Game 2009.136: Tigers at Rays

PREGAME: The Tigers having assured back to back winning road series will work on back to back sweeps and continue an undefeated September. Everything about that sentence made me happy, other than its run on nature.

The big story is Edwin Jackson’s return to Tampa. Jackson has not had the same sharpness he had in the first half.

It will be big league debut day for Wade Davis. Let’s hope they make it uncomfortable for him the way they did to Carlos Carrasco.

95 Comments

  1. Mith

    September 6, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I love games like today. We nabbed the first 2 on the road against a solid TB team, so now we’re playing with house money. A road sweep would be great, but 2 of 3 will still be good.

    This team is showing a lot of 2006 magic lately, they keep pulling out the close ones and have had some nice come from behind victories. The best part is that they’re doing this in the stretch run instead of fading like the last 3 years.

  2. Steve in LP

    September 6, 2009 at 11:56 am

    “The best part is that they’re doing this in the stretch run instead of fading like the last 3 years.”

    This is the part that makes me the happiest. I think it shows a sign of overall team maturity which I was concerned about heading into the season.

  3. Walter55

    September 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    It seems it is all or nothing when it comes rookies with little experience either we kill them or they eat us alive. I am hoping for the former.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    September 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Wow.

  5. Andrew

    September 6, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Don’t hassle the Huff!

  6. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 6, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Huff!

  7. Neal

    September 6, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    The kid has 6 K’s, and he gave up a homer to Huff? I guess we would take the 4K’s, then homer, the rest of the way. Hopefully 6 runs would be enough.

  8. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    H.R. Huff and stuff

  9. jason

    September 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    So is this guy going to need his defense today at all?

  10. Pat in Carolina

    September 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I saw Wade Davis pitch in Durham a couple weeks ago — against Jake Peavy — and he had filthy stuff. This 6k start isn’t too surprising.

  11. Steve

    September 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I guess Inges days off are next week at KC

  12. Neal

    September 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Did anyone notice that this seems to be a near birthday special. Davis will be 24 Monday and EJ will be 26 on Wednesday.

    • Kathy

      September 6, 2009 at 6:36 pm

      And my birthday is tomorrow. I got my wish!

      • Coleman

        September 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm

        Happy Birthday to Kathy!

        • billfer

          September 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

          I’ll second that.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    September 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    This is unbelievable. Props to Davis.

  14. Ryan

    September 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Has anyone seen a game start like this before? 6 strikeouts and a home run? Unbelievable.

  15. Pat in Carolina

    September 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I think a strong performance from Jackson is more important than a win today . . .

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    September 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Is Perez’s mustache a joke? Wait, I know the answer. It’s not. It’s awesome.

    • Coleman

      September 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm

      A little work and he could get that thing into full Willie Horton territory

  17. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Does Inge just love going into LF for popups, or does he think Carlos isn’t going to get them?

  18. Chris

    September 6, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Despite the 3 runs, E-Jax looks good.

  19. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Matt Joyce-Edwin Jackson trade is the difference between the Tigers making the playoffs and the Rays not making it.

  20. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    On the bright side, the Twins are mirroring us today, down 3-1 to Cleveland after 7

    • Coleman

      September 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm

      The Twins have only 3 hits after 8 innings, off of the Indians’ pitching combo of Huff and Sipp, which sounds a bit like a drinking game of some sort.

  21. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    God grant me the serenity
    To accept the Inge at bats I cannot change;
    Courage to change the future Inge at bats I can;
    And wisdom to know the difference.

  22. Kevin in Dallas

    September 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Even with the touching piece on Inge on Sportscenter last night, I’m ready to move on at 3B. I know he’s at $6.6M next year, but I’d still platoon him. On the contrary, I think PP may be playing himself into a 1 year extension.

    • Stephen

      September 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm

      Play him against lefties and as a defensive replacement. I’d be happy with him getting 200 ab’s.
      Alas, the perverse side of me wants him to get 500 ab’s next year so he sets the all-time strikeout record in less than half the at-bats as most folks currently on the top ten list. That would be a cherry on the ice cream cowpie of The Inge Decade.

    • Coleman

      September 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

      The problem is, platoon him with who? It’s going to be hard to find someone good enough even relative to Inge to make that worthwhile (ideal would be developing a rookie, but we don’t have that guy yet).

      I think we either get another 3rd baseman or not; I can’t foresee much advantage in sharing with anyone we have or would get.

