Game 34: Red Sox at Tigers

by billfer on May 6, 2008 · 141 comments

in 2008 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: Here we are with another extended losing streak and the light at the tunnel to .500 just keeps getting dimmer. Tonight it will be Tim Wakefield going up against Nate Robertson.

With Wakefield you don’t know what you’re going to get, aside from a bevy of knuckleballs. The last time the Tigers faced Wakefield they drew 5 walks, but like we saw last night it doesn’t translate to runs without some extra base hits.

Robertson had a typical Nate outing allowing 4 runs. He’s allowed 4 runs in 4 of his last 5 outings.

I’m off to the game!

BOS @ DET, Tuesday, May 6, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: It’s a tardy postgame report because I make a rule to try and not blog angry. Plus I couldn’t even muster the words to express my disappointment in that game. And the morning after I still can’t. So just some bullets will need to suffice:

  • I saw cib and tiff and Samara prior to the game. So a lovely early summer night started off lovely.
  • Robertson struck out the lead off hitter on 3 pitches. That seemed like a good omen.
  • Nate is at least remarkably consistent. My friend and I debated how he would give up the 4th run of the night in the 7th inning. He had Manny going deep. I had a double to Pedroia that would be let in by the bullpen. We were both wrong.
  • I feel I bear some responsibility. When Carlos Guillen singled in the first I said “at least we don’t have to worry about the no hitter tonight.”
  • Curtis Granderson saw 23 pitches in his 3 ab’s against Wakefield
  • Pudge’s double was the only time a Red Sox outfielder had to make a movement away from the infield.
  • Can you believe that Manny Ramirez swung at the first pitch from Freddy Dolsi. What was he thinking?
  • Being in the stands it was hard to judge the effectiveness of the knuckle ball except to say it was slow. But I can recall only one pitch at all getting by catcher Kevin Cash which seems remarkable.
  • There are times that I think the batting order doesn’t matter that much. Tonight was one of those times.
 
 

{ 141 comments }

cib May 6, 2008 at 5:48 pm

bill are you blogging from game? tiff and I will be in my seats, sec 338/C/13-14

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:00 pm

ok guys, since you’re all at the game it’s your responsibility to bring us a win.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:06 pm

throw strikes, nate

Vince in MN May 6, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Ah – Guillen at DH and Inge at 3B – now that’s “drastic.”

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Liking Inge at 3B at least for the D

bix in boise May 6, 2008 at 7:17 pm

billfer always brings us luck — at least it seems that way :)

I just read on ESPN that Inge has expressed an interest and WILLINGNESS to catch more often. Not sure just how to spin that, but I’d like to see him in the lineup more often, esp at 3b defensively…I’m not an avowed Inge-lover, but I’m also not a hater — and I think it benefits our defense dramatically. So let’s go with “I like that he’s saying that now, at least” and see where it goes.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 7:17 pm

tonight’s lottery — pick 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6:

which inning Robertson gets rocked?

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Mike I got 4

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Another leadoff walk scores.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 7:31 pm

does chuck hernandez do anything to earn his paycheck? this one is going to get ugly tonight folks.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:34 pm

and yet again we find ourselves down by 3 runs. so frustrating, it’s getting really old.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Atta boy Miguel, keep swinging at that first pitch.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

the second inning folks have it!! Mike, you have to get to those things before the game, I promise you’ll get a lot of action. I was thinking third inning, myself.

Getting owned by Wakefield tonight would really add to the frustration element.

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Alright 5 pitches. Way to work the count boys.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:38 pm

five pitches. my god.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Are you kidding me? Second time Nate has gotten burned by the Sox hitting a pitch out of the strike zone.

Unreal, we are back to April where we can’t catch a frigging break.

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I bet Pudge swings at the first pitch he sees.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm

So here’s another question…with Pudge and Inge coming up, will the Tigers see fewer than five pitches this inning?

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Sheesh…can Rod and Mario make any more apologies for this team?

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Hey Rod and Mario how about our starting pitching stinks.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 7:59 pm

You could run Sandy Koufax, Walter Johnson and Cy Young out there. It doesn’t matter if you can’t hit Tim Wakefield.

I think the answer is for our pitching staff to face our lineup. At least that way, some element of the team has some success.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Two hits by the back-up catcher….not a lot of ways to sugar coat that one.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Mike in CT,

Did anyone have the second AND the fourth?

Sky May 6, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Here I sit……paid $150.00 to watch their games…..this is what I get?……..This team has a serious problem. I keep telling you all it is more than talent. There is something wrong there. It’s a belief in winning that is not there.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Daily double…

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Don’t feel bad Sky you have company. I did the exact same thing. Keep the Faith, for now.

Sky May 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Note the difference in focus between the Red Sox hitters and ours. I hate to say it but be prepared for an 0-7 week.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm

0-7…nah. The Yanks are throwing Rasner and Kei Igawa in the first two games and we miss Wang again.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I really hate to say it, but with the rash moves, the lack of starting pitching, the buying of free agents and assuming they’ll be able to simply be plugged into the lineup as turned this team into the Yankees. The 2001-2007 Yankees, which didn’t win anything.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Cabrera wearing Inge’s uniform?

