Game 89: Indians at Tigers

by billfer on July 8, 2008 · 301 comments

in 2008 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: I’m not big on advocating games as must-win. The term is way overused and it’s something I’ve heard thrown around at least a dozen times already this season for the Tigers. So I won’t call this a must-win. Instead I’ll call it “they better freakin’ win.” It’s not that the game holds that many ramifications. But the Tigers send out their ace against a replacement starter. A replacement starter with a 7.53 ERA and half as many homers as strikeouts. It’s time for the Tigers lineup to wake up.

Jeremy Sowers takes the mound for the Indians. The last 2 times he faced Detroit he went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits. I’d take that again. If you look at his splits, they are all bad except for when the hitter is down 0-2. So Tigers hitters, don’t do that.

Justin Verlander, who was moved up a spot with the off day allowing him to make 2 starts on the homestand, will look to be more efficient. He’s been racking up strikeouts, but racking up walks as well with 12 in his last 17 innings.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Prior to tonight’s game Placido Polanco will become a US citizen. So we’ll have to remember this day to check his splits by citizenship.

CLE @ DET, Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Well 9-2 will certainly do. I have to admit I was worried at the outset. Verlander needed 25 pitches to get through a 2 run first inning, while it took the Tigers 9 batters before they hit a ball hard. But then it all got better.

The Tigers remembered they were facing Jeremy Sowers. Justin Verlander remembered he was a stud and the rest was gravy.

  • Very happy to see Verlander have a light workload with only 99 pitches. He’d been piling up the pitch counts as of late.
  • Miguel Cabrera seems to be hitting better with the bad hip flexor with a 4 hit night including a couple of sore leg friendly homers.
  • Marcus Thames stopped the sucking with a double and a opposite field homer yet he still isn’t allowed to finish a game.
  • And Edgar Renteria reached on an error. He seemed to like his time on base because he ripped a solid single to center his next time up snapping an “awful for his last lot of at-bats” funk.
  • Aquilino Lopez looked good. Real good.
 
 

{ 301 comments }

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Not a Tigers comment, but the Cubs just announced they traded for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin. Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, and a minor league catcher going to Oakland.

The arms race in the NL Central continues.

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Wow, I went back to the “Ingish” thread and it scared me back here. Who knew it would deteriorate that much during an 18-hr spaghetti-eating binge? So much talk of uranus (and no mention of Carlos Maximus?), and so much comparing of sun and moon stats, (with no mention of the sun’s effect on Tiger hitters?) such chaos! Play ball!

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 7:11 pm

“the Cubs just announced they traded for Rich Harden”

Dick Pole wonders: would it have killed the guy to go by Dick Harden??

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Damn, that’s a total steal on the Cubs’ part.

Their pitching is going to be incredible.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Nice hanging curve JV.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:18 pm

V gives up an HR to Jhonny. 2-0 Indians. Yeesh.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

He gets a K to end the inning, but that was a pretty wretched start to his outing. 26 pitches already.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:20 pm

That HR was on the dreaded high changeup

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Yes and no, IMO Dave. Harden has a loooooooong injury history and is a free agent at the end of the year.

Gallagher projects as a middle-of-the-rotation guy, Murton has good peripherals but has never played every day, and Patterson is probably a backup infielder.

I would say small advantage to the Cubs, but if Harden makes all his start for the rest of the year, I would agree it’s a bigger advantage for the Cubs.

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Well there’s only so much you can do when you have to face opponents like Jhonny Peralta and Jheff Clements

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Not a good start for JV. He’s not entitled to bad ones anymore, either. He used those up earlier in the year.

Here’s hoping he settles down and the lineup pounds Sowers.

Mike in CT July 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm

No more JoBo to kick around anymore. Sigh.

Jeff July 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I haven’t seen the numbers, so this is just a guess: But it appears that Verlander hasn’t gotten nearly as many swinging strikes this year–lots of 2 strike foul balls. And that would really run up his pitch count.

Meanwhile Sowers has an 8 pitch first inning.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm

It is a good contract exchange for the A’s. On the other hand, it severely curtails their chance of contention this year. I know they were intending to rebuild to begin the year, but they have a decent shot at the wild card as of right now. I suppose Beane is to be commended for sticking with his original season plan — it’s a pretty gutsy move to forsake an unexpectedly good year.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm

At any rate, the AL is rapidly running short of great pitchers.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Easy second inning for V. Two strikeouts and a flyout

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Much better second for JV.

Forty July 8, 2008 at 7:34 pm

If the pitching in the n.l. is better than the a.l. now would it be too much to ask for edgar to hit better in the a.l. than n.l.?

T Smith July 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm

I have one question — and more of a rant.

If this game is a “they better frickin win” game, why isn’t Guillen playing? The whole team just got a day off, you’d think our most consistant hitter (whose batting .500 against Sowers) would be in the lineup.

If he’s hurting, that’s one thing — but I think at this critical juncture in the season the Tigers need to put the best lineup out there — especially with Maggs out. When we’re 15 games out in September, Guillen can rest for the rest of the season, for all I care. But maybe that’s the idea, to put the team in a position to be 15 games out by Sept. 1

This lineup stinks. I hope two runs isn’t insurmountable.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Dave, I didn’t even consider contracts in my “analysis”, but it’s clearly a plus for Oakland from that perspective, as they get 3 guys that can contribute at the ML level NOW, for less than the cost of one starter. I don’t think the dropoff from Harden to Gallagher will be as big as some people think. The kid can throw.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm

I seem to recall the Tigers having trouble beating replacement starters. Smith-Jones or Johnson-Smith or whatever his name is in Seattle comes to mind.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 7:40 pm

T Smith, Guillen’s wife had a baby yesterday.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I’m a Cubs fan (for those keeping track, my fandom encompasses Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Cubs), and it has been much to my frustration this year that Gallagher’s ability in the majors is at this point mostly theoretical :)

K-man July 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Just how many ground balls to the shortstop can one man hit?

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:42 pm

And the offensive coma continues……………………

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Forty: The pitching isn’t better in the NL – overall, nothing is better in the NL. A few superstars here and there, but team by team a much weaker league.

T Smith: Leyland is an idiot.

RoseTattoo July 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Carlos isn’t hurting. His wife went into labor. Not sure if there is a baby yet or not.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Gallagher has had flashes, Dave, but definitely struggled to find consistency. His minor league numbers are promising, though, very good WHIP, good K-rate, and minimal walks. For a guy with a power arm, I like his chances at the big league level. He’s only 22. With the big ballpark in Oakland and no double-switch, he may have some longer outings than with the Cubs.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Yeah, Guillen should forget about that baby — doesn’t he know there’s kind of sort of a pennant race going on??!?

