Game 2009.124: Tigers at Angels

PREGAME: How many times are the Tigers going to lean on Justin Verlander to right the ship? This time it would be stopping a losing streak from expanding to 3 (and possibly beyond). He’ll go up against Jered Weaver meaning we have ourselves a dandy of a pitching match-up.

Verlander faced the Angels twice this year. Once when he and the Angels were struggling and they managed to run his pitch count up high by fouling off a ton of pitchs and with the help of some horrendous defense from Ryan Raburn. The other time Verlander schooled them and pitched 8 innings of shut out ball.

Weaver picked up a no decision when he faced the Tigers in April. The Tigers beat him up pretty good the first 2 times they faced him, but Weaver has spun quality starts in the last 2 outings.

Your, “I dare you to bring in a lefty to face Huff-Guillen back to back because I’ll pinch hit Raburn and Thames” lineup:

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

Detroit vs. LA Angels – August 24, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Loved the Tigers offensive explosion, scoring more runs in the 6th than they did the whole Oakland series. Hated a dominant Verlander becoming unhinged in the subsequent inning and not making it out of the 6th. Loved Fernando Rodney’s 4 out save with 2 K’s and getting out of a runners at the corner situation. Hated the combined evening of the Seay Lyon and the Tigers burned up the top 3 arms in their pen in what was a 10-0 game in the 6th. Loved Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez and Venezuelan power. Hated seeing Aubrey Huff twice fail in 2nd/3rd 1 out situations. Loved the final outcome. Hated the ending time of the game. Yawn.


  1. Andrew

    August 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    “Some horrendous defense from Ryan Raburn”

    I’m shocked that such a thing happened.

  2. boombotti

    August 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    This is a lineup I actually like, minus guillen in left but he has to play somewhere I guess

    • Andrew

      August 24, 2009 at 10:14 pm

      Is Huff really that bad in LF? Does anyone know if he’s taking regular infield or outfield practice to free up that DH position a few times a week?

  3. Tbone

    August 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Dan Dickerson in the open: “One of these teams is just treading water…”

    I wonder where he got that from?

    • billfer

      August 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm

      Dan’s a good guy. If he got it from here I’d be flattered.

      • Tbone

        August 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm

        I agree billfer – when I heard him say it I just smiled. I certainly didn’t intend to insue that he stole it. I thought it was pretty cool.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    August 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Coleman – what’s Huff’s line as a Tiger?

    • boombotti

      August 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm

      2h 2bb 1rbi 133 avg

      • Coleman

        August 24, 2009 at 10:42 pm

        Thanks…I couldn’t bear to look…

        Seriously though, .133 .235 .133 .369…
        Did I mention he’s left-handed?

        I am impressed though that he has only hit 1 GIDP, notwithstanding the fact that he pretty much hits a ground ball to 2B every time he’s up. So far he’s kind of a mix of Sean Casey and Josh Anderson. Except with Capri pants.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          August 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm


  5. Repp

    August 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Just noticed Angels starters have only one batting below .300, and he’s batting .294! That’s crazy!

    • Coleman

      August 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm

      That IS crazy! How is Napoli still in the lineup?

      • eric frederick

        August 24, 2009 at 10:51 pm

        Yes, freaking unreal…..And to think, they struggled for the first month and a half.

  6. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Last week all 9 were batting .300 or better.

  7. Pat in Carolina

    August 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Wow, has there been another lineup in recent memory where 1-9 all hit above .300? Right now Napoli is their weak link at .294.

    EDIT: Okay – I see I was slow on the draw with that insight . . .

  8. T Smith

    August 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    A purely hypothetical question:

    Can anyone — anyone — put on a Tigers uniform and not strand a runner on third-less-than-two outs?

    Huff is just the latest addition to a string of professionals contributing endless data to solve this riddle.

    • Coleman

      August 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm

      Well–purely hypothetically–yes.

      He’s batting 7th. I can’t mention his name or Stephen’s automatic blog-bot will cut in with a post about his lifetime .237 BA.

