Game 2009.037: Rangers at Tigers

PREGAME: Six weeks ago a Rangers team riding a 3 game win streak came into Comerica Park and got swept. Tonight a Rangers team on a 7 game winning streak returns to Detroit.

These aren’t your typical Rangers. Sure, they still slug the snot out of the ball (their slugging percentage is 32 points higher than the 2nd ranking team), but now they can prevent runs as well. The Rangers have a 4.54 team ERA. While it significantly outpaces their 5.11 FIP, there is some realness to it because they rank 2nd in terms of defensive efficiency.

In other words, Dontrelle Willis will have his work cut out for him tonight as he makes his second start. Willis didn’t have his control problems last time out, but he wasn’t fooling the Twins either and came out after 4.2 innings. He benefits in one respect that Josh Hamilton is out of the lineup, but the Rangers bring a lot of thump in Ian Kinsler and company from the right side.

Brandon McCarthy gets the nod for the Rangers. He has been susceptible to the long ball with 10 homers allowed in 38 innings. While 7 of those homers have come in Arlington, he still has a OPS allowed over 1.000 on the road. Lefties have also beaten him up pretty good so Jim Leyland has 5 in the lineup tonight.

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

Texas vs. Detroit – May 19, 2009 | Gameday


  1. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Gooo D-Train!

    (prepares for the wreck)

  2. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Yeah…it’s going to be a long night.

    • Brian P

      May 19, 2009 at 7:15 pm

      Yup. Little control, and everything was hit hard.

  3. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Who is this guy? Willis found his mojo in the 2nd. K’s the side!

  4. Tbone

    May 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Then he strikes out the side in the 2nd!


  5. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    D-Train turns around and has an awesome 2nd inning.

    Damn Wings. I’m talking to myself.

    Oh good, peoples are here.

  6. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Ramon Santiago does not make outs. Ever.

  7. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Yes, the balls are finding the holes for us. 2-0

  8. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm


    “Quit iiiit!”

    Rod does lots of strange voices, but that one…wow…

    • Brian P

      May 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      That’s one of the very few disadvantages of Cabrera. He’s unable to go first to third on a single, and he can’t score from second on most singles.

      Edit: Oops. Wrong spot.

  9. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Okay, Dontrelle looks freakin’ awesome.

  10. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Willis looks fantastic right now. His stuff is consistently good and he’s pitching with confidence.

  11. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Willis is nothing like the wild, jumpy, and twitchy pitcher that he was last year. He looks so calm right now you can hardly tell it’s him.

    Just Amazing. 5 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, and 0 runs. Also he hasn’t allowed a base runner since the 1st inning.

  12. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I’m not going to lie, Dontrelle has got me pretty worked up.

  13. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Wow. I really hope this isn’t a fluke, because it’s pretty impressive.

  14. Tom

    May 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    D-Train’s rolling…

  15. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Nice catch by Anderson! Willis with yet another clean inning. This is bringing a tear to my eye.

  16. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    That won’t be a web gem, but that was a great catch by Anderson. Could Willis single-handedly shutout the Rangers?

    • Adam

      May 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm

      He’s at 86, so probably no CG.

  17. Adam

    May 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    D-Train is the next Z-Greinke

  18. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    He’s probably only got one more inning in him. Amazing job, though.

  19. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Ah no, hope he doesn’t have a blister or something.

  20. Adam

    May 19, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    That Jones walk pitch was a strike. Check Gameday. It’s IN THE BOX.

    Thanks so much, Umpo.

    • Brian P

      May 19, 2009 at 8:49 pm

      I kept waiting for the punch-out. It was right at the belt line and, as you say, in the zone. Jones didn’t deserve a make-up call. The ump missed a strike in the zone in his last at-bat too.

  21. Anson

    May 19, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Wow I go out to dinner after following D-trains struggling in the first and come back and he hasnt given anything up! YAY!

