Game 56: Tigers at Mariners.

PREGAME: The Tigers are looking for a series win, their first since the last time they played the Mariners. The match-up is a repeat from that series as well when Jeremy Bonderman beat Miguel Batista.

The Tigers trot out yet another different lineup with Carlos Guillen breaking in his outfielders glove for a trial in left field. He’ll bat 3rd. Thames is out of the lineup so Miguel Cabrera moves back to 5th.

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, LF
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Larish, DH
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Inge, 3B

DET @ SEA, Sunday, June 1, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 4:10

POSTGAME: The Tigers came into today 0 fer Sundays being outscored 52-14. But they got one today. Yes, it was against the Mariners, and yes it wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but there are no style points to gain or lose.

Jeremy Bonderman didn’t have the same sharpness he’d shown in his last few starts – at least early on. His fastball seemed to have that uncontrollable tailing action, but despite pitching behind in the count there weren’t many hard hit balls. Until the 5th inning anyways.

In the 5th he was getting drilled with line drive after line drive. But he escaped down only 1 run. He came back and seemed to regain his command and with the help of a balls-on throw from Curtis Granderson he pitched 2 more scoreless inning.

The Tigers offense wasn’t booming, but they took advantage of a couple early opportunities and hung around until a 1 out walk by Brandon Inge started a 4 run rally that put the win safely in the Tigers hands – even with a Todd Jones scare outing.

Guillen had several plays in left field and handled the position well.

Comment of the game thread honors goes to T Smith for:

Maggs New Slogan:
Got chocolate milk?

123 thoughts on “Game 56: Tigers at Mariners.”

  1. I really don’t like this lineup, but given the trajectory of this season I’m not sure it matters much in the long run.

    What the heck, throw him out there in left and see what happens. Tomorrow, lets try him behind the plate and maybe next week we should give him some mop up duty out of the pen.

    Go Tigers!

  2. It’s June 1st and this team has yet to win a game on Sunday. Even with the worst of teams, that has got to be some kind of record, a fluke. The Tigers have got to win a Sunday game. The law of averages guarantees this to be true, right?

  3. I don’t mind this look. They have to generate consistent offense. To do this you need Guillen’s bat.

    With Inge at third he can cover most of left field as well.

    Great news on Zumaya. Velocity is decent and one can assume he will pick up a few mph over the next couple weeks.

  4. That is incredible that we haven’t won on a Sunday. How does that happen? I guess with this team anything is possible…

  5. How come Adrian Beltre always kills us? He’s very so-so against the rest of the league.

  6. I’m loving Willie Horton in the booth this inning. Rod: “Wait a minute now, your going to take my gig”

  7. I’ve lost my signal that comes from Charter here in Southern California. Is anyone else having problems? My entire MLB subscription is black……..Charter says they can’t tell why until a tech comes…anyone else have this problem?

  8. Has Bonderman been behind every batter 2-0? This looks like Bonderman from earlier in the year where he had no control over the fastball.

  9. I bought an MLB subscription, but I rarely use it because, almost without exception, the visual quality is so bad(freeze frame an average of once ever 2 seconds) its unwatchable.

    But I’ll check and see.

  10. Bonderman keeps dishing them up belt high pitches. He’s lucky a few more haven’t been hit out of the Park.

  11. it sure seems like it, billfer. yet he’s at 47 pitches, 29 for strikes, which isn’t terrible. he needs to get the ball down

  12. After rereading your post, you’re obvisously refering to a TV/cable subscription. My comments refer to MLB.COM’s service.

    You can follow pitch-by-pitch at

  13. Sky:

    Google and link to mlb or and link to mlb.

    There will be links to live play-by-play on both sites (boxscore at yahoo and play-by-pay at fox).

  14. Finally! Bonderman used that fastball to start inside and swing back on to the plate.

  15. Sky – MLB’s Gameday is fun to follow pitch-by-pitch and gives in-game video highlights. Link to the game on the Tigers front page…

  16. blown call, grandy was 100% safe. even the Mariners announcers admit as much.


  17. They are hitting some rockets off Bonderman right now. He’s not fooling anyone.

  18. is the best with the pitch-by-pitch graffic and it seems to update the fastest as well.

  19. I didn’t like pulling the infield in before that hit. I liked it even less after it. Of course, I do understand why Jimmy wouldn’t have faith in our offense to pick up a couple of runs in the final 3rd of the game. This team is beyond depressing.

  20. More and more I am beginning to be convinced that the Tigers are just a .500 team (in that they are so consistently inconsistent) that happened to get off to a bad start.

