Game 70: Tigers at Giants

PREGAME: Once upon a time there was a surging team coming off of back to back series sweeps. They went on the road to play a team that many had given up for dead and who had just dropped 5 of 7. That surging team was swept and went on to lose 5 of the next 6.

Of course “a time” was last Tuesday when the White Sox came roaring in to Comerica Park. The Tigers, sweepers of consecutive series, will try to avoid the same fate when they face the Giants who have lost 5 of their last 6.

It’s a dandy of a pitching match-up tonight with Tim Lincecum and Justin Verlander squaring off. Lincecum has been the best pitcher in baseball. He’s thrown a quality start every time out, so getting 4 runs would be quite the accomplishment. He has a freakishly small 1.99 ERA and has allowed only 3 homers in 90 innings while fanning 92. It’ll make it kind of hard for Marcus Thames to extend his homer streak to 4 consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Fortunately, Verlander doesn’t exactly suck and he’s spun quality starts in 5 of his last 6 including a 101 pitch complete game his last time out.

DET @ SFG, Monday, June 16, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 10:15

POSTGAME: So much to say about this game and yet it’s so late…

  • The Tigers had really good at-bats against Lincecum and they made him work for the most part. They hit into a couple tough luck double plays, one on a liner and another where a steal attempt led Vizquel right to the ball.
  • Verlander was pretty good, and seemed to pick up steam as the game went on as he racked up the strike outs.
  • Marcus Thames is out of this world right now.
  • Mike Hollimon did a nice job getting to balls, but needs to set his feet and not rush things. He threw away a ball leading to the first run.
  • Pudge is a terrific hitter as a platoon partner.
  • The Tigers got a gift of a run on the sac fly when the home plate ump missed a tag on Pudge.
  • Freddy Solid was sexy in his first inning, not so sexy in the second. He allowed a couple 2 strike hits before giving way to Fernando Rodney.
  • The Rodney move was controversial because it was his first game back. But the Tigers needed a strike out with the tying run on 3rd and 1 out. And with a lefty at-bat the choices were Fossum or Rodney (with Seay probably not available given yesterday). The platoon splits for each are nearly a push. Rodney got ahead with 2 strikes but then allowed his first homer since June 23rd. And then he allowed some more 2 strike hits.
  • The Tigers mounted a rally in the 9th but came up 2 runs short. Nice battle, disappointing result. It’s a shame they couldn’t take advantage of a shaky outing by Lincecum (by his own crazy standards) and a solid outing by Verlander.

357 thoughts on “Game 70: Tigers at Giants”

  1. Dave BW

    OK, it’s not the Yankees, White Sox, or Red Sox. But it’s still a pretty big game when you consider that the Tigers haven’t yet faced a pitcher on a roll like Lincecum. Win this one, and the Tigers are a juggernaut, a freight train.

    It calls for something. Maybe not biblical. But something.

  2. Cold night. Hot pitcher vs well hitting lineup of late. A well pitching ace of late vs a normaly weak hitting lineup.

    Looks to be a low scoreing game. Hopefully the Giants have the lowest score. .. the key to the game.

  3. Both pitchers are very good. Lincecum has had a much better season, but lately they’ve been on the same level.

    Against good pitchers, I still feel more confident in the Tigers to score more runs than the awful Giants offense. Still, this one is probably going to be close.

  4. I’ve been to this stadium several times…it’s AWESOME. Most aesthetic stadium in MLB for sure.

  5. Who was the sweaty dude talking about Sexy Freddy Solid on Tigers Live? I didn’t see who it was.

    Liked the story that he came over as a position player and (presumably) couldn’t hit so they stuck him on the mound and he was throwing 92-95 out of the gate.

  6. I don’t want to be called a jinx or anything, but I don’t have a good feeling about tonight’s game. I think Jose Molina may have himself a nice 3-for-4 ball game and Lincecum is the best pitcher under 25 not named Felix Hernandez.

  7. in case you guys were wondering California issued its first same sex marriage licenses today……

  8. Tim Lincecum shall be destroyed. Bengie Molina’s mind will be shattered by the sheer magnitude of the loss, leading him to forget which Molina he is and report to the Yankees for batting practice tomorrow. Rich Aurilia will be so disheartened by the extent of his team’s inadequacy that he will long to have never been traded away from Seattle — this, my friends, is pain. Giants! A team of cast-offs and never-wills. I laugh at the name.

  9. nice to see a ball hit hard,,,sometimes the Tigers make those easy first nine outs with out one

  10. I love any team that wears an off-white color at home. I’ve always loved that look — gives it an old school feel while still being elegant.

    p.s. Billfer, did you see that MGL released the UZR Numbers through the first 65 games? I put very little stock in it but the Tigers that showed up were (extrapolated for a full season):

    Miguel Cabrera: -19 at 1st base, 4th worst in baseball
    Carlos Guillen: -14 at 3rd base, 5th worst in baseball

    That’s it.

    Edgar Renteria wasn’t on either the best or worst lists.

  11. Dave BW

    You make me laugh every time you post something like that. Even when I read it the next day.

  12. Thanks Brian. I always forget that’s who it is. But seriously, couldn’t have waited until he got a towel or something? It’s like he just carried Miggy through the Boston Marathon on his back or something.

