Game 60: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers return home after that long west coast swing. I noticed a lot of Tigers hats on the Red Wings players in today’s parade. I wonder if Lord Stanley’s Cup will be making an appearance at the game tonight.

As for the pitching match-up it will be Paul Byrd and Justin Verlander. Byrd per usual is allowing a lot of hits, but walking nobody (only 8 this year). In fact he’s only been in 9 3-1 counts all year. That’s a typical start for Nate Robertson.

He’s the kind of guy that could give a confused offense like the Tigers fits. He has some pretty dramatic platoon splits to the tune of 914 OPS for lefties and 664 OPS for righties. We’ll see if Leyland goes with a bold move and puts Mike Hollimon in at shortstop for a struggling Renteria.

Byrd has allowed 14 homers this year, and it is hot and windy in Detroit today so maybe we’ll see some big flies.

Verlander has seen his ERA trending downward with quality starts in 3 of his last 4 starts (and would have been 4 for 4 if not for some poor defense in his last outing). He’s still walking too many and not striking out enough, but his high 90’s heat has returned. Verlander struggles against Cleveland though, with a 7.03 ERA in his career against the Tribe.

CLE @ DET, Friday, June 6, 2008 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Nice job by Verlander, again. Crappy job by the offense, again. These things really do start to write themselves. Oh, and to torment ourselves a little more here is Cabrera’s last at-bat. Pitch 5 is the one he swung at. I guess pitches 3 and 4 weren’t far enough away for his liking.


  1. Dylan

    June 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Hopefully the rain stays away because I am making the trip out to Comerica…

  2. jason

    June 6, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    9 3-1 counts, and he walked 8? It sounds like he falls apart if he throws 3 balls to a guy.

  3. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Let the adventure commence!

  4. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    V strikes out Francisco with a 96 mph fastball on the inside corner

  5. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Strikes out Garko to end the inning. Verlander’s looking awfully strong so far.

  6. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Verlander’s command is excellent through the first two innings, and it looks like he’s really read-up on the scouting reports of the Indians hitters

  7. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    how about the bottom four in that Detroit batting order now if that doesn’t put fear in you nothing will…..

  8. Jeff

    June 6, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Oh boy, a 5-pitch inning, with only one marginally good swing by Larish. That’s the way to battle up there, guys.

  9. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Gutierrez can’t hit fastballs on the corners, so Verlander throws fastballs on the corners. Pitching seems so simple now!

  10. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Pudge catches Cabrera in a steal attempt by a mile, but it doesn’t matter anyway since Verlander struck out Francisco on the put-out throw. Bottom of the third, 0-0

  11. Coleman

    June 6, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Oh my poor nervous system! I just log in and the first phrase that catches my eye is “catches Cabrera in a steal attempt”

  12. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Ha! Yeah, I really need to be more specific, considering there’s a Cabrera on every team.

    Incidentally, this is the worst I’ve seen the Tigers hitters in quite awhile

  13. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Dave must not be watching every day then…..they are all basically -0 for june

  14. Coleman

    June 6, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    The guys without power are hitting it hard, right at someone or warning track, and the guys with actual power are hitting air

  15. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Oh, I’m sad to say that I have been, judpma 🙁
    They just don’t look like they have a clue today.

  16. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    One problem, Dave, is that Granderson is unable to get going. The pitchers have learned not to let him see any fastballs, and he is like Tom Tresh, the one-time Yankee Rookie of the Year, who had a very short career when it came out that he could not make contact with a curve. If your lead-off man does not spark, your whole offense suffers. Unless Curtis learns to hit better, making healthy contact like Polanco, his career may be short and sweet.

  17. Coleman

    June 6, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Like an iceberg looming in the distance, Verlander’s pitch count grows even as he overpowers Cleveland…and we drift toward a 6th inning appearance by Casey Fossum in a 0 – 0 game…

  18. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    good point Sky

  19. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Verlander did everything he was supposed to do against Dellucci (outside fastballs) — the guy just refused to swing.

