Game 2009.030: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: First of all, happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. Now onto the game as the Tigers go for the sweep of the Tribe.

So how would you like to be Rick Porcello today? He’s sitting there in front of  his locker before the game. A teammate slides up next to him and says: “You know, the Indians haven’t scored in this series. Don’t screw it up.” Or course Porcello can point to earlier in the week when he tossed 7 shutout innings against the Twins and perhaps get credit for starting this 3 out of 4 game shutout string.

On the other side it will be Anthony Reyes. Reyes hasn’t pitched that poorly this year. While he does have a 6.84 ER, he has done a reasonable job keeping his team in the game, giving up more than 4 runs in just one of his 5 starts. The peripherals aren’t impressive though with 12 walks and 14 K’s and 4 homers allowed in 25 innings.

Detroit vs. Cleveland – May 10, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Hey, it’s a sweep. And a sweep of a divisional foe. And the rest of the division lost today. And the Tigers moved into a tie for first place in the Central. And they’re 4 games over .500, someplace they haven’t been since the end of the 2007 season.

Rick Porcello allowed a run. Bum. Kidding of course. Porcello wasn’t particularly sharp early on, but his curve ball was in full hammer form and he did rack up 5 K’s in 5 innings of work. Not a bad outing at all.

Offensively the Tigers didn’t wait until the 7th inning stretch to get things going. Were it not for 4 double play balls this could have been a laugher.

And then there was Fernando Rodney. Rodney struggle with his fastball control on Saturday night. As a result he threw a ton of pitches and I was surprised to see him come out in today’s non-save effort. Things looked pretty good early on as two outs sandwiched a Jhonny Perralta single, and he got ahead of Grady Sizemore. The fastball command was there. And then it was gone. Sizemore ended up walking and things got way too interesting. What looked to be a “get back on the horse” effort quickly turned into one that could be invoking too much self doubt.

  • Maggs reached base in 5 of his 8 PA’s this series. Could this be something?
  • Granderson out played Grady defensively this series. This will not be debated.
  • Bobby Seay had a few struggles of late, but pitched an easy 1 2/3 innings
  • How long does Eric Wedge stick around? The Indians now have the worst record in baseball.
  • Jeff Larish making the most of his opportunities with a homer and a triple the last 2 games.

77 thoughts on “Game 2009.030: Tigers at Indians”

  1. *sigh* Did FSN really need to remind us of the 2006 WS? Oh well.

    It’s obvious Carlos has gained at least 20 pounds since then. And I don’t mean muscle.

  2. Miguel should have turned the DP on Martinez’s ground ball. But he did save a run by scooping Everett’s throw at first, so he breaks even for the inning.

  3. The Cleveland radio guys say “there’s a run that would of scored with Rentiria at short”

  4. Wow… gameday is only on about a 4 second delay from live TV. Thats pretty impressive.

  5. Nice inning, although I generally prefer the Double-HR combo to the HR-Double combo…this may very well be an “unleash the bats” kind of game though…

  6. Wow now there’s one you don’t see every day either, a sac fly that advances THREE runners

  7. Porcello doesn’t have his great stuff today, hopefully he can go 5 and pick up a W

  8. I don’t know what kind of game the Home Plate Umpire is calling, but I’m willing to give him a bit of slack if need be, because he’s callin’ ’em while being named Fieldin Culbreth.

  9. Porcello really doesn’t seem to have it today. Frustrating but not unexpected I guess. He’s getting by, I think he could still get through 5.

  10. Only Porcello could strike out the side when he “doesn’t have it.” Gotta love it!

    1. I think we need to go easy on him, it’s probably confusing to him to see guys in Tigers uniforms standing out there by the bases while he’s trying to bat, he’ll adjust to it though…

  11. Yikes. I think I only saw two change-ups that inning from Rodney. If he wants to work on the fastball control, that’s fine, but not after the first man got on. The sad thing is, Rodney was even getting balls a few inches off the plate called strikes.

