PREGAME: Yeah. Justin Verlander attempts to make it through 7 innings in under 140 pitches. John Danks chucks the pill for the White Sox. Sorry. I just can’t muster more. Last night still burns too much.
DET @ CHW, Wednesday, August 6, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com
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August 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm
Is it wrong that I kind of hope we lose tonight because going into Sunday knowing that we already lost this series and I can get back to just enjoying watching baseball without worrying about the Tigers playing .660 baseball the rest of the way is an easier way to watch baseball?
Sean C. in Illinois
Sorry, just a few more posts in this series (forgot how overloaded the Game 112 thread was – sorry, Billfer).
EDGAR RENTERIA JUNE 7 – JULY 30
38 GAMES, .253/.311/.307 = .618 OPS, 1 HR 12 RBI 22 R, 9 GDP in 150 AB
August 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm
BRANDON INGE JUNE 7 – JULY 30
19 GAMES, .232/.338/.500 = .838 OPS, 4 HR 9 RBI 9 R, 19 K in 56 AB
August 6, 2008 at 4:16 pm
IVAN RODRIGUEZ JUNE 7 – JULY 30
31 GAMES, .377/.423/.526 = .949 OPS, 4 HR 12 RBI 13 R, 9 BB, 1 GDP in 114 AB
August 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm
I am bereft of words, sarcasm, or humor.
I now think the Tigers are secretly trying to kill me.
Andre in Chi
August 6, 2008 at 4:25 pm
The rules that surround rooting for your team to tank are fairly restrictive in their scope.
Usually its only allowed if :
-Management shows a lack of desire to win
-It would greatly increase the likelihood of acquiring a franchise altering draft pick
I’m sorry to say it makes no provisions for merely easing the pain of the fans.
August 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm
I feel the same way. I turned off the TV before the ball even landed. I was thinking there was a 1 in 4 chance Swhisher gets a hit and about 1 in 20 chance he hit’s a walk-off homer. Nevertheless, I had an absolutely bad feeling that a homer was coming the way that every Tiger closer has been choking lately.
There is nothing fans can do but turn their heads to crappy loses like this. At this point it’s nothing but our bullpens fault. None of them seem to want the ball to close games, as if they owe Jones something and don’t want his spot. It’s almost as if they are throwing the games on purpose. I know they are better than this.
August 6, 2008 at 4:30 pm
Andre: I’m not asking for them to choke, just … do what they’ve been doing recently for one more night so I can officially put the coffin in the ground on this season and get back to just enjoying watching my favorite sport.
August 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm
Justin Verlander is due for a dominant performance at U.S. Cellular, and I sense Whipping Boy powers about to reactivate again. Fasten your seat belts and prepare for the Tigers to battle back to .500 over the next 2. They’re quite cruel that way.
August 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm
Oh, I hear you Mike,
It just made me think back to a Bill Simmons column I read a while back where he goes into detail about when a team crosses the line and leaves the fans with no choice but to root against them.
I get the appeal of not being strung along for another couple of weeks while we wait for math to let us move on. I just would rather it not come at the hands of the W Sox…even if I suppose that would be swiftest.
Mike in CT
August 6, 2008 at 4:51 pm
Can Leyland just throw us all a bone today and bench Renteria? Any chance? I’d put it at 20 percent…sadly.
Yeah, I remember that article. I haven’t really had the hatred for the White Sox (or Twins, really) that others seem to do. So I’m not discriminating about who takes the Tigers behind the shed for a pat on the head and squeeze of the trigger.
Joel in Seattle
College Football season can’t come soon enough…
I can’t do it. I can’t watch, that is.
If they win, it’ll just make yesterday’s loss even more painful, knowing that a Tigers sweep puts them (could have put them) right back into it… and I honestly don’t think I can endure another loss peppered with so many anti-heros.
Good luck JV (I suggest you plan on pitching 9 full innings if you want a W) and to all you diehards who have a penchant for self-inflicted torture.
August 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm
I figured out the identity of Chief Monday. It’s Lynn Henning. Not one mention here about how all the position players will be a year older next season..
August 6, 2008 at 4:53 pm
Overall, the team showed marked resiliency last night. Polanco and Rodney both looked great. They took the division leader to 14 innings. The Tigers lost on a pitch that was nowhere near the fat of the plate and should have been been topped into a high bouncer to Zumaya or Polanco.
August 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm
What’s that Stephen? Another Detroit writer getting it wrong? I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I say.
August 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm
“Overall, the team showed marked resiliency last night.”
True. The toughest losses aren’t necessarily the worst ones.
August 6, 2008 at 5:01 pm
Mike R –
Not so much the Twins, but here I have to deal with W Sox fans…which as a fan base can be stereotyped as whining kids that don’t get enough attention. This is accentuated by the fact that whenever we play the Sox, FSND is blacked out on my mlb package…and I have to listed to Ken “Hawk” Harrellson.
I saw a Dos Equis commercial that immediately reminded me of Hawk:
“There are some people that have to say something, and others that have something to say…there’s a difference”
-The Most Interesting Man in the World
August 6, 2008 at 5:03 pm
Oh, Andre. I forgot you were in Chicago. I can’t imagine how rough that would be for a fan of a Chicago division rival.
August 6, 2008 at 5:07 pm
Usually I just point out the RedWings. In the past, this would elicit a “Lions” response…but seeing as the Bears decided their starting QB with a coin toss, Bears fans aren’t as quick to heckle just yet.
August 6, 2008 at 5:11 pm
“In the past, this would elicit a “Lions” response…”
Counter with “Bulls” and hit them quickly with “Blackhawks” before they can respond.
August 6, 2008 at 5:13 pm
And if that doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to bring up the Black Sox scandal.
August 6, 2008 at 5:16 pm
Although this has questionable relevance to the thread…it remains the funniest thing I’ve read off Simmons’ site:
“If you had told a Bulls fans two years ago that everything (and by “everything,” I’m referring to a five-year odyssey spent stockpiling lottery picks and creating cap space) was leading toward a 2008 deadline deal that netted them Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden, they would have punched you in the face and then they would have punched you in the face again. But that’s where we are. All things considered, the Ben Wallace contract was the single most damaging front-office decision of this decade that didn’t involve Chris Wallace.”
