Game 2009.147: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: Don’t get swept. Don’t get swept. Don’t get swept. That’s basically the message. Don’t get swept. Don’t get swept. Don’t get swept. If the Tigers take 1 they still have a 3 game lead, anything beyond that and they are sitting very pretty. A sweep and Tigers fans will really start to sweat.

The Tigers play their final 3 games in the Metrodome. Thank goodness. Tonight it is Brian Duensing against Rick Porcello. Duensing has only a 3.53 ERA despite allowing 90 baserunners in 66.1 innings. The ERA is probably low because despite the baserunners, he isn’t being hit hard with only 11 extra base hits. He is coming off his strongest performance, 7 innings of shutout ball with 6 K’s against the A’s. He’s been harder early in the count rather than later. The Tigers swing early in the count. This might work out.

The Twins chased Porcello after only 4 innings in his last start in the dome. They knocked him around for 6 runs on 90 pitches. That wasn’t good. Porcello shut the Twins out for 7 innings on 4 hits the first time he faced them. That was good.

Your, “hey it’s another freakin’ southpaw” lineup:

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

Detroit vs. Minnesota – September 18, 2009 | Gameday

146 thoughts on “Game 2009.147: Tigers at Twins”

  1. Holy Humpdome! Only Raburn and Ordonez can save us; which means Polanco will be the key–if he can get on, or even just refrain from the GIDP…

    Here is today’s starting line-up and their lifetime OPS in the Hefty Dome:

    .874 Raburn
    .693 Polanco
    .892 Ordonez
    .648 Cabrera
    .759 Thames
    .662 Inge
    .939 Granderson
    .712 Laird
    .595 Everett

    (Granderson looks good, but…you know, the lefty thing. He’ll have to save us vs the RHP). The .648 from Cabrera is scary…it includes 14 strike-outs in 52 PA…the Polanco .693 has been achieved over a healthy number of PAs (162)–but, hey, look at that! Total GIDPs = 0…that makes me feel better…

  2. I’m negative by nature, but will attempt to stay positive….unless it’s Nick Punto in the middle of a potential disaster.

    The sun still comes up tomorrow…

  3. Alright, I convinced the wife to let me stay in and watch the game. Let’s hope the Tigers get that one crucial win they need in this series out of the way tonight.

  4. Can I add to the “don’t get swept” “don’t get swept” mantra

    I like Porcello to come back from his sub-par outing last time and it is hard to give the Twins pitcher a whole lot of credit for blanking the mighty A’s

  5. Anyone else having trouble getting the hi-def feed via FSD? It mistakenly thinks the game is blacked out for my viewing area. 🙁

      1. Thanks biller. I opted for an online chat session with AT&T support and it turned out to be a widespread issue with Uverse in Southwest MI. I’m back to stunning hi definition 🙂

  6. I wonder what Mauer was saying to Inge that had him grinning…my money is on some sort of Home Run Derby joke

  7. Whats with the sound in the Dome. Getting Twins feed..It sounds like a piped in car alarm in the distance over the speakers.
    Started last half inning bot 2nd

    1. I’ve had a cold and getting a headache. It sounds like a plane buzzing in the background. It seemed pretty obvious at first, the organ guy was trying to play over it. Then it got lower and the fans cheered. Maybe I’m just hearing things.. It’s just maybe the sound of the dome.

      Close to muting the Twins announcers anyway. Although, I like Burt in small doses.

  8. How about Laird’s at-bat? One of his best this year. He did not get a hit, but he made the pitcher throw a bunch of pitches and he moved the runner over.

  9. Why does Granderson never attempt a steal anymore? I would have had him running and Laird bunting him over to 3rd.

    It’s pennant time, folks. Let’s get aggressive.

    1. Running against a lefty is dangerous. You have to go on first movement. There’s no reading the move especially with a rookie on the mound.

      Laird did a good job.

