Game 2009.021: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s kids day at Comerica Park with Joba Chamberlain taking on Rick Porcello. Porcello has been solid in his first 3 starts, but he has been susceptible to the homer with 5 dingers allowed in his 18 innings.

Chamberlain is making his 4th starter and he brings in a 3.94 ERA. But Chamberlain hasn’t been striking out many by his standards (6.2/9) and he’s been walking quite a few by anyone’s standard (5.6/9).

The Tigers bats have been relatively quiet of late with only 17 runs scored in their last 5 games – and 9 of those came in one game. But Ramon Santiago returns to the lineup tonight:

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

Over at Tigers Corner you’ll be able to get a different perspective as Gary Gillette blogs from the press box.

Game Time 7:05

NY Yankees vs. Detroit – April 29, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Another disappointing game. Porcello struggled in his first home start and he was shelled for 6 hits to go with 3 walks and didn’t get out of the 4th inning. And what a 4th inning it was with 7 runs plated for the Yankees. And that was that.

In terms of positives, the defense wasn’t bad and Miguel Cabrera made a couple nice plays. Also Joel Zumaya looked quite good and is probably ready to assume the set-up duties. And with 3 more walks  Ryan Perry looks ready to relinquish the role.

Also, after the offense went very quiet for 2 games, they woke up in the 9th inning for 5 runs. Hopefully it carries over.

I hate off days.


  1. Mark in Chicago

    April 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm


    I cannot tell if that was a joke referencing the lack of offense lately and then commenting that Santiago was back in the lineup. If it was a joke, it’s subtle, but funny. If it was not a joke, it sure seemed like one.

  2. ian

    April 29, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    ramon has had a crapload of rbi’s this year so im leaning towards not a joke

  3. Ryan

    April 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    This is bad. A leadoff walk for Porcello.

  4. Brian P

    April 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Has Magglio always stood on his front toes like that?

  5. Tbone

    April 29, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Should have had more in the 3rd…

  6. Steve In D-Town

    April 29, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Im ready for them to take the series here guys. Porcello to my surprise has been very nice, and the numbers this time around do lie. He is not hte 4.50 ERA pitcher his stats show. But am surprised about his K numbers to walk numbers. Oh well. Ill say DET wins by 4 with Rick winning his home debut.

    And since we all have locations for names, I decided to change it up a little. This is formally Steve in Det.

  7. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Man, Joba got off the hook. That should of been a big inning.

  8. Joel in Seattle

    April 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    How many big innings have our opponents had this year that didn’t start with a leadoff walk?

  9. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Geez. I hate Swisher.

  10. Brian P

    April 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Wow. Why throw the change-up when it’s been bouncing in all night? Hanging it is even worse.

  11. Ryan

    April 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    I don’t like our chances at this game. Our offense is slowly becoming anemic.

  12. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Rough inning. Porcello is either hanging all his pitches or throwing them in the dirt…..
    From what I’ve seen this season, Porcello is just a 3 inning pitcher. Then he’s cooked.

  13. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I hope Willis is ready to make his come back soon.

  14. Mr. X

    April 29, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Man our pen is ridiculous. I’d much rather see Porcello pitch out of the pen than start games or being sent down to the minors. I think we could use him coming out of the pen in game situations like these instead of using these bullpen scrubs.

  15. Mike in CT

    April 29, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    yikes…this is ugly…again.

    and jeez…who’d think we’d actually need Dontrelle in the rotation.

  16. mcb

    April 29, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Yet again our manager waits too long to give the hook and a game gets out of hand. Shows you the confidence he has in middle relief

  17. Coleman

    April 29, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    So much for that really cool, “small ball” manufactured run…

    Joel in Seattle: that leadoff walk thing looks pretty useful; maybe our hitters should try that too (besides Cabrera and Inge, they both get on base a LOT when leading off innings, I think OBPs something like .500 and .430).

  18. Coleman

    April 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    And Steve in (Somewhere) should maybe change his name back…

  19. Mark in Chicago

    April 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    5 pitch inning for Joba. Way to mail that one in, boys.

  20. Brenden

    April 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Yeah, they really gave up in this one….I hate seeing a complete lack of effort, JL better get on their case about this, they did it last night too. And the pitching….why is the pitching imploading all of a sudden.