Kevin in Austin May 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm

I hate the way Youkilis holds his bat. He should get thrown at more often.

Props to Nate. He’s really grinding tonight. He looks the Nate of ’06 this evening.

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Mike in CT you called it earlier. One bad inning for Nate. What’s new I guess.

Kevin in Austin May 6, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Mike in CT – the Yankees have made the playoffs every year since 1995. I’ll take that, even without a WS win.

Sky May 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm

My uncle played for Detroit. My cousin for the Braves. Another uncle almost made it to the bigs. I have been trained in baseball from birth by the great V.J. Myer in Iowa and family tradition. I even used to work for Mike Illitch. He wouldn’t remember me after al these years but I would like to tell him that baseball is a team sport with an intangible need to win called by some the “fundamentals”, by others, “discipline”, and by others “focus.” There are too many simple mistakes happening. Something is missing.

Jim in Mac May 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm

once again a 3 run deficiet seems unsurmountable…worst of it all i believe i am becoming numb to the disappointments as of late

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:24 pm

In fairness, the last two nights Bonderman and Robertson haven’t pitched too badly (knock on wood) but with this erratic, schizophrenic offense, they need to be damn near flawless.

Also, as of this moment Jurrjens ERA has slipped under the 3.00 barrier.

Kevin in Austin May 6, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I feel like Bob Uecker in Major League. “One ***damn hit? That’s all we got?”

JC May 6, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Mike in CT —
They haven’t turned into the Yankees. They’ve turned into the Peter Angelos-era Orioles. At least the Yankees won games.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Kevin Cash. They can’t get Kevin Cash out. These aren’t cheapies, they are hard hit balls. Every scout, GM and manager knows that Cash can’t hit and any offense you get from him is a bonus.

And we’ve turned him into Joe DiMaggio.

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 8:31 pm

It’s a quality start from Nate. That’s all we want from our starters, but of course our offense is nowhere to be found.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Amazingly…a “quality start” from Nate.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I guess with all the baserunners we’re giving up we’re bound to turn a DP here and there. At least with our pathetic offense we’re not leaving as many runners on base or hitting into our own DPs every other inning.

Mike, you’re right that Bondo and Nate haven’t been horrible, they’ve been decent. Which should be enough to win most nights. But it doesn’t even feel like we’re close.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm

This team is just awful…it is going to get worse before it gets better….I’m just about to call this season lost….

billfer May 6, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Curtis has seen 23 pitches. The other 8 guys have seen 51

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Where is the friggen offense? It is just so unbelievable of how inconsistent and how dead this team looks.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:42 pm

RBIs from: Drew, Cash and Crisp.

Maybe the Sox are just good.

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Nice BP fastball.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 8:44 pm

The game is now officialy out of reach…

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:44 pm

There goes the, “quality start.”

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

And in comes that wonderful bullpen….

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm

BORING

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Sure the Red Sox are good, and right now we are terrible. And the result is games that aren’t even close (regardless of what final score is).

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm

welcome to the big leagues….jesus…two back-to-back balls simply crushed. if that doesn’t end it, nothing will.

Sky May 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I don’t mind losing good games. What bothers me is that this team that is supposed to be one of the best looks really bad in all dimensions. I mean…….just plain bad. Not competitive.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 8:50 pm

You said it right Sky. There is a complete lack of urgency with this team and from the looks of it, it isn’t going to get better.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:52 pm

never thought i’d type this….i miss grilli.

Sky May 6, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Mike, the Red Sox are good. They always are. That is why we will lose all four this week. Why? Because they want to win and play baseball seriously. Tigers don’t look that way.

I can’t believe how cynical I am getting!

Sky May 6, 2008 at 8:54 pm

I think I am going to take up golf this summer. At least when I say “oh Sh-t”, it’about me.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Jair Jurrjens….five innings so far tonight…six Ks, zero walks.

JML May 6, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Deeeep hurting…! Deeeeeeeeeep hurting…!!!

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Wow. Two baserunners in 7 innings, one via error. Pitiful.

That’s it, I’m outta here. If they don’t give a crap, why should I?

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 8:58 pm

I can’t wait for Thursday. RED WINGS BABY. They actually give a crap.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Wow….another typical inning by that offense…will Leyland go on one of his rants again, and would it actually do anything?

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 8:59 pm

wow..with all the yucks from mario and rod, you’d think they were up 5-0. sad. these guys make it even harder to watch.

Vince in MN May 6, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Only six more batters to go.

Chris May 6, 2008 at 9:03 pm

It looks like the Tigers have run into the same string of dominant opposing pitching, as they did in April. And when Wakefield’s knuckleball is working, it is unhittable, and that’s what we have tonight. No team on earth could win this game tonight.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 9:04 pm

So does that mean we shouldn’t give up hope?

David G. May 6, 2008 at 9:05 pm

In other news, Jair Jurrjens is spinning yet another gem. If he’s not careful he’s going to legitimately get himself in the NL Cy Young discussion.

