Game 2009.081: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: Rick Porcello gets the ball for the Tigers. Porcello has struggled in his last 3 starts allowing 32 baserunners in 15.2 innings and not making it out of the 5th inning in any of those starts. The last time (and only time) he face the Twins this year he threw 7 shutout innings.

Nick Blackburn goes for the Twins. Blackburn is a master of efficiency going 7 innings or more in 10 of his 16 starts this year and only topping the 100  pitch mark in 6 of his 16 starts. But when the Tigers faced him in May, they chased him in the 4th inning, one of only 2 times he didn’t make it to through the 6th inning this year. 

Detroit vs. Minnesota – July 5, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

19 Comments

  1. Brenden

    July 5, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    A win today would be a great way to end yet another brutal road trip…

  2. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Cabby must be hitting .500 this season with 2out and nobody on. It’d be nice if he’s get some of those hits with ducks on the pond, specifically scoring position. It sems like in April he was getting it done with guys on, but lately he only seems to get hits with nobody on.

  3. Brenden

    July 5, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    And the wheels have completely fallen off….I hate this stupid dome.

  4. jason

    July 5, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    What an implosion by Porcello that inning. I am glad I didn’t comment early on about how good he was pitching.

  5. Brenden

    July 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I don’t think it would have been so bad if Everett would have made that throw… It is just this dumb dome and our poor perfomance on the road this year. Get us back to the friendly confines of Comerica.

  6. charlie

    July 5, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    i’ve read that hitting a baseball is considered the most difficult thing to do in sports…i’m thinking watching the tigers is sometimes right up there too.

  7. Greg

    July 5, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Where can I find Brandon Inge’s defensive stats, and then compare them to other 3rd basemen.

  8. tigersfan182

    July 5, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Why was Everett hitting in the 9th?? He doesn’t exactly strike fear in the other teams eyes. Leyland fell asleep.

  9. Ryan P.

    July 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I’m over this stupid series, but I am going to be absolutely livid if Inge does not get this final All-Star spot.

    And Maddon must have a man-crush on Curtis or something. Definitely did not expect to see him on the roster.

    • Coleman

      July 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

      Inge has virtually no chance to make the team. He matched up well against any other 3B; now he would need to get more votes than the guy who deserved to win at 2B (Kinsler), and the League Leader in home runs (Pena). His biggest edge over them is his fielding, and how many fans across the country are going to know/care about that? Even if the final vote were only Inge vs Figgins, Figgins got twice as many votes the 1st time around, why would this time be different?

      Maybe we can win the world series this year and Leyland can repay the favor to Maddon next all-star game….

  10. Jason A.

    July 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I agree with tigersfan. Raburn should have hit for Everett. He could play 2B with Ramon shifting over to shortstop.

    This team needs another bat, or else both Chicago and Minnesota will pass them in short order. Don Kelly batting cleanup is an absolute joke, and it’s not just Leyland to blame; with Thames in a deep slump, who else do you put there? Inge!? Even if Guillen returns this month, he’s not guaranteed to drive the ball from Day One.

    Also – why the hatred for the Metrodome? Everett’s error had nothing to do with the playing surface.

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    July 5, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Don’t worry gents, we’ll get those bats back.

  12. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 6, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Well, the good news is that we arguably just went through the toughest part of our schedule (20 road games in a 26-game stretch) and we went 14-12. That’s not too shabby. The brutal stretch began by taking three out of five at The Cell and concluded by dropping two of three in the HorrorDome. If you would’ve told me that we’d go 14-12 before starting a stretch of 20 out of 26 on the road I’d have taken it and ran. Even though we lost some series to teams that we’re better than (OAK, HOU, PIT), we did split our eight road games at our two staunchest division rivals (CHI and MIN). That was an absolute death march the schedule maker just put us through (including the only six home games against two pretty good NL teams). In the first half we played 47 road games and only 34 home games. That will now flip in the second half of the schedule (47 home and 34 away beginning tomorrow with the Roylas).

