Game 93: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: Another day game on Fox, another Twins starter the Tigers struggle against. This time it’s Scott Baker.

Nate Robertson is on the mound for Detroit. He went 9 innings of excellent work against the Mariners. But the start prior to that the Twins handed him his worst start of the year and the only one in which he allowed more than 5 runs this season.

MIN @ DET, Saturday, July 12, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 3:55

POSTGAME: Another one run loss to the Twins. I don’t have a lot to say. One point I will make is that I don’t usually get too upset about strikeouts. It’s just another out right? And the Tigers team isn’t particularly prone to fanning (9 AL teams have whiffed more often). But in this series the Tigers have saved their strikeouts when they mattered most.

Thursday we Jeff Larish and Pudge Rodriguez K in the 9th inning with the winning run 90 feet away.

Friday it was Thames and Rodriguez each striking out with men on second.

Today it was Granderson fanning with a runner on second and 1 out in the third. Miguel Cabrera struck out with 2 men on and nobody out in the 8th. And then in the 9th Sheffield, Larish (who’s last 3 at-bats have come against Nathan. How much fun is that?), and Granderson all fanned.

Their clutch striking out the last 3 games, all one run losses, has been demoralizing to say the least.

40 Comments

  1. Spot Starters

    July 12, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Scott Baker against the Tigers? I’m not looking forward to that. Why do we have such a hard time with guys like him?

  2. Brian P

    July 12, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Ramon has been a beast at the plate this year. Seriously. Sheffield can go up there and look completely lost, but Santiago fouls off pitches like it’s nothing.

  3. Coleman

    July 12, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I’m afraid Santiago and Inge alone won’t be enough; some of the role players will also need to contribute for us to have any chance.

  4. Chris Y.

    July 12, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I really hope we see Joyce in RF next year and Magglio at DH. I like the D and the slugging.

    For that matter, here’s hopin’ ER’s option is left for the BoSox to pay and we see what Santiago can do with his glove (again).

  5. Coleman

    July 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    That Joyce guy swings a stick with some “go” in it

  6. Coleman

    July 12, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Well he may not have returned with Hair of Ordonez (as somebody recklessly predicted), but clearly The Inge has returned with Obliques of Steel. Sure, he’s only had two singles, but they both were in the near-impossible circumstance of Bases Empty.

  7. Brian P

    July 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Nate realized he could get his ERA under 5 this game, and he was having none of it.

  8. Chris Y.

    July 12, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Gary should think about laying down a bunt.

    Or maybe going the other way for once (in a 50 year career).

  9. Mark in Chicago

    July 12, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I hate the Twins. This team is so unbelievably lucky, it defies logic. Mauer and Morneau are legit stars, no question, but check out some of the BABIPs and LD% of the other guys on their team:

    Span – .426 BABIP and 34% LD%, both completely unsustainable. Granted, only 64 ABs
    Punto – .372 BABIP and 22.6% LD%, also both ridiculously high
    Buscher – .348 BABIP and 34.8% LD%, unsustainable
    Young – .341 BABIP and 18.2% LD%. That .342 is particularly unsustainable given the so-so LD%
    Casilla – .333 BABIP with a 14.6% LD%. That .333 will never last with that awful LD%
    Gomez – .333 BABIP and 16.7% LD%. Sensing a theme here?

    That is virtually their entire lineup, except for Mauer and Morneau. This is, quite frankly, incredible. They are also hitting something like .315 as a team with RISP. Again, completely unsustainable. And of course, Brendan Harris kills us today with 4 RBI. I mean, this is inexplicable. How does this happen? And they are this lucky against the Tigers, which translates to our bad luck.

    I have to give some credit to their pitchers, they are by and large strike-throwers with pretty good peripherals for the most part. But the offense for this team is obscenely lucky to score this many runs, especially when you consider they are next to last in the AL in home runs.

    Unbelievalble.

  10. Mark in Chicago

    July 12, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    And I’d love to see a replay of the check swing by Cabrera. From the centerfield camera, it didn’t even look close.

    EDIT – Well, there’s the replay and another horrible call goes against us. Awful job by the home plate umpire not to get help, even Mauer wanted the appeal.

    I hate the Twins. Not as much as the Sox, but man it’s close.