Jeff M May 6, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Friendly reminder to everyone that’s ready to jump of the cliff: I’ll buy any tickets you have before you go.

Ken from Cincinnati May 6, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Pathetic. I’m not saying knuckleballs are easy to hit, but let’s just say I wouldn’t want any Tigers on my softball team. And I wouldn’t want Gary Sheffield on my baseball team.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm

I was discussing with my grandfather earlier that it is just a matter of time until game attendance will start to see a decline if this sub-par play continues, and I am not exactly sure how that is going to support a 140M dollar line-up.

Mike in CT May 6, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Obviously this is classic fan thinking, but why not just bite the bullet and cut Sheffield. Is he going to be any better come next season when he’s still due $14 million? He’s pretty much stealing money as it is right now.

Mark in Chicago May 6, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Before we give Jurrjens the Cy Young award, let’s see him pitch this well for several more starts. He’s dominating the Padres tonight, who need an act of God to score a run.

Jurrjens is (will be) a solid major league pitcher, but not irreplaceable.

Mike R May 6, 2008 at 9:12 pm

$5 Hot ‘N Ready pizzas will fund a $140 Million lineup. Illitch isn’t relying solely on attendance to fund this team — especially with the Red Wings adhering to a salary cap.

Oh, and I’m just going to post this every single day until it happens, my computer implodes, my brain implodes, the coaching staff is wiped out and replaced, or he retires/is done for the season but:

Gary Sheffield to the 60-day Disabled List, please.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 9:13 pm

“an act of God to score a run”

I’m thinking that is the same for the Tigers…

Chris May 6, 2008 at 9:13 pm

“Jair Jurrjens….five innings so far tonight…six Ks, zero walks.”

Reminds you a little of Alexander for Smoltz, baby?!!!

Boy was that ever a great trade for the Tigers (sarcasm)… Sheeeesh

I’m glad that DD decided to burn away our best pitching prospect for another hitter who doesn’t field as good as the shortstop we already had (Santiago). I’m glad he made it top priority to bench the sure handed guy, who would only make our fielding better.. I mean, our pitching & fielding was too good with Jurrjens & Santiago… Too good…

JML May 6, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I wouldn’t mind losing this game so much, if it looked like our boys were, you know, TRYING.

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 9:20 pm

What’s the odds of a series split? Buchholz v. Galarraga and Beckett v. Verlander

Mike R May 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm

Jair Jurrjens has thrown 38 innings in 2008 before tonight. Can we hold off on building statues in his home town, electing him leader of the free world and naming every child born for the next 300 years “Jair” in his honor for AT LEAST a couple of months? How quickly we can forget that in a 30 inning sample with the Tigers last year he was posting an xFIP of over 5.00 a.k.a.: He had a lot of things working in his favor last fall that made his surface numbers appear better then they actually were. As for his numbers this year he’s: in a weaker hitting league (though the gap is closing), getting to face a pitcher at least 2-3 times a game, and he’s got a .234 Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) which indicates enormous luck thus far as an average one should level out to about .300.

Oh, nevermind the fact that Doyle Alexander was undefeated after that trade for some kid John Smoltz. Did it work out in the Braves favor? Yes. But it’s not like John Smoltz was setting the world on fire in the Tigers system.

John Smoltz production in the Tigers Minor League system at the time of the trade:

4.78 ERA, 226 IP, 217 H, 133 K, 112 BB, 1.46 WHIP. Yeah, how could ever trade that guy!

Chris May 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm

“Jurrjens is (will be) a solid major league pitcher, but not irreplaceable.”

Yes, but we have no pitcher who comes close to putting up the qulity starts Jurrjens has. It doesn’t look like WE can replace the “not irreplaceable”, does it?

Right now, at this point I would seriously concider calling Atlanta and offering a trade of Verlander for Jurrjens. And they might take it because most of the baseball world hasn’t caught up to the fact that Verlander is washed up as a starter.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm

A rally killing DP from Polanco…now you know this team is screwed….

Chris May 6, 2008 at 9:32 pm

“What’s the odds of a series split? Buchholz v. Galarraga and Beckett v. Verlander”

Not very good when you concider that we’ve got our overated washed-up piece of garbage “ace” going up against Beckett.

Like I said, if we don’t get swept, I would concider this series a sucess.

Brenden May 6, 2008 at 9:34 pm

I really don’t agree with Verlander being washed up, I am really starting to think that it is Chuck Hernandez. Why else would the entire starting rotation be so bad?

Brian in Tampa May 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I guess let’s hope for a W tomorrow. Then we will worry about Thursday. Thank God our division is so bad right now. I’m out.

Kevin in Austin May 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Goodness Chris, I guess we can only hope that you end up as a GM in the Central Division one day.

I think we are all frustrated, but trading Verlander for anything less than a bona fide #1 would be the dumbest deal since Babe Ruth for a sack of potatoes.

This team is not going to win 95 games, and they are not going to score 1,000 runs, that much we know. But the Central is very, very weak, and with a few hot streaks, we can definitely be in the race all summer.

I was hoping for 4-3 this 7 game set, just gotta go 4-1 from here on out.

