Game 2010.009: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: The year was 2007. Tensions were high in Tigertown as a solid offense and mixed starting pitching were routinely being undone by late inning collapses. Still, the team remained in contention and there was much desire to add relief arms. Octavio Dotel was toiling for the Royals and may have provided the relief help the Tigers so desperately needed.

Rumor had it that the Tigers had offered up a young pitching prospect by the name of Jair Jurrjens to the Royals, but KC spurned the intra-division trade proposal and sent Dotel to Atlanta. Dotel only pitched in 9 games for the Braves, but he also only allowed 6 baserunners while fanning 12.

I don’t tell this story to assuage Tigers’ fans misery by saying they could have received even less for Jurrjens than Edgar Renteria. Or to point out that there is more than one team that is missing Mr. Jurrjens. I do it because the Royals received a pitcher by the name of Kyle Davies in exchange for Dotel. Davies is starting today for Kansas City.

Rick Porcello goes for the Tigers.

Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers – April 14, 2010 – MLB.com Gameday

63 Comments

  1. mat

    April 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    The Jurrjens whining drives me nuts. It was a deal that failed worse than maybe any DD trade, but of all the players and prospects DD has shipped out over the years Jurrjens is one of the very few that panned out. Meanwhile, people like Jackson, Bonderman, etc. have come in and helped the Tigers win many games. In balance, DD has done a good job trading away prospects. You can’t win ‘em all.

    Plus, who knows if he’d be the pitcher he has become if he isn’t in Atlanta, or doesn’t have the benefit of pitching in the NL.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      April 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Is it possible to receive less for a starting pitcher than Edgar Renteria?

  2. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    April 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Never mind the results……Damon looks brutal at the plate!

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    April 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Your MLB doubles leader, ladies and gents – Brandon Inge.

  4. Coleman

    April 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Inge will finish the season with 0 HR, 108 doubles

    • Coleman

      April 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      …and spend a lot of time standing around on 2nd base.

  5. mike in DC

    April 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I realize that Laird had a good day at the plate yesterday and I realize that teams do not like to sacrifice in the second inning of a game, but gerry knows his job is to move the leadoff double to third and he also knows he’s completely incapable of hitting a ground ball to the second baseman. 0% chance he could do it even in an empty stadium with a pitching machine. Bunt. For the love of god, bunt.

    • Mark in Chicago

      April 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      ditto, Mike.

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      April 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      I agree….and made that comment during an earlier game and was blasted by other bloggers. JL is not managing to win games. Jackson would have run down that double earlier……he should be playing today and Raburn should be in left replacing Damon!

      • Mike in DC

        April 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm

        Sure Leyland is to blame for not putting a play on, but the player has the responsibility of moving over the runner and can bunt on his own if that gets the job done. Differently, the player has the obligation of understanding his own limitations – Leyland taking the bat out of Laird’s hands inthe second inning is debatable; Laird taking the bat out of his own hands in the second inning would have been celebrated. Of course I right all this as Porcello gets hit around by Jason Kendell, so, there’s that.

  6. Mark in Chicago

    April 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Gerald Laird = excellent bunter and terrible hitter. Inge leads off inning with a double and Laird doesn’t bunt him over…. why, exactly??!!? Sizemore’s deep fly ball would have led to a run, but Smokey decides not to put on the bunt.

    I’m not a huge fan of bunting, especially early in games, but when a hitter such as Laird, who is by far a much better bunter than a hitter, is up with a leadoff man in scoring position, you get the run. It’s the bottom of the order, chances are you aren’t getting a big inning, so take the freebie.

    Old Smokey is trying to get him going, I’m sure, but in this case he cost us a run.

    • Birdy

      April 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      Runs and wins are overrated. It’s how your players feel about you that’s important. Leyland and Laird have strengthened their personal bond now that manager has not asked player to bunt. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there for all of us.

