Game 2009.053:Angels at Tigers

PREGAME: Remember a few weeks back. The Tigers had won the first 6 games of a 9 game homestand and the Rockies came to town. The Tigers took the Friday night game and things were looking great. That was the last time the Tigers won a home game and now have a 5 game losing streak at Comerica.

Fortunately the Tigers have their ace, Justin Verlander on the mound tonight. Of course the last time Verlander faced the Angels he allowed 7 runs in 5 innings as the Angels ran his pitch count up by fouling off a ton of pitches, and then there was the little matter of Ryan Raburn playing really bad in right field.

The Angels send out Ervin Santana. He’s a pitcher trying to regain his form after spending time on the DL, kind of like when they face Matsuzaka on Tuesday night. Santana has been absolutely rocked in his last 2 starts allowing a combined 15 runs to Seattle and Boston.

LA Angels vs. Detroit – June 5, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Just home from the game. Yes I’m frustrated. The Tigers are fighting it. I’m going to try and boil this down to a couple thoughts:

  • Verlander was quite good again. He walked a few too many and as a result it was probably best he wasn’t out for the 9th. You don’t beat up a pitcher because the offense is terrible.
  • Fernando Rodney picked up his first loss. It is June 5th. Really. How many teams would love to say that about their closer? Don’t complain about Rodney. He wasn’t especially sharp going to several 3 ball counts but he also wasn’t shelled. He was ground balled to death and the second run scored because the grounder wasn’t hit hard enough. This stuff happens.
  • When the Tigers made the decision to go with a defensive mindset (which also brought in additional speed), they knowingly gave up offense. We knew before the season started that there would be holes in the lineup. This situation has been exacerbated by a couple of the Tigers bigger bats performing well below career norms and even normal expected aging curves (the curve became a cliff). And when you take your biggest thumper out of the lineup you aren’t going to score a lot of runs. The Tigers need more offense, but just remember that to get it they will need to sacrifice some defense.


  1. Mark in Chicago

    June 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I really hope another struggling pitcher doesn’t find a way to make himself right againt us. That story is getting really old…

  2. Brian P

    June 5, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    The top of the lineup tonight: Anderson, Polanco, Thomas, Ordonez, Granderson. Why does Clete bat third over Granderson? This is as puzzling as batting Cabrera fifth last year. While every team puts their best hitter third, Leyland uses our AAAA player.

    Thomas had a nice start, yes. But he’s hitting .169 in the last 17 games.

    • Matt

      June 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Is Cabrera out tonight?

      • Matt

        June 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm

        Nevermind, apparently he is. That’s not a good sign for our already anemic offense.

    • Mr. X

      June 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

      Maybe because Granderson has been raking batting 5th
      .378 avg., .452 OBP, .595 SLG, 1.047 OPS.

      Clete is more of a table setter also. He has a .364 OBP batting 3rd. It really is a tough call where to bat him though. Up top he should create more RBI opp’s for the big hitters like Granderson. Bat him 7th and he’ll be setting the table for Laird and Everett.

      Either way, we’re probably not going to score many runs.

  3. Repp

    June 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Pretty much an intentional walk. How many has Inge gotten?

  4. Coleman

    June 5, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    An “intentional” walk to set up the DP, which apparently we were powerless to avoid…

  5. Repp

    June 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Oh, yea, that was for sure. I saw it coming a mile away.

  6. Coleman

    June 5, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I wouldn’t pitch to Inge either, considering you’ve got another 7 batters after him before you face another home run threat…

  7. Coleman

    June 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    That last play was almost a little world series like…

  8. T Smith

    June 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    That was completely misplayed. I said to my brother:

    1. Inge needs a green light on 3-0. The score would be either 2-0 right now or at least 1-0.
    2. Larrish needs to bunt in Maggs or else he’s gonna hit into a double play. Larrish is struggling bit time. A suicide bunt would be the best call.

    When a player (and a team) is struggling, you need to play this way. There is absolutely NO way we should have stranded that run.

    This team is REALLY not playing well, and Leyland needs to pulls some strings to manufacture some runs.

  9. Coleman

    June 5, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Wow, Verlander just saved himself a run with that pickoff…

  10. Brian P

    June 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    This is becoming laughable.

  11. Coleman

    June 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    OK, by my calculations this game has officially become aggravating…

  12. Chris

    June 5, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    This is either bad hitting or bad luck running into pitchers who have their best stuff working. Most likely, this is a combination of both.

  13. Chris

    June 5, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I am fed up with Polanco’s futility at the plate. Every time he comes to bat with runners on, it seems as if they are never advanced. He is a FA after this season… Good bye Poly.

  14. Chris

    June 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Santana struggles all freaken year… and then he comes to Detroit and has his best game of the year…. I AM SO SICK OF THIS LUCK!!!!