  11. Chris Y.

    July 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    The primary difference between the Tigers and Twins:

    Jim Leyland and Ron Gardenhire.

    Absolutely confounding versus calculating.

  12. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Mark – I agree that they Twins are playing above the norm, especially their ridiculously high avg. with RISP.

    But, one element missing from your analysis is the speed of the Twins players. Every one of those players has above average or exceptional speed, which helps to explain their unbelievable ability to reach base on balls in play.

    Anyway, Thames is about to make this a non-issue.

  13. JFunk

    July 12, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Thames needs to stop doing his Gary Sheffield impression.

  14. Mark in Chicago

    July 12, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I hear you, Kevin. Their speed definitely has an impact, but they are 15th in the majors with 56 stolen bases and 29th with a 66% success rate. It matters for bunt hits and hurrying the defense on infield grounders, but those are singles, which means more often than not it still takes 2 more hits to score a run since they don’t have great success stealing bases.

    Their team OBP is .336 (11th in the league) but are 25th in the league in walks and 20th in extra-base hits. They hit a TON of singles. And they’re somehow 5th in the league in runs? You’re right that they’re playing WAY over their heads.

    BTW, anyone notice that the home plate ump bothered to get an appeal from third on Kubel’s check swing? Nice consistency on the calls, buddy.

  15. Kyle J

    July 12, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Boy, it’s the bottom of the ninth and there are only 14 comments on the thread.

    Are the DTW readers mailing it in going into the All-Star break?

  16. Tbone

    July 12, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    The Twins own us.

  17. Kyle J

    July 12, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Well, maybe the baseball gods are doing us a favor and letting us down now before the break.

    Ugh.

  18. Kevin in Austin

    July 12, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Here’s a fun baseball oddity:

    Twins #8 hitter in the series: 7/9 (.778), 9 RBIs

    Tigers #1 & #2: 4/26 (.154), 6 RBI

  19. Mark in Chicago

    July 12, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    The only consolation I can take is that last year before the break the Tigers swept the Red Sox at home and had the best record in baseball before a second half collapse. Hopefully we reverse the trend this year.

    Of course, it should be pretty easy with 17 of our first 20 after the break on the road.

    *sigh*

  20. mark_in_gr

    July 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Now that we are on the brink of facing a 4 game sweep from the overrated Twins, I think it’s finally time to face one insurmountable fact; The Detroit Tigers are NOT a good baseball team!

    2nd highest payroll in baseball, and they can’t produce. They continue to let Sheffield pop out and strike out, continue to not do anything significant about their horrific pitching. And it IS horrific . . . Verlander is overrated . . . the only thing Zumaya and Rodney have in common is they are both wild, and the bats cannot produce clutch hits WRISP.

    Maybe they should interrupt the next FSN broadcast when the team is down 8-2 w/another special on the life of DD.

    For all the true Tiger fans out there that read this, I am truly sorry for you. Your team, it’s players and especially the front office, manager and coaching staff have let you down once again. Remember that the next time you go online to buy a ticket or fork over $8.50 for a beer at Comerica Park!

  21. Shane Temporarily in Toledo

    July 12, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Comments out of anger:

    Not only do I hate Morneau because he can hit, but he is also a pretty solid first basemen. He has scooped out at least three errors so far. I hate him because he is so good.

    I am sick of watching Sheffield pop out and strike out. I know he wants 500 homeruns, but it is pretty obvious he is not going to come close.

    Joyce can hit, but he cannot field for the life of him. Stupid throws and stupid approaches on grounders.

    More Ramon, less Edgar.

    Zumaya is almost back. Today is he first time he hit 100mph (it could be because of the national broadcast radar), but he is still not ready to come in on pressure situations (with runner on base and less than 2 outs).

    In conclusion I hate the Twins. Every year it is the same. One run here, one run there. Solid pitching. Solid defense. Their manager looks like a gnome. I hate them so much.

  22. Kathy

    July 12, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Well, the Twins do have a good baseball team. They’re still playing without 2 of their best players and just came off getting swept by the Red Sox. It’s terribly disappointing to lose but I’d give just about anything to watch the Tigers play at Comerica and I sure wouldn’t be sitting there quietly.

