Game 36: Red Sox at Tigers

PREGAME: Justin Verlander and Josh Beckett tonight.

Sorry for the brevity, gotta run.

BOS @ DET, Thursday, May 8, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME:  That winning thing was short lived.  I missed the first 3 innings of this game while coaching my son’s team but it appears to be more of the same. Tigers starting pitching allows runs early, but not so much to make it a blow out.  Red Sox starting pitching looks golden allowing some baserunners, but they were all singles.  And it’s yet another loss.

Curtis Granderson fanned 4 times, besting (or worsting) his 3 K’s performance last night.  Miguel Cabrera is slumping again going 0 for 4 with a couple ugly looking K’s.  If it weren’t for the subs at the bottom of the order – Thames, Inge, and Santiago – stringing together 2 out hits it would have been another shut out.

I just don’t know.

Red Sox 5 Tigers 1


  1. Slashpyne

    May 8, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    I’d sure feel better about the Tigers if Verlander has a strong outing

  2. Mark in Chicago

    May 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    hey, they got Youkilis out. novel approach.

  3. Kevin in Austin

    May 8, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Great, great shot on FSN from the blimp of the players running off the field to the dugout. Very cool.

    The way Youkilis moves in the batter box reminds me of a character from Mike Tyson’s Punchout. Who am I thinking of?

  4. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Nice to see Manny not in the lineup tonight. I also like Thames over Sheff. One thing I never understand with Leyland though, why does he always bat untested rookies 6th or 7th. I don’t think he’s going to hurt their egos if he bats them 8 or 9 where they should be. They shouldn’t even have an ego yet. Thanks for playing me sir, I’ll bat 10 if I have to. I’ll be the bat boy if I have to.

  5. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 8, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Kevin, I think he looks like Soda Popinski.

  6. Vince in MN

    May 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Cabrera likes the high and away fastball.

  7. Kevin in Austin

    May 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    He definitely does. But his circular rotations which get smaller and faster seem so familiar…maybe Great Tiger?

  8. Vince in MN

    May 8, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Verlander’s throwing batting practice tonight.

  9. Mark in Chicago

    May 8, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Well this is turning into a fantastic inning.


  10. Kevin in Austin

    May 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    BTW – we have 2 OF assists this year, one of them is on the waiver wire, and the other is in AAA already.

  11. Mark in Chicago

    May 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Verlander just has no command in any of his starts.

  12. Erik in DC

    May 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I remember when Verlander used to be unstoppable. He hasn’t been the same since the first game after the no-no. It’s like the no-no took something out of him.

  13. Mark in Chicago

    May 8, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    That could have been a lot worse, but a 3-run hole against Beckett feels nearly impossible to climb out of. Hope the guys are prepared to really grind one out.

  14. Vince in MN

    May 8, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    With the B-lineup in there and Verlander chuckin’ belt high fastballs down the heart of the plate, this could turn into a blow-out real fast.

  15. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 8, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Erik, maybe Verlander summoned the gods to be able to throw 102 mph in the late innings of his no hitter and they granted him his wish, but only in exchange for his command and 4 mph off his fast ball for the rest of his career. Bad deal.

  16. Joey the K in Portland OR

    May 8, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Did I really just see Miggy snacking while playing first base?!

  17. Kevin in Austin

    May 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I couldn’t find Maggs 0-0 stats in short order, but this link here seems to demonstrate that he swings for the fences ahead in the count and hits at a lower rate, as compared to when he gets behind in the count.

  18. Vince in MN

    May 8, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Last Tiger homerun was in the first inning on Sunday.

  19. Kevin in Austin

    May 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Check that, Maggs is hitting.375 with a .917 OPS at 0-0. Swing away Maggs.

    (though his OPS screams past 1.000 after 2-1)

  20. Vince in MN

    May 8, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Two more hits and we’ll be on the board.

  21. Brian P

    May 8, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Yow. One of our pitchers needs to throw Curtis some breaking balls in batting practice.

  22. cib

    May 8, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Boys night tonight?? lol

    It seems to me that Verlander hasn’t been the same since starting the allstar game. I hate the allstar game. It’s like a curse.

