Game 2009.101: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: It will be an interesting game tonight as the Detroit travels to the home of former Cleveland Indians. The Tribe sent away Ryan Garko, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez this week. And they brought back Fausto Carmona.

Carmona has been garbage for most of the year, simply awful. So bad he got sent to A ball and he has since worked his way back to the bigs after posting some impressive numbers. He faced the Tigers once, and he wasn’t that good with 6 walks, but only 2 runs scored in 6.2 innings.

Edwin Jackson and the search for run support will be on the mound for Detroit. Jackson has faced Cleveland twice this year and has allowed 1 run in 14 innings with 11 strike outs.

Tonight’s lefty heavy lineup is:

  1. Granderson
  2. Polanco
  3. Guillen
  4. Cabrera
  5. Thomas
  6. Thames
  7. Inge
  8. Laird
  9. Santiago

Detroit vs. Cleveland – July 31, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

170 Comments

  1. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Nice to face the tribe after they cleared the cupboard of Lee &
    Martinez

  2. Skip

    July 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Lefty heavy?
    Four, I guess that’s a lot…

    Remember 2003 (I know it’s hard) when the Tigers were a weak,lefty hitting speedy team (remember Andres Torres, Gene Kingsale, and Alex Sanchez?)? Now they’re a predominately right handed, power hitting (slow) team… Weird…

    • Vince in MN

      July 31, 2009 at 7:32 pm

      I wouldn’t exactly call the Tigers a power hitting team. They are middle of the pack in HRs and 9th in the league SLG. They are slow however, especially with the departure of the speedy Josh Anderson.

  3. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 31, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I expecting great things all around from the Tigers in this series.
    The Tiger clubhouse morale is probably extremely high right now. They must be feeling pretty stoked about getting Washburn. Some of the players must be feeling good (Guillen, Thames, Thomas) that the deadline passed by and we didn’t add another bat to line-up. It shows that management has trust in them.

    Cleveland players are probably feeling rather miserable about the trades.

  4. Mike in CT

    July 31, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I don’t want to be negative, but wouldn’t it be typical Tigers to lay an egg tonight against the Columbus Clippers, err, Cleveland Indians.

    At least we have E-Jack on the bump.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      July 31, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      2 runs already. Now a red hot Thames is up. Carmona doesn’t look like he’ll make it out of this inning.

      edit: I must of jinxed it.

      • Mike in CT

        July 31, 2009 at 7:22 pm

        so far so good….i’m still keeping my fingers crossed.

      • Coleman

        July 31, 2009 at 7:48 pm

        Actually it’s too bad the inning ended at 2, but to me the fact that it ended on back-to-back Thames-Inge fly balls to the opposite field is a good sign.

        (those we-lost-but-should-have-won-games all seem to feature innings ending with a K or GIDP or ground ball to pitcher or pop foul…)

        • Coleman

          July 31, 2009 at 7:50 pm

          And then the next inning starts with Laird fly ball out to the opposite field. Hmm, I wonder if someone spent the off-day drilling these guys on going the opposite way sometimes and not trying to pull everything?

  5. Steve

    July 31, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I was starting to feel a little bad for the Cleveland fans, BUT……… The front office did not want to sign CC, The team was pretty much laying an egg this year. This might be the only real way to rebuild. AND I remembered our 2003 season and felt better because we are in it now and they are not. They should be lucky Matt Millan is not rebuilding them like he built the Lions

  6. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Apparently Jackson isn’t comfortable pitching with a lead.

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    July 31, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Jackson is at 75% strikes. Amazing.

  8. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 31, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    That was one long inning. Cleveland must of forgot that Edwin Jackson is pitching. Who do they think they are scoring 2 runs off him?

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      Cleveland scores a lot, more than most teams, and certainly a lot more than we do (they are 5th in R/G, we are 9th), it’s just that with their pitching, a lot isn’t enough.

      I should say they have scored a lot, back when they had the varsity team on the field.

      They still have Shoppach and Choo though, 1st and 4th in HBP (Garko was 3rd, so they kind of had a corner on that. We should just go ahead and hit them and get it over with. Then they can nail Inge–2nd, surrounded by Indians–and everybody will have their share.)

  9. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Looks like we’ll be going to the bullpen early tonight. 65 pitches in 2 innings for Jackson. He needs a quick 3rd.

  10. Andrew

    July 31, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks, Edwin. We’ll see you in five days.

  11. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 31, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    This is getting too exciting to watch. Need to go get some beer.

  12. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    That was not a quick 3rd. On the positive side, the Indians are squandering their chances and maybe the Tigers can dink and dunk their way to a win here.

  13. Andrew

    July 31, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Oh, and why isn’t this game in HD on FSD? Is it because they don’t have a relationship with STO (which, by the way, has horrible HD tonight) or don’t they want to move the equipment from Detroit to Cleveland?

  14. Steve

    July 31, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Is any one getting the Detroit feed?. I have MLB EI and we have the Cleveland guys. I was wondering what Mario and Rod are saying about the trade.

  15. Steve

    July 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    BTW … Coleman, you have to have a post, you have cherry picked all night. I know your not shy ;)

  16. Coleman

    July 31, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Fruit harvesting aside, I still outnumber the Steve posts, half of which are on the subject of Coleman posts…

    • Steve

      July 31, 2009 at 8:56 pm

      OK,

  17. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 31, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    This game has been disappointing so far. I’m go out to pub to watch the rest of the game.

  18. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Jackson: 115 pitches in 4 innings.

    C’mon guys, time to start the dinkin’ and the dunkin’.

