Game 4: White Sox at Tigers

PREGAME:: A win, a win, my kingdom for a win. After having no luck with the Royals the Tigers turn their attention to the White Sox. For those worried that the Tigers have already dug themselves an insurmountable hole, fear not. Jamie Samuelson of WDFN and the Freep did some research and found that way back in 1998 the Yankees started 0-3 before going on to be one of the best teams in modern times. Those Yankees did win the 4th game – in extra innings.

The Tigers will be facing Jose Contreras. Now the last time the Tigers faced Contreras it was a happy day. It was the last day of 2007. The Tigers won. Placido Polanco got his 200 hits, Guillen his 100 RBIs, Granderson finished at .300, Magglio won the batting title, and Mike Rabelo hit his first homer.

Nate Robertson takes the mound for Detroit. Coincidentally he was on the mound for that same game and picked up the win with a 6 2/3 inning effort.

Miguel Cabrera is back in the lineup as DH and batting third while Clete Thomas gets another start in center field.

CHW @ DET, Friday, April 4, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 1:05

POSTGAME: I have to give Jason Grilli some credit, he got people to stop talking about the offense. There are degrees of blame here, but I’ve never seen 3 pitches do so much damage. I can’t fault Leyland for not pulling Grilli before the damage had been done, but leaving him in beyond that was asinine. If it weren’t for bad baserunning by the White Sox Grilli might still be out there.

I understand the vitriol and the desire to let Grilli go. I had the same thoughts not only today, but at times last year as well. But here’s what sucks, there isn’t anyone else. If Francisco Cruceta were available, or if Jordan Tata didn’t have a broken hand then by all means let him go. But this is a team with Aquilino Lopez already on the roster.

What I have a bigger problem with is Leyland’s erratic use of the pen. Using Zach Miner for only one inning is a waste in that situation. The game was tied and there were still 3 innings left in regulation. He’s also burned Bobby Seay for one batter appearances. Never mind the fact that Seay is one of the better relievers at his disposal.

Other observations:

  • Robertson looked stellar at times, but awful at other times. Five runs and five innings wasn’t good enough.
  • Nice defense by the Tigers today with Brandon Inge starting a tough double play and Carlos Guillen making a nice pick on a throw in the baseline from Robertson.
  • The bats are waking up with every Tiger but Edgar Renteria getting a hit. They were also pretty selective with the team picking up 6 walks.
  • Relievers not named Jason Grilli were quite good with Miner, Bautista, and Jones going 3 scoreless innings.
  • I read some of the comments that the Tigers seemed to be rushing their at-bats after the homer. I have to say I disagree. The 9th inning they battled. Carlos Guillen worked a 10 pitch walk. Ordonez hit a line drive to center field. Cabrera walked. And Renteria hit a liner that Jermaine Dye made a diving play on. They didn’t exactly roll over against a tough pitcher.

164 Comments

  1. Brad

    April 4, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Clete Thomas leads off yet again.

    I swear, if this team wins 90 games they’ll be lucky.

  2. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I don’t have a problem with Clete in the lineup at this point. He’s hit the ball hard, and a lot better than most of the high powered, high paid hitters down the rest of the roster so far.

    He’s just a placeholder for Granderson and I’m glad JL is giving him a chance to play.

  3. Chris in Dallas

    April 4, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Cletus has had a few nice swings up there. And some brutal ones. That’s to be expected since, well, he’s played 3 friggin’ games in the majors. It’s not like he’s going to be relied on for the entire season anyway. Grandy should be back right around tax day. If Sheffield has to hit the DL, I wonder who will take his roster spot…

  4. Dylan

    April 4, 2008 at 11:49 am

    That freep link has Guillen third:

    Thomas, CF
    Polanco, 2B
    Guillen, 1B
    Ordoñez, RF
    Cabrera, DH
    Renteria, SS
    Rodriguez, C
    Jones, LF
    Inge, 3B

  5. Blake

    April 4, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I like that we’re getting a bit of a look at Clete here before he gets sent back down. He’s made really impressive contact on a few of his swings this year. In Baseball America’s prospect book it mentioned that Thomas has trouble hitting offspeed stuff. I mentioned that to my dad on Opening Day when he came up against Soria. With two strikes he got an offspeed pitch and crushed it. He may have enough game to do some damage.

