Game 157: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s Nate Robertson taking on Carlos Silva tonight. Nate’s turned in consecutive 7 inning outings. He fanned 5 and walked 3 while allowing one homer in each. One game he allowed 6 hits, the other 5. So for a guy that has vacillated between crappy and good, a brief moment of solid consistency is refreshing. One other thing to note, Nate has thrown exactly 7 innings in his last 5 starts against the Twins.

On the other side it is Carlos Silva. The sinkerballer will give up hits, but he doesn’t walk anyone (only 36 in 188 innings this year) so the damage is usually minimized.

Game Time 7:05

MIN @ DET, Monday, September 24, 2007 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

56 Comments

  1. Ian C.

    September 24, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Matthew LeCroy is starting at catcher for the Twins tonight. Last time he did that (with the Nats), the Astros stole seven bases against him.

  2. David

    September 24, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Interesting, Yanks lost, can they get swept by the Drays and can the Tigs sweep the Twins, yes and yes,

    even so still would be 2 games out with 3 games to go…

  3. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Yeah, it’s not over til it’s over. Although it really IS over. :-P

  4. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Grandy’s catch had best be a Web Gem!

  5. Steve in OH

    September 24, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Anything can happen… if they can’t win this after seeing the Yanks’ performance today, well it’ll speak for itself.

    Go Tigers!

  6. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    I’m not holding my breath, especially after watching them lose the division title on the last day of the season.

  7. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    I’m not holding my breath, as they are once again making a pitcher look much better than he actually is. :-P

  8. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    The pitching is pretty good tonight. Hate to see Carlos get anoher error. They just have got to put him at 1st. IMHO

  9. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    7 strong innings from Nate. Man, I hope we can win this game.

  10. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Our boys have this Silva guy thinking he’s Chow Mein Wang. :-P

  11. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Hm, which of our rookie right-handed batters will we put in to, y’know, CHOKE?

  12. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Knew it…

  13. Angus

    September 24, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Have to go to the 9th to dig this one out. 6 hits with no runs in is not good.

  14. Greg

    September 24, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    good thing we pinch hit Raburn…..

    I know Granderson struggles against lefties…….but doesn’t he have to learn to hit them eventually? Do they just plan on making Granderson a career platoon guy? Next year will be his 5th in the bigs.

  15. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I hope the Tigers trade Nate Robertson. This team will just not win for him. It’s pathetic.

  16. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    I’d rather they just HIT the darn ball for him. Ridiculous… It’s a SAD, SAD thing when a TWO RUN lead looks HUGE. Puh-lease…

  17. Mike R

    September 24, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Well, Robertson’s value is a ton less then what it was last year. We missed the boat on netting a very good return on him, but I’m for shopping him in the offseason. His value will only drop in the coming seasons.

    Then again, his 2007 is just what he is: a mid to high 4 ERA guy who’s a decent or good No. 4 starter. Throw out his 2006 season as it doesn’t line up with his career numbers and is looking like just one of those anomalies of a season.

    How good would’ve dealing Monroe and Robertson in a packaged deal last year been? Man, we could’ve robbed someone blind.

  18. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    They can still do it this year. We’ve got some guys sittin around they could use in a trade. It’s not that I don’t think Nate’s good, but his teammates somehow forget how to hit when he’s pitching.

  19. Stephen

    September 24, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    For the love of God, Rodney straighten your cap. You’re going for bad ass but you look like a dumb ass.

  20. Stephen

    September 24, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Sean Casey making late bid for most worthless .300 season in history of modern baseball. We can only hope it convinces another AL team to sign him for 2007.

    Uh, boy, I’m not really excited about the prospect of Sheffield having a big year in ’10 when he makes 13m.

  21. Greg

    September 24, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Somehow, I thought with the Tigers on the brink of elimination, they’d manage more than 0 runs against a soft tosser with a 4.40 era.

  22. Stephen

    September 24, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Pudge, please. pretty please.

  23. Adam

    September 24, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    I hate when it comes down to Pudge.

  24. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    cib, I hope you had a good time even though it was a nail-biter and we lost.

  25. Stephen

    September 24, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Well, that’s fitting.

  26. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    And THAT my friends is the difference between ’06 and ’07 in a nutshell.

  27. David

    September 24, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    And thats all she wrote

  28. Adam

    September 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    And that’s why. Check out how far out the catcher set up, and he still swung. Jeez.

  29. Kathy

    September 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    For the love of God, please get us a new shortstop.

  30. ron

    September 24, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    This team is so soft. Yankees lose and we cannot score one run. Fire Leyland, Pleeeease.