  23. Shane Temporarily in Toledo

    July 12, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Possitive note:

    Remember not that long ago when we wished that the Tigers would be .500 at the break. With a win tomorrow, they can be. That is all I have.

  24. judpma

    July 12, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I didn’t watch or listen,,,,,,I did good……hey sheff nice day!

  25. Dave BW

    July 12, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I was at this one. If the crowd didn’t seem into it, it was because it was humid and uncomfortable as hell.

  26. Coleman

    July 12, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I think it was the humidity, and plus the 1st game with Inge back in the line-up, and he didn’t have Ordonez hair as expected, which means Ordonez won’t have Inge hair, and so there’s the big let down from that realization.

  27. Dave BW

    July 12, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Inge’s first at bat got the biggest applause of the day! So at least we had our priorities straight.

  28. stephen

    July 12, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    And the late precincts from Minnesota have reported…. The Tigers’ season is now officially over. Well, not over as they keep playing the games, but they are toast. You just can’t make up that kind of deficit against two teams. The odds the Tigers are going to play .620 ball and both of the Twins and Chicago play .500 is slim and nada. What a disaster.

  29. mark_in_gr

    July 12, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I will play the pessimist here, but I predict the Tigers will be battling w/the Royals for the cellar of the AL central this year, and if the Royals have a hot end to the season, the Tigers could end up at the bottom.

  30. Vince in MN

    July 13, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Where’s Dandy Don Meredith when you need him?

  31. David

    July 13, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Its been awhile but all of you who think the season is over are dead wrong.

    8 games back with 59 games left

    We’ve been without Ordonez since we sped through ILP.

    If we win tomorrow we will be 7-7 without him in the lineup.

    and 4 of those losses have been of the 1 run variety.

    After the ASB we play Chicago 9x and Minnie 3.

    If the Tigers are 8gb with 7 left to play then we’ve lost but there is still plenty of time for us to catch fire again and either team to slump or play .500 ball.

  32. judpma

    July 13, 2008 at 1:55 am

    81`-81 third or fourth place….the only consistent thing all year is the inability to move too far in front of .500

    24 losses in the division the most of any team in entire major Leagues..
    can’t beat the Twins
    Can’t beat the Royals
    Can’t beat the Sox
    looks like 81-81 to me…if they can get there

  33. ron

    July 13, 2008 at 1:59 am

    The great motivator has come up short again. Sigh. Oh yeah, for those interested, Chief has a boat load of socks for sale on ebay. Go Tigers.

  34. Shane Temporarily in Toledo

    July 13, 2008 at 2:17 am

    mark_in_gr:

    The Tigers may be not that great, but they are not worse then the Royals and Indians. Seriously, watch them play.

  35. ron

    July 13, 2008 at 2:54 am

    David, I believe we have 69 games left to play. We could go 39 and 30 and the other two losers go 30 and 39 which would put us at 85 wins and then pull off a 2006 Cardinal like playoff run. Why not?

  36. judpma

    July 13, 2008 at 5:30 am

    ron because the Twinks are not going to go 30-39

  37. judpma

    July 13, 2008 at 5:44 am

    funny in the articles in the FREEP the word Chemistry comes up a lot and JL says you don’t need any or whatever….maybe when you DON’T have any, like the Tigers , you don’t have a clue as to how it helps a team like the Twins and I believe the Sox too for that matter. I think the Twins just showed us what their chemistry is all about this weekend. Practically every member of their 25 man contributes something…it isn’t just Morneau and Mauer

    ….and JL tell me the 2006 team didn’t have great chemistry

    ….not only is this 2008 team without chemistry, when you listen to JL and others everyday say they don’t know what is wrong that makes them clueless also

  38. ron

    July 13, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Maybe the mad scientist will disappear during the All Star break and never return; and our chemistry will reappear like magic or a reaction to him not being around anymore and his concoctions won’t be making us sick and tired anymore and we can live normal and decent lives like Cub and Angel fans.

  39. ron

    July 13, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Fans have chemistry too; and other than a couple meltdowns, I think this lab is humming along just fine.

  40. ron

    July 13, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Anybody see the the Sodium Nitrate? For you freshmen, that’s Chilean Saltpeter for crying out loud.