Game 2009.156: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: The Twins and Tigers lock up in what has been dubbed the Tigers biggest series since 1987. That dubber is Lee Panas, man of metrics and not a purveyor of hyperbole so I tend to agree with him.

By now you know the drill. If the Tigers take 3 (or better) the division is theirs. If the teams split then the Tigers need 2 wins against the Sox or 2 Twins losses against the Royals, or some combination thereof. If the Twins take 3 things are deadlocked going into the final 3 games. If the Twins sweep, well, that would really suck.

The Twins, winners of 5 of their last 7 send out Nick Blackburn. Blackburn pitched 7 shutout innings his last time out. He also pitched a complete game against the Tigers back in July. In 98 plate appearances where the first pitch has been put in play, hitters are OPSing 1.021.

The Tigers, winners of 5 of their last 7, send out Rick Porcello. Porcello got the win in Cleveland limiting them to 1 run in 5 innings. He lost in a quality start against the Twins on September 18th.

The weather is wet and windy and generally yucky so hopefully they play this one.

Yeah, there was a lineup posted here before, but it will likely change with the doubleheader today. So I deleted it. The rest of the post stands though because the pitching match-up is the same. We’ll have a separate post for the nightcap. Oh yeah, and the weather is cold and rainy today also.

Minnesota vs. Detroit – September 28, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

276 Comments

  1. RoseTattoo

    September 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    LET’S GO TIGERS!!!

  2. Nate

    September 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Rain…how-about-that. From the looks of the radar they may have to call this one off.

    • Andrew

      September 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      I was wondering the same thing when I looked at the radar. Doesn’t look promising.

  3. Randolph

    September 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    It’s not looking too good on radar…

  4. Joes

    September 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Lee Panas coined the term? Funny. I heard that term about 50 times 2 weeks ago, 100 times last week, and about 150 times today. He is a GENIUS!

  5. Nate

    September 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I decided to use my weather expertise, provided so lovingly by the U.S. Air Force, since there isn’t anything better to do here at work in Arizona right now.

  6. Mike in CT

    September 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Game called…double header tomorrow…all sorts of crazy scenarios now in play. (It is hard to sweep a DH….knock on wood.)

    At least it gives Inge the “day off” we’ve all been clamouring for.

    Side note, in the last 30 days, Raburn batting .314, Inge .173.

    • Andrew

      September 28, 2009 at 7:55 pm

      I was thinking about the possibility of a DH due to a postponement tonight earlier today when we were getting blasted with wind and rain on the west side of the state. I was really hoping the weather would clear in time for the game.

      On the plus side – having Porcello & Verlander going in the DH might increase those odds of a sweep just a tad ;)

      • Mike in CT

        September 28, 2009 at 7:59 pm

        Being my nature, I was meant the Tigers getting swept. Maybe I ought to try to be positiev.

        • Mith

          September 28, 2009 at 8:03 pm

          I’m thinking the same thing, Mike. DH’s usually seem like they split, which in this case is fine for the Tigers.

          • Mike in CT

            September 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm

            Let’s just hope as a result of the twinbill that Porcello and Verlander eat up about a combined 13-14 innings, so the ‘pen is fresh for the Bonine/Robertson starts later in the week.

          • Coleman

            September 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

            OK, but really, we need to avoid the term “Twinbill” I think…

  7. Andrew

    September 28, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Double-header tomorrow

  8. Coleman

    September 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    There is a decent chance for rain tomorrow also…I can see where this is going.

    And what a day that will be!

    Surely it will go down in sports history as the most exciting day since baseball began: The morning/afternoon/evening/night quadruple-header with the division at stake….

    • Mike in CT

      September 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      Wow…Leyland might through an entire carton of cigs if that happened.

    • Coleman

      September 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      Of course the stress will kill half of us; but there is always some collateral damage to be expected when history is made…and there are a handful that won’t last until the first pitch, once they see Inge penciled in the starting lineups of all 4 games…

  9. Andrew in Toronto

    September 28, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    So, if this is the biggest series since 1987, tomorrow must be the biggest doubleheader since when?

    Actually, I remember a big one at Tiger Stadium in August, 1988 against the Red Sox. Ended at 3am and was really important at the time. But the team faded out. Great night at the stadium, though.

    • Stephen

      September 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm

      I remember that night! I went to my office in Chicago where I was an intern and dialed into a WJR listen line and stayed there all night long. Alas, it was a government office so the taxpayers picked up the bill. I remember emptying out the vending machine of Snowballs and cursing a lot.

  10. RoseTattoo

    September 28, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Let’s just hope the ’84 team doesn’t take the ’09 team out for cocktails tonight.

    • Stephen

      September 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

      Yeah, Rusty Kuntz makes a mean Sex on the Beach.

    • Coleman

      September 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm

      Nah, just some late night pancakes and coffee at the nearest Howard Johnson’s

  11. Stephen

    September 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Tomorrow is like baseball Battle of Midway! Goes badly and Yamamoto is picking out residences in San Francisco. Goes well and Nimitz is contemplating Geisha girls in Kyoto. A split? Um, I guess that would mean Guadalcanal.

