Andrew Miller onto DL

He has a left hamstring strain. Fernando Rodney is recalled from his rehab assignment and activated from the DL to take his place. Not sure yet what this means for the rotation.

83 Comments

My first reaction is how on earth can you have yet another player on the DL? This isn’t football.

I’d say put Durbin into the rotation. Miner maybe, but I lead towards Chad, since he proved himself earlier this season. I had, in fact, written a post suggesting that Miller be removed, but scrapped it in order to ascertain the seriousness of his injury. That post is unnecessary now.

Isn’t Durbin available to start tomorrow? Let’s remember that gem he threw against the Sox earlier this year.

Rodney is going to have to get the job done. If he doesn’t, we probably weren’t going to win this thing anyway. That latest report that his command was erratic didn’t do much for my confidence in him.

As a team, let’s take it up a notch. I want to see a playoff style effort against Chicago, tonight and for the rest of the season. And that includes the choices for the starting eight.

I still say there’s something wrong with the pitching organizationo on the club. Somebody needs to take a look at the pitching coach and see what sort of conditioning, training, or what has gone wrong. Many of these guys were the stars of pitching last year and now they’re all hurt or can’t throw. It can’t be coincidence.

Keep it coming – this is becoming insurmountable.

I think this team has the potential to turn things around. However, it starts with the pitchers’ confidence and basic execution. A good pitcher is aggressive and can throw strikes. Lately the Tigers don’t have one guy that can make that happen. It’s downright scary.

Whether the issue is conditioning, overconfidence, lack of focus, lack of confidence….? I’m not sure anyone looking from the outside looking in can tell. From what I can see I blame the Tiger’s woes on the pitchers’ inability to locate the ball in the strike zone. Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson, Miller and the ‘relief’ corp are wild and generally can’t strategically locate pitches. They are throwing hard, but not pitching. Opposing teams’ hitters are sitting there waiting for fastballs and knocking these guys all over the place. Bonderman has to be more accurate with his slider, curve and changeup. Verlander has to throw his curve for strikes. Robertson has to locate his fastball better, same with Miller. The ‘relief’ corp generally cannot throw their off speed pitches with command. An over all comment – the Tigers’ pitching staff, aside form Rogers and Verlander on occasion, does not change speeds enough. These guys could be much more crafty as far as their off speed pitching goes.

While the Tigers have the ability to turn this around I have a feeling this will be a disastrous end to the season. Next year will be a great year but this year is lost. Had Zumaya and Rogers not gone down the Tigers would have won 8 – 12 more games than they have to date and would have weathered the current storm better. The wheels have come off the bus now. It’s sad to see but these guys are breaking down big time. I hope I’m wrong.

Good observations, James.

Well, this was embarassing, wasn’t it? Still can’t beat those Sox. It appears they’ve gotten out of their own “little funk” and are playing excellent baseball right now. They’ve made the plays when they had to this weekend. Their kid Floyd controlled that curveball all day, and when a pitcher does that, he’s pretty tough. I didn’t expect that from him.

You do have to wonder how we can turn eight doubleplays in two games and lose both of them.

The only ray of sunshine here is that there are 52 games remaining. Doing the math, if the Tigers go 29-23, they have 90 wins. 90 wins may not get it done, but you can figure from there what’s necessary.

To do anything at all, things have to turn around right now. You can’t take a split with Tampa Bay this week, which is what I foresee coming. You have to sweep or take three, then do the same with Oakland. If we can’t do that, we have no business being contenders.

The injury problem is well documented and noted, but some of these lineups being sent out there border on ridiculous. What is with this Mike Hessman experiment? He’s hitting about .178, which is his usual big league number. Face it, we have a Crash Davis here. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all, but let’s quit playing favorites. What was the problem with Infante playing in this series? You could DH him, put him at short and DH Guillen, put Guillen at first and DH Casey. There are different combinations that can be used. I won’t even mention Shelton anymore because it’s obvious he’s not coming back. Raburn might work in the outfield in place of Monroe. Monroe might be better next year, but I’d say this year is a goner for him.

