Game 2011.92: Tigers at Royals

Yeah, that was the fur game of the series.  Like the fur on the bottom of the strawberries that have been in the refrigerator a week too long, like the fur on your tongue at 7 am after a long night of drinking, like…well, you get the idea.

So here’s a fun one to keep you occupied over the break:  when is the last time the Tigers gave up 8 unearned runs? (I mean, after that ambushing, Furbush still has a 4.03 ERA).  And when is the last time Detroit scored 6 runs in the first 3 innings and lost?  Even the bullpen, which gave up 4 runs, was only on the hook for 1 earned run.

They say that there is no such thing as an ugly win.  Certainly, though, there is such a thing as an ugly loss.

At any rate, Charlie Furbush was optioned to Toledo after the game.  Danny Worth was recalled.

Luckily this afternoon brings The Antidote (no, I didn’t enter this in the Free Press official Let’s Make Up Some Nickname for Justin Verlander contest).  JV From the D (also not entered) looks to make it 3 of 4, and take the Tigers into the break on a winning note.  Which is a good thing, since I think Don Kelly is about 3rd on the bullpen depth chart at this point.

The Royals will counter with some guy who is not Justin Verlander.

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game:  Justin Verlander

For obvious reasons.

Today’s Ghostly Leadoff Lineup:

  1. Casper Wells CF
  2. Brennan Boesch LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera DH
  5. Victor Martinez 1B
  6. Jhonny Peralta SS
  7. Ryan Raburn 2B
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Brandon Inge 3B


  1. Vince in MN

    July 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Speaking of Inge, last evening I sent Lee Pannas (Tiger Tales) an email asking about Inge’s defensive metrics compared to Kelly. He replied that the agregate defensive measures show Inge to be slightly below average, while Kelly hasn’t had enough innings at 3B to be able to judge. His personal opinion is that Kelly is the better player right now.

    Mediocre in the field and atrocious at bat, Inge doesn’t belong in the lineup. I argue that he is in fact wasting a roster spot. He’s untradeable, and releasing him probably won’t happen, so barring a relapse into mononucleosis and going back on the DL, he’ll likely be allowed to continue to flail around at least a few games a week.

    For all the talk in ST about taking the best 25 guys into the regular season, one of the biggest shortcomings the Tigers have had in the past several years is their insistence in sticking with underperforming players way beyond a reasonable amount of time. The out-sized contracts have undoubtedly led to this kind of tunnel vision and Inge is just anther case in point, I believe. The bottom line is that this kind of approach ends up handicapping the team, and that is certainly not sound baseball strategy.

    • Brenden

      July 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      I still don’t understand how Inge got a contact extension, as his decline was well underway when he was handed that deal. Seriously, it is tunnel vision for DD and JL with some of these guys. Honestly, that tunnel vision will be the downfall of this team and of DD and JL. Inge has no business being on the field or being in the line-up, especially with Don Kelly hitting better and, at least, appears to be fielding better.

      • Mr. X

        July 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        Do you understand Peralta’s contract extension? He was in the exact same boat as Inge when he got his 2 year deal.

        • Vince in MN

          July 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

          Career AVR/OBP/SLG/OPS:
          Peralta: .262/.331/.428/.759 Age: 29
          Inge: 235/.305/.388/.693 Age: 34

          I understand the Peralta signing, I don’t understand the Inge one.

          • Mr. X

            July 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

            Last season, Inge was a better player than Peralta. Hitting they were about the the same, but with defensively Inge was the superior player.

            Inge: .247 Avg, .321 OBP, .718 OPS
            Peralta: .249 Avg, .311 OBP, .703 OPS

            Inge with his Defense was a 2.1 WAR player last year
            Peralta had just a 0.8 WAR last year and was a 1.0 WAR player in 2009.

            • Vince in MN

              July 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm

              Peralta hit .313 for the Tigers last year after coming over from CLE.

              • Mr. X

                July 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

                .313 is what he’s hitting this year. Last year he hit .253 for the Tigers.

