Game 117: A’s at Tigers

PREGAME: Remember when the Tigers bludgeoned the Royals for a series sweep a few weeks back? Yeah, that was the last time they won a series. They have a chance to turn the feat again this afternoon.

It will be Nate Robertson taking the mound for the Tigers. Robertson has been horrific with a 6.11 ERA. He’s allowing 1.3 hits PER INNING. He has been much better at home (4.45 ERA) and much better during the day (4.47 ERA). So maybe he doesn’t blow up today.

Greg Smith takes the ball for the Athletics. He turned in a quality start his last time out against the Blue Jays. He has an okay strike out rate 5.95 and a poor 3.92 walk rate. But he hasn’t given up a lot of hits. He’s given up 62 fewer hits than Robertson in the same number of innings. Lefties have managed only a 572 OPS against him this year. And don’t swing at the first pitch. He’s only allowed a 172/169/328 line when the first pitch is put in play.

OAK @ DET, Sunday, August 10, 2008 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Well this was a nice clean, crisp win. Nate Robertson was in and around the strike zone and efficiently marched through the A’s order for 7.2 innings. In the process he dropped his ERA to the right side of 6.00. Fernando Rodney picked up the last 4 outs, including stranding the runner he inherited, allowing only a double along the way.

The offense had a controlled approach, not offering at pitches out of the strike zone for the most part. They drew 10 walks, though only 2 came around to score. But they did enough to build a comfortable margin by the end of the game.

Gary Sheffield had a kind of cycle of futility. He was 1 for 1 in GIDP opportunities. He also popped up with a runner on second and no outs. And he K’d both looking and swinging.

The only other bad thing about the game was that Curtis Granderson struck out bunting. Grandy has looked so good in so many facets of the game, but his last couple bunt attempts have been awful. I believe it was just last week he popped up a sac bunt attempt.


  1. Dave BW

    August 10, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Whoa guys don’t all chime in at once

  2. charlie

    August 10, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    poor sheff

    can we have a group awwww

  3. Amanda

    August 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Just got home from work. Am i seeing things? Or is Inge playing 3rd. If so, who’s catching?

  4. Chief Monday

    August 10, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    yeah Granderson

  5. Carolyn

    August 10, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    “I don’t get pitched the same like everybody else. I get pitched very carefully.”
    — Sheffield (from Charlie’s link)

    Waaaaahhhh!!! I don’t know, maybe he should ask Cabrera how he handled it when he was in Florida.

    And his approach at the plate stinks. Swinging for the fences with a guy at 2nd and 0 out?

  6. Brian in Tampa

    August 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm


    Dane is catching. No Guillen. Thames has a bumb shoulder. Raburn is in left.

  7. Amanda

    August 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Dang, thanks Brian. I thought that was Inge who missed that catch at third when it popped over/out of his glove. But was thinking ..Naaaaaaa.. couldn’t be.

  8. sky

    August 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Sheffield really looks bad despite yesterday’s home run. That last strike out was a lunge at a pitch two feet outside the zone.

  9. Dave BW

    August 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Perhaps the Tigers were right and there really are limitations to Hannahan’s “never swing at anything ever” approach after all.

  10. Chris

    August 10, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Sheffield swings and strikes out on ball four… Man is he having the worst season.

    Nice job by Robertson, putting up goose eggs.

  11. sky

    August 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I get the impression there are not too many Tigers fans online today.

  12. Brian in Tampa

    August 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Wow. Nate looks like a professional pithcer today. Very nice considering we have 1 run.

  13. Ryan P

    August 10, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Nate looks….good.

  14. Andrew

    August 10, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Well, it’s a beautiful day out. The sun is shining. The Olympics are on (though I’m not bothering to watch).

    Perhaps folks just took the day off from watching the Tigers go for a series win against the A’s while they are 8 games back.

  15. Brian P

    August 10, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Did Jim pick Raburn out of a hat to hit third? I don’t care if Marcus came out of the lineup late. Batting the utility bench player third is definitively mindless.

  16. Dave BW

    August 10, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Magglio is kind of a good baseball player imo

  17. judpma

    August 10, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    hey Nate this is better than you can do…where you been all year ???

  18. judpma

    August 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    when Sheff bats watch him drop his back foot back away from the plate when he swings…in the old days we called it “stepping in the bucket” you would never let a young hitter do this….Rayburn does it also…maybe you have to be a .220 hitter to perfect this move

  19. yak

    August 10, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Nate for Cy Young?

  20. Dave BW

    August 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Amazingly, Rod is correct: it was ’05 when Rodney gave up the HR to Thomas.

