Game 78: Cardinals at Tigers

PREGAME: The teams have a 12 hour turnaround for today’s game. It will be Nate Robertson and Todd Wellemeyer, both of who I would guess didn’t stick around for the end of last night’s tilt.

Wellemeyer has a 3.67 ERA for the season and he’s striking out a little more than 2 batters for every one he walks. But in his last start he was lit up for 3 homers and 8 runs in 3.1 innings. It broke a string of 6 straight quality starts. Wellemeyer is a righty, but righties have hit him better this year with a 721 OPS for the right handers and a 663 for the hooks. I’m not sure that Jim Leyland saw that when he decided to play Clete Thomas instead of Marcus Thames in left today. For his career the numbers are strikingly similar for both sides.

Nate Robertson won his last time out despite allowing 5 runs in 6 innings.

And you guys will see me popping into the comments throughout the game today. For a change I’m not working and can actually watch and comment along.

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

STL @ DET, Thursday, June 26, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: CLETE! SHEF! SERIES WIN! The Tigers snuck away with one today. Nate Robertson wasn’t getting hammered, but he was pitching under stress all day. He only had one stretch where he retired more than 2 batters in a row. But through either luck or skill or Cardinal ineptitude he kept St. Louis off the board with the exception of an unearned run.

The Tigers squandered several chances of their own early on with the middle of the order failing to cash in on several opportunities. In the end though the Tigers came out on the right side of a bases loaded walk.

  • I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Tigers are a better team when Gary Sheffield is hitting. He had some rough ab’s early on with a DP and a pop out, but when the team had to have a homer Shef delivered. The Tigers were down to their last slugger with Hollimon and Sardhina up next. After the long foul I figured that was the ball. For him to do it again was incredible.
  • And how about Clete Thomas. I was one who was expecting Marcus Thames to pinch hit in both bases loaded situations. Yet Leyland stuck with Clete and Clete didn’t chase balls in either at-bat and walked in two runs. Is it possible that left field, which was a vat of suckiness early in the season, is now a fountain of glorious production?
  • Stuff evens out in baseball. Granderson had a few hard hit balls find gloves lately. Today he had a few weak hit balls find holes for a 4 hit day.
  • Fernando Rodney flashed signs of the plus reliever he’s been in the past. He pitched out of a tight jam and then retired the side in order the following inning. Five up, five down.
  • Polanco and Thames ejected in the same series? Polanco didn’t really have an argument because it was a good pitch, but he got tossed quickly. The umpires did not have a good series. I don’t know if one team got hurt more than the other, but it was an awful display of officiating.
  • And another nice outing for Bobby Seay who allowed a 2 out walk but nothing else.
  • It was nice to see Mike Hollimon get a couple hits. I have no problem with him trying for third on that play in the 9th inning. He was barely out and if he makes it the Tigers have the winning run 90 feet away with 1 out. I like the aggressive baserunning so just tip the cap to the Cardinals who did it right in nailing him.

384 thoughts on “Game 78: Cardinals at Tigers”

  1. If you’re going to have Hollimon and Sardhina in the line-up, you MIGHT want to add some pop by playing THAMES, Leyland!! You old fogey!! Are you putting Marcus in time-out for his little tantrum yesterday? You wouldn’t do that to Sheff or Maggs! Not to mention Pujols is back in. I don’t like the looks of this one.

  2. Ken, I’m with you on playing Thames considering that Holiman and Sardhina are in the lineup. Although Edgar hasn’t hit for crap lately, so no big loss at the plate in that regard, but K-bot was really heating up.

  3. I’m only catching this on Gameday, so what is with the infield singles? Has Nate been hit hard?

  4. Ken – Curtis, Carlos, Magglio, Cabrera, and Sheffield provide a decent amount of pop. Yeah the bottom 2 are weak, but this is still a strong lineup.

  5. Neal – The Pujols hit was hard. The Burton hit went to no man’s land between Cabrera, Nate, and Polanco. The Glaus hit was a check swing single between Polanco and Cabrera that didn’t even make it to Ordonez. So no, he’s not getting hit hard.

  6. “Thames needs rest. His defense has been a joke lately.”

    Define joke and lately. Where’s the optimism, Chief? Spend it all on Sheffield?

