Game 2009.082: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: Finally, the Tigers get some home cooking as Rod Allen would say. I downplayed the significance of the weekend series against the Twins, but I may go ahead and up-play this 6 game homestand heading into the break. Things are always tough in the Metrodome, those losses are going to happen. They don’t become a big deal if the Tigers take care of business in the games they are supposed to win. With 6 at home against the bottom two teams in the division, the Tigers need to get these games.

Tonight it will be Gil Meche and Armando Galarraga. Galarraga wasn’t hit hard at all his last time out which is very encouraging. He also walked 6 A’s hitters which is very discouraging. It was also the first time since April 26th he didn’t allow a homer. The lineup and park factor certainly didn’t hurt, but hey, it’s something. Coincidentally that April 26th start was against the Royals.

Meche has been all over the map this year. The Tigers knocked him out in the 3rd inning back in May. He came back from that outing and posted a 0.93 ERA in his next 4 starts including 16 scoreless innings against Cleveland and Arizona. But in his last 3 starts he’s walked more than he’s struck out and has allowed 5 homers in his last 14.1 innings.

Kansas City vs. Detroit – July 6, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: There are games during the season where a team has no chance, and there are other games where you steal one you have no business of winning. Tonight the Tigers gave one away. Gil Meche wasn’t that good. He had little control and walked 5. But the Tigers couldn’t knock him out of the game early. A hit early on and the complexion of the whole series could have changed. But that big hit never came. It came close, with Adam Everett ripping a pitch down the line foul with the bases loaded, but it was just a strike.

Armando Galarraga deserved better. He had his slider working, he fanned 7, he only walked 1, and aside from one hanger that got punished, he was great.

But all that asideI can boil so much of this game down to 1 pitch. I’m probably making too big a deal out of one pitch, but it set the tone for the late innings. After Miguel Olivo looked idiotic on two breaking balls Gerald Laird called for the fastball up. Olivo didn’t chase but that wasn’t a bad call. The next pitch he called for was a fastball outside. The fastball call was questionable, but the location was sound. The trouble is Zumaya through it on the inner half instead of the outer half and it was fisted for a single. Not a hard hit ball, but a ball that shouldn’t have been hit at all. Zumaya has the ability to strike guys out and he missed horribly with his location.

He had chances to get out of it, but an awful sequence to DeJesus where Zumaya lost the strike zone but two on. I actually have much less of a problem with the Bloomquist triple than the awful pitch to Olivo.

  • A Fernando Rodney change-up got hammered. Not good, but oh well.
  • Ryan Raburn and Marcus Thames were the offense. Each had a solo homer, and Raburn later had the double that drove in Anderson who was pinch running for Thames.
  • I can’t kill Raburn for getting thrown out going to third. The Royals did a nice job with the relay and made the play. In retrospect it didn’t work out, but I can’t kill him for the decision.

92 Comments

  1. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 6, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    2 games to watch right now. Jurrjens is on ESPN.

  2. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Sigh. Now Granderson is at .316 leading off games. No, not BA…OBP? nope, that’s his strikeout average…18K in 57 AB…

    I was skeptical his leadoff stats were going to improve greatly, but I sure wasn’t expecting them to continue to get worse…

  3. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Thames!! With a wake up call.

  4. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Um, Meche, I don’t think you really be wanting to load the bases up for “Slam” Everett…

  5. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    On the other hand…perhaps you do…

  6. Kris in SJC

    July 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Sigh, two more GIDPs

  7. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Good lord. Cueto gave up 9 ER in 2/3 of an inning. His ERA went from 2.69 to 3.45 .

    Smoltz is getting roughed up again too.

  8. Mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    The dps are getting ridiculous! I hope we can hold onto this one

    • jb61973

      July 6, 2009 at 8:40 pm

      In most cases they are a direct result of not having any patience and swinging at bad pitches early in counts. Meche walked two guys in a row earlier and Everett comes up and swings at the first two pitches. That is just stupid baseball.

  9. Jeff

    July 6, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Hang one breaking ball and a gem turns into a tied-up game.

  10. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Ugh. This might be one of those “missed opportunity” games.

  11. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Raburn!! (Is the new Inge)

  12. Anson

    July 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    http://atdhe.net/

    The game’s being streamed if anyone wants to watch, sorry it’s so late but better late than never.

    • Walter55

      July 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

      I checked that sight at like 3:00 and it did not list the Tigers game glad you posted this.

