The 6th Inning -2008

Last year Sam Hoff started breaking down the season into 18 games segments, each representing 1/9th of the season, or an “inning.” Here is the 6th inning report. This doesn’t include the Tampa series which got the 7th off to an awful start.

The 6th Inning is over.

Each 18 games represent 1 inning of a baseball season. The Tigers record for the first 6 innings in 2008:

Starters: Bullpen:
1: 6-12 74 -112 15-10-262/345/404 3-9- 96.2-5.96 3-3-3-5.28
2: 9-9 98 -87 21- 6-261/350/426 5-8-105.2-5.11 4-1-2-3.61
3: 8-10 89 -75 19- 2-275/326/442 8-5-109.2-4.19 0-5-4-3.83
4: 11-7 85 -74 19- 8-268/350/416 8-4-113.0-3.27 3-3-5-5.17
5: 12-6 86 -78 25- 6-297/347/476 6-4-106.1-4.23 6-2-6-3.43
6: 9-9 118-96 25- 8-299/368/483 8-6-105.0-5.49 1-3-2-4.03

In the 6th inning found the Tigers put up their best scoring effort by outscoring their opponents by 22 runs. The unfortunate part is a 1-5 record against the 2 teams they are chasing including five 1-run loses in those games made for a lot of “what-if” thoughts amongst their fans. They did actually gain 1.5 games on the White Sox during the 6th inning (5.5 back on July 31).

The Starting pitching was horrible. Justin Verlander (2-2-5.68era) allowed 16 of 31 base runners allowed to score. Nate Robertson is fooling no one (0-1-11.29era) and is starting to form disastrous 2008 numbers. Kenny Rogers (2-1-4.74era) is pitching mostly on guts allowing 40 runners in 24.1 innings. Armando Galarraga (2-2-3.65era) continues to have a fine rookie season and Zach Miner (2-0-1.50era) gave the Tigers 2 great starts.

In the Bullpen, Todd Jones (0-1-2saves-5.68era) had a huge blown save (only his 2nd) against the White Sox and is now on the DL. Bobby Seay continues to be the Tigers best reliever (1.08era) and had 12ks in 8.1 innings. Joel Zumaya (2.70era) – 9 walks in 10 innings and Fernando Rodney (3.48era) – 8 walks in 10.1 innings both continue to struggle finding the plate. Casey Fossom pitched a scoreless 5.2 innings and picked up the only bullpen win getting out of a huge self created jam against Cleveland. Freddy Dolsi (8.22era), Aquino Lopez (5.68era), and Clay Rapada (10.80era) were all no relief.

The Hitters finally scored on a 1000 run pace for an inning. Matt Joyce (4-11-327/383/691) was awesome. Now every day catcher Brandon Inge did well (3-8-270/372/568) and made management feel Pudge (1-3-333/395/436) was expendable. Miguel Cabrera was an RBI machine (3-23-299/329/481). The biggest struggle on offense came from 5th inning hero Marcus Thames (3-5-184/231/429) although Gary Sheffield is still not performing at a career level (3-11-236/306/455).

The Tigers now sit 2 games over .500 with 1/3 of the season left to play. Winning 36 and losing 18 over the last 54 games will leave the Tigers at 91-71, which still may not be good enough. The present lack of energy and the dud the team played in the first game of the 7th inning makes it seem that a lot of players will be getting 2009 auditions in September.


  1. Jeremy

    August 4, 2008 at 8:12 am

    I see that Robertson is still in the rotation for the White Sox game on Tuesday. I won’t be going to that game. Quentin will have two HR’s, Dye another 2. It is not going to be good.

    Oh, Verlander on Wednesday, I will definately stay away from that game.

    Yuk, Miner on Thurday. I guess I won’t go to any of these games.

  2. Mark in Chicago

    August 4, 2008 at 9:56 am

    The good news, Jeremy, the Sox have been pitching even worse than the Tigers lately. Get ready for some good old-fashioned 12-9 softball scores this week.

    I’ll be at Thursday’s game. With Miner going, that’s probably our best shot to have a good performance, given what the Sox typically do to Verlander and Robertson.

  3. Matt

    August 4, 2008 at 10:53 am

    “The Tigers now sit 2 games over .500 with 1/3 of the season left to play.”

    Not sure when the article was written but as of this morning the Tigers are one game BELOW .500.


  4. Vince in MN

    August 4, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Mark in Chi:

    The bad news is that the Twins are in first place.

  5. Chris in Dallas

    August 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    OK I’ve finally cleaned the taste of vomit out of my mouth. The Tigers relievers need to work on the mysterious pitch known as “the strike” and everything will be fine.

  6. Jason

    August 4, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I keep checking back in hopes of reading that Rodney has been DFA’d.

  7. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    There is a month of May (2008) vibe about the Tigers right now. Just another hunch-based projection for fun, but here goes:

    August 11-17 (finishing 66-70)
    September 19-7 (finishing 85-77)

    In other words, I see things getting worse before they get better, but I think they will get better. September might be a lot of fun, maybe better than average for seeing some new faces and getting a sense of how 2009 might shape up.

  8. Vince in MN

    August 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    If you take out the 13-5 “run” against the weak NL, and the abysmal 0-7 start, the Tigers have been consistently around .500 ALL year. None of the other disasters that have befallen them this year has proved to be a catalyst for better play, so I don’t think this most recent dud will be any different, Leyland’s rant or no. It is equally as possible that reality will set in (if it hasn’t already), they will realize that they are a crap team with no chance at the playoffs, and there could actually be a significant deterioration lasting right to the end. It’s nice to have happy thoughts that they will magically become world beaters for the last month of the season when it won’t make any difference, but don’t be surprised if the underachievers continue to underachieve and finish finish several games under .500.