      1. Yes, I know. But it’s equally risky trying to drive in a run with your eight and nine batters up. Every now and then you have to try to make something happen in certain situations…imo.

  10. Did you hear that?? For all of you gerring the Twins feed…the Whine Sox may start shutting down their starters…before their series with the Twins, and us…hmm…

    1. I would be ecstatic if they shut down Gavin Floyd (who is battling a hip injury of some sort). That guy owns us.

      1. Here’s what Guillen said: “When we lose, we lose as a team. But that was a very, very bad effort by everyone. By myself, by my coaching staff, by everyone. It was a careless kind of game, like what time does the plane leave? Hurry up guys, we were supposed to land at 12 and now we’re going to land at 3. That’s the thing, I know, I know, I know that’s what we were thinking. … Those (last) 2½ hours, they gave up.”

        Also…Dye, Quentin and Rios all benched tonight.

    1. Does it matter?.. Grandy had a good AB got 5 pitches. Then made contact and blooped one.

      Took a great play by a Twinkie… What else do you want? These were the type of bloops that KC killed us with.

  11. I’m not sure what are numbers are exactly, but they aren’t good. I can tell you that Granderson is either worst on the team or close to it; and that’s overall…against lefties he’s probably one of the worst in the league

    1. No worries, I think a telling stat would be the percentage of ABs that Cabrera either bats to lead off an inning or without anyone on base.

  12. To be exact: Granderson: 6 RBI in 22 PA R3L2O.

    To put that in context Josh Anderson is 1 behind him with 5 in 9 PA


    Everett 22/21
    Santiago 17/15
    Inge 23/31

  13. Nothing more disappointing then runner on 3rd with less then two outs and not scoring a run…happened way too many times this season.

  14. And here’s the difference: Tigers get a lead off double and strand him. Twins get a lead off double which comes around to score.

  15. Runs per plate appearance minus walks with less than two outs. We’re pretty average. We’re not that much worse than everyone else. These are current to the end of August though

    .75 R/(PA-BB) — Indians, –3, <2 outs
    .72 R/(PA-BB) — Twins, –3, <2 outs
    .69 R/(PA-BB) — White Sox, –3, <2 outs
    .68 R/(PA-BB) — Tigers, –3, <2 outs
    .63 R/(PA-BB) — Royals, –3, <2 outs

    These aren’t my stats. from the WGOM

  16. Porcello looks to be done for the night, but he threw a quality start. Let’s hope for some quality at-bats.

    1. Which means in the course of 100 ab’s for each team we average 5 less runs than the the AL. You know less than two KC homers.

  17. Down 3 runs and you have the feeling the game is over. If we do lose the division you can lay the blame directly at the feet of the offense and Mclendon as they have just not gotten it done. Hopefully we can get another miracle rally going.

      1. He will not be hitting coach next year. He may be transitioned to bench coach and not fired, but he won’t be hitting coach next year. Doing some research on this (yeah, I talk to people and do research and don’t just sit in my Mom’s basement) and will likely have a post together by the end of the season.

        1. is it McLendon or is it the talent on this team? I mean, we’re running Laird, Everett/Santiago and Inge out there for our bottom third on a daily basis. Clete Thomas batted third. Ryan Raburn is our leadoff hitter against lefties. I just don’t think these are every day major league hitters. I know Granderson, Polanco and Ordonez had down years, but how much of that is McLendon’s fault? Polly and Maggs are right at the stage where most players start to decline.

          I’m not saying he’s blameless, but I think this team is running average or worse hitters out there on a regular basis, Cabrera being the biggest exception.

      1. It was close, but it probably was a ball… Maybe not a pitch you swing at 3-1, but you probably would swing at in 3-2

  18. Here’s a purely philosophical question. And I hope it’s not too esoteric a topic for this forum…

    Why can’t this team score any runs?

