Game 15: Tigers at Indians

The Natural Lightning BoltPREGAME: The Tigers will look to build on a two game win streak, and relinquish control of first dibs on the waiver wire, as they head into Cleveland. The two teams that are supposed to be at the top of the division are on the bottom looking up.

The Tigers send out rookie Armando Galarraga. Galarraga made one start last year for Texas and he allowed 5 runs on 4 walks and 4 hits in 4.2 innings. But in his two starts at Toledo he was quite impressive with 11 K’s and only 1 walk. Here’s hoping he attacks the strike zone with the big club as well.

While the Tigers send out a replacement starter, the Indians send out C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia hasn’t made it through the 6 inning in his 3 starts this year and he currently sports a 11.57 ERA. I hope he doesn’t find his groove tonight. He has managed to go at least 7 innings in 4 of his last 5 starts against the Tigers.

DET @ CLE, Wednesday, April 16, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Programming Note: For those of you with satellite TV service there is some relevant info about where to find the game tonight:

DIRECTV: Ch. 672 (instead of the normal 669)

Dish Network: Game will not be shown due to lack of an available channel. Dish Network returns for Friday’s Tigers-Toronto game (Ch. 452)

Sorry to those of you who have Dish Network. It looks like it will be a night of Dan & Jim and MLB.com
Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: We’ve seen this before. Pitchers who can’t throw strikes. Hitters rushing through at-bats. A lack of concentration leading to runs on defense. But it’s sooooo much more enjoyable when it’s the others guys doing that stuff.


Saying that there was a lot to like about this game may be one of the big understatements of the day.

Armando Galarraga threw strikes. In the post game interviews Pudge Rodgriguez was asked about Galarraga and the first thing Pudge said was “he threw strikes.” Jim Leyland was asked what he was most impressed about Galarraga’s start and the first thing he said was “he threw strikes.”

It was a tremendous outing, especially for a player with so little big league experience. And while the plethora of runs certainly made it easier for him to stay in the strike zone, he also had to come out and pitch after several lengthy breaks generated by the offense. But he didn’t miss a beat.

And the offense…that’s what I’m talking about.

  • Miguel Cabrera has found his stripes with a 4 hit night and 5 RBI.
  • Renteria had 5 RBI’s of his own jumping on a first pitch fastball and jacking a grand slam.
  • Magglio worked 3 walks and added a hit.
  • Inge getting his first start after a couple days off added 2 hits and 2 walks.
  • Heck, everybody including the subs had a hit except for Pudge.

Yes, there is clearly something wrong with Sabathia, but instead of letting him get right the Tigers pummeled him. Good times. Let’s do it again tomorrow!

141 thoughts on “Game 15: Tigers at Indians”

  1. I don’t want to mention the symbol on the last few posts as to not jinx it, but I’m liking where your head is at Bilfer.

  2. Tonight’s lineup, featuring everyone’s favorite leadoff hitter:

    Rodriguez, C
    Polanco, 2B
    Sheffield, DH
    Ordonez, RF
    Cabrera, 3B
    Guillen, 1B
    Renteria, SS
    Thames, LF
    Inge, CF

  3. I give the credit on that one to Delucci. It was thrown at the bottom of the zone. Not an awful pitch. BTW, does Pudge have to play third too?

  4. Oh wow. FANTASTIC sign for Miggy. That was a BOMB out to right field.

    Here’s to hoping he’s got it figured out.

  5. Holy cow did he make that look easy. BTW, Cle TV announcers complaining about “response runs” or runs given up the next half-inning after they score. So I guess we aren’t the only ones who complain about that.

  6. You nailed it, Kevin. He made that look easy. That looked like a batting practice swing and he crushed that thing.

  7. Hawk and DJ are the worst, but the Cleveland guys are putting me to sleep. Where’s Harry Doyle when you need him?

  8. Nice 2nd inning Armando! That was one of the best innings I’ve seen thrown by a starter this year.

  9. I love the ongoing Hawk and DJ references on this board, since they are just so awful. Whenever somebody is listening to the opponents announcers, they seem to say some variation of the following:

    1) Hawk and DJ are the worst, but these guys a really terrible

    2) These other announcers are pretty good. Hawk and DJ are the worst, though.

    Terrific 2nd inning by Galarraga and good start to the 3rd!

  10. I like this set up. The Indians seem like they’re the team pressing at the plate. Also, CC has nothing.

  11. Two observations:

    1) Carlos Baerga does not shut up

    2) Miggy is fine and on his way to a huge night.