  21. Brian P

    April 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Now is not the time to enter a slump. We have a pretty easy May schedule ahead of us.

  22. Mark in Chicago

    April 29, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    the pitching looks terrible because of who they are running out there:

    A rookie making his 4th career start
    Clay Rapada
    Nate Robertson
    A rookie reliever that has trouble with his command
    Brandon Lyon, who is terrible right now.

    Their pitching will be fine, but some of those bullpen options aren’t good solutions.

  23. Kevin in Austin (Now Dallas)

    April 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Just two games gents. We’re not that good, I’m happy that we are +.500.

  24. Brian P

    April 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    As annoying as Perry’s lack of control is, his facial hair is even worse.

  25. Coleman

    April 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    While it is excellent that Inge has been playing so well, as he takes over the lead on more and more categories, it’s beginning to make me worry about the rest of the line-up.

    This is what Inge leads the Tigers in currently (averages etc as of the end of yesterday):

    HR (7)
    RBI (17)
    BB (13)
    TB (45)
    R (16)
    HBP (3, tie Laird)
    SLG (.667)
    OPS (1.111)

  26. Kevin in Austin (now Dallas)

    April 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Nice try boys. Way to play all 9.

  27. Mike R

    April 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Ryan Perry still thoroughly unimpresses me. He throws hard. Cool. Try locating something or having anything resembling a good secondary offering. Much prefer Robbie Weinhardt out of the college relievers Detroit took — who by the way has 14 K, 3 BB, 3 singles allowed in 7 innings of work in Lakeland. Kid should be in Double-A. Had him and Perry been swapped in the draft, Weinhardt would be up and I’d much prefer him. Much more control in the college ranks and equally as electric as stuff — only Weinhardt has a good secondary offering.

  28. Kevin in Austin (now Dallas)

    April 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    You know, the comeback really exacerbates our pen problem.

    I hate losing going into an off-day. Though PP doesn’t seem to mind.

  29. Steve In D-Town

    April 29, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    AS much as this pains me with our options limited, and with seeing both our young studs get smacked in this series, I think changes are needed.

    Well here we can do two things. Go for one of the big named Starters still looking for a job, Pedro, others. Or we bring up Nate to be #5. But one thing is simple, Porcello in the pen or back in AA or AAA ball.

    Perry obviously was not ready at least I dont think so. K and Walk ratio are really bad. Location and control are not good at all. Perry belongs in AA mainly because he should have never been brough to Detroit because he had only pitched some 25 give or take innings in his professional career. THAT IS NOT ENOUGH to warrant a ticket to the Majors. We have options for our bullpen. Porcello if we really want him to stay in the majors. AAA Mud Hens have many options for us as well.

    There is my opinion but we must break out of our two game skid, we have easy teams coming up, we cannot falter now. GO TIGS!

    PS and to Mark: I may go ahead and change back but going to see what the next game holds…..

  30. Forty

    April 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Coleman – I hear you that inge probably shouldn’t be leading our team…but tough to get too sad about our team leader in slg being at .667, right?

  31. David

    April 30, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Coleman. The rest of the offense will heat up by late June. You can take my word for it.

  32. Mike R

    April 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Disagree with Porcello needing to go down. Given his stuff, the amount of HR’s he’s given up thus far doesn’t mesh and those will come down. Aside from tonight, he’s limited his BB’s, increased his K’s from his time in Lakeland last year and is still making a rough transition. No reason to demote him — or even Perry, really. I’m willing to give Perry a couple more outings but his command has never been good dating back to his days in college, so I don’t know what they were really expecting. Him breaking camp with the club was just a bad decision all around.

  33. Coleman

    April 30, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I think one of the big conundrums of our offense is the feast-or-famine aspect of it, which I think is related to the fact that

    1). We have a very low team Pitches/Plate Appearance number, which means that opposing pitching staffs are often let off easy;
    2). As a team we are fairly enthusiastic about swinging early and often, which leads to a low PPA number
    3). Our best hitters do very well swinging at 1st pitches, so this is probably the best approach for them 3b) (Except Inge, who I guess temporarily has to be on the “best hitters” list).
    4). It skews to the hitter’s advantage when his team is ahead, when there are runners on base, and when the opposing pitcher runs up a high pitch count
    5) When the 1st ball hitters are unsuccessful, it makes hitting more difficult for the other 1st ball hitters, which leads to low pitch counts for the pitchers, which makes hitting more difficult for everyone (see no’s 1-4).