  19. Coleman

    July 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Actually that should have been 1/3 of which… this stuff is harder on mobile…

    One of those mysterious baseball things I guess, but it seems that Granderson just isn’t a great base-stealer

  20. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Does Polanco ever NOT take the first pitch and swing at the second?

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:01 pm

      I feel guilty; I think I’m responsible for pointing this out to you. Because once you realize it, it will drive you crazy.

      He does vary the pattern sometimes. But not in important situations, like when there is a runner on 1st and an opportunity to hit into a double play.

  21. Mcb

    July 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    This sucks

  22. Mcb

    July 31, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    It’s a good thing leyland got his extension in the first half.

  23. DH in DC

    July 31, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Is there any team with a feebler bottom third of the order that the Tigs?

    • Mike in CT

      July 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm

      The Pittsburgh Class AAAA Pirates?

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:03 pm

      Oakland and Seattle, if you go by OPS.

  24. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    same goddamn pathetic offense…

    • Vince in MN

      July 31, 2009 at 9:34 pm

      There is still a little over two hours to go before the trading deadline ends and Halladay is still available.

      • Brenden

        July 31, 2009 at 9:36 pm

        Trade deadline was at 4pm, chief.

  25. Kevin in Dallas

    July 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    If Laird were to go to the plate and never swing, would he have a higher OPS than he currently does?

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:05 pm

      Hey, go easy on Laird. He leads the team in sac flies. OK, it’s only 3, and Everett is tied with him, but still he leads.

      I have a feeling we’re the only AL team where the team leaders in sac flies are the 8-9 hitters…

  26. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Who is this Washburn guy we traded for anyway, and why isn’t he in the lineup playing 3B tonight?

  27. mcb

    July 31, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    We got spoiled. In the offseason we thought bottom 1/3 would be like this, then they started hot. If we don’t win this series after all the selling Cleveland did, it will be a big disappointment. We were about .500 on the road and then just nose dived.

  28. Brenden

    July 31, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Boy, I’m glad we got a pitcher instead of a hitter…What an absolute joke….

    • Vince in MN

      July 31, 2009 at 9:39 pm

      Well sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the 14th best pitching staff in the league.

  29. Brenden

    July 31, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    And we are falling apart again….I’m done…..time to find something better to do with my evening.

  30. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    I say we trade our Cabrera for Cleveland’s Cabrera… Is there still time before the deadline?

  31. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Would the last one out please turn off the lights.

  32. mcb

    July 31, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I hate that drum

  33. Matt

    July 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Nice job by Perry. He’s done well since coming back up.

    Might be the only bright spot in this game.

  34. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Come on Santiago… lets get on base.

  35. mcb

    July 31, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Another stranded man on 3rd less than 2outs :-(

    • Mike in CT

      July 31, 2009 at 10:02 pm

      just plain terrible, with the No. 3 and 4 hitters at the dish. Aenemic seems to sum it up.

      • Chris

        July 31, 2009 at 10:16 pm

        Yea but Cabrera had that big 3-run digger the other night. That was so clutch for him to pad his stats so very meaninglessly, when we needed it the most. It was breathtaking. It’s almost as good as having a real cleanup hitter.

  36. David G.

    July 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Hope Jarrod is ready to toss 9 shutout innings to get a W.

  37. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Miggy Cabrera is on a roll. He came in big the other night with the big 3-run homer when Tigers desperately needed to stretch the lead from 10-4 to 13-4. Its so great that he came through in the clutch at that point. It’s great to see him save his offensive magic when the team needs it the most.

  38. Mike in CT

    July 31, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Leadoff double…can they plate ONE run? Odds?

  39. walter55

    July 31, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Man our offense is really frustrating that you can’t put up any runs against these crap pitchers Cleveland is using tonight.

  40. Mike in CT

    July 31, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Maybe Santiago came be clutch, like he was at the beginning of the year. His decline, coupled with Everett’s shortcoming have drained any offense from the SS spot.

  41. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    As much as Inge has struggled as late, he still has more RBIs then our cleanup hitting, stat padding 1st baseman.

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 10:53 pm

      Before the season started, Inge was just our great-fielding, 8th hitting .230 hitter with occasional power. I think even injured, he is a better hitter than that now. But the power–which we absolutely depended on the first half–just is NOT going to be there I’m afraid. He looks a lot like a decent bottom-of-the-order singles hitter who is a bit clutch, who by the way is now maybe an above-average but not gold-glove caliber 3rd baseman.

      In other words, Inge looks like he may be able to tough out the bad knees thing, but if the Tigers are OK with that, than SOMEONE has to replace the unexpected hitting that Inge provided in the 1st half, whether it’s Guillen or Ordonez or Cabrera or someone new.

      If the anticpated .230, #8 hitter Inge had shown up in April as expected, we would NOT have been leading the division at the break; it stands to reason that if that’s the Inge we get the rest of the way, someone absolutely has to pick up the slack, or we just won’t win.
      We were lucky to win as many as we did considering our offensive stats in the 1st half; if we produce worse stats in the 2nd half even Halladay wouldn’t be enough.

      • Coleman

        July 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm

        Alright…I think I’m gonna have to cross-my fingers and go with Carlos as that guy; Way to go Carlos “2nd Half Inge” Guillen!!

  42. Skip

    July 31, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    This is incredibly frustrating!
    How are we losing to a team that just traded away everyone that they could?!?
    How are we not scoring any runs!
    We only need 4!
    Check that,
    5 runs now to tie it!
    Where is our offense?

    • Chris

      July 31, 2009 at 10:48 pm

      How are we not scoring any runs?

      When we have someone incredibly ineffective batting 4th in our lineup, that becomes a huge hole in the offense. Seriously, does any team fear Miggy Cabrera?