  12. Baerga is quite the talker, but he seems like a good guy. Great RBI by Miggy. I feel like a goon for ever doubting his abilities, even if I did keep it to myself.

  13. Blake,
    This and MLB.com gameday are a good combination.

    I am moving to Minneapolis this summer so I should get used to this.

  14. Armando with 4 k’s after 3? Did anyone expect this mastery so far? I keep singing the song “Fernando” by ABBA, expect inserting Armando instead.

  15. Wow….Bob Feller in the booth now for STO. Who’s next, Jake Taylor? Ricky Vaughn? Albert Belle?

  16. Blake/ Walt,
    You might want to checkout MLBTV or MLB Audio.
    I’m a lifetime Tigers (and baseball) fan living in Argentina, and couldn’t live w/out it. I watch 200+ games per year. Not bad for $90 U$ ($20 for Audio).
    BTW, I’m watching the Indians feed now. Is it old-time Indian interview night?

  17. Who’s this Miguel Cabrera bum? What a bust!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I look forward to watching him for 8 years and maybe more.

  18. I am loving this effort WAY better these last few games. Galarraga is mowing ’em down. Too bad he gave up the homer in the first, otherwise he would be working on a no-hitter.

    Pitching? Check.

    Hitting? Check.

    Defense? Check.

    Amazing how good a talented team looks when things are clicking.

  19. First time posting. Down here in Tampa. Followed along late last year. Just decided to start posting this year. Anyways, Glarraga looks good so far. It’s amazing what happens when you throw strikes.

  20. Whats with our young crappy farm system the baseball critics say about the Tigers. So far Clete has been a nice defensive and offensive addition. Clay Rapada great lefty specialist. and now Galarraga he’s out shinning the entire pitching staff right now with 3Ks, 1 ER, through 4IP that sad. And surely a crappy farm system cant do that now can it. Stupid baseball critics the farm system is alive and will have some B prospects by years end in Galarraga, Sizemore, Porcello, and Iorg.

  21. Eat ’em up Tigers, Eat ’em up! Lets go Cabrera. Lets blow the lid off this game and save the late inning heroics for another night.

    πŸ™‚

  22. Bases juiced for Cabrera either way we will get in a run. Possible another RBI for Cabrera, or more depending on how this inning pans out. Just put it in play Miggy!

  23. oh boy.

    loaded for Miggy.

    This could be really fun, but I’ll take a fly ball.

    Terrific ABs by Sheff and Maggs, by the way.

  24. I think this is more in line with what we were all expecting out of ’08. Feels good, don’t it?

  25. C C Ya Later!! This is sweet. That comeback 2 days ago was a great jumpstart. Let’s keep it going.

  26. Wow. Sabathia. This should be a pretty huge confidence boost. And I’m loving that Cabrera is having a huge game.

  27. Why is it this team catches fire when everyone in the “national media” starts to write them off? Happened in ’06 too.

  28. CC Sabathia 4IP thats amazing with 9ER, 1K, 5 BB, and 8 hits. WOW just wow, this is the guy who won the Cy Young last year no way. CC we will CC ya later. Keep it going Tigers.

  29. Maybe we can get some karmic redemption and hit another slam before this thing’s over. Perhaps it can be Miggy? πŸ™‚

  30. The hitters are doing a great job foucling off close pitches, spoiling some really tough ones, laying off the bad pitches and punishing mistakes.

    These guys aren’t professional hitters. They’re mercenaries.

  31. Unbelievable plate discipline tonight. Worked counts, worked walks, smashed the stitches.

  32. Robert

    I may be too old, but I cannot justifiy spending money to watch/listen to the Tigs while sitting in central MI. That is unless you count the cost of beer at a sports bar.

    Its about time someone that isn’t miggy or E rent gets an rbi. Way to go PP.

  33. That should be good enough for a win!

    This looks like the best outing from one of our starters all season.

  34. Think we can get a 2-for-1 special on Galarraga jerseys?

    Some of this is a bad approach by the Indians, but the kid is throwing strikes. Gotta give him credit.

  35. Fitting that it’s by someone not projected to be on the team. That said, he’s working this game beautifully right now and I want to see this continue!

    Gotta love the bats finally coming out of hibernation.

