Game 17: Tigers at Blue Jays

PREGAME: You know that both Kenny Rogers and Toronto starter David Purcey have received the exact same run support so far this season? The difference is tonight will be Purcey’s first start and it will be Kenny’s 4th. That’s right, the Tigers have been shut out in all 3 of his starts. Of course Rogers hasn’t pitched so great either. He had a quality start his first time out but hasn’t made it out of the 5th inning in the two starts since.

On the other side Purcey will be making his first start. The 2004 1st round pick of the Jays has a 21:6 strike out to walk ratio in two AAA starts this year.

DET @ TOR, Friday, April 18, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 7:05

: So the Tigers exercised considerable patience early in this game picking up 5 walks in the first two innings but they couldn’t hit Purcey. If Purcey can get a handle on where the ball is going he could be trouble because the Tigers couldn’t hit him.

Although Jim Leyland did help him out by giving away an out when he called for a sac bunt in the 2nd inning following back to back walks. I’ll never understand letting a struggling pitcher off the hook with a sac bunt. It’s one thing if a guy is dealing and you get a double and want to scratch across a run. But that clearly wasn’t the case tonight.

Kenny Rogers turned in a solid outing going 6 2/3 inning and allowing 4 runs so it wasn’t quite a quality start. The 4 walks are still troublesome, as is the one strike out. But he was effective allowing only 3 hits.

The Tigers offense continues to swing it, at least off the bullpen. Seven of their 10 hits went for doubles and the did a nice job stringing them together.

For the second time this week Edgar Renteria belted a first pitch homer that would provide a nice cushion.

And is there anyone having as much fun out there as Miguel Cabrera? He just seems to love the game and it’s fun to watch. So is seeing him knock a couple doubles on his birthday and steal a base.

Finally, a nice job by Aquilino Lopez, Denny Bautista, and Todd Jones. Jones had some kind of mechanical flaw where he couldn’t get the ball down and walked two straight. A short chat with Chuck Hernandez and the game was over 5 pitches later.

88 thoughts on “Game 17: Tigers at Blue Jays”

  1. Next week when Curtis Granderson returns to the line-up, do the stats decide who moves into left field on a regular basis, or is Leyland going to stick with Jones? I know there are other considerations such as when Inge spells Pudge behind the plate. Otherwise, I hope they stick with what is productive. Inge certainly has the arm for LF. Look at the numbers. Particularly OBP and SLG, obviously the BA speak for themselves.


    Inge .400/.543/.304
    Jones .211/.171/.171
    Thames .212/.280/.160

  2. That kid had no command in the 1st inning. Very lucky to only give up one run. I think if we had taken every pitch, we would be up 3-0 with no outs still. Oh well. At least we have the lead early. Cmon Kenny boy.

  3. I don’t like the bunt there. This kid is struggling to throw strikes and you give him an out??

    Not sure about that one.

  4. Swing the bat, Sheff.

    Jeez, 5 walks and a double in two innings for all of 1 run. Feel like we’ve completely let him off the hook.

  5. Sweeeeet Gary. That gives us 5 LOB in only 2 innings! Talk about letting the kid off the hook. Let’s go ahead and challenge that 13 LOB mark we set the other night, or whatever it was.

  6. Only Jim Leyland would have the bunt on against a pitcher who can’t find the plate. And by a player who is hitting .300, while the next three batters are all hitting well below the Mendoza line, no less.

  7. Well.

    I see the kid has settled in and is throwing strikes and retiring hitters. So glad we took advantage of the early opportunities to score that run.

  8. What’s with all the guys being hit? Past few games, it’s like dodgeball out there.
    Remember when Al Kaline used to refer to it as a “hits batsman”? Those were the days.

  9. These runs are on you Kenny. If he goes to 2nd, then we turn 2. That’s a play he usually makes. The mental mistakes this season have been really, really bad. I think we’ll get to 4 runs, but I’m afraid it’s gonna take 7 to win this thing. Rogers will need two great innings to get through 7.

  10. Jeez! What will it take for us to get a decent low scoring pitching performince from one of our regular starters? Kenny was looking good, and then BOOM!!!!

  11. Ugh. It is hard to watch/listen to Tigers games so far this year. They are so hot and cold (unfortunately mostly cold) you just don’t know which team will show up.

  12. I Hope I am wrong, but I can’t shake the feeling that perhaps the time for our “ageless” veterans (Sheffield and Rogers) to be put out to pasture may be rapidly nearing. Pretty pathetic performances so far from both. And can Rollercoaster be far behind?

