Game 47: Mariners at Tigers

PREGAME: By winning the first two games of the series the Tigers assured themselves that they’ll enter the weekend in 13th place in the American League. Hopefully they have higher aspirations like opening up a 2.5 game lead over the Mariners in the race for first dibs on the waiver wire. (this is called not getting carried away over a 2 game winning streak)

Jeremy Bonderman will try to build on his excellent start in Arizona by reducing the number of foul pop-ups that go uncaught.

Miguel Bastista takes the bump for the Mariners. Batista walks a lot of people, kind of like Bonderman has this year. The Tigers have been pretty aggressive the last two games against pitchers who throw strikes predominantly. We’ll see if they adjust their approach to try and wait out Batista.

SEA @ DET, Thursday, May 22, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: I don’t want to knock a sweep, a pounding, a 3 game win streak. But I’m far from giddy. After winning the last 3 the Tigers are still 7 games under .500, and even with the Twins, Indians, and Royals losing at the same time they’re still 3 games out of 2nd. But that’s the hole they have dug.

Plus I’ve been really encouraged before, like when they swept the Yankees to move within 1 game of .500 only to go in the tank again. I guess I need another 10 games at least of good play, not necessarily wins mind you, but good play to start to get that shiny-happy feeling again.

Still, it’s unreasonable to expect them to win anymore than they did over the last 3 games so I can’t help but be happy with the sweep. Yes, the Mariners are playing really bad baseball. And the Tigers got the good fortune to miss Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard. And the Tigers bullpen had issues in the one game. But the Tigers still doubled up the Mariners in this series. It’s not like they were squeaking out wins. They beat the Mariners to a pulp, or in Rod-ism form, like they stole something.

Slumping players seemed to bounce back a little and Bonder-lander put together a couple decent starts.

Good sweep. Now let’s see it again.

Comment of the day: Courtesy of T. Smith – This is like the Detroit Tigers playing the Detroit Tigers.

On a related note, check out the game thread at USS Mariner. We’ve all been witness to some bad baseball as Tigers fans this year so we can feel their pain. But at least the commentors are creative in their frustrations.

95 Comments

  1. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Sheffield at DH again? What a suprise. His one hit yesterday assured him of two more weeks in the lineup.

  2. Ryan

    May 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Sheff currently has an OPS higher than the following Tigers who are not pitchers and have have not been DFA:

    Paws.

  3. T Smith

    May 22, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Good job with the pregame Billfer. It refreshing to see the bar raised a little — let’s not get complacent over winning a series, or winning a couple in a row.

    Go Tigers!

  4. Brian P

    May 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    And his lone hit was on a hit-and-run with a fastball right down the middle. Pitches like that should whistle to the outfield. Not worm burn. *sigh*

  5. David G.

    May 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Don’t insult Paws like that Ryan, A) His OPS is technically the Null Set, it is NOT zero B) He can rake.

  6. Dave BW

    May 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    What are the odds that Rod will not tell us about Miguel Batista’s crime novels? One in twenty-thousand sounds about right.

  7. yak

    May 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Paws is more known for his glove work. Is his last name Perez???

  8. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Did Paws get caught twice for steriods?

  9. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    It has to become clear soon that Sheff isn’t healthy, even to Leyland. We’re facing the only team worse than us in the AL, and the back end of their rotation, and he still hasn’t hit well.
    Bring up Hessman to play 3rd and let Guillen DH, Hessman is not getting any younger in Toledo.

  10. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Jeremy Bonderman will try to build on his excellent start in Arizona by reducing the number of foul pop-ups that go uncaught.

    Instant classic, Billfer. Nice.

  11. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Neal, you could bring up Clete Thomas to DH at this rate. Another lefty bat, too. Woo-hoo!

  12. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Nice start—Hit, 2 base error

  13. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Sean,where are you at in IL

  14. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Jeremy, about 50 miles NW of Chicago.

  15. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    What town, I’m in Libertyville

  16. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Clete isn’t hot any more, and Hessman has 18 HR’s down on the farm. Nothing to do down there.

