Game 2009.071: Cubs at Tigers

PREGAME: Last Thursday things were looking bleak for the Tigers. They had lost 4 in a row, and their 2 aces couldn’t even stop the bleeding. So it was Rick Porcello’s turn and he managed to flip the switch. The Tigers have won 5 in a row and made it through an entire turn through the rotation. Now it’s Porcello’s turn again.

On the other side Rich Harden will get the ball for the Cubbies. Harden has struggled with consistency this season. He was rocked by the Indians last weekend and it ran his ERA over 5. His walk rate is rather high (26 in 54.1 innings) and he’s given up 11 homers. But he also has 64 K’s on the year. So he’s entirely capable of shutting down a team, or getting rocked. Hmm.

If you are a Twitter-er, the Tigers are hosting a Twitter event tonight where you can ask questions and there is a ticket giveaway. Follow @official_tigers starting at 7p tonight. (You can also follow me @billfer but I’m not giving anything away).

More of the same with the lineup tonight, except Everett is in for Santiago. Maggs is still 7th after a remarkably uneventful (either good or bad) night last night. (Dusty Ryan will likely play tomorrow, but I’m surprised that he didn’t get the start tonight instead. That’s 4 games in a row for Laird and I’d like to see Ryan worked in a little more.)

  1. Granderson
  2. Polanco
  3. Cabrera
  4. Thames
  5. Kelly
  6. Inge
  7. Ordonez
  8. Laird
  9. Everett

Chi Cubs vs. Detroit – June 24, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: The Tigers are finding a way to do just enough, but they’re doing it consistently. Rick Porcello wasn’t great, he allowed 11 baserunners in 5+ innings. But like Jackson on Tuesday, he managed to not be hurt by it (other than the pitch count). And really, it’s turning into a theme because despite numerous jams the last 2 games, the Tigers have limited the damage. I don’t know if that is the Cubs struggling, or the Tigers pitchers doing things right under pressure, but it’s working.

  • How about the bottom of the lineup with 7-8-9 coming up with 2 hits apiece, including a short haired Magglio Ordonez?
  • There were 14 walks in this game, 7 per team. But 2 of the Tigers came with the bases loaded, and the margin of victory was 2 runs. Do the math.
  • Nate Robertson faced one batter. Didn’t get him out. Frankly he looks miserable, not the performance, but he just looks miserable on the field.
  • Miner did a nice job getting out of a bases loaded no out jam with just 1 run, but then he created a jam the next inning.
  • Joel Zumaya was quite good, lot’s of gas, lot’s of strikes.
  • Fernando Rodney not so good.

109 thoughts on “Game 2009.071: Cubs at Tigers”

  1. FYI billfer,

    Laird is probably catching because Porcello is on the mound. No sense having two kids out there…

  2. Tonight we have a group of 20 teen from PortageMich. at the game. It would be cool if you could have your camera man pan intosection 339. They have a
    sign reading “Prayfor our Pastor, He loves the Cubs)” I’m going off to watch the game Lov ya lotz Gail

  3. “On the other side Rich Harden will get the ball for the Cubbies”
    At least he doesn’t go by Dick Harden…
    (That’s the honorary Dick Pole comment for this season…)

      1. Hmm, that means on the mound today we have a Rich that’s actually a Jim vs a Rick that’s actually a Fred…odd

        And “Chuck Inge” would have sounded like a single word verb, and he would have just been Chucking after a while…come to think of it, he actually does do a bit of chucking doesn’t he…

        1. I’m doing a bit of chuckling at all the Inge-haters este ano, porque él ha sido excelente.

    1. The 3 “outfielders” are spaced evenly in the 3 sections of the outfield commonly called left field, center field, and right field.

      The infielders (in which the Catcher is sometimes and sometimes not included) are positioned in the infield, near the bases: the “1st baseman” near first base, “2nd baseman” near second base, etc. The catcher is unique in that he is positioned behind Home plate (not “home base,” since it is flat and even with the dirt surface; with a regular base pitches would sometimes hit the edge and ricochet into the umpires chin, which is why umpires initiated the Home Base Rebellion in 1871)–however, he is not called the Home Baseman, but instead the Catcher, since he catches baseballs…and yet so do the other basemen.

