The 8th Inning

Sam Hoff has been breaking down how the Tigers do in each 18 games stretch of the season, as 18 games is 1/9th of the season, or 1 inning. The 8th inning includes games through Monday night.

The 8th Inning is over.

Each 18 games represent 1 inning of a baseball season. The Tigers record so far in each Inning:

                                                        Starters:         Bullpen:
    W-L   RS-RA   HR-SB-AVG/OBA/SLG    W-L-IP-   ERA       W-L-S-ERA
1: 10-8   86 -79  17-9 -235/313/380    5-2-110.2-3.66      5-6-8-4.68 
2: 13-5   112-97  23-10-308/377/518    9-3-102.1-4.84      4-2-8-5.03
3: 7-11   110-96  26-7 -310/364/517    7-7-110.2-3.99      0-4-3-7.80
4: 13-5   136-75  20-5 -324/390/508   13-4-103.0-4.37      0-1-2-3.47
5: 11-7   91 -79  23-20-272/357/443   10-5-112.0-3.46      1-2-7-3.33 
6: 7-11   84 -113 17-8 -276/325/415    3-8- 99.2-6.59      4-3-6-4.31
7: 7-11   83 -110 20-10-266/315/436   4-10-101.0-6.50      3-1-4-5.12
8: 10-8   95 -77  15-18-298/373/455    4-5- 91.1-4.93      6-3-1-3.18

The 8th inning started with a loss to Cleveland, the Tigers then took 3 of 4 from the Yankees, that was followed by losing 5 out of 7 to KC, Oakland, and the White Sox. Winning 5 out of the last 6 including last night’s miracle gives some glimmer of hope. I think the Tigers must get to 92 wins and sweep Cleveland in the remaining 3 game set to have a chance. That would mean going 14-4 in the 9th inning. The Tigers have not had a 14-win inning in 2006 or 2007, though they have had four 13-win innings.

The offense came to life as Granderson, T Perez, and Maggs all batted over 400 with a OPS over 1000 (Granderson and Maggs tied for the lead with 15 RBIs). Polanco, Inge, Pudge and Casey all had good performances. Carlos Guillen was 2-12-235/304/397 as he continues to get RBI even though he is slumping. Thames has played himself onto the bench as he morphed into C-Mo with a 1-7-209/244/349. Ramon Santiago started 8 games and performed as expected (235/297/353). The rest of the team was 127/238/181 in 110 ABs including 0-17 by Sheff.

Verlander is hot as he won all 3 starts with a 0.83 era. Robertson, Rogers, and Durbin combined for 7 starts without a win, but did have a combined 3.38 era in 40 innings. Bonderman was 1-3 in 4 starts with a 7.91 era. Miller, Jurrgens, and Vasquez had 4 starts combined lasting a TOTAL of 10.1 innings in those starts.

The back end of the bullpen (Zumaya, Rodney, and Jones) was 0-2 with 1 save and a 5.40 era in 23.2 innings. The middle relief of Grilli, Miner, Seay (3 wins!!!), and Brydak were a combined 4-0 with a 0.92 era and a 0.67 WHIP in 39 innings. The rest of the pen (Bazardo, Capellen, Durbin, and Vasquez) was 2-1 with a 6.23era in 13 innings.

I read where baseball prospectus gives the Tigers a 15% chance of making the playoffs. I think they may be generous. Unless Cleveland totally collapses (I can’t see a Yankee collapse), we need 14 wins to have a shot. With the rotation in flux and the middle relievers presently carrying the load, 14 wins is a real long shot.

32 Comments

  1. William

    September 13, 2007 at 7:31 am

    it’s going to take a collapse by CLE or NYY, no doubt.

    if we don’t make it, one thing we can look at is our 26-29 overall record against OAK, CHW, KC, TB, and TEX. Last year, we absolutely murdered the bottom-feeders..this year, different story.

  2. Kyle J

    September 13, 2007 at 8:46 am

    BP puts our postseason odds at 10% now. We’d have to 13-3 to hit 92 wins at this point–probably less than a 10% chance of that happening. Also have to account for the possibility that the Yankees could play below their mean outcome. This weekend we’ll be key–if the Red Sox don’t take 2 or 3 games from the Yankees, I’d guess that our odds will quickly approach zero.