  7. Well I suppose Nate survived the first. He wanted to get his BABiP numbers out of the way early. Now he can feel free to cruise until the fifth.

  8. That catch that Thames didn’t make yesterday definitely classifies as a joke.

    Nice hit Curtis. 14 straight.

  9. Billfer: doesn’t that make it even more reasonable to want a true glove SS with the lineup we field next year (essentially the same as this year’s without Pudge)?
    Real response, Thames has been hot, he’s probably still pissed off from last night, and wants to smash the ball today and catch it to make up for last night.

  10. How can THREE batters hitting over .300 fail to at least move Curtis up? Seems like it happens all too oftem.

  11. Yesterday Thames dropped a ball. Also it seems to be taking him more time to get to balls hit down the line or in the alley. I don’t think he’s giving it 100% or maybe he’ just slow or tired or inured. Something ain’t right with him. He blew up at the ump and got thrown out the game Yesterday too. That just ain’t right. His head ain’t where it should be for whatever reason it may be.

  12. Rod on Wellemeyer: “Look at those shoulders! You know he has got to get his sports coats tailor-made.”

  13. As always, Rod Allen provides invaluable insight. The man is the Edward R. Murrow of color commentating.

  14. Neal: I don’t care too much about the balance of glove versus hit as long as it’s a net positive for the position. Save more with the glove than you give away with the bat or vice versa.

  15. wow HUGE DP.

    5 hits, no runs thru 2? That’s even worse than the Tigers’ 6 hits, 1 run thru 2 yesterday.

  16. Billfer – same sentiments. This year the AL SS’s have been weak offensively so this is a position where Edgar should stand out, just hope he gets his bat going, like the way Curtis seems to be putting it together.

  17. This is my first game in a while that I’m following along on Gameday. New and improved (?) with animated batters and a bit of depth perception in the field!

    Now if they would only dare bring back the strike zone…

  18. On a side note, no one in the Tampa dugout is talking to Matt Garza through 4 innings…

  19. The fans must be roasting out there today. I’d rather wait out a 2+ hour rain delay than get baked in the sun.

  20. I guess we can add Ludwick to the list of “Players the Tigers Recently Gave Up On Who Turned Out To Be Unexpectedly Well Above Average”

  21. Gameday’s new look is nice, except the uni’s. It looks like t-shirts and slacks, couldn’t they make it look more like MLB?

  22. Mario claims that Santiago came to Comerica today wearing a large red sequined hat. He says it “looked good on him”, though this seems highly unlikely.

  23. they did Gameday like that so Don Imus can’t tell what color the players are…no discrimination that way

  24. a routine ground ball to second base and the Tigers turn it into a INFIELD single to first BASE

  25. Real slacking on play by play and updates, once again. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to motivate this team. I think they’ve stopped listening to me. I’m befuddled.

  26. There’s not much to update you on. Nothing is really happening. Isolated hits here and there, but neither team can string a series of hits together.

  27. Sean C, I agree. I’m trying to keep up on gamecast, and though I’m farther ahead than you, we need the PBP from the guys with eyes on the game. . .

  28. Neal: Ha! Well, I’m not saying it’s anything new. I was married, but I think I was befuddled even before that.

  29. whoo hoo, K for Kennedy and a ground out. How many ground outs is that for Nate? He must have the sinker working

  30. Just joined the fray, is Nate sharp today? Quite a few hits, only 1 walk and a couple DPs.

    Also, what is it about playing during the day at Comerica that leads to low-scoring games?

  31. OK, Tom, who do you want instead? McClendon, Lamont, Jones, Van Slyke, Hal Naragon. Those are your choices.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I hate to see Leyland lose to LaRussa. This series is big for me.

  32. Well that inning was a complete waste. How many guys are we going to get thrown out at home?

  33. Has a tiger on 3rd scored this year on a ground ball to the left side of the infield? Maybe it’s just my impression, but it seems like a sure out for us to go on contact.

  34. Be strong, Nate. It’s about time he hits cruise mode. Isn’t it? He got the other stuff out the way.

  35. what is going on with gameday? I just had the top of the 4th end on 2 outs, and the bottom of the 4th just show the third out.