      • Dr. Detroit

        April 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

        Sorry Birdy, in the game of life “runs and wins” may be over-rated, but in the game of baseball, well, that is why they chalk the lines. Touchy and feely class is for second place. Guy is on second base, your catcher is batting .050, AND is a good bunter, you put the sign on twice in case he missed it the first time. Laird is never going to get it going at a major league level–my Rangers fans buddies will attest to that. His defense is great (should have won the gold glove last year) and belongs in there, but when the time is ripe for a sac bunt, and you have Laird up there, you bunt him over single time.

        • Birdy

          April 15, 2010 at 5:30 am

          Sorry. I haven’t live in the States for a few years, but I suppose I have heard some stuff about how some people don’t like to keep score in their kids’ games or use a red pen to correct their homework. In my defense, I’ve never met a Tigers fan who doesn’t care about winning. And in the 3+ years coming here, I most certainly have never encountered anyone who doesn’t care about winning. So I hope you understand my surprise at that not being recognized as sarcasm. Just trying to rationalize how Leyland could possibly not ask him to bunt in that situation.

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    April 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Porcello is getting hit hard today. Could be a long day.

  8. Joey C.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I’ll give this rotation one more time through before I start panicking…but my god these guys are not inspiring confidence.

  9. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    April 14, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Maybe we should be starting games with the bullpen?

    • Mark in Chicago

      April 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Only if the Royals have to also. We seem to like their pen an awful lot.

  10. Jeff H

    April 14, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Over / under on date a starter goes at least 7 innings? April 21? Tigers had 2 through 9 games last year.

  11. Mark in Chicago

    April 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Carlos has seen a grand total of 2 pitches in 2 ABs today. Might want to tone it down there, a bit…

  12. Joey C.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    123!

  13. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    April 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Now that the Lindell AC & Joe Muirs are gone where do you Detroiters recommend I go for drinks & food before and after the game in downtown when I come down for games?

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      April 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm

      I’d recommend going to Elwood’s or Cheli’s Chili. Both are right next to the stadium and usually offer lots of nice scenery (if you know what I mean).

      • Tiger Fan in Toronto

        April 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

        Thanks Jerry……eye candy always tastes good!!!!

  14. mcb

    April 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Third time thru the rotation will be the charm for the starting rotation.

  15. Coleman

    April 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Now you just CAN’T waste a leadoff double by Everett, you aren’t going to get many chances like that…of course we are stuck with “yeah, but he’s great in the clubhouse” at bat…

    • Coleman

      April 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Hey, that worked…OK, now we’re stuck with Mr. “maybe a haircut will help me hit” at bat

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    April 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    That certainly was anti-climatic. No worries though, I like our bullpen vs. theirs.

  17. Kevin in Dallas

    April 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Nice QS by Porcello. I’ll take it any day.

  18. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    April 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Thats how you bunt a runner along with none out!!!

  19. Coleman

    April 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Laird is no Bill Freehan

  20. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    April 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Things are starting to self-destruct!

    Is there another comeback in the cards?

  21. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    April 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    That’s it! Sit Laird now! Can’t hit, can’t throw out base stealers (this season), can’t execute a sac bunt, and drops a beautiful throw form Ordonez that would’ve got us out the inning. I’ve seen enough from this bar brawling idiot to last me a lifetime. Play Avila, and do it starting Friday. The only time Laird should play going forward is when a lefty starts or if Avila needs a day off.

  22. Joey C.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    We can’t be giving up this much offense to the Kansas City Royals. Imagine if we had been facing heavy hitting teams this past week.

  23. Kevin in Dallas

    April 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I don’t think that Laird could be playing any worse right now.

    • Dr. Detroit

      April 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

      Yeah Kevin you said it. I don’t get to watch the games so I missed the action, but the ESPN highlights have that play at the plate where he dropped a beautiful throw by Maggs. Right on the money, plenty of time to wheel and kneel, there was some contact but not too much and he flubs it. Man, that was as big a game-changer as Miggy at the dish with the bags juiced. I like Laird, but if he can’t get it done behind the plate (throwing guys out, blocking the plate–pitchers aren’t getting it done, is he calling a bad game on top of it?) time for him to sit and think about things a bit.

  24. Joey C.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Maybe if he crapped his pants.

  25. Kevin in Dallas

    April 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Did they just bring in a Lefty to face 8 righties? Wow, that pen is bad.

