    Oh, and I’ll toss my Happy Birthday wishes into the ring as well.

    Cheers!

  7. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Yea, met too Billfer. What did Mrs. Billfer and the kids get for you?

  8. Adam

    September 8, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    MSU wins 28 to 17. UM down 32 to 7 at the half. HAHAHAHAHA.

    Can you guess which of the two universities I attend?

  9. Eric Jackson

    September 8, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    The FSN game just tied up.. means baseball will be delayed on TV i bet.

  10. Eric Jackson

    September 8, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Ahh, they cut in :)

  11. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    BTW, Brent Clevlen got called up.

  12. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Ooooh! Pudge is getting hot.

  13. Mike R

    September 8, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Happy birthday to the two of you.

    And worst sign ever:

    “We

  14. Andrew

    September 8, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Happy Birthday Bilfer! Go Tigs!

  15. Keith G.

    September 8, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    Gene Lamont strikes again! No way he should’ve held Guillen up at third on Timo Perez’s single. Ibanez had to go toward CF to field it and then would’ve had to amke a throw across his body to nail Guillen. Conservative baserunning costs the Tigers a run as Casey and Inge fail to drive in Guillen. I’m not a Gene Lamont fan as he routinely costs us runs IMO.

  16. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Oh great! Nate’s throwing batting practice.

  17. Kurt

    September 8, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    You’re right Mike R. That sign does stink. It doesn’t even have a verb! ;)

  18. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Shef is hitting it hard tonight, it would a great time for him to get hot.

  19. Eric Jackson

    September 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Bats going to have to get it done tonight, cause Nate appears that he isn’t

  20. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    They need to get Nate out of there.

  21. cib

    September 8, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    It’s a shame those two strong starts of Nate’s ended up wasted. But maybe we can start beating up on Weaver.

    I just got in from dinner – what was the dumb sign that was mentioned before??

  22. Eric Jackson

    September 8, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Pull it together Nate!

  23. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Lets hope Leyland takes Nate out before this one gets away from us.

  24. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I no longer shudder when I hear the name Perez.

  25. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Timo sure has stepped up. I gotta admit it. The last time he got called up, I thought he was awful, but this Timo is awesome.

    Cib, I don’t know what sign their talking about either.

  26. cib

    September 8, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Kathy, I’ve got the DVR recording this game so I’ll have to check the beginning of the game later. But right now I have it turned off. I am trying all possible rituals here.

  27. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Miner’s warmed up 4 times and has probably pitched 3 or 4 innings in the bullpen.

  28. Bobby

    September 8, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    I swear, if Leyland could start a 12-year-old, he’d stick with him through 5 innings anyway.

    **Why** does he stick with pitchers too long – every single time??

  29. cib

    September 8, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Still think Miner should be given a spot start. Couldn’t do worse.

  30. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Pitching is lousy tonight.

  31. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    How about giving a spot start to the Cheeseman? Really. He’ll probibly be more consistant than NR.

  32. Mike R

    September 8, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    You’re right Mike R. That sign does stink. It doesn’t even have a verb! ;)

    What the hell? I had it all typed up and it didn’t work? What kind of site is this Billfer?!?

    It said: “We heart Inge and Pudge!”

  33. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Miner showing Robinson how it is done!

  34. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Inge!!

  35. Mike R

    September 8, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Jose Guillen is my Tiger.

  36. Ben in Denver

    September 8, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I heart Inge too! How about we keep the lead this time, boys?

    Happy birthday from Colorado, Billfer and Sam.

  37. Rob Howard

    September 8, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I agree, Zach Miner is starting to make a case for a starting role for us. His pitches has a little more zip and movement than Robertson, who seems to have lost something. I love Nate, but Zach has put together a very solid year for us and deserves the chance.

    In any event, nice to see Inge finally turn it around at the plate! Now to get Sheff going!

  38. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Lets go Mag-glio

  39. Rob Howard

    September 8, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Maggs! You don’t need to get cheesey infield base hits to keep your average up (-;

  40. cib

    September 8, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Damn Yankees.

  41. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    The Tigers are getting the calls tonight

  42. Rob Howard

    September 8, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Oh weeeee ohhhh Pla CI do………….

    !!!!!

  43. Keith G.

    September 8, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    The Tigers are getting some beneficial calls tonight. Ichiro was safe in the first inning at first base and that should’ve been a called third strike on Grandy. I’m not complaining….and as I’m typing this Polanco drills a three run double. Nice.

  44. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Polanco is such a good player. Tigers are blessed to have him.

  45. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    The other blessing is the bottom of the order heating up.

  46. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    I hope that Sheff can get his swing back soon. I know he will, but ‘when’ is the big key for Detroit making a run a Cleveland.

  47. Kathy

    September 8, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    He hit it good today, he’s getting pretty close.

  48. Slashpyne

    September 8, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I take back every bad thought I ever had about Timo Perez

  49. cib

    September 8, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Unreal. Where have these guys been for the past 6 weeks?