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Mark: Gallagher also has perhaps the most frightening stock photo of any player in baseball today.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm

“Guillen’s wife had a baby yesterday” – congratulations to the new father.

It was thoughtful of Leyland to give Carlos the day off, but he is still an idiot.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Typical recent Verlander outing. Lots of pitches, lots of strikeouts

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Sizemore stole second. Is that legal? Watching the Tigers I thought you had to wait until the ball was over the plate before you step off the base.

T Smith July 8, 2008 at 7:53 pm

I wasn’t aware of the baby. Been out of touch the last couple days.

But yes, Leyland’s still an idiot.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Dave: on that there is no dispute.

Is Magglio so critical to our lineup that we can’t score more than 2 runs without him in it? This is getting ridiculous.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 7:57 pm

That a boy Raburn and Grandy!

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Carlos says: condemnant quod non intellegunt

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Raburn double followed by a Granderson RBI single.
2-1 Fundamentally Racist Franchise

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Take Magglio’s hair out of the lineup and the offense has no strength.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Granderson a run scoring hit vs. a leftie. That’s something to cheer about.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Thames double makes it 2-2!

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm

woo-hoo!! runs!!

charlie July 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm

i thought leyland was one of the most respected managers in the game…i read that somewhere…really…no really i mean it…not sure if it was in the freep or mad magazine but surely i did read it.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Holy Crap!! It’s the bizzarro Tigs.

Mike R July 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Everytime I see Jeremy Sowers I keep thinking “how was he a 1st round pick, twice, in two separate drafts?”

Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggsssssssssssssssssssss!

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Miggy is the man!!!

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Cabrera HR, and it is 4-2 Good Guys.

Allow me to reiterate my season-long theme: Jeremy Sowers sucks.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 8:02 pm

and Miggy too!!

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Grandy hitting .302 vs LH pitching this year now (13 for 43). Not for a high SLG, but still encouraging given last year’s results.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Miggy looked awful rounding the bases. Hopefully 3 days of doing nothing over the AS break will let him heal a bit, because it feels like the bat is heating up.

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Unforunately 3 days of doing nothing over the AS break will let him eat a bit.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm

You have to give credit where credit is due – it was pure genius on Leyland’s part to let Miggy hit there.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Verlander cruises through the inning on 6 pitches.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Whoa. JV. That was impressive.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Nice quick inning for JV.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 8:16 pm

With the Sabbathia trade yesterday, the Indians have got to be down. Obviously management is giving up on ’08 and the liklihood of more fire sales has to be on their minds. We need to take advantage of that and kick ‘em good two in a row.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Verlander with 7 strikeouts through 5. His curve is just ridiculous.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I joined the game on Clete’s out before the Raburn double and the fine offensive show that followed. Verlander looked “WOW” in the 4th and only slightly less in the 5th. Man is he efficient tonight. Lousy Tiger ABs in the 4th, not just because they were outs.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:30 pm

COUNTRY STRONG! Sowers does not look pleased. 6-2 Tigers

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Country Funk strikes again.

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 8:31 pm

country power

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 8:31 pm

actually a pretty good pitch by sowers, but no match for marcus.

Kathy July 8, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Oh, my! Just what the doctor ordered. Tigers are startin to make me feel good again.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Rod: “Miggy’s the kind of player that can give you a piggy-back ride for a week — come on fellows, hop aboard!”

I just… wow

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Sweet Tigers 5th! MARCUS, my man!! Miggy is unstoppable, hitting way above the Cabrera line now. Only the sad spectacle of Sheffield’s AB dampens spirits.

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Oh jeez, Sean, I totally forgot Sheffield was even on this team!

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 8:42 pm

They should release Cabrera. He sucks and is going to be out of baseball in two years.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Top 6th – Wow, this is Verlander the Ace.

He’s not up yet, but… I get an Inge vibe from Raburn. He gets a hit, and all of a sudden he thinks he can hit anything, and of course then he doesn’t. Correct me if I’m wrong. Correct me with a HR, Ryan.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm

9-pitch inning for JV. Indians may be heading for the exits (of the season).

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Mark: The great thing about Chris is that he somehow lacks the shame to accept accountability for that kind of insanity

Chris July 8, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Now this is the Verlander we know…

Man I really hope Renteria gets a hit. he must have zero confidence right now

Jeff July 8, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Official scorer wouldn’t cut Edgar a break there.

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Was that some sort of professional courtesy by J-honny to help a fellow shortstop down on his luck?

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Mark in Chicago

I laugh every time you post that.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Sheffield-Rodriguez-Renteria=black hole no matter how you order it.

Chris July 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Rodriguez has been hitting the ball pretty well lately. I wouldn’t call him a black hole

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Sowers is out. And he sucks.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Bottom 6th – The fine job by Raburn and Granderson with consecutive singles makes me forget the bad things I wanted to say about Pudge and Edgah. That was just nice pitching by Slocum to Polanco. Tough break. I had visions of a 2-run single there.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Top 7th – That wasn’t exactly dominant, but Verlander is pitching well enough to go the distance. Do you let him, with all the overwork concerns?

Chris July 8, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Cleveland made the most out of those lone two hits in the 1st because Verlander wasn’t going to give them anymore….

Verlander = Stingy

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 9:07 pm

HR #2 for Miguel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Verlander will be out. He has to start again against the Twins. I say take him out. Rest him for the twinkies.

Steve in OH July 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm

This is the Miggy we all were expecting back in April!

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Sean C.

Pudge says take that. :)

Steve in OH July 8, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Pudge!

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 9:11 pm

IROD homerun, and it is 9-2. They sure do pile it on.

billfer July 8, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Vince – Rodriguez is actually having a decent year. He slumped badly in May but I have no complaints with his production.

Hey, Edgar Renteria got a line drive!

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 9:13 pm

ATTN: RENTERIA BASE HIT

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Even Edgar gets a hit. Don’t waste it all boys.

billfer July 8, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Chris – Do you think that Cabrera can stick around for 3 years now?

Mike R July 8, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Good for E-Rent. I have defended his defense but not his bat this year. I really hope that he gets it going offensively. I think he’ll have a solid 2nd half this year when he gets some rest over the All-Star Break.

Chris July 8, 2008 at 9:16 pm

“Chris – Do you think that Cabrera can stick around for 3 years now?”
OK ,OK… He’s got my permission

T Smith July 8, 2008 at 9:16 pm

And Renteria decides, since it’s a blowout, it may high be time to snap his 0-ad infinitum and pad his BA…

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Royals up 4-1 in the third against the black sox. Too bad Twins are up 4-2 in 8th.

billfer July 8, 2008 at 9:17 pm

You know, before the Cabrera homer I was about to complain about the removal of Thames from the game. If they wanted to strengthen the outfield defense, why not move Thames to first and let the gimpy Cabrera rest if they thought more offense wasn’t needed.

