Game 149: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: Perennial Cy Young contender against guy making his first start. This is one of those games you hope to steal.

The Tigers have faced Johan Santana 4 times this year. And while it hasn’t been easy in any start, they haven’t been completely stymied either. His last start against the Tigers he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while fanning 7 in 8 innings. The Tigers are loading up the lineup with righties as Ryan Raburn leads off and Marcus Thames makes the start at first base with Brent Clevlen getting an outfield start.

For the Tigers it will be Yorman Bazardo, acquired from the Seattle Mariners for Jeff Frazier. If Bazardo goes on to have success with the Tigers, it will be another instance of Jeff Weaver giving back to the organization. Bazardo was DFA’d to make room for Weaver when the Mariners signed him this offseason. Bazardo’s K rates aren’t particularly impressive with only 4.54/9 for Toledo this year, and 5.36/9 in his minor league career. But he does keep the ball in the park and doesn’t walk a whole lot.

Game Time 7:10 p.m.
DET @ MIN, Saturday, September 15, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: The Tigers won! The Yankees lost! The deficit is 2.5 games, which for some reason seems much more palatable than 3.5 did earlier this morning. Of course it could very well be back North of 3 games again tomorrow, but for the time being we’ve got ourselves a race.

The Tigers jumped out early on Johan Santana taking advantage of Carlos Guillen bloop hit and a Pudge Rodriguez baggie blast. It looked like it might be a relatively short night for Santana as the Tigers forced him to throw 45 pitches in the first 2 innings. That was the good news because Santana only needed 25 pitches to get through the next 3 innings as he clearly settled in.

The Twins kept things uncomfortable plating a run on a wild pitch, and turning a double, a fly ball, and a ground out into their second run. Bazardo was solid, but came up one out short of qualifying for the win. Actually, it was one strike away as he went up 0-2 on Jason Kubel and after a foul ball Bazardo widely missed the zone with 4 straight pitches.

The bullpen was mostly solid as Bobby Seay pitched a scoreless inning fanning 2. Joel Zumaya went 1 2/3 getting a double play on his first pitch and having an easy 1-2-3 8th. Todd Jones issued a 2 out walk, but the 9th was otherwise unavailable. The only blemish was Zach Miner’s outing, which would have been fine if not for that PFP stuff. A one out ground ball single by Nick Punto, a steal, and a walk had 2 men on. Miner got the comebacker to the mound, threw high to second pulling Santiago, who threw late to first, meanwhile Punto scored. A double play ball resulted in no outs and a run.

A win is a win and the Tigers are at the very least keeping the pressure on the Yankees and keeping Detroiters interested. A second straight sweep in the Metrodome is a lot to ask for, but when the rookie beats Cy Young, anything seems possible.

55 thoughts on “Game 149: Tigers at Twins”

  1. Bazardo out of the game bottom of the 5th, 2 out with 1 on 1st. Seay coming in for anybody out there not able to see or hear the game.

  2. Wow… If every pitch that was trown to Inge was from Santana, it would be as if he is Babe Ruth or Ted Willams…

  3. Santana has pitched like the god he is… It is an amazing fortune that the Tigers were able to sneak in those four runs before he got his mojo back.

  4. ..OK, we,ve got just three outs to go…. It’s that vast wasteland known as the Twins bottom order.. Lets not blow it

  5. two and a half back…that’s striking distance folks. gotta win tomorrow afternoon and make the yankees sweat it out at night.

  6. You mean Mike and the Maddog. I loved their spin last year. It was quite enjoyable listening to them throughout the ALDS.

    Stephen, I think you’re the perfect person to take them to the carpet. Of course the Tigers have to catch them first.

  7. That is to say, I loved listening to their confounded analysis and backpeddling antics after the second game of the ALDS. I wrote an entire piece last year about Mike and the Maddog and how wrong they were in their analysis of the ALDS (Yankees in Two). I can’t remember if I posted it here, but I really should have published it elsewhere just to humilate them.

  8. As we can see in this series, the Twins are beginning the decline in a big way. The writing is on that wall that this team better dive into rebuilding mode sooner rather than later.

    I look for them to trade Santana this next winter. He is going to be a free agent after ’08 and will surely be too expensive for the tight pockets.

    Here’s a thought: if that were to happen, would there be any possibility the Tigers could get into the bidding? What would it cost, and would it be worth giving up a big time prospect (such as Maybin) for only one year of Santana?

  9. “They have to catch them AND win the World Series or this year is a failure.”

    I’m not sure if you’re joking or not. I personally don’t hold the Tigers to THAT high of a standard. Not making the playoffs this year with the team they have would be a disappointment, but I wouldn’t even call it a failure since they’re at least in the race.