      The last infielder (we discuss the Pitcher in a following chapter) is the one who is positioned halfway between the 2nd and 3rd base, and is called the Shortstop, although in the modern era they are more or less as tall as any other player. This “extra” infielder was added in the early days , since before the Shortstop, games would often go several days with no batters making outs.

      That more or less accounts for where everyone is on the defense, although of course there are various subtleties regarding the nearness of the Baseman to his base, etc. I hope this helped.

    1. I admit it’s long, but I don’t I quite hit a footlong on it; only David can pull that off. Although with a creative use of indentation and typography and some long quotes from famous early Tiger players I might be able to pull it off. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things, I’m just saying….

  4. When the “experts” are talking about pitch selection and changing location, they could very well be speaking about Mr. Porcello. He handled Bradley easily there and doesn’t even have a 100mph fastball.

    1. If Galarraga has a half-ways decent start next time out, maybe they could consider skipping a turn and inserting Miner in for him. Didn’t they do that with Verlander his first full year?

  5. He doesn’t really need the velocity if he can locate and pitch as smart as he has been pitching recently. Although it would be a nice thing to have in the back pocket.

    1. I want to see how good this guy(Rick) is going to be in 5 or 6 years, right now he is def. on a HOF path. LAIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. As ridiculous as that assertion is, and not to mention premature, it’s true. Young pitchers don’t get hitters out in the same way that Porcello does, and his groundball to flyball rate is crazy even though I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’m willing to wager its in the top 5 ratios in baseball.

  6. I guess I’ll put my being impressed by Cabrera on hold it looks like everyone is hitting those home run things right now…

  7. Nate Robertson is set to pitch… Well, the streak ends at 5. Can’t win ’em all folks. Tigers will get ’em tomorrow.

  8. Wow. Robertson didn’t allow a run!!!
    Then again… He did’t get an out either…

    Seriously though, why is he still on this team?

  9. Nate the not so great. But, it was a nice piece of hitting by K Fuku – didn’t try to do to much just flicked it the other way into a Texas League Blooper.

  10. Minimal damage there. Good job by Miner, although I was afraid he was going to walk one in. With this bullpen you just can’t help but hold your breath in those bases loaded situations.

  11. Has anyone noticed Soto’s hair?
    It’s AMAZING!
    It was all bouncing in the wind… Right as he dropped the foul ball…

  12. Miner really excels in this ¨The Wolf¨ role. I know there has been a lot of clamoring lately to let him start, but I think he´s best used to get us out of tremendous jams.

  13. Something watching the Comerica juggernaut* roll on reminds me of…
    I wish I could remember who brought up the excellent point last week back when the Tigers were no good, about the schedule imbalance. While it is true we have played fewer games against the tougher east division, it is also true that we have played fewer home games; DET has played 32 home and 38 road; MIN by comparison has played 39 home 33 road. That’s a significant difference considering that Home/Road record differentials are for some teams greater than that between opponent divisions.

    Only PIT has a worse imbalance right now; 30 home / 40 road (who let that happen by the way? Don’t they try to avoid this sort of thing?)

    Most of that tiresome losing came on the road; and yet even so DET has a respectable 18-20 road record. MIN, on the other hand, can’t be too excited to catch up with us on the road games considering their 12-21 road record; that’s Nationals bad (OK I had to look it up, it’s not that bad.[8-24] It’s more Indians bad).

    *Juggernaut : a force comprised of a group engaged in a process typified by a couple of solo home runs, and praying for pitching and/or Rescue Raburn (Coleman’s New World Dictionary).

    1. Also remember that Joe Mauer has cooled off quite a bit. Has a .515 OPS in his last 7 days.

    2. I’ve mentioned it, but it’s been awhile. The way I see things, it all balances in the end. 85 – 88 wins should win this pathetic division. Obviously, it’s more comforting to get those wins sooner than later, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as you get them.

    1. For what it is worth, I’ve been here awhile now and he is the only poster that makes me laugh with any consistency.

    2. It is only available in its entirety verbally; sadly there are only 3 Dictioneers left, but they recite the complete contents in the unmistakable chant-song in which it was composed, averaging about 18 daily repetitions each. The Dictionary can be heard free of charge, but tips will be accepted graciously, as will various type of cool liquid refreshments.

