Game 5: White Sox at Tigers

by billfer on April 5, 2008 · 168 comments

in 2008 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: Remember when THE TRADE was made and there was talk about how Dontrelle Willis wouldn’t have to be “the guy” and would flourish with the absence of that additional pressure? Well, the Tigers need him to be “the guy” and on National TV to boot.

Plus Willis will be trying to overcome the control issues that plagued him this spring. He was even given a detention to work things out while the rest of the team left Lakeland.

The White Sox send out Gavin Floyd who improved down the stretch last year including some great performances against the Tigers. In his last 3 starts against Detroit he allowed just 2 runs in 19 innings.

CHW @ DET, Saturday, April 5, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 3:55

 
 

{ 168 comments }

Adam April 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Here’s my metaphor for the start of the Tigers’ season:

http://www.adamholwerda.com/wordpress/2008/04/03/the-last-question/

Chris April 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Ever since late July, the Tigers have really played poorly. Offensively they have shown a tendency for lousy situational hitting. The bullpen has been shaky and starting pitching has been mediocre. Somebody better step up or this season is going to be a lost cause before April is over. Polanco and Magglio better start hitting otherwise we are going to need a miracle from Dontrel and the Pitching staff. The problem is, Gavin Floyd always seams to pitch his best against the Tigers. I can only hope that he serves up batting practice as he does against Cleveland or the Yankees.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm

While Im totally for beefing up our bullpen im not for trading away our last remaining jewel in the farm system for a win now mentality(Porcello for Nathan or Street). If we did that we would end up with another 14 year sub .500 ball again.

Anyways I still think Floyd wont be as good today and Willis will give up runs. So I believe today will be a wild finish. We should score a lot but we will lose the game 14-10. And again be still winless. 0-5.

Screwup of the game will be Willis and Seay. Leyland putting Seay in a no win situation, loses the lead and gets blown out of the water.

Hero of the game will be Guillen and Cabrera. With a HR each both with runners on.

Again I hope to god that I am wrong but it just seems that the bleeding will have to be stopped by JV, the only pitcher w/o a lose.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm

And they better watch out for A.J. Pierzynski. He has made a career out of killing this team.

ez April 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I don’t care about the final score. Win, lose, no matter. The only thing I want today is for D-train to throw strikes. Particularly first pitch strikes. I don’t even care if he gets Grillied (kinda like “Munsoned” from King Pin), just throw *%&$^ing strikes! Oh man, do I hate walks….

D-Train throwing strikes consistently is more important over the season than this one particular game. The real b*tch is that we are 0-4 and really need this game.

Tough assignment. Let’s see what he is made of…

Tbone April 5, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I’m going to miss today’s game entirely, which should provide fair confidence for a Tiger victory.

It’s a beautiful day for baseball!

Eric Cioe April 5, 2008 at 3:20 pm

EZ -

Grilli threw all sorts of strikes yesterday, and it wasn’t any good. Throwing strikes isn’t enough. You have to throw quality strikes.

Ben in Denver April 5, 2008 at 3:29 pm

All right, everybody. We’re gonna get through this. Today’s the day. Here we come, 1-4.

ez April 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Eric,

D-Train’s strikes, by and large, are of the quality variety. His “stuff” is far better than Grilli’s. D-Train needs to get ahead in the count in order for it to have maximum effect.

Walks by D-train will be just about every bit as bad as a Grilli flat fastball left up in the zone.

Working behind in the count is death when facing the likes of Thome, Konerko, and Dye.

Matt in Toledo April 5, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Top 1 — okay, that wasn’t so bad. Sigh of relief. Walk to Swisher not pretty. We’ll see.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Well so far Willis looks pretty sound. Though for some reason everything thing looks slow lol Willis’s delievery, and the bat swings. Could be just me though. Come on OFFENSE!!!

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

come on polly!

bix in boise April 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm

love the 8 pitch AB to lead off. wwctd?

Adam April 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Only bad at-bat was by Polanco. Weird to say that.

Kevin in Austin April 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Willis looks good in a the white and old English D.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm

that’s clete’s ball, get out the way!

i don’t really know much about this third baseman we got in the offseason, but the pitcher we got looks pretty good ;)

boombotti April 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm

It looks like Dontrelle is consistently hitting 89 on the gun. What is his fastball normally at?

