Game 2009.036: A’s at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers are going for their third sweep in a week – of course one of those times they were the sweep-ee. The Tigers have outscored the A’s 23-2 in the first 2 games of the series. I’m going to this one though and the Tigers are 1-4 when I’m in attendance. But the 1 win was Opening Day with Armando Galarraga on the mound. So anything could happen.

Galarraga hasn’t pitched well of late, throwing lots of sliders and not enough balls in the strike zone.

Trevor Cahill pitches for the A’s. He has more walks than strikeouts (20/14) but a 3.69 ERA. He’s riding a string of 3 straight quality starts and he’s only given up more than 2 runs in a start one time this season.

Oakland vs. Detroit – May 17, 2009 | Gameday

Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago congratulate Curtis Granderson

Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago congratulate Curtis Granderson

POSTGAME: This one looked bad at the outset. Armando Galarraga was the-awful  again, but I get the feeling this wasn’t entirely unexpected. Jim Leyland had Zach Miner up and working relatively quickly. Yes, 5 runs were plated before Galarraga was lifted, but it’s not often you have a replacement up and warm 15 minutes after the game starts.

It makes me think that there may be something beyond simple mechanical issues hampering Galarraga. I have no idea if he’s injured, but he does have a history of injuries, he saw a large spike in innings pitched last year, and he has lost the strike zone.

Fortunately the Tigers offense responded as they had all series. Detroit scored 34 runs over the last 3 games and have been responsible for 20% of the runs the A’s staff has allowed this season. In 3 games they hit 2 grand slams and 3 3-run homers. I kind of prefer that to small ball myself.

Ramon Santiago made the most of his start with a 4-4 day where he missed a cycle by just a double. Adam Everett did what he could to hold on to the primary shortstop role with 2 doubles, a single, and a sac bunt. And Curtis Granderson sealed the deal with a 3 run jack (he also had 3 walks).

Zach Miner was a pseudo starter today. He was by no means lights out but he deserves some credit (and he did get the win). He came in with runners on first and second and stranded them. He allowed a run in second inning, but when the Tigers scored their runs in the 3rd and 4th innings, he didn’t give any runs back to the A’s which let the offense take the lead for good.

The rest of the bullpenning was good as well save for 2 walks from Luke French.

This had to be a discouraging series for the A’s, to be blown out in 2 games and then cough up a 6 run early lead. Billy Beane has rightly been praised for his work with a limited budget, but A’s fans are getting fed up.

Photo Day

Today was on field photo day. It’s something we’ve done a couple times in the past. Back in 2003 there weren’t a lot of people. In 2007 it was a crushing mass of humanity. Today was something in between. It was full, but not packed and the Tigers organization did a great job of carving out areas for the kids. It is tough to make everyone happy, but I think they did a nice job striking a balance.

But I really have to give credit to the players.  I don’t know if they enjoy these days or not, but if they don’t you would have no idea. Everyone I saw seemed to be having a wonderful time. The smiles seemed genuine and they took time to really try and pose for pictures instead of just walking the line. Inge was of course a fan favorite, but Andy Van Slyke probably got the biggest laughs when he was holding an infant and making faces at the kid. Willis picked up a kid and gave him a hug. Cabrera was playing with another kid.

I know that none of this stuff makes a difference in terms of wins and losses, but for fan relations it does make a difference. I’ve said it a number of times, but if a player is nice to my kid he’s earned himself my support. I’m sure that’s true for a lot of other parents as well and the team did well in that regard today.


  1. Brenden

    May 17, 2009 at 10:21 am

    It’s time to break your curse Billfer.

  2. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Anderson batting 2nd with Polly’s day off. I hope they get on base together and get a chance to run.

    • Chris

      May 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

      Polanco has not had a very good season so far. Hopefully the rest gives him his mojo back

  3. Chris

    May 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Despite Galarraga’s struggles of late, he at least has eaten innings. He has not been horrible horrible, like Nate was so much last year.

  4. stephen

    May 17, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Chris, he has now officially been horrible, horrible.

    • Chris

      May 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      yep. Very Nate

  5. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Yikes. He’s lost all control, and everything in the strike zone has been batting practice. Does he still have options? He might need a trip down to figure this out while Bonderman returns.

  6. Chris

    May 17, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    It’s as if this final out in this miserable inning is impossible

  7. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    He’s completely unable to throw a strike except for straight down the middle. Don’t think he hit a corner all inning, and the A’s might have swung at like one breaking ball out of the zone.

  8. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I think Armando was just trying to get to Cabrera again. Only two outs made that inning without scoring a run, and he had both.

