Game 159: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: The last home game of the year. [blogger looks melancholy]

A couple years ago I started going to the last home game of the year and it’s kind of become a little tradition. Kind of like opening day only sadder. Still, it’s my own way of saying good bye to summer. It’s overcast and drizzly and it really does seem like the summer is over now.

In any case, it will be Johan Santana taking on Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens was roughed up in his last start as he battled his command – the element that had made him so effective in his other starts. But in his last start against the Twins he took a no hitter into the sixth inning. I’m hoping for more of that.

And chances are he’ll need it because I don’t like the Tigers chances of tagging Santana for 4 runs again in the first inning like they did in his last start.

Game Time 7:05 pm
MIN @ DET, Wednesday, September 26, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: No, I didn’t stay through the rain delay this time. It was a slightly different circumstance, being with the kids on a school night and all. Still, we enjoyed our abbreviated night.

There was a nice on field ceremony to recognize Pudge’s 2000 games caught, Granderson’s quad-20, Polanco’s errorless streak, and Todd Jones 300th save. Meanwhile, their teammates were signing a ton of autographs and talking with the fans. An hour and a half before the game, Fernando Rodney was the only player from either team out on the field, and he was signing for whoever had something.

As for the game itself, Jurrjens couldn’t find the strike zone in the first inning, and it resulted in 4 runs. Fortunately Johan Santana couldn’t find the strike zone, and got no help from his defenders, and it resulted in 3 runs for the Tigers.

In this situation the rain delay favored the Tigers as both starting pitchers were knocked out, and as well as Jurrjens has done, he ain’t no Santana. And the Tigers jumped all over Blackburn, Santana’s replacement, as they batted around in the 4th. That proved to be the end of the scoring as the rains once again came.

So they shut the lights off at Comerica for the last time tonight, and the Yankees made it official by stomping the Devil Rays. Sigh.


  1. Anthony L.

    September 26, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Enjoy the game tonight sir. I’m really interested to see how well JJ does. It really seems like he has the ability to turn in to a great pitcher down the road.

  2. Kevin in Austin

    September 26, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Last game with the home broadcast. Bummer.

  3. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Bases loaded, one out. Morneau up.

  4. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Can’t believe Pudge isn’t catching Jair.

  5. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    They’re gonna have to pull him.

  6. Kevin in Austin

    September 26, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    Well, maybe not that big of a deal.

  7. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Well, that sucks.

  8. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Billfer gets to watch Grilli.

  9. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    40 pitch first inning brought to you by Jair Jurrjens.

    Previously the “holy crap” rookie sensation of the second half.

  10. Greg

    September 26, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Man, Jair get rocked by KC as well. I really hope Santana continues to struggle, Yanks are already losing, so the door is open…..gotta jump on him early.

  11. alex

    September 26, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    there’s always next year…

  12. Greg

    September 26, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Johan 1-3 vs. Tigers this year. Has given up 4 or more runs in 5 of his last 6 starts, and has a 4.82 ERA in September. Let’s hope he stinks it up again.

  13. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    We’ll have to count on Inge.

  14. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Bases loaded, no outs. Bases loaded, one out. Bases loaded, two outs.

    Bases loaded. Three freaking outs.

    I know it’s going to happen.

  15. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Ok, so maybe I was overdramatic.

    Three walks in one inning by Santana. Weird.

  16. alex

    September 26, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    stay of execution please god.

  17. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:53 pm


  18. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Fly ball and we’re tied. Come on Polly.

  19. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Oh…well crap.

  20. David

    September 26, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    3 runs on 1 hit, =)

  21. David

    September 26, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    BTW I won’t jinx them but if any of you are interested go look at the yanks opposing sp untill the last game of the season, i’ll just say that including today 4/5 have done w_ll in their last start,

    Go Jair Go

  22. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    I want to know how many times Sheff has popped out.

    It’s got to be like a thousand.

  23. cib

    September 26, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    My section-mates and I were discussing this Monday: Sheff is popping up because of his shoulder, his whole stance and swing are all off kilter. He ought to be sitting down.

  24. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    It seems strange to see all that rain. We had rain in this area early this morning but it’s actually beautiful out right now and I’m only 2 hours west of the CoPa.

  25. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Last pitch to Marcus was clearly a ball on Gameday, how did it look IRL?

  26. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I agree cib. He’s basically useless right now but I think they still like him in the lineup. Hope he can get it right during the off season. We need his bat.