  6. grant

    April 4, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Chris, ESPN is saying that Sheff will not need a DL trip.

  7. Chris in Dallas

    April 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Yeah grant I just saw that a few minutes ago. Good news. He may only have 1 hit, but he’s also rocking a .500 OBP right now…

  8. billfer

    April 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    It’s freaking cold at the game today. And no sleeves for Nate.

  9. Eric Cioe

    April 4, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Bulldog Nate KK Robertson, stopper.

  10. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Leyland hates to change his lineup, which is why Thomas is batting first. We questioned the heck out of it last year – remember Thames or Monroe batting 2nd?

  11. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    My goodness. Thanks to the gift from Uribe, we have ‘em loaded with no outs and Maggs batting. Could we actually have our second lead of the year?!?

  12. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Look at all those baserunners! It’s been a while. Please, lets not leave them all there.

  13. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Does anyone have the ER chart handy? What is it for bases loaded and 0 outs?

  14. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Naturally, Maggs find the LEAST efficient way to score a run in that situation by grounding into a DP.

    Yeesh. At least it’s 1-0

  15. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Disappointing result starting out with the bases jammed and no outs. Can I simply point out that Clete Thomas delivered the only hit that half inning?

  16. Bix in Boise

    April 4, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Moments like that it’s nice to have a converted SS playing 1st. Nice dig, Carlos.

    Have I mentioned yet this year that AJ Pierzjhsdfkh is a tool?

  17. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Found it. ER for bases loaded and 0 outs is 2.47. We are 1.47 runs behind.

  18. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Well that was a punch in the gut.

  19. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I really enjoyed that lead, for all of 1/3 of an inning.

  20. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Awesome. Carlos Quentin. I wonder what his % ownership is in AL Central only ESPN Baseball leagues. 1% maybe? His Mom probably drafted him.

  21. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    BTW, bases loaded and 0 outs, there is a better chance of scoring 4 runs or more than scoring 1 run.

  22. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    There’s been a Pudge sighting!

    If you look closely at second base you can see where we are about to leave him stranded for the inning.

  23. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I guess bunting is outlawed with this team.

  24. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    If Craig Monroe didn’t make it through 2007, there doesn’t seem much chance Jacque Jones lasts until the end of 2008. It’s only a couple games, but I don’t like that swing at all.

  25. tiff

    April 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Clete!!!

  26. Bix in Boise

    April 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, Clete Thomas!

  27. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Just ordered a Clete jersey.

  28. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Clete! Way to come through. Maybe the kid can loosen up the veterans in the lineup.

  29. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Ahem.

  30. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Clete X 2!

  31. tiff

    April 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    He’s a sub for Granderson in terms of energy too, it seems.

  32. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    It really says something about how poorly we’re hitting as a team when a rookie with 7 career ABs leads the team in hitting and SB, and is tied for the lead in RBI.

    I have to ask: where would we be without Clete Thomas?

  33. Bix in Boise

    April 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I wonder if I could steal a base on Contreras…it’s possible.

  34. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Can he play left when Grandy comes back?

  35. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    It seems Clete is becoming the new Shelton, but I hope he does not go down the same path as him though.

  36. Bix in Boise

    April 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Can we coin WWCTD?

    Cause really…what WOULD Clete Thomas do?

  37. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I see Clete more as the ’08 version of Ryan Raburn.

  38. Travis in Baton Rouge

    April 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Oy! The bullpen is going to get extended work today.

  39. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Sheesh, so much for Nate’s great spring.

  40. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Awww hell. Remember what a problem this was last year? Giving up runs the half-inning after we scored them?

  41. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    This looks like 2007 Nate, he’ll be around 60 pitches to get through 3 innings. He gave up a quick 2-spot after we took the lead, and has given up 3 more after we tied it.

    *sigh*

  42. charlie

    April 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    ugh…maybe another 20 million will help us win???

  43. Jason from Somewhere

    April 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    All with two outs! and what else can you expect when EVERYTHING is up in the zone. This is going to be a long day

  44. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Just throw some money at it and say go away.

  45. K-man

    April 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I took the day off to watch this?

  46. Bix in Boise

    April 4, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Yeah pudgie!