  9. Russ

    May 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    and my man zach saves the day (or at least inning) yet again. next to inge (well, up till this season anyhoo), he’s the most underappreciated tiger. go zach! save the day again! woo hoo!

  10. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    After a 5 pitch walk to Granderson, Anderson comes up first pitch swinging at a ball. Not what you like to see.

  11. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Umps clearly aren’t going to do us any favors today. That was an easy safe call at 2nd, not even that close.

    • Brian P

      May 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm

      Yeah. I could tell he was safe watching it live in real time. They’re usually right, but that was terrible.

  12. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Wow. 2 out rally! We have a Sunday slug-fest brewing.

  13. Jeff Molby

    May 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Cahill’s useless against lefties. Too bad we don’t have 9 of them.

  14. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Another nice inning, mostly from the bottom of the lineup.

  15. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Holy Ramon! 1.618 OPS for Santiago at Comerica this season.

  16. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Santiago is a freaking beast.

  17. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Santiago rocking the .960 OPS so far. Only Miggy and Larish have him beat. Dear god.

  18. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    You’re killin’ me, Jerry Crawford. Why can’t he at least ask the 3B umpire to see if he saw the tag?

  19. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Yeah, we’re going to need more runs here. And I hope Miner is done.

    • Brian P

      May 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm

      Curtis hears you loud and clear.

  20. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Santiago just the elusive double short of the cycle.

    Must be the glasses.

  21. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    There’s healthy competition between Santiago and Everett in this game. But I’m sorry Adam, you’re going to have to do better than a lousy double.

  22. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm


  23. Andrew

    May 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Wow, just checking in on the score & see that we have a wild one this afternoon! Go Tigers!

  24. Mr. Jimmy

    May 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Guess the Wings game will have to wait…

  25. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    So about that strike zone, Mr. French.

  26. Brian P

    May 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Great game. We hope you tune in again next time for the Ramon Santiago show. Check your local listings.

  27. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Looks like the rest of the division may lose again.

    • Chris

      May 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      Go Yankees!

      • Ryan P.

        May 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm

        Oh noes, KC took the lead.

      • Ryan P.

        May 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

        and the Yanks walk off on Minny AGAIN!

    • Brian P

      May 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

      Damon walkoff!

  28. Mr. X

    May 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Nice comeback win. Wild game. Can’t believe how terrible Galarraga was. Glad Leyland got him out of there before more damage was done.

  29. Chris

    May 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Yea, Johnny Damon! Twins lose and that’s almost as good as the Tigers winning.

  30. RKT in Mississippi

    May 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Bilfer, the Tigers have only lost 5 games at home and in the six games you have attended you have seen four of those losses. What gives good man?

    • billfer

      May 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm

      I helped them drop 2 games in Toronto 🙂

      The good news is that I’m 2-0 in games started by Galarraga this year.

      • Bryan

        May 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm

        There may not be too many more of those.

        • David

          May 17, 2009 at 9:52 pm

          yes, if Bondo were to come back today he’d be the one bumped

  31. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    So, while the Tigers were sweeping the A’s, the rest of the division went 2-10. Good weekend, eh?

  32. Jeff Molby

    May 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    The rest of the division was playing the AL East.
    We played the worst team in the West.

    The “strength of schedule” distortions are so large, the out-of-town scoreboard is virtually meaningless at this point.

    • David

      May 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

      As long as they are winning I don’t care who they are playing. Beating bad/.500 teams is a big part of getting a spot in the dance.

      But, you’re right it is May. Tigers have crapped out to end 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

      Strength of schedule is overrated. The most important thing (imo) is if you are playing a team/players who are hot …or not

  33. tiff

    May 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Photo Day was a great event. A lot of the players could have gone in after the first half hour, but Miggy and Maggs stayed out there until it was over. I brought a couple of semi-fans with me, and they were glowing after taking pics with Porcello and Maggs and F-Rod.

  34. Pingback: Monday Links – Bondo in Rehab, Other Missing Cats, Lidstrom > Chara « The Gordie Howe Hat Trick

  35. anaaki

    May 18, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Photo day was great and Andy Van Slyke is terrific! He took a photo with me and grabbed my shoulder and almost pulled me down. Had me laughing. Fernando is always nice to see. And Zach was super nice.

    However, I was really upset that when Cabrera came by us, everyone who was in the back from where he’d just past by came on our side and SHOVED all of us in the front and begged Cabrera for a photo because they’ve been “waiting all day.” Well so have we! We got to the stadium hours early so we could stand up front. It really disappoints me, especially because these are the same people who cared less about Cabby last year.