  9. Chris in Dallas

    August 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t think that you can really slap the ‘underacheivers’ label on this group, though. Individually, guys like Ordonez, Cabrera, Polanco, Guillen and Granderson have all performed pretty much exactly like I thought they would. Recent history (say the past 2 weeks) aside, the pitching had been pretty much what youd’ve expected too. It’s just a poorly constructed roster. The names got us all excited, but there’s too many old declining guys on the roster (Renteria, Sheffield, Rogers, Jones) and a complete dearth of team speed. Granderson is the fastest guy, and he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s not that fast. Without an elite starting pitching staff and the complete inablility to manufacture a run once in a while, that spells trouble. Can’t score runs and can’t prevent them. And the fact that Nate Robertson has made Barry Zito look like an elite pitcher hasn’t exactly helped. And lets not get started on the highest paid A ball player in history. This is where you start to question the GM’s plan. He’s painted himself into a corner by dealing away the entire farm system.

  10. Coleman

    August 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    C in D: Granderson can fly like the wind going from batter’s box to 3rd, but he isn’t all that fast in a 1st – to – 2nd kinda way.
    My suggestion: more of the batter’s box to 3rd stuff.

    Jason: “I keep checking back in hopes of reading that Rodney has been DFA’d.”

    No luck I’m afraid. So far no DFA, only repeated DMFA (as in, “you Dumb M– F– A-H–“)

  11. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    “It’s nice to have happy thoughts that they will magically become world beaters for the last month of the season”

    Yes, it is. Rather than magic, however, I see a strong September following a dismal August as true to 2008’s trend of slump and recovery.

    Aside from the interleague play, they did manage to go 6-2 against the AL Central in June. Maybe a 12-3 record against NL teams should be taken with a grain of salt, but it shouldn’t be dismissed enirely.

  12. Mark in Chicago

    August 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm


    I’ve been checking all day too, not necessarily to see of Rodney got DFA’d but what, if any, moves were made. Too funny.

    Sean C., I’m going the other way on you. Big August followed by a decent September. We’re headed for 86 wins. Where that puts us in the Central chase, I don’t know. I had the Sox winning no more than 86 and the Twins no more than 83. I am comfortable with the Sox call, but the Twinkies added Liriano. i forgot about him. Our only chance is that they have to go on the road a TON.

    I maintain (perhaps in the spirit of Chief Monday) that this division is still winnable for the Tigers. I believe the Sox and Twins both will present the Tigers with the opportunity. It’s up to them to take it.

  13. Vince in MN

    August 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm


    If the Tigers got to play 26 more games against the NL in September, perhaps there would be a reason to hope for another recovery since their previous recovery coincided with interleague play. I could see 19-7 as possible there. However, it is my firm belief, based on their record so far, that they have some greater difficulty against the AL (9 games under .500 so far) and from my admittedly gloomy perspective, a repeat of resurgence in these circumstances just doesn’t seem too likely. I will grant you that that 6-2 record in June is pretty impressive and it is possible that they could put another such stretch together. What I worry about though are the 2-6 mini-slumps on either side of those 6-2 mini-recoveries.

    Chris in Dal:

    “I don’t think that you can really slap the ‘underacheivers’ label on this group, though.”

    I agree. The underachiever label doesn’t apply to all players – some, as you mention, are doing well. But as a team they have underachieved (the sum is less than the parts). And I wholeheartedly aggree with the “poorly constructed” assessment as well. And poorly managed, of course.

  14. Ryan

    August 4, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Mark in Chicago; the problem with your estimations is that the Twins could essentially play .500 baseball the rest of the way and they would still finish with 88 wins. (if they went 26-25)

    If you look through the Twins schedule though, with the exception of 4 away games vs. LAA and TB…there is no reason to believe they will play .500 or under .500 baseball the rest of the way. A conservative estimate would give them 90 wins. (28-23)

  15. Mark in Chicago

    August 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    You’re probably right, Ryan, but the Twins were AWFUL on the road earlier in the year, and play .650 at home. I’m not sure both of those trends will continue, but right now they are playing the best in the division.

  16. ron

    August 4, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Under Leyland, The team won a total of 27 games in Aug. and Sept. 2006 and 25 games in Aug. and Sept. 2007. I believe their best month ever under Leyland was 19 wins. He’s unable to light a fire when the chips are down.

  17. RudeMood19

    August 5, 2008 at 12:01 am

    guys, we’ll sweep the Sox. No, I’m not an optimist, I’m a crazy ass muthafu**a lol

  18. RudeMood19

    August 5, 2008 at 12:02 am

    lets’ worry about catching the SOx b4 the TWins. Don’t forget the twinkies have played i belive 9 more games at home then on the road, so they could be in for some losses.

    The Tigers just need to start winning in the division. They do that, they can win this thing. I still believe.

  19. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 5, 2008 at 11:06 am

    As far as I can tell, the best the Tigers have done over 51 games (51 because that’s how many are left) this season is 31-20. The worst is 21-30. What that means to you depends on whether you trust averages or trends more. The trend has been consistently upward. So maybe it’s not so crazy to think the Tigers could best 31-20 from here on out.

    However, I think it’s safe to say that projecting more than 86 or less than 76 wins for the Tigers is unrealistic. There’s something very unappealing about calling for something as safe and mediocre as 81-81. I’ll try to avoid it until the Tigers are 80-80.

  20. Coleman

    August 5, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Since Inning Guy has us in the 7th inning, season-wise…I’m wondering if the guys who are normally useless in innings 8-9 also fizzle out like a dud bottlerocket at the end of the season, and vice-versa. If there’s a correlation, then perhaps some late-inning substitutions are in order. You see where I’m going with this?

    Of course no doubt ol Cap’n Albert Smokestein is way out in front of me on this one.