Game 2009.119: Mariners at Tigers

PREGAME: Justin Verlander has been a little up and down lately. He sandwiched 2 monster starts against Sox of different colors around 3 outings where he allowed at least 4 runs. The last time he faced the Mariners he had no hit stuff, except for the 5th inning where he had multi-hit stuff.

Ian Snell is still adjusting to the Pacific Northwest. He has made 3 starts since the M’s acquired him. The first one was pretty good (6 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits). The next 2 were pretty awful and he was chased in the 2nd inning in one of them. Snell lost to the Tigers earlier this year. He only allowed 2 runs in 7 innings, but the Tigers tagged him for 10 hits and 2 walks (they had some RISP issues)

The 80 plate appearance countdown to $18 million lineup is:

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

Seattle vs. Detroit – August 19, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Tigers didn’t hit good enough. Verlander was good except for a rough-ish inning. Tigers lost. Maggs didn’t make an out in 4 PA’s. Tigers waste a favorable pitching match-up. That is all.


  1. Steve

    August 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Wow in Section 329. Miggy looks like he has lost a few. Hard to tell on TV. Verlander has Nasty stuff early


  2. Steve

    August 19, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Just wondering are we better off dumping Maggs and signing Huff or getting someone else?

  3. Chris

    August 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    It seems as if Granderson strikes out on every AB lately. Man, I hope he breaks out of this slump soon.

    • Coleman

      August 19, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      It’s not the strikeouts so much…but he is looking so bad doing it. On the other hand, he makes a nice house-by-the-side-of-the-road

      It could just be fatigue…when was his last day off?

  4. Jeff Molby

    August 19, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Huff’s defense must be as bad as advertised if Guillen’s the one getting the start in the field.

  5. Mcb

    August 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Laird and Inge are pop up machines!

    • Coleman

      August 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm

      re: Inge: On that last AB I suppose. In general not. 18% of the fly balls he hits are pop ups. 17.2 % are home runs.

    • Coleman

      August 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

      Laird, on the other hand…try 22% pop ups vs 3.6% HR. Now that’s pop up machine territory. And don’t forget Everett: 21% vs 2.1%, exactly 10 times more likely to pop up as he is to homer. And the guys who rarely pop up (Ordonez is a good example) are the guys, naturally, that ground into double plays all the time.

  6. Mcb

    August 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    What about Laird Coleman?

    • Coleman

      August 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

      Got ya, above (did the ol’ hit enter instead of return for Laird paragraph…)

    • Coleman

      August 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

      I will say this for Laird–he can bunt. He’s probably the best bunting catcher in the major leagues.

  7. Steve

    August 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Laird Coleman make ashphat layong machines … Oh wait that’s Barber Coleman

    • billfer

      August 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm

      Steve –

      If you’re in town for a couple games, I’d recommend checking out The Park Bar before of after a game. It’s at the corner of Park and Elizabeth. There is no sign for it, but you can see inside and there is a big round bar. Order a Shwarma and the Motor City Summer Ale. You won’t be disappointed.

      • cib

        August 19, 2009 at 8:27 pm

        I will take credit for introducing billfer to the wonderful Park Bar. Second on that recommendation!

        • billfer

          August 19, 2009 at 8:58 pm

          Yep. cib it’s all the credit on that one.

  8. Coleman

    August 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Smoltz signed with the Cardinals. Evil Fate has destined him to torment us in a 2006 WS rematch this year.

  9. Steve

    August 19, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Verlander loooking really good tonight. At game almost direct behind home. Great View of the stadiuim and Verlanders pitches

  10. Coleman

    August 19, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Would have preferred a pop up there

  11. ouchudied

    August 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Ian Snell better not pull a Pavano out of his ass or I’m gonna be angry.

  12. billfer

    August 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    I think the Tigers break out a little in the 6th. The balls were hit harder the second time through. The 5th is the bottom of the order plus Grandy, but I think the meat of the lineup pounds Snell after that.

  13. ouchudied

    August 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Wow this game took a quick turn for the worse.