  13. It would be nice to get Lincecum’s pitch count up and get into the bullpen as early as possible.

  14. Lincecum is working around 95-96. His location is consistently questionable, but his stuff is so good that nobody has even approached getting good contact yet.

  15. Crushed. Again. That’s a first for Thames going 4 games in a row. He did 3 games in July 2004.

  16. Billfer: I missed Magglio when I was looking over the numbers, thank you.

    And Marcus Thames is on his way to proving me wrong. I welcome anyone and everyone who read me write that I don’t think Marcus is an everyday player in the majors to mock and heckle me endlessly if a year from now he’s proven that he can hit.

  17. Country Strong is on an unbelievable tear. If he hits it fair right now, chances are that its OTP.

  18. oh my lord was that a crappy swing by Molina on a JV curve. Also, Bengie may be slower than Sean Casey, but I can’t really prove it one way or the other.

  19. one important fact about today ..how many innings has JV actually gone out to he mound with a lead this year?

  20. Does anyone else agree that Aaron Rowand has the goofiest batting stance since Mickey Tettleton?

  21. Hollimon throws a possible DP ball somewhere into right field, allowing the Giants to tie the game.

  22. Are Hollimon’s socks up? They can’t be with a throw like that. He will atone for his mistakes in the 5th inning.

  23. Grnaderson needs to start stealing. I know this is a tough combo to steal on. Hit and run maybe.

  24. Billfer: Solid choices. Tigers home (i’d love to see them wear the v-neck throw backs from the 80’s they wore one night in cleveland last year … june or july I believe it was. Magglio homered that night if I recall correctly).

    Then Giants home
    Royals home
    Blue Jays powder blue. I’m a sucker for most powder blue jerseys/unis.

  25. Nothing better than the Yankee pinstripes. You can hate the team but that uni is timeless and unmatched.

    Oh and I’ll give it up for the powder blues as well!

  26. Brian – But what about the Chargers powder blues? Those are awesome.

    I’m a fan of the Royals blue’s, but not the other copycat powder blue explosion of the 80s.

  27. The powder blues remind me of my early 80’s Topps sticker books. Anybody remember those?

  28. Tim Lincecum looks like he is 10 years old. And for a MLB pitcher, he is quite short and scrawny. Definitely a deceptive talent.

  29. I stand corrected on Verlander making contact.

    Grandy needs to steal. I don’t know why he didn’t go. We need to manufacture runs and take some chances. Who has the red phone to the Tiger’s dugout? Grandy has to steal there.

  30. Rod Allen annoys me more often than not, but I think I could listen to a collage of clips from when he gets excited all day long.

    “LOOK OUT BOY! GO ON WIT CHA BAD SELF! HE’S COUNTRY STRONG!”

  31. When is the last time you saw a hitter this hot? I remember ARod hit HRs in 7 straight back in ’01 or ’02, and I seem to remember someone else did it in ’06. Anyone remember?

    (watching on MLB.tv, just heard a fan in the background “Are you SERIOUS?!”)

  32. Marcus Thames sold his soul to the devil….. There is just no other way to explain it…..

    Maaarcuuus, Maaarcuuus, Maaarcuuus!

  33. The only thing that would make that HR sweeter would be to hear what Rod had to say. You know he’d unleash some new phrase or expression after that one.

  34. How can u not look at marcus and think “there goes a guy with a high contact to damage ratio”

  35. T – Grandy was stealing. That’s why it was a dp. Vizquel was going over to cover and it’s right where the ball was.

  36. Home runs against Tim Lincecum this season:

    Marcus Thames: 2
    The National League: 3

    But Thames still has a couple at bats to go . . .

  37. Tim Lincecum has only given up three home runs ALL YEAR, before tonight. Marcus Thames gets two in two ABs…. If I were Tim Lincecum, I would never-ever-ever-ever-ever pitch to him again.

  38. My main question is: do the Tigers have enough defense in left field to win with Thames playing everyday? Perhaps we should resign Jacque? Or platoon Clete Thomas?

    /sarcasm

  39. When Thames hit it out and Mario finished his call and Marcus was just getting around first rod yelled “LOOK OUT BOY!” and then later called him country strong.

  40. I hate that he gave up that run. And I just read Bilfer’s game preview vis a vis, Thames. Now that’s Funny.

  41. Thames’ll get pulled for Clevlen after his next AB. It’s happened like every night this week.

  42. Did the Det announcers make any comments about cutting Granderson’s throw there? Seems like it would have been there in time, though it may have been up the 3B line.

  43. BTW, I’ve watched a lot of Lincecum the last year, had him in fantasy. Don’t be surprised if he reels off quite a few outs in a row at this point. I hope my typically bad prognosticatin skills are on point again this time but I’ve seen it before and Verlander and the Pen better be in shutdown mode for a bit.

  44. Carlos Guillen was switched to 3B this year. Rich Aurilia, the guy who kept Guillen from getting the SS job in Seattle, is playing 3B tonight. That’s just weird.

  45. I have no problem cutting off Grandy’s throw. Especially since Pudge was a quart of the way up the line on the 3rd base side since that’s where the ball was going. So it wasn’t on target.

