Game 114: Tigers at White Sox

by billfer on August 7, 2008 · 135 comments

in 2008 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: I’m going out to enjoy a lovely day on the beach. When I settle in tonight I’ll see if the Tigers as a collective team have anything left – like pride, or if they simply mail in the season. Zach Miner and Javier Vasquez. Last time this pitching match-up was a win. The bullpen should be well rested after they only had to get 1 out last night.

DET @ CHW, Thursday, August 7, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Nothing to complain about in this one. Zach Miner was solid. The offense was good with the Carlos Guillen and Miguel Cabrera reaching base in each of their 5 respective plate appearances. Ryan Raburn made a bacon saving diving catch. Fernando Rodney was okay enough, and did K 2 without walking anyone. My man Bobby Seay was rocky, and Ramon Santiago had a 3 K game with an error. But otherwise good times. Now the Tigers just need to win 8 of their next 10 and we can all get excited again.

 
 

{ 135 comments }

Mark in Chicago August 7, 2008 at 10:10 am

FYI, billfer: indicating that the bullpen only had to get one out is not necessarily an indication that they are well-rested. If can take them 40-50 pitches and 2-3 pitchers to get 1 out.

Anyhoo, enjoy the beach today, my sense is it will be good to get away. I’ll be at the game tonight, so now it’s your turn to buy me a beer.

Jeremy August 7, 2008 at 11:11 am

Good for you Mark. I get to listen to “STRETCH” and “THIS BALL GAME IS OVER”

Chris in Dallas August 7, 2008 at 11:16 am

Jeremy: You can put it on the boooooaaaaaaarrrrrrdddd….YES!

Mike in CT August 7, 2008 at 11:24 am

For what it’s worth, I say they’re choosing DHL over UPS the rest of the way.

Alex in Maryland August 7, 2008 at 11:31 am

lost 6 straight now, 2 to division rivals…. it can’t really get much worse can it? I guess the tigers could find a way to make it worse

Mark in Chicago August 7, 2008 at 11:53 am

HE GONE!!! Gaaaaaaaass!!

and Jeremy, I think it’s pronounced o-vah.

God how I hate those buffoons.

stephen August 7, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Well, at least no one is spending the night in jail like the mayor.

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

“So, what was the upshot of all those June 7 – July 30 stats you posted yesterday?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. During this time of blazing Tigers success – 31-16 – there were some notable contributors and non-contributors (in aggregate).

The non-contributors, shackles on the legs of the team, were the 2 usual lineup suspects (do I even have to mention their names?), Todd Jones, Joel Zumaya, and Nate Robertson.

Ranging from great to very good were Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, Armando Galarraga, Bobby Seay, Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco, Matt Joyce, and Marcus Thames. I’d say this is the honor roll of guys who have carried the Tigers to more than half – maybe much more than half – the team’s wins in 2008.

Pudge’s numbers were amazing in terms of everything but actual run production.

Andre in Chi August 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Well, let me tell you something…I don’t think I have ever seen somebody cover the Tigers like Billfer, and I mean EVER. He reminds me of a guy I used to play with…zzzzzzz

Mark – my roommate and I were going to the game too, this morning his first words to me were, “you ready for the sweep?”, now only I am going.

Andre in Chi August 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm

So I finally remembered one of my favorite Hawk gay-tangents. He was discussing the history of Comerica and how far back the fences originally were…from there he tied in the Juan Gonzalez franchise-saving non-signing, which he indicated had to do with him viewing the park as non-hitter friendly. Upon noting that immediately after his turning down of the 8 year, $140 million deal, the Tigers moved the fences in, Hawk referred to Gonzalez non-signing as “the biggest boner ever”. DJ was left dazed and confused, “uhhhh”. Hawk attempted to quickly recover by contextualizing the “boner” in question. It was fantastic.

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Andre, your story reveals DJ as the one with sexual identity issues. Any normal guy (normal = like us) would have come back with with the requisite boner joke. DJ was afraid to go there, with good reason.

Ryan P August 7, 2008 at 1:25 pm

“DJ was afraid to go there, with good reason.”

I don’t think I would want to explain to the FCC why I was discussing common sexual slang during a baseball game, either.

Andre in Chi August 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Mark –

I don’t suppose there are any bars near the stadium you’d recommend as Tig-friendly?

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 1:47 pm

“I don’t think I would want to explain to the FCC why I was discussing common sexual slang during a baseball game, either.”