  22. Joel in Seattle

    May 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Uh oh…

    • Adam

      May 19, 2009 at 8:52 pm

      It’s okay. Smokey took him out. No burninating the lead tonight for Lyon.

      • Joel in Seattle

        May 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

        Thanks. I was getting ready to jump in front of a train.

  23. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    and many Tiger fans didn’t even want to give Willis a 2nd chance.

    • Joel in Seattle

      May 19, 2009 at 9:14 pm

      Don’t know many of those (but I don’t know that many Tigers fans in my neck of the woods).

      I do know that I’m not eager to give Brandon Lyon a 7th chance.

      • Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

        May 19, 2009 at 11:38 pm

        Post of the night.

  24. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Two pitches + two hits = needed insurance run.

    • Steve

      May 19, 2009 at 9:07 pm

      Ask and you shall receive

  25. Steve

    May 19, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    OK Looking good for our guys,

  26. Steve

    May 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    a Hunge, does anyone ever think what it would be like to stand in there and see what 100mph looks like?

  27. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    “Eat ’em Tigers, eat ’em up” has to be one of the lamest chants.

  28. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    So about that mighty Texas offense?

  29. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    This combined 1 hit shutout was the most satisfying Tiger game I’ve watched since the 2006 playoffs when Kenny Rogers shutout the Yankees..

    • Chris

      May 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm

      The game in Cleveland where Grandy made the game saving catch to rob Sizemore was a better… But this one is really good, too.

      • Mr. X

        May 19, 2009 at 9:56 pm

        Yep, that was a great game too. Verlander’s 1-0 CG shutout.

  30. Adam

    May 19, 2009 at 9:26 pm


  31. Anson

    May 19, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    VERY NICE! Gotta love the one-hitter from the D-Train and Co.

  32. mac

    May 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Even on Gameday from a focus group in Denver that was deeply rewarding

  33. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    High water mark for the season, and the Royals and Twins are down.

  34. RPS

    May 19, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I watched that and I still can’t believe it. Like Grienke, it’s so amazing to see a guy really conquer his demons. It’s almost hard to think of this outing in baseball terms. Just the pure drive to fall so far and come back, it’s kinda amazing.

    That said, If Dontrelle can be half this good going forward, the Central just got a lot more interesting.

    • Ryan P.

      May 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm

      Interesting? Nobody else has a chance if Dontrelle can stay on (assuming JV, E-Jax, and Porcello don’t crash and burn).

  35. Steve

    May 19, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I cant stop thinking how good we could be if Dontrell is for real and Bondo comes back to anywhere near is old self. Could be a good staff this year with low mileage on Dontrells and Bondos arm to go deep into the year.

    Add in Maggs and Carlos getting off the dime and we could be tough.

    Liking what I see, hoping for more, as long as the Tigers keep winning and I have a job, it will be a really nice summer.


  36. Mr. X

    May 19, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    That was the 6th shutout the Tigers pitching staff has thrown this season. The defense has really made a huge difference.

    • Eric Cioe

      May 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm

      So has the pitching coach. Or at least whatever it is that has the staff throwing more strikes this year.

  37. Mike in CT

    May 19, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    That really just happened?

  38. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    FYI: Dontrelle will be on Baseball Tonight a little bit later.

  39. greg

    May 19, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Did someone hack into sportsline? It says Willis went 6.1 and allowed only 3 baserunners!

  40. Chris in Dallas

    May 19, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I’m, like, shocked and stuff. Dontrelle partied like it was 2005. And Zumaya. Yeah, he throws real hard.

  41. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Mauer hit another homer, holy crap. 7 in 17 games.

  42. Brian P

    May 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Ouch. Royals score 4 in the ninth for a walkoff win.

  43. Ryan P.

    May 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Yup. Ouch indeed.

  44. scotsw

    May 20, 2009 at 2:28 am


    Hell of a job, man. Welcome back.