Game 10: Tigers at White Sox

PREGAME: Jose Contreras and Dontrelle Willis. I’d put the over/under on pitches thrown tonight at 400.

The Tigers trade one set of Sox for another one. They arrived in the Windy City around 3:30 this morning. They will send out Willis who’s spring training control issues carried over into his first start. He walked 7 in 5 innings last Saturday while only allowing 1 hit.

The White Sox send out Contreras who had his own issues last Friday in Detroit. He allowed 14 baserunners in just 5 innings of work.

Gary Sheffield sits tonight
due to finger swelling. Jacque Jones is your DH and Clete Thomas is your left fielder. Critique away.

1. Thomas, LF
2. Polanco, 2B
3. Guillen, 1B
4. Ordonez, RF
5. Cabrera, 3B
6. Jones, DH
7. Renteria, SS
8. Rodriguez, C
9. Inge, CF

I will say putting the Jones behind Cabrera isn’t a bad move to make Contreras think a little about pitching around Cabrera to get to a left hander.

This one is on FSN+, and by now you should know the drill.

Game Time 8:11

DET @ CHW, Friday, April 11, 2008 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: For the second night in a row the bullpen is the story, but boy did they flip the script. Pressed into duty in the first inning, they picked up all 27 outs while allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks while fanning 10.

Aquilino Lopez who was supposed to be the Mud Hens closer went 4 innings and allowed the only run. He also wiggled out of a 2nd & 3rd none out situation allowing only 1 run to score.

Jason Grilli had an awful inning with a HBP and 2 walks, but wiggled out of it and chased it with back to back 1-2-3 innings.

Denny Bautista allowed a hit, but some bad baserunning and an excellent throw from Clete Thomas took care of Jermaine Dye’s single.

Todd Jones even pitched a 1-2-3 inning striking out the last 2 batters. Unreal. It was his first save opportunity of the season. Also unreal.

Offensively the Tigers plated 5 runs, and they probably deserved some more. There were multiple liners hit right at White Sox infielders. There were a couple rushed innings against Contreras, but they were generally patient.

The Tigers also got a hit with the bases loaded from Magglio Ordonez. Plus, Miguel Cabrera came up with a 2-out RBI. It’s starting to click like we had all hoped it would.

The only downside is that Willis may be out. Cabrera is becoming more hobbled. And Carlos Guillen’s hamstring started barking late in the game. There may be no bench tomorrow.

171 thoughts on “Game 10: Tigers at White Sox”

  1. “Jacque Jones is your DH and Clete Thomas is your left fielder”… I just… there’s no words.

  2. Perhaps the sun (well, the lights tonight anyway) will shine on old Jacque and he’ll go 3 for 4 tonight with 3 RBI.

    Oh, and if he does – I’ll eat my new Tigers cap.

  3. I mean, why would we want to start Thames at DH? Or put Cabrera at DH, Inge at 3rd and Thomas in center? Oh, right. That would make sense.

    I guess we have to live with Jimmy’s hunches, I hope this one pays off…

  4. Paging Marcus Themes… Paging Mr. Themes.

    This is also a golden opportunity to let Cabrera DH and keep his bat in the lineup, while giving Inge some quality time at 3B.

    I’d probably have Cabrera at DH, Inge at 3B, Thomas in CF and Themes in LF. But maybe I’m craaaazy.

    I’d also have Ryan Rayburn in a Tigs uniform, though, so what do I know?

  5. Hmm, why not let Ordonez or Cabrera DH tonight and move the other players around? Strange move, indeed.

  6. Since 2000 the Sox are 93-54 against us. And people wonder why I hate the Sox.

    Well, that and Hawk Harrelson.

  7. can i get some odds on the over/under for walks and runs in the first number of innings. willis vs contreras, this could get ugly

  8. I’m glad my fellow DTW’ers are having the same lineup questions that I am! Jacque Jones as the DH? Really makes you wonder what’s going on in Leyland’s brain. 😮

  9. well nevermind. he’s hurt now. wonderful. let’s turn it over to the bullpen as early possible, no?