But I like the homer too.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Bottom 7th – thmaes lifted for Joyce? Um, OK.

HR #2! Yeah Gil! Keep it up.

Before the Pudge HR, I thought, I have no confidence in 6-7-8 today at all.

Before the Renteria single, I thought, Renteria is beneath contempt.

Before the Thomas K, I thought, Thomas looks like crap at the plate today.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Nice line for Verlander. 2 hits and 1 walk. I hope we see that his next start.

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Cabrera is en fuego.

T Smith July 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm

The Indians are a wounded and demoralized team. Let’s not get overly excited, just yet. I want to see this kind of beating against the Twins.

billfer July 8, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Nick Blackburn shut down the Red Sox tonight. Maybe he’s good and it wasn’t just the Tigers sucking last week.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Rodriguez AVR and OBP are up a bit, but he is on a pace for a lower SLG and fewer RBI than last year (if he gets the same no of ABs which he proabably won’t). Was his production acceptable last year? It looks to be something less this year.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Top 8th – Aquilino sits ‘em down! If you’re out there, Sky, this is Rodney in 2006. Throwing strikes, getting outs. Only blemish the Raburn error. I thought he had Gutierrez on pitch 4, actually. One pitch out for Sizemore. Yes.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Baker shut down the red sox yesterday, too.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Red Sox just tied up the Twins in the 8th.

Chris July 8, 2008 at 9:33 pm

BoSox Tie it up at 5-5

Alex July 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm

On April 24th, Polanco was hitting .140. Now he’s hitting .312. Why do we ever doubt him?

McB July 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Buried in this fine evening – another crappy performance from Sheff’s kitchen.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Blackburn is a typical Twins pitching prospect in the Brad Radke mold – he puts the ball over the plate and doesn’t walk anybody. Even though before tonight his BAA was .294, he had walked only 16 in 104+IP for a 1.31 WHIP. 0 walks again tonight in 6IP. Apparently good things can happen when you don’t walk anybody.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Botom 8th – did Raburn scorch it to 3B? That red dot on Gameday looked so hot. Did Curtis kinda chase pitch 2? Don’t see much of that these days. Polanco was ready for that one – I wasn’t expecting an out. Musta hit it good.

billfer July 8, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Pudge had a .294 OBP last year and he’s over 330 this year. I think that’s more than up a little. Yes he’s giving up 15 points of slugging, but I’ll sacrifice the 3.5% drop in slugging for the 12% increase in not making outs.

Last year was unacceptable. This year is acceptable.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Red sox just took the lead on the twins, black sox still losing.

Alex July 8, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Red Sox are winning!

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Nice! Indians no-hit after the first inning

JFunk July 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Boston just pulled ahead of Minn with a 4 run (and counting) 8th.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Red Sox hammered on Matt Gurrier, a weak link in the Twins bullpen.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Top 9th – Remind me not to complain about Lopez being back as a bullpen guy. 3 up, 3 down. Tigers 9, Indians 2. Feels like 99-2. What a job. 2 hitter! Yay Justin. Yay Tigers hitting. 2 errors… again. Doh.

Big game, Miguel Cabrera!

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

KC up 4-1 vs Black Sox. Maybe we’ll get some help tomight.

Kyle J July 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Pudge’s batting stats are particularly acceptable when you consider that he’s stepped up defensively this season. Seems like there have been at least 4-5 games where he made a defensive play that almost single-handedly kept the Tigers in a game (ala throwing out Ichiro on Sunday).

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Polanco. 1 for 5. Hmmm. Rescind his citizenship. But don’t deport him.

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I’ve been overly excited since the day we traded for Cabrera. This is his best day at the plate as a Tiger. Now I’m beyond over excited

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 9:45 pm

They made it look easy. Do it again tomorrow.

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Minnesota’s pitching is vastly over rated. The ChiSox scored something like 50 runs against them in a 4 game series not too long ago. Their days of over-achieving will soon come to end.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 10:01 pm

With Hernandez going against Beckett tomorrow, the Red Sox have an excellent opportunity to sweep the Twins.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Chief – Actually, Cabrera has had 1 or 2 better days at the plate as a Tiger. There was a 2 HR, 5 RBI game early in the season, against the White Sox, too, I think.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Really early in the season – late April i believe.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:08 pm

“Wow, I went back to the “Ingish” thread and it scared me back here.”

This from Coleman, Master of the Delirious. I tell you, there is no appreciation for comedy gold any more these days.

You try to entertain, and all you get is complain complain complain. Well, you asked for it. More STATS will soon be on the way.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Neither the Sox or the Twins are the same team on the road (nor are the Tigers, for that matter). The Twins have played a TON of home games.

The team that can play best on the road in the second half will probably win the division. Given that the Tigers are done going west and don’t have to go to NY or BOS, I like our chances. With any luck we catch a young TB team feeling the pressure of a pennant race when we go there.

Royals extend to 5-3 and still batting in the 6th.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Yeah, Vince. It was a while ago. I’ll settle for a game a week like this from Gil.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Hey, “pennant race” watchers. It’s July 8.

just teasing.

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm

The Tigers have a .724 winning pct in the last 29 games. If Mike Tyson were a Tiger fan he’d be ecstatic.

IMO, the Tigers are the benchmark for other teams. The Tigers really are that good and can be better if they didn’t have so many injuries.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Hey Sean,

How’s the HDTV and broadband connection at home?

just teasing ;-)

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:18 pm

If Mike Tyson were a Tiger fan he’d be ecstatic.

I…I don’t even know what this means. Can someone please explain it to me?

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:19 pm

“Oh jeez, Sean, I totally forgot Sheffield was even on this team!”

Well, I can appreciate comedy gold, anyway.

Chief Monday July 8, 2008 at 10:21 pm

That’s just a Tysonism back in the days when he was a good boxer.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Boston beat Minny, 6-5.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:24 pm

“How’s the HDTV and broadband connection at home?”

Jeez, Mark, you don’t have to get mean now.

Just wait. One fine day I will have broadband, and then no game thread will be safe. I (EDIT: Can’t you tell?) am taking typing classes even now to prepare myself for out-statting and out-one-linering even Coleman and Dave BW! Billfer will gaze in wild wonder at the joy he has found.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I admit that I am glad to hear the Twins lost, and will be even happier to hear of the Sox’s demise.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Sorry, Sean. That probably was a little below the belt.

