Game 2009.091: Mariners at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers welcome the Seattle Mariners into town. The Mariners, like the Tigers are 6 games above .500 and rely heavily on their defense and pitching to overcome anemic offenses.

The Tigers will send out Rick Porcello for the first time since Michael Jackson died. Will he be rusty? Will he have extra giddy-up? Will he hold down the Mariners the way he did when he faced them on the left coast?

The Mariners send out Garrett Olson. Olson has a tendency to give up the long ball with 12 homers allowed in just 59 innings this year. He has a 4.53 ERA and strike out and walk rates that are unremarkable. The Tigers faced him twice last year and plated 5 runs in each game. So things should look good for an offense that is struggling, but I’m far from confident.

Tonight’s hopefully first place maintaining ineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. Thames, DH
  5. Ordonez, RF
  6. Raburn, LF
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

Seattle vs. Detroit – July 21, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: The Tigers got themselves some offense. When the first 5 batters score, things should be a laugher. But the Mariners kept coming back as they launched 4 homers and this game was way more stressful than it should have been.

Rick Porcello looked to have a ton of movement on his breaking balls. That was the good. The bad was that there were too many balls being put in the air. Porcello is normally an extreme ground ball pitcher, but 5 of the 11 outs in the field were in the air. And then there were the balls that flew out of the park.

But the offense, the offense, oh the offense. Magglio Ordonez seems to be taking to this platoonery as he cracked a grand slam picking up that long awaited “hit with RISP.” And the fact that were RISP was also refreshing. Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera later went deep making it an Arby’s night.

The pen wasn’t bad. Fu-Te Ni and Bobby Seay both gave up homers, but both had been  pitching well of late so I can’t hate on either of them. Brandon Lyon did his 2 out job, and Fernando Rodney made things interesting, but didn’t pitch badly. The 1-2 plunking of Branyan was clearly a mistake, but he was ahead of the count the whole inning, he didn’t nibble, and he followed the HBP with a couple grounders, a K, and a routine flyball.

50 Comments

  1. Kevin in Dallas

    July 21, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Can someone explain to me why you play infield in in the top of the 1st?

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    July 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Once Maggs hits into a DP here Boras is gonna send DD a text message that says RBI = $$$

    • Matt

      July 21, 2009 at 7:28 pm

      I’m happy you were wrong.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 21, 2009 at 7:28 pm

      Guess he can still send the same text message.

  3. jason

    July 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    we already have as many runs as we had the entire Yankees series. and we don’t have an out yet….

  4. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 21, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Magglio!!!!

  5. Erik in PA

    July 21, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    NOICE

  6. Coleman

    July 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    This is just what the doctor ordered.

    (although who is this doctor, and what business is it of his?)

    And in the 1st inning too, which is a rarity.

    I assume there is truth to the Inge injury rumors, which is the most rational explanation for continuing to bat Inge 7th.

  7. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 21, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Man, that sucks for Seattle. Gutierrez is one of the most under-rated players in the game. His defense is just amazing. I though Cleveland was pretty dumb for giving him away like they did.

    • Adam

      July 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm

      Maybe they knew he was going to yard sale into someone’s fence.

  8. Mcb

    July 21, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Better keep hitting

  9. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Wow. Just wow. How is this guy being touted for Rookie of the Year? He looks terrible tonight and is very lucky that the Tigers give him more run support than anyone on the staff. He is very hittable as Seattle is showing. I don’t see the reason why everyone is panicking over possibly trading him to TOR for Halladay.

    • Kathy

      July 21, 2009 at 9:55 pm

      Certainly, the potential is there to be a great pitcher. However, I don’t think he holds a candle to Jair. It killed me to lose him.

      • scotsw

        July 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

        Agreed that Jair was a real loss. However, Porcello’s ceiling is much higher. Much.

    • Joel in Seattle

      July 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm

      This is his second year of pro ball. He’s 20. Do you seriously expect him to be lights out every time he pitches?

  10. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    OMG! Does Hanahan hate us or what? He never does anything until he plays us. He did for OAK vs. us and now for SEA. Unbelievable.

  11. Skip

    July 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Wow Jerry. Really?
    Hope that was sarcasm.
    He’s young and a couple of bad starts, and you already write him off?
    Give the kid a break.

  12. KS

    July 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Jerry he’s 20!!!!

  13. Skip

    July 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    At least Zumaya isn’t in the ‘pen to blow it.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      July 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm

      Thank God for that…………..if Joel had come in I am pretty certain that we’d all be miserable after a gut-wrenching loss, especially the way the ball was flying out of Comerica tonight. I have zero confidnece in JZ right now. None.