  3. T Smith

    September 13, 2007 at 10:02 am

    The key is to keep winning. I agree 100% with ron — the sense of urgency should begin in April, not September, so you don’t put yourself under such dire odds. I just don’t get it. The Tigers look like a different team the past 9 days. Why wait until you’re painted into a corner to play?

    That means aggressive baseball all year long… it means taking pitches on 3-0 and even 3-1 counts (see Palcido Polanco); Grandy gets on, he should attempt a steal. Sheff gets on, he should attempt a steal. Less speedy players get on, execute hit and run plays, squeeze plays, etc. Pitchers get into trouble, pull them early. Cuz guess what? If you end up one or two games out of the playoffs, it doesn’t matter if you lose those games in April or in September.

  4. Rings

    September 13, 2007 at 11:31 am

    The other factor in this race, that I haven’t seen mentioned, is that – much like 1987 – a team that must expend such tremendous energy and concentration to play near-perfect ball for two weeks will have a tough time maintaining that pace in the playoffs.
    It’s going to be very tough to get in…and even tougher if we do.

  5. William

    September 13, 2007 at 11:57 am

    1987 was definitely a grueling race. I think the last game against Toronto was on a Monday? Anyway, I was a freshman in college and didn’t get to watch any of that game…no internet to follow on line. I remmber watching ESPN that night to see if they had clinched.

  6. BobS.

    September 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I agree 100% with TSmith-the key to winning is to keep winning and not losing.

  7. Coach Jim

    September 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    William was the first, so he gets credit. It will take a collapse by Cleveland to take the division – but they have shown to be capable of a collapse. It will take a collapse by NYY to take the wild card – but their start would have been a collapse had it been preceded by some wins. Maybe it’s not LIKELY, but it sure is possible.

    T Smith, I’d have to say that the Tigers didn’t WAIT until now to play well, sometimes player are hot, sometimes they are cold, that’s just baseball. When the majority of players are hot, the team wins a lot; when the majority of players are cold, the team slumps. That’s just how it goes, it’s not a matter of effort, heart, or any other intangible thing. It is purely statistical probability. If you flip a coin 100 times in a row you will probably get a streak of 5 heads in a row somewhere. It doesn’t mean the coin was “waiting” to flip tails, and it doesn’t mean the flipper is incompetent. That’s the biggest problem I have with Mike Valenti on WXYT. His impatient New York mind-set is ill-suited to the long haul of a 162 game season. He is not willing to endure the 5 tails in a row before calling for heads on a platter.

    I like Jim Leyland’s pragmatic approach. We’ll play 162 games, if we’re the best team, we’ll win. If we’re not the best team, we won’t. Don’t get your panties in a bunch over it.

    Rings, I didn’t buy the “too spent for the playoffs” story in ’87 and I don’t buy it now. It takes the same amount of energy to hit 4 home runs as it does to strike out 4 times. Outfielders catch the same number of flies whether you win or lose.

    William (again), I think the last game of the ’87 regular season was on a Sunday. The Tigers’ win on Saturday put them 1 game up. They would have played the one-game tie breaker on Monday if Toronto had won on Sunday. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Herndon’s solo homer was the only run of the game. Tanana got the win, Willie closed it out.

  8. T Smith

    September 13, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Coach Jim:

    I understand what you’re saying, and I do agree with you. I understand there are ups and downs and cycles. But I don’t think one can deny the Tigers are playing a slightly different game during this “must win” stretch — e.g. Granderson attempts a steal every time he gets on — that includes a recent steal of third base, too — which begs the question, how many steals did Grandy have in April, May, June? Why weren’t the Tigers playing this kind of game earlier in attempt to pull away from the Indians?

    Also, I see a little more patience at the plate, i.e. batters are consciously trying to up the team’s overall OBP — coincidence that they are doing so in these “must win” situations? Maybe.

    Also, Leyland (appears to be) keeping players/pitchers on shorter leashes — no more Monroe-esqe slides or Inge whiffing 40% for two months at a time before moves are made.

    I understand players get hot/cold and go on streaks. I, for one, advocate playing with “urgency” all year long, as every game is do or die.

  9. billfer

    September 13, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    I understand what you’re saying, and I do agree with you. I understand there are ups and downs and cycles. But I don’t think one can deny the Tigers are playing a slightly different game during this “must win” stretch — e.g. Granderson attempts a steal every time he gets on — that includes a recent steal of third base, too — which begs the question, how many steals did Grandy have in April, May, June? Why weren’t the Tigers playing this kind of game earlier in attempt to pull away from the Indians?