    • T Smith

      June 5, 2009 at 9:00 pm

      Luck has little to do with it. This offense is horrible. HORRIBLE. Jason Grilli would probably be throwing a carreer game against this lineup.

      • Coleman

        June 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

        That isn’t entirely correct. For instance, pitchers can be heard saying things like “ooh, Lucky Me, I get to start against Detroit…”

      • Chris

        June 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

        It is bad offense. But just look at the pitching performances that the Tigers have faced. Every one could do well against any team in the league. With most MLB pitchers, it can be a crap-shoot whether they have their best game or they serve batting practice. It is unlucky that the Tigers have had pitchers at their best… It’s bad luck.

  15. Brian P

    June 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I just don’t want them scoring on a balk or a wild pickoff throw. Please.

    • Coleman

      June 5, 2009 at 9:05 pm

      Not a wild pickoff throw, it will be a wild throw by the pitcher fielding a bunt. Not until the 12th inning though, so you can relax for a while…

  16. Brian P

    June 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I wonder who the last pitcher is to go 9 innings throwing fewer than 100 pitches. Santana has a chance.

    • David G.

      June 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      I wanna say someone had an 82 pitch complete game last year or something. Not for the Tigers, obviously.

      • Brian P

        June 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

        I guess it’s more common than I imagined. Santana did it with 97 last year against the Royals.

  17. Eric Cioe

    June 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    How does your ace go out and throw 8 shutout innings and not get a win?

    • David G.

      June 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

      Because their ace did the same thing. Yes, he’s been roughed up but he’s coming off the DL. The worst part is not scoring on two straight leadoff doubles.

      • T Smith

        June 5, 2009 at 9:24 pm

        THIS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. dredford

    June 5, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    There is no one in this line-up that will scare any pitcher. Even very few good swings and its becoming a pattern.

  19. T Smith

    June 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    WTF? How many pitches did Verlander have? This is a BAD, BAD move. One hit or walk (which Rodney is absolutely gonna give up) and they’re gonna small-ball us to death to the tune of a 1-0 win right now.

  20. Dave

    June 5, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    The Angels bullpen has been brutal but I’m sure they’ll be brilliant against the Tigers.

  21. David G.

    June 5, 2009 at 9:13 pm


  22. David G.

    June 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Line one right at Inge.

  23. Chris

    June 5, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    This is what Santana did against the Whitesox

    1.0 IP, 9 Hits, 7 Earned Runs, 1BB, 1K, 1HR

    Nice to see he performed just as well against our rival. It’s amazing that Whitesox hitters are so much better than the Tigers… Luck has nothing to do with it.

  24. Mcb

    June 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I’m gonna have a hard time getting excited this summer without some changes.

  25. T Smith

    June 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I thought Thames was coming back? Why wait? I don’t understand why they didn’t activate him for this game.

  26. T Smith

    June 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I know it’s early, but from the way the last 10 games have gone, the wheels have officially fell off. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. You just can’t pitch an eight inning shut-out after losing your last five straight at home and lose the game. It’s just not something that can happen.

  27. Chris

    June 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Polanco SUCKS!!!!

    I wrote this before he came to bat KNOWING the bum will choke

  28. Brian P

    June 5, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    What in the world, Polanco? That was the worst at-bat I have ever seen him have.

  29. Joel in Seattle

    June 5, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    According to gamecast, Santana has thrown all sliders this inning.

  30. Mcb

    June 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Ouch. 6 in a row at home. Not good.

  31. Chris

    June 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I want Polanco off this team… He is awful. That piss-poor at bat was inexcusable. Tigers had a chance but that piece of crap wasted an out.

  32. Mike in CT

    June 5, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    That one hurt … a lot.

  33. Trev in Calgary

    June 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Wow…what was that?!? Polanco looks like he’s aged 5 years since last year on his last legs. Larish had yet another “stellar” night at the dish. And you can run out all the stats you want about Rodney and his consecutive saves etc, but he CONTINUOUSLY leaves us on the precipice of disaster when he comes into a game. How on earth do you lose a game when your starter goes 8 innings of shut out ball. We desperately need a couple of bats.

  34. Bob Jones

    June 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    The first thing wrong with this team is the manager. He is way to hung up on pitch count. How do you take out a pitcher with a four hit shutout working ? He does this all the time and turns the game over to his wonderful bullpen and like usual they blow it.
    But then on other days he leaves a pitcher in that has given up 7 runs and can’t throw strikes.
    One thing for sure, the tigers don’t have to worry about any smart owners trying to get their manager…

    • T Smith

      June 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm

      Yes, yes, yes. No way should you take out Verlander, pitch count be damned. You leave in Verlander and we have a nine inning shut out, and Maggs hits a walk off in the bottom of the frame (see my comment at 9:09 pm, before the implosion. But NO….

