Game 102: Postgame and Overflow

With the original post at 500 comments, let’s roll things to a new post. It’s also where I’ll hit my postgame.

The Todd Jones Experience

Todd Jones blew it. Todd Jones lost this game. Todd Jones has not been pitching well. The management (Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski) realize this. It’s why Joel Zumaya was left in to close the game in Baltimore. It’s why Leyland said he’d be using him less often. It’s the reason that Aquilino Lopez was warming up before the 9th inning even started.

But this wasn’t a typical Jones outing. There was no rollercoastering. He retired the first 2 hitters with ease and was ahead 0-2 on Quentin. Lopez sat down with Jones firing strikes and being one out away. A single wasn’t even that alarming in and of itself because one of Jonesy’s positive traits is that he keeps the ball in the park (this was only the 11th homer since he rejoined the Tigers in 2006). With a 2 out single, the other team is usually a couple batters away from taking the lead. And then the bomb. This wasn’t a rollercoaster, it was Demon Drop.

Yes, I acknowledge that Jones isn’t as good as Rivera/Papelbon/Nathan/Jenks/K-Rod. They are all better than Jones. I’m sure the Tigers would love to have one of them. But the fact of the matter is that there are about 20+ teams who would love to have one of them. I don’t think they are available so the Tigers are stuck with who they have, or paying through the nose for a veteran player who happens to be having a really good year. That’s worked so well at other positions for Detroit.

As for who they have, zumaya throws fast, as does Dolsi. But both walk a batter an inning. And Dolsi isn’t even striking anybody out. Rodney is probably the best option right now in house, but how does that sit with people?


Not a good night for Pudge Rodriguez. There was the double play grounder ending an inning. But most costly was a passed ball turned error turned tie ball game. And he did nothing to redeem himself with the bat.


I read through the game log and saw the consternation about brining Robertson back for the 7th. I have to say it didn’t bother me. Zumaya was getting ready and starting an inning with a guy with a pitch count of 82 with a 3 run lead against the bottom of the order didn’t seem like a bad play.

The two calls I thought he did blow were leaving Marcus Thames on the bench and the “stay out of the double play” steal attempt with Cabrera which led to the Ordonez run down. I hate that play in general, and especially given the players involved.


Definitely a mixed bag in terms of baserunning tonight. I won’t kill Ordonez for the rundown because that was the result of a managerial decision. Gary Sheffield got antsy and got a tremendous jump on a steal attempt. So tremendous Floyd hadn’t started his windup. That’s bad.

But it wasn’t all bad. Curtis Granderson had a very heads up play taking an extra base at third when he saw that it was uncovered. Also, Placido Polanco quickly read a wild pitch that didn’t bounce far away and went to second base taking a double play out of order.

Nate Robertson

Very nice bounce back game for Robertson. He walked a few too many with 5, but they seemed to be temporary bouts of wildness (I think 2 were 4 pitch walks) rather than a general lack of control or confidence in pitching in the zone.

Final thoughts

This game was rough. I was there. I was on my feet one strike away from celebrating a victory. Still, the season isn’t over. The series isn’t even over. A sweep was going to be unlikely, and as long as the Tigers can avoid being swept there is still a reasonable chance at staying in this.


  1. stephen

    July 26, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Ok, I know this is sorta lame, but since we’re starting a new post just after i posted this I’m going to move this thought over here..
    Let me just make a last point. Living in NYC, I’m not exactly a Yankees fan, but you have to admire that inevitably there reaches a point in the season where they fricking bring it. Every year, injuries or no injuries, they just bring it. I just wish the Tigers would bring it one year rather than clown car their way through the last two months of 06, disappoint in 07, and piss away their talent in 08. If that makes be a negative type than that’s what I am.
    I don’t know if anyone has ever seen Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Limey.’ There’s a scene where Terence Stamp, playing one of the great badasses in recent cinematic times, gets tossed out on a loading dock by some street toughs who were involved in murdering his daughter. He dusts himself off, reaches down into his shoe for his hidden pistol, stalks back up the dock and then shoots everyone. He leaves one dude alive to escape and tell everyone what he just saw.
    Then Stamp yells ‘Tell’em I’m coming. Tell’em I’m f–ing coming.’
    You don’t get the sense the Tigers have that in them.

  2. Sean C. in Illinois

    July 26, 2008 at 12:45 am

    “Well, I’d say I’m a relentless realist, except when I’m overly pessimistic or rentlessly optimistic.”