      • Stephen

        September 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm

        Well, it’s doubtful the Tigers are going to get another 3rd baseman while they have Inge under contract. And he doesn’t have much trade value. So.. instead let the countdown to Inge Strikeout Immortality continue!

        • Coleman

          September 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

          Why? They already have once, he only moved to 1st later.

          • Stephen

            September 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm

            Well, because Inge pouted his way out of catching so they don’t have an alternative position for him. Um, and plus Cabrera is a possible Hall of Famer. Unless A-Rod or Longoria magically appear, I can’t see the Tigers doing that twice in three years.

  23. Chris

    September 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Tigers down 1-3 going into the 8th inning… We got ‘em right where we want ‘em.

  24. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Inge Fact of the Day
    Inge batting average 2008-2009 excluding April 09:
    .211 (741 ab’s)
    aka as lowest batting average of any regular major leaguer over same period.

    Inge batting average April 09
    .319 (69 ab’s)
    Never has one all-star appearance owed so much to so few at-bats.

    • billfer

      September 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

      Well, that and looking at something besides batting average. So did you really look at every big league regular and take out their best month?

  25. ouchudied

    September 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    So… its good to see the Rays bullpen late in another game. Especially with the Tigers losing.

  26. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Hmm, Clete–Everett coulda done THAT

  27. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    i sure hope Burrell doesn’t foul off 7-8 pitches ’cause that’s going to take Edwin to 130 pitches. I’m not a pitch count guy, but 130 pitches with a 6.5 game lead seems excessive and more about Edwin wanting to be a stud against his former team than good long term planning.

  28. ouchudied

    September 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I really wish the camera could have panned over to show whoever the hell made it on the field… the crowd was loving it.

  29. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Ah Maddon, classic over-managing.

  30. ouchudied

    September 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I heard that Longoria has a good arm. I think its time for Maddon to throw him mid at-bat.

  31. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    This is exactly how Maddon over-managed the ALCS which would got him infamous over-managing legend status if his team hadn’t muddled through on guts and testicular fortitude.

  32. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Inge sweet spot! bases loaded!

  33. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    His one skill set is the bases loaded fastball!

  34. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    INGE baby INGE!!

  35. ouchudied

    September 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Stephen, Brandon wants a word a with you.

  36. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Please note that I called that.

    • Andrew

      September 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm

      Duly noted & thank you :)

  37. Dylan

    September 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Wow!!! B-INGE!

  38. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Better trade him now when his trade value is high :)

    There’s some serenity for you Stephen (it was a slider by the way, not a fastball)

    • Stephen

      September 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

      I still have no idea what Maddon’s thought process was. His reliever gets first out and then he pulls him for a new reliever even though Cabrera wasn’t the tying run. And they were both righties. Anyone help me out here?

      • Coleman

        September 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm

        The TB announcers pointed out Cabrera was something like 3-for-7 against the first guy and 0-for-3 against the other…so it was a small-sample-size-matchup-based decision

        • Stephen

          September 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm

          That’s classic Maddon. Go for the tiny advantage despite the insignificant sample size and despite what the flow of the actual game dictates.

  39. Dylan

    September 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    “You’ve gotta get Perez a GPS system”

    Gotta love Rod Allen

    • ouchudied

      September 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

      “You know men don’t ask for directions anyway”

      Rod’s got some good one-liners up his sleeve.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        September 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm

        I think the weight of Perez’s mustache is upsetting his ability to run straight. He probably had the right idea, but he got pulled way to the right. He needs to get that thing aligned.

        • Coleman

          September 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm

          Well, partly the weight, but that’s because it’s too top-heavy, which leads to instability. A little more development in the lower regions (a la Willie Horton) would stabilize it and lessen the effects of side-to-side movement.

  40. Stephen

    September 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Brandon is one of the greatest ‘there’s nowhere to put him, must give him a cookie over the middle of the plate’ hitters ever.

    • Coleman

      September 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm

      Inge with bases loaded in 2009:

      .583 .667 1.083 1.750, 20 RBI in 15 PA

      …and especially for Stephen: 0 strikeouts in 15 PA

  41. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    3 Ks and a Grand Slam, what the heck kind of sombrero would that be? A Platinum, gold-plated, electric, spinning sombrero?

    • Stephen

      September 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Now thats funny! It’s like the guy who drop $2000 on the Wheel of Fortune slots in Vegas and wins the million dollar prize on his last silver dollar.