August 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm
Andre – Yeah, the Ben Wallace thing is good for a burn, too.
Sooner or later, the Chicago fan is going to pull out his trump card – Michael Jordan. Feign nonchalance. With a poker face and a calm, measured, monotone voice, look them straight in the eye and say, “Ty Cobb. Barry Sanders. Gordie Howe. Joe Dumars. Steve Yzerman.” There is no comeback for this, not even for a Cubs fan.
August 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm
But what about when they pull out Barack Obama and Oprah? Do you counter with Mitt Romney and Mitch Albom?
August 6, 2008 at 5:32 pm
You counter with Russell Kirk.
August 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm
Them pulling out Barack Obama and Oprah would be like you pulling out Farnsworth and Reneteria. The issue is settled without a response from you.
August 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm
They bring up Obama, you bring up Father Coughlin. That’s always a show-stopper.
August 6, 2008 at 5:56 pm
Can’t watch much of the game again tonight..darn *sarcasm* Us duck hunters gotta get up before the crack of dawn (too funny Coleman) Actually I do the books and process all the money taken in the previous day at a large SuperCenter store (not WalMart but it’s competitor -those in Michigan and a couple neighboring states know about Meijer,Inc.) Reluctantly now, after the god awful mess of last nights game, I’ll wake up to see who won. Whoopie!
August 6, 2008 at 6:08 pm
I’ll be interested to see where Verlander’s fastball strikes are going: black or white, so to speak. If it’s all white, he’ll not make it through the lineup a second time, unless Leyland, in his despair, decides to Rodney him. If that happens, Leyland does not outlast the month of August.
If we don’t get the good Verlander back, and we’re left with only the G-man, there is no hope. I keep telling myself there’s no hope, then I think, like DD about a bottle-in last Thursday, if only…
If only Verlander and BattleStar get hot, and Minor, he gets hot too, and Rogers is serviceable and Robertson is DL’d and Rodney and Zumaya get better and better quickly, like a light going on, then, why, we’ve got ourselves a race. It could happen, and Jimmy’s the kinda guy to make things like this happen.
I’m sitting here recovering surgery, nothing to do, doubling up on Oxycontin and Bud, and, dammit, I believe.
Chris in Dallas
August 6, 2008 at 6:15 pm
Not one mention here about how all the position players will be a year older next season..
Being as they’re all Latinos, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all a year older right now Hey-oh.
August 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm
This has exactly zero relevance to the discussion at hand, but I figured we all might need a laugh given the circumstances…
August 6, 2008 at 6:25 pm
wow, #1 on that list is really, really messed up…
August 6, 2008 at 6:27 pm
The guys who happen to be Latino are at the traditional downsides of their careers:
Placido will be 33 in October
Maggs will be 35 in January
Carlos will be 33 in September
Edgar will be even worse tomorrow
This is not a team built for tomorrow. This cast of supporting characters, along with Inge, who will be 32, will be completely turned-over by the time the Tigers have a starting five that can win a championship. That is why DD is not to be praised too heartily, in my opinion, despite his obvious competence in his role.
I think the draft pick that hurt the most was Andrew Miller, on whom the organization really gave up — and apparently rightly so. Couple that with the Willis contract, and you’ve lost the placeholders for two front line pitchers. To me, those two moves removed the Tigers from contention for 2008, 2009, and 2010, minimum.
August 6, 2008 at 6:34 pm
What’s the “Latino” part have anything to do with it? Is Thames then in his prime as a 31 year old black man?
EDIT: I forgot you were rocking the oxy/beer combo…I’ll withhold judgment.
August 6, 2008 at 6:41 pm
Billfer’s posts are getting more and more emo with each passing day.
August 6, 2008 at 6:51 pm
Chris in Dallas had mentioned our Latino players. Thames is a role player, like Matt Stairs. But you’re right, I should just steer clear of race, I meant nothing by it.
FYI, one thing I’ve learned about dosing oneself with Oxycontin and Beer is that after an initial 90 minute fuzzy part which takes the pain away, you then get really energetic, like you just drank a pot of coffee, and it lasts about three hours. This might be just the ticket for the Tigers pre-game routine.
August 6, 2008 at 7:07 pm
how are the tigers going to lose today?
August 6, 2008 at 7:30 pm
Ryan, you’re right I think someone needs to give Bill a hug or preferably a ham sandwich.
August 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm
Here’s the lineup featuring Raburn in the leadoff spot, Country in left. No Grandy, no Inge. Oh, and everyone’s favorite SS too:
August 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm
So Grandy’s just getting rest ‘cuz he’s so old, right?
August 6, 2008 at 7:39 pm
You’re coming off another heart-breaking loss, the team is fading fast, you need a victory very badly, and you rest Granderson?
Leyland continues to be too clever by half. If he were a drunk instead of a nicotine addict, this just would not be happening.
I lived next door to a crystal-meth addict several years ago, she would spend hours rearranging the potted plants on her porch — at two in the morning. Jimmy reminds me of her sometimes.
The pressure that dude is under right about now must be excruciating. These guys need to put together a run just to keep him from blowing a valve.
August 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm
Jason Beck says its because he’s 0-9 with 3 K’s against Danks.
August 6, 2008 at 7:53 pm
If you really think the Tigers are over the hill, then look at 2 most successful franchises, the Yankees and RedSox.
Yanks- They have 15 guys that are over 32.
The RedSox: They have 12 guys over 32.
Why does this matter to the Tigers? Because we are a high payroll team like they are. If we win more pennants, it will be with veteran players, not prospects.
We’ll probably be just like Red Wings. We’ll try to buy are way into contention every year. If we do that, then we’ll always be one of the tougher teams. You can’t win championships every year. The Yankees are proof to that.
August 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm
Was it Chris late last night who listed all the gut-wrenching losses we have seen this year? My thanks. It was a public service and highlights that this has not been a once in a while event. Every year even the best teams lose some that are big disappointments, but this has to rank as the most soul-rending and heartbreaking, annoying, season I have seen since 1964 when I started following this team. Even losing the Series in 2006, and a couple of play-off years was not so disturbing as this has become.
