Game 37: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: The last time the Tigers saw the Yankees they were one game under .500. Since then the Tigers have won one game. They have 10 extra base hits in their last 241 at-bats. They’ve struck out 43 times. They haven’t hit a home run since Curtis Granderson led off with one 5 games ago. Things aren’t good.

Kei Igawa takes the mound for the Yankees, making his first start of the year. Last year he allowed a homer 4.5 innings so that may bode well for an offense in a power outage.

Kenny Rogers has quality starts in his last two outings. His last start against the Twins was derailed following a Carlos Guillen error, but he still managed 6 strike outs and no walks.

NYY @ DET, Friday, May 9, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: The Tigers have a thing about playing the Yankees on Friday nights. Comerica has seen some noteworthy games tilting in the Tigers favor under those circumstances. There was the shellacking of Randy Johnson, the Mike Maroth 1-hitter, and the 3:30 in the morning walk-off. Todd Jones did his best to make this one memorable as well.

Jones made a 4-run lead look very surmountable, but the winning run was left on first base as Shelley Duncan hit a ball hard but at Granderson. All I can say about Jones is that if he’s going to pitch crappy, better to do it with a 4 run cushion than a 1 run one. But yes, he will blow some saves, as do all closers.

As for the offense, they pounded Kei Igawa as they’ve pounded many left handed pitchers. Part of me wishes Boof Bonser was traded to the NL instead of Johann Santana (that would be sarcasm). Pudge had two doubles, a single, a WALK, and a flyball deep to right field.

Polanco had two hits, and two line drives that turned into outs. Guillen took an 0′fer but might have had the hardest hit ball of the night but Bobby Abreu tracked it down.

Ryan Raburn got a rare start (more on this later) and made the most of it with two hits.

Two milestones occurred last night. Gary Sheffield tied Al Kaline on the all time RBI list. This was acknowledged on the scoreboard. Kenny Rogers broke the pick off record, totally befuddling Wilson Betemit (who had a really bad game). Yet this wasn’t even mentioned in the stadium.

68 Comments

  1. tiff

    May 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I’ll be at the game. If you’re coming downtown be warned that the Hoedown is also going on, so it might be a little crowded.

    Go Tigers!

  2. cib

    May 9, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I’ll be at my son’s religious high school graduation. If I believed in that stuff I’d pray for the Tigers but I don’t. So I just hope someone will text me the score…

    I’ll be there tomorrow. National tv, right? uh-oh…

  3. Mike in CT

    May 9, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Pudge leading off…genius Leyland, genius.

  4. Mark in Chicago

    May 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Good to see pudge back in the leadoff spot. Didn’t feel right with him at the bottom of the order. (I’ve decided to gao against every instinct I have in an effort to change our fortune. Think George Costanza. So far, it’s worked, Pudge just doubled).

  5. yak

    May 9, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Well, maybe they are sick of this losing thing. Two well hit balls in two at bats….

  6. Brian P

    May 9, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Make it four. Igawa is going to have a short day.

  7. yak

    May 9, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I think I could drive the ball off him, and my finger is in a splint…

  8. Mark in Chicago

    May 9, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Terrific effort by Kenny, Polanco really struggles with the high hoppers to his right.

  9. yak

    May 9, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Congrats Mr. Rogers!

  10. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    did miguel just do a fistpump to himself after that 3rd out? showin some fire

  11. Brian P

    May 9, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    The new goatee is channeling Pudge’s inner Polanco.

  12. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    awesome slide and score by raburn!

  13. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Now, that’s what I’m talkin about!!!! Wow, Raburn.

  14. charlie

    May 9, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    raburn should play everyday…love that guy.

  15. Steve

    May 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Maggs

  16. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    i love when the tigers show up and play with heart and smarts. or are they just gettin lucky tonight!? i sometimes dont know anymore

  17. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    if arod is playing, does he get to either sheffs or pudges ball down the line there?

  18. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Maybemaybenot, Joe Z.

  19. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    lets call him TEE IGAWA instead of KEI, HAHHAHAHAHA

  20. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    They need to keep piling it on here, since a 4 run lead really isn’t safe.

  21. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Polly has 21 hits in his last 48 ABs- Wow!

  22. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Tee’d off all the NY fans, Joe Z. Can you imagine what their sayin about him. :)

  23. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Stop the presses – Pudge walks!

  24. yak

    May 9, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Anyone see this as a precursor to Joba getting sent down to get stretched out as a starter? Or maybe the Yanks making a trade for a starter?

  25. Adam

    May 9, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    God I hate how any runner on base when Zach Miner shows up automatically scores.

  26. greg

    May 9, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Still waiting for the first….the FIRST borderline check swing call to go the Tigers way……0 for 15 at least.

  27. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    am i being greedy? but im somewhat upset at only 2 hits now in 4 innings. dont shut it down come on!

  28. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Todd Jones in with a 4 run lead is asking for trouble.