Chris May 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I don’t know how much blame a pitching coach should take for the struggles of the starting pitching. Especialy when he had success with pretty much of the same cast of pitchers. I think what we are seeing is a perfect storm of pitchers all suddenly losing their abilities and all going into career declines. That does happen from time to time with various individuals, but it usualy doesn’t happen to a whole rotation unexpectedly all at once. The only pitcher I see performing as expected is Rogers, and he is nearing the end of his career.

greg May 6, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Anemic….listless. Those are the 2 words that come to mind.

Deja Vu, the Tigers give another starter their best start of the season.

I dunno, how long does one keep making excuses for these guys, at some point, you are what you are. It’s 34 games into the season, over 20% of the season is in the books, and not a single Major league franchise has lost MORE than the Tigers. Sure, they look great occassionally, but every team does that, even the 2003 Tigers looked like world beaters every once in a while. Its not just the losses, its how often they look outclassed by the opposition. Maybe they’re collectively just a bunch of underacheivers.

Are they going to turn it around?…..probably, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t

Chris May 6, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Remember, Verlander has not really proven himself as a bonified top rotation starter in this league. Yes he has had two really good years, but that’s not enough to say, he’s the ace. It’s just not.

I think the problem with Verlander is that, for whatever reason, he has trouble with endurence. He always seams gassed after 70 pitches. I’m sorry, but Verlander is not going to last as a starting pitcher in this league, IMO. There is something really wrong with him, and the 1st seven starts of this season was no fluke.

I’m begining to wonder about the posibility of him being an effective closer.

Mike R May 6, 2008 at 9:57 pm

I half wouldn’t mind losing 100+ games the next couple years just to get some of the over reactionary garbage out of Tigers fans mouths (or fingers). Billfer, warn me if you have to but half of this stuff is keeping me from commenting in here. Trade Verlander for Jurrjens? Chuck Hernandez no blame? People claiming this is a 120 loss team a couple weeks back? It’s incredibly annoying.

greg May 6, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Mike R –

The Jair tribute was hilarious. Good point/stats also.

I think we all would like to have Jair in the rotation right now, but at the same time I totally understand DD making the move at the time. Seemed like JJ was going on the DL every 2-3 starts and it appeared to be a good ‘sell high’ point, ala Humberto Sanchez. Plus while Renteria hasn’t exactly been great defensively, he looks like John McDonald compared to Guillen at SS, and he’s been solid and consistent offensively.

Eric Cioe May 6, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Chris – What? You don’t think Verlander is going to last as a starter? He’s thrown 200 innings of 3.65 ball two years in a row!

Jim May 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm

JJ for Verlander eh?

That’s an awesome idea!

*giggles*

Chris May 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm

“…120 loss team a couple weeks back?”

I have since backed off of the 120 loss season, but I am holding to the 100 loss season. And think about it, they only have 80 more losses to go, pretty achievable with the club I have seen so far.

Regardless if they do lose 100 games or a few less, I think Dave Dumbrousky should get fired for this fiasco. He simply failed to see all the things the average Detroittigersweblog.com fan could see: that you cannot win with mediocre pitching and defense, that you don’t trade away the only top pitching prospects for a washed-up SS when your rotation is questionable, that you don’t sign a mediocre pitcher like Robinson to a long term contract, that you don’t make a priority to make your #2 starter a washed-up 43 year old, that you don’t build a winner by doling-out huge amounts of money while depleting your farm system.

No other way to say it, this is a disaster that can throw this franchise back into the toilet, where it swirled around in the 90′s.

Kathy May 6, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Well, I haven’t given up on them. Sometime this summer, they’re gonna get it going.

Kathy May 6, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Like Jeff M. if you’ve given up on the Tigers and don’t want your tickets, I’d love to go to a game. Been to 3 games and they won every time!

cib May 6, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Hi kids, I’m home! Well, Tiff and I suffered through what I think was the most disgusting game so far this year. And we tried EVERYTHING. We ate pizza instead of a hot dog; bought different beer, etc.

Nate was not that bad; the offense was just not there. Again I will say, I want my 2007 Tigers back. This was just horrible. They are not a team. Just a bunch of guys from other teams. I don’t know how that can get fixed. Ugh.

Jim May 6, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Dumbrousky? Robinson?

JJ a top pitching prospect?

Do you even know what you’re talking about at all?

Andre May 6, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Chris –

Verlander’s historical endurance in a nutshell:

Velocity over 100mph in the 9th inning of his no-no. Yeah…he’s always gassed after 7.

JJ a top pitching prospect? He was ok, and nobody had heard of him before he was called up for his spot starts this year. Its pretty hard to single Renteria out as washed up. Nobody is hitting, is Cabrera washed up b/c he’s hitting sub .300?

Depleted farm system? The Tigers AAA team is #1 in the league.

Either Rogers is a washed up 43 yr old, or he’s the only one performing…make up your mind.

You know what else the average detroittigersweblog fan knows: we don’t have a pitcher named “Robinson”. You’ll be more credible when you can fact-check better than this.