August 6, 2008 at 8:02 pm
Benching Granderson because of a nine AB sample size. Yeah, that seems about right.
Brian in Tampa
August 6, 2008 at 8:08 pm
Thank God I have the Detroit guys doing this game. Hawk made my ears bleed after that Swisher walk off. I swore last night (this morning) that I wasn’t going to watch tonight, but here I am.
August 6, 2008 at 8:13 pm
My point was that the Tigers have assembled a great core of Granderson/Cabrera/Zumaya/Verlander. Around them, they have wrapped several older players. This is fine if they are ready to win this year, however, they don’t have the starting pitching to win a championship anytime soon.
My subtext is really that DD could have moved one or two of the past-30 position players to get a top pitching prospect to move the team closer to a championship.
The goal is not to knit together back-to-back-to-back winning seasons, the goal is not to win the Central Division, the goal is to win it all. This team is not ready for that in the near future.
August 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm
I don’t know about you guys, but this first half inning has made me really enthusiastic about this game
August 6, 2008 at 8:16 pm
hahaha DaveBW 3 up 3 out
August 6, 2008 at 8:24 pm
Why isn’t FSN advertising the availability of playoff tickets???
August 6, 2008 at 8:25 pm
We really need to just start hitting Quentin on every AB
August 6, 2008 at 8:27 pm
Nice start. Tons of pitches and 3 runs just like that.
AARRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Thome 3 run homer. Screw this, I’m going to go eat cookies.
Mark in Chicago
I smell a blowout.
August 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm
Well, that home run was predictable and Verlander is sticking to the script.
August 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm
Goodness. Verlander has made exactly one bad pitch in the inning (to Thome) and he’s down 3 runs and given up 4 hits.
Sometimes it just isn’t your inning. Or day. Or season.
August 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm
The worst part is how Hawk will start talking about how Verlander is such a battler and has incredible stuff and the Sox just got him today but Justin will be back dominating the league in no time. He’s very generous with praise when his team is winning.
It’s so condescending.
The thought occurs to me that DD should ask Leyland to step aside. In his interview broadcast before the game Jim admitted several things going wrong. When so many facets are out of place there has to be a major change somewhere. Like the captain of a naval ship, the manager has to take the blame. It may not be fair or even totally true, but that is how it is. Perhaps it would change nothing, but something has to be tried.
August 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm
good night all.. Enjoy the game.. its kinda picking up where it left off last night. Unfortunately.
August 6, 2008 at 8:36 pm
Mark in Chicago
I agree. I thought Verlander looked good with his location except for that pitch to Thome. He did seem to be in a hurry working very fast up until the homer, then he really slowed down.
I think this will be a good game and Verlander will last at least six.
August 6, 2008 at 8:37 pm
Sheffield’s AB looked pitiful.
August 6, 2008 at 8:39 pm
He did mix in a long foul ball. What more do you want?
August 6, 2008 at 8:44 pm
Playing Sheffield at all is a terrible statement to his team by Leyland. Terrible. Just as trotting Nate out to the mound every fifth start has just got to be so discouraging for the few players who might still want to win this year.
August 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm
Leyland felt “burned out” after on miserable season in Colorado. It’s possible he may decide to step aside after this season as well.
Leyland has not had the best year, but he is still a good manager. DD needs to get him something more to work with, starting with the bullpen.
August 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm
That was better. Nine pitches that inning.
August 6, 2008 at 8:48 pm
Palmcroft, anyone else playing like Shef would not be given so many chances. There is more going on here than baseball.
August 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm
If Danks is going to get 3 inches off the inside corner called a strike all game, it’s going to be a long night.
August 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm
Just looking at their faces, the Tigs don’t believe in themselves.
August 6, 2008 at 9:06 pm
I’m just getting a little concerned that Kansas City is creeping up on us.
Tiger Offense; Creativity in Action
Top 1st: Detroit
– R. Raburn grounded out to third
– P. Polanco grounded out to third
– C. Guillen grounded out to third
Top 2nd: Detroit
– M. Ordonez flied out to left center
– M. Cabrera singled to center
– G. Sheffield struck out looking
– M. Cabrera to second on wild pitch
– M. Thames struck out swinging
Top 3rd: Detroit
– E. Renteria grounded out to third
(Edgar, wake up! THAT’S SO 1ST INNING…)
– D. Sardinha struck out swinging
– R. Raburn struck out swinging
Top 4th: Detroit
– P. Polanco flied out to left
– C. Guillen singled to left
August 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm
We could end up at the bottom of our division. Who would have thunk?
August 6, 2008 at 9:09 pm
stephen: “Not one mention here about how all the position players will be a year older next season..”
A year older? that’s nothing to us fans. We’ll be several years older by September.
I’ve been thinking that KC might catch us for the last week. Of course, as I’m a KC fan it’s sort of a win-win situation.
August 6, 2008 at 9:10 pm
Verlander has clearly not shaved in about a week. I think he’s hoping opposing batters start mistaking him for Dan Haren
August 6, 2008 at 9:14 pm
If we scored runs for JV like we do for Nate JV would have about 13 wins
Yeah, well DANKS looks like Jamie Hyneman with that massive soul patch or WhateverTF it is!
August 6, 2008 at 9:20 pm
Chris in Dallas: “Not one mention here about how all the position players will be a year older next season..
Being as they’re all Latinos, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all a year older right now Hey-oh.”
It’s nice to see someone else is a fan of that legendary Japanese comedian, Hei Oh.
While statistically Latino players age at an average of about 1.0 years per year, when you do the splits it turns out that most of the aging happens in Jan-Mar or Nov-Dec, so I’m guessing it’s related to seasonal issues. Some players are almost a full year older in June, then as it gets warmer, they remain the same age, and maybe age a bit more after the season (unless they play on a non-dome northern team in which case add a couple months on).