  46. Nobody really believes the “you let him supply the power” stuff right? The physics of that just seem ridiculous…the difference between a home run has to come from the angle of bat on ball + bat speed, right? Can’t imagine the difference between 95 and 89 on the throw is material…

  47. But forty, Rod Allen is a baseball man so it MUST be true! If only he’d focused on making contact rather than figuring out who was supplying the power, he wouldn’t have had to go lay the smackdown on a Japanese pitcher when he played ball in Japan.

  48. Sorry Brian, I didn’t mean my comment to seem directed at you — I sent before I read yours.

  49. The dude they are showing in the stands all shriveled up inside his jacket on the SF broadcast is pretty funny. Ridiculous that weather they get there in the middle of June.

  50. Another botched throw from the minor league 2B.

    Marcus could use a little help out there tonight.

  51. Does anyone else see some of these outside “strikes” being at least three to four inches off the plate?

  52. I’ve wondered about those borderline innings, where it looks like the starter will probably only go one more only to see the offense swing early in the count. It’s frustrating as hell when it results in a 6 pitch inning, but I wonder how much is by design with the hitters figuring that the starter knows he doesn’t have much left and they’ll be getting strikes early in the count.

  53. Forty – I don’t know the Physics behind it, I couldn’t pass Physics in college, but when I played, I thought it was true. The harder they threw it, the better I drove the ball when I made contact. Pretty consistently for a number of years.

  54. I never made it past t-ball Greg, so tough for me to relate 🙂 I did make a sweet outfield assist in a co-ed softball game one time though. You do not run on Forty*

    *: just that one time. other times the green light should always be on.

  55. OK, so I just joined in after dinner. Ummmmm, what’d I miss? Verlander’s line looks good and Marcus is unreal with 2 HR. Anything else?

  56. pudge triple?? What on earth is going on?

    Don’t worry, Hollimon, I’m sure you’ll get that first hit someday.

  57. Hm. Edgar needs to hit a fly ball here. please.

    Then turn it over to the bullpen. Is Rodney available?

  58. Mike Hollimon isn’t Verlander’s best friend tonight. He’s helped take him out of line for the win twice now tonight.

  59. wow that was a close play. sorry timmy lince.

    ouch replay pretty conclusive…he was out. nice to get a break i guess.

  60. San Francisco manager gets tossed for arguing that Molina tagged Pudge. Which he did, apparently.

    4-3 Tigers

  61. Does anyone really want to see Rodney tested his first time back in a one run nail-biter with the season on the line?

    I don’t.

    Also: Lincecum doesn’t get his QS. How nice for us!

  62. He may have been out but you get that call al lot more often if you hit the body and he DEFINITELY did not get the body.

  63. in April and May they would have called Pudge out and Granderson too for just being there …that is how it was going….

  64. Great start for Verlander, and nice job by the offense to scratch out 4 on one of the best pitchers in the game. Up to the pen now!

  65. He was out but not getting the body and letting the ump see the catcher’s mitt get deflected a bit will make that a 50/50 call just about every time.

  66. Absolutely crazy catch by Cabrera for the second out. Durham flies out on one pitch to end the inning. 1-2-3

  67. Dolsi’s been perfect in his last 3 innings, but he’s also been lucky that everything has been hit at people. I thought the strike outs were sexier, but I’m not going to complain. I’m just sayin…

  68. Hollimon gets to that ball. Who knows where the throw is going, but he gets to the ball.

  69. I bet if you check the Tigers have not won a game this year in these circumstances. I knew that Rodney would blow it. I have absolutely no idea what anyone sees in home.

  70. Rodney had him set up for a fastball off the plate away, he would have had no chance. Instead, hanging changeup. Terriible pitch.

  71. I meant in Rodney………..I have never seen him do any good at all. My brother and I are constantly saying that as soon as he comes in the game is lost….So why is our bullpen supposed to be helped by him? Maybe some of you have seen something I never have. Fernando Rodney is a complete joke in my opinion. Maybe he did something in 2006 that I missed, but last year I never once saw him execute relief.

  72. If Leyland had Rodney in mind as option B for this 8th inning he should’ve just let him start the inning. He throws him in there with one out and runners of first and third in his first big league game in months. Not exactly a brilliant managerial move in my estimation!

  73. Giants deserve the credit, billfer. Tigers pitchers made bad pitches with 2 strikes all inning and they got punished.

  74. Sky, Rodney was flat out dominant in 2006. I don’t blame him THAT much for this outing (he did throw the pitch so he gets blame) but for me, this comes down to another terrible decision by the ‘leader’ of the ball club that we pay money to make the best move that puts the Tigers in position to win baseball games. Jim Leyland (Senor Hunches) fails to do this. And with regularity.

  75. I am really at a loss for this…..Why all the press about him coming back…….who cares? …I really need to know if someone can tell me when, if ever, Rodney was ever any good in relief? Every single time I recall seeing him come in he gives up more runs………….I mean every single time………am I wrong on this or missing something? This is not a rant, folks, I am trying to understand what he has ever done to deserve being on the team.

  76. “Fernando Rodney is available in the bullpen, though Jim Leyland said before the game that he’d like to ease him in with an outing before throwing him into setup duty in a close situation.”

    from Becks Blog… Well Jimmy didn’t really stick to that plan….

