Game 136: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: Gil Meche, who the Tigers haven’t seen since May, will take on Armando Galarraga. Galarraga will try to keep that ERA in the low 3’s and make a run at ROY honors. Meche will try to hold the Tigers down yet again.

KCR @ DET, Saturday, August 31, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 1:05

Game 135: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: As college football descends upon us, Kenny Rogers will take on Brandon Duckworth. These two met last weekend, and it kicked off a 4 game losing streak for the Tigers. Rogers didn’t pitch well, the Tigers didn’t field well, and the Tigers couldn’t convert the 11 baserunners they mustered off of Duckworth into more than 3 runs.

KCR @ DET, Saturday, August 30, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

Dave Dombrowski Profile

Google Book Search has The 2008 Hardball Times Baseball Annual. If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you may remember that I contributed an article about Dave Dombrowski. Well that article happens to be one of the ones made available on Google. So if you were to cheap to buy the annual (I kid of course), you can read parts of it for free.

But before you click over there is one thing that I need to heavily emphasize. This was written in August and early September of 2007. This was prior to the remarkably active 2008 offseason. Suffice it to say, I probably would have written a few things differently.

The Hardball Times Baseball Annual – Google Book Search

Game 134: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: If you’re looking for a reason to get excited about tonight, it will be the first game in Comerica Park’s history with instant replay. Hey, I never said it was a good reason.

Zach Miner and Kyle Davies face off. Woot.

KCR @ DET, Friday, August 29, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Hey, I went to a game and the Tigers won! I got down there early with my daughter and watched the bulk of the Tigers batting practice. I was a little surprised to see Dontrelle Willis shagging balls, but it appears he’ll be activated on September 1st. It’s unclear if he’ll see game action, but given his forearm tightness and the way things have gone this year I’d expect him to pitch.

Something else that was surprising was Andy Van Slyke hitting fungoes to Justin Verlander for a solid 20 minutes. And Verlander could be an outfielder. I’m guessing this was just a way for Verlander to get some leg work in, but it was pretty intense.

One other note from BP, Marcus Thames crushed everything. Everything. And he wasn’t just hitting the ball to left. His last 3 balls were out by the hall of fame names on the brick wall in right center.

As for the game, it was good. Things were very quiet for the Tigers bats early on, as they continued to hit infield or opposite field pop-ups. Until they broke it open, fueled in large part by an error and a Curtis Granderson triple (I love Granderson triples).

Miguel Cabrera left with a pectoral injury, because the Tigers need more injuries. Two notes on this. One, it resulted in Brandon Inge playing third and making two slick plays to start GIDPs. Second, why the hell they can’t inform the fans when a player leaves injured is beyond me. You pay to go to the game, and you have less information than anyone.

And that will close the book on Todd Jones

It is looking more and more like Todd Jones has thrown his last pitch. He was with the team the past couple days, but the shoulder isn’t getting better and he is headed home to Alabama.

Jones called a team meeting before the Tigers went out on the field for batting practice and, with hugs, was saying good-bye to his teammates when the clubhouse doors re-opened to the media.

Jones said he’d continue rehabbing and will try to be back, but it doesn’t sound promising.

I know it’s hokey, but I was really hoping that Jones could come back and make an appearance at the end of the season. Just come in and record an out (yeah it might take a couple batters) in a low pressure situation so he could walk off the field to cheers. His last outings at home were atrocious, and he was booed off the field. For a guy that truly loved being a Tiger, and is the team’s all time save leader, you’d hope he could at least go off on a high note.

Jones made me nuts some times, or maybe even frequently. And when he’d blow up he’d face the music. My favorite quote the day after an awful 2006 performance in Toronto came when he was asked how he slept the night before. Jonesy’s response…

I slept like a baby. I woke up every 2 hours crying.

Game 133: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: Please Tigers. Please show up tonight. Please Verlander, don’t crap out once again against an Indians team missing Hafner, Martinez, and Blake. Please offense, beat the stuffing out of Carmona. Please top of the order, drive in a run, or 12. I can’t take the sucking anymore.