  12. jcm

    September 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    The 84 team was a little like the 09
    Until 1983, the Tigers were the affiliate of MLB. They never signed a free agent . They let go every single player in their free agent year.Most of them failed away like Steve Kemp who finished fired by the Boss himself after called out in public. Then the owner of a pizza chain bought the team that was scheduled to lose Morris, Trammel and Wittaker that year. They extended them and also Darrel Evans. Then they robbed Pillies. P´s wanted Champ Summer , the Alex Avila of the time ,was loved by fans,and subpar defensively player with 20 hr(then that was power even in a LHB “friendly”park , 328 in the LF,like Tigers Stadium)and 80 RBI. They Tigers wanted Bergman , the Darrel Evans backup with Giants. So the Ps bought him and made a package with Willie, Guillermo as he liked to be call after the 1985 failed season ( 30 SVs but to much BSs),a 10 saved games reliever and sent it to Detroit. Summer like many other Tigers faded once away from Detroit.
    Most of them had a worst season than in 1983.
    Lance G$ Parrish : 232, 200 with runners in scoring position… 98 RBIs . Golden Glove. Lost 40 points from 1983
    Darrel Evans 16 hrs( 40 in 1983)
    Sweet Lou , 1978 ROY, went wild in 1979 and almost lost his career at the Discos. The Tigers had a replacement ready but he broke his legs in an accident. So Lou was back . 298 ( 310 in 1983)
    Trammel HOF overlooked , robbed of MVP in 1987. And of second place in 1984 314( 320 in 1983). 350 in the first 40 games . Injured in 1983 , the Tigers went 7-8 , and lost by 7.5 games the division.
    The committee in 3b. Tom Brokkens was the Inge of the time. The Tigers wanted a Bob Horner or Craig Nettle there but Howard Johnson dint liked to play in Detroit and was a subpar defensive player so Brookens remained there
    Gibson was the only field player really better that year at bat and was undeservedly second in the MVP voting. Chet Lemmon and Herdon were more or less like 1983.
    Jack Morris 19-11( 20 in 1983-21 in 1985) thanks to Sparky Anderson, known as Captain Hook while in Cincinnati , he abused the starting pitching in Detroit. He used only 4 pitchers in April and September. Morris usually began 4-5 the season. In 1984, he pitched the first and third games of the season ( The No-no against the WSu..). After 10-1 he lost for first time in his career an outing and went 9-10 from there.
    Dan Petry and Wilcox added 18 and 16 to make 56 Ws by the three starters. Rozema was the fourth.
    Willie Hernandez, 32 SV´s in 33 . 81 games . 140 innings
    Lopez 10-0.
    But the manager:
    In 1981 Anderson wanted to reward his pitcher so he left then the complete games. The Tigers needed 2 of 3 to go to the postseason, so the skipper said that his starter deserved to win those games. Morris went winning until the 8inn. Lost with 3 days rest. Rozema , 3 era until the 3rd .6 from 4 to 6 . And 8 after 7 went the whole game and was punished with 8-0 defeat as “reward”. Wilcox won the last game. The second at bat had a 111 avg. But he deserved to be there for his loyalty. And you dare to criticize Leyland. Btw, he did the same again in 1987. In the playoff only Alexander was able to win a game. The arms of the rest were falling apart but he didn’t call the bullpen.He was the ultimate players´ manager

    In the end: 6-0/9-2/ 35-5/104-57
    3-0/4-1. They blow out the starters but were unable to score against relievers until the last game a 8-4 win. There were no run support in the postseason. Most runs were scored in the first two inns.
    Lucky them there were no www no blog then

    • Stephen

      September 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

      JCM, wow that was like in Da Gada Da Vida meets The Charge of The Light Brigade! I’m guessing some Crown Royal and Diet Tab was consumed before the writing.

    • Mike F

      September 29, 2009 at 12:10 am

      It was John Wockenfuss that the Tigers traded to the Phillies to bring in Hernandez not Champ Summers. (I remember because he is still my historical answer to “Who’s your Tiger?”) Champ Summers last year with the Tigers was 1981.

    • Kathy

      September 29, 2009 at 10:34 am

      This would be a term paper for me! Thanks for all the great info!

  13. Kathy

    September 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Look at this way….Inge gets a night off. He’ll have to do double duty tomorrow. I can’t wait!

  14. West Coast Tiger

    September 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I imagine LAird and Avilla willsplit the duties behind the plate which is a disadvantage defensively. However the damp track may deter alot of base stealing or at least slow down the runners.

  15. Rich in Mt. P

    September 29, 2009 at 11:34 am

    lets do this, boys. im ready for some baseball.

  16. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I’d like to see the offense get it going early in these games. Get out of the gate fast and let the pitching take over.

  17. Kevin in Dallas

    September 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Wasn’t Maggs in the line-up last night?

    • Mike in CT

      September 29, 2009 at 11:50 am

      I thought so…maybe Leyland figures he can’t play in two games, maybe?

      Not sure what Clete Thomas has done to warrant inclusion in the biggest game of the year (so far), strikes out way too much.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        September 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

        Clete actually has a higher OPS v. righties than Maggs for the season, but over the last month it’s not even close. I’m guessing that Smokey will PH Maggs in this game and then play him tonight, but I don’t like giving up 2-3 ABs like that.

  18. ouchudied

    September 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Is the first game of the double-header on TV? I don’t see it listed on the cable guide and I am freaking out currently. Someone calm my nerves. Please.

    • ouchudied

      September 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      Its on TV. Thank God.

  19. Matt

    September 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I am downright giddy. My nerves are shot. This “workday” is already blown to bits for me.