  26. Mike in CT

    April 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Just a guess, but after today the Royals HAVE to lead MLB in singles, right? Why couldn’t an NL team have signed Podsednik?

  27. Brenden

    April 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Our pitchers have got to stop walking people….Perry with two walks today! Two! Ugh…

    • kathy

      April 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm

      This year, Perry seems to be either lights out or gets shelled.

  28. Joey C.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    A little late to bring this up I suppose, but is Jackson hurt? Is there a reason Leyland is sitting him again? Maybe he’s trying to cool him off.

    • Joey C.

      April 14, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Actually I guess its only the first time Jackson hasn’t started this season.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      Just an off day. Raburn is going to get 200-300 ABs this year, and that’s a good thing.

  29. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    April 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Even though we might be 6 – 3…… the Tigers in general have played some pathetic baseball so far this year.

    • Vince in MN

      April 14, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      Not exactly awe-inspiring so far despite the record and a few dramatic wins. My gut feeling is that this is really a .500 team give or take a couple of wins. Patheticness is a pretty common hallmark of mediocre teams – they find ways to beat themselves more often than the good teams do. On the other hand they have managed to take advantage of other mediocre teams flailings. A truer test will be how they do against the better teams. Since it is still early, I am going to reserve judgement until they reach Sparky Anderson’s 40-game mark. By then we should have a pretty good idea what they are made of.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      April 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      Our offense leads the American League in 2 key stats. Runs and OBP.

      We also have a team 4.06 ERA.
      It doesn’t get much better than that.
      If we’re playing pathetic, then almost every team is playing more pathetic than us.

  30. JCM

    April 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Robertson was batted hard yesterday.
    Rodney 8 pitches 3 outs against the Yankees( 2 of them , the other was a tiger) , no less.
    Does anyone with a little knowledge of baseball could really think that you can win with 3 rookies ( or four ) in the central line?. No way. Avila as regular means 120 lost games
    Ordoñez will be here next year, And perhaps beyond.You need a DH with experience
    Inge will be here next year. On yearly basis , but he will be here.
    Bonderman or Willis , the better will be here.
    Even Laird could be here. JV, MC, MO, CG are already signed and they mean 67 m. So there is no way to sign more then one starter on the 10 m territory.Or unloading prospect Hanley Ramirez.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      April 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      The ’06 Tigers had 3 impact rookies: Verlander, Zumaya, and Granderson.

    • David

      April 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      You can win with a roster full of rookies. Depends on the rookies. To be honest I’d take youth any day over old men. Obviously you’d prefer them with a little experience but in all honesty they should be getting that seasoning in the MilB. A roster full of 22 year olds = 0 or few injuries & greatest amount of speed. Two huge assets to have in a 162 marathon.

      I also would like to note the following

      In the AL at this point in time
      1) The Rays are in first and there is no team in the AL East younger than the Rays
      2) The A’s are in first and there is no team in the AL West younger than the A’s
      3) The Tigers and the Twins are tied for first and only the Indians are younger in the AL Central.

      granted we’ve only played a week.5, but still ;) interesting nevertheless

      • Coleman

        April 14, 2010 at 11:08 pm

        Maybe it’s a corollary to that bats get going when the weather gets warmer bit–the colder it is the older the old guys feel…

        • David

          April 16, 2010 at 1:11 am

          Maybe but even then you’re only looking at most one half of the equation. (pitching?D?)

  31. jason

    April 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Because we already gave Robertson away.

  32. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Nobody is giving him any slack. He’s manned up and he’s throwing strikes now. That’s why he’s with the team. He had a good Spring and he’s thrown strikes 61% so far in his 2 starts. That’s serviceable for a 5th starter. 61% is exactly what he did for Florida in 2006 -2007 before we got him. He could still be an excellent work horse if his command is just a little better. In his next 2 starts, he’ll get a tougher challenge @ LA and @ Texas. I wish him the best of luck.

