Game 2009.087: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers will look to end the “first half” of the season, as well as the homestand on a happy note when they take on the Indians today. Cleveland sends out Tomo Ohka and Justin Verlander takes the bump for the Tigers.

Ohka only has 3 starts this year and has only appeared in 6 games overall. He has fanned 10 and walked 9 in 28.2 innings…and he’s allowed 7 home runs!

Verlander pretty much began his dominant streak against the Indians (well, it actually started against the Yankees but the Indians games are what made it a streak). In back to back starts against Cleveland he fanned 22 in 16 innings and allowed just 1 run. Of course the Indians have a history of beating him up pretty good, and the way they hit the ball against Galarraga last night means it probably won’t be as easy of a game for Verlander as it was back in May.

Cleveland vs. Detroit – July 12, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: You know when you hear the Tigers hit 3 homers in a game, you kind of expect Miguel Cabrera or Marcus Thames to be involved somehow. Instead they were busy with back-to-back infield singles while Clete Thomas and Brandon Inge decided to go back-to-back homers. The middle of the order brought some serious thump today with Thames picking up 4 hits, Thomas a double short of the cycle, and Inge doubling up on long balls.

In the end the Tigers had themselves a much needed and enjoyed blowout as they head into the break. The 10 runs was more than enough as Justin Verlander shut the Indians down once again and he’s allowed them exactly 1 run and fanned them 30 times in his 3 starts this year.

Really, the only negative was Zach Miner who hadn’t worked in a while, and it showed.

Inge, Verlander, Granderson, and Jackson now jet to St. Louis for All Star shenanigans.

50 thoughts on “Game 2009.087: Indians at Tigers”

  1. lets make Verlander look like Cy Young today instead of Pavano like yesterday. Did every batter,or was it my imagination, take the first pitch 88mph FB right down the middle and then finally make an out on a pitch out of the strike zone against Pavano????

  2. so today Polonco takes a 88 mph FB right down the middle and hits a pitch outside the strikezone GIDP…..are the Tigers at 100 GIDP yet?

  3. CLETE!!!! Why this guy ever went to Toledo is still a mystery. Don Kelly?? Please.

    1. I still think Kelly deserved the call-up. He’s a good utility ballplayer and we needed someone like him for all those NL interleague games. We don’t need him anymore though.

      There goes Clete again! Glad he got straightened out in Toledo.

  4. Here’s a question: with Guillen poised to come back, who gets sent down? Certainly not Thomas or Raburn. I say it may be our weak hitting, poor base running speedster.

    Enjoy your stay in Toledo, Josh.

      1. I don’t think that should be a consideration. I doubt he gets claimed and so what if he does.

  5. I’d feel a lot better if Robolander puts another zero up here in the fifth. Important to keep the Indians down and not feeling as though they are still in the game.

  6. how about Clete…he can run…he can throw..he already made three routine catches Maggs wouldn’t have gotten close too. and he can hit…and he is young………….pretty nice upside

    1. Where would Guillen play though? He’s not a good option in RF or LF. About all he can do is share the DH spot with Thames. I don’t think we can risk dropping Ordonez because his option can still kick in for 2 more years if he gets picked up by another club.

  7. Verlander is lining up the goose-eggs nicely. We haven’t seen one of these kind games in a long time… a great way to go into the break.

  8. Why is JV still pitching in the 7th? He’s over 100 pitches. The game is over. Get him out of there and save that arm, especially with the ASG on Tuesday.

    1. I assume he’s done now at 116 pitches. Twenty percent of those pitches were thrown when we had a ten-run lead. The all-star break starts tomorrow, which means (a) JV is probably going to throw an inning or two on Tuesday and (b) we don’t have to worry about saving the bullpen, because they have rest coming up. I’m sorry, but I don’t get bringing him back for the 7th.

    1. I think someone has decided to watch footage of Rodney in their spare time on how to pitch the ninth inning.

    2. Miner goes through these stretches where he is pretty bad. Today, is a good day for him to have one of those games. But, for the most part, he can be a valuable pitcher for this club. He’ll get it together and produce some very good innings.

      1. Miner is probably now the official mop-up guy out of the bullpen. Actually, given the fact that he hasn’t pitched much lately, maybe he has been for awhile. That’s OK, every team needs one. As for Zumaya, I wouldn’t feel too bad if they packed him off to Toledo for the rest of the year and tried to teach him how to pitch. If somebody has to come in and bail him out practically every time, what is the point. Send him down and maybe stretch him out abit – the Mud Hens aren’t going anywhere this year.