If your contributions during work hours (with access to broadband) are any indication, I think Coleman and Dave BW should be sweating for their jobs.

Their jobs are to post snarky one-liners and volumes of stats on DTW, right?

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 10:42 pm

“Their jobs are to post snarky one-liners and volumes of stats on DTW, right?”

Yeah, as far as I can tell. Billfer has so far refused to divulge their actual job titles, but I’ll get to the bottom of it. I aim to be the Geraldo of DTW.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Mark In Chi:
FYI
`Contrariwise’, continued Tweedledee, `If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’
– Lewis Carroll

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Sox score two in the 8th to tie it in KC, 5-5.

For some reason KC left Ron Mahay (a lefty) in to face Crede with 1 out and runners on first and third, with a very tough righty in Soria in the bullpen. This after Mahay already gave up an RBI single to Swisher. Crede hit a sac fly to tie it, but a strikeout/popout/DP grounder was a distinct possibility from Soria.

This madness of only using your closer in the 9th inning has to stop. It’s ruining baseball.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Vince in MN:

Que?

cib July 8, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Nice night at the ballpark. Except Sheff with all those popups, looks like he did when the shoulder was hurting. Something to worry about.

Vince in MN July 8, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Mark in Chi

“If Mike Tyson were a Tigers fan he’d be ecstatic.”

Therefore, by analogy:

`Contrariwise’, continued Tweedledee, `If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:05 pm

“This madness of only using your closer in the 9th inning has to stop. It’s ruining baseball.”

Depends on the closer. I’d rather not see Todd Jones in the 8th.

But yeah, it’s ruining my hopes for a KC win. I had no confidence in that 5-3 lead.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Oh man, Vince. You clearly have me confused with someone much smarter, because I never would have put that together.

Very clever though.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Point taken, Sean. It absolutely does depend on who the guy is.

But if he’s (supposedly) one of your best pitchers, you don’t leave him in the pen when you need a K or a ball on the infield somewhere.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:09 pm

“Nice night at the ballpark.:

What a great game to see, cib.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Of course you’re right about Soria, Mark. That guy eats the Tigers alive, as I recall. Is his ERA below zero yet?

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:14 pm

On the other hand, KC recently blew a lead against the Rays and took it in extras, so there’s hope. Or?

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Soria’s stats are still preposterous:

1.62 ERA in 39IP, 21H, 9BB, 44K, 95.1LOB%

He’s been a little lucky, his BABIP is .205 and his LD% is an unsustainable 8.8%, but his FIP is still a very good 3.07.

He eats everybody alive, it looks like.

Mike R July 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, wait.

Mike Tyson was a good boxer and not just well known for assaulting women, housing tigers, and getting his face tattooed? WHO KNEW!?

Coleman July 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Chief Monday (on Tuesday): “IMO, the Tigers are the benchmark for other teams. The Tigers really are that good and can be better if they didn’t have so many injuries.”

Hold on, Inge is back soon!

(See! Who says I lost my appreciation for comic fun. Now enjoy the new Inge thread).

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Oh boy! If we’re re-starting the Inge thread, that means the “we never should have traded Jurrjens for Renteria” conversation can’t be far behind!

That’s the other one that will just not die. Please people. Let it go. You can’t undo it. Just accept it and move on.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Mark in Chicago

I’m going to all 3 TB – Tigers games. I will do my best that first weekend of August to real in 3 wins. Oh yeah why did we trade Jurrjens for Renteria? :)

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Not funny, Brian. Don’t do it. Don’t mess with the bulls on this site or you’ll get the horns. That’s like telling your girlfirend you love her and then saying you were “just kidding”. Yeah, it’s funny for a second, but then…

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Did I hear the name Inge? Can I use this as a pretense to showcase my new Inge-based song parody, “Whole Lotta Glove”? Please? Pretty please?

Coleman? Dave BW will hate us for it, but some of the lines are sooooo good.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Sox have the bases loaded and 1 out in the 11th with everybody’s favorite, AJ Pierszinski batting.

Alexei Ramirez just interfered with the KC second baseman to force an error to load ‘em. Umps missed the call and everyone was safe.

I hate the Sox.

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Screw that. Why did we release Carlos Pena? If we hadn’t released him, we’d never have moved Guillen to 1st, and we’d never have gotten Renteria, we’d still have Jurrjens, and we’d never have traded for Cabrera, so we’d still have Maybin, Miller, Rabelo and FuneralOnAShip.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm

And of course AJ hits a two-run sac fly. Gathright and Teahan collided in the outfield and fell down, soRamirez scored from second.

7-5 Sox.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Just kidding. I’m over the whole, why did we do this and that, too. I hate the black sox.

Mike R July 8, 2008 at 11:39 pm

If the Inge discussion is currently up to bat (ooh, see what I did there?) and the Renteria one is on deck, then I suggest clutch hitting be in the hole, please!

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:40 pm

FuneralOnAShip. Wow. I was mystified, figured it out, all in such a flash that I didn’t have time to laugh. But that is quite good.

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Nope. The correct method of pluralizing RBI is in the hole already…

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:42 pm

I can’t claim credit, Sean. The boys over at The Dugout coined that one in an epic fake chatroom including Gary Sheffield. I highly recommend it. I’d link to it, but my comment probably wouldn’t pass the filter.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:43 pm

You can’t trust the Royals at all anymore. They are no friends to the Tigers. I hereby renunciate them.

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:44 pm
Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:44 pm

I think it’s “RBI are in the hole already”

Dave BW July 8, 2008 at 11:45 pm

That’s one of my favorite Dugout names ever

David G. July 8, 2008 at 11:46 pm

And the Renteria trade looks worse by they day. Absolutely brutal. Jurrjens is sailing. Again. And he’s 22. And Edgar “Ground out to Shortstop” Renteria is 32.

Super.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:46 pm

“Nope. The correct method of pluralizing RBI is in the hole already…”

Man, this is getting to be like brain teasers or something. Ordonez?

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:46 pm

No Mark… the method is in the hole… not the RBI.

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Sean, there was a discussion a while back about the correct way to pluralize RBI. Is it RBIs? RsBI? RBsI? Is RBI already plural? No one knows.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:48 pm

“I think it’s “RBI are in the hole already””

No, it is “is.” As in “correct method is.”

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Aha, Joel. I was too clever for my own good. Thanks for the link – I’ll check it out.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:50 pm

I know, Joel, I was jus’ teasing. Anything to avoid discussing Inge or Renteria.

Let me see if I can settle this:

Inge is our David Eckstein. Generally bad at baseball, but does enough “scrappy” and “grinder-y” things to make some fans and media types swoon.