  27. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Yankees up.

  28. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Welcome to the “Love Leyland” movie on FSN.

  29. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    I love listening to his story about his youth. We used to do the same thing…go outside and play all day right up until dusk and then you’d hear the moms calling the kids in.

  30. cib

    September 26, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    I could recite Jim Leyland’s life story in my sleep, lol.
    I think the bloggers here should meet somewhere for a little party in the off season. At least the ones who are in SE Michigan. Sort of like our own Winter Meetings. What do you think?

  31. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Poor Tigers. Had to go back into the clubhouse and watch the Yankees go up 8-1.

  32. David

    September 26, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    8-1 NY =(

  33. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    What a bummer!

  34. David

    September 26, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    i love mario and rod but this got me rolling on the floor

  35. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    At least the Tigers can go out in flames.

  36. Jeff

    September 26, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Ichiro is 0 for 3 and has been yanked, so he’s at .349. Maggs just got pulled too of course and is at .359.

    It’s not as exciting as regular scoreboard watching, but the Tigers haven’t had a batting champion in 46 years, so it would be neat.

  37. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    We have 50 triples as a team now.

    Pretty sure.

  38. Ian C.

    September 26, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    That YouTube is brutal. But I still laughed.

    And if there are “Winter Meetings” for bloggers, pencil me in. I’d love to meet up.

  39. Jeff

    September 26, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Quick look at the batting race. If Maggs plays the final three games and goes oh-fer-14, he’d end up at .351. Ichiro is at .3485. If he gets 5 at-bats per game over the last four games, he’d have to get 9 hits in 20 at-bats to overtake Maggs.

    I’m not saying this race is over, but it’s going to be really tough for Ichiro to overtake Maggs.

  40. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    All I can say about the You Tube thing is I wonder if Rod would find it amusing?

  41. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    And for all you Leyland haters, the Tigers website has an article regarding Jim Leyland hoping to get another year extension to his contract. He loves it in Detroit and is very happy. That’s what it says.

  42. Stephen

    September 26, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    I heard on the broadcast tonight, Leyland was telling reporters today about how much ‘heart’ this team had.

    Well, now that Captain Bligh has brought it up…Ah, forget it.

    Instead, I’m just gonna crank up the Doobie Brothers singing ‘What A Fool Believes.’

  43. Ben in Denver

    September 26, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Well there it is. Too bad. It’s been fun.

  44. Stephen

    September 26, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    10:39 eastern standard time.

  45. David

    September 26, 2007 at 10:47 pm


    90 wins?

  46. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I hurt all over. 🙁

  47. David

    September 26, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    btw assuming we win today our record at home would only be ONE (1) game worse than last year

  48. Jim

    September 26, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Kind of fitting it rains today isn’t it?

  49. Shane trapped in Athens, Ohio

    September 26, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    I for one, hope that Jim Leyland gets an extension. I think he has been the best thing for the Tigers since David Dombrowski. Sure I do not agree with every little thing he does, but I have been in agreement with him more times than not. Definitely, the best manager since Sparky (yeah I know there is not much competition). Yet again I am one of those losers who think a winning baseball team is pretty special in Detroit.

  50. cib

    September 26, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I knew it was going to happen but I feel kind of nauseated. Or like I could have done something with all of my little game-watching rituals, to make it come out different.

  51. Adam

    September 26, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Well, at least the Tigers won.

    Nice, fun, five-inning game.

  52. cib

    September 26, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Good night to all and on to Chicago. It will be nice to see Magglio clinch the title in the city, and against the team, that turned on him for being injured. Chicago is a mean mean town.

  53. Kathy

    September 26, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Forgot about that, cib. Yea, I’ll bet he’s really looking forward to it. The team that threw him away and broke his heart. Go Maggs and Go Tigers in Chicago.

  54. JML

    September 26, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    I’ll be at the game Sunday, can’t wait!

  55. Mike R

    September 26, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    i love mario and rod but this got me rolling on the floor

    hahahaha. Oh man, I had this weird mix of unbridled laughter mixed with guilt when the part with Rod kicking in going “Look at Leyland!”

    Mostly unbridled laughter.

  56. tiff

    September 26, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I wanna quote this to all my Chicago friends:
    “The fans here are way better than Chicago.” – Magglio Ordonez.