      Runner on 3rd Less than 2 out: PA-27 RBI-19 SO-2 GIDP-1 .588 .630 .882 1.512

      • Stephen

        August 24, 2009 at 11:21 pm

        Inge’s actual runner on averages//
        Runners On .247 .362 .442 .804
        Scoring Position .250 .357 .405 .762
        Scoring Posn, 2 out .185 .313 .296

        • Coleman

          August 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

          Of course that wasn’t the question though, was it?

        • Coleman

          August 24, 2009 at 11:27 pm

          Inge’s actual HBP number is 14, 2nd in the AL

          • Stephen

            August 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm

            You’re right, the question was what is the sole picayune stat where Inge excels?

  9. Walter55

    August 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    To me the biggest reason the offense struggles is that when it gets a chance to put a nice crooked number on the board they just can’t seem to get some big hits to do it. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out and two of our better hitters coming up and nothing. We did the same thing versus the A’s and Bailey the other day started the game with 1st and 3rd and no outs and best we could do was one run. They just need to string some hits together with guys on base.

  10. steeser

    August 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Did I miss something? What was that on Inge’s forearms?

    • Joey in Portland OR

      August 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm

      um I was just about to ask the same exact thing. what the heck??

      • Stephen

        August 24, 2009 at 11:23 pm

        He got giant tattoos that read ‘lucky’ on one arm and ‘duck’ on the other arm.

        • Stephen

          August 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

          Actually, they are new tats of his sons’ names. Heaven help us.

          • Anson

            August 25, 2009 at 12:04 am

            I like Inge a little less now those tats look huge and kind of out of place. ESPN claims he got them because he was bored in Oakland.

          • Vanguy

            August 25, 2009 at 1:50 am

            Great road win! Kudos to Rodney

  11. David G

    August 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Does anyone know where Polanco ranks in terms of how difficult he is to strike out in the AL?

    • Coleman

      August 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm

      He’s very very difficult to strike out. And harder to walk.

  12. David G

    August 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Yeah, not that difficult. I am quite tired of that stat and mention by the various broadcasters.

  13. Kathy

    August 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Tigers strand a couple. Gee, when was the last time we heard that?

  14. billfer

    August 24, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    White Sox lose, Twins win.

  15. Dylan

    August 24, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Verlander is filthy tonight. That strikes to balls ratio is ridiculous.

    • Mark@HOU

      August 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm

      I’m blaming you if he has the one inning hiccup next inning.

      • Dylan

        August 24, 2009 at 11:09 pm

        I’ll accept that responsibility.

        • Mark@HOU

          August 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm

          You made it through.

        • T Smith

          August 24, 2009 at 11:33 pm

          The problem is, to secure a W, the Tigers task him to be perfect — no hiccups allowed. That’s a tall order, even for an ace. This one run crap stranding men in scoring position inning after inning ain’t gonna cut it.

          • Mark@HOU

            August 24, 2009 at 11:36 pm

            Oh it’s not fair. The problem is that Verlander as awesome has he has been is susceptible to the one bad inning.

            If we had any offense at all it shouldn’t matter.

            Thanks for swinging at ball 4 Polonco.

  16. Mark@HOU

    August 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Every time I write off the Twins. They go on a run. 4 in a row now.

    I can’t believe I’m scared of a team still under .500

  17. Joey in Portland OR

    August 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    SWING AND A DRIVE…. oh a pop fly. thanks Mario!

  18. Coleman

    August 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I ain’t scared of no Twins or Socks of No Color….I’m scared of the team in 1st…

  19. Coleman

    August 24, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    T Smirh asked a perfectly reasonable question to which I gave a fair enough answer. It isn’t his fault, or mine (usually), that you view everything as a pro- / anti- Inge Referendum.

  20. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 24, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I heart Cabrera.

  21. Big Game James

    August 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    MC Hammer!

  22. Kathy

    August 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    A good walk and a HR.

  23. Dylan

    August 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Well… we are at the magic number of 3 runs… Time to turn to the offense off. Let’s see if Verlander can continue to shut em down.

  24. Coleman

    August 24, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Miggy takes Baby Weaver into Land of the Lost.!