    I don’t know that Grandy not stealing as often was an attempt to not pull away from the Indians. It wasn’t a strategic decision i was a big fan of, but I really think that Leyland likes to keep Granderson on first so the first baseman has to hold him on, opening up a hole for Polly. I don’t know that it was a matter of urgency.

    Also, I see a little more patience at the plate, i.e. batters are consciously trying to up the team’s overall OBP — coincidence that they are doing so in these “must win” situations? Maybe.

    I think this is part of the hitters just hitting better right now. I don’t think the slump had anything to do with a lack of urgency, in fact at times they looked like they were pressing and trying to do too much. Maybe they were to urgent before?

    Also, Leyland (appears to be) keeping players/pitchers on shorter leashes — no more Monroe-esqe slides or Inge whiffing 40% for two months at a time before moves are made.

    You have to ride stuff out early in the season and hope things get corrected, like in the case of Monroe and Inge. He was a little slow on the draw with Monroe, but 2 weeks after he lost his starting gig Thames got hurt. As for Inge, he did receive less playing time when it became apparent he wasn’t pulling out of the funk. If you want to debate that he should have been benched with more frequency late in August I certainly won’t contest that though. But you can’t just take players that you’re counting on for the whole season out of the lineup in April and May.

    As for the pitching, it’s easier to yank a starter in the 3rd inning when the rosters have expanded. I do think Leyland tended to err on the side of leaving guys in too long most the season though, but you’re also looking to squeez what you can out of guys when the bullpen is thin.

  10. David

    September 13, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    “I like Jim Leyland’s pragmatic approach. We’ll play 162 games, if we’re the best team, we’ll win. If we’re not the best team, we won’t. Don’t get your panties in a bunch over it.”

    Yes to some extent, but baseball in-game and in-standings and in-statistics is a game of inches.

    Games normally are decided by 3 or 2 runs, if you hit a ball on a bat a half inch higher or lower or to the left or right it will land in entirely different spots (assuming you hit it).

    This year in the NL there are 8 teams (EIGHT!!!) within five games of the division leader and WC or leading. And according to RUN DIFFERENTIAL (which should be a good predictor of how good a team is) one team (Diamondbacks) are leading their division, yet have the worst run differential.

    Heck look who won the WS last year, where they the best team? On one hand yes… they were the better team in every playoff round which is why they won… but I don’t think anyone on this board or most would say that they had the strongest team.

    The Twins beat us by 1 game last year. Boston and NY had identical records in ’05. Every game is important and counts. If a few things happened differently over the course of this season we could have been 5 up on the Indians and Yanks, or 10 down.

    Great teams and great players and great manager’s play to win everyday, play 27+ outs hard.

    I see what you were getting at with the flipping of a coin analogy but it only goes so far.

    Playing small ball, switching position players/pitchers when they look tired or aren’t performing, playing aggressive (i.e. stealing, going from 1st to 3rd on a single, pitching chin music) help to win games.

    I still think we have a great shot, you watch either the Yanks or Indians (hopefully both) will finish with a .400 record down the stretch and we will streak and sneak in.

  11. David

    September 13, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    YANKS LOSE FINALE TO JAYS 2-1

    RIOS HIT A SINGLE STOLE SECOND AND THOMAS SINGLED HIM IN, IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 9th

    EXACTLY WHAT I WAS SAYING – AGRESSIVE AND PLAYING TO WIN EVERYDAY.

  12. tiff

    September 13, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Go Jays!

  13. Greg

    September 13, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    The Yankees are 0-1 over their last 1 games giving them a .000 winning % over that period of time. At this rate, they will go 0-16 over their final 16 games and finish 83-79.

  14. William

    September 13, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Coach–

    you are correct about 1987…just looked it up on Baseball-Reference.com. the last game was on a Sunday.

    something else I forgot…we played TOR in a four game set the previous weekend (lost the first 3, won the finale) and then the three in DET–all 7 games were decided by 1 run.

    Now that’s a pennant race.

  15. tiff

    September 13, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    If the Yankees continue losing at this clip, we will DEFINITELY be a shoo-in for the Wild Card.

  16. Kathy

    September 13, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Give thanks to The Big Hurt!

