Game 104: White Sox at Tigers

PREGAME:Here’s where I fess up a little. I’m writing this in the past so I don’t know what happened last night. So I can’t provide much context. The pitching match-up is Zach Miner and Javier Vazquez.

Vazquez looked nasty earlier in the year when he dominated the Tigers leading to a Leyland tirade. Since then he’s been not nearly as good. In his last 8 he has a 6.39 ERA despite striking out a batter an inning. But he can still flash the dominance with 2 10 K starts.

Zach Miner will try to stymie the Sox the same way he baffled the Royals. I think this will be a little tougher task.

CHW @ DET, Sunday, July 27, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: This series felt so much like the Twins series. The Tigers coming off a good series and welcoming in a team they are chasing. A crushing come from ahead loss, a comeback (or two) that falls short, and suddenly the team is trying to avoid a sweep on Sunday.

For that reason Zach Miner’s performance was something special. The 8th starter in the rotation came up and and held down the Sox for six innings with no walks and 5 strike outs. A terrific game.

The offense hasn’t been a problem since the All Star break and after wiping out an early 1 run deficit, added on a couple more throughout the day.

Then there is bullpen flux. Joel Zumaya was supposed to pitch 2 innings and hand the ball to Rodney. Instead he pitched into his second inning before handing over the ball prematurely due to shoulder tightness. Rodney stuck around for the rest of the game, but struggled in the 8th and took all 3 hitters in the ninth to 0-2 counts, and then 3-2 counts, before striking each out.

Zumaya is presumably out for a couple days, and Rodney definitely can’t pitch tomorrow. So if need be the Tigers will have to scramble at the end of the game. At least they have a guy with some closing experience to hand the ball to if need be.

I’m not happy with the series, but I said going in as long as the Tigers don’t get swept they’d still be in OK shape. But it sure would have been nice to take advantage of one of the first 2 games.

111 thoughts on “Game 104: White Sox at Tigers”

  1. Is there something wrong with Joyce? Why didn’t he PH last night, and why isn’t he in LF today versus a righty?

  2. I love how rod seems to think it’s a good thing that all good baseball players in lat am do is play baseball. I suppose it’s good for the white sox…less good for the countries and 99pct of people who don’t make it.

  3. Don’t look now, but Renteria is batting .333 since the ASB. Only 9 games, but it is a start. No reason why he can’t progress towards his mean.

  4. Arghhehfjhhjdsh! I hate when we strand people on second with no outs. Can’t do that guys, we need these runs.

  5. The Sox pitcher is lazier than Renteria when it comes to bending down to field a ball. That dp ball would have went thru if it wasn’t a bouncer.

  6. Miner looks so much more comfortable in a starter’s role. Whenever he came out of the bullpen, he always looked really nervous and it showed through his pitching.

  7. I love it when Rod says “They may come fastball inside to Carlos here” and immediately you see the catcher set-up outside.

  8. Sheffield looks at 2 pitches. One is a ball and one is a strike. Guess which one he swings at ?

  9. Come on, sheff’s the man. Clearly it was the right decision to make him and not thames the everyday dh. That way thames lost all his rhythm and now they both hit like gary.

  10. I was at the game Friday and normally I come home and post but I just couldn’t. Of all of the hitters on the bench, why on earth did Renteria lead off the ninth? Why can’t I stop thinking about it?? And of course the fact that Marcus just hit that HR as I was typing this furthers my distress at the Friday night mismanagement.

    Last night I had a party for my 14 year old at my house so I peeked at the game intermittently. So disappointed in JV, what a mess that was.

    However today I want to say that it has been a pleasure to watch Zach Miner bring his best these past two starts. When the team believes in a player and you see this kind of response, it’s really cool. And Go Pudge!!

  11. If edgar keeps drilling two baggers were going to have to call him extrar raketeria. He’s carrying us today 🙂

  12. Haha leyland benches thames after the jack for defense. Jim, if you think thames nets you more expected runs than joyce at the beginning of the game, pray tell why it’s different now? His spot is going to come up again in the order. And I don’t buy for a moment that superior defense is SO much lower variance that it makes up for the difference between our ops leader and a rookie (who admittedly has played well).

    And God forbid sheff get the day off for joyce with a righty pitching as well.

    A 5 year old could run our team as well as leyland.

  13. mcb – nice catch.