  47. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Looks like we’ll have a battle of the bullpens…could get even uglier for both sides.

  48. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Please JJ, use your one hit of the week right now.

  49. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Amazing, I was about to quit on the team forever, and now I’m looking up WS tix.

    Just a note to everyone, I won’t complain about Jones again until next Fri, 1:15pm Central.

  50. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Matched their season total in 3 swift innings…

  51. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    It sure would be nice if Robertson could get the ball down and get a few people out.

  52. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Finally some SMALL BALL!!! I love it! Season total of runs over three games equals runs scored in 3 innings. JJ comes through, Pudge is hitting again finally, and the biggest most pleasant surprise Clete Thomas. Wow is he loosening the vets or what? I think if Sheff goes to DL and Granderson is back Clete should somehow stay up here. He’s showing alot of promise better promise then those critics in baseball.

    Anyways the boys might actually play today and win today. I said yesterday Nate could win it if the Offense comes alive. And that it would be a nice to see a high scoring game especially from our Tigers.

    GOO TIGERS!! Keep up that Small Ball Scoring.

  53. Travis in Baton Rouge

    April 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I noticed they were cleaning the mud off Nate’s shoes last half inning. That must have been the problem!! :)

  54. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Maybe one more inning out of Nate before the fun begins.

  55. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    3 for 3 Clete Thomas wow, great story of the day!!

  56. Travis in Baton Rouge

    April 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Clete freaking Thomas!! (please don’t be the next coming of chris shelton)

  57. charlie

    April 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    CLETE!!!

  58. Bix in Boise

    April 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I’m sticking with WWCTD.

  59. Jason from Somewhere

    April 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Dear DTW faithful — you dont really know me, i don’t post all that often, but i do read your comments and watch ALL the games. Anyways, today’s my birthday and I think you will all understand when I say all I want this year is a tigers win. Now. i dont care how it happens, if the score ends up 14-13, how many BP fastballs and flat sliders Nate throws up in the zone, just let us please have a win today. I throw myself at the mercy of the baseball gods…

  60. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Clete Thomas = Honus Wagner

  61. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Sometime Rod Allen doesn’t understand Mario, Case in point: Mario “How many hits has Clete got off breaking balls” Rod “Not that many”

  62. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    This is how we should hit. 1.5 runs, coming up.

  63. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Interestingly, Contreras has actually been far worse than Robertson. He’s at 73 pitches (Nate’s at 72 through 4) before retiring anyone in the 4th, he’s walked 4 and only K’d 2 (vs. 2bb and 4k for Nate). Jose’s saving grace is 2 DP balls.

    With the bullpens on these teams, we could easily see 20 runs combined.

  64. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Individual LOB: Det 14, Chi 3

  65. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Have the Tgers opposition hit into a double play yet?

  66. Dylan

    April 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Another double. Geez Nate.

  67. Travis in Baton Rouge

    April 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Nate must have more mud on his shoe. :(

  68. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I’d pull Nate after Pierzyski.

  69. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Although Nate is certinaly doing his best to match Contreras’ awful outing.

    My goodness he’s bad today.

  70. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    We could use some LOB here.

  71. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Well as bad as Nate is and not getting DPs he can sure pitch himself out of a jam. Nate go one more strong for us so we can get to Miner, Bautista, Jones combo. Hopefully they can hold it down and the offense can at least score one run.

  72. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I have to think Nate’s done at 90 pitches. That’s about where Verlander and Bonderman wore down, and to my knowledge, Nate hasn’t thrown more than that in the spring. My guess is Miner takes over for the 6th. If Leyland sends Robertson back out there, I really think he’s toast.

  73. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Who is this Ivan Rodriguez guy playing for the Tigers today?

  74. tiff

    April 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    He sounds oddly familiar, Tbone, but nothing like this guy Pudge I knew last year.

  75. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, that was ugly….

  76. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Pudge GAH!!! WTH was that kind of baserunning. Pretty mad at him right now…….>:/

  77. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Well, we found what the Tigers will lead the league in this season — runners left on base.

  78. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Can someone explain how Jones GROUNDED into a DP with runners on 2nd and third?

  79. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    The new mlb gameday has a button you can click to see the highlight. A nice new feature. Now I hope there will be something I want to see – not like the end of the last inning.

