Game 76: Cardinals at Tigers

by billfer on June 24, 2008 · 161 comments

in 2008 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: The Tigers welcome in the St. Louis Cardinals for their annual trip to Comerica Park (seriously, why do the Tigers never play at Busch?). It also marks the third consecutive series for the Tigers against a sainted city (the others being San Diego and San Francisco for those with uber short memories).

The Cardinals are behind the Cubs in the Central, but are the current front runners for the Wild Card. They are coming off a series win in Fenway Park, and prior to that a sweep at the hands of the Royals. They are without Albert Pujols but have gotten some nice production from former minor league scrap heaper Ryan Ludwick. You may remember Ludwick from his 266/342/506 season with Toledo in 2006. Or maybe you don’t.

The pitching match-up features a couple guys who are on a roll. For the Cardinals it’s Braden Looper. The Tigers pummeled Looper last year, but the man hasn’t allowed a homer in his last 4 starts and he hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 3.

Kenny Rogers is also having some success of late going at least 7 innings inhis last 5 starts and only allowing 4 earned runs over that span. He has a 1-0 record to show for it.

Tonight also marks the return of Gary Sheffield to the Tigers lineup. He’ll bat 7th as Jim Leyland keeps the top 6 spots intact.

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

STL @ DET, Tuesday, June 24, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Well both hot pitchers were derailed tonight. Of course Rogers got the worst of it. The Tigers broke up Looper’s homerless and walkless streak, but couldn’t manage many good scoring chances. Rogers on the other hand gave up a variety of hits. Some drilled, some dribbled, but in the end it was too much for the Tigers to overcome.

  • Rogers pace tonight seemed to be exceedingly slow. Don’t know if he wasn’t feeling well, or if he just didn’t have a lot of confidence in his stuff. But I think it would qualify as agonizing – especially that game turning 5th inning.
  • Yes, the 5th was when the Cards only tied it but it proved to be the pivotal inning. Rogers was a strike away from a 1-2-3 inning. Instead a full count pitch was deposited in the left field bullpen and Rogers would load the bases before fanning Rick Ankiel. It was a long draining inning that insured Rogers was almost done.
  • Freddy Dolsi didn’t have it tonight either. He threw strikes and got ahead. But like his last few outings he hasn’t been able to put batters away. I believe he hasn’t fanned anyone since the Indians game which inspired the Sexy. That is bad boding.
  • But, Fernando Rodney pitched a clean inning. His first couple fastballs were erratic but he settled down and pitched well.
  • Gary Sheffield homered in his return. It’s only one at-bat but certainly an encouraging one.
  • The Cabrera homer shouldn’t have been but the Pudge one was a no doubter.
  • Cabrera did play some excellent defense tonight. He made a couple of tough picks of throws and did a nice job fielding balls to both his left and right.
 
 

{ 161 comments }

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 6:41 pm

If Leyland is going to insist on playing Sheff, at least he’s batting him 7th.

Andrew June 24, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Love Sheff not batting 3rd. I like the comment yesterday about having him bat 9th to get on for Granderson and Polanco, but I doubt Sheff’s ego would like batting 9th.

Brian P June 24, 2008 at 6:45 pm

It appears none of these ex-Tigers even tried staying in shape.

Sean C. in Illinois June 24, 2008 at 6:48 pm

The teams in this series should both be wearing “I was swept by the Royals and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirts.

Sean C. in Illinois June 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm

“but I doubt Sheff’s ego would like batting 9th”

Bat the ego cleanup, the body 7th. Compare results after the series. If the ego puts up some slugging numbers, DFA the body.

billfer June 24, 2008 at 6:53 pm

OK, who thought McClain would be twice the size of Lolich.

Kevin in Austin June 24, 2008 at 6:53 pm

It only took 76 games, but Leyland finally gets the lineup right.

Brian P June 24, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I wonder if a call was made to Larry Parrish regarding Ludwick’s weakness(es).

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 7:01 pm

I recall Ludwick from kicking around on my Tigers organizational roster on MVP 2005…

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Does Brian Barton play cornerback for the Green Bay Packers?

Ryan P June 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm

WOW guillen what a play

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm

What a double play!! Holy moley, Guillen!!!

Brian P June 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Fabulous start. Man on third, one out — Guillen tags Barton roaming off third on a light chopper and completes the double play.

Rick G June 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Yeah, but Inge would have done it better somehow…

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Heads up play by Guillen. If Cabrera, Sheff, or Renteria done what Barton just done they’d be getting hell right now.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Haha, MLB Gameday couldn’t score that one, it goes from Miles’ sac bunt to Granderson’s at-bat.