      • charlie

        July 6, 2009 at 9:02 pm

        someone posted that site last week…thank you…i started watching the game in the third and caught part of one of the games from the metrodomw on the w/e…plus there are some other interesting feeds…minor league ball for example

  13. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Inge may have finished Meche with that 8-pitch walk…he didn’t look like he had much left…

  14. ouchudied

    July 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Solid outing by Galarraga, thank god. I assume he’s done considering he has lost a lot of velocity on his fastball as the game has progressed, and he is above that 100 pitch magic number. Maybe he can continue this after the all-star break?

    • Anson

      July 6, 2009 at 9:25 pm

      It was solid until Zoom Zoom just decided to vomit all over Battleship’s chance at a win. I think I’ll go back to watching Secrets of Magic. Man my life is boring.

  15. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Bunt popup to pitcher…how very Royals of them…

  16. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    They need someone with more consistency as their set up guy. Zoom is all over the place.

  17. Walter55

    July 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Olivo has looked like crap on breaking balls so after 2 horrible swings on Zumaya breaking balls what do they do but throw him a fastball he can handle. Horrible pitch call and Zumaya just blew another one. Unbelievable.

  18. davis

    July 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    is it just me or do we need to get rid of zumaya

    • Jeff

      July 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm

      You don’t get rid of him, but you certainly stop putting him in maximum leverage situations until he starts showing he can handle them.

  19. Ryan P.

    July 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Sigh…

  20. Greg

    July 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    come on

  21. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    How very Tigers, getting beaten single-handedly by one guy ( yeah, but Willie Bloomquist,??!)

  22. dredford

    July 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Sigh. We have no bullpen. This is four games in a row the pen has been abysmal: Minor, Seay, Lyon, and Zumaya.

  23. Skip

    July 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Wow. Wasted Galarraga start…
    Zumaya: that’s what you get for walking guys!

    Zoom-Zoom is WAAAAY too inconsistent to be trusted. One day he’s a lights-out closer, the next, he’s a horrible pitcher.

  24. davis

    July 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    i fee like he’s blown a lead more than 66% of the time he’s been out there the past two months

  25. Andrew

    July 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Aye Carumba! Gallaraga deserved better than that, Zumaya.

  26. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    The pitch calling that whole inning was pathetic. Of course 3 GIDPs is not helping either

  27. davis

    July 6, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Seay has been good, Lyons getting better, and Minor has been great except for his last outing. I think that Zumaya has been more inconsistent than anyone on our staff

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm

      I hate Zumaya. Everytime he comes into a game with a lead I expect a blown save.

  28. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    On the bright side…Roman Colon…

    I know pitch counts serve a purpose and all,but perhaps another 20 pitches is less harmful to the health than sitting in the dugout watching the bullpen blow your game…

  29. Anson

    July 6, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Well if anyone cares my Dad told me that Biggie Bagel came through for the upper deck. So at least there’s that…

  30. Chris

    July 6, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I look at this team and I’m astounded that they are in 1st place at this point. Can anything be MORE unsustainable?

    • scotsw

      July 7, 2009 at 8:43 am

      I think it’s obvious that this team is in need of another bat, which is ironic considering that last year’s team was supposed to make a bid for 1000 runs.

      Boil it down, and this team is really missing Carlos Guillen. He works counts, hits for solid average, has some power, and is a real leader. He does whatever is asked of him, and works his butt off. Get healthy Carlos! It was good seeing that he’s hitting in the cages again.

  31. ouchudied

    July 6, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    OK Anderson, now is the time when you can really prove your worth to the team… running fast.

  32. Andrew

    July 6, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Nice to tie it up, but the Tigers really need to work on some baserunning basics.

  33. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Great hit, lousy baserunning.

  34. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Kind of hard to criticize Rescue Raburn here, but he was the go-ahead run at 2nd with 1 out and the team RBI leader coming up…

  35. ouchudied

    July 6, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Raburn has come up with some timely hits so far this year… nice to have a clutch weapon like that coming off the bench.

  36. Greg

    July 6, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    come on rodney

  37. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    This game hurts. Coming off a lousy roadtrip where the pen was lousy and then this. Ugh. I just can’t see us winning the division with this kind on inconsistency.

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      I don’t see them with a winning record.

      • scotsw

        July 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

        Chris, who knows it’s always raining somewhere. Oy.