    If the Tigers get in the playoffs, regardless of how they do, then I call the season a success.

  10. Chris..re: Santana…I don’t think there is any way that they woudl trade him within the division.

    When he is a free agent, I would obviously love the idea of signing him, but I am sure it will be NYY, BOS, NYM, etc.

  11. ron,you think you might be setting the bar kind of high?I agree with JMD,making the playoffs in any pro sport makes the season something more than a failure(and for the Lions,a reason to declare a local holiday and shut down the city for a parade).
    Chris,I think you might too quick to dismiss the Twins.They were bitten by the injury bug this year(Liriano,Mauer,and a couple of pieces of their strong bullpen,Crain and Reyes)and for some inexplicable reason got rid of their very competent lead-off hitter mid-season.They’re a team that always seems to do more with less and their farm system has been consistently productive.I agree they have some big decisions to be making the next couple of years with Hunter,Nathan,and Santana and I think the Tigers should do their part to weaken a division rival by overbidding for Nathan and letting Todd Jones walk.

  12. TB:

    Thanks for the YouTube link. Thoroughy moronic. Here’s a litte response to that specific episode:

    ….To underscore this point, we need only look at Fransescas’s game-three analysis of the series. This was the one “shoe-in” win for the Yankees, based on Fransesca’s understanding of Kenny Rogers, ex-New York hurler set to pitch the pivotal game for the Tigers. Again Fransesca’s miscalculation was not without analysis. He and others like him did have considerable experience seeing Kenny Rogers up close in regular season games and in playoff situations, when Rogers had pitched both for the Yankees and for the Mets from 1996-2000. And Rogers stunk. The stats from ten years ago don’t lie. Forget about his 17 posted wins this season, forget about his impressive ERA this season, and forget about his sub-2.00 run ERA the last few games he pitched in 2006. When Rogers pitched in New York, he stunk. Period. Moreover, his overall track record against Yankee bats was atrocious. Bottom line: it was a foregone conclusion that Rogers would stink in game three and the Yankees would win.
    Again, the folly of this analysis is colossal. Did Fransesca even bother to look at the reason Rogers was able to win 17 games for the Tigers during the regular season (much more recent history than his performances that ran him out of town on a rail)? Did Fransesca even bother to pull up Roger’s track record during the 2006 season against the Chicago White Sox, a divisional foe of the Tigers and a slugging team on par or arguably better than the New York Yankees? If he did, he would have discovered that Kenny Rogers absolutely dominated the Chicago White Sox, just like he dominated the Yankees in game three of the ALDS. Just ask Ozzie Guillen (Chicago White Sox skipper) about Kenny Rogers if you want the real story. And the real story is simple. A veteran pitcher like Kenny Rogers, never known for being a hard thrower to begin with, must rely on continually developing and improving his pitches. He must rely on being crafty, on keeping hitters off balance, and on simply out-pitching opponents. He must also succeed at this quest if he is to continue pitching in the Big Leagues. If he doesn’t do these things well, and continually improve at these things, he simply does not advance his pitching career (certainly not to age 41), and he certainly does not pull off 17 wins at forty-one years of age. Just ask Al Leiter. He was that kind of pitcher. Like Rogers, Leiter was the kind of pitcher who actually improves with age. But no matter. This point is completely lost on Fransesca and friends who know only of Kenny Rogers, vintage 1996-2000, and who didn’t even bother to try to understand how it might be possible that Rogers recorded 17 wins this year, and for a playoff team no less. I need say no more about Kenny Rogers. Let his performance in game three speak for itself.
    Fransesca and crew will eat humble pie this winter because they simply did not see the train wreak coming. It was heading directly toward them faster than Joel Zumaya’s 103-mile-per hour fastball, the same fastball that mowed down the heart of George Steinbrenner’s 220 million dollar prized batting order. In the aftermath of picking up the pieces from the crash, one thing is certain. I don’t think Mike Fransesca will ever claim any future-postseason-series victory as a foregone conclusion, even if the New York Yankees do happen to face the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, or, God help them, the Kansas City Royals during the last three games of their regular season with the division title on the line….

