Game 147: Rangers at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers will throw out the first pitch of their 4th game in 48 hours tonight. It will be Justin Verlander throwing said pitch, and he’s been quite ace like in his last 3 starts. He’s allowed 2 runs in his last 21 2/3 innings and for tonight anyways he holds the Tigers slim playoff hopes in his hands.

He’ll be opposed by Edinson Volquez. The right hander is coming off a 2 hit, no run 6 inning effort against the A’s. He’ll be making only his 3rd start of the year. The Tigers faced him once in 2006 an knocked him around for 3 walks and 8 hits chasing him in the 4th inning.

Game Time 7:05
TEX @ DET, Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

54 Comments

  1. Ian C.

    September 12, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Nice to see Sheff made some solid contact again. Getting a hit last night seems to have gotten him back on track. Volquez gave him a fat one to hit, and he didn’t miss it.

  2. JML

    September 12, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Nice to have Sheff back!

  3. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Think Sheff was sitting on a fastball there?

    Yankees up 2-0 already on Toronto. Our saving grace may be that Mussina gets the start.

  4. JML

    September 12, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    If the Blue Jays don’t smack around Moose, I can only conclude they are failing to do so just to spite us. :-P

  5. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    JML,

    You may be right, I’d wager the Jays are probably NOT happy about what happened on Monday night.

    Still 2-0 Yanks, top 3

  6. Ryan

    September 12, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Verlander looks real good. As I knock on wood, let me say that this is looking like a nice, uninteresting win. Here’s hoping.

  7. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    Dan Dickerson and Jim Price just said Carlos could be a gold glove first baseman.

  8. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Sure would make me feel better if we could get a few more runs on the board.

  9. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Agreed, Kathy. A 13-spot would handy right here.

  10. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    YAHOO!!!!

  11. freetz

    September 12, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Tilde-licious

  12. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Maggs strikes again. The guy is incredible.

  13. PHT in HK

    September 12, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Unfortunately the Yankees seem to have found a groove lately.

  14. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    For the most part, everyone’s healthy cept Bondo. Man oh man, look how good we are playing now.

  15. Stephen

    September 12, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    i get sad when i think of banzardo making a start that sorta matters.

  16. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Huh? Who the heck is banzardo. Are you talking about Yorman?

  17. T Smith

    September 12, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    I’m very disappointed in all the armchair experts and savvy bloggers (you know who you are) — who are supposed to be smarter and more versed and than Yours Truly — who so happened to chide me five or six games back when I insisted the Tigers had to go 18-4 in the stretch for any chance at making the playoffs. Since then we’ve lost two games, and I stand by my words. We can only lose two more games for any hope to make the playoffs.

    Looks like the Yankees are gonna win again tonight. Who is going to beat them? Cleveland lost, but who cares? We need the Yankees to lose. I just don’t see it happening. After their loss last night, the Jays know they are toast. They are just going thru the motions. Again, I was chided not but a week ago because I suggested the Yankees were gonna play .650 here on out — and it looks like they are exceeding even those expectations. Now all the “the Yankees are a .500 team” contingent are hiding behind a rock with nothing to say.

    I like how the Tigers are playing. What more can you ask of this team? They are playing good baseball right now. Our only hope is if Boston can somehow cool off the Yankees; but the truth is, the Red Sox don’t have any real incentive to do so, other than to knock the Yankees out of the playoffs and face the Tigers instead.

    I just hope the Tigers can pull off something like a 10 game winning streak. But that’s a lot to ask. You can’t criticize how the Tigers are playing. It’s just a shame this team decided to show up and play the game about three weeks too late.

  18. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I know I’m not a savvy blogger but still…just like the guy’s t-shirt said: Never say Never.

  19. Stephen

    September 12, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Bazardo, Banzardo, whatever. i think i’d be more hopeful if it was a random guy named Banzardo i found in the Flint phone book.

    Man, Gary Pettis coaching in the major leagues! Who would have thunk it?! Oh so many memories of him wrapping his bat around his ear, refusing to shorten his swing, and hitting .201 Talk about a guy who didn’t make adjustments as his career went along. Then again, we’re employing Leon Durham at Toledo so I guess we’re even.

  20. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    T,

    I did not comment on your original post, but you are correct. The Yankees are on pace for 92 wins, which means we’ll need 12 more (assuming we hang on tongiht) to get to that level. A 12-3 finish is not impossible, but very difficult, AND it presupposes the Yankees do need exceed their current pace.

    Anything can happen, but it is most definitely a long shot. We need a TON of help.