Ryan, I think they can get away with subtle double-entendre. Not that sports broadcasters are exactly famous for subtlety or the kind of intelligence that likes word play and wicked humor. Pat Hughes (Cubs) could do it. He’s so good it’s starting to rub off on Ron Santo. I actually think I’m liking both of them now. Gak.

Mark in Chicago August 7, 2008 at 2:05 pm

I don’t know of any good Tiger bars, Andre, sorry. As it is, I’ll get there right at game time. I figured it was only a matter of time until your roommate ended up the side of a milk carton. Enjoy the game with silence.

and Sean, Bert Blyleven once dropped an F-bomb on air. That was subtle too.

Joel in Seattle August 7, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Someone on BYB posted this excerpt from the paper:

“The Tigers have lost 19 games in which they led or were tied entering the seventh inning. If nine of those games had ended differently, the Tigers would be in first place in the American League Central. Instead, they entered Wednesday 7 1/2 games behind.”

- Jon Paul Morosi, Detroit Free Press

Good heavens.

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Sean C: “Pudge’s numbers were amazing in terms of everything but actual run production.”

This is no surprise, since that trend (or meaningless statistical variance) of Pudge doing all his hitting on a clean slate lasted until he left (I refuse to look at his Yankee stats). And if the runners are on base in scoring position, it’s even worse.

RISP: .237/.302/.382/.684

AB per HR
Bases empty: 36.6
Men on: ***
**unable to calculate until he hits one; 0 – 133 AB

In other words, he basically turns into Inge, with less power.

Unfortunately, he had an above-average % of AB with men on/RISP (43.5 / 24.0) although not as much as the unfortunate Renteria (46.8 / 27.1) who at least had 3 of his HR with men on (2 grand slams; AB per HR 58.7).

Assuming the argument that things like “clutch hitting” etc are illusions, it would be interesting to move around guys in the batting order and use the split stats to get an idea what the ideal batting orders would have been in retrospect.

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Joel in Seattle:

Just imagine how the Tigers would be doing if they were in the National League..

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 3:27 pm

“Assuming the argument that things like “clutch hitting” etc are illusions, it would be interesting to move around guys in the batting order and use the split stats to get an idea what the ideal batting orders would have been in retrospect.”

Coleman, this will sound like a joke, but it’s not.

If I had the time and the programming skill, I would take the results for every Tiger hitter PA, leaving them in their actual order, and attempt to find what the ideal alignment of them would have been to produce the most runs, which would include rearranging batting orders and even starts.

OK, there is a joke part to it. I’m afraid I would end up with a lot of spare Renteria PA. I suppose I could use them up in the games Tigers pitching gave up 10+ runs, as long as I could assign them to all the Tigers just for those games.

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 3:31 pm

“and Sean, Bert Blyleven once dropped an F-bomb on air. That was subtle too.”

Mark, I was thinking maybe just a tad more subtle than that.

Andre in Chi August 7, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Coleman-

I can’t tell if you believe they’d do better or worse, but since you seem to be offering a comparison, and they’re bad in the AL, I’ll assume you mean they’d do better in the NL.

Problem with that is the whole giving Leyland more in-game decisions aspect that comes with the NL.

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 3:33 pm

‘Just imagine how the Tigers would be doing if they were in the National League..”

Why stop there? What if they were in the International League? They’d trail only Toledo. And if they were in the NFL, the NBA, or the NHL, they’d already have clinched a playoff spot.

Andre in Chi August 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm

If they were a presidential candidate…they would have won every state!

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm

I’m saying that because of their interleague record. True, the AL teams seem to have a general advantage, presumably because the NL teams can’t dig up a decent DH when they play the away games. However:

-um, yeah, DH is a huge advantage for DET. Not lately.

-AL interleague record last 2 seasons: .562. DET: .750 So they exceed the typical AL team advantage.

-Leyland factor. True, more managerial decisions. On the other hand: leaving the starter in too long? nope, just pinch-hit for him.

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Also, I left out:

-hey, it’s working for the Brewers

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Sean C: “Coleman, this will sound like a joke, but it’s not.”

It could be worse, like when my jokes don’t sound like jokes.