  14. Coleman

    August 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    A good left-fielder and we still have a shutout

    • billfer

      August 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      I don’t know about that.

    • ouchudied

      August 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      I don’t think anyone would have gotten to that ball.

  15. amason

    August 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Does Clete make that catch on whats his face single? That looked like a really routine pop-up.

    Forget it … hadn’t refreshed and see its been ansered. Like having the edit option on the comments though.

    • billfer

      August 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm

      It was a clean hit. An awesome fielder maybe gets it but it wasn’t routine.

  16. Stephen

    August 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Ok, I ask this question without malice and prefaced by the fact I am not seeing tons of Tiger games on television, mostly listening on the radio.
    But Inge has to take a seat, right? He can’t hit. Again, I’m not watching the games but I’m assuming his knees are killing him. Give him a couple games off right?
    And yes I know they tried to do it and Raburn had a 3 error game. But maybe call up Hessman? And I know Hessman will probably hit .225, but it seems like Inge needs a 3-4 day break.
    Again, I’m not watching a ton of games so maybe I’m off-base here. But I swear I’d be saying this about any Tiger if he was suffering like this.

    • billfer

      August 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm

      No, you’re right…well except about Hessman who isn’t even hitting 225 for Toledo.

      Inge hit the GIDP ball pretty well, but yeah, he’s really hurting.

      • Stephen

        August 19, 2009 at 8:27 pm

        I say call up Tom Brookens

      • T Smith

        August 20, 2009 at 10:07 am

        How about just letting Huff spell Inge for a few days?

  17. Chris

    August 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    How many times have we seen this? Another struggling pitcher has his best game of the year against this team.

    • Andre in Chi

      August 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm

      Can’t give you an exact count, but I’m sure it correlates strongly with your posts.

      • Jud

        August 20, 2009 at 4:39 am

        the Tigs have lost to 18 pitchers winning their first game of the year

  18. Stephen

    August 19, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Again, let me emphasize this isn’t my standard indictment of the Inge oeuvre, he just can’t buy a hit right now and he’s clearly hurt. I’m more than willing to give him the injury benefit of the doubt, but still give him a break, right?

    • amason

      August 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

      Isn’t that why they traded for Huff? To give Inge a day off here and there. Plus his defense doesnt seem to hurting too much so if he wants to play I can put up with the slumps.

    • ouchudied

      August 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

      If you want to hate on any Tiger right now, I would say that you should probably point the finger at Granderson. Maybe thats just me. And you’ve seen what happens when someone other than Inge plays third… ugh.

      • billfer

        August 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm

        I don’t think he’s hating on anyone. Just asking a very valid question.

      • amason

        August 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm

        I have been less than happy (lately) with Curtis but I really think they just need someone for him to platoon even if to give him a day off from time to time. His numbers versus lefties … wow and according to fangraphs UZR he has been an average fielder this year and last but I wonder if some of that has to do with playing almost everyday and all his home games in Comerica. Would a fairly regular rrest bring those defense numbers back to where they were in ’07, 06? But the problem is who else do they have to play CF competently? Maybe in september Ramirez gets another shot.

        • Kathy

          August 19, 2009 at 9:04 pm

          I read something the other day that Ramirez isn’t hitting too well right now.

  19. cib

    August 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Before the game Mario and Rod were going on and on about JV’s Cy Young chances. This obviously attracted the evil eye.

  20. ouchudied

    August 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Guillen looks hurt again. Great.

    EDIT: Looks like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    • Neal

      August 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm

      Agreed. This time.

  21. Steve

    August 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Billfer and CIB thanks for the heads up… Being an out of towner I need all the help I can get

  22. ouchudied

    August 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Dontrelle leaves his rehab start with a knee injury.

