Game 118: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME: The Blue Jays come to town. Shaun Marcum is on the mound for Toronto. He struggled in his first 3 starts off the DL allowing 17 runs in 14.2 innings and 5 homers in those 3 games. But in his last start he got well holding Oakland to 1 run in 7 innings with 7 K’s and only 2 walks. Whether that means he’s back to the low 3’s ERA pitcher he was earlier in the year, or it was a product of facing the A’s remains to be seen.

For the Tigers it will be Justin Verlander. Verlander made progress in his last start before his line was blown up in his 8th inning of work. Oh yeah, and he threw 130 pitches.

TOR @ DET, Monday, August 11, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: The weather was perfect. Outside of that, I’ll go bulleted list style:

  • I have no idea if Verlander’s previous outing impacted the current one- at least in terms of performance. He was lifted around the 80 pitch mark and so that was probably a factor in not letting him pitch through it.
  • Control didn’t seem to be a problem, with his first ball not coming until pitch number 15. I was at the game, and haven’t gone through the pitch f/x data so this is pure speculation, but I’d say he was just chucking the ball over the plate to try and get quick outs. I base this mostly on the knowledge of the length of his previous outing, and the number of scorched balls coming with 2 strikes.
  • I’ve seen a decent number of homers to straight away centerfield at Comerica. They’ve all been well hit of course, but given the sheer vastness of the outfield, you never really know if they’re gone. Cabrera’s was a no doubter off the bat.
  • The Sheffield situation wasn’t pretty. He was awful again today, and the boos just rained down in a grilli-esque fashion. I’d say it was probably even louder than Jason received.
  • Jason Beck transcribed Leyland’s quotes in response to the Sheffield article. I agree completely with the skipper on this.
  • I don’t get too worked up about guys not sprinting all the way down the line on every ball. A comebacker to the pitcher and you’re out before you get half way down the line. But Sheffield hit a groundball down the third base line. It wasn’t hit hard and it was fielded behind the bag. Chances are he would be out, but it wasn’t a given. Sheffield ran half speed. It should have been a close play but he was out by 3 steps. That is inexcusable from anyone, but especially the leader he fancies himself.
  • The game seemed very blah, due in large part to Verlander getting rocked and the offense not clicking. But outside of Sheffield guys were playing hard. Renteria laid out and made a nice stop on a ball up the middle. Maggs made a nice diving play, as did Miguel Cabrera.

112 thoughts on “Game 118: Blue Jays at Tigers”

  1. Dave BW, I thought the Price is Right system frowns upon large numbers because you are disqualified if you estimate over. Wouldn’t you want to bet 1 pitch?

  2. Got too cute with those curve balls to Stairs, then had to come in. He’s got to learn to trust his stuff so he doesn’t fall behind on counts so often.

  3. Sheffield will move to 3rd in the 7th as a defensive replacement; Inge will complain that it’s hard to be a team leader while you are squatting.

  4. uhhhh….this is going to be one of those games isn’t it, where someone like Inge hits a home run and then nada while the other team circles the bases like carousel horses…

  5. Seriously, the Tigers have had a couple of chances. Miggy has failed to make hard contact twice. It seems the Tigers should knock this guy for about six runs an inning. He’s got nothing on his pitches but he has placed them close. If he stays in there he is doomed, however.

  6. DD has paid a pile and the fans are showing up. They deserve some consistent play and are not seeing it.

    There goes Shef again! When is JL’s rule going to kick in.

  7. Ah yes, reminiscent of the ’84 series with Gossage/Gibson, Leyland signals Inge by holding up 4 fingers, meaning they aren’t going to pitch to you. Inge responds by–

    Oh wait, sorry, Leyland was just gesturing for the clubhouse attendant to bring some more smokes to him…

  8. Is it just me or does anyone else notice a very strange strike zone tonight? Marcum is getting every close call and them some.

  9. Jeez! Two strikes in the other batters’ box. Like Sheffield, I’ve been seeing this all year.

    Of course if Justin keeps allowing runs, it doesn’t matter.

  10. hey coleman. are you steven wright or something??? pretty funny stuff. getting more enjoyment reading your posts than watching sheffield dawg it down the line again. anyone think he’s trying to get moved.

    i have a theory about when the tigers will roar next…the year all those big money contracts are up for renewal

  11. you can’t tell from the back but from the side you can see the strike zone is shaped so that it is narrow on the top and bottom with a large bulge near waist level, very much actually like one of those skinny old men at the beach in bermuda shorts with a big round belly hanging over his belt like an underinflated basketball.