  14. KS

    July 21, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Add to that, based on Porcello’s age and experience he should be in low A ball facing the Lansing Lugnuts and Great Lakes Loons. I suppose it’s his fault this team is in such dire straits have to count on what would be a sophomore in college.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      July 21, 2009 at 9:09 pm

      To whom much is given (in terms of talent), much is expected. It is not unheard of for a 20-year old pitcher to do well in the bigs (not common, but not unheard of).

      • Coleman

        July 21, 2009 at 9:15 pm

        Like Cabrera for instance. Hey look at that, he comes through!

  15. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I’m not writing him off or saying he will never be any good. The point was that if he is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year it must be a really poor crop of AL rookies this year. The other point being that because he IS young, we don’t know if he will even come closer to the career Halladay has had. Its just realy disgusting that the offense FINALLY does some damage and this kid is giving it all back to the Mariners. I just need a damn win to calm my nerves. We are at a disadvantage the next two nights in terms of pitching matchups, we really need this game and Porcello’s outing was NOT what the doctor ordered.

    • jri

      July 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm

      Most of the ROY talk came before his two bad outings before the break and this one. He had legitimate All Star numbers before after beating St. Louis, and still after the no decision against the Cubs, which would clearly put him in the ROY conversation. If people had enjoyed the foresight of knowing how his next three outings would go after that, they would have reserved judgment. But you can’t take what people were saying on June 28th and hold it against them 3 starts and 3+ weeks later.

  16. Mcb

    July 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    It sure doesn’t feel like we are winning

  17. Coleman

    July 21, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Lyon looked good. It’s almost too bad to pull him for Rodney…

  18. mcb

    July 21, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    And here we go….

  19. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 21, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    To echo Mcb “it sure doesn’t feel like we’re winning”. Truer words have never been spoken. Even after getting the 27th out, it still doesn’t feel like we won. Man, this team sure has a knack for even making wins semi-miserable.

    • Coleman

      July 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm

      On the other hand, it could be worse–I’m sure the Twins really really felt like they lost yesterday. (For some reason getting home and seeing the replay and seeing that Cuddyer may actually have gotten under the tag makes it even worse, or in other words, better).

      The Twins couldn’t really afford the 4-hour 14-13 loss either. They just had 3 in Texas, still have 2 more in Oakland, then 4 in Anaheim, then back for a 3-game series with the White Sox–all with no off days.

  20. walter55

    July 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Good to get one back in the win column. Now just need TB and Oak to win tonight. Tough match up Galarraga vs. Felix Hernandez tomorrow.

  21. Matt

    July 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Fun fact gleaned from the Rockies broadcast:

    The Detroit Tigers lead the league in batter average when bases are loaded. (.400)

    Who knew?

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      July 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

      …and they probably are dead last in the league in batting average with a man on third and less than two outs. That has been a problem going back to the Trammell managerial era. They can’t even hit the routine SAC fly in those situations, much less get a base hit with any type of regularity.

      • Coleman

        July 22, 2009 at 12:02 am

        Not exactly, but close enough to give you the cigar anyway. At .283 .333 113 in BA OBP and Runs, we’re better than the fearsome Royals (.272 .322 97) but that’s it.

        League avg is .331 .379 130 to put that in context.

        Not that those extra 17 runs we would have had for being merely average would have been useful or anything…

        If that’s not bad enough, Detroit is dead last in number of runner on 3rd less than 2 out situations. So we don’t get the runners there, and when we do, we are almost worst at getting them home.

        And since he seems to be headed from Comeback Player of the Year to Comeback Whipping Boy of the Year (no cartoon though, with Sheff gone), I’ll point out again Inge’s runner on 3rd less than 2 out stats:

        .517 .650 .929 1.579 15RBI in 20PA 1K 1GIDP

        And small sample size or not, think about what this says about Detroit’s overall numbers, which include the above.

        In fact I forgot to mention the worst part of Detroit’s stats–the number of times they strike out with runner on 3rd less than 2 out, which is sort of the one thing you most DON’T want to do: 28 in 179 PA, or about 1 in 6 times. Some guys should be a bit ashamed here. I mean for the love of Rob Deer, INGE has only managed 4% of the team strikeouts, how hard can it be?

        • scotsw

          July 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

          That is awesome info, Coleman. Someone slip it under Leyland’s door.

    • Coleman

      July 21, 2009 at 11:42 pm

      Well, there’s the small sample size bit–smaller in Detroit’s case than most teams, since they’ve only had bases loaded 87 times (league average is 98). So the Twins for example are hitting .326 with bases loaded, but have gotten 93 runs vs 87 for Detroit.