T Smith June 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm

It’s Guillen appreciation time. Ever since his little “problem” let up, he’s played a very mean third base. I smell a lucrative endorsement deal/marketing campaign in the works with Preparation-H.

Neal June 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Smelling the deal, I hope not.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

well, nevermind, they put the scoring up there now.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Thanks for the play-by-play… I was wondering how that worked.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Nice! What happened on the pickoff?

Mike R June 24, 2008 at 7:29 pm

I swear that Kenny (and almost every LHP) balks when they pick off a runner. I’m no ump, but he looked to move towards home plate before throwing to 1st.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 7:33 pm

6 pitch inning for Looper. That’s why Sheff needs to bat in the top half of the line-up. He’ll probably take 6 pitches all by himself.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Agree Mike, Kenny’s pickoff looked like a balk to me too. His right knee broke the plane of his left leg and he moved toward home.

Whatever, I’ll take it. As Chief pointed out, rest assured we would be livid if any of our guys had this kind of night baserunning.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Looper is a strike machine, he hasn’t walked anybody in 3 starts, so it’s a fine line between taking for the sake of taking and then finding yourself down 0-2 in the count and being aggressive.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Nice job by Kenny to limit the damage.

mcb June 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm

That half inning defense was bad. Maggs had a play at third, the Edgar with another brain fart.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Pudge goes deep!

Brian P June 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Does. Not. Compute.
Who had the Strikebot 3000 joke? I loved that.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 7:53 pm

If you told me someone was going to HR this inning for the Tigers, I wouldn’t have picked Pudge in a million years…

Coleman June 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I guess I picked a good time to tune in…
Really though you would think Looper would know better than to throw anything remotely hittable with the bases empty, Pudge is a dangerous man with those bases empty…

mcb June 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Pudge is back on Roids!!!

T Smith June 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm

I feel compelled to point out that Kenny essentially needed five outs to get out of that inning. The first ball (which must have been a “softly” hit ball per PMR) slipped under Renteria’s glove…. (How do you not get leather on that?). Then there’s the E-6. Fortunately, five outs only yield one run, but it could have been ugly.

Errors happen, so to some degree I condone the mistake. But the lack of range on anything not hit exactly to Renteria just kills me. I’m gonna start calling him the Tin Man. He needs some oil.

EDIT: Pudge goes yard as I type. Historically, I believe June has been kind to Pudge. He certainly looks like a different player to me this month.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Sheff weakened Looper with his 5 pitch Ab, then Pudge broke the seal. Looper looks messed up now. Can’t throw strikes. He can’t even cover the bag properly.

Coleman June 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Nice display of athleticism and grace by Looper there (and after Kennedy made a really nice stop)…puts one in mind of Cabrera trying to field a popup…

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm

ref to renteria; I just watched it again. I don’t think anyone could of fielded that 1st ball hit in hole and still have thrown the runner out.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Let me be the first to say it tonight…

A CURSE ON THE HOUSE OF MOLINA!

Kevin in Austin June 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The improvement of Cabrera and Guillen over the past several weeks has been as much a part of our success as anything. They have really settled in nicely, maybe old JL new what he was doing.

Coleman June 24, 2008 at 8:08 pm

And then Cabrera snags a ground ball–showing more range than Renteria. He has quick feet sometimes, when he doesn’t have to look up. The left side of the infield however has the range of totem poles wearing baseball gloves.

T Smith June 24, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Chief:

Perhaps no one could have thrown out the runner. I agree. But 85% at least field the ball, or stop it from going into the LF. Check it out again. You need to stop that ball from going into LF. In which case, you only have runners on 1st and 2nd instead of 1st and 3rd. Most importantly, the run doesn’t score on the ensuing play (assuming you don’t have the E-6).

Coleman June 24, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Of course as soon as I post that Guillen shows some range…he actually might even get a bit quicker if he wasn’t stepping on his pants all the time

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm

That’s what I believe Kevin. He made the switch early enough in the season, so it could pay off later. They gave Cabrera an honest shot at 3b before going to plan B.

Attaboy Miggy. Homerun!

mcb June 24, 2008 at 8:12 pm

We are sitting in RF-could not see. Was it a Homer?

T Smith June 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Chief…

The principal of the last post stands, even though as I re-think it, that was the first hit of the inning and it doesn’t result 1st and 3rd. And also, I say Omar Vizquel makes the play.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm

That’s a break. That ball isn’t a home run.