I’m not sure how the Tigers could use these findings to their advantage, but I am excited to see if this theory will explain the handful of unexplained Billy Beane trades over the years.
August 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm
The single most disapointing season in Tiger history includes shutout #12, and counting….
August 6, 2008 at 9:27 pm
Give credit to JV. After that first inning mistake he’s been cruising. Too bad the bats suck.
August 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm
Time to look for a bright side of this gloomy season:
There is a pretty good chance that Leyland and the coaching staff will get fired. Leyland has been at the helm while the team has had horrific 2nd halves. This cannot be excused.
August 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm
Coleman, when I do the splits it just hurts.
August 6, 2008 at 9:46 pm
Whenever I feel down about this season, I just think back to all the space I had anytime I went to Comerica before 06, and how each loss puts me one step closer to being able to stretch like all get out
August 6, 2008 at 9:48 pm
Palmcroft: “I’ve learned about dosing oneself with Oxycontin and Beer is that after an initial 90 minute fuzzy part which takes the pain away, you then get really energetic, like you just drank a pot of coffee, and it lasts about three hours. This might be just the ticket for the Tigers pre-game routine.”
Interestingly, I had just completed a very catchy layout demonstrating graphically how the Tigers games went, plotted both geographically by coordinate and linearly by greenwich mean time. It is very easy to understand visually but hopefully this explanation will convey something of my meaning:
They go to hell in a handbasket at the 3 hour mark.
The apparent parallel with your self-experimentation results, while not conclusive, at least indicates more attention needs to be paid to this topic, as well as further permutations involving the addition to and/or replacement of nicotine with the other combinations.
August 6, 2008 at 9:51 pm
Poor Jermaine Dye, got hit in the ribs.
August 6, 2008 at 9:54 pm
Adam: “Coleman, when I do the splits it just hurts.”
If you think you know the meaning of “hurts” you are wrong, unless you have ever awoken on a cold damp day at 4 am and arrived at your duck blind without at much as a sip of coffee and performed the splits in an involuntary fashion after slipping on the wet cattails upon which you stood, soaking yourself waistdownward in an undryable fashion.
August 6, 2008 at 9:56 pm
NO SHUTOUT!! That’s as good as a win in my book
August 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm
Brian in Tampa: “Too bad the bats suck.”
This is the truest statement of the evening, especially the times they become entangled in your hair and your head becomes a hurricane of claws and fangs and fluttering wings and that high piercing shriek which is enough all by itself to make you wish you were never born or were born of parents named Savalas, and thank god there were scissors within reach!
August 6, 2008 at 10:06 pm
The good news is we only need JV to pitch through the 8th since the Sox won’t bat in the 9th.
August 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm
I’ll take the CG for fantasy stats. 🙂
August 6, 2008 at 10:10 pm
Why not pinch hit Santiago for Rent-a-wreck. Stupid.
August 6, 2008 at 10:14 pm
We wouldn’t want to make waves, Brian.
August 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm
Kathy: “Poor Jermaine Dye, got hit in the ribs.”
It is a fine thing to know at least somebody on the team reads this important source of news and knowledge captained by billfer (and also a useful reminder to take care in our comments); also personally it is quite gratifying that my small suggestion seems to have proven useful:
AUGUST 6TH, 2008 AT 1:02 AM
if dye gets anything anywhere near the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd somebody needs to finish out the season wearing a clown nose. unless its the kind of close to the plate where he is standing close to the plate and is saying “ow” on his way to 1st
But at the risk of appearing ungrateful…may I suggest something like the iPhone? Then many of the team would have a way to be alerted to the many performance-enhancing suggestions that fill this blog, within seconds after they are made, and the advice would prove even more useful than the same advice used later.
As the Romans used to say: the sooner rib hit shows the finer bruise.
(Also, there are fun contests you could play, tell me the “who can get the funniest pic of Cap’n Jim contest wouldn’t be a laugh!)
August 6, 2008 at 10:18 pm
Is Verlander going to finish this ballgame? Looks like a possibility.
August 6, 2008 at 10:19 pm
The Tigers are what they are, a mediocre, .500 team, with an offensive that excels at taking advantage of mistake pitches, but collectively, they make Neifi Perez look like Babe Ruth when they face tough pitching. They simply look outclassed by the Twins and usually find a way to lose vs. the White Sox, tonight it was the sleepwalking offense. They feed on teams with terrible pitching…..
a .500 club.
August 6, 2008 at 10:23 pm
125 pitches… just kidding.
greg: “The Tigers are what they are,”
I’m not sure I agree with this, though I certainly don’t disagree. Even if you are right however, I’m not sure they give 100% every game, though it’s not through lack of effort.
Either way I still think they have a chance to be all that they can be.
August 6, 2008 at 10:25 pm
Verlander = out of gas
Sadly, he’s still our best option.
August 6, 2008 at 10:26 pm
Poor JV. His ERA is sure to rise once Aquilino clears the bases.
August 6, 2008 at 10:27 pm
Is saving this bullpen really worth leaving Justin out there that long?
Dave BW: “We wouldn’t want to make waves, Brian.”
god no, that’s so 80’s!
August 6, 2008 at 10:28 pm
Damn intentional walk. Just pitch to Thome. What does it matter. The guys cruising in the 8th and you make him throw 4 straight balls. I know he hit a HR, but he also made 2 outs after that.
August 6, 2008 at 10:29 pm
What bullpen – did you see last nights game? Verlander has a better chance at getting outs.
August 6, 2008 at 10:30 pm
I hope JV continues to throw 130 pitches each start. That will be a good way to guarantee a terrible 2009 – injured/fatigued star starting pitcher.
Something must have gone wrong, I saw Inge signal for the 1-pitch walk to Thome…
August 6, 2008 at 10:32 pm
No, definitely not. I started yelling at the TV when he came back out to start an inning at 107 pitches. I threw my remote when he blew past 120.
August 6, 2008 at 10:33 pm
Game over. I know JV put Aquilino in a bad position by loading the bases, but way to go 3-2 on Alexei Ramirez.
We should start calling it the bull bleep pen
Yayyy good job Aquilino.