    1. I believe having 4 regular starters batting under 250 is a good indication of that and that is not counting the sub 250 avg’s of guillen and huff. It seems the only platoon guy doing something is raburn and do you realize Porcello has the highest avg 🙂 albeit with only 5 AB’s food for thought

  19. Surprise that Lard, excuse me, Laird popped out again. How can Illitch stand by and watch this inept organization? Does he care?

  20. Good news, the Chi-Sox are down 6-0 in the 8th to the buzzsaw that is the Kansas City Royals. Looks like they’ve rolled over, so it’s a two-team chug to the finish.

    1. Why is that good news? The AL central champ AGAIN is hosting the tigers tonight. What did that sign in the outfield read? MN 02,04,06 AL Central Champs.

      I have never seen a more falsely optimistic fan base than the Tigers, and the team repays that respect by coughing up 7 runs against the AL worst team in a series and shuts down entirely in sept.

      God bless you fans, you deserve better!!!

    1. Good point, That’s what my high school coach would tell us. “Why would he throw you a strike when you swing at balls?

      Always embarassing when’s he’s asking you from the 3rd base box.

    1. Like I said earlier, I’m a pessimist by nature, but stay positive, still up three games. … Oh right Carl F’n pitching tomorrow…

  21. So umm how about we all channel our thoughts really really hard for Leyland to bump JV to Sunday and not against the unhittable (at least against us) Pavano. Maybe a case of that dreaded 24 hr Flu bug or something.

    1. I really like this idea. Why waste a potential 9 inning, 2 hit, 1 run outing from JV? What happened to the Pavano that gave up 11 runs regularly to the Tigers?

    2. At this rate, does it matter if he pitches Saturday or Sunday? Last time I checked you still need to score at least 1 run to win a game….

      This offense is absolutely pathetic.

  22. I still can’t believe that 10 games ago we were playing so well and now I am not even sure they are going to finish .500. During this stretch of games this is some of the worst baseball I have ever seen. It is not like they are playing ok and things are just not going their way they just look totally inept. Heck even in 2 of our last three wins against 2 of the worst teams in the league we had to use everything we had to squeak out a 1 run win and needed a 3 run 9th inning homer.

  23. Oh sing it Michael . . .

    “A B C . . . the Tigers go 1 2 3 . . they suck oh ya, can’t you see . . . swept in 3 . . . ole D D . . . the Matt Millen of Baseball . . .”

        1. How many did we win before? We went 16 years before he got here without one. 12 years without a winning record. If you would have asked me in 2002 when the next time the Tigers’ would be in the WS I would have said 2020.

          He’s been awesome.

          Claiming we haven’t won the pennant is crap, when you had the Wild wrapped by 7 games anyway, especially with that team.

          1. He’s been AWESOME? Man, what have you been smokin? The trade history . . . reupping Leyland for two years . . . wow . . . interesting perspective you have. So he continues the mediocrity . . . how is that progress?

            The big difference? You and I both know . . . the Twins believe they can overtake Detroit. The Tigers don’t believe. Whether it’s sports or business or whatever, you need a leader who instills heart and integrity and spirit. DD is not the man, no matter what stat you throw out.

          2. Where we are and where were were. That’s my comparison.

            We had no talent in the minor leagues when he took over.
            We had not had a winning record in 12 years.

            Within 3 years we were in the World Series. Trade history? You mean like stealing Guillen and Polonco? Getting Sheffield for turns out nothing? Getting Edwin Jackson for a 4th OF? There are misses, but those are roulette hits. Convincing Illitch to spend money on draft picks?

            I love your argument style. “no matter what stats you throw out.” You mean whatever facts I use. You have your opinion and you won’t let facts get in your way.

          3. “We had no talent in the minor leagues when he took over.”
            We have the 2nd worst minor league system right now according to experts.

            “Convincing Illitch to spend money on draft picks?”
            Are you sure that was all DD, and not Ilitch?

            It’s not that hard to have success when you have one of the top 3-4 payrolls in baseball. That’s the biggest reason for success, not DD or anyone else.