Dave BW May 6, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Just to clarify for everyone, posters here have espoused the following ideas this season:

1) Cabrera will be out of baseball in two years
2) Jair Jurrjens is a better starting pitcher than Justin Verlander
3) Justin Verlander will not last as a starter in the AL and should be made a closer
4) The Tigers will lose 120 games this year

I mean… really? Thank goodness these comments will be saved for posterity.

Anyway, Mike R, I am 100% with you on everything you said.

cib May 6, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Floyd just lost his no-no with one out in the 9th. Mauer!!!

Dave BW May 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Ha! He has barely lost a no-hitter twice in the space of a month!

Jim May 6, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Jurrjens had one spectacular game against the Indians in August and all of a sudden he was Cy Young around here.

Truth is he’s had a couple injury problems, has never thrown more than 143 innings in a season professionally and really is just average.

By the way as soon as I read ‘Robinson’ I immediately thought of David Robinson. Now that’d be awesome to see.

billfer May 6, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I’ll follow my own rules here about not attacking a commenter, but attacking an idea. Trading Verlander for Jurrjens would make Dombrowski the laughing stock of baseball and once again a gross overreaction, much like the 120 losses that were so confidently predicted.

I’m also pretty sure that Dave DOMBROWSKI knows a little more than the average detroittigersweblog.com fan. And I’m pretty sure that the average detroittigersweblog.com fan knows that they don’t have a pitcher on the roster named Robinson.

It’s one thing to express frustration, anger, bitterness, and cynicism and we all tend to overreact at times like this. And I’m perfectly happy to provide a virtual therapist couch. But ludicrous statements like 120 losses and washed up ace and Dumbrosky should be fired don’t do anything to enhance the level of discourse here. Those types of statements only serve to draw attention to one’s self and not at all in a flattering way.

People are free to express their beliefs, but some posters have a long history dating back to last season of ridiculous over the top comments that read more like trolling than actual fandom.

Maybe I’m grumpy myself about the way the team is playing. Maybe I expect a little more thoughtfulness, insight, or wit. But I don’t want people to read statements like that and think they are reflective of the type of content here.

I don’t want the comments section or the site itself to be referred to as a joke. I take too much pride in the site and put too much effort into it to allow that to happen.

Chris May 6, 2008 at 10:47 pm

“Dumbrousky? Robinson?”

Dumb-brousky. Do you get it?

I ment Robertson, ok?

“JJ a top pitching prospect?”

Our best pitching prospect who was ready to go at the begining of the year. Porcello is better in the long run.

“Do you even know what you’re talking about at all?”

Yes, and I am right about almost everyting. Last year I predicted that the Tigers would collapse in the 2nd half, and they did. The year before that, I said the Tigers would lose the World Series after the 1st game loss to that sub-mediocre pitcher. And I was right about Jurrjens being a good starter in this league.

Tigers will lose 100 games this year, Verlander will be a reliever within a couple years and Cabrerra will be out of baseball in a couple years.

And believe me, I hope my prediction record going forward doesn’t do nearly as good as it has in the past.

billfer May 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Chris – Since you brought up your prediction record, do you remember this little gem from last season when you predicted they would finish in last place:

“As painful as it is, it is time to face reality: this team and this season is TOAST. This is only the beginning of what I see as a long downward spiral. This pitching staff is fatigued and struggling, which leads to ever more fatigue and struggles. Just look at how many pitches have to be thrown during these games where nobody can get anybody out. I keep looking for answers and all I can see is only one thing– last place. That’s right. The Detroit Tigers will make the unbelievable drop from 1st to worst in two months.”

Yeah. Money.

Dave BW May 6, 2008 at 10:56 pm

:)

Jim May 6, 2008 at 10:59 pm

*thud*

This is why I don’t post here anywhere near as much as the last couple years. I read Bilfer’s articles everyday because they are intelligent.

Separating all the moronic comments from the smart/insightful ones just wastes my time.

Jim May 6, 2008 at 11:01 pm
Kathy May 6, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Well, we did just play the World Series Champions. Wakefield had their number.

Kathy May 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm

too many of them, Jim.

Mike R May 6, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Just because a guy is a team’s top pitching prospect does not mean that he is a top pitching prospect, league wide. Being the best of a terrible system does not make them immensely valuable or incredibly good. The farm system has been on the decline since late 2005 when Granderson, Verlander, and then Zumaya came north to Detroit.

How were you right about Jurrjens. Do you not remember his stint in Detroit? I’ll remind you:

Last year: 30.2 IP, 24 H, 16 ER, 4 HR allowed, 13 K, 11 BB, 4.70 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .215 BABIP.

This year (before tonight): 38.1 IP, 27 H, 13 ER, 1 HR allowed, 28 K, 13 BB, 3.05 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .234 BABIP.

So here we’ve got a kid with two samples roughly of the same length in the major leagues. One is in the American League, one is in the National League. Both with incredibly low BABIP’s which indicate massive amounts of luck. His 2007 xFIP (which is an ERA replicate that takes defense and things the pitcher cannot control out of the equation and also normalizes HR’s as they’re fly balls that are partially dependent on the varying ball parks) was 5.61. His 2008 xFIP is 3.20.