Jurrjens is our John Smoltz. Well, we did that already and it sucked then, too. Oh well.

Can we put a moratorium on these topics now?

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Joel

That is funny. Royals just tied the game.

Mark in Chicago July 8, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Royals tied it in the 11th with a 2-out double from Alex Gordon.

Linebrink, not Jenks in the game for the Sox.

7-7, winning run at 2nd for KC.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Jenks went on the DL I think.

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Except, Inge is actually good at some baseball things, like defense, and can play more than 2 positions. Eckstein… pretty much just (s)crappy.

Mike R July 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm

The Dugouts are classic. I love the one with Dmitri Young buying his kids Fruit by the Foot. That one gets me every time. Let me go find it.

Joel in Seattle July 8, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Can we start talking about the trades – good or bad – that the Tigers will be making in the future? It’s never to early too start second-guessing.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Oh man, that Dugout thang was deadly. I thought we were bad. We’re amateurs.

Brian in Tampa July 8, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Can we get Harden. Nevermind.

Sean C. in Illinois July 8, 2008 at 11:57 pm

No, let’s talk about the Renteria trade some more. There are still unresolved issues.

Silence is consent where I come from. One Inge song parody coming right up…

Joel in Seattle July 9, 2008 at 12:00 am
Mike R July 9, 2008 at 12:01 am

Here it is. This is the one I loved the most. Cracked me up.

http://dugout.progressiveboink.com/archive/jon138.html

Mark in Chicago July 9, 2008 at 12:03 am

On a serious note, I wonder who the Tigers will target at the deadline. They no longer have the top-notch or ML-ready prospects to work a major deal, so I suspect that will limit our options. We certainly have holes to fill.

I think (and hope) DD does not want to trade Porcello, by all accounts he seems to be legit.

Joel in Seattle July 9, 2008 at 12:04 am

Mike… that was the first post I read on that site. A great one to start with.

Joel in Seattle July 9, 2008 at 12:07 am

Mark:

Unless the White Sox start losing a game every week or so, the Tigers probably won’t be buyers at the deadline… There are too many holes in this ship to shore up with the chips they’ve got.

If the Tigers can’t get it done with what they’ve got, they’re stuck waiting till next year, in my opinion…

Mark in Chicago July 9, 2008 at 12:07 am

minimitri, haha too funny!

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:07 am

That SteakGrowsOnDmitri is just plain wrong. Why do I expose myself to such stuff? How can I ever feel guilty about anything I post here ever again?

Chief Monday July 9, 2008 at 12:12 am

Those NL line-ups make every pitcher look good. Somehow Todd Jones even had a 2.10 ERA when pitched for the Marlins.

Mark in Chicago July 9, 2008 at 12:13 am

You’re probably right, Joel. It may be a function of lack of trade pieces as much as anything.

However, I am of the opinion that the Sox are playing (and especially pitching) WAAAAAAY over their heads. Gavin Floyd will come back to earth at some point, and it’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch.

The Twins will not continue to hit .310 or whatever with RISP, so I think the Tigers can still win the division.

Incidentally, the KC manager just sent Billy Butler up to sac bunt after a leadoff walk. I do not criticize the concept of playing for one run, but asking a power/batting average guy to bunt, something he’s not accustomed to, is not a smart move.

The Sox turned a double play.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:13 am

Well, thanks for the Dugout stuff, guys. I thought I was disturbed, but I see there’s more work to be done.

Chief Monday July 9, 2008 at 12:27 am

The Tigers really don’t need to be buyers. They have more players than positions to fill. They are stacked with reserves.

How many minor leagers were called up for the Tigers this year? Around 10? I’d say we have quite a few ML ready prospects. Joyce, Clevlen, Thomas, Larish, Dolsi, Bonine, ect.

That depth has helped get them to where they are right now. We’ve had 13 or 14 guys on the DL already this season and we’re playing great baseball right now. They’ve won 21 out of the last 29 games.

There is no reason for the Tigers to panick. There is reason for other teams to panick though because the Tigers are steam rolling over everyone. At the pace we’re at, It won’t be long before the ChiSox and Twins are biting are dust.

Joe July 9, 2008 at 12:34 am

The correct pluralization of RBI is RBI. If you spelled it out, it would be “runs batted in”.

Joe July 9, 2008 at 12:41 am

Chief Monday:

They don’t have more starting pitchers than spots to fill.

Vince in MN July 9, 2008 at 12:54 am

RBI is to RBI as Sheep is to Sheep.

Joel in Seattle July 9, 2008 at 1:01 am

The White Sox won. I hate those guys.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 1:35 am

Mark in C-town: “On a serious note, I wonder who the Tigers will target at the deadline.”

I hear they are trying to work a Renteria/Inge for David Eckstein deal.

Discuss.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 1:36 am

“The correct pluralization of RBI is RBI. ”

Do we need to know this? Doesn’t this only happen when you score multiple runs?

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 1:39 am

Vince: “RBI is to RBI as Sheep is to Sheep.”

This seems a bit grim somehow, even after a brief carousing run…a little too “ashes to ashes” or something…

On the other hand, perhaps counting RBI will help me sleep….

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 8:23 am

Behold my favorite Dugout! Behold it! http://dugout.progressiveboink.com/archive/b87.html

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 8:40 am

Dave, that’s the same one Joel posted the first time (farther up the thread). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s funny.

My favorite parts are Marcus’s response to Gary, and Eulogio’s nervous, uncomprehending role in the whole thing.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 8:44 am

“I just wrote maths and drew a star around it”

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 8:56 am

Fun fact:

Edgar Renteria has a 17-game no RBI streak going. There’s one guy who doesn’t have to worry about the pluralization. Edgar is to RBI as sheep is to pork.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 9:15 am

More fun facts:

After the first 8 games of 2008, Magglio Ordonez was hitting .273 with 0 RBI.

From May 2 to May 15, Miguel Cabrera had no RBI. The Tigers went 2-10 during that stretch.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 9:26 am

Damn it, Sean, these facts aren’t at all fun!!!