  17. T Smith

    September 13, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Billfer –

    Those are all good points and the reality probably lies somewhere inbetween the two points of view. I understand you have to ride it out with the players you have and let them work their way out of their funks — and despite my previous slant I do agree with that. However, I still think Leyland waited way TOO long with Monroe and I think Inge should have at least been given some days off here and there in favor of Raburn much sooner. But those are all small points and really just a matter of debate/opinion.

    Generally, the point I am making is, I just got the sense that the Tigers were perhaps “too” lax when they began to slide. They just didn’t seem overly concerned about vastly underachieving. That may be a gross generalization and an entirely subjective observation, and I will be the first to admit I base it entirely on subjective judgments more than tangible specifics. And people will undoubtedly say, well — what could they have done differently? How should they have demonstrated more urgency than they did? How would have them react? Panic?

    I’m not sure I know the anwer to that. On top of that injuries played such a huge role in the collapse. But it just appeared, from my vantage, that the Tigers were of little concern as the rest of the baseball universe began witnessing, pondering, and whispering about the collapse of this year’s World Series favorite. Suddenly, those discussions morphed into discussing a team that would likely miss the playoffs entirely. And I specifically remember Leyland shrugging it off when the Tigers fell 5 or 6 games back about a month ago, saying, in effect, “….no worries. We can make those games up real fast…” Leyland also went so far as to imply Verlander didn’t step it up until the last few outings simply because he lacked a sense of urgency/didn’t truly grasp the gravity of the Tiger’s situation. In my mind, that seemed to sum it up. It just seemed to be the overall culture of the entire clubhouse.

    Well guess what? Instead of making those games up real fast the Indians decided to go 16-4 and the Yankees decided to play like a 225 M team. Pretty hard to make those games up. I’m not saying the Tigers weren’t playing with “heart” and all that. I’m just saying it seemed that they lacked concern about the gigantic hole they were digging for themselves until it hit them like a ton a bricks, and all at once.

  18. T Smith

    September 13, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    ***The Yankees are 0-1 over their last 1 games giving them a .000 winning % over that period of time. At this rate, they will go 0-16 over their final 16 games and finish 83-79***

    Greg,

    I like the way you’re thinking.

  19. Kurt

    September 14, 2007 at 12:31 am

    We do remember the team the team was missing its setup men for much of the season, its No. 3 hitter for most of August, apparently the healthy elbow of its No. 2 pitcher since July, and its 2006 No. 1 pitcher for most of the season, right?

    That’s not an excuse, just a fact. If the backups were that good, they’d be in the majors, not the minors. (Unless they play the position as a perez or grilli, apparently).

    You wanted Leyland to pull their starterrs faster during the season, T Smith? But you also wanted them to have a better bullpen. (didn’t we all?) so it’s not like Leyland exactly would be improving the situation much.

    Teams get hurt don’t win the world championship, no matter if they were some people’s favorites at the start of the year. Teams that stay healthy and emerge from the shadows and do. You know what? That’s sports and always has been.

  20. Mike R

    September 14, 2007 at 1:10 am

    I think this offseason will show me a lot about Dave Dombrowski. Kenny Williams essentially stood pat last offseason instead of bettering his ball club that had an aging lineup and a pitching staff on the decline (granted, we have younger pitching staff and better end of the bullpen) and it’s got them last in the division.

    So, if Dombrowski is making attempts to better the team (not by getting Jack Wilson or something ridiculously stupid like that) then that’s all we can ask, and should expect, from him.

  21. Kurt

    September 14, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Let me add, T Smith, that you’ve been right about the Yankees so far and I’ve been wrong. Let’s both hope that reverses soon :P

  22. ron

    September 14, 2007 at 3:38 am

    Hey, I don’t care how you slice it. For 7 weeks they played awful. No heart no effort. Just going thru the motions. I guess that 22 games over .500 made them feel confident. It was not a statistical “everybody goes thru it” slump. They mailed it in for 7 weeks. We’ve all done it.

  23. T Smith

    September 14, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Kurt:

    I don’t want to imply that I’m discounting all the woes and injuries as the major factor of the slide. I’m aware of the primary cause. I suppose what I’m really trying to finger is something more elusive and much harder to quantify, something akin to the manner in which the team/media (and less so the fans) reacted to a Perfect Storm that transmorgified the Tigers from a World Series favorite to the KC Royals (or worse, really) during those dismal 7 weeks.

