Game 149: Tigers at Rangers

PREGAME: Stuff of note for this game. Dontrelle Willis will take the mound. It’s his first big league action since June 9th against Cleveland. With the Tigers having 2 more years invested in Willis, it’s worth seeing if he can still pitch. That’s reason 1 to tune in tonight.

Second, the Tigers could be eliminated tonight. Their magic number for elimination is down to 1. I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long.

Plus, there’s the chance that Kyle Farnsworth could give up another homer.

The Rangers send out Brandon McCarthy who hasn’t been bad as of late – not good mind you – but not bad. The last time he faced Detroit he left the game after 3 runs in .2 innings in September 2007.

DET @ TEX, Monday, September 15, 2008 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Tigers offense gets lead. Bullpen gives it up. Tigers get lead back. Bullpen gives it up. That’s kind of been done before, in fact it’s been done so much the Tigers have been eliminated. But the bigger story was Dontrelle Willis.

Willis did okay. He wasn’t great, with 5 walks in 5 innings and he was helped by a couple nice plays by Granderson and Ordonez. But he wasn’t bad either. And “not bad” is a step in the right direction and is encouraging.

He threw 89 pitches, with 47 being for strikes. The control wasn’t great, but improved for sure. There were times he was missing badly, but then other times where he seemed to just chuck it and found some nice life on the fastball. He’ll pitch again on Sunday, and perhaps one more time in the final week.

67 thoughts on “Game 149: Tigers at Rangers”

  1. You know, D-Train is looking pretty good! He’s keeping his pitch count down, getting ground balls… he’s been helped by an aggressive Rangers offense and some great defensive plays, but so what?

  2. Upon getting his second strikeout, Dontrelle started to do a little fist pump, but then checked himself and sheepishly returned to the mound. It was adorable.

  3. It’s the same wacky leg-kick thing he’s always done, only a little more subdued. FSN has his fastball at 91-92, which is right where he was with the Marlins.

    Note #1: Josh Hamilton has a goddawful christian rock ballad as his at-bat music.

    Note #2: D-Train just escaped a little jam by getting a grounder to second with a slider. The slider has been effective so far — he made Hamilton look silly on a couple swings. His control still isn’t great — two walks — but he’s only allowed one hit through three.

  4. btw, Brandon McCarthy hurt himself before I got home in the first inning, and he was replaced by Mendoza. Rupe has taken over in the 4th.

  5. yeah, jri, Gameday agrees with sportsline. FSN is usually up a little, but I’ve known Gameday to make the rare mistake as well. So, as usual, who knows.

  6. The fourth has already been a great offensive inning for the Tigers. Cabrera doubled, Joyce singled, and Sheffield drove them all in with a homer (#497). 4-0 Tigers

  7. Willis gives up a three run homer after two more walks. Not to make excuses, but (as an excuse) this strikezone is pretty tight and alternately bizarre. At 76 pitches, he should be out by the end of the fifth or sixth. 4-3 Tigers

  8. Now Willis is being way too cautious. Part of the problem looks to be a weird game plan in which he’s pitching around marginal hitters. Regardless, he gets out of the fifth with no damage done

  9. For the Tigers: Gary Glover warming up

    For the Rangers: Wes Littleton warming up. If you recall, he’s the guy that got a save in Texas’ 30-3 victory over Baltimore last year.

  10. Okay, Glover in. Dontrelle went 5 IP, 3ER, 5 BB, and 4 SO. That was the most fun I’ve had watching the Tigers in months. I gather we’re going to need about five more runs to make this bullpen proof, though

  11. Max Ramirez claimed he was hit by a pitch. While he was right, there’s some debate over whether Ramirez swung before he was hit (not to mention the annoying fact that he made no effort to avoid the dang ball).

    Leyland rushed out like a wildcat to protest, and was thrown out of the game in entertaining fashion.

    Uh oh, bases loaded with one out. I think I’ve read this script before.

  12. What are you saying I love Chuck Darby! The way he would plar his guitar while doing that duckwalk thing, and–oh wait, that’s Chuck Berry, Nevermind.

  13. Speaking of Chuck Darby, a little know fact–The Stooges song “1970” is a barely-disguised ripoff of a Chuck Berry single B-side.

    [sorry Ig, I’m trying to get into this Top Ten thing I just found out about]

  14. Coleman: Little known fact — there are a total of roughly six riffs in all of early rock (as well as garage) music.

  15. Jamey Wright (Jon Kitna, to continue our metaphor) got to throw one whole pitch — a chin-high fastball that Polanco had to leap out of the way of — before Ron Washington took him out of the game

  16. Tigers take the lead once again on a polanco single. Seems like a good time to bring in the Professor to close this thing out.

    UPDATE: haha the Professor it is!

  17. These are the guys I DON’T want to see wearing the Olde English D next year: Leyland and staff, Rogers, Jones, Farnsworth, Rodney. Glover, Renteria, Sheffield, Inge, Sardhina. Willis probably won’t make it and it wouldn’t break my heart if Robertson disappeared along with a handful of pitchers who can’t find the strike zone. They can easily clear 10-15 spots off the 40-man roster and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.