    1. The problem is when Rodney can’t control the fastball, the hitters can sit and wait on the fastball. That is when he struggled last year. When you’re a 2 pitch pitcher and you can only get one of them over for strikes, you’re a one pitch pitcher.

  12. Yay nice sweep, even if they are the worst team in baseball. And why on earth does ESPN keep calling Grandy “The Cougar”? I’m pretty sure he’s not an elderly women going after young men but then again I’ve been wrong before.

  13. The Cougar is b/c of his initials right? Cu-Gr? I hate it though. He is Grandy and nothing else.

  14. Yay a sweep. Now lets go to Minny and not do terrible.

    I’d take 2 out of 3 in a heartbeat. Esp. b/c I have no clue what we’ll get from Dtrain.

    Wedge won’t and shouldn’t be fired. As we all know from 2005-2008 it isn’t how you start but how you finish.

    His starting staff sans a few is made up of bums. Then again so do the Royals and White Sox.

    Plus several of their hitters have been struggling mightily, and of course Hafner is back on the DL.

    Maybe it isn’t their year, I duno. We haven’t even played 40-80 games yet, so I think it is pretty premature to call for his head.

    If they are 30-50 then it would be time for some questioning, but a lot of this has to fall on Shapiro and their owner – who doesn’t put out nearly as much $$$resources as Illitch has as of late.

    1. But you look at 2008, where the Indians were favored right with the Tigers and they tanked early. They had a very good season in 07, but that was coming off a disappointing season in 2006. They are now 10 games under .500 and they are 20% of the way into the season, and doing it in a division that isn’t especially strong to begin with.

      Managers that get fired usually get fired because their teams aren’t hitting and aren’t pitching. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the way it is. I think Wedge got the benefit of the doubt due to the barrage of injuries last year. But they are relatively healthy in 09. Citing a Hafner injury is the same as citing a Guillen injury. It’s pretty much a given at this point and not a reason to cut the manager some slack.

      1. @Billfer- it’s hard to argue with you- Wedge definitely has to be on the hot seat. One would have to think that if the Indians have another bad couple of weeks that it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him gone.

        One thing in his defense though is that the Indians may have been overly optimistic about their rotation going into the year. They traded away Sabathia, and were probably counting too heavily on Lee repeating the year he had last season coming in. Also, I will forever maintain that any team that is counting on Pavano as a reliable pitcher into their rotation should be right about where the Indians are at right now. I haven’t seen much of them at all outside of the Tigers playing them, but to me they look a lot the Tigers did last year.

      2. As much as I like Guillen, I see Hafner as a significantly superior hitter. But, you are right that to count on a full season from either would be overly optimistic given their recent history and ages.

        But the Hafner thing when it is all said and done should be much more minor than their staff. With VMart, Choo, Garko, Sizemore(who is overrated), Peralta, Derosa, Cabrera and LaPorta you’ve got a good amount of talent. Playing like a team is another thing, but they have the potential to be one of the stronger offensive clubs.

        Still looking at the payrolls we are 5th with 115mil and they are 15th with 85mil.

        Their highest paid player who is actually playing is their closer Wood at 10mil. Jake Westbrook (10) and Hafner (11.5) are both down.

        Outside of Lee, and possibly Carmona when he is locating, who do they have? A bunch of scrubs, like I said in my last post. Reyes, Sowers and Pavano… One might do well, bit asking for more than that IMO is overly optimistic. Their staff going into this year wasn’t like ours in 2008. Verlander sucking and Bonderman basically being out for most of the year was not in many baseball fan’s crystal balls. Plus Dtrain falling apart. Our rotation and pen was a mess.

        If their pen struggles as much as it has and their offensive players have anti-career years then yes there is a good chance of Wedge saying bye bye.

        I personally think now is too early. Although some managers are fired at this point, a lot (from memory) are fired around the ASB/trading deadline or just not renewed in the offseason.

        Firing him this year, won’t change the fact that they have who they have. I don’t think Wedge is that bad of a guy either.