    And apparently Napoli was distracted by the Capri pants…

  25. Coleman

    August 24, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Bonus points for Big Game James and the MC Hammet reference…I’m not sure why that one never caught on…

    • Big Game James

      August 24, 2009 at 11:55 pm

      I think I read it on Ian’s blog’s board some time back. It’s as catchy for the Big Mig as any I’ve heard…

  26. Coleman

    August 24, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    OK, I meant Hammer…it would be kinda obvious why Hammet wouldn’t catch on…

  27. colin

    August 25, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Go Tigs Go Tigs GOTIGS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  28. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 12:06 am

    BGJ: if so, that was me. The general response was Hammer? That’s Hank Aaron…

    • Big Game James

      August 25, 2009 at 12:17 am

      At this point I date myself (29 years old). Aaron is definitely Hammer or Hammerin’ or whatever :), but I would not know it from being a fan at the time.

      But on the bright side, I can always recall the steroid era and all that glory…

      Might I also add, woooooohh! I love the offensive fireworks!

  29. T Smith

    August 25, 2009 at 12:12 am

    What team is this?

  30. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

    The Angels don’t seem too impressive, you can see why the A’s are running away with the West….oh wait…

    • T Smith

      August 25, 2009 at 12:17 am

      I’m talking about the away team.

  31. Kevin in Dallas

    August 25, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Maybe even Huff joins in on the fun here???

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 25, 2009 at 12:16 am

      No, let’s not get greedy.

      • Big Game James

        August 25, 2009 at 12:23 am

        I think the lesson this year is never under any circumstance make a trade.

        On second thought, I’m going to go watch Cabrera’s bigfly replay again.

        [last try at insightful] I think the wonder of Washburn and Huff is…we did not know how good are guys were, until we ate some of the grass on the other side of the fence, mixed metaphorically speaking.

  32. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I think maybe one more inning for Verlander and make it an early night

    • billfer

      August 25, 2009 at 12:19 am

      That would be nice. For some reason though I have a feeling Leyland will give him a light 118 pitch night.

    • Jeff

      August 25, 2009 at 12:20 am

      Pull him now. No sense in throwing meaningless pitches.

  33. Dylan

    August 25, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Verlander doesn’t know what to do when he’s not in a 1 run game.

  34. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 25, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Is anyone else having flashbacks to that game in Anaheim years ago (Sparky was still managing us) when Anaheim (back then known as the California Angels) scored 8 runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat us? Sorry for the negativity, but this team won’t let me kick my feet up and relax even when they’re up 10-0. Sheesh.

  35. Jeff

    August 25, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Let’s use Miner in tie and 1-run games, use Seay and Lyon in 6-run games. Brilliant bullpen management.

  36. ij

    August 25, 2009 at 1:02 am

    why was verlander yelling at laird in the dugout?

    espn showed it after bobby replaced him

    • Anson

      August 25, 2009 at 1:22 am

      I was wondering the same thing, I’d have to go with Verlander’s new game day “focus” only permits him to yell when having a conversation. G-money was merely yelling in response as a way to tell JV that he could stop “focusing” for the night. Seay was just interceding to reconfirm G-money’s statment. Or at least that’s what I saw…

  37. Brenden

    August 25, 2009 at 1:25 am

    We have offense, and the pitching punks out…What the crap…

  38. Anson

    August 25, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Crap I don’t even want to stay awake and watch this… Rodney trying for four outs… I feel sick.

  39. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Well, somebody had better start focusing soon…

  40. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 25, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Yep, the Angels are no joke. This is the kind of baseball game you get when 2 1st place teams are facing each other.

  41. Chris

    August 25, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Wow. The bats got lazy after getting 10 runs, as if this were the Royals. These guys are not the Royals. They are the Angels and they make the Yankees look like an ordinary team.

  42. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Alright Crook-Hat Cupid, shut-down time!

  43. colin

    August 25, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Seriously loving the ol’ change piece

  44. Tim D

    August 25, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Rodney is erratic but filthy tonight. Nice to see them get some runs even if they did try to blow a 10 run lead.

  45. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 25, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Rodney was nails once again. Very nice road win. Can’t believe it’s almost 2am. I give them players credit for being able to play at this time of the night. These guys must have no real sleep schedule whatsoever.