  80. Dylan

    April 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Pudge had some very poor base running. That’s how.

  81. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I can’t see it, would Renteria have scored on the play?

  82. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Nice Job Miner…..and Renteria froze quarter of the way to home, Pudge didn’t see went past half way to third then went back after see Renteria. Renteria then went back but was too late. Bad communications with Renteria and Pudge. But great end of the inning with Miner. Keep it going.

  83. tiff

    April 4, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    yes Renteria was crossing home plate, pudge was caught at third.

  84. tiff

    April 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    btw Dan Dickerson called it excellent defense for the WS instead of horrible baserunning by the Tigs. Didn’t see it to judge.

  85. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    remarkably, ozzie left contreras in the game at 91 pitches. this is a GOLDEN opportunity to put some runs up, he’s been skating on the edge all day…

  86. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Pudge was out at 2nd, not 3rd. Renteria didn’t break for home, Pudge assumed he was going and got caught too far down the basepath. He got tagged out at 2nd trying to get back.

  87. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Clete time! Come on baby!

  88. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    The rookie is advancing baserunners – by accident. He’s magic today.

  89. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    LOL I love that phrase Ben, Its a classic. advancing baserunners by accident that is AWESOME!

  90. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Oh man. Grilli time.

    Hold your breath, everyone.

  91. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Yeah, it’s only April, but Miner couldn’t go two innings today?

    Three pitches, three hits, three runs. Good job Grilli.

  92. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Gascan, check.

    Matches, check.

    Gotta be Grilli time!

  93. Dylan

    April 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    OMG. Drill Me. 3 Pitches. 3 runs. Wow.

  94. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Grilli is really unbelievable. 3 pitches and we’re down 3 runs.

  95. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    We should start calculating Grilli’s ERA per pitch. Why he’s on the roster is beyond me.

  96. T Smith

    April 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Tigers Grilled in the Seventh:

    Three pitches. Three runs.

  97. Ben in Denver

    April 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    On top of that, of all the guys to do it, it was AJ. Oh, that’s the worst.

  98. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    This is seriously laughable now. Somebody hit the reset button on this whole season.

  99. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Leave him in there now. Save the pen for tomorrow when we have a winnable game.

  100. charlie

    April 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    this is getting ugly real fast.

  101. T Smith

    April 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    This is unbelievable.

  102. Joey the K in Portland OR

    April 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Cheese! NOOOOOOOOOOOO

  103. Travis in Baton Rouge

    April 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Wow, can this get any uglier?

  104. Dave T.

    April 4, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Gotta love grilli
    will all the grilli apologists please start typing now
    you seem to be awfully quite

  105. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Really, four out of five were first pitch swinging….

  106. Deryl G

    April 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Grilli is to Leyland as Crack is to an addict.

    Please Dave, trade him so Jim isn’t tempted. He just can’t help himself.

  107. tiff

    April 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I like using “Grilli” as a euphemism for “f’ed up.”

    Like, for example, we really grilli’ed up our chances of winning this one.

  108. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I think Grilli deserves a pass today, by no means am I a Grilli lover, but Leyland should have left Miner in there.

  109. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Really, after those first 3 pitches it wasn’t so bad was it?

  110. greg

    April 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Grilli’s era 20.25….

    Interesting, it SEEMS like his era is that high every year, yet when I look at it, it never is.

    Besides Jose Mesa, can anyone think of a WORSE reliever than Grilli?

    Sorry, its just frustrating that he’s used for anything but mopup duty.

  111. Dave T.

    April 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    have the tigers have 1 timely hit all year?
    maybe pudge in the 3rd?

  112. Jeff

    April 4, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I think Grilli deserves a pass today, by no means am I a Grilli lover, but Leyland should have left Miner in there.

    Yes, Miner should have stayed in the game, but it’s not like Leyland put Grilli out there in an impossible situation. Nobody on, nobody out, and Grilli on three days’ rest, there’s no excuse for his performance.

  113. Chris

    April 4, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    We aren’t even done with the 1st week of the season and the hopes for this team even being a winning team seam to be sinking like a stone…….
    |
    |
    |
    |
    *

  114. boombotti

    April 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Jeff, yes I agree, but how often does a team swing at the first pitch three consecutive at bats.

