Game 2009.019: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers finally return home after spending a good chunk of the season batting first. The Tigers played a MLB leading 13 games on the road to date (the Dodgers have played 13 roadies also).  It will also be the first night game at Comerica Park this season. Tonight they get to face the New York Yankees, a grumpy group of guys who were just swept in Fenway Park.

CC Sabathia will pitch the first game of the 3 game series. Sabathia has had 2 good games and 2 clunkers so far this season. Of course the Tigers are familiar with him from his day’s on Lake Erie. Surprisingly Sabathia has 14 BB’s against 12 K’s. Sidney Ponson had a similar ratio heading into yesterday’s game and the Tigers could barely hit him. For more on the Yankees check out Bronx Banter.

Justin Verlander takes the mound for the Tigers, still looking for his first quality start of the year. Here’s hoping he finds some solid defense behind him. Coincidentally Ryan Raburn is in the lineup for the first time since his adventures in right field during Verlander’s last start.

Tonight’s Starting 9:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Laird, C
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Raburn, LF
  9. Everett, SS

Game Time 7:05

NY Yankees vs. Detroit – April 27, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: For only the 2nd time this season the Tigers won the opener of a series. The other time was against Texas which resulted in a sweep. That would be cool.

Verlander was quite good, with the results finally matching the stuff. He fanned 9 and walked none in 7 innings. As for that problem pitching in the stretch? Not so much an issue which was a good thing because he did allow a number of hits and he threw 61 of his 110 pitches from the stretch. But the fastball was blazing averaging 96mph.

Bobby Seay was stone cold money when he came in with runners on first and second and nobody out inthe 8th and the runner didn’t budge. That’s 3 games in a row for Seay and he’s pitched in 10 of 19 this year. Fernando Rodney, not so stone cold but he only gave up one hard hit ball, and he continues to throw strikes (but not fan as many) and was assisted by an awesome double play by Brandon Inge.

Most of the production in this one came from the top of the order with Granderson, Polanco, Ordonez, and Cabrera accounting for the 4 runs.

130 thoughts on “Game 2009.019: Yankees at Tigers”

  1. Let Justin Verlander replicate his last start, minus the mid-game blowup! I commandeth it!

    Also let it not rain heavy until the Tigers are leading after 5 full innings! It is commanded!

  2. This sounds rather dumb, but I’d really like to see the Tigers get this one.

    And man, I love Raburn (kind of), but having him out there instead of Anderson kind of makes me sad.

  3. I hope Miggy can break out of his mini slump. I’ve been folllowing most of the road games and he just looks off.

  4. I bet it makes Verlander sad to see Raburn in the lineup, too.

    Here’s hoping for no silly glovework.

  5. Why is Raburn in LF and Anderson on the bench? Has anyone seen how Anderson has been playing lately? Should we really bench a guy like that, especially a day after the Yanks gave up a straight steal to home? I hope this doesn’t come back to bite us.

  6. “Jair Jurrjens is on Monday night baseball, if anyone wants to see him give up some runs in the first inning.”

    Fixed.

  7. I’m still glad we moved Jurrjens. What most people forget is that we would of traded him to Florida for Miguel Cabrera if we already didn’t trade him to Atlanta. I love Miguel Cabrera.

    Anyone notice how terrible Jurrjens peripherals are? The guy is just getting lucky so far this season.

  8. haha. I tried to watch the Duncan single on gameday, but MLB decided they want money for that now. Ridiculous.

  9. I hate how living in Vegas now forces me to live a life of shame……no not the strippers….the sitting in my cubicle with MLB.tv dialed up while I should be auditing infinity spreadsheets. Time zones are killing me. I can’t even blog anymore. All these new lads have no idea who I am. I am just a fleeting shadow in the blogosphere now.

  10. Oh, what up, ouchudied. I only write Moses Morgan scouting reports over there, even though I am his greatest critic.

  11. I thought I remembered some blogging about you watching Darius Morris ball? Heard Moses committed to IU. Oh well.

  12. We need to make Sabathia throw some pitches. He owns us anyway, and you know how bad the Yankee bullpen is.

  13. Naw, I just watched Morgan play a few times. He committed today?! As of this morning he had just mentioned IU as his leader.

  14. I may be mistaken on that, but I was pretty sure I heard he committed. I’m about to look it up…

  15. And I’m wrong. You’re right he just named Indiana his leader, thankfully. Good fit for the Beilein offense?

  16. Good shooter, good length. Not a Manny type scorer. Bad handles. Shines amongst awful competition.

    Way to fight out of that inning Verlander. He’s hitting 99 mph consistently now.

  17. He’s getting his stranded % regressing to the mean. Just his pitch totals don’t look good for him going more than 6 innings. We need to raise CC’s pitch total, preferrably by hitting him hard and often.