      Verlander could have pitched another 15 pitches or so. If he gets into trouble in the ninth with control/velocity/or a lot of pitches, then you pull him. But he completely had their number. But let’s see… instead we pull the pitcher who has stymied 1-9 all night long and put a gas can amid a Forth-of-July shower of sparks on the mound. Unbelievable.

  35. Brian P

    June 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Well. At least we aren’t the Chicago White Sox. They have eight shutouts against, and they’re working on their ninth.

  36. Trev in Calgary

    June 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Beyond Roller Coaster #2 Rodney, Gas Can Lyon & Robertson, our bullpen is pretty steady of you ask me. Our biggest problem is we NO hitting to speak of. Maggs is now nothing more than a singles hitter, whose options are gonna kick in soon for us to be stuck with, no Guillen for who knows how long, Polanco playiong like he’s 45 and very little production from the catchers spot. It’s going to be hard to swing any deals witht he contracts we’re saddled with.

  37. Vanguy

    June 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Didn’t the Tigers have a “Murderer’s Row” lineup about a year or so ago?
    What the heck happened? Now the Tigers hitters are to opposing pitchers what
    the Wolverines defense is to dual-threat QBs.
    They make them look like Cy Young/Heisman winners.

  38. Kevin in Dallas

    June 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Dear friends – don’t jump. We’re gonna be okay. .300 career hitters don’t forget how to hit. They regress, yes, but I fully expect Polly to progress towards to norm soon.

    The good news is that the AL Central is terrible and we have a 1-3 that may be the best in the league. Bats are much easier to find than pitching. Just a slump, we’ll be alright.

  39. jud

    June 5, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    hey Palonco at least look like you wanna be there!

  40. jud

    June 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    fourth pitcher in 10 days to win their FIRST game of the year against the Pussycat offense

  41. T Smith

    June 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    When was the last time the Tigers hit a long ball? I would have to say over the past 10 games this is the worst offense in either league. Even the Nationals can plate some runs.

  42. Tiger Suck

    June 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Fire McClendon, Dombrowski and Chadd. Send Raburn, Larish, Anderson back to AAA. Cut Ordonez, Polanco and Guillen after the season. Sign some new blood. This offense is unacceptable.

  43. T Smith

    June 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I have an idea: we can trade the entire 25 man roster for Matt Wieters. That should solve our defense and offensive issues in one fell swoop.

  44. Chris Y.

    June 6, 2009 at 12:11 am

    The sky is falling!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get a grip guys.

    BTW, “Gas Can” is reserved for Grilli. Trade the man, you trade the nick’.

  45. Eric Cioe

    June 6, 2009 at 12:34 am

    I don’t mind losing some games due to getting outpitched. That happened against Beckett. I like that the team is centered around pitching and defense now. But Verlander didn’t get outpitched tonight. Santana’s a good pitcher but he’s not that good.

  46. Mike R

    June 6, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Bill, random thought:

    When’s the next DTW-TV going to be? I enjoyed those, although I know you’re busy lately.

  47. jud

    June 6, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Polonco 1 for last 24.. . 0 runs… .no rbi…
    Larish 3 for last 27. .1 run…. 1 rbi
    Anderson 5 for last 28. .4 runs.. .2 rbi
    Laird…..4 for last 26… 4 runs… ..1 rbi
    Cabrerra 6 for last 40. .6 runs.. .5 rbi
    Sardinha . .i had to put that..I didn’t bother looking

    in case anyone was wondering what the problem is………..

  48. Mr. X

    June 6, 2009 at 2:26 am

    After Tonight’s game the Tigers move into 1st place. No wait, we were already in 1st place. I’m not complaining.

    • T Smith

      June 6, 2009 at 9:23 am

      Who cares? I don’t just want to play in October (I’m not saying we will if we don’t start scoring some runs) — I want to win some of those October games as well.

      Right now a rotation of Sandy Koulfax, Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, Cy Young, and Nolar Ryan couldn’t win on this team.

      • Coleman

        June 6, 2009 at 9:54 am

        Well, sure, right now they probably wouldn’t win a game; but right now they are old, dead, old, dead, and no longer young, so they wouldn’t be any better than last year’s staff…

      • jud

        June 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm

        T Smith Excellent point

  49. anaaki

    June 6, 2009 at 11:14 am

    “Don’t complain about Rodney.”
    Thank you.

    And I don’t think our line up is completely terrible/hopeless. So it’s sad when they can’t bank on RISP opportunities.

  50. Ryan P.

    June 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I’m going to the game tonight. Should be a good time. Hopefully I can hit the perfect trifecta of 1) No Cabrera, a week after investing in a nice ‘ole Cabrera jersey, 2) Continued all-around crap play, and 3) RAIN.

    • David

      June 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm

      I’m going tonight too. Just a cursory glance at his career #s vs the Tigers, Ordonez kills him to a tune of 10 hits in 24ab.

      Inge and Granderson and Laird don’t. In fact Inge is 0-10 career against him, Grandy and Laird ain’t much better.