Game 88: Tigers at Mariners

PREGAME:: Nate Robertson and Ryan Rowland-Smith. Rowland-Smith has 2 last names. That’s enough motivation to want and beat him right there.

DET @ SEA, Sunday, July 6, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 4:10

POSTGAME: Well, I’m back from my weekend escape. It was nice to stay offline, even though I did see most of the baseball this weekend. And today there was a lot of baseball to see with a 15 inning event.

Nate Robertson was awesome today. Some jumpy Seattle hitters put the ball in play early and Robertson went 9 innings only allowing 4 hits, 2 of which were infield singles. He “pitched to contact” with great results and the only 2 walks allowed were intentional.

The bullpen was also impressive with Joel Zumaya, Freddy Dolsi, and Aquilino Lopez preceding Todd Jones. The group through 5 scoreless innings.

As for the Tigers offense. Eh. Marcus Thames and Edgar Renteria struggled mightily. And Pudge Rodriguez put together 4 hits, but none were of the rocket variety. Two bloops, a grounder through the middle and a groundball that hit first base and changed direction.

The offense did one thing right and they were quite selective. They drew 9 walks throughout the day and ran up pitch counts. Rowland-Smith was done after 5 innings and 87 pitches. His replacement lasted only an inning throwing 38 pitches. Corcoran got through 2 innings on 21 pitches, but Batista and Green followed with 20 pitch innings before giving way to Jimenez who pitched 4 easy shutout innings.

Basically the Tigers won this one on attrition when the Mariners turned to Jamie Burke, the back-up catcher who featured an arsenal of 84mph fastballs around the plate. Cabrera torched one for a double. But the Tigers didn’t rock him. A wild pitch and a sac fly were the all the damage they could muster against what was essentially a BP pitcher.

The Tigers needed to notch one for the left hand column, which they did. And while a loss would have been pretty crippling, the win doesn’t feel that great either. But the red-eye flight home will be a little more pleasant.

166 thoughts on “Game 88: Tigers at Mariners”

  1. It sucks to see Renteria in the lineup today. he really gets my hater-aid flowing.

    And for any of you who think it is irrational to put so much criticism on Edgar Renteria, please note that he now has the lowest OBP of any of the regulars on the team at .309. Brandon Inge, who everyone dreads to see come to the plate, has an OBP of .311. Pudge is at .325.

    Edgar Renteria stinks. If the trade last winter only cost us Gorkys Hernadez, I still would think it was a horrible move. DD really blew that one.

  2. Renteria has been lousy. But this whole notion that the team’s struggles are due to one or two players is absurd. A couple weeks ago you aimed everything at Cabrera. Now you’ve found a new target for your two minute hate. Meanwhile about a dozen other guys are performing below expectations.

  3. I had delusions of grandeur to someday watching Grandy, Hernandez and Maybin in the same outfield. No gappers. Wouldv’e been fun.

  4. Sure it is absurd to blame one player for the team struggles, but if it were rational to blame one player, Renteria would be it. Remember, we don’t have Jurrjens in the rotation and that could have impacted the W/L record significantly this year.

  5. We’re back to playing AL teams. Zero clutch hitting, pitching, fielding, managing.

  6. Yes, I’m beginning to think that June was fools gold. Perhaps this team really does stink and we are back to that.

  7. Rentaria: 0-2 on three pitches. 2 LOB. I think the reason for his slump may be that he has no patience. Swings early and doesn’t get he pitch. Makes it easy for the pitcher. He needs to spend some time on the pine.

  8. Raburn HR, 1-1 game. Granderson singles. They seem to have made some adjustments to Rowland-Smith

  9. Guillen hit a sure-thing double play ball, but Lopez appeared to have forgotten how many outs there were

  10. The Raburn HR was on a pretty good fastball with location right off Raburn’s scouting report. He surprisingly went high out of the zone to hammer it.

    Robertson got through the sixth inning in about two minutes.