  20. ouchudied

    September 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    The good news: Porcello had a 1-2-3 first inning.

    The bad news: All 3 balls were hit hard.

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm

      Leave it to Inge to get a check-swing bloop single for his first hit in a long time.

  21. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Way to bring it, Grandy!

  22. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Ok, Grandy keeps hois month going. I am playong hoolky from work but wish I was sitting in the RF stands with a Blue oinb hand!

  23. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Clete Thomas hitting third for a contender. Just wow.

  24. ouchudied

    September 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Ah, the unintentional intentional walk.

  25. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Well, there was the entire 2009 Detroit Tigers offense summed up nicely in a half inning.

  26. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Playing with fire there, walking Cabrera with Huff on deck…do that 8, 9 times and it will eventually come back to haunt you…

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm

      Post of the day so far.

  27. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    someone remind me why we got Huff again. I keep forgetting

  28. Matt

    September 29, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Nice work Kid Rick. Now bring on the B.O.O.B.s.

  29. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Rod observation. Thomas has struggled A BIT in september

    Mario further observed Inge who is now 1 for 15 has been pressing a bit lately

  30. ouchudied

    September 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Inge would break an 0-15 streak that way. Swing at ball 4 that is a foot off the plate. Whatever works, works.

  31. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Ramon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    He just went to the mound to remind him. Beware The BOOBs…

  33. Dave T.

    September 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    If anyone is watching the game could they describe how we scored? I am on a computer (about 2 blocks from the stadium).

    • Jud

      September 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm

      Laird hit by pitch….Inge bloop single move him to third…bullet line drive by Santiago off first basemans glove 1-0

    • Andrew in Toronto

      September 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Santiago hit a line-drive off the first baseman’s glove.

    • ouchudied

      September 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Line shot down the first base line by Santiago that deflected off Cuddyer’s glove that dribbled about 20 feet past him. Would have been a web gem if he caught it, but he did have a chance to make the play.

      • Dave T.

        September 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

        Thanks, gamecenter just doesn’t capture all that

  34. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    They will alway be the 700 Club to me.

  35. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Let me try this again…Ok, Grandy keeps his mo going. I am playing hooky from work but wish I was sitting in the RF stands with a Blue in hand! Darn Blackberries!

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

      Heh, I thought maybe you were sitting at home with a Blue in hand and that caused the typos :)

  36. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    That was a very Twins-like run…a HBP, a bloop single, and another single…let’s keep Twinsing them…

  37. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    As I’ve said before, nobody in baseball catches pop flies better than Inge.

  38. Andrew in Toronto

    September 29, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Looks like we need to bring Kenny Rogers back to give Porcello some lessons. He keeps getting balls hit off of him.

    • Jud

      September 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm

      Rogers, Glavine, Maddox last of the old school pitchers that squared up and got in a good fielding position…no one does that any more and batters work at hitting that ball up the middle just behind the pitchers now because they all fly that leg all the way over and some end up backwards now

  39. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Attaboy, Kid.

  40. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    great set of pitches to Cabrera to get out of a jam

  41. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Rubble, rubble, leadoff double.

  42. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Well Porcello did kick one over to Inge, almost got Span at first…

  43. Kevin in Dallas

    September 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Why hold Clete there? Isn’t he one of our better runners?? On a ball to right?…

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm

      They wanted him to be thrown out at home on the next play.

  44. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Audrey.

    • T Smith

      September 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm

      Yeah. He sucked there. But he was just so damn good in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

  45. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    someone remind me why we got Huff again. I forgot again!!!!!!!!!

  46. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Wow the Middle of the Order Guys too! If the MOOGs are gonna join in we’ll roll…

    Doh!

  47. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Hey Andrew, great idea but it’s a DH today so I will save a few for tonight. Meanwhile, go Tig’s make this our inning!

  48. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    We gotta get at least a run out of this inning. Lets not let the Twins off the hook here.

  49. Andrew in Toronto

    September 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    If Leyland thought Ordonez couldn’t handle two games in the outfield, why not DH him? He’s got to be better than Huff, even against a right-handed pitcher.

  50. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    That’s why the 700 Club is a good nickname. It can apply to almost the entire Tigers lineup.

  51. Crosseyed

    September 29, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    This is brutal. I know I’m not contributing anything to the discussion by posting this but it makes me feel better for five seconds.

  52. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Man – not getting a run in there hurts.

  53. Kevin in Dallas

    September 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Clete has got to be sent home there. Terrible, terrible call.

    • Jud

      September 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm

      lets see Lamont holds him at third when he could have scored then sends him where their only play is at home. ……more Lamontisms

  54. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    well at least that wasn’t a different inning…just business as usual with runner on third no outs,,,,,,,,,,no runs

    • Mike in CT

      September 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

      sadly, you are correct, sir.

    • Tbone

      September 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

      Agree – be agressive and make them make a play.

  55. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    It is frustrating! Part of me says pennant race will be over in ten hours, part of me says the 700 Club is going to kill me.

  56. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Laird actually hit that well, it took a nice play to get him…impressed by the non-popup-ness of it…

  57. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    keep us in their Kid

  58. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Blackburn is throwing a lot of pitches…it will help us for the whole series if we get into their bullpen early.

    …plus it could give us a chance to see Everett pinch-hit for Huff…

    • Crosseyed

      September 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm

      Sadly at this point pinch-hitting Everett for Huff might make sense.