  77. Dylan, didn’t know that Jim said that. Well, now it all makes sense. When’s the last time Jim said something that he actually stuck to this year?

  78. that was a horrible decision. not only the havent pitched in the majors this season rodney choice. -> but how bad is that it appears leyland has no confidence in todd jones. most any big time closer is in there for a 5 out save.

  79. Mike, I must have missed it in 2006. But I do recall last year……….he did not do a thing………..and he is totally ineffective now……I really believe he is unable to be a relief pitcher in any context.

  80. As Mike said, Rodney was terrific in 06 and he was also above average in 07. You’re probably thrown off by the horrible stretch he had at the beginning of last year

  81. Yeah, I think saying Rodney wasn’t effective at all last year is a bit harsh. He battled through some arm injuries and managed to strike out 24.2% of hitters while walking only 9% — those are above average numbers.

  82. I watched MLB all 2007 and can not remember any times when Rodney was any good. I know he was hurt last year as well, but as soon as he came in I wondered if it would just be a repeat of last year’s ineptitude. And by the way, Tiger fans, please do not be putting much store in Zumaya either. Sorry, I just do not see these guys as the great relief hope everyone is talking about.

    Relievers have to be able to control and overpower, or outwit the opposition. Frankly, other than seeing replays from 2006 when Z threw 100 mph and loved looking at the speed on the board I do not recall he did much last year either. And why are these guys always hurt?

  83. Sky — I could paste Rodney’s game logs from last year if you reaaaalllly want tomorrow. Now, however, bed. I can tell you, however, that he had 13 straight appearances where he didn’t give up a single run, including two straight where he struck out the side.

  84. Rodney has one pitch (the change) and no control of anything else. In other words, a recipe for failure. It’s just one game, but like the chorus of people are saying his 2007 was instantly forgettable. Leyland didn’t have anyone else with some game experience in a one-run game? Very very bad possible loss looming.

  85. Sky – When Rodney came off the disabled list last year he closed out the year with a 2.82 ERA. He allowed 7 runs in 22 innings over 21 games. He struck out 29 in that span.

    The Tigers needed a strike out in that situation and Rodney was the best option for that in the Tigers pen.

  86. Sky: That’s because it’s human nature to remember only the bad pitching performances. At the end of the year, what pitching performance will stand out the most to you or most tiger fans? The Dontrelle Willis blow up on national television.

    Or, in 2007 what do people remember about Bonderman? He’s complete shallacking he took out in Anaheim. People forget he was 10-1 with a mid-3’s ERA and a like 4.5 K:BB Ratio through his first 18 starts.

    Also, Zumaya is “always” hurt because a freak injury where his finger tendon ruptured when he was warming up in the bullpen and KC and when a box of trophies fell on his shoulder when he was helping his parents move out of his childhood home when wild fires in southern california were threatening to engulf the house in flames.

  87. I’m just consistently amazed how quickly people forget the great things some players have done. First it’s all of Miggy’s entire career in Florida and now it’s that Fernando Rodney was a dominant reliever for 1½ of the last 2 full seasons of baseball. Ridiculous.

  88. I have seen this whole game, and was commenting to my wife that I felt we would let it slip away in the 8th because our relievers are so unreliable. We have had a lot to cheer about this past week, but this glaring weakness of NO RELIABLE RELIEF PITCHING AT ALL, has just killed us all year and will continue to do so. Right now it is the single biggest problem.

  89. i can understand you want a strikeout, but doesnt a groundball double play sound better. this isnt a perfect world, but a K is hardly the only option

  90. It’s one game. I hope Rodney can pitch ASAP. I can’t wait for ZOOM to get back. It’s too easy to remember the bad, and not praise the good.

  91. Mike, I never saw what you are talking about in 2006 …………….that is why I was asking. I figured there had to be some history I had not seen. I was not available in the US to follow the Tigers in 06 until the playoffs. So I did not see Rodney do anything and I never have. That is exactly what I was trying to figure out.

  92. Well I hate to disagree with some on this blog but most might actually agree with me. This situation is all wrapped up in one phrase.

    “What is not broken doesnt need fixing.”

    This bullpen hasnt been lights out but pretty darn good. Rodney I agree needs to be on the team but to put him in a situation like that first game back. Not to mention that my faith in Leyland is stretching because who brings in a righty(who has a god aweful Lefty splits) against a lefty. Leyland should have gone with Fossum and Jones of course in the ninth. Bring Rodney into a none situation like mop up or something just get back into his game. He looked just aweful out there.

  93. I’m just throwing this out there…

    If Renteria gets that ball through the hole, the score is still 4-3 right now. Is it a hard play? Yes. Is it an impossible play to get? I don’t think so.

  94. Sky, billfer also pointed out that he was dominant for the 2nd half of the 2007 season after he got over his shoulder fatigue/injury. So it wasn’t just limited to what you were unable to see in 2006.

  95. T Smith: Dolsi was on the mound for that play, correct? Then I’ll go this route: If Dolsi makes a better pitch that induces a swing and a miss, the defense behind him doesn’t matter.