Actually though that was sort of the thing I was imagining; put Pudge in the lineup spot which had the most PA with bases empty (and of course all these stats change as you move guys around, Renteria in the spot most likely to have guys on 2nd but not 1st (he actually has been good with runners on when he can’t do that GIDP thing he likes so much), etc. It’s tricky though because it gets so multi-dimensional or exponential or what have you…it would be easy to find, say, the lineup spot where Inge’s stats say he would do best. But does moving the guy currently in that spot to another decrease his production by more than Inge’s increases, and what about the guy that used to be in the slot the displaced guy is now in? Oh my head…

Sean C. in Illinois August 7, 2008 at 4:29 pm

‘It could be worse, like when my jokes don’t sound like jokes.”

All your jokes sound like jokes to me, Coleman, but then again, anything you write has me poised for the joke that might not be there.

I knew what you were saying about Detroit in the NL. I was being a smartass.

Although it would be time-consuming, it wouldn’t be difficult to put every Tiger’s PA in sequence in a spreadsheet so you could then shift them around for optimum results. Let’s all quit our jobs. Surely someone here who is independently wealthy will offer us a grant, a stipendium, seed money to get us started.

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I think we could pull this off on the venture capitalists, because if it works, imagine how much you could charge for the info when teams are shelling out half a milliion per home run to old broken-down DHs. Plus it’s a win-win for the manager: if it works his team is better and his life is easier; if not–hey, don’t complain to me! Talk to the spreadsheet!

The key thing is the naming of it…I’m thinking what would attract the most investment would be something moneyball sounding, without violating trademarks etc…hmm… The Moneybean sounds too much like a 90s .com bust…I’ll have to ponder this one…

Shane Temporarily in Toledo August 7, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Good lineup today. The one that almost everybody has been calling for.

yak August 7, 2008 at 7:12 pm

7-0 Lions. Kitna to Roy….Roy,Roy,Roy

yak August 7, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Calvin Johnson is looking dominant. Granted it’s the first pre-season game, but WOW!

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 7:39 pm

It’s starting to bother me that Shane is still “temporarily” in Toledo, and by god if he isn’t called up when rosters expand someone is going to get an earful.

It seems nobody plays the games I offered last night but I am not discouraged; perhaps they were “night games” and by the the time I posted the conceptuality of them most Billferistas were in that portion of their mental territory on which they have planted the flag they call “morning.”

So I will make an attempt at something more daytime…

So it is now the offseason. Jim Leyland has retired (although keeping his hotel suite, gratis, because of which, out of the entire year, there is not one day ok which it can be said that Mike Illitch is really happy?…the new manager is recently retired Jon Kitna. After pronouncing that the Tigers will win 100 games, his next big move is:_____

yak August 7, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Announcing the number on his jersey will be the Jesus Fish symbol? Dressing up like rapist Dmitri Young at a costume party?

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Get to finally watch a whole game tonight. Hopefully the Tigers can get it done. GO TiGeRs!!

cib August 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Is it terrible to be drinking a beer already to get numb for the game??

Tbone August 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The DTW Dream Team:

Granderson, CF
Polanco, 2B
Guillen, 3B
Ordonez, DH
Cabrera, 1B
Joyce, RF
Thames, LF
Inge, C
Santiago, SS

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

cib– I’m right there with ya..probably the only way i’m gonna enjoy the game is with a few brewskis..lol Got some jaeger chillin in the event the game gets real bad. Shots for everyone!

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm

kay: these are excellent suggestions and you are so far winning the game; but spelling your name backwards is a threadbare disguise, and would it kill you to call me sometime?

However I am thinking Mr Kitna needs a bench coach with a pocketful of experience, and another, and another, until he is dressing double-pants-wise with the pockets he needs. Because Mr Experience Nine-Pockets would impart to him
the invaluable Irish proverb:

It will be the breaking of your balls that you are feeling when you are after retiring the jersey number that all your team share common-like.

Rick G August 7, 2008 at 8:09 pm

So Marcus Thames is not an every day player, he’ll get “exposed” if you leave him in the lineup every day. Conventional thinking, no?

I never bought it, and had never seen any evidence of this, so I spent some time researching his career, taking the number of plate appearances (PA) in each month of his career (leaving out his first month, June 2002 because that’s his only month in MLB that year, and played just a 7 games,and this month since it just started). I compared that against his OPS for each month.

If he was not capable of being an every day player, his OPS would be lower for months that he gets more PA, i.e. negatively correlated. A zero correlation means no effect, and a positive correlation means more PA leads to higher OPS. I’ll be darned if the correlation didn’t work out to be +0.59.

