Game 2009.138: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: Justin Verlander takes the mound tonight for the Tigers sitting at 222 strikeouts for the season. That ranks as the 11th best single season mark in Tigers history. If things go as planned tonight he should at least get to 9th and if he’s feeling frisky he has an outside shot of moving into 7th or 8th.

Strikeouts – Tigers Single Season Leaders

Rank Player   SO   Year
1. Mickey Lolich   308   1971
2. Denny McLain   280   1968
3. Hal Newhouser   275   1946
4. Mickey Lolich   271   1969
5. Mickey Lolich   250   1972
6. Joe Coleman   236   1971
7. Jack Morris   232   1983
8. Mickey Lolich   230   1970
9. Mickey Lolich   226   1965
10. Jack Morris   223   1986

(from baseball-reference.com)

Robinson Tejeda makes the start for the Royals. Tejeda has only made 1 start this year (and only 1 last year) and he 1 hit the Angels for 5.1 innings of shut out ball. He has 61 K’s in 47.1 innings this year which is really good. Between Tejeda and Verlander there could be a stiff breeze tonight.

Detroit vs. Kansas City – September 9, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

71 thoughts on “Game 2009.138: Tigers at Royals”

  1. Nice list–whole lotta Lolich on it, isn’t there…a guy who doesn’t get enough mention when talk turns to great pitchers of the past.

    It’s a shame in 1971 with 25-4 2.92 and 308 Ks that there was another dude in the league named Vida (24-8 1.82 301 Ks), so it was only good enough to get Lolich a Cy Young runner-up. Guys were doing a lot of striking out in 1971 it seems.

    I’ll have to make sure I have a beer for my namesake up there at #6 when Justin passes him by…

    1. The strike zone was bigger and the mound may still have been higher than today. I can’t remember what year it was lowered.

      1. I can’t either…my first guess would be ’69, but I’m probably confusing it with the year the leagues were split up into divisions.

        It may be later, like ’72, when the mounds were lowered.

        The other amazing thing about ’71 was the Tigers were 91-71 and never in the race, finishing 12 back of the Orioles, who had a *TEAM E.R.A.* of 3.00 (!!)…(which probably means the mound was still higher).

        I”m not sure when they lowered the strike zone, or if that was even actually officially done before it was done (if that makes sense). If you watch highlights of Gibson’s record-setting WS strikeouts against the Tigers through a lens of a current baseball fan, dude looks like he’s probably walking in runs with all the letter-high fastballs…

  2. Hopefully JV can keep it up and continue dominating the Royals this season, need some other guys to step it up offensively and help him out.

  3. JV is throwing hard tonight… he hit a hundred in 3 times during the Betancourt at-bat. Seems like he usually hovers around a hundo later in the game.

  4. That stiff breeze I mentioned earlier…9 swinging strikes for Tejeda and 7 swinging strikes for Verlander through 2 innings.

  5. I’m calling “frisky.” (re: Billfer pregame)

    That Betancourt AB both balls (2nd and 5th pitch), at least according to Gameday, were in the strike zone. So Verlander wings a 100mph FB dead bullseye middle of the strike zone for strike 3…

    Looks like something that might qualify as “friskiness” to me…

    1. I’m not ready to call this the start of the September Slide quite yet. Getting schooled by the Royals is pretty depressing though.

    2. This is not the same team that played in TB.

      Yes it is. There’s a reason it takes 7 months to crown a championship. If you’re not a fan of day-to-day fluctuations, try football.

    1. He’s gearing up for the 9th inning grand slam…this one’s in the bag…

      My favorite thing about Inge’s postgame comments after his grand slam–besides him giving credit to Gibby for advice a few years back–was his comment that he thought he had good swings his previous 3 ABs…um, OK…

  6. I ask this seriously: Is there a level of offensive production bad enough to get Inge sat down for a week? This is two months of the worst I’ve ever seen him at the plate. His bat is AA-caliber right now.

    1. Seriously? Have you ever even seen Leyland pinch hit for him? If there’s a good reason why, this might have something to do with it:

      Go-Ahead Hits: (all hits where the team went from tied or behind to ahead)
      Inge 18
      Cabrera 14
      Granderson 14
      Huff 14*
      Polanco 13
      Clete 9
      Raburn 9
      Everett 8
      Ordonez 7
      Laird 6
      Santiago 5
      Anderson 3
      Thames 3
      Guillen 2
      Dane Sardinha 1
      Larish 1
      Avila 0
      Kelly 0
      Ryan 0
      Treanor 0

      Note: Inge has INCREASED his lead in this category, somehow, since the All-Star break…

      1. Coleman, I’m sorry but this is such a meaningless stat that I’m going to have to get nine hours of sleep, take a ritalin tablet, and then dissect it.

  7. Considering how the Tigers hit against rookie and no-name pitchers, they should consider playing an exhibition game against Oneonta. It would give the young lads a great confidence boost I bet.

    1. Are you putting Tejeda in that group? He’s been pretty sick this year with the only knock against him being walks. Coming into tonight he was fanning 11+ per 9 and he’d only allowed 1 homer in 47 innings. He was also riding a 13 inning scoreless streak coming into this game.