    The Tiger hitters need to protect the potbelly if they are going to get anywhere tonight.

  12. Dave BW, I’m not sure which channel, but I think tonight begins the qualifying round of the Olympic Cartography competition

  13. OK, Sheffield can’t complain if he’s not gonna take the chances he has at that leadership thing. It was the best chance he’s gonna have to go all Prince Fielder on Verlander…

  14. Coleman, you painted that picture with such clarity, I can’t get it out of my mind. Oh, that’s just my reflection.

  15. Ha Ron, I have had that feeling…and puzzled how so many square ham sandwiches yet result in the rounding of the belly?

  16. At the end of the day, all I really care about anymore is that the stoopid White Sox DON’T win the division. Even the Twins are more preferable, IMO (I know I’m going to find some resistance to that, and I totally respect the Twins haters. I just hate the White Sox more.)

    Aside from that, I’m focused on next year.

  17. Although it will be too much for my strong stomach even if Sheffield walks and then Renteria grounds into a triple play

  18. “Leaves 4 guys stranded and now he hits a home run”

    I think that is what it say on the big banner hanging in the locker room; it’s like the team coat of arms or something

  19. Hey, Kevin. I’m down to have a couple of beers if you want. I have a 10 a.m interview tomorrow that I have to ace, but it’s not every day that you get to meet a fellow blogger. I tried to meat up with Coleman over a couple of ham sandwiches a month ago, but he thought I lived in Las Vegas, New Mexico, so we had to eat our respective ham sandwiches with respective local prostitutes, who I’m sure needed the added nourishment anyway. We just laugh about it now, but it was a little depressing at the time.

  20. John Danks just lost his perfect game in the 6th inning by hitting Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Still has the no-no.

  21. lopez pitched 2/3 of an inning less than ace using 33 less pitches. i’m calling battlestar our ace.

  22. Now THAT would have been an awesome way to end the game, the 3rd out coming from having 2 runners on 3rd.

  23. Watching you two trying to hook up has been the best part of the evening. Let us know how the Tiger analysis went.

  24. Kevin and Ken, we’re counting on you guys to solve all the Tigers’ problems. (we’ll worry about curing cancer later).

    Get cracking and good luck!

  25. tigers need an ace, because verlander has proven that he is not it. Perhaps the Tigers would find a way to land CC. And then JV can find his way as our #2 starter.

  26. At least I got to boo Sheffield tonight.

    Renteria made a helluva play on that grounder in the second. Sure looked like he was out at first from my seat.

  27. Ron: “Watching you two trying to hook up has been the best part of the evening. Let us know how the Tiger analysis went.”

    OK, I think I’ve got the area scoped out and I have a view of all possible meeting places for them from up here. I don’t have any physical descriptions, but I have a good sense of their writing styles so I’m confident I’ll be able to ID them. I’ll report back when subjects are in sight.

  28. Willis is 0-3 in Lakeland, Inge is hitting .217, Sheffield sucks and isn’t running out grounders. Ladies and gentlemen, these 2009 Tigers are owed more next year than the entire Florida Marlins payroll.

    Serenity now, serenity now!

  29. Not running out ground balls is the ultimate slap in the face to fans and an extreme display of disrespect to them. One could argue that it is the fan’s moral obligation to boo such actions. So I applaud the boos.

  30. That last line in the Jason Beck link above says all you need to know about Gary Sheffield. He doesn’t care. Unbelievable. What a leader. He’s practically William Wallace.

  31. Charlie: Sheffield may not have had a hit, but it is unfair to criticize him without taking into account the kind of pitching he gets. If you watched tonight, it was obvious the pitchers threw every pitch with the intention of eventually getting him OUT. From one pitch to the next he had no idea if he was going to see a ball or a strike, a high pitch or low, a fastball or slow curve–I mean YOU try hitting under those circumstances…

    Not to mention he is still not fully recovered from his oblique-off with Inge, and has the new problem with his legs, where they have begin to fill up with lazy.

    And then to have Leyland throw him under the bus, and tell everyone, PUBLICALLY, that Sheffield had been playing DH, when everyone knows the Tigers have the league’s worst DH stats… like they aren’t gonna put 2 and 2 together…thanks coach.

  32. Gotta love Leyland’s comments. What an idiot.

    “Leyland chalked up his lackluster performance against Toronto to the 130-pitch outing he had last week against the Chicago White Sox.

    ‘He just had a dead arm,’ Leyland said.”

    Gee coach, why was he out there for 130 pitches?

  33. “Gotta love Leyland’s comments. What an idiot.”