      Of course, then starting Huff at DH makes even less sense. Does anyone really think he’s a better DH right now than Ordonez or Raburn even against righties?

    • DH in DC

      September 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      Blackburn is throwing about the same number of pitches as Porcello. This will be in the bullpen’s hands no later than the seventh.

  59. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Inge 2-for-2….got to make these count!

  60. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    this is very un-Inge like

    • RoseTattoo

      September 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      That’s the nicest thing you could say? Really?

  61. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Another leadoff hit. Lets do something with it Tigers

  62. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    OBP so far for the BOOBs: .800

  63. Steve in OH

    September 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Of course Inge is now 2-2 on the day, makes complete sense.

  64. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Polly’s 3rd chance with RISP. Need him to deliver!

  65. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Palonco three crappy outs not a good at bat in all three WTF

    • Tbone

      September 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      I swear this game doesn’t make any sense…

  66. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Wait, which guy is REALLY Polanco, and which Inge?

  67. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Mario: ‘Porcello is pitching like he wants to win this game.’

    Well, that’s a relief.

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

      Yeah, glad it’s not like he’s pitching like he wants to lose ;)

  68. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    So…Twins leadoff double, any doubt Tolbert comes around to score?

    • Jud

      September 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm

      none

  69. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I mean isn’t that only like Polanco’s 3rd career checked-swing strikeout or something

  70. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Twins playing for one is a gift.

  71. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    That’s how you advance a runner.

  72. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Infield in in the fifth inning! This is like the 1970s national league.

  73. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Tigers should be up at least 3-1 or so right now. Oh how those missed opportunities come back to bite ya

  74. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I’ll take that half inning any day of the week.

  75. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Heck of a response from the “heart” of the order right there. Huff really is the groundball to right side of the infield king.

  76. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Huff hit that ball all the way to first base all by himself

  77. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    if this ends up with Minnesota taking it all it will be the year of Mis-opportunities…last year no chance at all….This year all kinds of opportunities falling by the wayside game after game after game And a good number of times it wouldn’t have even taken a hit just a good placed ball to capitalize

  78. scotsw

    September 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Anyone else getting occasional garbles in the audio? Is it just on DirecTV? Sounds like they’re over-compressing the audio.

  79. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Man, this game is going by fast. Love the playoff atmosphere. Tense :)

  80. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Man, either of these teams beating the Yankees would count as the biggest upset since divisional play began in 1970. I’m not saying it can’t happen, especially in a five game series, but the odds in Vegas are going to be astronomical.

  81. scotsw

    September 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    It’s official: The Tigers got completely fleeced in both of their deadline trades (Washburn, Huff). If they win the division despite losing an apparently decent starter (French) and running a couple of brand new liabilities out there on a regular basis, it will be a minor miracle.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      September 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

      French stunk too. He lost his rotation spot. He had a 6.63 ERA and a 1.87 Whip for Seattle.

      • scotsw

        September 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm

        So, he’s a lot like Washburn, except that he’s also young, cheap, has good knees and is under team control for several more years.

        • Keith (Mr. X)

          September 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm

          Washburn has already had a pretty good career though. French has done nothing to prove that he’s going to stay in majors and be half the pitcher that Washburn has been.
          I’ll take proven talent over unproven prospect everyday of the week.

  82. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Pretty studly performance from Porcello. Who’s coming out of the pen?

    • Stephen

      September 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm

      NOBODY! Pitch count be damned, you send him out for the 7th in a 1-1 game on the front end of a doubleheader with the playoffs on the line. If he gives up two hits, pull him, but you CAN”T pull him now. Let him go 115-120. It won’t ruin him.

      • Andrew

        September 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

        I agree – at this point of the season you don’t pay attention to the pitch count. You throw the guy out there who is pitching well. It’d be criminal to take the Kid out if he is still dealing.

        • Dave T.

          September 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm

          As long as he is still humming along in the 90s leave him out there

  83. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Porcello !

  84. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Okay BOOB’s – its apparently going to be up to you this afternoon!

  85. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    September 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    The Tiger hitters are the main reason why this division is not already wrapped up. The futility of being able to score runners from third with less than two outs is as frustrating today is it was in June. Blackburn is like a fottball defense that plays “bend don’t break” defense. Plenty of chances to score, but we’re not getting it done. The thiong that really sucks is going all conservative on us on that Cabrera single to RF. Put the pressure on the Twins! You know you’ve got a bunch of guys who turn into NL pitchers (at-bat) when they have a chance to drive in runs from third. I hate how we play things conservatively considering our lack of clutch hitting.

    • Jud

      September 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

      2 for 11 RISP is more the norm for this team and the story of the year

  86. Ryan

    September 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    It’s sad that Carlos has Magglio’s power numbers in probably 1/3 of the ABs.

  87. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    We need one of our BOOB’s to launch one into that left field jet stream…

  88. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    It’s tough to score when your 2, 5, and 6 hitters come up completely empty…one of those guys needs to at least get on base…

  89. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    September 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Boy, had some chances early and now Blackburn is mowing ‘em down. The Tigers are doing their best to drive up Tums sales in Metro Detroit. I’m so frustrated right now, I thought pennant races were supposed to be fun.

  90. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I love meaningful games like this. It’s like the playoffs.

  91. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    This game is setting up perfectly for the Twinkies.