  14. Is JL really going to let Maggs bat? I guess he did have a lineout today.
    A lineout! He’s getting got!

  15. I’m more of a, “long time listener, first time caller”, but I have liked a few of Coleman’s comments, and he is consistently worth the read.
    I always think of my 1971? Card showing the AL top 3 strikeout leaders with Lolich and Coleman, I believe as #1 and #3, whenever I see Coleman’s name.

    1. I think maybe in 1971 Lolich was 1st AND 3rd…Verlander is striking everyone out this season, and with 118 already should beat his career best of 183 in 2007 fairly easily…if he could just take those 183 and add it to this season’s total…then he would still need 7 more to tie Lolich…and the 308 Ks would be a piece of cake to beat; you’ll do a fine stretch of sitting waiting for someone to take a run at the 29 COMPLETE GAMES Lolich had in 1971

  16. Jimmy has been managing his butt off lately. Although he may use the entire bullpen in the process. Who pitches the 8th? Do they just leave Lyon in if he’s effective here?

  17. This is an important game boys, because with tomorrow’s pitching match-up I give us a 20% chance to win.

  18. Hey guys. Finally able to sit down and watch the game.

    Main thought so far this series: the Tigers have done a remarkable job so far limiting the damage in big jams.

  19. If I’m Joel Zumaya tonight, I come in and throw a change-up on the very first pitch. Who would be expecting it?

  20. I’m glad Leyland gave Zumaya a chance to redeem himself tonight. Better location AND pitch selection – no changeups!

    1. At least Leyland seems to have a better handle on how to use him. I thought the last 2 nights were the perfect way to use Anderson.

    2. He was fantastic at getting around players. At least he was against Prince Fielder. I don’t know how he contorted his body, but he did. Also last night on the pickoff.

      I’m starting to call him the snake, being he is able to slither around fielders and avoid tags, didn’t see what just happened at third though.

      He did look terrible in RF on Sat.- letting some catch-able balls drop, and his hitting has been weak to say the least.

      Still him, or possibly someone else who has his type of speed is the type of guy our team needs.

  21. Time for Anderson to take some PRP-pinch running practice. Two days in a row where he has been thrown out on the bases: picked-off yesterday and waiting for him at third. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a pinch runner in the first place.

    1. He was safe yesterday, or should have been called so anyways. He avoided the tag, clearly evident on the replay.

  22. It seems Anderson has been on Fortune’s flipside as Kelly and Raburn seem to be coming out on the shiny side…

    1. I wasn’t all that aware that I was liking them until lately when I’ve been back and forth between my laptop and iPhone, and the “oh that’s right no threaded comments on the mobile version” gave me a threaded-comments-liking-awareness. In other words, um, yep.

      1. I prefer the threaded comments. It is easy to follow the flow of the different topics in the thread.

    2. I just wish the threads could be longer. It seems they have a limit at 3 or 4 branches.

      1. I understand that. The trouble is that I worry about the layout breaking so it’s limited at 5.

          1. True and not only does that keep the amount of posting smaller, but it’s nice on the eyes to not have all the various quote marks and indentations and partially copied orphaned bits of html code and cluttering up the quoted posts, but you avoid dumb situations like you occasionally run into on Free Press forums where clicking reply on a multiply-quoted response gets you an instantaneous “no remaining characters” message.

  23. Anderson is completely one dimensional and his one dimension isn’t getting it done right now. Clete Thomas back please.

    1. Here’s what I don’t get about Anderson’s hitting…struggling at the plate is one thing, but I find it odd how much he is struggling and hacking away. He has actually dropped below Polanco in Pitches/PA, which is no easy accomplishment (there are exactly 2 AL hitters with lower ones than Polanco; lack of PAs spares Anderson from being a 3rd). And who swings at the most 1st pitches on the Tigers–Cabrera? (no)…Ordonez? (no)…why Big Josh of course! (38%).