  115. Chris

    April 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I hate to say it, but the tigers are going to be the worst team in the league this year…. This is an absolute disaster

  116. Stephen

    April 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Trade Maybin!
    Sorry, to me, that joke never gets old. But I have been bitching about this bullpen for a FULL year now. I understand they’re hard to put together, but c’mon! Rodney and Zumaya go down again(!) and Dombrowski does nothing? Sure, you’re gonna overpay–which was the whole point of my admittedly demented bullpen tirades last year, but that’s baseball. For Grilli to be anything other than the 11th man on a mediocre team is just lame.

  117. Mike in CT

    April 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Six outs left to play with. Nothing would be sweeter than getting a couple runs off Jenks, but that’s wishful thinking. Linebrink on the other hand, maybe.

  118. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Nice work tiff. Man, after this game I’m gonna hit the bar and just get Grilli’ed.

  119. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    BTW, I much prefer listening to Dan and Jim on days like today. They don’t sugarcoat anything.

  120. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Not just the bullpen Stephen. The starters are suspect as well IMO. With the 2nd highest payroll in the bigs, the staff from top to bottom should be much better.

    The bully definitely stands out though. I was pulling what little hair I have left out when it became obvious that Grilli was coming back this season.That flat fastball and no-sink sinker of his are as good as teeing it up at this level.

    The offense shouldn’t be left off the hook in this, either. Poor hitting, poor baserunning, missed opportunities anytime they string a couple of hits together. It’s just all a hot mess right now.

  121. Stephen

    April 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Any stats guy know whether a team that starts 0-4 has ever made the world series?

  122. Adam

    April 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    We lost. Boo.

    0-4.

  123. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Man I leave Grilli in there with runners on 1st and 3rd to go eat at my cafe and he lets 3 runs on 4 pitches wow. Now I’ve been defending Grilli for a while but only as our lone long reliever. HE SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN A TIE OR 1 RUN SITUATTIONS OR EVEN ONE INNING SITUATIONS. Miner should have gone 2 or even put in Lopez or Seay. WTH.

    And then our offense after being behind 3 runs goes dry and starts swing again for the fence or at anything (Renteria on two strikeouts, swung fishing grr) No small ball after the third thats just amazing.

    0-4, wow, we don’t win tomorrow then I will be very unhappy. This is just unbelieveable. 0-6 is just on the horizon and we could match the 1-9 start our good ’03 tigers did if we don’t win soon.

  124. Andrew

    April 4, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Unbelievable.

  125. Matthew

    April 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Is it just me or does it seem Renteria swings at pretty much every pitch thrown? Not only that but he has a lazy swing/ approach that almost looks like he just wants to get the at-bat over with.

  126. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I’m not concerned about the 4 losses. These bats will be fine. Remember when the Yankees were 10 games under last May?

    What concerns me, and what I’d be willing to put money down on, is that this bullpen is so poor that it will preclude us from competing for the division. A change has to be made in the pen. Several of us have been calling for it since last June.

  127. jason

    April 4, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    worst team in the league? i doubt it.

    I know its early, but they need to step it up if they don’t want to be looking at a huge deficit in the playoff race. Giving the other teams a huge lead and playing catch-up isnt fun.

  128. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Well it will happen if we are out of the playoff picture by July. We will probably at least halfway unload, Bondo, Renteria, Inge, Jones, Thames, Sheff, maybe Pudge if we can get a veteran catcher somewhere. yea we will be rebuilding if we are out of this thing then we can get all the bullpen needs we want, maybe. If these guys are good we can get some good bullpen help but I don’t see that happening. Bondo wont be that great, Renteria maybe, Inge shouldn’t be bad(big contract is though), Jones gets us nothing, Thames gets little, Sheff not as much, Pudge gets us something.

  129. chris

    April 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    If we do not release or send Grilli or send him to Erie I don’t know what else we can do with him . HE STINKS!!! Why in the world did Leyland take Miner out after only 1 inning? Things that make you go Hmmmmmm….. We need pitching!!!!!!!