Jeff Larish starts at third tonight and Matt Joyce bats 2nd. Polanco gets the night off and Santiago plays second.

CLE @ DET, Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: The offense showed up. Seven runs should be enough. The bottom of the order continued to produce, and even Magglio Ordonez broke out of his slump. But the pitching, oh the pitching.

Verlander wasn’t good, again. It wasn’t the 7 hits as much as the leadoff walks and hit by pitches combined with the hits. And the fact he threw 115 pitches in 6 innings (which doesn’t bode well for his next start either).*

*And in case you’re keeping track of such things, Verlander threw 114 pitches in his last start. His average game score in subsequent starts when he throws 110-114 pitches is 45.2. Last night it was 43.

Gary glover was brought in, and promptly allowed a homer after a walk. I wanted bobby Seay at that point. Seay made me look smart when he had a scoreless inning in the 8th, but made me look dumb by allowing a couple hits (who would later come around to score) in the 9th.

Tigers heading to Arizona

The Tigers announced the bulk of their Arizona Fall League representatives. They are sending Luis Marte, Rudy Darrow, Casey Fien, Zach Simons, Jeff Larish, and Clete Thomas.

Luis Marte is a nice selection. He emerged earlier this year as a rising prospect, but lost a chunk of the year to injury. This gives him some additional innings to build a full season’s workload. Also, he and Zach Simons are eligible for the Rule 5 draft if they aren’t protected on the 40 man roster. This gives the team a little more time to evaluate.

The Tigers will be sending one more position player who has yet to be determined. Teams are only allowed to send one player below AA, and Simons fills that quota meaning the player will be someone from Erie or Toledo. And that player would need to have been to Erie or Toledo no later than August 1st meaning James Skelton wouldn’t be eligible.

Jeff Larish, Clete Thomas among prospects headed for Arizona Fall League | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

UPDATE: The freep updated their story and catcher Dusty Ryan will be the 7th guy sent.

Guillen’s back=not good

Carlos Guillen continues to battle back problems, and the situation doesn’t sound good. He’s experiencing numbness in his right leg and soreness in both hamstrings. Hopefully the Tigers take it easy with Guillen, and Guillen takes it easy as well. If there is a silver lining it’s that the injury may give the Tigers an opportunity to do some evaluation for next year.

In the short term Ryan Raburn stands to get the bulk of the playing time. However, after the September 1st roster expansion, it could result in innings for Jeff Larish and Dusty Ryan.

The Tigers have already announced that Larish will head to the AFL to get work at third base. Might as well do it in the big leagues since there is little cost.

Dusty Ryan had a very good season for AA Erie. He’s since been promoted to Toledo where he has hit 322/385/559 in 16 games. He could get a look behind the plate with Brandon Inge making some starts at third. Although Inge needs the time behind the plate probably more.

Game 131: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: I’m watching this one from the friendly confines of my couch, so the Tigers have a chance. On paper, this isn’t a good match-up for the Tigers. Then again on paper the Tigers looked like contenders.

The Indians send out uber pitcher and Cy Young (and maybe MVP) front runner Cliff Lee. Oddly, the Tigers have had some success off of Lee this year and have scored 8 runs in 10 innings, chasing him after 5 innings in both games.

Meanwhile, the Tigers send out Chris Lambert who is making his big league debut. I like watching debuts.

CLE @ DET, Tuesday, August 26, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME:
So this one played out like it looked on paper. Chris Lambert had a good start, recording 6 outs on 18 pitches. But a bad finish, not escaping the 3rd inning. He was undermined by errors from Ryan Raburn and Marcus Thames meaning 4 of the 6 runs he allowed were unearned. Still he had his own issues.

I can’t kill him for allowing a homer to Jamey Carroll. I’d rather see him throw one down the middle to a guy like Carroll and take his chances. Carroll just got him. But the bigger problem was that Lambert went to his breaking ball wayyy too much. He’d get a head, but then throw 3 straight breaking balls out of the zone before having to throw a fastball down the middle. And by the 3rd inning it almost looked like the Indians knew exactly what was coming. Whether it was a matter of being predictable, or if he was tipping his pitches, it wasn’t good.