  23. tiff

    May 8, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    matt joyce!!!

    sheff would’ve not made that catch.

  24. tiff

    May 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    (just got here cib, you’re not alone. i’m busy fretting about why Miggy’s socks are DOWN! Is that his slump buster technique??)

  25. cib

    May 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Hey Tiff.
    Agreed with you about the allstar curse.
    I think I’m going to watch hockey. I’m having a tough time with this team this week!

  26. Vince in MN

    May 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Way to shut ’em down there Justin.

  27. Sky

    May 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Verlander can not pitch. He can throw the baseball. But he can not pitch. He will not be long in the major league. He is just like Denny McLain in the 60’s. Looks good when lucky….but that is all it is……luck. He is too wild in all important ways and at all important times.

  28. Joey the K in Portland OR

    May 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Youkilis might as well be a W Sox, I hate him that much.

  29. JOE Z

    May 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    youk 🙁

  30. Eric Cioe

    May 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Sky, you are wrong about Verlander. You don’t get lucky for 2 full seasons, putting up a 3.65 ERA twice in a row. Verlander’s in a slump, but he won’t be gone from the majors just because Youkalis is on a hot streak right now.

  31. Brenden

    May 8, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    What the hell is wrong with this starting rotation???? Hernandez needs to be held responsible…

  32. Brenden

    May 8, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Final score tonight…..1-5…another loss….the offense is dead just like usual….

  33. mcb

    May 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Does anyone else think the fact that Inge is catching Verlander is the problem maybe. He has been catching him.

  34. Sky

    May 8, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Eric, in 1968 McLain won 31 games……….in 69 he won 24….Cy Young two years in a row. Study what the batters of that era said about him. He was called the luckiest pitcher in baseball. All I see is that Verlander does not show pitching ability. He can throw but not pitch. There is a difference.

    I hope I am proved wrong. But I have seen this many times over the years. Stars shine for a year or two and then fade fast. How long did Fydrich last? Two years ago Verlander was throwing 100 or better. He hasn’t had a strong showing since mid-2007. Some great innings and pitches here and there. But not a starting pitcher quality.

  35. Brenden

    May 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    I stand by my statement that the entire pitching staffs struggles come back to coaching, because somewhere down the line, Hernandez has not prepared these guys. All of them are struggling, and that is just unheard by pitchers of this caliber.

  36. Sky

    May 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    There may be something to what you say Brenden. Johnny Sain was the man that turned the Tigers pitching around in the 60’s……..I don’t recall who else ever was famous for doing that. But someone’s head will be rolling soon. This staff is looking so bad we could almost replace all five with Toledo starters and do just as well.

  37. Brenden

    May 8, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Okay…I’m done watching this crap…wake me up when this team actually starts playing baseball, because this crap that they are playing is not baseball….One win and they are comfortable for the series. This team is nothing but an embarrassment and full of a bunch of underachievers…

  38. Tbone

    May 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Coming into this season, Verlander was the last worry on my mind. He was the Ace, poised for another stellar season, seasoned and confident.

    What’s going on with him? Of all the team foibles this season, his plight is the biggest puzzler and biggest concern.

    Erik K. upthread mentioned that he hasn’t been the same since his no-no. I’ve long felt the whole team hasn’t been the same since that no-no. While everyone was slapping each others backs, rolling out the merchandise sales and reveling in the afterglow of that night, the Tigers went on to drop the next two games to the Brewers and no one seemed to notice.

    The seeds of our current malaise were planted in that series. The hunger and fire from ’06 has disappeared.

  39. cib

    May 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Ugh. I’m just ill. Such a bad dream.

    But I’ll be there Saturday! Night all.

  40. Brenden

    May 8, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Some observations I have made about this team:

    -The starting rotation is messed up and Chuck Hernandez needs to be held responsible for it. I have never seen a pitching be entirely out of whack like this years Tigers. None of them have been good and it has to be with the way Hernandez is preparing them.

    -Cabrera is playing like a million dollar brat. He doesn’t even look like he cares out there. I think the image that said it all was him having a package of sunflower seeds at first base with him in the middle of the inning. What a waste of money this guy has turned out to be so far.