  10. Ok, let’s see if the white sox hitters make our pitcher get them out and not the other way around. That was not a smart at bat for Carlos.

  11. That’s it. I can’t watch Willis and Pudge play catch-the-crazy-ball all night. I’m going to clean out a closet, maybe run over to Target. Damn.

  12. Could this be one of those nights where a reliever has to come in in the 1st and totally shuts down the other team? LETS HOPE!

  13. D-Train was obviously hurt. He was limping off the field and hobbled down the stairs in the dugout. Glad they made the call to pull him.

    He looked awful before the injury though.. :/

  14. And so ends the Dontrelle Willis era in Detroit.

    Nothing more exciting than going to the Tiger bullpen in the 1st!

  15. In 2005, Nate Robertson got ejected against Tampa Bay after the first or second pitch. Our bullpen got the win. I think German and Rodney each pitched 3 innings. So, it can be done.

  16. “And so ends the Dontrelle Willis era in Detroit.”

    I remember that era…. Those days sucked!!!!

  17. Mags argues a strike right down the middle, Cabrera lollygags his way down to first…the team just seems so out of sorts.

  18. I still say the biggest reason for everyone seeming out of it is the absence of Granderson. But also, I just don’t see them interacting as a team. With all of the new additions, something just failed to ‘click’ during spring training. When I was at the games opening week I felt it – or should I say I didn’t feel it. It’s as if they are all playing in their own bubble. I am so depressed.

    Hey Billfer, Crede strikes out! One bright spot –

  19. Just got to the TV… was it the recurring shaking fingers problem that knocked Dontrelle out, or was it something else (someone mentioned limping)?

  20. This freaking coaching staff needs a freakin shakeup. What the crap? Has Willis been hurt all along and nobody was able to recognize it? I mean somebody on this blog suggested that after his last start! If fans recognize a pitcher is hurt, what the hell is going on with the coaches?

    This is ridiculous. This start to the season has been completely unacceptable and this coaching staff needs to shoulder a large part of the blame. Coming out of spring training looking like a minor league team with the 2nd highest payroll in baseball is totally unacceptable.

  21. … and why does Leyland not just make these batters take the first pitch? Because they’re all such big stars? This team just needs to get back to basics.

  22. McB, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. This team’s inability to be selective is endemic. I don’t understand how that can be the case, but it’s the same damn thing every year, regardless of the players we bring in.

  23. Now, more than ever, doesn’t the Atlanta trade of Jurjens for Rentarea seam like the dumbest trade ever made right now?

  24. It’s ok, Lopez. One run per inning would be better than some of our recent pitching performances.

  25. I just really have no idea how we’re expected to win.

    Unfortunately, Adam, it seems the Tigers don’t either.

  26. McB, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. This team’s inability to be selective is endemic

    What’s strange is that they are able to be selective. Maggs improved greatly in that regard last year (and, remarkably enough, he had a career year).

  27. Amen Chris, I loved JJ – and so do his new fans by all reports. Damn.

    Has anyone checked to see if alcohol sales for home use have risen in Detroit since, oh, about April 3? I know it’s true at my house . . . time to hit the Bailey’s!

  28. I kind of think Renteria seems to be one of the few bright spots this year. Inge just batted him in.

  29. No way I’m seeing the end of this game – I’m eastern time zone and have to get up for work at 5. Another 4 hour epic, I’m guessing. Unless it starts to rain again.

  30. that hit by cabera to first was lame. we need 2 out RBI to drop get through holes ,whatever ,MORE

  31. Regarding Jurrjens for Renteria: I hear you, BUT: It’s very hard to play 162 games without a shortstop. Santiago is great with the glove. But as a hitter, he’s great with the glove, knowhatahmean?

    On the other hand, if we knew we were getting Cabrera, maybe Dombrowski doesn’t make the Jurrjens-Renteria trade, as you can park Santiago at the bottom of the order… or even move Ingey to short.