    Edit: And what’s the better option? Carlos Guillen doesn’t get that ball and if he does, he airmails it to first base. If Mike Hollimon gets to that (he probably does) who knows where the ball is going with his throwing problems tonight due to a lack of setting his feet. There are no other options, so to me, saying that “if Renteria . . .” when there’s no option for SS other than him right now, what’s the point?

  96. Anyway, thank you all for your comments and input. i hope that i am proven wrong.

    I am just telling you that something in my gut says Rodney is not good enough for the job and I am not so sure about Zumaya either. I guess I am looking for a Rivera, Pappelbon, or Willie Hernandez for us. I just haven’t seen one. There have been so many relief pitching failures this year, at least, that you just get to expect them every time.

  97. This is the Tigers offense of old. Terrible outing by the pen, but I’m excited about the next few games.

  98. crummy loss, but at least they put up a fight in the ninth. a couple weeks ago that a 1-2-3 inning.

  99. Man, what a letdown.

    These types of losses kill a team’s spirit. Hopefully, it doesn’t do that to ours. We need to get back on the horse and win tomorrow

  100. They went down fighting. I don’t feel like I wasted the night the way I did during the last west coast trip.

  101. Fortunate, that’s how the Giants should feel after winning this game.

    I’ve got to applaud the whole Tiger team. This team, overall, played well tonight. The bullpen blew it, giving up a 5 spot in the bottom of the 8th. The bats could have just ‘started up the bus’ after the long flight out west. But they came within a gnats eyelash of tying this puppie up.

    Yes, it was a bitter pill, because overall, I thought the Tigs were the better team tonight, and they were in position to win, but you can’t win them all.

  102. Mike R:

    Let me ask you this. Does E-Rent convert an out on that play Vasquez just made to end the game?

    And to answer your edit: I would say Guillen does get to that ball; whether he throws out the runner or not, I’m not sure.

    Also, I’m not suggesting there is another option available — so I understand your point. I’m just pointing, however, that the defense at short leaves something for desire. In theory, the SS should be the team’s best defensive position player, so your SS is going to get more heat for not making a few spectacular plays every now and then. That play by Vasquez to end the game was a beauty.

    EDIT: And correct me if I’m wrong — and this is more of a question than anything — aren’t those the kind of plays like that factor into the PMR calculation?

  103. Last word re Rodney for Mike and Billfer: maybe the stats from 2007 for him were what you say. I am trying to remember games that I watched when he was able to be effective in difficult situations, put out fires, and save close games against good opposition. I have no recollection of those. I remember great outings by Robertson, Verlander, Rogers, etc…..all pitchers who have also had bad days doing their starting jobs….which is not the same as a reliever……no matter what the stats say about K’s or ERA…….a reliever’s single most important task is to prevent scoring in close games and in critical moments. I presume from what you all say that Rodney did this often in 2006. I can not recall a game that he did it in 2007. My memory is certainly imperfect, and probably he did do it…..my overall impression from 2007 is that he did not do it very much.

  104. Sky – I can only combat your memory so much. Acting as a set-up man he made 21 appearances and didn’t allow runs in 16 of them.

    As for Vizquel, he is an awesome defender. Also keep in mind he has a sub .500 OPS. You’re basically batting another pitcher to keep him in the lineup. I seem to recall you complaining about Inge’s offense last year and he was more than twice the offensive player Vizquel is.

  105. How I understand it, Vizquel “saves” a run, or two, or three there, while E-Rent gives up the same.

  106. Hey guys – I missed part of the bottom of the 8th, how did they score the 5th run after the fan interference? Were the runners on 2nd and 3rd prior to the play? Or was the runner past 3rd when the fan interfered? I can’t tell from Gameday.

  107. Chris – Dolsi lost the game, not Rodney. Maybe Leyland, too. But probably Dolsi.

    You guys can’t be serious about sending Rodney back to the DL because of this. Can you? My god, that’s just ridiculous.

    You can’t win every game, but you can try. That’s what the Tigers did here. Take the next two and things are absolutely fine.

  108. T – PMR doesn’t use runs. It looks at the vector of the ball, how hard it was hit, the type of hit, and the handedness of the batter and pitcher. The system looks at all balls with those criteria and it figures out the percentage of time an out is made on those plays.

    The system does this for all combinations. Then for each player it looks at the various combinations and quantities hit when a player is on the field. You then have the “expected” performance. This is compared to the actual performance. The surplus or deficit is then your PMR rating.

  109. my hindsight says Crooked hat should have started the inning or Dolsi should have finished the inning…….

  110. Guilty as charged on the Inge — but as another commentator pointed out, Renteria would have a lot more slack if he were producing a little more at the plate.

    And again, I don’t want to get stuck on “let’s blame this loss on Renteria”. At the risk of sounding like I’m looking for a scape, I just was pointing out the kind of plays that frustrate me with his defense — especially when they are the kind of plays that tip the game.

    On to tomorrow.

  111. T Smith:

    Mike R:

    Let me ask you this. Does E-Rent convert an out on that play Vasquez just made to end the game?

    And to answer your edit: I would say Guillen does get to that ball; whether he throws out the runner or not, I’m not sure.

    Also, I’m not suggesting there is another option available — so I understand your point. I’m just pointing, however, that the defense at short leaves something for desire. In theory, the SS should be the team’s best defensive position player, so your SS is going to get more heat for not making a few spectacular plays every now and then. That play by Vasquez to end the game was a beauty.