  17. Adam

    May 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Timo Perez instead of Sheffield. PLZ.

  18. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Now, that’s desperate. Isn’t Sheff hitting (I should say at-batting) just like Timo would, high on base%, no power. The only differences would be that Sheff walks, while Timo gets more singles and could play left. No real gain.

  19. Brian P

    May 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    There’s another reason to DL Sheff. His hardly pulled foul balls are an injury risk to fans on the third base side.

  20. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Timo-Sheff strikes.

  21. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Don’t knock Sheff guys, he just broke up Batista’s no-no.

  22. Ryan

    May 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Nice slide!

  23. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Brian P., thanks for looking out for the fans safety. Maybe they should just sit in the left field seats when Sheff hits, no danger there.

  24. Brian P

    May 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Well, I can’t knock him on the slide. That was pretty. He was out though, but I’ll take it.

  25. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Clearly you all have overlooked the most important attribute of any player–sliding ability. If you don’t have Sheffield in the 3 hole, someone else would have been sliding into home. Do you really want Guillen sliding into home there? Cabrera? He’ll also get 1 extra at bat then half of the lineup. Just all the more opportunity for sweet slides.

  26. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    It’s all about the baserunning.

  27. yak

    May 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Woo Binge!!!

  28. ron

    May 22, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    The boys are back. No doubt about it.

  29. Mike in CT

    May 22, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    well…at least Inge is backing up his comments with his bat the last two games.

  30. Brian P

    May 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    There you go, Dave BW. Rod only lasted until the second inning.

  31. Mike in CT

    May 22, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    One more hit and Sheffield is over .200 on May 22….Leyland was right to leave in the No. 3 hole!

  32. Joey the K in Portland OR

    May 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    sheff! does he really have 2 hits one being an extra base hit?!

    I hope we play this well next week in Seattle, I’ll be at all 3!

  33. Mike R

    May 22, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I don’t care if he’s hit a rocket to the LF corner:

    Sheffield to the DL (i’m reducing it, just 15 day, DL).

  34. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I had to step out. Wow, Inge homers and Sheff with an extra base hit, wow again.

  35. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    not to change the topic or anything, but I noticed today that the Indians have lost 5 straight and Victor Martinez has exactly zero home runs. For a while there it really looked like they had turned the corner with all their incredible starting pitching, but they’ve backed off considerably.

    Unfortunately, the White Sox have won 7 straight. I really hate them so much.

  36. T Smith

    May 22, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Wow. This is like the Detroit Tigers playing the Detroit Tigers. If we were playing any other team and the score would be 4 – 4 right now.

  37. T Smith

    May 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Anybody know if Inge has ever had a 2 hr game in his career yet?

  38. Kyle J

    May 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Inge hit 2 HR in a game twice in 2006.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/pl.....?year=2006

  39. Dave T.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Why doesn’t Leyland blow up every week?

    FYI…the Sheff is cooking (3-3) so far

  40. yak

    May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    WOW!!! I feel bad for booing Sheff on Tuesday. OK not really.

  41. Kyle J

    May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Inge did it twice in 2006.

    [Link to Yahoo game log sent my previous attempt at this comment to the spam filter.]

  42. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    sheff is 3 for 3?

  43. Dave T.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Sheff has 2 singles and a Double and is batting .203
    No updates available for Paws

  44. Joey the K in Portland OR

    May 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Paws has given 205 high-fives today, shoulder is getting tender.

  45. Brian P

    May 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Bonderman is having serious problems throwing strike one.

  46. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Yeah, Mark, and two of them are doubles I believe. Apparently, Sheff has been working the last few games on a higher leg kick to slow down and control his swing. There’s no doubt that he’s kicking higher and it seems to be working so far. I don’t think there’s any question that he can still hit the ball hard, he just didn’t seem to be making good contact. Hopefully, this mechanical adjustment will get him going on a consistent basis. Nice to see Bonderman having another solid performance too.

  47. Kyle J

    May 22, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I heard Paws has got a 25-smiling-kid streak going after he was called out by Dinger, the Colorado Rockies mascot, who said Paws’ antics had become “stale and stagnant.”

