Game 2009.038: Rangers at Tigers

PREGAME: Tonight’s pitching match-up is Justin Verlander against Matt Harrison. I don’t normally do tables in game posts, but this pitching match-up just calls for it.



April ERA



May Runs



May Innings



Current ERA



K/BB Ratio



Last Homer Allowed



Oh yeah, and they both pitched complete game shut outs on May 8th. I think we’re looking at two pitchers, one lefty, one righty who are at the top of their games.

Texas vs. Detroit – May 20, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: With a 5 game winning streak it is happy fun time in Detroit. Short wrap tonight as it’s been a long week already:

  • Justin Verlander only notched 8 K’s in 6 innings. He had a legitimate shot at getting double digits before struggling in a very long 5th inning. Over 40 pitches in the frame ran his pitch count way too high and he was done after 6 innings. But only 1 earned run and his ERA dipped below 4 all the way to 3.99.
  • Wilkin Ramirez homered in his debut, and not just a homer but a blast into the centerfield shrubbery.
  • Brandon Lyon got touched for another homer. Ugh.
  • Joel Zumaya gave up a couple seeing eye grounders and found himself in a bases loaded no out jam but a bounce out and 2 filthy K’s meant only 1 run scored.
  • Fernando Rodney finally got in a save situation and retired the side in order. That is 16 straight batters retired for Rodney.
  • Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn. Who knew?


  1. Eric Cioe

    May 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    The difference is that Harrison possesses utterly pedestrian stuff: 90 mph heat 70% of the time, a couple of slow curves per game, and the remaining 25% split between sliders and changes in the mid 80s based on the batters he’s facing. He’s okay, and he’s certainly hot right now, but he’s benefiting from a nice defense and a bit of luck.

    1. The Tigers tend to hit lefties pretty well.
    2. The Rangers are a team full of hackers, and Justin Verlander is a strikeout pitcher.

    I like this matchup a lot for the Tigers. I’m not sure you could pick a better matchup than Verlander against a swing-for-the-fence crew like the Rangers. Someone’s probably going to take him deep, but that will be in the middle of about 7 innings of 1 run, 10 strikeout, 3 hit ball.

  2. Chris in Dallas

    May 20, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    If Chris Davis doesn’t strike out 3 times tonight, I’ll be surprised. Verlander has held this lineup to a .221/.318/.312 batting line in his career. The only guys who have really gotten to him are Murphy (a tidy .375/.375/.375) and Hamilton (.400/.500/.400). Young, Kinsler and Blalock are a combined 8-for-42 with 10 K’s. Now that I’ve sufficiently jinxed him, I’ll say Verlander stands to have a nice outing.

  3. Ryan P.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I expect 15 Ks from JV tonight. Any less would be a disappointment.

  4. Tom in Minneapolis

    May 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Has anyone heard a rumor today regarding a possible trade of Willis to the Yankees? Or does my friend in New York have an overly-active imagination?

    • Chris in Dallas

      May 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm

      I’m going to go with the overly active imagination scenario. Last night’s start was nice, but D-Train has a ways to go before he has any trade value.

      • Matt

        May 20, 2009 at 7:09 pm

        True to form, every trade rumor involves either the Yankees or the Red Sox.

  5. Joel in Seattle

    May 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    So is Ramirez considered a defensive liability? Why is Raburn in RF instead of him?

  6. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Rayburn has been a stud lately.

  7. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Verlander trying to top Willis.

  8. tom

    May 20, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Geez, they’re pitching to Raburn like *he’s* Babe Ruth.

  9. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Ouch. Why wasn’t he trying to bunt again?

  10. Ken in Vegas

    May 20, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Cmon Jimmy!? Do we really want to put such a promising inning in jeopardy like that? I just feels like he starts the runners way too often.

  11. tom

    May 20, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I always get a bad feeling when Gameday takes a long time to tell me what’s happened. I though “oh crap, I hope it’s not a triple play.”

    On the bright side, it wasn’t unassisted.

  12. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Ugh, Curtis.

  13. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Absolute bomb from Ramirez. That’s to the deepest part of the field. Wee.

  14. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Wilky!!! Welcome to the majors!!

  15. Mith

    May 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Way to go, rookie!

  16. ian

    May 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    GO INGE!!!