Who’da thunk JV would have an ERA over 4.50 towards the end of the season. What’s NOT going wrong with this pitching staff?
Verlander may have thrown a lot of pitches tonight, but Leyland has been more careful with him than last season, taking him out sooner earlier in the year so he can pitch more later.
For instance in the Baltimore game where he almost got the complete game shutout. Instead he had those pitches saved away so to speak, so he could use them tonight…
I can’t wait to go to tomorrow’s game.
August 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm
Bobby Jenks= Game Over
Dave Dombrowski, don’t you see something here that we DON’T HAVE?
August 6, 2008 at 10:36 pm
Travis: “We should start calling it the bull pen”
I’d like to, but now I have that sponsorship deal going where I get a little bit every time I refer to it as the “RedBull Pen”
billfer, I look forward to your postgame writeup on this one. You usually find something positive to point out. Aside from Verlander (innings 2-7), is there any lipstick we can put on this pig?
August 6, 2008 at 10:37 pm
Time to score 2 runs just to make those 2 by Chicago last inning matter.
August 6, 2008 at 10:40 pm
I am sure it won’t help us at this point but it would give at least a few people here a pleasing feeling to discuss the game, if Magglio hit a line drive that made the acquaintance of a Jenks kneecap
August 6, 2008 at 10:42 pm
Exactly, Coleman. I figure that if the Tigers are going down this season, they may as well take a few opposing players with them.
But Coleman, don’t you think RedBull pen is giving them too much credit?
At least we are out of our misery.
August 6, 2008 at 10:43 pm
A line drive that made the acquaintance of Jenks’ family jewels would’ve left me much more satisfied.
August 6, 2008 at 10:44 pm
Mark in Chicago: “billfer, I look forward to your postgame writeup on this one”
The billfer writeups are works of art of the type that could be called Formal Symbolism, the length of the remarks representing the size of the possibility for the Tigers to make the playoffs.
At some point this means they would just disappear, which would be provocative at first, but soon turn silly. However I have heard rumors that before it goes that far he will instead move on to the artform sometimes known as Postgame Writeup Haiku.
August 6, 2008 at 10:47 pm
Dave BW: “Exactly, Coleman. I figure that if the Tigers are going down this season, they may as well take a few opposing players with them”
I had considered this as one possible explanation for the Pudge/Farns trade, but I may have been overestimating them. Especially now as it becomes more and more obvious that Farnsworth is still operating as a Yankee agent.
August 6, 2008 at 10:49 pm
This team sucks.
Hmm, Pudge “bruised [his] knee” tonight and had to leave early. Wonder how bad it was. Collision at home plate, apparently. Don’t know if I recall him ever actually “colliding” with anyone during his days here.
August 6, 2008 at 10:50 pm
I look forward to the point when I start to feel optimistic about next year.
August 6, 2008 at 10:51 pm
Let the Leyland watch begin….. I have no idea what he did or could have done to avoid this massive underachieving mess. But he was handed a talented team (albeit a flawed team) and he was never able to make it work. Also, we are witnessing the 3rd season in a row where the team simply tanked in August. God damn it if he gets another August as tiger manager.
FIRE LEYLAND, FIRE LEYLAND, FIRE LEYLAND!!!
Tigers’ losses effect me about as much now as discovering that I don’t have any lemonade in my house. “Oh, I don’t have lemonade, huh? I kind of wanted lemonade, but I can just as easily have a Vernors or something. Hey, a Monk rerun is on!”
August 6, 2008 at 10:52 pm
Verlander has not been used more carefully this year.
Last year: 3354 pitches thrown in 32 games = 104.81 pitches per game.
This year: 2490 in 23 games (before tonight = 108.26 pitches per game.
Add in his 130 tonight and its: 2620 pitches in 24 games = 109.17 pitches per game. He’s been abused all year long by Leyland. If he does retire, nothing like beating up the best pitcher we’ve got and riding off into the sunset.
August 6, 2008 at 10:53 pm
Fans who are old enough to remember when you could watch Harrelson but not hear him (a fine example incidentally of the argument that history does not proceed in an always forward, advancing direction), may recall a Ron LeFlore line drive that made like a bolt for Wilbur Wood’s kneecap, and I think ended his career.
Personally, I get more upset when I’m out of lemonade than when the Tigers lose. Especially pathetic losses (last night) may give the lemonade a run for its money, however.
August 6, 2008 at 10:57 pm
Chris: I bet Cleveland was happy last year when they didn’t fire Wedge after 2006, and I think Chicago is happy this year that they didn’t fire Ozzie after last season. I think the calls for a Leyland firing are very premature. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it just isn’t your year. i.e. 2008 Detroit Tigers
August 6, 2008 at 11:02 pm
Dave BW; “Tigers’ losses effect me about as much now as discovering that I don’t have any lemonade in my house.”
I’m sure I’ll feel like that soon (although…a house without lemonade? like that would ever happen!), but the last couple of days were more like you go to get your ham sandwich and it’s gone; you put it in the fridge yourself, and nobody else is in your house, so it doesn’t seem possible that there is none…but also it seems even less possible that there is one, once you look through everything even between the leaves of the lettuce for it. And you don’t look for something else to eat, since the ham sandwich will be (i mean would have been) too good. And your hunger and lack of ham sandwich begins to weaken you, until you realize that you can’t even remember the taste of the sandwich, so it’s not just that you misplaced your ham sandwich that you were going to eat tonight, but now you’ve lost all of them.
That’s the best way to describe my feeling. That, or maybe “like listening to that Hawk Harrelson guy.”
August 6, 2008 at 11:03 pm
So, Verlander looks to be revisiting his early season push to reach 20 loses this year. He was derailed for quite a streak there for a while. Now he has a bit of catching up to do.
August 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm
It’s always ham sandwiches with you, Coleman!
August 6, 2008 at 11:11 pm
Dave BW: “It’s always ham sandwiches with you, Coleman!”