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Yea so far Willis is proving me wrong about him, and looks very good in the old English D. It looks like his control is pretty solid as long as he simplifies the delivery. Offense though needs to wake up Willis may or may not be able to keep this up he NEEDS run support. Please OFFENSE WAKE UP!!

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm

have any catchers ever hit 3,000? must be really hard, with all the days off you need every season…guess i just would have thought pudge had more hits — but it’s different when you never play 150 games

Adam April 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm

B.INGE!!!

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm

and now the white sox have to answer that age old question — do you pitch to clete thomas with risp and first base open?

Ben in Denver April 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Clete needs his first name on his jersey. Like Ichiro.

Adam April 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Grrr. Polanco needs to take some pitches. Holy crap.

Matt in Toledo April 5, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Uh, yeah. What’s happening, Placido? This is madness.

Jim in Mac April 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm

I almost shed a tear with the bottom of the line up making some noise. nice catch pp.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Man Clete is really surprising me nice job baserunning by Clete getting to First before the throw. Inge with an awesome double he is surprising me as well this season, him Clete and Guillen having the most hits on the team thats something I would have never guessed. Great start by the Tigers. And great two out running and and hitting by the low Tigers. Also complments to Jones for getting that nice opposite field hit. Good small ball thats what I like to see!

Kathy April 5, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Thankfully, the announcers are pretty bland. I’d hate to have to listen to Joe Morgan and some of those ESPN guys raggin on our team.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Kathy dont worry we will have to go through that crap tomorrow night on ESPN sunday night baseball blah…

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm

i’ll bet swisher loves terrelle pryor too. he is satan.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm

no hits off this locomotive!

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Oh great Forty you’ve jinxed it :)

charlie April 5, 2008 at 4:42 pm

willis is looking pretty good at this point.

Ben April 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Forty: shhhhhhhhhhh

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm

sorry guys :)

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Willis is looking good but the offense agh they are still making me cringe. Why are we not taking at least, AT LEAST, the first pitch at least 3 of our main guys have swung at the first pitch blah that is so annoying (all for outs btw). Let’s keep this defense up and hopefully the bats will come alive soon.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:52 pm

groundball ‘trelle!

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm

was it that egregious of a strike call?

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 4:59 pm

I’d say watching Dontrelle work out of that jam was the first great moment of the season.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 4:59 pm

phew, that inning could have had a different result!

bix in boise April 5, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Ahh, the GIDP. Nice work, D.

Kathy April 5, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Tigers eating “humble pie”.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:05 pm

What was that geez bad base running is already killing us this year first vs the Royals and now the Chi Sox. blah……. Great hit Renteria but God aweful base running he should have known better.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:05 pm

and Renteria promptly makes a moronic baserunning mistake. Do the Tigers even scout opposing teams anymore? Quentin’s arm = good.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:06 pm

INGE IS THE GREATEST PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE

Matt in Toledo April 5, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Oh, my. Brandon.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Brandon Inge

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:07 pm

INGE!!!!! 2 Run Shot, should have been 3 but im content with 2 run homer. 3-0 The Hometown Boys!!! YEA!!!

Forty April 5, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Don’t worry Renteria, it’s not like you cost us a run or anything. And at least you busted it back to first. Oh wait.

But I can’t be mad right now — yeah Brandon!

T Smith April 5, 2008 at 5:10 pm

I guess Inge is really pissed.

Too bad we couldn’t find a way to piss him off like that last summer. We may have made it into October.

Matt in Toledo April 5, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Okay, forty’s off the hook. Brennamen just mentioned you-know-what.

Kyle J April 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Inge sure is doing his best to reverse the Gehrig-Pipp analogy with Cabrera.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Haha, thanks Matt

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Double play number 2!

billfer April 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Hey everybody. I’m watching the Tigers on TV for the first time this season. And I’ve only got a half hour before I have to leave.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Willis is scaring me with his 5 walk performance. WOW thats almost as bad as Todd “Rollercoaster” Jones. Hes got me on the edge of my seat. But great job Double Play by team Renteria, Polanco. 3-0 through 5.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Polanco stop doing that!

billfer April 5, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Man, Guillen ripped that. Oh well.

