Game 2009.023: Indians at Tigers

by billfer on May 2, 2009 · 75 comments

in 2009 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: It’s the Tigers first foray into “National TV” (by National I mean Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, the Dakotas, parts of West Virginia, Erie PA and Spokane) today with an afternoon tilt as game 3 of Fox’s MLB Saturday.

Zach Miner takes the hill for Detroit. This may not bode well because he posts an 857 OPS against at home (653 on the road) and a 799 OPS against in day games (738 after dark). Oh yeah, and the Indians have a 987 OPS against him. Then again Carl Pavano was supposed to be awful and he stymied the Tigers.

For the Indians it will be Aaron Laffey. The 24 year old lefty has a 2.41 ERA in 18.1 innings due in large part because he’s kept the ball in the park. He’s yet to allow a homer this year. He has walked 10 and only fanned 9.

Cleveland vs. Detroit – May 2, 2009 | Gameday

Game Time 3:40

POSTGAME: Well a lot happened in that game. The Tigers got a big inning and an Adam Everett grand slam. The Indians got a Raburn induced big inning right after. And the the teams took turns picking on each other’s bullpens but the Tigers prevailed. That was your 4 sentence summation.

  • Everett had a great at-bat (and not just the result) when he hit the grand slam. It was nice to see him rewarded. But I have to wonder how often a player hits a slam, and then is asked to sacrifice bunt, and then is pinch hit for? I’m not saying any of the decisions were wrong, but an interesting day for Everett
  • Inge continues to pick it and get on base.
  • A lot of people love small ball. When it works it can be fun. But thank goodness Leyland wasn’t having Granderson sacrifice in the 8th inning. I love it when we beat up on Betancourt.
  • Miguel Cabrera is back to ripping the ball.
  • Carlos Guillen has been a ground ball machine lately, but he kept the ball in the air today. He only had a sac fly to show for it, but is this the start of something?
  • Miner didn’t deserve to be hung with 5 earned runs. Official score keeping is bizarre. It started in the Angels series, but the Comerica scorer has been awful this week as well.
  • Bobby Seay gave up a run. First one this year. I can’t complain, especially since the boys still got a W.
  • Joel Zumaya is making me smile
  • Fernando Rodney has pitched 5 innings in save situations this year and has allowed 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5.


Jack May 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm

That Wednesday Yanks game was on ESPN nationally except MI (I got it in MO)…

billfer May 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Ah. You’re correct. My bad.

Russ May 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

talk about sucking. i’m in Indy–4.5 stinking hours away–and I get to see the much anticipated Mets/Phillies game. Yippee. My cup runneth over.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I’d really like to see Zach pitch aggressively today. There’s been too much nibbling the last 2 games.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Excellent first inning for Zach. He wasn’t nibbling, got 3 easy ground balls. The double to Martinez was on a change-up on the outside black, not a bad pitch at all.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Oof. Lead-off single, and four pitches later, inning over.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm

First 3 hitters swung at the first pitch for Detroit. Antsy or aggressive by design?

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm

@Billfer – I don’t know, but it has to stop. We have to make their starter throw some pitches, so we can get into their terrible bullpen.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Well, there are 2 ways to knock a starter out. One is pitch count. The other is runs. But yeah, the first pitch thing didn’t work in the first inning.

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

There are also 2 ways to run up pitch count–more pitches per plate appearance, or increase the number of plate appearances. The 1st pitch GIDP actually costs a PA in addition to being a one-pitch AB.

Polanco’s 4 GIDP lags behind Guillen’s 6, but then you have to consider that’s 4 with Granderson running, vs Guillen with Cabrera on 1st…

Robo-Tiger May 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Weekend Warrior Tigers are currently 6-0 on Sat/Sun…5-11 the weekdays…let’s hope they keep it up!

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Soriano, also a lead-off hitter with power, likes to swing at very first pitches. I wonder if someone has given Curtis the tip — I’ve noticed him swing at quite a few very first pitches this season.

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I think the Polanco tree was trying to mix things up a bit–normally he takes the first pitch, then swings at the 2nd.

It’s the Polanco Perplexity–he rarely swings at a 1st pitch (only 18%), but rarely sees many pitches, with 39% of AB not making it past the 2nd pitch.

