The 7th Inning 2008

by billfer on August 20, 2008 · 15 comments

in 2008 Season

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 7th inning report.

The 7th Inning is over.

Each 18 games represent 1 inning of a baseball season. The Tigers record for the first 7 innings in 2008:

                                                          Starters:         Bullpen:
    W-L   RS –RA     HR-SB-AVG/OBA/SLG    W-L-IP-   ERA     W-L-S-ERA
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
7:  7-11  93- 103    26- 8-265/353/455    7-7-104.0-4.67    0-4-4-4.92

In the 7th inning found the Tigers start the inning with a 5-game losing streak that seemed to drain the life and energy out of the team and their fans. The season thus far can be broken into 3 distinct segments: The abysmal 24-36 start that dug a huge hole, the 28-13 run that started June 7th with a Thames’ lead comeback win against Cleveland that got the team to 52-49, and the most recent 10-15 run that was started July 25th with Dye’s 2-run 9th inning homerun off of Todd Jones.

The starting pitching improved as a unit from Horrible to Mediocre, the exception being Galarraga who was great. Displaying from best to worst:

Name	      GS	IP	W	L	K	ERA	WHIP
Galarraga	4	26.2	3	0	19	2.36	1.16
Verlander	3	18    	1	2	16	5.50	1.39
Robertson	3	18    	1	1	12	4.50	1.72
Miner	        4	18.2	1	1	12	4.82	1.82
Rogers	       4	22.2	1	3	22	6.75	1.81

In the Bullpen, the emergence of Fernando Rodney as a closer was a bright spot. Bobby Seay continued to do well and Gary Glover provided 2.2 innings of perfect work. Other than those 3, it was pretty much like throwing gasoline on a fire. Displaying from best to worst:

Name	       G	IP	W	L	S	K	ERA	WHIP
Rodney	       7	9 2/3	0	1	4	14	1.86	0.83
Seay	        9	8    	0	0	0	9	3.38	1.13
Glover	       2	2 1/3	0	0	0	2	0.00	0.00
Dolsi	        4	5 1/3	0	0	0	3	1.69	2.06
Lopez  	       5	9 2/3	0	0	0	6	5.59	1.66
Beltran	       4	5 2/3	0	0	0	3	6.35	1.59
Fossum	       6	7 2/3	0	1	0	6	8.22	1.57
Farnsworth	7	7 1/3	0	0	0	7	7.36	1.91
Zumaya	       5	4    	0	2	0	4	9.00	2.75
Jones	        1	 2/3	0	0	0	0	0.00	9.00

The offense did OK. The 93 runs do not match a 1,000 runs/season pace, but scoring over 5 runs per game should be sufficient. Overall, I would give the individual hitters in the 7th inning a passing grade except our Catching tandem (Inge and Sardinha), and the extremely cold Marcus Thames. Displaying from best to worst:

Name	        G	AB	HR	RBI	SB	BA	OBP	SLG
Cabrera	      18	71	6	17	0	.282	.362	.606
Polanco	      17	69	3	9	2	.319	.390	.565
Granderson	18	74	4	11	2	.270	.372	.554
Renteria	17	59	2	6	1	.322	.385	.508
Guillen	      12	48	1	3	1	.292	.393	.438
Sheffield	17	63	5	13	1	.254	.347	.508
Joyce	        16	42	2	6	0	.262	.311	.476
Ordonez	      17	68	1	10	0	.279	.380	.368
Santiago	7	15	0	0	0	.267	.389	.267
Raburn	      12	32	0	2	1	.281	.324	.312
Inge	        18	60	1	8	0	.200	.314	.333
Thames	       8	27	1	2	0	.111	.111	.222
Sardinha	6	14	0	0	0	.071	.133	.071

Even if the Tigers were to go 28-8 over the remaining 36 games to get to 90 wins, both Chicago and Minnesota would have to play at or below .500 to win the division. The Wild card is even more daunting as the Tigers are 11 games back and would have to pass four teams. The last two innings should tell a lot about 2009 and what kind of direction the team will take in the off season. That is the only reason to keep watching this train wreck at this point.

 
 

{ 15 comments }

Sean C. in Illinois August 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm

I wanted to feel sorry for the Tigers starters, what with the 12 games of zero run support and all. Especially Kenny, the starter for 5 of them. But I can’t.

12 G, 61.2 IP, 38 ER, 76 H, 28 K, 27 BB, 1.67 WHIP, 5.55 ERA

Nate in his last 10 starts (since July 1):

53 IP, 28 K, 24 BB, 1.91 WHIP, 7.64 ERA

.344/.407/.639 = 1.036 OPS against, 35 XBH in 77 H (13 HR)

cib August 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Not quite sure where to post this but I am in shock. Warning: Extreme Chutzpah Alert!!

I received an invoice for postseason tickets in the mail today!!!

Sam August 21, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I did also!!!

Must be paid by 9/2!!!

Hah, Hah, Hah

Mark J in DC August 22, 2008 at 11:22 am

Gary Sheffield went on the DL basically at the end of the third inning, and came back around the end of the 5th innning. So far the 4th and 5th innings are our only two winning innings of the season. Is this just a coincidence? He has not produced on offense, which means we’re getting nothing at the DH spot when he is in there, or at least not nearly as much as we should be getting from a DH. He may be a distraction in the locker room as well. Is it more than a coincidence that our best baseball has coincided with his trip to the DL?