  130. Sean

    April 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    We hit .314/.415/.371 (BA/OBP/SLG) for a team OPS of .786 and only scored 5 runs. I don’t know the exact translation of OPS into runs, but that seems pretty unlucky to me. It would be nice to get the pitching and hitting going on the same day, but there’s still 158 games left. I don’t think it’s really time to panic yet. Judging an entire season on four games might be rushing things a bit. We have too much talent to keep playing this poorly.

    It’s discouraging yes, but I’m not ready to give up on the season. We can still win this series, and if we do I will be a very happy man (but Dontrelle pitches tomorrow so who knows how that’s going to be).

  131. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    We have nothing to trade for pitching we gave all of it up for Willis who is sketchy at best, and Cabrera who is injuried and is 2-12 or so……start of the season slump but Im not too sure it was worth giving up so much of our young pitching i would love to have DAllas Trehern back.

  132. Adam

    April 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Hey guys. 0-4 is bad. I’m not happy about it.

    But talk to me in a month. That’s all I have to say about that.

    We’ll have a winning record by May.

  133. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    At best though lol, we will have a huge score tomorrow Floyd was horrible last start and Willis had a bad spring so we shall find out how bad this thing will get tomorrow. I still say w/o 5+ runs for Willis we are totally done for tomorrow, 0-5.

  134. chris

    April 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I know the hitting will be there but the pitching situation is a concern. Hopefully Zumaya and Rodney can come back and one of our minor leaguers can take the place of Jason “Welcome to Taco Bell, can I take your order” Grilli. You have to admit he has done nothing for us in 2 years. Lets at least develop one of our youngsters at the major league level.

  135. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Boy I can’t wait to watch the next two games on TV and listen to Hawk and DJ cackling like hyenas as Crede & Co. batter Dontrelle all over the yard tomorrow.

    God I hate the White Socks.

    Can we just win one game please?

  136. Joey the K in Portland OR

    April 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I was hoping the KC sweep would fire the boys up. At least we were hitting today and matched our runs from the first 3 games. Now to put it all together tomorrow. Don’t give up yet boys! (and Kathy)

    GO CLETE!!!!

  137. Jeff

    April 4, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Boy I can’t wait to watch the next two games on TV and listen to Hawk and DJ cackling like hyenas as Crede & Co. batter Dontrelle all over the yard tomorrow.

    Look on the bright side, both games are on national TV. No local telecasts.

  138. cib

    April 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Hello bloggers. I am back in my office. My feet are freezing. I was at all four games this week and it’s like a bad dream. The hitting was better today but that Grilli inning will keep me up at night. Who ever would have believed this week?? Yow!! is all I can say.

  139. William

    April 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Stephen–not sure about 0-4 start, but the Angels started 6-14 in 2002, and then won the WS. Actually–and I think you pointed this out–DET was 11-20 or somesuch in 1987 and won 98 games and the division.

    Bad week so far…and not really many encouraging signs. I see no chance of us doing much damge without a healthy and effective Rodney/Zumaya. Or something similar. We’ll win a bunch of games with offense, but the history books are littered with good offensive teams that were done in by poor pitching.

    Our preseason accolades were similar to a college football team who returns a bunch of great skill position players, but lost their front 7 on D, or all their best OL. They sell papers, but they don’t win trophies. We still haven’t solved last years’ issues.

  140. Matt

    April 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    ATTN: CIB -> STOP GOING TO GAMES, YOU ARE A JINX.

    J/K

    This is getting out of control.

  141. Kathy

    April 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I had to leave when the score was still tied but was leary of what our bullpen might do. Turned on the radio to hear 8-5 and shut it right off. Can’t stand it!

  142. Mark in Chicago

    April 4, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Good point, Jeff. I had forgotten about the national broadcasts.

    Although, instead I get to hear national broadcasters ask “what’s wrong with Jim Leyland’s Tigers?” over and over.

    Between that and embarassing ourselves on national TV, I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

  143. JoJo Sun Devil

    April 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Are we gonna suck? I can’t handle another losing season.

    Stay positive jojo. Stay positive

  144. JoJo Sun Devil

    April 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    We suck. How?

  145. charlie

    April 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    this is jim leyland’s fault…he picked these guys…what was he thinking?

    i’m obviously kidding. we still have the same strengths and weaknesses that we had going into spring training. however, we did not have a good second half in spring training and that is carrying over now. i still think this will be a good team but there is some doubt creeping in. i hope things get turned around in a hurry.