  48. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    nice recovery by bondo to minimize the damage. he doesn’t look to have his best stuff today, but he’s battling.

    if we’re lucky we might squeeze two more innings out of him.

  49. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Paws brings the chemistry, his stats aren’t important.

  50. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    boy, the Mariners are playing like the Tigers of last week. Score a run to creep closer and then give it right back (and more). I wish I could say I feel bad, but I don’t.

    Nice blast by Joyce, I’m starting to like this kid a lot.

  51. Dave T.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Bilfer can you interview Paws?

    Even if it is just hand claps and waves for responses I would love to get his take on the state of the team.

    Also, is Paws more of a ‘small ball’ fan, or does he like to wait for the big fly? Does Paws ever 2nd guess Leyland? Is there a Mascot in Toledo/Erie waiting for his Turn?

    Honestly, I think Paws would provide more insight than ’84 Tigers favorite Rod Allen, or ’68 World Series Hero Jim Price

  52. Chris

    May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Ok. Matt Joyce was an excellent, excellent call-up– huge improvement over Jacque Jones

  53. T Smith

    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Methinks Bondo is done. I think it’s time to pull him before the Ms make a game of this.

  54. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    For anyone watching on TV, is the strike zone really small today? I’ve seen a couple of pitches on Gamecast from both pitchers that look like strikes but are called balls. I know Gamecast isn’t the most accurate thing in the world, but these pitches are thigh-high down the middle and called balls.

  55. yak

    May 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Paws could heal Sheff’s shoulder by posing with him for a picture.

  56. T Smith

    May 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    What are the odd Jacque Jones would have caught that?

  57. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    whoa, nice catch by Joyce. can’t tell if it would have been fair or foul, though. it’s really close.

  58. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I wonder with the big league if we might see “wild thing” Willis

  59. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I think Jeremy might be right, with a big lead (is 7 enough?) this might be the time to let Willis throw an inning or two.

  60. Mark in Chicago

    May 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    oh, so THAT’S why they brought Dolsi up.

    very nice work so far today.

  61. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    One aspect of this series that troubled me was the Tigers’ inability to score in the 9th.

  62. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Jeremy – around Lakemoor. Libertyville, eh? We’re practically neighbors.

  63. Neal

    May 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Maybe a 7 run lead against the worst team in the AL (now) wasn’t enough of a cushion to get Willis in, or was that today wasn’t on the schedule for him to available.
    Great win and sweep, if may math is right, then we outscored the Mariners 30-14 in the series, so now we have outscored by 24 runs on the season. Can we keep this up for the series with the Twins?

  64. Dave T.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Neal you are right, this sweep doesn’t mean anything unless we can keep it up against the Twinkies

  65. Brenden

    May 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Yeah, great job with the series sweep today, but I am not getting to excited yet. I have seen them sweep a series and then get swept in the next one. I think this next series against Minnesota is going to be really telling of where they are in righting the ship.

  66. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I heard Paws has got a 25-smiling-kid streak going after he was called out by Dinger, the Colorado Rockies mascot, who said Paws’ antics had become “stale and stagnant.”

    Wow. This is like the Detroit Tigers playing the Detroit Tigers.

    Funny stuff.

  67. Jeremy

    May 22, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Sean- I know where that is. I went to the White Sox -Indians game on Tues with a guy from Fox Lake

  68. Chris

    May 22, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    If anything, they better not lose this series against the Twins. They have got to start beating their divisional opponents, all of which have owned the Tigers so far this season.

    Twins are a good franchise, but they have disgraced the game by playing in that pathetic dome for so long. I hate seeing the Tigers lose to them.

  69. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Dolsi owned the Mariners. I’d like to see more of that from the Detroit bullpen. I’d settle for once a week, in the tighest game. Maybe once a week from a starter, too. Different game, please.

    Hey, I’m 5-2. Good, good win. Solid. Against the Mariners, yeah. Are these the same Detroit Tigers that have gone 0-6 against the Royals? I am soooooo afraid they might be. Say it ain’t so.