  20. Jeff

    June 6, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Verlander has great stuff today, but he’s struggling with control. One of the problems this year has been the pitching staff’s fear of getting hit and nibbling all over then falling behind in counts. I call it Zach Miner disease.

    With the way the Tiger hitters are almost ensuring a complete game by swinging at tough to hit pitches early in counts, there’s a lot of pressure on Verlander to get out of this with no runs.

  21. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Looks like another pitching meltdown to me. I see a grandslam in the near future.

  22. Coleman

    June 6, 2008 at 8:04 pm


  23. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    He’s actually had excellent control up until the Blake AB. That breaking pitch was significantly higher than it should have been.

    At any rate, the inning ends 3-0 Indians

  24. greg

    June 6, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I hesitate to say this because no mortal is hated more in Detroit than Neifi Perez, but if he was shortstop, this would still be a no-hit shutout. Give Renteria an A- for effort, but a great play would have quelched that inning before it began.

  25. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Agreed, greg.

  26. Coleman

    June 6, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Maybe Neifi would have had it, and it’s still scoreless, or at least fewer runs…but then–you still have Neifi in your lineup!

  27. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    In this game if Detroit was Cleveland, with a 3-0 lead, it would mean for certain that Cleveland comes back to win, especially if playing at home.

    Not sure I got that, Sky. But I think your point is that it’s hopeless.

    Fans, I am high on medication right now, so I am enjoying myself anyway. Sure hope you are.

  28. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    The lack of Neifi’s genial clubhouse presence is killing this club

  29. cib

    June 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    You know who I’d hate to be? The guy who has to write the headlines and articles on the Tigers website. That’s all I can say.

  30. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    cib, one of these days the headline will just be “*shrug*”

    btw, Paul Byrd is really ugly. I mean, seriously.

    also btw, incredible failure Miguel Cabrera hits a double for the Tigers second hit of the game!

  31. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    cib, You mean someone has to write those? I thought they were programmed after the first week of play shows what all the year’s results would be!

  32. McB

    June 6, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    This team is sucking the life out of me.

  33. McB

    June 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    i feel the 10th shutout coming on

  34. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Byrd actually struggled a bit against Pudge, which is remarkable considering that there may not be any hitter in the AL easier to pitch to right now

  35. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    April 6, 2008….Pitcher comments to newswriter, ” I have to have my best stuff tomorrow, I’m facing that Detroit line-up”

    June 6, 2008….Pitcher says to same sports writer, “I haven’t had my good stuff for three starts. Good thing we play Detroit tomorrow.”

  36. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    During KC’s endless losing streak, a fan posted, “Bad news: we don’t play Detroit until August.”

  37. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Cabrera leads off with a double……..given recent results do you think someone might consider bunting to advance him to 3rd? Or do the Tigers even learn how to do that?

  38. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    with Larish hitting .090 and Renteria hitting .080 in june and Pudge hitting .125 in june maybe we should start calling for Sheff’s .150……..I lost my mind for a second there

  39. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Inge HR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    atta boy Inge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    You know, we never expect much offense from Inge……… makes it sweet to see it and proves over and over how important he is. Maybe he, Polanco, and Magglio can form a new and reliable nucleus to rebuild. (I know I am getting way ahead of myself.)

  42. West Coast Tiger

    June 6, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Inge made him pay for that mistake.

  43. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    hey West Coast are you getting the game on
    I can’t get thru tonight???

  44. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm seems to be having some catastrophic problems tonight, as it often does

  45. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Jud, I get it on MLB television but it was out for a few minutes. Then came back.

  46. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    FYI I am in Ca

  47. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    ya I can’t get to the log in page at all.
    I am in California

  48. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    funny Cleveland gets a leadoff double and move him to third what a novel idea…the Tigs get leadoff anything and they rot there

  49. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Verlander just can not get support. At the same time he throws way too many balls for a starter, especially first pitches.