Add in that in his final 179.2 IP in Double-A, he posted a 1.31 WHIP

Has he improved? Yes.
Has he proven he’s a quality major league starter? No. Sorry, 69 innings is not enough of a sample to make a judgment on a young player.

Add in the fact that he’s had multiple injury problems in the past and as recently as last fall with Detroit. In my opinion, he’s a No. 3 starter in the major leagues when all is said and done and when you’re a team with Division Title aspirations you make a deal for a guy who’s range is average at the position and improves said defense at a crucial position (SS).

Oh. And I don’t get what throwing out all these “I predicted this and that and this and that” when there’s no evidence of them at all other than your word supports your case, but hey. Whatever floats your boat.

I know I’m focusing on the one person in here so far tonight that is spouting off nonsense and kind of ignoring/not responding to the bunch that aren’t spouting off over the top reactionary spiels about this team but I guess the negativity draws responses like a moth to light.

Also, Billfer, the comment sections aren’t what drive this place (at least not for me, even last summer when I really started being active in here) it was the content of the posts you make. So, no matter what goes on in the comment sections, this is still a must-read blog for me. It just limits my activity after a while.

Jim May 6, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Thank you Mike R for bringing up the actual stats.

greg May 6, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Hey Mike R,

Don’t let him get under your skin, I hope you keep posting. Posts like this, with Jurrjens stats, I believe most readers will appreciate.

Kevin in Austin May 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

The team is simply too good to not hit better, and the starting pitching may be mediocre, but it’s not the worst in the AL. Which is why I’ll be glued to my seat, again, at 6:05pm Central tomorrow evening.

Kevin in Austin May 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Well, that and I’m addicted.

David G. May 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Sheez, hope I’m not solely responsible for setting off the Jurrjens firestorm. I sure never advocated trading anyone for him, my original point was more out of frustration, not any sense of hindsight. I understand what/why DD did in that trade, just frustrating to be losing 5 straight while he spins along in the Atlanta rotation.

But for the record, I think he’s looks pretty good, and bringing up his stats from last year are not all that relevant, given his age. Even Verlander struggled his first time up late in 2005.

JML May 6, 2008 at 11:55 pm

If you all really want to see (well, hear) frustration giving way to way out-there pronouncements from loud-mouth know-it-alls, just try listening to Detroit sports radio. It’s down-right tranquil here by comparison. ;-)

Phil May 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Ill post this for everyone to see.
Jim the way the Tigers have been playing this early in the season I have to say I’m happy I don’t live with you anymore. I hope you haven’t burnt your house down yet (Jim’s a pretty hardcore fan).

Kisses

greg May 7, 2008 at 12:00 am

Does anyone know if ‘local’ post-game/pre-game interviews, ie Leyland, players, etc. that appear on the local Fox Sports channel, or any local channel. Are they available on the web anywhere? I’m out of state and feel like I miss out on too much.

Joey C. May 7, 2008 at 12:06 am

Sucky sucky!

Mike R May 7, 2008 at 12:15 am

David G: That is why I included the fact that he had a 1.31 WHIP and a 2.82 K:BB Ratio (you’d like at least a 3:1) in Double-A. He never really dominated that level of baseball even when he was repeating the level (granted he was very young for the level). That sort of inconsistency, coupled with his struggles in Detroit last August lead me to believe that he’s definitely not the pitcher he has been to start this year. I think he’s a 1.15 WHIP, 3:1 K:BB ratio type pitcher who doesn’t K an overwhelming amount and thus will rely on his defense to keep his numbers looking very good. That will catch up to him as his numbers (ERA, mainly) will fluctuate, in my opinion, pretty strongly from year to year.

No. 3 starting pitcher in a rotation in my opinion, is his ceiling. Is that good? Yes. Is it replaceable? Yes.

Joey C. May 7, 2008 at 12:16 am

This team is struggling–and I apologize for not having the numbers here in case somebody wants to string me up–but consider the Yankees the past few years. We now have the 2nd highest payroll in ball. We have a ton of high-priced players and we’re having a hard time finding how they all fit together. This resembles the injury, roster make-up and early season woes of the Yanks the past few years. We’ve watched them struggle in the early going, heard the back-pages and fans go nuts with doomsday predictions, and yet when it comes to September they always end up in the playoffs. I’m not willing to write a team with this much talent off yet.

Kevin in Austin May 7, 2008 at 12:18 am

Watching the Rangers game and Josh Lewin just noted “even at 14-20, the Tigers are only 3.5 games out, certainly not a panic situation.”

We’ll be alright.

(Good point Joey C – Yankees were 10 games under in late May last year)

Jon D May 7, 2008 at 12:28 am

Wow. This ‘Chris’ guy is a real character.

Regardless, this one was tough to watch. Embarassing and frustrating.

Yet, the great thing about baseball is that there is most likely another game tomorrow.

Eric Cioe May 7, 2008 at 12:55 am

I can’t figure out why guys like Chris even bother to watch the games. They are going to be disappointed no matter what happens.