Yes, it’s probably not so healthy to eat only the one item…a confidante of mine practiced in the psychological arts has explained an idea has fixed itself in my mind and assumes undue importance, namely the suggestion that the Tigers might trade Renteria for a ham sandwich, so for the psychological logic of the mind, the unresistable urge to have the ham sandwich is really an attempt to make Renteria disappear…
August 6, 2008 at 11:22 pm
Justin Verlander has thrown:
99 pitches ore less: 3 starts.
100-105: 5 starts.
106-110: 6 starts.
111-115: 5 starts.
116-120: 3 starts.
121+: 2 starts.
August 6, 2008 at 11:33 pm
Lots of good pitchers average 105 pitches per game. Halladay and Sabathia, the game’s two great horses, both do.
Nothing is going right this year, no matter how well we play, we always seem to lose CRUCIAL games.
This is so similar to the Sox of last year it’s freaky.
August 7, 2008 at 12:24 am
Eric: Sabathia and Halladay’s average pitches per game in the majors:
*=occured after age 25 (Verlander’s current age).
Verlander this year: 109.16, last year: 104.81 and in 2006 99.06.
Halladay for his starting career (i didn’t use his first year in the bigs as he only threw 2 games, and his first 2-3 years was spent as a reliever so it lowers his pitch count total): 94.16. Purely as a starter: 100.44
Verlander’s 3 years as a starter combined (including tonight): 8816 pitches in 86 games, 104.02.
So at a younger age (and a much more thin, wiry body type then Sabathia and Halladay) has thrown more pitches per game on average then either of your two examples.
August 7, 2008 at 12:29 am
Some random thoughts after attending the last two games in Chicago (with one more to go and then two in Detroit):
1. When I saw the line-up tonight I told my son that our 6-7-8-9 hitters would not get two hits between them. Shef, MT, Rent, and Sardinha (Granderson in the 8th) combined to get exactly one hit. When I wrote down the line-up I just got the sense that there was no way the Tigersv were going to compete tonight. They didn’t.
2. Chicago radio, as I listened on the way to the hotel, believes the Tigers are done. They thought that Swisher’s home run Tuesday night was the blow that the Tigers could not recover from.
3. Granderson was interviewed on AM 1000 earlier in the day and he said he was ready to go despite playing 14 innings the night before. Leyland sat him. To me, nothing says “We’re losing tonight” more than benching the guy who jump-starts the offense. Raburn, despite getting a week’s worth of hits on Tuesday, is not a lead-off hitter. Never has been, never will be.
4. Verlander looked good tonight except for the one bad pitch to “Touch ‘Em All” Thome and the unintentional walk in the eighth. He deserved better.
5. There are no words left in the English language to describe our bullpen. Yesterday it was Farnsworth and Zumaya, today it was Lopez. In the seventh inning tonight the Sox crowd starting chanting “We want Zumaya!”
6. Leyland said he wouldn’t trade any team in the division for his. I’ll tell you what: I’d trade for the Sox right now. They are simply a much better team in every facet of then game than Detroit.
7. Their home run hitters actually hit home runs. Ours do not. We had to rely on homers from Granderson and Polanco Tuesday. The Sox get theirs from Quentin, Thome, and Konerko.
8. Sheffield is an embarrasment to himself, the team, the Tigers, Tigers fans, all of baseball, and even those still held captive in the Soviet gulags. Yes, he had an rbi single tonight. So what? He also got doubled-off first tonight on a line drive to third. Little Leaguers are taught to make sure the ball goes through the infield.
9. This team is playing with no passion or desire. It appears they do not care.
10. In two days at US Cellular, we have not been ridiculed even once. That shows you how little Sox fans are worried about Detroit. They’re worried about the Twins, another team we cannot beat.
Just some thoughts after 23 innings of baseball on the South side of Chicago.
August 7, 2008 at 12:37 am
Mike R., with all due respect, you have got to be fricking kidding! Verlander is supposed to be the purported ace of this staff. I can’t stand Leyland, but if he wants to run Verlander out for 120 pitches I do not give a crap. He’s a major leaguer, it’s not Leyland’s job to insure that he’s gonna pitch until he’s 40. With baseball as it is, odds are he’s not gonna be a Tiger in 3-4 years. Ride him hard, I say. Dude is not 8-12 with a 4.56 ERA because he’s thrown too many pitches, he’s got the record because he’s both literally and metaphorically squeezed the ball too tight when the game is on the line. He’s just like the rest of these guys. When their back is against the wall, he wets his pants.
Hell, I’d pitch him an inning on his throw day, but the season is already lost, give it to Zumaya or Rodney and watch them mow down the side when it doesn’t matter.
Sorry to bring up a taboo subject, but there’s no heart, balls, or character on this team. With the exception of Ordonez, Granderson, and Polanco they’re all head cases, underachievers, and/or fatties. Seriously, go around the diamond, they all got major mental malfunctions.
August 7, 2008 at 12:39 am
Dredford, nice post.
August 7, 2008 at 12:41 am
It’s been a long rough road trip for the Tigers. 17 of their last 20 games have been on the road. That’s the only good excuse I have for them.
They’ll do better when they come home. They’ll have 20 of 26 games coming up at Comerica after this final game at Chicago.
August 7, 2008 at 12:54 am
Stephen: Verlander is 8-12 with a Mid-4’s ERA because of his early starts inflating his numbers.
Coming into tonight:
7-5, 3.51 ERA, 97.1 IP, 83 K, 37 BB since May 14th. That doesn’t include tonight’s line because i’m too lazy to load mlb.com which has been loading slowly for me.
If running Verlander at 110 pitches a start, and 115+ this late in the year, every start, what happens then next year if there are after affects? I’m not one for hard pitch counts as every pitchers body is different in terms of the workload they can carry without putting themselves at risk; however, this is not an organization that is one of the “smart” organizations that knows or pursues the answer to that (not saying that I do, either) via a biomechanic company like the one that Rick Peterson is affiliated with. Is burning him out when the season is done for the Tigers worth getting a bad next year or two out of him — or even loading up the injury potential for the sake of getting the best out of him during a pennant race this year we’re not in?