  11. Good to see Nate having an outstanding start after his last game. Tiger hitters need to get their offense going to give him the W

  12. Granderson needs to turn this mini-losing streak around right here. Extra base hit with the bases juiced would be nice.

  13. Choke, choke, choke. Tigers just hit with bases empty.

    It’s up to Nate to keep the zeros coming until the Tigers can muster another bases empty homer

  14. So let’s see who wants to call this one…does Leyland pull Robertson with about a 75-pitch count for Rodney in the 8th? And does he give up a walk and a home-run?

    Or is Todd Jones the goat in the 9th?

    Or do the Tigers actually score another run at some point?

  15. Exactly, and if it isn’t Renteria, it has to be either Grilli or Sheffield or Inge I think.

  16. I’m kidding obviously, I think we can all agree to pin the last couple losses on Dave Dombrowski…

  17. IBB works like a charm. Nice one JL.

    Nate now has seven innings on only 69 pitches. looks like he can easily close this one out.

  18. “Thames has earned a walk” says the announcers, as he is called on strikes…

    Thames has been swinging for the fence on every pitch–and I’m all for that

  19. These announcers may be dull, but they are kind of the opposite of the White Sox guys with Homer Harrelson–they called Ichiro out stealing yesterday when the umpire called him safe, and they often point out when the Tigers are getting bad pitch calls.

  20. This is what happens when you squander opportunities to score. Eventually the opposing team pitching staff gets it in order and the opportunities dry up.

  21. “Oh Edgar, how you have lost your way”

    Hopefully he loses his way to the airport for the next plane to Detroit 🙂

  22. “Hopefully he loses his way to the airport for the next plane to Detroit ”

    Don’t get your hopes up; he’s easily located with that glowing bat.

  23. “Tigers vs. Mariners: Feel the excitement!”

    For a second I thought I saw:

    “Feel the excrement”

  24. OK, so maybe they won’t “score a run” or “win” but that doesn’t mean they aren’t playing well

  25. What a game for Nate. Nine innings and only 4 hits and two of them were infield jobs bobbled by Renteria.

  26. Billfer: and not to mention the big stat I think–only 2 walks, and both intentional

  27. With this great Seattle pitching, I am at a loss to understand how they could be 17 games under .500.

  28. What are the odds of the Tigers only scoring 1 run in a game where Pudge has 4 hits?

    Of course following Pudge in the lineup is Renterrhea (is my spellling OK, Dave BW?)

  29. Let’s spend a moment here for some Pudge appreciation: He deserves to be in the All-Star game this year. He’s hitting up near .290 as a catcher, and still has a cannon for an arm. 4 hits today, and left stranded by the rest of the Tigers’ O.

    Also a moment to appreciate Nate: 9 innings, 100 pitches, 0 unintentional walks. Wow. That’s pretty sweet stuff, even against a mediocre team like Seattle.

    And finally, a moment to appreciate the quality of the Seattle defense… They’ve roasted us this series.

    No excuse for leaving 12 men on base. None.

  30. Jim Leyland sucks! He just refuses to bunt, ever! If he bunted in the top of the tenth to move Guillen to second, then Carlos most likely scores when Pudge singled. Jim Leyland is the last guy I want managing my team in a tie game! He is the most over-rated person in baseball ever! This isn’t just an odd game. This happens all the time.

  31. The good thing about Renteria making the last out of last inning, is that he won’t be up for awhile.

  32. True Leyland doesn’t bunt–but on the other hand, neither do many of the Tigers (I remember Renteria’s last “bunt” attempt). Other than Inge, Pudge, and maybe some of the new guys I don’t feel like a sac bunt is a sure thing on this team…

  33. John –

    Bunting Miguel Cabrera = not a good move. There are people and situations to bunt with. That wasn’t one of them.

  34. John:

    Discounting the few times that Leyland has gotten lucky, he has sucked for the last 425 games.