  9. just think how much better this team could be if the bullpen could just throw strikes. Miner can’t……Zumaya can’t…….Rodney and Seay are hit or miss. How many games that should be easy wins are turned into nail-biters by these guys? If the Tigers don’t win, this’ll be the reason why. Mags not hitting and Polanco hitting 40 pts below career average, and we’re still in 1st place. Hitting, for the most part, is not the issue……it’s the ‘pen. And they better get it straightened out…..

    1. Here’s an interesting stat: of the AL relief pitchers who have 7 saves or more, Rodney is the only one without a blown save… And he has 19 saves.

      I think he is getting the luck that Jones got last season. I am really worried that the luck will run-out and we’ll get blown 9th inning saves in bunches… Look for Lyon to take that spot if that happens.

    2. I agree that the bullpen is frustrating at times to watch. However, more frustrating than the bullpen is the hitting. It is far from consistently good and often times makes the opposing pitcher look like some combination of Nolan Ryan/Greg Maddux. Even today, when we had an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after Clete’s triple, we stranded him at third and he was there with ZERO outs after his triple. It is these “little” things that have cost us more games than the bullpen IMO this year. It didn’t cost us today, but one only needs to look back at the series in Houston and Oakland. The Tiger’s hitting in Houston and Oakland was downright embarrassing, especially considering that those two teams hardly have dominant pitching staffs. We consistently fail to push runs across the plate when we have men is scoring position and less than two outs. Another thing that irks the livin’ $#@% out of me is our inability to take advantage of drawn-in infields. It seems like 90% of the time that the other team pulls their infield in that we fail to make them pay. Again today, 1-0 lead and Clete on third with one out and CLE draws the infield in. Josh Anderson hits a weak ground ball right at the first baseman and Clete has no chance to score. To me these are the issues that need to be fixed (hitting) moreso than bullpen issues. Our offense is offensive to watch on the majority of nights we play. Its not just Josh, its all of these guys including Inge and Cabrera. Cabrera is especially irksome because he hits about .390 with no one on base, but rarely comes through in big situations this year when we really need our big thumper to put a charge into one.

      1. Good move by Cleveland–Anderson seems to be the perfect guy for the drawn-in infield–he can’t seem to avoid the ground ball, and less risk of him beating one out.

        Nobody’s going to come through every time; Inge’s pop foul today with is what happens when you try to go the opposite way and you’re off just a bit. And Inge has been the opposite of Cabrera:

        Bases empty .242 BA .783 OPS,
        men on base .290 BA .939 OPS,
        men in scoring position .308 BA .915 OPS,
        man on 3rd less than 2 out .583 BA 1.667 OPS (not a misprint, before today’s game though).

        In other words, the more important the AB, the better he has done.

        It is a problem as a team though–especially troubling are the number of strikeouts with runner on 3rd less than 2 out: 27 in 169 PAs, which is 1 every 6 times up, that’s ridiculously bad. If Mr. Strikeout King Inge can manage 19 PA with 1 strikeout we should be able to do better than 1 every 6 tries.

  10. You cannot possibly lump Bobby Seay in with Fernando Rodney when it comes to strike throwing. Seay is by most measures the best reliever on the team.

    Verlander looked great today. Him, Buehrle, and Beckett all started today so I bet they’re the last three in the pen on Tuesday. I have no problem with that.

    Thames had a weird game but good for him. He’s been money since returning from the DL. Clete has been great since returning from the minors. And Inge, what can you say? I’m no Inge lover at all, but he’s been great and consistent all season for the Tigers on both sides of the ball. Him and Cabrera have both done that.

  11. What are the current odds on Inge winning the HR Derby?

    Stranger things have happened….I think.

      1. Where were you and everyone else like you when I was saying the same things about his career, and nearly everyone was bashing me?

        I’m more interested in watching Mauer though. I’d like to see what he does do when he “tries” to hit hrs. He is fantastic at getting his bat through the hitting zone and he is better than fantastic at finding the sweet spot of the bat with reliable consistency.

    1. I wonder what the HR Derby rules are on checked swings…

      You’ve got to think Pujols is an overwhelming favorite, considering he is Pujols AND it’s in his home stadium…

      1. Wouldn’t the counter argument to that be

        1) Therefore he has double the pressure

        2) He has 7 qualified hitters to compete with

        3) See Josh Hamilton of 2008 (Pujols could easily dominate the first round or second round, but fall off the table later in the competition)

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