  36. It wasn’t really a baserunning blunder. Maggs just happened to hit exactly where Ryan had positioned himself.

  37. And Sean, I’ll take take Mayo Smith. He may be dead, but he hasn’t made a bad decision all season. . .

  38. Make sure it says “Live” in teh top left, not “Archive, click here to return to live” or something

  39. I think this body is being a bit idealistic when they dump on Renteria. If you look at his #’ he is mid to upper level of all SS that play on a an every day basis. He is a smart SS and I’ll stick with him until I’m shown a player that can bring the whole package, which the Tigers don’t have in the organization and don’t have the ability to trade for. Plus I’ll take him at SS IF this team makes the playoffs any day.

  40. Good one, Tom. He’s not dead, though. Runs a clinic up Minnesota way, I hear.

  41. Gameday is working for you guys? I can’t even link to it from mlb.com — still shows the game on the schedule as opposed to “live”.

  42. I wonder if in press conferences you are allowed to ask Jim “why do you send that runner from third everytime on a ground ball despite having the slowest team in the history of baseball and getting that runner thrown out 100% of the time”….Jim’s answer is__________________________________________

  43. Yeah, Rod and Mario’s shirts are disturbing to me as well. They are bright orange, but just one tiny shade different from one another. It looks like somebody upchucked their Orange Julius into the booth.

  44. How in the hell can you expect a team to win when you have at least 4 chances to score a man from 3rd with less than two out and do not do it once, except with an inning busting DP?

    AND THE ONES FAILING ARE SUPPOSED TO BE OUR BEST HITTERS!

  45. Nate squeaks through that one.

    His WHIP this game is 2.0 and he hasn’t allowed a run. And somehow only thrown 72 pitches. Amazing. I guess we’re not the only team that can’t get a big hit.

  46. one thing Nate is doing lately is making the pitch he needs when he has too..always had a problem with that but last month is has made those pitches for the most part

  47. “the Tigers aren’t even in 3d you have to score runs to get the true effect”

    Whoa! Good stuff.

  48. It sounds like Nate is in his best 2006 “Bulldog” form. Seemed like he only got good when there was a guy on third with less then two out – which is a description of today’s game so far.

  49. How did this guy give up 8 runs in his last outing? He’s cutting us up something fierce.

  50. “The earhole is on the wrong side of the helmet. . .”

    I hope someone got fired over that.

  51. Btw, Ankiel hit about a dozen foul line drives at my section on Tuesday. I yelled, “Rick Ankiel, why do you hate us??!?”

  52. I want to know what Polanco’s head looks like on Gameday. Also Larish’s helmet. Is Brandon Inge still black?

  53. Sean, it appears that Polly’s head should be on tethers in the Thanksgiving Day parade. . .

  54. I’m just pleased that one of our last two hitters actually got the ball out of the infield.

  55. those guys on Gameday look like they are in the Navy…none of those guys can knock in a run either

  56. Tom – Really? Do they show the tethers, too? I’ve got to look into this Gameday thing.

  57. “That was only Hollimon’s 10th at-bat. It hadn’t been that long.”

    Ah, but expectations were high for the heir apparent to… to…

  58. The “helmet” looks like something out of Ernest Goes To Fantasy Camp. And every player has some sort of strange, shadowy facial hair.

    The pitchers perspective is back along with an upper deck kinda view!

  59. I have a feeling this one is going to come down to our bullpen having to protect a 1 or 2 run lead.

    Zumaya probably isn’t available, so I’m going to say that Rodney comes in and pitches well in the late innings to protect the lead and get it to Jones. We need that.

  60. Attempt a steal or something, Jim.

    Wow, two ejected for arguing strikes in two days. Watching on GameDay and it looked low, how did it look live?

  61. I’m not watching but I can already tell you what Mario said: “And that’s a rare strikeout for Polanco”

  62. Polly ejected? Holy cow, this is incredible. Gameday shows the pitch at the knees, was it close?

  63. That looked like a pretty good pitch so I’m not sure why Polanco was arguing. But even more surprising that he’d get himself tossed.

