Game 2009.132: Indians at Tigers

PREGAME: Remember Aaron Laffey? The Tigers roughed him up pretty good early in the year.  Well, Laffey has been pitching much better as of late, to the tune of a 2.47 ERA in his last 7 starts (and that includes getting pounded for 7 runs in 4 innings in one of those starts). The strange thing is though, is beyond allowing only 5 homers in 90 innings, his other peripherals aren’t that great.

Rick Porcello takes the mound for the Tigers. He hasn’t shown any ill effects from the increased workload so far this season. He shut down the Indians for 8 innings his last time out, and would love to have the same kind of success this time around.

As an aside, I’ll be at the game tonight and enjoying some beers at The Park Bar prior to the game so feel free to stop by.

PennantRaceIsOnNow, your “the chalk in the left hand batters box shall remain unblemished” lineup:

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

Cleveland vs. Detroit – September 2, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: A couple of 4-2 finals both worked out in the Tigers favor today, and that makes it a good day. Joe Nathan had been flirting with disaster his last few outings and this time disaster got him. As for the Tigers own business, they were shall we say opportunistic?

The Tigers didn’t really kill the ball, and they hit into 3 double plays (Gerald Laird would have had 3 on his own had Ramirez not been running his 3rd time up). But they key was they put the ball in play with regularity and the Indians were kind enough to kick the ball and throw it all over the place. Laffey was charged with 2 earned runs, and I think that’s probably twice as many as he should have been charged with. But, to the Tigers credit they did push runs across when given the chance with sacrifice flies from Ramirez and Cabrera.

And the offense didn’t need much tonight because Porcello was on top of his game. He was a ground ball machine once again and his pitch count had him in position to pitch a complete game (80 pitches through 7+). Part of me wanted to see it, the sensible part of me was happy to see some pitches conserved for perhaps later in the season. The pen did the job again and Fernando Rodney didn’t even make me nervous.

  • Very slick grab by Porcello on one of the few hard hit balls against him
  • I was a little sad to see only 25k at the park tonight. It was a gorgeous night and not all schools are back in session yet, and the Tigers are about to head out on a road trip. Would have loved to see the place fuller.
  • The Tigers were 2 for 3 in sac fly situations, and the third time Everett ripped a line drive to third (surprisingly Peralta caught it)
  • Cabrera went 1 for 1 in 4 plate appearances today
  • Wilkin Ramirez looked good all around tonight and he added a walk to the sacrifice fly
  • The Tigers had lost 11 straight times when they were 9 games over .500 prior to today’s game.

59 thoughts on “Game 2009.132: Indians at Tigers”

  1. Interesting line up kind of surprised Wilkin is not hitting lead off instead of Raburn. As most know WS actually beat the Twins today so they have a chance to drop them to 4 1/2 back.

    1. Wow! That comeback came with two-outs and nobody on base. Maybe the Dome-gods are getting angry with the home team for leaving at the end of the season.

  2. Congrats to Big Mig, for his 1st sac fly of the 2009 season!!

    ..I guess that’s why he was admiring it so long…

  3. Porcello looks awesome so far. Really in command. Ton of ground outs. We aren’t planning on shutting him down before the playoffs due to innings pitched are we? I’m hoping that their “target number” includes the playoff run, because he’s really starting to become Mr. Reliable.

  4. I wonder if Indian fans spell Jhonny Peralta’s name Johnny Pheralta when he makes 3 errors, like we do with Raburn/Rayburn

  5. When we our division, and if Texas wins the WC do we play the Angels?

    If Boston Wins the WC, we play the Yankees because the wild card and not play in the 1st round……. Is all this correct

  6. Yes, the wildcard team doesn’t play within it’s division in the 1st round so if TEX is the wildcard they play the Yankees but if BOS is the wildcard since they are in the same division the Yankees would play DET instead…

  7. It’s actually an interesting question, who we’d rather play…the Angels would seem preferable but there have been some persuasive arguments that to get to the WS the best thing would be to play NY 1st round instead of later.

    1. Coleman what is out there that makes NY a better deal? The only thing I can think of is a 5 game series and we have three good guys to wheel out. Although I like the home field against the Red Sox but we looked terrible vs them. Either way we have the pitching we need a couple guys to get hot and a few to stay warm if we have a shot, The Yankees in field is Texeria, Cano, Jeter and A-Rod, Posada. So as good as our pitching is or can be we need to mash. The Yankees also have three very good starters………

  8. I like all this talk about the playoffs in early September. The only post-season matchup I don’t like is the Red Sox, but we would at least have home field.

    Then again, maybe we should just worry about finishing this game off first.

  9. That’s the idea–that we could beat NY in a 5-game series but not a 7-game series…I’m not sure what I think of that, but that’s the concept

  10. Kevin, Thats the bat we need to heat up and stay hot to keep us in First place and be able to make a run in the playoffs

    1. If he and Guillen can just hit at an OPS clip of .800+ through September, we’ll be alright.

      I’d like to take a second to bask in the glory of talking playoff baseball, a very real scenario, on Sept. 2. I didn’t expect this.

      1. Yeah, this IS a nice surprise. Cleveland – CLEVELAND! – was supposed to be the team to beat in the Central this year. My goodness.