Currently with a PPA of 3.12 he is very last in the AL.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

We’re giving Laffey a lot of help by swinging at borderline strikes and balls out of the zone.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Wee! After the last three games, we could use a laugher.

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Now there’s something you dont see every day…

billfer May 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Very nice ab by Adam Everett, not just the end result, but waiting out the 3-1 and fouling off a couple pitches. Plus it was really cool to see that big smile on his face affterwards.

Adam May 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I’ll take his subpar defense if he can hit grand slams every few days.

Slashpyne May 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Pleasant surprise, come in from mowing the grass (first time this year, late spring in North Idaho) and find the Tigers on TV. Adam Everett GS! Where would the Tigers be w/o the bottom half of the order?

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm

It’s generally a sign that things are perhaps not going well for you as a pitcher when the #9 hitter has just hit a grand slam off of you…

billfer May 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Brandon Lyon agrees with you.

Slashpyne May 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm

First time seeing the Tigs on TV this year (listen on XM and Cabrera is positively trim and fit, esp compared to how the media depicts him.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm

At this point, I’ll be pleased if Sizemore leaves the ball in the park.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Why, Raburn? Why?

Adam May 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm

How many freaking outfield errors have we seen this year? That’s a hit? Dude fell down.

Adam May 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Oh, and yeah. Three or four of them are Raburn.

Slashpyne May 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm

The national TV guys say that that misplay by Raburn was called a hit. What do you have to do to have an error called on you these days?

Adam May 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm


The Anderson error in left, where he lets it go through his legs and leads to a 10 run inning. This one, WHEN WE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF THE INNING WITHOUT ANY RUNS SCORED.

Have a good day.

Slashpyne May 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Tie game. I never want to see Raburn in a Tiger uni again.

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

We’re gonna lose this game.

Joel in Seattle May 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

What does Raburn give you that Anderson doesn’t? Anything? I know this is easy in hindsight, but this looked like a bad idea from the moment I saw him in the starting lineup. We’ve got plenty of outfielders – there’s no reason to have a utility infielder playing outfield.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm

It’s a platoon thing. Anderson can’t hit lefties

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm

If we want a right handed stick in the outfield, call up Wilkin Ramirez.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

It’s Brent Clevlen time. Let’s move Treanor to the 60 day dl, call up Clevlen, and option down Raburn.

Joel in Seattle May 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm

He’s a better fielder, and has more upside with the stick. I agree. Though I guess Raburn gives you a backup at 3B.

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Hmm, if you’re going with Clevlen, call back up Larish too. Send Rapada down (or DFA Rincon) with Raburn. Then you have your 3B, another backup CF option, and two more options in left.

Adam May 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

When are we going to need a backup at 3B?

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Have we gotten out Victor Martinez out the whole effin series?

Jason May 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

time to get zumaya in the game.

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Great. They have the lead, and we only have two outs next inning. (Carlos Guillen is up, you know he’s an automatic out).

Adam May 2, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Agree on Guillen. Sit him.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Curtis! Bullpen woes for an AL central team other than us. Sadly, this game isn’t over.

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Ain’t that Grand!!

(and don’t think the pitcher being distracted by Anderson on base didn’t help)

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Brian P: bullpen woes and some untimely fielding problems!

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm

My deepest sympathies to Cleveland fans if they have to watch this for 162. I wouldn’t wish our last season on anyone.

Adam May 2, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I’d wish it on the Yankees.

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

We should pinch hit Sardinha for Guillen. And I’m only half kidding there.

Steve May 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Ok then we have the LEAD back lets get a couple more and nail it down .We need this game

Ryan P. May 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I was just typing something up about how I would intentionally walk Cabrera every single time with Guillen batting behind him, but I guess I can’t since he actually did something useful.

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Yeah, I know, I’m enjoying a nice serving of crow myself right now.

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm

It would help a lot if Carlos got on track–the way things have been working out, Carlos’ spot in the batting order is more important than Magglio’s:

Total runners on base during ABs:

Guillen 68
Inge 60
Cabrera 58
Polanco 57
Granderson 55
Ordonez 52

That’s not even adjusted for times at bat, of which Carlos has fewest (88 PA vs Ordonez 94, Cabrera 92)

Coleman May 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Nice AB by Carlos, that’s nice to see

Joey in Portland OR May 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I can’t decide if I’m glad this game ain’t on tv for me or not!