  36. well this is sure a lot more fun to watch…nice to see the bats coming alive…even better watching this guy pitch…boy if he can keep it going…

  37. Granted, Cleveland is struggling offensively. But much to my chagrin, Galarraga does indeed look good. The question then becomes: If Willis makes a re-hab start and continues to show horrible command, does Galarraga stay in the rotation? It almost seems like a no-brainer, but we’ll have to wait and see.

  38. Holy crap! Sorry I’m late to the party tonight…but woot!!! Armando is DEALING! Let’s just throw him in the 5 spot and let him do this all year long! (Ok, that’s totally unrealistic, but I’m feeling it today.)

    On a different note, I sat CC in my fantasy league tonight, as I knew our offense is fully awake. Boy am I glad I did.

  39. I’m following gameday as well as watching on FSN. He struck out on the fourth pitch, not the way-outside third.

  40. And that, kids, is our second quality start of the year. Unbelievable job by Galarraga.

    I’m taking off, everyone have a great nite. Let’s do this again tomorrow!

  41. We deserve this, gang. I’ve been lying on my couch with the game on, laughing for the first time this season! Okay, back to my beer. I’m in love with Armando G.

  42. I’m with cjb. Huge mancrush on Armando right now. I’m personalizing “GALARRAGA” 58 jerseys on mlb.com right now…if only we knew he’d stick on the roster, I’d be buying.

  43. I’m so mad at FSN+! I can only hope they replay the game at 11pm on regular FSN. Sounds like a blast to watch. Back to Dan and Jim…

  44. Pudge pops up after one of Grilli’s pitches and gives him a “Hey nice, man! That’s the first good pitch I’ve seen you throw!” sort of gesture.

  45. Just going to throw this out there since it’s easy to let things slide when the team is on fire at the plate but, once again, Jim Leyland completely mishandling the lineup with Ivan Rodriguez leading off. What part of his game makes anyone think that’d he’d be a good leadoff hitter versus LHP?

    I don’t want much but it’s just simple things that Leyland does that are so irritating. Absolutely stupid.

  46. Ahh man….got home from softball and see this….I think someone said that Miggy was about to get hot last night..I can’t remember who πŸ™‚

  47. Pudge has had a pretty hot bat lately plus he can run the bases so why not start him first. It’s not always logical what Leland does but most of the time it works. Sometimes he’ll put guys up there just to get them goin.

  48. The Detroit Tigers the last 3 games (Ivan’s numbers removed):

    Tigers: 35/94 (.372), 12 bb, 10 k, 38 LOB

    Ivan Rodriguez by himself:

    Ivan Rodriguez: 2/12, (.167), 1 bb, 1 k, 15 LOB

  49. Pudge has a .362 career OBP against lefties, so I imagine that’s the reasoning. Of course, Leyland isn’t taking into account that Pudge is well into the decline phase of his career — his .308 OBP against lefties last year is probably a whole lot more relevant right now than the career numbers.

  50. Although this is really nice scoring a lot of runs, I would like to have seen this against the White sox with the White sox announcers eating a little crow. The Cleveland crew is pretty decent.

    Steve

  51. Yes, we all would have preferred this to be against the White Sox, Steve, but Cleveland’s a good substitute. πŸ™‚

  52. Kathy my post wasn’t a retort to what you posted, I was working on that right after I posted my comment about Pudge hitting leadoff, so I wasn’t waiting for a response to pounce with that … it was just something I looked up in between my last two posts.

  53. I didn’t take it as a retort, Mike. But I do wonder why Leland still goes with Grilli. And yes, Grandy will be back very soon. Sure wish Raburn could stay! What a week!!!!

  54. All right, that was fun! Here’s to firing on all cylinders, not being alone in last place, and Verlander feeling good tomorrow.

  55. I think that the apparent LOB record is caused by double- or triple-counting some runners. That is, if Pudge and Polanco leave the same runner on, you’re counting it twice. But, the record Bix posted is for actual runners, counted once each. I think that’s what’s up.

  56. Bix, thanks for pointing out the Tigers are now the proud owners of a MLB Record:

    29 runners left on base – Detroit Tigers – April 16 2008

    That shatters the record set by the Yankees way back in 1956 (20 LOB vs. Boston).

    On a night when we hit a grand slam and won by 11 runs, that is one amazing statistic.

    EDIT: Unless Ben’s right and we need to stop counting runners more than once. Even if we don’t get the record, we left a lot of guys on base and still managed to get plenty of offense. I like it.

  57. Mike –

    I can’t rally argue with you too much, but he has hit the ball pretty well the last 3 games. He had 4 well hit balls on Monday, and a line drive to third today. He’s hit a little better than the stat line shows.