Is this Willis’s last inning? He’s at 75 pitches.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Ordonez stop doing that!

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm

If he walks two again, yeah, probably. Otherwise I’d hope for two more innings from him.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm

I know he is going to be benched by me in my fantasy leagues if he continues his fly ball mentality WTH is that!! It’s not the way he hits?!?! concerns as to why? Willis has 5 walks with 75 pitches thats a concern he should continue until the 7th or 8th with Jones or Bautista to relieve him.

billfer April 5, 2008 at 5:25 pm

It’s not a fly ball mentality. His swing is just off and he knows it. There was a story that a couple days ago that he took extra bp because he “wasn’t staying on top of the ball.” Slumps happen. He’ll be fine.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:27 pm

well there’s the two walks

Matt in Toledo April 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm

…aaaand there’s that second walk. Yikes.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm

The D-Train has just derailed

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm

7 walks and counting… jesus.

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 5:29 pm

7 walks and counting… jesus

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Your right bilfer the slumps will be ok after a while. Its just that polanco is not never has been hitting so many fly balls. And Willis is starting to lose it out there. Miner is up, I dont know how this plays out.

billfer April 5, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Willis is hurt. He’s shaking his left hand after each pitch.

Jeff April 5, 2008 at 5:30 pm

. . . and there’s the first hit. Oh boy, here we go again

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Jim Thome is hilarious. Two straight walks and he swings on the first pitch. No wonder pitchers hate facing him so much.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:31 pm

That has got to be it for the D-Train, 7 walks 5 IP, 1H, 1ER not too bad but god the walks is a huge concern. I still think that Willis may be injuried somewhere on his body.

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Just trying to put a comment on here… I can’t get any of my comments to go thru on the site anymore!

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Wow, 0 strikeouts. You’d almost think he’d have to just luck into one with how wild he was throwing.

Mith April 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm

I suspect that’ll be 3ER for Dontrelle before we’re done.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Now it’s tied. Inge only has so many at bats, guys. EDIT: Now the White Sox have the lead. Sigh.

yak April 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Here we go again…….

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:43 pm

This is getting old 4 Runs should not be a problem to over come. We only need 2 runs and to hold the lead to win. If the offense minus Inge does not start doing SOMETHING ANYTHING this will be 0-5 start and a long LONG season.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Tiger won’t get another hit…. 0-5 here we come

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:44 pm

This team just isn’t much fun to watch right now.

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 5:46 pm

I’ve posted 4 comments so far today and none have shown up on the site, so this is just a test.

Although I must say this Tigers performance blows… yet again.

Jeff April 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Torturous to follow this team. They give up a four-spot and go down 1-2-3 like it’s 2003 all over again, just giving up on at-bats, weak swings, etc.

And Fox can’t even get their trivia right. A guy born on December 19th is YOUNGER than a guy born on December 18th, so Kaline was the youngest guy to win a batting title, not Cobb.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Beltran time.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:50 pm

There just there. They arent hitting they arent taking pitches. They are like oh boy we lost again, lets just swing for anything. There comes a time when you start to lose confidence a lot of the fans have started and i’m pretty sure with them just swinging or swinging for the fences, a lot of them have lost confidence in pitching, and hitting. This team has to get some sort of motivation factor. We are scoring nothing.

6 hits total, 4 from the other batters 2 from Inge with all RBIs coming from Brandon as well. There is no confidence or optimism with the Tigers at all. And thats the sad truth.

Lets see if Beltran can hold a lead unlike Grilli, or Miner.

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Testing… trying to get a comment to show up.

Ok, apparently it only works when no website is listed… interesting.

Oh, and um yea, this Tigers performance blows… yet again.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Jeff, also they claimed the Tigers were swept in the World Series in 2006. I guess Fox has erased that Rogers win from existence.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm

that was supposed to be Beltran can stop the bleeding unlike Grilli or Miner.

And so far he’s not to bad. The first strikeout for the Tigers today.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm

This team is not practicing patience at the plate. Floyd got 3 outs on 8 pitches…. And Cabrera has been a big bag of NOTHING so far…. Middle relief is as bad as advertised and we have yet to see a quality start that can win a game on paltry run support.. This is flat-out miserable.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 5:54 pm

With Inge due, the game is practically tied right now. Go Tigs!