  29. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Just 2 more outs. Can we make it?

  30. yak

    May 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Geez Louise, Jonsie…… I’m glad I’m not watching this.

  31. Adam

    May 9, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Sorry, Todd. Can’t make it into a save situation by letting in runs!

    Though you’ll still try.

  32. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    44,000 thousand people are there. He better get him out!

  33. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    *holding breath*

  34. dredford

    May 9, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Why is Chuck Hernandez still coaching this abomination of a pitching staff? When will he be held responsible?

  35. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Whew!

  36. JOE Z

    May 9, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    *breathes* NICE

  37. Sam

    May 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    OK…

    That ball came off Duncan’s bat awfully quick. I think my heart stopped beating for 1 second.

    Wow

    -Sam

  38. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Every f’ing time – you can bet the house on it.

  39. Sky

    May 9, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Jones is one lucky SOB. He is a certain heart attack every time he gets th ball. Before the year is over he will cost us………

  40. yak

    May 9, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Wheeeeeewwwww! I…..We……Wow. Just wow.

  41. Sky

    May 9, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Jones is not happy unless he always makes it a one run game.

  42. Brian P

    May 9, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I loved your comment, Adam.

  43. JML

    May 9, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    We still need to completely rid ourselves of Jones, darnit

  44. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    What slop. This game shouldn’t even have been close. What ever happened to the “nine innings” mantra.

  45. scott pb

    May 9, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    T jizzle is my tiger !

  46. Kathy

    May 9, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    8 full innings and then the rollercoaster ride! Thank God we survived.

  47. scott pb

    May 9, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    if he blows up every 8 games or so then we dodged another bullet here. and he will be good for a while

  48. Chris

    May 9, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    This team has been struggling for much of the season due mostly to piss poor starting pitching, shoddy defense and often disappearing offense. It’s a bit scary to think the the bullpen is more than due to boot a few games from the win column over to the loss column.

    Todd Jones had a four run lead to preserve with just three little outs to get, and yet still came very close to blowing it. I’m getting a bit tired of these scary ninth innings that always seam to happen when he is on the mound. Enough of that crap, already. It’s time he starts performing like a real closer and ending these games cleanly or it maybe time the Tigers start getting Verlander prepared to become a closer for the future.

  49. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Leyland has a block of concrete for a brain. In the 2+ years he has managed this team, how many times has this same scenario played out?

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put in Rollercoaster with a 4+ run lead – NEVER.

  50. Chris

    May 9, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put in Rollercoaster with a 4+ run lead – NEVER.”

    Why do you say that? Do you think that Jones doesn’t take seriously the task of slamming the ninth inning door when he has a cushion? If that is true, then I don’t understand how a closer can be successful in any situation. I’d much rather have a closer who demonstrates a killer instinct night after night by nailing these ninth innings shut on a more consistent basis.

  51. Mike R

    May 9, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Gary Sheffield to the DL, Carlos Guillen to DH, Brandon Inge to 3rd, Jim Leyland to the unemployment office, please.

  52. Jeff

    May 9, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    maybe time the Tigers start getting Verlander prepared to become a closer for the future.

    The change in likelihood of winning in going from an average closer to a top-notch one in a 1-run game is about 5.7% (from 81% to 86.7%). That’s an increase of 1-2 wins a year. That’s not worth shifting your most talented starter to the pen.

  53. Vince in MN

    May 9, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Chris:

    Your guess is as good as mine as far as what is going on with Jones in these big lead types of situation, but over the last three years he has, in a very high percentage of cases, fallen flat on his face in non-save situations. In save situations he comes through at a pretty high rate of success, even though he can make it more interesting than we would like.

  54. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Now THAT was a good game. It had all the necessary elements: Tigers winning, Yankees losing.

    I like this Pudge leading off thing. Any comments I’ve made to the contrary were in jest.

    The Todd Jones Show is fun and all, but I’m ready for a closer who doesn’t pitch to the score. I swear he does that just to get a save. I hate that guy. Right up until the 3rd out.

    Seemed like Guillen had an icky night at the plate, beyond the 0. OK, there was that sac fly.

    Was the curve that struck out Granderson that good, or did he look bad? Way to come off the bench and mot-o-vate though, Curtis. Really exciting.

    Is the Yankee infield that bad, or were all those errors and infield hits that tough?

    I liked all those play-to-win touches, the pickoff, the stealing and taking of extra bases, even Pudge trying unsuccessfully to take third on the fly to right. Was Thames’s groundout to 1B that advanced the runner just chance, or did they actually have a hit and run going there?

    I was groaning to see Miner back out for the 8th, but i guess he acquitted himself well. I had been even more surprised to see Rogers back out for the 7th. I was relieved (as relieved as Rogers was – pun) to see him get the hook after the double, but seeing the name Miner made me queasy. The queasiness didn’t pass quickly.

    I think I’d like to see the Tiger hit a home run again sometime soon. Doesn’t mean you can’t manufacture runs, too, in between grand slams.