  50. Keith G.

    September 8, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Just a thought, what if Timo Perez had been called up in say June or early July for Monroe? Would we be any closer to the Indians and/or Yankees? Something to think about as Timo does have ML experience w/the Mets.

  51. Jason

    September 8, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Pudge is my tiger.

  52. Stephen

    September 8, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    4 wins in a row! Awesome! regarding what if Timo had been called up in June?’ He’d be hitting .220 like he has the past four years in his mlb career. I’m psyched for the Tigs he’s doing so well, but if you think that Timo would hit .290 over, say, 250 abs, I have the names of some reputable methadone clinics at the ready. We’re getting a miracle 50-60 ab’s and we should enjoy it, but if you don’t think he’d revert to the mean over a two month period than Timo Perez would be the rare post 30 yr old player to ramp up his game significantly. But start him until his hot run evaporates!

  53. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    September 8, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Pudge and Inge detracters get detention tonite.

  54. billfer

    September 8, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Bill – If Pudge and Inge would have had a few more nights like this over the last 2 months the Tigers would be in a better situation right now.

  55. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    September 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Bilfer most of the Tigers’ troubles are pitching. Anyone can see that.

  56. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Yankees steamrolled the Royals again… Cleveland is ahead 3-0 with C.C. Sabathia pitching like he was Jesus on the mound…. It looks like the Tigers are going to have to play out of their freaking minds if they are going to make it into the playoffs.

  57. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    BTW, for all you Michigan fans out there. This humiliating loss today will be the best thing that has ever happened to that program. There is no conceivable way that the mediocre joke of a head coach, Lloyd Carr, will not be fired this year. As long as they can replace him with something better, Michigan football will be better off for this flop of a season.

  58. Jim

    September 8, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Stephen: About that methadone, really? or was that a joke…uhh nevermind.

    Once again the Neifi! shirt strikes again. I love the comments I get at games with it on, it’s a hoot.

    Although he’s gone his spirit and winning drive live on.

  59. Jim

    September 8, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Sabathia is absolutly murdering the Angels right now.

  60. Chris

    September 8, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, Sabathia is the frontrunner for AL Cy Young award

  61. T Smith

    September 9, 2007 at 12:34 am

    ***Bilfer most of the Tigers’ troubles are pitching. Anyone can see that***

    Gonna have to side with Billfer on this one, Bill. Yes, pitching has been a problem. That’s obvious. But the two black holes in the lineup named Inge/Pudge (who have miraculously come to life the past few games) have been the difference between the Tigers post July 19 collapse, and say, a four game win streak.

    During the entire collapse Pudge and Inge playing like litte leaguers (up until the recent win streak) have absolutely everything to do with why the Tigers are 5 games back right now and not 5 games up.

    Pitching wasn’t so great tonight… but guess what? Tigers gave up six runs but we won anyway. We won because more than just two or three players came thru. Inge stepped up; Pudge stepped up. It’s as simple as that. Billfer is right.

  62. T Smith

    September 9, 2007 at 12:38 am

    Kurt:

    Where is this .500 Yankees team you were peddling just a few days ago?

  63. ron

    September 9, 2007 at 1:32 am

    The whole team is playing like they should have in July and August. They can beat anyone. It makes me sick that they laid down for two months. We should be looking forward to the World Series now; not worrying whether they’re going to make the playoffs or not.

  64. Kurt

    September 9, 2007 at 1:46 am

    Yes, T-Smith, because what happens in two games happens in 22. It would be great if it worked that way, because the Indians would go 11-11 and the tigers would go 22-0 and be in the playoffs.

  65. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    September 9, 2007 at 8:15 am

    the two black holes in the lineup

    it never ceases to amaze me how many people look a baseball as hitting

    Leyland had made it clear several times on his show and game analysis: you cannot expect to win by hitting all the time

    our defense made several plays yesterday that stole hits from the Mariners. Timo robbed a couple extra base hits with spectacular catches ( saving Nate for the moment ) and Inge made a couple too including that bare handed grab and throw to first right at the end of the game. and behind the plate they ain’t nobody in baseball as tough as Pudge

    around the league the starting line-ups are loaded with power hitters who chew up starting pitchers and spit ‘em out

    and so the name of the gem in baseball today is getting them guys out

    if you are better at getting them guys out than they are at getting you out you’ll win quite often

    and that is why pitching fielding a defense are so critical and Pudge and Inge are superb in those areas

    we’ve got some new guys too that I think have proved their stripes. Certainly Rayburn, but on my books Santiago too and probably Timo. I’m hoping Jar is OK; I thought there was a lot of promise there

    Interestingly I thought Byrdick pitched a better 9th than Rodney did in the 8th.

    Coach Jim: bad choice of wording in post #2

  66. billfer

    September 9, 2007 at 8:38 am

    if you are better at getting them guys out than they are at getting you out you’ll win quite often

    And one way to do exactly what you’re saying is to make it harder to get your guys out.