  92. Mark in Chicago

    September 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Blackburn is cruising right now and Porcello is over 100 pitches for (I think) the first time in his big league career.

    Leadoff single. I do not have a good feeling about this.

  93. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Et tu, Polly?

    Do we now know who went out last night with the ’84 Tigers?

  94. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Miner’s coming in.

    • Matt

      September 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm

      He reminds me of some sort of animal… what was it again?

  95. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    You won’t hear me criticizing Leyland for leaving Porcello in. Guillen should have that play.
    BTW, Porcello should be Rookie of the Year.

    • Matt

      September 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

      He may have just locked it up with that performance.

  96. Mark in Chicago

    September 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    pulling Porcello is the right move, but I don’t feel any better with Miner out there.

  97. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    This situation is exactly what Leyland groomed Miner for.

  98. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Hmmmm. Now you replace our best GIDP pitcher?

    With Zach Miner??

    Prove me wrong.

    • KW

      September 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

      Done and done!

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm

      Miner has been dealing as of late – he looked good again.

  99. Ryan

    September 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I’m watching on Gamecast. Was that Denard Span out a line shot?

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      September 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      No. Span hit a soft popfly to shallow RF that Clete cauhgt on the run toward the infield. Thought for half a second it might fall in, but it was far from a line drive.

  100. bill

    September 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Miner looks like a rabbit.

  101. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Zach Miner looks like a rabbit.

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

      I was waiting for that. Just in time, Coleman!

  102. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Miner is Finer!

  103. Andrew in Toronto

    September 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    RABBIT!!!

  104. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Hold you head up high Ricky as you pitched well…you teammates didn’t score runs for you!

    Let get some drives up into that jetstream and end game 1.

  105. Matt

    September 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Yes!

  106. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    That was the biggest out of the season. (so far!) Mauer on deck. Twins have to have this game; going against rookie and in half-empty stadium negating the home field advantage. Twins lose this one they are toast.

  107. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    September 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I gotta hand it to Miner. Very nice job to get Span on a pop-up and Orlando C. on strikes. C’mon offense. Find a way. Blackburn is not Zach Greinke.

  108. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Coleman may very well have saved the season right there!

  109. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    He’s the Energizer Bunny, Jessica Rabbit, Harvey, Bugs Bunny, The Easter Bunny, and Eddie Rabbit all in one…

  110. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    You know, halfway through the season I was ready to see Miner head on down to Toledo for the duration of the season. I’m glad he has turned things around and freely admit that I was wrong.

    Attaboy

  111. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Well, OK, maybe not Jessica Rabbit…

  112. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    wow, i take a five minute phone call and the tigers are already out??!! That was quick even for them.

  113. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I think Miner should retire after those two outs and declare victory.

  114. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Ok Tigers, Mauer is 0-4 so let’ take advantage of that!

    • Tbone

      September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      Shhhhh!!!!

  115. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    All right boys, lets get Zach a chance at the W right here…

  116. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Seriously, push a single run across and this can be over in 22 minutes. Enough already.

  117. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Miner

  118. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    It’s always chilling to hear Mario’s voice and “Guillen is on the run…”

  119. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Miner!!!!!!!!!!!

  120. scotsw

    September 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Miner’s holding up his end of the bargain… Very good pitching so far from both guys, and it will be a shame if it’s wasted because the hitters couldn’t score guys from second.

    I’m really glad we have a good team here after SO many bad years. But this team is ugly, ugly, ugly to watch

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

      This is best game I’ve watched all year. Every pitcher has turned it up like it’s the last game of the season!

  121. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Miner came in and made it possible for the Tigers hitters to push across a couple runs for the win. Please, please, please

  122. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    a chance to put a DAGGER in these guys season

  123. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Come on. Seriously? 14 batters in a row? Geez Tigers.

  124. Matt

    September 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Marcus Thames still works here? Wow.

  125. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    We’ll go 1-2-3, hold them in the 9th, and that will set us up for the bottom of the 9th, 2-out Inge AB…hehe…

  126. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    This game is reminding me the ‘play-in’ game between Widener and North Carolina AT&T for the honor of playing #1 Kansas in the first round of the NCAA.

    • Mark in Chicago

      September 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm

      oh that’s cold, stephen. funny, but cold.

  127. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Come on Home Boy, put some country strong on them

  128. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Country is due…

    • Mike in CT

      September 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm

      Not by swinging at a pitch five feet off the plate.

  129. scotsw

    September 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    At least the boys are really battling at the plate this afternoon

  130. Mark in Chicago

    September 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    anybody else get the feeling we’re seeing the last of marcus thames in a Tiger uniform?

  131. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    That Twins pitcher’s got some scary neck tattoo. Maybe Marcus was frightened.

  132. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Thames? Everett must be injured…

  133. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Wow, Casilla is a .198 DH! He should be playing for us.

  134. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Ouch.

  135. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Good God, I caused that with my sarcasm. I am so sorry.

  136. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    How are they going to get out of this….?

    • Mark in Chicago

      September 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

      like that. don’t ask silly questions ;-)

  137. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    hey Jim wheres that defensive replacement guy when you need him

  138. Kevin in Dallas

    September 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    “How to Manufacture Runs” a clinic by the Minnesota Twins. Today, 1:20pm Central.

  139. Ryan

    September 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I’m already giving up.

  140. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  141. Randolph

    September 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    WOW, nice play!!!