  21. btw, did anyone see that the Marlins gave Eulogio de la Cruz a start last week? Craziness!

  22. Pudge needs to come through right here and get the ball in the air (or better yet a hit)

    No DP, Pudge. Say it with me, “no DP”

  23. Got home from graduation in time to catch the Willie Horton inning. That was sweet. Now can we please do something here, Tigers, before I have to leave for dinner. With the ex and the ex-mother in law (well, it’s our kid’s graduation but still, ew) LOL

  24. Nice work, pudge. Got the job done.

    Any chance we can steal another run with a 2 out hit? I’m looking in your direction, Brandon Inge.

  25. oh my goodness was that a terrible (and typical) at bat by Inge. I guess I put too much pressure on him.

  26. I don’t know about you guys, but I’d like to know how ron feels about Jeff Larish’s hair

  27. Inge needs some serious coaching. That at-bat was just pathetic. I’d rather have him swing away at three pitches and strike out trying than take the first two right down the heart of the plate (resulting in an 0-2 count) and then the patented check-swing whiff. It’s just painful to watch.

    McClendon, I’m talking to you right now.

  28. Nice throw by Grandy to save the inning. But it’s still Sunday and we still have less than 5 runs. I’m ready to break both jinxes!

  29. Agree, T. I’d much rather see Inge swing at least on the 2nd pitch. Instead he takes a fastball at the belt for strike 2. Bad approach?

    Bondo is at 90 pitches. Let’s get at least a run here so Leyland doesn’t feel compelled to let him start the 7th.

  30. Yeah, good point Vince. I’m pretty pleased with our starting pitching on this trip, it’s been a lot better lately.

  31. Bonderman has his location back – only 3 walks in his last three starts (2-1-0 in 19IP).

  32. Nice play by Inge, pretty good job by Bonderman today. Not great, but a QS and he kept us in it.

    Let’s go offense.

  33. No team that fails to come from behind or that can score late in a game ever wins championships in any sport. This is looking like another late inning loss in the works. Our “vaunted” offense is again looking mediocre, at best. The Tigers do not seem to have any real fire in their bellies. If only Free Agency had not ruined this sport……….! Oh well……that’s another debate…….

  34. Our starters have actually been quite good for a couple of weeks now. But the hitting has just been so inconsistent….and it isn’t like we are facing Sandy Koufax every day!

  35. goodness, a bloop hit and misplay by maggs give the M’s the leadoff man at 2nd.

    what a shame if we lose the game this way.

  36. billfer, here’s another intentional walk to add your chart.

    let’s hope this works out better. it’s the right move, i think.

  37. It’s so much more reassuring with Inge at third than Guillen. I don’t hold my breath everytime the ball is hit to third… just everytime its hit to left now.

  38. Great move with the IBB šŸ™‚

    I have this fear/feeling taht the Tigers will lose this one on a Inge error. Just for the irony of it.

  39. very nice job by Miner. he jammed those last two guys with some tough 2-seamers.

  40. billfer are you really against the IBB to Ichiro there? I think it’s absolutely the right move, the guy’s a real good hitter and adds that speed element to beat out a slow roller on the infield. Even if it doesn’t work out, I think you have to do it.

  41. Against any other team but Seattle the score would be about 8-3 right now and this ‘nail-biter” could have been given up for some more productive activity. Everything seems to happen in slo-mo with them.

  42. Dave BW:

    What’s your guess on how many runs the Tigers score in Oakland? I’ll go out on a limb and say 5.

  43. Sweet job Granderson, he had some great swings in that AB. Key spot for Polly, just stay out of the DP.

  44. Vince —

    I predict that the A’s will be forced to forfeit all three games when their manager realizes he is unable to write-up a lineup due to (like everyone else in the world) not knowing the name of a single position player on the team

  45. I’ll take that!!

    A hit from Taco Bell Miguel would be fantastic right about now…

  46. Yeah, T Smith, I believe an intervention will be required in order to end this Magglio mustache disaster — or as I call the situation, “Stachegate”

  47. I am very happy to see that my comments above have been totally out of place for this game. My apologies to the team and fans.

  48. The rare extra base hit – haven’t seen many of those lately (and a clutch one at that), and with this team’s lack of speed, more often than not a bunch of singles aren’t going to get the job done.

  49. Have to give Inge credit, this all started with a 1-out walk. That was a good AB. I think there’s irony in that too, billfer.

  50. I am still watching the progress on FOX on MSN online……..thanks to who gave that info for me. not as nice as the TV but it works.

