Game 2009.031: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: If there is one thing that really irritates me about the Metrodome (and this is of course hypothetical because there are many one things), it’s the fact that they have patterns in the grass like it has been mowed. Only it’s not grass and it’s never been mowed and never will be mowed.

That’s right, the Tigers are playing at the Metrodome. Sigh. New stadium coming soon though.

Tonight it will be Armando Galarraga going for Detroit. He’s the only starter in the last turn through the rotation to allow runs in the multiple sense. He’s struggled in his last 2 starts allowing 11 runs in 11 innings with 5 walks and 5 K’s and 3 homers allowed.

On the other side it will be Kevin Slowey. Slowey has been a strike throwing machine and he has a whopping total of 2 walks…this season. He has allowed 6 homers in 34.1 innings so maybe the air conditioner will be blowing out tonight.

Many of the Tigers were out for extra batting practice today and this is how they’ll lineup tonight:

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

Detroit vs. Minnesota – May 12, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: And the 3 game win streak is over. It was one of those games. Armando Galarraga wasn’t good again. He couldn’t find the strike zone consistently and when he did the pitches got hammered. The outs were well hit, the hits were well hit. The Twins hit 3 balls with home run distance but Clete Thomas brought one back.

Galarraga settled down a little in the middle innings before things kind of spun out of control. There was a tough 4 pitch walk, and 2 double play balls that didn’t get converted including Placido Polanco’s first error of the year.  Ryan Perry came in and gave up a run, but it wasn’t until his 3rd inning and I thought it was one of his better outings.

As for the offense, you can’t say it was dead. They had 9 hits, including 2 homers and they doubled Slowey’s walk total for the season. They even got the benefit of a misplay by Tolbert and another by Delmon Young. They had a runner on second in each of the first 5 innings, and in two innings they had 2 on and nobody out. But the big hit just never came. Cabrera came the closest with a flyball to the warning track in right and a sharp grounder up the middle that Tolbert instead turned into a double play.

But with Laird, and Ordonez, and now Inge struggling there are some holes in the lineup. Clete Thomas is still hitting 3rd in this lineup, and his production hasn’t been the problem. Detroit even got a couple of homers from Jeff Larish and Ramon Santiago, but somehow they came with no one on base.

  • I don’t know that I’ve seen a hitter do less with 5 pitches than Laird did tonight. A 3 pitch K, a pop out, and a check swing back to the pitcher.
  • Inge had nothing to show for his night, but he had a couple of lengthy at-bats. You’d like to see that pay in results, but it is hard to be upset with the approach.
  • Thomas also had 2 8-pitch plus at-bats, one resulted in a hit, the other a DP


  1. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Man, Anderson has been pinched out of playing time with Clete up here. It is too bad, because Anderson was swinging the bat well.

  2. scotsw

    May 12, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Jim Leyland’s Bromance with Clete is mysterious.

  3. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Should have bunted….

    • billfer

      May 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm

      Trouble is you take the bat out of Cabrera’s hands then.

  4. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    How so? If Clete bunts, Miguel’s flyball gets the run in.

    • billfer

      May 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm

      Cabrera gets intentionally walked and doesn’t get to hit the flyball.

      • Brenden

        May 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm

        Fair Enough.

        Poor baserunning by Larish…

  5. mcb

    May 12, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Ironic that yesterday Lynn Henning writes Leland deserves an extension…and then he gives away at least one running in a place we struggle…

  6. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Nice Clete…

  7. Andrew

    May 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Clete has done nothing since the first game he was in the lineup. No reason he should be batting 3rd and silly that he was not bunting there.

    Alright, I guess he just made up for it with that catch.

  8. Mcb

    May 12, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Inge might need a day off. He’s struggling

  9. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    So any idea when our offense is going to wake up? Man, they have been pretty bad as of late…

  10. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Here we go again with Galarraga….

  11. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Inge may be struggling a bit but I’m not gonna complain about an 8-pitch K in the 2nd inning; that can end up being useful…Laird’s 3-pitch version–not so useful.

    Inge is becoming the Human Pitch Count–he leads the team in PPA, and his lead is increasing…

  12. Andrew

    May 12, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Crede needs to get out of the Central. I will not miss him killing the Tigers.

  13. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Stranded base runners and Galarraga falling behind…great combination…

  14. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    !*#!! Not Crede again…82% of his career home runs have been against Detroit.

    OK I made that up. But it sure seems like it…

  15. Adrian from Toronto

    May 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    something is wrong with Armando

    • David G.

      May 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm

      Yes, the inability to throw strikes that batters can’t hit hard.

  16. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    3 leadoff hits….and no runs to show for them…

  17. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    And I’m done…. Freakin’ Galarraga…. And the offense…How many runners have the stranded now? 5? We need to beat the Twins, not pull the usual lose to the division routine…..

    • Mike R

      May 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm

      …We’ve got a .643 winning percentage against the Central this year, coming into tonight’s game.

  18. Mike R

    May 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    This stupid love affair with Clete in the 3 hold is way too reminiscent of Leyland’s love affair with Timo Perez in the 3 spot in 07 or 08. Just bad anyway you spin it.

    Contract extension for Leyland? HA!

  19. Mcb

    May 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Every ball has been hit hard.

  20. RPS

    May 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Huge, huge inning. If the Tigs don’t get anything home here, I think it becomes one of those 12-2 give-up jobs.