    -Patience is lacking. Like when Magglio swung at the first pitch with 2 men on, only to pop out to right, which he has done multiple times this season.( So many times, I predicted he was going to do it)

    The mess that this team is currently in is really making it hard to see this team in the playoffs at the end of the season. This team is so frustrating with its lack of urgency that as a fan, it makes me sick to watch. Something has got to change.

  41. Kathy

    May 8, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Tbone said “the hunger and fire from ’06 have disappeared.”

  42. Jeff

    May 8, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Study what the batters of that era said about him. He was called the luckiest pitcher in baseball

    McLain was not lucky; his peripherals matched very closely to his record given the era. The reason he was so dominant in 1968 and 1969 was because his walk rate and home run rate dropped like rocks. This wasn’t surprising, it was part of the maturation process as he was 24 years old in 1968.

    Then all his cortisone shots and extracurricular activities caught up to him and he was washed up by age 28.

    Fidrych? Hard to say. He outperformed his peripherals, but he was also an extreme ground ball pitcher with fantastic control, a low strikeout rate, and a low home run rate (he was giving up a HR every 23 innings and fewer than 2 BBs per 9 prior to his collapse).

  43. Brian P

    May 8, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I just read a quote from Verlander effectively saying he adjusted his mechanics and approach to avoid throwing the 98+ mph fastball. This was in order to increase the longevity of his shoulder, which was fatigued at the end of his first season.

    So in that sense, the “fire” from ’06 (and the first third of ’07) has also disappeared.

    I’m beginning to think all of Cabrera’s pre-game preperation for first base is distracting from his hitting. How many players have to learn a brand new position mid-season? Virtually none. And from Rod & Mario, it sounds like they have him practicing at length before each game. It may take him a year to adjust to the new position and AL pitching.

    I don’t care if he’s eating sunflower seeds. Manny was eating a pudding during yesterday’s game. Who cares? It’s trivial.

    I do agree that Chuck Hernandez needs to start sharing some of the blame for the pitching. We’ve allowed the most runs in the league now. I don’t know how effective bringing in a new coach would be, but it couldn’t make things any worse.

  44. Ken in Cincinnati

    May 8, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    People question the focus and intensity of this team waaay too much. Who are we to say whether they’re locked in mentally or not? We have absolutely no idea! Cabrera could be studying his butt off every night for the opposing pitcher. Sheffield could be losing his mind over his recent struggles. Just because we don’t see them throwing over Gatorade dispensers or catch them having some sunflower seeds, doesn’t mean they are trolling through the season. Heck nobody questions Granderson’s mentality, but he’s looked more lost than anybody these last few games. Now I’m not saying it isn’t possible they are out to lunch, but we certainly can’t make that assumption based on what we see out on the diamond.

  45. stephen

    May 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Sheffield is SO not losing his mind over his recent struggles. This is why I was so insistent on selling the farm, the stadium, Dombrowski’s kids anything to get bullpen help last July. Contending opportunities for teams not named Red Sox or Yankees come around so infrequently! This is why I wasn’t forgiving when they little leagued their way through the 06 World Series against the Cardinals perhaps the weakest team to win a world title in my lifetime. Except for two weeks in October 07, this team has woefully underperformed for almost two seasons.
    Ok, serenity now, serenity now.

  46. Mike R

    May 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I didn’t get to see the game tonight, but I’d be interested in a follow up of Verlander’s Release point since his one start he got back to hitting 96 on the gun after he ‘fixed’ it. I really think he’s pitching on a bum shoulder.

  47. ron

    May 9, 2008 at 2:10 am

    I will make the assumption that after 36 games, these guys go home (except Curtis), sit down in their home theatre, cool down with a drink, watch a movie and immediately put out of their mind their poor play. I am also assuming that we as fans are bothered more about this poor play than they are. Until I see something different, I am assuming that they are cruising and that they just don’t give a —-.

  48. Chris

    May 9, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Like I said, Verlander is on the fast-track decline as a starter. Eight consecutive starts is enough of a sample to see when a pitcher is truly not right.

    I wonder if he can become an effective closer.