  21. Forty

    August 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I don’t like grandy bunting there…

  22. judpma

    August 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I didn’t mind the but attempt cause it was so refreshing watching a Tiger actually try a bunt…there were at least 100 situations this year where the bunt would have done something good….but leave it to Leyland to try two bunts today with 2 strikes on the batter. At least Sardinha’s worked. JL is still clueless in the bunt game

  23. Forty

    August 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    That inside the park (error aided) home run was pretty fun!

  24. judpma

    August 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    good win…did some things right and not their usual things wrong

  25. Palmcroft

    August 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    This is the fourth major pitching correction by a Tiger pitcher that we have seen in the last six days. First, Rodney’s long redemptive outing in extra innings, then Verlander’s outstanding start, pause for another excellent performance by Miner, then Kenny goes a solid 7 innings with 3ER, pause for Galarraga’s characterstically solid outing, followed by today’s stunner of Robertson making a massive correction.

    Chuckie is coaching balls-to-the-wall. The Tigers will win the division. The first of September will see this team in first place. HERE WE GO!

  26. Forty

    August 10, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Watching Sheffield swing for the fences every time trying to get to 500 hr, I am left to wonder whether there are any good DH’s we could sign. Maybe someone who recently had an OBP > .450? That would seem to be an upgrade over Gary. Maybe someone who would sign at a discount b/c no one else wants him? Nah, that’d be too easy — surely a guy like that would have been snatched up.

  27. ron

    August 10, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    They’re going into the “Let’s Save Jimmy’s Job” mode.

  28. stephen

    August 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    hooray for the tigers.

  29. Jeff

    August 10, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    there were at least 100 situations this year where the bunt would have done something good

    In the National League park with a pitcher (or Sardinha) hitting, perhaps. You get 27 outs. Don’t spend them unless you absolutely have to. Trammell was bunt-crazy and look what that got him.

  30. Mith

    August 10, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Palmcroft, there’s no reason to be an idiot. The Tigers aren’t making up 8 games on 2 teams over the next three weeks.

  31. Ryan P

    August 10, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I have complete faith that the Tigers can go 17-3 for the next three weeks, why don’t you Mith?

  32. Palmcroft

    August 10, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I am an idiot! And…I believe in pitching. We haven’t had any in a long time, now it’s finally coming. WATCH US GO!!

    Reading between the lines [making it up, actually], I discern a reluctance on the part of Chuckie to actively coach experienced pitchers. Verlander/Robertson/Rogers/Rodney/Jones have been left to work it out on their own, and they just can’t. Now, add the Flaming Tongue Of Drombo Wrath, and a fearful Chuckie has started saying [desperately screaming?] to the struggling pitchers “do exactly as I tell you — or else.”

  33. Andrew

    August 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    What? The Tigers win a series? Well, they are 14-11 against the AL West so if they were going to win a series the odds are it would be against the AL West.

    They are 21-30 against the Central and currently 7.5 games back with a 58-59 record.

    As Jim Mora so famously said, “PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?”

    Nuff said.

    And if you want to have a laugh watching Jim Mora –

  34. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Don’t be too hard on C. Hernandez. Bobby Seay is a huge success story.

  35. Palmcroft

    August 10, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Chuckie will be the difference over the next six weeks. I’m just relieved he can actually coach pitching, and coach it well. Who knew?

    To me, it’s Gardenhire vs. Hernandez for the division title.

  36. Jeff Molby

    August 10, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    allowing only a double along the way.

    To be fair, that shouldn’t have been a double. I’m not sure how it looked on tv, but that ball was hit directly over his head and he misjudged it. Granted, that’s the hardest ball for an outfielder to judge, but a better outfielder could have caught it without breaking a sweat.

  37. Rick G

    August 10, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Palmcroft, your optimism is refreshing, but declaring Kenny and Nate as Chuckie success stories is a bit premature. You could have gone six strong innings against that A’s lineup this weekend, and you’re a seven year old girl for all I know. 🙂

    We’ll see how they do the next couple times through the rotation. I hope you’re right, and we get one solid performance after another, but I’m not counting on it.

  38. Sam

    August 10, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Why is Granderson Bunting?? Especially with 2 strikes!!

    The guy bats over .300 and we’re concerned he can’t bunt? Forgettaboutit, I’d never have the guys bunt again.

    I’d also send Sheff packing!


  39. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Wow, two convincing wins. Very nice. .500 is within sight, and after that, the sky’s the limit. Or 86 wins, whichever comes first.