Game 2009.078: Tigers at A’s

PREGAME: Justin Verlander takes on Dallas Braden. Sorry I don’t have more guys, it’s one of those weeks.

Detroit vs. Oakland – July 1, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

57 Comments

  1. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Here’s the Tigers lineup, featuring Don Kelly at third in place of Binge:

    Granderson, CF
    Plolanco, 2B
    Cabrera, 1B
    Thames, DH
    Raburn, LF
    Ordonez, RF
    Laird, C
    Kelly, 3B
    Everett, SS

  2. Tom in Minneapolis

    July 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Does anyone know the name of the hotel in which the Tigers stay when they are in Minneapolis?

  3. Matt

    July 1, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Oi, I know Binge needs a rest but I fear our offensive production will suck worse than usual without him in the line-up.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      July 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

      The only thing to fear is fear itself.

  4. Mark in Chicago

    July 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Polanco is frustrating, it seems like he never works the count or takes a lot of pitches. Not really the guy you want at the top of the order…

    • Matt

      July 1, 2009 at 3:45 pm

      He’s our top home run hitter. Leave him alone.

      ;)

  5. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Oakland’s line-up has one guy hitting over .280 (Kennedy) and only one guy with more than 10 HR’s (Cust).

    Our line-up isn’t a whole lot better, but it is better.

  6. ouchudied

    July 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Who knew Dallas Braden had a better ERA than Verlander entering the game? I didn’t.

  7. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    24 pitch first inning, and that includes two batters who only saw one pitch. Need to keep you in the game a bit longer than that pace Justin!

    • Mark in Chicago

      July 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm

      Also not encouraging are the 10 and 12-pitch innings for Braden; fewer pitches in 2 innings than Verlander’s one.

  8. Matt

    July 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Predictably, Rayburn gets another hit.

    Predictably, The big tilde follows it up with a first pitch ground out.

  9. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Laird delivers Raburn! He had good numbers against Braden coming into this game.

  10. ouchudied

    July 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Predictably, Laird ropes a double.

  11. Mark in Chicago

    July 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I normally don’t like sac bunts, especially with a guy like Granderson, but against a pretty good lefty, it’s not the worst move to get Everett to third for Polanco.

  12. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Except when Polly fails to get him home. He gave him a decent battle, at least.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    July 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I don’t think that was a sac. I think Grandy was bunting for a hit. Frustrating that we didn’t get him more there. Though I like the swings.

  14. Walter55

    July 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Seems like every time lately when we have a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs we can’t get him in. Really frustrating.

    • Coleman

      July 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm

      And you would be correct…there are only 2 AL teams worse, KC and the White Sox…but it’s worse than it seems even now that I look at it…

      We only get 47% of these guys home successfully (best 3 on DET by the way: Inge, Everett, and Santiago–Everett and Santiago??!)…the sad Royals are the bottom at 45%, the Orioles are top at 59%.

      But on top of that, we’re only 11th of 14 in number of guys we get on 3rd less than 2 out in the first place–so we don’t get many guys to 3rd, and when we do, we don’t get many of those home. I think that summarizes it.

      The Twins–who have an almost identical Runs per Game as the Tigers–get theirs easy: they’ve had 181 on 3rd with less than 2 and scored 99 of them, compared to 157 and 74. That’s 25 more runs for them already this season, just for being better at getting the runner home from 3rd.

      That can add up over a season also…

  15. Mith

    July 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I love seeing Maggs hustle down the line on that 5-4-3. (insert rolling eyes here)

  16. T Smith

    July 1, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Oiy, it’s starting to get ugly with Ordonez.

    • Matt

      July 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

      Not watching the game. Did Maggs dog it down the line on the GIDP? If so, that might be the straw that gets him benched.

      • Mith

        July 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm

        I wouldn’t say he dogged it any more than usual. I just liked to see guys hustle. You just hit your 50 millionth GIDP of the year, at least bust it down the line and try to beat it out.

  17. Mark in Chicago

    July 1, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    My other comment didn’t make it, so sorry if this ends up being a repost:

    Maggs is apparently giving Polly a run for his money on fewest pitches per PA. He’s seen 2 pitches in 2 AB and is responsible for 3 outs. Guess he wants to make sure that option vests ASAP…

    • Coleman

      July 1, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      For the game maybe–for the season he has no chance. Polly’s got it locked up, unless you count some of the new guys who don’t have many ABs (Anderson has a lower rate).