    Pudge with bases empty: .305 .348 .443 .791
    Pudge with runners on: .266 .314 .367 .681
    Pudge with RISP: .240 .298 .387 .685

  14. Really surprised Leyland/DD would out-and-out relieve Jones of closer responsibilities at this point.

    Good for them. Shows a sense of urgency.

    The bullpen’s still going to be a major issue, though, unless Zumaya and Rodney can settle in to top form very quickly.

  15. Is gary just trying to get to 500 and completely playing for himself only? I think he might be.

  16. Shoulder injury isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either. Finger or elbow would be a huge blow I’m hoping it’s a hamstring.

  17. I believe I seen Zumaya moving furniture around in the dugout between innings. Seemed Leyland left a lit cigarette on the bench, starting a small fire.

  18. $128M roster… and this is your closer.

    Well done, management. You get what you pay for, I guess.

  19. Man I wish we had a reliever who never walks people. Oh wait we already made him the scapegoat and blame him for everything bad that’s happened this year.

  20. Right tricep. Man these young guys are weak. Nice start to your closer role Fernando. It’s not too late to go back to Jones, is it?

  21. Jones stinks, but we just saw the other two options on this team. The bullpen just sucks. We can all freak out that jones is no mariano, but I think zoom and tilted cap fall short in such comparisons as well.

  22. This might sound unorthodox, but what if leyland were to have left thames in for joyce? That preserves our being the last mover – if ozzie wants to pitch a righty to thames we bring in joyce. I know, leaving a player in who has 20 bombs seems crazy. I just like to think outside the box.

  23. AL CENTRAL PLAYOFF TEAM RECORDS AT 103 GAMES

    1998 Indians 59-44 (28-31 finish)
    1999 Indians 63-40 (34-25 finish)
    2000 White Sox 63-40 (32-27 finish)
    2001 Indians 60-43 (31-28 finish)
    2002 Twins 61-42 (33-25 finish)
    2003 Twins 51-52 (39-20 finish)
    2004 Twins 58-45 (34-25 finish)
    2005 White Sox 68-35 (31-28 finish)
    2006 Twins 60-43 (36-23 finish)
    —- Tigers 70-33 (25-34 finish)
    2007 Indians 60-43 (36-23 finish)

    Interesting thing about those 2003 Twins, aside from the fact that they were dispatched in the first round. They went 43-33 against their own division, including a 15-4 mark against a certain hapless division rival. No hapless AL Central teams in 2008 for anyone to fatten up on.

    Let’s live in Chief Monday’s sunny world for a moment, where the Tigers are to finish 10 games ahead of the Sox and presumably win the division, as well.

    The lowest win total that has won the AL Central as presently constituted is 87. The Tigers can reach that with a mere 35 more. We’ll be generous and allow the Twins to finish a game behind the Tigers. So, from here on out:

    TIGERS 35-24 (OK)
    TWINS 30-29 (OK)
    WHITE SOX 16-42 (no way, no how, don’t even dream of it)

    So let’s be more realistic and let the Sox finish, oh, 27-32. Yes, that could happen.

    I still say we’re looking at the tag end of a “learning season” and not a stretch run, but I won’t accuse optimists of being dreamers assisted by LSD. Hope is alive! Just not for me – but as I’ve said, no playoffs doesn’t make following the Tigers a waste for me. Games they don’t win are a waste, though, so they’d better hold on today.

  24. Well, that’s another win. The Tigers won 4 of 6 games this week. Both loses were 1 run games. I can’t complain about that. Not a bad week at all.

  25. I’ll take it, but against the top half of the order, we’re sitting at bases juiced, no outs…

    But I’m all for giving Rodney a shot. Let’s sweep Cle.

  26. Well that ninth inning was reassuring, I think. We have another rollercoaster on our hands; just a faster one.

  27. Excellent game! Miner realy earned his pay and added another notch to his reputation.

    Rodney’s closing was stressful to watch with all the 3-2 counts. Thanks to Swisher, Uribe and Ramirez for going after ball 4.

    Guillen and Cabrera are also playing positions much better.

  28. I, for one, think Rodney did just fine, given that he had to emergency warm, pitch two innings, and the strike zone was only as high as the cup.

    I certainly don’t think Rodney’s earned any nicknames one way or the other…as a closer. I’ve never been a fan of his as a set-up guy, but as a closer in 08….we’ll see. As for now, sample size of N=1. And a job done.