  17. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    INGE!!! Inge baby Inge!!! Yes!!

  18. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    And another crushed ball from Inge! Free Arby’s!

  19. Adam

    May 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Win or lose, THERE WILL BE ARBY’S

  20. Joel in Seattle

    May 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    You know, I don’t mind living by the HR some of the time…

  21. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Could Inge reach 30+ this season? He was on pace for 45 after the “second inning.”

    • Coleman

      May 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      Inge could, and SHOULD hit 30 this season (barring obique pulls or pillow mayhem)…if he merely hits his career averages in HR/RBI from here on out that gives him 26 HR 80 RBI for the season

  22. Adam

    May 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I hope they leave Verlander in the dugout. No reason to pitch him now.

  23. Forty

    May 20, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Just to rub our mastery of texas in their face, I would like a squeeze here

  24. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Superb baserunning by Anderson tonight.

  25. Forty

    May 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Brian p – and more great baserunning for anderson, letting everett get to second.
    Lol @ verlander only getting 14pct of the player of the game vote.

  26. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    1st pitch and Lyon gives up a bomb. Man he sucks.

  27. Coleman

    May 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    No time wasted by Lyon, he sure gets down to business right away doesn’t he..

  28. Brian P

    May 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I’m ready to christen Lyon as the new Jason Grilli.

  29. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Lyon is not my Tiger.

  30. tom

    May 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    You were saying, adam?

  31. tom

    May 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    He looks like an emaciated Grilli…

  32. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Please God, get Lyon out of the game.


  33. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you god. That flyball to Granderson works for me.

  34. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Bases jammed. Man up Zoom.

  35. Eric Cioe

    May 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Anderson is not a good defender. Just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you’re a good defender.

    • Brian P

      May 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm

      I don’t know. Diving for that ball would have been ill-advised, because if it happens to get by him, two runs definitely score and there’s a man on third.

      • Eric Cioe

        May 20, 2009 at 9:31 pm

        He should have caught it on the run. He hesitated.

  36. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Attaboy Zoom. Way to get out of it. Nice job!

  37. Mr. X

    May 20, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    The pen got the job done. Rodney was wicked and that’s 5 wins in a row.

  38. Chris

    May 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    ROCK ON! 5th win in a row. And now (I normally would never say this) GO TRIBE! GO WHITE SOX!

  39. Ryan P.

    May 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Nice game, folks. Verlander was solid, nice to see his ERA under 4. Lyon sucked of course, but Zumaya pitched pretty well to get out of that unlucky jam. Nice to see Rodney working it in his first save opportunity in awhile.

  40. Ryan P.

    May 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I love how Ortiz is all over the front page of after finally getting his first homer. Of course, this is after the daily front-page updates of “Ortiz homerless again”.

    God, I hate everything that is NY, Boston, and LA.

  41. Ryan P.

    May 20, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Oh no.

    Nate is back. Bye French.

  42. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 20, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Come on Cle.

    • Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

      May 20, 2009 at 11:39 pm

      Attaboy Kerry Wood. See you guys tomorrow at noon central.

  43. Chris

    May 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    kerry wood is doing us no favors

    • Chris

      May 20, 2009 at 11:40 pm

      ok… he came through… good job tribe

  44. Ryan P.

    May 20, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Hey, congrats Indians. You won a game. Barely.

  45. Dylan

    May 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    The Tigers continue to play extremely well when I don’t catch the game. Maybe I should stay busy.

  46. Joel in Seattle

    May 21, 2009 at 12:43 am

    The title of an article on is “Lyon’s role in bullpen becoming clear.”

    I’m not sure the Tigers need anyone to play the role he’s playing…

    • Chris

      May 21, 2009 at 2:03 am

      Lyon’s role should be that of mop-up guy. By no means has he earned the setup 7th-8th inning role. He is this season’s Grilli. The ironic thing is that Grilli has been pretty good this and last season and I would much rather have him back in place of Lyon.

      • Chris Y.

        May 21, 2009 at 7:53 am

        And what about Perry? Perry seems to me to be the RH who should be brought in in high leverage 7th-inning situations.

        Overall the article seemed a bit preemptive to me. One out recorded in the seventh of a recent game does not make a role for a guy who has been struggling in ANY role since the middle of spring training all year.