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm

I agree Chris but its only 5 games in but still we can just give them a free pass. With the offense we have (on paper), we still have not passed 5 runs in one game. Its hard to watch this team. I wish that I could watch the braves right now at least they are winning. Geez this sucks.

Tony P April 5, 2008 at 5:56 pm

I thought so about that trivia question. I knew something was wrong. Thanks for listening closer than I, jeff. I was just screaming at the TV calling the announcers idiots.

Also, who was removed from the roster to include Beltran?

billfer April 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Why would Jones be hitting against a lefty?

Brian P April 5, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Raburn was sent down, Tony. And where is Marcus for the pinch hit?

Tony P April 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Thanks. Couldn’t we send Jones down?

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 6:01 pm

i dont know Thames should have been brought in if not him then someone else Jones SUCKS against lefties. Thomas is really hitting nicely. Good for him at least he can hit unlike do nothing power hitters. Polanco WTH! 0-for-4…….gah!!! Easily 0-5 Chi Sox bullpen is stable unlike our horrible pen.

jon April 5, 2008 at 6:01 pm

If Thames pinch hits there and they need a replacement at any point…they have no outfielders. That is why they didnt pinch hit for JJ with no one on.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Why is it that Zumaya & Rodney are always injured and Miner & Grilli are always healthy? I thing the baseball gods are against us.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Having Thames face lefties is THE ENTIRE POINT of him being on the roster, Leyland. My lord, does he ever seem to be phoning it in.

Walewander April 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Also according to Fox, Guillen set a Tigers SS record last year with 102 RBI. Alan Trammell will be interested to hear that.

jon April 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Dave:

I guess you were going to play the outfield if they need a replacement. With Cabrera hurt and Inge playing 3rd there is not much wiggle room. No one is phoning it in.

Neal April 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

First, my thoughts about a few of the past trades when they were made.
Shef- great addition.
Renteria – why?, old SS, just bring in a young glove guy, make up for it with the move in LF below.
Jones – why? No pop, no bat, part time, 5 mill. Spend the $ on Bonds and let him split time with Shef, and Thames between LF and DH. Yes, I know the impact on LF fielding.
Cabera and Willis – great additions, though, with D-Train’s bat he should be a NL pitcher. Hopefully he gets his control in order while still getting guys out.
GO TIGERS

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Chris, we are in Detroit. All the Gods hate us. :)

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm

At least Beltran looks like he cares… I’ll take whatever rays of hope I can at this point.

Nevermind.

Normally I’m not one to condone booing the home team, but screw it… this is pathetic.

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Well, jon, since you asked, I probably wouldn’t be carrying 13 pitchers. Not carrying extraneous players on a 25 man roster just has all kinds of advantages!

jon April 5, 2008 at 6:08 pm

I guess Beltran no longer cares Steve.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Beltran right now needs to stay up and release Grilli or at least put him back down in AAA, no one would want him. Beltran, 2 ks and has had 6 up, 5 down during his 2 IP.

Update: nevermind Beltran….i’m speechless…….Tigers 0-5 first time since 2003 when we lost 119. WTH!!!

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:10 pm

i think santiago is still with us. in an emergency, you could put santiago at third, inge in the outfield…obviously less than ideal. but i don’t think it’s the same situation as “you have no subs at all” — i think you play the odds there and figure your outfielders won’t get hurt over the next 2-3 innings. it’s kind of the same as when you pinch for a catcher with your backup and risk having to go to your emergency catcher.

can see the rationale either way though…

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm

3 up 3 down My prediction for 8th and 9th innings.

jon April 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Hard to imagine they would look this poor for the 1st week. Just HORRIBLE

Tony P April 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm

OK everybody, Does it look like we’ll win 43 games this year and avoid our worst team ever. Call me an optimist, but I think we can do it.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:14 pm

I think we seem to be giving up on the Tigers more than the Tigers are giving up on the Tigers :(

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:16 pm

I prefer when Maggs is up and Thom Brennaman is calling for it to be “a bullet into left field, we’re tied” or “winning run at second base, ordonez 0-fer in his career against huston street. in the air to left field, the tigers march to the world series!”