I’m not saying that his body cannot handle a high workload/pitch count — that is simply unknown to this point. I’d just rather err on the side of caution — especially when 2009 is probably the final year of the window we have for taking a serious run at the world series with this ball club before changes will be needed (2B, SS, LF, C, 3B, DH … depending on who stays and who goes).
August 7, 2008 at 1:08 am
Didn’t watch or follow this one…seems like I made the right choice for my long term sanity. (Sadly, it’s going to be like this until next April.)
August 7, 2008 at 1:09 am
Mike, I can’t agree with your philosophy. Verlander is roughly on a pace to throw 210 innings. Scratch him from his last start because the Tigers will have been eliminated and the guy’s giving us 205 innings. I mean if that’s too high a workload for your ace, god help us all.
And that sound you hear? That’s the window already shutting. The moment has already past for this squad. In retrospect, that happened when the pitchers started tossing the ball around against St. Louis. I know people will say i’m Chief Dark Cloud, but i’ll never understand how people keep talking about the Tigers as contenders when they’ve lost over half their games in the 8/1/06 to 8/5/08 time period.
August 7, 2008 at 1:14 am
And saying Verlander ERA is over 4.50 because of his poor start is like saying Inge’s career average is low, because of his first three years in the majors. Sorry, they all count.
And btw, Jack Morris threw 250 innings at 25. He managed to have a pretty fine career.
August 7, 2008 at 1:31 am
stephen: “And saying Verlander ERA is over 4.50 because of his poor start is like saying Inge’s career average is low, because of his first three years in the majors. Sorry, they all count.”
The statements are similar, and they are both true, and…I’m not quite sure what your point is. I didn’t read Mike as saying Verlander’s start “doesn’t count,” I think he was just trying to point out that he’s somewhat more on track now than his numbers show–which actually backs up your basic point, since if it were true that he is being burnt out by high pitch counts, then it would be unlikely that his stats would look better in the 2nd half than in the 1st.
But comparing to Jack Morris–unfair! Find me a guy anywhere now who pitches as much as Morris. What is fair though is expecting him to do what other #1 in the rotation guys do, if he’s gonna be that guy on the Tigers.
August 7, 2008 at 1:33 am
If we win the last 49 games, we tie the 84′ team with 104 victories. Yeh, 09′, that’s the year, silver anniversary since the last one. Let’s give Leyland one more year. These guys will have one more year under their belt playing with their teammates, hopefully every one will stay healthy, we won’t have that 1000 run albatross hanging around our neck, Bondo will be back, make a few trades(DD is absolutely the best when it comes to retooling), Porcello and Verlander, what a duo;the relief corp is a problem( who woulda thought) but if we spend a little money, we’ll get someone decent, and that lack of passion and desire that dredford mentioned will be back in full bloom. Go Tigers
August 7, 2008 at 1:42 am
Bilfer, I’m sorry that the team has even brought you to your knees. But while your down their, say a prayer for Chris. He used God’s name in vain, tonite.
August 7, 2008 at 1:45 am
If the Tigers win the last 49 games…
-Then it will be hard to pick the sports highlight of the year, that or the Lions going to the superbowl
-Then I wonder if the guys will give postseason shares to some of the guys no longer with the team like Renteria and Sheffield and Pudge.
-Then Chief Monday will probably be next mayor of Detroit
You get the idea…play at home! invite your friends!
August 7, 2008 at 1:49 am
Or if they’ve already played that game, speaking of ’84, how bout…
The 2008 Tigers–disappointing in many ways. Imagine Jim Leyland isn’t the manager. OK, now What Would Sparky Do?
August 7, 2008 at 1:53 am
if Pudge is out for any length of time can we give Farnsworth back
August 7, 2008 at 2:08 am
I think it would be a good idea Coleman, if you could design a board game called Sparky and Jimmy and the moves each would make managing the 08′ team. The ‘men’ could be a small candy cigarette on the Jimmy side and a small clump of white hair for Sparky. You get the idea.
August 7, 2008 at 2:11 am
Ron, that may be an excellent idea, and probably quite inexpensive, I could even start with the little clumps of hair already all over my desk
August 7, 2008 at 2:19 am
Even more fun is when you flip the board over and play Jimmy and Sparky! Hopefully someday there will be a video version, because even with clumps of hair and the like, it is such great fun! I do wish I could see the faces, like Darrell Evans all grumpy cause Rod Allen is DH and bats 3rd every game…and the “everyday leftfielder” switching around! It works best with Howard Johnson, some games he runs out to the wrong position. oops! haha.
August 7, 2008 at 2:33 am
Don’t worry about the expense, Bilfers got it covered. He can market the game on this site. Go fix yourself a ham sandwich and quit worrying so much. It’s only a game.
August 7, 2008 at 2:51 am
Stephen: I’m not concerned with innings — it’s pitch counts more for me. Not all 205 innings are equal — it depends on your work load through each inning (i.e. pitch counts). I’m no doctor and the club (i’m assuming … that might be a big assumption considering they don’t even send in pitcher for MRI’s after they get hurt until they suck for the next time out for the big club) knows what Verlander’s body can take.
Jack Morris did it in a completely different era. He grew up throwing a ton of pitches. He came through the minors throwing a ton of pitches. That’s how guys pitched back then and I’m unaware of studies that compare those eras to the era of today as to the rate of arm injuries and length of a pitchers career and whatnot. Just because a guy can pitch a lot of innings doesn’t mean that it’s (1) a good idea and (2) going to be a lot of innings at his peak — likely due to fatigue.
And I wasn’t validating Verlander’s season — which on the whole has been a half a step backwards from his last couple of years — by throwing out his first month of starts. I was merely saying that the first month of starts are not indicative of his talents, rather, the last 3-4 months are what are indicative of his talents. If you can’t get that, then I don’t know what to tell you.
August 7, 2008 at 2:57 am
ron: “Go fix yourself a ham sandwich and quit worrying so much. It’s only a game.”
That was very disappointing and unsatisfying, I seemed to be all out of ham, and also the sandwich-stuff part, and the clumps of hair were quite awful as a substitute.
Plus now Jimmy will have to manage both teams until I tear out more clumps during tomorrow’s game.