  13. Greg thanks for the update. Missing Curtis has not been the sole cause of the problems so far but it’s been a significant factor. I can’t wait til he returns!!!

  14. Pudge’s .246 OBP coming into tonight’s game is perfect for a leadoff hitter. By the way, during the 17-hit attack vs. Clev on Wednesday, IRod managed an 0 for 6 from the leadoff spot.

  15. it is good to see the tigers have come back this inning and last and put together some hits and runs to get back in this game. meaning coming back battling right after allowing toronto some runs.


  16. Booyahhh!!! Renteria looks like a damn fine ballplayer lately. Even his defense has been pretty rock solid despite all our early concerns.

  17. And off the Blue Jays pen. One of the better one in the league along with the Twins. Nice work boys.

  18. Ken>>> Do you remember your comment about two years ago about breaking out the oatmeal cookies? I think its time


  19. Hey guys love the fact we are into THEIR bullpen… Wait until we get into ours, not exactly Rodney, Zumaya and Jones in 06. This early 08 rendition has made many a man go back to smoking this year.

  20. Steve you are wrong, with a strong 7th from Rodgers we can go Bautista Jones 1-2 combo to finish it if things go our way. Jones will more then likely again, make it exciting and scary for us in the 9th.

    Your right that it may not be Zoom, Rodney, and Jones of ’06 but its just about as good as them with Bautista Jones of ’08. We just need to find the right guy for our 7th inning man. Perhaps Aquilino Lopez?

    And no matter what happens with Rodney, he wont be the setup man of the 8th inning as Bautista has proven time in and time out that he is there to stay for a while. Rodney will have to fill in somewhere else.

  21. Lol Steve. I was just thinking about that the other day. Good memory. Lets wait till game over before we break out the Little Debbies. I think Pudge’s mom supplied today.

  22. Ken,

    Which steve are you talking too lol?

    BTW, Denny with a good solid 8th inning 1BB and 1K, its up to Todd Rollercoaster tonight for his 4th save of the year.

  23. Hey guys. Just jumping online now. Quiet night here tonight, so thanks to those of you who are on board.

  24. Does anybody foul more balls off his legs than Carlos? I’ve never seen such consistency. It’s almost every at bat. His legs must look like a strawberry patch.

  25. Total bummer. I had the first pick, and I just had to take Miggy. People were kind of ripping me. BTW, I wish I would have taken Renteria. This dude wants to replicate last years BA with better Slugging.

  26. The trades that brought Renteria and Cabrera over look better and better every game. Miggy should be a lock for 100+ rbis, but what about ER? He has already has 13.

  27. I guess if we can’t trust Jones with a 4 run lead, then we should just cut him. That would be my reasoning.

  28. Steve – I tend to agree with you, why not stretch him out so that he can go 2 innings? Maybe JL is trying to boost his confidence with a number of successful outings first.

  29. Good job with our tigers tonight. They once again came back and took the lead. Miggy is just dealing (great grab in the fantasy league he is lol) and Renteria looks like the SS that he was last year for the Braves but with more muscle. Great win Tigers 8-4. BTW nice job by the new 1-2 combo punch in Bautista and Jones great job. Cannot forget Lopez either, great job by the bullpen tonight.

  30. Yeah, if the starters can stretch to 7 then our bullpen seems to be coming into shape. Just think if we can get an effective Zumaya and Rodney back. Cruceta too? Hmmm…cmon starters. Not bad by Kenny tonight. I’m off to the bars to celebrate and hopefully meet my future wife. Take care loyal bloggers.

  31. It’s a great win for the Tigers. Jones made it interesting as usual (but you almost expect this from him at this point).

  32. “They once again came back and took the lead.”

    Maybe that’s the mojo that this team will have this year. I’d like it to be that way because it gives hope for every game where the Tigers are trailing.

    Last years team did not have that at all. Back then, In the late innings, Tiger’s batting average dropped and the runs dried-up like the desert.

  33. If we can get some starting pitching we may have a chance this year. How Good is Rodney gonna be if he comes back?????

  34. billfer:

    As to Jones’ fastball, my memory may be off, but I seem to recall he was consistently in the high 80s but rarely got over 90 last year with his “heater”. He is more of a finesse pitcher (fewer Ks and Ws) than the power pitcher he was earlier in his career. It seems that if he was consistently in the mid 90s he would have a higher K total. I don’t mean to say that he can never get it up there, but Gameday had him consistently at 93MPH on the fastball, and I just don’t believe that.