Adam May 2, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I’d leave Zumaya in.

Rodney has been giving up runs recently – who do you go to if he blows it?

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I hate Rodney.

billfer May 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm

In 5 save situations this year he’s pitched 5 innings and he’s allowed 3 hits and a walk while fanning 5. That’s not so bad.

Ryan May 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Yeah, but after Todd Jones for all those years, wouldn’t it be nice to have a closer that gets the job done easily?

I know few closers in the league do that, though. I’m just running my mouth.

Ryan P. May 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Good stuff…we needed this one.

Joey in Portland OR May 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Yes! I never had any doubt we would win that game. (YEAH RIGHT!!!)

Jason May 2, 2009 at 7:05 pm

agreed ryan, for some reason i just can’t stand him. he’s really not that good.

David May 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Just got back, things of note

Inge extended his OB streak
Everett Granny? WHAT?
Guillen hit the crap out of the ball to Sizemore
Choo is a very good player and got me a triple for my teams (also he is one of the hardest names for other fans to pronounce) Shin Soo Choo
Miner looked much better than his line would suggest
Raburn angered many people but had a nice bunt
Zumaya looked very good
Rodney looked awesome (he threw I believe around 19 pitches 15 or so for strikes)
Inge was very good defensively

CABRERA SUCKS DEFENSIVELY, he is on my new hate list. He is the worst fielding first baseman. Can’t field crap, can’t block or pick crap. He along with Ordonez and Guillen should be DHing, sadly we only have one spot. Thank god for him he is a fantastic hitter.

It is pretty disgusting that he is so overweight. I mean he isn’t as bad as Prince Fielder, but he still is pretty bad. To get that kind of contract$$$$$$$ and be that fat in my opinion is disgusting. He is getting paid to play a physical game and has the range of a statue due to his laziness.

Oh yes and the Granderson/Anderson duo saved the day, yay!

billfer May 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I’d agree that he is poor at picking throws, but I’d say his range is average at least and much improved over last year. I think his bigger problem is decision making as to whether to go for the ball towards second or go to the bag.

And worst defensive first baseman? Did you notice Ryan Garko didn’t even go to the base on the ball to Cabrera?

David May 2, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Yea, I might have been too extreme. Still I’ve seen the guy make terrible after terrible play this year. He did that throw into the stand yesterday when Gals was pitching. It was one of the first balls I’ve seen him actually be able to field.

The thing that erks me is … Fine he cant pick a ball, BUT AT LEAST BLOCK IT!

He may be average AT first base, it is hard to tell. The last two first baseman we’ve had, I thought were much superior defenders – Carlos Pena and Sean Casey. Heck I remember Shelton not being terrible either. Not exactly sure what the defensive metrics point out.

Since his arm is supposed to be soooo good, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in RF if he weren’t soooo slow.

I’m sorry, but poor defense (in areas it can be helped) just frustrates the hell out of me.

Also note that this year Miguel Cabrera’s salary is 34.24X Ryan Garkos salary. Now I know they aren’t nearly in the same league hitting wise but still. If I were getting even Garko’s salary I would make sure I was in prime physical condition.

(Miguel’s is 14.383049 mil, vs 420 thousand for Ryno as he is called)

That ain’t the Cabrera we’ve got. And he isn’t on Roids either. How Rod or anyone else can call him a gold glover is beyond me, other than the fact that, that award is closely tied to hitting.

Brian P May 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Inge is getting some serious love on Baseball Tonight.

David May 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I should add that he needs to lose a good 50-60 pounds. His defense would improve by leagues and he might be a true Gold Glover and MVP.

For me, his hitting just doesn’t cut the mustard if he is going to be “the face of the franchise”, or even earn a boatload of $$$. He should aspire to be great in both areas and if that means getting close to his rookie weight of 185 pounds (which isn’t unreasonable) then so be it.

He is getting/ will get league tops in salary, the least he can do is hire a competent trainer and work his ass off. (literally)

David May 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Thanks for the heads up Brian, going to check it out right now!


Chris Y. May 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm

David, you should exploit precedent on this issue. I really think that had the Babe just dropped a few pounds he could have been a really outstanding player. I mean the sky was the limit for him, as it is for Miguel; damn the carbs! Carbohydrates!!!