    How was Sheffield looking? Did he tear the cover off that double? He seemed busy in left tonight.

    Seemed like vintage Rogers. In and out of jams. I like it when he’s getting his breaking and off-speed stuff over, as it “appeared” to me he was. But it also seemed like the Yankees were hitting him HARD when they did.

    4 hits in a row to chase the starter. Sweet. I was disappointed that the Tigers couldn’t cash in on late-inning chances, but it was good to see them at least awake that late in the game. But… you didn’t need to be clairvoyant to know the Tigers might need even more than 6. I wasn’t relaxed at 6-1. I’m positive no one here was.

  55. Ryan in Brooklyn

    May 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Wow, I just watched that one off DVR – about an hour behind. I was just skimming through the last few innings, half paying attention. Saying to myself – I just have to see to the end and make sure they won.

    Enter Todd Jones. Good Grief! I was totally mellow just a few minutes ago. Now I feel like I just did a triple shot of espresso with a Red Bull chaser. That man is unsafe for anyone with a pre-existing heart condition.

  56. JC Farias

    May 9, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Miguel wont start hitting until he hits on the third spot. That’s his place at the line-up. Gary has to be on the 5th and Guillen 6th. Miguel hitting 3rd will tear the cover off the ball! that has to happen pronto!

  57. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Favorite comments – kudos!

    The new goatee is channeling Pudge’s inner Polanco.

    (I’ve decided to gao against every instinct I have in an effort to change our fortune. Think George Costanza.

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put in Rollercoaster with a 4+ run lead – NEVER.

    I was totally mellow just a few minutes ago. Now I feel like I just did a triple shot of espresso with a Red Bull chaser.

  58. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 9, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Not so many comments tonight during Detroit’s best innings at the plate, I notice. The sheer novelty of Tigers a) on base, b) advancing, and c) scoring must have had everyone glued to the set.

  59. Luke

    May 10, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Nothing to do with the game, but Hessman hit two more dingers for Toledo tonight… he is now leading the universe in home runs and hitting .313

    At some point someone is going to be asking about acquiring him…

  60. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 10, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Too bad Hessman doesn’t bat left. What’s the book on this guy? He plays 3B down Toledo way, right? Does he have a glove? He’s been in AAA for abut 100 years – so is he one of those “AAAA” guys who’ll never quite get big league pitching? Could he have any possible role to play for the Tigers, even a temporary one, if they traded Inge during the season?

  61. PHT in HK

    May 10, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Hate to admit this, but it is now time to drop Jones from my fantasy team. Maybe the Tigers should consider this as well.

  62. Kyle J

    May 10, 2008 at 10:25 am

    The problems for Hessman are:

    1) He’s 30 years old.
    2) He’s a career .227 hitter in the minors.

  63. ron

    May 10, 2008 at 11:17 am

    They kill a triple AAA pitcher, get two hits the rest of the way and at one point make three outs on three pitches. Today, another fresh pitcher to feast on and tomorrow an over the hill guy. Are these Tigers hungry enough or are they just going to go thru the motions and hope for the best. Talent is a good thing but is there a fire in the belly to get them to October?

  64. Mith

    May 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    The Todd Jones Show is fun and all, but I’m ready for a closer who doesn’t pitch to the score. I swear he does that just to get a save. I hate that guy. Right up until the 3rd out.

    Jones didn’t get a save. He can’t turn a non-save situation into a save situation and then get one. If someone else had come in relief for him, THEY could have earned the save.

  65. Jeff

    May 10, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    One other memorable Friday at Comerica vs. the Yankees — Kenny Rogers in the playoffs . . .

  66. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 10, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Mith

    Thanks. I posted before I saw a comment from Adam that would have enlightened me. I was kidding about Jones’s motivation, but I was truly unaware that the save situation was determined only by the circumstances prevailing when the pitcher entered the game.

    There’s another rule I’m unclear on. Pardon me if it’s a stupid question, but can a position player stay in the game as DH if he is subbed for defensively?

  67. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Funny things happen when you follow a game on the cbs.sportsline.com scoreboard with a dial-up connection.

    Sometimes they’ll list the same pitch twice in a row by mistake, except that you don’t realize it till you notice that the batter’s still up with 3 strikes or 4 balls. You figure it out when you see something like (83/slider) twice in a row. I probably shouldn’t trust what they call the pitches, either. Or the speed. 68 mph fastballs?

    When there’s a long delay that isn’t obviously for a pitching change, it usually means something really good or really bad happened. If the opponents are batting, I get nervous. Pretty nerve-wracking. I wish they’d just spit out a half-inning at a time.

    Last night in the 9th, I saw that the first Yankee runner was awarded 2nd base on FIELDER INDIFFERENCE. Ha! Didn’t Miguel look intense enough? Was he snacking again? Do they outsource the play by play to India now or what?

  68. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Kyle J

    .227, huh? Ouch. That explains it. Thanks.