    But then, maybe we can play “dream GM” and go back to the ’07-08 free agency right quick and look at the other options: Gagne? Cordero?

    Wood and Dotel would have been the only options that actually panned out this year — Dotel isn’t even closing and Wood is presently at his vacation homestead, otherwise as the DL. Both would have come at high dollar, and we all probably would have puked at the thought, especially any deal over 1 year.

    One more in the win column, march on.

  29. Sky! Turning it around completely! You’re the Edgar Renteria of DTW.

    I’m sorry, that cannot help but sound insulting. You’re the… um… Matt Joyce of DTW. Better?

  30. Chicago has 30 games left vs play-off contending teams teams-

    4 games vs the Yankees

    3 games vs the Rays

    7 games vs the Red Sox

    6 games vs the Tigers

    7 games vs the Twins

    3 games vs the Angels

    It’s obvious to me that their pitching is toast. The White Sox are done.

  31. Hate to rain on the F-Rod happy parade, but the Whitesox really helped us out in the ninth. I’m not complaining — at the end of the day he got three Ks — but all three of the final whiffs were ball four pitches. A little more patience and they could still be scoring runs, even as I type.

    If F-Rod is gonna be our closer, I’d like to see a little less base on balls. Bottom line: we lucked out today.

  32. When is the trade deadline ? next week ? we gotta get bullpen help! but who they gonna give up ?

  33. “It’s obvious to me that their pitching is toast.”

    And yet they managed to take 2 of 3 and close to 3 of 3 – on the road – from a team with the most dangerous lineup (on paper) in MLB with such toast on the mound, including Bobby “Toast” Jenks. With defense that sucked, one might add.

    No, I’m afraid the White Sox aren’t done, and the only team they’re afraid of plays in a dome and owns the Tigers. Bit of a sticky wicket for our heroes.

  34. Hate to rain on the F-Rod happy parade, but the Whitesox really helped us out in the ninth. I’m not complaining — at the end of the day he got three Ks — but all three of the final whiffs were ball four pitches. A little more patience and they could still be scoring runs, even as I type.

    If F-Rod is gonna be our closer, I’d like to see a little less base on balls. Bottom line: we lucked out today.

    Hold on a minute. So when another team strikes out Pudge on a pitch out of the zone does that mean the Tigers aren’t lucky or is it because there is something fundamentally wrong with Pudge? Ramirez and Uribe swing at a ton of pitches and don’t walk much so it’s not a surprise that they chase pitches. I’d like to see less walks also, and more efficiency, but give credit it where it’s due.

  35. The good news is the Sox and Twins play each other the next four days.

    If the Tigers can win 3 of 4 vs. the Indians, they’ll close the gap against against one of the two teams ahead of them.

  36. The White Sox are 21-19 against the playoff contenders so far, so I don’t see their outlook as grim. The Tigers are 17-27 against the contenders, so their outlook, if not grim, certainly isn’t any brighter.

    The Sox and Tigers are virtually identical as hitting teams, statistically. In pitching, well, the Tigers walk a batter more a game and strike out a batter less a game. The Tigers give up .5 hits more per game and yield .75 more runs per game. That’s significant, all of it. In my estimation, it would take quite the offensive rampage for the Tigers to close that performance gap, because there is no evidence that the Tigers pitching is all of a sudden going to go early 2006. And here’s the rub: The Sox have Jenks. The Tigers don’t.

    Not that I want it (though it’s better to me than the White Sox), but I favor the Twins to win the division. Their offense has put up only 10 runs less than the Sox (and only 12 less than the Tigers) with half of Chicago’s HR. They do better on the field than on paper, always a good sign. Mostly it’s just a hunch.

  37. Some of the credit goes both ways. I’d give Rodney more credit, but it’s hard to say if he was purposefully throwing those pitches in those locations given how erratic his control was.

    Anyway, better to have a guy whose velocity will get him out of some jams in the 9th than a guy who has nothing to fall back on when his control fails him.

  38. The White Sox pitching has given up 5+ runs in 13 of their last 15 games. The 2 games they didn’t crap themselves Buehrle was pitching.

    In this 15 game span they’ve given up 98 runs, which is 6.5 runs per game. That is what I call toast.

    Vazquez hasn’t won a game since June 17th. He has a 6.38 ERA since June 6th.