    But yeah, he shouldn’t be leading off.

  58. Erik – you’re comparing apples to oranges. The Tigers team LOB was 13, well below the record.

    And get used to a lot of LOB. Good offenses put a lot of runners on, and a lot will get stranded.

  59. Yeah — sorry, I got the erroneous 29 LOB number by looking in the wrong place on the box score. I’d blame Bix, except I’m the guy who put it in boldface type.

    And I agree with you, Billfer, I’ve got no problems with a big LOB — this is a lot better than the “efficient” 3 LOB and 0 R games we were looking at just last week.

    I say keep Pudge in the leadoff spot and let him go 0fer6 every night if these are the results we can expect.

  60. Bix in Boise, Glad to see there is another Tigers fan in Idaho-I live near Coeur d’Alene (originally from Northern Michigan).

  61. hey slashpyne

    i used to spend my summers in coeur D’alene when i was a kid…love the area. i’m just north in canada…a little north of calgary.

    cheers

  62. Yeah, I was gonna say…..we left over three runners on base every inning? Isn’t that impossible? 13 is still shocking considering the amount of runs we scored.

  63. I didn’t take it as a retort, Mike. But I do wonder why Leland still goes with Grilli. And yes, Grandy will be back very soon. Sure wish Raburn could stay! What a week!!!!

    Amen to all that, Kathy!

    Mike –

    I can’t rally argue with you too much, but he has hit the ball pretty well the last 3 games. He had 4 well hit balls on Monday, and a line drive to third today. He’s hit a little better than the stat line shows.

    But yeah, he shouldn’t be leading off.

    Yeah, definitely. It’s just one of the many confusing parts of his managing. Comes with the territory. If we put up 3 game stretches like this one though, I don’t care who bats leadoff.

  64. Galarraga threw first pitch strikes to 17/24 batters (71%) he faced. I can’t say enough about his game plan and ability to throw strikes.

    Grilli went 3-0 on the first two batters he faced (of course starting with a single and thus allowing ANOTHER inherited runner), and threw first pitch strikes to 4/10 batters (40%). His presence in the big leagues is the 8th wonder of the world.

    6-10 would be heaven, wouldn’t it? Kathy – I even watched Sportscenter last night.

  65. Oh give Grilli a break, Kev. Remember his last time out he went 3 very strong innings in the win against the White Sox. Anyway, P-Rod goes 0-for-6 and leaves 10 men on base. The 8th wonder of the world is why JL thinks he’s a capable leadoff hitter…

  66. I’m with you on Pudge too. Though Grilli has scarred me so deep that 9 innings of no hit relief would do little to remedy the harm.

  67. In attempt to jump on the bankwagon, Pudge may have been pressing a little bit last night. Who doesn’t want 4 instant RBI on their resume when the score is 9-1, 11-2, 13-2, etc? 0-6 with 10 men LOB is frustrating, agreed — but I for one can condone it.

    I’m still very happy with his HR/Triple from a couple nights ago which was clutch — or rather, THE factor which coverted loss number 11 into win number 3, and arguably, sparked this three game winning streak and (hopefully–knock on wood) marked the end to a miserable stretch. Pudge may not have maunfactured any quality at bats since, but, in my eyes, he certainly has manufactured a good deal amount of length to his leash on account of that April 14 HR/Triple.

  68. Has anyone even noticed how different this team plays in better weather? Has anyone noticed the beginning of this season looked a lot like the 06 W. Series? Both the play and the weather!

  69. I have no problem with Grilli – as long as he pitches in away games. Whatever has happened in Comerica (fans getting to him, overthinking pitches) it’s just not a good combination.

  70. I have no problem with Grilli pitching with a 10 run lead, or a 10 run deficit. Someone’s gotta eat up those innings.

    I’m a little reluctant to back Grilli in almost any other situation. It’s generally not a good idea to put a pitcher on the mound who can’t find the strike zone in a one or two run game. Regardless of how good his stuff is when he does find the strike zone.

    40% for first-pitch strikes is atrocious. Anybody have the overall percent he thru for strikes last night?

  71. Grilli was at 59% strikes last night, Galarraga was at 69%. I’ll try to keep track of these #’s moving forward. Grilli’s BB/9 ratio is currently over 2X his career average, which isn’t that great to begin with.

    And though it’s impossible to know w/o reviewing every pitch, my guess is that he’s getting behind early and often, and thus grooving pitches.

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