Game 2009.102: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: Not that there isn’t any pressure on Rick Porcello today, but Edwin Jackson’s struggles and some extra innings have thinned out the bullpen a little. Fortunately Jim Leyland made sure that only Brandon Lyon would be unavailable today with everybody else working relatively short outings.

And things haven’t been easy for Porcello lately. Maybe he was rusty after a multi-week layoff in his first post All Star start. Maybe he was a little amped up on national TV in his second start. Or maybe he’s just struggling.

The Tigers bats will try to knock around Jeremy Sowers. Sowers shutout the Mariners for 7 innings his last time out, but that has been the extent of good news with Sowers this year. He hasn’t started against the Tigers this year but he held them to 1 run over 6 innings last September.

Detroit vs. Cleveland – August 1, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: I recently started a diet and these extra inning games are keeping me up to late and it’s making me hungry, but the postgame celery tastes much sweeter after a win.

Rick Porcello was outstanding and I’d call this his best outing of the season. He got some swings and misses, and he got lots and lots of swings and ground balls. He kept the ball down, he controlled the sink on his 2 seamer and his breaking ball was excellent. The fact he was able to eat 8 innings on only 91 pitches on a night when the bullpen was taxed was huge. And that brings us to the 9th inning.

I completely understand the sentiment to keep Porcello on the mound for the 9th. He was cruising and didn’t appear to be tiring and was still a hair under his pitch count limit. Porcello hasn’t gone over 100 pitches this year as Leyland tries to protect his arm for beyond this season. If he was going to let Porcello exceed that limit, today certainly would have been a worthy cause. But I fully support going to Rodney in that situation.

Porcello hasn’t been stretched out yet and Rodney has been very good in save situations. I’d rather have a fresh guy than someone who was pretty much at the limit his arm has been conditioned for. Rodney blew his first save and Porcello doesn’t get the win, but it doesn’t mean Porcello’s performance was wasted at all.

As for the offense, the good news is that they kept generating scoring chances and eventually they cashed in. And in watching the at-bats tonight, I thought many of them were decent approaches. They worked the count (after the first time through the order). They fouled off pitches. They drew walks. Inge hit a fly ball to the wall. Raburn and Polanco hit liners to second. Those were simply bad breaks.

The bullpenning was pretty good and Ryan Perry looks so much better after his stay in the minors. Throw in some Bobby Seay magic and Zach Miner not blowing it and it’s another much needed win.

117 thoughts on “Game 2009.102: Tigers at Indians”

  1. I’m pretty confident that Porcello won’t have another “disastrous” outing. (and hopefully quiet all the nonsensical talk about trading him, and that he’ll never be good, and blah, blah, blah. He’s 20!!! If not for an outstanding spring (used loosely… It is spring training…), and the Tigers urge to “rush” him to the Bigs, he would be in Eerie or Toledo mowing down hitters.)
    However, I’m worried that our offense won’t give him the run support he needs (anyone surprised…?)

    Still, haven’t the Tigers been really good offensively for FredFred?

  2. I hope we don’t make Sowers look like he is great like every other pitcher. His ERA is above 5.

  3. Raburn: Smallball type lacking smallball skills. Note to Uncle Smokey: Dont bat him in the middle of the order or don’t have him bunt. One of these is wrong. Decide which.

  4. Wow, just wow. A 5 pitch inning, that is just unacceptable.

    Sowers has only threw 31 pitches through 3. We have very bad at bats.

    1. Shelton wouldn’t cost much to sign. He also seems like one of those people susceptible to hypnotism. If we signed him and then convinced him we were really counting on him to be ready for opening day…I’m just saying…

    1. It’s to celebrate the 100 yr anniversary of Lefty Nogood no-hitting the division-leading Tigers.

  5. So we are getting no hit by a guy with a 5 ERA. And that was an 8 pitch inning. This is just stupid.

  6. Nice shot of Inge in the dugout explaining to granderson how the one-knee shot makes it to the warning track, if you’re lucky

  7. As usual, the bottom of the order comes through–and only the bottom of the order does– with the runner on 3rd bit

  8. Try finding another team where the 8-9 hitters are in a 2-man race to lead the team in sac flies. (this is a bit unfair to Inge who has a bad habit with the runner on 3rd of actually getting a “hit”)

    1. That Raburn ball was ripped. That’s just bad luck. The Thames AB? He’d look so patient up to that point and then chased ball 4.

      1. It’s hard to be too critical about one AB…but considering his 0-6 last night Thames isn’t exactly on the Hey Give the Guy a Break List today…

        1. Coleman, you’re Mr. Pitch/Pa and Thames was about the only one to see more than 3 pitches the first time through the order. He’s had some good ABs tonight.

    1. Pretty sure it was Cabrera’s fault that Thames and Ryan struck out. They would have gotten hits if Miggy had hit a double.

  9. I wonder what the cumulative AL ERA would jump to if you took the Tigers out of the equation altogether, bats and arms.

    1. He’s at 91 pitches and he hasn’t hit 100 yet this year. I think he could do it, but I understand if Leyland doesn’t want him to get in a situation with a 7-8 pitch at-bat.

      I’ll officially stay on the fence though and won’t call either decision “wrong.” I understand both sides of the coin.