    Consequently, a higher proportion of hitters who swing early in the count, regardless in some degree of their success, will lead to a team more prone to large hit/run totals OR low-pitch count quickies with few baserunners. Or something along those lines.

  34. David

    April 30, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Yea but Coleman that has been the case for years. I think the smartest approach is to take it player by player basis, but I’d agree we aren’t a “””work the count team.””””””

    Granderson while I like him, doesn’t have the best contact…
    Poly doesn’t accumulate a lot of walks or k’s – as I’m sure you know – he usually puts it in play

    Ordonez and Guillen walk and k more than Poly but still not a ton.

    There is no denying that these four need to step up, and soon. Even if Brandon and Cabby hit well, they can’t carry our offense.

    Still as we see time and again (and have seen nearly every game, this Yanks v. Tigers series being no different) PITCHING WINS.

    I’d take a hot/effective Porcello/Gal/Verlander/Jackson and #5 over a hot Ordonez or Guillen (or both) every day of the week.

    If Leyland shows his brains and knows how to use small ball and get guys like Anderson in if we’ve got a slow guy on, and bunts and utilizes the hit and run we can win the majority of our games AND make the playoffs if we pitch.

    Plus as I said in my previous post, while these guys are all on the wrong side of 30 (save for Grandy) they are still going to be productive at the plate (if healthy) when it is all said and done.

    Barring death or injury Ordonez will not be hitting .240 and slugging .316 come Sept.
    Polanco won’t be south of .260 and Granderson south of .250 and Guillen wont be at .230.

    Sadly I still don’t think that Inge will be over .300. But I can hope! 😉

  35. Nick S

    April 30, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Here is my question if Porcello struggles in his next one to two starts and Willis has to come off the DL. Who loses the starting spot Porcello or Miner?

    • billfer

      April 30, 2009 at 10:06 am

      I think the plan is for Willis to go to the bullpen (assuming he progresses). And unless Porcello looks awful, like really awful and overmatched, I don’t think he’s one start away from losing a spot.

      BTW – look at that. A threaded comment. Play with this guys and let me know what you think.

      • Chris in Dallas

        April 30, 2009 at 10:29 am

        Wow. My first nested post. I feel like a whole new person.

        Willis to the bullpen creates somewhat of a conundrum, being as he’s Nate Robertson v 2.0. Do they really need two guys with that profile out there? DD didn’t tip his hand during the interview on ESPN last night. Of course the announcers never asked. This is because they are idiots. Anyhoo, if he’s in the bullpen who gets shipped out? I’d send Rincon on the next train to Saginaw.

      • Mark in Chicago

        April 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm

        Threaded posts, niiiiiice. Rolling in style around here, definitely.

        I can see the logic of putting Dontrelle in the bullpen, but I have the sneaky suspicion he’ll replace Miner in the rotation when (if?) he’s ready. I think Leyland really likes Miner as a reliever; he thinks Miner can come into a jam and get a DP grounder with his heavy sinker. Personally I think that’s flawed logic, but that’s my impression of what Leyland thinks. However, having another lefty out there would be nice, it’s pretty clear Leyland doesn’t trust Robertson.

  36. Chris in Dallas

    April 30, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Oh, and I’ll add that last night was frustrating. If Santiago can start that DP attempt on Jeter a half second quicker, they’d have gotten out of the big inning with less damage. Also if Laird could’ve held on to the throw at the plate. Teixeira was meat.

    Did anyone else notice that ESPN almost had a “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment? Right after Granderson’s HR, the crawl at the bottom of the screen said “Chamberlain 3-hits Tigers in 8-2 rout”. Oops.

  37. Mark in Chicago

    April 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    So in other words, I really don’t know what they’ll do with Willis, I was just looking for an excuse to post within the thread.

    Good times.

  38. Chris in Dallas

    April 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I wonder what will happen if “Jeremy Bonderman” is able to pitch…

    EDIT: I just looked at “Jeremy Bonderman” on baseball-reference. It turns out that this blog sponsors his page. Kismet.