    EDIT: And correct me if I’m wrong — and this is more of a question than anything — aren’t those the kind of plays like that factor into the PMR calculation?

    I don’t know. Renteria might make that play that Vizquel made to end the game. It wasn’t hit hard in the hole and I’d estimate that they have the same arm strength (maybe an edge to E-Rent). The difference I notice between them is how quick Vizquel transfers and fires the ball. He’s got such quick transfers/hands, but defensive metrics have him as having average range and being an average defender on the whole now-a-days.

    Every play gets put into the PMR stats. They get their info from (i think) Baseball Info Solutions by paying for it and then the numbers are tabulated into the PMR defensive numbers.

    Edgar Renteria, until the numbers come out, in my mind is an average defender. He’s below average to the hole, average up the middle (might be above average, but I think that’s because I think he cheats more up the middle … which is the same thing Derek Jeter does) and he fields most balls that come to him cleanly.

    Also, why focus on that play? If the ump gets the call right, we don’t have a 4-3 lead at all. Also, it was Renteria’s sac fly that scored the go-ahead run and that will be forgotten by most of Renteria’s detractors. So he basically canceled himself out for the people that want to place blame on him as he gave us the lead and then “didn’t get to a ball” that some feel the average short stop should get to. I don’t put any blame on him for that.

  112. T –

    I know where you’re at. And I’m at the point where I’m probably defending Renteria too much. But EVERY SINGLE TIME there is a hit to the left side there is inevitable complaining that things would be better if Jurrjens was still here. Tonight’s hit was deep in the hole when Renteria was shaded towards 2nd for a double play. Some shortstops likely glove it, but I don’t know if any get an out on it. 1st and 2nd is better than 1st and 3rd and maybe Dolsi stays in with out the pressure of a runner on 3rd. But it wasn’t the type of play where they were getting out of the inning.

  113. Kevin in Austin: there were two outs and the first runner was half way home, the 2nd one was between 2nd and 3rd but somehow got awarded home plate after the fan interference. I think that was the wrong call (not because it went against us), but I always thought the runner had to be at 3rd or beyond to get awarded home — he was neither.

  114. Mike R – though its rarely used/called, the umpire does have the option to, at his discretion, say ‘the runner would have scored if there wasn’t interference’. It’s simply a judgement call. A type of call that they almost never make, no matter how ‘obvious’ it is someone would have scored anyway, nevertheless, tonight they did.

  115. Hi All,

    It’s been more than a year since I’ve posted here, but I had to go somewhere to rant about how terrible the fans are at Giants games. They’re just dreadful. They know nothing about the game, boo at ridiculous times, spend the whole time taunting visiting fans with amazingly uninteresting trast talk, don’t know the names of their own players, and rather than peanuts and cracker jack, the vendors sell Chardonney and Starbucks from a space-age backpack-thermos. I’m going back tomorrow night to root on the Tigers, but it was bad enough that I’m considering staying home and watching it on television. Nice ballpark, though.

  116. Greg: And that’s a rule that I think the Umps should not have in their holster. I don’t see how 4 umps, at least 2 of the 3 at the bases are watching the ball, not the runners (I’d say the 3B/2B/1B umps are all watching the ball) while the home plate umpire is glancing at the runner while he touches home. How are any of them to judge (1) where the runner is when the fan interference some 250+ feet away from them occurs or (2) if the runner would have scored which would mean they would have to process who the runner (Jose Castillo who isn’t exactly a burner by any stretch of the imagination) is, the LFer (Marcus Thames) is and that, to me, is just something that major league baseball should not be letting the umps do.

    I guess that’s not really the right topic and is a different subject altogether, but all in all, i think the rule is a bogus one. Hell, they can’t even position themselves correctly to make calls at home plate right, not to mention the call on Polanco being safe at 2B during the homestand (clearly out) and B. Anderson for the White Sox being out at 2B (clearly safe).

  117. Isn’t it kind of amazing where we are now – for a while we didn’t expect them to win. Now we don’t expect them to lose! This is good! I guess if they were going to lose one, last night would have been my guess anyway (tired from traveling, unfamiliar “hot” pitcher, blah blah). And I’ve never thought of Rodney as the big savior. He always makes me nervous and last night he didn’t disappoint. Was out last night but got home just in time to see him give up the 3-run shot. Oh, well. We’ll win tonight!

  118. let’s just see how the respond to dropping the first game of the series. To me, that’s how we see if they’ve turned the corner. (Keeping my unbridled optomism in check).

  119. i will say this about the Renteria play, that I may have posted last night or may have typed it in but not hit “Submit”: Given the situation I didn’t quite understand why he didn’t lay out for it at least, but something tells me that Bilfer or someone else is gonna come at me with a stat on “Runs Saved by Diving” or something, and that the overall number will be a negative.

  120. Take heart. If even half of the Tigers’ losses in April and May had been like this one – exciting, hard fought, could have gone either way – there would have been no talk of fire sales, no WTF Tigers?, no overall feeling of despair.

    They essentially beat the best pitcher in the game, or at least battled him to a dead heat.

