Game 2009.044: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: I have to admit, I’m a little bit excited about tonight’s pitching match-up. The Tigers will be taking on Zach Greinke who quite frankly has been dominating the bejesus out of all comers. But the Tigers get to send out Edwin Jackson who no one would mistake for a slouch this year.

Greinke is coming off a rare loss, one in which he allowed a season high 8 hits. He’s yet to allow a home run this season. Heck, he’s only allowed 7 runs (6 earned) all season.

Jackson is of course coming off his 132 pitch outing and it will be interesting to see how long he is left in, especially in a game that looks on paper to be tight.

Detroit vs. Kansas City – May 26, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Zach Greinke is really good. That’s kind of the story tonight. The Tigers picked up a run early, and they got some hits, but oh those GIDPs. The Tigers hit into 3 of them, one of them even on a hit and run. The double plays negated the benefit of getting the leadoff men on and they also prevented the Tigers from running up Greinke’s pitch count. And then Greinke just got better as the game went on and tallied 8 K’s with no walks allowed.

For awhile it looked like that early run might be enough. Jackson’s command wasn’t spot on early on and he fell behind a number of hitter with first pitch balls. But the Royals didn’t really seem to want to wait him out and he course corrected and started cruising until he came undone in the 6th inning. A single and an error by Jackson and the Royals were in business. When they plated 2 runs, it felt like he’d allowed 1 too many.

  • It was another decent start for Jackson who still isn’t disappointing. It was also a light workload for him today with only 89 pitches thrown – which makes me happy after his last 2 times out.
  • Magglio Ordonez extended the hitting streak to 12
  • Brandon Lyon continues on his Farnsworthian pace with yet another homer allowed. I’ll admit to advocating for Brandon Lyon to help the bullpen. I thought many of the calls for his release were overblown back in April, but the leash has to be shortening


  1. Walter55

    May 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Would be a huge win if we are able to beat Greinke tonight.

    • Ryan P.

      May 26, 2009 at 7:29 pm

      There’s the understatement of the year so far 😉

  2. joseph

    May 26, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Why should it be interesting to see how long he is left in? He had 132 pitches 5 days ago!? Why don’t you factor in the amount of pitches he threw in warmup as well? The pitch count thing is so overrated!!!!

    • Adam

      May 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm

      So are !!!!s

  3. Ryan P.

    May 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Larish is starting again today. Maybe he can strike out five times tonight!

  4. mcb.

    May 26, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    The “platinum sombrero”…

  5. jb61973

    May 26, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Larish struck out 5 times and still got on base twice I believe. His OBP is .375 and he is OPSing .885. His wOBA is .375 and his babip is only .250 so it will probably go up. I’ll take an occasional 5 k game for production like that.

    • Coleman

      May 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm

      I don’t mind the strikeouts so much myself either; it would be nice to avoid them though with, for example, runners on 2nd and 3rd an 0 out. While his numbers above are nice, it would be better if they didn’t plummet with runners in scoring position.

      Career with runner on 3rd, less than 2 out: 4 K in 11 PA OPS .382

      This season 2 K in 3 PA, OPS = .000.
      OPS with RISP = .427, 6 K in 20 PA

      • jb61973

        May 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm

        Understood. IMO, that is just coincidence. i dont’ really put too much stock into clutchness. THat is also a really small sample size.

  6. Brian P

    May 26, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    There was zero doubt in my mind Ordonez was swinging at the first pitch.

    • ouchudied

      May 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

      Its a damn good thing that he did.

  7. Ryan P

    May 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Oh em gee we scored on Greinke.

    • ouchudied

      May 26, 2009 at 8:23 pm

      +1 for the poet.

  8. Ryan P

    May 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Larish K count: 1

    Yes, really.

    • Brian P

      May 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      He’ll have to recognize the curveball down and in if he’s going to keep getting at-bats.

  9. Kyle J

    May 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    At this rate, we’ll be done with the game around 9:30.

  10. jb61973

    May 26, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Did Rod just say not bad to Bonderman’s line of 6 innings, 7 hits and 3 walks? Does he only look at runs?

    • Adam

      May 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

      It’s considered a quality start. And for a guy coming off shoulder surgery, it really isn’t bad.

      • jb61973

        May 26, 2009 at 8:43 pm

        A quality start? THat is some arbitrary conditions set by somebody. That means nothing. THat is a 4.50 ERA and horrible WHIP. Allow 10 baserunners in 6 innings more often and see what happens.

        • Adam

          May 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm

          You could allow 18 baserunners in 6 innings and still be pitching a shutout. And seriously, it’s a rehab start. It should be treated like one.

    • Ryan P

      May 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm

      The word from Toledo is actually pretty concerning…

      “Norfolk announcer said bonderman isn’t looking especially sharp tonight. he’s allowed 2 runs (1 earned) with three walks.”

      Apprently he’s topping out at 85 mph. Frankly, I’m skeptical at this point that he can ever start in the majors again.

  11. Brian P

    May 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Jackson doesn’t have much control, and it started with the last outing. It’s a little concerning, given his history.

    • Adam

      May 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

      What are you seeing? He looks good to me.

      • Brian P

        May 26, 2009 at 8:43 pm

        2/7 on first pitch strikes, and 13 strikes to 12 balls. But the end results are still fine, obviously.

