Game 2009.129: Rays at Tigers

PREGAME: Wrap-around series just mess with my baseball equilibrium. It’s a Sunday afternoon and instead of talking about a series win or a series loss or someway to punctuate the series, it is merely game 3 of 4.

But it is a Sunday afternoon, and the Tigers do have Justin Verlander on the hill. Hitters are OPSing .551 against Verlander during day games. Maybe the high heat is harder to center with sunshine, or may it is nothing.

Jeff Niemann, taken exactly 2 picks after Justin Verlander in the 2004 draft. The rookie has done a good job keeping the ball in the park with only 14 homers allowed in 139 innings. There is no platoon advantage with Niemann with hitters from both sides of the plate OPSing 721 against him in virtually the same number of PAs.

Random Factoid: Niemann has only allowed 2 extra base hits when the hitters has put the first pitch in play against him. Bad boding for the Tigers.

Your lefties in the outfield lineup:

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

Tampa Bay vs. Detroit – August 30, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: It’s been 8 hours since the game ended, and I still can’t believe that Polanco’s ball made it over the wall. I was at the game Saturday and I was shocked that with 2 lefties on the mound, and with a very brisk wind blowing out that we didn’t see a wind blown homer that day. I don’t know what the conditions were like today, but regardless, where the Tigers were 2 feet short on Saturday, they had those 2 feet today. Those 2 feet were enough to maintain their 5 game lead on the Twins.

Justin Verlander wasn’t especially sharp in the early going. He wasn’t pitching bad, but he was unable to efficiently put away the Rays and it looked like getting through 6 would be stretching it. Jim Leyland let him go 8 as the Rays were kind enough to make some quick outs in the late going.

The offense was mostly stymied, except for Clete Thomas who had 3 hits. Unlike the game against Price, the Tigers hit a number of balls well, but they routinely went right at Brent Zobrist and they had little to show for it.

But they got enough.

Oh, and Fernando Rodney was good. Again.

71 Comments

  1. ouchudied

    August 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Gameday isn’t working for me. Anyone else having this problem?

  2. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    We’re giving the warning track a workout

  3. Mcb

    August 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    It appears the only strike today is right down the middle

  4. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I hope Curtis hit the ball there on purpose, because if he has learned to do that he might raise his BA 20 points

  5. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    that down the middle fastball ain’t workin!!

  6. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Well we aren’t going to be able to get by with the usual 2-3 runs…

  7. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    hopefully with the tight strikezone we will do the same thing Tampa just did

    Edit : but that inning shows you the Tigers don’t usually wait for those good pitches

  8. mcb

    August 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Verlander does not have his A game today.

  9. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    how can you have 37 dingers but a .219 BA…kind odd

  10. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Those are numbers that are an inspiration to Inge…

    Pena could very well end up with 45 HR, 125 RBI and a .200 BA

  11. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    2-29 sure glad we got this guy..he has only 2 more hits than the pitcher we traded him for

  12. ouchudied

    August 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    The offense does not have their A game today. Like usual.

  13. mcb

    August 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    We suck against “new” pitchers

  14. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    just watching the Tigers bat game after game after game is bad for your health

  15. ouchudied

    August 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Well, at least we are hitting line drives. Too bad they are right at people.

  16. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    what a frickin throw…it actually hit him in the foot..wow

  17. mcb

    August 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    This is painful.

  18. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    what was that??? Huff

  19. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Cabrera K’s on a pitch that almost hit him…Inge K’s on a wild pitch that almost hits him//////does it ever end

  20. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Tigers have hit a lot of solid line drives, but right at somebody…not a bad AB by Inge even, but right at Pena

  21. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Clete have a day!!

  22. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    story of the last TWO years failure to score that runner from third’less 2 outs…..

  23. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Polanco!!!!

  24. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    are you kidddddddiiiiinnngggg me //wooooooow

    just the fact that Granderson actually took a walk should have been the bad sign for the Rays

    • jb61973

      August 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm

      It should be a sign to the Tigers as well. Good things happen when you take walks.

  25. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Polly Power!!!

  26. Chris in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Polly comes through LAMF!!!!

  27. mcb

    August 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I’m pleasantly surprised!

  28. Chris in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Side note: Verlander should probably buy Polanco a beer or something after the game.

  29. Ken in Las Vegas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Yeah, Polly, that’s what I’m talking about baby!

  30. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Placido PoLongball

  31. Chris in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Don’t make me drop an F-bomb, F-Rod.

  32. Andrew

    August 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    This is why I try to avoid getting down on the Tigers during the game (especially when they play at home). Verlander hung in there and the Tigers home field mojo continues :)

  33. Chris in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Sidebar: The Yankees are up 8-2 on the Pale Hose. Weird rooting for the Yankees, eh?

  34. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Ol crook-hat’s got the change-up working…time for the walkoff GIDP…

  35. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Yogi Berra quote ” if you ain’t got relief pitching you ain’t got nothing!

    I’m not sure about the proper english but it makes sense to me

    What a huge win!!1

  36. ouchudied

    August 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Wow Inge. Get up son!

  37. Chris in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    OK. Bossman Junior v. 2009 sucks. Let’s end this thing.

  38. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Victory! Great come from behind win. What a team!

  39. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Dang, almost called that one

  40. Dylan

    August 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Wooohooooo. Great win.

  41. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Air Inge!!!!