    I’m still hoping we take it to the Sux this weekend, just for being who they are. I’ll probably be away from the Internet, but I just want to thank everyone here for being believers through it all for the most part, and most importantly, for being Tigers fans. Can’t wait til Tigerfest 2008!

    Also, if there is a Winter meet up to remind me that March isn’t that far away, I’m totally in.

  57. DH in DC

    September 27, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Hard to believe that in July the Tigers had the best record in baseball, and that at the break many were picking them to win the Series. Sigh.

  58. feilong80

    September 27, 2007 at 12:06 am

    It’s finally over. Wow. Well, not the season, but the playoff hopes. You know, I declared the season over a long time ago, but of course I wanted to be wrong, and held out hope.

  59. ron

    September 27, 2007 at 1:11 am

    Splat! Put the toe tag on. It’s over. Still can’t believe we lost the Series last year and didn’t even make the playoffs this year. We got .300 hitters up the ying yang and one who is closer to .400 than .300. We got a guy in centerfield who comes along once every 30 or 40 years and a perrenial all star catcher. Then there’s Verlander. We have not won a World Series in 23 years. This was our turn and someone took cuts. Their is some explaining to do. I hope someone steps up to the plate with no excuses.

  60. David

    September 27, 2007 at 2:13 am

    Polanco, Guillen, Maggs and Grandy, Pudge, Verlander and Grandy plan on comming back

    There is no I in team, and as the Red Sox and Indians could say last year and we can say this year and in ’05 IMO we made some mistakes yes but our record was worse than it should have been. But then again I think in ’06 it was better than it should have been.

    The one thing I can tell you is that our team will be a strong team for along time it looks like.

    Plus, next year we will no longer be the hunted, or at least as much.

    Also hopefully Bondo can do what he has done over so many half seasons for a full season.

    Maybe Zumaya won’t be out for the year and Rodney won’t be playing injured. Maybe Rogers will be around for the entire year and Inge will work his a$$ off in the offseason and come out with a fire.

    Maybe Robertson will get some run-support and get back for all the crappy games he has lost

    Maybe Ordonez and Polanco have found and will display their true potential.

    Maybe we’ll get a SS with more range and move Guillen to 1st, or get a real nice hitting 1st sacker and dump Casey, maybe we’ll get a LF, maybe BoBo Bonds who knows

    who are we going to draft next year

    I think we could win a few WS in the next 5 years, as we’ve seen it all comes down to health.

    GO TIGERS ’08 here we come.

  61. Michael

    September 27, 2007 at 6:11 am

    I’m a metro Detroiter, but I’m displaced. I am a Minnesota Twins fan. A huge one. With that having been said, I’m sad to see that my Twins beat you guys during the first game. I love my Twins, but now that they’re out, I wanted to see the Tigers beat the Yankees. Oh well. There’s always 2008…for the Wild Card because the Twins will clinch the Central…hopefully…prayerfully…probably not…

  62. BobS.

    September 27, 2007 at 7:49 am

    I wasn’t aware Twins fans existed 15 miles outside of Minneapolis-St.Paul city limits.Thank you for your concern.
    Here’s hoping the Tigers benefit from the free agent exodus from the Twins.

  63. Mike R

    September 27, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Billfer: I don’t know if you want to make this into a post or not, but a guy named Justin Inaz who wrote for The Hardball Times Annual this passed year released, via his own blog, his defensive rankings for the 2007 season up to the day he posted it. Carlos Guillen was ahead of only 7 shortstops in all of baseball defensively. Here is the link.

    Santiago rated well, though.

  64. Adam

    September 27, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Guillen really needs to move to first. Isn’t Renteria a free agent this year?

  65. Kathy

    September 27, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Here’s who’s available:

    Player Team Position Roster Service Agent Age Opt

    Royce Clayton Boston Red Sox SS 25-man 14.132 Arn Tellem (previously Rick Licht, Ken Felder) 37

    Ramon E. Martinez Los Angeles Dodgers SS 25-man 8.017 Alan Nero 34 T

    David Eckstein St. Louis Cardinals SS 25-man 6 Ryan Gleichowski 32

    Jose Hernandez Pittsburgh Pirates SS Minors 13.069 Scott Boras 38

    Tomohiro Nioka Yomiuri Giants SS Japan 0 31

    Tomas Perez Chicago Cubs SS Minors 7.14 33

    Neifi Perez Detroit Tigers SS Suspended 9.126 Adam Katz, Paul Kinzer 34

    Desi Relaford Texas Rangers SS Minors 8.015 Dan Lozano, Danny Horwits 34

    Juan Uribe Chicago White Sox SS 25-man 5.089 Martin Arburua (fired Scott Boras after trade to CHW from COL) 28 T

    Omar Vizquel San Francisco Giants SS 25-man 17.13 Adam Katz 40

    2007-2008 Off-Season Shopping Guide

  66. Kathy

    September 27, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Renteria’s contract is thru ’08.