        He might not be great, but he isn’t horrible. I really like the no doubles D that he puts on.

        1. Wedge has to be on the hot seat, the Indians aren’t hitting, aren’t pitching, and aren’t playing fundamentally sound baseball. We saw it in this series: Guys can’t get a bunt down, a wild throw home allows runners to advance, bad baserunning. It’s bad baseball, and Wedge has to take most of that blame (it also reminds me an awful lot of how the Tigers played last year).

          1. Yeah, it was Wedge who asked a guy to bunt who hadn’t bunted in 5 years. He’s gotta own up to that one.

            OTOH, unless you’re Miguel Cabrera or someone similar, you ought to be bunting a handful of times every year. It’s a basic baseball skill.

          2. Maybe so, but a BIG POINT is – THEY DO NOT HAVE the talent we had last year.

            I’m all for bunting and fundamentally sound baseball, however I believe it to be a premature feeling to fire Wedge.

            It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if they did, I just do NOT think it would solve any of their problems for this season.

            Odds are the Tigers will get swept at least a time or two this season. They(the Indians) could have and maybe should have won the Verlander v. Lee matchup, it could have gone either way. Carmona’s night wasn’t bad either. Although it is pretty bad to get shutout 2x in 2 days, the same thing that tells me Maggs will rebound(he could be already) tells me that their team’s offense will start to mash. They won’t have this same winning% come September with or without Wedgie steering the ship.

  15. Looking at the upcoming schedule and probable pitchers for the next few days really brings a smile to my face. I feel great about our top four guys right now, and if Willis comes back as some shadow of what he was for the Marlins, I think we’ll run away with the division. And I think he has a shot.

    Oh, and the Royal’s Soria went on the 15-day DL tonight. Should make for some fun Farnsworth watching.

    And now it’s off to off-day la-la land…

  16. I don’t know if Wedge will be the next to go, but I would have to think the Indians are thinking about it, anyway. When the players-only meeting doesn’t work, what are your options at that point? The bullpen has been terrible all year, and aside from some recent performances by Lee and Carmona, the rotation has been pretty rough, too. Offensivly, they have some nice pieces, but continuing to have your best hitter leading off and having zero protection for Victor Martinez isn’t going to work. If he wants to save his job, he needs to look at dropping Grady down to the three spot, the Victor 4th and Choo 5th. but if Peralta doesn’t start hitting I don’t think it will matter much. There’s just not enough bats left. But I agree, you cannot use the Hafner injury as a crutch this year, you had all off season to address depth and apparently failed to do so.

  17. IMO, Cleveland’s top players are still recovering from Roids/HGH era. Hafner, VMart, and Sizemore are products of PHD’s. Especially Hafner, he was a roid freakzilla. His power has steadily went down the gutter since 2006 when MLB started handing down harsher penalties. IMO, he’s done. Pitchers don’t even respect him anymore. The DL is the best thing for him.

    The Tigers were in the same situation last year with their steroid era roster. Most of them guys are gone now.

    1. I don’t really think you can make that generalization. Sure, it’s possible, but it’s a little irresponsible to be making accusations willy nilly. And with presumably stricter testing standards (Manny did just get popped, after all), Martinez is raking the crap out of the ball. And Sizemore’s off to a slow start but that’s pretty typical of his career so far. As for Hafner, he’s probably done as a huge threat, but he’s also following a more typical career arc of pre-PED Era ballplayers (i.e. sharp decline in the early/mid 30’s as opposed to hitting 73 HR as a 39 year old).

      1. You mean hitting 73 HR when you’re 39 years old isn’t normal? You think somebody would have picked up on that RED FLAG a little sooner, hm? Oh wait…

        1. I think a bigger red flag was when his head began to have its own gravitational pull…

    2. @ Mr. X

      This is absurd. Do you even read what you write?

      1) Innocent until proven guilty – don’t start making accusations.
      2) His power has gone down since 2006???? He only played one full year after that.
      3) He is done? He has a 133 OPS+ for 2009.