    • Kathy

      August 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm

      They might have to put him on the DL for another 15 days or so.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 20, 2009 at 12:30 am

      This is good news. I don’t want Dontrelle dominating in Toledo because you know what happens then………hellooooooooooo Detroit! DD won’t be able to resist trying to squeeze some kind of value from a guy whom he overpayed grossly. Then we will have to endure some horrific start vs. Tampa or somebody where DW walks six, gives up three hits and 7 ER in 2.2 IP. No thanks. Hopefully Dontrelle really messed that knee up good. I don’t ever want to see him toeing the slab ever again while wearing the Olde English D. 2011 can’t get here fast enough to put that colossal mistake behind us.

  23. walter55

    August 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Aparentally the key to shutting down Detroit is just throw your worst pitcher because the crappier they are the more the Tigers will struggle to score runs.

  24. mcb

    August 19, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I’d like see Avila play in a few games in a row and see how he holds up.

  25. ouchudied

    August 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    We got ourselves a golden sombrero, folks!

  26. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    This is disappointing. I really thought we would punish Snell but we really didn’t do much of anything.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      August 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm

      Well, at least Magglio was hitting Snell. He’s the best hitter, outside of Avila, that we’ve had these days. His OPS is just under 1.000 for the month of August. I hope he gets his option picked up. I think he can bounce back and contend for few more batting titles. Not many players can say that they hit .317 and .363 in 2007-08. That kind of player should get to write his own paycheck.

  27. Chris

    August 19, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Watch the freaking Twins make a trade for Snell right before their next series against the Tigers.

  28. Coleman

    August 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Well we have one more shot. I’ve got the Rally Aardvark out.

    • billfer

      August 19, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      I’m munching rally celery

  29. Jeff Molby

    August 19, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    There’s the bloop…. I’d probably PH for Brandon here, though.

    • Jeff Molby

      August 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm

      After doublechecking Inge’s gamelog, I DEFINITELY would have PH for him.

      April: 3 doubles, 7 HR
      May: 3/5
      June: 3/6
      July: 1/3
      Aug: 1/2

      I’d gladly leave a healthy Inge in, but he clearly wasn’t the best bet there.
      I’d have gone:
      – Huff
      – Maggs
      – Thames
      – Avila
      – Clete

      • Kathy

        August 19, 2009 at 9:53 pm

        I would have, too.

  30. ouchudied

    August 19, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Avila in the on-deck circle…

  31. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    …and the mighty Avila strikes out.

    • ouchudied

      August 19, 2009 at 9:44 pm

      And I’m thinking its probably time to send him back down to AA. I mean, the dude can’t even get a hit when it matters.

  32. walter55

    August 19, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Another almost unbelievable bad performance against a horrible pitcher. It just blows my mind how horrible this offense can be at times. Really a poor poor loss with our ace going up against a guy who got demoted to AAA because he was not good enough to pitch for the Pirates. Oh well hopefully we can get that game back from the WS tomorrow.

    • Coleman

      August 20, 2009 at 12:07 am

      Actually Ian Snell was demoted to AAA…because he asked to be. Yep. He couldn’t handle the pressure and booing. And he admitted to the team that he was contemplating suicide. So there is at least one aspect of this awful loss that can be seen as a good thing. Seattle seems like an organization where the guy will get plenty of support; best of luck to him.

  33. scotsw

    August 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Justin pitched really, really well. Ichiro is a HOFer, and and incredible hitter, and he’s going to get one from time to time. Lyon also looked great.

    The question is why this team couldn’t hit Snell. OTOH, in the past week, the Tigers have beaten Felix Hernandez, Grienke and Buchholz (that’s not to say they were all charged with the loss, but they started and the Cats won). Things that make you go HMMMMM….

    • walter55

      August 19, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      Putting Buchholz on list like he is anywhere remotely near the pitcher that Felix or Greinke is comical. I would have put him on the list of poor pitchers the Tigers have struggled against.

    • TigersSuck

      August 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm

      They didn’t hit Buchholz, Greinke or Hernandez either. They simply got great pitching performances from their starters and won low-scoring games.

      This offense is BRUTAL. I can’t believe a team with a $130 million payroll fields a lineup full of slugs every night. We are seeing the fruits of Dombrowski’s poor contract extensions. We could have a legitimate hitter in the lineup, if the Tigers didn’t have $70+ million in dead payroll.