    T, I’d comment on the humor in that, except that my mind has been hijacked by the mysterious and fascinating concept of reverse cowgirl action. I really must be going now.

    Thanks a lot, Stephen, big city sophisticate preying upon the minds of innocent Midwesterners.

    Oh – the season is NOT blown! Tigers are taking 2 of 3, book it, bank it.

  3. Mike R

    July 26, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Stephen: I had just apologized to everyone for complaining about the complainers in the last one and it wouldn’t post because the game thread got locked and I lost it. So, I’ll sum it up:

    I’m sure my complaining about complainers is as annoying as the complainers themselves.

    Stephen: No need for the hug, I’m in a very good place. Depending on the girl involved, no male can turn down the reverse cowgirl but that’s talk probably not suited for Bill’s site. And, I know the team has been .500 since August of 2006, I wasn’t talking about that, for the most part. There’s a lot of things that are apart of this franchise that I don’t like at all (the way the front office has handled some personnel decisions and prospects, Jim Leyland’s “strategy”, how they handle injured players like Dontrelle and Bonderman last year, etc etc). I forgot what else I had written here.

    Carry on.

  4. T Smith

    July 26, 2008 at 12:48 am


    I can’t say I’ve seen this movie, but if I can presume to imagine the scene, I’d say the Tigers sort of have it in them. They are trying to play out the scene. Except they’re shootin’ blanks, nobody dies, and the last line, ‘Tell’em I’m coming. Tell’em I’m f–ing coming.’ sounds more like a voice that had just inhaled the helium out of a toy balloon.

  5. stephen

    July 26, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Mike R, you’re usually better informed than me about oh, 100% of the time so no need to apologize.

  6. Mike R

    July 26, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Also, where have you been Stephen? Feels like we haven’t had this back-and-forth all year long.

  7. stephen

    July 26, 2008 at 12:57 am

    T, and anyone else, here the 1 min and 26 seconds that I reference. If there wasn’t the profanity, you could totally see this being played on a jumbotron at rally time:

  8. stephen

    July 26, 2008 at 12:59 am

    Hey Mike, you know just got caught up with trying to make a living and have a life. Took some time off in March and April so I’ve been sorta like the Tigers, trying to make up a lazy and indifferent spring with a stirring second half. So far, going as well for me as the Tigers catch up activities.
    But if only we could trade Maybin for Dotel and another live arm this whole season could be salvaged!

  9. Mike R

    July 26, 2008 at 1:11 am

    That clip would be used as a rally time video if the whole profanity and gun shot thing wasn’t happening.

    Hahaha. I hear ya on that. If only we could trade Maybin for Dotel/Jenks/Quentin/Ozzie Guillen, we’d be pretty good.

  10. stephen

    July 26, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Oh yeah, i forgot about the whole violent thing! Maybe not appropriate for 11 year olds. Maybe only play it for innings starting after 11pm eastern time.

  11. RudeMood19

    July 26, 2008 at 1:14 am

    But the question remains: can they bounce back tomorrow?

  12. ivantopumpyouup

    July 26, 2008 at 1:34 am

    You know what? I think right now I WOULD give Rodney the ball in the ninth. He’s been pretty good lately. He was really the only reliever who did was he was supposed to tonight.

  13. Mike R

    July 26, 2008 at 2:33 am

    I would’ve rather given Rodney the ball in the 7th after Nate came out.

  14. Joey C.

    July 26, 2008 at 3:33 am

    Wow. Nice to see the love fest between you too.

    Mike R. what the hell is the blue stuff about? I’m losing it. Funniest thing you’ve ever posted.

    As for me, I’d just like to point out my dislike of Jones ever since the day we signed him. You can check out my post from back then…of course then you’d also see my post that contends Kenny Rogers was not worth the money as a replacement for that diabetic guy. What the hell was his name again? Jason? Eeech…that was a bad prediction.

    Billfer, that was a great post-game wrap. Summing up frustrations, real concerns, and just the reality of the situation.

    Now. Let’s beat these goddamned worthless, bleached bearded sacks of crap tomorrow.

    Is there anyone in the world more detestable that AJ?

    Go Tigers!

  15. Steve in Kzoo

    July 26, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Man the one and only game I was going to be at this year. My special day my birthday and still we blow what seemed to be a fantastic and dramatic win against our first place foes the ChiSox. But no!!! This game just sucked!!! I loved it so much it was sooo great. But after Nate left I just couldn’t believe my eyes.