    After reading Leyland’s comments on Sheffield’s latest, it occurred to me how careful, measured, and tactful Leyland’s reaction was. Go back to Leyland’s reaction to Guillen’s “That’s not fair to us” and Inge “popping off” and Grilli’s comments on the clubhouse atmosphere, where JL was just seething, and compare. Gary is to be admired for being just like JL and saying what he feels, supposedly. Doesn’t apply to others, I guess. Gary can pop off when he’s hitting .220.

    One more piece of evidence that JL is gutless, bipolar, or both, just like his li’l buddy.


    Miner 9.00
    Bonine 6.17
    Galarraga 5.94
    Robertson 5.38
    Bonderman 5.23
    Rogers 4.51
    Verlander 3.98

  35. Just for fun, since Sheffield and Verlander seem to be the men of the hour:


    15 GAMES (of 25 JV starts), .170/.391/.234 = .625 OPS

    8 HITS IN 47 AB, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R, 2 SB, 3 GDP, 16 BB

    Strangely, a full 41% of Sheffield’s walks on the season have come in these 15 games. It’s not exactly Sheffield’s fault that he’s been on base 25 times here and scored only once. So who is the king of stranding him? Tune in later and find out!

  36. “I left in the 8th inning. I NEVER leave before the game is over.”

    I don’t get it.

    Oh – they played NINE last night. But why?

  37. cib, you could become a Dodger fan. They arrive in the third and leave in the seventh. And they have a shot at the playoffs.

  38. Sean C., verrry interesting run support stat.. Could they be dogging it somewhat when the big names pitch, still in 06′ mode.

  39. Las Vegas bloggers night featuring Ken and Kevin was a booming success. Where the hell were the rest of you? We didn’t actually figure anything out regarding the Tiger’s struggles, but we did figure out how to score ribs AND half a chicken for only $7.99. In case any of you were wondering what Kevin in Austin (actually Dallas) looks like, just imagine if Pete Sampras and Mark Fidrych had a kid together.

    Thanks for the dinner, Kevin. Good times.

  40. Sean C. 41 percent of Sheffield’s walks have come in 15 of JV’s starts may not be as strange as you think. Could be some type of correlation there. Someone like Coleman, who thinks outside the box, might be able to come up with an answer.

  41. A quick little game of “You Know.”

    You Know . . .

    . . . the Tigers season is over when game threads at the wonderful Detroit Tigers Weblog consistently draw less than 100 posts per game.

    . . . the 2008 season is virtually (even if it’s not mathematically) finished when folks go watch the demolition of Tiger Stadium after a Tigers game so they can cheer themselves up.

    Any other ideas? 😉

  42. Oh, Sheffield scored 2 runs in his 15 games played during Verlander starts. He drove himself in with a HR. Otherwise, he was on base (excluding a fielder’s choice) 24 times but scored only once.

    Magglio is the undisputed king of stranding/not advancing Sheffield the runner during Verlander starts. 11 times. No one else comes close. Now you know.

    EDIT: Can’t leave out this vital factoid. Pudge is (was) the only Tiger to drive in Sheffield the runner during any Verlander start.

  43. Ron: Yeah, I’m thinking Coleman could make some kind of sense out of Sheffield walking so much in JV starts. Or at least a good joke.

  44. ‘Could they be dogging it somewhat when the big names pitch, still in 06′ mode.’

    Well, since JV is the nominal ace, it could be that the Tigers just tend to face better pitchers when he’s on the mound.

  45. “Wow, Ron. Wow. Complaining about Miguel Cabrera even though he hit a homer because he’s left 4 on? Brutal.”

    No, not quite brutal. Killing 2 potential big innings in a 7-2 loss counts against you even when you hit a solo shot later, not that anyone would seriously complain about a HR, especially the one Cabrera hit.

  46. The brutal thing is:

    Blue Jays score 4 runs in an entire series against the Indians, and as many in the first four innings against the Tigers.

    Tigers = Slide Stoppers

    Losing streak? No problem. Tigers are on the schedule.

    This team isn’t very fun to watch right now.

  47. I can do neither of those Sheffield things. Or were there 3? I can do treither of those things. Because I am having too difficult a hard time figuring out which player is actually Sheffield and which is his twin, although I have figured out that his twin hits with more power. But how does that help you if you see one of them standing on the street?

    The Oblique Twins (Identical)

    Sheff 10 HR 33 RBI .219 BA .321 OBP .371 SLG
    Inge 10 HR 33 RBI .217 BA .320 OBP .421 SLG

    Complained to the press about not being able to play the position he wanted: both

    Missed time in June with pulled Oblique muscle: both

    Gets nothing but difficult pitches to hit: both.