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 6:17 pm

I don’t think anyone means the stuff we say here particularly literally, forty. Most people are just venting, which is understandable considering that three + hours is a significant amount of time to invest per game on what has thus far been an awfully boring team.

Mike in CT April 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Pressing, slumping, call it what you will, but Polanco, Maggs and Cabrera are killing us right now.

Leyland must be on his fifth pack already today.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:19 pm

agreed dave, i’ve been known to vent too…just trying to stay positive. (and i didn’t call anyone out specifically – was a general comment).

Mike in CT April 5, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Nobody is quitting, but it seems pretty clear all the preseason hype is getting to the team. Right now they need a leader, or at least someone to step up besides Inge and Clete Thomas. Leyland might need a rousing speech pretty early this season. At least they’ll get a lefty in Buehrle tomorrow night.

T Smith April 5, 2008 at 6:22 pm

So, I just want to make sure I have this right.

WS beat this lineup with 3 hits?

That’s pathetic.

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Yeah it’s not meant to sound bandwagon-ey… but this level of patheticness is hard to take to start the season after how high we were thinking about the Tigers all offseason.

Ironically, my tickets to 4 games this summer just came in the mail today.

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Anyone else just catch the random tv crewmember get pulled by the arm out of the shot when they cut to the announcers up in the box? I enjoyed that more than I’ve enjoyed today’s game.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Ill admit it I’m trying to stay positive but this is just horrible nothing to even be excited about. 3 up 3 down in the 9th inning. And yes I AM venting. But Forty how can we be optimistic when there is nothing to show for us, nothing for us to root for. 3-4-5-6 hitters are sucking, sheff is out no bullpen to speak of Okay pitching, (except for Nate yesterday). With no offense it gets us 0 wins. We are 0-5 because there is no batting and no bullpen to hold leads.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm

I like Bautista, hope he can continue to produce like this

Mike in CT April 5, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Any chance of a miracle against Jenks?

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 6:29 pm

nope, no miracle at all. 3 up 3 down.

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:32 pm

We have a good team, and the wins will come. Polanco, Cabrera, and Jones will not finish the season batting under .200. Our absurdly poor average with risp will not continue. I think we are well-positioned for the next few years. It stinks to slump out of the gate like this, but it’s just that — a slump, not a trend.

All that said, I never meant to suggest people shouldn’t vent…I am as disappointed as anyone with being (probably) 0-5.

Mike in CT April 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Well here comes Babe Ruth Inge…

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm

if inge has the green light, i’m going to kill leyland

Steve in OH April 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm

What is this, I say… patience at the plate from Mr. Inge?

Mike in CT April 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Any chance of a pinch hitter here? Can Sheff swing the bat?

Forty April 5, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Darn, couple great defensive plays to kill the rally. Come on Justin, we need you to deal tomorrow!

jon April 5, 2008 at 6:38 pm

The bats will come-of course. The biggest problem is that the bullpen is no where near good enough to get us wins when our bats are down. This was a massive problem last year and was not addressed during the off-season. The annual, “if we had Rodney and Zumaya” discussion is starting to remind me of the Wood/Prior Cub excuses.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 6:40 pm

This team will lose 120 games this year…. This is not a slump, but a trend….

Chris April 5, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Are there any other recent examples of teams who were favored by some to be in the WS but instead ended up in last place? Weren’t the ’06 Cubs the last underachievers to in this respect?

Ben April 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Sheesh, some garden-variety alarmism is in order, but the most losses for any team in history? Take a few deep breaths.

Stephen April 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm

This team always plays best when no one cares or expects nothing.
No one thought they could win in 2006, so they start off like gangbusters in the first 100 games. People start paying attention they collapse over the last sixty. Everyone thinks they’re choke artists so the pressure’s off. They beat the A’s and Yankees. They’re expected to beat a clearly inferior Cardinals team. They fold with the worst fielding in world series history.
They do well in the low pressure first 100 games of last year. With the pressure, on they fold miserably for second year in a row.
Now, for the first time in two decades they’re favorites to win it all. They start out 0-5.
These are not coincidences.