Chris in Dallas August 22, 2008 at 11:41 am

Mark J. – I’ve gotta discount your theory a bit. The Tigers best baseball happened to coincide with when they played the National (i.e. sissy) League.

Sean C. in Illinois August 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

I don’t think there’s one guy or even one facet you can pin it on. Overall team failure to get it together, mainly, exacerbated by a number of poor decisions on Leyland’s part.

AP Blame Top 5

1. Hitting (superficially good on paper)
2. Manager
3. Bullpen
4. Defense
5. Starting pitching (only because everything else has been worse!)

Bad luck and injuries? I don’t think the Tigers have been ususually hard hit by all that. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m being uncharitable.

Sean C. in Illinois August 22, 2008 at 12:03 pm

The Tigers have been shut out 11 times, not 12. Right? So that stupid first post guy was wrong. I apologize on his behalf.

Chris in Dallas August 22, 2008 at 12:05 pm

The ESPN/USA Today Top 5 Blame

1. Starting pitching. Case in point – Robertson, Nate
2. Defense. Granderson is the only guy you could call ‘plus’
3. Relief pitching. Blown leads to division rivals does not equal pennants.
4. Inconsistent offense. 12 shutouts?
5. Managing. Trotting out Gary Sheffield’s Corpse at the expense of AB’s for more productive hitters a few too many times.

As for injuries, the Tigers haven’t been any worse off than most teams. Losing Granderson to start the year didn’t help. Bonderman could’ve been useful. Maggs hit the DL for a stretch. Zumaya never really being 100% wasn’t good. Other teams have had their injury woes and remained in contention, though.

Chris in Dallas August 22, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Wow. It “only” has been 11 shutouts. Why did I also think it was 12?

Sean C. in Illinois August 22, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Chris, I believe I actually read 12 somewhere recently. Since the 10th one, I think I’ve been ready to believe anything.

Blame is such a tossup that my only point of contention with the ESPN/USA Today rankings is putting starters above bullpen. I’m working on something I expect to demonstrate just how incredibly miserable the bullpen has been all season, because the early data has already begun to induce the rage-vomiting I’ve heard so much about.

Chris in Dallas August 22, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Well, a superficial analysis shows the starters ERA at 4.72 versus 4.31 for the bullpen. You’d really have to do a game-by-game analysis of the losses to see how many you could “blame” on the starting pitcher versus the relievers. Maybe I’ll do that if I get bored enough.

Chris in Dallas August 22, 2008 at 12:20 pm

One thing I find incredibly interesting: the starters have thrown 744 innings, walking 295 batters. The relievers are at a 392.2/206 ratio. I sense that perhaps any offseason activity in the relief corps will focus on throwing effing strikes.

Rick G August 22, 2008 at 1:36 pm

The Coaches’ Poll Top 5 Blame

1. Starting pitching. Case in point – Robertson, Nate / Verlander, Justin / Willis, Dontrelle
2. General Managering – Cutting Byrdak, non-arbitrating Durbin, assuming Cruceta would be good, not getting any other help for the bullpen, etc. etc. etc.
3. Managering. Not prepared coming out of spring training, Gary Sheffield, 3B/1B switcheroo, lack of urgency all year.
4. Relief pitching. Although this was expected to be bad given the absence of Rodney & Zumaya early on.
5. Defense – although also expected to be bad.

The coaches apparently don’t put a lot of stock in the 12 shutouts, other than the fact it shows the team was not very motivated much of the time, which they blame the manager for (there’s some irony for you!).

Chris in Dallas August 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Rick G.: Some good points made there. I’ll dispute lumping Willis in there with the SP woes, though. Granted they expected to get something out of him but a) he only started 2 games and b) his ineptitude/injury led to Galarraga getting an extended look, which has worked out well. Also, while Verlander’s results look mediocre, if you look at his numbers other than ERA and W/L he hasn’t pitched any differently than he did the last 2 years. He’s had some bad luck (read: a downgraded defense playing behind him). All that being said, the crappy starting pitching is still #1 in our polls so while we may disagree on the specifics, the overall point still stands.

ryan August 22, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I hate to beat a dead horse, but this is how I see it:

1) Starting pitching – What to say? Terrible, regressive, etc.
2) Pitching coaching – Starters were not ready to pitch coming out of spring, pitchers did not fix glaring issues during the season such as walks and refusal to pitch inside.
3) Managing – Pitching changes – Look at prior 120 or so game comments. JV goes 130, Bondo goes 83, various struggling relievers left in until game is out of reach.
4) Managing – Lineup choices – Sheff? Really? Still? Thames permanent starting LF? Then benched? Guys need days off, but your lineup has to be as good as it can be. Don’t blame Sheff for sucking, blame the guy that allows it.
5) GM – Distant fifth. Not so much the trades, which were understandable, but the contract to Dontrelle and knowing that they were going back to Kenny and Todd one too many times and doing it anyway. But Galarraga was a coup, and the trade for Cabrera will be remembered fondly for a long time.

I think the offense has been fine. Hard to remember, but three runs is supposed to win games sometimes. I think the defense, first three weeks excepted, has been slightly better than expected. In my book, Grandy, Maggs, Miggy and Polly are all above average (although only Curtis is much above), and nobody has really been glaringly bad. The bullpen has
been awful, but the number of chances give to Zumaya while Rapada sits in Toledo is telling. Also the number of chances given to a guy like Fossum while there are journeyman FAs everywhere who would gladly give you a 4.60 ERA for league minimum salary.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Switch to our mobile site