  21. Stephen

    September 12, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Giambi, Cano, Cabrera as your 7 thru 9 slots! Mussina as your spot starter! (Even at this diminished point of his career) We’ve got to hope the Indians fold. Sox foul ball called a homer today was a good start!

  22. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Jonesey looked like a big boy closer tonight!

  23. PHT in HK

    September 12, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Wow, wow, wow, wow! Gas can Jones must have had an extra helping of Wheaties today.

  24. T Smith

    September 12, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    My feeling is, this team will finish strong. Baring a collapse in the next few games, it will probably go down to the wire. We may lose more than two games here on out, but as long as there is hope, the Tigers will keep on wining.

    Which of course will makes all those 7-0 leads and blown ninth inning saves all the more painful.

  25. Kathy

    September 12, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Magglio with 132 rbi’s.

  26. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    You got it, T. If we don’t win the playoff spot in September, it will be because we lost it in July and August.

  27. William

    September 12, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    so, 5.5 back with 15 to play? if we could get it to 2 for the last 9 games (after the CLE series) we have a chance. of course, that will probably require a sweep in Cleveland.

  28. Stephen

    September 12, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Yeah, it’s hard to see this happening without a Cleveland sweep, not only from a numbers point of view, but also to put a psychological beat-down on them. If, somehow, we leave Cleveland 2 games back, it’s possible the Indians could wet the bed.

  29. Mike R

    September 12, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Jonesey looked like a big boy closer tonight!

    He has been just fine in the closers role since June 6th. I’ll keep saying it: he gets too much flack for being a decent to okay closer that’s good enough. Our worst memories of him this year are when Leyland’s hung him out to dry (Cleveland game on June 1st where he let him throw 945 pitches, for instance).

  30. charlie

    September 12, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    T

    you may be right, however as leyland says you gotta play 9 innings and 162 games…still about 15 left to play…we have to sweep the tribe next week and play hard the rest of the way. we are 5.5 out now and a sweep would make it 2.5 (tall order i know) but if that happens anything is possible. remember the twins won the division on the last game…fingers crossed anyway.

  31. T Smith

    September 12, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    ***If, somehow, we leave Cleveland 2 games back, it’s possible the Indians could wet the bed***

    Very possible. Would like to see us within four games back (three would be ideal, but not all too realistic) going into that series.

    I think the Tigers are going to win the series at the least, and very possibly sweep.

  32. Jeff

    September 12, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Keep in mind that Cleveland still has to fly out to Seattle for four games in the last week. Yes, it’s likely Seattle will be out of the race by then, but Cleveland’s not a great road team and if the Mariners could take 3/4 that would be huge.

  33. Ryan S

    September 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Our only hopes lie in sweeps. Either Boston over the Yankees or us over the Tribe (and even if we do that it’s still a long long long shot).

    Here’s to a 15 game win streak!

  34. Mark in Chicago

    September 12, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    You’re right Mike, I’m only joking. Jones has been solid most of the year, but he does have the reputation of a roller-coaster every time he takes the mound.

    I was just pleased we won.

  35. cib

    September 12, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Good evening all. First I would like to thank Billfer for arranging Blogger Night (last night’s game). It was fun to meet everyone and we had a bunch of funny drunks and circus freaks in our section for extra entertainment (not part of our group I mean!)

    Verlander was just amazing tonight. I suggest that we CLONE him continuously and eventually in 20 years we can have a rotation of five Verlanders every year.

    But seriously, whatever happens this season, with all the coulda-woulda-shouldas, all the injuries, this is a great team, they all have “heart”, they got into some bad cycles but they have never stopped trying to do it for us and they will be at the top for years to come. I enjoyed these past two evenings at the ballpark so much. I didn’t really need to be reminded of why I love baseball fanatically, but I was all the same.

  36. Stephen

    September 12, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Man, Delmon Young just played a catchable ball into a game-winning hr for Ortiz. Which sucks because i was hoping the Sox would let the Yankees get closer which would have them playing with alacrity this weekend. I don’t want the Sox to be so far up, that getting dusted by the Yankees doesn’t matter.

    God, the Devil Rays. Possibly the worst franchise in all of professional sports.

  37. T Smith

    September 12, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    cib:

    Riding the wave of your last post:

    Bold Perdictions:

    1. Maggs wins batting title.
    2. Maggs surpasses A-Rod in RBIs and wins MVP.
    3. Polanco surpasses Suzuki for # 2 spot in batting average.
    4. Verander has a 20 win season and lands the CY Young.
    5. Grandy is likened to Wille Mays (if only for a season)

    This team should be playing in October. It would be a crime if all the above peridictions come to fruition and they don’t make the playoffs. If the Tigers miss October play because of that dismal six week stretch (which if far more likely than not) it’s just a crying shame. This team that should be playing in October.