Carolyn June 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm

What’s the rule? Isn’t a ball that hits the yellow line considered a home run?

mcb June 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Thanks Mark

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Carolyn:

Yes – that’s the rule (and the point of the yellow)…

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 8:17 pm

T Smith

Vizquel might make that play but he also OPS’s .460 (yes, .460). I’ll take Edgar and the single to left.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 8:21 pm

T Smith- It is known that Renteria cheats to his left, for up the middle balls hit, because he’s smart enough to know not to go after balls that are out of his throwing range.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Brendan Ryan has the scrappiest-looking photo this side of David Eckstein…

dredford June 24, 2008 at 8:26 pm

BTW-I just checked the mlb web site under “Universal Ground Rules” and there is no question: the ball Cabrera hit should NOT have been a home run. All yellow lines, in every ballpark in the majors, are in play.

T Smith June 24, 2008 at 8:27 pm

I honestly didn’t expect him to make the play. But I was shocked that he didn’t at least get his glove on it.

dredford June 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Home run ground rule: if you are interested, go here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/ground_rules.jsp

Go to the last item in the list.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

That’s my fault. I made fun of Barton in the first inning and now he’s punishing Kenny.

Sorry everyone.

Jeremy June 24, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I see Matt Joyce has two HR’s and 7 RBI for Toledo tonight

Adam June 24, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Kenny looks real cautious. Like he knows he doesn’t have it.

Brian P June 24, 2008 at 8:36 pm

What was wrong with the first and fifth pitches to Glaus? They looked like good strikes at the bottom of the zone.

Ryan P June 24, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Diaz sure isn’t giving that ball at the knees tonight.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Laz Diaz is notoriously inconsistent, Brian. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kenny got those calls earlier and wasn’t getting them now.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 8:38 pm

dredford:

Is the yellow line on or above the padding on the wall? The Comerica ground rules say a ball that hits above the padding is a HR…

Ryan P June 24, 2008 at 8:39 pm

The yellow line is at the top of the padding. It wasn’t a home run.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Joel,

I read that part too, my interpretation is that it is referring to the camera wells, which are “cutouts” lower than the rest of the wall.

Adam June 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm

This is like Hell. Just waiting.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Way to man up Kenny.

Adam June 24, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Yes! Big K.

Joel in Seattle June 24, 2008 at 8:42 pm

“The yellow line is at the top of the padding. It wasn’t a home run.”

Then that decides it. Replay is an affront to baseball and I am against it…

billfer June 24, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Kenny is pitching ridiculously slow tonight.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Loop da loop has settled down. 50 of 69 pitches have been strikes. Nice ratio.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Any chance Kenny can give us one more inning? He’s at 90 pitches and just came off a 30-pitch inning…

…and got no help from the offense with their fast inning.

Adam June 24, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Doesn’t look good.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 9:01 pm

eesh. Pretty decent pitch by Freddy, can’t do much about that.

billfer June 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Well, Looper has a 858 OPS against his 3rd time through the line up. There’s still hope.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 9:06 pm

I’m not huge on second-guessing, but I’m not sure it was the best move to let Kenny start this inning. He threw a ton of pitches in the 5th and the offense did him no favors by getting him right back out there.

Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I wonder what the result would have been with somebody else out there.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm

nice stat, billfer, I like the optimism. Let’s hope you’re right (and hope LaRussa doesn’t know that).

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm

3 runs down. No biggie. 3rd time around for the offense. Time to bring out the hammers.

cib June 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Hoo boy. Just got in from the gym. ALMOST went to game tonight but figured I’d have to line up so early just to get the jersey – and I’ve got tickets for tomorrow, Thurs and Fri. Hope they are working the bugs out tonight!!

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

no wonder we’re losing! cib, get to the game, quick! the tigers always win when you’re there.

at least we’re good for the next couple.

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Here comes Loopers 858 OPS the third time through, against Cabrera who’s drilled him hard both ABs tonight.

cib June 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Oh Mark in Chi, I wish it were true. You know I was there all of opening week. I’ll have to refer to my tickets and figure out if I’m closer to 500 so far this year than the Tigers. I think I have been to 17 games so far. Too tired to do it tonight though. Have been housecleaning for my son’s grad party this weekend. Don’t ask how I’m going to 3 ball games before the event – - – (ok, I’m using a caterer!!)

cib June 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Gil Cabrera, does he run hot and cold or what??? That was really disappointing to say the least.

Tbone June 24, 2008 at 9:24 pm

Never fear Tiger fans, there’s Casey Fossum warming up in the pen.

jason June 24, 2008 at 9:25 pm

“it ain’t no volkswagon, either, partner.”

classic.

Ryan P June 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

pitching is pathetic tonight.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Cards are just teeing off on our pitching. They got are number Tonight.