  32. Really nice work from Lopez out of the pen, as good as any starter we’ve seen this year.

    Is it Grilli time?

  33. For those complaining about the Tigers being selective, they are second in walks in the AL coming into tonight’s game. They’re doing OK in that regard.

    On another note, holy freaking Aquilino Lopez. I can’t believe they got that last inning out of him.

  34. It has to be Grilli. Miner has to be unavailable. I’d guess Beltran is unavailable. If Grilli can get them 2 innings they will have gotten it into the hands of Seay/Bautista/Jones.

  35. It’s unreal. If you had ever told me when I was a kid watching baseball that one day I’d be seeing 6-7 pitchers in one game I would not have believed you. We didn’t see that many in a MONTH!!

    Oops, well I guess hitting him is better than giving up a HR

  36. Thome’s going to feel stupid when he gets a look at the pitch he was arguing. He’ll probably have a few days to look it over, too. It’s still bumping the ump if you use Ozzie Guillen as a battering ram, right?

  37. Grilli still having a job is one of the more strange phenomena in recent baseball history.

    I think I’d prefer to see 5 straight HR’s rather than one walk, at least make them earn it.

  38. I just don’t understand Leyland’s inexplicable devotion and commitment to the Griller. He’s so bad. He’s beyond bad. Why is he still on this team? How long do we have to suffer with his incompetence?

  39. I can’t believe the number of hard hit balls right at people tonight. Two line drives to Uribe, 1 to Konerko, and now a sharply hit ball to Cabrera.

  40. Anybody wonder if Ozzie and Mayor Leyland are trying to save their bullpens as much as possible for the rest of the series? I mean, Contreras, Lopez and Grilli all had “you should’ve pulled me an inning ago” moments…

  41. biffler, that is a good sign though right? dont know if we’ve seen enough of them this year, hopefully things are starting to turn and we find some holes and gaps next. (not to mention weather warmin up and tigers do everything we envision!)

  42. Clete and Brandon are the only two guys on this team showing any fire whatsoever. Inge is pretty much carrying this team offensively right now. These guys are more than doing their job, it’s time for the middle of the lineup to start earning their keep.

  43. Hawk is still complaining about that Thome at bat: “The ump just ripped the bat out of Thome’s hands with that call”

  44. Maybe the biggest upside of this performance from Grilli is that it will assure him a permanent spot in the pen for the rest of the year, providing endless hours of entertaining commentary here on the Gameday threads.

  45. Ive been saying for the past weeks that Grilli should only be used in long relief appearances. Grilli is and never was a one inning guy. We see that tonight two 1-2-3 innings next to a bad sixth (Grilli’s first inning). I don’t admire Grilli but he is a truely effective long relief pitcher.

    And as for Lopez just an awesome appearance. Great stuff by Lopez and Grilli tonight.

  46. Grilli’s ERA down to 8.44
    Pitch to Thome was a strike
    Clete Thomas looks like a really solid player to me. Loved that bunt he laid down in Boston. He seems to do everything well, not great, but well.

  47. Cabrera should have been lifted after his single. Hes hurting bad. We need him don’t press it Leyland. Thames should be in there right now.

    Inge to 3B Thames or Jones to LF with Thames filling in DH if Jones is going to LF. Cabrera should and really needs to be lifted right now. Hes fighting his injury just like Willis is or was. We cant afford it. Leyland needs to save Cabrera now.

  48. What the heck happened to Mig? It didn’t look like he could have scored on a homer with that leg. Really could have used a pinch runner after that single.

  49. I know Tbone it looks like hes playing through that injury from the opening series from last week. And its getting worse. I think its a quadracip(sp?)injury? I don’t know what kind of game Leyland is playing.

    Question on starter #5 now, do we bring Bazardo back up lol, or do we bring up hot pitching Vazquez?

  50. Ok, I don’t really want to know who gets “the” win.

    If we win, does it count as a win for Willis under Posnaski’s system?

