Game 131: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: In March when I bought tickets to this game, I thought it would be huge. To teams jockeying for position in the AL Central. And boy was I right. The surging Indians, winners of 14 of their last 20, are only 1.5 games back of the third place Tigers. Sigh.

Anywho, Armando Galarraga looks for another strong performance as he tries to catch Evan Longoria for ROY consideration. This will be the 4th time he’s faced the Indians this season, and each time they’ve gotten to him a little more.

He’ll be opposed by left hander Zach Jackson. Jackson hasn’t allowed a homer in his 15.2 innings this year. With 15.2 innings there isn’t a lot else to say. He’s fanned 6, walked 4, and allowed 20 hits.

CLE @ DET, Monday, August 25, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME: Another game I went to, and another loss. The last game I attended and they won was back in June. June people. Against the Cardinals when it rained and stuff and Sheffield had a walk off hit at 1am.

Anyway, it appears that Gary Glover is now officially a part of the bullpen. After an impressive couple of games, he becomes the goat in his home debut.

Galarraga was shaky early, but by all means did enough to keep his team in the game. Except the offense had a hard time keeping themselves in the game. The top and middle of the order was nowhere to be found with the 3 RBI coming from the 7-8-9 hitters.

At least Fernando Rodney looked awesome.

And then there was the cavalcade of bad news.

  • Guillen – left with back spasms (again).
  • Thames – after back to back multi hit games – leg cramp.
  • Cabrera – not reported as an injury, but hobbled after beating out a double play grounder.
  • Dontrelle Willis – gone after one inning with forearm tightness.
  • Jon Kibler – (yes this is going deep in the organization but it was that kind of day) Hit the DL with shoulder issues. Though expected back in a week, shoulder issues are never a good sign. Kibler has a 1.75 ERA in 154.1 innings with 4 K’s for every walk allowed.

96 thoughts on “Game 131: Indians at Tigers”

  1. These threads have become sleepy little villages. Kind of like Detroit.

    Thames just HR’d. That’s right, he home-runned.

  2. I take a little break and look what happens.

    Really, I left the day Pudge was traded and I knew that would be that.

    Start looking to next year. It’s all about pitching.

    Verlander should be effective

    Gallaraga will he be as good

    Bonderman ???????????????????

    Nate Not to be counted on

    Miner Only if necessary

    Willis Can he come back from the edge(ok over the edge

    Complete overhaul of the pen– don’t even know where to start.

  3. Guillen left in the 4th with some persistent knee thing. Willis was pulled from a game in Toledo after one inning — whether it’s an injury or something else is still unclear.

  4. I’m out here kind of keeping an eye on the game. Gave away my tix for tonight because I am busy getting ready to take my son to college on Wednesday, just could not handle getting down to the game, etc. Maybe we’ll get a nice surprise this inning. Regards to all!

  5. I was working with my manager the other day and she told me a crazy story that happened to a co-worker of her husband. Guess one day this co-worker went to their back porch to find that their grill was gone. Couple days later the grill was back, and when they looked inside there was an apology note along with a couple of tickets to a Tigers game. So the family of course takes the tickets and goes to the game.. and while they were gone their house was completely cleaned out. So beware of any freebie tickets that show up at your house.
    Woot! Tigers are on a roll right now.. bottom of the 7th 🙂

  6. Heh heh, actually–and how often do you get to say this?–that’s one situation where I like to see Inge up, since I’ve been conditioned to have double-play anxiety this season.

    The three guys that so far just have not hit into double-plays? Inge (1), Joyce (0), and believe it or not, Thames (2).

  7. Ya it does. She swears it really happened. I dunno. Seems like it would of made the local news or something.
    ya i clicked on the link.. but could someone of heard of that and tried it? Hate to think I’m that naive. hehe

  8. That is an urban legend, what actually happened is they did pretty much what you described, but it was fall and they were Lions tickets.

    The owners of the house used the tickets to light the charcoal, and were having a small get-together with the neighbors when the would-be thieves showed up, were pummelled by the group in the backyard, and are now in prison.

  9. 🙂 Your manager might be the naive one. Or her husband. Anyway, the grill seems to be the only variance from the standard story.