  51. With the lead-footed infield we have, Inge has to be in the lineup at 3B just for his D. Anything he does with the stick is a bonus. When all is said and done he may not hit more than .225 and he may be prone to the check-swing K, but he will occasionally provide enough offense, and he is a faster baserunner than most of the guys on the team, and I think this will make it worthwhile. Not great, but at least OK.

  52. it was never in doubt, right?

    at least we got the ‘W’, that ends the 0-for-Sunday string. Good start to my prediction for a big June for the Tigers (we’ll be +.500 by 6/30).

  53. You have to wonder how much longer John McLaren will be manager of the Mariners. That one had to hurt and they’ve tanked in a lot of games this year.

    Anyway, Leyland looks like a genius for one more game.

  54. Bill Bavasi has to be in trouble too, Vince. He’s the mastermind that put that mess together. But M’s ownership just said a week or so ago that both those guys are safe for now.

  55. what? we won on a Sunday? Is that our last 0fer of the stats? Then we can start playing baseball.

  56. One thing I don’t agree with in Leyland’s lineup decisions: I definitely would not put a rookie in as a DH in his first few games in the bigs. It seems to me that there is added pressure for a guy like Larish at the plate because he cannot contribute in the field. He is being asked to hit and only hit, and that cannot help a guy relax at the plate. There is no reason not to DH Cabrera and let Larish find his comfort zone in his natural position, 1B.

  57. So, folks. I step away for one minute, and all of a sudden the Tigers can’t sweep the Mariners?

    And the earthshaking news from Jim’s “I’m gonna try some stuff” is Guillen in left and an upcoming split=start from Willis/Galaragga? This is the revolution?

    Maybe all that was only to distract attention from the fact that Inge has his old job back.

    Mark, 20-7 in June sounds wildly optimistic to me. Good news seems to last about 1 game so far this season. The only good turnaround worth noting of late is the starting pitching. I expect the defense and hitting to undermine this even if it continues.

    I see no sign that the Tigers have “got it together.” None. I see no sign that the Tigers are going to get it together. Show me one.

    Sorry for the pessimism. But I expected to check back in and hear some really intriguing news about Jim’s New Deal. More to it than I realize? Cheer me up. Give me something, anything.

  58. I’m not sure this is good news, Sean, but it’s definitely interesting if it wasn’t already common knowledge in the Michigan area. Marcus Thames has a nephew in Mississippi who is seriously looking at attending Michigan’s football program. The kid looks just like Marcus! Check it out. Click on football recruiting.

  59. So much to comment on: I know it’s the wrong thread but Guillen spending any time in Left Field is just stupid. Plain dumb. Nothing like moving someone from SS because he cannot throw a stone into the ocean with any accuracy and has the knees of a 76 year old man into left field where his throws are all going to be longer than SS to first base and has to chase balls down in the gaps + dive around and what not. Outstanding thinking, Jim. And I love how it’s “Marcus Thames is our Everyday LFer … except not when Guillen is there.” How much is Guillen going to be in LF? Is this just until his ‘Hoids are cured or will this experiment stick? What if Brandon Inge’s bat heats up (and the world simultaneously combusts and Gary Sheffield apologizes to all those people he’s pissed off a.k.a. it’s unlikely) and his Bat + Glove make him more valuable for a 3 week stretch than both Guillen and Marcus Thames?

    And why not move Miggy to LF where his only good defensive asset, his throwing arm, would be utilized?

    I don’t get it. And a shameless self-promotion plug. Sorry, Bill, if you consider this spamming or whatnot, feel free to edit my post and take this out.

  60. Mike R

    I don’t get it myself. If Carlos is willing to do anything for the team, you’d think he’d be willing to DH full time. And if Jim is so eager to “try some stuff,” why does it not occur to him to play one of his best bats and worst gloves… at DH!!?? Is he oblivious to the obvious? Or does this portend an immediate return of Sheffield to DH right off the DL again, i.e., can’t let anyone take Sheff’s “rightful place”? It’s just plain weird. Again.

  61. The problem is there are about 6 guys that should be DH’ing and another 3 that should be corner infielders, and like another 3 that should be corner outfielders. A terrible glove or 4 will have to be in the field — and I’m okay with that, I’ve accepted it. But at some point you have to get the worst of the worst out of there when there are no fielding positions around to hide the player’s Roger Dorn Hands. Guillen should be DH’ing full time until (1) His ‘Hoids clear up and (2) Gary Sheffield comes back at which point, you figure out by testing the waters with Sheff’s shoulders for a couple of weeks.