So, like James says above, this thing can still be won, but it’s not appearing likely unless some guys step up. We’ll know where we stand by next Monday, if not sooner.

Well, I have gone from this is stupid, to being mad last week to this weekend just being in complete shock. I don’t even know what to say anymore-almost. Well in fact today, we did out hit the Soxs, but the problem was that every single hit that the soxs got was for extra bases. I believe that they only got six hits. With the exception of a couple of players, you have got to say that these Tigers look pretty uninspired, and they are going out there believing they can’t win. Even against bad teams, ie chicago, chicago, kc, and oakland. These are poor hitting teams and with the exception of Oakland poor pitching teams. I mean Gavin Freakin’ Floyd with his era of over 10 put the Tigers down. Unbelievable. I simply cannot believe this. Cleveland lost.

It seem to me the Yankees went through something similar to what the Tigers are experiencing. Everyone said the Yanks were done, had no heart, gave up. Look at ‘em now. It’s still possible the Tigers can turn it around but they better hurry and get healthy. Raeburn and Hessman are AAA players. While Hessman isn’t hitting well, he is good defensively at 3rd base and 1st base. Raeburn is decent offensively, but misplays ball in the OF. He’s just not as good as Monroe. Casey got hit pretty bad today, so he’ll probably be out for a few games. The whole team, with the exception of a few players are playing uninspired ball. They need a fire set under the ***$.

To say the Tigers are flat, or uninspired, or anything else like that is only partially true. Some of these games they have been. But there are other factors.

First off, it’s hard to look sharp when you’re not hitting. Any baseball man will tell you that. They hit poorly today because the kid pitched the game of his life. They hit poorly in Oakland because the A’s have an excellent pitching staff. Look at their numbers.

It’s also hard for a team to look alive when their starter gives up four runs in the first inning, you get two back, then he goes right out there and gives those two back. This has been happening a lot. You’ve got to get that shut down inning.

These things are important to the overall mental health of a team within a game. They have been tired in some of the games, but not all. Sometimes the other guys just play better.

I’m reading comments on other sites about fans that are giving up. Now that’s strange. Your team is a half game out on August 5th and you give up? And when you give up, what do you do? Not watch baseball anymore? Devour information about the Lions’ training camp? None of these comments are aimed at anyone who has posted on this blog. There’s a good, realistic bent to the comments here. Some things merit criticisms, but I don’t think we’ve given up.

Okay, enough cheerleading.

Putting Miller into the rotation may have been a mistake. In hindsight, it does appear that Maroth hasn’t fully recovered from his injury, and Rogers wasn’t really ready, so I don’t know what else they could have done. At this point, it would seem that Rodney replaces Durbin and that Chad should go back to starting. That seems to be a no-brainer to me, but then again, I have no brain, as you all can see.

With Minnesota 4.5 games out of first, I’d say we now have that three team race. This should be fun. Down to the wire, and the games all have importance.

I go into denial in these kinds of stretches. Don’t want to look at the standings, especially the Tiger’s record. But I made myself take a close sobering look. It’s good therapy…I think. The Tiger’s record has gone from 21 games over 500 on July 23 to 12 over 500 today. They have lost 5 in a row, 9 of the last 10, and have gone 4-13 in the last 17. So there it is, read um and weep. I don’t believe in bad luck but I do believe in statistics. So I believe this mess will eventually even out. Our Tigers are still one of the best teams in baseball.
This season has been trying to say the least. With all the key injuries and disruptions it’s a wonder they’re doing as well as they are.