  10. o JEEPERS! Sounds like her husband was putting one over on her. I have never heard of that.. but now it does make sense. Color me

  11. Coleman: There’s another urban legend that is likely based on the Lions — a man is unable to sell tickets and thus leaves them on his windshield hoping a passerby might take them. When he comes back to his car, there are more of the tickets piled on his hood.

  12. Dave BW: “Inge ties a game again! I don’t know why other third basements even try to play this game.”

    As the fastball came toward the plate, the Inge, in his peripheral vision noticed a flaw in the positioning of the 3rd baseman’s feet; quickly pulling out of his line drive to rightfield stance by means of his finely-toned check-swing muscles, he quickly snapped off a ground-ball to the exact spot where he correctly had seen the 3rd baseman would not be able to make the play. As he reached 1st he clapped for the run scored, but to himself thought ruefully, great, I bet they start pitching to me like I’m Rod Carew now….

  13. Dave BW “Coleman: There’s another urban legend that is likely based on the Lions — a man is unable to sell tickets and thus leaves them on his windshield hoping a passerby might take them. When he comes back to his car, there are more of the tickets piled on his hood.”

    That actually is a true story, and I’m pretty sure I’m the one it happened to. Except they were parking tickets.

  14. Inge with two thrown out batters in two innings. The rest of this team needs to get it together, because Inge is probably getting tired of carrying them.

  15. Okay, Inge AB time. Can they just forgo the formality and give him credit for the walk off home run now?

  16. And out of the back corner of his right eye, Inge noticed the the catcher was out of position, and expertly turned as he began his swing, so he could direct the ball…oh wait, that doesn’t work with Catcher, does it?

  17. Inge was robbed of his walk-off home run by the Indians catching his pop-up around home plate. They should give him an HR anyway.

  18. Ah, but the clues were right there for all of us to see…
    G. Glover…G. Glover…Gee, GL Over…

    Gee Game Lost, Over, aha! now I get what he’s about..

    I wonder what his real name is though?

  19. Tigers are now poised to finish in 4th place… utterly despicable.

    Man, was that 1st week of awful baseball telling how this team was going to perform throughout the season. Bad pitching, bad bullpen, non-existent offence.

  20. Tigers now face Cliff Lee and and the official Tiger owner Carmona…… Who wants to bet me that the Tigers won’t score 3 more runs the rest of the series..

  21. Way to over manage, Leland, good job. Throw in a reliever who gives up the winning homer in the first few pitches. First time he faces him, he jacks it out, way to go.

  22. Chris: “Our offense stinks…. anybody remember the 1000 runs we were supposed to score? What a joke!”

    That’s why it’s so exciting and why I keep watching them. I think right now they have about 340 runs left, which means they are going to average 10 runs a game for the rest of the season.

    And every game that goes by like todays–I mean how awesome is it gonna be when they put up 25 the last 5 games in a row?

  23. mark_in_gr,

    The Tigers did not lose this game because Leyland stuck in Glover. The Tigers lost because the offense has almost completely vanished (for the nth-teenth time, this season).

  24. Billfer, I might have you beat. The Tigers have lost the last 8 games I my wife or I have attended(usually its both of us) going back to last year. I wonder how high the streak will get, but I’ll have to wait until next year to find out as I am done with them for this year.

  25. A loss is a loss? Yes and no. A 4-3 loss in 10 to the Indians is better than games along the lines of the 9-1 loss to Texas and any number of other we’re-tired-can-we-go-home-now losses this season.

    Chris (in Dallas): The thing I like about Anal Beer Dirt, er, Beltre, most is the good defender part. Decent bat, too, not much of a downgrade if Guillen is in decline. Beltre is a sort of a lower OBP Guillen. He’s the best outside guy third basement I can see out of an underwhelming crop of established guys. I’m completely ignorant of the field of good, close-to-ready 3B prospects that the Tigers might be able to land from another organization.

    The thing with Carlos at 3B is: He might not be terrible, but he’ll never be as good as Beltre, Inge, or Hessman. He’s a also a walking injury.

    About the loss last night: I wonder what the Tigers’ hitting stats in extra innings look like. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the 10th, Polanco-Ordonez-Cabrera due up. Nothing. Not even a threat. Then again, it was the unhittable Jensen Lewis (J-Lew) pitching.