  67. Mike R

    September 27, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Eh. Renteria in that link I gave a few posts up is way ahead of Guillen defensively, but a lot of other defensive metrics show that he’s average or below average — essentially the same as Guillen — defensively. Plus, he’s older and has injury concerns as well.

  68. Chris

    September 27, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I don’t think your twins are going to win anything in the next few years. I see a little storm over the baseball horizons of the twin cites. The twins have some good pitching and probably would have competed for the Central this year on that alone, but the offense was almost non-existent. And now it is going to get weaker with the departure of Tory Hunter. The only significant RBI producer left is Morneau, with almost no protection around him. With that, there is no reason to pitch to him anything over the plate.

    The Twins are a smart organization, and that is why I think they are going to go into a quick rebuilding mode. Rumor has it that they are shoping Santana’s last contractual year to clubs such as the Doggers. No doubt, that they would get something much better than a single season of an outstanding pitcher on a team going nowhere in ’08.

  69. David

    September 27, 2007 at 11:06 pm


    Is it a shocker that the only two Tigers that should get a GG according to his rankings are Inge and Grandy.

    Really depends what you want in a SS, but we already might have the answer.

    IMO Inge would be an A++ at SS. We could go out and get Luis Castillo – give us some more speed which IMO we need and either stick him at 2nd or 3rd w/o Polanco wanted.

    If you want to leave Inge at 3rd and Poly at 2nd fine.

    The best Defensive SS on the market by far is Vizquel, has just under a .900 ZR – the best at SS in Major League Baseball. Is normally in the top 3 from what I saw.

    Of course if Arod opts out… and is willing to take a pay cut, double doubt it, maybe big I can add more seats to the park bring in the fences alittle – add some seats in CF to pay for Arod. In any event, I’d like to see them add 10,000 seats.

  70. ron

    September 28, 2007 at 1:38 am

    If Randolph and the Mets don’t make the playoffs, then he will jump ahead of Leyland on the list of managers who did so little with so much.

  71. Greg

    September 28, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Guillen…..not dead last in the zone ratings? Proof the zone ratings are worthless. To be conservative, I think I’ve seen 50 ground balls that Guillen simply didn’t bend over for and went right under his glove as he was moving to his left or right. Not to mention the NUMEROUS routine double play balls he’s botched that ended up being mere force outs at 2nd.

    Having Betancourt so low further shatters ZR credibility. Looks like Ozzie Smith the games I’ve seen him.

  72. billfer

    September 28, 2007 at 10:41 am

    What makes them worthless? Guillen doesn’t rate last in a ton of defensive metrics. Bottom third sure, but Jeter, Perralta, Uribe, and Ramirez are good bets to finish below Guillen.

    Zone rating, or revised zone rating, are both far superior to fielding percentage.

  73. Greg

    September 28, 2007 at 11:17 am

    If that’s the case, I would throw out those metrics. I’ve seen Guillen play short quite a bit. I’ve watched a lot of baseball, I have to go back to the late 80’s to find someone who was as bad at fielding SS. I’d take Jeter over Guillen in a heartbeat….no offense Carlos.

    Perralta’s pretty bad, but at least he’s willing to fully bend over, and even go to the dirt occassionally, to stop a ground ball right below his glove as he’s moving to his right or to his left.

    Put it this way, if….Alex Sanchez rated first in a certain defensive metric, and well above Curtis Granderson, would you put much stock in the metric? If numerous metrics put Alex Sanchez at the top, would that change your mind any about the reliability of said metrics?

    “Zone rating, or revised zone rating, are both far superior to fielding percentage.”

    I know some people believe that, but, if the zone rating is coming up with this type of data, they’re not going to convince me. Actually, they’re both(fielding %) on shaky ground in terms of ‘credibility’ in my opinion. Some of the scoring decisions this year… many routine plays being ruled hits instead of errors(Carlos being one of the beneficieries).

    I just watch the games. I can tell who has good range and who doesn’t, and which plays should be made.

    They’ve got to move Carlos to first, IMHO.