I’m not saying he’s going to be all-world if he bats leadoff every day, surely injuries and slumps that limit PA affect this analysis to some degree. But this whole idea that poor Marcus needs his rest just seems a little ridiculous. If he’s healthy, put him out there. He is country strong, after all!

(Just had to share this in case anyone else cares. Below are the numbers I worked with from baseball-reference.com)

Year Month PA OPS
2003 July 23 0.716
2003 August 50 0.55
2003 Sept/Oct 11 0.382
2004 June 17 0.176
2004 July 69 1.141
2004 August 51 0.477
2004 Sept/Oct 47 1.02
2005 April/March 29 0.476
2005 May 57 0.865
2005 June 8 0
2005 Sept/Oct 24 0.701
2006 April/March 42 0.989
2006 May 57 1.113
2006 June 104 0.985
2006 July 73 0.683
2006 August 51 0.966
2006 Sept/Oct 63 0.595
2007 April/March 36 0.765
2007 May 41 0.813
2007 June 42 0.653
2007 July 46 0.977
2007 August 74 0.66
2007 Sept/Oct 45 0.86
2008 April/March 39 0.653
2008 May 43 0.911
2008 June 80 1.139
2008 July 78 0.721

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Amanda: good try Adam, but mixing up the letters on “an Adam” is a threadbare disguise. And would it kill you to call me sometime?

At any rate it is a fine thing that you feel the gratitude, and the lucky fortune of your luck, to be watching your lone game entire, and that with the special shortstop that exceeds ham sandwich in his shortstoppery.

Shane Temporarily in Toledo August 7, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Do not get too scared everybody, what Zach Miner threw in the first inning were called strikes and they are what pitchers are supposed to throw.

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 8:25 pm

haha Ole-Ma :) The “C” and “N” really aren’t necessary but a nice disguise nonetheless
And I’ll most enjoy watchin the game and reading the blogs as they happen. Could Cabrera have takin 2nd from that over throw at 1st base?

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 8:35 pm

This Santiago at bat is already better than seeing rent-a-wreck

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Uh huh and now bases are loaded

Shane Temporarily in Toledo August 7, 2008 at 8:40 pm

“Could Cabrera have takin 2nd from that over throw at 1st base?”

No.

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Rick G: I wish I were clever in a way that could understand your cleverness, or the secret of your name-code and what real name it conceals. And would it kill you to call me sometime?

But if you are feeling kind or grateful for those days that were…please explain the conundrum of the proof that he who plays not every day is nonetheless the everyday player.. Surely it is in the interest of the manager to play the better players and yet the strongman playeth not…if the answer is something terrible by which you fear to overwhelm and trouble my mind, I thank you…but I would hope you yet have memory of my strength in the old times–do you really think he cannot handle the Truth of Thames who told your girlfriend her little dog, sadly, had been taken by a hawk and who listened so placidly to the earblasting thereupon?

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Thank you Shane

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Nice rope Miggy WOW

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Woot! Miggy!!

Coleman August 7, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Actually it looks like Cabrera could have made 2nd, but he definitely would have bee thrown out going back to first to get his “friend on a 4-ft pole”

mcb August 7, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Beginning of the end here in the 5th??

Dave BW August 7, 2008 at 9:41 pm

How awesome is Cabrera? I really really hope that the several Cabrera-haters from the beginning of the season feel every bit as stupid now as we knew their statements to be at the time.

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Yup here we go..Deja Vu ..Whew made it out of the 5th alive

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Wow Grandy!

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm

hmmm i must be talking too much..pretty quiet around here. In light of the good pitching by Miner and the decent hits / runs we’re getting. Shhhhhh will be vewy quiewt *Elmer Fudd voice*

Chris August 7, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Amanda, I think the quietness of DTW is due to the fact that the team’s playoff chances are looking dead.

It’s a sad day in August when Detroit pro sports fans hold out more intest and hope for the Lions then the Tigers. I personaly don’t understand that. I predict that the Lions will be aweful- much worse than last year

Dave BW August 7, 2008 at 10:21 pm

My lack of comments is due to the fact that a new episode of Burn Notice takes precedence over the 300th Tigers/White Sox game of the year :)

Tbone August 7, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Maybe everyone is over at MTV watching America’s Best Dance Crew?

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I think everybody is holding thier breath or praying since the bullpen is in play. There’s one for Z. SHHHHHHH

Jeff August 7, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Here we go again . . . it’s got to be a mind thing now. Seay has to get two more outs without giving up a tying homer, it seems like a 50-50 proposition these days.

