Game 127: Tigers at Rangers

PREGAME: Is broom-osity in order? Could the Tigers manage a sweep? I still think that if the Tigers go 27-5 over their next 32 games, things might get interesting.

Tonight it will be Nate Robertson going for the Tigers. The last time the Nate started in Texas he didn’t record an out, allowing 6 runs in the first. Here’s hoping for a little improvement. Robertson walked 5 in his last start, which is just too many.

Kevin Millwood takes the mound for the Rangers. He’s made 1 start since coming off the DL and the Rays got to him for 10 hits, 4 of which were homers, in 4.2 innings.

DET @ TEX, Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 8:05

POSTGAME: Nate was unbelievably craptastic. He wasn’t helped by his outfield defense early on with Granderson playing a ball into a triple (a pretty poor series for Granderson defensively – a rarity), and Matt Joyce playing a double into a triple. But holy crap, there’s nothing outifelders can do about 5 freakin’ homers.

Dontrelle Willis was also starting last night, but he kind of sucked too with 8 hits and 5 walks allowed in 5 innings – so he’s not ready. I can’t believe that Robertson would be allowed to stay in the rotation. Early on this season he was getting a little unlucky. Since the All Star Break he’s getting obliterated.

And the offense didn’t do much.


  1. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Way to let the guy batting under .200 hit a 2 run shot Nate.

  2. K-man

    August 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    In yesterdays game thread, possible replacements for Chuck Hernandez were discussed. I’d like to nominate Kenny Rogers. If the pitchers didn’t pitch well, he’d beat the snot out of them.

  3. Brian P

    August 20, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    It’s a home run derby, folks.

  4. Chief Monday

    August 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Come on Nate. Settle down please. I’d be happy if you only gave up 4 runs.

  5. mcb

    August 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Nate’s Days are numbered

  6. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Nate is not very good.

  7. charlie

    August 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    nate to the DL and bring up a new face or two. surely nate must be hurt to pitch like this….you think?

  8. Chris

    August 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I wish Nate’s days were numbered. Dombrowski stupidly signed him to a big undeserved contract extention……

  9. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    No he just sucks. Not hurt, sucko.

  10. charlie

    August 20, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    you know, we have often read here that battlestar would regress to the mean and it seems that hasn’t happened…we’ve also read often that santiago cannot possibly be the starting shortstop because he can’t hit, doesn’t like wheaties etc…is it possible that we have the shortstop we need right under our noses all this time?

  11. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    boy, Sheff hit tar out of that one

  12. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Here comes 4 more runs.

  13. Chief Monday

    August 20, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Nate got what he deserved contract wise. He was fairly consistent 4 seasons prior to this year and he got market value. Nothing wrong his arm either. He’s just leaving his stuff up too high. That’s fixable.

  14. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 9:11 pm


    Santiago’s career batting line is 239/308/319 for a whopping 627 OPS. His career minor league numbers (over 2200AB) are 263/327/353 for an OPS of 680. League average is about 760 OPS. He is also 28 years old, and thus unlikely to improve much from this point.

    This is not a guy capable of playing every day in the big leagues. The fact that Jimmuh has him hitting second the last 2 nights is surpassed in absurdity only by Timo Perez hitting third last year.

  15. Brian P

    August 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Five! It’s on a freakin’ tee.

  16. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I think I’ll play lotto this week.

  17. Chief Monday

    August 20, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Nate leaving his pitching on a tee for them now. Better luck next time Nate. Get your act together Bud.

  18. K-man

    August 20, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Nate gets put on the DL tomorrow with a “tired arm”.

  19. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Also, Nate is terrible. Everything is up in the zone, as Chief you rightly mention. Yeah, it’s fixable, but why hasn’t it been fixed? He’s had that problem the entire year, but he continues with long spells of leaving stuff up in the zone and he gets hammered.

    It’s fun to blame Chuck Hernandez, but I find it hard to believe he hasn’t noticed this and said something. At some point Nate has to go out and execute, and maybe he just can’t do it anymore.

  20. Chris

    August 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    What a disgrace of a performince. What a disgrace of a player.