    Contreras has won 1 game since June 10 and has given up 36 runs in his last 37.2 innings. He’s currently on the DL.

    Danks, has given up 14 earned runs in his last 17.2 innings pitched.

    Jenks, just came off the DL last week because of back problems. His durability is a huge question mark right now. His BABIP in the past month is .143, so it seems luck has been on his side, since he can’t seem to strike hitters out anymore.

    Linebrink, there other best guy out of the pen, went on the DL a few days ago, with shoulder problems.

    For a team with such a tough schedule ahead, it surely don’t look good for them.

  39. Billfer

    “So when another team strikes out Pudge on a pitch out of the zone does that mean the Tigers aren’t lucky or is it because there is something fundamentally wrong with Pudge?”

    There is a double standard at play here. It’s called holding your own team to a higher standard. I think it’s a valid point of view for any fan who wants the Tigers to not only win, but win well. As I see it, Tigers fans ought to be the harshest critics of the team.

    Unfairness (again, as I see it) only comes into play when we hold Tigers to different standards relative to each other. And I mean in terms of getting the job done play by play, day to day, making a net positive contribution, not everyone being expected to put up the same numbers overall.

  40. Zumaya is Spanish for Fidrych. I have no confidence that we will be able to rely on him, ever.

  41. I would be more willing to give credit if he’s purposely throwing the high heat to get those guys… it’s just harder for me to buy it in back-to-back-to-back 3-2 counts… if he’s trying to get a guy to chase on a ball-four pitch, that’s pretty risky, in my view — even if it’s a guy like Pudge who’s notorious for chasing.

    But like Kyle said, it’s still preferable to have a guy who can at least fall back on his stuff to get guys outs. For that, I gladly give F-Rod his due.

  42. Chief

    I swear I’m not a White Sox fan, but listen:

    The Sox have also scored 93 runs over their last 15 versus the 98 allowed. This is what I call “Tigers.” And the Sox are 8-7 over that span.

    The Tigers over the last 15: 107 runs (don’t forget the 19 with 10 off of Gobble/Hillman), 73 runs allowed, 8 games with 5+ runs allowed, which translated to… an 8-7 W-L. How did that happen?

    If you see these 15-game trends as sustainable over 58-59, be my guest. There is hope, I won’t deny it.

    But – Jenks owns the Tigers. He could pitch from a wheelchair and still get them out. And there are 6 more games that may very much resemble the last 3, so we have Jenks to look forward to from 4 to 6 more times, I’d say.

  43. “Zumaya is Spanish for Fidrych. I have no confidence that we will be able to rely on him, ever.”

    I’m with you 1000%, cib. Except that my dictionary translates “Zumaya” as “Kerry Wood.” Semantics.

    EDIT: Sorry, misspelling. That’s “Kerry Would-Have.”

  44. sean: The Tigers could of easily won 14 of the last 15 games. They lost 6 one run games in this span. This tells me that they are on the edge of pure domination.

    Most people here pick apart the Tigers and dissect every little mistake they make. Like everyone else, I could relentlessly pick apart the Tigers all day if I wanted to.

    I’d rather pick apart some of the opponents to give perspective to the obvious problems the Tigers have.

  45. The Tigers don’t need to figure out Jenks. I doubt he see’s another save situation against the Tigers again.

  46. Secrets revealed! Baghdad Bob resurfaces as Chief Monday! Baghdad Bob was the American press’s nickname for Saddam’s propaganda minister:

    On April 7, 2003, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf claimed that there were no American troops in Baghdad, and that the Americans were committing suicide by the hundreds at the city’s gates. At that time, American tanks were patrolling the streets only a few hundred yards from the location where the press conference was held…”

    Chief Monday, I hope you are enjoying your new life here in America!

  47. Fact is that since June 7th the Tigers have the most wins and the most runs scored.

    That’s not my imagination.