Really, at 6’4″, he better not weigh 185 if you, like the rest of us, want him to keep slugging at his current rate.

I think Miguel is just fine, thank you very much. Let’s lay off a bit, eh?

Jeff May 2, 2009 at 10:56 pm

A lot of people love small ball. When it works it can be fun

Home runs are fun too. And they lead to a lot more runs than using up precious outs does.

David May 2, 2009 at 11:11 pm

You can’t slug well if you weigh 185? What? Plus if he loses power (which he shouldn’t if he has a good trainer), some of that loss in slugging should be made up for the (increase in ba/slugging made by the) huge jump in speed and agility he will gain.

I never said carbs were the problem… He just overeats, as evidence by him gaining at least 60 pounds since he has come stateside.

He might be an outstanding hitter, but to be one of the best ever you have to be a two way player in my opinion.

Just because defense doesn’t rear its head (besides errors) in a boxscore doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely important.

Ruth was chastised by the NY media(and Cobb/others) due to him gaining a lot of weight when going to the Yanks. He tried sweatsuits and many other crazy things to lose the weight each spring.

If he wants the national fame and attention he can stay at 260. If he wants to be a fantastic overall player and win MORE games for this team he can get at least below 220.

I don’t think thats asking too much.

Brian May 3, 2009 at 7:20 am

Am not completely buying the weight thing with MIGGY (listed at 240)
Here are some other firstbasemen and their weight as listed on the team roster:
Ryan Howard 256
D. Lee 245
Fielder 268
Chris Davis 235
Overbay 230
Youklis 220
Votto 233
Pujols 230
Garko 225
Delgado 264
Heck, Scott Rolen (still a fine 3b is at 250)
Do I believe he could lose some weight? Sure
Will losing weight magically make him a better fielder? Nope, just means he will move better – -less weight doesn’t give you better hands or better fielding instincts. Have played ball with a guy over 300 pds and he had some of the softest hands, and quickest reactions you could ask for. Range = zero. Less weight just allows you to move better – you are either a good fielder or you are not. Miggy is average, and will always be average. At least he doesn’t seem lost and uncomfortable at the position this year.

tom May 3, 2009 at 7:27 am

I was at the game yesterday, and I have to say that Zumaya’s back. Great outing. One thing I doubt made it onto TV – Zumaya threw his warm-up pitches to the dulcet tones of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” (which you’ll be pleased to know is in Guitar Hero III). I thought they should have left it playing the whole inning, it’s quite the psych-out tune. Also, Andy Van Slyke caught Zumaya’s first few warm-up pitches with no gear on. Brave (or crazy) guy…

MCM May 3, 2009 at 7:51 am

Okay, please Leyland – do NOT put Raburn in the outfield anymore. He has no confidence out there and is merely a liability. Even his “great” bunt was more luck than anything else. He popped up that bunt and was just lucky that it died in the grass and wasn’t caught in the air… F-Raburn!!!

Steve May 3, 2009 at 8:27 am

Guys ……… Love the passion.

I too like that Zumaya is back. Maybe a couple of struggling years helped build up his mental toughness. I like him where he is at

>>> Big news (David will love this) Last week while in Detroit visiting some friends I got a Brandon Inge birthday cake. COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EYES. My wife’s friend has a cake making business and she called my son to see who my favorite player was, he says Inge and she surprises me with the cake. It was a master piece, I took some pictures but cant seem to get them here. I will send them to Billfer to see if he will post.
With all the Inge banter I think you love it. She even found his autograph on the internet and replicated it on the cake.


Coleman send me Davids address and I will have Brandon deliver one for his birthday ;)

Kevin in Austin (now Dallas) May 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

Miggy can balloon up to 400 as long as he pounds the ball. There’s not a single AL hitter that I’d rather have in our 4 hole. That he even plays the field at all is a luxury.

David May 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm


Yea Zoom looked great yesterday. If he can pound the strike zone and MIX his pitches our pen looks a helluva lot better.

Inge cake sounds awesome! If you were serious thanks for the offer. I haven’t eaten cake in years. Wouldn’t mind seeing the pics though. Are you hosting them somewhere?

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