Game 120: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s Kenny Rogers turn tonight. Turn to what I’m not sure. Is it give up too many runs to a struggling offensive team? Is it pitch brilliantly only to be undermined by an inept bullpen? Or maybe it’s something I haven’t even heard of.

He takes on lefty David Purcey and his 7.40 ERA. Purcey tends to walk a lot of people, with 16 so far in 24.1 innings. He’s also allowed 6 homers in that span.

Carlos Guillen is out with a pinched nerve so the bench is pretty lean with Ryan Raburn manning third base.

TOR @ DET, Wednesday, August 13, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 7:05

: Sigh. A walk. A bad call on a sac bunt. A bad hop on a double play ball. A bad pitch resulting in a grand slam homer. And the Tigers inability to square a pitch against a guy with a 7+ ERA. Tigers hitters routinely got ahead of the count, finding themselves in 3-1 and 2-0 counts, but didn’t hit the ball hard at all off of Purcey.

Some late noise made it close. That is all.

63 thoughts on “Game 120: Blue Jays at Tigers”

  1. The TIgers are getting no-hit by a struggling lefty with at 7+ ERA.

    Sounds like they’re really focused and putting up a fight tonight.

  2. he’s fallen behind A LOT of hitters, too. every time I look, it’s 2-0 on some Tiger hitter. it seems to end with a popup or a weak ground ball.

    EDIT: Ramon to the rescue

  3. He takes on lefty David Purcey and his 7.40 ERA. Purcey tends to walk a lot of people, with 16 so far in 24.1 innings. He’s also allowed 6 homers in that span.

    you mean that isn’t Roy Holiday with the 2 hitter!!

  4. Sheffield was right about that at bat — the last two pitches were inside.

    His ejection was classic, awesome Sheffield. No one else in baseball can project such disgust in three seconds.

  5. Went to the game again tonight. The best two things we saw were the Burgers at Nemo’s and four buddies dressed up as DEVO.

    Other than that the Tigers pretty much stink. Any ideas on who will be our short stop next year. Renteria will be gone, who will take Rogers and Jones place?


  6. This last inning has perhaps not redeemed the preceding 8, but it has at least interjected some excitement into this horrid series

  7. Tiger record after they started the destruction of the venerable Briggs Stadium..2-8 the new curse in baseball

  8. They’re looking like a candidate to finish with the 2nd worst record in the AL, ahead of only Seattle, they’re close to that right now.

  9. If the Tigers do finish last, or anywhere near last place, there can be little doubt that Jim Leyland will be fired. We may even see Dombrowski fired, as well. Illich is reportedly angry about this season being such a monumental bust and now is confronted with cleaning up the mess of large contracts to undeserving and underperforming players.

  10. Thank goodness for Dave DW and Greg providing 33and 1/3 % of the total. Those two are going down with the ship, come hell or high water.

  11. If Ilitch is angry, he should look in the mirror. He instigated the Cabrera deal, according to all accounts. It’s everyone’s fault and we’re paying for it. I’m not even bothering to go over to the game today and I could.

  12. Hey, how about that Francis Beltran? That rocks. He kept them in it.

    The rally-killing failures of Raburn and Inge in the 9th have been duly noted. Not too pleased with another 0 for 4 from Cabrera, either. I did like Ordonez at #3 and Cabrera at cleanup, though. That’s cool. Something about a .320 hitter at #3 instead of a .280 hitter just appeals to me, even if the .280 hitter walks a lot.

    I almost hate to post this. 23 posts just seems like such an eloquent comment on this game and the Tigers season. I apologize.

    “His ejection was classic, awesome Sheffield. No one else in baseball can project such disgust in three seconds.”

    Nice. I can give Sheff a run for his money here, but I’m not in baseball.

  13. Does anyone really think this season’s badness is Miguel Cabrera’s fault? Did this trade begin the “curse of Eulogio De La Cruz”? If you don’t make a trade to get one of the pre-eminent hitters in the game, who’s only 25, would you ever make a trade?

    Don’t be like one of those knuckle-dragging-mouth-breathing Yankees fans who blame everything A-Rod (who, by the way, is also an awesome baseball force).

  14. And how many championships do the Yankees have? They have come to expect greatness from great players. We should have such expectations.

  15. Miguel Cabrera is the awesome. On this issue, there can be no debate. Extending Dontrelle Willis’ contract prior to him even throwing a pitch might not have been the best move, though. At least the Mud Hens have someone to pick up the check at dinner. So there’s that.

  16. I think this team is only a couple of tweaks away from being the favorites to win the AL Central in 2009 for those of you who like your linings silver…

  17. “Does anyone really think this season’s badness is Miguel Cabrera’s fault?”