Still, there was some stuff to like from Lambert. He looked to have quite a bit of movement on the slider. He just needed to throw it closer to the strike zone to entice the hitters a little more.

I could talk about the offense, but why. For the second consecutive night all the RBI came from the bottom of the lineup. So nice job Brandon, Edgar, and Marcus (3 consecutive 2 hit games for Thames).

As for that interference call on Brandon Inge, as strange as it was, the umpires appear to have gotten it right:

Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not.

Clearly Inge was trying to avoid the fielder, but even intent doesn’t play into the ruling.

Daily Linking – 8/26

Links of note, or stuff I find interesting, or stuff I think you might find interesting

Game 131: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: In March when I bought tickets to this game, I thought it would be huge. To teams jockeying for position in the AL Central. And boy was I right. The surging Indians, winners of 14 of their last 20, are only 1.5 games back of the third place Tigers. Sigh.

Anywho, Armando Galarraga looks for another strong performance as he tries to catch Evan Longoria for ROY consideration. This will be the 4th time he’s faced the Indians this season, and each time they’ve gotten to him a little more.

He’ll be opposed by left hander Zach Jackson. Jackson hasn’t allowed a homer in his 15.2 innings this year. With 15.2 innings there isn’t a lot else to say. He’s fanned 6, walked 4, and allowed 20 hits.

CLE @ DET, Monday, August 25, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Another game I went to, and another loss. The last game I attended and they won was back in June. June people. Against the Cardinals when it rained and stuff and Sheffield had a walk off hit at 1am.

Anyway, it appears that Gary Glover is now officially a part of the bullpen. After an impressive couple of games, he becomes the goat in his home debut.

Galarraga was shaky early, but by all means did enough to keep his team in the game. Except the offense had a hard time keeping themselves in the game. The top and middle of the order was nowhere to be found with the 3 RBI coming from the 7-8-9 hitters.

At least Fernando Rodney looked awesome.

And then there was the cavalcade of bad news.

  • Guillen – left with back spasms (again).
  • Thames – after back to back multi hit games – leg cramp.
  • Cabrera – not reported as an injury, but hobbled after beating out a double play grounder.
  • Dontrelle Willis – gone after one inning with forearm tightness.
  • Jon Kibler – (yes this is going deep in the organization but it was that kind of day) Hit the DL with shoulder issues. Though expected back in a week, shoulder issues are never a good sign. Kibler has a 1.75 ERA in 154.1 innings with 4 K’s for every walk allowed.

Game 130: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: The Tigers and Royals have played 3 series this season. All have been sweeps. So for the sake of consistency, the Tigers should just go ahead and keep things tidy with a sweep today.

They send out Kenny Rogers. Rogers has been decent over his last 3 starts. He’s posted a 4.66 ERA with 14 K’s and 10 walks (egh) in 19.1 innings. The last time he saw the Royals he 4 hit them for 6 innings before rain cut his night short.

The Royals will let Brandon Duckworth make his 2008 debut. Duckworth faced the Tgiers in 2007 and pitched 6.1 innings of shut out baseball.

DET @ KCR, Sunday, August 24, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 2:10

POSTGAME: Sloptastic. Marcus Thames made a nice diving catch, and while it saved some runs, it couldn’t overcome the runs that he allowed with a couple gaffes.

Magglio Ordonez meanwhile, who is just not comfortable, hit a check swing half pop up to second with no outs and runners at the corners. Instead of, you know running, he stood at home plate and watched it like a golf shot. This allowed the second baseman to let the ball drop, turn the double play, and leave the runner at third standing there.

And Kenny Rogers wasn’t good. He wasn’t helped by Thames, but he also created his own problems with 4 walks and he allowed the number 9 hitter to go 3 for 3 with a walk.

Ugly.