  13. TB:

    Thanks for the YouTube link. Thoroughly moronic. Here’s a little response to comments made in that specific episode:

    ….To underscore this point, we need only look at Fransescas’s game-three analysis of the series. This was the one “shoe-in” win for the Yankees, based on Fransesca’s understanding of Kenny Rogers, ex-New York hurler set to pitch the pivotal game for the Tigers. Again Fransesca’s miscalculation was not without analysis. He and others like him did have considerable experience seeing Kenny Rogers up close in regular season games and in playoff situations, when Rogers had pitched both for the Yankees and for the Mets from 1996-2000. And Rogers stunk. The stats from ten years ago don’t lie. Forget about his 17 posted wins this season, forget about his impressive ERA this season, and forget about his sub-2.00 run ERA the last few games he pitched in 2006. When Rogers pitched in New York, he stunk. Period. Moreover, his overall track record against Yankee bats was atrocious. Bottom line: it was a foregone conclusion that Rogers would stink in game three and the Yankees would win.
    Again, the folly of this analysis is colossal. Did Fransesca even bother to look at the reason Rogers was able to win 17 games for the Tigers during the regular season (much more recent history than his performances that ran him out of town on a rail)? Did Fransesca even bother to pull up Roger’s track record during the 2006 season against the Chicago White Sox, a divisional foe of the Tigers and a slugging team on par or arguably better than the New York Yankees? If he did, he would have discovered that Kenny Rogers absolutely dominated the Chicago White Sox, just like he dominated the Yankees in game three of the ALDS. Just ask Ozzie Guillen (Chicago White Sox skipper) about Kenny Rogers if you want the real story. And the real story is simple. A veteran pitcher like Kenny Rogers, never known for being a hard thrower to begin with, must rely on continually developing and improving his pitches. He must rely on being crafty, on keeping hitters off balance, and on simply out-pitching opponents. He must also succeed at this quest if he is to continue pitching in the Big Leagues. If he doesn’t do these things well, and continually improve at these things, he simply does not advance his pitching career (certainly not to age 41), and he certainly does not pull off 17 wins at forty-one years of age. Just ask Al Leiter. He was that kind of pitcher. Like Rogers, Leiter was the kind of pitcher who actually improves with age. But no matter. This point is completely lost on Fransesca and friends who know only of Kenny Rogers, vintage 1996-2000, and who didn’t even bother to try to understand how it might be possible that Rogers recorded 17 wins this year, and for a playoff team no less. I need say no more about Kenny Rogers. Let his performance in game three speak for itself.
    Fransesca and crew will eat humble pie this winter because they simply did not see the train wreak coming. It was heading directly toward them faster than Joel Zumaya’s 103-mile-per hour fastball, the same fastball that mowed down the heart of George Steinbrenner’s 220 million dollar prized batting order. In the aftermath of picking up the pieces from the crash, one thing is certain. I don’t think Mike Fransesca will ever claim any future-postseason-series victory as a foregone conclusion, even if the New York Yankees do happen to face the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, or, God help them, the Kansas City Royals during the last three games of their regular season with the division title on the line….

  14. TB:

    Thanks for the YouTube link. Thoroughly moronic. Here’s a response to comments made on that specific episode…

    “….To underscore this point, we need only look at Fransescas’s game-three analysis of the series. This was the one “shoe-in” win for the Yankees, based on Fransesca’s understanding of Kenny Rogers, ex-New York hurler set to pitch the pivotal game for the Tigers. Again Fransesca’s miscalculation was not without analysis. He and others like him did have considerable experience seeing Kenny Rogers up close in regular season games and in playoff situations, when Rogers had pitched both for the Yankees and for the Mets from 1996-2000. And Rogers stunk. The stats from ten years ago don’t lie. Forget about his 17 posted wins this season, forget about his impressive ERA this season, and forget about his sub-2.00 run ERA the last few games he pitched in 2006. When Rogers pitched in New York, he stunk. Period. Moreover, his overall track record against Yankee bats was atrocious. Bottom line: it was a foregone conclusion that Rogers would stink in game three and the Yankees would win.
    Again, the folly of this analysis is colossal. Did Fransesca even bother to look at the reason Rogers was able to win 17 games for the Tigers during the regular season (much more recent history than his performances that ran him out of town on a rail)? Did Fransesca even bother to pull up Roger’s track record during the 2006 season against the Chicago White Sox, a divisional foe of the Tigers and a slugging team on par or arguably better than the New York Yankees? If he did, he would have discovered that Kenny Rogers absolutely dominated the Chicago White Sox, just like he dominated the Yankees in game three of the ALDS. Just ask Ozzie Guillen (Chicago White Sox skipper) about Kenny Rogers if you want the real story. And the real story is simple. A veteran pitcher like Kenny Rogers, never known for being a hard thrower to begin with, must rely on continually developing and improving his pitches. He must rely on being crafty, on keeping hitters off balance, and on simply out-pitching opponents. He must also succeed at this quest if he is to continue pitching in the Big Leagues. If he doesn’t do these things well, and continually improve at these things, he simply does not advance his pitching career (certainly not to age 41), and he certainly does not pull off 17 wins at forty-one years of age. Just ask Al Leiter. He was that kind of pitcher. Like Rogers, Leiter was the kind of pitcher who actually improves with age. But no matter. This point is completely lost on Fransesca and friends who know only of Kenny Rogers, vintage 1996-2000, and who didn’t even bother to try to understand how it might be possible that Rogers recorded 17 wins this year, and for a playoff team no less. I need say no more about Kenny Rogers. Let his performance in game three speak for itself.
    Fransesca and crew will eat humble pie this winter because they simply did not see the train wreak coming. It was heading directly toward them faster than Joel Zumaya’s 103-mile-per hour fastball, the same fastball that mowed down the heart of George Steinbrenner’s 220 million dollar prized batting order. In the aftermath of picking up the pieces from the crash, one thing is certain. I don’t think Mike Fransesca will ever claim any future-postseason-series victory as a foregone conclusion, even if the New York Yankees do happen to face the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, or, God help them, the Kansas City Royals during the last three games of their regular season with the division title on the line….”