Ryan P June 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm

paaaaaaaaaaathetic

why is fossum still in the bigs again?

cib June 24, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Yow, it might be a good night to read a book. I’ll try to bring home a win tomorrow.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Need some Aquafina Lopez back to put out the fires.

Ryan P June 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm

shefffffffffffffffffff

the man looks healthy

jason June 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Shef. How ironic.

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm

The Sheff is a cooking!

Mark in Chicago June 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm

even money says sheff hits third tomorrow.

Brian P June 24, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Time for Rodney?

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Need some good pitching now to back into this game.

billfer June 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Crooked number time?

Adam June 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm

OMG he got an out.

Ok, pull him while he’s ahead.

Adam June 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Yay Rodney!

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Rodney looked good. 96 mph fastball and a good change-up. Location wasn’t too bad either.

Adam June 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Back to back to back to back and we’re tied!

Chief Monday June 24, 2008 at 10:26 pm

We had some unsung heroes this game- Rodney and Sheff. Nice to see them have good games.

RudeMood19 June 24, 2008 at 10:35 pm

damn we lost!

We can’t get into another slump this late into the year or we’re done. Hopefully, with Galaragga tomorrow and Nate Thursday we can win the series.

ron June 25, 2008 at 12:53 am

I guess a 31 game winner and a 3 WS games winner in the house and the memory of being beaten by these bums in 06 was not enough incentive to go out and lay a lickin’ on em.

ron June 25, 2008 at 1:04 am

Brian P. some of those out of shape guys were out of shape when they played ball.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 1:32 am

On top are stats during the 3-game+ winning streaks, “THE 19-0 TIGERS.” On the bottom are stats during the 4-game+ losing streaks, “THE 0-21 TIGERS.”

Player BA/OBP/SLG/OPS

JOYCE .333/.500/.1.000/1.500 1 HR 2 RBI (8 PA)
JOYCE ..313/.400/.875/1.275 3 HR 4 RBI (20 PA)

THAMES .310/.375/.966/1.341 6 HR 13 RBI (32 PA)
THAMES .267/.353/.300/.653 0 HR 2 RBI (34 PA)

SANTIAGO .357/.471/.857/1.328 1 HR 7 RBI (17 PA)
SANTIAGO .364/.385/.545/.930 0 HR 1 RBI (13 PA)

CABRERA .387/.447/.760/1.207 7 HR 24 RBI (85 PA)
CABRERA .181/.310/.296/.606 2 HR 4 RBI (84 PA)

GRANDERSON .362/.444/.702/1.146 3 HR 10 RBI (54 PA)
GRANDERSON .179/.222/.250/.472 3 HR 7 RBI (61 PA)

ORDONEZ .378/.440/.703/1.143 6 HR 21 RBI (84 PA)
ORDONEZ .253/.299/.310/.609 1 HR 4 RBI (87 PA)

RENTERIA .439/.457/.636/1.093 3 HR 17 RBI (70 PA)
RENTERIA .155/.247/.155/.402 0 HR 2 RBI (77 PA)

INGE .263/.408/.631./1.039 3 HR 11 RBI (49 PA)
INGE .260/.367/.525/.892 3 HR 5 RBI (49 PA)

POLANCO .388/.431/.597/.1.028 2 HR 8 RBI (72 PA)
POLANCO .190/.210/.215/.425 0 HR 1 RBI (81 PA)

GUILLEN .357/.400/.543/.943 2 HR 16 RBI (80 PA)
GUILLEN .267/.402/.387/.789 1 HR 5 RBI (87 PA)

RODRIGUEZ .358/.390/.528/.918 1 HR 9 RBI (59 PA)
RODRIGUEZ .181/.217/.227/.444 0 HR 2 RBI (69 PA)

SHEFFIELD ..289/.372/.500/.872 2 HR 3 RBI (43 PA)
SHEFFIELD .184/.392/.237/.629 0 HR 2 RBI (51 PA)

RABURN .304/.333/.522/.855 1 HR 4 RBI (24 PA)
RABURN .200/.429/.400/.829 0 HR 0 RBI (7 PA)

J. JONES .208/.286/.500/.786 1 HR 2 RBI (28 PA)
J. JONES .214/.267/.214/.481 0 HR 1 RBI (15 PA)

THOMAS .200/.273/.350/.623 0 HR 1 RBI (22 PA)
THOMAS .444/.450/.500/.950 0 HR 1 RBI (20 PA)