  43. Jud

    July 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Why don’t they just forfeit all road games and go back to Detroit during that time and practice hitting…

  44. Skip

    July 31, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Will the real Detroit Tigers please stand up?
    I repeat, will the real Detroit Tigers please stand up?
    We’re going to have a problem here…

    Seriously, our starting pitching isn’t the problem. I’m not going to blame E-Jax. I’m not even going to blame our ‘pen.
    The real culprit is, and will be, our offense.
    One day, we explode (like for 13 runs) off modest pitching teams. The next, we can’t even score 5 off one of the worst pitching staffs, and a terrible
    bullpen, in the league.
    I love Jarrod Washburn, but I would love it more if he can hit.
    Let’s score some runs off Wood!!!!!

  45. Mike in CT

    July 31, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    WE GOT WOOD!

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:07 pm

      Well cool, now you should check back in on the Tiger game, they tied it up…

  46. Chris

    July 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Yea, Guillen. Getting it done before the Big Choker comes to the plate.

  47. Skip

    July 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Runs!!!!!
    Runs! Runs! Runs! Runs! Runs!!
    Amazing!!
    It’s such a beautiful thing!!

    (still… Good for one game. Let’s see this ALL the time now…)

  48. Matt

    July 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Kerry Wood has got to be the worst closer in the game.

    • Mike in CT

      July 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm

      Didn’t the Tigers sort of, kind of, want to sign him?

      • Coleman

        July 31, 2009 at 10:55 pm

        Yes, and they reluctantly had to settle for the consolation prize Lyon, who bizarrely enough has turned out to be a much better signing.

  49. Skip

    July 31, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Oi! DD!!
    Mark your calender: Aug. 30.
    I want a bat by then, got it?

    • Skip

      July 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm

      Check that
      Aug. 31…

  50. Jud

    July 31, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Carlos!!!!

  51. Jud

    July 31, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    then I thought Miggy followed it up with a back to back except he swung and missed

    • Chris

      July 31, 2009 at 11:01 pm

      Please. What do you expect? Miggy, the Big Choker, is never a difference maker in any game.

  52. Mike in CT

    July 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Please Fernando…please hang a zero.

    • Jud

      July 31, 2009 at 11:01 pm

      Rodney looks razor sharp those pitches are only missing by a few feet

      • Mike in CT

        July 31, 2009 at 11:03 pm

        I’m in the radio feed, is his shirt tucked in at least.

      • Jud

        July 31, 2009 at 11:09 pm

        these Cleveland fans are something else…you have a fire sale and trade two of your best players in the last couple days and 35,000 show up at the game, wow

  53. Skip

    July 31, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    To the 10th we go…

    1 run, please…?

  54. Coleman

    July 31, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    The Inge-ured One!

  55. Coleman

    July 31, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Gerald Laird: best bunting Tiger catcher ever?

    Discuss amongst yourselves…

  56. Matt

    July 31, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Mark it down now. Man on 3rd, less than two outs, no runs scored.

  57. Matt

    July 31, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Matt
    I hate you for calling that 

    • Matt

      July 31, 2009 at 11:14 pm

      I hate that it was so easy to call.

    • T Smith

      July 31, 2009 at 11:15 pm

      It was a layup. He had to take it.

  58. Jud

    July 31, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    story of the last two years ..runner on third less than two outs…are they the worst team in all of baseball at getting him in?????

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:17 pm

      In the AL they are better than the fearsome KC Royals. That’s it.

      Santiago has been one of the successful ones though, along with Everett and Inge (which means probably even the Royals are better than us with their 1-6 hitters), and he did hit a line drive to 1st, which is a failure but not a Failure, like a strikeout is (we strike out 1/6 times, which is beyond bad).

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:25 pm

      Actually–and this is great news–ORDONEZ (as in Magglio-the-short-haired)–has been on a hot streak with runner on 3rd and less than 2 out and now joins the Bottom of the Order Boys at having an above average success rate.

  59. Jud

    July 31, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    hey Grandy way to be clutch…At least put a bat on the ball once in awhile

  60. Matt

    July 31, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Time for the heart of the line-up to pick up the bats and do something.

    Our pitchers are getting out of jams by the skin of their teeth and it’s not going to hold up.

    Win. This. Now.

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:34 pm

      “Time for the heart of the line-up to pick up the bats and do something.”

      Well at least we all still have our sense of humor…

  61. Coleman

    July 31, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Nice working out of a bit of a jam by Lyon, and nice assist to Cleveland for replacing Hafner with a pinch-runner/DH with an OPS in the vicinity of Adam Everett….

  62. Mike in CT

    July 31, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    well…does the other shoe drop in the 11th or 12th? We’ll run out of arms before the Tribe and Ohka looks like he could deal all night.

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2009 at 11:38 pm

      Thames will lead off with a strikeout, Inge will get a walk-HBP (one of these guys, Shoppach/Choo/Inge is due), Laird GIDP. EDIT: Doh! Missed when Ni nailed Choo

      Thames is capable of a 2-HR game at any time; unfortunately there are days when the game could go 20 innings and he would be 0-9.

      • Jud

        July 31, 2009 at 11:45 pm

        I thought he had a home run but the catcher caught it!

    • Matt

      July 31, 2009 at 11:39 pm

      Right now it looks like Lyon could deal all night.

      • Jud

        July 31, 2009 at 11:42 pm

        hes been dealing alot lately….. all good

  63. Kevin in Dallas

    July 31, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Nice.

  64. Matt

    July 31, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Did Lyon even get a chance to sit down?

    That was pathetic.