  21. charlie

    August 20, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    thanks mark. i appreciate the numbers in your answer. just thought he was having a pretty good year and that maybe something had changed for him…like it did for battlestar.

  22. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Too bad Glover pitched yesterday, we could have gotten a nice long look at him tonight. We’re gonna need the innings. Instead we’ll get Casey Fossum, and we’ve seen that movie before…

  23. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I guess we got our 2 wins in this series time to pack it in.

  24. Chief Monday

    August 20, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Well Mark, if you check the box scores regularly you’ll see other strange line-ups now and then. Like Omar Infante batting 4th or 5th for the Braves.

  25. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I’ll still keep hope alive since we are in Texas.

  26. ryan

    August 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm


    I like Nate Robertson, but he is close to unpitchable. 1.61 WHIP. .870 OPS against. You can’t keep running him out there. Would you rather have him, or a 1.70 WHIP with an .805 OPS against? Did I mention the second guy also has a lower ERA?

    By the way, it’s Barry Zito.

  27. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    he is having a nice year, charlie. it’s just a very limited sample of like 74 ABs. Over time he’d get exposed and regress to his true abilities.

  28. Chris

    August 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I agree, Mark. Blaming Hernandez is BS. The problem is Nate Robertson and his inability to execute… pure and simple. If Chuck Hernandez is such an idiot as a coach, then how in the hell is Armondo Galarraga pitching so well and doing that consistantly all season?

  29. judpma

    August 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    this just in: Nate Has been hired by MLB to pitch the entire Home Run Derby at the All Star game next year…records will fall

  30. Chris

    August 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    In just 3.2 innings, Robertson increased his season HR total by 25% and is now tied at 25 for tops in the AL.

  31. Chief Monday

    August 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Joe Mauer’s back-up, Mike Redmond, is batting 3rd for the Twins. He’s not exactly Mauer now is he? Gardenhire should get fired for that. 🙂

  32. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    MMM!! The Hambino makes an appearance.

  33. Dave BW

    August 20, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Well, SOMEONE has to have the worst starter in the AL — it might as well be us.

  34. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Nate’ 5 HR allowed tonight (4 solo, so at least he wasn’t walking anyone – haha) in 3.2 innings brings his HR/9 to 1.50, squarely eighth in majors among starting pitchers, tied with Bronson Arroyo. The guys in front of him:

    Harang CIN
    Myers PHI
    Backe HOU
    Byrd BOS (formerly CLE)
    Lilly CHC
    Padilla TEX
    Cueto CIN

    I would point out only that ALL of those guys except Byrd play on what amount to little league fields while Nate pitches in one of the largest parks in baseball. Just sayin’ is all…

  35. Brian P

    August 20, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    According to Dan and Jim: 50 HR in the last 33 games for Tigers’ pitching.

  36. Coleman

    August 20, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Granderson has 3 triples in the series, 2 monday 1 today. That’s not easy to do.

    Also not easy to do: 3 triples in 2 games, total runs scored=0

  37. Mark in Chicago

    August 20, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Dusty Baker just had Joey Votto (season line of 279/343/445, OPS 788) sacrifice bunt to get a man already in scoring position, to third. Yes, it was a lefty-lefty matchup, but it makes no sense to give away that out.

    This man needs to be stopped, people. It ended up working out as the Reds scored the run, but the ends do not justify the means.

  38. Brian in Tampa

    August 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Ha. This guy has Metcalf has 3 hits (2 homers) tonight.

  39. Brenden

    August 20, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Robertson has got to go. I still don’t understand the point of giving him an extension. What an absolute waste. He pitches a gem every 5th if we’re lucky, the rest of the time he just sucks. Take the loss and release him.

  40. stephen

    August 21, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Chief Monday, what do you do for a living? I am immensely curious.
    I hear Nate and Mike Maroth share a vacation home near Cape Canavaral.

  41. Chief Monday

    August 21, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I’m a latex salesman.

  42. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Gold Star for that comeback, Chief Monday. All is forgiven.