    TM_______ W__L___RS_ RA_
    Detroit___ 28__15__ 238_181
    NYY _____ 27__14__200_133
    Minnesota _26__16__223_179
    LA Angels__25__16__200_176
    ChiSox____24__18__234_209
    Tamp Bay__24__18__187_173
    Texas_____23__17__225_233
    KC ______23__21__210_227
    Toronto___21__20__186_176
    Boston___21___19__188_ 154
    Oakland__19__22___160_156
    Baltimore_18__25__236_245
    Seattle___17__25__155_167
    Cleveland_17__24__199_207

  48. I am 100% prepared to take heat for this but:

    If this move of Rodney to the closer’s role means that Todd Jones is now a middle reliever, then I am 100%, firmly against this move. I’d much rather hide Jones in the back of the bullpen (like you hide your 5th starter in the rotation at the back) and keep Rodney for high leverage situations like the 7th and 8th innings (how many times have we bickered because of a blown lead in those middle innings, before we can even get to Jones?). That is inherently more important now with Zumaya’s “tightness” that took him out. Who do we have to bridge the gap to Rodney now? Casey Fossum to Todd Jones to Rodney. Ooooohhhh, I’ll pass on that, thanks.

  49. There is a double standard at play here. It’s called holding your own team to a higher standard. I think it’s a valid point of view for any fan who wants the Tigers to not only win, but win well. As I see it, Tigers fans ought to be the harshest critics of the team.

    I don’t have a problem with holding your team to a higher standard, but how many times have we heard about the Tigers deficiencies relative to another team? “Contending teams like the xxx do xxx. The Tigers don’t and that’s the difference.”

    When it is the Twins it’s small ball love and doing little things like giving away outs bunting and stealing lots of bases. Never mind the back they failed to execute bunts and have a non-descript stolen base rate.

    How often did we hear about how a Tigers offense made a crappy pitcher look like Cy Young? What exactly did the vaunted White Sox do to Zach Miner today?

    This weekend the theme could be that the White Sox just know how to win the close games. That may be, but where is the mention of them kicking the ball all over the infield for 3 straight games.

    Yes, the Tigers have been a disappointment this season. But there isn’t a gulf between them contending and the teams in front of them that have their own problems.

  50. Agree with Mike that, if Jones ends up getting used in 7th/8th inning situations with runners on, this move will be a bad one.

    Jones needs to pitch in games where we’re behind–and he needs to come in to start innings, not enter in the middle of them.

  51. Anyone notice how the Wild card race is tightening up. The Red Sox have really cooled off. The wild card could very easily come from the Central.

    The Tigers last 4 games vs TB could be the deciding factor in who wins the EAST and the Wild Card.

  52. Hey Mike R.,

    I completely agree. The high-leverage bullpen ace is far more important than a closer who might trot in for the ninth to protect a 3-run lead against hitters 7-8-9.

    Zumaya was the most important pitcher we had in 2006 for this very reason. A team’s most dominant reliever should be the high leverage situation guy, getting out of those wicked jams in innings 6-7-8 or 9 that threaten to significantly reduce his team’s chance of winning the game.

  53. re: Yes, the Tigers have been a disappointment this season. But there isn’t a gulf between them contending and the teams in front of them that have their own problems.

    Actually there is. It’s a gulf of 6.5 games which at the end of July is pretty Persian Gulf-like. The margin between contenders and also-rans is never that great, but it is unmistakable.

  54. They need a starter if they plan to do more than sniff the playoffs. They need Burnet or Cain or that caliber — or trade Maggs, Porcello and a 1st Round pick for both Lincecum and Cain: why, the Tigers would win five WS in a row.

    Now I’m out of aerosols…

  55. Chief, if the Sox, Twins and Tigers all continue to play at the same pace since June 7th, then we still come up short if my scribbles on a post note with a cat hanging all over me are correct.

  56. Actually there is. It’s a gulf of 6.5 games which at the end of July is pretty Persian Gulf-like. The margin between contenders and also-rans is never that great, but it is unmistakable.

    So on Friday afternoon when the Tigers were 5.5 out they weren’t contending then either? In that case the losses on Friday and Saturday weren’t a big deal at all because of the Persian Gulf like deficit they need to overcome. Or is there a magical threshold between 5.5 and 6.5?

    I know the Tigers aren’t in a good position, and they pissed away an opportunity this weekend, and opportunities are becoming fewer with each day. But 6.5 isn’t at all insurmountable. The Tigers aren’t a bad team. There is considerable talent that has underachieved. I don’t know if they can overcome the early season suckiness or the loss of 40% of the starting rotation. But they absolutely are still in contention.

  57. ron: like I said, the Tiger seem to be on the verge of taking it to another level. How many one run games have we lost recently? 6 in the past few weeks. With a little bit of spit and polish those would be 6 more wins.