      • Steve

        August 19, 2009 at 11:24 pm

        Is Tigers Suck the best you could do for an ID ? Really, Seriously…………

        • Jeff Molby

          August 20, 2009 at 4:07 am

          It was actually a great ID. It saved me the two seconds it would have taken to read his nonsense. I appreciate a good summary 🙂

      • scotsw

        August 20, 2009 at 9:24 am

        Though it’s hard for me to believe I’m going to reply to your comment, I have to set you straight…

        Some people think Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco qualify as “legitimate hitters.” Ordonez, too — he’s looking awfully good in August, and I don’t think it’s irrelevant to point out that he’s a former A.L. batting champ. Curtis Granderson is struggling, but I’ll take a guy who is having a down year, and still hits .254 with 23 HRs through 119 games. Oh, and they just traded for a career .284 hitter who averages 20 knocks/year. The other guys in the lineup — Laird, Everett, Inge — are primarily there for their gloves, and they have been excellent in that regard.

        As for the dead money, it ain’t your money, first of all. Be thankful you have an owner here who can afford some dead money on the payroll, because without him, we’re looking like the Pittsburgh Pirates.

        A lot of that payroll is going to starting pitchers who have medical issues, something beyond DD’s control. Bonderman, Robertson and Willis are all reasonably young players with proven track records. None of them are pushing retirement age. Being angry at these guys because injuries have side-tracked them doesn’t make any sense.

        Oh, and this: They’re in FIRST PLACE.

  34. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Ian Snell…who knew? This is neither here nor there, but the guy did strike out 13 consecutive batters in one AAA appearance this season, so he sort of has talent.

  35. Eric Cioe

    August 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I still can’t figure out how they lost this one. There were like 6 good ABs all game long.

    • scotsw

      August 20, 2009 at 9:30 am

      I heard on the radio that Granderson went to full counts 3 times. Do you count those as good ABs? In any case, you’re right — in one of the middle innings, the Tigers went down 1-2-3 in under 3 minutes.

  36. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 20, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Well, I guess I can’t expect anything more than the occasional game where they thump someone (like Saturday vs. KC). The offense is just not good enough to consistently score runs, they’ve shown that to be true after 119 games (that is no small sample size for a season). We are going to live and die with our pitching. We’re going to have to win some 2-1 and 3-2 games in the next seven weeks if we’re going to win the AL Central. We just don’t have the horses to average 5 runs per night, even after adding Huff. We are also going to need to continue to get help from other teams around the AL. CLeveland and KC have both contributed in recent weeks. CLE has taken 2 of 3 twice from the Twins since the AS break, and split six with the CWS since the AS break. KC took 2 of 3 from the Twins in the HorrorDome last week. It is these type of things that are keeping us afloat atop the division. We are basically treading water. We take 2 of every 3 at home, but we lose 2 out of every 3 on the road. That has been the pattern ever since the calendar hit June.

    I’m still not counting out Minnesota. They have taken 2 of the first three of a four game series in Texas, and the Rangers were pretty hot before Minnesota arrived. The Twins scare me, even more than the White Sox. Even though we are 2 up on Chicago and 5.5 games on Minnesota, it is the Twins that scare me. They have two superstars on their team, and they have our number (7-4 vs. us plus they added Tiger killer Pavano). I’m hoping that Texas wakes up tomorrow night and gets a split because I want as much distance as possible between us and the Twins.

  37. Jud

    August 20, 2009 at 4:44 am

    over 40 times now the Tigers have scored 0-1-2 ..I don’t think it mattered that it was Ian Snell or Sally Snell it ain’t about the other pitcher….its about the Tiger hitters.

    • Vince in MN

      August 20, 2009 at 10:27 am

      The 7-1 spots in the order are a black hole, as they have been for much of the season (with the exception of early on). The addition of Avila helps some there, but he is only going to play 40% or 50% of the time. Overall the addition of Huff helps exactly how? Part of the argument has been that he gives the Tigers an extra LH bat so that opposing teams can’t consistently throw RH pitchers against us (the EM can now do the magical L-R-L-R-L routine – whoopee!). Basically all this does is mean that Thames sits, but does nothing to address the black hole problem. If I were an opposing manager I certainly wouldn’t avoid throwing RH at the Tigers. Last night for example, the Tigers managed 6 hits against 4 RH Seattle pitchers with Gullen’s homer the only one by a lefty bat.

