Pregame 9: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres

Howdy, friends and neighbors. The Tigers (5-3) try to get back on the righteous path tonight against the Padres (4-6), with our hero Justin Verlander carrying the bulk of our hopes for putting up a W to counter the L. He’ll be facing Ian Kennedy, who has the possible misfortune of facing a lineup thoroughly outdone the day before. Or the good fortune of extra motivation due to Detroit’s reputedly fearsome offense. It certainly does seem as if almost all of the starters the Tigers have faced so far have kicked it up a notch. It remains true that good pitching beats good hitting, so while being shut out on one hit is no fun, it’s too early to be worried about the hitting. It’s too early to be too worried about anything, really, including the bullpen. The season is young.

The last time (before last night) Detroit lost to San Diego, it was a good year for DTW and a bad one for the Tigers. P Eddie Bonine made his second career start/appearance, and the only current Tiger in the lineup was Miguel Cabrera (0 for 4). Bonine was much better through 7 than he’d been in his debut win v. the Dodgers, though he gave up two long balls (one to Chase Headley). Fernando Rodney, Casey Fossum, and Joel Zumaya teamed up to blow the game in the 8th, with a bit of help from erroneous RF Magglio Ordonez – right after Placido Polanco had tied it at 2 with a solo HR. Curtis Granderson led off the game for the visiting Tigers with a home run off none other than Greg Maddux.

In other (good) news, Miggy describes his ailing swing in an apt and funny way, which tells me it’s going to get better soon.  Maybe real soon. In what might not seem like good news, the Padres have demonstrated that they are (or can be) a better and smarter hitting team than, say, the Dodgers, and perhaps JV and Max had better watch their step – but the good part is that this might bring out the best in them. The bats are due. Not sure if this evening’s epilogue will be “they came out swinging and it paid off” or “they were too anxious and aggressive,” but there’s nowhere to go but up from zero. I don’t think consecutive shutouts are allowed. I’d definitely throw a challenge flag to that.

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46 thoughts on “Pregame 9: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres”

  1. I am one of those what have you done for us lately guys as you all know, and when Miggy straightens things out we will know in a hurry. Unlike Avila who when he straightens things out makes ground outs instead of K’s

  2. How is it possible that your two catchers BA ADDED together comes out to .105…..and DD how is it possible to have the two worst hitting catches in all of baseball……we had Pena and Laird who could at least be an improvement over Daddys boy…but this!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Wow a flyball to center and Mario says “now thats the Cabrerra we know”….I don’t think so!!!!

  4. Hey Justin did you ever think if you just rhrew a bunch of strikes to start every game you could actually get batters out with way less than 30 pitches EVERY game.

  5. After a 30 pitch 1st inning, I am guessing Smyly will be needed sometime today. Is he available?

  6. JV with 31 pitches in the first puts us behind the eight ball. We need our bats to go crazy!

  7. The website Smyly is going on Wednesday but also says he does not have to. If Ol Smokey has his way it is a done deal. He would not be available. We will see what the new skip does.

  8. Avila goes to the plate not looking for a pitch he can hit. He is looking for pitches he can take. He IS going to take all close pitches as we see every at bat. Once he falls behind in the count which is everyy time he bats the pitchers expand the zone and he has to go after one of those expanded zone pitches…very seldom is it a good pitch to hit. Until he starts jumping on early hittable pitches his woes will continue… ain’t brain surgery…its just hitting!

  9. Anybody keeping track of the number of different batting orders Ausmus has used? Seems to me he is on track to break Smokey Sr.’s record from several years back, which must have been about 125.

  10. He doesn’t get a hittable pitch on strike three…by strike two hes already out!…you and I would both like to find out if he can hit a hittable pitch…!..

  11. JV if frickin dealing…hope they don’t blow this like his other starts…2 ain’t near enough for this blow pen!

  12. At the end of last season, these were some of the offensive tweaks which were needed:
    1. A LF to platoon with Dirks
    2. A starting catcher that could hit his weight.
    3. A backup catcher that could hit half his weight.
    4. An upgrade for one IF bench player.

    As of today, what we need are;
    1. A LF to platoon with Davis
    2. A starting catcher that can hit half his weight.
    3. A backup catcher that shows up at the park most days
    4. A SS that can hit half his weight
    5. An upgrade for at least one IF bench player.

    Calling Dave Dombrowski, calling Dave Dombrowski…

  13. Hey Nick thats your third high school baserunning error of the season…can you try and do better..all three were beyound a rookie mistake….and heaven open up AA monthly hit would have plated you

    1. Yeah, so far so good there, but I just don’t believe it will last. Davis’ splits vs. RHP over his career has been pretty bad. Right now though he is one of only a handful of guys who doesn’t have to talk to his swing.

  14. I am already getting anxious thinking about Nathan, and we’re still batting. Time for a drink.

  15. No Jonesy or Papa Grande tonight. Hope we can take another one tomorrow and return home to clobber the Indians.

  16. Quick Update:

    Kinsler OPS: .706 (seems low, but only 2 XBH and 1 BB)

    Fielder OPS: .444

    Also, Valverde gave up a 3 run bomb in the bottom of the 9th to allow LAA to tie the Mets.

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