Game 2009.069: Brewers at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers look to keep their offense rolling and they look for Justin Verlander to bounce back as they go for the sweep of the Brewers.

Verlander broke his streak of sheer dominance with a rough 5 run, 4 inning outing against the Cardinals. For the first time since April the whole game seemed to be a struggle for him. Verlander has only faced the Brewers once in his career, and I think we all remember how that turned out.

Yovanni Gallardo takes the mound for the Brewers. Like Verlander, he strikes out a batter an inning. Like the Verlander we sometimes see, he also has a tendency to throw 100 pitches in 5 innings. Walks have been a recent issue for him with 14 walks in his last 3 games. The Tigers have yet to walk in this series, so that should be an interesting facet to watch today.

Jim Leyland is sticking to the same lineup, almost. Polanco gets the day off after being plunked in the thigh yesterday, but otherwise it is the same:

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

Milwaukee vs. Detroit – June 21, 2009 | Gameday

Mike Cameron steals 2nd base ahead of the throw to Adam Everett

Mike Cameron steals 2nd base ahead of the throw to Adam Everett

POSTGAME: I forgot in my hasty pregame to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day. My haste was fueled because I was heading to the game with my family. I could swear that on Father’s Day Dads used to be able to run the bases. It seems like they don’t do that anymore. Oh well, at least it was an awesome game.

The Verlander/Gallardo match-up was everything you could hope for. Gallardo was very much on top of his game, and while he had 3 walks he was all up in the strike zone and was very efficient and the Tigers weren’t centering the ball. Through 4 2/3 innings the Tigers had managed 2 balls out of the infield, but then they broke through.

The Tigers had back to back singles in the 5th. And then in the 6th the Tigers made the adjustments to start hammering the ball. A sharp single by Cabrera was followed by a towering, majestic blast from Marcus Thames that found the wind blowing the ball to the deepest part of the park and resulted in an out. But then another sharp single set up Brandon Inge for a no doubter home run. That was the Tigers offense.

Justin Verlander gets Ryan Braun chasing high heat

Justin Verlander gets Ryan Braun chasing high heat

Verlander’s rough outing against the Cardinals was mostly a hiccup. He didn’t have a 1-2-3 innig until the 5th, and threw 74 pitches through 4 innings, but he also wasn’t being hit hard except for a McGehee homer. He was also inducing more grounders than normal and there were no outfield outs in the first 4 innings.

Fortunately he rebounded  and made it through 7 2/3 innings thanks to an 11 pitch 5th and a 6 pitch 6th inning.

Bobby Seay K’d Prince Fielder on 3 pitches and Fernando Rodney had a drama free 9th inning to complete the sweep, extend a 4 game winning streak, and extend the division lead to 4 games.


  1. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    lets broom these guys!

  2. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    June 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I’ll second that motion, jud. A win here cancels out that season-high, four-game losing streak we just went through and assures of at least a three-game lead in the division going into the Cubbies’ series this week. I want to see Verlander return to his dominant self. That last start in STL was ugly. We can’t afford many of those from our ace.

  3. Anson

    June 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Hmmm guess the Brew Crew didn’t want to settle for a repeat of the last time they were in the Copa against Verlander.

  4. Steve

    June 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    My son reminded me that JV had his no hitter against the Brewers and that I let him stay up late to watch it. Kids have great memories.

    Happy Fathers Day to all you Fathers……..

    Lets go T I G E R S

  5. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I guess he Brewers didn’t get to first place by just hitting…..this Guy Gallardo looks pretty good so far

  6. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Some offense would be nice.

  7. Coleman

    June 21, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    It will be nice when the Tigers get a hit and I can get rid of the uncomfortable feeling that the Brewers are going to get even in the no-hitter battle…

  8. Coleman

    June 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I wish I hadn’t missed that amazing play by Inge, the one where he let the pitcher throw 4 balls outside the strike zone and got to go to 1st base…

    • Coleman

      June 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      Perhaps he saw enough pitches in this AB to give him something to work with the following AB–which turned out fairly well I believe. Just something to think about for the 1st/2nd pitch wonders…

  9. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Hmm, nice 6-pitch inning.

  10. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    June 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Verlander should contact an attorney ASAP and file a suit against his teammates. I know Gallardo is a good pitcher, but it does not matter who is throwing against us when JV pitches. They all look like Cy Young candidates. It is really getting old.

    • jud

      June 21, 2009 at 2:38 pm

      glad you shook things up this this post

  11. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm


  12. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Inge baby Inge!!!

    Thankyou Mr. Inge!!

  13. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    was that a hanging breaking ball or what????? BINGE!!!!!

  14. Coleman

    June 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm


    Mr RBInge says to Mr Verlander: hey, sue this, dude!