  64. after that ump last night Umps should be tossed out just like players and managers are……that dude last night wasn’t even close…brutal..all night

  65. Throwing the bat could be the cause. One thing to argue, another to toss a bat in the umpire’s direction.

  66. It looked like the ump possibly fell for the “raise your mitt into the strikezone post-catch” move, but it was really too close for me to say. It looks like a good pitch on gameday, at any rate.

  67. He got tossed before the bat throwing though. It was a 30 second argument when he got tossed.

  68. equipment toss in general is just a monetary fine, but in the direction of an umpire will get you a couple games, no doubt.

    ask Sheff, he got that last year (I want to say in Tampa)

  69. I have to admit, I’m the kind who would probably get ejected about once a week! Anyway, the pitch seemed very low…..but not worth hurting the team over.

  70. Guillen was holding on to Polanco and dragging him away from the ump, then Polanco threw his bat towards the ump.

  71. That first pitch to Maggs looked inside on Gameday, and now looks like he’ll swing at anything just in case.

  72. thought we got cabrera to knock in runners in scoring position with less than two outs. Um, not so much, i guess.

  73. can’t believe gameday doesn’t have a picture of Jason Isringhausen. He’s been around since, well, before there were cameras…

  74. Is Raburn at 2B for Chipotle Head (I love Polly, I really do)? Remember what happened last night.

  75. I always thought Polanco was smarter than that. It’s always the quiet guys that go Postal. That will cost the TEAM dearly I’m afraid.

  76. Thanks, Dave.

    Raburn wins it today. Who else do they have for 2B? Well, Hollimon if renteria comes in.

  77. well Sheff hasn’t forgotten how to just throw his bat at a pitch way out of the strikezone…fortunately last night all the pitches were in the strikezone

  78. Sean, that’s what I thought they would do, bring in Edgar, leaving the possibilty of PH Thames while stil letting Raburn play LF. Still could do it, but defensively moving everyone, like a rotation in volleyball.

  79. Ryan: Isringhausen has been so terrible this year that Ryan Franklin has largely taken over as closer

  80. I don’t really understand that call on Bob Marley there. Runners aren’t allowed to run along the first base line? Where are you supposed to run? Well, I guess Rod explained it there. That’s pretty rough, but we needed that.

  81. double to right relay from Ordonez to Rayburn and Rayburn threw the ball into Hamtramack after the runner held at third

  82. The second base ump just made Rodney tuck his shirt in and straighten his hat. I’m serious.

  83. HEY CROOKED HAT had his hat on straight today out 2 and 3 piece of cake///wow ///it was the hat all along

  84. Rodney’s on tonight, er today. Do you go with Zoom in the 8th, or does it depend on if the Tiger’s score here?

  85. Rodney’s in for the 8th. Not sure Zumaya would be considered available, Or desirable.

  86. A little baseball Trivia There was a kid who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 40’s named Tommy Brown. his nickname was Buckshot which he earned for throwing into the stands 3 times in one game. More noteably he is the youngest player to hit a Home Run in the Majors. 1 week shy of his 17th Bday.

  87. I wonder if adrenaline figures into the kind of error Raburn made. I know I’d be pumped up coming into a game like this.

  88. I thought that this was the right time send Curtis, but that makes Curtis now 4 of 8 on SB attempts. Is he slower this year?

  89. Rodney has thrown strikes in 3 of his 4 outings. He had the one game where he threw 8 straight balls. Otherwise the control has been fine.

    Where is sky? I can’t believe he’s missing this.

  90. billfer, I am cleaning out my shower with my head barely able to follow the game….but, (here it comes.this is soooooo hard!) Rodney has done very well!

  91. Why’s he cleaning the shower with his head? Won’t some Tigers fan in California give the guy a hand? Sheesh.

  92. billfer, the critics are always quietest when they’re wrong.

    me, I man up and make fun of myself. beat everyone to the punch, I figure.

  93. It was really really hot out there. I left after Sheff popped up that first pitch without even taking a look. Back at the office for a bit, however it’s hard to work when one has heat stroke.

    Disgusted today. So many missed chances. They should be winning this game like 8-1.

  94. Is Todd Jones coming into the game? Are they handing out free gasoline and books of matches at the ballpark today?

  95. The prospect of Jones facing Pujols at any point in this inning scares the bejeezus out of me.

  96. cib: a lot of missed chances for the Redbirds too, though. They do have like 37 hits and only 1 run after all.