  43. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 8:41 am

    The Tigers used to hit 6+ HR in a game once in a while, and that was even before Sheffield and Cabrera were around. Have they hit 6 in a game this year even once? I doubt it.

  44. Chris in Dallas

    August 21, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Man. Nate has zero stuff anymore. Tossing it up there at about 86 with no movement up in the strike zone yields, I don’t know, like 5 HR. Anyone else notice that Mr. Robertson is slightly paunchier than he used to be? Gil has been a bad influence, obviously.

  45. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Nate mentions problems with his slider, problems he’s had all year (according to him). Maybe he should just abandon the pitch that ain’t workin’. Ya think?

  46. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I just read something about a week old by Danny Knobler. Interesting.

    Who in the NL would be interested in Robertson, and what sort of “distressed merchandise” with potential could we expect in return? Or would you trade him for prospects?

    The notion that the Tigers could use a lefty DH makes sense. But they already have one, and as it happens, he can bat righty, too.

    Not so hot on the idea of trading Magglio, myself, neither that nor the idea that he would have to move to DH next season. Guillen is more of a liability anywhere on the field than Ordonez.

    Boy do I hope Sheffield is gone before Opening Day 2009. It’s not that he sucks. I just really, truly think he stands in the way of a better team, more than anyone else, more so than any of the other please-go-away guys.

  47. jim-mt

    August 21, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Last outing Nate blamed on poor mechanics. A guy with his experience should have his mechanics down by now-perhaps a bad pitch now and then.

    The paunch may come with the big contract-fat & lazy now.

    Maybe he should go for a bigger paunch- he could be like Mickey Lolich!

  48. Chris in Dallas

    August 21, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Guillen is more of a liability anywhere on the field than Ordonez.

    It is on this point I must disagree. Guillen actually has far exceeded my expectations at 3B. Maggs is still serviceable in RF, but if you can find someone better defensively (either internally or externally) it probably wouldn’t hurt to put the Big Tilde in at DH.

  49. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Chris: I don’t mean to trash Guillen’s performance at 3B. But I think his deficiency at that position does and will continue through 2009 to outweigh any Ordonez in RF liability.

    I would also like to keep Guillen healthier and keep his bat in the lineup as often as possible. Thus, DH. Unless they can trade him. He’s one of those guys I mention as a trade possibility only because of his value and because he may be in decline, not because I seriously want him gone. If I could figure out a good measure of consistency in hitting for the past 3 seasons at least, Guillen would take the prize for the Tigers, I’m pretty sure.

  50. Chris in Dallas

    August 21, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I wouldn’t be averse to trading Guillen for the same reasons you mentioned. He’s been an excellent player, but he may be declining a bit. The problem being that it would create a vacancy at 3B that might not be so easy to fill. The free agent crop at that position eats poop. It would have been sweet if they could’ve traded him to the Dodgers for LaRoche. Of course at the time the Tigers were still only like 5 games out and viewed themselves as contenders so that would’ve been viewed as stupid by many (probably including me).

  51. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    “The paunch may come with the big contract-fat & lazy now.”

    I’m pretty sure anyone making the MLB minimum could get fat on that salary, too, without trying too hard. Nate is just pitching badly, and maybe no one, including him, has quite figured out why. It’s got to be tough when what used to work just doesn’t anymore, when it seems like you’re doing nothing differently. At a certain point in your career, it probably gets hard to experiment or stick to the experiment in the middle of a game that counts… and that’s the only place you can really test yourself, anyway.

  52. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    What really blows about the Tigers’ 3B situation is that they only have one legitimate 3B – only one guy truly qualified to play 3B even as a backup – and that guy has become the starting catcher. A self-inflicted wound.

  53. ryan

    August 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm

  54. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 21, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Ryan: Probably explains why Polly is striking out more. He might have whacked himself in the knee with the bat handle that way, too.

    This one was even better (follow same link):

    Rookie Tragically Misinterprets Suicide-Squeeze Sign

  55. Chris in Dallas

    August 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    ryan: That’s a good one. Must be a photoshop job, though – I’m pretty sure I’d remember if he actually did that.