    The Tigers could easily go on a stretch of 25 wins in the next 30 games before we hit September.

  58. The Sox will absolutely hit a skid at some point in the next couple months. The key will be for the Tigers to avoid one or be the ones that prolong or begin the one that Sox are in. Everyone remember 2006 when we put the Twins down, what, 10 or so games this time of the year? Yeah, I thought you did.

  59. Man, if you trail two teams by a sizable margin and you have one of them in your ballpark before 140,000 fans and you lose two of three that seems pretty much a disaster. The Tigers trail by 6.5 games behind two teams. They are behind a boatload of teams in the wild card. Sure, it’s possible they can pull off the miracle, but the truth is this team is 160-156 since 8/1/06. That is the ultimate in mediocrity. Sadly, this isn’t the NBA where mediocrity gets you in the playoff.
    We can keep calling them contenders, but that’s wishful thinking. Sure, they could rip off ten wins in a row. That would be awesome. But they’re much closer to going down as the most disappointing Tigers team of my lifetime.

  60. The wild card could very easily come from the Central. . .The Tigers last 4 games vs TB could be the deciding factor in who wins the EAST and the Wild Card.

    Okay, Chief. Now you have me confused. Are the Tigers going to win the Central by 10 games over the Whitesox or the wildcard?

  61. Billfer

    I know you see a lot of negativity here, and combined with what you encounter from fans in person and (almost certainly) on Detroit sports talk radio, I can understand being good and sick of it. And you’ve got company, I know.

    I don’t like to build up the White Sox or the Twins or put down the Tigers, but what I can’t get past – occasional realist that I am – is that the Tigers are 12-17 against these two teams. So I feel compelled to speak up sometimes with this reality check when I hear about the “inevitable” collapse of rivals that have been simply, factually, and demonstrably better than Detroit in the only way that counts.

    If anything, I’d rather hear a compelling argument as to why the Tigers “inevitably” will sustain a .600+ pace for 58 more games. I don’t think there is one, given all the question marks, but at least an attempt would be more positive than “Aw, those other teams really suck, despite their W-L records.”

  62. I’ll take a pass on the methadone, but even so, Mr. Positive sez:

    Game 104 was BIG, Zach Miner. Thank you. Miguel Cabrera came though big time. Pudge was 4 for 4. Pudge, must you make me want you back for 2009? I thought I was over you.

    Ever wonder how many RBI Marcus Thames has that turned out to be the game winners (plus several more that should have been – see bullpen)? You might be surprised.

    Somehow, I see Dolsi ending up as the closer before the season is over. Maybe only because they’ll desperately need Rodney earlier than the 9th. I don’t think Dolsi will necessarily end up with the job nailed down for 2009, but I think he has it in him to be a closer. Somehow.

    Yeah, Jones. Wow. I don’t know what they’re going to do with him. Deal him? Would they? Would he ask for it?

  63. “Okay, Chief. Now you have me confused. Are the Tigers going to win the Central by 10 games over the Whitesox or the wildcard?”

    I’m not sure why you are confused. Ever hear of Minnesota? I’m not going to spell everything out for you.

  64. “the Tigers are 12-17 against these two teams.”

    To me those 17 games that they lost are 17 games that they have learned from. You only can learn from your mistakes.

    Head to head match-ups are only do or die come play-off time.

    You can pick apart the Tigers all you want and you’ll find negative after negative if that’s what you are looking for.

  65. “the Tigers are 12-17 against these two teams.”

    FWIW, the Tigers are actually 10-17 against Chicago and Minnesota. Not to dwell on the negative, but Sean C. is an idiot when it comes to getting certain facts straight. It’s just a matter of record.

  66. Stephan, that stat of 160 and 156 since 8/1/06 with this team tells it all. As one of the big boys on the block, this has been a total embarrasment. No team in the history of Detroit sports has achieved so little with so much. That WS defeat by the Cards was the worst- a flyweight knocking out a heavyweight.

  67. 160-156 since 8/1/06? OK then. That’s a little bit of cherry picking, don’t you think? That would then completely discount the fact that they were at one point good enough to be 76-36 (!) in ’06. Or that they won 95 games and 88 games respectively in ’06 and ’07. After they’ve played the 162nd game this year, then you can make conclusions about the makeup of this team.

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