        It’s worth remembering that we’re 4-2 in the last 6 games in the Metrodome. It’s worth remembering that in the same division we play in, the Twins and Sox have worse records… So whatever you may think of them, they both have serious holes in their rosters, too. It’s worth remembering that Carols Guillen looks like he’s making progress, and could be a huge bat in our lineup — a significant upgrade over the guy who gets bumped every night. It’s worth remembering that this same team rang up 7 wins in a row not long ago.

        And we play significantly more home games than road games in the second half.

        I think the gloom and doom is a bit overdone.

  38. Anson

    July 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Wow we are really trying to give this one away.

  39. Adam

    July 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I am so tired of these late lead cough-ups.

    Seriously? Remember when we used to pitch THE WHOLE GAME?

  40. Chris

    July 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Joakim Soria = Game Over

    This Tiger Team has no business being in 1st place.

    • jb61973

      July 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

      Except that they have won more games than the other teams in their division. How stupid are you? They have no business in first place. But the teams that have lost more than the Tigers do deserve it? Dummy.

      • billfer

        July 6, 2009 at 9:57 pm

        Knock it off with the name calling

        • jb61973

          July 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

          WEll the guy is an idiot. Talk to him about being less stupid and I’ll stop with the name calling.

          • billfer

            July 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm

            No name calling. Last warning. It’s better to just remind Chris that Cabrera should be out of baseball by now because he’s a fat slob.

      • Chris

        July 6, 2009 at 10:02 pm

        Were you paying attention? We just saw a vastly superior Twinkie team. Then there is the White Sox. Both of these will pass the this pathetic Tiger team with ease.

        • Ryan P.

          July 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

          The constant and incredibly annoying negativity from Chris really detracts from the conversation on this otherwise fun site.

          • billfer

            July 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm

            This is the tasteful and respectful way to disagree.

          • KS

            July 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm

            I mostly just observe this site, but I appreciate the differing point of views. I find myself feeling very similar to Chris at this particular moment, that’s the beauty of baseball, getting all worked up on small instances when in actuality they’re running a marathon and not a sprint.

  41. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    See, I bet you’ve all forgotten how mad you are at Zumaya…nice of Fern-Rod to get him off the hook…

  42. Coleman

    July 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I can handle getting beaten by Mauer and Morneau, but Bloomquist and Jacobs??

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      Get used to it. When a team struggles to get 2-3 runs in a game, there’s almost no room for error.

  43. ouchudied

    July 6, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    7-8-9 due up. Yikes.

  44. Adam

    July 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Lairdy Lairdy.

    Can it be 19 home runs time now?

  45. Adam

    July 6, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Mr. All-Star swings at ball 4. Game over.

    Man, I really don’t like how we’re playing right now.

    • Ryan P.

      July 6, 2009 at 10:03 pm

      Eh, it was a strike.

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

      I like Granderson, but in no way is he deserving of an allstar selection.

      • scotsw

        July 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

        Chris, If you hate the Tigers so much, why do you inflict yourself on us like this? Why not simply pick another team to cheer FOR?

        Granderson is tied for 11th in the AL, with 19 HRs. Two more homers, and he’s tied for 4th. He’s in the top 20 in the league in total bases. He’s tied for 13th with 15 stolen bases. He’s playing gold-glove caliber center field in one of baseball’s deepest center fields.

        It’s borderline, but not crazy, that he’d be on the All-Star team.

    • ouchudied

      July 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm

      Looked like a strike on Gameday to me.

    • billfer

      July 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm

      The strike zone was a little sporadic today, but it was certainly too close to take with 2 strikes. I thought the swing was too big for the situation though and was more upset with the first pitch swing where he was late. I don’t hate first pitch swinging, but if you’re sitting fastball and you’re going to swing at it, don’t be late. Everett went after a first pitch fastball after a couple walks early in the game and ripped it down the left field line foul. That’s fine, but just don’t be tardy.

  46. Walter55

    July 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Great game by Armando poor game by the rest of the team. Until the offense can start scoring some runs we have no room for error and are just not going to keep winning games. When average pitchers like Meche give you 10 base runners in 5 2/3 and a all you can get is 2 solo HRs it is just really disappointing. Unfortunately we seem to be in the habit of letting average pitchers beat us.

  47. Chris

    July 6, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    This loss was painful. The combination of an impotent offense and a bullpen not able to protect a tiny-little lead is just hard to take. Another good starting pitching performance wasted. Zumaya is garbage.

  48. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    That was officially Zoom’s 5th blown save. Blech.

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 10:12 pm

      I hate to say it, but we’d be better off putting Lyon in the 8th inning setup role. Zumaya cannot be trusted. I just KNEW the bastard was going to blow this one. You can count on a BS form him every time.