      Polanco’s 3.36 pitches per PA means he sees more pitches per PA than Robinson Cano and Yuniesky Betancourt. That’s it. In the entire league.

      Polanco has seen 1031 pitches this season. With one less AB, Inge has seen 1270…kinda adds up doesn’t it…Maggs (3.71) is actually higher than Cabrera (3.59). Although he has pulled ahead of Cabrera now in the GIDP race…

  18. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Maggs so far today:

    2 AB
    2 Pitches
    3 Outs

    He is becoming a serious liability.

    • ouchudied

      July 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm

      I’d like to hear Rosenhaus defend that.

  19. RPS

    July 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t know why, but that’s it. One too many easy double plays. Magglio has to go. In my mind, he has nine more games. If he doesn’t show anything by the All-Star break, it’s time.

    Whachu all think about this trade: Zumaya, Thames, and Iorg to Washington for
    Dunn (WAS picks up about 8 of the $15 mill owed him), Morgan, and decent starter prospect? Feasible? Good idea?

    edit: Or maybe even Dunn and Lannan?

    • Walter55

      July 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm

      I think Josh Van Willingham might be more feasible than Dunn from the Nats.

      • RPS

        July 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm

        Since the Nats aren’t going to go anywhere for the next two years, they really don’t have any use for a guy like Dunn. I even recall a quote from someone in the Nats organization saying that they have realized that Dunn needs to be a DH. He’ll be traded at some point, it’s just a matter of when and to who. Zumaya has that “WOW!” factor that would make an bad organization give up way too much. Washington is a bad organization. Washington also has almost nothing in the way of 2B/SS prospects in the minors, and would love to get Iorg. Thames basically just has no place on a team with Dunn. Washington can keep him, flip him, not take him, whatever.

  20. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Pitch Count through 4 :

    Verlander – 75
    Braden – 44

    Gulp.

  21. Walter55

    July 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Since Mags returned from his benching he has gone 5-28 .179 with 1 BB and 1 HR and 2 RBI. I agree with most that if that does not change drastically soon he will not be on the team soon. We just need to trade for another OF so we can say we got a better player (which would not take much and release him) The thought of paying him 18 million dollars next year is sickening.

  22. Mark in Chicago

    July 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    nice 2 pitch at bat, Polly. *sigh*

  23. T Smith

    July 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    How long is this little Thames cleanup experiment going to last?

  24. Tbone

    July 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    It’s feast or famine with Marcus. He happens to be in famine mode right now, unfortunately.

  25. Coleman

    July 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Since Thames has struck out about 10 times already this series does that mean he’s gonna hit about 5 HR against MIN?

  26. Mark in Chicago

    July 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    It is sad this team can’t score more than 1 run against Dallas Braden. He’s a solid pitcher, but he’s thrown 76 pitches through 6 innings. He’s been around the plate all day, but it feels like they gave up a bunch of ABs in this game.

    Also, Polanco not getting Everett home with one out in the second is turning out to be huge.

    • Vince in MN

      July 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm

      Imagine what they will do vs. the AL East.

  27. Walter55

    July 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Our offense flat out sucks right now no other word for it. We need another bat in the worst way and it would be beyond awesome if Guillen could come back at anywhere near his old self.

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    July 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Giambi’s OPS is 50 points higher than Maggs’.

    • Coleman

      July 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm

      Maggs has 17 hits more than Giambi does. Now try to contemplate the fewness of the Giambi hit…

      He does have 20 BB more than Maggs…of course he also has 21 more strikeouts.
      But he saves the A’s money–which is always a priority for them–since he may be able to use the same bat all season…

  29. Kevin in Dallas

    July 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Bring in The Wolf.

  30. Mark in Chicago

    July 1, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I have to say: Everett has been a pleasant surprise offensively. No idea if he can keep it up, but if he continues to hit around the .250 range, with his defense, you can live with that.

    late add: Sweet. DP Polanco. Is this team just getting old fast?

    • Coleman

      July 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm

      And Everett leads the American League in sac bunts, and he is 3rd best on the Tigers at getting the runner on 3rd less than 2 out home.