LARISH .200/.294/.267/.561 0 HR 2 RBI (17 PA)
LARISH —–

CLEVLEN .267/.267/.267/.534 0 HR 1 RBI (15 PA)
CLEVLEN —–

HOLLIMON 0 HR 1 RBI (5 PA)
HOLLIMON —–

Pitcher ERA – WHIP – G – IP – K/BB

VERLANDER 1.29 – 0.81 – 3 – 21 -13/3
VERLANDER 5.26 – 1.38 – 6 – 37.2 – 31/14

ROGERS 4.77 – 1.68 – 4 – 22.2 – 7/11
ROGERS 5.40 – 1.89 – 4 – 21.2 – 11?11

BONDERMAN 3.65 – 1.46 – 4 – 24.2 – 15/13
BONDERMAN 6.45 – 1.61 – 4 – 22.1 – 13/12

ROBERTSON 4.07 – 1.23 – 4 – 24.1 – 15/5
ROBERTSON 5.84 – 1.70 – 4 – 24.2 – 16/7

GALARRAGA 0.95 – 0.63 – 3 – 19 – 15/5
GALARRAGA 5.00 – 1.22 – 2 – 9 – 4/4

WILLIS —–
WILLIS 3.00 – 1.67 – 2 – 9 – 3/12

BONINE 10.13 – 1.69 – 1 – 5.1 – 2/0
BONINE —–

T. JONES 4.70 – 1.57 – 9 – 7.2 – 2/3
T. JONES 3.60 – 0.80 – 5 – 5 – 2/1

MINER 0.84 – 0.84 – 5 – 10.2 – 8/4
MINER 5.69 – 2.21 – 6 – 6.1 – 5/5

LOPEZ 2.46 – 1.23 – 4 – 7.1 – 5/1
LOPEZ 2.64 – 1.32 – 9 – 13.2 – 10/1

SEAY 9.00 – 2.60 – 7 – 5 – 4/2
SEAY 1.08 – 0.86 – 9 – 8.1 – 4/2

DOLSI 1.35 – 0.45 – 3 – 6.2 – 2/0
DOLSI 4.50 – 2.25 – 5 – 4 – 3/4

BAUTISTA 2.25 – 2.00 – 4 – 4 – 2/7
BAUTISTA 7.11 – 1.90 – 5 – 6.1 – 4/4

CRUCETA 0.00 – 2.00 – 3 – 2 – 0/2
CRUCETA 1.59 – 1.24 – 6 – 5.2 – 6/2

RAPADA 7.73 – 1.07 – 6 – 4.2 – 5/2
RAPADA 4.50 – 3.00 – 3 – 2 – 2/2

FOSSUM 13.64 – 1.52 – 1 – .2 – 1/0
FOSSUM 135.00 – 135.00 – 2 – .1 – 1/0

GRILLI 0.00 – 0.64 – 3 – 4.1 – 3/1
GRILLI 20.25 – 5.26 – 2 – 1.1 – 1/1

BELTRAN 0.00 – 2.00 – 1 – 1 – 1/1
BELTRAN 9.00 – 2.00 – 1 – 2 – 2/0

BAZARDO —–
BAZARDO 18.00 – 3.50 – 2 – 2 – 2/3

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 1:42 am

A mere 100 comments by the end is enough to tell me already that this was a forgettable game.

But there must be some good news. And bad. Tell me. Unless you’ve forgotten already.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 2:00 am

“I predict a first AB groundout to 3B for Sheff. Last AB is a home run, though. Important one, too. He shall amaze the world by not walking once in his first game back.”

How do I score as a psychic on this one, Ron? Any points?

Mike R June 25, 2008 at 3:14 am

My Sheff prediction was wrong. All hail Sean C.!

tiff June 25, 2008 at 9:16 am

What, we can’t go on an 86 game win streak?

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 10:12 am

Oh no, the pressure is on. The crown of half-psychicness weighs heavy upon my head. I feel my powers waining already.

Still, I predict a minimum 2-game winning streak. Starting… now.

I have a good feeling about these Tigers. I see them going 52-34 the rest of the way to an 88-74 finish. No playoffs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. In fact, if they finish 88-74, I’m going to guarantee that 52 more wins is how they’ll do it. Go ahead and doubt me.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 10:46 am

That’s where you’re wrong, Sean. They’re going to get 51 and two half wins. That’s how they’ll get to 88. No other way.

Chief Monday June 25, 2008 at 10:49 am

The 19-0 Tiger stats are nice, especially Galarraga’s.

ron June 25, 2008 at 10:51 am

Sean and Mike, the Powers of a Medium cannot be transferred so easily between a true Seer and a mere mortal; especially dealing with something so pedestrian as a “Sheffield at bat”. Because of his living arrangements, Mike R was ordained as the resident psychic simply because he has less interference with the Real World which can be very disruptive when trying to predict the future as opposed to your living arrangements Sean C., which I’m sure is in some upscale apartment building in some upscale burb with a window view of an upscale swimming pool full of upscale ladies in tiny bikinis. Between your blogging and ogling (notice the similarity) you have no time and frankly the qualifications to predict wins and losses.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 10:51 am

Half wins, Chris? You mean there are more games against the Mariners and Rangers coming up?