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Chris Im not there yet but its time to panic if JV or the bullpen can not end this losing streak. 0-6 going into Boston is not good at all. This keeps up we are out of it by June easily. And if we are only if we are there by June DD should start to unload and build up our farm system.

Jojo SunDevil April 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Ok Jimmy L. Remember that speech you gave to the media at the beginning of the World Series season.

Now would be a good time for that.

Kathy April 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm

That only started in ’06, stephen… the not expecting anything and playing great. There is something more than that going on with this team.

Kathy April 5, 2008 at 7:09 pm

How many more games can Pudge catch without a day off?

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Kathy you are absolutely correct, theres something going on with this team, swinging for bad pitches, lazy at the plate, swing on the first pitch, swinging for the fences. Thats not a team that wins thats a team that doesnt care.

David April 5, 2008 at 7:12 pm

WHOS YOUR TIGER

My Tiger is

Inge

B-R-A-N-D-O-N I-N-G-E

Thats right!

Stephen – the were supposed to beat the A’s

And you are partly right, but partly wrong

Excluding Inge/Clete/Guillen this team isn’t hitting anything

The pitching hasn’t been great or bad, more mediocre

I think the big thing is to get that first win or two under their belt, then they will roll.

This team is built to win, it will win.

Do I think Polanco is going to hit .340 again and Maggs is going to go nuts and Granderson will have the quad 20, who knows?

But do I think we have a solid lineup and a solid staff and a solid pen?

Yes and over the course of many games that will play out.

You all still need to remember that this is a small small sample size.

Nearly every team in history loses 60 games no matter what.

It might take a little while to get hot, but they will strut their stuff before it is all said and done.

Anyways I need to bask in the glory that is Brandon Inge

Dave BW April 5, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Maybe Dombroski has them playing badly on purpose so the team can move to Miami.

cib April 5, 2008 at 7:59 pm

There IS crying in baseball. I am so depressed.

Kyle J April 5, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Well, jon, since you asked, I probably wouldn’t be carrying 13 pitchers. Not carrying extraneous players on a 25 man roster just has all kinds of advantages!

Indeed. For all the concerns about the bullpen, the fact that we’re down to 12 positional players (11 if you don’t count Sheffield) is as much a liability as anything.

Free Marcus Thames!

Kyle J April 5, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Feeble attempt at optimism: Our three main competitors for playoff berths (Bos, NY, Cle) have all managed to lose three games already, so we’re only two games out of the hunt–ignoring all those other AL teams that have, you know, won at least one game.

Chris April 5, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Unlike you, Kyle, I’m not at all concerned about any of the contenders for the playoffs. I’ll that I want to see is this team win a freakin’ game and to see the middle of our lineup, Palanco, Magglio and Cabrera break out of their collective massive slump.

Jim April 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Is it sad that our offense is being lead by Clete Thomas and Brandon Inge?

Is it sad that Magiglio and Polanco continue to swing at first pitches?

Is this the twilight zone?

Steve in Kzoo April 5, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Jim you said it all, everything you just said is sooo true.

stephen4106 April 6, 2008 at 12:13 am

We were know for our great young talent in the farm system and we sold it away. I think Willis will go down as one of the worst deals in Detroit baseball history.

ron April 6, 2008 at 12:35 am

We need a new manager. I’m tired of watching this team lay down like sick cats. It all started in October, 2006. They should be walking around with two World Series rings and working on a third.

Eric Cioe April 6, 2008 at 1:01 am

Willis might not have been a catch, but Cabrera was by any standard.

I’m really surprised to see people on this site freaking out so much – new manager? Really? And you act like the Tigers are the only team that wants to win a World Series. There are 29 other teams that want to make it each year, and probably 5 or so each year with realistic shots.

Joey C. April 6, 2008 at 2:02 am

We have some injuries, a lineup that isn’t clicking yet, and a manager that sometimes leavs us scratching our heads. We’re 5 games in and I don’t think we have any real indication of where this club is headed yet. I’m still confident that we’re gonna have an exciting year and that we’ll be in the hunt come September. Given the unbelievably ugly state of our pen, I certainly didn’t think we were gonna run away with anything this season.

All that being said, the fact that we have a sub-standard pen that can be counted on to blow games on a semi-regular basis, this start has put us in a hole that is going to take a while to dig out of. I’m guessing we won’t see the good side of .500 until late-May or early June.