    Rodney is healthy and ready – why not use him right away for what he’s made for? Not a bad call. If there was a bad call, it was Dolsi. He’s no set up guy, as far as I can tell, and also not much of a Seay-type specialist. I think he’s either long relief or the perfect replacement for Todd Jones as closer.

    Still, I try to remind myself that no matter which pitcher Leyland chooses to put out there in whatever situation, it’s on that guy to get it done, and if he doesn’t, the blame lies first and foremost with that guy.

    T Smith: Dolsi was on the mound for that play, correct? Then I’ll go this route: If Dolsi makes a better pitch that induces a swing and a miss, the defense behind him doesn’t matter.

    Come on, Mike. That’s really reaching.

    Renteria is under intense scrutiny. I think the attacking has cooled down. I don’t know if it’s possible, but maybe we should judge his play at SS on the merits and leave aside background issues like him vs. 2007 Guillen or the trade that brought him here or how he’s doing at the plate. I don’t think we have to wait for 2008 numbers to come out after the season to judge Renteria’s fielding, especially if you’re watching the Tigers game after game. Suggesting that he’s hurting the team with this play is not (necessarily) the same as saying he’s a bum, he’s gotta go, the trade was a disaster.

    What a wild game, eh? Did I say “take heart”? Forget that. It SUCKS that the Tigers lost! (hehe)

  121. Randolph is fired by the Mets. If Leyland can’t keep this team firing on all 8 cylinders and keep them in the thick of the race, then he has to go too, early enough to try to salvage this year. And does Renteria ever leave his feet?

  122. Marcus Thames sold his soul to the devil….. There is just no other way to explain it…..

    Now that’s funny, Chris. And possibly true.

    Anyone else chipping in to bail him out of the contract when the season’s over?

  123. Sean C., If they had played like this all season, we’d be coasting. If we won the last 4 games of the 2006 season, we would have been satisfied with mediocre play for the next quarter century, if they didn’t meltdown last August, we would have made the playoffs, if, if ,if…..

  124. I was at this game and wanted to give my observations. I was sitting up the third base line in left field.

    – Holliman looked terrible at shortstop from my vantage point. On the error, he looked he didn’t have control of the ball and kind of flung it non-chalantly. He did the same thing a few innings later and Polanco bailed him out. He’s definitely not ready.

    – It was FREEZEING cold. I don’t know if you could tell on TV or not, but it was a frigid night in San Francisco. Given that, I thought it was a stretch to bring Rodney in at all. It’s his first game in months, and he’s out in the freezing cold, in a tough spot.

    – You’ve got to hand it to the San Francisco hitters: they hit some good balls while behind in the count. Granted we made some poor pitches, but still…

    I’ll be there tonight as well. Go Tigers!

  125. Ali: Has Thames’ first HR landed yet? I’ve heard them described as “moon shots”, but that was like a Saturn shot…

  126. Hollimon’s minor league stats seem to indicate that he’s not your first choice for SS. Better at 2B. And I guess he wanted to emphasize that last night. I guess Renteria must have been sore still, because I really hope Leyland didn’t have Hollimon in as another LHB. Most unfortunate that Santiago is out.

  127. Magglio: MIA last night, in a 2 week funk. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

    Edgar struck out with the bases loaded in the 9th. Placido is the last out with 2 on. I’m not saying string them up, but these are things I look at and try to remember, just as I try to remember high points and forgotten or “invisible” (in light of the game’s outcome) contributions.

    Why not bunt at 3-3 in the 7th with Pudge on 3rd and Hollimon up? What argues against it? Or against pinch-hitting for Hollimon in the first place. A little mystified here.

  128. Sean: I’ll take a 2 week funk from Magglio. The tradeoff is the 2 week periods where he is nearly impossible to get out. I mean like .800 OBP impossible to get out. I’ll stay mum on Renteria. I’ve given him enough grief already…

  129. Does anyone know what the record is- or how to find the record on consecutive hits by a player that are HRs?

    Thames has 7 hits in a row that are HRs. The record can’t be much more than that.

    I searched around, and can find consecutive games with a HR, or even consecutive ABs, but not this.

  130. Jason, the record is 11 held by Mark McGwire. A handful of others are tied with Thames at 7. I only know because Baseball Tonight (well, last night) was curious too.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t screw this up with a double. 😛

  131. “Sean: I’ll take a 2 week funk from Magglio.”

    Chris, I mentioned it because it surprised me. Ordonez has seemingly been such a model of good consistency this year. I don’t anticipate many chances to complain about him, so I jumped on it.

  132. On Maggs:

    I think it’s time he tried growing some peach-fuzz back. The minute he shaved it he lost his confidence.

    On Renteria:

    Sean: thanks for the eloquent synopsis. I’ve made some tongue-and-check remarks concerning Jurrjens/E-Rent — and aside from being not-so-funny, these remarks likely led some to misconstrue my grumblings. My main critique of Renteria has nothing to do with the trade. Or with Guillen. It has to do with his defensive skills, or lack thereof, that have tipped more than a handful of games. Couple this (admittedly, many other Tigers are guilty of the same) with underachieving offensive prowess (see one-out 9th-inning strike out amid comeback rally) and you have a player, as you say, “hurting the team” with his play. But save for a Shoeless-Joe kind of debacle to deliberately dump a game, I’m gonna lay off kicking him for a while. Just to show my goodwill to Renteria supporters.

