Game 55: Tigers at Mariners

PREGAME: Ah, Fox Sports and national TV means most of you will be blacked out. That’s too bad because the pitching match-up of Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez could be a good one.

Hernandez has a 3.60 ERA and is fanning 7.4 per nine innings. He’s had some control issues allowing 5 walks in 2 of the last 3 games. So his pitch count can get elevated around the 6th inning.

DET @ SEA, Saturday, May 31, 2008 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Hey look, another shut out. More defensive miscues. It’s your 2008 Tigers.

Felix Hernandez stymied the Tigers and only allowed 2 hits and no walks. The biggest indication of the Tigers woes today was Placido Polanco striking out 3 times.

Verlander gave up a couple first inning runs as he struggled with his command early on. He loaded the bases with one out and looked like he may get out of it when Granderson made a diving play and Jose Lopez forgot to tag up. But a jam shot single plated two and that would be all the Mariners would need.

They’d get two more in the 4th inning when the Tigers decided to trade a couple outs for runs. With a suicide squeeze attempt in the works, Verlander intentionally bounced a curve ball. Pudge blocked it but couldn’t find the handle and the run scored.

Later Edgar Renteria biffed an inning ending double play ball on the exchange and another run scored.

And Aquilino Lopez wasn’t very good after recording 2 outs.

And Jim Leyland got ejected on a call that even had Granderson arguing.


  1. Tbone

    May 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    The lineup is similar to yesterday, substituting Pudge for Inge:

    Granderson, CF
    Polanco, 2B
    Guillen, 3B
    Ordonez, RF
    Thames, LF
    Cabrera, 1B
    Larish, DH
    Renteria, SS
    Rodriguez, C

  2. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Maggs, this new mustache is just not going to work.

  3. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Miguel Cairo AND Jeremy Reed on a major league team’s lineup? Seriously?

  4. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Good at bat by Thames, even though he struck out. Working up the pitch-count is the next best thing to getting runs in an inning.

  5. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    JV doesn’t seem very sharp right now

  6. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Awesome Granderson catch — though I have no clue why Lopez didn’t get home off it.

  7. Tbone

    May 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    With the inconsistency of the Tigers offense, you almost feel as if this defecit is already unsurmountable.

  8. Dylan

    May 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Great catch by Curtis but they still score 2 on the first pitch to Jojima.

  9. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    If Verlander struggles and the game gets out of hand, does Leyland put Willis in for mop-up duties?

  10. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Larish’s helmet is about three sizes too big for him. Also, Karros is revealed to not really know what “irony” means

  11. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Wisely, the Mariners have elected to play Cairo and his .196 average in place of the struggling Richie Sexson

  12. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    ….And then Felix sends down the side 1-2-3 on only eight pitches…… This is why the Tigers struggle against quality opposing pitching. They don’t know when to be aggressive or when to grind it out.

  13. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Verlander retires the side in order.

  14. Joey C.

    May 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Doesn’t Larish play first? Wouldn’t the infield be markedly improved with him actually playing first? I mean shore up at least one of the corners for godsake. I don’t understand for the life of me why we don’t put Cabrera in left, DH Guillen, Inge to third and Larish to first.

    Nah. Jimmy prefers to a let a guy who can’t throw, throw to a guy who has problems digging the ball. Sweet stuff.

    I guess it’s nice Thames is seeing more playing time…

  15. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    “Doesn’t Larish play first? ”

    Define “play.”

  16. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I don’t like the Tigers chances. King Felix has struck out 6 already and is burning through this lineup with ease, on few pitches. We may be in for a complete game shutout.

  17. Joey C.

    May 31, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Haha. Okay, how well does Larish play first?

  18. Jeff

    May 31, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Once again, after a first inning where they work over the pitcher, most of these guys are swinging early in counts at tough pitches to hit. They’re saving Felix here.

  19. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Yep, looks like another shutout. This team now gets two a week.

  20. Tbone

    May 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    It’s baffling how this lineup continues to go through ridiculously long scoreless stretches. 12 innings and counting…

  21. Kevin in Austin

    May 31, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Pudge just cost us a run…I’m ready for his diminished defense and .675 OPS to spend more time on the bench.

  22. Tbone

    May 31, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t know, that was a pretty tough play with the ball bouncing up there.

    I’m off to the pool. Hopefully the Tigers can come back tomorrow and get the series win.

  23. Kevin in Austin

    May 31, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I can’t see the game, but Jim and Dan seem to think that he should have made the play.

  24. Kevin in Austin

    May 31, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    This batter right here is a great chance for JV to step up. 3 runs isn’t that big of a deal, and against this lineup, he should be able to get out of the inning.

    But it seems that he’s been unable to get outs when he needs them this year.

    (and I realize that 3 runs seems like a mountain for this offense right now, but I’m more concerned with JV pitching well).

  25. Kevin in Austin

    May 31, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Well, he got the pitch. But a pretty typical (as of late) result. What should have been a DP goes as a ER against JV.

    Disheartening to say the least.

  26. T Smith

    May 31, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Renteria to LF!

  27. Dylan

    May 31, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Can Larrish even see under that helmet?

  28. David G.

    May 31, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Were Larish’s or Renteria’s drives at least close to hit or HRs?

    This is just brutal.

  29. Dylan

    May 31, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Renteria hit the ball hard to left but it was a nice play to get to it.

