Game 2009.104: Orioles at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s looking like there might be some weather tonight, and a mid game rain delay would really work against the Tigers with their ace on the bump.

Justin Verlander has stepped up huge like his last 2 times out with a complete game against the White Sox when the team was reeling, and a 13 K’ performance against the Rangers when the team was reeling. The Tigers are more floundering now than reeling, but another ace-esque performance should come in handy. The O’s ran his pitch count to 112 in 6 innings the last time the teams met.

Chris Tillman will make his 2nd career start tonight. He was knocked out with 2 outs in the 5th inning after 93 pitches and 3 runs against the Royals in his debut.

Baltimore vs. Detroit – August 3, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Ideally you don’t need a walk-off homer when a rookie pitcher is going up against the staff ace, but a walk-off is a walk-off. No complaints here. Thank you very much Clete Thomas.

Justin Verlander got knocked around pretty good in the first inning. I was out with the family and was recording the game. I was on fast forward through the opening and before I could hit stop 1 run was in and 2 were on base. I couldn’t believe how the hits rolled of the bat and the night had disaster all over it, but the Tigers answered right away.

After 2 games with no extra base hits, the Tigers started off triple, double, walk, double. And then Verlander locked in. He came up with 9 K’s and amazingly lasted 8 innings. Verlander is a stud.

  • Miguel Cabrera has been maligned for his lack of clutch production, but he got the big 2 run double in the first and the game tying homer later on. In between he hit a ball sharply up the middle that Brian Roberts made a nice play on
  • The defense was also impressive with Cabrera making a nice play at first and Marcus Thames making some dramatic catches in left field.
  • The offense overall was impressive. They plated 6, but made a number of hard outs as well. They were consistently centering the ball for a change.
  • Fernando Rodney was quite good, fanning Luke Scott and getting a couple of quick outs for the win.
  • But I have to mention one negative and that was Granderson. He’s looked lost at the plate too often since the Texas series. He did smoke his triple tonight, and hit another ball well. But his last 2 at-bats were awful. He got ahead 2-0 in his next to last PA and tried pulling a fastball off the plate. In the 9th he was ahead 3-1 and swung at ball 4, again off the plate, before taking strike 3 right down the middle. I’m not hating on Grandy, he’s still my Tiger, but there have been too many of those types of “backwards” at-bats lately. He’s taking too many good ones and swinging at too many bad ones and the check swings are on the rise. He may need a day off and I wouldn’t mind seeing him take a breather the next time there is a lefty starter.

75 thoughts on “Game 2009.104: Orioles at Tigers”

  1. For those who like splits, Verlander is 7-0 in 9 starts with a 1.15 ERA at Comerica park this season.

  2. I like some splits. I don’t like pre/post all-star game splits: BAL team OPS .769 (5th) DET team OPS .688 (!) (12th).

    I especially don’t like runner on 3rd less than 2 out splits: [OPS-RBI/PA]:
    BAL 1.081 – .702 (1st)
    DET .794 – .587 (12th).

    BAL :25K in 228 PA
    DET: 33K in 208 PA. Oh, and throw in our 14 GIDP.

    For those who have been frustrated by our inability to get runs home with the runner on 3rd less than 2 out, here you go, a chance to watch the AL’s best. Oh boy.

  3. I found a typo in billfer’s pre-game; I think he meant to say a rain delay would really work “in favor” of the Tigers…

    Clever strategy though. If we don’t get anybody out, no way the game is official by the time it starts to rain…

    1. If there’s anyone here that would check out from a home game with JV on the mound just because we gave up 3 runs…. they won’t be missed.

      1. How about 5-0 after we’re idiotic enough to pitch to Luke Scott with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out? At a certain point watching becomes as stupid as that move was…

        1. Luke Scott != Albert Pujols. The guy had a freakish weekend against us two months ago. He’s gotta sustain his success against us for a wee bit longer if he wants scare me any. Besides, his hit wasn’t even that great. He can take swings like that all night long for all i care.

          Nobody’s forcing you to be here, though. If you’re not enjoying the game, check out the old Doogie Howser episodes on hulu. πŸ™‚

          1. A wee bit longer? Longer than what?? He’s been doing it for 2 years!!

            I don’t call 23 RBI in 11 games a good weekend…

            And I don’t want to watch Doogie, which is why I’m so irritated they didn’t contain the damage in the 1st inning. Besides it would probably be the Doogie episode where he cures Luke Scott of a mysterious disease in time for him to go out and hit a grand slam against the Tigers.

          2. My apologies… he had a freakish weekend against us this year and he padded his stats last year by picking up homers off of Galarraga, Seay, Dolsi, Fossum, and Beltran (I must have slept through his cup of coffee??).