  142. scotsw

    September 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Helluva play!

  143. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    WWWWWOOOWWW…now lets win this

  144. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    NICK PUNTO!!!!!!!!!!

  145. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Justice! The gods are with us. Let”s walk this thing off! Go Tigers!

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      September 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm

      The Gods have a funny way of showing that they are with us! I’d hate to see what happened if “the Gods” were agaisnt us.

  146. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Justice! The gods are with us. Let”s walk this thing off! Go Tigers!

  147. Dave T.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    What just happened? Are both teams offenses that bad? ( for all the canadian tigers fans…offences )

  148. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I love walk off wins

  149. Joey in Portland OR

    September 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    ugh! Come on Ramon can’t hit it much harder than that! I have no nails left to bite!

  150. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Damn…that Santiago ball looked good off the bat.

  151. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    1. I can’t believe Gardenhire did not pitch Nathan in the 9th. I know it’s tied, but Minny loses this game it’s like falling behind 3-1 in a series with the rest on the road. But he got away with it.
    2. Inge expanded the strike zone even though there was a open base and they were giving him nothing but balls. He should have walked.
    3. Santiago tagged that ball. I can’t believe they were playing him that deep.

  152. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    good grief. Lets just give the game away, shall we?

    • Mike in CT

      September 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

      pretty much.

  153. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    un f……believable

  154. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Same old story….can’t get any hits with runners on base. Never should have come down to this.

  155. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Isn’t it true Joe Nathan has never blown a save against the Tigers? I hope this means he’s due. What a nightmare end to this game it will be if the Tigers lose.

  156. Tbone

    September 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Ballgame. I’m putting this one on Gene Lamont.

    • Mike in CT

      September 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm

      Very true. Had to be aggressive there. Would have taken a perfect throw to get Thomas. Argh.

    • Kathy

      September 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm

      Gene has held up more runners that it’s pitiful. Call on Dr. Rahmani, Gene.

  157. mcb

    September 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Nobody should be surprised. This game summarizes the whole season! Frustrating.

  158. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    43rd game ..2 or less runs unbelievable stat

  159. Brenden

    September 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    WHERE IS THE FRICKEN OFFENSE!?!?!?!?

  160. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Tigers are slowly carving my heart out with a spoon this afternoon.

  161. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Curtis on fire….let’s get going. Not dead yet. Maybe Nathan is due!

  162. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you Grandy. I wish there was a runner or two on, but at this stage in the game I’ll take it.

  163. Brenden

    September 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I knew this crap was going to happen, this team always fails down the stretch and the Twins are always good down the stretch. This is typical Detroit baseball… No miracle can save this team now, be prepared to lose at least three in this series, and to lose the division on the last game of the series verse the Sox….

  164. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    As Ernie Harwell used to say, “the umpires that paid to get in didn’t like that call”

  165. Ryan

    September 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    We need to try something new at leadoff. Why not have Granderson hitting some of those bombs with people on base?

  166. mark_in_gr

    September 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Tigers will take only one of the 4 in this series, not the game Verlander is pitching, but with Nate on the mound. I hate to say this, but the Twins are just a better baseball team and they deserve the AL Central victory.

    The Tigers have not solved the HWRISP problem all year, and have done very little if anything to solve it. They really don’t deserve the division.

  167. scotsw

    September 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    How does an umpire call a fastball at the neck a strike in the 10th inning of a pennant game, and not fear for his job?

    That’s inexcusable. Utterly inexcusable.

    • Brenden

      September 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      Why blame the umps for this team’s timid mediocrity?

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm

      mlb.com had it as a borderline strike.

      • scotsw

        September 29, 2009 at 3:33 pm

        Then my lyin’ eyes, and those of every fan in the park, are not to be believed. All hail MLB.com. Because to me, it looked about a foot high.

  168. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    craptastic

  169. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    As said before a microcosm of the season. Had a chance to knock Blackburn out, but couldn’t find the big hit, or namely an extra base hit.

    I don’t know what to do the next four hours. Unreal.

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      As I said earlier, those early chances we had with RISP and we didn’t knock ‘em in were gonna come back to bite us and unfortunately, they did.

  170. Brenden

    September 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    And that seals it…Great job Miggy swining at the first pile of crap pitch that is thrown your way. This offense is just ridiculous…No patience, no consistency, and no threats… Thank you for ruining my afternoon, Tigers…

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

      Miggy’s OPS on first pitches is huge. I can’t blame him for swinging early.

  171. Kathy

    September 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Time to walk the dog. I can’t take anymore.

  172. Mark in Chicago

    September 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    blown chances early, lyon coughs up a terrible 10th, and it cost us.

    time for verlander to be an ace (again).

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      I’m still blaming Lamont for not sending Thomas.

  173. Jud

    September 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Another pathetic attempt at scoring a run or two or three and winning a game after a fantastic job by Porcello.

    • Coleman

      September 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm

      Porcello + Miner = 8 innings and 1 run and an 0-4 on the best hitter in the AL…and no ‘W.’