EDIT: What horrible baserunning by the Chisox. Only one out to go in the inning. Thome’s actually slower than Miggy.

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Great bullpen stats on FSN Detroit. pitiful

Brian P August 7, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I think Mike R said Thome appears to be swinging a red wood. Apparently, he runs like one too.

RudeMood19 August 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

well Thames should have been traded, they could have GOTTEN something decent for him.

Ok, so here’s the new Tiger gameplan:

woah, guys the next months worth of games are all against beatable teams:

OAK at home for 3
TOR at home for 3
BAL at home for 3
TEX on road for 3
KC on road for 3
CLE at home for 3
KC at home for 3

They better take advantage because the Twins and ChiSox have more difficult schedules.

Twins:
KC on road for 3
NYY at home for 3
SEA at home for 3
OAK at home for 3
They then start at 14 game road trip
LAA on road for 4
SEA on road for 3
OAK on road for 4
TOR on road for 3 (start of September)

Hopefully, they can lose some (ok a lot) of these games.

ChiSox:
BOS at home for 4
KC at home for 3
OAK on road for 3
SEA at home for 3
TB at home for 3
BAL on road for 3
BOS on road for 3

The ChiSox have had a more balanced schedule thus far but they still have to play some tough teams.

Hopefully, the Tigers can start pitching. I still think it’s a matter of focus. They can still make up ground. They play the Twins 3 more time in Minny and the ChiSox 3 more times in Chicago.

They have a big 4 game series with the Angels to start September at home. They need to prove they can be a championship contending team.

I know I’m in the minority, but I still believe in this team. Their luck has been so bad this year I think, and I think they deserve for some good fortune.

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Will another game this season ever end in an uneventful win?

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 10:45 pm

O lawd! Here comes Rodney. Now im skeered

Kris August 7, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Just now checking in…appears I now tune in to just the exact moment that the wheels fall off. Sweet.

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Let’s go F-Rod. Duplicate 2 nights ago.

Travis August 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Here comes F-bomb. Which Rodney will we see: Jekyll or Hyde?

T Smith August 7, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Okay… not sure if Seay is hurt or not, but if he’s not, you absolutely leave in Seay. He needs one out. Let him work his way out of the jam.

I give Rodney a 50%/50% chance getting out of this inning with the Tigers still in the lead.

sky August 7, 2008 at 10:48 pm

In 50 years of watching professional sportsI have never seen such psychopathic play affect an entire team with such predictability.

Psychopathic.That’s the only way to describe it.

Jeff August 7, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Will another game this season ever end in an uneventful win?

How many uneventful wins have the Tigers had this year, not counting games in which the Tigers scored 19 runs?

Jeff August 7, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Psychopathic.That’s the only way to describe it.

The Tigers’ psychopath is in a Venezuelan prison.

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm

OMG! RayBurn awesome catch!

Travis August 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Jekyll it is, courtesy of Ryan Raburn. Wow.

Brian P August 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Boy oh boy. That’s the first time I’ve thought “Good thing we had a defensive replacement for Thames.”

Kris August 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Dude!

Who closes?

Ryan P August 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm

I dunno, Thames may have had that. In the way he kind of tumbles, loses his hat, contorts his body into strange positions. Nah, he woulda missed it…rolling to the wall, woohoo.

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Jones off the DL :)

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Thames did make a great catch earlier, but he isn’t making that one.

Travis August 7, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Good question, Kris. Keep Rodney in?

Ryan P August 7, 2008 at 10:56 pm

That may be the first time we’ve seen the “intentionally walk Guillen to get to Maggs and a red-hot Cabrera” strategy this year?

Kris August 7, 2008 at 10:58 pm

No win situation for Leyland.

Keep Sombraro crookedo in…he blows it and people ask why not Z.

Bring Z in …he blows it and people ask why not stick with Rodney?

I would start with Rodney, with a quick hook.

Ryan P August 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Well, Z ain’t coming in for sure today. But yes, I’d stick with Rodney. I’d rather not see Farnsworth face Quentin, Thome, or a pinch-hitting Dye.

Anyways, looks like Maggs has made it a non-issue. Who knows with our ‘pen though.

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Z already pitched

Kris August 7, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Maggs!

Dare I say the closer question no longer matters?

Travis August 7, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Agreed. Especially now that Maggs gave us some breathing room. Although, is there really such a thing as breathing room with this bullsh** pen?

