Game 2009.050: Red Sox at Tigers

PREGAME: This is some stretch of games the Tigers are about to embark on. Three against the Red Sox and 3 against the Angels (who give the Tigers fits) before a 5 game series in Chicago. The Tigers will be getting back Marcus Thames in the near future and likely Jeremy Bonderman and that means that 2 players will likely get sent down or out, whether or not they really deserve it. The team and its outlook could look really different by next Friday. Or maybe not.

With that preamble out of the way the Tigers welcome in the Red Sox who have the 3rd highest OPS in the American League. So it will be no easy task for the Tigers pitchers. The Sox are known for seeing a lot of pitches, will makes tonight’s match-up with Rick Porcello interesting because he typically doesn’t throw a lot of pitches.

Random factoid of the night: Dustin Pedroia has grounded into 11 double plays this year.

The Tigers don’t typically see a lot of pitches with their 3.70 P/PA only a smidge more than Seattle’s 3.69 which is the fewest in the AL. But Daisuke Matsuzaka typically throws quite a few topping the 4 pitch per PA mark in each of his first 2 years and he’s at 3.8 this year. Matsuzaka is looking for his first and he missed a chunk of time due to injury. He hasn’t gotten out of the 6th inning this year and has allowed at least 3 runs in each of his 4 starts.

Bonus Random factoid of the night: Magglio Ordonez has fanned in half of his PA’s against Daisuke.

Boston vs. Detroit – June 2, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: It happens. The Tigers had a decent game plan against Matsuzaka. They were willing to wait him out (4.6 P/PA). They got some walks, they got some hits, but not enough of either and throw in some bad baserunning and that’s how you waste 9 baserunners in 5 innings turn into 1 run. Actually, part of the problem is that of the 6 hits none were for extra bases, and a couple other hard hit balls were right at people, but…it happens.

Cabrera, Granderson, and Polanco all hit multiple balls hard. Gerald Laird had good at-bats but the Tigers didn’t get enough runs early and then they were playing uphill against a good bullpen.

Rick Porcello wasn’t bad, but not as sharp as he has been. He was also singled to death, but the Red Sox did mix in 2 exta base hits and those led to the 3 runs he gave up.

The Tigers bullpenning was passable except for when Ryan Perry lost the strike zone. We saw this a little bit with Perry early on and fortunately it hadn’t happened for quite sometime. You hate to see a run plunked in, which is what Brandon Lyon contributed but  in the end he came into a bases loaded, 1 out situation and allowed 1 run. Lyon pitched 2 more innings allowing only a double.

As for that rally off of Papelbon, let’s look at it for what it was. A broken bat, a check swing, and a seeing eye groundball. But I will give Josh Anderson a ton of credit for his 10 pitch strikeout .

72 thoughts on “Game 2009.050: Red Sox at Tigers”

  1. The Tigers have had a very good June each of the last 3 years (due largely to dominating interleague play). This year looks a lot tougher, especially considering how the Tigers tend to struggle against the Angels and White Sox (I hate the White Sox). Plus the interleague schedule features the Cardinals, Brewers and Cubs.

  2. This series worries me. Porcello is due for a stinkbomb, and Galarraga and Willis are clearly the weak links of the staff. Against a patient and powerful Boston lineup, I’m concerned. On the other hand, Dice-K has been poor thus far as has Beckett. For whatever reason the Tigers also have a history of creaming knuckleballers recently and Wakefield is on the docket for Thursday.

    1. And then there is the Tigers offense, which has bordered on the aenemic lately. The matchups look to favor the Sox. Tonight might be the Tigs best shot and it would be good to get the series off on a positive note.

  3. If we could just go 6-5 of these next 11 I would be pretty happy. We really need to start playing better against the White Sox as I hate losing to them.

    1. The White Sox could just play worse against us instead. They’re due to for it. Our pitching has kept us in almost every game for the past month.

  4. Did everyone else see the Corey Hart rumors? Blech. I find mullets to be the greatest threat to team chemistry.

    1. I read that Today, but there is no telling how old the rumor is. Could be a few months old for all we know, related to when we picked up Tyner from them.