  31. Jeff

    September 24, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Sean Casey making late bid for most worthless .300 season in history of modern baseball

    I present you Alex “.322, 7 walks, .064 ISO” Sanchez.

  32. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    The whole team worked together to lose this one, with the exception of Nate.

  33. Greg

    September 24, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Jeff – concerning Alex Sanchez…. and his offense is his good side, have you ever seen him field?

  34. JML

    September 24, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Please tell me Sanchez isn’t on Leyland’s short list…

  35. Stephen

    September 24, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Sanchez’s OPS still higher than Casey’s.

  36. Jeff

    September 24, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Sanchez’s OPS still higher than Casey’s.

    Nope. Casey’s career is over .800 (and about .750 this year), Sanchez was around .700 (and even in his .322 year it was only .721). Add in his “defense” as Greg pointed out, and that remarkably low steal percentage given his speed, and we’re talking one horrible ballplayer.

  37. Stephen

    September 24, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    I was comparing Sanchez’s 2005 to Casey’s 2007.

  38. cib

    September 24, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    It was a pretty nice evening because I didn’t expect anything except a baseball game between two “meh” teams, and that’s exactly what I got. Ate all my favorite foods for the last time this season, got a little teary-eyed when “Eye of the Tiger” played and the Tigers’ eyes lit up, went down the ramp, went back in on the first level and looked at the field for a while, and that’s all she wrote. Thanks for thinking about me! See ya on the blog tomorrow night, I have some work to do at home but of course I will be commenting -

  39. David

    September 25, 2007 at 12:12 am

    whoops didn’t even know i dropped the $ bomb, sry, just frustrated

  40. Steve in Kzoo

    September 25, 2007 at 1:48 am

    Mike R wrote:

    “Well, Robertson’s value is a ton less then what it was last year. We missed the boat on netting a very good return on him, but I’m for shopping him in the offseason. His value will only drop in the coming seasons.

    Then again, his 2007 is just what he is: a mid to high 4 ERA guy who’s a decent or good No. 4 starter. Throw out his 2006 season as it doesn’t line up with his career numbers and is looking like just one of those anomalies of a season.”

    Mike in the other games’ comments you told me it would and will be hard to fill in Robertson. If we trade him we need a #3 or 4 starter in return straight up which is a waste I think. But your take on the Renteria thing kinda is true but is one of the few players Guillen will move for WHICH WE NEED! (Might I remind you that Guillen has commented 24 Errors to Renteria’s 11, while turning only 7 less DP then Guillen and thats because he was out with a spranged ankle.) True he may not be as good because its the AL jinx but we need someone. I don’t know who we could package for the braves besides Natey or Bondo but we do need a new SS so we can move Guillen to 1B. It’ll be an interesting offseason Mike for the Tigers none the less.

    PS Jerrod would command much more then just Nate and Monroe especially with the seasons they’ve had. Nate, JJJ and mid to low level prospect. And i’ve been following the Braves as long as i’ve been following the Tigers 18 years, I think I know a little more then you on them(no offense). They still have some nice prospects though the ones that shined are gone there are still some nice pieces there(Lillibridge, Jones, Devine, Acosta, Campbell[successor to Chipper] and Lerew.) Nice debating with ya though!! :)

  41. Jim

    September 25, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Nate will definatly be back next year. He is just a 4/5 starter sorta guy but he is durable and good for 30 starts every year. Considering how this year went health wise they’ll keep him around.

  42. Anthony L

    September 25, 2007 at 9:02 am

    “Yankees lose and we cannot score one run. Fire Leyland, Pleeeease.”

    Amen to that. I can’t believe Jim subbed every batter on the roster for himself only to go out there and get out every single time! For every other manager out there who wants to pinch hit yourself into every slot on the lineup TAKE HEED!

  43. cib

    September 25, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Hey, one thing for all of you to ponder. Last night Pudge was wearing his socks up, like Curtis. This NEVER happens. I also noticed that he and Magglio went to the stands and signed a LOT of autographs before the game. It was kind of different.

    But what about the socks. A sign of something? What??

  44. Kathy

    September 25, 2007 at 10:29 am

    cib, Pudge has wore his socks up quite a number of times this year and I wondered the same thing. Think his new wife has anything to do with it? Maybe she likes it. Someone wrote an article in the FP or News that Pudge already knows he’s coming back next year and how happy he’s been lately. I’m thinking the same thing.

    I also agree that Leyland should have pinch hit for Sheff. He’s just been useless.