  35. We need a long ball now. The rookies are all getting it done in the field, now lets have some Offense!

  36. I think the plan is that eventually the Mariners will run out of pitchers and concede the game.

  37. Maybe being patient and seeing lots of pitches doesn’t work for the Tigers. Look at the last few games. Lots of pitches by the starters, generally pretty selective at-bats. But they aren’t hitting the ball for crap.

  38. I’m not talking about trying to bunt for a hit. I’m talking about a sacrifice bunt. This game should be over! I love the move to pull Rayburn for Joyce too! WTF?

  39. Zumaya is showing a lot better command of the old number 1.

    Hitting 100mph several times. He’s getting back in form.

    Great Job Joel.

  40. Zumaya’s only had one, high effort-exerting pitch today. He has two on a good day. And Leyland thinks he can become a starter in the future? Ha!

  41. Ron: Zumaya showed he’s worth the trust Leyland gave him.

    Ultimately, the manager has to trust his players to win. You can’t pull wins out of a hat.

  42. Well, now we’ll see Renteria. I’m rooting for him(but not counting on him) to be the guy. He probably needs it the most.

  43. Just came in on this one – it already feels like a loss with all those LOB. They need to win this somehow…

  44. How is it that Seattle now has a pitching staff that is invincible? Hopefully Cesar Jmenez is done for the day and the Tigers can pitch two more scoreless innings.

  45. If I were in the stands in Seattle and the game got into the 15th with Cesar Juminez is still coming in to pitch, I would jump out into the field and tackle him.

  46. I told you that was the plan today, to run them out of pitchers (see above).

    I must be a Seattle fan though, I was just cheering on Thames’ fly out

  47. Renteria might as well bring his mitt up to the plate – it would do as much as damage as his bat does. The one good swing of the day and he gets snakebit by Ichiro.

  48. If Seattle had scored two and won to give Burke the win, that would’ve been the saddest thing I ever saw in 37 years of watching Tiger baseball.

  49. Well, Rod, I certainly hope the hitters aren’t happy with this win. Exceptional pitching by all concerned, though.

  50. huge win.

    great pitching by both sides, why didn’t Dickey or Rhodes come in for the Mariners??

    Renteria has been robbed of 4 hits this weekend by superb defensive plays. He is in a slump but sure ain’t getting any help from lady luck.

  51. The Mariners have the worst record in baseball — this win would mean almost nothing to them. It would be silly to waste their whole pen in an attempt to be 36-53 instead of 35-54

  52. weren’t they like 9-3 in their past 12 tho, I don’t think they’ve mailed it in yet. The new manager has sparked them it seems.

  53. Renteria needs a week off and maybe a trip home to box Orlando for right to the Most Overrated SS Playing in MLB belt.

    I bet that then he comes back and tears the cover off the ball, while flashing fresh rawhide in the hole with range like a young buck.

    Yep, that and a fresh round of stalwart confidence from one Jimmy “Loyalty” Leyland. All the aging kid needs.

    In all seriousness though, I know he ain’t going anywhere. But he does needs a good period of rest to change the image so he can get back to his mediocre self. That’s critical to our club’s shot at staying in the race….if we are even in it.

    Heck, look at what the bench did for Pudge.

  54. the problem with the admittedly good defensive plays on Renteria of late, is that they were almost all bloops that someone dug to and got, vs actually driving the ball. He drove the last one to RF today a bit, but again, that was against a backup catcher, correct?

  55. It’ll be interesting to read Riggleman’s explanation for sending Burke out there. Sure feels like he just decided to give us the game.

  56. WCT: “The Back up Catcher sort of Looked like Jones. Pitch to contact”

    A little, except for that extra secret pitch he has, the “pitch to backstop”

  57. “It’ll be interesting to read Riggleman’s explanation for sending Burke out there. Sure feels like he just decided to give us the game.”