    2. If it’s true I would DH him on night games, he has trouble picking up fly balls with the shades on…

    3. Well. Now I just read he’s not even available, so you’re probably right, X. Thank goodness. I don’t know why we even spent the money to scout him.

  5. Dice K has been throwing a lot of balls instead of strikes. The Tigers aren’t the most patient team out there and might just let Dice K off the hook many times today…

  6. this series is about hitting not pitching…both of these two team have been struggling offensively and only one of them will break out….Go Tigers

  7. “Random factoid of the night: Dustin Pedroia has grounded into 11 double plays this year.”

    To be fair, you left out that they have been gritty, hustling GIDPs….

  8. It is true SEA has the lowest PPA at 3.69 with DET at 3.70. But they also lead the AL by a huge margin in sac bunts, with 29 (KC is 2nd with 18, DET tied for 3rd at 17). My point? Bunting PAs are generally only 1-3 pitches; with PAs resulting in sac bunts removed from both teams I have no doubt SEA has a higher PPA than DET…

  9. Even more random, yet intriguing: A while back I pointed out how awful Granderson has been in 1st innings the last 2 seasons. While looking at Tiger PPA stats an idea occurred to me, and by golly, darned if the stats don’t seem to fall in line: while Granderson is 2nd behind Inge in Tigers PPA with 4.07, his 1st inning PPA is much higher, roughly 4.33 (I did this rather quickly, so I may be off a tiny bit).

    Could it be Granderson has been getting himself into 2-strike holes by trying to see a lot of pitches to start games? Is this something he sees as a leadoff guy responsibility, which is why it’s less of a problem after the 1st inning? I wonder how many of his 1st inning 1st pitches are strikes, if opposing pitchers also have the idea that he’s up there taking pitches?

    1. Mario and Rod are all over the squirrel’s progress; the squirrel-cam shows him now resting with his chin on the fence so I guess his on-the-field exploits have concluded for now…

  10. Clete Thomas even faked out gameday. They just threw in a random seventh pitch for the walk.

    1. Cabrera stepped on the bag when he fielded it (he almost didn’t have a choice) so there was no longer a force…it was worth it just to watch the footrace between Inge and Lowell (haha)..

    1. It could be one of those times though that you do everything and it still isn’t enough, so it’s too early to give up on it…

  11. Everything Porcello is throwing seems to be up in the Zone. Billfer, your intro scares me – 5 in Chicago. Ugh.

  12. I’ll never understand why a pitcher gets an opportunity to walk in a run. It should have been obvious three batters ago he couldn’t throw a strike.

  13. Someone explain to me why the hell you would leave a guy in who has NO *&$%ING CLUE WHERE THE STRIKE ZONE IS when the bases are loaded in a tight game. Freaking fantastic.

      1. Lyon allowed his run via the hit by pitch. At least the veteran knows how to be efficient.

  14. Just a reminder: Brandon Lyon allowed back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs to the Red Sox in spring training.

    1. It’s been really lame this season. Tigers just don’t put pressure on very many pitchers… too often they are clutchless…

  15. zzzz…..zzzzz….zzzz

    I guess if Gallaraga pitches a shut-out tomorrow we’ll have a shot

    1. This offensive futility is wasting our good starting pitching. Even tonight’s pitching should have been good enough for the tigers to have had a shot at winning. Dice-k is not very good right now and a good clutch hit or two could have made him pay. But again, nothing but choke…

  16. I’m beginning to think the Tigers are in need of a good bat. Polanco & Ordonez haven’t done anything. With Bonderman coming back, perhaps Galarraga could be dealt along with a minor leaguer for someone.

    1. Thames will be back soon…

      Seriously though. The Tigers put an emphasis on speed and defense and their regular bats aren’t hitting with consistency. Games like this are going to happen.

      1. Still they are averaging ~5.14 runs/game which isn’t bad at all, especially with the pitching they’ve been getting most nights.

    1. Anderson had a helluva AB, before he K’d. Still after Cabby, Grandy and Inge hit singles with 0 outs you have to put one on the board even if Anderson/Larish and Santiago combined make under 2mil.