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 9:37 am

2008 GO-AHEAD HITS

Thames 9 (1 every 20 PA)
Cabrera 14 (1 every 26 PA)
Ordonez 12 (1 every 28 PA)
Guillen 8 (1 every 44 PA)
Polanco 5 (1 every 68 PA)
Granderson 4 (1 every 71 PA)
Inge 2 (1 every 86 PA)
Renteria 2 (1 every 163 PA)
Sheffield 1 (1 every 213 PA)
Rodriguez 1 (1 every 281 PA)

Granderson. Polanco, Thames, and Inge all come to the plate with fewer runners than average on base. The others, more.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 9:41 am

LONGEST NO RBI STREAKS (games)

Renteria 17
Cabrera 12
Inge 10
Sheffield 9
Ordonez 8
Guillen 7
Polanco 7
Rodriguez 7
Granderson 6
Thames 5

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 9:42 am

You got me there, Dave. I will try to be more positive today with later “fun facts.” The Tigers do, after all, have a winning record.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 9:56 am

Justin Verlander from June forward:

4-1, 2.74 ERA, 46 IP, 44 K, 18 BB, 3 HR, .589 OPS against

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 9:59 am

Kenny Rogers from May 26 forward:

2-2, 2.62 ERA, 55 IP, 18 K, 16 BB, 4 HR, .698 OPS against

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 10:01 am

Verlander’s K numbers are pretty impressive

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:01 am

Nate Robertson from May 24 forward:

5-2, 4.34 ERA, 56 IP, 32 K, 17 BB, 7 HR, .802 OPS against

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:04 am

Armando Galarraga from May 28 forward:

4-0, 2.89 ERA, 46.2 IP, 28 K, 14 BB, 6 HR, .678 OPS against

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

“Verlander’s K numbers are pretty impressive”

Yeah. I didn’t expect such a good K/BB ratio either, with a couple wilder recent starts on my mind.

I haven’t put these 4 starters’ numbers together, but it’s obvious they’d be very impressive as a whole. Maybe not 2006 impressive, but much better than I expected to see, even though I realized things had improved.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 10:11 am

Yeah, since mid-May the starters have been throwing very well. The bullpen hasn’t been terrible. Zumaya seems to be making progress towards being Zumaya. Rodney’s a bit of a mess. Solid has been a nice surprise. Etc. If they can just pretend every pitcher is Jeremy Sowers or Carlos Silva, they should go undefeated for the remainder of the season.

Ryan P July 9, 2008 at 10:16 am

Who would have thought before the season that it would be the bats holding us back at the all-star break? Jeez.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 10:16 am

Rodney’s been extremely solid for the most part. His bad outings just happen to look really, really bad :)

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 10:17 am

I keep thinking back to around May 06, when Mike Maroth had something like a .69 ERA. The pitching was just mind-boggling that first half.

T Smith July 9, 2008 at 10:20 am

There is reason for other teams to panick though because the Tigers are steam rolling over everyone

Chief, I like your enthusiasm, but I don’t think the vast mediocrity of NL teams need to push the panic button just yet over this juggernaut of a Tigers team, being that Interleague play is done. When we start “steamrolling” teams like the lowly Mariners, and beat up on teams in our own division, I’ll start to subscribe to your theories.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 10:34 am

T Smith: The upcoming series against the Twins will say a lot about where the Tigers are at this moment in time, I think.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:38 am

“The upcoming series against the Twins will say a lot about where the Tigers are at this moment in time, I think.”

Did you have to say that, Chris? Isn’t the sense of dark foreboding strong enough already?

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

“When we start “steamrolling” teams like the lowly Mariners, and beat up on teams in our own division, I’ll start to subscribe to your theories.”

Amen, T.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:44 am

Gotta plug the Funk Doctor.

Beginning with a 2 HR game againse the Dodgers May 28, Marcus has a .279 BA/.345 OBP. 14 HR (and 19 extra base hits overall) in 116 PA since. The 27 RBI is kind of a disappointment, even as important as so many of those runs were. Typical Marcus. I would expect a full season from him at a theoretical peak to include the line 50 HR, 75 RBI.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 10:45 am

The Twins are 8th in the AL in OBP, 8th in SLG, yet 3rd in runs scored (?!). Also they have hit the fewest HR in the league (and, as you may have heard, are still 3rd in runs scored). Anyone want to bet that they mysteriously go into an offensive “slump” after the ASB?

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 10:47 am

Sean: That would be a very Chris B. Young-esque stat line for Mr. Country Funk. Last year in real life CBY had like 30 HR/61 RBI or some ridiculous ratio like that. One of my favorite stat lines from ’07.

Ryan P July 9, 2008 at 10:47 am

I kind of liked Marcus in the 3-hole last night. Definitely not the best solution, but it was nice watching a homer that wasn’t solo.

T Smith July 9, 2008 at 10:57 am

Did you have to say that, Chris? Isn’t the sense of dark foreboding strong enough already?

oh ooh. I sense this thread is about to morph into discussions about the Sun, or lack thereof, along with all its various satellites, moons, and dwarf planets.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:58 am

Quick impressions from a casual persusal of TIMES FACING OPPONENT splits (2008):

Sheffield can hit the bullpen. Nothing else.

Granderson has the most obvious “better each time” numbers. Hits the relievers very well, too.

Polanco isn’t much against relievers at all. Surprising for Mr. Clutch Contact.

Guillen is remarkably consistent overall, don’t see similar numbers like that anywhere else, except that Ordonez might be called “uniformly really good.”

Cabrera really likes that 2nd time up. HR every 14 PA, too. Does he get bored after that?

Renteria is crappy against the bullpen, yet 13 of his RBI are off relievers.

Inge likes the 1st time up, tanks after that. Lousy against the pen, really lousy.

Rodriguez also likes that 1st time up, though he also Ks with unusual frequency here. 18 of Pudge’s RBI are against relievers!

Thames, like Gil, likes that 2nd AB. Also likes to strikeout there. I should look into whether that (the good part, not the Ks) is even more true when he walks first time up. 3rd time against a starter, he’s miserable. Maybe he’s nervous that JL’s about to pull him at any moment and can’t concentrate.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 10:59 am

You couldn’t be more wrong, T. I’m in full stat mode today. No more will I be shamed by Coleman and Dave and who knows who for having a little fun!

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 11:02 am

“One of my favorite stat lines from ‘07.”

Chris: That kind of stat line bugs me, somehow. It’s just not right. A team should keep a supply of spare unassigned RBI to shield us from these eyesores.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 11:15 am

Sean: Rob Deer had a couple of whoppers for the Tigers. 1991 – 25 HR/64 RBI, 1992 – 32/64.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 11:19 am

I’m pleased to report that the staff ace is now almost a league-average pitcher, posting a 97 ERA+. Kudos, Justin. You’ve earned it.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 11:25 am

Sean: Since you are in stat geek mode today, I’ll throw you a bone. Encouraging Stat of the Day:

Curtis Granderson vs. RHP .297/.356/.505
Curtis Granderson vs. LHP .311/.354/.422

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 11:56 am

“1991 – 25 HR/64 RBI, 1992 – 32/64.”

temporarily blinded, I’m typing by touch. Excuse the typos. No more, Chris!