    Yes, although I have a feeling it would make more sense than some of Smoking Man’s “explanations” of moves he makes….

    Seriously though, when he was pitching the guys in the dugout were laughing and cheering him on and I thought, damn, these guys are actually having FUN today…I guess the freedom of low expectations or something. Considering what he’s working with, I think Wriggleman is doing a great job.

  58. Eric Jackson: “Looks like Cleveland has traded Sabathia.. Glad to not see him Tuesday if true”

    Be careful what you wish for. We could instead end up suffering the humiliation of being shutout by Jeff Weaver.

  59. Chris (Renteria Fan Club, President): “It sucks to see Renteria in the lineup today. he really gets my hater-aid flowing.
    And for any of you who think it is irrational to put so much criticism on Edgar Renteria, please note that he now has the lowest OBP of any of the regulars on the team at .309. Brandon Inge, who everyone dreads to see come to the plate, has an OBP of .311. Pudge is at .325.”

    To be fair, in the crucial batting with RISP category, Renteria’s OBP rockets up to .327 (that’s before today). Of course the dreaded Inge in the same category has an OBP of .421…

    It’s interesting when you look at OBP and not just BA, you see the Mudhen Tigers fill up the bottom of the list: Sardinha .143, Joyce .273, Larish .273, Hollimon .280, Raburn .289, Clevelen .296–except for Clete who is way up at .378. It seems of the call-ups Clete may be the only one who so far has a major league eye at the plate

  60. Just watched on dvr (grr didn’t record enough and missed 15th inning!)

    Wow were the three called third strikes on thames, grandy, and guillen hose jobs.

    Was sheff hurt? I don’t get why he wouldn’t be hitting for renteria with men on in extras.

    Thank god we won. This would not have been a fun one to lose (and frankly wasn’t very fun to win either – I can’t stand watching other teams make great play after great play and then have to see the polanco and thomas errors at crucial moments).

  61. I agree about the fielding (and Cabrera has to share credit with Polanco for his error; he should have at least gotten a glove on it and kept the runner at first–I’d be willing to bet Polanco made several throws like that during his errorless streak…).

    At the same time, that just points out even more how well Robertson pitched–he had the mental toughness today to get guys to hit ground balls to 2nd, watch the guy end up on 2nd base, and still get out of the inning just fine, he didn’t let anything bother him out there. It may have been one of the best Tiger pitching performances of the year actually.

    And Zumaya was quite good as well.

  62. lets see…CC or Weaver…CC or Weaver…can we have Weaver he just might be the cure for our hitting woe’s…bring him on

  63. Jim rested Edgar again today so while he has been resting the last two three games he is now officially 1 for 100000000000000000000000000000000

    great job by the Robertson and the bully today …wow… got in some trouble but all of them made pitches..Rodney were you paying attention
    Zoom might be back

  64. Been busy all weekend. I saw every game (DVR). I also checked out the blogs. Very good stuff, as usual. I can’t believe Sat. night’s game. Oh well. The Seattle announcers are so annoying. I tried to be open minded while watching the games, but they are so bad. We have a .500 team right now. I hope this is the lowest we see the rest of the year. Talk to you all this week. GO TIGS!!

  65. I won’t watch Nate, but I can still root for him and congratulate him on a performance like this.

    Anyone who watched this entire game gets an “I am a REAL Tigers fan” button. I do not get one.

    Good Lord. What is up with the hitting again? I thought this had been taken care of in May already.

  66. OK that was a crazy game, the one good thing was after every inning more mariner fans poured out and we got to keep moving down closer. And as I stated to my Tiger fan friends on the way out, ‘wow I’m really glad we didn’t sit thru 15 innings to see a loss!’

    It made my ride back to Portland much better so I’m sure it was the same for the team!

  67. I had to stop watching in the 11th because watching the Tigers’ hitting made me sick to my stomach. I stopped puking in time to see Renteria fly out against a pitching catcher. Then I had to go back to the bathroom.