  49. Eric Cioe

    May 9, 2008 at 2:30 am


    You are wrong. This is a fact. If you had your way, Josh Beckett wouldn’t have started tonight’s game for Boston, because he had a whole bad year of 5+ ERA a few years back, at age 25, just like Verlander. Verlander could pitch like this for the rest of the year and still come back and dominate, as Beckett has done. Eight starts does not a career make.

    And really, he didn’t pitch badly. You’re looking at one thing – his earned runs – and basing it all off of that. His strikeouts were up, he was around the zone all night, he only walked 1. He got hit hard by a hard hitting team. Yeah, it sucks, but no, his career as a starter isn’t over.

  50. ron

    May 9, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Fydrich had a job to go back to; pumping gas. He could go balls out every game. These prima donnas of today have nothing going for them but baseball. If Verlander destroys his arm, he’s out on the street.

  51. ron

    May 9, 2008 at 2:45 am

    Just in time, THE NEW YORK YANKEES.

  52. cib

    May 9, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Ron, your comment reminded me of a childhood memory re: sports stars prior to multimillion dollar contracts. In the football off-season, Alex Karras used to work in the service department at Northland Chrysler-Plymouth. I’m old so this was before computers. He wrote up the service orders for the cars coming in. It was always fun to go with my dad to get the car worked on!

  53. Kyle J

    May 9, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Like I said, Verlander is on the fast-track decline as a starter. Eight consecutive starts is enough of a sample to see when a pitcher is truly not right.

    Some other guys on the fast-track decline:

    Roy Oswalt (5.33)
    A.J. Burnett (5.19)
    Mark Buehrle (5.31)
    C.C. Sabbathia (7.51)
    Barry Zito (6.95)

    Verlander getting back on track is the #1 concern for this team, as far as I’m concerned, but saying he’s “on the fast track decline” is pure hyperbole.

  54. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Kinda glad I misssed this one. The flat team is back, I take it. What’s up with Granderson? 7 K’s in 2 days? Man.

    So… did ANYTHING good happen in this game? Anything?

    I was thinking, if the Tigers won 18 of the next 30, that would seem great looking at it from this point. But they’d only be 33-33, which would still be disappointing at that point. And yet, if they could only go 6-4 every ten from now on, they would finish with 90 or 91 wins. Maaybe just short of 1st place and undoubtedly out of the playoffs, but something to hang our hopes on for 2009, right? Is 6-4 so much to ask of a team that has Verlander, Bonderman, T. Jones, Granderson, Polanco, Guillen, Ordonez, and Cabrera? Is it?

  55. Justin

    May 9, 2008 at 10:09 am

    If these pitching woes continue until the break, is there any chance we’ll see Porcello in the second half?

  56. cib

    May 9, 2008 at 10:26 am

    billfer did your son’s team at least win? give us SOMETHING!!

  57. scotsw

    May 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I’m bummed and frustrated, but I’m really not all that worried.

    Verlander says he feels great. If he has changed his mechanics to preserve a long career, that’s probably wise. But it means he needs to master his curve and change, because a 95 MPH fastball isn’t the same weapon a 99MPH fastball is — that’s just the reality. You can certainly pitch a long and illustrious career topping out at 95, but you need to combine good stuff with smart decisions.

    Apart from Dontrelle Willis, the starters have not looked ALL that bad. Their ERAs don’t look good, but their “stuff” has looked fine, and getting better. The issue to me has been keeping their focus on every pitch.

    I also think better defense would have cut half a run off the team’s ERA (I’ll let a real stathead dig up the numbers on that), and the unearned runs, especially early on, hurt a great deal.

    All that said, I think this is a team that has been plagued by the walking wounded. I was at the game Tuesday and I think Cabrera’s quad is still causing problems, just watching him walk on and off the field. Sheffield doesn’t have the bat control he’s used to having, and I think that’s more about his torn finger tendon than his shoulders. His swing looks pretty good — fast enough to hit in the bigs, obviously. Polanco’s resurgence at the plate corresponds pretty closely with warmer weather and a healing back (I’m sure the cold aggravated his sore back).