      :(

  174. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Saw this on twitter – Play the sad trombone sound for this Tigers loss http://www.sadtrombone.com

  175. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    September 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I love how everyone keeps pointing to Verlander. To me, its about the hitters. Can they get to Duensing? Can anyone? This kid has been nails since he joined the rotation. Look it up and you’ll see Duensing is pitching better than Verlander over the stretch of time since he joined the Minnesota rotation. Our hitters cost us this game, not Brandon Lyon. You can’t piss away chance after chance and expect your pitching to put zeroes up every inning. It doesn’t work that way. Its on the hitters. They need to look in the mirror between games and decide that they want it. I’m not worried about Verlander, but I am worried about our sissy ass hitters. I’m so disgusted with them right now that I’d like to take a bat to their collective skulls. The hitters will be the guys that are tarred and feathered (at least they should be) in this town if they collapse and don’t win the division.

    • mark_in_gr

      September 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm

      But they WON’T be tarred and feathered, that is the whole point. Their agents will see that they are protected and come Dec-Jan timeframe, Illitch and DD will be selling us the same BS about how much improved this or that is . . . DD needs to take his rightful place on a used car lot on Telegraph and Leyland has to accept that Pall Mall spokesman job before we see anything change.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      September 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      No reason to get so angry. It’s just a game and Minnesota played just a little better than us. Short reminder: we transformed our defense after last season so that it would resemble the Twins. We’re playing their style of game and it has worked for us most of the season. It actually got us into this position. This was a classic duel of great pitching and defense vs great pitching and defense. Great game it was.

      • mark_in_gr

        September 29, 2009 at 3:22 pm

        I disagree . . . this was another collapse of the so called Detroit offense. How can anyone defend these hitters? Time after time after time they have NOT been productive when it counts, and they continue to do so.

        • Keith (Mr. X)

          September 29, 2009 at 3:33 pm

          What collapse? The Twins just pitched a little better in this game. We’re still in 1st place though.

          • mark_in_gr

            September 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

            How many ROB did they leave stranded after the 4th inning? That’s a collapse considering you are facing a late inning team like the Twins. You cannot waste scoring opportunities against a team like the Twins when you are only a couple games back w/6 to play.

            No matter how you slice it(hitting, coaching, pitching), the Twins found a way to win and that’s all that matters. The Tigers have to at least win two here or that’s the season as far as I am concerned(unless the Royals can take 2 of 3 and the Tigers take 2 or 3 against the Sox, in just one scenario).

  176. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    We got out-Neiled by the Twins.

  177. mark_in_gr

    September 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    This is without a doubt the WORST offense to ever take a division lead so late in the season. I honestly don’t know how McClendon and Leyland keep their jobs.

    Oh sure a lot of it is on the players continuing to not be productive, but someone has to be held accountable for this collapse.

    I am by no means a Twins fan, but congrats to the Twins and their organization for cultivating a team with the spirit and drive to be professional, productive winners when it counts. And shame on the Tigers organization for yet again producing a sub-par product and continuing to stress how great it was in ’84 and ’87. Purely Pathetic!

    • Stephen

      September 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm

      Mark, I’m pretty sure you are a Twins fan. But nice try!

      • mark_in_gr

        September 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm

        After today, I just may be! I mean . . . come on . . . all of us here have bowed to the absurd so many times this season that our necks are all sprained . . .

  178. Mark in Chicago

    September 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    All is not lost. Verlander gets the ‘W’ tonight and we’ll be right back where we started and will have burned two games from the schedule.

    Have faith, Tiger fans. You’ll appreciate it way more in the end.

    • T Smith

      September 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm

      Must it come down to a one game playoff in the Metrodome? (That’s my try at being a pessimistic optimist) Why can’t we just win the games we’re supposed to win and take this division already? You have your rookie phenom dealing, upon inning after inning of letting the opposing pitcher wiggle out of nearly insurmountable jams….

      Let us win the games that fall our way and give them the games that fall their way — but for God’s sake, man, without all the theater and the annoying Minnesota Twins’ impossible magic — at Comerica no less! If we win it, we win it. If we don’t, let’s move on. But let’s not let them steal any more games. These are the games we need to win.

      I for one am not going to enjoy a one game playoff in the Metrodome — and it looks like if we don’t turn things around fast, that may be the best case scenario. You can’t ask more from Porcello — and unless you expect Verlander to pitch a no-no — how much can you expect of him? You simply cannot ask Robertson to be a stopper (again) — and if we get anything near a quality start from Bonine, you have to applaud. But if you only score one run through nine innings — with ample — I mean ample opportunities to put the game out of reach — you’re just not going to win no matter whose pitching.

  179. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Still up by a game with three at home with the Twins and Verlander on the mound. And methinks the park will be a bit more home friendly then the day-after-a-rainout makeup game. (Seriously, I’ve heard more noise at Ivy League football games). Again, this doesn’t bode well for playing the Yankees, but I still think the Tigers are better than the Twins and that’s all they have to be this week. I’m rooting for the title for the extra revenue so they can sign some players in the off-season, but 2006 redux seems massively unlikely.

  180. T Smith

    September 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    The bottom line is:

    You can’t give away all those opportunities and expect to win the game.

    1. Audrey Huff. Are you kidding me? You can’t get the baseball out of the infield?
    2. Message to Gene Lamont: Just because you have runners on first and third with no outs doesn’t mean the run is coming in. Please make them make a play at the plate. This team must be last in the league at failing to score a runner in scoring position with a base hit to the outfield. Pathetic.

  181. Mike in CT

    September 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I guess a big question for tonight is with a lefty, does Leyland play Granderson since he’s swinging the bat so well.

