The 9th Inning – 2009 Edition

Long time readers of this site remember a feature called the Inning Report. Reader Sam Hoff would break down the season into 18 game segments or “innings.” Why 18 game? Because there are 9 18 game segments in a season. Tuesday’s game against the Twins completed not only the season, but the 9th inning as well (this one had 19 games). Sam is still putting these together, but he’s posting them on his site this season. So click through to read The 9th Inning is Over with games through Tuesday.

One thing about this team, they were consistent. In 7 of the 9 inning segments the team won either 9 or 10 games. They managed to do this while being outscored in each of the last 5 innings.

The Tigers pitchers did their part in keeping runs off the board, even if they weren’t always dominant. Edwin Jackson was throttled and posted a 1.45 WHIP. Rick Porcello posted a 1.39 WHIP but had much different results. I’d guess that to be a function of ground ball hits not hurting has bad as fly ball hits.

With Polanco and Ordonez both posting OBPs above .400 down the stretch, Miguel Cabrera probably needed to have more than 14 RBI, although that’s not even a bad total for a 19 game stretch.

One thing that really jumped out was that Alex Avila only had 8 at-bats in this last segment and no extra base hits.


  1. Andrew in Toronto

    October 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

    The link here needs fixing. It goes to the 8th inning.

    Should be:

  2. Vince in MN

    October 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Ordonez and his .400+ OPS didn’t play every day and Avila got 8 AB – go figure.

  3. jcm

    October 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    The LF lost the ball in the blue sky , not the Metrodome
    The closer blew the game and a better pitcher was available on the bench
    The clutch player, a sure MVP, was sober and choked under pressure. ( 239 when facing elimination)
    The starting pitcher made a fielding error in Saint Louis

    And the Cards were swept
    BTW: the LF is the same one that Tigers´ fan wanted in exchange for the whole Mud Hens team

    • Vince in MN

      October 11, 2009 at 4:13 pm

      Similar story for the Billionaire Boston Beans – out in three straight. I am happy. It would even make me happier to see the Twins come back and take the next three from the ugly Yankees, but I don’t think there is much of a chance of that.

      • Tom in Minneapolis

        October 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm

        What a magnanimous fellow you are – pulling for the Twins after the events of the past two weeks. You are a better fan than I, (and perhaps you will offer some of what you are smoking). I cannot get the building that they play in out of my mind. A lot of their “competence” and “small-market success” is due to the Metrodome. Does anyone have stats on how many games the Metrodome significantly influenced in favor of the Twins – as a result of players losing the ball in the background or other disasters. I know of at least three, two involving the Tigers, and one involving Pittsburgh.

        • Vince in MN

          October 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm

          I hate the Metrodome and will be glad to see it go – from a fan’s perspective it is a horrible place to watch our noble sport, as well as being an abomination as far as baseball fields go.

          That being said, any team being intelligently constructed would take the quirks (and the fact that all ball fields are different is one of the charming aspects of the game) of their home park into account when assembling their personnel. The Twins have done a pretty good job at that over the years. Whether they can translate this success to the new, more “normal” stadium, we will find out next season, but my guess is they will adjust quickly. Do not underestimate the Twins – a very smart organization. Just as a couple of more ballpark examples, when the Red Sox are good, as they have been for many recent years, they seem to do really well at home, and the hated Yankees are doing well in their new home.

          As for the Tigers, to my mind the big problem after the opening of Comerica was that the team bore no relationship to their home field – lots of low average, slow footed power hitters and crappy pitchers, playing in a park that worked better with speed, defense and good pitching (remember those original dimensions?). It was a prescription for disaster, and was. With the end of the Radar Smith era, management has gradually corrected that, although one could argue that they may do better with a little more of the Twins-like “pirhana” offense and perhaps overdid the defense emphasis, which caused them to be not very competetive as a visitor.

          It’s tough striking a balance, but considering they outperformed their pathagorean projection (81-82), based mostly on the home field advantage, I think that if MI and DD keep their eyes on the ball, there is hope for improvement.

          • Tom in Minneapolis

            October 11, 2009 at 10:33 pm

            An intelligent response, and I expected no less.

          • Chris

            October 11, 2009 at 11:47 pm

            Twins are losing the biggest home field advantage by leaving that dome. No way they win the division if they were in Target field, with all else being equal. Just remember the game a couple of weeks ago where Don Kelly loses a pop fly in the teflon roof. Or look at game 163 where Inge gets hit by a pitch with bases loaded but the noise reflecting off that roof prevents the ump from hearing the contact and no HBP is called.

            If a stadium could be awarded an MVP, a strong case could be made for the Metrodome.

  4. jcm

    October 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Quality starts wasted for lack of run support
    AWFUL base running
    Roller coaster blowing one game and awful in no save situation
    Bad positioning by the outfielders
    A bad ump call
    Twinkies swept

  5. jaws79

    October 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Mauer couldn’t get the Yankees signs—Karma! Only problem, I don’t like the Yankees either!!!! Hope another team takes the series! Next year!!!!!


    • Chris

      October 11, 2009 at 11:51 pm

      Seeing them sweep the Twins made me their biggest temporary fan… But now I’m ready to resume my hate-affair with the Evil Empire.

  6. Bill

    October 12, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Well, the Red Sox got swept. They have wanted Cabrera before. Is now a time to look into a mega-deal?

  7. Coach Jim

    October 12, 2009 at 8:54 am

    No, you don’t move Cabrera. The key to sustained success is moving out old players in favor of young players. Dealing your best hitter BEFORE he hits his prime seems not to make sense.

    Now is the time to trade maybe Thames or Guillen for someone like Julio Borbon from Texas.