    Gary Glover the goat? I don’t know.

  26. Sean: as a team, Los Tigres are hitting at .229/.306/.344. Not coincidentally, they are 3-8 in extra inning games.

    EDIT: that batting line is for extra innings only.

  27. Chief: We should find out if Rogers cleared waivers today if I am not mistaken. Teams that may have interest: the Mets (Maine to the DL), Boston (Beckett questionable, Wakefield out, Buchholz ineffective). Those would seem to be the two contenders who are definitely in the market for a starter. Not sure if they’re on his no-trade list. I know Philly is.

  28. I have mixed feelings about this Kenny Rogers thing. I’d like to see him finish out the season with Detroit. On the other hand, why not open up a spot in the rotation for a guy with a chance in 2009? Also, I guess it won’t exactly hurt Kenny to go to a contender.

  29. .229/.306/.344.

    Thanks, Chris. I’m wondering about RISP now. The line above probably isn’t even close to being the worst, but you’d expect better from the Paper Tigers.

  30. Hopefully, if Rogers gets traded, it will be to an AL team the Tigers get to play in the last 31 games, so they get to face him.

  31. The thinking with Rogers, as I see it, is that he’ll retire after the season. So why not get at least something for him while you can? Even if it’s just a C-level prospect, maybe you’ll get lucky. After all, the PTBNL in the Maroth trade is starting today…

  32. the following is a satirical post; picture my words as the voice of a caller on a sports talk program

    Dumb-rowski really needs to trade Kenny for Carl Crawford. We need a left fielder who hits left handed and can steal bases. And get rid of this clown Glover. We need to move him for a proven closer. The Twins want to get rid of Nathan so they don’t have to pay him. It’s a win-win. Fire Millen!

  33. Kenny is Mr. September, evidently. Don’t you suppose the Tigers could squeeze something better than a C-level prospect out of a contender in exchange?

  34. Sean: the problem of course being that I’m willing to wager that the Mets are on Kenny’s no-trade list (didn’t end well for him there). So that leaves the Red Sox, who are far too smart of an organization to overpay for his services. Although they did deal for Gagne last year, so anything is possible.

  35. OK, a few Rogers possibilities then:

    To Boston for Yamaico Navarro.

    To the Mets straight up for David Wright.

    To the Mariners – still in the wild card hunt once the season is extended to 250 games, which I expect to happen imminently – straight up for Adrian Beltre.

    Well, one of them is semi-serious.

  36. Rogers to Texas for one of their catchers or catching prospects, maybe. Maybe he’d pitch for the Rangers in 2009.

  37. I’m assuming the serious one was the second one, Sean. I see nothing inherently wrong with that one, though I’d like to see the Mets sweeten the pot a bit with somebody like Reyes or Fernando Martinez. Maybe even Johan Santana. He’s been a bust for them.

  38. Alas, Texas is part of his no-trade clause. He doesn’t like it down here anymore. And I’m not sure he’s allowed anywhere near here as part of his settlement with the camera guy…

  39. Yeah, Chris, you got it. Even read my mind about not settling for Wright alone. Either the Mets want that pennant or they don’t. With Rogers, it’s a lock. So the Tigers can play hardball in this case.

    No, really, I was looking over Red Sox prospects, and Navarro was the one that caught my eye as having value for the Tigers. More than Boston would give up for 5-6 starts from Rogers, probably?

  40. That’s right, I forgot about the camera guy.

    I should mention that I scoffed at the Rogers acquisition at the time. I though he was a head case. I also scoffed at getting Ordonez (the health issues), but was later overjoyed with gettting Sheffield and Renteria. So I’ve built up a pretty good track record as a visionary man.

  41. Interesting thought, Sean (the Navarro one). He’s kind of an under-the-radar type in the Sox system. Baseball America doesn’t seem to think he’s all that great, at least. Of course, I don’t honestly think Boston would really have any interest in Rogers, particularly since Colon just threw a no hitter (albeit 4 innings) in the minors. But hypothetical thinking is fun anyway. Don’t know if you read this or not…

  42. Chris: Yeah, that link was exactly what I was looking at on Navarro.

    If not Boston, or the Mets… hmmm, we’re running out of teams, aren’t we?