August 7, 2008 at 3:10 am
The thing that scares me right now is that you have 2 guys that are pitiful at the plate and only one guy plays the field. Right now both are on schedule to make a combined $ 25 million next year. Reckaria is Jimmuh’s favorite. Shef must be also since he gets a spot in the lineup every night. If we must spend 20% of a teams payroll to get one position player and 2 guys in the lineup who can bat .225 to .250 and one average position player, 2009 is headed right down the crapper as well. DD needs to get rid of Sheff and Rent and Leyland as well if he thinks either of these two are relevant for another year.
Pitching is where it all begins and ends. We have Verlander, Bonderman, Willis (hopefully), and Battlestar. I think we need to spend the money on a good starter that can take the #1 position. Let Verlander and Bonderman move down the rotation. The Tigers have one more year of Verlander at a cheap rate. A lot riding on Porcello. They just need to shed some payroll/contracts and stop investing in the over 30 plus age group position players. They have a good team with Polanco, Grandy, Maggs, Guillen and Miggy as the core. Just fill in the holes with some younger position players who I am sure can equal the output of Sheff and Rentaria. Beyond that you have all you have left is catcher (not a big Inge fan) and left field which one of the Mud Hens can take care of. This team can be retooled for 2009. It all starts with Sheff and please do not pickup Reckaria’s club option.
August 7, 2008 at 3:23 am
As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see a goat–no, it’s a person, yes a baseball player, that’s it…he seems very unhappy..I look closer, yes now I see, it’s the one called Inge, he has lost something…no, it was taken from him…someone important has taken his catchers glove and is wearing it, and the angry one is being told to go behind the shortstop, yes they are telling him, backup shortstop…the picture seems strange, yet it seems familiar…
Dave from Atlanta
August 7, 2008 at 6:43 am
Hey man hang in there. you are the only legit Tigers news I can get down here. Been reading everyday for 4 years.
Thanks for all you do.
August 7, 2008 at 8:54 am
Amidst all this misery here is a sweet story about the “soul of baseball” that you all will enjoy
August 7, 2008 at 8:56 am
stephen: there’s probably fewer than a dozen people in America that are still talking about the Tigers as contenders any more, so you can really stop arguing that point.
August 7, 2008 at 9:03 am
“the picture seems strange, yet it seems familiar…”
Coleman – Very nice.
August 7, 2008 at 9:09 am
Oh, there you are, Dave BW. Hey, your lemonade story, or parable, or metaphor, or analogy, or whatever it was, was pure lemon genius.
August 7, 2008 at 9:54 am
There was a good post in a very recent game thread listing the toughest losses of 2008. All good choices, but I have to disagree. The 11 shutout losses are what I consider the toughest ones to take, even if they weren’t the “heartbreakers,” and they’re closely followed by a number of games where the pitching allowed 4 runs or less and the Tigers still lost.
There is no way any pitcher in MLB should have been able to shut out this lineup even once. Beat them, sure. Shut them out, no. That is a disgrace. If I wasn’t a general subscriber to the Lemonade Philosophy, the fact that the Tigers could both put up 57 runs in 3 games and also go 11 without scoring even 1 would drive me nuts. If I remember nothing else about 2008, I’ll remember this.
You can’t even pin it on the loss to injury or the underachievement of one or two guys. General team hittting failure. Even the guys putting up good to very good numbers have a share in that failure. They just haven’t gotten it together nearly often enough.
I’m not excusing the pitching, the defense, or the bullpen. But it’s the inconsistent hitting that has bugged me the most all season.
August 7, 2008 at 9:59 am
Rainy Hamilton broke Todd Jones with his carelessness.
August 7, 2008 at 10:44 am
Bottom line – ya can’t fix this team with sorry ole Leyland at the helm. He’s too emotionally involved to see the big picture. I mean, just take a look at him in the dugout – he’s a nervous wreck, no way to set the tone for a winning team.
So you start with Leyland, then Sheffy and Renteria must be gone for ’09.
This is just the tip of the iceberg but it’s a good starting point if the Tigers are gonna try to regroup for next year.
August 7, 2008 at 11:31 am
Fat officials say that if the rate of obesity continues upward, everyone will be obese in 40 years. 2006, World Series losers; 2007 non playoff team; this year, below .500 team. We should surpass 40 wins in 2012 and hit the zero mark in 2016. Miggy should weigh about 400 lbs. then. Amanda, I miss Meijers. Great store. Dec. 94′, gas was .96/ gal at their station in Southgate. Nation was only 2% obese. I loved their cheesecakes.
August 7, 2008 at 11:51 am
What Stephen is saying, and it’s plain as day to me, is that the team stinks worse than an overflowing, open septic tank. They stink worse than that ham sandwich stuck in the cushions of Coleman’s couch since 2004.
August 7, 2008 at 11:56 am
They only stink relative to expectations, Ron. I would characterize their stink as the disappointment you would experience putting your nose up to an Angel Trumpet flower in full bloom one evening only to discover the nondescript yet faintly corrupt odor of a fresh ham sandwich.
August 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm
Angel Trumpet flower. Next time I see one, I’ll stick my nose up it.
August 7, 2008 at 1:39 pm
Definitely recommend it, Ron. The fragrance is beyond belief. Don’t eat it, though (the whole plant is poisonous). Have a ham sandwich instead.
August 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm
I’m unaware of studies that compare those eras to the era of today as to the rate of arm injuries and length of a pitchers career and whatnot.
That’s because no study has ever found a correlation between innings pitched/pitches per game and injury. Call me cynical, but I think limiting pitchers to the modern-day work load is more an idea concocted by agents/self-serving pitchers who can stretch out careers and garner fatter, bigger, and longer contracts by pampering their arms and limiting the work load. In other words, it’s just a numbers game.
Hence the five-man rotation and limiting pitches per game. I’m not saying that trotting every pitcher out there 300 innings a year, or 150 – 170 pitches a game is necessarily a good game plan — but I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to do so in certain situations, either, if the pitcher was conditioned to do so. In my view, it’s more a matter of increasing the odds of injury rather than causing injury.
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