    The reason I disagreed with you, and others, about the Yankees is precisely because I saw the exact opposite from the Yankees. And grant it, what I’m really talking about is something very hard to quantify. The Yankees had problems of their own, but they just seemed to turn a light on, put blinders on, and address the problems instead of shrugging them off and saying, “that’s just baseball. Injuries happen.” Their media and fans didn’t make excuses al la Danny Knobler/Jerry Green/Lynn Henning et. al — they criticized and held the team and manager accountable and up to standards perhaps the Detroit fan base and the Detriot media just aren’t willing to do. In short, the Yankees just didn’t look like a .500 team despite that 70 game away-sample that said otherwise. They looked like a team that has 25 championships under their belt and a team hell bent for another one.

    For example, Mussina has a couple dubious outings, and he gets yanked from the rotation in favor of Kennedy. Mussina! Borderline HOF pitcher. Proctor falls flat and they get rid of Proctor at trade deadline. Farnsworth et. all get beat up and all of sudden here comes Chamberlain.

    I’m also aware you can argue the Tigers did the same thing with Lopez, Bazardo and all the rest of the Mud Hens that came up through the system.

    The bottom line is, the Yankees were not going to lay down. The Tigers? I’m not at all saying they laid down and gave up — I’m just not so sure I could say the same thing about a Detroit Tiger ballclub with the same degree of conviction.

    All this being said, it’s time for the Yankees to make me look like a blabbering and pontificating moron, embark on a glorious losing streak of their own, and play to their .500 road standards that started this conversation in the first place.

  24. Kyle J

    September 14, 2007 at 10:58 am

    I’d also note that the Yankees rode out subpar performances by about half of their $225 million lineup (Cano, Abreu, Damon, Matsui) in the first half of the season, all of whom have returned to historical form in the second half. So I think the comparison is imperfect. Maybe those guys started hitting due to some sense of “urgency” or “heart.” But it could just be they underperformed in the first half and performed at their baseline level in the second half–the reverse of what the Tigers have done.

  25. Kurt

    September 14, 2007 at 11:54 am

    They also had a 200M payrole, as Kyle J said. You just can’t compare the teams side to side. The Yankees or Red Sox have a hole, they’re willing to drop $50M just to talk to a guy in Japan. The Tigers can’t.

    What, exactly, were the Tigers supposed to do? They couldn’t trade away the minor league system — there really wasn’t that much interest in it or players on the trade market to get anyway. They couldn’t get the guys in the minors to step in, they tried that repeatedly. Didn’t work so well. And the fact remains, when the Yankees were missing 3 or 4 out of 5 starting pitchers, they were awful, too.

    I’m sorry, it has nothign to do with heart or the players looking at the calendar. It has to do with the organization’s ability to absorb poor performances. The Yankees spend $200 to get top of the line players. The Tigers can’t.

    It has nothing to do with the fan base or media not holding the players accountable. It’s just being realistic here. The organization is going in the right direction, but it isn’t there yet, and it will never have the resources to be the Yankees or Red Sox (did their media and fans not hold them accountable when they fell apart with injuries last year?).

    If Bonderman, Rogers, Zumaya were healthy this year I doubt we’d be talking about their lack of urgency.

  26. T Smith

    September 14, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Aug 3 – Danny Knobler, a full two weeks into the slide “..they’ve gotten to August with a chance to get to September. Not all teams do…Enjoy what you have. Enjoy the ride, as bumpy as it’s been.”

    One word describes this type of commentary: Complacency. Which is really just another way of propagating a lack of urgency in the media.

    Aug 8 – Lynn Henning: It’s tough to bet against the Tigers for the simple reason they were a first-place team for 140 games in 2006, and they were a first-place team for most of this year.”

    What kind of analysis is this? In other words, “I’ve been in the Bahamas the past three weeks and have absolutely no idea what’s going on with this team right now.”

    Aug 21 – Danny Knobler five weeks in, right during the heat of the storm, during a stretch when the Tigers had the worst record in baseball: “…So to those of you who were so sure Zumaya’s injury would doom the 2007 Tigers, you were wrong…Somehow, the Tigers seem to have survived his absence [Really? Wow. I want whatever happy pills Knobler takes]…you asked, way back in June, if they could survive three months without Joel Zumaya….the answer, most definitely, was yes.”

    Again, this is the kind of complacent media sentiment I’m talking about. No one in the NY press would dare even print something like this after an ongoing five-week collapse. That’s equivalent to saying, “Gee, guys. The Yankees are playing .500 but they’re surviving! They’re okay! I’m okay! You’re okay!”