    Hey, I never said I wanted to trade him. I demand to know who started this vicious rumor.

  43. I take that back. I think I wanted to trade Rogers (fully within my powers, too) before the July deadline.

  44. Speaking of July, it’s good to see that Pudge has 7 K and 3 GDP in 49 PA for the Yankees.

  45. And according to billfer’s latest batch of links, Pudge may only qualify as a type B free agent, thus netting only 1 draft pick instead of 2. So there’s that.

  46. Unfortunately, Farnsworth may fall to type C.*

    * I really don’t know if there is such a thing.

  47. An irrational, non-repeating free agent, then. Good riddance to him. I say we (they) pick up a Type 1/6 or 5/7 instead. More reliable.

  48. First, in a moment of self-satisfaction, I have to say, love the fact that my Inge “third basement” typo took off so well.

    Second, sorry this got soo effing long…lots on my chest I need to get off.

    I originally was planning an expose’ (don’t know how to do the accent) on teams that don’t hit well and still make the playoffs, based almost solely on defense. The two that I wanted to use as my examples were Tampa and the Dodgers (+82 and +9 run differentials respectively). I limited myself to playoff teams with less than 600 runs for or against. But I also ran into two teams still in the playoff hunt with negative run differentials (Florida and Colorado).

    The intent was to explore teams that score less but manage to win more (this is something the Tigers might need to explore in order to succeed next year). Obviously (?) a key part of scoring less and winning more is surrendering even less runs to the opposition, something that requires defense and pitching…two elements that the Tigers were short on this year.

    I don’t know which deficiency was more surprising, the defense or the pitching. The consensus at the start of the season was down-grade at 3B and a weak bullpen. We were soothed by the thought of a dominant rotation and assurances of upgrades at SS and 1B. Two of the three upgrades turned into weaknesses of their own.

    So we were left with our supposed crown jewel of offense. We now know that we over estimated in that department. Were we unreasonably expectant? I didn’t like Guillen’s comments during the crap-tastic start of the season about unfair fan expectations. I’m still not a fan of publicly making excuses, but reflecting on it I do see some flaws in the lofty projections we were making.

    I think many people made too many assumptions about an offense with lots of +30yr olds coming off career years in ’07. Going into ’08, was it fair to expect Granderson, Guillen, Polanco and Ordonez to match or exceed their ’07 numbers (I’ll leave Sheff out of the argument)? Maybe Granderson, but really…you had to expect some, just a little regression at least. To be fair, Maggs and Polly are having decent seasons…but Guillen is suffering a pretty steep drop off in production (injuries? age?).

    As of today, the Tigers have batted in 658 and given up 648. Tampa and the LAD have scored +100 fewer runs than we have, but they’re in striking distance of the playoffs. I’m not pretending to discover the wheel here when saying that teams can get by on pitching and defense (almost) alone…but I want to point it out all the same.

    The Tigers can’t count on 100rbi from Guillen moving forward, and maybe not even from Maggs. He and Polly aren’t going to continually challenge each other for the batting title and Sheff and Renteria definitely won’t – either because they’re constantly hurt, or off the team. The only guy you can really count on 100rbi from is Cabrera. So what’s it all mean?

    Looking at Tampa and LA, its possible to reach the playoffs on around 700 team runs (extending their numbers through the season). Assuming the only lock next year for big run production is Cabrera @ 100rbi, that leaves a combination of eight other guys in the line up producing 600 runs, for an average of 75rbi a piece.

    Knowing that Inge can drive in 75, how do you not play him at 3B? I don’t know he’s just not settled in yet at C, but he seems to be letting LOTS of balls get past him. At his best, is he better defensively at C than 3B? I think if you can get somebody at C who’s rock solid on defense and bats in ~50, you take it and move Inge to 3B. Same for SS. I’ll admit I haven’t seen a ton of Santiago, but he seems better than Renteria defensively at least (I really could be totally wrong here…just haven’t seen enough to prove me wrong). You can make some sacrifices on infield positions for the sake of keeping runs off the board.

