Game 2009.064: Tigers at Cardinals

PREGAME: So, is this game going to be first team to 4 runs wins? The Cardinals have scored more than 3 runs only 4 times in their last 15 games. The Tigers have scored more than 3 runs only 4 times in their last 15 games, and are riding a streak of 5 straight games without topping that mark.

Further complicating things is the pitching match-up which features Justin Verlander and Adam Wainwright. Verlander has been outstanding of late and is coming off a complete game, 1 run effort.

Wainwright has been solid with  7.5 K/9 and 2.1 K/BB ratios. Lefties knock  him around to the tune of an .822 OPS while righties struggle at a .602 clip.

Unfortunately the Tigers lineup only has 3 lefty hitters in it tonight (not that I’m stumping for Josh Anderson):

  1. Kelly, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Granderson , CF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Laird, C
  8. Santiago, 2B
  9. Verlander, P

Detroit vs. St. Louis – June 16, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: That was just a pathetic display. Awful, and coming on the heels of the last 2 games, this is a very ugly 3 game stretch.

  • Verlander couldn’t get the swings and misses on the fastball and didn’t have good control of the curve. And he got beat-up. He made a fielding error. He balked. He wasn’t good. But he’s been awesome of late so he gets a pass.
  • Cabrera swung the bat well. A homer, a walk, and a sharp single is definitely a positive.
  • The Tigers had awful at-bats with runners on. In the first Polanco struck out with a runner on third and nobody out. Then Ordonez couldn’t get it past the pitcher. Polanco also fouled out on the first pitch with runners on first and second later int he game. Curtis Granderson tried to pull an outside fastball on a 3-1 count. Too many bad at-bats.
  • And the defense was poor also.


  1. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    It’s nice to see Uncle Smokey still batting 1.000 as the Manager of the Opposite Day Team (Granderson will remain in the leadoff spot “for the forseeable future”)…

  2. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 16, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Looks like the line-up I posted yesterday, minus the dh.

  3. mcb

    June 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Leadoff triple stranded. Sigh.

    • scotsw

      June 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

      On the plus side, Inge didn’t strike out.

  4. Neal

    June 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Did Inge even see a real strike in that at-bat? If the two guys in front of him have walked, why swing at the first pitch?
    Wished that Inge had stayed true to Coleman’s fancy first pitch, second pitch, etc. stats on him.

  5. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    It was the right approach in the situation, it just didn’t work (with bases loaded 2 out, not the time to work on pitch count)…the time to get a run in was with runner on 3rd no outs, and runner on 3rd 1 out. The fly ball Inge hit would have scored a run in either situation.

  6. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Houston, we’ve got a problem…

  7. Mcb

    June 16, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    There isno excuse coming off of a day off to play like this. The defense on the outfield corners is pathetic. This team needs a kick in the butt. It’s like they are not ready to play.

  8. Neal

    June 16, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    At least if JV pitches well the rest of the game, this should go by quick. It’s really pathetic when the game is pretty much out of hand because the team can’t score 4 runs.
    Side note: were those soft line drives to right possible outs with a RF with range as Mcb seems to suggest?

  9. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    The Tigers are quite mediocre at getting runs with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 out, especially in the key 2-5 spots in the lineup. OPS and RBI/PA with runner on 3rd and less than 2 out:

    Inge 1.833 12/15
    Cabrera .813 8/16
    Polanco .697 6/11
    Granderson .586 5/14
    Ordonez .347 3/9

    That’s another good argument for batting Inge 3rd. The only guys, surprisingly, up there with Inge are the shortstops:

    Everett 1.092 14/15
    Santiago 1.444 12/11

  10. Mcb

    June 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    The Molina bloop hung in the air a while.

    • billfer

      June 16, 2009 at 9:01 pm

      Nobody was getting to that. It would be one thing if he were a couple steps short but he was 15 feet away from where that landed.

  11. Mcb

    June 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I’m just getting frustrated with the constant lineup and defensive outfield changes. I think some consistency would help the team. I’m not a manager but it works for other teams. Thames has had the best swings and he is sitting again.

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    June 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Courtesy of Gameday – “Maggoio Ordonez grounds out softly…”

    (emphasis added)

  13. Dave111

    June 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Verlanders mannerisms (as well as his performance) suggest he’s rattled pitching in this ballpark. 2006 World Series on his mind?