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Chris: That is encouraging about Granderson, to say the least. Has Curtis arrived at last, as the kindler, gentler new Gary Sheffield of the future? I guess he’ll need to walk a little more first, not that the OBP is so bad now. Not a leadoff man OBP, though – or is it?

I’m still troubled by his 1-2 count, bases empty, score tied at 5, night game, vs. lefty long relief split, though. A .000 OPS in 1 PA is troubling. But I’m sure McClendon is working with him on this.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Sean C: “Edgar is to RBI as sheep is to pork”

Ah Renteria, the other white meat.

“Inge likes the 1st time up, tanks after that. Lousy against the pen, really lousy.”

I assume you mean the bullpen and not some sheep pen? I think this just means when the bullpen is pitching there is nobody on base, which is the only time The Inge thrives…
(discuss amongst yourselves).

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Well, the AL average OBP for a leadoff guy is .342, so Grandy is outperforming that. He really should be like the #5 hitter if you ask me. But at this point there’s no one else to hit leadoff so he’s the best option there. With the Tigers lineup it’s at least defensible to have him leading off. I have no earthly idea why the Indians insist on having Grady Sizemore lead off though.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

I’m not taking the bait on that one, Coleman. By the way ‘The Inge’ sounds like some B horror movie from the 50′s. I like it.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Coleman: I think it’s a real drag that the lazy schmucks at baseball-reference can’t be bothered with more detailed splits so that I could test your theory that Inge tends to face bullpen guys with none on. Really irks me. The lack of obviously crucial splits, I mean, not your theory.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Born of the confluence of swamp slime and radioactive waste, comes a terrible blog-infesting…

well you get the idea

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:15 pm

One more mention of Inge and I shall be compelled to spill some lines from “Whole Lotta Glove.”

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:15 pm

The odds in general of Inge batting with bases empty would seem quite high actually, given that he followed first Jockitch Jones, then Renteria and Pudge (and went all oblique before Pudge got hot batwise)

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I think billfer should just post simply ‘Brandon Inge’ as one of the blog entries to see how many comments those two words would generate. Also, I’d like to see some polls added to the site. It’s an election year and I want to vote on something. I’ve got some ideas, too…

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Yeah, who is this ‘Ivan Rodriguez’ fellow that keeps hitting these days? Is he new? I’m used to seeing a catcher with a negative on-bace pct.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:19 pm

“Well, the AL average OBP for a leadoff guy is .342″

Good work. The real question is: Is Granderson’s OBP – BA differential above, below, or in line with the AL norm for leadoff guys?

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Poll: Which presidential candidate would throw the best ceremonial first pitch?

A. Barack Obama
B. John McCain
C. (write-in 3rd party candidate here)

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Only 45% of Inge’s PA have been with men on. Here’s a mysterious contrast with another dude often low in the order as well: Pudge bats with runners on 63% of the time.

It’s nice that Pudge has come around the last month or so, but he remains, on balance, a liability at the plate hardly better than Inge. Pre-oblique Inge, anyway.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:28 pm

It will be interesting to see how it works out with Inge and Ordonez swapping hairstyles for their returns. (Oh wait I think that was supposed to be a secret)

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I don’t see McCain being able to throw a pitch. Have you seen his neck? Good catcher, though, no doubt. Being a Republican, he’s already donned the tools of ignorance, in a way.

I didn’t say that.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Let the record show that Coleman is being an instigator here.

That said, Inge with long hair would, like, so totally rock.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Professor Sheff says if you take the square root of Inge’s 45% and divide it by Pudge’s 63% the resulting vector is in the general shape known as “DP.”

I refer to this theory as “another strikeout!? what could be worse?!”

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm

writes maths at bottom of page and draws a star around it

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm

In an unrelated circumstance I was just discussing the term “dark horse,” which doesn’t exactly mean “longshot” like many think. It came from the practice of taking, say, a prize grey horse, dyeing the thing dark brown, running it under the name of a hopeless nag, and running home with your 50-1 odds winnings.

Anyway, that got me thinking. I mean it wouldn’t be THAT hard to make a guy look like Ordonez, since you can’t see much face with all that hair…and an “Ordonez” would get much better pitches than the hopeless nag…and just cause Leyland scribbles something on the lineup card that looks like “Ordonez” that doesn’t mean he meant to mislead anyone…

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm

My real question is what are they going to do with Bonderman’s missing rib? Create a softball pitcher named Eve Bonderman who has a 13.68 ERA in the first inning, and 2.95 in all innings thereafter? These are the things I wonder.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Todd Jones has already shown us that it’s easy to look like Maggs.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm

It depends if the rib was causing the Bonderman 1st innings, or the rib was causing the later good innings. If the former, you hire some tall blonde to drop something in the drink of a Twins pitcher, and while he is out cold you give him an extra rib.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Ouch. Scathing article on our Tigers by Phil Rogers, chock full of incorrect info. I have let my displeasure be known on the internets.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=rogers_phil&id=3476799

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 12:59 pm

I do like his reference to Top Reserve Brandon Inge. Ah yes, the ’06 right? Full-bodied, plenty of K but balanced by a blackberry RBI essence…

Ryan P July 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I think I could probably write a better and more accurate article than most of the ESPN “journalists”.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 1:02 pm

“Full-bodied, plenty of K but balanced by a blackberry RBI essence…”

Yes but it does have kind of a weak finish. (See the final game of the season vs. KC and the last out of Game 5)

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 1:04 pm

“Yes but it does have kind of a weak finish.”

Heheh.

I think it just needs more time to breathe, it has a check-swing tightness that needs time to expand.

The stuff gives you a hangover too.

Anyway I think it would benefit from a year or so in the cellar…

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

OK this is funny, particularly if you play fantasy baseball. The line about Brad Hawpe killed me.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/fantasy_baseball_owner_rips_team

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Strange that Rogers could get Cabrera’s BA so very wrong. Didn’t he find the line a bit unlikely – .215 with 53 RBI near the break?

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Anyway, I didn’t find the article to be so scathing. The 2008 Tigers have disappointed. It’s getting better, but after that start, it can’t get better fast enough.

The most scathing thing about it was simple fact: The Tigers record against the AL Central.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Sean C: “Strange that Rogers could get Cabrera’s BA so very wrong. Didn’t he find the line a bit unlikely – .215 with 53 RBI near the break?”

I think he had a bit too much of the Top Reserve. Isn’t .215 the mark of The Inge??

T Smith July 9, 2008 at 1:15 pm

It’s nice that Pudge has come around the last month or so, but he remains, on balance, a liability at the plate hardly better than Inge. Pre-oblique Inge, anyway.

