Game 83: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: I’ll be honest with you. Going into this series I didn’t have big demands. As long as the Tigers didn’t get swept, I figured things would be okay. However, with that requirement out of the way I’m going to greedy and ask for a series win.

Tonight it will be Nate Robertson taking on Scott Baker. With the lefty on the mound today there is no Joe Mauer or Jason Kubel for the Twins.

Baker is riding a 4 game quality start streak, but he’s racked up pitch counts of over 100 by the sixth inning in each of the last 3. That typically isn’t a problem for him against the Tigers who seem to swing early and often against Baker. Baker sports a 2.28 ERA at home with only 2 of his 10 homers allowed at the Metrodome. Miguel Cabrera is out of the lineup so it will be Grandy in center and kids on the corners.

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

Expect the Twins to test Marcus Thames at first base with a handful of bunts.
DET @ MIN, Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Well, the defense was good. The Tigers turned 5 double plays, including 3 in the first 3 innings. Clete Thomas chipped in a nice diving catch on a foul ball. Of course there were plenty of opportunities for double plays because Nate Robertson (and later Zach Miner) was pretty awful. It was the first time this year that Robertson didn’t make it through 5 and the first time he allowed more than 5. He basically pitched from the stretch all night.

Meanwhile Scott Baker was quite good. He seemingly was ahead of most Tigers hitters either 0-2 or 1-2 and that’s a tough way to hit. It explains why the Tigers were probably going after so many first pitches. From a pitch count stand point that made Baker work, but that’s because they were missing or fouling off those first pitches.

The Tigers got decent middle of the order production with multi hit games for Guillen, Thames, and Sheffield. But run scoring was limited because Granderson and Polanco combined to never reach base.

But all good things must come to an end. Time for a new winning streak tomorrow.

116 thoughts on “Game 83: Tigers at Twins”

  1. “Expect the Twins to test Marcus Thames at first base with a handful of bunts”

    Expect Marcus to test the Twins with a series of line drive gappers, 420 foot funk bombs, and all around manliness.

  2. I hope Cabrera gets back soon. That said, I’m glad that Marcus Thames can slide over there and play a decent first base, and that Clete and Joyce can fill in in the outfield. Interesting (i.e. extremely shorthanded) lineup tonight, but I have confidence that they can at the very least play good ball and keep it close.

  3. Looks like Gardenhire changed his mind… Mauer, Morneau and Kubel will be hitting 3,4,5. It makes sense… Lefties have hit Nate better than righties this year. They have kind of a ridiculous BABIP (.362), but they’ve been more successful.

  4. I’m back to posting tonight. Been real busy lately, but haven’t missed one Mudhen game. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Wow. Mauer, Cuddyer, Kubel, and Buscher all out of the lineup? Merry Christmas in July, Nate.

  6. Wow, terrific start for Nate. 6 pitches and there’s runners at 2nd and 3rd and 0 out.

  7. Somebody explain what happened on the DP. Gameday’s description is confusing.

  8. Redmond hit a squibber to first that Thames picked up and stepped on the bag. Gomez on third was unsure of what to do and held up for a second, then tried to score anyway, so Thames threw home and they tagged him out.

    Very strange play, total gift out from Gomez.

  9. Nate has walked two guys that are pretty hard to walk: Gomez and Delmon Young.

    To be clear – not a good sign.

  10. Wow, Mike R’s prediction for Nate seemed a bit pessimistic to me before the game. Now 5.2 innings seems like a tall order.

    Cmon Nate. Throw strikes!

    UPDATE: strikeout followed by DP as soon as I posted. There’s still hope.

  11. I usually get a bad feeling about the Tigers’ chances when they blow scoring opportunities early.

    So I guess that means I should have a good feeling about their chances tonight.

  12. I see the plan now…walk the first batter or two, set up the double play, seems to be working so far…

  13. Outside of Morneau and Monroe, this lineup has 15 HR in 1204 AB (79.8 AB/HR). If Nate works the top of the strike zone, I don’t see how it goes badly.

    Just for fun, Thames has 15 HR in 148 AB.

  14. I think Nate’s having trouble finding the strike zone tonight, based on the guys he’s walked. Expecting him to locate within it might be a bridge too far.

  15. I think a major league pitcher can locate within the strike zone if that’s all he’s trying to do. Nate doesn’t have to be ultra precise or clever or anything. If he gives the Twins pitches to hit in the air, he has a great performance.

  16. The Twins sent Gomez on a hit-and-run and Casilla hit a soft liner up the middle. Polanco fielded it on the hop and tagged Gomez who was sliding past him into second, then threw to first to nip Casilla.


  17. That pitch bounced about 100 feet, and with haven’t-gotten-a-man-home-from-3rd-yet at bat

  18. Why is Nate even bothering with the wind-up? At any given point he’s only a pitch or two away from needing to go from the stretch.

  19. Get your notepad, Nate. Baker will show you how to throw a shut-down inning after your team scores.

  20. So, do the Tigers actually have a run? Because there’s no record of a run ever scoring on Gameday.

  21. Baker owns the strike zone tonight. 79 pitches – 61 for strikes. And it doesn’t seem like the Tigers are chasing too many bad pitches (if Gameday is accurate – never quite sure about that).