Chris May 7, 2008 at 12:58 am

(ok, no more negitive predictions or bitching about the Jurrjens trade from me tonight)

I’m beginning to notice a trend with this feast-or-famine offense. It seams as if they are very easily shut-down by anyone not pitching horribly. Tonight’s game aside– because of Wakefield’s knuckleball that could have beaten all of the other 30 teams in the league– it seams as if any mediocre pitcher who is pitching well enough can have this team completely dominated (famine). Conversely, it seams only if a pitcher is really struggling, the Tigers will let hell break loose.

Sunday’s is perfect example of this trend. Boof Bosner gets hit easily in a six-run, 46 pitch 1st Inning and then goes on to pitch through to the end of the sixth with-out breaking a sweat. What the hell could have possibly have happened to turn Boof Bosner into Sandy Koufax? Could he have simply made some adjustments that were extreme in effectiveness or is there something with the nature of this team where they struggle to get anything going when a pitcher is on their game?

I just can’t understand why this team is so easily shut down.

Mike R May 7, 2008 at 1:16 am

Well, that’s how a works. If a pitcher — regardless if he’s mediocre or not — has a good day, the pitcher generally will then beat the hitter. And vice versa if the pitcher is struggling be it with command, or velocity or both.

Chris May 7, 2008 at 1:51 am

I understand that, but it seams as if the only way the Tiger’s get any runs is when a pitcher struggles. And when that happens they seam to get a ton of runs. They don’t seem to be a team that can find a way to break down or wear-out a competent opponent pitcher and eek out a few runs here and there. Too many pitchers have found a way to slam the door shut.

I think it has to do with their plate approach and their inability to grind it out against a tough pitcher. I know Billfer has debunked the Tiger AB impatience trend, but I wonder if there is a difference statistically when a starting pitcher is doing well against them.

Here is another notable fact: the Tigers have been shut out in five games. That is more than the combined number of games where they only scored 1 or 2 runs. And they’ve scored zero runs a a game more often then they have scored only 3 runs in a game (four 3-run games). That, I think is illustrious of the overall feast or famine trend.

ron May 7, 2008 at 2:22 am

Send them all to Toledo and bring up the Mud Hens. And how long is it going to take to fire this manager? Oh, and Chris is a pizza delivery boy hired by Illitch to deflect criticism of the team on various sites. He goes by different names and actually graduated from WAYNE STATE SCHOOL OF MORTUARY SCIENCE.

Kevin in Austin May 7, 2008 at 2:44 am

Chris – good analysis. This is what I’d like to see more of.

I’m with you on the feast or famine theory. The fact that we are near the top of the AL in runs scored, yet have had 5 shutouts already strengthens your point.

Offensively, I really feel that it is a case of everyone waiting for the guy next to him to do something. It seems that our top players are waiting for their natural talent to take over, rather than approaching the plate with the attitude of “I need to do something here, and not wait for someone else to produce.”

We need a big hit or inning to spark this attitude team-wide. We got it in those back to back comebacks v. the Twins a few weeks ago, and we went on a 12-5 run.

We are due for one of those hits/innings tomorrow. I think it is going to come from Maggs. No reason why we can’t set off a 5 game winning streak of our own and get to KC on Tuesday ready to get to .500.

Also, I’m giving Sheff until the middle of the month (7 more games) to show me something before I proclaim him done.

Chris May 7, 2008 at 3:29 am

If I were a pizza delivery boy, hired by Mr. Illitch to deflect criticism from his team, then it sure would be difficult for me to do…. I live in Santa Monica, California… kinda hard to deliver pizzas over there in Tiger town.

Kevin in Austin,

I just couldn’t understand how any of the Tiger hitters are being complacent about their turn at-bat because each individually thinks that the other guy behind him will get the job done– especially when it becomes apparent that the team is in a collective slump. I find it hard to believe that each hitter absolutely does not want to get that hit, that walk, that sacrifice, that grind-out at bat. There seems to be no way anybody who makes it to the big leagues can make it there without being highly competitive.

Maybe the opposing pitching has often been really, really good and the Tiger’s have gone through stretches where one pitcher after another has had their best stuff. With tonight’s game, I have no doubt that Wakefield would have shut-out everybody. I wonder if pitching in the AL is much better than most people think and most of the bad pitchers are on the Tiger roster, which denies the batting lineup to have at it.

cib May 7, 2008 at 6:07 am

Thank you Billfer for the shout-out. I was so shellshocked last night that I forgot to mention how good it was to see you and how nice it was for you to trek over to my side of the park!
Kevin in A, I hope you are right. Last night’s game was a challenge for even the most loyal fan.

greg May 7, 2008 at 8:56 am

I think Chris makes a good point here. Its true that in general good pitching stops good hitting, but there have been way too many mediocre to below average pitchers come in and not just get a W, but totally and thoroughly dominate them. The games I’ve seen, its not like we get 9 innings of Carlos Marmol stuff, or Jake Peavy drop off the table unhittable sinker or something. Its just ho-hum stuff, decent location, but they still make their share of mistake pitches that our hitters miss, and they’re seeing the same same kind of stuff these opposing pitchers have had on other nights against other teams that produced their 5+ ERA against ‘inferior’ hitting teams(again I haven’t seen them all, but I’ve seen a decent sampling of them). Stuff that if you truly are one of the greatest lineups ever assembled(which is what more that one reputable tout has stated) you should have so problem generating SOME offense.