      As far as the Tigers taking banned substances again refer to #1. Who else is gone besides Pudge and Sheff? And how do you KNOW that Pudge did it?

      I’m shocked YOU didn’t harp on Ordonez and his dip in performance as evidence that he has been using, considering he was named in Canseco’s book. Or that Guillen or Bonderman had been.

      There are things called aging, getting injured and dips in performance when both occur, or even when they don’t. To blanket everybody under that cloud is downright foolish.

      Minirant –

      And personally I have nothing against people who juice or take HGH. If they are experts (or can pay for expert advise) to use what they are using – let them.

      A cortisone shot is a steroid – nobody calls foul on that. Or for example – What about getting laser eye surgery? That isn’t performance enhancing? It sure as $ isn’t natural.

      These people who spread propaganda hate against the stuff usually have no understanding of it at all. Many fear what they don’t understand.

      Anyways, again don’t spew accusations that you aren’t sure about. In my eyes saying that everybody and his brother was using or even certain players were using without any sources or proof besides your own inclinations push your credibility into the toilet.

      1. I’m just not naive. Nearly every other player was guilty of taking PED’s prior to 2006. The Mitchell Report proved how deep it was only on a few clubs; he only went after the NY Radomski and McNamee connections. The sad fact is that every single team had a trainer and/or player in the clubhouse that was covertly distributing PED’s. They most certainly did, but just didn’t get caught.

        I have nothing against those Cleveland players I named. It’s easy to figure out who did what if you just start at the top with the best players. More than likely they took something at one time or another. Do I really care if Tiger players like Polanco, Guillen, or Ordonez took PED’s? Not really. I just assume that they did. Inge probably took something too. They all do it to get the long term contracts. I’d do it too if I could afford it and it would make me rich.

        1. It is hard to ever know for 100% certain that a player was 100% clean. In the USA you’re innocent until proven guilty.

          And I believe that many players were not taking banned supps. Even IF there was one guy in every locker room distributing the stuff, it does NOT mean that all the stars were doing it.

          And the majority of the public can’t really say much, because they haven’t played on an MLB or MiLB team.

          And if you don’t care, like you claim, why would you assume one way or the other? And why do you find it “sad” that there was a guy on every team distributing it, and yet you’d “do it too”?

          This is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly, considering players can be banned from baseball for it.

          1. David,

            If the league and the players had only taken it as seriously as you are here, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

            I don’t know if I agree with what Mr. X is saying, but its hardly more irresponsible than some of the things you or I have said. If the league had been serious about cracking down on steroids, we would never have had the home-run derbies that were the McGuire vs Sosa years. Its also telling that the home-run derby itself is a bigger spectacle than the All-Star Game. Collectively as fans, I think we all “deserve” some of the blame too…after all, we didn’t really question the explosion of home runs or freakish, almost comical bodies that started cropping up in many (if not all) the MLB clubhouses.

            Innocent until proven guilty is a funny phrase in the era of perception = reality. It doesn’t help that a run down of recent MVPs is littered with offenders. Maybe Mr. X was over generalizing, but people post some strange things here without fact-checking all the time, it doesn’t mean we should freak out on them.

          2. It’s sad because the Mitchell Report only had a few witnesses. It’s also sad that only one player came forward and supported Mitchell (Frank Thomas). Everyone else was either guilty and/or not man enough to help. They all deserve blame because of that.

            Heck, I’d inject myself with the swine flu for a 4 year / $20 million contract. I’m sure most people would do the same. I wouldn’t hide behind a union and keep it quiet though. I’d be man enough to come forward and rat everyone out who did it with me.

          3. OK let me put it really simple

            1) I’m NOT AGAINST ROIDS

            2) I AM against crucifying everybody and his brother without providing any sources.

            The burden of proof is on the accusers. I for one understand that MLB is taking this seriously, whether I agree with it or not is another thing. If you’re going to say it was rampant and nearly everybody did it, you need to show me positive test results for 90% of MLB before I’d believe you.