  35. Bautista is proving to be a good 8th inning man. Lopez is making a strong case as a front-line middle reliever. Seay, despite having a rough week, still deserves our confidence as a good situational lefty reliever. And Jones has been his usual scary-yet-reliable self.

    If somehow they can hold the line until we get Zumaya, Rodney and Cruceta — assuming these pitchers are as effective as advertised– the Tiger’s bullpen could shape up to be one of the best in the majors.

    This is a big what-if, but there is real potential here.

  36. I agree, Chris. Dombrowski has taken some flak regarding the bull-pen, but he could be looking like a genius in a month or two. Bautista is a stud, and hopefully Cruceta proves to be one as well. If Zumaya re-builds arm strength during the offseason, we could be sitting very pretty in ’09. But that’s looking way ahead.

    In response to the postgame: I’m enjoying watching Cabrera (now that he’s put the slow start behind him) too. A game or two ago, he argued a strike call, only to blow a kiss to the ump after calling the next pitch a ball. Iluhvit.

  37. The bullpen seems to be coming around (with the exception of Grilli, who vacillates between decent and awful and Miner, who is just awful), but the rotation still seems to be stuck in neutral. The lack of command (high pitch counts and way to many BBs) are killing us there. Rogers and Verlander are particularly missing the strike zone a lot. And Willis – yikes! (his going on the DL may be a blessing in disguise). It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

    Speaking of relief pitchers, who is this Neal Blaine guy in Toledo?

  38. Mike R:

    Thanks for the stat. I guess I stand somewhat corrected. 91.7 isn’t 93, but then it is faster than what I remembered from the end of the season last year. But, then I guess everybody is slowing down some by the end of the season. My judgement may have been skewed to the later games, since early in the season I wasn’t paying as much attention to Gameday pitch data.

  39. Vince, I’m with you. I don’t find it inconceivable that he hit 93 (or hovered there for a few pitches), but I do find it to be less than likely. Gameday’s data is a bit off on some readings. JJ Putz for the Mariners was recorded as hitting 95 in the game before he got hurt and everything I read on that game said he hit 91.

    But either way, so long as Jones isn’t walking anyone he should be okay.

  40. Let’s talk about Cabrera.

    The other night I was watching the game (I don’t know which, maybe it was yesterday’s? Yeah?). Anyway, Cabrera’s up, and he takes two pitches that are clearly balls. He gets back in the box, and the next pitch is a strike right down the middle. Thing is, as it’s coming, he just steps back out of the box, as if he doesn’t care that anyone’s trying to pitch to him. The next pitch he just watches, calmly. It’s another strike. 2-2. At this point, I’m getting from his body language that he knows he’s going to get a pitch to hit, and that he’s going to hit it hard somewhere, and that he’s absolutely not worried about it. He doesn’t even have to try. I’m like, “He’s going to get a hit.”

    The next pitch comes and he rips a single up the middle.

    And I’ve seen the way A-Rod presses at the plate – I mean, the guy is great but if he just let his talent loose and didn’t worry so much he’d be so much better. And I feel like Cabrera is doing that. He’s A-Rod without the pressure. Just a lot of gentle, nourishing encouragement. And I feel like he’s going to take off and take us with him.

    Gonna mash.

    I said it here first. MVP 2008? Miguel Cabrera.

  41. Oh, and if we talk about velocity – there’s not just one reading. If they’re measuring speed simply based on the time it takes to leave the pitcher’s hand and hit the glove divided by the distance to produce an average velocity, that’s different than, say, radar gun. Or determining through video analysis the actual momentary velocity of the baseball as it passes through the strike zone.

    All I’m saying is there’s always going to be different readings. Hence: they can all be “right.” And even if you had a consistent reading, you’d have to know how it was calculated for you to understand just which speed you’re actually referencing.

  42. Has anyone heard anything about how Vance’s rehab is going? I’m pretty sure a Pudge playing 145 games is going to be a very bad Pudge.

  43. I was at the game last night, and Cabrera was impressive. Everything he hit was incredibly hard.

    Like others here I was disappointed with the decisions to lead-off Pudge and bunt Inge. But it all worked out fine in the end. I don’t know whose idea the bunt was. During a stoppage in play just before the bunt, Inge walked down the line and had a long chat with Lamont. Maybe it was Inge’s idea?

    Lots of Tiger fans at the dome, and I’ll be back on Sunday and Monday.

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