    At the beginning of the season, we expected this team to compete by being a dominant hitting team with average defense at best, and good pitching. We’ve had streaky hitting, below-average defense and below-average pitching. Big difference.

    And I’ve said it before: Fire Chuck Hernandez.

  58. Mark in Chicago

    May 9, 2008 at 10:55 am

    I’m beyond frustration at this point, now it’s just tiresome to watch these losses mount up.

    Hopefully we’ll get a similar performance against the Yankees like we saw last week in NY. The stars are aligned, we get a rookie, Kei Igawa and Mike Mussina, missing Wang again.

  59. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 10:58 am


    Thanks for the compliment on my Marvin Gaye song parody the other day. I didn’t get it quite right. Since our words here are preserved for all of posterity, I want to. So, with apologies to Billfer (blame cib for encourqaging me):


    Tigers, Tigers
    Not too many of you trying
    Batters batters batters
    There’s far too many of you dying
    You know we’ve got to find a way
    To DL Sheffield – yesterday

    Pitchers, pitchers
    Know they’d better strike them out
    Fielding is the answer
    For only gloves can conquer doubt
    You know that you can rest assured
    We need back Brandon Inge at third

    Runners on
    And runners gone
    Don’t punish me
    With a 6-4-3
    Come on score some runs
    And get it done
    We’ll win the game
    We’ll win the game
    Tell me who won the game
    I’ll tell you who won the game

    Tigers, Tigers
    What a rapid fall from grace
    But who are we to judge them
    Simply ’cause they’re in last place?
    Wonder how long it’s gonna be
    Until Jim says “That’s it for me”

    Hitting’s weak
    And pitching’s sick
    The starters can’t
    Make it through the 6th
    Come on bulllpen guys
    Oft criticized
    Don’t blow the game
    Don’t blow the game
    Jonesy don’t blow the game
    Guillen’s error blew the game

  60. jason

    May 9, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Verlander is on pace to lose 27 games this year.

  61. Mark in Chicago

    May 9, 2008 at 11:07 am


    I’ll take the under on that.

  62. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I’ll take the under on that.

    Dry. Nice.

  63. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 11:13 am


    I’ll try to follow the game tonight, if you think it’ll help. It is tonight, right? Can’t do it if it’s this afternoon.

  64. Mark in Chicago

    May 9, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Sean, we need a win, so yeah get on there and follow if you can. It’s tonight 6 PM start for us here in the Central Time Zone. ( I have so gotten on board with CST, everything starts at the perfect time, an hour earlier than the east coast. Not sure I could ever do the West Coast thing, having games start a 10AM? weird….)

  65. Chris in Dallas

    May 9, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. Oh well. Considering there are still like 120 games left and they’re only like 4 games behind the division leader, I guess we should all count our blessings. I have to say I’m really disappointed in what Cabrera has done, though. To paraphrase some sportswriter – he hasn’t brought anything to the table, and in fact he’s taken things off the table.

  66. Chris in Dallas

    May 9, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Holy crap I was just reading through all the posts and noticed a Soda Popinski reference. Good form Ken in Cincinnati. Good form.

  67. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Chris in Dallas

    Cabrera hasn’t done much lately, but overall he’s been OK. As someone has suggested, I think this 1B thing may be distracting Cabrera.

    You know, I find myself wishing they would have just left Cabrera at 3B. If they had worked on him there with the same intensity they’re showing now at 1B, things would probably be getting better. No sense worrying about that now, though.

    It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you. It’s what you know that just ain’t so. Someone tell Jim Leyland.

  68. Ryan

    May 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Not too worried about Miggy. Guys that hit .320 don’t hit .320 for the whole season. They hit .250 for a couple weeks and then .400 for a couple weeks, and it all averages out. People always seem to be hustling more when they’re hot.

    Certainly agreed with the sentiment to take a long look at whether Chuck deserves a job. There’s no way Galarraga is the most talented starter. He’s just had the least time up here. Pitching staffs don’t naturally blow up all at once. They just don’t. And I, for one, don’t want Porcello within 500 miles of Comerica until Chuck is fired or I am somehow convinced that it’s not his fault.