  50. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Terrific job by V to get out of the seventh. Bautista’s warming up.

  51. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Notice Byrd has not walked one batter yet. Bases on balls kill a team (and the manager, as the saying goes.)

  52. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Jeff Larish HR!!!!!!!!!

    Really bad pitch by Byrd. High changeup? Does that EVER work?

  53. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    how about that Larish !!!

  54. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Bautista’s control is way off. He’s either high or too far inside on everything. Needless to say, Garko HR

  55. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    welll at least Bombtisia didn’t walk that first guy like every other Tiger relief pitcher

  56. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    I love how Rod compliments Garko for his batting and setting up that homer. Never mind that Bautista ———again————could not keep the ball in the strike zone until 3-2 made it necessary.

    Hate to be cynical, but I was just thinking that I have no confidence in him, anymore than any other Tiger relief pitcher.

  57. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    On some of these pitches I can’t even figure out what Denny’s trying to do.

  58. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I would really love the chance to have a personal talk with Leyland to see if his perceptions of his team are the same as mine. Several weeks ago he said he has always been proud of the team. Was that PR? Is that like a politician visiting Detroit and saying in a speech “What a wonderful city you folks have here! And what wonderful people!”

  59. T Smith

    June 6, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    “…I hesitate to say this because no mortal is hated more in Detroit than Neifi Perez, but if he was shortstop, this would still be a no-hit shutout. Give Renteria an A- for effort, but a great play would have quelched that inning before it began…”


    You beat me to the punch. As soon as V gave up that hit I was thinking the exact same thing. Neifi, come back! All is forgiven!

    Seriously, Renteria could have got that ball. Just once I’d like to see him make that play. Is it just me or does it seem if the Tigers hit the same ball, the other team always makes that play? I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of playing against the ESPN highlight allstar team.

  60. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Bautista manages to get through an inning without walking anybody – that’s novel. We have our set-up man back.

  61. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    its the nicotine…sky

  62. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Yeah, it looks like he’s trying to pitch to contact now. It might be a good call.

  63. mcb

    June 6, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Is it me, or is pudge only capable of grounding out to short?

  64. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Oh, he can ground out to all kinds of infield positions, mcb!

  65. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    no Pudge can definately strikeout on a pitch above, below ,or outside the strikezone!!!!

  66. mcb

    June 6, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    I just don’t understand all of the walks by this staff. When are the coaches held accountable?

  67. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    T. Smith,

    my impression exactly. Every other shortstop in the American League makes those plays…….it seems….either to left or to the right…….I have reached the point where I am grateful when the Tiger left side (Excluding Inge) catch the ball….and I hold my breath on every throw to first.

  68. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    “Every other shortstop in the American League makes those plays”

    Well, Jeter probably wouldn’t. He’d dive dramatically, miss the ball, and then be given a standing ovation for his dynamite effort.

  69. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    These little things all add up to show that this team is really not very good. I am not using the “this team su@@s” tone some adopt in ager. I am pointing out that they just are no very good and show no promise of improving. Their baseball basics are all out of whack. Ty Cobb could teach them all a lot about these things. But modern baseball is too often about contracts, power, and individual career interests. It isn’t about execution, discipline, and drilling to learn fundamental skills any more.

  70. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Dave BW:

    What exactly is pitching to contact?

  71. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    did you seethat Cabrara (cleveland) just went up the bat and tried to tap the ball out on the field to move the ruunner…what the heck was that .!!!!! hey Jim were u watching

  72. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Vince — Basically, pitching where a batter will make contact with a ball without managing a good swing, most likely resulting in a ground or fly out.

  73. T Smith

    June 6, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    I’m very underwelmed by this team right now. I’m not sure exactly why I come back, night after night, expecting some other team to show up. Duh. I’m ebarrassed to say it, but I guess I’m just a little slow.

  74. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    me tooooo —T

  75. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I think we’re at the point where MLB should let us count any non-shutout game as a victory.