Adam April 6, 2008 at 3:10 am

Last year we only ever lost 3 games in a row.

Tony P April 6, 2008 at 8:33 am

That is untrue. Our longest losing streak last year was 5 games and we had a little 1-9 stretch that included that. Everyone really just needs to calm down. You can say that no team has ever been successful after an 0-5 start before (but it wouldn’t be true) The 1995 Reds come to mind. They began 0-6 (and 1-8) and still finished in first place. One win would just make everyone feel a lot better.[

Bobby April 6, 2008 at 9:08 am

If this were football:
- this team would be the equivalent of the Seahawks. Been to the ‘finals’ but lost. Always in the hunt. Let’s see, the equivalent in ‘games played’ would be to say that the Seahawks were down 21-7 at the half of their first game of the season (16 games vs 162 games). Would anyone panic THIS badly?

If this were hockey:
- this team would be the equivalent of the Calgary Flames. Been to the ‘finals’ recently but lost. Has a championship back in the 80′s. Let’s see, the equivalent in games would be to say that the Flames lost their first 2 games of the season, and down in their third (82 vs 162 games). Would anyone panic THIS badly?

If this were basketball:
- this team would be the Dallas Mavericks. Amazing on paper. Been to the ‘finals’ recently but lost. The equivalent in games played would roughly be the same as with hockey… 0-2 and down in the third game. Would people be running through Dallas with their hair on fire?

This is a LONG season, folks. Do they have issues? Yes, absolutely. DID THE SEASON START THIS BLOODY WEEK? Yes.

Step back from the cliff, ok?

David April 6, 2008 at 10:47 am

The Phillies last year started 3-10, in reality it really doesn’t matter a whole lot how they are playing now.

It matters how they play in every month that will get them to October.

Didn’t we have the best record in baseball last year by the ASB…?

Still I think we should go after Bonds b/c Shef is done

Sam April 6, 2008 at 11:00 am

Guys,

Let’s all relax here a bit.

Someone pointed out that the Phillies started 3-10 last year.

The 1998 Yankees who won 114 games started 1-4!

The 2006 Tigers (AL Champs) lost there last 5 games.

This team win 30 of the next 45 (Which they are very capable of, they are 30-20).

-Sam

Aidan April 6, 2008 at 11:13 am

I think willis pitched great, even with 7 walks the other team can’t score if they can’t hit, his offense just didn’t help out

Eric Cioe April 6, 2008 at 11:20 am

You think a pitching line of 5 IP, 1 H, 7 BB, 0 K is good? He was garbage and he knew it. He said so after the game. Luckily he kept them off the board, but that was more luck than anything else. When you are walking more than a batter per inning and striking out none, luck is the reason that you don’t let runs in.

billfer April 6, 2008 at 11:42 am

I was out last night so I just now got through the comments.

Steve in OH – for some reason your comments were getting caught in the spam filter. Let me know if you have any more problems.

Chris – 120 losses? Yeah. I don’t think so but am willing to make a wager if you’re that confident.

Stephen – The Tigers had big expectations heading into 2007 and managed to do quite well for a big portion of the season. In fact they were more heavily favored last year than this year.

As for the outlook, it’s not time to panic yet of course. I still think everything will be fine. But the problem becomes this team is using up a chunk of its margin for error in the first week of the season.

Steve in OH April 6, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Bilfer… thanks for the note about the comments… I was gonna email you if it kept up. Not that there was much good to post last night, anyway – sigh.

ron April 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I wouldn’t worry so much but their seems to be a pattern here. They were expected to win the WS hands down in 2006 and they folded. In 2007 they were expected to be their again and could not fight thru that 5 week losing streak. This year with this lineup they’re 0 fer. Of course its early, but their past recent history doesn’t show they can fight thru adversity. I lay this problem directly at the feet of Leyland. He’s responsible for getting the guys ready to play each and every game.

