Game 2009.152: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: At least the Twins won’t win tonight. Aside from that though, a loss for the Tigers would  be very disappointing. I know there are reasons why you play the games and all that, but this match-up tilts heavily in the Tigers favor.

Justin Verlander has owned the Indians this year allowing 1 run on 9 hits over 3 starts. And he’s fanned 30 Tribe batters.

Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco is a highly touted prospect who has struggled in his brief big league career. He debuted against the Tigers and they took him deep 3 times for 6 runs in 3 innings. He’s improved slightly in his 2 subsequent starts allowing 5 runs and then 4 and going 1 inning longer in each effort.

Detroit vs. Cleveland – September 24, 2009 | Gameday


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It wasn’t the slam dunk that I thought this game would be, but it is still a W, still a sweep, and still a 4 game winning streak.

The offense did their part with Carlos Guillen headlining the BOOBs (bottom of the order boys). The boys got on a single, first to third, kind of roll in the 4th inning and they plated 4 runs without an extra base hit.

Guillen has killed the ball in this series and he followed his big night with a 3 for 3 plus a walk effort tonight. His last hit, a double, came right handed making it hard to take him out of the lineup – and a little bit easier to take Granderson out against tough lefties.

Brandon Inge looked more like April Inge than August Inge and he came up with 2 hits, including a double. He also ended the game with a slick diving play – also reminiscent of April Inge.

Verlander had moments of dominance (11 K’s is actually quite a few moments), but he escaped what looked to be a big inning in the 3rd allowing only 2 runs. Verlander does an excellent job of mixing pitches – until he gets in a jam. Then he shakes off every off speed pitch and just wants to throw 98 past everybody. Sometimes it works. This time the Indians laid off the high heat. The pitch sequence once the Indians put runners on 2nd and 3rd went:

Toreagas: 6 fastballs
Brantley: Change-up and then 5 fastballs
Carroll: FB-Change-Curve-FB-FB-FB-FB-Change
Choo: 6 FB
Hafner: 4 FB

I understand the fastball is his best pitch, but what’s the harm in the occasional change-up, curve ball, or slider? Twenty-six out of thirty pitches were fastballs.

  • Fernando Rodney had the two quick outs before everything got dicey. Heck, he was up 0-2 on Choo before the 2 run homer. And he had Hafner at 2 strikes. Sadly he’s probably burned for tomorrow. Happily Brandon Lyon was efficient. Sadly, something appeared up with Bobby Seay.
  • How big was Ramon Santiago’s stolen base in the 8th inning? By getting to second he scored easily on Placido Polanco’s single (also very big, don’t mean to underestimate that) and that proved to be the difference.
  • The defense also came up big once again. Inge’s game-ender was already mentioned, but Polanco also made a nifty pick to start a double play.
  • Also look back at the play that Miguel Cabrera made coming home with the ball in the 8th inning to gun Hafner at the plate instead of taking the sure out. The run looked expendable at the time. As an aside, did anybody notice how surprised Lyon was when Cabrera gunned it home? Lyon was running to cover first and had to hit the deck when Cabrera threw to Laird.


  1. Jason

    September 24, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Is everyone excited to root root root for the home team 1 more time. This is when JV cements his status as an elite and big game pitcher. Knowing the Twins are off and having Cleveland minus 2 regulars is a sure fire recipe for success. Lets just hope we didn’t use up all of our runs last night.

    Roar Playoffs here we come Magic #9 with 11 games left


  2. Matt

    September 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    If we had any plate discipline at all we could have walked in two runs in that inning.

  3. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    See that Cabrera AB was a good example of when NOT to swing at the 1st pitch.  You have a pitcher with all kinds of strike zone problems–I mean he walked Polanco (Polanco!!) on 4 pitches.  Your odds are even better on 2-0 swings than 1st pitch swinging…

    On the other hand, at least it wasn’t the ol’ 1st pitch GIDP…

    • Matt

      September 24, 2009 at 7:24 pm

      See, I don’t have a problem with the Cabrera at-bat. Correct me if I’m wrong (watching on gameday) but he nearly hit it out.

      However, the batter before Huff walked, then Huff sees two balls, and the first thing near the plate he dinks back to the pitcher.

      • Mith

        September 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm

        No, he didn’t dink it. He ripped that ball and Carasco made a nice play.

  4. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 24, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Let’s go Tigers!

  5. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Is it just me, or does the offense seem to be hitting stride–Polanco, Ordonez, Raburn(!), Cabrera as usual, even Huff (and Inge is even picking up, although he seems to be saving any power for later)…EXCEPT Granderson.

    It may be too much to hope for, but if Granderson could get on track in some way it would be huge

  6. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Well, yes…on the other hand, what your argument ends up being is that aggressive swinging is good–unless it doesn’t work. But Huff was doing the same as Cabrera, except a tad less aggressively.

  7. Jason

    September 24, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Everyone ready to do there no crooked inning dance now

  8. ouchudied

    September 24, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I made a twenty dollar bet against my Yankee roommate three weeks ago that Verlander would finish ahead of Sabathia in the Cy Young voting. Since then, Verlander has struggled and Sabathia has dominated. I need a good outing from JV here. And so do the Tigers. But mostly just for me.

    • Jason

      September 24, 2009 at 7:46 pm

      Haha the All mighty dollar always rules over all kind of like that fantasy football conflict with your players going against your home team. Granted when your home team is the Lions not much rooting for the other guys is needed.

  9. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Sorry about your 20 bucks dude…

  10. Tbone

    September 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    The Twins are salivating.

  11. Shane Trapped in Toledo

    September 24, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    It would be nice to see Verlander throw something besides a fastball.

  12. ouchudied

    September 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Regardless of the numbers, it was stupid to bet against the godforsaken New York media.