  18. Verlander and Sabathia both seem to have their good stuff out on the mound tonight. Fortunately, we are winning the game. Unfortunately, Sabathia is winning the pitch count battle.

  19. We needed a quick inning there from Verlander. 8 ks. He deserves a frickin win here, so let’s get the man some runs.

  20. Haha, Bill, I am not going to lie: It’s 2/3rds life in the way and 1/3rd the convenience of RSS feeds. Stephen still run ’round these parts?

  21. Nice job to make that a quick inning by Verlander. Throw him out there to start the inning and see how he fares…

  22. I’m scared to say it but Verlander is dealing right now… Need some runs and now that I said it the wheels will probably fall off.

  23. no, I think he has posted maybe one or two times since opening day sadly

    you’ve been away a bit yourself as you said, good to see you back!

  24. Thanks David! It’s a long season so I’ll be around more often (hopefully).

    And that Maggs HR is a 500 footer in the box score.

  25. Swisher assist? Did the ball bounce off his glove and over the fence? I really hope so because Swisher is about as low as you can go in my book (OSU to Yankees), a la big George…

  26. I thought Swisher pushed that ball over the fence, but it actually hit off the top of the yellow foam and bounced over. He got his glove within a few inches of it.

  27. This might be Verlander’s last inning of work as he already has 90 pitches and Leyland prolly will pull him too early again.

  28. I feel like Verlander’s done his job: 99 pitches through 7, I’m content in him coming out of the game.

  29. hey yea, this is a strange year so far – maybe it’ll end well 😀

    it is weird not having as many regulars on this site, and even I have my jaw perpetually dropped at what Inge has been doing this year with the bat

  30. Fun fact: Justin Verlander has never struck out more than 8 batters in a game in which he didn’t walk a batter.

    Until tonight. If he doesn’t walk anyone before departing.

  31. Many people were saying that Verlander needed to go spend some time in the minor leagues or something.

    Hope them people get the foot out of their mouths.

  32. Too bad we couldn’t have faced that A-Rod scrub. His backup is all of their offense.

  33. I can only follow this game by the computer feed and it’s awfully behind….top of 8th……what has happened? I see someone of 1st

  34. Nice job Verlander. But the way things have gone for him this year, the bullpen will probably blow it.

  35. @Billfer

    Is the old Mike Fast pitch f/x walk-through he published in 2007 still relevant or is it outdated?

  36. Yeah. Good pitches to both of those guys. Pena hits a ball way out of the zone into the outfield, and Jeter golfs one through Verlander’s legs.

    His runs will probably score (they always do) – but 7 innings and 2 earnies is still pretty good.

  37. It’s largely relevant, but the raw files are more robust now and include improved pitch classification, spin rate and spin direction. In other words, it’s easier now.

  38. Jim Joyce has had a tight zone to the left side of the plate if you’re looking from the Catcher’s view (side by the RH batters box).

  39. It was probably the right thing to let JV start the 8th. The 6th and 7th went quick, but he should have been pulled after the first batter got on.
    Tex is hitting lefties well this year.

  40. @Billfer:

    Niiiice. I’d really like to get into doing that and aspire to work my way towards Harry Pavlidis of Beyond the Boxscore/Cubsfx lore. Does the pitch f/x data give the home plate ump in each game?

  41. Seay this year (before tonite): 9 Appearances, 6 plus IP, 3 hits, 0 BB, 0 ER, 6 K’s, 0.43 WHIP. Not bad.

  42. Ahhh, forgot it was his 3rd day in a row. Well, then you have Zumaya ready might as well use him.

    Edit: It’s Nando … would rather see Zumaya tonight.

  43. WOW 4-0

    I am paying for watching yesterdays win with a night of bogus yard work. Hope to see a “boring” 9th. I live in NYS and cant tell you how much I love the Yankees losing

  44. Seay has been unbelievable to start the year, but I doubt he can go out there 115 times this year. He needs help from the left side and I don’t know if Robertson is the guy.

  45. Miggy SUCKS at 1st, he doesn’t even block crap, and cant pick it with any good first baseman , and cant get anything in foul territory

    how any coach or rod thinks he can win a gold glove is an a$$tard statement

  46. I don’t see the complaints with Nando: 1 hard hit ball from Cano, one seeing-eye single for an RBI, a grounder through the right side, grounder towards short for a double-play and a routine pop out to LF. Those nights happen.

  47. nothing like making everyone sweat about a 4-0 game in the 9th.

    but a win is a win, 3 games over .500 and still alone in first place. it was also nice of Verlander to drop by from 2006 and pitch this one. terrific job.