      • Coleman

        August 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm

        Surprisingly, when you compare Tiger batters’ OPS numbers to league averages by position and batting order it isn’t so clearcut–the big thing is how much our corner outfielders are costing us, and also our 2-3 hitters. Here’s best-to-worst rankings in each category, with asterisk separating the above average and below average:
        Tiger team OPS 11th in AL(OPS/AL avg/diff): .744 .765 .021-

        1B CF 3B * 2B/DH RF C LF SS

        4th 1st 8th * 5th 7th 6th 3rd 2nd 9th

        Here’s the complete rundown: (Pos-AL Rank-OPS-Avg OS-Diff):
        C 12 .626 .730 .104-
        1B 1 .952 .834 .118
        2B 12 .726 .761 .035-
        3rd 5 .795 .767 .028
        SS 10 .634 .716 .118-
        LF 13 .663 .777 .114-
        CF 1 .809 .737 .072
        RF 13 .725 .802 .077-
        DH 10 .754 .789 .035-

        1 7 .777 .773 .004
        2 11 .704 .785 .081-
        3 12 .740 .799 .059-
        4 2 .909 .813 .096
        5 7 .800 .808 .008-
        6 9 .758 .790 .032-
        7 9 .716 .734 .018-
        8 8 .718 .720 .002
        9 14 .538 .635 .097-

  38. scotsw

    August 20, 2009 at 9:37 am

    For what it’s worth….

    After this game, here is Ordonez’ line over the past 7 days:

    .571 / .625 / 1.000 / 1.625

    Maybe he can still hit. I’m not saying I’d offer him an $18 mill contract if he were a free agent. But more and more, I’m beginning to think his struggles were more about off-field distractions than about physical decline. At his age, I wouldn’t expect him to be batting champ again, but even so, the first half of 2009 is starting to seem more like an aberration than a trend.

  39. jim-mt

    August 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Why don’t they offer Ordonez a compromise–like $8 million plus incentives if he returns to form? He is not going to get $ 18 million if they release him anyway unless Boras sues.

  40. RPS

    August 20, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I’m very confused by the usage of Aubrey Huff. As a DH, he makes the Tigers worse.

    Huff – .252/.320/.400, -10.2 RAA (488 PA)
    Thames – .251/.315/.497, 2.0 RAA (222 PA)

    Marcus has been a vastly superior hitter this year.

    My understanding was that Huff would provide adequate 3B/corner OF defense with an average-ish bat. I though the point was that the Tigers would now be able to give Inge a week off, or glue Maggs to the bench, breaking about even overall. Maybe they feel he needs a couple days of practice before playing the field, which is fine. But I’d better see him out there soon. I’ve been a DD defender. If Huff either can’t, or isn’t allowed to, play those positions, this trade made the Tigers worse, more expensive, and cost a decent prospect. That would not be good, and would probably be the end of my support of DD.

    Also, no matter what his bat is doing, Clete needs to be in the lineup every day. With all the iffy bats in the corner OF spots, there is no reason to sit the only plus defender available.

    (UZR/150 as OF)
    (2009 unless noted)
    Thomas 22.9
    Guillen -12.5
    Magglio 0.3
    Raburn -1.0
    Thames -20.6
    Huff -7.8 career (hasn’t played any OF since 2006)

    Since none of the other options are in any danger of making up those thirty runs with their bats, Thomas needs to be starting every day. As a matter of fact, if the Tigers are resigned to picking up Magglio’s option, the outfield needs to be Thomas/Granderson/Ordonez every time, save injury or rest days. There is zero reason for Thames or Guillen to sniff the outfield, and Raburn and Huff only if they are still trying to limit Magglio’s PAs.