The 8th 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 7th inning report.

The 8th Inning is over.

Each 18 games represent 1 inning of a baseball season. The Tigers record for the first 8 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
8:  8-10  91- 118    27- 8-263/335/475    4-8- 92.2-6.90    4-2-5-4.68

In the 8th inning ended with a three game winning streak, otherwise it would have been really ugly. The pitching has completely fallen apart. They gave up seven or more runs in 50% of the games in the inning. The team is playing out the string and it is clear that most of the team cannot wait until September 28th comes. Looking back at all the expectations that this team had in March, it is hard to believe how bad this team is.

The starting pitching was abysmal. Galarraga was the only pitcher with an ERA under 5.00 (and he barely made it). Miner has come back down to earth after some very good starts and the great mystery of Verlander’s 2008 struggles continue. Kenny Roger’s career looks over and Nate Robertson gave up 5 homeruns in his only start!

Name	               GS	IP	       W	L	K	ERA	WHIP
Zach Miner	        4	23.1	       2	0	10	5.40	1.37
A Galarraga	        3	20       	0	1	15	4.95	1.45
Chris Lambert	       3	11.2	       1	1	8	6.17	1.89
Justin Verlander	4	20    	        1	2	20	6.30	2.10
Kenny Rogers	       3	14    	        0	3	8	11.57	2.14
Nate Robertson	       1	3.1	        0	1	0	14.73	3.27

In the Bullpen, Kyle Farnsworth was terrific. The 2 Tampa reject (Glover and Fossum) also pitched well. Francis Beltran pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. No one else had a WHIP below 1.64. Do not be fooled by Rodney’s 5 saves, He gave up 7 walks and 10 hits in 8 innings!

Name	                G	IP	W	L	S	K	ERA	WHIP
Kyle Farnsworth	       0	7.2	1	0	0	10	0.00	1.17
Casey Fossum	       0	10.2	1	0	0	5	2.53	0.94
Gary Glover	             0	10    	1	1	0	5	3.60	0.90
Francis Beltran	       0	2.2	0	0	0	2	0.00	0.00
Aquilino Lopez  	    0  	14    	0	0	0	11	4.50	1.64
Fernando Rodney	       0	8    	0	1	5	11	4.50	2.13
Clay Rapada	       0	2.1	1	0	0	1	3.86	2.14
Freddy Dolsi	       0	2.1	0	0	0	1	7.71	3.00
Nate Robertson	       0	5    	0	0	0	3	12.60	2.00
Bobby Seay	        0	4.2	0	0	0	3	13.50	2.57

The offense scored over 5 runs/game. Cabrera, Ordonez, and Granderson are leading the pace. Can anyone give a good reason why Sheffield is continuing to garner his regular playing time? If he gets to 500 homeruns (he needs 4 more) is he going to retire? If that is the case, bat him leadoff so he can get his milestone and save the Tigers 14m next year. Displaying from best to worst:

Name	                G	AB	HR	RBI	SB	BA	OBP	SLG
Miguel Cabrera	        18	67	8	20	0	.299	.347	.716
Magglio Ordonez	        18	70	4	16	1	.386	.408	.700
Curtis Granderson	18	68	3	9	1	.324	.459	.632
Edgar Renteria	        14	48	2	5	2	.292	.327	.521
Mike Hessman	         7	17	2	3	0	.235	.350	.647
Marcus Thames	        13	40	3	5	0	.250	.279	.500
Placido Polanco	        16	71	0	7	1	.282	.301	.338
Carlos Guillen	         5	15	0	0	0	.267	.353	.400
Dusty Ryan	        2	4	1	2	0	.250	.400	1.000
Dane Sardinha	        2	3	0	0	0	.333	.333	.333
Ramon Santiago	       10	21	0	1	0	.238	.333	.286
Matthew Joyce	       16	31	0	2	0	.161	.308	.258
Brandon Inge	       17	53	1	7	2	.189	.279	.283
Gary Sheffield	       16	61	3	8	0	.180	.254	.361
Ryan Raburn	       11	14	0	1	0	.143	.143	.214
Jeffrey Larish       	8	25	0	3	1	.160	.192	.160

The Tigers must now go 12-6 in the final inning to have a winning record. DO NOT BET ON IT. As long as they keep trotting out Sheffield, Thames, and 29-year old minor league legend Mike Hessman and do not play any youngsters, there is absolutely no reason to watch the train wreck known as the 2008 Tigers. Watch the Lions, their 50 year run of futility will make you feel better about the Tigers.