  146. Steve in Kzoo

    April 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    I still like Seay, Miner, and Bautista everyone else is either a rollercoaster, or just sucks. Grilli should ONLY been a long reliever. WE still have a steady bullpen its just who you put in with how the game’s going. No Grilli when one run lead or tie-as an example.

  147. Ryan

    April 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Everyone repeat this mantra:

    SMALL SAMPLE SIZE! DON’T PANIC!*

    Teams that end up playing .660 ball over a season are gonna have four game losing streaks. It’s gonna happen. It just seems like death when it’s right at the start.

    *Except Jacque. Hoo boy, he don’t look too good.

  148. Kevin in Austin

    April 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Tim Kurkjian just said that no team has ever started 0-4 at home and made it to the WS.

    Hell, how many teams have started 0-4 at home?

  149. Kevin

    April 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Tim Kurkijan might want to consider this. His “anaylsis” of baseball is defined by a similar approach to the world:

    “In anthropology, psychology and cognitive science magical thinking is causal reasoning that often includes such ideas as the law of contagion, correlation equaling causation, the power of symbols and the ability of the mind to affect the physical world.

    Like science, magic is concerned with causal relations, but unlike science, it does not distinguish correlation from causation.”

  150. Brian P

    April 4, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I hope Timo and Thomas keep hitting so we can keep a very short leash on Jones. I would rather see Marcus starting and bat .250 with 30 home runs, but it seems the Tigers are intent on having that left-handed bat in the lineup.

  151. Dave BW

    April 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    What are you talking about, Ryan? Surely these four games are representative of the season as a whole. My guess is that the Tigers will go 0-162 while the Nationals will wrap it up with 122-40.

  152. Sideshow Cecil

    April 4, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Two things no one has mentioned:

    1.) Polanco – stinks right now. Let’s not give this guy a free pass. Everything is a pop up to RF or a grounder to SS. With no Granderson, he takes on a bigger role and it’s a bad time for him to be in a slump. Hopefully it’s just a slump and not the end of his miraculous contact rate.

    2.) Guillen in the 3-hole. I wasn’t happy with Leyland choosing Sheff to bat 3rd and Cabrera to bat 5th, and I was hoping that the finger injury would at least allow Cabrera to move into the 3 slot. He’s just a better hitter than anyone else on the team (and almost anyone in baseball). We need to maximize his AB’s. Didn’t matter today, he and Carlos had about the same production, but I thought Miguel looked a lot better doing it – hit a rope into RF for his single, took some borderline pitches for balls.

    Finally, Nate was pretty bad. We wouldn’t be talking about Grilli’s inning if Nate could’ve pitched into the sixth. Everything was up and flat. Even the two K’s to open the game were flat sliders up in the zone.

  153. Jason

    April 4, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    The scary part about this is that before the season started, these first 6 games were almost the only easy ones I saw on the schedule for the first 6 -7 weeks. The next 30 games don’t get much easier. We go to Boston next for their home opener and WS ring ceremony (Red Sox Nation Party!!!). Then, we play these same White Sux in Chicago. Then, the Twins stop in at the CoPa before we go play the Tribe and the Jays. We get a slight breather when the Rangers come to town, but then close out the month with a visit from the Angels and a trip to the Bronx.

    We could go 0 for April. Realistically, we are probably looking at 7-20 by May at best.

  154. cib

    April 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Matt: Hey! But you might be right, I won’t be back til the 15th and I’m not going to watch tomorrow.

    SS Cecil: Right about Polanco; without Curtis I think everyone’s rhythm and tone is just off. Going back to my mantra, the second I heard about that finger breaking, I said it was a bad omen. I wish I had not been right.

    Still forlorn, but it’s good to have company!

  155. Andrew

    April 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Jason,

    Your a real glass is half empty kind of fellow, eh? ;)

    There are no easy games this year. When the Tigers spent big bucks to buy the same caliber talent as the Red Sox and Yankees they also purchased the same target that both those teams wear on their backs.

    Every other team in the majors plays you as though it were a deciding playoff game. No one wants to be a doormat for the Tigers going to the world series.

    This team needs to forget about having one of the highest payrolls in the league and just go out there and play the game.