    • Joey in Portland OR

      June 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • scotsw

      June 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      He had a couple other starts this year where he got rattled and couldn’t settle down…. As I recall, he threw 4+ no-hit innings in one start that ended in a complete collapse. Verlander looked the same that night… rattled.

  14. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    That was a nice pickoff by Laird last inning, especially since it means Wainwright has to bat again. Unfortunately that may turn out to be the highlight of the game…

    • Coleman

      June 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

      Ok so much for my highlight, anyone have a better idea…

  15. RPS

    June 16, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Well, Verlander has certainly earned the right to asplode for a game.

  16. Joey in Portland OR

    June 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I guess Verlander is human…

  17. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Considering the extra day off…well let’s just say I’d hate to see what it’s like having Polanco and Ordonez play tired…

  18. ian (seattle)

    June 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    BRING IN PINEAPPLE!! *ducks to miss flying beer bottles*

    Edit: F***. Robertson in…might as well go to bed now.

    • Joey in Portland OR

      June 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      kinda early Ian… in the night, not the game.

  19. scotsw

    June 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Welcome to the Nate Robertson show.

    Edit: Show’s over. Mercifully short.

  20. rk

    June 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm


    GOD DAMNIT robertson… i was so sure this year would be his…

  21. Steve

    June 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Strike anyone?

  22. Joey in Portland OR

    June 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm


  23. RPS

    June 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Nate Robertson has absolutely no positive function on this team. If this team is serious about trying to win the division, he and Willis need to be off the roster by the end of the week. No team can win with a five-man bullpen.

  24. mcb

    June 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I really hope this is the last Nate Robertson sighting in a Tiger uniform.

  25. Ryan P.

    June 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    lmao, this team is so hilariously bad. If we manage to win the central, I will laugh heartily at the 3-6 better teams in the East and West that don’t make it.

    • Mith

      June 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm

      Yeah, 34-30 is AWFUL.

      • Ryan P.

        June 16, 2009 at 9:57 pm

        In the Central? Yup. Have you seen our record against the East? Hell, we can’t even beat NL teams this year.

        • JB61973

          June 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

          Dominating the West though. So, there is that.

  26. Chris

    June 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    This really has to be the end of the line with Robertson

  27. Steve

    June 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    I think Nate may have just pitched himself off the team. He has either lost it or has something going on we dont know. Either way I don’t see good things happening for him. Once a workhorse, innings eater ………… now a fleeting memory. I dont really see a rebound from here.

  28. Steve

    June 16, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Looks like we all had the same idea, with Nate. Too bad nice guy with the blog and the gum rally and all……. Hefty amount of cash to choke down as well.

    Even Higgenson had a few pretty decent years

  29. Anson

    June 16, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Can anyone say Implosion? I feel a Leyland nicotine-withdrawal rant coming up. Too bad it won’t work.

  30. David G.

    June 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    We need to start having bake sales and 50/50 drawings to pay the salaries of Robertson and Willis so we can help convince DD to get them OFF THE TEAM, PERIOD.

  31. scotsw

    June 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Ugh. I can’t fault Justin — he’s entitled to an off night. But who else stepped up tonight?

  32. Neal

    June 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Nate needs to go down. I’m not completely down on him, he has been an innings eating starting, so coming out of the pen might be something that isn’t in his makeup. Maybe he could work it out in the minors, but that would have to be his choice. I can’t think of anyone wanting to give him a shot right now, only after he throws some decent innings somewhere first.

    Willis is a different story, maybe time will bring him back, but his head still seems out of it.

    • Mat

      June 16, 2009 at 10:07 pm

      The big difference is that even at his peak Robertson wasn’t that great. D-Train can win a Cy Young, in theory. The upside isn’t even comparable. The downside is.

      • Neal

        June 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm

        That’s why I think the Tigers need to try to do everything they can to figure out how to get him right. I think they are trying, but a big mistake was not using the full 30 days rehab to get him some possible confidence. Another trip down and getting him to the point where he thinks he can strikes for outs is the only thing that will probably work. Is it possible? probably not.

  33. Ryan P.

    June 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    At least we get one run a game so we’re not shut out, right? Right?

  34. Dave

    June 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Inge is CLUTCH!!!

  35. scotsw

    June 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Nice swing Brandon… You can only wish he’d done that in the 1st when it might have mattered. Now maybe Ramon can bring Laird around.

  36. Steve

    June 16, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Its really a bummer when you think of the money tied up in:


    Your 401K did not do that poorly this year.

