Game 2009.024 Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: As I start to write up today’s game thread, I realize the team has split the first 2 games of a series quite frequently. Basically every series since their first 2.

Today it will be Justin Verlander who is coming off his best start of the season. We’ll see if the stuff is there again, and it better be because the Indians can beat up Verlander pretty good. He has a 4-10 career mark against Cleveland and they’ve hit him at an 837 OPS clip.

The Indians send out their ace as well, lefty Cliff Lee. Clifton Phifer Lee was shelled in his first 2 starts, but has posted 3 quality starts since then allowing 3 runs in his last 20 innings.

One thing to watch today, Inge has hit Lee to the tune of 400/471/633 in 34 plate appearances. Inge is also riding that consecutive games on base streak. Things look favorable for him today in terms of match-up, but will these be one of those paradoxical baseball things where he gets stymied?

Inge might get an extra shot for his streak as he moves up one spot in the order with Gerald Laird getting the day off.

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

Cleveland vs. Detroit – May 3, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: Verlander’s fastball was the story of this game. He rode his high 90’s heater to 11 strikeouts, good enough to put him on top of the AL leaderboard. It was simply a matter of overpowering the Indians hitters. It wasn’t fancy, it was just raw heat. He’d mix in a curve or change early in the count, but more often than not it was the fastball that either had Cleveland frozen or waving at air. It was beautiful.

And when Verlander did get in trouble in the 7th inning, with the bases loaded and nobody out, it was more domination. His last 7 fastballs AVERAGED 99.25mph. As Rod Allen would say, that’s some serious cheese. He went to that cheese 79 times today, 55 for strikes and 11 of the swing-and-miss variety (plus 2 foul tips into the glove).

Bobby Seay was a little shaky for the second straight day, but Joel Zumaya came in and induced a bullet right at Adam Everett. Fernando Rodney finished things off with a 1-2-3 9th inning on 12 pitches.

As for the offense, it was Brandon Inge again going deep. Everybody had a hit except for Guillen and Raburn. Guillen hit the ball well in 3 of his at-bats, but right at the right fielder every time.

This one felt good, and in what was a very up and down week finishing the week 3-3 isn’t so bad.

112 thoughts on “Game 2009.024 Indians at Tigers”

  1. Has there been any recent news on Thames? Seeing Raburn as the DH in the lineup makes me cringe.

    Also, maybe Verlander’s success during day games and his troubles against Cleveland will cancel out, resulting in a decent start.

  2. Rod and Mario let us know the Raburn play yesterday was changed to an error, much to the chagrin of Asdrubal Cabrera.

  3. Seriously. Someone needs to petition Jim to sit Carlos. Like bench him for like a ling time. like maybe all of May.

  4. Man, it’s fun to watch the Indians flail at these 97 mph fastballs. And then cringe as the breaking ball falls right into the zone.

  5. he’s a-smoking. that’s for sure. unfortunately, he’s getting up there in pc. at this rate it’ll be a quality 6. which leaves the ‘pen plenty of time to muff it up.

  6. Jim will let him throw 120+ if he’s still getting batters out. We saw plenty of that last year.

  7. On pace for 108 after 6, actually.

    And yeah, if he’s in the 100-105 range, Jim will give him another inning.

  8. Im liking Curtis (and I have him in my FFBL). I think he is showing to be better than Maybin. Good Team and MLB baseball guy.

    Turning into a great player

  9. Wow, that couldn’t have been a worse time for Sizemore to swing at the first pitch.

  10. Yeah, 8 hits versus 1. At least Verlander got away with a relatively quick inning. Need to put some runs on the board and get him a W.

  11. Wow Nice range for Curtis.

    we NEED runs. Can’t let this go for Verlander. We need a win and so does he. No sure you can seperate. Eitehr way a W

  12. Folks, I’m sorry to say that Guillen is the ’09 version of Shefield. I’d like to see him have a few more days off. Now, can he not field. He can’t hit either.

  13. Hey Billfer are you thinking of a game we can all get together later in the season.

  14. Hey Billfer, are you thinking of a game we can all get together later in the season.

  15. Did anyone catch Rod in between innings describing the Indians new call up? “Hey Kid you won’t see anything like that in Triple A” …… Describing Verlanders last 96 mph pitch and a K

  16. I’m not a stats hound but 27K for a Sunday afternoon game against a division rival. Good weather etc seems low

  17. Why aren’t don’t pinch run Anderson for Magglio here? He’s better defensively, and he could swipe second base, so he could score easily on a single.

  18. Zumaya then Rodney? Or did Zumaya throw too many pitches yesterday? But with lefties due up, we’ll probably get Seay.

    1. Jason Tyner, former Twins OF. Can’t hit much, but will play solid defense.
      Also, Wilkin Ramirez. Hey, maybe we could call Timo Perez, he’s playing in Mexico right now.

  19. I’m with billfer – Guillen is swinging the bat well. I think he’ll get out of this slump soon, though he probably won’t be much above average moving forward.

    I’d like to see Anderson keep performing and move into the leadoff spot, and then we can move Grandy to 3 and bump Maggs to 5.