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

Hey – The Rangers are what the Tigers aspire to be: .500 (?!). On a related note, I’m hoping Sheffield heats up and gets on a pace to whack his 500th jimmy jack when the Tigers play here in Arlington in Aug/Sep.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 11:03 am

Hey, I learned how to type in bold and italics. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

Ron, I like your version of my living arrangements better than the real one. Effective immediately, for the purposes of my DTW persona, I am abandoning my faux Amish lifestyle for a faux yuppie lifestyle, and appointing you personal screenwriter. Your first project: Put me in a BMW and get me some really good binoculars.

Explaining my lack of a television set will be harder, but I’m confident you’ll come up with something.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 11:09 am

Your next challenges, Chris: Underline and strike-through. Good luck, man. Get ready, because small caps, subscript, and superscript are next.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 11:23 am

Chief, there’s also more to Galarraga’s stats above than meets the eye. He shows up in “streaky” Tigers less often than you’d expect for his number of starts. We can infer from this that he has been a good “stopper.”

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 11:25 am

Pudge Rodriguez is my Tiger

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 11:25 am

How do you like them apples, Mr C.?

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 11:27 am

Galarraga has been a good “lucker”. I wouldn’t call him a “stopper”. His final tally: 10-8, 4.43 ERA.

ron June 25, 2008 at 11:32 am

You do have a television set. It’s over there next to the tv tray with the moldy pizza. You gotta tear yourself away from the computer and the front window. Your missing some good baseball.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

Ron, I never even thought to look. Over by the TV tray for the TV, I mean. Thanks.

Please get me that BMW soon. I want to do more than just look. There’s a reason I have so much time for baseball.

Pretty fancy, Chris. I’m still traumatized by a failed attempt at using blockquote. I’m not ready for your level.

You are soooo wrong about Galarraga, though. He’s going to put up better numbers than 2006 Bondo. I decry the worship of the mystical BAbip. And he has been a stopper in the sense of putting in good games when the Tigers needed one. Not that they don’t always need one.

ron June 25, 2008 at 11:56 am

Sean C. one more thing. Telling everyone you have no T.V. when you threw out the remote with the last empty pizza box and now cannot figure out how to turn the T.V. on is pretty cheesy.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:06 pm

It is simply stunning that the Tigers went 21 games with 19 RBI from the heart of the batting order.

If there’s one thing I take away from that best/worst look, it is this: The Tigers truly live and die by the bat, as they committed to doing. No lie. If the 1000-run lineup would only come to its fruition, the current starting rotation could die and be replaced by the Seawolves staff, and Tigers would still contend.

Just a bit more consistency from the bats, and the Tigers could likely be in first place instead of third now. The last 2 weeks have been, after all, more a case of frequently good and timely hitting than it’s been one of “bats on fire.”

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Pizza? Cheesy? Stop it, Ron. I had to skip breakfast today.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:22 pm

For example, look at my Renteria and Cabrera splits, and then look over the pitchers for anything so drastic. Nothing.

All the Tigers needed in those tough times was one guy to be the Galarraga of the lineup. The bench tried, but limited opportunity yields limited results.

And on the positive side, check out the equally incredible HOT numbers for Cabrera and Renteria, among others. Think what this team could do, should do.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 12:30 pm

My beef with the offense, and this is nothing new as it’s been this way for a few years, is that they are ultra-reliant on the HR. If they ain’t hitting it out of the yard, they ain’t scoring. At least that’s the way it seems. I’m sure if I dug up some numbers, which I will eventually do, that they would back up my theory.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:33 pm

The Tigers have lost 2 games in a row now where Sheffield has homered, and are only 2-2 overall when he does. His power dooms the team to a mediocre 3rd place finish. This cancerous slugging must be abolished forthwith. Stop the madness.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Chris, I’d settle for knowing their W-L since, oh, 2006 in games where they fail to hit a hit a home run.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm

As in a hunk a hunk a burnin’ home run. I guess.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Well, this is sort of what I was going for:

2006: 150 HR in 95 wins (1.57 HR/win)
53 HR in 67 losses (.79 HR/loss)

2007: 126 HR in 88 wins (1.43 HR/win)
51 HR in 74 losses (.69 HR/loss)

2008: 57 HR in 36 wins (1.58 HR/win)
26 HR in 40 losses (.65 HR/loss)

I’m not sure how that compares to the rest of the league, but this seems to bear out that the Tigers are much more likely to win when they sock a dinger.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm

I think all teams are more likely to win when they hit a HR. More evidence on the case for the Tigers, please.

tiff June 25, 2008 at 1:06 pm

last night the tigers hit 3 home runs and lost. How does that work?