    Zumaya has lost all my respect after this latest incident. He came in with two on, and is supposed to HOLD’ the lead. But no he gives up two runs and then on a Pudge error that should never have been(I was on the third base line by the dugout, he had no play) they score the tie breaker. And this is hte guy we believe to be our future Closer not right now or anytime soon in my mind! Hes just Todd Jones with a fast four seamer. But then in the 8th, hope as Guillen turns the power up and hits one gone. But then Rollercoaster comes in and gets to 1 strike to end it. And like Bilfer said, a demon drop hits me in the gut.

    This lose shows that one, our bullpen sucks. Two we need a new closer, and three we need to be more resilent against this formidable team. The funny thing about this game. Renteria 1-3 or 1-4 and Jair Jurrjens has 8IP, 0ER, 1BB, 8Ks in another gem slipping his ERA to 3.02 and 10-5 on the season. I used to be all for the trade but Renteria has been —t for us and his swings look as slow as Larrish’s AAA ball swings. come on! We need to either get Sherill at the deadline(with what i don’t know) or go hard after K-Rod in the winter. K-rod would be a great mentor to Joel to get his control and confidence back to be our closer after k-rod leaves.

    We are at a critical point in the season. we MUST win the next two otherwise I will say we ARE done. we MUST go 2-1 on the series to even hold out hope to win the division. These loses are inexcusable and something needs to be done.

  16. Mike R

    July 26, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Oooof. Throwing money in the K-Rod bidding war just screams “throw this money down the toilet, it’d be of better use that way!”

    Joey: What “blue” thing?

  17. Steve in Kzoo

    July 26, 2008 at 4:51 am

    I know mike but we have nothing and I MEAN NOTHING in our system to plug that hole. Its just a mess, if we don’t do something anything that should help us then we are totally throwing away our window of winning it all next year as well. And then after that we are back to sub .500 baseball for the next several years…..

  18. PHT in HK

    July 26, 2008 at 5:01 am

    The tough part of a blown game like this while being 12 time zones away, it just really get the day off to a bad start.

    On the positive side, there are still 8 games against the WS. I think going 6-2 would be nice.

  19. Chief Monday

    July 26, 2008 at 7:16 am

    It was just another 1 run loss as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather lose tight heartbreaking 1 run games, than lose them any other way.

    These kind of losses don’t bother me to much because we played it 100% and should have won.

    It’s like getting pocket Aces, going all in, and getting beat on the river card. Something like that may crush an amateur player emotionally, but to professional card players it’s the best way to lose.

    When we have a chance to win a game like that, more times than not we’re going to win. Play the percentages.

  20. Chief Monday

    July 26, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Also there are much bigger games for the Tigers on the horizon. If the Tigers keep playing like they have for the past 7 weeks, they’ll win the division for sure and probably the World Series.

  21. Dave BW

    July 26, 2008 at 9:08 am

    At least this round of “DTW commentator Civil War” was a lot quicker than those of the last two years

  22. Kathy

    July 26, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Wasn’t Stamp nominated for an Oscar or some other big award for that role. I remember hearing that he was spectacular. Haven’t seen the movie, but I sure am going to try and find it.

    I agree with all of Billfer’s postgame comments. Somehow, someway I would have found a way to plug Marcus in that game especially at the end.
    I love Jim Leyland, but I think Ozzie is probably the better manager in a tactical sense. Does that make sense?

  23. Kathy

    July 26, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Santiago sitting made me mad, too.

  24. Andrew

    July 26, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I’d sit Pudge’s rear on the bench the rest of this series.

    Grounding into an inning ending DP with the bases loaded.

    That awful throw into left field that tied the game.

    The only question is who did more damage – Pudge or Jones?

    I vote for Pudge. Completely changed the dynamics of the game which could have made for a different 9th.

    I must note that I have no love for Jones right now either, but when Pudge threw the ball away after already grounding into the DP my first and only thought was that he cost the Tigers the game.

    Exiting game though, eh?

  25. Tbone

    July 26, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Chief – if the Tigers play at the same clip as the last 7 weeks (28-15) they will finish the season with roughly 91 wins. I think they need to play a bit better than that to claim the Division. All of the games vs. the Twins and Sox carry extra weight at this point which makes last night’s loss even more detrimental. I think they need to win these last two to have an honest chance.

  26. Mark in Chicago

    July 26, 2008 at 11:46 am

    It’s not so much that we lost, it’s that we lost and the White Sox WON. Ugh.

    I know it’s only July, but Verlander needs to pitch like an ace today. If we lose this game, we probably get swept.