  42. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    The Rays are so done…about to be swept by Detroit in painful fashion, then tomorrow onto a double-header facing Sabathia and Burnett…

    • Coleman

      September 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      OK, now I feel bad for them. Unsurprisingly, they are on their way to the double-header sweep treatment today. But they didn’t really need this:
      Rays’ Pena breaks 2 fingers
      http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/ne.....;type=lgns

  43. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Note: Lyon has been actually taking the infamous Pitcher’s Fielding Practice apparently.

  44. Brenden

    September 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Great win! Wow, that was awesome. This team is playing great ball right now.

  45. Pat in Carolina

    September 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Not sure what I enjoyed more – the actual Inge homerun or coming back to this site to read the comments afterward . . .

    Can the playoffs start now?

  46. Mike in CT

    September 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Wow…haven’t wanted to comment here in a bit, trying not to jinx anything.

    Maybe in October we’ll look back and see this was the week the Tigers won the AL Central.

    For once, I’m bummed out tomorrow is an off day. (Usually my heart needs the vacation from the nightly 1-run stress.)

    Oh and Inge is officially Babe Ruth now, too.

  47. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    “Here come the Twins”. Well, where are they?

    • Walter55

      September 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm

      They are 7 games right behind us. Unbelievable win today we really tore up TB’s pen. Also our magic number is now at 20.

  48. Kevin in Dallas

    September 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I think we can safely take credit for that. The clubhouse attendant was probably reading DTW to Inge on the bench.

  49. Chris

    September 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Madden’s over- management of these past two games has been dreadful for the Rays and the Twins. I knew the Tigers would win this game being down two runs in the late innings.

    Magic number time. :)

    • Coleman

      September 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      20

  50. Shane Trapped in Toledo

    September 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    A fantastic win and a testament to how good of a manager Jim Leyland is. He put on a clinic this weekend. The players ultimately have to perform, but Leyland made all the right moves to put his players in the best situation. Throughout the year I have read and heard too much mindless criticism of him from Tigers fans. Of course he has made many questionable moves this year, but he is still one of the top ten managers in the game.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      September 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      I totally agree. I think Leyland is way ahead of the curve when it comes to day to day planning. He really prepared the team well to be ready for this years stretch run, which is something he couldn’t really do in his prior seasons here because of all injuries and having a less versatile roster to work with.
      His use of the pitching staff has been masterful for the most part. Everyone in our pen has developed confidence in their roles since the season started. He’s what you call a players manager.
      The fans are another story. They get frustrated with every decision that goes wrong. They don’t understand that live game decisions go wrong about 50% of time no matter who the manager is. Even the best managers seem stupid because we only focus on the mistakes.

  51. Coleman

    September 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    It was a “perfect storm” type of situation; Maddon tries the LaRussa To Each Batter His Own Pitcher trick to ill effect, leading to a bases loaded situation…with Mr. Three-Cornered Sombrero But You Really Don’t Want Him Up With Bases Loaded, oh and ALSO it turns out The Best Tiger 9th Inning Hitter (who knew?) at the plate. I thought Inge was toast once he went 1-2 and was consoling myself with the fact that he has a low GIDP rate, then…

    Inge in 9th innings (48 PA): .277 .333 .854 1.187

  52. Steve in Det

    September 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    What a win by the Tigers this day, and all weekend!!! WOW!!

    And I can safely say that in the 9th inning that The Red Sox will defeat the White Sox today leaving us with a:

    Minn – 7 GB
    Chicago – 8 GB

    I think we may just have this division dare I say wrapped up. However there are still to many games with these two teams to say a definite yes, however I am liking the Red Hot Tiger Baseball playing right now!! GO Tigers!@!

    • Mith

      September 7, 2009 at 7:57 am

      Yeah it will take an epic collapse and/or an epic rally for the Tigers to lose this division. Even if the Tigers stumbled to a 10-16 finish, the Twins still would have to go an impressive 17-9 to catch them. Both things are possible, but they aren’t exactly likely. Of course, there are 7 head-to-head games between the two and that could close the gap in a hurry as well.

      But overall, I think we have to feel pretty good. I really do think this is the weekend we put the division away. I guess we’ll find out for sure over the next 3-4 weeks.

  53. DH in DC

    September 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Is Lyon the new closer? Should he be?

    • Shane Trapped in Toledo

      September 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      No. Rodney has not done anything to lose the job. Take home the person you brought.