  65. Jeff Molby

    July 31, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Any idea how many pitches Lyon and Fien can throw? Which starter do you suppose is going through his pre-game motions right now?

  66. Jud

    July 31, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    we needed Grandy to make the third out in the 12 not lead off the 13th…MR Clutch 2

  67. Mike in CT

    August 1, 2009 at 12:02 am

    grumble grumble.

  68. Kevin in Dallas

    August 1, 2009 at 12:03 am

    What’s the update on Miggy’s RISP streak? He was 5 for 45, then he got a hit. But what’s it been since then?

  69. Chris

    August 1, 2009 at 12:03 am

    The Big Choker does it again, on one pitch!

    • Mike in CT

      August 1, 2009 at 12:05 am

      the one pitch swinging is what kills me.

      • Jud

        August 1, 2009 at 12:07 am

        the look on his face was like gee I ‘m glad I didn’t have to run all the way to first on that crappy ground ball

      • Chris

        August 1, 2009 at 12:09 am

        He sucks, big time. I’m grateful for his ability to pad his stats. It adds to the trade value. Now, hopefully DD will be smart enough to try to get rid of him and try to instead get a real cleanup hitter.

  70. Jud

    August 1, 2009 at 12:05 am

    actually we should keep track of all the meaningless hits he has in the season…cause he has over 100 and how many have been with RISP

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 12:16 am

      20 HRs, 333 BA….. and the stat that tells you everything you need to know….

      57 RBIs in 380 ABs… all of which were in 3rd or cleanup in the order.

      The guy is pathetic and he is the reason for the teams offensive problems. I blame the Big Choker. He had not provided anything.

  71. Mike in CT

    August 1, 2009 at 12:08 am

    i want those five hours back. terrible.

  72. Jud

    August 1, 2009 at 12:10 am

    this team just sucks….bottom line

  73. Skip

    August 1, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Well…
    That wasn’t worth it…

  74. greg

    August 1, 2009 at 12:13 am

    man we suck

  75. Matt

    August 1, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Good. We didn’t deserve to win.

  76. Vince in MN

    August 1, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Sorry if I sound like a broken record, because I have been saying this for over two months: pitching isn’t the problem.

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 12:20 am

      Nope! Miggy Cabrera is the problem. He is NOT driving in runs. And that is not because of he hasn’t had the chance. I’m sorry but the Miggy Cabrera era is a bust. He will never-ever contribute to this team in a meaningful way.

      • billfer

        August 1, 2009 at 9:01 am

        Chris -

        You were suspended for the last week, and you’re about to get dumped again. We know you don’t like Cabrera. We get it. Posting the same thing 50 times in a thread doesn’t help and it just takes away from attempts at meaningful conversation. Comments like “he will never-ever contribute to this team in a meaningful way” are just idiotic. This is you last warning.

        • Chris

          August 1, 2009 at 11:25 am

          Am I now not allowed to say anything bad about Cabrera?

          • billfer

            August 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

            Sure, say bad things about Cabrera, but don’t do it every single post you make and don’t blame every single loss on Cabrerea. Granderson choked more opportunities than Cabrera last night.

            And when you say bad things, say it in a constructive way instead of name calling and exaggeration. Cite that he has only driven in 14% of the runners he’s seen this year instead of a higher rate than someone with his stats should.

            And quite frankly saying things like he is the worst clean-up hitter in the game is idiotic. Completely idiotic.

    • Jeff Molby

      August 1, 2009 at 12:25 am

      Are you kidding? We put up 5 runs in the first 9 innings today. Our team ERA is 4. 5 runs of offense will get the job done on most nights. This was just bad luck that a good offensive day came on a bad defensive day.

      As for the big picture, it doesn’t matter matter if you increase RS or decrease RA. Both are valid improvements. This is a flawed team. You could have improved the team by replacing most anyone on the 25 man roster. Since you can’t fill all the holes, you pick the most cost-effective hole and be done with that.

      Buck up and enjoy the stretch run. It’ll be interesting; I can promise you that much. :-)

  77. Matt

    August 1, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Well, it sucks to lose this game but to be honest if we take 2 out of 3 on the road that’s good enough.

    I would have thought we’d win with Ejax on the mound but it wasn’t to be. If we take the next 2 we’re all right.

    • stephen

      August 1, 2009 at 12:23 am

      Sure Matt, but where’s the evidence that is going to happen? What are you basing your optimism on?

  78. stephen

    August 1, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Yeah, wow. I’m all for adding pitching depth, but good god you CAN’T win in the American League with Laird and Everett/Santiago batting 8th and 9th. That wouldn’t cut it for the ’79 Tigers. Yes I know Cabrera whiffed in the big moment, but a bottom half of Thames, an Injured Inge, Laird, and Everett/Santiago won’t win even this weak ass division.

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 12:29 am

      Why do you let the Big Choker, Cabrera off the hook? The fact that he has only a paltry 57 RBIs w/ 380 ABs is horrendous. Yes, the bottom 3rd of the order stinks. But that problem is magnified by the fact that the cleanup hitter stinks as well. Fix either of those two problems and the Tigers win the division with ease.

      • stephen

        August 1, 2009 at 12:38 am

        i’m not letting him off for free, but you assume Cabrera will do better because of his track record. The fact that Dombro thought somehow Inge, Laird, and Everett were going to hit above their track record was insane. Yes, I know the defense had to be improved, but is there no middle ground? Some folks were psyched when Everett was signed saying what a bargain he was at $1 m. That’s great if this is the Royals, but this is supposed to be a contender. You can’t have this bottom part of the lineup and think you’re going to win a division even this one which is one of the weakest divisions since the beginning of division play in 1969.