  62. I think Larish is here to prove one thing: that he can hit in the bigs. It’s his bat they want. He won’t be here very long if he doesn’t start hitting. imho Or maybe they’ll call up Timo so we can get a fresh left fielder.

  63. Whew, that was a close one. Great to see lots of Tigs fans at safeco this weekend. I was in around a lot of Tigers fans near the left field corner saturday, some of the Seattlites I was with were like why are there so many Tigers fans around us!? Too bad we had nothing to cheer for that day.

    Ibanez’s ball was a BOMB. Me and my fellow Tiger fan looked at each other like Oh……… I was getting really tired of ‘funk blasts’ thats what they call them at safeco for some reason.

    Its always nice to walk out of there after winning, there was a lot of chirping after saturdays game.

  64. How many points do I get if I can discover a use for the phrase “Bette Davis eyes”?

  65. “The Tigers are undefeated with Guillen playing LF.”

    I’m ashamed for complaining now.

  66. There’s a lesson to be learned here. When you see a zero in the BB column, you can get away with giving up 12 (12!) base hits. Throw strikes, fellas.

  67. Indeed, Chris in Dallas. Bondo managed just enough to command to not walk anybody, and the HR he gave up came with nobody on. In all, he didn’t pitch too badly, but he made some mistakes and they hit some ropes. A less forgiving team (such as the Red Sox) may have put up 6-7 runs on him.

    But, I’ll take it. We are undefeated on Sundays in June.

  68. 12 hits is a career high for Bonderman. I love the attitude he had yesterday. “I’m getting shelled and I know it but I’m going to make these guys put the ball in play.”

    Plus, he got a few key strikeouts, the biggest being Ichiro on the inside corner with that tailing fastball.

    When his fastball is like it was yesterday, you almost have to consider him a screwball/slider guy. Unbelievable how much it was moving. If he can use that to his advantage, as he did with Ichiro (he thought he was going to get beaned and in caught the black!), he’ll have great starts.

  69. Eric: Remember the Texas game Bondo pitched this year? 7 walks and 7 K’s in 4 innings. I can’t remember seeing his FB move more than it did on that day – it seemed like everything was moving 2 feet. If he can harness that on the same day when he has his best slider, he is a candidate to throw a no-no. IMHO, of course.

  70. ā€œIā€™m getting shelled and I know it but Iā€™m going to make these guys put the ball in play.ā€

    Let me translate that for anyone who may not be reading between the lines:

    “…As long as Inge is at third, I’m confident enough to throw strikes…”

    I could be completely wrong about this, but I just get the feeling those two are in some kind of alliance, via Jason Grilli’s expose of team cliques, and based on recent circumstances, dugout shots, etc.

    Again, I could be wrong, but that’s what it sounds like to me.

  71. TSmith: That’s an interesting take, and something that would be worthwhile investigating…

  72. Joey:

    My section was pretty good on Saturday – I was in the LF family section. The only comment I got on the way out was a “better luck tomorrow.”

    I agree that Safeco (the stadium, not the fans) can be insufferable when things are going well for the Mariners. It was enlightening to learn that “explosion de funk” is the Spanish translation for “funk blast,’ however.

  73. Joel and Joey,

    So I would think that Mariners fans would be quite tolerable, given the sad state of the team…

  74. The fans are absolutely fine… very agreeable. It’s literally the stadium – the lights, the scoreboards, the music – that are obnoxious. It’d be embarrassing if I were a Mariners’ fan, but it’s irritating since I root for the away team.

    By the way, I was in the RF stands, not LF. I have LF seats for the July trip…

  75. Well the ‘funk blast’ on saturday (latin baseball day) with Erik Estrada dancing was kinda funny. It at least made me smile on a bad baseball day. and ANOTHER first homer of the year given up. (Reed) I was nervous when Cairo was up in the 9th cuz he has no homers this year yet.

    Compared to other places the fans are fine, you always have a few. I got chirped at a couple times on the way out, then I just pointed out that the M’s were 1-4 against us. Funny how that can shut people up!

  76. I think T. Smith is on the money–most people are assuming Grilli was making excuses for his own performance; to me it sounded like he was speaking up for the pitching staff…also look who Kenny Rogers tends to hang around (Inge)…I understand how the defense was killing the pitchers, and I’m in favor of Inge at 3rd, but unfortunately the cliques are forming on racial/cultural lines, which can’t be the best thing, even if it’s just coincidental…

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