            None of that would make me even consider asking my Cy Young candidate to pitch scared to him. You can make a decent case that the situation called for a walk regardless of the batter, but probably not in the first inning.

          3. I wouldn’t call it padding his stats–he pretty much has hit home runs off whoever we throw up there (in 8 career ABs vs Verlander by the way he has 1 HR, 2 2B, and 5 RBI). Cy Young candidate or not I’d take my chances with the rookie instead.

            Oh, and NOW our Cy Young candidate IS pitching “scared” to him.

            At any rate no need to worry about Scott for a while; time to get a few guys on base.

          4. In their matchup last year, Scott had a double, popout, and a strikeout. All the damage was done in May when he was freakishly locked in for one weekend.

          5. And it’s not like Scott comes into the game ripping the ball. 167/254/233 in his last 16 games with 19 K’s.

      1. Wow Jeff, you have quickly gone from urging us naysayers to have more faith to urging people who don’t share your Tigerview to turn off the set and/or not comment. A community without dissent, that’s very Orwellian of you even with a smiley face emoticon. Good thing you don’t live in the Northeast where strong opinions about baseball are actually celebrated and encouraged!;

        1. Huh? Mike implied (unsolicited) that he was going to leave in disgust over the first inning. I said people with such little faith wouldn’t be missed. That’s true, isn’t it? Who wants to watch a game with someone that gives up that quickly? As it turned out, I was right and he did miss a darn good game.

        2. Or did you mean my comments to Coleman? He implied (again, unsolicited) that he agreed with Mike. I said nobody was stopping him and I made a lighthearted comment about Doogie, which I’m literally about to watch myself, now that the game is over.

          Coleman and I exchanged a dozen more posts throughout the night (disagreeing most of the time) and I never came close to suggesting he should leave. I don’t have a problem with him and I hope he doesn’t have a problem with me.

          1. Hmm, I’m not sure what that’s all about. I can see why it seemed like I was agreeing with Mike about leaving, although I think you figured out I was just using his comment as a starting point for my complaint about pitching to Scott. And although we did disagree about that, that seems to be kind of textbook for the right sort of things to argue about; both having reasons for our opinions, neither being disrespectful in disagreeing, and moving on to other things as the game developed.

            So no problem here. Except maybe the Doogie watching…hehe….

  4. I know we all want to see a walk here, because nothing is more amusing than Luke Scott at the plate with the bases loaded…

    oops, too late. please tell me we AREN’T going to pitch to him with 2-3 and 1 out

  5. This game could be pretty close still if Leyland hadn’t decided, once again, to pitch to Luke Scott, in a situation that called for walking him. Is Uncle Smokey Scott’s agent or something? Don’t teams more often than not pitch around a guy with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out to set up the DP? I mean just any ordinary guy? Not to mention a guy averaging about 20 RBI/game against you??

    1. That generally isn’t something that bothers me that much. (Though you’ve gotta run at least until you see it’s fielded cleanly).

      But considering how the team and especially the offense is struggling, and fans are starting to grumble about whether the effort is there–not smart.

      1. Yeah, it doesn’t usually bother me, either. That play, though… it’s a hit and run and the guy already bobbled the ball once. It wasn’t a garden-variety play. Nevermind the fact that we’re down a couple runs and there were no outs.

        He probably still would have been thrown out by a step, but you gotta make him actually do it.

    1. I’m surprised we didn’t.

      1-Inge can actually bunt
      2-Inge-ured Inge doesn’t have much power
      3-Laird can actually hit sac flies.

      Whassup Uncle Smokey?

      1. Well we scored but, with the offense struggling and he keeps complaining about it, you think he would play more small ball.

    2. I think if they are tied or up a run or two he probably does bunt. But the pen will be invoked early and the Tigers are still behind. Plus the team is centering the ball pretty well, a number of hits and 4 of the outs were hit well also. I don’t mind playing for a bigger inning.

  6. Can you believe Cabrera swinging at the first pitch. I hate it when he doesn’t work the pitcher.

    1. It’s the ultimate in laziness, it only takes one swing and you don’t even have to run after you hit it.

      And the pitcher’s pitch count stays low, so he stays in the game, and Cabrera can just do the same lazy thing next time he faces him (right? please?)

  7. OK actually this is the only time I don’t like when Cabrera swings at the 1st pitch–because an abnormal number of GIDPs result.

      1. 1st pitch GIDPs: 22 in 450 PA (1 in 20 PA). Non-1st pitch GIDPs: 1 in 47 PA

        Cabrera GIDPs: 15 in 428 PAs. ( 1 in 29 PA). 1st pitch PAs: 5 GIDP in 69 PAs. (1 in 14 PAs).