Chris April 6, 2008 at 1:25 pm

billfer,

Yea, I don’t really think they will lose 120 games, but i can see how a big disappointing season is in the making– probably last place in the division, given the apparent strength of the division. This losing streak– which is not going to end tonight– is going to put them in a huge hole to start the season. The hitting will get on track at some point and they can put together some good winning stretches that can get them out of the hole. But the relief pitching is looking to be the significant weakness which is going to kill a lot of those streaks. The current struggles are due to the piss-poor hitting that we have seen, but we have also already seen how the relief pitching situation is at best not helping.

Tigers will finish the season in last place of the division. How about us making a wager on that prediction. I would love to proven so wrong that look foolish by mid-season.

Eric Cioe April 6, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Chris -

Last place, really? That’s just foolish. You honestly think that the White Sox, Royals, and especially the Twins have better clubs than we do? They don’t, even given this first week of games.

T Smith April 6, 2008 at 6:04 pm

A lot of comments… 0-5 sucks.

Stephen: There were some commentators that debunked your theory, but it absolutely carries weight. After a while, you can’t keep chalking up this pattern the Tigers exhibit to coincidence. I’ve noticed the exact same trend. I don’t know what it is, but when this team is expected to win, they fold. When they’re discounted, they rebound. I made a comment earlier in the year that I was concerned with all the hype, for fear that it would kinda jinx the team. I’ll support your theory with yet another example — almost to the day last year, when the baseball world finally gave Detroit its due, right around the all-star break after the Tigers swept the Red Sox, when every arm-chair expert and baseball analyst finally conceded and touted the Tigers as the #1 team in baseball — across the board — the Tigers began their epic descent. To the day.

Chris: As much as I’m cursing the team and disappointed in their performance, 120 losses is a bit far fetched. Last in the division is a bit far fetched. 80 losses are not out of the realm of possibility — albeit 80 losses will definitely render an extremely disappointing season. But after about 68 or 70 losses, what difference does it make? It’s still Octoberless baseball whether you lose 70 games or 120 games.

David: Inge has had a few good games. Let’s not get carried away. And solely to balance your irrational exuberance about the Baseball-God-Who-Is-Inge, when he actually gets a clutch hit that matters to the outcome of the win/loss column, let’s talk again. He always seems to come thru when the score is 11-0 or 0-11. I exaggerate to make a point, but the fact is, Inge and his surprising bat the past few games haven’t tipped the scale to result in a single W. The fact is, Inge hasn’t made a bit of difference as far as the win column is concerned.

Finally, what’s the issue with Cruceta and his visa? Call me naive, but you would think an employer with a 135 M payroll should be able to pull some strings, at the very least, “expedite” the process. Need I offer my services? Come on. Who’s in charge here? Who’s dropping the ball? I feel we need to call the Wolf character from Pulp Fiction, the guy who “solves problems” and gets things done. Seriously, though, give me the resources and I’ll get that visa and he’ll be in the bullpen by the Red Sox series. I officially offer my services to Dombrowski et al. if the yahoos they have working on this can’t make it happen.

billfer April 6, 2008 at 6:25 pm

T Smith – The Tigers went into the season as the favorites in 2007- at least to win the division. There was no magical day when they were annointed.

And dissing Inge for his performance this year just isn’t fair. He isn’t giving away at-bats and is doing better than anyone else. I don’t expect it to continue but give him his due. He drove in runs yesterday when it was 0-0 and 1-0. That his teammates couldn’t do more shouldn’t be held against him.

Dave BW April 6, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Jeez, Tsmith, what on earth do you want Inge to do? He gets hits in his at bats – he can’t magically switch his place in the batting order at will for the sake of being “clutch” (bleh) when you think it matters. And if blasting a two run HR with a 0-0 score isn’t when it matters, well, when DOES it matter?

Also, we all know that you and Steven are the same person so stop pretending already!!! :)

T Smith April 6, 2008 at 7:29 pm

For the record, I’m not officially an Inge hater — and I wasn’t “dissing” him, per se — I’m very pleased Inge is playing well — and I will be the first to give Inge credit where credit is due — yet I still hold this forum needs some balance to David, who, if he had it his way, would bench Cabrera in favor of Inge given the five-game sample that we’ve all suffered through this first dismal week of April.

billfer April 6, 2008 at 8:02 pm

OK Chris. I’ll bite. $100 says they don’t finish in last.

Chris in Nashville April 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I would just like to point out that Chris, is not Chris in Nashville….come on man.

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