  27. Chief Monday

    July 26, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    TBone- The White Sox are on their last leg. Their starting pitching is just about done. Only Buehrle is pitching well. They’ve given up 85 runs in their last 13 games. They way they’ve been playing they’d be lucky to finish the season above .500.

  28. Joey C.

    July 26, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Mike R., The reverse cowgirl stuff. Like blue movie or blue language.

    Another frustrating thing to note is that we were on the verge of picking up a game on the Twins too.

    As much as I go nuts with Leyland’s game management, I have to say I think he’s done a pretty good job this year considering all the obstacles this team has had to overcome. And I think the team as a whole is remarkably resilient. They can bounce back from this.

  29. Kyle J

    July 26, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I give Pudge the benefit of the doubt on the bad throw. He’s made some good, aggressive defensive plays this year that have saved/won several ball games in the late innings. He just pushed the envelope a little too far on that one.

  30. Ryan

    July 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Remember: On paper, yesterday’s game was the least favorable pitching matchup of the series for us. If Verlander pitches like Verlander and Miner pitches well again, this will all seem silly after a series win.

    TJ kinda sucks. But when he becomes the biggest problem on the team, I’m sending in my money for WS tickets.

    I can’t believe anyone here would even joke about Ozzie as a good manager. All that talk of small ball (or smart ball or Ozzie ball or whatever) for a team that is chock full o’ sluggers in a small park borders on the clinically insane. When you have Bobby Jenks, your bullpen becomes easy to manage.

    I’m actually kind of pleasantly surprised that Leyland seems to be willing to reduce Jones’s role. I believe I can count on one finger the number of times in ’06 and ’07 there was someone warming up in the pen when Jones was in. This year it has happened at least five times. There’s really nothing to do about him, though. There’s nothing to trade to get a closer, and it’s a little late to break in a new (Dolsi, Zumaya, Rodney) guy. There’s no point to cutting him.

  31. Chief Monday

    July 26, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    If the Tigers went after BJ Ryan and picked up the rest of his huge contract, I wouldn’t be complaining.

  32. Eric Cioe

    July 26, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    BJ Ryan is damaged goods. George Sherrill isn’t very good. Better than Jones, sure, but not worth giving up good prospects for. Zumaya or Rodney or maybe Lopez is the guy this year. Lopez only gets considered because he has a ton of experience closing games and I bet Leyland puts a lot of weight into that.

  33. Ken from NJ

    July 26, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Jones has given up an earned run (or more) in 32.5% of his appearances this season. That even worse than Borowski last year (31.8%) for Cleveland. The Indians’ success notwithstanding, it’s tough to win a division that way. And you cannot pitch to contact in the 9th. Jones has 1 K in his last 11 outings. Trouble is bound to ensue.

  34. greg

    July 26, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Small ball clinically insane?

    A lot of insane folks with WS rings. Ozzie is one of them.

    ah yes, of course, I can see it coming, the ‘he had nothing to do with that’ card.

    How convenient.

  35. Joel in Seattle

    July 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I have a question that my mommy and daddy never answered for me:

    Where do closers come from?

    The solution can’t always be “get someone else’s closer, he’s good.” Don’t they have to start out somewhere? Is there a common thread (besides being able to rather routinely come into an inning with no one on base and end the inning with no one scoring)? Do they tend to be failed starters? Strong setup guys who go promoted? Some or none of the above?

  36. Jerkwheat

    July 26, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Well, at the very least, I can take comfort in knowing that referring to it as the Todd Jones Experience has caught on with the other bloggers….

  37. Ken in Las Vegas (formerly Cincinnati)

    July 26, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Joel, I was thinking the same thing today. Do they go to closer’s school for a special certificate, kind of like bartending school? And why was Todd Jones ever made a closer anyway? If you state the top 3 characteristics that a closer needs to have, Jones only has one of them-the “mental toughness”-and it’s the most subjective trait. And I’m not even sure he has that anymore.

    “Which reminds me: Why didn’t Ken in Vegas tell us what had happened so we could have started the postgame earlier. Had to run back to his poker game or the blackjack table or something, I guess. Lout.”

    Nobody calls me a lout (referencing dictionary) and gets away with it. Somebody tell Sean that I’m coming. You tell him that I’m fing coming! Just give me 30 hours to do it. And BTW, I truly wanted to tell you all what happened to save yourselves from needless agony, but I was too busy getting relentlessly pummeled in the back room of Planet Hollywood by Laurence Fishburne. Apparently they aren’t big on the whole “hey look it’s elvis” steal the dealer’s chips gag. Nobody has a sense of humor in this town.