      • Adam

        July 6, 2009 at 10:24 pm

        You just knew it, huh? Why in God’s name do you even watch the games, man?

        And yeah, I’m going to call you out every time you say you knew something was going to happen. It’s freaking annoying.

      • Andre in Chi

        July 6, 2009 at 10:36 pm

        “Bastard” seriously? What part of you thinks he doesn’t want to perform?

        “Get used to it. When a team struggles to get 2-3 runs in a game, there’s almost no room for error.”

        The bigger challenge is going to be getting used to you. Just relax. They’re gonna win some they should have lost, and lose some they should won. That’s baseball for you.

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 10:19 pm

      Joel Zumaya: 1 Save, 6 Holds, 5 Blown Saves

      Can we have a worse set-up reliever? Perhaps Nate Robertson can come off the DL.

  49. David

    July 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    My opinion: Worst loss of the season thus far. After a two-game losing streak, after a lousy road trip, they’re facing one of the worst teams in all of baseball…..

    ….And they score three underwhelming runs.

    Tom Gage reported they’re searching for a new starter. Great. But if they can’t acquire a solid, consistent bat, they’re going to experience similar losses. The luster is off of Everett, Santiago, and (of course) Clete Thomas. They were fortunate to get some pivotal hits from them early in the season, but Dombrowski and Leyland are absolute fools if they believe that they’re going to be that lucky the rest of the season.

    • Walter55

      July 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm

      I agree we really need another bat hopefully Guillen can come back and be like the hitter he was when he was healthy. The part that drives me nuts is if Magglio was anywhere near the hitter he has been for his whole career our whole offense would be vastly better. But instead he is just wasted space our in RF.
      Also I agree that this is the worse loss of the season as well. You just can’t have an average pitcher from one of the worst teams in the league come in and not even pitch well and you still lose.

  50. mcb

    July 6, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I agree with some that we should feel fortunate to be in 1st with inconsistent play. We have some pieces that still can come together – Guillen, Maggs is having better swings. There is hope. I would like to see Lyon get a shot at being set up man. We are paying him a lot of money.

    • Chris

      July 6, 2009 at 10:27 pm

      I bet Leyland will make Lyon the 8th inning set-up man after tonight. One thing I can say is that Leyland been thin on tolerating poor performances this year.

      I don’t have much confidence in Lyon, but right now he is an improvement in the set-up role.

  51. Chris

    July 6, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Speaking of Cabrera, Bilfer, what is up with his lack of run production? His average is pretty good and his HR total is OK, but how can a guy who bats cleanup most of the year be at under 50 RBIs? This is cannot be satisfactory. This, I think, is either a symptom or a cause of their offense struggles.

    • Coleman

      July 7, 2009 at 12:03 am

      Partly because the guys in front of him have below-avg OBPs, partly because he’s got the GIDP fever (he’s even with Ordonez now at 13), and he was playing banged up for a while, although that seems to be fine now.

      But I also suspect that they are pitching around him, choosing instead to face the not-as-feared-as-we-might-think Thames or the fearsome Kelly or….anyway I wish Granderson or Inge were in the 5th spot…

  52. Brenden

    July 7, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Losing streaks suck… Where is our offense???

    • Coleman

      July 7, 2009 at 4:50 am

      Well, yes, they do; 3 games is kinda lame as far as losing streaks go (see Tigers, Detroit: 2008)…plus what would really suck is this sort of things: PHI 22 CIN 1.
      (I still can’t figure that score out…I thought a safety was 2 points?).

  53. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 7, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Its taken me this long to calm down and post (the game ended over two hours ago). If you really care about this team, there can be no denying that this loss really hurt. It is so maddening to not be able to score runs without the HR. Even a SAC fly from time-time would be nice (that was directed at you Adam Everett). Anytime Cabrera would like to wake up would be fine as well. You are supposed to be our RBI man Miguel, how about giving us a few from time to time instead of GIDP after GIDP. I’m just livid that we continually waste good efforts form our starters because we want to pay homage to the ineptitude of the 2003 Detroit Tigers or something by being absolutely pathetic with the lumber.

    Seriously Mr. Dombrowski, how much more do you need to see before you pull the trigger on a deal? Get us a freakin’ bat before I brain you with one! Damn.