            What are the many irresponsible thing(s) I’ve said? Again please provide proof. Plus irresponsible is a subjective term.

            Also when this Big Mac/Sosa barrage went on I was a minor – so you couldn’t “point the finger at me”.

            Plus whether I’m a big fan of the long ball or not I know it is good for baseball revenue.

            It is funny how you mention HR derby. Sadly like I have argued before, this game has been turned into a hr derby. For better or for worse it puts butts in the seats, and that is what was(and is) most important to any business, baseball being no different.

          4. David,

            As always its a pleasure conversing with you.

            Since you view responsibility as subjective, I suppose I don’t have to go to the trouble of explaining that: my point was that Mr. X (given the forum and his relative clout) wasn’t being irresponsible. If you understand English, that means that you and I were less so. Baseball hardly needs Mr. X to cast a cloud of doubt over steroid use, it does that just fine on its own. Its also unlikely that anyone will be banned as a result of his insinuations.

            “I for one understand that MLB is taking this seriously”

            Sure it did, after the roid-freaks helped save baseball post-lockout, it got real tough.

            “If you’re going to say it was rampant and nearly everybody did it, you need to show me positive test results for 90% of MLB before I’d believe you.”

            Take a look at the nature of steroid use and testing, and couple it with the possibility that players may have been getting advanced notice of testing dates…it makes the above seem like a sub-optimal way of showing that the MLB is mostly steroid-free.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really endorsing Mr. X’s comments. This has more to do with a person crusade to get you to tone it down. You don’t need to ratchet everything up to 11.

        2. As to the first part of your statement, the Mitchell report was hampered because he didn’t have subpoena power. Nobody had to cooperate with him and he simply found the information where he could, which was limited.

          Assuming every single team had a steroid dealer in place is a pretty weighty claim.

      2. I agree that there is a fuzzy line on performance enhancement and medical advances, but let’s clarify something on cortisone as a steroid. A steroid references the chemical structure of a substance, not the purpose for it.

        The steroids on the banned list are anabolic steroids which exist for the express purpose of building skeletal muscle.

        Cortisone, a class of drugs called corticosteroids, exist to work with the immune system and to reduce allergic reactions and swelling. That is why people don’t make a big deal about cortisone. They are referring to anabolic steroids.

  18. As for Wedge, he will get fired, but he’ll easily get another managers job before the 2010 season starts. He’s one of the better managers out there. I predict Wedge will be managing in Detroit next year. You heard it here first.

      1. Dombo is still going to be the GM either way.

        If Leyland gets fired (and that won’t happen if they play at this winning%) or should I say – not renewed, I highly HIGHLY doubt they’d hire Wedge.

        Their would be a much better chance of a former Dombro friend or heck even a Mudhen guy getting the call. Ie Parrish or Leon or Sager.

        When in this day and age have you seen TWO managers in the same division get fired and one of them switch teams?

        Its about as crazy as saying Cabby will be wearing Chief Wahoo on his sleeve next season. Ain’t gunna happen, ya heard it hur first.

        1. “When in this day and age have you seen TWO managers in the same division get fired and one of them switch teams?”

          In 2006. SD fired Bruce Bochy, then SF hired Bruce Bochy.

          It’s not too far fetched. DD went after a NL rival before. When Leyland got fired in Pittsburgh in 1996, DD hired him to manage the Marlins.

        2. I don’t see a Mud Hen coach getting it. Durham has no managerial experience, nor does Sager. And the Tigers already had Parish as a manager and won’t go back there beyond an interim assignment. Matt Walbeck and Tom Brookens would probably be leading candidates.

          1. As we speak, there’s speculation that Leyland gets extended.


            If there were to be a managerial change, I’d imagine it would be someone DD is familiar with and who has managerial experience. He seemed to be high on Walbeck, so he’d probably be a top candidate. If the Tigers end up winning the division, I don’t foresee any sort of change, though.

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