  70. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 22, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Jeremy – Cool. Yeah, I shop in Fox Lake.

  71. Chris in Dallas

    May 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    3 hits for Sheffield. Maybe now is when he starts to heat up? Good to see Bondo have a decent enough start again. Both he and Verlander are beginning to look like they are supposed to look.

  72. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Is this the start of playing up to their potential or did they just beat up on another team with bad pitching, which we have seen them do before (Texas). Let’s see how they handle the Twins.

  73. Tbone

    May 22, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Two more sweeps like this and we’ll only be a game below .500!

  74. Dave BW

    May 22, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Vince –

    A little from column A, a little from column B, probably.

  75. Mith

    May 22, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I’m excited about the sweep, but I’m not convinced this team is really headed anywhere. I thought after they went on a little 12-5 run to get to 14-15 that they were finally playing like the “true” Tigers and the 2-10 start was a fluke. Then they proceeded to go 3-12 over the next 15. So was the 12-5 the fluke?

    I need another 20 games or so to decide I think.

  76. Brian in Tampa

    May 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Just got done watching the game. Nice sweep. I agree with Mith. Love the sweep, but I need to see some more consistency. The good kind. Here’s hoping this is a jumpstart for great things to come. On a sidenote. Can someone who went to the game let me know about the quality of the hat they gave away? I work outside all day down here, and I wouldn’t mind getting one of ebay. Thanks.

  77. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Where Are They Now?

    Ex-Tiger Franklyn German was DFA’d by the Rangers today. That has to hurt. He didn’t seem to be doing too badly, but the problem of finding the strike zone is apparently still with him and he lost three games in a row recently. Remember when he was touted as a future closer back in ’03 and ’04?

  78. Dave BW

    May 22, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Also on the Rangers, Chris Shelton is hitting .234 in 47 AB. He’s had two HR and five RBI. He had a two RBI double today, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

  79. Greg

    May 22, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Off the top of my head:

    Jeff Weaver is looking for work
    Carlos Pena is a 1B who can hit AND catch foul balls
    As I type this, Andew Miller is shutting out the best team in baseball for the Marlins through 5
    Cameron Maybin is struggling in AA in the Marlins system
    Tony Clark — San Diego, but I haven’t heard much from him
    Damion Easley — clubhouse/bench guy for the Mets
    Brian Moehler — scuffing baseballs as a long guy/spot starter for the Astros (?)
    Doug Brocail — set-up man for the Astros
    Brad Ausmus — back-up catcher for the Astros
    Jair Jurrgiens — a joy to watch (but not to spell) in Atlanta
    Sean Casey — I think on the DL for Boston
    Nook Logan — I assume replaced by Lastings Milledge in Washington. Anyone know?
    Craig Monroe — bashing the Tigers from Minnesota
    Jason Grilli — bashing the Tigers from Colorado
    John Smoltz — (just to re-open the wound)
    Gabe Kapler — pinch-hitting for Milwaukee after a year off
    Francisco Cordero — closing for Cincy
    Kyle Farnsworth — set-up for the Yankees
    Ugeth Urbina — Venezuelan prison team
    Omar Infante — Atlanta bench
    Wilfredo Ledezma — spot-starter for San Diego (we gave up on him too soon)

    That’s all I got. Thanks for indulging my brief diversion from work. Did Paul Bako ever play for the Tigers? Is Hiram Bocachica still in baseball?

    I used to have a bittersweet moment every post-season trying to assemble a lineup of former Tigers who made the playoffs. Fortunately, after 2006, I’ve abandoned that tradition.

  80. Chris

    May 22, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Isn’t Jeff Weaver pitching for the Brewers?

  81. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Tim Byrdak is on the Astros roster as well.

  82. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Jack Hanahan is still with the A’s.

  83. Chris

    May 22, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I thought that the Tigers were too quick to give up on Tim Byrdak. Now he is prooving that to be the case. I like Clay Rapata, but I somehow would be more confident with Byrdak who was pretty good last year.