    My stomach is in knots whenever we play due to our offensive ineptitude. Every pitch from our starter each night feels like it carries the weight of a postseason game because you just know that we aren’t going to score more than 2-3 runs a lot of nights. Its maddening. For my own health, I beseech you Tigers to please start averaging 5 runs a night again real soon. I can’t take many more of these wasted starts from Jackson, Verlander, and now Galarraga. Step up and help your teammates out by scoring a few runs once in a while, contrary to rumor its not illegal or against the rules to put up 7 runs more than twice a month. …..and now we return to the continuing development of my stomach ulcer. Damn.

    • Coleman

      July 7, 2009 at 5:23 am

      Gerald Laird had a sac fly on July 3rd. The significance of this event, and the reason I mention it, is that he thereby broke the tie (with Pineapple Sardinha, among others) to move into sole possession of the Tigers lead in Sac Flies…with 3…as in Three…he leads the team with 3, all by himself, with 3…one-per-month and you’re Sac-Fly-Man…

      Cabrera swings at a lot of 1st pitches (so does Flash Anderson, but we’ll save that one); and hits a lot of them, and hits a fair number of them far. So this is not a bad thing (although the whole pitch count thing is complicated, and I think interesting–it’s to the batter’s advantage to swing early; if all the batters do this the team is screwed. See what I mean? There’s a built-in team-vs-individual dynamic there).

      One thing that’s not too hard to notice though is that the 1st pitch swingers tend to also be the GIDP guys; I have to assume it’s easy to get the DP grounder if you have a pretty good idea the batter is going to swing at what you throw. (And the reverse works also; Inge and Granderson are regularly at the top in PPA and at the bottom in GIDP frequency).

      In fact, the Tigers have 20 1st pitch GIDPs. Add to that 18 2nd pitch GIDPs, and we’ve got 38 on pitch one or two. To put that in context, the Rangers have 40 total as a team. You know how difficult it is to hit with 2 strikes–the AL avg once you get 2 strikes is something like .185; the Tigers team OPS is only .531.
      And yet with 1375 PAs with 2 strikes, the Tigers have hit into a grand total of 15 GIDP–that’s about 5 x less frequently, in the most disadvantageous situation a batter can be in, than they do on 1st pitches.

      Or to put it another way: at the same rate as 1st pitch GIDPs (20 in 372 PAs), we would have 74 2-strike GIDPs instead of 15. Just what we need right, an extra 59 GIDPs.

      Obviously this it more complicated than saying you’re more likely to hit into a GIDP on a 1st pitch than with 2 strikes–primarily the guys who hit all the GIDPs DON’T MAKE IT TO 2 STRIKES, because they’ve already hit into the GIDP by then.

      So with a runner on 1st, and less than 2 out–not in scoring position, on 1st–would it be too much to take a pitch or two instead of going for the sucker pitch for the instant GIDP?

      ***

      Try it some time, it’s a fun game, you can play at home. You’ll find you can guess a team’s GIDP leaders by simply knowing PPAs and 1st swing %.

      • Coleman

        July 7, 2009 at 5:33 am

        As a footnote to the above: Texas has the fewest GIDPs with 40. Of that 40, the greatest number have come…on 1st pitches (13, 33%).

    • scotsw

      July 7, 2009 at 9:16 am

      This team needs:

      - A starter

      Ideally, a healthy Bonderman

      - A strong hitter who is also very good defensively.

      Too many of our position players are either/or: Either good defensively OR good offensively. So Leyland has to juggle every night. Other than Inge, Granderson and Cabrera, who is playing well both ways?

  54. Blackjack47

    July 7, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Looks like the implosion in the motor city is near.zumya is a bum,mags has been a no show,and the twins are winning on the road again.The M and M boys,will be too much for the likes of rayburn,thames,inge and granderson down the stretch,not to mention the bullpen.

  55. stephen

    July 7, 2009 at 3:11 am

    I’d like to revise my preseason prediction of 76-86 to 81-81. Sadly, I am old enough that season remind me of 1988.

    • Coleman

      July 7, 2009 at 5:37 am

      Well aren’t you lucky? I’m so old that I DON’T remember 1988…

  56. MCM

    July 7, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Oddly, I wasn’t that upset about this loss…sadly, I’m guess I’m just getting used to it…

  57. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 7, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Minnesota starts a 3 game series with NY and then has a 3 game series vs the White Sox. Most likely they’ll split and win 3 of 6.

    The White Sox play Cleveland 3 times and the Twins. They’ll probably also split these games and win 3 of 6.

    The Tigers probably just need to win 2 of 5 games to stay in 1st place at All-star break. We’ll probably win 3 of 5 games though.