Game 2009.117: Royals at Tigers
PREGAME: The Tigers have answered their 3 game losing streak with a 3 game winning streak, let’s keep it going today.
I love going to Comerica Park, and I enjoyed myself down there the last two nights. I’m happy to be watching this one in “crystal-clear HD” from the comfort of air condition. It is a scorcher today and many eggs could be fried various flat heat gathering surfaces today.
Throw in the fact that there are two run-preventionally challenged starting pitchers today and there could be much offense given the temperature and breeze and it could be a very long day.
A illness weakened Armando Galarraga will take the mound for the Tigers. I can’t imagine he’ll last long either due to the heat and fatigue or maybe just getting bludgeoned.
Kyle Davies is on the mound for the Royals. Earlier in the year when Davies was pitching good, the Tigers still beat him up twice scoring 12 runs against him and chasing him in the 6th inning both times. He was since demoted and in his 2 starts since returning to the rotation one was effective (5 IP, 1 Run, 3 W, 6 K) and one not so much with the effective (3.2 IP, 8 R, 2 W, 3 K). But he hasn’t allowed a homer in either of those starts.
The lineup gets a little bit of a shake up today with a lot of righties against Davies, who has struggled with righties this year. This might not be an optimal defensive configuration.
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Thames, LF
- Cabrera, DH
- Guillen, 1B
- Ordonez, RF
- Raburn, 3B
- Laird, C
- Everett, SS
POSTGAME: I think it is safe to tally this one under the column of “bad loss.” The game was there for the Tigers the whole time. Kyle Davies was nothing special as the Tigers repeatedly put runners on base. But their failure to do anything with those runners was somewhere between comical and pitiful. Let’s rehash it:
3rd Inning: Adam Everett leads off with a double. Curtis Granderson who routinely pulls ground balls to first or second manages only a pop-up leaving Everett at second. Polanco and Thames follow with grounders to the left side and Everett doesn’t move.
4th Inning: Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen single so Ordonez his hitting with runners on first and second and nobody out. And he hits a 6-4-3 double play. Ryan Raburn catches the Royals off guard with a bunt that Kyle Davies fumbles. Cabrera was also caught off guard as he doesn’t budge off of third. Gerald Laird lays down a beautiful bunt but gets jobbed by a bad call at first by Country Joe West. The inning ends. At least Raburn and Laird gave the team a chance to score.
5th Inning: The Tigers are now down a run but Adam Everett leads off with a single. Granderson once again fails to advance him by striking out. A hit and run puts runners at the corners and fortunately the Royals incur a wild pitch allowing Adam Everett to score. The Tigers have the go ahead run at second but a K by Marcus Thames and a Cabrera ground out means once again he doesn’t move.
6th Inning: Carlos Guillen leads off with a hustle double. An Ordonez ground ball would be helpful here, but instead he flies out to shallow center. Guillen tried to take matters into his own hands and steal third which was unsuccessful and costly as Rabun singled.
7th Inning: Adam Everett again gets on base, this time via HBP. Once again Granderson can’t advance him, but Everett moves up on a passed ball while Polanco is batting. Polanco at least hit a grounder to get Everett to 3rd. The second time that Polanco actually advanced a runner. But he’d go no farther as Thames grounds out.
8th Inning: Cabrera reaches base via an error and then steals second! Guillen hits a ground ball to get him to 3rd (silver star for Carlos). But Ordonez strikes out and Raburn hit the ball deep to right center but it was easily tracked down by Josh Anderson.
9th Inning: Alex Avila walked with 1 out. Not that exciting as Granderson once again didn’t advance a runner and the inning ended quietly.
Yes, Ryan Raburn completely blew the 10th inning by biffing two routine grounders and undoing a very effective stint by the bullpen including 2 innings from Ni, 1 from Perry, and the 2nd inning from Rodney. But the truth of the matter is it never should have gotten to the 10th inning. This was a collective effort. It wasn’t just the inability to get a hit with a runner in scoring position (0 for 16) it was the collective inability to even advance runners save for Placido Polanco. In the end the Tigers wasted a very solid starting performance from a sick Galarraga, a great bullpen effort, and even all the offense that they did generate to start innings. And they wasted a chance to add an a win.
- Granderson failed to advance runners with less than 2 outs in 4 different PA’s. But he did make a tremendous catch and sacrificed his body crashing into the wall.
- If Brandon Inge is in the game at the end this one might have turned out differently, or at least it wouldn’t have ended in the 10th. But the guy is hurting and this was a chance for 2 full days off. I can’t fault Leyland for holding him out…but let’s be consistent. Don’t bring him in as a defensive replacement in a blow out game (like in Texas).
- I thought the Avila pinch hit move was curious. I thought that after Laird fouled the ball off his leg perhaps Leyland was going to take him out of the after the at-bat and I thought the move made sense because you might as well get Avila an AB if he’s coming in anyways. But it didn’t so much play out like that.