Here are the the 8 teams still legitimately in the AL race. Things have obviously tightened up a lot these last 3 weeks. They are:

Boston 68-43

Los Angeles 64-46

Cleveland 62-49

Detroit 61-49

Seattle 60-49

New York 61-50

Minnesota 57-53

Toronto 56-54

Boston has the softest schedule by far, 12 games with TB and 10 games with Baltimore. Fortunately NY has a tougher schedule but 6 games with TB, 9 with Baltimore, and 3 with KC makes it’s schedule softer than the Tigers. In the Central, Minnesota looks to have the softest schedule, with the Tigers and Cleveland about equal. Minnesota worries me more than the Indians. Los Angeles has the toughest remaining schedule of these 8 and Seattle’s is second hardest, so I think the Mariners as good as they are will have a hard time making the playoffs via the wild card. They still may leapfrog over LAA. I didn’t bother checking Toronto’s schedule because their chances aren’t too good with both NY and Boston ahead of them. Bottom line, NY might have the best chance of getting the wildcard , which means the Tigers better shoot for winning the Central this year. It will take no more than 95 wins. With Chicago coming on as a spoiler(maybe a contender)there are 4 teams that’ll be beating up on each other now.

If the Tigers continue on as they have of late, they are indeed done. However, IF Sheffield, Zumaya, Rogers, Thames, Rodney, Santiago, sheesh, have I left anybody out?…if all these guys come back healthy and play even close to their potential, the Tigers will win the Central and reach the playoffs.

Again, there’s a little thing called statistics all us baseball geeks love… The Tigers are not a 4-13 team. No question they need all 4 against Tampa Bay. 3-1 at least.

In my opinion, you can scratch Toronto, the Twinkies and the Mariners from that list. Unless the Angels really fold. In any case it looks like NY, Redsox, Indians, Tigers batling for 3 spots. This is going to be fun to watch. I think the Tigers picked a great time to tank. If they pick it up in September, they will be in great shape. Remember last year, how they blew the end of the season and just didn’t bring any pressure into the first two playoof series. I really don’t think they are clutching now.

They just stink.

They’ll get better. They could use a heatly KR, Sheff and Z.

Is it just me, or does every pitcher we face pitch the game of his life against us? It seems every team is pumped up and wants to beat us, and we of late have just let them.

I’m not giving up, but we certainly need some kind of spark. I agree on the Infante comments- he seems to be lost in the shuffle of all of this.

I’ll give you Toronto Steve. I only included them because they’re above 500. But I’m not ready to count out Minnesota or Seattle. This has been a good time to tank, if there actually is ever a good time to tank. They will come out of it, even the weak teams do. But they have to do more than that now. They’ve got to win or tie the remaining series. Shef is a must. At least 2 pitchers out of Rogers, Zumaya, and Rodney have to contribute significantly. A healthy Thames and or Shelton would be nice. Anyone else think this would be the right time to bring Chris Shelton up? I don’t think Hessman has worked out too well. Obviously JL was hoping he would supply the needed power in the absence of Thames and now Sheffield. There have been too many K’s and high fly outs. I don’t understand either why Infante is so often overlooked. He sits while Toledo call ups play. Just don’t get it, at least you know what you’re getting with him filling in.

Rocks, I think the Tigers need to get to these younger pitchers right off the bat. If they don’t, the pitchers just gain confidence by the inning. But they aren’t facing the same healthy offense the Tigers rolled out there day in and day out in May, June and half of July either.

All I have to say is, GO TIGERS! Let’s get some mojo workin’ now and show these clubs we still got it! It’s definitely not too late to turn the recent skid around. Let’s GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The game notes indicate that Sheffield could be back tonight. Would that ever help. Even if he’s not swinging at 100%, he’ll still draw walks, hopefully.

Edwin Jackson tonight for the Rays. If he can avoid being hit in the face by an outfield throw, we can get him. I think a key to this series is scoring early. Don’t give these guys any inkling they have a chance to win a game. Keep Hessman out of there and put some hitters in the lineup. I don’t care who plays firstbase as long as he’s under 6’5″ tall.

Interesting stuff above about the teams in the race. I always include the Twins because they’re the Twins. They never look good on paper but they’ve won the division nearly every year this century.

I’m not liking what I’m hearing about Rogers. If he never pitched another game again, we’ve already gotten more out of him than I ever imagined when he was signed. I think he’ll pitch again, though. I just think we’re getting a peek into the future to a time when these youngsters have to step up.