  133. “Just to show my goodwill to Renteria supporters.”

    I understand, T.

    I jumped in on all the joking about Renteria being a statue, etc., for the fun of it. I didn’t see it as being as serious as making him the whipping boy. Fair or unfair, he is on the hot seat with a lot of fans.

    Right before Santiago separated his shoulder, I was thinking that I’d like to see Ramon get more playing time and Edgar get more “rest.” Not a punishment move. I thought it would help the team, and I still do. Even if Santiago isn’t a world-beater at SS, either. I saw one underutilized guy on the bench who had performed well, and a sensible opportunity to use him, with no downside but the always-possible “well… that didn’t work, either.” Still do.

  134. Considering what Billfer wrote up top about what happened to the White Sox, there’s something ominous in both the score and the game itself in the 8-6 loss to the Giants. Parallels. I don’t like it.

    The Tigers must win tonight, or I am declaring an escalation of the WTF Tigers Alert Status, possibly as high as Code Burnt Sienna.

  135. Take heart. If even half of the Tigers’ losses in April and May had been like this one – exciting, hard fought, could have gone either way – there would have been no talk of fire sales, no WTF Tigers?, no overall feeling of despair.

    They essentially beat the best pitcher in the game, or at least battled him to a dead heat.

    Rodney is healthy and ready – why not use him right away for what he’s made for? Not a bad call. If there was a bad call, it was Dolsi. He’s no set up guy, as far as I can tell, and also not much of a Seay-type specialist. I think he’s either long relief or the perfect replacement for Todd Jones as closer.

    Still, I try to remind myself that no matter which pitcher Leyland chooses to put out there in whatever situation, it’s on that guy to get it done, and if he doesn’t, the blame lies first and foremost with that guy.

    T Smith: Dolsi was on the mound for that play, correct? Then I’ll go this route: If Dolsi makes a better pitch that induces a swing and a miss, the defense behind him doesn’t matter.

    Come on, Mike. That’s really reaching.

    Renteria is under intense scrutiny. I think the attacking has cooled down. I don’t know if it’s possible, but maybe we should judge his play at SS on the merits and leave aside background issues like him vs. 2007 Guillen or the trade that brought him here or how he’s doing at the plate. I don’t think we have to wait for 2008 numbers to come out after the season to judge Renteria’s fielding, especially if you’re watching the Tigers game after game. Suggesting that he’s hurting the team with this play is not (necessarily) the same as saying he’s a bum, he’s gotta go, the trade was a disaster.

    What a wild game, eh? Did I say “take heart”? Forget that. It SUCKS that the Tigers lost! (hehe)

    Sean, I watch nearly every single game and I see a short stop that is at the very least average at balls up the middle and below average getting to balls in the hole. This has not been a secret on his defense for some time now. There’s the same knock on Derek Jeter — can go to his left, but not to his right.

    E-Rent gets the balls he can get to and doesn’t throw them away.

    If we’re not going to judge Renteria on what Carlos Guillen has done in the past (like 2007) how else are we to judge him? you have to judge against a baseline and for me, the baseline is Guillen’s terrible play at short the last 2 years.

    And yes, that was a reach on what I said for Dolsi. Kind of. The pitch Rowand hit into LF was a change up away (gameday listed it as a sinker, but I don’t think he throws one). It was a solid pitch, but not exactly one he yanked off his shoe tops or something. It was above the knees on the outer half of the plate. A better pitch, with 2 strikes, needs to be made. Bury that change up or climb the ladder with the fastball.

    But, my point is, NO MATTER where that ball is on the left side of the infield it’s always a complaint. What’s the options this club had last November and what are the options now? We had no options. If we had Jack Wilson being a vacuum EVERYONE would be complaining about his bat (he’s been hurt all year anyways). If we had Miguel Tejada EVERYONE would be complaining about his bad defense, too (which is on par with Renteria’s). If we had Omar Vizquel EVERYONE would be complaining about him being half the hitter that Brandon Inge is.

    And our options today: Mike Hollimon, Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria. That’s it. That’s the list. I just find it fruitless to complain about the best option we had in November and the best option we still currently have.

    And as for why he didn’t dive, I don’t know who wondered it aloud in here, but he probably didn’t dive due to him playing with a bad pectoral muscle. Let us not forget that he’s playing hurt and I’m sure a throwing motion and diving/bending/leaning puts a ton of strain on it. Make a throwing motion yourself and place your left hand over your right peck and see what it’s like. Then imagine what that would be like if your right pect was strained. I’ll just leave the “billfer will probably bring a defensive stat about diving preventing runs” condescension alone as that’s not even worth acknowledging in what should be an intelligent discussion.

    And I’m in the same boat as billfer, where I’m defending Renteria TOO much. I just think he’s got unreasonable expectations from the Tigers fans. Much like how any time Miggy made an out for the first 6 weeks of the season people were on him, anytime there’s a ground ball to Renteria’s area code on the left side of the diamond, he gets hammered by the fans. It’s ridiculous. It’s not like he’s booting balls hit directly at him or air-mailing every throw to 1st. He is what he is and fans expecting him to be even better than what he’s been the last 2-3 years is just irrational, unreasonable expectations to have.

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