      • Mark in Chicago

        July 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm

        I’m not real excited about the sac bunts, but the .264/.319/.360 line is better than I anticipated, especially after the nightmare he put up the last two years. His numbers this year are basically at career norms of .247/.299/.356, so I think he can probably keep it up. Also, his fielding numbers appear to be better than last year, although his range factor is slipping a bit. All in, he’s worth about 0.8 wins above replacement, which is not great, but it’s miles better than the 0.4 WAR abortion Renteria put up last year.

        Also, fangraphs is an awesome site…

        • Coleman

          July 1, 2009 at 6:02 pm

          It’s interesting when they do their dollar value thing…remember when last year there was so much griping about the waste of salary money on Inge? This year apparently it looks like he is underpaid by, oh, 10, 12 million…

          • Mark in Chicago

            July 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm

            Agreed, that’s one of the coolest parts of that site. Take a look at Verlander’s $ value. Even last year he was worth $14.8 million, and he’s been underpaid every year by about, oh, $15 million. For his career, he’s “earned” $60 million and the Tigers have paid him $3.1

    • jb61973

      July 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm

      They must be getting old. They’ve been horrible this year. Cancel the season.

      My God, what a bunch of babies the fans of this team are.

      • Mark in Chicago

        July 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm

        I didn’t say cancel the season. I said they are atrocious offensively right now, and guys that have produced in the past right now are not. Age is probably part of it: Maggs, Guillen, Polanco are all well into their 30s, typically the time when players begin to decline. My comment was simply pointing out how dramatic the dropoff has been. Feel free to argue those points if you must, although I suspect you won’t have much to back up your side.

  31. Matt

    July 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    This is getting ridiculous.

    I hope to see a Jim Leyland rant after the game because this team deserves to get screamed for the incredible number of horrible at-bats.

  32. Vince in MN

    July 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Fantasy baseball is over and the reality of playing games against AL teams begins to manifest itself. Don’t be surprised is they get swept in MN. With the exception of Inge at 3B, the Twins are arguably as good and probably better offensively at every position right now.

  33. Coleman

    July 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Of course maybe the fact that the Tigers are tied for 2nd-to-last in the league with only 17 Sac Flies is related to their woes at trying to get a run out of guy-on-3rd-less-than-2…that and their GIDP-ness (12 of them actually)…

    Or to put it more dramatically, Sardinha is tied for the Tiger lead in Sac Flies, with 2…

  34. Kevin in Dallas

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Hey guys, we are hitting worse than we have in 3 years, and we are up 3 games in the AL Central, almost at the AS break. Pitching is evening out, and it’s still pretty darn good. If this team can be just average hitting wise, we’re gonna be okay.

    I don’t see Maggs starting on Fri.

    • Matt

      July 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm

      I really dislike (I won’t say hate) the argument that because we are first in our division, everything is ok.

      The Central division SUCKS. And we’re losing ground fast. Besides, there have been no indications that the hitting will improve.

      Unless, like you said, we bench Maggs on Friday. That should definitely help.

      • Coleman

        July 1, 2009 at 6:51 pm

        Unless we replace him with Anderson…

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        July 1, 2009 at 11:53 pm

        People have been saying that we’re losing ground for about 2 months now. Time to stop worrying and time to start enjoying the season. Hard to believe that most people here have nothing good to say.

  35. mcb

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I saw today Guillen could be back after the ASB. That would be great- anything to jumpstart the offense. Magglio is just an instant out (or 2) and you will continue to see Tiger aces loose close games when they feel like they have to be perfect due to no run support. It forces mistake pitches. Justin threw 2 bad pitches. A team should be able to recover from that. Ok my rant is done. I won’t be able to watch the games this weekend; maybe that’s a good thing!

  36. Coleman

    July 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I’m OK with today’s game now; I just decided to think of it as Brandon Inge Appreciation Day…you know, think It’s A Wonderful Life, with a shorter, strangely-chin-haired Jimmy Stewart with his socks pulled up high, and this is what the Tiger offense would have been this season if Inge has quit baseball in frustration last year…then he’s really glad he kept at it and after the game ends they were probably all singing songs in the dugout…and then Inge picks up his little daughter, and pulls an oblique muscle–
    OK, stop it, right now, that’s not how it goes, now put down the keyboard, we’re going to have to bring you to your special room now…