      I’m just hoping for 3-3 on this homestand. These two teams are tough.

    1. So is Buck Showalter. The Tigers baserunning was so bad tonight, it prompted a new shaming segment on Baseball Tonight.

  17. one loss 5 games to go….. it ain’t gonna be about pitching it is all going to be about the Tiger offense for the next few days.
    Day 1 failure…next

  18. So….Apparently we just can’t play the East for the rest of the season and we will be alright. We play our worst against that division…oiy…

    1. Personally, I’m excited to see some old guys that I know we suck against. A combined two earned runs in 20 IP against Beckett and Wakefield last year. Should be freaking awesome.

    1. The squirrel laying on the fence was definitely the funniest thing this year. We should keep him around to distract us from the anemic Tigers’ offense.

  19. We better takes these next 2 from Boston and at least 2 from the Angels because we go to Chicago next week for 5 games and we are only 3.5 games up.

    1. Yeah I saw that. I like Eddie J better, though. Yeah, that’s right – I’m done with EJax…

      1. Ejax gets the gong! Although Ed-Jack is fine I think. I’m still surprised though that nobody liked by suggestion of ‘Dwinj….(pronounced like ‘dwinge’)…

  20. As the Anderson bat dragged on, I started to really hope he’d try to lay one down. It seemed clear he was overmatched, swinging it, valiant as it was to keep fouling them off. A swing-and-miss seemed inevitable. Why not go for a bunt? you know a fastball’s coming, the corner IFs are probably back and guarding the lines. If it works, the tying run is on base, and Papelbon is more ennerved.

    1. Cabrera is your guy at third… And he is pretty much a statue.

      Plus with bases loaded and the good IF defense they employ a bunt in that situation could be considered suicide.

      I mean there is always a chance they could flub it or throw it away, but with a super slow runner at third I wouldn’t risk it. The easiest play to make in that situation if he bunts it to third or first is to come home because your momentum is carrying you there and Cabby would be a sure out if the bunt wasn’t perfect or the Sox managed to make an error.

    2. Just to be clear, you’re advocating a 2 strike bases loaded bunt? Seriously? Sheer craziness. I’d rather take the chance he’d get a little blooper somewhere for a hit.

      Also, ennerved is not really a word is it?

  21. This was the 2nd time this season I saw Papelbon get himself into a bases loaded no out jam and then k the side to get out of it. Yes, he’s real good.

    1. I like the fact that he’s likely unavailable tonight after having thrown so many pitches. You know, in the event that the game is close late.

      1. Frankly, I’d rather go up against Papelbon in the 9th than say, Okajima. Their whole bullpen is stupid good, so I don’t really think that means much.

  22. That end of the last sentence should read:

    “Cabby would be a sure out if the bunt wasn’t perfect. Only if the Sox managed to make an error or the bunt was perfect would he be safe.”

    1. I still think it would be an improvement in the odds, though I admit I’m partially relying on the hindsight that the actual outcome was a strikeout (I say partial because it did seem likely at the time, too). Utlimately, it would have depended more on the bunter than Cabrera. If the bunt is good, Cabrera (or anyone, really) can score. If the Sox know the batter can bount, they’ll position themselves accordingly. I figure, though, that Anderson was (is) an unknown quantity wth respect to bunting skills, so the Sox wouldn’t have been all the way ready for it.

      1. If the bunt is good, Cabrera (or anyone, really) can score.

        Caveat: Anyone whose last name is not ‘Moilna’…

      2. Hey look I’m all for bunting.

        But, in my opinion, the situation clearly dictated against it.


        1)a force out at home


        2)a very slow runner at third


        3) 0 outs, down by 4 runs

        I just don’t see the point. In hindsight yes, anything (well anything besides a DP which could have happened ie 5-2-3, or 2-4-3 or any # of combos) is better than a K.

        Still I’d have him look for the walk or try to find a hole. Easier said than done, but I’d think it had a greater probability for success.

        1. ALmost everything has a higher probability of success than bunting. In any situation. DO NOT GIVE AWAY OUTS.

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