        2. I forgot how many young studs were on the roster in 2002.

          Munson, Santiago, Infante… These guys were starters.

          The minor league system then was nothing and nothing good and young on the team like now.

          And the minor league system was stocked, Miller, Maybin, Porcello, Perry would/should be in the system. We’ve moved our guys up and traded them. We count those and BA would rank the Tigers in the top 7.

          But I like ‘Cabrera, Perry and Porcello at the MLB level thank you.

          Well someone convinced Illitch to spend money. He used to spend more money on a backup goalie than his ENTIRE INFIELD, before DD came. So he at least trusts DD to sppnd his money which wasn’t true before.

          Also, the yanks and mariners last year disagree with you about not succeeding with the 1-2 payrolls in baseball last year. As do the Mets both years.

          1. The Mariners were 9th in payroll last year. The Mets and Yankees had 89 wins, which is a more successful season than the Tigers this year. I agree with your conclusion that payroll guarantees nothing, but there are plenty of GMs that could put together a .500 team (which the Tigers have been the last 2 years) with a top 2-3 payroll, which DD has.

            I wasn’t arguing that there were studs there when he took over. But it’s not like he’s rebuilt the farm system. Yes, the minor lg ranking would be higher if they hadn’t traded guys/had to move them up. But they wouldn’t have had move up if the major league depth hadn’t been depleted. Anyway, he’s done a good job at drafting, a good job with trades, and an awful job at resigning players.

          2. Yes the Mariners were 9th in payroll last year, with a 115 million payroll.

            Sound Familiar, This year ours is 117. How are they not comparable in payroll. Are the Mets this year not comparable with their 150 payroll?

            He has rebuilt the farm system. How many quality starters did the Tigers produce from 1991 – 2002? 3 and Justin Thompson, and Brandon Inge and Bobby Higginson. Travis Fryman was the last decent position player we developed.

            Already, we have Granderson, Verlander, Porcello, Bonderman. With Avila, Sizemore, and Raburn on the fringe of that status. Plus we had the ammunition to get a PROBABLE future HOF’er in his prime in Cabrera with Maybin and Miller and a bunch of 2nd tier guys.

            Just because your don’t see any names on the BA top 100 list doesn’t mean your minor system isn’t doing its job. Porcello would be top 10. Avila would have been in the top 50. Maybin is in the top 20, but we traded him for a top 5 player in the Majors. I make that trade every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

          3. “Are the Mets this year not comparable with their 150 payroll?”
            Yes, because their whole team is injured.

            You can find exceptions all you want, but I’m not seeing any reason why a top-5 payroll playing .500 baseball is impressive.

            “Already, we have Granderson, Verlander, Porcello, Bonderman. With Avila, Sizemore, and Raburn on the fringe of that status.”

            I’m talking about the farm system. Avila, Sizemore and Raburn have never been considered top prospects. How is having the 2nd worst farm system in baseball rebuilding it?

  24. I mean I understand the negativity with some of the plays, pitches and AB’s. I do that too.

    But this is your team. They’ve given us 6+ months of interesting baseball. Will wake up tomorrow 3 games up as now the best team in the Central.

    I don’t see how they “suck” or “Matt Millen” The lions give you 0 weeks of interesting football.

  25. Its been fun but gonna retire from my puter for the night here’s to not getting swept 🙂 and btw there is a real blog behind my name if anyone is curious

    Thx all been fun

  26. What disappoints me most is that it is not like we are even going down putting up a good fight just one giant collapse of total sucking. Oh well maybe tomorrow we can do the unthinkable and beat the unbeatable Carl Pavano but most likely it will be a close game and then about the 5th inning Verlander will give up 5 or 6 runs and we will lose 6-1.

      1. Then what game are you watching? Jaws is 100% correct. No life until the top of the 9th? Another . . .”Oh, ‘write in the opposing team’s starter’ has great stuff tonight, and the Tigers JUST CAN’T HIT him”

        1. I saw guys having great AB’s and not getting rewarded.

          Lots of guys working counts. Starting with Raburn in the 1st, Laird in the 3rd. Inge moving the runner to 3rd.