    No, of course not. I don’t think that’s what cib meant. My interpretation is that the Cabrera deal was one part of a gamble that backfired, that gamble being to assume too much about the pitching and defense being adequate because the hitting was just going to murder opponents.

    Cabrera’s numbers are great, and having him on the team well into the foreseeable future is a wonderful thing. On the other hand, the Tigers also look like a great hitting team on paper, but a closer look reveals the inconsistency and inadequacy. No one guy is to blame for this, not Sheffield, not Renteria, certainly not Cabrera. But they’ve all played a part in the overall, general failure of team hitting in delivering wins that could have been had. Even Ordonez, Polanco, Granderson. and Cabrera. As far as I can tell, Guillen has been the most consistent hitter on the team, and even he is well off his expected production.

    With hindsight, we can see that the Tigers should have strengthened the pitching and defense last offseason, and rolled with the bats they had. Some people here were probably already saying this back then.

    What I hope the Tigers will avoid from here on out will be going after one-dimensional position players (Sheffield, Cabrera). All the shuffling with Guillen, Cabrera, Renteria, and Inge solved nothing. Nothing! With Inge apparently locked in at C now, they still need a 3B. a SS, and – really – a 1B, after all that. Among a number of better choices than the mess that’s happened, they could have left Guillen at SS, put Cabrera at 1B from the get-go, and also left Inge at 3B. All that effort to exclude Inge from the lineup, not carry that weak bat, and here we are with Inge in the lineup. Woo-hoo.

  18. Sheff should know by now which umps he can yip at without reprisals. He didn’t swing at any of the three pitches thrown.

    And Inge, 2 outs, 2 strikes, bottom of ninth– I would rather have seen the infamous check-swing than just taking it. Maybe he could have fouled off or blooped one!

    But then there were lots of guys doing nothing.


  19. “On this issue, there can be no debate.”

    Don’t you mean “there can be a-no debate-a”? You sound like Poppy. You don’t have Poppy’s “problem,” do you? Don’t sit on my couch, just in case.

  20. “those of you who like your linings silver”

    I see a red door and I want to paint it black.

  21. Note to the Florida Marlins:

    You lost 6-4 to the Cardinals. Your LF Josh Willingham was 0 for 4 with 2 K. With the bases loaded in the 8th, Willingham grounded into an inning-ending DP. Sure, Willingham had an assist earlier, which requires an arm and a shoulder, but it didn’t figure into the scoring in any way. A clutch bat like Sheffield’s would have delivered the win you should have had.

    Face it, Marlins. You need Sheffield. A bargain at the price, and he’s with a trading partner you know and trust. Remember – you wouldn’t have Mike Rabelo if it wasn’t for us. Don’t be ungrateful. Don’t treat us this way, for we do love you, li’l buddies. Don’t settle for the wild card. Go for the cup. Stan the Caddy says so.

  22. Right, I meant that Ilitch himself was part of the over-tweaking in the offseason. DD himself has said that Ilitch called encouraging him to go after Cabrera. I have no particular problem with Cabrera except I thought he was supposed to get more hits. Just meant that if Ilitch is mad at DD and Leyland, he was part of the dealmaking too.

    “There is no heavier burden than a great potential”
    Charles Schulz (via Linus) –

  23. We need to get rid of the old white man and bring in a young Latin stud like Mario Lopez to manage. Fumigate the clubhouse, lighten things up a bit.

  24. I kinda get the feeling that Tigers ownership/management had a collective “I’m Keith Hernandez” thing going on in the offseason. Didn’t quite work out. Cabrera is a franchise cornerstone, but everything else backfired. It’s cool, though. They gave themselves a 2 year window basically. There’s still a year left. Here’s how I see it. Untouchable guys: Granderson, Verlander, Cabrera, Porcello. Touchable guys: everyone else.

  25. Mario Lopez? You mean, like, AC Slater? That would be pretty sweet in my estimation. Maybe Mr. Belding could be the GM.

  26. We’ve got third place locked up. It’s in the vault. Not that there is anything wrong with it but Jimmy doesn’t like it.

  27. Fumigating the clubhouse will certainly cause some light-headedness. We might be able to split the difference and get George Lopez.

  28. Note to the Atlanta Braves:

    You were swept by the Cubs in a home doubleheader by a combined score of 18-2. That is disgusting. You are disgusting – and disgraceful. Your LF did what he could, but he misses Detroit, and we miss him.