  97. i think, if we can’t come back, you point at polly for this one. raburn shares the blame, but i don’t think polly makes the error that raburn did.

  98. Can we all agree it’s good to have Sheffield back? Crap on a crutch, he’s been coming through…

  99. I agree that’s it’s good to have Sheff back, Chris. But what does “crap on a crutch” mean?

  100. Thanks, Mike. Well, they say you shouldn’t make the first or third out at third base. So that was very fundamentally sound.

  101. ‘Crap on a crutch’ is the PC version of ‘Christ on a crutch”, altough I don’t know what either of them mean.

  102. mabe sheff will still win this thing….but like chris said we all have to agree it is great to have sheff back

  103. This game does not go past Granderson’s AB. He’s going to hit a Granderson Grenade into the Pepsi Porch.

  104. Wow, Grandy again.

    We need to punish this guy Parisi, get this game over with. The nice thing about playing at home is that we don’t haev to rely on Jones to get 3 outs after we’ve taken a lead.

  105. Just looked at the Holiman out at third, looks like he thought it should have been a triple all the way, he just seemed a little slow. The Cards have made three perfect plays, at the plate, at second, and at third. Normally we would get one or two of those.

    You walk Guillen, who hasn’t hit today, to face Ordonez, who has 2 hits today. I guess the set-up for the DP. Go Miggy.

  106. Parisi walks in the winning run. It’s not surprising since Parisi was so stressed he looked like he was going to cry. TIGERS WIN!

  107. Gotta love the walk off walk. And Dave BW – your description does not surprise me. I’m relatively certian that Parisi somehow anagrams into “pisspants”

  108. 2 bases loaded walks in 1 game to the same guy, thats odd
    whats the record for most LOB combined for both teams?

  109. That was a tough spot to put a rookie reliever in, leaving no margin for error.

    Another series win – Go Tigers!

  110. Sheff is the real hero here. With Hollimon and Sardinha coming up behind him, he KNOWS he has to hit a jack or the game is over.

    And HE DOES.

  111. I admit I was not sure what Sheff would come back, but he has been on fire since he returned, he has to be the MLB player of the week

  112. I’d love to see Sheff have a two month stretch like he had in June last year. Basically, swing and make contact for a month. That would be pure joy…

  113. walk off walk… I’ll take it. A low scoring close tension filled game. YEEEE.

    I can’t say the same thing would’ve happened if they had pitched to Cabrera. So yay, cult of Clete!

  114. Chris–don’t they just have to win the next two games? Or do you mean if they continue their pattern of L-W-W it’ll take 2 series to get to .500?

    Looks like they just finished this game in time too, there are more T-storms on the radar.

  115. Does Clete remind anyone else of Fievel the Mouse? With better baseball skills of course.

  116. I am either intoxicated or getting old.

    What I meant was “What justice..Seay lost one that way and now he gets the win that way!”

    I.E., a walk-off BB

  117. Anne: I was figuring they need to win 2 out of 3 for two straight series to hit the break even point. Of course, a sweep of Colorado would speed up that timetable.

  118. Mark: I say the White Sox can collectively go suck a railroad spike. I see Minny is down 2-0…

  119. Agree Chris. I hate the White Sox and everything they stand for.

    Minny won’t freaking lose, so it’s good to see them down. That’s gonna be a battle in the Metrodome next week. Can’t get swept in there again.

  120. Wasn’t it a walk-on walk-off? I mean, you still have to take the base. There are no walk off wins, actually. (And there is no dark side of the moon, really. It’s all dark.) I find the term objectionable.

    Player Of The Game is a tossup between Gary, Sheffield, and Sheff.

    I wasn’t surprised to see Thomas not pulled for a Thames pinch hit. I think JL had a gut feeling Clete had the hot hand, and obviously it all worked out. If it was the 9th, no Sheff HR, still tied and one last chance for the win… I would have been among those calling for Thames and complaining if it didn’t happen, but I still think Mr. Gut might have gone with Thomas, unless Hollimon or Sardinha were on deck.

    Chris, “pisspants” pretty much describes me during the Jones/Pujols showdown.