        • Chris

          August 1, 2009 at 12:58 am

          None of that would be much of a problem if we had a decent run producer batting cleanup. We would be looking at a +6 game lead if Miggy Cabrera’s BA & HR stats really meant something and actually drove in runs.

          Inge BTW has MORE RBIs than the Big Choker. Have you not noticed? And this is with Inge going into a bit of a slump in the past week. Of those RBIs, they have made much more of a difference between winning and losing for this team.

  79. greg

    August 1, 2009 at 12:26 am

    what are Cabrera’s stats with RISP since late May? Likke 6-53?? That’s bad but Granderson and Polonco are horrible in terms of batting average.

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 12:34 am

      Granderson and Polanco have not had very good seasons, but I think they have provided enough to make the offense work. We need a guy who can drive in runs in the cleanup spot. We’ve needed that desperately all season… Instead we got a starting pitcher who is capable of losing 2-1 games… Just perfect!

      • greg

        August 1, 2009 at 12:38 am

        We needed someone to protect Cabrera. No one our lineup can protect anybody. I still unbelieveable that our offense would be this bad.

        • Chris

          August 1, 2009 at 12:48 am

          Protect Cabrera? … Please! Is someone supposed to protect him from first-pitch swinging into an easy out w/ RISP? Is someone supposed to protect him from striking out with men on base and the game on the line? Protect Cabrera from what? The honey glazed ham in the club house?

          Seriously, they are not pitching around him. That shows up in the fact that he hasn’t drawn that many walks. Anyway, why would any manager or pitcher fear this guy? With men on base, I would go right after him, as if he was Nick Punto.

          • greg

            August 1, 2009 at 12:52 am

            I do agree on the first pitch swinging bc that is just plain stupid. That is also why he does not walk much. There was an article about how Cabrera does not do well under pressure especially when he is the only guy one our team hitting for average. If they would get another run producer, I think he would be fine.

  80. stephen

    August 1, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Tigers record since three years ago today: 239-242.
    It is astounding how much money has been spent on a team. This is the absolute definition of mediocrity.

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 1:05 am

      Money poorly spent on poor performers such as Robertson, Willis, Sheffield and Cabrera. Too much given to the likes of Guillen & Inge.

  81. Dylan

    August 1, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Sitting through 5 hours of baseball at Progressive Field was definitely not worth it today. How many times can we choke with risp… Sigh.

  82. Vince in MN

    August 1, 2009 at 1:08 am

    As this team stands right now, they are incapable of “winning” the division. They could still finish because it just might work out in the end that they are less bad than the Twins or White Sox and could in effect take it by default. Unfortunately they are far from being a playoff caliber team and an embarrassing 0-3 run in the first round would be a distinct possibility. Not to get too far into the future because things can still change for the better, but 101 games into the season I haven’t seen anything to convince me that they are anything but a very mediocre team. The pitching is well above average of course, but the Swiss Cheese Offense more than offsets any advantage there. Games like tonight’s are not an abberation (Wednesday’s 13-5 win is the exception) and have been pretty typical from day 1. Sure they’ll play a few games in a row where they put it all together, but then that will be followed by falling flat on their faces. The only consistency is their inconsistency, and at this late date I don’t see how that is going to change.

    • Joel in Seattle

      August 1, 2009 at 1:53 am

      Vince:

      All you’ve got to do is make the playoffs. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals were not a playoff team, and we all know pretty well how that went.

  83. Steve in Det

    August 1, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Chris,
    Your ragging on Miggy is completely uncalled for. Miggy may be finally having a bad season for the first time in his career. No one not even 300 million dollar A – Rod has great seasons EVERY season. Besides your riding Miggy for all mistakes is completely insane.

    THE ENTIRE LINEUP IS TO BLAME!!!!!

    The upgrade for our rotation was great, and stunningly it didn’t cost us one of our ‘overrated’ A grade prospects. So why did we not go and TRY our best to get a real clean up hitter? Because DD thinks that Guillen is that guy. Even though he is and never will be a clean up hitter to protect Miggy. Guillen is not the answer, we needed a big bat and DD failed miserably in that regard. I’m just tired of the whole dang thing. We needed offense help not rotation help. And when we got rotation help for next to nothing, we should have gone for a big bat like Dunn, Willingham etc. Now we just have the same crap lineup that is giving our great rotation 2.4 runs since the all star game and 4+ runs this year.

    Welcome to the Tigers, Washburn, I can only hope you pray to the baseball god, because if you don’t, you wont get runs. Or even if you do, he will only look kindly on you certain days where we give you runs to defeat your opponent. Good Luck!!

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 1:23 am

      There we go… Protect Miggy… News flash: They are NOT pitching around him. Why would you pitch around the weakest hitting cleanup hitter in the league?

      And I think your notion that the weakness in the rest of the lineup is to blame for the Big Choker’s struggles is backwards. You subtract Cabrera and add either Teixeira, Morneau, Pujols, Fielder, Howard– any cleanup hitter from any team not named the Royals– and you would have a much, much better offense than this.

      • Joel in Seattle

        August 1, 2009 at 1:51 am

        Teixeira hits 3rd, protected by A-Rod.
        Morneau hits behind Joe Mauer (.426 OBP)
        Fielder hits 4th, but has Ryan Braun (.393 OBP) hitting in front of him.
        Ryan Howard hits behind Chase Utley (.424 OBP)
        Pujols is the best hitter in baseball.