  42. Chris in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    That was fast. By the time I typed my previous comment, it was all over. This would be what you might call a “signature” win. Provided they hang on to the division, games like this are the ones you remember.

  43. ouchudied

    August 30, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    When Polanco hit that flyball, I didn’t think there was a chance in hell that the ball was going to get anywhere near the warning track. I still can’t believe that ball left the yard.

    • Andrew

      August 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

      Polanco being interviewed and talked about how that wouldn’t have gone out without the wind & then he laughed :) Happy guys in the clubhouse this afternoon!

      • ouchudied

        August 30, 2009 at 3:44 pm

        Where did you see the interview? I’m watching FSN and they still haven’t interviewed anybody yet.

        • Andrew

          August 30, 2009 at 3:49 pm

          Radio interview

  44. Ken in Las Vegas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Totally psyched right now!!

  45. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Verlander gets a WIN he’s shocked
    Neuman gets a loss he’s shocked

    Tigers WIN we are all shocked………….WWWWooooWWW

  46. Kevin in Dallas

    August 30, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Baseball is fun. Looking forward to a loooong lunch tomorrow.

  47. Tbone

    August 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    File this one in the “games we had no business winning” category. Makes up for that that Sunday home loss against the Royals that was in the “games we had no business losing” category.

    • LindaLou

      August 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm

      I filed mine under the “games we had to win”.

  48. colin

    August 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Playoffs are a crapshoot/coinflip, etc. etc. but I can’t see ANYONE beating NYY over 7 this year.

    • Mark@HOU

      August 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm

      We might only have to beat them over 5….

      • ouchudied

        August 30, 2009 at 7:29 pm

        Which has happened before…

  49. Jason

    August 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    We will only have them for 5; Boston looks like a Wild Card lock, which sets up NYY/DET and LAA/BOS. Then the pitching match-ups are favorable for us:

    Verlander/CC
    Jackson/Burnett
    Washburn/Pettite

    Arguably, all three match-ups lean Detroit. The Division Series really benefits us because we drop the 4/5 trouble spots in our rotation. We’ll just need the timely hitting that we saw this afternoon.

    • Mark@HOU

      August 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm

      Wow getting ahead of ourselves.

      I agree those matchups make it seem like we have a chance and we do.

      But your assuming we will get to set up our rotation they way we want, which may be optimist thinking. Last game is Sunday, while the series will start Tuesday or Wednesday.

      Plus Verlander’s numbers on the road aren’t as good, so even if he has to get pushed back it’s not a bad thing.

      Also, if that happens don’t assume Porcello won’t be the 3rd starter. The Yankees depend on the Homer and Porcello might be a good matchup with his sinker.

      • Jeff

        August 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm

        Good point about Porcello. If he and Washburn both have to pitch, i’d definitely shoot for throwing Porcello in NY and Washburn in Detroit. Washburn in NY could easily be a disaster, while Porcello’s style would minimize the chance of getting shelled in the bandbox in NY.

        Obviously whether they both need to pitch all depends on the schedule – whether it’s 4 games in 5 days or 3 in 5.

        • jason

          August 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm

          Porcello over Washburn in a heartbeat.

          • Jeff

            August 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm

            huh?

      • Stephen

        August 31, 2009 at 10:26 am

        The problem is the Tigers have a slight starting pitching edge. The Yankees have a massive hitting edge.

  50. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    More specifically the Yankees at home are a team of lefty homers; don’t count out (gasp) Nate…

  51. Coleman

    August 30, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Or we have, what, about 24 hours to pull out our secret weapon / never officially retired / Yankee-eating lefty…

    • Mark@HOU

      August 30, 2009 at 8:52 pm

      I would love if this happened. It would be like the retired wresting, coming from the announcing seat with a steel chair.

      “Good God…That’s the Gambler’s musci!!!!”

    • Joey in Portland OR

      August 31, 2009 at 1:15 am

      HA that would be great. I was just thinking about him today and never hearing that he offically retired.

  52. jason

    August 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    If you just recently ate, don’t go look at Dontrelle’s latest performance… its about as gruesome as it gets.

    • ouchudied

      August 30, 2009 at 10:03 pm

      The story just keeps on getting sadder…. 44 strikes and 55 balls. Ouch.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm

      Good. I don’t want there to be any temptation on the Tiger’s part to try and give this guy some starts in September (unless we have already clinched). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: hopefully he has already made his final start as a Tiger. We don’t need him and we can’t afford to wait for him to try and put the pieces together. It’d be especially nice if he felt a twinge in his knee or elbow just to remove all temptation for Ol’ Smoky and double D.

  53. Jud

    August 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    give Willis a bat….. I am telling you the dude can hit……..

    • Joel in Seattle

      August 31, 2009 at 12:07 am

      That’s what I’m sayin’. You’re paying him either way. He can’t pitch any more, clearly. So use his athleticism however you can.

      Don’t tell me the odds are long – the odds are also long that he’ll ever pitch an effective inning in the majors again. Time to see what you can make of your investment.

  54. SJC in Detroit

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Flags were pointing to right field and all the outfielders were playing deep for Granderson. After the walk, Upton in CF asked the TB dugout and he and all the other outfielders took about 10 to 15 steps in. Flags then pointed out to left. Polanco hits a Thames-height ball, Crawford can’t get all the way back in time and the ball has just enough to make it over the fence. Sometimes, everything goes right….