  15. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    the only problem with this game is Cheech Zumaya and Chong Rodney are lined up to pitch the late innings….that might motivate JV for another CG

  16. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    What is up with people with absolutely zero power homering off of us lately?

  17. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Seay tough again….we gonna get Cheech or Chong?

  18. phil

    June 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    karma for pollys recent power surge

  19. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Sure hope Kelly can keep this hot start up.

  20. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I’m loving Kelly’s hustle.

  21. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    let the real game begin

  22. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm


  23. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    was there ever a doubt..hahaha

  24. Steve

    June 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm


  25. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Rodney slams the door! Sweep and a 4 game win streak now!

  26. KS

    June 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    It’s nice that you always know what you’re going to get from Rodney, just more of the same…

  27. Brenden

    June 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Good win, bring on the Cubbies!

  28. Brenden

    June 21, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Perry was optioned to Toledo, yet Robertson is still in the bullpen? It seems he has the longest leash of anyone on that team, and I have no idea why.

    • tigersfan182

      June 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      Money, it’s all about the money. Robertson is making insane jack and could refuse an assignment to AAA and become a FA, with the Tigers still paying the rest of that stupid contract.

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        June 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm

        It wasn’t a stupid contract. Robertson earned every penny of it. He’s thrown more innings than any other Tiger pitcher in the past 20 years. He’s had over 1,000 innings for us. Nate has earned my loyalty and respect. I’m not sure where his career is headed, but deserves some gratitude from the fans. Inge was basically in the same boat and he bounced back. Holding onto Nate is the wise thing to do.

        • David

          June 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

          Nate has gotten batted around like a Pinata the last several years. In his career he has only had one above average year as far as ERA+ goes. He never deserved that contract – it was off of one good year – 2006.

          Since 2006 his total ERA is 5.66…. He deserves no leash and should be either

          A) Cut
          B) used extremely sparingly in certain situations that warrant it

          Even with Inge you had several years of at least being mediocre – where his OPS+ was at 100 or above. 109 in 2004, 100 in 2005 and 98 in 2006(when he went homer happy) add on to that the ridiculous defense that he played in the outfield and also the infield and also his depth at catcher and he was a good shot to provide the team quite a bit of value, especially with our team.

          I’m pissed I missed his 3 run jack – a manager’s best friend.

          I only watched the first several innings of the Verlander/Gallardo duel.

          • Keith (Mr. X)

            June 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

            I guess it’s a matter of opinion if he deserved the contract. Good baseball owners usually reward their best players and Nate was one of our best pitchers.

            In 2004, the Tiger’s team ERA was 4.93, Nate’s ERA was 4.90 while throwing 196.2 innings. Bonderman’s ERA was 4.89.

            In 2005, the Tiger’s team ERA was 4.51, Nate’s ERA was 4.48 while throwing 196.2 innings. He had the best ERA of all our starting pitchers. Bonderman’s ERA was 4.57.

            In 2006, the Tiger’s team ERA was 3.84, Nate’s ERA was 3.84 while throwing 208.2 innings. Bonderman’s ERA was 4.08.

            In 2007, the Tiger’s team ERA was 4.57, Nate’s ERA was 4.76 while throwing 177.2 innings. Bonderman’s ERA was 5.01.

            At this time Robertson was a main staple to our pitching staff.

            After the 2006 season, the Tigers gave Bonderman a 4 year / $38 million contract. Nate didn’t get his deal until after the 2007 season, which was for 3 years / $21.25 million. That was a nice bargain at the time and he totally deserved it.

          • KS

            June 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

            Obviously it’s all a matter of opinion, but you’ve dropped some pretty big things from your argument. You’re comparing Bonderman’s age 21, 22, 23, and 24 years with Robertson’s age 26, 27, 28, and 29 years. Robertson should have been in the early stages of his prime pitching years, Bonderman not even there yet as of 2007. The Tigers were of course paying for Bonderman’s upside. It also ignores the periphery numbers, and Bonderman’s ability to miss bats. Unfortunately both deals are looking shaky to say the least at this point, I just feel the Bonderman/Robertson comparison doesn’t work.

          • David

            June 22, 2009 at 3:55 am

            I don’t think it is a matter of opinion. The GM not the owner makes that decision. And if their best pitcher is Nate Robertson they’re in trouble.

            In ’04 and ’05 our team was still in that long funk of losing seasons, saying he is the best is like saying he was the least fowl smelling $h** in the outhouse.

            He had a career year in 2006, he was rewarded for that. Why, I do not know. Dombrowski has done it a lot with players. He’d be a terrible stock picker. He buys high, and in baseball you usually can’t sell low, and pick up a guy’s contract.

            The only way it was a bargain(relatively speaking) at the time is if Nate the not so great could have repeated his 2006 performance in subsequent years.