    1. Maybe I’m being too pessimistic, but I don’t think Rodney is going to be able to get away with that against NY, LA or BOS. TX perhaps. Actually I am kind of rooting for the Rangers to get the wildcard since I just don’t believe they are for real.

  11. Rodney has me conditioned to expect and appreciate the baserunners he allows in these save situations. There really is never anything to worry about!

      1. Whoa I get it Rodney has just been playing mind games with the other team all year. I feel somewhat relieved, granted its a false sense of relief but still…

  12. It’s time to start singing the praises of Fernando Rodney. When we did not know who would be a good closer for this team, he stepped up in a big way, took that role and made it his to keep.

    Good job, Crooked Hat!!!

  13. The Indians are a lesson in the weight of expectations (see DET ’07, ’08)…once they waved the white flag on the season they started playing pretty well…they are 23-19 since the break.  

  14. The 09 Tigers beating the 09 Yankees, even in a five game series, would rank as the greatest baseball playoff upset of my lifetime. It would make the 06 upset look like child’s play. The 06 team, even for its collapse, had much more talent than this team. For 75% of the season, it had the best record in baseball. This team is probably the 5th or 6th best team in the American League. (A bad holiday weekend and the Mariners could have a better record). Verlander-Sabathia is a wash, Edwin Jackson-Burnett is a wash, and Porcello-Petitte goes to Petitte on the experience fact. Give the Tigers the nod for left side of the defense, but after that it is all Yankees.
    I understand the team needed to make the defense a lot better, but you just can’t win an American League playoff series with a 7-9 of Inge, Laird, and Everett. It just can’t be done.
    Maybe they’ll prove me wrong!

    1. Didn’t you also say that they couldn’t contend with a 7-8-9 of those 3? If Guillen/Ordonez continue to hit like they have of late (combined with Cabrera hitting like he has all year) it will help greatly to absorb the lack of offense at the bottom.

      1. I remember that a lot of people had the Tigers in last place in the AL centeral and maybe the worst record in baseball as late as April. All in all, I would argue that making the playoffs (or even having the chance) is great, but in a short series, pitching and defence help more than offense. I’m not saying that the Tigers will win, but they have a chance; much like St. Louis had in 2006 when they won the weak division.

    2. “you just can’t win an American League playoff series with a 7-9 of Inge, Laird, and Everett. It just can’t be done.”

      I wouldn’t go this far. To assume a bunch of guys can’t play out of their minds for a five game series, as has happened many times in previous playoff series, is silly.

      “The 09 Tigers beating the 09 Yankees, even in a five game series, would rank as the greatest baseball playoff upset of my lifetime.”

      If the series is set up for Verlander and Jackson to each pitch twice, and they both dominated, it wouldn’t be too surprising.

      Even if not, there’s no reason to think the pitching couldn’t be as good as the ’06 series. If it were, the offense wouldn’t even need to score like it did then (22 runs in 4 games, while giving up only 14).

  15. That I did! But I didn’t factor no one else in the division winning more than 82 games. For that, I apologize. I really am baffled by this team. I thought they would go 76-86 and if you showed me their stats as raw data at this point I’d still say they were going to go 76-86. And yet they will go 86-76. Man, maybe they’ll draw another inside straight but that would be the second one with Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp turning out to be their AL Central rivals being the first one.

    1. But who did you think would really run away with the division? I didn’t really see a 90 win team in the bunch. I thought the Tigers would win about 86 games, but they’re not really going about it the way I thought they would. I thought they’d score more runs due to the top of the lineup (the bottom third was never going to produce much), I didn’t think Jackson would be this good, I thought Bonderman would contribute, I didn’t expect the pen to be this good. But I also saw a bunch of teams with as many flaws as the Tigers.

    2. If you looked at this teams stats as raw data right now, why on earth would you expect them to go 76-86 on the season?

      They currently rank 2nd in the American League in ERA and have outscored their opponents 609-592 on the season. It’s hard to go that far under .500 when you have good pitching and have outscored your opponents on the season.

      1. Wow, 609 runs. That will put them at about 750 for the season. Remember before the season last year when people were talking about them being a 1000 run team?

  16. Nobody in the Central is good enough to be mentioned in the same sentence as Moe, much less the genius Curly…our opponents are more like post-Curly Larry, Curly Joe, Shemp, and Emil Sitka.

  17. Also the 7-9 hitters haven’t been the problem.

    It’s the 9-5-2 hitters, which are our worst relative to the rest of the league, followed by the 3, 7, and 8 hitters (the “8 hitter” is benefitting from the early Inge binge, when he was hitting 8th).

  18. I was at the ball park tonight and it was kinda sad seeing it so empty on such a gorgeous night for a game. This game sure put the mantra “a win is a win” to the test with all those booted balls and bad throws by the Indians Infield. 4 errors in 1 game is pretty impressive but an ugly win still counts just the same.

  19. 25,000 is empty? Even I’ve been too busy to watch the games since school started last week. I don’t even have time to finish this thought.

  20. Empty are the sub-10,000 crowds that I saw at Tiger games years ago. You will know empty when the upper deck is closed to the public.

    1. True. I was a little surprised to see the smaller crowd, but it’s not shocking considering thousands are losing UB here on out. So, some of those $5 tickets won’t be affordable. The weekends will fill up the stadium, though.

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