    So I think that slugging % is the only way to tell them apart, since the Inge-sheff has the same numbers as the Sheff-Inge, but in fewer at bats.

    Oh also apparently the Sheff-Inge one has a leg or two full of lazy when he runs to first.

  48. See, but if they are identical twins why does the Inge-Sheff get to play in the field all the time, and the Sheff-Inge only gets to DH? They should at least have to take turns. Now I’m starting to think maybe he has a point after all…

  49. I think if I were a DH and realized that at the 2/3 point of the season I was indistinguishable from Inge, I would feel some shame. Or at least I would think it was shame, but that feeling would only be the introduction to shame, the shame part would come when the sentence finished, “except Inge has more power.”

  50. So… since Magglio refuses to hit with Sheffield on base during Verlander starts, is he completely anti-Verlander?

    Magglio Ordonez during JV starts:

    .321/.354/.577 = .931 OPS

    22 GAMES, 25 HITS IN 78 AB, 5 HR, 9 RBI(!), 9 R, 4 BB(!)

    So Magglio pads his stats without being truly productive, and eschews walks as well. It’s a subtle, almost indiscernible way of saying “I no care for you, Hoosteen Verlanquez.”

    Is it any wonder Verlander is 8-12? Will no one help the man?

  51. “I would feel some shame.”

    You would find some shame mitigation in the fact that you were being unjustly platooned and otherwise deprived of your natural leadership role, your birthright, as it were.

    I wonder how Ordonez, Polanco, and Renteria feel about their platoon situations. Widespread unrest could be imminent.

  52. “I wonder how Ordonez, Polanco, and Renteria feel about their platoon situations. Widespread unrest could be imminent.”

    None of them though have to put up with the unbearable feeling of having your twin favored over you.

  53. “the unbearable feeling of having your twin favored over you.”

    Not only that, but it’s a classic case of The Man pitting 2 proud black men against each other. Inge-Sheff has long been in denial of his blackness, but fairly soon the time will tell. Oh you, telling me the things you’re gonna do for me. Sheff ain’t blind and he don’t like what he thinks he sees.

    I wonder if Inge can sing like Michael McDonald. That would be another good reason to trade him.

  54. By the way, the name “Renteria” can be sung to the tune of “Yah Mo Be There.”

  55. Renteria needs to be sung to something far more horrid. I can’t make any sort of Renteria-appropriate phrase fit the tune universally reviled as “Muskrat Love;” but he shouldn’t relax because there are other songs out there….

  56. Hey, I like “Muskrat Love,” at least the America version.

    Here, let’s try the universally mocked “Feelings” (Morris Albert):

    Edgar, nothing more than Edgar,
    Trying to forget that Edgar’s at short.
    Groundballs, getting to the outfield,
    Trying to imagine baseball’s his sport.

    Edgar, oh, all of us resent you.
    I wish they’d never traded Jair; he’ll never come again.

    Edgar, wo-o-o Edgar,
    wo-o-o, Edgar, one more GDP.

    Edgar, feelings like you never came here
    And feelings like you’ll never be here, replacing CG

    Edgar, this year and next they’ll start you.
    I wish they’d never got you, boy; you’ll never go away.

    Edgar, is your last name Renteria?
    Or is it really Diarrhea? It’s so hard to tell.

    Edgar, wo-o-o Edgar,
    wo-o-o, Edgar, go play for the Sox.
    Edgar…(repeat & fade – if only…)

  57. After reading Leyland’s comments on Sheffield’s latest, it occurred to me how careful, measured, and tactful Leyland’s reaction was. Go back to Leyland’s reaction to Guillen’s “That’s not fair to us” and Inge “popping off” and Grilli’s comments on the clubhouse atmosphere, where JL was just seething, and compare. Gary is to be admired for being just like JL and saying what he feels, supposedly. Doesn’t apply to others, I guess. Gary can pop off when he’s hitting .220.

    One more piece of evidence that JL is gutless, bipolar, or both, just like his li’l buddy.

    It’s a completely different situation. Sheffield was talking about himself. Inge/Guillen/Grilli were talking about team things, other players, and the clubhouse in general.

    He’ll let a player hang himself in the press, but not his teammates. It has nothing to do with being gutless or bipolar.

  58. “He’ll let a player hang himself in the press, but not his teammates. It has nothing to do with being gutless or bipolar.”

    Good point.

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