    Finish the season with dignity and hope for 2009. Pick up Sheffield. You need some fire on your team, and Sheffield has the fire. Give us Omar Infante and we’ll pick up half of Sheff’s salary. I know you don’t need him, but could you also take Renteria off our hands? It will make you look like such a genius for fleecing us completely. You can then pick up ALL of Sheff’s salary as a face-saving gesture of kindness.

  29. I sure wish Leyland would talk in the third person. He’d be a lot more interesting, plus even easier to mock. “Jimmy is flabbergasted. Jimmy never told Gary he’d start in the outfield. Jimmy thinks anyone with a brain knows what a platoon is. Jimmy isn’t mad at Gary. Jimmy wants you to quote Jimmy on all of this.”

  30. In the vein of Mr. C from IL. Note to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays:

    You are having a wonderful season. Team record for wins and it’s only August. What you are lacking is a proven winner. A veteran, good clubhouse guy. Also, I’d like to point out that you just lost Carl Crawford for the season and have decided to replace him with Rocco Baldelli’s Corpse. I think you can do better. Did you know Gary Sheffield is from Tampa? It’s true.

  31. I think the majority of blame for this season’s mess should fall at the feet of Dombrowski. He’s the one that pulled the trigger on all of these deals.

    The Tigers have spent themselves into a corner. You’ve got a bunch of money tied up in guys that are basically journeymen at this point in their careers: Robertson, Bonderman, Willis, Inge and Sheffield. To make matters worse, you’ve got several other guys that are going to get big pay jumps: Granderson and Verlander.

    Plus, as an added bonus, you’ve stripped the minor leagues. The long and short of it is, unless Illitch is willing to spend even more, the Tigers aren’t going to get significantly better this winter.

    Our needs are obvious: a premium starting pitcher, a closer and a shortstop.

    So now it’s either open the checkbook again or go backwards as a team. The only real blue chip asset they have that can be moved to help out is Ordonez.

    If you don’t want to sign Sabathia, Sheets or even AJ Burnett, you’ll have to trade Ordonez to get a starting pitcher.

    My prediction?

    I think it will be a relatively quiet off-season. Sure, they’ll lop off Rogers, Renteria, Jones and Sheffield (if they can find a sucker out there).

    But I don’t think they’ll trade Maggs and I don’t think they’ll make a big signing. They might sign a middle of the road SS or relief pitcher, but that’s it.

    They’re going to count Bonderman and Willis coming back to contribute something. And pray Verlander’s 2008 was an abberation.

    Realistically, the farm system isn’t going to be much help next year. Porcello almost surely needs another full season in the minors. One of these outfielders: Joyce, Thomas or Clevlen might win a job next year. All of the relief pitchers we drafted this year probably need a full year in the minors, too.

    Now, I know this all sounds like doom and gloom. But don’t get me wrong, I think the Tigers can be a good team in 2009 if EVERYTHING goes well – perhaps challenge for a playoff spot. But I don’t think they’re a legit World Series contender.

  32. It will make you look like such a genius for fleecing us completely.

    Unfortunatlely, the Braves don’t need to campaign too much for appearances on this front.

  33. Note to the Tmapa Bay Rays:

    Cliff Floyd’s performance in your 3-2 win over the A’s was inexcusable. So bad you had to pinch-hit a nobody for him after 2 Ks. Nearly cost you the game, which would have brought the Red Sox within 2 games of you. You can’t afford to let a seasoned playoff team like Boston get so close so soon. Also, Hinske’s performance was a fluke. You can’t trust him in LF, or the so-called starter currently on the DL. What you need is a DH/LF who can provide a Hall of Fame bat, veteran leadership, and outfield depth at a crucial time.

    Note to the Boston Red Sox:

    You don’t know it now, but Jason Bay is soon going to suffer a season-ending injury that may or may not involve Tonya Harding. Picking up Gary Sheffield now will sweep you by those wanna-be Rays and into the World Series. Plus, you’ll bring the Sheff 500 HR circus to your town where it belongs, bringing your neglected team sorely needed additional national media coverage. Just do it. Money is for spending.

  34. To make matters worse, you’ve got several other guys that are going to get big pay jumps: Granderson and Verlander.

    Little known fact: Granderson signed a long term extension in the offseason. If you’re going to rail on DD, you should probably then acknowledge that that was a good move. Yin and yang. Or something.