          I think you guys equate “hits” to trying.

          These guys are trying their best. They didnt give Duensing many easy outs.

    1. Kansas won what? The division?

      They certainly didn’t win the World Series that year.

      Because the team that did had a positive run differential of 186 runs — because THAT’S WHAT GOOD TEAMS DO.

  27. Obviously we’re all depending on that sun-coming-up-tomorrow thing…in respect to the Tigers though, does it even matter, trapped playing in that infernal dome?

  28. Leyland needs to go with different lineup against lefty starters. This group has not produced much offense and is really slow on the base paths.

  29. The only thing we can reasonably know for sure is that the team coming out of the Central is going absolutely nowhere.

    I hope it’s Detroit, but a division banner and ticket to the playoffs only provides bragging rights. A WS trip really looks like a pipedream for an AL Midwest team this year.

  30. You know who has been noticeably absent the last few days during this collapse? Mr. X, that is who. The same Mr.X who laughed at the notion of the Twins being able to overtake the Tigers, and insisted we were all giving MINN too much credit. Well, the Twins have lost Crede and Morneau for the year and yet here they are breathing down our collective necks. Mr. X, who thinks that every Tiger is wonderful (including Willis) , has suddenly been a no-show when we all need his positive vibes the most. What would happen to the Tigers if we lost Cabrera and Inge for the season? We might not score more than 2 runs in a game the rest of the way (we might not even WITH those two). This sucks. I think we’ll stil hold on barely, but I’m getting less and less convinced with each loss.

    I hope Ol’ Smoky has a heart-to-heart with his team before tomorrow’s game. Our guys look tighter than a drum out there. Leyland needs to be the “great communicator” that every touts him to be and get through to his guys that championships are earned, and that you have to fight for them. You just can’t go through the motions and expect everything to turn out good. They’ve got to want it, and Leyland needs to challenge his guys and ask each one of them how badly they want this (the division title). After that he needs to challenge Verlander privately by telling him that this is his team, and this is his chance to put the team on his shoulders. Leyland needs to repeat his mantra to JV that momentum is only as good as “that day’s starting pitcher” and tell JV that this is his time to show everyone just how good he is. I know I kind of sound like a football coach, but I believe this team needs to be challenged. That challenge needs to be delivered in person by Ol’ Smoky to the entire team before Saturday’s game. It doesn’t matter what has happened up until now, what matters is what are the Tigers going to do about the opportunity right in front of them starting tomorrow. That is what matters.

  31. Tigers are going to lose the central. Again, as I said it before, whenever the Tigers struggle against the Royals the team goes down in flames. I knew this team was in trouble when they lost that second game in KC.

  32. But they all looked good in their costumes on the airplane, Porcello in a dress…..etc.

    Good Grief. The Royals looked like a championship team against the Tigers last weeek. Every batter was a serious threat it seemed, and they just clobbered the ball. Tigers seem to be taking lazy swings without any passion, they don’t seem to keep the eye on the ball as it approaches the bat.
    Since the allstar break there has been a major meltdown in the batting dept. You cannot win games with 0,1, 2 runs unless you have 5 Cy Young pitchers. This is a mega offence problem IMHO. MCClendon is failing somewhere along the line. What happened to Inges “new stance and batting prowess” he had the first half. DEAD since the allstar.
    Raburn is a bright spot except he still makes a lot of little errors that seem to hurt us sometimes, but even with that he is playing with FIRE, Thames, Maggs, Granderson, Inge, those guys seem to be Glazed over at the plate. WTF is going on. SNAP OUT OF IT guys and clobbber that ball. OWN THAT BALL, DEFEND THAT PLATE. SPILL THEIR BLOOD (oh that was Patton…nevermind)

    ok my rant is done.

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