  15. TB:

    Thanks for the YouTube link. Thoroughly moronic. Here’s a little response to comments made on that specific episode:

    “…To underscore this point, we need only look at Fransescas’s game-three analysis of the series. This was the one “shoe-in” win for the Yankees, based on Fransesca’s understanding of Kenny Rogers, ex-New York hurler set to pitch the pivotal game for the Tigers. Again Fransesca’s miscalculation was not without analysis. He and others like him did have considerable experience seeing Kenny Rogers up close in regular season games and in playoff situations, when Rogers had pitched both for the Yankees and for the Mets from 1996-2000. And Rogers stunk. The stats from ten years ago don’t lie. Forget about his 17 posted wins this season, forget about his impressive ERA this season, and forget about his sub-2.00 run ERA the last few games he pitched in 2006. When Rogers pitched in New York, he stunk. Period. Moreover, his overall track record against Yankee bats was atrocious. Bottom line: it was a foregone conclusion that Rogers would stink in game three and the Yankees would win.
    Again, the folly of this analysis is colossal. Did Fransesca even bother to look at the reason Rogers was able to win 17 games for the Tigers during the regular season (much more recent history than his performances that ran him out of town on a rail)? Did Fransesca even bother to pull up Roger’s track record during the 2006 season against the Chicago White Sox, a divisional foe of the Tigers and a slugging team on par or arguably better than the New York Yankees? If he did, he would have discovered that Kenny Rogers absolutely dominated the Chicago White Sox, just like he dominated the Yankees in game three of the ALDS. Just ask Ozzie Guillen (Chicago White Sox skipper) about Kenny Rogers if you want the real story. And the real story is simple. A veteran pitcher like Kenny Rogers, never known for being a hard thrower to begin with, must rely on continually developing and improving his pitches. He must rely on being crafty, on keeping hitters off balance, and on simply out-pitching opponents. He must also succeed at this quest if he is to continue pitching in the Big Leagues. If he doesn’t do these things well, and continually improve at these things, he simply does not advance his pitching career (certainly not to age 41), and he certainly does not pull off 17 wins at forty-one years of age. Just ask Al Leiter. He was that kind of pitcher. Like Rogers, Leiter was the kind of pitcher who actually improves with age. But no matter. This point is completely lost on Fransesca and friends who know only of Kenny Rogers, vintage 1996-2000, and who didn’t even bother to try to understand how it might be possible that Rogers recorded 17 wins this year, and for a playoff team no less. I need say no more about Kenny Rogers. Let his performance in game three speak for itself.
    Fransesca and crew will eat humble pie this winter because they simply did not see the train wreak coming. It was heading directly toward them faster than Joel Zumaya’s 103-mile-per hour fastball, the same fastball that mowed down the heart of George Steinbrenner’s 220 million dollar prized batting order. In the aftermath of picking up the pieces from the crash, one thing is certain. I don’t think Mike Fransesca will ever claim any future-postseason-series victory as a foregone conclusion, even if the New York Yankees do happen to face the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, or, God help them, the Kansas City Royals during the last three games of their regular season with the division title on the line…”

  16. TB:

    Thanks for the YouTube link. Thoroughly moronic. Here’s a little response to comments made in that specific episode:

    “….To underscore this point, we need only look at Fransescas’s game-three analysis of the series. This was the one “shoe-in” win for the Yankees, based on Fransesca’s understanding of Kenny Rogers, ex-New York hurler set to pitch the pivotal game for the Tigers. Again Fransesca’s miscalculation was not without analysis. He and others like him did have considerable experience seeing Kenny Rogers up close in regular season games and in playoff situations, when Rogers had pitched both for the Yankees and for the Mets from 1996-2000. And Rogers stunk. The stats from ten years ago don’t lie. Forget about his 17 posted wins this season, forget about his impressive ERA this season, and forget about his sub-2.00 run ERA the last few games he pitched in 2006. When Rogers pitched in New York, he stunk. Period. Moreover, his overall track record against Yankee bats was atrocious. Bottom line: it was a foregone conclusion that Rogers would stink in game three and the Yankees would win.
    Again, the folly of this analysis is colossal. Did Fransesca even bother to look at the reason Rogers was able to win 17 games for the Tigers during the regular season (much more recent history than his performances that ran him out of town on a rail)? Did Fransesca even bother to pull up Roger’s track record during the 2006 season against the Chicago White Sox, a divisional foe of the Tigers and a slugging team on par or arguably better than the New York Yankees? If he did, he would have discovered that Kenny Rogers absolutely dominated the Chicago White Sox, just like he dominated the Yankees in game three of the ALDS. Just ask Ozzie Guillen (Chicago White Sox skipper) about Kenny Rogers if you want the real story. And the real story is simple. A veteran pitcher like Kenny Rogers, never known for being a hard thrower to begin with, must rely on continually developing and improving his pitches. He must rely on being crafty, on keeping hitters off balance, and on simply out-pitching opponents. He must also succeed at this quest if he is to continue pitching in the Big Leagues. If he doesn’t do these things well, and continually improve at these things, he simply does not advance his pitching career (certainly not to age 41), and he certainly does not pull off 17 wins at forty-one years of age. Just ask Al Leiter. He was that kind of pitcher. Like Rogers, Leiter was the kind of pitcher who actually improves with age. But no matter. This point is completely lost on Fransesca and friends who know only of Kenny Rogers, vintage 1996-2000, and who didn’t even bother to try to understand how it might be possible that Rogers recorded 17 wins this year, and for a playoff team no less. I need say no more about Kenny Rogers. Let his performance in game three speak for itself.
    Fransesca and crew will eat humble pie this winter because they simply did not see the train wreak coming. It was heading directly toward them faster than Joel Zumaya’s 103-mile-per hour fastball, the same fastball that mowed down the heart of George Steinbrenner’s 220 million dollar prized batting order. In the aftermath of picking up the pieces from the crash, one thing is certain. I don’t think Mike Fransesca will ever claim any future-postseason-series victory as a foregone conclusion, even if the New York Yankees do happen to face the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, or, God help them, the Kansas City Royals during the last three games of their regular season with the division title on the line.”

  17. BobS, yes they had injuries. But mostly to a pitching staff that was pretty good anyhow. The biggest shortcoming of the team has to do with offensive production with a lineup that was pretty healthy. And that lineup is going to get weaker with the immanent departure of Tory Hunter. This team has to rebuild and they better get started on that soon so they can get a good for the opening of the new stadium in 2010. I think that this is in their plans and is revealed by the fact that they traded Castilio while being not too far out of contention (remember how this puzzled and angered Santana).

    Trading Santana would be a good move. They could get a very good prospect who could be developed into a star by 2010, and by that point, Santana would be long gone anyway.

    And would they not trade Santana to a division opponent? Well if they did, they would only be trading him for next year– a year in which they would be rebuilding anyway. Say if they traded him to the Tigers, by 2009 he could bolt as a high priced free agent to the Mets.

  18. Why trade when we can take by free agency.Mike Illich has shown a willingness to spend on his sports teams(if not the stadiums they play in,in which he is a beneficiary of the generous welfare we bestow upon the rich,which is to say all pro sports team owners,including Minnesota,where public money being used to build a new stadium is somewhat controversial given the recent tragedy there).
    I’m not sold on Maybin based on what I’ve seen so far,but I’m willing to trust the judgement of better baseball minds than my own and consider him likely a future star and cornerstone of this organization.Given that,I don’t know that I’d part with him under the terms you describe,i.e. one year of Santana,especially considering we’d have to watch anyone we give up for him 18 times a year.Maybe a sign and trade where we’d be assured of the services of Santana for a few years.

  19. If we make it to the playoffs, I would consider this year very much a success considering all that’s happened.

    My only concern, not really a concern, is if we will ever see Magglio as magnificent as he has been this year. I mean will he ever be able to put together a season as productive as this one. It’s been so special.

Comments are closed.