  69. Chris in Dallas

    May 9, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    I’m sure by the end of the season Cabrera will post his typical stats and all so I’m not that worried. I’m just not all that big a fan of the way he plays, though. Would it kill him to run out a routine ground ball? Then again, maybe his quad is still bothering him. Or he’s just lazy. Who knows.

  70. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Coming into the season, with so much talent returning and the amazing off-season acquisitions, I though the Tigers had finally arrived as a premier team. The way they’ve always rolled over for the likes of the Red Sox, White Sox, and – usually – the Yankees has been disgusting. I thought that was over. I thought I could approach these series without apprehension. I was wrong. They have played like they were the National League All-Star team. A bunch of guys from different teams playing in a game that doesn’t count. Maybe Leyland should make them suit up in their old team uniforms.

    Look at the scores in their losses. Boy, is that telling. Make them all get ZERO tattoos for every time they’re shut out.

    OK, negativity out. I feel better. Let’s go Tigers! Kill the Yankees!

  71. Andre

    May 9, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I have to agree with scotsw on Verlander.

    While I wish he were still letting batters have it with the high 99 mph fastballs, if tweaking his mechanics prolongs his career…I’m not gonna tell the guy to burn out his shoulder for the win. The thing that bothers me is that I thought the change was supposed to stretch out his starts too. So far it does seem like he can’t go deep into the game (I haven’t been able to see enough games to know if this is a result of reaching a certain pitch count early or not). He didn’t seem to have endurance issues last year, but then again he was effective so I wasn’t looking for them.

    I saw a stat a while ago saying that he was very effective early and then a sharp decline after inning 4 i think. This is what bothers me. Change your style to extend your playing time, even if it means decreasing velocity, fine. Why then the issues we’re seeing…I do think this is a coaching problem.

  72. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Chris, I haven’t seen Cabrera play, but I do get the impression he doesn’t exactly radiate enthusiasm like, say, Polly or Pudge.

  73. Chris in Dallas

    May 9, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has posted this link here but it is, um, interesting. Looks like Zumaya is hitting his rehab full force…

    Of course there is no context as to when these pictures were taken, but funny nonetheless.

  74. Chris in Dallas

    May 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has posted this link here on DTW, so here you go:

    Make of that what you will…

  75. Andre

    May 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I forgot to mention this (but i’ve said it before), the Tigers don’t hit for Verlander. Besides two of his eight starts: 3/31 game vs KC (4 runs) and 4/22 vs Texas (10 runs), the Tigers have combined for 7 runs in his six other starts!!!

    I think that confidence is key to a players performance in almost any sport, and possibly moreso in baseball. Playoff bound teams can absorb stretches of bad games like what the Tigers are going through, but the degree to which bad play factors into a teams confidence might be greater if its earlier in the season.

    I would hope that the degree to which this affects professionals is less than it would myself…but can we really say that the burden of expectations with being the team’s “ace” and (until proven otherwise) knowing that your team isn’t going to hit for you doesn’t have something to do with JV’s awful start?

  76. billfer

    May 9, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Sean – Actually Cabrera appears to play with considerable enthusiasm. He’s laughing, joking, and cheering on his teammates.

    Ron – I think the Tigers should be in good shape this series because the Yankees players make more money so they’ll care even less.

    cib – It’s an instructional league (pitching machine for first graders) so they don’t keep score. But no, they still lost.

  77. Andre

    May 9, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Any word on when the White Sox will be done using their blow up dol….er “slump buster”? We need it.

  78. tiff

    May 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Cabrera is a big bundle of baseball joy. I don’t think his enthusiasm is the problem. I’ll note with Kathy that ever since Leyland said he didn’t want to see Cabrera giving up some at bats, he hasn’t done squat. Too much pressing again? He had just gotten comfortable after starting off the season slowly, and now he’s trying too hard at every at bat.

  79. ron

    May 9, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Bilfer, we could use that piching machine.

  80. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks, tiff. He’s really just a big kid who loves to have fun and I hope they’re not stiffling him. I could care less if he chews peanuts or whatever on base. Most of the other guys chew tobacco during the game….so what? They want him to be serious and I just don’t think that’s his style.