  22. Yeah top of the 4th with guillen on 3rd Baker bounced a pitch about 100 feet:
    guillen scored
    gameday ignored.

  23. Ryan – They’re not really chasing. Everything is a strike, and most of the time the Tigers are down 0-2 in the count. They’re just not centering or catching up to the strikes they’re seeing.

  24. This game is a “make-up call” from the baseball gods that incorrectly allowed the Tigers to win last night.

  25. 5 straight hits in the 5th, still 0 outs. 11 hits for the game. Maybe we should pull Nate?

  26. Well, I picked a good game to have all of the gametrackers go into the Twilight Zone… I can’t get MLB, ESPN, or Sportsline to work. It’s not worth trying to follow this debacle anymore.

    I’ll be happy to read about the miraculous comeback tomorrow…

  27. This is the point in the game where I shift my effort to rooting for Cleveland. Go Cliff.

  28. Can Zach Miner just start everyone off with a full count and we can save 10 minutes per game?

  29. Billfer, will Nate’s stats normalize? Or will he just be putting this many guys on with hits the entire season. The K/BB ratio isn’t bad.

  30. Robertson didn’t have it at all tonight. The Tigers are fortunate the score isn’t 13-1 right now.

    The magic tricks in the 1st inning and the DPs were nice, but the way Robertson was pitching, the Twins were bound to catch up to him. Very few first-pitch strikes; continually pitching behind in counts, not locating his pitches … he just didn’t have it.

    Let’s put this game behind us and win the series tomorrow.

  31. So… uh… do the Jays want much for Burnett or are they just looking for a salary dump?

  32. Freddy Garcia is rumored to be getting back to full strength. Might be worth taking a flier on…

  33. “Letโ€™s put this game behind us and win the series tomorrow.”

    No, no, no….Tigers can still win tonight… down 3 runs thanx to our cleanup hitter.

  34. This crap makes me nuts. Miner is throwing balls all over the place and it’s not until the 3rd walk that someone gets up.

  35. Bullpen getting up after THREE consecutive walks? Remind me why Jim Leyland is allowed to manage baseball games?

  36. Chief – I don’t know. This wasn’t a metrodome outing. These were legitimate hits.

    T Smith – Tigers still have 9 outs to work with and are within 3. I don’t know that it is time to concede the game quite yet.

  37. “This crap makes me nuts. Miner is throwing balls all over the place and itโ€™s not until the 3rd walk that someone gets up.”

    Leyland is trying to save his bullpen even if it cost a chance to get back in the game.

    And, look. GIDP. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. If there was ever a game that screamed for Aquilino Lopez, this is/was it. I think it’s about the time of the year for all hands on deck. Unless a rotation spot opens up in the next week or so, they’ve gotta bring him back up into the pen.

  39. Alexei Ramirez with a 2-out HR in the 10th to tie it for the Sox.

    Fortunately, the sound is off and I don’t have to listen to those two knuckleheads.

    But it still sucks.

    Any chance we can steal one off Nathan?

  40. Joe Borowski just blew the save by allowing a home run to Alexei Ramirez, the skinniest man in baseball.

  41. When is Cleveland going to give up on the awful Joe Borowski?

    EDIT: Please Cleveland, keep Joe Borowski as your closer for just one more month.

  42. I don’t feel too bad about this one, I’ll feel even better if they can come back tomorrow and get a W on the way to Coffeeville.

  43. The boys are definitely battling out there, and this was a little sharper game defensively than yesterday, only the pitching was not so hot.

  44. I definitely noticed the different winds at the dome tonight. We were in center and when the Twins were hitting, the wind was in our face, and when the tigs were up, it was definitely coming from behind us. Wind may be a strong term for it, but it was noticeable. I always thought that the wind thing was a myth.

  45. With apologies to Ken from Cincinnati, I give advance warning of a low entertainment value post soon to come.

    Also, I refuse to follow any more Tigers games where the starter will be Nate “Starting Pitcher” Robertson. I’ve had enough. I’ll allow him to stay on the team and will wish him well, and I won’t insist on trading him by the deadline, but I won’t watch him any more, even virtually. The lineup has picked him up a few times, and this game it was his turn, with Detroit now missing 13 of their 8 regulars. He failed.

  46. You’ve probably been wondering. “Through 81 games, how have Tiger hitters performed during run-scoring innings, henceforth to be referred to as rallies, on an individual basis?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

    Why look at this? Of course they all hit better during rallies. These innings wouldn’t be rallies otherwise. Ah, but some may hit less more better than others, no? Let us see.