  45. Kathy

    September 25, 2007 at 10:37 am

    You know what’s gonna kill me, cib, is watching the playoffs this year and feeling jealous and mad all at the same time.

    Every time that guy comes on in the ad and says”there’s only one postseason, one Fall Classis, one October” I think about last year and want to cry.

  46. cib

    September 25, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Kathy, I used to always root for the AL team no matter who it was, because there was such a long stretch that it couldn’t have been the Tigers anyway, I figured the champion should be a team who represented our league.
    However after last year that has all changed. Since I used to live in Chicago for law school and have a lot of friends there, I am now officially rooting for the Cubs. So I have a home, sort of.
    But basically I’ll be like those people from the Tommy Lasorda commercials from last season, hiding under their dining room table . . . (I liked those ads)
    Plus, MSU basketball is getting underway-

  47. Kathy

    September 25, 2007 at 11:43 am

    That was an hysterical ad. Loved it too. I don’t know what team I’ll root for yet, however it would be nice for the cubbies to finally win one. I like the Angels also. Whoever it is, they gotta have heart. Hah!!

  48. Jim

    September 25, 2007 at 11:47 am

    If tigers don’t make it I’m rooting for the cubbies.

  49. Kurt

    September 25, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I’ll be rooting for the Cubs. Kinda hard not to. Who could dislike the Cubs?

  50. Greg

    September 25, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    The dbacks. Rumor has it, their players actually hustle, actually run out every ground ball, play the game right…..

    No wonder they’re ‘blowing up’ the pythagorean theorum of Wins.

    Gotta love a team that plays hard.

  51. ron

    September 25, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    No heart=lousy manager.

  52. T Smith

    September 25, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Wow. I’m impressed. Finally! Somebody in the press who has some cohones and calles a spade a spade. Too bad Jeff Meade didn’t print this article in August.

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.....0/SPORTS02

  53. Greg

    September 25, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    The writer makes some good points, but I don’t agree with everything he says. But particularly perlexing is the statement that he gets a free pass from most fans? Is he kidding? I’m not sure how he can think that, as, conducting a personal survey of encounters over the course of this season of about…..a few dozen, maybe even 100, I honestly can’t remember the last time I found a fan that DIDN’T think he was horrible…..no wait, I remember, it was during game 4 of the ALCS last year at Comerica Park, the last time I recall hearing a fan say something good about Leyland. I’ve gone to quite a few games this year, haven’t come across ONE single person who liked Leyland, not even one.

    I love Leyland, but he isn’t perfect. I agree that he ‘rests’ his players too much. Even in important games going down the stretch. I’m starting to think that he’s managing players who had silver spoon in hand when they were born, because, unless your behind the plate, the life of a Major Leaguer itself is a lifestyle of rest. If you get tired from the supposed grind of the season(a really, really silly notion), then you are not conditioned properly, to say the least.

    Not to mention, I doubt people paid money to see the Toledo Mud Hens instead of the Tigers.

    One thing people don’t want to admit, last year’s team wouldn’t have come close to contending if Leyland didn’t kick their tail early on, they were on a mission last year, and Leyland was a big part of that.

  54. David

    September 25, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I think he babies most of them too much esp. the SP taking out too early. How many CG do we have this year as a team?

    ESPN’s close and late stat – we are 13/14 (only ahead of KC) in RS and OPS

    And 13/14 in pitching (only ahead of TB) with a 4.43 ERA

    On a side note our pitchers have the worst F% in the league

  55. T Smith

    September 25, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Greg –

    I know you’re pro-Leyland, as are many others, and I do respect the position. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I do understand it. There is one thing I do like about Leyland, which I’ve pointed out before (for which I subsequently have been crucified); nonetheless, I stick to the viewpoint.

    The players seem to love and respect him (especially the veterans). For some reason, they’re just all smitten with him. Sheffield (that’s saying something), Polanco, Jones, Guillen, Maggs, Pudge…they all play as if they’re rookies again — all for Jim Leyland. Down to the very last one of them. They want to play hard for him. They want to please him. For all Leyland’s faults, he seems to have an ability to manage egos, motivate individuals, show players how to transcend, connect, and identify to the higher concept of team — even the players that make 10, 12, 15 million dollars. In other words, he somehow has a talent of displacing “ego” out of the “team”, without removing ego. Anyone who understands the chemistry of a winning team knows there is most definately something to that. I’m not sure you can quantify the quality I’m talking about — and I’m not even sure other good managers aren’t equally good at it, and I’m not even sure how important that quality is with a group of professional baseball players who are paid to preform, supposedly without being stroked by some cheerleading manager/motivator. But I could easily see this same band of players perform like the 2005 Tigers — complacent, underachieving, etc. In other words, this same group of guys could easily be 70-92 under different management (for all intents and purposes, this is more or less the same team as the Trammel-led 2005 Tigers) . Leyland has mojo, for lack of a better word, over the team. As 75% of the game is half mental, there is definately a quality Jim Leyland has that is important to the game.