    Of course, Clay is off the roster with injury and we’ve got Willis in as our lefty reliever. That’s got to be the one of the most expensive set-up guys in the league. And we still have no idea if he isn’t going to walk a ton of hitters and be a disaster as a reliever.

  84. Paul

    May 23, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Tigers Win + Pistons Win = Great Day.

  85. ron

    May 23, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Showing passion is a good thing, especially when it involves expletives. I only wish he would have done it earlier, much earlier. 44 and 37 would look good at the halfway mark. Go Tigers.

  86. Mark in Chicago

    May 23, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Did anyone check out the Mariners game thread that billfer linked? There’s some funny stuff from a bunch of tortured souls over there. Some of it actually sounds eerily familiar.

  87. Mark in Chicago

    May 23, 2008 at 10:19 am

    My personal favorite from the Mariner’s game thread:

    Maybe instead of asking for a personal catcher, Washburn should have requested a personal left fielder?”

    Too funny

  88. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 23, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Mark, I did check it out. You know I like to be goofy myself, but even so, I was disappointed with the lack of serious commentary (then again, it was just a game thread). Maybe that’s hard to come up with right now for a Mariners fan. But I like the overall tone here at DTW better, in bad times as well as good.

  89. billfer

    May 23, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Sean -

    They’re in the depths of despair. Serious analysis goes out the window at a certain point and all you can do is laugh. Read some of the threads in the bad losses here. It’s the same thing.

  90. Mark in Chicago

    May 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

    pardon my XHTML goof up above, I have no idea what i’m doing and i thought i’d give it a try. didn’t quite work out. hehe, oops.

    you’re right sean about the lack of serious commentary, although i imagine there isn’t much to be serious about. somebody made the argument that it would be better to have granderson in CF over ichiro for the next 3 years, but that was about it.

    only a couple comments on Bavasi, who really deserves the credit (blame?) for assembling that mess. it’s a toss up, IMO, between him and sabean for worst GM. dave littlefield would take that prize if he were still employed, but the pirates came to their senses and fired him. (he’s in the cubs org now, oddly).

  91. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Billfer -

    Yeah. Maybe my problem is that I get Tiger jokes. Mariners, not so much. I still say there are funnier people here, though. Well, I guess I didn’t say that to begin with, so I’m saying it now.

    And yes, I acknowledge that it was a game thread, not the same animal as a thread with a more abstract theme.

    Mark, FWIW, I recall Dave Littlefield being an unusually frequent guest on Chicago sports talk radio while he was with the Pirates. Maybe he had some kind of Chicago connection. Or maybe he was just an easy GM to book as a guest.

  92. Dave BW

    May 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Sean — I think the Mariners’ fans in that thread seem to have a nice feel for gallows humor and approach baseball with a sense of perspective. I prefer that kind of thing to the “OMG FIRE EVERYONE!” and “previous good performance is irrelevant when compared to the last ten minutes, which clearly represents all future performance until the end of time” kind of posts we sometimes see here.

  93. Mark in Chicago

    May 23, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    billfer, thanks for fixing my post with the busted tags. i look like much less of an idiot now. until i say something stupid.

  94. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 23, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Dave

    “OMG FIRE EVERYONE!” and “previous good performance is irrelevant when compared to the last ten minutes, which clearly represents all future performance until the end of time”

    I don’t know – I think that stuff is unintentionally funny in its own right. Found humor, you might say. And it has the added benefit of bringing the dry comeback. Your post above brought a smile to y face, in fact. Everybody’s playing, everybody’s winning here at DTW.

    It’s liberating to say “Fire Leyland” or “Trade Carlos Guillen” once in a while. Extra points if you can say it with any conviction. I can’t. I’m still looking for my pet cause. Start Zach Miner, maybe? Nah.

    Yeah, the Seattle fans have gallows humor down, I’ll give them that. If it’s possible, maybe I’ll look back in the archives here for some Tigers gallows humor, circa 2003.

  95. Dave BW

    May 23, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Fair enough, Sean :)