    Speaking of the next series with KC, I don’t like the way this one is matching up. KC has the pitching edge in two of the three matchups IMO (Meche vs. Battlestar is edge to KC, Verlander vs. Chen is edge to DET, and Grienke vs. French is edge to KC on Wednesday). Tomorrow is a really key game to the series. If we can get Battlestar through the first two innings, I think we’ve got a great chance. We just can’t afford to be down 4 or five runs by the third inning against a guy like Meche who has traditionally shut us down (although we did pepper him pretty good on Memorial Day). On Tuesday we need Justin to be Justin again. His last two starts have made him look very human, and we need the Robolander of May and early June to reappear on Tuesday night, not the human Verlander. On paper we should win this game handily, but we all know how the Tigers like to take the night off offensively on nights that Robolander is on the hill. Wednesday is an absolute gravy game if we take the first two (why do we never get to miss Grienke in a series???) , but if we don’t we’d be staring the down the barrel of a fourth straight series where we drop 2 of 3. I’m curious to see if we appear to have dead legs after the grueling road trip tomorrow night, as it would’ve been nice to have this be a Tue-Thur series instead of Mon-Wed series considering the stretch of games we’ve gone thru the last four weeks. Thank you major league baseball scheduling guy! Notice that Minnesota is getting tomorrow off even though they are staying put in Minnesota for a Tues.-Thur. series with the Yankees. Hopefully Pumpkin Head (Polanco) recharged his batteries today and is ready to go tomorrow night. The good news is no lefties so hopefully Grandy can get it cranked up in this series. Also, it would be nice if Cabby would start doing some damage with men on base again. Great April, but since then has been decidedly average (and I understand he was playing hurt for a couple of weeks). Thames needs to hit fourth as the DH this week no matter if KC is throwing righties all week. Hittting Don Kelly fourth underscores just how thin we are offensively. I’ll take a “slumping” Thames over Don Kelly in the four-hole all day long. Just the threat of Thames’ majestic drives and his “country power” will get Cabby some better pitches to hit. When you’ve got Kelly in the four-hole, you are asking for your most dangerous hitter to be pitched around all day. Time to wake up Smoky and look at this like every other logical baseball fan. Don Kelly is not the answer in the four-hole, capeesh? Good utility guy, but not a cleanup hitter. People railed on here all day about Josh Anderson leading off, but given the choice I’ll take Anderson leading off every game if it means I never have to see Don Kelly’s name in the four-hole ever again on a Detroit Tiger’s lineup card.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      July 6, 2009 at 1:00 am

      Would it be any better to bat Kelly 3rd and Cabrera 4th? I liked it that we went with the speedy outfielders on the turf instead of risking Thames in RF or Ordonez in LF. We need those guys to be 100% healthy come September/October if we’re going to have any chance at going to the playoffs.

      We’re thinking the same about the schedule. I was writing my post below before I even read this one.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      July 6, 2009 at 1:06 am

      About KC vs Detroit match-up,
      The Royals are actually 5-12 when Meche pitches. The Tigers are 8-8 when Galarraga pitches.

      Great post BTW.

    • scotsw

      July 6, 2009 at 10:53 am

      You say Verlander looked human last time out. True. But I still thought he looked great. He made maybe one mistake, which ended up in the seats. The other 2-run HR looked like a great pitch to me, and credit goes to the hitter.

      I guess I’m saying, it’s not like Verlander’s doing a Jeckyll and Hyde show — he’s been very good, even when he does give up a few runs. I think maybe you’re overplaying this “two Verlanders” theme. The other team pays their players too, and sometimes they get theirs, that’s all.

  13. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 6, 2009 at 12:46 am

    We’re at the half way mark and the Tigers just finished the worst part of their schedule. We’ve now played 81 games, 34 home games vs 47 road games. Those +13 home games for rest of the schedule is a nice advantage to have and we’re still in 1st place by a few games.

    We have a 23-11 record at home and a 21-26 record on the road. If we keep those %’s we’ll go 55-26 at home and 36-45 on the road. So we’re on pace to win 91 games this year.

    We’re winning some games because of the team’s new strategy to play better defense. Leyland’s strategy has really done a remarkable job despite all the problems the team has had. I’m glad Leyland got the 2 year extension.

    We’ve also won more games because of the starting pitching upgrades, particularly Jackson and Porcello-
    We’re
    10-7 with Verlander
    9-8 with Jackson
    8-8 with Galarraga
    10-6 with Porcello
    (7-8 when the 5th starter pitches)
    3-1 with Miner
    2-5 with Willis
    0-1 with Bonderman
    1-1 with Figaro
    1-0 with French

    So despite all the complaints about Galarraga lately, the Tigers still have .500 record when he pitches. The Tigers have also won 4 out the last 5 games he’s pitched.

  14. jud

    July 6, 2009 at 3:52 am

    go Tigs big week coming up!!!!

  15. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Mr. X, How about Don Kelly never batting higher than sixth in the lineup? Why can’t Inge go to the three hole and move Cabby back to cleanup? Inge is our leading RBI man, why not get him up higher in the lineup where he’ll get more RBI opportunties and more at-bats (over the long haul)? That batting order that Ol’ Smoky drew up yesterday was criminal. Its OK to play Kelly, just no valid reason to hit him fourth behind Cabby (or third in front of him either). Ol’ Smoky basically mailed it in yesterday when making out his lineup card. If Don Kelly is hitting fourth tonight I hope that Ilitch walks down to the dugout, fires Ol’ Smoky and manages the rest of the game himself. It couldn’t get any worse.