    That said, Jim Leyland is perhaps the lousest strategic mananger I have ever seen manage the game. Worst, he is not held accountable and is preceived as a Saint in Detroit (thus he can continue to get away with all his picadillos) — He who single-handedly transformed twenty years of losing baseball in Motown in one season! (so is the general public perception) In addition, I have never seen a manager so “deer-in-the-headlights” when the Tigers began to collapse two weeks after the all-star break. He honestly had no idea what to do or how to right the ship. He tried the “back-off” approach from the players, hoping they would right themselves. He kept telling his team they were a “damn good ballclub” when they were playing the worse baseball in the league — for a prolonged stretch. He scoffed at the sense of “urgency” when the media began to get anxious about falling out of contention and insisted that the “Tigers could “make those games up real fast.” To sum it up, Leyland utterly failed as the captain of the ship from July 19 – Sept 1. If you look at the season, that is the stretch of play that determined an Octoberless season for the Detroit Tigers. And don’t say injuries were the primary cause (I concede injuries hurt the Tigers — but a lot of teams deal with injuries)… The Tigers were plagued with injuries for the first half of the season, too, yet they were wtill a first-place team. I’m sorry, I blame Jim Leyland. When people say, “Be happy! This team won 88 or 90 games (or whatever) even with all the injuries,” I say, this is a team that could have won 110 games healthy. That’s right, 110 games. I’ll give you 10 – 15 games because of the injuries.

    I don’t know the solution to Leyland. Part of me does like him, but he is really kinda like an idiot-sevant in so many ways. If we’re gonna keep him, we have to somehow figure out a way to remove the “idiot” from the equation.

  56. Greg

    September 26, 2007 at 12:25 am

    T Smith – good post. I totally agree with his leadership abilities. As to the significance of having that ability, I think its impossible to underestimate the importance of that. I also think its an increasingly uncommon skill in a day where the ‘inmates’ ( made up of numerous prima donnas and gargantuan egos with multi million dollar contracts) run the asylum more and more often.

    As to his faults, in my humble opinion, they’re not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. I used to get frustrated over managerial decisions, until, I took an unbiased step back, and realized that, every single manager, without exception, makes controversial decisions all the time. I can’t think of a single manager that has a significant amount of support from fans for any length of time. Plus, I’ve discoverd a number of factors that should be taken into consideration. For instance, people often assume that certain decisions were the manager’s, when sometimes they’re not(bunts, steals, ‘green light’ on 3-0 from time to time, the list goes on). Also, there have been a number of times when there are extenuating circumstances that make suspect decisions more understandable when seen in a different light(the ‘light’ of added knowledge that effects a situation, ie. not pinch hitting someone in a certain situation when it turns out they were sick, there are dozens of other examples similar to this).

    Furthermore, I know numerous times people have been upset, frustrated, myself included, over non-moves that should have been made(leaving pitchers in too long, keeping a hitter who is really scuffling at the plate in the game in a tough matchup, one that he’ll likely lose, not pinch running in a certain situation, etc.). But, IMO, there’s just no way he can be that ignorant and still command the respect that he does from people all across the baseball industry. I think, not always, but more than half the time, there’s a reason. He’s thinking long term, he’s thinking, ‘I don’t want this guy worried about his job, I want to build his confidence that I completely trust him in these situations, and if he struggles, if he loses a couple of ball games, that’s ok, because he’s got to work through that, grow, and learn from these pressure situation.

    There are countless examples of this, I won’t type them all here, but the point is illustrated.

    Does he take that too far sometimes? I think so(ie. staying with Monroe so long, keep running Rodney out there blowing games early in the season when it was clear he didn’t have it).

    So he’s not perfect, but I still think he’s solid.

    In any event, regardless of the opinion one holds for Leyland, the fact is he’s absolutely adored by ownership and Dombrowski. He’s not going anywhere. I, for one, am glad.

    Is he really loved in Detroit? I’m in Ohio, so I guess you’d know more than I, but I’ve been to a couple dozen games this year, I’m almost always surrounded by numerous armchair managers who loathe him. No joke.