  13. Andrew

    September 24, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    We need a name for that type of inning, one with the following characteristics:
    – Verlander dominates for the first few innings
    – He’s facing some average or below average hitters
    – He gets into some trouble
    – He throws lots and lots of fastballs, all in the high 90s and most of them high
    – The catcher never goes out to tell him to calm down
    – He kills his pitch count and, I fear, his arm.

    • Shane Trapped in Toledo

      September 24, 2009 at 8:13 pm

      It’s like he tries to become Nolan Ryan in these type of innings. A “if I’m going down, I’m going down with my fastball, here it is hit it,” mentality.

  14. Steve

    September 24, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    B Inge

  15. Steve

    September 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    L Aird

  16. ouchudied

    September 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    G Laird?!?!?

  17. Steve

    September 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Game Day is way behind the game, is anyone else having trouble

  18. Tbone

    September 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    The BOOBS again! Nice inning, now we need some shut down action…

  19. Andrew in Toronto

    September 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Yeah, GameDay died for me too, both via the web and the iTouch app. is okay though. 4-2 Detroit.

  20. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The B.O.O.B.s save Justin’s ace…

  21. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Yeah my gameday is alternating between working and some “game information not available” message

  22. ouchudied

    September 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Team A trades: Peyton Manning
    Team B trades: Matt Schaub and Cadillac Williams
    Who wins?

    • phil

      September 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm

      that can’t be answered til the end of the season i would keep peyton personally because you know what you’re getting from him but schaub and the cadillac could “boom or bust” as they like to say

      • Shane Trapped in Toledo

        September 24, 2009 at 8:56 pm

        Ugh…I thought this was the one place I could avoid fantasy football discussion.

        • ouchudied

          September 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm

          Well, there are six other continents where fantasy football discussion is pretty avoidable.

  23. jcm

    September 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Since Guillen is on the trade bloc i 5-6

  24. RoseTattoo

    September 24, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Lots of playoff chatter between Rod and Mario. Just sayin.

  25. Tbone

    September 24, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Carlos couldn’t find a better time to find his groove again…

    • T Smith

      September 24, 2009 at 9:25 pm

      Agreed. His presense in top form is huge. If he can keep it up and if we can get Granderson going, we may just have a formidable offense again.

  26. Mark@HOU

    September 24, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I’m not a fan of bringing Verlander back out. Especially after the long inning in the top of the inning.

  27. Jason

    September 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Woo hoo magic number at 8 personally I would love to see a 3 gm lead going into twins series and force them to sweep or go home

  28. Steve

    September 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I do hope the hitting we are seeing is contagious, we will need all of it to finish off the Twins and Play the Yankees. Maybe getting hot down the stretch will push us over the top.

    In the for whats is worth Dept. Last year on this date we were 15 games out of first, one game behind KC for dead last in the division, both cheeks on the bottom. What a difference a year makes.

  29. Steve

    September 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    PS, the Drum guy needs to go home. There season was over 75 days ago. Nice guy I’m sure but GIVE IT UP my man

    • Kathy

      September 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm

      can’t stand that thing!

      • Ryan

        September 25, 2009 at 12:52 am

        The drum guy is the most annoying sports fan with the exception of the “Get in the hole!” guy in golf.

  30. Cameron in Singapore

    September 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Oh Rodney. Oh oh oh Rodney…please get one more out now.

  31. Mike in CT

    September 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Why is it that our staff can’t throw strikes to guys like Jamey Carroll and Nick Punto?

  32. Steve

    September 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Rodney >>>> its the CLEVELAND Indians

  33. Mike in CT

    September 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Guess with the Tigers, it can’t be any other way.


    • Steve

      September 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm

      Yup, Apparently thats why God made Tums and Nuprin

  34. Cameron in Singapore

    September 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm


  35. David

    September 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm


  36. Tbone

    September 24, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    3 games up with 10 to play is so much better…

  37. Coleman

    September 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Whew!! Rodney saved us there!!!

    Or, Why The Save Isn’t A Stat That Tells the Whole Story

  38. Kevin in Dallas

    September 24, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Post of the night goes to Shane in Toledo. Brilliant. (Couldn’t reply to his post directly, I’m guessing too many replies already).

  39. Ghost of Tigers past

    September 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Did anybody catch Mario’s comments.he said Todd Jones may have been the rollercoaster,But Rodney’s the Demon drop!Great line Mario!

  40. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 25, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Another great win!

  41. Chief

    September 25, 2009 at 12:08 am

    And Granderson’s stats continue to plummet. Need him to get it going here.

  42. Sean

    September 25, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I was at the game tonight and I wanted to draw a little more attention to Polanco’s pick which started the double play ending the 7th inning. He easily could have caught that ball, but he realized that if he did there’s still runners at the corners with two outs. Instead he let it bounce and turned the easy double play. A very smart play and another one that may have made the difference in the game.

  43. Coleman

    September 25, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Inge wuz robbed!

    Only #5 Web Gem…

  44. Kathy

    September 25, 2009 at 1:28 am

    That play that Miggy made to HP was a thing of beauty. He has great baseball instincts. He really doesn’t seem to think about the play but just reacts so quickly. He’s slimmed down some, too, and looks faster on the bases.

  45. jv

    September 25, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Just a note to clarify that the White Sox are not all but eliminated (as some columnists are saying) they are eliminated. Yes its true that if they win every one of their games and Detroit loses all of theirs they’ll be tied at the end of the season. but for Detroit to lose every game from here on in Minnesota must win at least four. And even if Minnesota loses every other game they’ll still be one up on Chicago. So that should take any wind they may have had out of their sail with Detroit coming in. I’m sure they know that even if the columnists don’t. They have no reason to care anymore other than pride.