Game 2011.98: Tigers at Twins

Inge.  Binge.  Cringe.  Player of the Game.  Bane of stephen’s existence.  And soon to be Mudhen.  The demise of Brandon Inge is the hot talk of the town (and a sweltering town it is).  Inge has played more games at Comerica than any Tiger;  he has struck out more than any Tiger in history;  he has for better or worse represented the team through good times and bad;  he has gone from promising catcher to slick-fielding 3rd baseman to outfielder to clutch slugger to all-star to an automatic out who has lost a step in the field, all with those ingetangible qualities of hustle, fearlessness, conceit, stubbornness, and above all a real devotion to the Tigers and to the Detroit area.  His absence will be celebrated.  He will be missed.

And he will be back.  Likely when the rosters expand in September.  Still under contract for next year, he could easily re-emerge as the 2012 starting 3rd baseman.  Unlike a younger, less mature Inge who griped when replaced by both Pudge and Cabrera, Inge now seems to have one objective in mind:  being a Tiger for life.  A 10-year player being demoted may not be unheard of, but Dave Dombrowski couldn’t recall the last time it had happened. Most players in that situation would have refused the assignment and tried their luck as a free agent.  For better or worse, Inge seems to be wedded to the Tigers.(Athough, supposedly, The Marlins want Inge, and we know how the Tigers like to do business with the Marlins). He is, in the words of the legendary Billfer, the Eningematic One.

Well, tonight we get to see what Wilson Betemit can add to the mix.  Smokey has him slotted in the 9th spot.  Whether this is an automatic move (that’s where Inge batted), an assessment of his abilities, or an attempt to make his debut low-pressure, it seems like a good idea.

And Justin Verlander is on the mound, which is as good a way as any to forget the game Detroit frittered away last night.  With a solid debut performance by Duane Below and a 5-3 lead against the offensively hapless A’s, things looked good.  And then…Purcey.  Back-to-back-to-back-to-back walks later, Benoit came in to be dinked and dunked until the game was gone.  Purcey used to be an A.  He still knows people there.  I’m just saying…

The Tigers may want to pursue some bullpen help after all.  Unfortunately, the Pirates may have beaten them to the punch by snagging Jason Grilli for their improbable pennant run.

Verlander will be opposed by the old Tiger nemesis, Carl Pavano, aka Water Rat. Magglio could be the key to taking out Pavano:  he has a career .429 avg vs The Rat.

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

He had a rare rough start last outing.  Give the man some slack;  he can’t be Cy Young every night.  However, another rough outing tonight, and it’s official 2nd-Half-Collapse-Panic-Time.  Not that you should feel any pressure or anything, Justin. Judging by the look of concentration on his face in the game post photo, I think he is up to the task.

Today’s Welcoming Wilson Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta SS
  7. Carlos Guillen 2B
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Wilson Betemit 3B



  1. stephen

    July 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I shot this video in honor of Inge this morning. You’ll want to click thru…

  2. Mr. X

    July 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I thought we were the only team that could squander a runner on 3rd with no outs. WTG, Verlander!

  3. Mr. X

    July 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    After that triple I bet some were in 2nd half collapse panic mode. Season was officially over right there.

  4. Mr. X

    July 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Peralta good in the clutch again. 1-0.

  5. Mr. X

    July 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Boesch Bash!!

  6. ouchudied

    July 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    That first paragraph was full of win, Coleman. Winning.

  7. Mr. X

    July 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Tigers might have the best line-up in baseball right now.

    • Mr. X

      July 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Tigers might have the best pitcher in baseball right now.

    • scotsw

      July 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Adding Guillen and Betamit in the space of, what, 8 days? That’s 2 nice upgrades. We saw tonight why Guillen is a pro: That sac fly didn’t exactly get the Pavano monkey off his back, but it got the run in. It’s fun to see him back in the lineup.

      The key is, there are no black holes in this lineup, and plenty of dangerous hitters. I like it.

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    July 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Uhhh, was Betemit playing moundball there?

  9. Mr. X

    July 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    That’s 10 wins in a row vs the Twins.

  10. judpma

    July 22, 2011 at 3:48 am

    this even looked like a real baseball team.. much less frustrating then watching the Mendoza Bros making outs…