    Thames .627 in 59 PA
    Santiago .615 in 26 PA
    Polanco .603 in 116 PA – 2 sacs
    Granderson .585 in 94 PA – 1 sac
    Guillen .581 in 124 PA – 5 sacs
    Ordonez .569 in 130 PA – 1 sac
    Renteria .557 in 106 PA – 4 sacs
    Raburn .548 in 31 PA – 1 sac
    Sheffield .545 in 66 PA
    Thomas .545 in 33 PA – 1 sac
    Clevlen .545 in 11 PA – 1 sac
    Rodriguez .538 in 91 PA – 5 sacs
    Cabrera .531 in 128 PA – 5 sacs
    Larish .526 in 19 PA
    Joyce .524 in 21 PA – 1 sac
    Inge .515 in 66 PA – 3 sacs
    Sardinha .500 n 2 PA
    Jones J. .433 in 30 PA – 2 sacs
    Hollimon .429 in 7 PA – 1 sac

    What up, Gil? Go Polly go. No Pollygagging here. And the Doctor of Strong Country Funk is of course the very definition of the one-man, one-swing rally.

    LONGEST RALLY SUCCESS STREAK (consecutive rally PA)

    Polanco 12
    Thames 9
    Guillen 7
    Sheffield 7
    Cabrera 6
    Renteria 6
    Granderson 6
    Inge 6
    Santiago 6
    Jones J. 6
    Ordonez 5
    Rodriguez 5
    Larish 5
    Thomas 4
    Raburn 4
    Clevlen 4
    Joyce 3
    Hollimon 2
    Sardinha 1

    Polly’s contribution to 12 consecutive rallies: BB 2B 1B 1B 1B BB 1B 2B 1B HR HR 2B

    LONGEST RALLY FAILURE STREAK (consecutive rally PA)

    Granderson 8
    Thames 6
    Larish 6
    Ordonez 5
    Cabrera 5
    Rodriguez 5
    Sheffield 5
    Inge 5
    Jpnes J. 5
    Renteria 4
    Guillen 3
    Polanco 3
    Thomas 3
    Santiago 3
    Raburn 3
    Clevlen 3
    Hollimon 3
    Joyce 2
    Sardinha 1

    Granderson’s K K F8 G4 K F7 P5 F9 came while riding his grand funk railroad. Take that stretch out and he simply defines Detroit rally.


    Granderson 30.9%
    Joyce 28.6%
    Raburn 19.4%
    Santiago 19.2%
    Rodriguez 18.7%
    Clevlen 18.2%
    Polanco 18.1%
    Thames 16.9%
    Sheffield 15.2%
    Cabrera 14.8%
    Guillen 14.5%
    Hollimon 14.3%
    Ordonez 13.8%
    Jones J. 13.3%
    Inge 10.6%
    Thomas 9.1%
    Larish 5.3%
    Sardinha 0%

    Rally starter? Curtis owns it. Honorable mention for Pudge.


    Sardinha 50.0%
    Hollimon 42.9%
    Cabrera 19.5%
    Rodriguez 18.7%
    Sheffield 18.2%
    Clevlen 18.2%
    Jones 16.7%
    Guillen 16.1%
    Larish 15.8%
    Thames 15.3%
    Inge 15.2%
    Ordonez 13.8%
    Polanco 13.8%
    Granderson 12.8%
    Santiago 11.5%
    Renteria 11.3%
    Joyce 9.5%
    Raburn 6.5%
    Thomas 6.1%

    Gil wets the bed? Renteria a tough 3rd out? Hmmm.


    Santiago 0%
    Polanco 6.9%
    Renteria 7.5%
    Ordonez 8.5%
    Clevlen 9.1%
    Joyce 9.5%
    Granderson 9.6%
    Guillen 9.7%
    Cabrera 11.7
    Thomas 12.1%
    Thames 13.6%
    Rodriguez 16.5%
    Jones J. 16.7%
    Raburn 19.4%
    Sheffield 19.4%
    Larish 21.1%
    Inge 24.2%
    Hollimon 28.6%
    Sardinha 50%

    More than one way to look at this. Could be that Inge, Sheffield, and Rodriguez are hurting the rallies here but not killing them, though still not coming through like they should. Ordonez and Renteria, on the other hand, might be doing more with their Ks and DPs to kill innings before there is a rally.

  47. Sean:

    I appreciate your use of the lowercase “funk” to distinguish Grandy’s struggles from the Good Dr.’s nickname.

  48. Joel

    Yeah, there’s funk, and then there’s Funk. It takes a Detroit Tigers fan to recognize the difference. I think we’re very special people.

  49. I almost went even more pessimistic with my prediction for Nate today but didn’t think the Twins would actually pound out double-digit hits.

    Tomorrow will be better, though. I’m not as impressed with Eddie Bonine as others but I think he’ll have a good one tomorrow.

    Prediction: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 11 GB outs. Book it, please. Someone make sure to carry this post over to tomorrow’s game post if I don’t get back in time before the game to post it myself.

  50. Armando Galarraga still leads the team in OBP, and is ahead of a number of position players in OPS as well. Gary Sheffield has of late managed to put some OPS margin between himself and the hard-hitting Battlestar.

  51. Well, the Eddie Bonine Groundball Experience could be in for some tough sledding on the Metrodome carpet. Methinks the offense will need to put up at least 6 runs to garner a victory.

  52. Sean C. you’ve made an all time record by using 16% of the available screen space for one post. Speaking of post, The NY Post is reporting that Madonna is feshtooking A-Rod. Go Tigers.

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