  54. Steve in Det

    September 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t know about that DH I liked the signing from the beginning and he was shaky, but he has come around to be a super effective setup man. Im not sure what will happen in the off season but if we don’t sign a closer, then Lyon is the man automatically. IMHO.

  55. Mike in CT

    September 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Semi-amazing fact of the day, the Tigers magic number for the division is only one behind the Yankees in the East.

    • colin

      September 7, 2009 at 3:05 am

      So Tigers:Yankees::Al Central:Al East. LOL

  56. Andrew

    September 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    The Tigers march to the postseason is picking up some steam! I went outside to play football with my son when the Tigers were down 3-1. The way they’ve been coming back in the late innings I just had a good feeling. Came back in later to see that, once again, they came from behind to win it. What a fun season :)

  57. West Coast Tiger

    September 7, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Laird played a huge part in this sweep. The mans defense is ti be admired. He is shutting down the running games of teams that have been making aliving on the bases all year. At the same time Jim takes the running game to them. Steals, Squeeze plays…. Jim gave us a look at this earlier in the year, but the Sept. call ups are providing the peices needed to close this thing out.

    It nice to be kicking ass at the end of the season as opposed to limping to the finish line.

    • Steve in Det

      September 7, 2009 at 3:08 am

      Could not agree more WCT!!! Avila’s bat, Laird’s defense, Polly’s back, and Miggys swingin that hot bat, we are busting up the AL Central for now.

  58. MCM

    September 7, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Regardless of what Leyland says about “momentum” seems we have a bit of it now…let’s roll with it, baby!

    Lovin’ the option of closing with Lyon when Rodney needs a “rest”, which means whenever we’re up by 2 runs or less.

  59. gene

    September 7, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Let us not forget the man, one of the best tigers, Polly Polanco and what he has done on his day off. A triple yet! What a guy a complete professional ball player.
    Heezamyguy

  60. chrisg219

    September 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I went to both Saturday and Sunday games in Tampa and the place was loaded with Tiger fans. Yet it was still a lot of fun to “borrow” my neighbor’s obnoxious cowbell and ring it a like crazy person when Inge hit the homerun. Unlike some other ballparks, I felt no physical threat since most of the Rays fans are well into their 80s. I had been listening to those damn things on every strike, every walk, every time a Ray successfully exhales, those fans were just asking for taste of their own medicine.

    • Coleman

      September 8, 2009 at 3:01 am

      “Guess what? I got a fever–and the only prescription is more cowbell.”
      -Bruce Dickinson

  61. billfer

    September 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    So I went up north for a couple days. Did I miss anything?

    • Adam

      September 7, 2009 at 9:39 pm

      I feel the same way. Why can’t things happen while I’m watching?

    • Coleman

      September 8, 2009 at 2:50 am

      Just a bit of Temporary Inge-sanity.

  62. Coleman

    September 8, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Apropos of not much (but it’s always nice to say “apropos,” even if it really should be ‘a propos’), I like the Tampa Bay broadcasters. (Although there is something not very entertaining about their broadcasts at the same time; perhaps just the style of speaking).

    They were right on top of all of Maddon’s pitching changes, explaining exactly why he was making them (they weren’t all of the obvious RH-LH matchup variety); and especially right before the Inge grand slam one of them said, “Inge is choking up a bit on the bat now, making sure he puts the ball in play,” (which he obviously did), which was a nice thing to notice (I didn’t before they mentioned it), and also, I think, part of the whole phenomeninge where suddenly, with a guy on 3rd less than 2 out, or bases loaded, he doesn’t strike out like he gets a per-strikeout bonus at the end of the year.

    Which makes you wonder why he doesn’t do it, like, all the time….(hint: you can still hit home runs that way…even grand slams…please keep this in your head for future reference…)

    (Also thought it was cool afterwards that Inge gave a tip o’ the hat to advice he got from Kirk Gibson).

    …I like Mario and Rod; Mario has a pleasant voice to listen to, and is very consistent; Rod is often entertaining and sometimes provides interesting observations, although usually after the fact. Mostly, they are a good team–I think they tend to compensate for each other’s faults and play off each other’s strengths.

    • billfer

      September 8, 2009 at 7:29 am

      Inge, Granderson, and Thomas all choke up when they get to 2 strikes with regularity. It hasn’t seemed to help much :)

  63. rings

    September 8, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Happy Birthday, Bilfer!
    Here’s to a Tiger win in celebration :-)