I’m a pretty patient guy. My thing is to be pretty measured in my analysis. I try to consider all the angles. While I have the emotional response, I usually put that aside when it comes time to blog. But enough is enough. In a season full of disappointment, frustration, angst, and disbelief, today’s game left me disgusted.
Three hits. Three lousy freaking singles. Three measly little singles. How the hell can this team not hit? They certainly aren’t afraid to swing, you’d think by chance something good would happen.
I’ve defended this team when people have complained about approach. I hate the bitching about first pitch swinging because that only happens when it results in an out. I hate the bitching about not working the count because using actual data shows the team is generally normal in this regard. But the approach in the first 5 innings today was a disgrace.
Here is the pitch by pitch in those awful innings: (B is ball, C is called strike, S is swing strike, X is ball in play)
Granderson – BX
Guillen – CSC
Thames – SX
Ordonez – BBX
Larish – X
Cabrera – SX
Rodriguez – SX
Santiago – CCBBBB
Raburn – X
Granderson – CBBX
Guillen – BSSX
Thames – SX
Ordonez – SSC
Larish – CSBX
Cabrera – SX
Rodriguez – CBCSSX
In the first inning Detroit took 3 pitches, but one was for a called third strike. The second inning saw the first two pitches taken, and the inning was over after 6 straight swings on 6 straight pitches.
The third inning was an anomaly with only 2 swings, of course one resulted in a double play. Yes, on a day when Detroit was swinging at everything the side was retired in an inning with only two pitches swung at.
Back to the same old crap in the 4th inning when only 2 pitches were taken, one for a called third strike. In the fifth inning there was something new and different. Pudge Rodriguez, in the Tigers 16th plate appearance, managed to foul off the first 2 strike pitch of the game for Detroit. Yes, it was that bad.
And in the 6th where Duchers… completely lost control and the Tigers had no chance to take, they could barely take advantage. Carlos Guillen gets the mad props for, I don’t know, getting a hit and an RBI. But it was Jeff Larish’s turn to be rally killer with a double play ball.
It was more of the same in the 7th where Duch… put the tying runs on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, but Ryan Raburn couldn’t even put the ball in play to get one damn run.
And then there were the arms. Robertson gave up his requisite 4 runs on his own, including a solo homer to a crappy hitter when his offense had just cut the deficit to 1. He got charged with a 5th when he walked a hitter in the 7th inning.
Next it was time for the parade of relievers. Leyland’s bullpen usage has left something to be desired this year, but today it didn’t matter. Everybody he put in got hit. Every reliever on the staff save for Bobby Seay, gave up runs in this series. A particularly low scoring series at that.
Of course the pitchers didn’t get a lot of help today. Santiago, Cabrera, and Raburn all had plays they didn’t make which would have made things easier.
I don’t know what fixes it. Hell, I don’t even know what it is. They’ve had good pitching performances which should be giving the team a lift. They’ve had some spectacular defensive plays (see Grandy go) that should have provided a spark. They’ve had the occasional offensive outburst where guys can relax. Yet nothing helps.
The walk-off losses are disappointing because whenever you’re in a game that close there are always things to point to that you did or didn’t do. The thing is both teams can point to some of those things. it’s not like the A’s and Angels played flawlessly in those games.
But the crappy display on get away day is inexcusable. I know it was a long and demoralizing road trip, but the Tigers aren’t in a position where they can be giving anything away. And to see such a sorry approach offensively, and such bad relief pitching, is beyond disappointing. I can’t believe that I find myself hating this team in a season that was supposed to be so wonderful.
But who knows, maybe they were in a hurry to catch a commercial flight. It’s not like Red Bird One was there to shuttle them home. It’s with the good Ilitch team in Pittsburgh.