Rodney looked good on that strikeout. Mixed up his pitches well. Strutted some after the strikeout and showed some confidence I haven’t seen in him in awhile. Casey’s homer was crushed. That was good to see also as well as the big inning. Let’s keep it up.

It has been a woeful time for Tigers and their fans. I picked up the paper today and saw they had dropped all three to the hated WhiteSox. I wasn’t surprised but was very disappointed. I see the injury bug has spread itself around even further than before.
Some good comments here and Hessman does look like he might be on the verge of lengthy minor league career.

From what I gather from the box scores it appears that Monroe and Inge are still struggling and that Raburn has done a pretty decent job.

I see Rodney is back and if he can keep throwing strikes in the mid 90’s he’ll be fine.

Bonderman is a serious problem for the team right now. He is such a head case as far as the first inning goes and it’s starting to llok like other innings aren’t a whole lot better than they were earlier in the season. He has such a nice slider and the ability to throw strikes–it is indeed a shame to watch him go through (and put his teammates through) this.

Verlander has not been the dominant guy we are expecting him to be since the All Star break.

Miller is learning and I think some folks are unhappy that he seems to be learning at the club’s expense and not on the farm. I think in the long run both he and the club will benefit from the steep learning curve he is experiencing.

Judging by the boxscores, Granderson seems to have cooled off again. He is the key to the Tigers being able to recapture some lost lustre. If he goes, the rest will follow, Sheffield or no Sheffield. I think he is the single most important player on the club. And I think the world of Placido!

Even with the win today (over a pretty less than average team), these guys need to regroup and remember that one of the things that got them to the level of being considered the best team in baseball by many baseball people, was a “belief in themselves”. Without that, they’re done. And their recent poor play proves that.

There came a moment in last night’s game, it was during Casey’s seventh inning at bat actually, that everything turned strange. Yet another mediocre pitcher was shutting the Tigers down. They’d left men on base. Polanco had just gone down again. I saw Casey at the plate as if looking through the wrong end of a telescope. As he fouled off a pitch, the ballpark was empty, there was no crowd noise. The bright HD picture was fading to a gray hue. It had all become a bad dream. Then he slammed one multiple rows deep into the rightfield stands and everything returned to normal. Before he’d even sat down in the dugout, Ordonez ripped a single to right and it was on.

The above is true, by the way. I either had an epiphany or a stroke. :-) This game may be held in the memory banks for a long time.

Most of the game accounts address the miscommunication on Inge’s flyball as allowing a run, but Brandon should get credit because he’d hit a very much needed sac fly even if they had caught it. The ball dropping just meant it could have been an even bigger inning, but that didn’t happen anyway.

Does anyone know if there’s a stat that compares how many foul balls are hit off a pitcher? Seems like there are an awful lot against us. Instead of hitting the ball more squarely and grounding or flying out, these guys just keep making minimal contact, fouling it off, while the pitch count climbs ever higher. Any thoughts on this?

Rich,

I didn’t watch the game but caught the postgame and the announcers were making a big deal about the comeback. They seemed to be making a lot out of the inning and I just chalked it up to the fact that there hasn’t been much good to talk about recently. I’m hoping that they are correct that this inning could spark some much needed energy on the team.

As far as the team’s woes go, I’m holding out that this is just a case of tons of injuries hitting at the same time that the Tigers were bound to go into a slump (simple law of averages.) I do find it interesting that the two times the Tigers went into a tail spin in the last two years: these past few weeks and the end of the year last year, came after the Tigers made a few minor changes and started sitting guys that had led them to success. (Could Hessman be this year’s Matt Stairs?)

I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that the injuries stop now, we start getting guys back– I really miss Marcus– and expect to see the Tigers take control of the central… Nate’s the first person in line to get this thing rolling…

Boy is this ever getting old. Grilli in and hold your breath and your nose.
Obviously he didn’t have it even before the solid single and slam. His pitches were all over, way inside and outside. Just a darn shame when you get a performance like Nate’s tonight that may have been the game that turned things around for the club.

This is bad Karma. JL should have been all over Grilli after the 2nd hit and especially after the slam. Grilli has shown that once he loses “it”, he does not get “it” back.