    Even with a vaunted line-up, the Tigers have shown an inexplicable ability to not hit at all for entire games at a time, so maybe moving the focus to defense would benefit. I know they improved as the year went on, at least at the corners…but I’m gonna be upset if Inge isn’t starting 3B next year. It’s less about him at 3B and more about management not facing reality.

  49. “The organization is making it clear it is not in their strategic interests to win games right now. Frankly, it makes sense.”

    Eddie of Detroit Tigers Thoughts makes this statement.

    Um… I’m not sure I understand what is being suggested, or if I do, how that could possibly work.

  50. Dr. Dre (yes, I’m calling you this now): An interesting case study would be the Twins and LA Angels of Earth. Those are teams that don’t really score a whole lot but are on the good side of the ledger in the standings. They are predicated on the whole “small ball” philosophy. Though now that the Angels have added Teixeira all bets are off with them.

    At the outset of the season, I was particularly worried about team defense. I knew Renteria at SS and Cabrera at 3B would be a mistake. If you look at Renteria’s defensive efficiency from 2007, Guillen was actually a better defensive SS. It of course was well known that Cabrera was sub-awful as a defensive 3B. I figured that would have a negative effect on the pitching staff, elevating the team ERA somewhere close to 1 run. Of course, what I didn’t expect was that the offense wouldn’t be able to overcome that by scoring more regularly. In hindsight, I guess that shouldn’t have been that surprising. It’s a very station-to-station group, and that can lead to prolonged scoring droughts if just a couple of guys are slumping. That and a lot of GIDP. I think they can remedy this for ’09 by retooling the middle infield in some form or fashion. I think the smart move would be declining Renteria’s option. To fill the SS hole, you could gamble with a Furcal or use Santiago as a stopgap for a year or so while some prospects are developing. As far as 2B, I think trading Polanco should at least be considered (as much as I like the guy). Between him and Renteria, the range up the middle has been lacking (aside from the guy in CF, that is).

  51. Another point I’d like to add is that Matt Joyce should be given every opportunity to win the full time LF job in Spring Training. He’s not going to hit for a big average, but he’s shown (both in the minors and majors) that he has some pop and the ability to take a walk. The fact that he bats lefty is a plus, and he runs better than, say, Thames. Add in that he’s only be 24, and I think that he’s got a shot to be a solid regular on a big league club. Not an All Star, but a nice piece to the puzzle.

  52. Good post, Andre. If they keep Inge at all, which most people here would argue is a given due to his contract, I would rather – much rather – see him at 3B in 2009, which is not a crticism of his catching abilities.

    Yeah, third basement was a keeper. I think that one’s going to be kicking around here for a while.

  53. Eddie’s FA list shows Henry Blanco (Cubs back-up catcher). I think with the emergence of Soto, Blanco could be even cheaper than before. The guy is sub-par at best at the plate, but solid behind it. Also the local media seems to think he’s quite the club house guy (i’m one of those chemistry weirdos).

    For some reason, he’s the kind of guy I hope the Tigers go after in the off-season. Get a guy that likes to play C and plays it well. And if not a known-quantity at least as good as Blanco, I’d love to see them gamble on a young guy (again preference to defense over hitting).

    I think we’ve seen enough defensive lapses from fitting square pegs into round holes for the sake of hitting. I’m assuming that to some extent the offense/starting pitching problems were flukes this year. However, in case the offense wasn’t (ie. if Guillen and Maggs don’t reasonably return to previous production levels), it seems to me that defense is easier to predict and therefore should become a higher priority.

  54. “Not an All Star, but a nice piece to the puzzle.”

    I vote Yes on the “Joyce Proposition” (Proposition .266). What the Tigers need is more nice pieces to the puzzle, pieces that fit together, and not necessarily All Stars or a Murderer’s Row lineup.

  55. “As far as 2B, I think trading Polanco should at least be considered (as much as I like the guy).”

    He may actually have the highest trade value of any position player that the Tigers would even consider trading (which exempts Granderson and Cabrera).

  56. If there are 3 basements, and they keep Inge in the 3rd basement, who do they keep in the 2nd? I would have to guess Thames, unless there is a 4th basement.

  57. Chris –

    Although you wouldn’t be the first to slap “Dr.” in front of an abbreviated form of my first name…it does give me a chance to tell a funny story.