RudeMood19 August 7, 2008 at 11:03 pm

wow, Guillen hates Maggs, tries to be arrogant once again, tries to embarass Maggs. maggs would have none of that would he?

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Nice to see another bullpen get blown up.

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Now these are the Tigers we know and love :)

Tbone August 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Is a 5 run lead enough?

More, please.

sky August 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm

What a change a great defensive play can make…Maggs, comes through, Joyce comes through…it is a relief!

Ryan P August 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Nice Joyce. About time you did something.

Travis August 7, 2008 at 11:06 pm

This may seem obvious, but I really like the approach that Joyce takes as a hitter. Especially for a rookie. Nice piece of hitting with that stroke to left.

Chris August 7, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Hopefully our bullpen can hold such a tight lead…… :(

Travis August 7, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Nice at-bat, Captain K. Tool.

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Here we go again. Hopefully a win here. Then a 10 game homestand. Tigers probably win 7 or 8 games just to get close in the race again to keep us all watching. I see it coming.

Ryan P August 7, 2008 at 11:09 pm

I’m sure they’ll get just close enough to make me waste my money on MLB.tv for the last two months after I leave for school.

judpma August 7, 2008 at 11:09 pm

1. the Sox are obviously tired from beating on the Tigers the past three days
2. if the Sox lose Leyland could get fired so they are throwing this game. Ozzie knows he can out coach the old man every day of the week. He wants Jim there
3. The lead still isn’t big enough
4. it AIN’T OVER UNTIL IT IS OVER

NoNon August 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Oh Lord, Swisher again…is no lead safe?

Brian in Tampa August 7, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Swisher=Punto

sky August 7, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Somehow it seems ………….over……WE WON!

Travis August 7, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Way to go, F-bomb. We needed that one tonight.

Amanda August 7, 2008 at 11:19 pm

WoW Finally! WTG Tigers! on that happy note.. Good night all ~!

judpma August 7, 2008 at 11:19 pm

BFD

Chief Monday August 7, 2008 at 11:20 pm

great game all around for the Tigers. Need about 10 more of those in a row to make up for the crap we were served for the past few weeks though.

ron August 8, 2008 at 9:06 am

Leyland lives another day and probably 3 more.

Palmcroft August 8, 2008 at 9:11 am

The Tigers are good enough to win the division. They’re not half as good as the Angels, but DD doesn’t care about championships; he just wants butts in the seats and the illusion of “we can go all the way” attitude.

The Tigers will win the division. Hello win streak. I think the next six weeks will be fun.

Ryan P August 8, 2008 at 9:48 am

Palmcroft is either actually Chief Monday, or has gotten into the Oxycontin and beer again.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 10:27 am

Your daily dose of humor. Lots of Tigers related anecdotes here…

http://www.cracked.com/article_16534_11-baseball-legends-who-were-legendary-assholes.html

Anson August 8, 2008 at 10:32 am

Does anyone know where Palmcroft and Chief Monday purchase their amazing koolaid? Personally, I think it would go great with a ham sandwich. In fact, I’m going to go as far as saying that drinking said koolaid while consuming the ham sandwich is the only way to truely enjoy the sandwich.

Andre in Chi August 8, 2008 at 10:35 am

So I’m back from the game last night. Big game for me, first time they’ve won a game I went to.

It was weird, our entire row was Detroit fans, except my roommate…who by the way jinxed himself by saying “ready for the sweep” last morning. I was sitting next to some seven year old kid and, at one point, Joyce let an out get past him for a ground rule double, I made a comment about him sucking as a outfielder and the kid got on my case.

It was odd having to defend myself against a seven year old…especially since i was a little loaded at that point and had to hold back on my urge to make fun of him and point out he was wearing a Pudge jersey.

I think i managed a coherent argument about Joyce being a decent bat, but rather having him DH instead of Maggs. When Joyce got the last RBI, the kid taunted me…

I took it pretty well i think, especially when you consider the last time i went to a game i made fun of a Sox-kid who didn’t spell his sign right…I don’t know what it is about that ballpark that turns me into a child-hating a-hole.

Matt in Toledo August 8, 2008 at 11:31 am

Do you really think Maggs is a better outfielder than Joyce? I agree he may not have played that ball very well (the ground rule double), but I suspect he’s probably the Tigers’ second best outfielder at the moment.