        Meanwhile, Cabrera has had Placido Polanco (.315 OBP) hitting in front of him, and Marcus Thames/Clete Thomas/Magglio Ordonez hitting behind him. I’m disappointed in how well Cabrera has played of late, but considering the performance of the guys around him, he’s actually done pretty well. You can’t drive guys in if they’re not on base.

        • Chris

          August 1, 2009 at 2:15 am

          You are not paying attention. He doesn’t drive in runners when they are on base. So if there are runners on base more then he will simply hit that much less. I think his BA w/ RISP is 111. That is dreadful. He is obviously having mental issues.

          Anyway, how do we know that it is Cabrera making all the other guys ineffective. If he were driving in runs, more men would get on base and pitchers would have to throw more high-pressured pitches in many more games. Maybe Magglio Ordonez would be an effective hitter batting 3rd if Cabrera was having a good season driving in runs.

          I think you have it backwards. Cabrera is the weak link and the rest of the team stinks because we don’t have a good cleanup hitter.

          • Joel in Seattle

            August 1, 2009 at 11:52 am

            “If he were driving in runs, more men would get on base”

            How does that happen?

  84. Chris

    August 1, 2009 at 2:02 am

    For all of you who think that the offense outside of Cabrera is the reason for weakness in producing runs, let’s look at some stats:

    Surprisingly, the Tigers are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to runs scored. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/st.....8;sort=702

    And those runs must be distributed evenly among the team, because not one Tiger player is in the top 50 in terms of RBIs: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/st.....eason_2009

    Also, notice who’s name does not appear on the list (hint: he is big and he is a choker).

    What do these two stats tell us? They tell us that the team is driving in runs OK outside of our cleanup hitter. He is the blaring weakness among his peers.

    • RPS

      August 1, 2009 at 11:20 am

      Yeah. Why is he such a bad hitter that he can’t convince Everett, Granderson, and Polanco to get on base in front of him? Surely a true superstar can magically sprinkle OBP on the guys in front of him like pixie dust. You might as well blame bad pitching on him, too. RsBI are ridiculously context sensitive, and a terrible stat to use to prove anything about an individual player. If you think a guy hitting .333/.397/.550 is the problem, please apply for a position in the KC front office. They’ll be glad to have you.

      By the way, he’s hitting around .280 with RISP. Not .111. Could this be better? Sure. His BA with RISP is still higher than anyone else’s overall BA is. Chokey McChokerson is having a fluky bad season with RISP and is still the team’s best bat in every way. If you don’t think Polanco and Ordonez and Inge and Everett and Laird are the problem, I frankly don’t know what games you watch.

      • Jeff Molby

        August 1, 2009 at 2:52 pm

        In fairness, there’s some validity to Chris’s understatement of Miggy’s RISP avg. The .280 is bouyed by a great April and May. His RISP avg in June and July were both abysmal. Small sample sizes all around, though. Maybe that’s evidence that he’s “pressing”. Regardless, he’s a pro. He’ll even it out in the end.

  85. Jud

    August 1, 2009 at 2:27 am

    If Cy Young, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Mariano Riviera and God were the Tigers pitching staff they would still be 53-47

    • David

      August 1, 2009 at 3:12 am

      well cy’s dead, gibson, ryan and koufax are old, never knew a pitcher named god and although mo is good, 1 reliever does not a team make.

      If they had all those guys in their primes, in addition to their current roster, they would have over a .900 winning % for sure.

    • RPS

      August 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

      I dunno. Supposedly God’s picked up a gyroball, so you may be a bit under.

    • Big Game James

      August 1, 2009 at 2:27 pm

      Jud – my nomination for comment of the year

  86. Andy

    August 1, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Chris,

    I’d agree with the proposition re: Miggy. The one thing that is happening is pitchers are really working the inner half with him. He’s struggling to own that half and if the pitch track was accurate tonight, that’s where he was getting fed. Ted Williams said history is made on the inner half and if you can’t handle it, you’re history.

    I don’t have a problem with first pitch fast ball swinging w/ RISP. You’re going to get a hittable fastball w/ one of the first three pitches. If he’s sitting on it, great. If he’s swinging just to swing b/c he thinks he can get to it, bad approach. Conversely, Guillen did what a professional hitter is supposed to do with a 3-1 fastball down the middle knee high. Knowing what you can handle is a big part of it and it looks as though Miggy thinks he can handle most areas of the zone.

  87. Jeff Molby

    August 1, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Sometimes I want to gag you people and force you to watch 1995-05 highlights for a long weekend.

    You’re whining because we’ve played .500 ball for the last 2.5 seasons with hefty doses of being “in contention” sprinkled in? Did ya’ll forget that we’re not exactly a big market team? DD and MI have resurrected this midwest franchise to the point that you can have bona-fide pride every May and you’ll usually still have that pride in August too. If you want more than that, learn to live with disappointment or switch your allegiance to one of the money coasts.

    I, for one, am just glad I’ve got a team willing to make realistic attempts at winning each year. Pittsburgh traded away most of their roster. Kansas City is so bad they’re grateful to pay for the worst player on our roster.

    I used to be able to come here and talk about the subtleties of baseball. Now the threads are crowded out by pessimists pining for Field of Dreams. We have an imperfect contender. Shut up and enjoy it for what it is.

    /End rant

    • RoseTattoo

      August 1, 2009 at 6:47 am

      Jeff — I’ve had several posts ready to go saying much the same thing but I always wonder “why bother?” and then move on without posting.

      I don’t even know if this group (minus Billfer and a few others) are worthy of being called whiners — it gives whiners a bad name. Our team is in first place people!! After everyone predicted last place!! Can’t you enjoy it? With all the ups and downs?