    On a more basebally note. The only thing that frustrated me about last night’s game was leaving Thames on the bench with Renteria coming to the plate. Everything else can just be chalked up to hindsight is 20/20 and lack of skill.

  38. greg

    July 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Ken in Vegas – how bad are the MLB blackouts in Vegas? More specifically, do the blackouts extend to the sportsbooks? Or just home cable/dish packages?

  39. Joel in Seattle

    July 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Ken, I conclude that the only answer is to create new licensing standards for closers. I think the folks at the Michigan Department of Licensing can come up with some baseline standards that will protect Tigers fans from the vagaries of unlicensed closing.

  40. RudeMood19

    July 26, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I think closers come from promoted set-up men. Like, for example, when Frankie Rodriguez is done in Anaheim (through retirement or free agency etc) I believe Jose Arredondo will be the new closer.

    He’s got filthy stuff and Sciosia doesn’t hesitate to use him in big situations.

    The problem with Detroit, is that we only drafted someone like that this year (Ryan Perry)

    Another thing, with Porcello/Perry being “untouchables” would the Tigers have ANY chance at landing Brendan Morrow from Seattle?

  41. Chris

    July 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Oh god, Brendan Morrow would be awesome as a Tiger acquisition. I’d put him as closer tomorrow if he were on the roster.

  42. RudeMood19

    July 26, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    lol, we need to get him!

  43. Adam

    July 26, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    The thing that worries me about these next two games is just that…well, how many games can we win in a row?

    This week was just a 4 game winning streak with a blown save on either end.

    We basically won 6 in a row…now we have to win 8 in a row to even consider getting to the playoffs?

  44. Sean C. in Illinois

    July 26, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Ken in (cough) The Most Exciting City On Earth:

    There’s been a misunderstanding. I meant to refer to you as a LOUT, which as everyone knows means “Lover Of Unyielding Tigers.” It being late here on the dark side of the continent at the time, I was tired, and inadvertently neglected to use all caps, leading many to believe I could be describing you as an awkward, stupid person, clumsy and boorish. Nothing could closer to the truth. I mean farther from the truth.

    Please don’t hurt me.

  45. Joel in Seattle

    July 26, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Bavasi is gone in Seattle. The chances of them dealing Morrow, especially for what the Tigers could offer, are around nil.

  46. Chris

    July 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Maybe they would accept Larish and Perry for Morrow. I would gladly deal those two for a guy who can be a ligit lights-out closer, ready to take over that role right NOW. There is just no way we can risk our dwindling playoff chances on a guy who is much, much more lucky then he is good. Luck can turn on a dime.

    If you look at all of the elite teams, almost all of them have closers that shorten games without much trouble. The Borowski-Jones model of a closer is a joke by comparison. Fans of our rivals must be laughing at us. Jones has cost us two of the most critical games this year so far. I shutter to think about how may more are to come if we stick with Jones with the rest of the season against divisional leaders and many,many must win games. If Jones is our closer next month, then we have no shot at the post season.

  47. Sean C. in Illinois

    July 26, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Interesting question about where closers come from. I can remember a time when each team had a “fireman,” and that was about it. Between the starters and this fireman (think Sparky Lyle), it was all scrubs and journeymen, not this plethora of specialists we see today. Does memory cloud the reality? Maybe. But complete games from starters were a reasonable expectation back then, not no-hitter-like rarities.

    I’ve always wondered – why starters and relievers? Why not just good pitchers? Wouldn’t it actually be an advantage to routinely bring in a fresh arm every 3 innings? “Starting” today: Robertson-Verlander-Galarraga. Have pitching “lines” like hockey teams have lines. I know, crazy talk. But baseball does change from time to time (see above) – some insane visionary maverick might actually try this someday and have success, and then it might catch on. Then again, it could also go the way of the “Silver Streak” offense.

  48. Andrew

    July 26, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I don’t know where closers come from, but lately – they sure aren’t coming from Detroit.

  49. Joel in Seattle

    July 26, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Actually, isn’t JJ Putz from the Detroit area?

  50. MCM

    July 26, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    OH boy – that loss was a real punch in the gut, especially cuz Jonesy was so flippin’ close to shuttin ’em down.

    Let’s see how the Tigers do tonight with their ace on the mound and backs up against the wall. This game is now bigger than last night’s – let’s hope Verlander is on his game and the the rest of the team come out with bats a blazin’!