  10. It’s somewhat ironic that if Ordonez is still in RF he probably doesn’t come close to the ball and he plays it off the wall for a double.

  11. Two points. One, where was Grandy on the backup for that play? It shouldn’t have taken him that long to get to it. Two, this game should have been 6-1 or more. Twice runners on 1t and 2d nobody out and we got one run out of it. Bad baseball in my opinion.

    1. Yeah, we’ve stranded a lot of guys tonight, but can you cite any particular at bats that were just plain bad? Sometimes you just don’t get the hits in a timely manner.

      1. Well, I’d say that Thames k was absolutely horrible. Inge didn’t have a bad ab, but imo should have bunted to get runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Instead he lofted a fly ball to left.

        1. The ball was caught at the wall that Inge hit. It’s not his decision to sac bunt there anyways…although I understand questioning why Leyland didn’t put it on.

        2. Ya can’t be too hard on Thames. All in all, he’s had a decent game and it’s not like he rolled over in that ab. He did battle for 7 pitches.

  12. This lack of offense is now killing their season. The two weeks since the ASB should have been a winning period. Instead, they are falling back to the pack.

    1. Falling back to the pack? We’ve never had anything more than a handful of games. It’s been a tight race all year and it will continue to be for the next two months.

  13. You can’t even blame Rodney. We had plenty of chances to score runs. The offense is to blame for this post all star game collapse without question. Now let’s go win this one!

        1. It was a very tough play. Clete went for it and it became a triple. He plays it off the wall and it’s a double. Probably a moot point though because instead of Choo striking out he probably would have sac bunted anyways.

  14. C’mon Tigers!
    This is just sad.
    A wasted Porcello start. He was solid (did I call it or what…?)

  15. I love Gerald Laird. No really! I do! If I were 30 years younger, he would love me too 🙂

  16. Granderson hasn’t done anything (offensively) since the first inning yesterday. It’d be nice if he did something now.

    1. Did I just hear right? Tiges are 1 for their last 22 with risp? and 0 for 12 this series with risp and 2 outs?

  17. I’m not a big small ball guy, but I want Clete bunting here. Cabrera would then get walked, but then you’ve got Carlos.

    1. I think the pattern is that it is a line drive right at second base. We’ve done that twice with RISP today already.

  18. Mario: “The last time these two teams played these two teams played back-to-back extra innings games in Cleveland during the month of August ::deep breath:: while one team was in first place despite having a below average offense was… 1492.”

  19. game after game inning after inning 2 men on base less than 1 out and they can’t even manage to bring home 1 lousy run these guys don’t have what it takes to be a championship team. they are barely hanging on to 1st place and when it is all said and done they probably will be a distant memory of any thoughts about the post season AGAIN!!!!!!! the major leauges are tough no doubt about it there is a delicate balance between good and mediocre teams unfortunately the tigers are better than mediocre but they just are not good enough.

  20. Meanwhile, the Yankees are taking a break from being unbeatable to tank a series with the White Sox, after which they will resume the unbeatable mode. Oh, and I hate the Yankees.

  21. Who’s Mashing? A.L. VORP Leaders

    Rank – Name – Team – Position – VORP

    1 Joe Mauer MIN c 49.8
    2 Ben Zobrist TBA 2b 42.1
    3 Michael Young TEX 3b 40.7
    4 Ichiro Suzuki SEA rf 40.4
    5 Derek Jeter NYA ss 40.2
    6 Justin Morneau MIN 1b 39.6
    7 Jason Bartlett TBA ss 38.5
    8 Carl Crawford TBA lf 37.2
    9 Marco Scutaro TOR ss 36.4
    10 Miguel Cabrera DET 1b 36.1
    11 Adam Lind TOR dh 34.9
    12 Shin-Soo Choo CLE rf 34.4
    13 Kevin Youkilis BOS 1b 34.1
    14 Bobby Abreu ANA rf 33.4
    15 Torii Hunter ANA cf 32.9
    16 Evan Longoria TBA 3b 31
    17 Chone Figgins ANA 3b 28.8
    18 Jason Kubel MIN dh 28.6
    19 Mark Teixeira NYA 1b 28.6
    20 Aaron Hill TOR 2b 28.2

    1. Bartlett, Scutaro, Zobrist, Young, Jeter all in the top ten. Thats seems crazy, no? And how does Adam Lind not get into the All-Star game over Granderson? Speaking of Granderson I really wish someone would analyze how many, if any, wins we could gain over the course of the season if Granderson had been platooned with an above average offensive player vs lefties. Its knawing at me that this may have been , or still may be, a way to squeeze a few extra wins out of this team.

      1. Value Over Replacement Player is a ***position-adjusted*** metric that does not include a defensive evaluation. It is measured in runs. (Joe Mauer is evaluated at 49.8 runs on offense above a replacement level MLB ***catcher***). At ~10 runs/win that’s about 5 extra wins for his team so far.

        P.S. The next Tiger on the list is Curtis Granderson, ranked #35 in the AL.

  22. One request for Sunday: Can we please start getting the immortal Travis Crowe out? The guy was 11-65 in this his rookie season before we arrived this weekend. He is 5-11 against us in two games. Seriously, we are making the kid look the next Grady Sizemore. Enough already, let’s start making him look like the .187 hitter he was before we arrived in CLE.

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