10 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    September 11, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Back in June I suggested a possible finish of 77-85 for these guys. A finish of 7-9 will get them there. I see no reason to expect a better result in the last “inning”, and they could do worse. The 4th & 5th innings they were 23-13, but that was when they went 13-5 vs. NL, so 10-8 vs AL. In other words, in the 8 “innings” that mattered, they were over .500 once (by 2 games). They were bad at the beginnng, bad in the middle and they’re going to bad at the end.

    With the exception of a few outstanding individual efforts (Granderson, Cabrera, Galarraga) not much went right for this team. I don’t buy the bad luck argument. This team had major failures in all aspects of the game (game prep, conditioning, focus, front office managemant, on field management, etc.). They ALL need to take a good hard look at what happened this year and then make the requisite changes to turn things around. I think some tough choices will have to be made. The question is, will they?

  2. ron

    September 12, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Vince, you said it all.

  3. Chris in Dallas

    September 12, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Quick correction: Mike Hessman is 30 and will turn 31 in the offseason.

  4. Smoking Loon

    September 12, 2008 at 11:45 am

    My wild guess for September was 19-7, leading to an 85-77 finish. I should probably abandon that hope. But I still think the Tigers can get back to .500, for what that’s worth.

  5. Smoking Loon

    September 12, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    “I think some tough choices will have to be made. The question is, will they?”

    The more I look into it, the more it seems like they are hamstrung (get it? – HAMstrung) by contractual and payroll issues. Quite a sticky wicket. They probably can’t even afford to be in the market for pitchers like Sabathia and Fuentes. And does it make sense to try to buy your way out of a problem you bought yourself into?

  6. Smoking Loon

    September 12, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Any thoughts on what the Tigers do for 2009 if there is no blockbuster trade or big free agent signing, no Ordonez-for-whatever payroll dump?

  7. ron

    September 12, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    First get rid of Leyland and then make those “tweaks” that he so aptly suggested and we’ll do just fine.

  8. Chris in Dallas

    September 12, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I imagine we’ll see pretty much the same team in 2009 as we’ve seen in 2008. The whole idea with all of the blockbuster moves last winter was to give them a 2 year window to win it all, more or less. The first year of that window sucked, but there’s enough talent on this team to believe that they will be markedly better in 2009. Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander all need to figure out what the eff went wrong this year. Jeremy Bondo and Joel Zumala should be healthy. Maybe Freddy Garcia will return and pretend it’s 2005. Lots of ifs and all, but I think there’s room for optimism.

  9. Smoking Loon

    September 12, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Here’s one possible version of the low-budget (so to speak) 2009 Detroit Tigers:

    DH Guillen
    2B Polanco
    CF Granderson
    1B Cabrera
    RF Ordonez
    LF Joyce/Thames (platoon)
    3B Hessman/Inge (platoon)
    C Inge/Ryan (platoon)
    SS Santiago

    Bench (besides Thames & Ryan):

    2B-SS Hollimon
    OF Clevlen (Thomas when he’s ready)

    SP Verlander, Galarraga, Bonderman, Garcia, Lambert, Willis, Robertson (at least one guy will fall by the wayside in the spring, and they should go slow with Bonderman anyway – he might not be ready to begin 2009)

    RP Rodney, Zumaya, Seay, Rapada, Dolsi, Cruceta, Glover (at least one guy will fall by the wayside in the spring)

    Sheffield just has to go. I can’t get my mind around wasting a roster spot on an injury-prone guy who can’t even play the field, try as I might. Will someone take him and pick up his contract if the Tigers give them Miner and Raburn as well? That’s my latest desperate scheme.

  10. Chris in Dallas

    September 12, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I can’t get my mind around wasting a roster spot on an injury-prone guy who can’t even play the field, try as I might.

    Well, Sean, at least this is an American League team so playing in the field isn’t a requirement for 1 roster spot.