  48. I think this win could be just what Verlander needed for his head. He looks to have turned it around so far this year. Now he just saw the results

  49. Also, regarding getting Bobby Seay help, I don’t think getting him LOOGY help is necessary. He’s appeared in a lot of games this year, yes, however it goes deeper than that:

    2007: 46.1 Innings, 749 pitches.
    2008: 56.1 innings, 979 pitches.
    2009: 7.1 innings, 83 pitches (updated for tonight’s outing as well)

    That means he’s averaging:

    07: 16.18 pitches per inning
    08: 17.39 pitches per inning
    09: 11.37 pitches per inning

    Now let’s look at the batters he’s facing:

    2007: 189 batters faced
    2008: 246
    2009: 24

    That breaks down to:

    07: 4.08 batters per inning.
    08: 4.37 batters per inning.
    09: 3.29 batters per inning.

    So his work load has been dramatically reduced. To reach the 950 pitch mark at his current workload, Seay would have to pitch about 83-84 innings. Considering he’s at less than an inning per outing thus far (7.1 innings, 10 appearances) he can feasibly pitch in 81 games no problem.

  50. Also, for Seay to reach the 246 batters he faced in 2008, he can work 75 innings at his current batter-per-inning workload. At .73 innings per appearance (7.1 IP, 10 appearances), that means he would be working in 103 games (not feasible in the least).

  51. Anyone want to defend JL putting Rodney in a non-save situation when Zumaya needs work? Rodney and JL are starting to worrying me in the late innings…

  52. @Mike R

    Good stuff on Seay. The efficiency has been remarkable. In terms of wear and tear though we don’t really know if it is a total pitch issue, or if it is a rest issue (or not an issue at all).

  53. @Brenden –

    I don’t know that this is a matter of defending it, but I will give Leyland credit in one regard. He hasn’t been a slave to using Rodney in only “Save” situations this year. Rodney earned Leyland’s trust early in the year and he’s been willing to use him to finish any game with the lead. I think his willingness to not be beholden to the save stat will be a net positive.

    That said, I was in favor of using Zumaya today. He or Perry or Lyon will likely be the guy tomorrow night as they won’t probably use Rodney 3 days in a row.

  54. @billfer

    Yeah, obviously it goes deeper than that, but his efficiency has been incredible — just 13 pitches to get through the inning he worked tonight.

  55. Nice to see that Verlander finally got the results to match the stuff that he has shown for most of the year. I’d have to see the stats, but it seemed like with runners on base, he went to his fastball as his out pitch more often than he had been so far this season, and for the most part the Yankees couldn’t catch up to it.

    @Brenden- I agree with you mostly in that this looked like a good chance for Leyland to use Zumaya tonight- one of the things that comes to mind though is that Leyland may be tyring (maybe trying too hard) to not make it an issue whatsoever in the media or wherever that Rodney is his 9th inning guy, and not Zumaya. Having said that, like Billfer says, now if there is a save situation tomorrow, Leyland will have to use someone other than Rodney, hopefully not Lyons, which is why it made so little sense to use Rodney tonight.

  56. Great analysis Mike R. This is such a great site. Billfer and friends, a tip of the hat. It is one of the web’s real pleasures to visit here.

  57. This very encouraging, you could see the intensity in JV’s eyes as he pitched, he was on a mission. he It was just a matter of time, the way he pitched tonight I believe he could have pitched a complete game. And Brandon what can you say about him and there isn’t enough said about Polonco, he is a complete package if you need a big hit, you can count on him. Hang on here comes Magglio he just starting to warm up. I can see a picture being developed here and I sure like what I see. Bobby Seay, he continued where JV left off. Rodney got a little scary think God for double plays. They are getting that don’t give spirit back, I think they are restoring the Roar and beginning to soar.

  58. I also wanted to see Zumaya in the 9th but it probably made more sense to throw in Rodney, based purely on his performance this year – Zumaya is much more of a question mark and to risk Verlander’s great night on a big question mark, not worth it. Nice call Leyland. Go Tigers Go!!!

  59. I like the following numbers – 34:9. Yes, that’s Verlander’s K/BB ratio. Very good. I’ll ignore the unsightly ERA for a moment and suggest that he’s been kinda unlucky…why is it that teams seem to string the hits together against him (last night notwithstanding)?

  60. I don’t care about save situations, but I still would have liked to have seen Zumaya start the ninth. With a 4-0 lead, he had some room for mistakes. Plus, if you’re saying Rodney is your relief ace, you can bust him out once Zumaya gets into trouble. I like that a lot better than the other way around and if you go with Zumaya and he’s fine, you have Rodney available for tonight’s game.

  61. Chris in D-

    JV has been very unlucky, to the tune of a .410 BABIP and 36% LOB rate prior to last night’s start. (or something like those numbers…)

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