  76. Dave BW

    June 6, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Prediction: If Cabrera does not get a hit, Chris will show up within five minutes.

  77. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    I don’t know what it is like to watch this team live since I only have the non-visual play-by play available (with a dial-up connection there is no point in getting too fancy), but most of the time I have been rather bored. It is really amazing how much nothing happens with the offense – the ocassional big inning, otherwise a lot of zeros; pitching wise they walk tons. The games just seem to plod along, usually to an inevitable defeat, going out not with a bang, but a whimper. I don’t mind the losing so much if there is some excitement, but most of the time I go away feeling like I have wasted my time. Maybe my expectations were too high for this year and I am over-reacting, but I don’t remember feeling like this last year.

  78. judpma

    June 6, 2008 at 9:41 pm


  79. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    This is uncanny…….I knew Cabrera would swing at strike three and miss and it would be a really bad pitch to swing at. How did I know that? LOL….because he does it about 90% of the time he bats!

  80. greg

    June 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Miggy hasn’t really ticked me off all year, at least not at the plate. He’s received excessive criticism so far. But man oh man does he deserve heat for swinging at that last pitch, which was what? over a 1.5 feet outside? How does that happen? Did he all of a sudden get turret-swing syndrome?

  81. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Ditto Vince in MN

  82. Sky

    June 6, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Following this team is getting boring….I am starting to flip channels looking for reruns of “I Love Lucy” or The Beverly Hillbillies

  83. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Dave BW:

    Thanks. It just doesn’t make any sense to me as a pitching strategy (I can’t get this image out of my head where the pitcher is trying to hit the bat with the ball). One could just as easily espouse pitching to no-contact, whereby the pitcher pitches in such a way that the batter has to swing but can’t hit it (this would be the most sure out, yes?). My approach would be for the pitcher to throw his best pitch and challenge the hitter to make contact or K. Maybe I am just taking the term too literally.

  84. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Sounds like Cabrera has (or did tonght at least) a case of Iroditis.

  85. Jeff

    June 6, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    They helped out Byrd greatly by swinging at pitches that were tough to hit. I only glanced at the numbers, but I think the Tigers had a 5-pitch inning, two 8-pitch innings, a 10-pitch inning, and an 11-pitch inning.

    Now I wouldn’t be upset if the pitches they swang at early in counts were good ones to hit. But they weren’t.

    Bad play really hasn’t been punished on this team. By bad play I don’t mean making outs or giving up a home run. I mean awful baserunning mistakes like not knowing how many outs there are and getting doubled off, not hustling down the baseline on a ground ball, missing the cutoff man . . .

    Leyland really needs to think about yanking players who make mental mistakes. I’d rather see them lose a game because a weak player replaces a non-hustling good player — because that makes it much more likely the good player will start hustling in future games.

  86. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 10:03 pm


    One night a week or so ago we were having a rare nice evening here in the TC area (it has either been rainy or cold a lot this spring) and I was sorely tempted to grab a beer and go outside and watch the grass grow. And indeed, it turned out that that would have been more productive. I am going to have to trust my instincts more from now on.

  87. greg

    June 6, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Vince – I know what you’re saying, problem is, the pitchers that try to strike everyone out run up high pitch counts early in games and have to be taken out earlier. Perfect example of this is Dice-K this year. He’s been effective, but he has to leave games early, you have to have a great and durable bullpen to withstand too much of that(not to mention that this approach can lead to lots of walks, and ultimately, runs, if you’re not as good as Dice).

    Halladay is the perfect example of the successful pitch to contact approach, he enduces weak contact, leading to quick outs, low pitchs counts, allowing him to pitch deeper in ballgames.

  88. greg

    June 6, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Amen Jeff, Amen.

  89. cib

    June 6, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Well, at least now I know it’s not my fault. I didn’t use my tickets tonight because of a school end-of-the-year program. Then I came home and did not watch the game. So if I’m not the jinx then they just suck. It’s not great but at least the guilt is gone. ‘Night all!