I’m just speaking in general, I didn’t see Wakefield’s stuff last night, but I also agree that while I’ve seen some great grind-it-out AB’s(Guillen is great at this), I’ve also seen a good number of bad AB’s, impatient AB’s. Averages are useful and all, but statisticallly, just a handful of patient AB’s can skew the numbers and mask a good number of impatient AB’s.

It only gets tougher here the next couple of days, Bucholz and Beckett. Ouch! I’d be happy with one win out of those 2.

All that said, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if they ended up scoring 1000 runs this year. But it won’t do them any good if they win 19-5 & 17-4 against 2 scrub pitchers making a ton of mistakes, then get shut out 3 days in a row against Matt Chico and the man.

Sean C. in Illinois May 7, 2008 at 10:06 am

I’m going to put this so sincerely that it will sound like sarcasm (it isn’t): I love this place. You can find dumb fans anyywhere (sports talk radio, bars, the workplace). This is the only place I can consistently find insightful and often funny commentary from people with at least a working knowledge of baseball and a genuine affection for the Tigers. I can’t tell you how refreshing that is. Especially when you live around Chicago (try listening to sports talk radio here).

Here are some examples from this thread (you know who you are):

This team has a serious problem. I keep telling you all it is more than talent. There is something wrong there. It’s a belief in winning that is not there.

I think the answer is for our pitching staff to face our lineup. At least that way, some element of the team has some success.

Jair Jurrjens has thrown 38 innings in 2008 before tonight. Can we hold off on building statues in his home town, electing him leader of the free world and naming every child born for the next 300 years “Jair” in his honor for AT LEAST a couple of months?

Well, I haven’t given up on them. Sometime this summer, they’re gonna get it going.

They are not a team. Just a bunch of guys from other teams.

Billfer – I understand your concern about the level of discourse, but I don’t have a problem with it so far. Your excellent articles and links go a long way toward steering things in the right direction.

I think we all know that Chris overreacts. Chronically. I can’t believe the Verlander for Jurrjens thing generated any discussion at all… but I’m glad that it did.

Sean C. in Illinois May 7, 2008 at 10:09 am

Ha! “…dumb fans anyywhere.” Unintentional joke. I’m so stoopid.

Andre May 7, 2008 at 11:18 am

I’ve got to agree with co-Chitownian (how’s that for dumb?) Sean. If there’s a more knee-jerk sports town than Chicago I haven’t heard of it. My work days drag on like all get out and I almost never get to watch games, so this site is the best thing that’s happened to my weekdays. For example after the Verlander/JJ post I didn’t think I would take Chris seriously…but he totally redeemed himself and had lots of good points! (not that I should be the judge of such things) Point is, I love this site and looking back at it, people saying crazy things is sometimes important to getting the dialogue up and running. Keep it going everyone.

tiff May 7, 2008 at 11:39 am

just poking my head in to say hi billfer. Great to see you yesterday, very frustrating game to watch in person. They looked asleep sometimes, like what happened to diving after ground balls? During one at bat, Inge was tying his shoes! Is it chemistry? Just waiting around for someone else to make the big hit? In the 9th inning all of a sudden they played with a sense of urgency that was missing in the first 8 innings.

I’m with Kathy. I know they’ll come around. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later, because I’m giving myself ulcers over here.

ron May 7, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Chris, o.k., you’re a lawyer sitting on the pier across from the merry-go-round, watching the ferris wheel go around waiting to play air hockey in the arcade. In the meantime, you’re blogging on your laptop upsetting people in Detroit.

ron May 7, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Yeh, this blog can get bogged down with the stat guys. You go, Chris. I think Frank Robinson would be a nice catch, but we have to grab him before the Mets do.

Another (Usually Silent) Greg May 7, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Sean C.,

I’m completely with you in your sincere love for this site, Billfer’s wonderful commentary, and the comments of DTW readers. I just read through every comment, like I do on most days, because I enjoy them and because I wasn’t able to watch last night’s game and I wanted to read what people here thought were the reasons behind another shutout.

As for Billfer’s concern that this site might ever be “referred to as a joke,” I’d just like to say that I check in here before anywhere else. I don’t even look at the boxscores on the official Tigers’ site until I’ve checked in here. So, Billfer, if it helps to hear this any, I absolutely cherish your dedication, intelligence, and the kindness/fairness you display here on DTW.

Stay well everyone. I’m off to the game tonight!

Sean C. in Illinois May 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Silent Greg

I do the same (check here first). I never get to watch the games, and won’t get to, barring a new 36-hour day and a 50% pay raise. The Detroit Tiger Weblog is my lifeline to what’s really going on with the Tigers and some of their more interesting fans.

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