              • Vince in MN

                July 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm

                You are correct Mr. X, I dropped down one line on his career numbers.

    • Mr. X

      July 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      I guess it just matters what your patience threshold is. I think they have been fairly reasonable with their under-performing player contracts.

      Just look at the White Sox. How much longer should they keep trotting Alexis Rios and Adam Dunn out there? Not such a difficult question considering all the money they are owed. They are basically stuck with them. Our problem with Inge is pale in comparison.

      • Vince in MN

        July 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

        Just because the White Sox are idiots doesn’t mean we should condone Tiger management being idiots as well. Making a mistake and then insisting that your mistake was a brilliant idea is just plain delusional. Obviously the Inge mistake isn’t in the same category as the Dunn mistake, but it is still one that needs to be accepted and rectified. Also, Dunn is younger than Inge (31 to 34) is still in his prime and could turn it around. That’s much less likely for Inge, who is surely past his prime.

        • Mr. X

          July 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

          I’m not calling anyone an idiot. But Dunn is a huge slow guy and not much of an athlete. Inge is still a great athlete and is in great shape. He’s just not a good baseball player anymore, for whatever reason. Baseball probably isn’t all that important to him anymore. Inge is a selfish player, he’s not a team guy. He doesn’t like sitting the bench or watching the team play. So if we part ways with him, I’m 100% fine with that.

          When that happens is the only question. We’ll just have to patiently wait for it. It could happen next week, but there is no time table. How does being aggressive help when we have nobody else in line to play 3B? Don Kelly is a slight improvement, but he isn’t the answer. After the break, they can try Guillen or Raburn over there, but the defense is going to be worrisome.
          Most teams haven’t decided yet if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. We can probably grab a so-so guy like Casey Blake soon or we can wait it out and maybe get a guy like Scott Rolen.
          We should have a better 3B before the playoff roster deadline at the end of August. When the rosters expand in September, we’ll have even more options.

  2. judpma

    July 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    nice pre-game Coleman…..right on as usual..To add to the idea of actually playing someone with Inge’s numbers…or I should say lack of numbers, has to be the EGO and total stubborness on Leylands part to accept the fact that Inge hasn’t produced. Leylands “He’s due belief” leads him to many poor decisions that defy logic….

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    July 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Tor is doing their part. Let’s go Tigers.

    • Vince in MN

      July 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Twins up 2-0 on Chi also.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    July 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    They’ve been patient enough with Inge. With his defensive decline (which I hadn’t yet seen the numbers, thanks Vince and Lee), there is simply no justification for his playing time.

    • ouchudied

      July 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Agreed. “Patient” is the nicest way you can put it.

  5. ouchudied

    July 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I see you requested another Raburn inning, Coleman.

    • ouchudied

      July 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Brilliant move

      • Coleman

        July 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm

        A little stat padding…and then Inge to top it off

  6. Vince in MN

    July 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    That was the perfect opportunity to send in Dirks to hit for Inge, but no.

  7. Brenden

    July 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Well, Inge delivered on that pitch around of Avila. It’s almost like clockwork now. If Inge is in the on-deck circle in a critical situation, you can expect him to get an opportunity to bat before a pitch is even thrown to guy in front of him… How much longer are we going to be subjected to the Inge and Raburn Sideshow? One or both has got to go. I’m just hoping Carlos Guillen can return relatively healthy to boot one of them to the pine after the All Star Break.

  8. judpma

    July 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Inge stats : 0 for his last 16……2 for his last 30…..anyone want to bet will start the first game after the All Star break….

  9. Vince in MN

    July 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    It’s all over in CLE, Toronto wins 7-1. Twins up on CHI 5-1 in the 7th. Now we need to mop up here.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    July 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    6 more outs Mr. X…

  11. judpma

    July 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Miggy, Victor, Boesch, Wells, ValVerde, Al Al. Max. Porcello, Peralta, Dirks, Kelly, Jackson (defense)…all making significant contributions in the first half
    Penny, Benoit, helped………….

    now can the second half swoon be prevented!!