    (pauses to put on the p.c. hat)

    So obviously my name is Andre. My cubicle neighbor, and best-work-buddy is (last) named McCarthy. I’m much uh, lighter in skin tone than he is. This leads to some fairly comical moments when people who have been told to go speak to Andre in the Finance dept walk up to him. He has since been dubbed Dr. Dre…by myself. See, stereotypes are funny.

  58. “If you build a building and the base isn’t strong, it can be the best building in the world and it’s still going to tilt,” [a Tiger] said.

    How do you fix that?

    “How do you fix your house?” [a Tiger] said. “You fix the problems.”

    I noticed this in a Danny Knobler article from a couple weeks ago. I found it intriguing, considering who was saying it. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

  59. Sean C: ““If you build a building and the base isn’t strong, it can be the best building in the world and it’s still going to tilt,” [a Tiger] said.”

    Ouch! dude really threw Rodney under the bus didn’t he, with that barely concealed reference to Mr. Cap Askew.

  60. Sheffield is, by defintion, the 4th basement. The 1st basement really belongs where the 4th basement is. The 3rd basement was flooded out by impostors. The 2nd basement is a groovy place, but the Tigers may soon have to sell the furniture and renovate.

  61. Or…maybe I was reading too much into that? Possibly but given the way players like to speak in metaphors embedded in analogies….

  62. Clearly, what the dude meant to say was that the basement (not base) isn’t strong. Language barrier.

  63. I think they moved the first basement because they found a white sox jersey there, and also a Tiger jersey, and Rob Deer was still wearing it, which was a little disturbing and made the kids cry.

  64. “Sheffield is, by defintion”

    One wonders what “defintion” may be. It appears to be undefined.

  65. From Qwikipedia: DEFINTION is a term from biomechanics, primarily used to describe a torqueing action by the arms, and the various stresses produced by the action. The first known use of the term was in relation the American sport of baseball, specifically the swing mechanics of Gary Sheffield, in which he elevates the bat and then wags or wiggles it briskly back and forth in a DEFINTION, which then necessitates a quick whiplike action of the arms and wrists to produce a swing. This particular defintion is know to place great stress on the oblique muscles.

  66. Chris in Dallas: “…[comments on team defense, ham sandwich]…That and a lot of GIDP”

    The strange thing about the GIDP–which the Tigers really do have a lot of, you aren’t imagining–is they have some of the league “leaders” with the most GIDP…and also some of those with the lowest GIDP.

    I haven’t quite figured out why they are hitting more than last season–not just as a team but some individually. Polanco last season: 9 in 587 AB; so far this season 13 in 480 AB. Ordonez 20 in 595 AB, so far 19 in 446 AB. Granderson 3 in 612 AB, so far 5 in 430. And Sheffield in a class of his own: 10 in 495 AB, vs so far 15 in only 326 AB.

    The double-play? What’s that? guys: Joyce (0 in 184 AB!), Inge (1 in 258 AB) and Thames (2 in 251 AB).

    And worst of all, the double-play hitters had more AB with runners on, the non-double-play hitters fewer (yes, that would be one obvious reason they hit more DP, but if you look at the DP in AB with runners on, they also hit into DP at a higher RATE).

    How do you explain? There’s slow baserunners, but they were just as slow last season. We aren’t getting more hits. My only idea? Blame it on Sheffield, Inge, Granderson and others getting more WALKS this season. It may be sad, but perhaps the net result of the “have a better eye at the plate” campaign this season was…more double-plays!

    (I don’t know of an easy way to get numbers on how many times various guys were doubled-up, as baserunners, after walks).

  67. “The strange thing about the GIDP–which the Tigers really do have a lot of, you aren’t imagining–is they have some of the league “leaders” with the most GIDP…and also some of those with the lowest GIDP.”

    This sentence nearly destroyed my brain.

  68. Joel in Seattle: “This sentence nearly destroyed my brain.”

    Ahh, so now the brain it is weakened, time for my most diabolical sentence ever. Bwah hahahaha!

    Or…not. Since I had to go bragging, now all you have to do is not read it. doh! I HATE when I do that! ach, mad “genius,” I’m such an IDIOT!

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