  22. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    July 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    YES! TB scores two in the ninth off Jenks and then holds on in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 win. The lead is back to 2 full games over the Fightin’ Ozzies.

    • Andre in Chi

      July 21, 2009 at 11:07 pm

      “Fightin’ Ozzies”

      I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this before, its brilliant. All I want for Christmas is a Tigers sweep of the WSox, just to hear Hawk’s heart break a little more each day.

  23. Andre in Chi

    July 21, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I consider myself a “manly man” much to the consternation of the lady friend (must show more emotion), but I’ll admit almost getting choked up when Maggs got the GS.

    • Coleman

      July 21, 2009 at 11:27 pm

      Careful about that “more emotion” thing–there are certain types and times for this, and the rules are too complex for the mind of the unfrozen cave man

  24. Jason

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Jerry, seriously, what do you want? Great teams win close games. It’s not like you can expect, or reasonably hope for, a 10-2 blowout every evening. I felt great when the Tigers brought back the W tonight, not “semi-miserable”.

    This is a flawed team that can win a weak division and then needs a WHOLE lot o’ luck in a short series against the Red Sox or Yankees. I’ll gleefully celebrate every win they give to us fans.

    As an aside, I’m glad Raburn played tonight. He should be starting every game as the best of a bad lot. Though I would like Wilkin Ramirez to get another chance (3 BB in last night’s Mud Hens game, which I saw).

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      July 22, 2009 at 1:21 am

      I want us to pull away for a laugher, say like the 10-1 win vs. CLE in the last game before the AS break. When you are up 8-1 after two innings at home, you should NOT be in a position to lose the game in the ninth inning if you are truly a “good” team. Winning close games where you are behind or ahead by a run or two most of the game is one thing. It is far different from stumbling to the finish line in a game where your team had a seven run lead and a supposed AL Rookie of the Year candidate pitching at home. Good teams don’t let the other team back in when they’re up 8-1 after two innings. They put their foot on the other guy’s neck and snap it, then light a cigarette and watch the other guy die under their boot. That’s what I want. In other words, I don’t want to be squirming in my seat in the ninth inning like I was tonight given the aforementioned circumstances of tonight’s game.

      • scotsw

        July 22, 2009 at 10:19 am

        Ah, Porcello has been off for over 2 weeks, and looked mostly fine. As Leyland said after the game, he looked great for stretches, and looked rusty a few times. Left a couple pitches up. He learned something — that’s not all bad. There was also a little bad luck: Porcello’s a ground-ball pitcher, and a few of those found gaps. The chopper over Inge, for instance.

        In New York, our pitching was awesome, and the bats lost the games. Here, the pitching was just good enough, and the bats won it. Yin and Yang.

      • Andre in Chi

        July 22, 2009 at 10:43 am

        “Good teams don’t let the other team back in when they’re up 8-1 after two innings.”

        Likewise, bad teams don’t often score 8 runs in two innings. Scary game, for sure, but it was nice to see the Tigers put up that much offense against a team known for excellent pitching. Although their pen did an admirable job of shutting down the Tigers for most of the game they had to eat a lot of innings, and I think the Tigers might reap the benefits of chasing their starter so early as this series goes on.

  25. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    It felt like a good win to me. Good hitting, good hustle, and Lyon/Rodney getting the job done again. Rodney isn’t nails, but he sure can hammer down the saves.

    Best thing about the game was that Polanco and Magglio had some good AB’s. Hopefully they are heating up. If that happens, the sky is the limit. Having those 2 guys back to normal would be beyond huge.

  26. Coleman

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 am

    A’s and Twins still tied at 2.

    The A’s are a weird team. Only 5-13 interleague, only 9-17 against the West, but 11-9 vs the Central and 14-13 vs the East.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      July 22, 2009 at 1:26 am

      Twins won it 3-2 in 10 innings on a Cuddyer RBI triple. We’re up 2 on the Fightin’ Ozzies and 2.5 on the Twins heading into Wednesday’s action.

  27. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 22, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Bobby Jenks has been terrible his last 5 games now.
    In this span he has a 10.12 ERA and a 2.62 WHIP.

    That’s just as bad as Zumaya has been.

    • scotsw

      July 22, 2009 at 10:22 am

      Which I fear means he’s getting his moments of mortality out of the way now, so he can slam the door on the Tigers, as usual. He’s like Luke Scott, Hannahan and Jermaine Dye — They all eat Tigers.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        July 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

        Is there a guy in the big leagues who looks more physically ridiculous than Jenks? He looks like Santa Claus if Santa Claus was to trim his beard and leave an extra long tuft of hair on his chin. Every time I see him climb on the mound I think this thought to myself. He’s certainly got the heft to play the role.