    What about Guillen. Not sure we can afford his leftfield defense today. Raburn better play.

    The other tough question…DH…since Huff and Thames are groundball machines, Huff to the right and Thames to the left.

    Second guess, err, first guess ahoy!

    • Andrew

      September 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm

      You gotta keep Granderson’s bat in the lineup. Put him down in the order to 7th.

      Start Raburn in LF, DH Guillen, sit The Huff & pray we aren’t in a position to have Thames pinch hit.

      • Mark in Chicago

        September 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm

        another question with a lefty going tonight:

        is Laird going to catch? he just played the day game of a DH and he’s going to catch tonight too? or does Avila get the start against the lefty?

        I know convention says you go with your starters for the first leg of a DH and take your chances with reserves in the second game, but I don’t think that means you completely ignore matchups, etc.

        • mark@hou

          September 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm

          Yes I would geuss he would. Avila hasn’t caught Verlander all season. Verlander is tough to catch, combined with the left hander. I’m sure Laird will tough this one out as he’s getting a hut tub treatment right now.

          • Andrew

            September 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

            I thought I heard one of the announcers or Tigers “insiders” say earlier this afternoon that Laird was catching both games today. Can’t remember where I heard/read it.

  182. Joey C.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    We ran out a starting lineup in which only 3 hitters had averages above .260. And one of them finished the game at .271. I know that batting average isn’t given the same respect as an evaluation tool as it used to be, but if you showed that lineup to someone who hasn’t payed any attention to this season and told them that its the starting lineup for a first place team on September 29, that person would look at you like you just told him that Elvis was sitting on your toilet playing blue-suede shoes on a Kazoo. The bottom line is that its tough to fathom the tigers even being in the mix at this point with a lineup that is that bad at getting hits.

  183. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    If this goes down to the wire, the Tigers Game 1 playoff starter will be Eddie Bonine. There’s shutting down the White Sox, then there’s shutting down the Yankees. That could get ugly.

    • Mike in CT

      September 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm

      I love your pessimistic optimism.

      The one thing that could actually work in that scenario:

      a) Yanks aren’t good against pitchers they’ve never seen. (Bonine would have to throw a ton of strikes./see the Luke French start.)

      b) Hard to see a way the Tigers muster very much offense vs. Sabathia, therefore it would almost be wasting Verlander, where he’d have a much more winnable scenario vs. Burnett or Pettitte.

  184. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Polanco is the key. He has the biggest W/L OPS differential on the team–in other words when he’s hitting we’re winning, when he’s not we’re losing.

    Probably because we’re so weak in the 3 & 5 spots…if the 2 hitter does nothing, and the 6 hitter, then it’s hard for Cabrera to do much.

    • Coleman

      September 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm

      Granderson on the other hand, for some weird reason, has a negative correlation–we lose more when he’s hitting better. In fact we’re only 13-13 in games where he hits home runs (compared to Cabrera HR, 31-10…Inge HR, 20-6)…and only 1-2 when he hits 2 HRs in a game. So hopefully he walks, is safe on errors, gets hit by a pitch (OK, forget that one, he never does that), anything but 2 HRs…

      (There’s probably a reason for this–both the Grandy HRs and the losing thing happen more often with RHP on the mound…)

  185. Joey C.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    That pretty much sums it up Coleman. We have one guy who can hit his way on base and one guy who can knock him in. Tough to win a World Series like that.

    • Andrew in Toronto

      September 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

      Especially when he’s the same guy!

      • T Smith

        September 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

        Not tough — impossible to win a World Series like that. No way we survive one series in the post season playing like we have been, but October is a whole different season. Unlikely teams can and do get hot. If we back our way in, we can reasonably hope that the bats will come around at just the right time and the pitching will continue as it has through out the course of the season.

        However, right now I’m more worried about getting through this series than I am about the post season.

  186. Andrew

    September 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Oh good grief – tonight’s lineup has Thames as DH. Great googly moogly.

    Raburn LF
    Polanco 2B
    Ordonez RF
    Cabrera 1B
    Thames DH
    Inge 3B
    Granderson CF
    Laird C
    Everett SS

    Verlander will be lights out tonight, folks. He has to be.

    • Coleman

      September 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      Thames and Huff, the two-headed Designated Un-Hitter (DUH).

    • Jeff

      September 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm

      Whom would you prefer to face a lefty over Thames?

      • Coleman

        September 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm

        Instead of City Strong I think it’s time for the proverbial Leyland hunch moment, and throw Wilkin in there. If nothing else if he gets on base Lamont might actually dust off the “run” sign.

  187. Stephen

    September 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Uh oh! Lynn Henning, aka Mr. Optimistic, turns the long knives on Audrey. And it’s a bloodbath! (Well, by NYC standards it’s just a flesh wound, but for Motown media this is a machine gunning).
    http://detnews.com/article/200.....909290418/

  188. Steve

    September 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I’m Going for cigarettes for the night cap.

  189. Coleman

    September 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I would change the batting order to have it finish:
    Thames
    Inge
    Granderson
    Everett
    Raburn

    Because that way it spells “Tiger.” And this sort of thing is what wins championships.

    • Steve

      September 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm

      Now Im going for liquor and smokes ;)

      • Coleman

        September 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm

        It’s a good feeling to be an inspiration..

  190. Walter55

    September 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Another tough loss where the offense just can’t get it done. Really disappointing now we need to get the win tonight.