Perhaps. Perhaps. But I still say Pudge successfully takes a pillow to the mat. Advantage, Pudge.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Chris: I love The Onion.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Sean: It was more biased than scathing, really. Rogers writes for the Chicago Trib and covers the White Sox. If you want to be more fair about it, how about mentioning the fact that the Tigers are like 21-8 over their last 29 games and that the starting pitching (particularly Verlander) has appeared to turn the corner. Of course they put themselves behind the 8 ball with the bad start, but I’d like to see Phil’s “analysis” of Gavin Floyd’s BABiP or Jose Contreras’ history of suckitude and Nick Swisher’s robust performance after they dealt some top prospects to get him. And the inaccurate “facts” make the whole thing sound like a smear. ESPN should have the audio of an axe grinding to complete the effect.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Chris in Dallas is really trying to refrain from responding with a “pillow biter” joke. Really. Trying.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Chris: You’re right, Rogers does make it sound like the Indians and the Tigers are in the same hopeless, slumping boat. Wishful thinking by a Chicago writer, perhaps. I knew his name sounded familiar.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm

‘I think he had a bit too much of the Top Reserve.’

Might have been smoking some OC Red Bud (the fine Colombian) while he was at it.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Pudge.

In the innings where he’s had the most PA in 2008, 2nd and 5th, he’s worst. Not by a little, either. 12 K in 37 PA in the 2nd inning. Combined .550 OPS, -.159 off his overall OPS.

For his career, he has an .898 OPS in the 5th inning, best by a significant margin. In 2007, he tore it up in the 5th and stunk in the 2nd (where he had by far the most PA). In 2006, he was again on fire in the 5th, and great in the 2nd, too, except that he had very few 2nd inning appearances that year (undoubtedly because he was leading off so often).

Progression to the mean calls for Pudge to be unstoppable for the rest of 2008 in 5th inning PA. Even money he gets on base, and look for an OPS upwards of 1.000. I would advise pinch hitting Pudge for Cabrera in all 5th innings even if Pudge is already in the lineup. Continued struggles in the 2nd inning are likely.

Let the 5th inning PudgeWatch commence.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Maybe start Inge at C when he’s off of the DL and lift him for Pudge when his AB comes up in the 5th. That’s what I’d advocate.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Chris, that’s a good idea, at least in our DTW parallel universe/bizarro world sense of good ideas. I’m almost certain Inge’s 2nd inning stats will cry out for him to make one PA and then be gone in favor of Pudge.

Chief Monday July 9, 2008 at 4:03 pm
Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 4:04 pm

The article has been corrected. It now reads exactly like three billion other articles.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Yes, Brandon has it going on in the 2nd inning.

What’s more interesting is how utterly “not bad” his line is when batting #9 (most PA by far). It’s hitting elsewhere in the lineup that has dragged him down to .215. Much of this may have been during interleague play and when he got the oblique thing but before going on the DL (significant overlap there, I think).

Clearly, since going on the DL, Inge’s production has been disgraceful, only slightly better than Sheffield.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Brandon Inge leads the Tigers in a few things, but nowhere more convincingly than in YESBUT.

Chief Monday July 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Minnesota’s ship is officially sinking.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 4:23 pm

“The article has been corrected. It now reads exactly like three billion other articles.”

What was the correction, Dave?

Interesting to read this about Renteria. Good luck to him, starting now. We’d stop beating on you, Edgar, if only you’d stop misbehaving.

Beatings will continue until morale improves.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 4:25 pm

The stats. I’m to understand that they previously had mistakenly switched Inge and Cabrera’s stats

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 4:30 pm

‘The term is way overused”

Actually, “way” is way overused and abused as an adverb. Maybe it’s a Midwest thing.

In another “way” of looking at the word, I’ve been mocked by Easterly types for using the expression “a ways to go.” Is that so wrong?

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Aha. That would be one way to keep players in line. Threaten to strip them of their stats and award them to a more favored player. Do players own their stats? I don’t think so. I think they’re the property of MLB.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Courts have decided that no one owns stats. Yes, there were actual court cases.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Yes didn’t MLB try to do that – own stats for the purposes of making $$$ off of fantasy leagues? Or was that the NFL? Or the NHL? No, wait, I’m pretty sure no one plays fantasy hockey. Maybe it was the WNBA.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm

that was MLB, yup.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I’ve noticed some lackluster OF play by the Tigers defensively. You know, playing singles into doubles and such. I think the corner outfielders lead the league in Singles Hit Into Triples. I wish there was an acronym for that.

Dave BW July 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm

oh i see what you did there

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Super-Utility/Catcher Ks. League leader?

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Speaking of triples, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers were among the teams that have allowed the fewest.

Chris, did you get that thing on the HR comparison between 2006 and 2008 I posted a while back?

The thing about HRs in 2006 wasn’t that the Tigers hit them in more games – that is almost exactly the same in 2008. Look at the 2006 season game logs. They hit 7 or 8 HRs in a game at times! Many, many multiple HR games, as in 3 or 4.

And as Dave mentioned, the pitching that year was just… otherworldly.

Sean C. in Illinois July 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Interesting factual info about the stats and court cases, Dave. Unless you’re making that up. Pretty good either way.

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Sean: Dave’s statement was actually true. As for HR’s, I remember that one game in ’06 when they bombed RA Dickey’s knuckleball back into the Stone Age. I think they had 6 HR in the first two or three innings in that one.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Granderson and Polanco had back-to-back triples against the Dodgers. Have any Tigers ever gone back-to-back-to-back Triple (the elusive Triple Triple)?

(I’m sure Ty Cobb and Charlie Gehringer and whoever else played back then probably has, but any time more recent?)

Chris in Dallas July 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Rob Deer, Cecil Fielder and Pete Incaviglia hit back-to-back-to-back triples once. Or maybe it was strikeouts. It was back-to-back-to-back somethings, though, I’m sure of it.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 6:00 pm

“Rob Deer, Cecil Fielder and Pete Incaviglia hit back-to-back-to-back triples once. Or maybe it was strikeouts.” Oh, then I think I remember what you speak of, except it was Inge, and I think he has 8 or 9 consecutive triples.

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 6:02 pm

“Rob Deer, Cecil Fielder and Pete Incaviglia” Actually were these guys ever in the lineup at once? And if so, shouldn’t there be a cable classic channel devoted to it or something?

Coleman July 9, 2008 at 6:08 pm

“Rob Deer, Cecil Fielder and Pete Incaviglia” Actually were these guys ever in the lineup at once?”

Well it looks like they probably were in ’91–with Mickey Tettleton to boot! In ’92 they had to settle for Dan Gladden pretending to be Incaviglia.

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