  74. Kathy

    September 28, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Amen, Greg.

  75. ron

    September 28, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Zone ratings, defensive metrics? Are we developing a new weapons system I haven’t heard about?

  76. Lee Panas

    September 28, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    I think zone ratings work reasonably well. They tell me that Granderson, Polanco, Inge and Ordonez had very good range this year. They tell me that Casey and Guillen did not. They also say that Ordonez imporved a lot this year. That all sounds about right to me.

    In the second half, we all saw Guillen not get to balls he would have gotten to in the past. His range was ok in the first half when he was healthier and if I remember correctly the stats showed that. Most of us did not see Jeter, Peralta, Ramirez, etc play nearly as much as we saw Guillen so I don’t think you can make a fair range comparison just based on observation.

  77. Matt in Toledo

    September 28, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Lee, I was going to say something similar about evaluating opponents’ defense. We see Guillen every day but not the other guys and I think that’s why we have to trust a play-by-play metric unless we have time to pore over replays.

    I’d think another reason we can’t fairly compare Guillen with opponents is we’re Tiger fans. When a hit goes up the middle or between short and third, we might burn the image of Guillen’s outstretched glove into our brain. Yet, when the same happens to say, Jeter, we’re probably thinking, “Polanco got a single. Nice.” In other words, we’re Tiger-centric and I think that probably taints our ability to evaluate defense in a disinterested way.

  78. Greg

    September 28, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    How many games does one need to see? Besides, its not as though these guys are close, I’ve never seen ANYONE as bad as Guillen as SS, in all of baseball, since Julio Franco in…..I think it was the late 80’s. The next worse guy isn’t even close, IMHO.

    I understand your logic and thought process about ‘bias’, but in this case it really doesn’t apply. There’s no bias in seeing Guillen just letting the ball roll DIRECTLY under his glove, maybe 4 dozen times this year? I’ve seen Inge do that once, and I haven’t seen a single other Tiger do that a single time that I can think of. Not Polanco, not Casey, none of the OF’s trying to cutoff a ball. I’ll occassionally see someone else do it, occassionally. But I’ve seen well over a dozen Mariner games, maybe 20, I’ve seen him in previous years as well, and in those I’ve seen Betancourt look like the spittin’ image of Ozzie Smith at SS. He didn’t make any wild throws, he was spectacular. Then some metric comes along and says he’s below average?…..rubbish

    I think what happens is, people forget that stats are tools, but when you start to believe that your tools are smarter than you are, well, you run into problems, you get led astray, and sometimes, common sense gets thrown out.

  79. Mike R

    September 28, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    If you haven’t seen anyone as bad as Guillen at SS in baseball you clearly don’t watch Derek Jeter or Hanley Ramirez. Both are BRUTAL to watch in the field.

  80. Greg

    September 28, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    I’ve seen plenty of Jeter, he’s better than Guillen in the field in my opinion, not that he’s great, but not nearly as bad as Carlos. Besides, in my book, his grit, hustle, and determination go a long way. He never slacks off. Guillen’s flippant, ‘eh, I don’t feel like fully bending over to stop that ground ball, too much effort’ is maddening.

    Hanley, I’ve seen small doses of him, so I can’t really say much empirically, but he didn’t look too hot when I’ve seen him. And I’ve heard accounts of how bad he is.

    But Guillen, to me, is painful to watch, at short. Surprisingly, he mystically transforms into an adequate defender at 1st.

  81. David

    September 28, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    In ’04 b4 the surgery I thought Guillen was great at SS, this year not at all.

    Still I don’t think he is the worst and agree with what Matt said, some of those balls on the ground are supposed to get though and when they do just outside of his reach we complain.

    But like Greg said, you’ll never see him dive for a ball.

    But in truth I think Polanco is overrated defensively and should not win the GG. I’ve seen a lot of balls get by him that anyone with good speed would have gotten to.

    Thats why we should put Inge at SS – best range in AL and on our team. Also has a gun.

    Poly with above-average should be at 3rd. Then go out and get a 2nd baseman. Castillo

    Or leave Poly where he is, move Inge to SS and go out and get ….. MIKE LOWELL (assuming he doesn’t resign with the Red Sux)

    Or go get Omar Vizquel as a short-term option, but I think the other 2 are better options.

    Also we should go after a few relievers one being Francisco Cordero (former tiger, thanks Juan GONE) and Kerry Wood.