      If you’re talking about all the other guys with marginal stuff they made look good, well then I won’t argue.

      1. R3L2O – no run. I rest my case. Seriously though, Tejeda is good. And Carl Pavano beat Roy Halladay tonight, so it isn’t just the Tigers.

  8. Amazing that it only took one loss to bring all the pessimism back. We’re down one run in the 5th with our stud on the mound. True, their guy is shutting us down, but he’s at 80 pitches already. We’ll get some good cracks at their bullpen.

    1. Getting shut out by a last place team right after a sloppy loss where we had no business losing isn’t too encouraging. Forget about the fact that we are making Kyle Farnsworth look like Mario Rivera (I think he’s recorded more key outs this game alone than he did all last year in a Tiger uniform).

      There are just certain times when pessimism is warranted.

      1. Did the past week make you forget about the previous five months? Sparky needed 40 games to gauge his teams; surely we laymen can do it in 120. We have a slightly above average team. It’s a fact. We’ve lost many games that we “should” have won. We’ll lose even more before this season’s over. Why not just enjoy the sport for what it is?

        1. No, the past week simply made me forget about how easily frustrating this slighty above average team can be when it’s playing slightly below average.

          1. Frustration is a function of expectations. The tigers are an approx .550 team. They are what they are. If you expect them to win significantly more than half of their games, you will surely be frustrated. The problem is purely in your head.

  9. here comes farnsworth…the royals don’t want to mess with their upcoming draft picks…why try and win now lol

  10. I am having bad feelings of 2006 where Kansas City swept us right out of 1st Place in the Central. I only fear they will send us in to a tail spin in the last couple weeks that will see us exit the playoff scene.

      1. Tigers lost their last 5 in ’07 and were 8-18 in September ’08. They’ve been shut out 12 straight innings by the Royals. What’s to worry?

    1. I think it’s clear by now Ordonez is going to vest. Maybe it’s time to accept it and give up this whole platoon experiment with Clete. Magglio gives us a better chance at starting and keeping rallies alive….

  11. For some reason Granderson is useless in 8th innings (but not in 9th):

    66 PA .183 .246 .333 .579 19-SO (1/3.5 PA)

    1. I’d guess he’s more likely to face a LOOGY in the 8th as opposed to the closer (who wouldn’t necessarily be left handed)

      1. That actually probably explains it…one of those things that seems obvious once someone points it out. Thanks for doing so!

      2. Wow. I knew Curtis had problems with lefties, but the more I look at the stats…I don’t know if I’ve ever seen ANY starter with such a gap between LH/RH OPS:

        Curtis vs RHP .911
        Curtis vs LHP .508
        Diff RHP vs LHP .403

        I mean, the difference between the two is almost an entire Everett OPS…

          1. That’s not the worst idea…I mean it’s another never-in-a-million-years type of thing, but still…you’d have a CF with a good glove (Al Kaline said Inge could become one of the best OF in the league so I’ll take his word), and an OPS of .897 vs RHP and .811 vs LHP based on career numbers..

            He’d also cost a few bucks but hey it’s not my money…

        1. Curtis is heading towards a platoon role hitting in the 6th slot. I think he may thrive further down in the order, but he is virtually an automatic out against LH and unless he solves that issue (to be fair, he improved last year over ’07 but regressed horribly this year) he has no business as an everyday player.

          1. Granderson looked like he was turning it around in ’08 vs. LH; not great, but acceptable:

            ’06 .228 BA, .277 OBP
            ’07 .160 BA, .225 OBP
            ’08 .259 BA, .310 OBP
            ’09 .183 BA, .255 OBP (vs .282 and .366 vs RH)

            Perhaps ’08 was a fluke.

  12. I’m just joining in, but 2 of Rodney’s pitches to Betancourt and the second pitch to DeJesus are strikes according to Gameday. Yet they’ve been called balls.

    Are they close or is Gameday way off?

    EDIT: nevermind, this has gotten out of hand now…

    1. It’s been like that all night. Either gameday is off or the ump’s strikezone is 6 inches off center to the left.

  13. Well, the worst case scenario is they come home with a guaranteed non-losing 3-3 road trip under their belt. A week ago that was an acceptable result, yes? These things happen – the Phillies got swept a 4-game series a while ago. Law of averages etc. Maybe they are a little flat after the sweep in Tampa.

  14. The Tigers’ bullpen uses fewer total letters in their names than any bullpen in the league.

    (Miner, Perry, Ni, Seay, Lyon, Rodney…probably even if you add the callups. I’m not counting Bonderman, since he’s kind of a rehab thing).

    OK, so I didn’t really go through and count every bullpen. But I’m pretty confident in this one…

  15. Of course if Huff and Clete get on Inge will be up with bases loaded in the 9th again…it’s too bad we didn’t hold KC under 5 runs…

  16. Have you ever wondered how Carlos can throw the ball in from LF with his right arm but still can’t bat RH’d? Several times, it seems like he throws sort of sideways like he did at SS. There must be some serious stuff going on with his shoulder or he would be batting RH’d. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be batting right handed any time soon either. Maybe they’re keeping it a secret for some special situation and he’ll come up against a lefty and hit from the right side. Maybe tomorrow?

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