        • Adam

          May 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm

          Yeah, he’s missing low. Way.

  12. Ryan P

    May 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I am absolutely in love with our pitching right now. Like, I would impregnate it, if that were possible.

  13. Coleman

    May 26, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I don’t necessarily look at stats with runner on 3 less than 2 out as “clutch” stats, but as situational hitting–your goal is to put the ball in play, and a strikeout is a failure in the situation in a way that it normally isn’t…agreed Larish hasn’t had enough chances to judge him; which was my opinion last season…I just don’t like seeing the same thing starting off this season…I’d like to see him stick around long enough to get one of those large sample sizes…

    • jb61973

      May 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm

      Good point. I think we mostly agree.

  14. Ryan P

    May 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Mmmkay, I would have rather seen Larish K there. I guess I won’t complain anymore.

  15. mcb.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I would like this pitching matchup to quit living up to expectations now… so we can just score a whole bunch of runs and win like yesterday. That was fun.

  16. Tbone

    May 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Larish looks out of his league in this game.

  17. Coleman

    May 26, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    The GIDP is a hallowed Tiger tradition; Larish is just trying to fit in.

    • Chris

      May 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      GIDPs happen to everybody. Tiger pitching has benefited from them

  18. Coleman

    May 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    These two will masterfully duel until the 7th, at which point the game will be decided upon who fares best between Farmsworth and Lyon…

    • mcb.

      May 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm

      At which point I’ll be going to bed. I can’t stand watching either one of them pitch. Oh, way to go, Clete.

  19. Coleman

    May 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I wonder if Greinke looks at these guys in the batter’s box and sees “double-play bait” written across the backs of their jerseys…

  20. ouchudied

    May 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Ummmmm…… anyone want to fill me in on what the hell happened to our pitching? I don’t understand.


  21. Coleman

    May 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Yes, GIDPs happen to everyone; it’s just that they happen to Detroit more…

  22. Adam

    May 26, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I want an EdJack CG.

    EDIT: Ugh. Not anymore.

  23. Andre in Chi

    May 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, I love “the Art of Pitching” as practiced by Verlander and Co. But if I hear that phrase one more time from the radio guys, I’m gonna hurl.

    • Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

      May 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm

      It’s Jim Price’s crutch phrase.

  24. Brian P

    May 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm


  25. Coleman

    May 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    On the bright side, I guess that means Ed-Jack is World Series-ready…

  26. David G.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Cue Bilfer’s Post Game about 132 pitches and EJ running out of gas…

    • billfer

      May 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

      Nah. He hasn’t made bad pitches this inning. The Royals found the right spots. I was more inclined to make that point earlier in the game when Jackson was falling behind on most hitters. Then he settled in and started cruising.

      • David G.

        May 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm

        I was kidding, Bilfer. He was fine until he went all 2006 World Series on us and they found some holes in the infield.

        • billfer

          May 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

          It’s cool. I just know that when I mention pitch count it stirs up a lot of people.

    • jb61973

      May 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

      Yeah, well, the same ground balls that were getting fielded earlier are now getting through. He is not getting hit any harder this inning than he has the rest of the game.

  27. David G.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    HaHa, nice play Laird. Gives us a chance to tie this thing up.

  28. Ryan P

    May 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    A Tiger is going to homer in the 7th.

    • billfer

      May 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

      I like your moxie.

      • Ryan P

        May 26, 2009 at 9:53 pm

        I lied.

  29. Matt

    May 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Just get to Farnsworth and everything will be ok…

    • Ryan P

      May 26, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      I don’t think we’re going to see the pen unless we work 16-19ish pitches in the 8th. Which seems unlikely.

  30. Tbone

    May 26, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Larish looks out of his league in this game.

    Wait, I already said that…

  31. Mr. X

    May 26, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Lyon doing what he does best. Serves them up.

  32. Ryan P

    May 26, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Lyon is officially terrible, whether we were going to win this game or not.

  33. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    We’ve been really fortunate in that as terrible at Lyon has been, he hasn’t cost us that much. Leyland has been great at using him in throw-away games. I can’t imagine that he’ll be on the roster much longer.

  34. Kris in SJC

    May 26, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Who would you rather have – Farnsworth or Lyon?

    (umm, pitching for you)

    • Matt

      May 26, 2009 at 10:38 pm

      How about Farnsworth pitching the 7th, Lyon in the 8th and Grilli as the closer? Now that’s a bullpen…

  35. JML

    May 26, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I just think it’s sadly humorous that the Tigers were *snickering* at the Royals doing PFP before the game. If any team were making pitchers practice fielding, once again it should be the Tigers. Kind of poetic justice, really. I’ve always disliked that “its beneath us” attitude about PFP in the majors. Harumph.

  36. Kevin in Dallas (used to be Austin)

    May 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Hats off to Greinke. He’s great to watch. Let’s get this series tomorrow.

  37. David

    May 27, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Dandy Donald Derails Detroit’s Detachment


  38. Chris in Dallas

    May 27, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Yeah. Greinke. Um…enough already! You’re allowed to give up more than 1 run in any given start, you know….

  39. RPS

    May 27, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Assuming that Lyon still has a modicum of value to an NL club, I wonder if Lyon and Thames could bring back two middling-to-decent prospects from, say, Milwaukee or Philadelphia.

    Odd series. Two games, two teams who happened to hit grounders to the right places winning.