  38. William

    September 12, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Speaking of psychological beat-downs…I think the Sox owe the Yanks one this weekend.

  39. T Smith

    September 12, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Stephen:

    I was thinking the exact same thing watching the ninth inning of Rays/Sox game. Want the Red Sox to have to play for something this coming series with the Yanks. Unfortunately, five games back just means the Sox can affort to “rest” key players if need be — with no real need for urgency.

    It would appear the baseball Gods are simply laying it on the line for the Tigers… “…If you want in, you simply gotta win out the rest of your games…”

  40. Cameron in Singapore

    September 12, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Hey, I’m still holding out hope for a playoff spot. It all hinges on sweeping the Indians…if we do that we have a great shot at taking the division. If we can take 2 out of 3, we still have hope for a miracle. The Yankees will be tough unless they can be swept by the Red Sox.

  41. Rings

    September 13, 2007 at 12:05 am

    To continue the theme: There’s hope, no doubt, but not much of the realistic variety. The Tigers need to continue to play extremely well probably can’t afford more than 2-3 more losses…and they need one of the teams they’re chasing (Tribe or Yanks) to tank. It’ll be a tall task, especially considering the disarray of their rotation at the moment, where only two of their starters could be considered “reliable” at the moment.
    The fact of the matter is, they could win all their remaining games and still not make it, especially the way the Evil Empire is playing.
    On the bright side, however, at least they finally seem to be playing with a sense of urgency, which I feel has been lacking up until the past 8-10 days.
    Go Tigers!!

  42. tiff

    September 13, 2007 at 12:27 am

    lacking urgency in the past 8-10 days? haven’t they won 7 out of 10 games played in the past 9 days? I mean three wins sucks, but it doesn’t necessarily determine a lack of effort.

  43. T Smith

    September 13, 2007 at 12:45 am

    tiff:

    They have been playing with urgency the past 9 days. No one will argue that. Unfortunatley, I think what Rings is saying, they needed the same sense of urgency the past 20 days…

  44. Greg

    September 13, 2007 at 12:46 am

    T Smith – Hiding under a rock? lol, far from it. (who chided you, i dunno, although I know I took a different position) I totally stand behind my statements. In my humble opinion, then, and now, a team that is mediocre at best on the road(below .500, with a sample size of almost 70 games at the time) with most of their remaining games on the road, and with numerous injuries/issues with their rotation is a low % play to win at a 65% clip.

    Nevertheless, it has played out thusly, so far. Kudos, T Smith.

  45. Mike R

    September 13, 2007 at 12:53 am

    None of us should doubt the greatness that is T Smith!

  46. T Smith

    September 13, 2007 at 1:03 am

    I simply want to be wrong. I like being chided and humbled with the err of foolish notions when it serves the Tigers. Please let the Yankees lose.

  47. ron

    September 13, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Sign the guy who caught Sheffield’s homer, a nonchalant one handed grab.

  48. ron

    September 13, 2007 at 6:29 am

    The sense of urgency should begin in April, not Sept.

  49. Bill A \ Kal. MI

    September 13, 2007 at 8:01 am

    good game

  50. Rocky

    September 13, 2007 at 8:02 am

    good game

  51. BobS.

    September 13, 2007 at 9:18 am

    I’m starting to think that Dr.Jeckyll might be back for good.The problem is that when you let your guard down,Mr.Hyde puts the knife in.

  52. tiff

    September 13, 2007 at 10:07 am

    I agree the sense of urgency was lacking during the horrific slump, but they seem to perform when their backs are against the wall which reminds me of another detroit sports team from 2004…

  53. Rings

    September 13, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Indeed, Tiff…they’ve been playing with a sense of urgency recently, that I would argue has often been lacking throughout the season.
    As a group with “veteran” leaders, the team and management has preached patience in dealing with offensive slumps early in the year, bullpen slumps in early summer, and a team slump as the pennant race heated up. They always seemed to play with a “we’ll get it going eventually” attitude. Eventually seems to have finally arrived, just hopefully not too late.

  54. Coach Jim

    September 13, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Assuming we can sweep Cleveland, that only leaves 2.5 games to make up in the other 12/13 games. If Cleveland goes 7-6, we only need to go 9-3 to force game 163. Entirely do-able. If Cleveland hands us a 4-9 gift we only need to play .500. Entirely do-able.

    Can we bring Mickey Lolich back to pitch on 3 days rest?