    I’m ready for a “we just plain stunk” tirade from the cigarette smoking man. Or at least have him drop a lit cigarette down Grilli’s jock. Something needs to be done to light a fire under this team.

  156. Jason

    April 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Andrew,

    I agree with you about getting something to wake these guys up. Maybe they ate too much surf and turf in Lakeland. Maybe this is just what they need to get hungry again. It’s just painful to see them losing to the teams they are losing to after the additions to the team.

    It’s a long season, so there is hope. However, if we don’t right the ship soon, this season could turn into a marathon like ’03. Then, I won’t have anything to look forward to in the fall, except the debacle that is taking place in Ann Arbor. AAHHH!!!

  157. Andrew

    April 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Jason,

    I think everyone is waiting with baited breath on this year’s issue of the Tigers. I, too, am hoping that they don’t disappoint.

    With the money spent and expectations (by us fans – not the overhyped media) a bad Tigers season in 2008 could justifiably be worse than that 2003 debacle.

    Hey, there’s always the Detroit Lions, right? Oh yeah, they’re still owned by the Fords and Millen hasn’t been ridden out of town on a rail.

    C’mon Tigers, don’t make this summer suck.

  158. Jason

    April 4, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Ok. 1 positive. Carlos Guillen is among the leaders (albeit after 4 games) in many hitting categories. I’m trying hard and struggling to find anything positive to hang on to with these guys.

    Tomorrow, please show us a glimmer of hope that the offense, defense, and pitching can show up on the same day. Is that too much to ask for???

  159. T Smith

    April 4, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Here’s the bottom line:

    It doesn’t matter who’s coming to town or who we’re playing the rest of April. If we play like we have played the past four games, it won’t matter who we play. We’re going finish dead last in this division and win 70 games at best. Be it Bosox, Yankees, Indians, whoever. We won’t be able to beat anybody.

    If the starting pitching shows up on the same day as the offense, and if we actually don’t leave a gazillion runners in scoring position, and if we actually manage to get some clutch hits, two out hits, and if lead-off doubles come around to score every now and then — we can beat Bosox, Yankees, the Indians, and anybody else we play. It doesn’t matter who we play — it matters HOW we play. 0-4 isn’t the end of the world, as long as the team shows up to play the next game. For that matter if we were 4-0 today and the team I’ve watched the past four outings shows up to play for the rest of this month, we’d still be 7-20 thru the first six weeks.

    We just need to play. That means no 2-19 stretches for Polly — that means Mags has to step up his game and get the clutch hit when we need it instead of bouncing into double plays (does he have any RBI yet?) that means no Jones masqueraying as Monroe, that means Renteria coming through when there is a runner on third with only one out, and that means the Tigers have to play like a playoff team. In theory, that should be more than possible… I only hope the team shows up before they dig such a huge hole.

  160. Forty

    April 4, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I’d rather have an 0-4 team with a bunch of good players than a 4-0 team with a bunch of bad players…in a related story there’s only 97.5% of the season left to go!

    Also, is there a way to red flag anyone who complains about Cabrera. I want some sort of scarlet letter to appear next to anyone’s name who complains about him being injured already, or not hitting well right now, etc. My guess is that letter will look a little silly over the next 8 years. And sillier during his Hall of Fame induction.

    Lastly, in solidarity with Stephen (as it never gets old) — trade Maybin!

  161. Mike R

    April 5, 2008 at 1:00 am

    I saw a portion of the game, but was Nate Robertson hitting the high 80′s all day? I liked that contract we gave him but solely because I assumed he was healthy and going to be working around 91, like he has in the past. His breaking ball and offspeed pitch are not good enough to get by on hitting just 87-88 on the gun with his 4-seamer. If that’s all he’ll be topping out at from here on, we are in terrible shape with that deal. It’ll put the Inge contract to shame.

  162. ron

    April 5, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Two years ago, we lose a world series to the stinkin’ Cards. Last year, we blow the whole season with a miserable August. Now…0 and 4. Why don’t we get rid of Leyland before it’s too late.

  163. Adam

    April 5, 2008 at 3:48 am

    HIRE TRAM!

  164. Andrew

    April 5, 2008 at 8:39 am

    HIRE TRAM!

    :D LOL