  18. thanx farmsworth, for showing us your true ability and value.

    Tigers should release this bag of poop tomorrow in order to humiliate him

  19. lol Farnsworth-less as Yankee fans called him on…I see why every time he comes out to pitch…

    It’s ok..Put him as like, the closer. That makes more losses, which equals a higher draft pick =D

  20. Dave BW: “Coleman: Little known fact — there are a total of roughly six riffs in all of early rock (as well as garage) music.”

    Crap, that’s why I never got anywhere, nobody ever told me about the other @#!!* two of them.

    [I’m not talking about just the riff though, I mean the whole thing, even the lyrics, slightly altered. In their defense they did their album and the record company probably said, um, you need one more song, so what are they supposed to do? On the other hand, I’m assuming if you borrow the riff from an obscure B side, the idea is to escape detection, so that isn’t covered by the the Six Riff Exemption./

    [Unlike the whole Funhouse album, which is an extended takeoff on James Brown, which has barely ever been noticed, which I can only assume is because, um, white punk rock band, right, who’s James Brown, isn’t he a football player?]

    [Supposedly somebody played a Stooges tape for James Brown {one of the Funkadelic guys?} and he wasn’t paying attention at first and then stopped his conversation and yelled out: who the @#!! is this crazy @#!!&&-er??!…you gotta love James Brown…]

  21. Vince in MN: “These are the guys I DON’T want to see wearing the Olde English D next year”

    I think that’s a really bad idea, although I suppose it’s possible (unlike the NFL where it would never fly).

    But to me it would just look really weird seeing a third of the players with the big white spot and no “D” on the jersey…

  22. well, nobody in the bullpen has pitched well under pressure for the Tigers. It don’t matter who we put out there. Farnsworth has been terrible just like Zumaya, Rodney, Jones, Cruceta, Dolsi, Fossum, Minor, Grilli, Glover, and so on. They’ve all failed us tremendously. It don’t stop there either. Rogers, Robertson, Willis, and Verlander have failed us also. Bonderman failed us too, but he was lucky that he got DL’d when he did.

    BTW, Pudge hasn’t helped the Yankees one bit. His hitting has bottomed out and the Yankees will get stuck with him if they offer him arbitration.

  23. Chief Monday: “BTW, Pudge hasn’t helped the Yankees one bit.”

    Oddly, when you look at the particulars, he wasn’t helping the Tigers so much either….

  24. Re: Farnsworth

    Are we going to be able to get that draft pick? At this point I’m a bit afraid to offer him arbitration. What if he says yes?

  25. I was pleased to see Willis actually sort of look OK sometimes last night. He gets a ‘C’. Considering his previous stint was an F triple-minus, that’s better. He tuned up some nice FB to Hamilton and Blalock, hitting 91-93 on the stadium gun. Everyone else he seemed to be sitting at 86-88. Threw a couple of nice offspeed pitches too, actually (gasp) missing some bats. So at least I think he’s got something to build on next time out and into the offseason. Now we’ll see what Garcia’s got on Wednesday. (side note: I am going to abstain from Farnsworth bashing today. It’s like making fun of the handicapped at this point. It’s easy, but it doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself.)

  26. HELP

    Help, we need some pitchers
    Help, not just any pitchers
    Help, you know we need some pitchers, help.

    When it was spring and we were pegged for number one
    We used to dream a thousand runs would get it done
    But now those days are gone; the pitching’s been exposed
    Starting is low-quality; the bullpen’s getting hosed

    Help us if you can, we’re in fourth place
    And we’ve been eliminated from the race
    Help us, now we’ve fallen on our face
    Won’t you please, please help us?

    As soon as April changes came so many ways
    Consistent hitting seemed to vanish in the haze
    The lack of defense made the pitchers insecure
    And by July the ‘pen was fried, and Farnsworth weren’t the cure

    Help us if you can, we’re way behind
    And bad contracts really have us in a bind
    Help us be contenders in oh-nine
    Won’t you please, please help us?

    Well, now we cannot blame the fat guy at first base
    He’s been a real bright spot in a season of disgrace
    And Granderson, Armando, Maggs have had the touch
    The pitching, though, it really blows, and Sheffield just as much

    Help us if you can, we’re getting old
    And a few trades back our prospects were all sold
    Help us turn this leaden team to gold
    Won’t you please, please help us?
    Help us, help us, ooh

  27. Done in by a blow to the skull (skill) with a bull peen hammer.

    Encouraging about Willis. Good battling bats last night. Too bad about the bullpen. No doubt about who to blame for this one. I just spell it “b-u-l-l-p-e-n” these days. The name of the individual hardly matters any more. Coulda been any of them.

    I’m sure Glover and Farnsworth both go on the DL now with shoulder/elbow/wrist/finger problems they’ve suddenly been battling for 2 months. Though I was surprised not to see Fossum in the box. Is he still on the team?

  28. Yeah, Chris. Ron gets an assist. He got me going.

    Stats are no fun anymore. Nothing but bad news. All that’s left are song parodies.