      • MCM

        August 1, 2009 at 7:13 am

        I dunno, still doesn’t feel like a first place team and it’s frustrating as hell to watch ‘em leave so many risp day in and day out. If the bats continue to struggle first place will be a distant memory in no time.

        • Jeff Molby

          August 1, 2009 at 7:38 am

          We’re not a legit first place team. Any other division and we would have been sellers yesterday. So what? We happen to be the beneficiaries of a crappy division and we might be able to grind our way into the playoffs (where anything can happen).

          Enjoy it. It’s only frustrating if you expect them to be something they’re not. I can underhand a ball to my son all day long and he might catch five of them. That’s not frustrating, though, because I accept the fact that he’s only 3.

          I’m all for some good conversation, including legit criticisms, but all the knee-jerk spouting off just makes this place miserable for those of us that realize the glass is simultaneously half-empty and half-full.

          All I ask is that people ask themselves a simple question before clicking the Submit button: is this the kind of comment that an even-keeled guy like Billfer would make? If the answer is no, they’re probably not adding to the conversation.

          • stephen

            August 1, 2009 at 8:59 am

            Jeff, I’m pretty sure even Billfer would disagree with your comment vetting. The purpose and lifeblood of a blog like this one are to give fans a place to rant, vent, and commiserate. If everyone had your attitude, there would be 75% less posts and 90% less spirited debate.
            If this team spent like a small market team, I’d expect small market results. (That’s why I think the Twins are such an incredible franchise). I fear that this big market spending is going to end soon and we won’t have a championship to show for it. I realize and appreciate that this is a special time for the Tigers in terms of spending, I just want more than we have to show for it.

          • Jeff Molby

            August 1, 2009 at 9:48 am

            I’ll let Billfer speak for himself, but I strongly disagree with you about the “purpose and lifeblood of a blog like this one.” This is a place dedicated to talking about baseball. There isn’t a single person here that’s simply a casual fan. We all love the sport and we can all talk intelligently about it. That’s why I come here. If I want baseless hyperbole, I’ll mosey over to the nearest sports bar and watch with the guys that are only watching because football hasn’t started yet.

            Now, I’m not an emotionless robot. I don’t mind a reasonable amount of expressiveness in situations that warrant it, but scroll through this thread. 110 comments during the game. I’ll be impressed if you can find 20 meaningful statements/questions amongst them. The rest is just stream-of-conscience jibber-jabber. It completely drowns out any attempts at a real baseball conversation.

            re spending: We’re a mid-market team that’s redlining its tachometer. Yes, we should be getting more bang for our bucks, but you’ve been following along. You know why we’re not. Maggs going from batting champ to AAAA in the span of two years? Bondo getting a blood clot? Nate going from workhorse to zero at age 30? Willis going from mediocre to zero the minute he put on a D? Sheffield going from above average to zero? Even accounting for Galarraga’s surprise year, that’s a run of bad luck that would obliterate most teams.

            Everything went right in 2006. Hardly anything has gone right since. Thems the breaks. This, too, shall pass.

          • colin

            August 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

            I agree, but also think this team would also be the cream of the NL Central. Also, you all should realize that the chances of the Detroit Tigers winning it all this year are well above zero*.

            *Larussa, Tony. Cardinals of St. Louis (2006)

          • billfer

            August 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

            I’m not big on comment vetting, and I understand frustration and commiseration. But I disagree that it is the purpose of the blog. The purpose is to discuss baseball. Complaining, second guessing, and venting is certainly a part of it, but it is far from the only part. Discussing the merits of trades, the AL central competition, whether or not Leyland should pinch hit or squeeze, and curious chocies for #3 hitters are a bigger part of it.

            Reading comments like “this team sucks,”” “Cabrera is a bust,” “this team can’t contend” frustrate me because a)the team does not suck b)Cabrera has an OPS over 900 and has greatly improved his defense and c)the team has been contending for 100 games.

            It’s not all sunshine and lollipops and the team is far from perfect. They probably are only the 5th or 6th best team in the AL. But they do play in a crappy division and the team looks to be in a pennant race. That doesn’t happen that often and incessant complaints about a first place team, even a flawed one, do grate on me.

            Reasonable constructed complaints are no problem. Complaints with data and evidence are even better. And complaints that are sarcastic and entertaining are certainly welcome as well, and if they are funny you can get away with less data.

            But coming back to the original point, if people view this just as a place to come and complain, then I have failed miserably and I’ll probably quit doing game posts.

    • Kathy

      August 1, 2009 at 10:05 am

      I’m not pining for Field of Dreams, believe me. Very seldom do I criticize individual players (except for Grilli, maybe). Having watched baseball for far more years than most of you, I don’t ususally experience the frustrations that many other folks seem to like to express. MLB is not like high school or even college sports where teams develop winning traditions (except for the yankees, maybe). I’m glad we are in 1st place…enjoying every minute of it. I want to win the division. But……that offense of ours puts me to sleep sometimes. I want to blame somebody, but that’s just how it is.

    • RPS

      August 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

      Where are you going to find enough 95-05 highlights to get through an entire weekend?

      • Jeff Molby

        August 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

        “Highlights” was sarcastic. I was gonna make you sit through 4000 ABs of Deivi Cruz’s and Shane Halter’s careers as Tigers. If you’re not begging me for Everett and Inge by then, I’ll throw in Chris Truby’s 90 ABs of awesomeness.

  88. jason

    August 1, 2009 at 9:23 am

    So, I fell asleep after Rodney struck out the last batter of the 9th. I think I am glad I didn’t make it to see this heartbreaker. This team has serious hitting issues, and they need to wake up…. like last week. Guillen can’t carry the whole team. I think he has filled his end of the bargain since he has been back in the line up.
    This is the INDIANS! The team that just traded half their franchise. The team that is struggling with KC for worst in the AL. We shouldn’t have problems with teams like this.