    And jinx shminx.

  51. Did Mario just say 8 Ks for the Tigers Bullpen??? I think that HELL did freeze over.

    How bout some of that defense Clete, YEAA!!! AWESOME!!! Nice job Clete.

  52. Jermaine runs like my grandmother. Gotta love that.

    “But Ozzie, I thought I was gonna make it…”
    “Dude, you were out by 10 feet.”

    And really, WWCTD? 🙂

  53. 8 innings of basically one-run ball from our middle relievers (since there were two runners in scoring position when Lopez came in with no outs in the first).

    Baseball is a funny game . . .

  54. feels kinda good knowing i can rely on todd jones to give me a heart attack before closing out a game. i like that over a straight loss

  55. Kyle,

    Really right now it seems that Willis on the DL, they will bring someone else up could be a bench. But right now with Leyland cycling the bullpen to see who is good I think Vazquez or Bazardo. With my opinion in favor of Vazquez.

    Also WWCTD, I’m really starting to by that slogan man awesome just awesome. And hes ranked what in the Tigers system like C or D prospect, come on hes got an arm and he can hit for average, you don’t need anything more in this lineup.

  56. I don’t mind that strikeout by Inge. He seams to be getting much better ABs then he did last year. Strikeouts happen. Just make the pitcher earn them

  57. Amen Chris. His at-bats this season have been consistently better than Pudge (not to beat a dead horse with that one) or even Jones, etc.

  58. the ball/strike calls in this game have been horrendous. there’s no way carlos went around on that.

  59. To all the out-of-towners: You have to love 30 straight seconds of silence from Hawk and DJ.

    Shoot, who were the “picks to click” again?

  60. oh no…Carlos pulled his hammy. #$%#$%#^ Just what we need. stupid cold CHI weather.

    Umm, leaving him in??? Is Thames even AT the game?

  61. You guys don’t think that we are ready to trade Thames. Last year when the Braves were getting ready to trade Salty he was missing many games, so that he wouldn’t injure himself. Sometimes not even at the games. Do you guys think something maybe around the corner?

  62. Oh no, I don’t think theres a trade brewing at all…just weird that we havent run for either miggy or carlos when theyre hurting tonight.

    just showed marcus and curtis laughing (and freezing) their butts off on the bench.

  63. That’s right Fritz,

    Those moments of silence by Hawk and Deej are music to my ears.

    One more TJ!

  64. Billfer gets all the credit for the win tonight. His 95-win challenge on WDFN this morning was just what the Tigers needed to get going.

  65. nice one guys — let’s chip away.

    More good news: check out Sabathia’s stat line tonight. The contract year is not starting off so well.

  66. Hats off to the bullpen tonight. We bash them a lot, and they often deserve it, but they gave up one run in 27 outs tonight.

  67. Wow!!!! Just when I thought our bullpen was hopeless, they collectively piece together an impressive display of dominant pitching. Lopez was a horse, Grilli displayed the reason why Leyland sticks with him. Batista was solid in the eighth and Jones was spot on. A masterpiece under the circumstances.

    Can hope be restored?

  68. surreal win tonight thats for sure!

    Is it just me or (before his injury) does Dtrain just look like a mechanical wreck? He seems to have lost all that life he had from his motion circa ’05. He used to have such a dynamic wind up and now it looks like he is completely uncomfortable in his own skin.

  69. Anyone besides me want to see Clete in there instead of Jacque Jones on a regular basis?

  70. Baseball is a funny game. This bullpen still scares the crap out of me, but great job tonight. Maybe lightening is striking with Lopez.

  71. Watched the replay of the game late last night. Dontrelle’s knee looked ugly… hope he can work out his mechanics while he’s on the DL.

    I got it – Grilli can ONLY pitch away from Comerica Park. I think Leyland should get it by now, and use it to his advantage.

    Glad to see Cabrera hustle out that last single on a dead ball… and Bautista is pretty much set as our 8th inning guy now. And a one two three from Jonesy? Glorious.

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