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 1:06 pm

OK Sean, how’s this? The % of runs scored via HR in each of the last 3 seasons. Below is the # of runs scored by HR, followed by the total # of runs for the season, followed by the % of runs via HR. At some later point I’ll figure the league average for this stat.

2008: 126/364/34.6%
2007: 286/887/32.2%
2006: 298/822/36.2%

ron June 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm

We have to get rid of Leyland. He’s a few beans short of being a LaRussa ( is that how you spell that lawyer’s name?).

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm

OK here’s the AL averages, excluding Detroit’s totals:

2008: 1534/4587/33.4%
2007: 3377/10227/33.0%
2006: 3778/10440/36.1%

So it would appear that the Tigers of ’08 are slightly more reliant (1.2% more to be exact) on the HR than the rest of the AL, but in ’07 and ’06 there was only a marginal difference. So I’m wrong. And an idiot.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm

He’s a few beans short of being an old fart.

There’s your fart joke, Chris,. Sorry for the delay.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong, Chris. You’re looking for proof in the wrong place, I think.

So you want to be an idiot? Take a number and stand in line with the rest of us. No cutting.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Going back several posts, it’s time for my mandatory Galarraga Collapse Watch. I’ll refrain from talking about his freaky BABiP this time though. His K/BB, K/9 numbers will also come back to bite him in the butt. Looking at all of that, he’s really a 4/5 starter type pitching out of his mind at the moment. It all doesn’t add up to a guy with an ERA in the low 3′s, I tells ya.

cib June 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Chris, could we delay the Galarraga collapse just a bit? I have tickets for tonight.

Also, for the games I’ve gone to, I am 8-9. So I’m running about even with the Tigers overall.

Mark in Chicago June 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Chris,

I know, we are about to see a replay of Miner’s season as a starter when he started 7-2, I believe. All of the things you point out make me believe Galaragga has been especially lucky this year.

By the way, has anyone noticed that Brian Bannister’s BABIP has reverted to a more normal .291? And his ERA has crept up along with it to 4.47, about league average? Given his low strikeout totals, he was going to have a tough time performing better than what he is – an average pitcher (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that people were giving him the Cy Young award when he was 5-1 thanks to incredible luck.)

tiff June 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm

cib, here’s hoping you get to 500 tonight!

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Armando Galrraga:

He’s been murder on RHB. Or murderously lucky. Look how he’s doing against LHB, then.

.238 BA .32O OBP .400 SLG .720 OPS .257 BAbip

Pretty good. Not incredible, not unsustainable.

Look at Verlander and Rogers in 2006 (overall):

Verlander .266/.327/.414/.741/.295

Rogers .253/.314/.401/.715/.263

If Galarraga “slips” to Verlander or Rogers levels… problem? They finished with ERAs under 4 and nice records. Rogers’s 2006K/BB ratio? 5:3. Galarraga in 2008: 5:2.

Armando Galarraga ends up 16-7 with a 3.25 ERA. Tigers make the playoffs, he’s ROY hands down.

Don’t let me (or cib) down tonight, Battlestar. You’ve been great on the road. Time to shine at home.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Sean: Comparing Galarraga to JV/KR is like the landmark Supreme Court case, apples v. oranges. KR is older than Methuselah and left handed, and has somewhat mastered the art of controlling BABiP. JV has among the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the league (high 90′s FB, hammer curve, solid-average change). Battlestar’s profile doesn’t really match up. Best case scenario he’s Jon Garland. Worst case he’s Adam Eaton. I’m obviously happy with the results he’s posted, just skeptical of his ability to continue posting said results.

Mark in Chicago June 25, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Sean,

Interesting counter, I accept the challenge. ;-)

His stats against RHB are ridiculous. As in ridiculously lucky. Using your convention above, he posts against RHB:

.137/.250/.280/.430/.159

Clearly, there’s no way he keeps up a .159 BABIP against righties. So that ERA overall is coming up, especially considering he is likely to face more right-handed batters on average.

Also, I’m not sure where you got the K:BB figures, I show 49K and 29BB for a ratio of 1.69, as opposed to the 2.50 you cite. Correct me if I got those figures wrong.