  68. All of the comments here are way more interesting than the game was. I was officially boycotting the game. Went grocery shopping, turned on the radio in the car, and heard it was still going on. Glad we won but to have to go 15 innings to get a stinking run off the Mariners? There is something really wrong here.

    I have to say that I like Guillen but I can’t stop remembering that it was his ego that brought us Renteria. Remember when he “agreed” to move to first base but only if he were replaced at SS by an “all star caliber” player? What if the team had just said to him, get over to first base! Think we would have been that much worse off with Santiago and some of the other young players posted out there – – and at the plate?

    Just a thought on a much-needed day off. I’ll be there Tuesday evening hoping for the best, as always!

  69. When Santiago’s ready to go again, here’s a question to ponder: Do the Tigers….

    A) Send Holliman back down or
    B) Tell Renteria he’s injured?

  70. Also, Regarding the M’s decision to send in the back-up catcher for the last inning (from

    “Arthur Rhodes warmed up, but couldn’t throw well enough after sleeping wrong on his arm. Closer Brandon Morrow was shut down for the day because he’d pitched in four of the last five days.”

    (my emphasis)

    Sometimes, it’s better to make something up… Or do you think Rhodes had to make something up, and this was the best he could come up with?

  71. Renteria since June 1 : .213/.283/.241

    Oddly enough, 15 full time players (50+ PA) have a lower OPS over that span. You think Edgar’s bad? Varitek has a .388 OPS and he’s an all star. Omar Vizquel has an absolutely circus-bad .330. Bengie Molina, who was super hothothot for like two months has a .522. Jose Vidro, DH, has a .482.

    I swear I don’t mean to defend Renteria. I was just shocked and delighted to see that there are colder hitters in the majors. Also surprising: the next worst Tiger (50+ PA) over that time period is Maggs, .747 OPS. .747 is a lot higher than .524. There really is a case to be made that Renteria is hurting the Tigers far, far more than anyone else.

  72. I also sometimes take the day off work when Dave BW sleeps on his arm the wrong way, too. Therefore, Rhodes must have been telling the truth. This is what is known in formal logic as a “tautology.”

  73. “When Santiago’s ready to go again, here’s a question to ponder”

    That’s a possibility I never considered. I could get behind keeping both Hollimon and Santiago while Edgar does a 15-day DL stint. Or 60-day. Either way. I want for him to rest up a bit, that’s all.

  74. Renteria just needs to start channeling his Inner Sheffield. I mean, Renteria needs to stop channeling his Inner Sheffield.

  75. Lay off of Edgar already. He’s sporting a 70 OPS+. So he’s only 30% worse than league average, OK. As a side note, it’s easier to view a player’s baseball-reference page when you type in their actual name, as opposed to the stupid names I give them. ‘Elmers’ Renteria brings back no info, nor does ‘Gil’ Cabrera or Freddy ‘Solid’ or ‘Johnny McStrikeout’. Just a helpful hint…

  76. …What if the team had just said to him, get over to first base! Think we would have been that much worse off with Santiago and some of the other young players posted out there – – and at the plate?

    It’s not too late. Renteria can by outta here by July 31, if we can somehow find another team to take him off our hands. If I were DD I would be pitching him hard to some other contender in need of a SS and try to get something good in return — anything. Believe it or not, I heard a rumor that the Redsox were interested. They hate Lugo that much over there I guess.

    I would much rather see Santiago, Holliman — even Inge — at short rather than Renteria.

  77. lmao, the Sox fans would go nuts if they traded for Renteria. They hated him so much in ’05…maybe not quite as much as they hate Lugo, but wow.

  78. Julio Lugo would be intriguing. He could probably obliterate the Tigers record for Times Grabbing Crotch per Plate Appearance, also known as TGC/PA…

  79. I would say if Boston fans hated him with this line:


    Tiger fans are downright forgiving with:


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