    38-40. Still a chance, a rather good one, to pull off a winning record by the halfway point. Remarkable.

  121. I’ve hated the Twins since they broke my 9 year old heart in 1987. And then stole Jack Morris. Circle this, Bert…(I’m currently extending my middle finger, in case you were wondering)

  122. Sean: Don’t you mean the hammer/nail showdown? Haven’t I taught you anything? Geez.

  123. Aha, I see the Nate BAbip of .258 I found so incredible was not on infield ground balls, as I inexplicably concluded. Never mind.

    Was Nate bad and lucky, good and unlucky, or Nate being Nate with a few more balls than usual going for hits, today?

  124. Chris: Yeah, the hammer/nail thing was good. I just forgot. Won’t happen again!

    You taught me everything, but with a memory like a sieve it all goes for naught.

  125. Chris,

    Have you ever seen the on-air gaff committed by Bert Blyleven? My goodness it’s hilarious. God bless live television.

    if you haven’t seen it, go type Blyleven and f**k into Youtube.

    The Twins broke my heart too in 87, I was 11. If I knew then that this team would be forever awful after then, I would have enjoyed it more.

  126. I don’t know what to make of Nate. He vexes me. His BB/9 and BB/K rates are good. His K/9 is serviceable. And when you watch him pitch he’ll breeze through a lineup for 3-4 innings at a time on many nights. But somehow he has an ERA north of 5 (although that’s beginning to normalize lately – I say he finishes at around 4.60, which I guess is kinda what he always does). BABiP does him no favors I suppose. At least he doesn’t have any Bronson Arroyo moments – when he’s on the mound he always seems to at least keep the Tigers within striking distance. Witness this afternoon for a prime example.

  127. I was actually watching the game when Bert F-bombed through the miracle of MLB E-I. Love that. I actually like him and Bremer as the Twins announcers. They aren’t bad. Better than the yahoos that Cleveland and Chicago have. The KC guys oftentimes aren’t paying attention to the game, as they are playing canasta and eating tapioca (i.e. their combined age is 186).

  128. Chris,

    This Nate thing is certainly confusing. As you say, he breezes through the lineup, then gives up a 3-run jack to David Eckstein. I really want to say it’s bad luck, but it keeps happening.

    According to fangraphs, his BABIP is .330, which is pretty high. His FIP is 4.29, which is much better than his posted ERA of 5.60 (coming into today). Both of those things point to some bad luck, especially when considered with the K and BB rates you cited.

    The area that gets Nate is his LOB% of 66.8%, well below the league average of 72% and worse than his career norm of 70%. He gives up fewer walks but more hits (see high BABIP) so his WHIP of 1.48 is about his average. For some reason he gives up far fewer ground balls than before.

    Put it all together, Nate has been pretty unlucky. That’s the only thing I see.

  129. I’m kinda glad Clete got to play today instead of Marcus.

    Am I a butthead for saying that?

  130. funny after the struggle Miggy was having all day hitting they chose to put him on …..thank you very much…the dynamic duo strikes again Thomas and Sheffield…

    I am sorry sheff, I am sorry sheff ,I am sorry sheff, that makes up for april . tomorrow i will work on May.

  131. My daughter is out for dinner with her father and other family members and she just texted me that she met Pudge at Cameron’s in Birmingham! Hope she got a pic.

  132. ooh, cib! thanks for the sighting. Ahem, not that I would ever resort to going to Cameron’s every night.

  133. Guess the lawyer ain’t so smart after all. If the Cubs don’t make it, love to see these guys in the WS, with us of course, for payback.

  134. West Coast Tiger; your trivia on Tommy Brown intrigued me so I googled him. This guy had a fascinating career and life. Before he began playing baseball he had been working on the docks since the age of 12 and after his baseball playing days, he worked at a Ford glass plant for 35 years.

  135. “The KC guys oftentimes aren’t paying attention to the game, as they are playing canasta and eating tapioca (i.e. their combined age is 186).”

    Even with no reference point (what would I know about the KC announcers?), that made me laugh out loud.

  136. Adam: You’re not a butthead for being glad Clete was in the game. I’m a big Marcus booster, but if he’s going to share time in LF, it is at least more sensible and interesting when it’s with young guys like Thomas or Joyce.