This probably doesn’t mean a whole lot, but he was voted the Best Defensive Outfielder in the Eastern League last year. Matt Walbeck (his manager at the time) said the only reason he wasn’t sent down when he struggled so badly in April and May last year was his defense was so good.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 11:42 am

Matt Walbeck is now the third base coach here for the Rangers. And a bad one at that. He almost got David Murphy and Pudge killed on the same play.

Andre in Chi August 8, 2008 at 11:45 am

Matt-

Mostly it was just a funny story of my drunk-@ss defending a comment to a zealous kid.

However, I’m wondering if you watched the game (can’t remember, I think it was the first game of the series) where in extra innings, bottom of the inning with the W. Sox at bat, bases loaded and less than two outs…Joyce playing DEEP in LF. While the whole team is freaking out, players, coaches, everyone is telling him to come in…and Joyce sits there like, “I got this”.

Maybe that situation was out of the ordinary and doesn’t reflect his overall ability (in general I’m basing my judgement on a small sample size), but I’ve seen him make some pretty off target throws as well.

jim-mt August 8, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Drink the kool-aid.
It is better than the pre-DD & JL years.

I prefer to think of those one run losses and extra innings losses as good games anyway.

Ryan in Brooklyn August 8, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Going way back on the thread here, but I thought Rick G’s post about Marcus was really interesting. I was always skeptical about the argument that he’d be bad as an everyday player, but had nothing but my own instincts to base that on. Rick seems to have disproved the theory somewhat. I actually wonder if Marcus’ recent slump might have a lot to do with Leyland waffling and wavering on what his true role is going to be. A while back, he was going to be the everyday left fielder. That was followed by a rotation of leftfield starters that never seemed to have much rhyme or reason. Maybe if Leyland ever followed through with any of his pronouncements, he’d get better production for his players.

Sean C. in Illinois August 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm

“but I thought Rick G’s post about Marcus was really interesting.”

I did, too. Good work, Rick, and thanks.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Going strictly by those numbers, you can make the argument that Marcus Thames is a streaky hitter. I’m not in favor of playing ‘streaky’ hitters every day, simply because the cold spells absolutely kill you. A couple of examples, using Rick’s stats from above (I’m going to discount anything prior to 2006):

Year Month PA OPS
2006 June 104 0.985
2006 July 73 0.683
losing 300 points of OPS is unacceptable

2006 August 51 0.966
2006 Sept/Oct 63 0.595
again, losing 370 points of OPS isn’t cutting it

2007 May 41 0.813
2007 June 42 0.653
starting to see a trend? (P.S. an 813 OPS ain’t that great to begin with for a corner OF)

2007 July 46 0.977
2007 August 74 0.66
OK I’m going to stop now

An added note – I don’t think a corner OF with a career .304 OBP in over 1300 PA is screaming “play me every day”.

Joel in Seattle August 8, 2008 at 1:15 pm

So, assume that JV, Bondo and Willis are in the starting rotation next year. I know Willis is a stretch, but he’s getting paid a lot of money, he’ll at least be given a chance. You can also say that the Tigers try hard to sign a #1 or #2 starter off the FA market. The bottom line is, you have 3 slots full.

Who rounds out the rotation? I’d favor Battlestar and Zach Miner, letting Nate work out of the bullpen and spot start (or included in a trade for another important piece). While he’s been largely pilloried around here, I’d imagine such a move would be controversial. What do you guys think?

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Your 2009 Tigers starting rotation: Verlander-Bonderman-Willis-Galarraga-Sabathia

OK that one’s probably just a pipe dream. Replace fatty with Robertson and that’s probably what it actually will be. Though Miner has proven capable of starting, I have to think with the money owed to Robertson that he’d get the nod. I have to think that Bonderman should have a bounce back season, having (hopefully) fixed what has been causing him the elbow troubles. Really when he’s been 100% healthy he’s an excellent #3 starter (a #2 if you discount the first inning – had to throw that tried and true criticism in there…)

Chief Monday August 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Galarraga should be the #1 starter if the 2009 season started Tomorrow.

.

Ryan P August 8, 2008 at 1:47 pm

The FA starter that I’m really looking at is Ben Sheets. He’s a great pitcher, and I think he’s someone the Tigers would be willing to sign.

Mark in Chicago August 8, 2008 at 1:49 pm

So far I’m with you Joel. Battlestar has been pretty lucky, but appears to be at least a competent starter. He could act as a swingman if we are able to land another starter, too Miner is clearly more comfortable in the rotation and has strung together a nice couple starts. I think he deserves a shot as the #5 next year if he keeps this up.