  90. Vince in MN

    June 6, 2008 at 10:23 pm


    I’m not saying try to strike everyone out – I don’t think that is a smart way to pitch (think Zumaya when he first came up, trying to overpower everybody). I say mix your pitches and throw strikes. I’d rather see a hitter get a base hit off a good pitch than a free pass. I hate BBs, and this staff gives away too many.

  91. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 6, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Vince in MN

    Understand pitching to contact this way: It’s what Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones do, always. As I see it. Not that any type of (good) pitcher can’t employ it as a strategy.

    If you can throw hard with control, you can try to blow it by the batter. If you have command of at least a couple pitches, you can make a hitter start guessing and fool him completely. If you don’t throw so hard but have smarts and are capable of great control, you can play a different game, where the goal isn’t striking out the batter, but giving him pitches he thinks he can hit but – if you’re on your game – pitches he can’t hit well. You want those batters swinging, and every time they think they’ve “got you,” only to ground out or pop an easy fly to the outfield – well, that gets very frustrating for them.

    If you start out a game pitching to contact well, you get in their heads in a way the power pitcher doesn’t. It’s easy to imagine, as a batter, being up against the power pitcher for the 3rd time. He blew you away the first couple ABs, but you’ve seen his pitches, and you might expect (or hope) that his speed is a bit down and he’ll make that one little mistake you know you can hit this time. The contact pitcher makes you feel like you should have hit him hard both times, and by God you’re gonna get that pitch this time. The more you think that, the more he’s got you, and he might be more liable to get away with mistakes because he’s gotten into your head.

    As great as it feels (or used to feel) to have pitchers who throw stuff guys can’t even see, there’s nothing like seeing a crafty pitcher just ruin the other team with seeming “junk.” So far in 2008, that pitcher seems to be working for Tigers opponents a little too often.

  92. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 6, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I get the sense the Tigers lost again.

    Still good to read the game thread, and thanks for all the useful in-game info, Dave BW and others.

    The lack of Neifi’s genial clubhouse presence is killing this club

    You are killing ME.

    Keep your chin up, folks, Better times ahead.

  93. Vince in MN

    June 7, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Sean C. in Ill:

    OK, you’ve convinced me: hit that bat with the ball.

    I’m reminded of Dennis Eckersley, who went from being a power pitcher when he was a starter, to becoming a finesse pitcher as a closer later in his career with the A’s. As I recall, one season he gave up exactly 1 (intentional?) BB.

    Frank Tanana was another one, although he remained a starter.

    Of course the “contact” closer doesn’t get a chance to get into the batter’s head because he is (should) only going to face you once. But the Rogers reference is well taken.

    And yes, the Tigers can’t seem to hit “junk”. But as a team they haven’t been good against off-speed stuff for years, so my question is why do they keeping signing so many fastball-only hitters?

  94. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 12:26 am


    Good question about fastball-only hitters. Someone wiser will have to answer this question: Is there really ANY team loaded with guys who hit breaking or off-speed stuff well?

    Also, I tend to lump finesse pitching, pitching to contact, and junkballing together. There’s a difference, and once again, a wiser person should step forward and set us all straight on the subtle or not-so-subtle differences.

    You’re right, someone like Jones can’t get into a guy’s head over the course of a game. His approach is well-known. Maybe it works so well because he comes in the game at a time when batters are very liable to be trigger-happy. That’s something that works in favor of all closers, though.

  95. Mike R

    June 7, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Wow, did Miggy swing at a terrible pitch to K and end the game? Absolutely, but the first two were probably called strikes if he takes them. It kind of seems pretty harsh to get on him with a “guess the first two weren’t far enough away for his liking.”

  96. David G.

    June 7, 2008 at 12:54 am

    They’re due for a 37 run outbreak tomorrow/today then average 2.5 for the next week and a half.

