Game 137: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s Labor Day baseball, courtesy of some rain. The Tigers and Yankees will make up Detroit’s lone rain out of the season this afternoon. It also marks the return of Pudge Rodriguez to Detroit. It’s his first Comerica Park appearance since the trade, here’s hoping he gets a nice ovation.

The Tigers will face Sidney Ponson, one of the pitchers who will throw to Rodriguez (Pettite and Mussina prefer a Molina). The Tigers last faced Ponson in 2007 and lit him up good. He’s not much better now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot given this season.

The Tigers send out Justin Verlander, who isn’t facing the Indians so things might go okay.

NYY @ DET, Monday, September 1, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 1:05

POSTGAME: Justin Verlander continues to flounder in a big way, with what was probably the worst start of his career. Nothing was working, not even hitting the ball at people with the Tigers making a couple errors, and another play that should have been an error in the first 2 innings.

Bobby Seay, not familiar with pitching in the 2nd inning, was just as bad.

Still, the Tigers were down 11-2 and managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the 5th inning so at least the offense didn’t just roll over. Of course facing Sidney Ponson probably helped in that regard.

At least Pudge Rodriguez got a nice ovation. Nice to see.

41 thoughts on “Game 137: Yankees at Tigers”

  1. I’m glad Pudge got the ovation he deserved.

    And not just because it probably contributed to his strike out. Anyone else think he looked a little teary?

  2. Those kind of statements on your part bewilder me, Chris. Why would this be Verlander’s real level of talent when there is TWICE as much evidence to the contrary? Do you realize how backwards and irrational that assertion is? Don’t you think it is more likely that he is just having a bad year, or even that he’s hurt? At the very least, shouldn’t you wait until the amount of evidence on both sides of the argument is equal?

  3. What a dreadful start for Verlander. Seven runs in one and two-thirds — apparently the shortest outing of his career.

  4. I stop counting at five defensive plays that could have been made. The Tigers are playing like they’re pissed they had to play on an off day because of a rainout. Just silly spring training B game level of play.

  5. Sheffield home run! It’s too bad they’ve dug such a hole today, because Ponson looks characteristically atrocious.

  6. Ponson has given up about a million (four) hits in a row. Bases loaded for Polanco… pop-up.

    UPDATE: Bases loaded for Ordonez.
    UPDATE: Damn it.

  7. Too bad we aren’t playing the Indians or the White Sox, Verlander was never this bad against them.

  8. when they interview Verlander after all these games he botches he tells it like he is going to be second in the Cy Young voting….”I had great stuff today they were just lucky” kind of stuff….

  9. ya DaveBW..11-9 and only the bottom of the 5th. Might look more like a football score by the time it’s all over

  10. Well Jason Hanson has had a good game with 3 field goals, but that two-point conversion by Manning might come back to get us.

    Lions trail 11-9, but the Giants are driving…

  11. You know how Verlander could throw less pitches? Warning: it might sound crazy and involve personal responsibility.

    Throw a slider for a strike and/or induce more ground balls!
    I am fairly certain Verlander will figure this out in the off-season, but the number of pitches he’s thrown this year is as much his responsibility as Leyland’s. He’s on a pace to throw 206 innings. They’ll scratch him in his last meaningless start so he MIGHT throw 200 innings this year.

    His problems are because he can’t throw the slider for a strike, can’t induce enough ground balls, not because he threw 115 pitches last time. And he throws too many pitches because he never gets easy outs.

    I know this is the modern age and all, but if we are going to handwring over our #1 pitcher throwing 115 pitches, maybe we should just switch to cricket.

  12. Inducing ground balls isn’t always the best idea, depending on whether the Tiger infield is in their mediocre mode, or their awful one.