  35. Ah, yes. Jeremy Bonderman the journeyman. From Lakeland to Detroit. It’s been quite a long, illustrious ride.

  36. Competing for the 2009 rotation: Verlander, Bonderman, Willis, Robertson, Miner, Galarraga. That’s 6 guys who have all proven at one time or another that they can pitch well at this level. They just have to either stay healthy (Bondo), or perform up to the level that they’re capable of (Verlander, Robertson, Willis). I could see them auditioning spare parts like Freddy Garcia and some other veterans for depth. The bullpen is the area that will need to be hashed out. Zumaya and Rodney are terribly unreliable as potential 9th inning guys. Jones will probably retire. Farnsworth is a free agent. Fossum is a heaping pile of whale dung. I’d recommend using any and all of the college relievers that they just drafted. Extreme Makeover – Bullpen Edition.

  37. Don’t know if that’s what you were suggesting, Chris, but I, too, find it kind of dopey that Tampa Bay lopped off the Devil in their name. Devil Rays was really cool. Rays? Bland, without clear meaning.

    Why don’t the Yankees change their name, too, to avoid all controversial connotations? They could be the New York Advocates of Continued National Unity. Or the New YorK Opponents of Secession. Or combine the two and be the New York Ad-Ops. That way you could write an op-ed on the Ad-Ops.

  38. Hey, I hope Bonderman proves me wrong. But at some point you have to stop looking a potential and look at results. His results suggest journeyman.

  39. “Ah, yes. Jeremy Bonderman the journeyman. From Lakeland to Detroit. It’s been quite a long, illustrious ride.”

    Good one. But I have to admit that I see Bonderman as a journeyman in terms of performance and potential. I think the first half of 2006 was the fluke, not the rest of it.

  40. “Thank goodness for Dave DW and Greg providing 33and 1/3 % of the total. Those two are going down with the ship, come hell or high water.”

    Damn skippy I am, ron. Damn skippy.

  41. We can pretend Jimmy talks in the third person. He probably does under his breath. Gary to Jim, I heard that, I heard something…

  42. Bonderman is good. Just inconsistent, really. Look at some of the stretches he’s put together. As a 20 year old in ’03 he got his brains beat in, but that was kind of to be expected. The next year in ’04 he started off poorly, but in the second half of that season he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the AL. That’s not even hyperbole (85 K’s vs. 28 BB in 90 IP, 3.70 ERA, including a 2.53 ERA in 6 September starts). He picked up where he left off in ’05, posting a 3.99 ERA in the first half with a 3:1 K/BB ratio before wearing down in the second half and eventually being shut down altogether. ’06 was his best season, carrying a sub 4 ERA into his last start (which he famously blew) while striking out 202 batters. Of course, he also threw a Watermelon Balls game against the Yankees to close out the ALDS. He almost made the All Star team in ’07 (coming in second in the Last Man vote), posting a pretty nice 9-1 mark and 4:1 K/BB ratio to go along with his 3.48 ERA. Then the elbow thingy happened. He obviously wasn’t right at all in ’08, walking too many guys and forgetting how to strike guys out. Even still his 4.29 ERA in 12 starts looks decent. To make a long post short, if the surgery once and for all corrects the issues he’s had staying consistently healthy I’d say he’s much better than a ‘journeyman’.

  43. You could be right about Bonderman, Chris, probably are. I’d have to see a full season of goodness from him to change my arms crossed, brow furrowed, eyes squinting, foot tapping impatiently stance on Bonderman. I’m definitely not consistent this way when it comes to pitchers. I tend to side with the underdogs, and lose faith easily in the overdogs.

  44. I don’ think your ‘good stretches’ argument holds water, Chris. Verlander had a good stretch earlier this season, but would anyone argue that he has had a good year?

    Bonderman’s stats:

    2003 – 6-19, 5.56
    2004 – 11-13, 4.89
    2005 – 14-13, 4.57
    2006 – 14-8, 4.08
    2007 – 11-9, 5.01
    2008 – 3-4, 4.29

    Career: 59-66, 4.74

    The losing record you can attribute to the mostly crappy teams he has been on. But a career 4.74 ERA, I don’t think, is misleading.

  45. Scott: My point is that he’s inconsistent. That’s all. Each season (excepting 2003) he’s had a 3 month stretch of good-to-great pitching. Unfortunately (excepting 2006) he hasn’t been able to harness it for 6 months. The 3 month hot streaks show you that the talent is there to be a solid top of the rotation starter, though. He may not ever get to that level, but I don’t think you give up on a guy who shows you what he does when he’s right.

  46. “Ah, yes. Jeremy Bonderman the journeyman. From Lakeland to Detroit. It’s been quite a long, illustrious ride”

    Shouldn’t that be…

    “Jeremy Bonderman – a young pitcher’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk?”

    I know, I’m a bit late to the Seinfeld party, but I couldn’t resist.

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