            He has tanked badly and you’ve got to wonder how much rope he has left.

            Also you bring up Bonderman… who said that was a good contract? Def. not I. I’ve never been a huge Bondo fan.

            He haDDD dominate stuff when he was able to control his pitches. However, I doubt he can ever be a long term ace.

            We are still waiting for him to post 200IP and an ERA below 4.00.

            He is just stupid, or has been ever since he arrived in Detroit. I hope he has learned his lesson already, and will stay away …far away from our team until he is over prepped and uber-healthy.

          • Andre in Chi

            June 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

            I wasn’t going to comment on this, until I found that FanGraphs has a “value” section for players. I know Nate’s been pretty bad for the last couple years, and that his contract looks terrible at the moment (especially in light of other heavy contracts to non-contributors). But there were definitely some years where he was adding value well beyond his contract (assuming I’m reading FanGraphs correctly).


            Year WAR Dollars Salary

            2004 2.5 $7.7 $0.3
            2005 1.9 $6.4 $0.4
            2006 2.6 $9.7 $0.4
            2007 2.3 $9.5 $3.3
            2008 1.2 $5.6 $4.3


          • Ryan P.

            June 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm

            He definitely out-earned his contract in 2005-2006.

            But apparently his value was $5.6mil last year? For a starter with a 6.35 ERA? Seems, uh, high.

          • Andre in Chi

            June 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm


            Definitely seems high value given his ERA, the only thing I can think of is that they base WAR on FIP. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d look up the WAR equation.

  29. Ryan P.

    June 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Yay, 4 game lead.

  30. Dylan

    June 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    The rotation will be tweaked as well.

  31. Steve In D-Town

    June 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I agree with Brenden. Nate is strangely not pitching, and when he does, he gets rocked. Why is he not being optioned or released is beyond me. Great guy, not great pitcher not anymore. Rick Perry NEEDS to be in the minors. He still has to tweak things. We gambled and rushed him. We sorta lost. Now its time for him to gain more minor league experience and work on his control. Id say keep him there until September call ups.

  32. jud

    June 21, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Robertson doesn’t get optioned because he can refuse, which I am reasonable sure he would do….Sometimes you just gotta cut your losses…Its only pizza money. I’ll by more hot and ready if it will help!

  33. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 21, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    The 5/5 Club. 5+ ERA @ 5+ Million

    Name ERA Salary
    Brandon Webb 13.50 $6.5
    Jeremy Bonderman 13.50 $12.5
    Chien-Ming Wang 12.30 $5.0
    Oliver Perez 9.97 $12.0
    Carlos Silva 8.48 $12.3
    Daisuke Matsuzaka 8.23 $8.3
    Nate Robertson  7.71 $7.0
    Scott Kazmir 7.69 $6.0
    Dontrelle Willis 7.49 $10.0
    Brad Lidge 7.27 $12.0
    Scot Shields 6.62 $5.0
    Jamie Moyer 6.35 $6.5
    John Lackey 5.85 $10.0
    B.J. Ryan 5.50 $12.0
    Kerry Wood 5.47 $10.0
    Joe Blanton 5.28 $5.5
    Rich Harden 5.27 $7.0
    Jose Contreras 5.25 $10.0
    J.J. Putz 5.22 $6.0
    Bronson Arroyo 5.16 $10.1
    Randy Johnson 5.00 $8.0

  34. Ken

    June 21, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Maggs benching, along with shuffling the 3-4 spots with Cabrera and Thames certainly produced some (at least short-term) results. Here are some stats for the four games in which the top of the lineup was Granderson, Polanco, Cabrera and Thames. (Polanco did not play today, so that game is not included.)

    Granderson was 7-for-18 with 5 R, 4 RBI and 3 HR.
    Polanco was 5-for-16 with 5 R, 2 RBI and 2 HR.
    Cabrera was 7-for-17 with 7 R, 4 RBI and 2 HR.
    Thames was 6-for-16 with 4 R, 7 RBI and 3 HR.

    Granted, this is a small sample, but those totals are 25-for-67 (.373) with 21 R, 17 RBI and 10 HR. Cabrera also had two doubles.

    • scotsw

      June 22, 2009 at 9:12 am

      Nice legwork… That might be a small and very cherry-picked sample. And yet, it is definitely the story of our little winning streak.

      I’m declaring Polanco to be out of the doghouse. After a slow spring, he seems to be finding his groove again. Having him on base is a huge factor. It was nice to see him rake a couple long balls, too 🙂

      Granderson seems to be centering the ball again, too. We don’t win when he’s hitting .250. We need him on base and moving guys around. Good to see him making contact again.

  35. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Hmm. The Tigers have the 2nd best record in the American League.

    We’re also ranked 5th in ESPN’s power rankings-