But let’s suppose that Galarraga “slips” to Verland/Rogers-like numbers this year. Well, Armando’s FIP ERA is 4.13, which indicates he should be allowing about a run per game more. By way of example, Verlander’s FIP in 2006 was 4.35, for Rogers it was 4.69, which means they both benefitted from some combination of stellar defense and luck that year. Since our infield defense has been pretty shoddy so far, that leaves luck as a main reason why Battlestar’s ERA is so low. So even reverting to Verlander or Rogers BABIP would not ensure that he continues to post such a good ERA.

The facts do not look good, my friend. They all seem to point to a very lucky pitcher who is most certainly headed for a higher ERA. No way I could project, but Chris’ guess of 10-8, 4.45 seems pretty reasonable to me.

Also, to get you on an earlier post, you pointed out that the Tigers are 2-2 (.500) when Sheff homers. That’s actually a better record than when he does not homer where it’s 34-38 (.472 pct). As such, Sheff should actually KEEP homering, as it improves their overall record. Sadly, what it points out is that we are no better than a mediocre third place team even with a productive Sheff in the lineup.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Interesting notes on Battlestar to follow. There are 112 pitchers with 70+ IP this season. Of those, BG ranks 8th best with a 1.07 WHIP. That shows he’s been good at keeping runners off of the basepaths, and I can’t argue with that not being a good thing. Problem, though: his % of stranded baserunners is 70.3%, which ranks 70th in the league. In other words, he’s not terribly good keeping guys from scoring once they reach base. If you are of the opinion that his BABiP will correct itself and more runners will reach, than he better do something with that LOB% or he’s going to give up a buttload more runs. At least that’s how it looks from here.

Mark in Chicago June 25, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Sean,

…and what Chris said. (damn I’m long-winded)

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Mark: His 1.69 K/BB ranks 79th in the league. His BB/9 of 3.66 is 84th, and his K/9 of 6.18 ranks 55th. Only his batted ball numbers/ERA are solid. Or I should say that his ERA is solid because of the batted ball numbers, at least in my opinion. Everything else on the guy is middle-of-the-pack or below that. So in the end, his ERA will also follow suit. I say he finishes somewhere in the low 4′s, with a .500-ish W/L.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Oh – I should also note that I’m rooting for BG to prove me wrong.

Mark in Chicago June 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Agree Chris. If there’s one guy ever to buck the trend, I hope it’s Battlestar. But as you eloquently point out, it doesn’t look good.

Nothing wrong with a league average pitcher, you need those guys on your staff. Especially for the minimum salary and under club control for a few more years.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Boy, I’m overmatched on this pitching stuff, and now you guys are ganging up on me. I’ll confess to being an optimist on Battlestar, and I think he’s a different type of pitcher with a very different makeup when compared to Zach Miner.

I’ll be back with some interesting numbers that don’t make any case one way or the other. I noticed them looking stuff up on Battlestar, et al.

Chief Monday June 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm

You should look at WHER (walks+hits/ER) also to determine how lucky or unlucky a pitcher’s ERA is. League average is about 3.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Mark: Agree on all counts.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm

You’re right, Mark, I misread BGs walks. 5 to 3 K/BB.

Chris, making BGs WHER = 3 puts his ERA at 3.19 as opposed to the current 3.03. Right?

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm

I don’t know. I’ve never heard of WHER. I don’t know wher that came from…

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm

I don’t know. Projecting 1-6 with a 5+ ERA for the rest of 2008 seems a bit hard on Battlestar. I’ve read a number of game threads while he was pitching, and I get a good impression about his pitching. Does anyone see anything terribly wrong with him as a pitcher as opposed to worrying about inevitable statistical trends? I wouldn’t know – I’ve only seen a few clips. And to tell you the truth, I probably wouldn’t know anyway.

Sean C. in Illinois June 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Chris: Oh, that was Chief iwth WHER. I’m always getting you two mixed up, since I can only read as far as the first letter of poster’s names.

Mark in Chicago June 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Sean,

Welcome to reversion to the mean. As good as he is now, be prepared for some stretch where he’s about as bad.

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Sean: I’ll put it to you this way. The first time I ever saw Verlander pitch live (’06 vs. Texas), I said “Crap on a crutch, this guy almost unhittable”. The first time I saw Battlestar, I said “Well, he’ll be OK for a couple starts until Willis is back”. Big difference. Of course, I’ve changed my tune slightly. I don’t want D-Train within 1200 miles of Detroit for a while…

Chris in Dallas June 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

By the way, I don’t want to make it seem like I think Galarraga sucks. He’s obviously got the ability to get big league hitters out, which is saying something. He’s just not the #2 starter that some fans (no one here, of course) make him out to be. He’s a competent back of the rotation guy, which you need.

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