    Think about it, 1 win from Dontrell, pretty much Zip from Robertson, a few hits from Maggs and Nuttin from Sheffield. Man thats a lots of cash

    • scotsw

      June 16, 2009 at 10:55 pm

      Though unproductive for different reasons, you can add Guillen and Bonderman to that list of payroll drains.

  37. Dave111

    June 16, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    It would be an act of mercy at this point to release Robertson. Good Lord, put him out of his misery.

  38. Ryan P.

    June 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    This is just becoming embarrassing…

  39. Neal

    June 16, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    You forgot to add in Guillen to the list of money tied up.

  40. mcb

    June 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I wonder if Ken Holland wants to run the Tigers too.

  41. Pete G

    June 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Anyone tired of the “Mario and Rod” show? I have to mute when we get behind. Plus, why don’t they just say Justin didn’t have it tonight? His fastball was high 80’s low 90’s and he couldn’t get the breaking ball over and he was throwing it at 79. Very un- Justin like. Are they even watching the game? Grrrrrrrr.

    • Ryan P.

      June 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

      Not sure what you were watching. Verlander’s fastball was 93-99 all night; at least 90% of them were above 95.

      I’m subscribing to the “The Cards scare me, this stadium scares me” mental theory.

      • billfer

        June 16, 2009 at 10:31 pm

        The FS Detroit gun was showing a number of fastballs 89-91, but gameday was showing faster like 95ish.

  42. Pete G

    June 16, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Now Duncan is the greatest pitching coach ever………MUTE.

  43. Neal

    June 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I was just remembering a small sample size reliability analysis noted on fangraphs, and that HR rate tends to become reliable at about 300 PA’s.
    This is from, “when samples become reliable”:
    “here are the results of his article as far as when certain statistics stabilize for individual hitters:

    50 PA: Swing %
    100 PA: Contact Rate
    150 PA: Strikeout Rate, Line Drive Rate, Pitches/PA
    200 PA: Walk Rate, Groundball Rate, GB/FB
    250 PA: Flyball Rate
    300 PA: Home Run Rate, HR/FB
    500 PA: OBP, SLG, OPS, 1B Rate, Popup Rate
    550 PA: ISO”

    I guess we should wait for the 500 PA mark to judge Maggs, but at this point, unless he goes on a complete tear, and ZiPS still likes him to impove, but he seems like Timo Perez at the plate, a little bit better OBP, but a little worse SLG (how is that possible?). Is there really the expectation that he is going to find the 2007 groove? Or even something like the 2008?
    Thames and Maggs project to have the same offensive impact over the course of this year, and that’s ZiPS being optomistic about Maggs and pessimistic about Thames for the rest of the year. Just play Thames as DH/LF and have Raburn, Kelly, Anderson, Thomas, and possibly Ramirez fill out the rest of the Outfield.

  44. Anson

    June 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Wow I actually found a free feed for the game… too bad were already losing by 10.

  45. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Well, it isn’t a shutout…also, you aren’t bald if you have one long strand you comb over the top…

  46. Anson

    June 16, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Nice Miggy only 9 more!

  47. David

    June 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I think this team is officially in a slump

    Sweep by Red Sox
    Win 5 out of 8 vs Halos and Chi Sox
    Lose 2 out of 3 to Pirates
    Get conked on the head by the Cards… little bunny fufu!

    So we have won 6 out of our last 15 games. 6-9…

  48. David

    June 16, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Still we can win this series, we’ve got our other two “aces” going

    which would bump our June record up to 8-9

  49. Anson

    June 16, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Whoa Laird’s on first? Guess Leyland had to get the pineapple in there and decided it would be best to take Miggy out…

  50. Coleman

    June 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Now we just need one of those patented 9-run 9th-inning rallies, and…
    (Not that it mattered, but 3-error games aren’t going to help you win too often, especially playing NL ball…)

  51. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 16, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Tigers have had 28 home games vs 36 road games so far this season.
    and It gets worse,
    when July 5th hits, we’ll have played only 34 home games vs 47 road games.

    The 2nd half of the season is the opposite,
    47 home games vs 34 road games

    • David

      June 17, 2009 at 2:42 am

      Lyon was a bright spot tonight. Perry and Robertson not so much.

  52. Coleman

    June 17, 2009 at 2:12 am

    The Yahoo Sports headline is perhaps not the most descriptive of the game…”Pujols homers, Cards rip Tigers.”