  89. Kathy

    August 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I stayed up and watched that pitiful excuse for a lineup. Carlos HR was huge. Give that guy a medal. He seems to be the only player who can hit in the clutch. Good Lord, we should have won that game. I called the Tigers every name in the book last night. Disgusted. I wanted to club Cabrera over the head. Grandy, too.

  90. Anthony Lewis

    August 1, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I understand the “team not hitting” thing but I attach that label to the slew of 2-1 losses or the 0-2 runs scored games. Scoring 5 runs in nine innings is NOT a bad hitting day for the team. Personally I think all the frustration is really just coming fro the fact that we just aren’t winning a lot of games on the road this year and particularly as of late.

    I’ll take my first place Tigers just the way they are. As an honest Detroit baseball to me a good season has the Tigers ending with a winning record. A Division championship would be nice, another AL Title would be great, and a World Series win would be indescribable. But I’m just happy knowing the team is posting a winning record and aren’t sweeping the basement floor.

    I do agree that we seem to be in a crappy division. None of the team are really all that great. I suppose that I prefer that to the other two divisions though. Those divisions are only great if you like the Angel’s, Red Sox, or Yankees. The rest of those are left in the dust 90% of the time.

    • Chris

      August 1, 2009 at 11:48 am

      I think the frustration is coming from the fact that a dismal offensive performance is threatening to derail a golden opportunity that comes with having such good starting pitching. It seems that it is much, much easier to field a better hitting team then it is to field better starting pitching from our staff.

  91. mike

    August 1, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I was looking at Miggy’s stats (mostly because I don’t think he – or anyone for that matter – is as bad as a few folks think). I realize that he may ‘seem’ like he doesn’t deliver big hits/runs and maybe even of late his AVG with RISP is low. Yet, it’s tough to tag him as a ‘choker’ based on data:

    He has nearly identical situational splits as Inge. Now, I’m not saying Inge is by any means the bar or standard, but if you think he’s been ‘clutch’ this year, you CAN’T say Cabrera has been a choker.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/pl.....ituational
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/pl.....ituational

    • RPS

      August 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm

      I was just looking at those. Also if you go there, look at Cabrera’s 2008. Better this year almost across the board. Also you can look at the three years before that to see that luck plays a big role in these small sample sizes.

      It’s just… I don’t get it. Everyone (except mike, my new BFF) seems, to one degree or another, to be convinced Cabrera’s not performing well this season. Great hitting, very good defense, and, well, smart enough to not run into outs, I guess? No equivocating. No “remember this at bat, and that one other one?” Cabrera is raking, and this team’s lost without him.

      P.S. mike, I think Magglio really is as bad as people think. Very well said, though.

    • Coleman

      August 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

      The difference is in the expectations–Cabrera was the result of a big trade, got a huge contract, bats 4th, and is The Big Bat. Inge has been thought overpaid at about 1/3 of Cabrera’s salary, bats in the bottom of the order, and has been valued for his glove 1st and bat 2nd. So even if they are comparable, it is still reasonable that Cabrera seems disappointing in comparison.

      My take is that the Tigers’ biggest problem is just plain getting on base. Cabrera has been doing that more than anyone. Get more guys on base, then complain about Cabrera if you want. I was joking before about the perceived failure to knock in runs, maybe we’re looking at him wrong–maybe he’s not a young Pujols, maybe he’s a young Tony Gwynn. But really, would that be such an awful thing to have in a llineup?

      (Also it should be noted he has improved with the glove this season also).

      Also I think Leyland missed a big opportunity in keeping Granderson/Cabrera/Inge batting 1-4-7 etc. At times they were the only 3 bats in the lineup, and completely easy to work around. Inge-Cabrera-Granderson or Cabrera-Granderson-Inge would have made for a tough middle of the order to get through.

    • Coleman

      August 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm

      The one category that does make me cringe is the runner on 3rd less than 2 out…small sample size, true. But the problem is that it’s a pretty team-wide problem, and has been making a huge difference this season. Especially since the Tigers not only tend to fail to get the run home, but often strike out, which even by high school you have drilled into you as the one thing you CAN’T do in that situation.

      I’m not sure what the problem is. Cabrera has struck out 4 times in 26 PA, about the team average of 1 in 6, which is worst in the AL. But a lot of other guys are obviously doing the same thing, so it seems to be more of a Tiger issue than a Cabrera issue. Maybe it’s just one of the things that can result from the pressure of being a low-scoring offense.

      Any category where Inge is best at not striking out makes you wonder.

      Or maybe it’s just one of those things that some guys do better than others, even others that are much better overall hitters.

      Believe it or not, if you look at CAREER stats for runner on 3rd less than 2 out, Inge is still better than Cabrera, in OPS and in RBI/PA.

  92. Russ in IN

    August 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I’m no genius in stats and what not like the majority of folks here, but it doesn’t take a stats freak to know that Cabrera is a far cry from a choker or anything else negative. The man is batting 300+ and he is consistant. Everyone has a bad game of three. It’s the nature of the game–thank you long season of nearly daily play. I’m with billfer on this, to say he’s bad in any way is “Completely idiotic.”

    As for Magglio, he’s struggling for sure, but I think every good player has an off moment. His is just lasting a bit longer than many others.

    Alas, some people just want to complain and to hear themselves talk. No team is perfect. No player is perfect. But when you criticize a guy who is hitting over 300, then saying he’s choking, a bad clean-up man or anything else is…again…completely idiotic.