  29. I’m looking forward to Garcia’s start, too. Dismal as it is when the Tigers can’t even beat the Rangers, there are glints and glimmers of interest left in the remaining 13 games. And plenty of offfseason intrigue to speculate on.

    “It’s just that you’re looking at her while mouthing the word “snorg” which completes a neural connection which produces a sensation similar to pleasure.”

    Coleman, I think it’s more like this: Ms. Snorg makes me feel like I’m 11 years old and afflicted with a hopeless crush. I’ll just stare at her in class, can’t help myself. I really have nothing to say to her, no designs, no idea why I’m feeling what I’m feeling. But I haven’t seen her today. Maybe Prnicipal Billfer kicked her out of school for being disruptive.

    Puff Loony? I should have foreseen all this. Changes will be made. Maybe.

    Yes, I loved Admiral Julius von Thursday, out to sea now, evidently. But it was that Cap’n Whoever guy that caused me to fracture several ribs with fits of laughter. I’m kinda glad he went away.

  30. Woah. Now we’ve got TRIPLE snorg girls up there. Snorg cubed. A triumverate of snorginess. And so on.

  31. Maybe Cale Iorg can hit the bigs in 2009. We could call his female admirers in the stands Iorg’s Snorgs.

  32. love your version of “Help” Loon 🙂 I take it the Tigers didn’t win last night. I think it was tied or they were ahead by 1 when I “had” to watch “The Hills” lol

  33. I like the cut of your jib, Loon. Iorg’s Snorgs is way better than those corn-fed Grady’s Ladies that they’ve got over there in Cleveland.

  34. FYI I’m fairly certain that the guy who delivered my couch today was Joel Zumaya. I assume it will lead to a two year DL stint, just to warn you.

  35. FYI I’m fairly certain that the guy who cooked my breakfast at Denny’s this morning was Kyle Farnsworth. He looked hung over, and put everything right over the plate. The server might have been Gary Glover, not sure what he looks like. But when I tried to order an English muffin and a cup of coffee, he wouldn’t let me, insiting that I get the Grand Slam breakfast instead. Weird.

  36. A seafaring man deep in the heart of Texas! The Tigers’ season is in Davy Jones’s locker, matey. We’re in the horse latitudes, no sign of land.

    Thanks, Amanda. Didn’t know if any of you young whippersnappers would even recognize the song. It was mostly for old fogeys like me and Ron.

    By the way, Ron, I heard that the Beatle’s broke up. Can you confirm?

    Did someone make up Grandy’s Dandies already?

  37. Smoking Loon(Tommy), (Admiral) you are on fire! You could teach our Tigers how to step it up a notch when called upon.

  38. Ryan: The 5 free passes were a little troubling, and he was hit pretty hard a few times. But compared to the way he looked back in April/May, he was a million times better.

  39. Sean: Are there really people who don’t recognize Beatles songs, for crying out loud?

    One time I met a kid who didn’t know who Paul McCartney was, though. It seems to me that someone would have to actually TRY in order to avoid that bit of information for, say, seventeen years.

  40. “Sean: Are there really people who don’t recognize Beatles songs, for crying out loud?”

    Yeah, Dave, that was pretty lame. I needed some kind of lead-in for the Beatle’s breakup joke, a joke that still amuses me as much as when I first encountered it 20-30 years ago. Everyone has a joke they should retire, and that’s mine. Well, maybe I have several.

  41. Don’t worry about it, Sean. And btw, I actually thought of Grandy’s Dandies once, too, and I laughed about it for at least five minutes.

  42. “who are The Beatles?



    The Beatles were what people worshiped before the ascension of the True Gods, the 2006 New York Yankees. John Lennon was kind of like Alex Rodriguez — always talented, always controversial, and always a little jealous of the adoration visited upon his “partner”, Paul McCartney/Derek Jeter. George Harrison saw himself as equally talented to Paul and John, but was never happy with his role — much like Gary Sheffield. And Ringo? That’s Johnny Damon: a great guy who was content with workmanlike production, and happy to leave the headlines to John/Alex, Paul/Derek, and George/Gary.

    I hope this has helped.

  43. I understand the 2006 Yankees a lot better now.

    So… the Detroit Tigers are kinda like the Traveling Wilburys. Well, OK, more like the Traveling Marlins.

  44. From the Free Press:

    “This was the Tigers’ sixth loss this season in which they scored seven or more runs. All six of those losses have come since the All-Star break. Several of those defeats came when any chance the Tigers had at making the playoffs slowly slipped away.”

    I didn’t know this, especially the second sentence. (Is it possible to know something you don’t know even less than you know it?)

    ““We’ve just done a very poor job at any point in the game of protecting leads – for whatever reason, whether it be the starter or the bullpen,” Leyland said.”

    That’s undoubtedly true. Would make something interesting to investigate statistically. I’m back in business, baby!

  45. “So… the Detroit Tigers are kinda like the Traveling Wilburys. ”

    Exactly — a group that somehow became less than the sum of its parts.

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