  33. billfer

    April 14, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    He’s had 2 starts. One good, one bad. We don’t know enough yet. He’s got the 7th highest percentage of strikes thrown amongst starters in the majors this year. I don’t know if he’ll be effective or not. He’s still walking too many and not striking out enough, but he’s not imploding. He certainly has to pitch better. Kind of like the rest of the rotation right now.

    And dude, why not post this with the Willis post?

  34. stephen

    April 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    You are wise.

  35. stephen

    April 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Last year, Willis gave up 65 hits and walks in 33 innings. This year, in 11 innings he’s give up 20 hits and walks.
    With the help of my abacus, this means he’ll only give up 60 baserunners in 33 innings.
    At this pace, Willis will once again be an effective starter in the year 2019..

  36. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    His .378 BABIP probably isn’t sustainable, so if he keeps throwing strikes, he might get better results.
    We’ll see.
    I’m not giving him any slack. If he can’t throw strikes, I don’t want him anywhere near the field or even in the clubhouse. I want him gone if he can’t find home plate. If he keeps his ERA under 5, I got no problem giving him the ball every 5th day. I care about the bottom line mostly and that’s runs and wins.

    Getting Willis to mid-season form is something I’m curious about seeing (even if it’s not for the Tigers). He hasn’t logged many innings in these last few years and he probably hasn’t been in baseball shape. I wonder how he’d pitch after logging about 80 innings and shedding a few pounds.

    I clearly remember the D-Train fever back in 2005. He was the true national wonder back then. To the media and baseball, every 5th day was Dontrelle Willis’ day and everyone was watching him like a hawk. He put people in the seats, he brought in millions of TV viewers, and his name sold million of dollars in merchandise. He was a big time rock star. If he started his career in Detroit, instead of in Florida, he would be an icon like Mark “The Bird” Fidrych was. There wouldn’t even be a question about giving him any slack because he actually earned it from 2003-2006.

  37. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I remember the Dontrelle Willis on June 23, 2005 when he was 12-2 with a 1.76 ERA.

  38. stephen

    April 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Oh sure, and I remember the Mick Jagger when he was doing ‘Exile On Main Street,’ but, eventually, he released She’s The Boss’ and I realized indulging him based on past success wasn’t doing either one of us any favors.

  39. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I’m not defending Willis. If we drop him, I won’t complain. Good riddance, really. I just hope it’s a move that doesn’t bite us in the ass. I won’t be happy if someone like Cleveland picks him up, and he beats a few times when we face them. I want to get him moved into the National league, if that’s possible. Much like how we traded Nate to the Marlins. IMO, that trade was brilliant. I’m not missing Nate at all and won’t miss Willis either. I’m fine with Galarraga as our 5ht starter. We still have Zach Miner and Bonine too. Eventually, we’ll need to make room for Weinhardt in the pen also. In the meantime, we just need to be patient and hope this situation works itself out for the best.

  40. stephen

    April 15, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Dude, I posted it here because I was coming to it a day late and the conversation had moved to this game thread since it was a day game. Sorry if that was a terrible breach of etiquette.

    Actually, we do know enough. Willis isn’t starting at zero, he’s starting in a big ol ditch of his own digging. He has no track record of success with the Tigers His anti-performance of the last two years means that on about–I’m guessing– 25 other teams he would have been released in the off-season. He’s already received way too many chances. Why give him two more disaster starts? And I watched the first start, it was statistically a good start, but he was one hit away from really getting his bell rung. He’s got a 2:1 baserunners to outs ratio that just isn’t sustainable. By saying we don’t know enough now is to disregard what we already know about Willis from the past two seasons. That’s not how it works in sports. If you suck big-time for two years, your leash in year three must be very short. I’m sorry bu if you’re giving up two baserunners an inning in your first two starts, like you did all last season, then I’m pulling the chain if your next start yields similar result.s

  41. David

    April 16, 2010 at 1:15 am

    You assume they want to win. Is that valid or fair? This isn’t the Yankees remember that. Many fans here will wave a orange, white and blue flag with blind optimism, I should know I used to be one.

    Also #2) Willis isn’t the solo B.A.M. los Tigres have in the dugout by far.