Well Raburn got things going and Inge did the job by getting the bunt down. This is where Granderson has not been very good this year. Man on 3rd and less than 2 out Curtis has not been productive.

C’mon CG!!

Byrdak gets the 1 pitch win, Grilli gets the bird, and Jones gets the 3 run save.
Somehow not seeing Nate in there seems awfully wrong!

Aside from that it was a very important victory in that they did NOT fold after they got to that point where they have done so in the past.

Raburn has been a very pleasant addition and comparison with the man he replaced on the roster is like night and day. Personable guy and he fits right in there with Granderson doesn’t he?

Congratulations and big ones to Nate for pitching a whale of a game. Too bad about the W for him but the W for the team was the big thing here.

I don’t know what is going to happen with Grilli. The fans are on him and JL has to be wondering if he can be trusted with the ball. My guess is that JL will throw him back out there as soon as tomorrow if he can find the right situation. And Grilli might just come out and blow the men down–but, he is not able to pitch well for any lengt of time and all too frequently has another disaster.

Nate’s game tonight hopefully is a sign of more to come. Nate was in and out all night and hitting his spots. I think Grilli has taken the roller coaster ride over from Jones and is on his way out. He is not better then Tata or Capellan and has been getting progressively worse as the year has gone on. I know that JL is high on his arm, but he is to much of risk to keep around.

On the postive Zumaya is progressing along and Rodney looked more confident last night. I still think we needed to add another arm to the bullpen and hoefully in the end it won’t hurt them when they have the NewYork/Cleveland back to back series in the next two weeks.

Watching the game on gameday,I see that in the Tampa’s 9th the runner gets to 2nd on defensive indifference. What’s that? Everyone’s just standing around and he walks to second?
I cringe when I see Jason Grilli coming in to pitch.

He just doesn’t seem able to make the pitches.

Jeremy Bonderman should not pitch again until he gets quite a bit of defensive practice. Couldn’t believe it when he hits a batter with the bases loaded and then has 2 wild pitches and two more runs come in.

He’s got to be the worst fielder on the team.

It’s good to see 2 w’s in a row, albeit wins that should be no brainers. I have said all year along that Monroe is a nonfactor on this team, and I must include Grilli; he is the epitome of the failures of our pen this year. I do think he has a great arm, but I think he would be suited for a national league team. When Zumaya returns, he will be th odd man out. I really feel for him, but those boos tonight, were the same as a paid one way ticket out of Motown. Tomorrow, the team must show patience with Shields; he’s the kind of pitcher who can hold us to four hits. We really need to take the rest of the homestand, Dan Harinor not.

I’m glad the guys got the win because it was looking like my post was going to read like @$!#*&#@!!#&*$!*!!! In the end, it may be a bigger positive winning it this way.

Raburn has been doing it up. You have to figure he’ll cool down when the pitchers figure him out, but you have to like a guy that can play all those positions. And I remember we all liked him in spring training. That was an excellent decision to score standing up in the eighth.

Nate looked VERY good tonight. It should be recalled that the second run shouldn’t have scored as it came off that fly that Granderson couldn’t find. I felt sorry for Curtis on that one, as I’ve had that happen to me. Out in centerfield, I see the ball go up off the bat, then it disappears into the twilight sky. I have no idea where it’s gone, but all the infielders have turned around and are looking at me so I know it’s up there somewhere. In fact, I think that happened to me more than once. :-)

Now, Grilli. You absolutely can’t bring this guy into any kind of situation. A four run lead with a man on is not a safe situation for him. If it was my decision, I’d release him, but they should at least limit him to long relief mop up duty. When asked about the chorus of booing that greeted Grilli’s departure, Leyland said “they were booing me too.” When will the ol’ coot learn not to trust Grilli? Will he ever?

Okay, two straight in the books and the return of both Sheffield and Thames is imminent, with Zumaya coming up.