    Does this sound like a reporter remotely in reality? Here we have the Detroit media analyzing a team amid a colossal collapse (which arguably is due to aforementioned injuries) and not even acknowledging the injuries.

    Look, I can buy and respect the points you are making about how you can’t compare the Yankees to the Tigers. But I’m sorry, your “…media isn’t guilty of not holding players/teams/managers accountable” argument just doesn’t fly.

  27. Kurt

    September 14, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    OK, so if the media had gotten on the Tigers for sucking, somehow things would be different? No. Personally, I’m glad we don’t have the melodramatic New York media. We have Rob Parker and Drew Sharp. Isn’t that enough?

    I’m not going to deny the Detroit beat writers have very, well, optimistic, analysis, when they analyze at all. But their job is to get the people in the clubhouse to give quotes for the fans. And it’s not like they don’t question Leyland on why he makes decisions. Listen to FSN postgame, and they ask the questions. Leyland shoots them down or cuts them off. Repeating it again and again isn’t going make any lick of difference or make it any easier to get you the answers you seek.

  28. T Smith

    September 14, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Admittedly, I’m not in a market where I get the FSN postgame. So I may not be the best qualified to even comment about media coverage. I said at the outset it would appear thus from my vantage… all I have is the internet. And from July 19 until Sept 1 all I saw was the national media ripping on the Tigers and calling a spade a spade while the beat writers and co. in Detroit were polishing their rose-colored glasses.

    What influence, if any, does that bear on the Tiger’s play or lack there of? Who knows. Perhaps none, as you say. Although there are some who credit Verlander’s turnaround to specific comments Leyland made in the press.

  29. billfer

    September 14, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    July 19 until Sept 1 all I saw was the national media ripping on the Tigers and calling a spade a spade

    Who was ripping them at that time? I know that Gammons and Rosenthal still liked the Tigers at that time to come out ahead of the Indians – at least up until that last week of August. Cleveland was doing nothing to differentiate themselves at the time and the Tigers at least had help coming in the form of Zum/Rodney.

    That said, I don’t ever remember a beat writer criticizing a Leyland decision. And there are glaring questions that don’t get asked after tough losses – at least they aren’t shown on FSN or the answers don’t make the recap the next day.

  30. T Smith

    September 14, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Okay, let’s see… when Danny Knobler and Co. were peddling their wares to the Detroit media, instructing readers “to relax and enjoy the ride,” Mike Castiglione, Contributing MLB Editor had this to say:

    August 3 – Detroit Tigers in Downward Spiral

    “…With the way the Detroit Tigers have been playing lately, one would think they would be in a free fall…the fact remains that the Tigers, once owners of the top record in the majors this season, are being pushed up against the wall.”

    When Lynn Henning was advancing that the “Tigers were still the team to beat and were a sure bet to win the Central” simply because they managed first place for 140 games in 2006 and most of this year, the Wall Street Journal had this to say (August 7):

    “…So what’s wrong with the Tigers?…The Tigers better figure things out fast…”

    And then, on August 24, Mike Castiglione had this to say (right about the same time Leyland was saying the Tiger’s situation was “…no big deal… we can make those games up real fast…”:

    Playoff Hopes Slipping From Tigers’ Grasp

    “…As talented a team the Tigers are, they are virtually tail-spinning their way out of the postseason. And with the summer season down to its final weeks, that panic button may just be ready for a push…the fact is, Detroit has managed to go from a top-tier team to downright awful in one month’s time…”

    That’s not to mention all the disparaging comments from Donovan et. al over at SI.com who genuinely seem to relish the Tiger’s demise.

  31. Stephen

    September 14, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    i put the demise of this season thusly. These numbers were compiled with a slide rule, a Ouiji board, and a Larry Parrish pocket calculator:

    Injuries: 19.2%
    Inge/Pudge idiocy 19.2%
    Bonderman 2nd Half crap 12.8%
    Craig Monroe sucking 4.8%
    Sean Casey sucking 9.6%
    Leyland’s imitation of the captain of the HMS Bounty: 15.8%
    Dombrowski not getting a serviceable reliever in July or any kind of marginally impact player once the season started: 15.8%
    May contain peanuts: 2.7%

  32. cib

    September 14, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Stephen. CLASSIC. If I am feeling blue I’m going to look at that again and at least get a laugh.
    Enjoy the game tonight! Going to dinner will catch up later.