        All we have to do is look at the game today.

        • Mark in Chicago

          May 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

          It could be worse, we could have signed Kerry Wood (for approx. $10 million), he of the 6.19 FIP and 1.86 WHIP.

  47. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 21, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Here’s a great tidbit on the Rangers triple play tonight. The last guy to hit into a Rangers Triple play was Ron Wilson.

    “The game was the major league debut of one Ron Wilson. He hit seventh. Sierra, hitting fifth, and Olerud, hitting sixth, got on base in front of Wilson every time. Wilson’s first time up, in the 2nd, with runners on first and second and no outs, Wilson struck out. Wilson’s second time up, in the 4th, he hit into the aforementioned triple play. Wilson’s third time up, in the 6th, with runners on first and second again and no outs, he hit into a double play. In the 7th, Wilson’s spot came up again, with Sierra on third and Olerud on first. The Mariners pinch-hit Mark McLemore for Wilson (and McLemore struck out).

    Wilson was sent down after the game … and never played in the majors again. Is there any way this isn’t the worst major league career ever?”

    • Andrew in Toronto

      May 21, 2009 at 10:01 am

      They’ve corrected it now, it’s actually Ron Wright, not Wilson.

  48. scotsw

    May 21, 2009 at 8:36 am

    It’s worth noting that Eric Coie’s prediction in the first comment here wasn’t too far off: Verlander ended with 6 innings (not 7) and 8 ks (not 10), but just 1 earned run on three hits, exactly as predicted. Tip of the cap for peering into your crystal ball, Eric. What does it say about E-Jax’s start tonight?

    Zumaya was wonderful. I say that because was unlucky to have the bases loaded, and worked out of it like an absolute pro. A couple weak dribblers from the first two hitters put him in a tight spot. Getting out of that with just 1 run, and keeping his cool — that’s good stuff.

    This is a fun team to watch, eh?

  49. scotsw

    May 21, 2009 at 8:54 am

    A brief defense of Brandon Lyon:

    5 of his 13 earned runs this year came in that long 13-inning game where he pitched 2.2 innings, something he’s not normally called on to do. You throw out the last inning of that appearance, and he’s been a lot better lately. I’d like more Ks, but he’s throwing strikes.

    He’s got a solid track record, and has been spectacular at times in his career. Let’s not run him out of town too early. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to make a nice contribution this year before it’s all over.

  50. Chauncey

    May 21, 2009 at 9:36 am

    The problem with Lyon is the number of homeruns that he’s been giving up. He’s already given up 4 homers in 17 innings this year- last year he gave up 7 in 59 innings. Plus, his WHIP is 1.71, and a slugging percentage against of .538, both of which is way too high for a reliever that is being called on to hold one or two run leads. Lyon is fine when the Tigers have a 3 or 4 run lead like last night, but in no way would I trust him in a one or two run game.

  51. Andre in Chi

    May 21, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Funny article explaining JV’s “new” approach, here’s the best of:

    “From the time I wake up in the morning, I pretty much hate whoever I’m pitching against. I think about their lineup, and I don’t like any of those guys.”

    “I’m not a very nice guy on my start day right now. Something had to change. I don’t hardly talk to anybody unless I need to.”

  52. Mark in Chicago

    May 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    interesting note out of the Chicago Tribune, the Sox have agreed on terms to acquire Jake Peavey and are awaiting only his approval.


  53. Andre in Chi

    May 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Why Peavy should “just say no”.

    Funny also that the rumor (not mentioned in this story) is that he’s not crazy about the idea of pitching under Guillen.

    • Mark in Chicago

      May 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm

      Yep, good article by the Fangraphs team. Peavy is a good pitcher (and definitely improves a rotation that runs Contreras, Colon, Danks and Floyd out there on a regular basis), but he’s a fly ball pitcher considering a move to a little league park. Not a good thing for him.

      Also, should he eventualy accept the trade, how would he look Ozzie in the face after saying he didn’t want to play for him? Talk about awkward/uncomfortable silence.

      My gut says he nukes the deal.

      • Andre in Chi

        May 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm

        Bigger question is how is he going to look me (his fantasy manager) in the face? I’ll trade his south-side behind in a heart beat.