  21. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Almost 25% of Slowey’s pitches so far have been thrown to Inge…

  22. Adrian from Toronto

    May 12, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    wow…why did inge not bunt there….

    • billfer

      May 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm

      Have you seen Gerald Laird hit lately?

      • Adrian from Toronto

        May 12, 2009 at 9:27 pm

        I know but he got a run in the last time in a similar situation and we NEED runs

  23. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    There’s the Laird factor, plus it’s a 4-run game and Inge is one of our big RBI guys; PLUS Inge is a great bunter but on phonygrass with Larish and Maggs doing the running you’d better be perfect…

  24. Mike R

    May 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Still have a good feeling about this game.

  25. Adrian from Toronto

    May 12, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    man…it’s just not our night, that was a great play by tolbert

  26. Mr. X

    May 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    LOL, it seems everyone has there panties in a bunch tonight.

    There goes Larish!! Here we come.

    • Coleman

      May 12, 2009 at 10:30 pm

      Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not everyone. My panties are nice and tidy and comfortable.

  27. Adrian from Toronto

    May 12, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    great…cardinal rule of momentum in baseball:

    after ur team scores a run, DO NOT let the other team strike back the next half-inning

  28. Adam

    May 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Can someone post a screencap of the Kubel AB from Gameday? Ridiculous.

  29. Adrian from Toronto

    May 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    umpire blows it

  30. Mike R

    May 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Cool Chuck Knoblauch we’ve got at 2nd base tonight.

  31. RPS

    May 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Is making a struggling pitcher get five outs an inning a good idea?

  32. Mike R

    May 12, 2009 at 10:06 pm

  33. Mr. X

    May 12, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Galarraga getting squeezed by the umps and by Polanco’s throws. 6 out inning here. Game Day had 4 of the 5 pitches in the strike zone, but ump called 4 of 5 balls.

  34. Adam

    May 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Check this out:

    Oh, good. Mike, I didn’t see your post. BUT IT DESERVES TO BE SHOWN TWICE. For effect.

  35. billfer

    May 12, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    That’s a rough 4 pitch walk.

    • Mr. X

      May 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm

      The umps really hate Galarraga for some reason. Galarraga was really yapping at the home plate ump quite a bit the last inning and for good reason. I wonder if Galarraga has a bad reputation with the umps?

      • Eric Cioe

        May 12, 2009 at 11:32 pm

        You don’t get close calls when you’ve walked a guy an inning for the last 20 innings. Who knew?

  36. Mike R

    May 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I’m glad the three of us are in agreement! 🙂

    Bill, does the pitch fx data base give Umpire ID’s?

    • billfer

      May 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm

      I don’t believe so.

      • Mike R

        May 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm

        Ahh, I see. I keep saying I’m going to get into the Pitch f/x stuff, but I just haven’t yet. One of things I’d like to do first is an Ump evaluation of their strike zones. I think it’d be interesting to see who’s got a high zone, or a wide or a low zone, etc etc.

  37. Mr. X

    May 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Attaboy Ramon.

  38. Adam

    May 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Yeah, here’s the Punto AB. Less ridiculous, but the only strike was a CALLED strike.

    (fixed the link)

  39. Mr. X

    May 12, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    This ump is ridiculous.

  40. Adrian from Toronto

    May 12, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    cabrera has STUNK tonight 🙁

  41. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    On my scorecard* I gave Inge a point for the assist on the Santiago HR…the reason the lame reliever came in to start the 7th was because Inge, the Human Pitch Count, single-handedly ran Slowey out of the game.

    Slowey: total pitches: 98.
    Slowey: pitches to Inge (3 PA): 21.
    Slowey: pitches to other Tigers: 77 (23 PA).

    If Inge had taken an average number of pitches, Slowey would have had 86 pitches after 6 and probably would have pitched the 7th…

    *I can’t say any more than this, it’s a very secret scoring system

  42. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Wha?? That 3rd strike to Inge was high AND inside!!

  43. Mike R

    May 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Gameday has the K pitch to Inge as catching the top inside corner exactly.

    • Coleman

      May 12, 2009 at 11:06 pm

      Hmm, yes, how convenient…
      (OK, maybe it’s more accurate than the camera angle view as seen by heavily biased observer. Still…)

      • Mike R

        May 12, 2009 at 11:19 pm

        Don’t worry man. I saw it and went immediately to gameday, too. Did the same on the called 3rd strike to end the game, as well.

  44. Brenden

    May 12, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I hate coming to the dome, it always seems to bring out the worst in this team. Galarraga needs some work desperately, regardless of the ump.

  45. Mr. X

    May 13, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Despite the crappy game we’ll still be in 1st place. Royals are down 12-2 in the 6th.

  46. Chris in Dallas

    May 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I can’t wait until the Metrodome goes the way of the Kingdome.

  47. scotsw

    May 13, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Galarraga has lost some movement on all of his pitches, I think. He does well to keep the ball down most of the time, but without that movement, the trajectory is predictable and hitters are laying off his low stuff and waiting for him to come up in the zone. Then they’re slapping him around.

    Bet there’s a blister or a sore arm or sore knee or something… Not bad enough to prevent him from working, but enough to make him less effective.

    I was frustrated with the lack of patience, especially from Cabrera and Laird.