I don’t know if they try to sign a big FA starter. Sabathia is obviously the prize, but the payroll is pretty high and the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Cubs?, etc. will throw a ton of money at him. Sheets has too much injury history. Also, a guy like Porcello may be ready to contribute by midseason.

So what happens to Nate? Given his perfomance this year, I’d love to see him shipped out of town, but I doubt that will happen. Maybe he gets traded, but his value just isn’t that high, so DD would be selling low. Best guess is he ends up in the rotation next year and there’s no FA signing, except for the bullpen.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 1:57 pm

I don’t know if they try to sign a big FA starter. Sabathia is obviously the prize, but the payroll is pretty high

Not as high as it looks on the surface. The ’08 payroll was a whopping $137 million (3rd in baseball). Subract the following: $13 million (Pudge), $8 million (Rogers), $7 million (Jones), $10 million (Renteria) and you’re down to right around $100 million. Of course some guys have escelators in their contracts so they’ll be making more next year and there will be holes to plug, but I think they could free up enough payroll to make a push for a Sabathia. And after ’09 Sheffield’s contract is gone as well. I’m no economist, but I think they should give it a shot. Sheets is too risky health-wise.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm

I forgot to add if they can ditch Robertson and his $4 million, that probably would help too.

Ryan P August 8, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Sheets is a risk health-wise, but if they could get a nice contract laid out (Magglio?), I think it would be a good investmend. Sabathia would be amazing of course, but every time I imagine the Sabathia of the future, he’s in pinstripes. Or somewhere in the northeast, at least. Maybe Illitch and DD have the balls to get him, who knows.

Palmcroft August 8, 2008 at 2:09 pm

First, oxycontin and beer only enhance my enthusiasm. Masked by losing, the Tigers started to get things in order in Chicago. Chuckie is, frankly, coaching his *ss off. Good times ‘a comin.

My worry about Galarraga in the future is his heavy reliance on the slider. I carefully watched his near perfecto a few weeks ago, it seemed like every other pitch was a slider. To my mind, he is not a projectible member of a future Tigers staff with such a lopsided mix. His elbow ligament will not take it.

Chief Monday August 8, 2008 at 2:54 pm

That’s what I use to think about Jurrjens. I didn’t think his elbow could take it and though he’d never be a reliable starter. Tiger’s management agreed. So off he went.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 3:25 pm

One out-of-the-box idea would be to flip Galarraga for someone in the offseason if he can keep up with his pace. I surmise his trade value would never be higher than it is right now. I doubt they’d be able get the haul they got for Jurrjens/Hernandez (coughsarcasmcough), but they might be able to land something decent.

Ryan In Brooklyn August 8, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Chris in D: I’ll agree that Marcus has been steaky in the past. But I wonder if some of that has to do with him never knowing when his next at bat is coming. The positive correlation Rick showed between his PAs and OPS seems to indicate that he might be more productive overall if he saw more regular at bats. This season, we saw him go through an amazing hot streak, followed by the manager proclaiming him the starter in left. That was followed by more of the same platooning with Joyce, Thomas, etc. Not to mention being lifted for defense, often as early as the seventh inning (more lost PAs). I have to think that messes with you as a hitter.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Ryan: What you say may be true. But after three or four years or whatever of not getting regular AB, you’d think he might have adjusted to it by now. Not to say that I don’t like Marcus (I do), but some guys are starters and some guys are bench players – I think he’s the latter. That’s not necessarily bad. I think it’s quite a luxury to have power like that coming off of your bench.

Palmcroft August 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Chief:

I thought Jurrjens was one of the smartest young pitchers I’d seen in years. He really knew how to work through an order, how to adjust while on the mound, terrific location and movement. I didn’t see what you did, that is, an overreliance on one pitch.

If there’s such a thing as a “pitchers IQ,” Jair had it. He threw a two-hitter last year that I thought was the finest game I’d seen pitched in ages.

I think Mussina and Maddux are the smartest pitchers going today, and Jair has the makeup to join them. I hated to see him go.

Chris in Dallas August 8, 2008 at 5:53 pm

The Louisville Slugger Company loved Jurrjens. He broke more bats per outing than any Tigers pitcher in recent memory.

Dave BW August 8, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Andre —

RE: child-mocking stories

You’re awesome. Seriously.

Chief Monday August 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm

In 2007, Jurrjens was terrible his last 2 starts for the Tigers though. After last season, even Bazardo looked better than Jurrjens.

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