        Generally it looks like your odds for the GIDP double when you hit the 1st pitch.

        Of course there’s a chicken-egg thing there, since the guys who don’t hit into many GIDP (Granderson, Inge), also don’t swing at many 1st pitches, so it’s hard to read much into it as far as cause and effect.

    1. I think maybe there are a few Tigers who should be joining you in the post-game celery consumption.

  8. Verlander, Cabrera, and Clete. Verlander sucked for one inning but then did what aces do and gave the team 7 scoreless. His start without the first inning would be: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 94 pitches. He must have been talking to Bonderman and Galarraga before the game.

  9. Looks like Clete is our Luke Scott, I was at the game in Camden when he hit two.

    What’s with the rally celery? The Royals A club here in Wilmington, DE has a mascot named “Mr. Celery” that runs out after each run is scored and the crowd chants “Cel-a-ry”. Is this a baseball-wide thing?

    1. I’m on a diet. Long tight games make me nervous and hungry. I got celery and called it rally celery. Definitely not a baseball thing…yet

  10. Clete had one heck of a game. His hustle on the bases gave us some extra outs. His patience at the plate was huge too. Then he hit the game winning HR. 5 stars for him.

    Thames was fun to watch with his glove work, making easy plays look tough, but he got the job done nevertheless.

    1. Raburn would have found a way to botch one or both of those. Although Thames has less range, thank goodness he doesn’t look like a clown out there.

  11. It sounded like Mario Impemba was going to start crying in the 1st inning after Verlander gave up 5 runs. I felt the same way. It sure felt great to score 3 runs right away. This game had a little bit of everything; it was disastrous, gut wrenching, exciting, and bundle of joy all rolled into one. That’s baseball at it’s best.

  12. Dude…I posted one post because it seemed everyone on this board, myself included, had become overtly negative, well, with good reason after yesterday’s effort.

    I stuck with this game the whole way, but had to run out and kept tally with the iPhone MLB app (aka the best $10 every spent). It was nice not to live-and-die with each and every pitch for a change, it is a long season.

    It was pretty beautiful, since the highlight of the Thomas homer were up quick.

    Great win, and let’s build some momentum in Washburn’s Comerica debut tomorrow.

    (Oh and one more thing, gutsy game from Verlander. Took one for the team and amazingly, his arm didn’t fall out after the magic 100-pitch threshold.)

    1. Maybe it’s just me–and I’ve got one of the early iPhones, not a 3G–but ever since the upgrade to 3.0 it’s been a huge pain trying to post here; it keeps refreshing before I can finish typing a comment. Anyone else have that problem or know a solution (I tried the full web version also, same thing).

      1. Wish I could help, the scripts in the browser aren’t good, very quirky. Safari on or off the iPhone is not my choice.

  13. My hat is off to Verlander. Very gutsy, acey (I’m making up adjectives now) perfromance by Verlander after that wild first inning. I almost got online and unleashed an ugly diatribe against JV, but after the team came back with 3 in the bottom half I decided I’d wait until after the game to post. I am here to instead congratulate JV and the entire team for not kowtowing to the O’s and taking a beating for a second straight day. I don’t know what is in the air or the water at Comerica, but the Tigers ought to botlle and take it with them to Boston for the next road trip. How can this team look so inept nearly every night on the road and play baseball at a .667 clip at home? I don’t know the answer, but if they can keep up this home winning pace they’ll only need to play .450 ball or so on the road the rest of the way? Can they do it? I sure hope so. The odds say that they gotta start winning a few road games, but the odds also say that they won’t continue to play .667 ball at home all year either. Either way, I’ll be watching and hoping for the best for the guys wearing the Olde English D on their caps. Great win tonight fellas, its nice to go to sleep off of a nice comeback win like tonight’s.

  14. Hats off to Walkoff Clete, Clutch Cabrera, and Rockin’ Ramon. They not only pulled this one out to get the W for the D, they did something far, far more important.

    Until we caught up, Luke Scott stood to have the game-winning hit, which could have triggered an outbreak of mental derangement among Tiger fans.

  15. Glad we gutted this one out, but Grandy looks so lost at the plate lately. Am I the only one who thinks he’s usually guessing at pitches?

    1. he takes a first pitch fastball every single time up whether it is in the middle of the plate or anywhere else in the strikes zone..most times its right in the middle…has he hit a first pitch all season? after that first pitch he guesses wrong alot

      1. I wonder if any team has 1-2 hitters who take more 1st pitch strikes than Granderson-Polanco? (Although Polanco hardly has the hesitation/guessing problem Granderson does on subsequent pitches).

  16. All things considered ..pretty big win…way to go Clete..and Miggy chipped in big time..hope that starts him on a roll

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