  30. Dylan

    May 31, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    LOL Jimmy gets the boot. I think he was off the bag but it was close. That last replay was even closer, and back to a ken Griffey at bat.

  31. Kevin in Austin

    May 31, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Last year, down 4 in the 6th, I’m thinking no problem.

    Today, I’m ready to concede this game and concentrate on winning the series. The 2 4th inning ERs against JV aren’t sitting well with me.

  32. tiff

    May 31, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    why do I keep seeing Griffey Jr on my TV?

  33. cib

    May 31, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Tiff they are waiting for him to hit his 600th career HR.

  34. Jeff

    May 31, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    They must really fear the Seattle bullpen because they seem intent on helping Felix throw a complete game by swinging at every pitch that might be called a strike.

  35. cib

    May 31, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Eww I came back hoping something might have happened but UGH.
    Well congratulate me, gang, my firstborn graduates from High School tomorrow. I should be able to check in and catch most of the game however, between the ceremony and dinner out!

  36. Kevin in Austin

    May 31, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Congrats cib, job well done.

    I don’t mind losing the game, we won’t win ’em all (or even 1/2 of them), and the shutout is annoying, but JV really pitched much better than 4 ER in 7 IPs. Pudge and Renteria cost him 2 runs and likely another inning (when you consider pitch count).

    League leading 9 shutouts. 3 more than Kansas City…

  37. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    WOW! 9 shutouts so far. We’re on pace to get 27 for the season. That is absolutely unbelievable.

    I just keep waiting and waiting for this offense to start producing with some level of consistency, but this is truly bewildering. For a while I’ve been hoping that this is some kind of fluke, that the Tigers have had the misfortune of running into hot pitchers, or that they are going through a team-wide hitting slump and that eventually things would get on track.

    But now I’m at the point to where I think that this is it. This is what we are going to see all year. 55 games into the season is enough to know that this team and this hitting lineup really, really stinks. And that both Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Rentara are monster disappointments who have added nothing to the offense.

  38. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    “This is what we are going to see all year”

    Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. Regardless, constantly predicting worst case scenarios with absolute certainty won’t change anything one way or the other, so why bother?

  39. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Oh, and congratulations, cib!

  40. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    “Regardless, constantly predicting worst case scenarios with absolute certainty won’t change anything one way or the other, so why bother?”

    Because it’s what we do on sport fan forums when worst case scenarios are playing themselves out. Otherwise, what else is there to talk about, other than the performance or issues regarding the team? Should we just discus how green the grass is in Seattle?

    Anyway, I wasn’t making any kind of irrational prediction here. All I was doing was looking at the box scores of the past 55 games and extrapolating that for the other two-thirds of the season.

  41. Dave BW

    May 31, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    “Because it’s what we do on sport fan forums”

    It is certainly what you do, at any rate, so perhaps you’re right. I apologize for taking up your valuable complaining time.

  42. Chris

    May 31, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I’m not professing any kind of certainty at all. Part of the usefulness of extrapolation is it gives a perspective on past sample size.

    How bad is an offense that gets shutout 9 times in 55 games? Well, at this rate they are due to be shutout 27 times this season. How bad is a 23-32 record? Well, at this pace they will lose 94 games… That is goddamn awful, isn’t it?

    Of course I’m not certain that the rest of the season will remain as crappy. That’s why I keep waiting and watching and hoping that there is at least a sign that they are going to turn this thing around and start playing like they were supposed to. The frustration comes when there is no sign.

    Pretty soon, if they don’t start playing better and start winning they are going to be so far out of it then their fate will be sealed. That will be the point in which I’ll stop worrying about this season and look to the future. If they have another month like this, then we will easily be able to say for sure that this team was a huge bust.

    And that, BTW, will be worth commenting on.

  43. Dave BW

    June 1, 2008 at 12:20 am

    “That will be the point in which I’ll stop worrying about this season and look to the future”

    But why are you “worried” about their performance at all? That doesn’t sound very fun. Watching the Tigers isn’t a job, Chris.

    …hmm, perhaps I should reconsider that statement.

  44. Chris

    June 1, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Yes you are right Dave. In the grand scheme of things, there performance or the results of the season doesn’t mean anything.

  45. ron

    June 1, 2008 at 1:00 am

    If they don’t come around, this will be the biggest bust ever in the history of all the professional sports in Detroit. Fire Leyland.

  46. Chris

    June 1, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I understand the sentiment about firing Leyland. And I’ve expressed that as a wish myself. But really. What has he not done to try to turn this thing around? He’s tried just about everything. It isn’t like he just fiddled as Rome burned. And I have a hard time blaming Leyland for this mess.

  47. ron

    June 1, 2008 at 9:12 am

    He has fiddled as Rome burned, starting with that 2006 celebration. He should have told the players to get their asses back in the dugout, we haven’t won anything yet. That would have been a nice button to push at the time. He was asleep at the wheel last August. This year is more of the same. If he doesn’t know what buttons to push to a team of all stars at this point in his career, then he has to go.

  48. ron

    June 1, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Illitch must be waiting for the Red Wings to finish off the Penguins before he deals with the baseball issue. At his age, it’s hard to multi-task. Go Red Wings.

  49. Kurt

    June 1, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Honestly I don’t think firing anyone will help, nor should anyone be fired. Figure out what went wrong, what if anything can fix it for 2009, sure. Review performances at the end of the year, sure. But I’ve done a 180 on firing Leyland. He’s shown a willingness to try things, shown his has the fire in his belly, he should stay.