  20. “I’d like to see Anderson keep performing and move into the leadoff spot, and then we can move Grandy to 3 and bump Maggs to 5.”

    I like that idea. the only thing is that Grandy doesn’t get on base consistently enough for Miggy. I almost wouldn’t mind batting Miggy 3rd and have Grandy in cleanup.

    1. Doesn’t Curtis see different pitches hitting in front of Miggy, though?

  21. Not right down the middle, Joel! Too close for comfort. That could have scored two if Everett didn’t snatch it.

  22. Okay. We need. 2 more. 4 more. 6 more.
    Whatever makes this an easy finish for our bullpen.

  23. Adam – that’s it. If Maggs’ power does regress (it’s early, but I’m a bit concerned) I wouldn’t mind moving him to 2nd and putting PP at 8th or 9th. We need to start developing some young OF power, b/c I think that Maggs hitting 30 HRs anymore is gonna be a stretch.

  24. Could have had a lot more runs on 12 hits. Nice game today. Go Mavs.

  25. Great game all around. Verlander was lights out. Inge hit another. Grandy came up with another huge RBI and the bullpen got it done.

  26. time to give credit, where credit is due. Rodney has stepped-up to the closer role pretty well… a little bit rocky sometimes. But for the most part, he looks like our closer so far.

      1. Crashed and burned in the seventh. Good. We don’t need their young pitching to dominate again this year.

        1. Twins are way-way-waaaaay overrated! Through the past few years they have been lucky to have had some flash-in-the-pan career seasons by many of their young pitchers, all at once. Also they HAD Santana. But now he is gone and the law of averages is finally going to catch-up with this team.

          Twins will be in last place.

      1. Skrew you… Go to the Twinkie board and root for your team there… Me, I despise the twins. I regret that Bud did not get his wish and destroy the team. And now their greedy owner got tax payers to buy him a stadium… Retarded Minnesotans deserve to freeze in their miserable state.

          1. ok… sounded like you were for the Twins… now that I re-read it, I see whatcha sayin’.

            I hate the Twins just too much

        1. There is so much wrong with this post. First you got the facts wrong. Ryan P has been on this site all year. Second, there is no reason to call a whole state of people any name (except Ohio) and retarded sounds like something from the second grade playground. Third, you spelled skrew wrong. This is an example of crappy discourse. I expect more from this comments section.

          I hate other teams too and rooting for and against other teams is fun. But this is poor.

          1. Only thing wrong with Minnesota is that their team is in a small market. Twins fans are some of the loyalest in baseball. I have so much respect for Jack Morris for going back to Minnesota to play.

      1. i’m lovin’ it… I can just feel the air being sucked out of the RetardDome as an easy looking no-hitter turns into a crushing defeat. Twin fans deserve nothing better.

  27. Games in which we allowed 2 or fewer runs:

    2008: 31/162 = 19.1%
    2009: 9/24 = 37.5%

    That projects to 61 games over a full season. If we win all but a few of those, we have roughly 95-100 games left. I’d say we need to win about 30 of those to win the division.

      1. 2008: 29/31
        2009: 9/9

        Our winning percentage in games where we allow 3 or more runs is 26% so far. I’d say it needs to climb to 30-35%.

  28. Hatred of Twins is probably warranted. I moved to the Twin Cities from North Western Ohio in ’66 – as a Tiger fan (since 1950). I watched “The Bird” pitch at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington in in 1981. Suffered through the 1987 play-off debacle. The resulting hubris locally was excessive. Currently I park next to the Metrodome every day and I have listen to the Twins PA announcer as I leave work before their night games. This is the Twins last year in the Homer Dome, and next year will be a comeupance when the Twinks must adjust to the the light of day and real grass.

  29. In terms of raw stuff, Verlander is unmatched in the division with the possible exception of Greinke. Even looking at the AL as whole, I can’t think of many with better stuff than Verlander. Some might say Felix, but I don’t think so. Beckett and Burnett? I view Verlander as having an equal of better fastball, a slightly worse curve, but Verlander’s got a changeup that neither of those guys have. Beyond that, I’m just not sure.

    It’s nice to see him harnessing it a bit and learning to control it better, and it’s really nice to see him striking out so many. Even in 2007 when he was above 8/9IP, I wondered why he didn’t have more, given the sort of stuff he’s got. Last year and 2006 were real head scratchers for me regarding the strikeout numbers. He should be striking out a guy an inning, and that’s what he’s been doing all season now. Good for him, and great for the ballclub.

  30. The fact that Verlander was averaging 99 mph on those last few fastballs on the 7th, AND locating them all well is just amazing to me. That was one fantastic inning.

  31. 7th inning was a confidence builder for JV. He knows he can get out of those bases loaded situations, and he proved it to himself. He had to be thinking of the big innings he gave up early in the season. The Indians can’t be looking forward to Friday.

  32. When Verlander has the stuff that he featured yesterday, it makes me giddy. He’s got the tools to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. When he figures out how to slog through games when he doesn’t have what he had yesterday, I’ll be thrilled.

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