    I’m not saying that Inge’s and Pudge’s, and Casey’s for that matter, struggles were the only reason for the slide. Lots of things went wrong. And I agree that pitching was a big part of the problem. But it’s tough to overcome negative production from a third of the lineup.

    And the name of the game in baseball today, as it has always been, is to score more than your opponent. Whether you do it by limiting the opposition runs or maximizing your runs doesn’t make a bit of difference.

  67. billfer

    September 9, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Brandon Inge .221/.270/.329
    Sean Casey .256/.288/.338
    Ivan Rodriguez .233/.250/.345

    Those are there lines from July 19th to September 1st. That is 3 OBPs significantly below .330 which is about ML average. And 3 anemic slugging percentages.

    They combined to make 100 starts and they fanned 85 times while walking 15 times with all of 4 homers.

    To say that what wasn’t a part of the problem is baffling.

  68. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    September 9, 2007 at 8:57 am

    we have 77 wins right now; it would be nice if that was 87

    I don’t have access to an extensive computer database or any software to do game analysis type stuff but it would be interesting to analyze our games from the All-Star break to the end of August which is basically where we slammed the wall— try to find out why

    like of the games we lost in that time how many would have been won if so-and-so would have just come up with a clutch-hit

    this kind of should-coulda-woulda analysis doesn’t help much though because there are too many variables

    like ya gotta say, OK — games that we lost by 1 run that would have been saved by a clutch hit. that’s pretty thin. what do you need– runners on 2d and 3d + a base hit ?

    yeah

    try to go back and blame the Tigers slump on Inge and Pudge, I don’t buy it.

    our troubles right through that period has been pitching. and I’ve said it before and I’m sticking to my guns on this: it ain’t a lack of ability it’s bad technique.

    I’ve seen some real promise in our pitching performance of late in this respect. not just pre-game comments here and there about going after the hitters but better pitching too

    Nate threw better recently and we’ve already noted that on this game thread. and he got a kinda raw deal. but a real competitor who is a tough guy like Pudge will just keep commin’ at ya

    I think our Tigers are a tougher team for having gone through this tough time. I’ve seen some real development in some of our middle pitchers like Miner, Durbin, Seay. Even Grilli I think has improved.

    and as I noted earlier some new guys, including Rayburn and Santiago and Timo have really proved their stripes

    Skipper Jim will be keeping a close eye on all of this of course and I’m gonna be most interested in the forthcomming developments

    more later after the next game

  69. billfer

    September 9, 2007 at 9:10 am

    I’m not saying that they were the difference in 10 wins, but 2-3 would be plausible. And I’m not saying they were the sole reason for the slide, but they were a part of it.

    Absolving those guys because they are real competitors is silly.

  70. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    September 9, 2007 at 9:13 am

    As a retired Army Plt Sergeant, and I wanna just add this: runnin’ yer guys down don’t help the performance of yer squad. ya gotta find the positives and build on those

  71. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    September 9, 2007 at 9:20 am

    I?m not saying that they were the difference in 10 wins, but 2-3 would be plausible. And I?m not saying they were the sole reason for the slide, but they were a part of it.

    I can certainly agree with that.

    but I have to agree with your whole analysis: Inge/Pudge slumping in the hitting dept. was only part of the over-all slide.

    and that is why I always come to the defense of Inge and Pudge. I think they are great players and contribute a lot to the Tigers.

  72. T Smith

    September 9, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I will also add that Inge and Pudge alone didn’t cost the Tigers 10 games — that would be equally ridiculous, and I certainly wasn’t implying they did — what cost the Tigers 10 games (I do believe we should have 87 wins, however) was the Perfect Storm of a lot of elements that came together at exactly the wrong time. Pugde/Inge/Casey were most definately an important component to that storm.

    Kurt:

    I’ll buy it — for now. But if we apply win % based on the last four games, the Yankees would be still go 22-0 and the Tigers would win out the season as well and still miss the playoffs — It would be an absolute coup if the Tigers manage to tie or win the division — regardless of how well we play. We REALLY REALLY need the Yankees to lose a game or two and keep on rolling at the same time.

  73. Stephen

    September 9, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Golly, i guess this is one way of viewing the season: Jim Leyland, better than ever! Bill A, you have a special friend in Jerry Green.

    http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.d.....SPORTS0104

  74. BobS.

    September 9, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Bill A,my guess is that you excelled as a platoon sergeant-it’s clear you cared for your guys.However your skills as a baseball analyst need work.While many factors contributed to the Tigers crash and burn,one cannot minimize the effect of 1/3 of the batting order amounting to an offensive black hole.

  75. T Smith

    September 9, 2007 at 11:34 am

    On the Jerry Green article:

    Wow. That’s rich. That’s right up there with my Foie Gras/Lobster Thermador/Creme Brulee dinner I had last night.

  76. Kathy

    September 9, 2007 at 11:35 am

    This discussion kinda reminds me of peer pressure. In good schools/teams there’s the GOOD kind of peer pressure (high expectations) and in bad schools/teams there’s the BAD kind of peer pressure (low expectations).