  46. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Oh yeah

  47. Mike in CT

    August 25, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Never easy folks, never easy … Except for oddly enough Rodney tonight. (exhale)

  48. Coleman

    August 25, 2009 at 1:52 am

    This was nothing…compared to the Giants taking a 4-1 lead in the top of the 14th, only to lose on a walkoff grand slam in the bottom of the 14th…ouch…

  49. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 25, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Thank you Fernando Rodney! I hated to bring up that dreadful game form the early 90’s where the Angels scored 8 on us in the bottom of the ninth to win, but as soon as they put up that 4 spot in the sixth I knew it was going to be a white knuckle ride. If Lyon was going to have an off night, this was the night to have it (with a six run lead). Man, I wish this team could just let me have an easy night more often than they do. 10-0 lead in the top of the sixth and I’m still on the edge of my seat by the bottom of the 8th inning. Damn, these guys are making my 40-year old ticker feel like its 60. The bottom line is that we won, but what a stessful ride from the bottom of the sixth on.

    The only thing that was stress free was Rodney. He was every bit as good as Rivera, Papelbon, or whoever tonight. 4 outs, nary a hard hit ball (weak groundout to second, strikeout, strikeout, can of corn to LF). Rodney is my co-player of the game along with Cabrera. Fernando was amazing just when we needed him to be. The rest of the pen? Crapola tonight.

  50. Jud

    August 25, 2009 at 3:45 am

    just got home from the game with the following observations:
    1. The Tigers usually walk out to he field about 5 minutes before games in Anaheim. This game the whole staring line up, except Huff was out doing stretching and running 10-15 minutes before the game. I did like that.
    1.5 Thames hit about 10 absolute bombs in batting practice deep into the seats. No wonder he can’t hit …he is too tired from BP
    2. After watching Laird hit live I wonder how he has any hits at all this season
    3. Even the Angel fans all around me were in awe of Verlander
    4. Why did we trade anything for Aubrey Huff????
    5. The hit and run single by Santiago really got the bench going and the flood gates opened from there in the 7 run inning
    6. Verlander was affected by the change in the strike zone when Welke left. The new zone was way tighter…notce all the runs scored after Welke left…mostly because there were not many called strikes.
    7. Rodney was amazing live, the exact same wind up and delivery sometimes 84 sometimes 97….no one even touched a ball very well off him
    8. Tomorrow we are section 128,,row E right behind the Tiger dugout…..

  51. David R

    August 25, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Lyon wasn’t that bad, he got 5 outs and they hit a bloop into right and weak grounder perfectly placed before the homer, that was the 9th guy he faced so he was probably a little tired, he hasn’t faced more than 4 batters in a while.

    Rodney was money again, I don’t get the Jones comparisons. Rodney is wild, he walks the first guy half the time but you can’t deny he has some juice when he needs it, whatever Knapp is telling him it is working. Even the save he blew Peralta blooped an up and in fastball , the only reason they scored was Granderson had to dive , if he hit a little better the guy from 3rd wouldn’t have got in, plus clete misplayed the triple, it should have been a double. Sure he walks guys and gives up singles but not too many hitters really square him up, with Jones they smoked the ball all over the field and you just had to hope it was right at somebody. I’ll give Jones credit because he used the fact hitters are anxious in the 9th against them but he had nothing.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 25, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      David, you “get it”. Rodney is so much better this year than Jones was at any point in his Tiger career. You summed it up perfectly by saying that Jones had nothing and had to hope balls were hit at somebody. Rodney has two strikeout pitches, something a closer desperately needs.

    • T Smith

      August 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm

      When Rodney throws strikes, he’s good. Really good. Of course that’s generally the case for any pitcher with good stuff — so nothing novel there. Nobody will argue Rodney doesn’t have good stuff; and his change-up is wicked when he can throw it for a strike.

      The issue that most people have with Rodney is his control. It’s not always so good, which makes for very interesting outings in close games. His confidence and control issues also seem to compound after a base on balls or with runners on base (save for last night — kudos for getting the last out with runners at the corners). It hasn’t happened a lot this year, grant it, but there have been many times when a seeing-eye single would have blown a one run game on account of too many base on balls and an unlucky bloop or two.