    Clete’s an interesting story, coming out of nowhere because JL saw something in him and evidently still does. Score one for Jim.

    judpma: Good point about Rodney. Uncertainty about him has been even greater than that about Sheffield. If they’re both back, well, look out.

    I don’t think we need to apologize to Sheff. He needs to apologize to us, to the tune of a .900 OPS over the next 4 months.

    “Put it all together, Nate has been pretty unlucky. That’s the only thing I see”

    I don’t want to beat on Nate the Solid/Mediocre Reliable/Disappointing. I don’t want to beat on Mark the Perceptive and Thoughtful, either. But what is luck for a pitcher, and how far can you take accounting for the discrepancy between actual and expected with luck? I don’t see hitters getting that same write-off. A hit’s a hit, and you get no extra credit for smoking the ball into the third baseman’s glove.

    Look at Nate’s 2008 splits on hit location and hit trajectory. These numbers interest me, but I’m not expert enough to come up with anything but (surely) very hokey theories on what it all means. Help me out. Someone. Anyone.

  137. “love to see these guys in the WS, with us of course, for payback.”

    You’ve gotta be kidding me, Ron. I never want to see the Cardinals under LaRussa in the WS again. Lawyer Man will psyche out Smoky Jim every time. The Tigers would lose in 5 and commit 10 pitcher’s fielding errors this time. Brandon Inge would be the last batter and strike out – again. It would play out like a recurring nightmare.

    Much more fun to play the Cubs, team of destiny, and put the nail in that coffin for another 100 years. Plus, I’d get to listen to Pat Hughes do the World Series play by play. As I may well get to anyway.

  138. Sean – Hitters do get the same luck treatment with respect to BABIP and line drive rates.

    As for Nate he’s kind of an enigma. The peripherals are good, but his line drive rate has been high for much of the season. So it’s not that he consistently gets pounded, but when guys do hit it, they hit it hard. The result is a mediocre pitcher, and one who has consisntently kept his team in the game while typically not dominating the opposition.

  139. Billfer –

    “Hitters do get the same luck treatment with respect to BABIP and line drive rates.”

    Fair enough. I don’t often see BAbip and line drive rates for hitters cited, though. It also seems that the memory of a hitter hitting the ball hard for outs fades faster than the memory of a pitcher done in by bloopers. Maybe that’s only because there are so many at bats for a hitter as compared to starts for a pitcher.

  140. Well, Ron, my ex didn’t beat me in the World Series. As I see it, she just left the field. I’ll just keep taking batting practice until another worthy opponent shows up.

    The Cubs will be so happy just to be in a World Series they’ll forget that they’re also supposed to win.

    But all joking aside, a Cubs-Tigers WS would be about the best thing possible in 2008. 7 games, no question. Good games.

  141. The moon is at 37% brightness as opposed to 63% when this run started. It has had a 100% turnaround just like the team. As it wanes into darkness, let’s hope the vampires don’t come out and the team reverts to it’s losing blood sucking ways. If we continue to win, then we’ll go with the low pressure over Massachusett theory that Sean C. mentioned, but I don’t think was espousing.

  142. If the Cubs and Tigers are in the WS this year, the train shuttling the clubs between the two cities will go right thru Mike R’s neighborhood.

  143. Isn’t Trammel still coaching for the Cubbies? Wonder how he’d like a Cubs-Tigers series?

  144. I do wish we could’ve played the Cubs in interleague this year. The White Sox make them look so unbeatable!

  145. I’d like to see a Tigers vs. Tigers WS. A split-squad affair, like in Spring Training.

  146. billfer – Nate Robertson’s line drive rate isn’t significantly higher than it has been in years past. In fact, it’s actually lower than in 2006 when he posted what would be considered his best season (19.4% in ’08 vs. 20.0% in ’06). He’s really right in line with his career norm as far as that goes. His main problem would seem to be that his GB rate has plummeted from 46.7% in ’06 to 41.0% this year. You would think that would lead to a spike in his HR/FB rate, but it’s the opposite (13.2% of his FB were HR in ’06 vs. 9.6% this year). Again, I have no idea what to make of Robertson other than the fact he’s unlucky a lot with the .340 BABiP.

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