    • judpma

      July 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      oops forgot Avila…very good half!

  12. Coleman

    July 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm


  13. tbran in Troy

    July 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Inge is killing us in all phases of the game.

  14. ouchudied

    July 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Inge……… just stop it.

    • Brenden

      July 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      8 Errors in limited playing time and a .184 batting average….Yep, that is our starting 3rd baseman….

      • tbran in Troy

        July 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

        And let’s not forget his offensive performance today. He is 0 for 3 with a K. If this were Hockey, the guy would be nothing by minus. Sigh… there is nothing new here. This what he is and what he has been for way too long. It is over, it’s been over and it’s time for Tigs to send Inge off like C. Monroe, A. Everette, S. Sizemore ….

        • Brenden

          July 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

          It seemed to me that we gave up much quicker on Scott Sizemore than the other clowns you listed, and he was a much younger player and still showed some upside.

          • Kevin in Dallas

            July 11, 2011 at 12:12 am

            I don’t know if “gave-up” is accurate. He had significant ABs over two seasons, and we potentially received value and a much needed lefty reliever.

            Because Sizemore was performing so poorly at 2B, I doubt that JL and DD ever even considered moving him to third. I think the change of scenery was just what Sizemore needed.

            • scotsw

              July 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

              It’s not fair to say the Tigers “gave up” on Sizemore. They traded him. They traded a player at a position where we had several options (Sizemore, Worth, Rhymes, Raburn, Santiago, and eventually Guillen) for a player in a position of need. It was a smart move. Sizemore, despite his lacklustre performance as a Tiger, has a strong track record, and I don’t think anyone in the organization is surprised that he’s contributing in Oakland, just as Purcey is contributing in Detroit.

  15. jeff

    July 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    That’s insulting to guys like C. Monroe. Inge makes Monroe look like Cabrera. I’m struggling to think of a worst baseball player in the majors today.

    • tbran in Troy

      July 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      True. Sorry CMo

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    July 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Is Hosmer Amish?

    • Coleman

      July 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      No, he is Clownish

  17. tbran in Troy

    July 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Valverde Jones is back in business

    • Brenden

      July 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      All aboard the Valverde-Jones Roller Coaster of Cardiac Arrest.

  18. ouchudied

    July 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Hosmer – Thanks buddy.

    Well, the one thing Inge can do is apply a tag. But that is about it.

  19. Mr. X

    July 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    YES!!!!!!!!!!! 1st place baby! Verlander was Verlander! Nice throw by Avila!

    • Mr. X

      July 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Also, good block by Inge and selling the tag!

    • Brenden

      July 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Woo Hoo!!! Here’s hoping for a strong 2nd Half!

  20. judpma

    July 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Nice series… lets remember last year theTigers came back flat from the break.. and dropped four to the Indians and were never heard from again………………..

    • Mr. X

      July 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Verlander will pitch the 1st game after the break. We’ll be going with a 4 man rotation for awhile too. So I’m not too worried.

  21. Vince in MN

    July 10, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Looking ahead to the 2nd half, the Tigers schedule looks like this:
    Central Div: 46 games (12 CHI, 13 MN, 12 CLE, 9 KC)
    Eastern Div: 11 games (4 TB, 7 BAL)
    Western Div: 13 games (6 OAK, 4 LA, 3 TX)

    Outside of the Central Division, which the Tigers have the best record, most of the tough teams won’t have to be faced. They still have to win a majority of the games against the also-rans of course, but on paper it looks pretty encouraging.

    Add another dependable #5 starter and plug the black hole at 3B (we can live with Raburn if needs be, but not Inge) and we should be on our way.

  22. ouchudied

    July 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Jhonny Peralta leads the Tigers hitters in WAR (3.3) heading into the all-star break. Very impressive. What is not so impressive? Inge at -0.6. Some noteables with a worse WAR than Inge: Aubrey Huff, Adam Dunn (duh), Alex Rios, Raul Ibanez