      And miniscule sample size and all, this caught my eye…he’s had 5 3-0 counts, with 2 BB and a BA/OBP of .000 / .400. In other words he’s been swinging on 3-0 counts, when he manages to see that many pitches. Yikes!).

      And he can pull off the GIDP too…who knew! (4 already)…

      He’s young, and likely to keep improving in everything…and you can’t teach speed, and all that. But maybe he could benefit from some time off like they’re trying with Clete…

        1. Since you mention bunts…he’s attempted 3 sac bunts and failed twice…the only Tiger with 2…sigh…

          I still think he has a good chance to pull it all together. Until then though….

          1. I was thinking bunting for hits, using his speed. But maybe he isn’t a good bunter. Remember all those bunt/infield hits Alex Sanchez had a few years ago? Of course he was on steroids…..

          2. Oh yes Alex Sanchez…not to mention Neifi Perez, who seems to have been on all kinds of stuff, which is obviously what helped him…um….hmm, well maybe he can get his money back or something…wait, how did I get on Neifi?…oh that’s it, it’s your “using his speed” comment…

            That was my point though, that Anderson might have some trouble with the bunting part of the bunting for hits…he has picked up a lot of infield hits though, I think 8, so maybe his ground balls are easier to beat out than his bunts would be…

  24. I really don’t think Miner deserves the win there. I hope the official scorer awards it to Porcello.

  25. Good game. Magglio with 2 hits. Zumaya and Rodney were throwing some serious smoke and mowing down. Things are heating up and the summer is here!

    6 Wins in a row now 🙂

  26. Suddenly I don’t fear MIN anymore…partly because they lost to MIL tonight and we’re 5 up now, and partly because we’re playing well, and partly because MIN has a world of road games still to play, but mostly because they lost tonight on a throwing error by the pitcher…

  27. If the Tigers hold on tomorrow, their final IL series is in Houston this weekend, while the Twins play in St. Louis. Advantage Tigers there, with a good chance of picking up some more ground on MN before resuming AL play in Oakland.

  28. With one game left in the “4th Inning,” at worst the Tigers are gonna be back on their 90 win pace from the first two innings, at 8 games over after 72 games. That’s if they don’t sweep tomorrow.

    They’ve picked their way out of that slump pretty well.

  29. On the other hand, if the mid-season 2008 Tigers were in our division right now, they would only be 3 1/2 games behind us…and look how well they turned out…

  30. That’s crazy that Fontenot got a piece of 103 mph. Ridiculous. But agreed, much better pitching. Just a fluke incident last night.

  31. I don’t read much, but in the past week or so, the only teams that Jon Paul Morosi have written about are the Tigers and the teams the Tigers are playing. Perhaps he needs to branch out. Or maybe it’s a cowinkydink.

    1. It’s probably because he has fond memories of the Tigers from beating them in the World Series. (It’s Pujols. There is no real Jon Paul Morosi, it’s a made-up name…Pujols was envious of Granderson having a blog, and LaRussa helped him with the pen name idea etc).

      It’s easy to catch on once you realize that if you shuffle the letters of “Jon Paul Morosi” around it just spells out “Pujols in a Room.”

      [The above is the 2009 Smoking Loon Memorial Name Jumble Post]

        1. I barely pulled it off…there were a couple of times I was going to do a SLMNJ Post…but didn’t have a good jumbley name to work with…then I was reading your post, and you know what, Jon Paul Morosi has a name that just looks like it spells something else, I’m not sure what it is. Unfortunately without even trying the word “morons” materialized, and left me stuck with nothing to do with the rest of the name and unable to get “morons” out of my head so I decided to give up and all of a sudden there it was, “Pujols” and the “in a room” was easy after that…

          (by the way the above is a true story; the “morons” is not meant as an editorial slam on Mr Pujols–excuse me, Morosi’s–opinions…)

      1. Hahahaha… awesome! Whatever happened to Grandy’s blog? I know it used to be on but I heard rumors it got moved elsewhere. Anyone know where?

    1. If you’re going to shamelessly self-promote, you could at least link to the eBay auction. I’d be harder on you, but your blog says you’re only 12 years old.

      Here’s the auction if anyone’s interested in buying Maggs’ hair:

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