  97. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 12:59 am

    “They’re due for a 37 run outbreak tomorrow”

    Not unless the Rangers are in town on a surprise 1-game road trip.

  98. Vince in MN

    June 7, 2008 at 1:06 am


    Perhaps it is a tendency to go for the power bats, which seems to be the traditional default style for the Tigers, rather than the punch and judy types such as the Twins have had for the last 15-20 years. The Twinkies don’t hit for much power, but they don’t strike out so much either; they put the ball in play. A power outage doesn’t hurt a team like that as much as a station-to-station offense waiting for the next big homer. As an analogy to your finesse pitching, this is, for lack of a better term, finesse batting – getting runners on and getting them moving with a stolen base, hit and run play, etc. – puts a lot of pressure on the defense and can wear a team down. The problem with the power only type of offense is that when it dries up for any reason there is no fallback alternative.

  99. Vince in MN

    June 7, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Actually, I think the next three games will be a critical test. Facing three consecutive lefties, if the Tigers don’t get something going, we can probably write them off as a bust for ’08.

  100. jason

    June 7, 2008 at 1:24 am

    .. and Verlander is still on pace for 24 losses.

  101. Mark P

    June 7, 2008 at 1:24 am

    With Cabrera batting so bad at home (244/349/422) this year compared to the road (290/357/468) how about switching him and Polanco in the lineup at home? Leyland should just tell him to relax about trying so hard to crush the ball and take some pitches. Cabrera seems to need to time to learn how to hit at Comerica. On the flip side, Polanco hits .315 with runners on base compared to .297 with the bases empty. Presumedly, there would be runners on base if Polanco were to hit 6th.

    That sucks that we are about to lose Bonderman. Even though his velocity has been down he has been pitching well lately.

  102. ron

    June 7, 2008 at 1:29 am

    These guys don’t deserve to wear the Olde English D. It should be the Olde English L. Could send the whole team to Toledo, but they’d probably get lost and end up in Benton Harbor. There is something rotten in the clubhouse and it ain’t the food. No team with this much talent plays like this consistently unless there are off field problems. Is that presumptious?

  103. Steve in Kzoo

    June 7, 2008 at 1:36 am

    No Ron I believe that you are right. Things have got to be going on behind the scenes. Illitch today at the parade seemed to be preoccupied, now if it was with his 4th championship in 11 years that could the be case. But I think something bad is going on in the locker room. Inge, Sheff, and more then likely Guillen are being the rats in the locker room and are making trouble. They already have when they talked to USA Today about the locker room situation.

    My guess we have got to get rid of deadwight and straighten up attitudes. That is why half of us respect Leyland because he is “supposed to” handle hard nosed attitudes like Bonds and Bonilla. He is simply not doing this and seems like hes fine with the way things are going. He needs to be mad, and not let the media into the locker room for a couple of games and then start screwing on the bolts that are lost on some of our players: like Miggy, Renteria, Pudge, others…..

    Its just so annoying to watch this team anymore. Thank god for WGN so I can get my Cubbies and just wish TBS still had a contract with the Braves so I could watch Chipper make history. Oh well, just gotta keep hoping until the end of the month when we will finally be able to know if we are done or not, so I can move on and do other things in life. Instead of remaining hopeful like a fool.

  104. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 1:40 am

    It’s the on-field problems that bother me, Ron.

    Mark P, no change in the batting order could possibly fix whatever ails this team at the plate right now.

  105. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Not to forgive the Tigers’ hitting, but Verlander walked himself into a loss here. I’d be more forgiving if those walks had been singles. He handed the Indians 2 runs on a platter.

    When your hitters are forcing a duel on you, you’d better duel. That’s what aces are for.

  106. judpma

    June 7, 2008 at 2:13 am

    if you listened to Verlander’s post game on Tigers live you would think he just pitched another no-hitter…..He says giving up four a game is pitching great. He say he is pitching great, His 5.05 with 38 walks and 46 Earned runs has some old Tiger pitchers turning over in their graves.