    If you are shopping for a pitcher and know that you have a shaky infield, a strikeout pitcher probably makes more sense than a ground-ball type…

  13. Yes Verlander should be more efficient. And he should throw his curve ball for strikes more often. But it doesn’t change the fact that if he goes more than 110 pitches, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll pitch poorly in his next start. It would be nice if this didn’t happen, and it would be nice if Ramon Santiago hit more homers and Miguel Cabrera played a better third base. But players have limitations and I think we’ve found one of Verlander’s, regardless of whether it provokes comments about cricket.

  14. only the Tigers can make the score 11-2 and come back to 11-9 only to proceed to lose.

    In the Tigers dictionary, there is apparently no meaning of the word momentum.

    Ugh, baseball sucks this year, hockey season’s soon! GO HABS GO!

  15. Well, if Verlander can’t figure how to pitch well the next time out after throwing 110 pitches, than he’s a #2 starter at best. Aces can throw 110 and come back with a quality start.

  16. Yech.

    I used to think Verlander had ace stuff. Now I think he’s a solid #2 rotation guy, and I think the Tigers need to find an ace for next year.

    If we don’t count on Willis, what do you guys think of a rotation that includes Verlander, Galarraga, Bonderman and Miner? … What sort of piece does DD need to add?

  17. Don’t get ya, Stephen. It’s not ‘figuring out how to pitch well the next time’. He knows exactly how to pitch well. It’s the responsibility of the manager to use a player in the most effective way possible. Curtis Granderson plays center field because putting him there instead of catcher uses his talents better. A 103 pitch outing uses Justin Verlander’s talents better than a 120 pitch outing. Chicken or the egg: If JV had a competent manager who didn’t throw him 120 pitches, would he improve enough to make 100 pitches enough to get through a start, thereby obviating the need to throw 120? By the by, Johan Santana has gone over 116 pitches exactly twice this year (118, 121). Not an ace?

  18. It’s not just Verlander. The whole pitching staff seems to have come out of spring training unprepared. Yeah, they put a nice string of quality starts together mid-way through, but by and large inconsistency has been the rule more often than not. Individual players can be held partially responsible, but I think the majority of the responsibility lies elsewhere, higher up the chain of command. I name no names.

  19. The question isn’t how many time Santana has gone over 110 pitches, it’s how he bounces back after throwing 110 that is the point. But Santana and Verlanders’ inning pitch are comparable, but it’s the pitches used that is the difference. The Tigers desperately need outs from Verlander so of course he’s going to throw more pitches if he walks a ton and nibbles the plate.
    He needs to learn to limit his pitches per batter AND bounce back after long outings.

  20. For those of you calling for Verlander to be off the roster next year, get a grip. Yes, he’s having a lousy year. But let’s leave it at that, shall we?

    Baseball is a strange game that way. When your team is bad, even the best players performance suffers, especially pitchers. You don’t see many great pitchers have great years with a terrible team. There are exceptions, of course. I think Steve Carlton won about half of the Phillies games one year in the mid 70s.

    Verlander will bounce back next year.

  21. Not that I expect it to happen, but was wondering what the greatest comeback to make the playoffs has been(in terms of Games behind), and then the greatest comeback in September(games behind).

    Tigers are 11 out with 25 games to go. I don’t think that’s ever been done before but I could be wrong.

  22. Verlander just had the worst start of his career in his worst season. Nearly every starting pitcher has a bad game like that. That was the 1st and only time Verlander didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning.

    Verlander will be fine. He’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2 out of the last 3 seasons.

    On another note, it’s amazing that Cliff Lee is now 20-2 on a losing team. Hard to believe that last season he was as bad as Nate Robertson is this year.
    Lee he had a 6.29 ERA.
    Nate is currently as 6.36.

  23. Kudos to Miggy Cabrera. He’s only the 2nd Tiger to hit 30 homers since moving to Comerica Park. He now has a 106 RBI’s also. He’s been terrific in the 2nd half of the season.

  24. I didn’t like the booing of Verlander-he needs some loving from the crowd. He will be the best pitcher we have had in some time.

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