  107. RudeMood19

    June 7, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Hey, don’t blame Verlander. He gets an average of 3.12 (it’s going down now) runs per start–3rd lowest in the AL.

    This team sucks. Flat out. They’re lifeless and lack heart.

    No chemistry. What does it say about a team with a $138 Million payroll to keep calling up guys.

    It’s a joke. They have to play something like .700 baseball to get 95 wins. Don’t hold your breath.

    Biggest disappointment of the year by far.

  108. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 2:51 am

    “Hey, don’t blame Verlander”

    I thought the Tigers scored even less than that, on average, in his starts. That is indeed pathetic.

    Still, you can only start blaming “run support’ when you have an ERA that starts with a 3. Not a 5. Verlander pitches great a lot of the time. But not nearly enough of the time, regardless of the offense.

  109. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 2:55 am

    If the Tigers could get to .500 against the AL Central this season, that would be like winning the World Series for me. I don’t care if they lose every other game.

  110. Chris

    June 7, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Way to show your skill and effort Cabrera. Swing at a pitch that a NL reliever wouldn’t swing at.

    Now it should be clear as glass what his problem really is with him. He doesn’t care one bit about either being a great hitter, or being a winner. He just wants to go through the motions, collect his fat check, and do that with as little effort as possible.

    I predict that many of you here on DTW are going to start seeing what I’ve seen in the 1st week of the season: that Miguel Cabrera is a bum. I predict that in the next week many of you are going to start expressing your dislike for him on this team here in this site. You all will be sharing the Hater-aid with me.

    … come on y’all. Give the ol’ Miggy the BOOOOOOO he deserves.

  111. ron

    June 7, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Chris, it’s not hate. You must have lived a charmed life up until now if you have not found something or someone other than a baseball team to hate. Disappointment, gut wrenching turmoil, why is this team torturing me, I don’t deserve this, I spent my hard earned dollars on this, our city deserves better, why can’t they be like the Red Wings, etc. But not hate. They’re your beloved Tigers and always will be.

  112. Dave BW

    June 7, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Okay, so I was off by about seven hours.

  113. T Smith

    June 7, 2008 at 10:33 am

    “…Still, you can only start blaming “run support’ when you have an ERA that starts with a 3. Not a 5. Verlander pitches great a lot of the time. But not nearly enough of the time, regardless of the offense….”

    Yes, to some degree, be we also need to invent a new stat to get a more clearer picture of what’s going on here. It’s called ERAMD, which is ERA minus shoddy defense. In any case, Verlander’s ERAMD last night was 0.00.

    I know you didn’t see the game, but our friend Elmers with his artheritic condition and namesake range, couldn’t get to and under a averaged-velocity ball to the left of second base in the fourth inning, that say, almost any other short stop in the league makes a play on. It would have been a great play, for sure. One your best defensive position player (in theory, SS) should make for the pitcher.

    But this one play costs Verlander 3 earned runs, which makes his ERAMD 0.00.

    Then there’s the ERPDM. That’s the ERMAD plus factoring sound management of pichter. Leyland has habitually tacked a couple of earned runs onto Verlander’s tally in multiple outings.

    Gosh, when you look at Verlander’s ERPDM over the course of the season, it’s right around 2.04. That’s not too shabby.

  114. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 7, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    T Smith

    I’ll stand corrected on Verlander as far as being let down by the D goes, since inability to see the games is a real blind spot for me. I still don’t like the 2 walks in the Indians “big inning.” 2 walks in the same inning is not something we like to see from any of the pitchers, least of all Verlander.

    I’ve been meaning to ask Billfer or any other stat-savvy guys with ready access to the info to put up something on BAbip for and against from all the Tigers games (and only the Tigers games), for each team they’ve faced. It’s easy enough to look up pitcher by pitcher, and I would bet Verlander has been hard done by, but I’m really more interested in seeing it team by team right now.