Hey, I turned to the end of the Cleveland game. They lead the Sox, 2-1 in the ninth. Borowski strikes out the first guy looking, but the ball bounces right off Martinez’s mitt, even though the pitch hit Victor right where he was set up. So that guy runs to first. The Sox bunt him over, then get Thome to fly out. With two out, Kornerko pops one up over by the dugout but Martinez and Garko just look at each other and the ball drops. So the White Sox get five outs in this ninth inning but still fail to score. Thanks a lot, WHITE SOX! So Cleveland pulled one out of their…uh….fire tonight.

I tuned into the National’s game in SF and was just in time to see Bonds hit his 756th. I’m not into this sort of thing because it’s an individual record in a team sport, but that’s just me. I realize it’s important to a lot of folks. Anyway, they didn’t hold the game up for too long, which surprised me. Just a video message from Henry Aaron and a few words from Bonds, then the game continued.

So that’s that. I guess it was probably for the best that he hit it at home, because it could have been ugly on the road.

I think Grilli is trying to kill us all. Man am I glad I didn’t watch the game last night– I’d have stroked out. I’m sure he’s a nice guy with a good arm but he’s gotta go– just can’t trust him… sheesh. Nice to see us battle back– and we thought the Tigers had bullpen problems…

Was at the game last night. Nate was awesome last night, and he gave us more than the normal 5-6 innings, which is badly need now (also like the new look, short hair/thin beard…).
Agree with you Dan, JL will probably send out Grilli quickly. That is the ugliest I have ever seen the Detroit crowd when he walked back to the dugout (yelling, screaming, fingers). But a good outing does wonders…look at Rodney, people love him again since his two good outings.

On the Granderson non-catch, the wind took that wickedly as it was coming down. The wind was blowing hard in the upper decks, and I know I seen that ball move horizontally when it was coming down!

Boy, they need to keep winning against TB…the 14 day streach with just Indians and Yankees is coming up…

My lineup vs. Shields:

Granderson

Polanco

Sheffield

Ordonez

Guillen

Raburn

Casey

Rabelo (Pudge gets day off today & the lefty tomorrow)

Inge

I was not at the game last night but just watching it on television I was taken aback by the crowd booing Jason Grilli. I was probably just as disgusted at anyone out there but to boo the guy to me was shameful. I don’t think that as a fan you ever boo your own guys. It isn’t as though Jason Grilli makes 5 Million a year and claims to be the greatest. I just don’t think that the crowd should of done that.

Brent, you touched on something that I considered last night also. Now I like a good close game as much as the next guy, maybe more even, but every now and then it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy an easy, dominating win. Up until the eighth we had that, then it was “here we go again.” And I actually did wonder how much of this I can take.

GK, I agree with you about booing in general. In fact, standing up and going “boooooo” seems like a ridiculous thing to do. The Detroit fans have been incredible the last two seasons in hardly ever, if ever, booing the home team. Last night, however, I think frustration got the better of them. How many of us, when seeing Grilli come sprinting in, thought that this is the absolute wrong move? And how many of us weren’t even surprised when Gomes’ shot left his bat? And Grilli wasn’t even done yet. He allowed the winning run to get on too. We come onto these discussion boards and blogs and voice our displeasures all the time, but nobody seems to hear. Last night, 35,000 people were heard. I hope the message sinks in and there will be no more booing at Comerica. The message is, we like Grilli but he’s being used in the wrong situations. That’s not fair to a team trying to win a division, and it’s not even fair to Jason himself.

Wow– I just read the article and checked the box score regarding Grilli. I didn’t know anything about the booing– that’s disappointing. I think that Dan posted some nice comments about Grilli as a person after meeting him in Seattle and I’m certain he’s correct. I think there’s also a general sentiment that Grilli has great stuff and could be a really strong pitcher. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to control his pitches, especially in pressure situations. I’m all for supporting the home team– booing is unacceptable– and I love to support a group of good guys (Maroth, etc.) but when its clear that the guy isn’t getting it done– and it is clear in Grilli’s case– then we’ve got to move on. Its not personal– just about winning baseball games.

Rich- you’re completely right. Its about time that the Tigers had one of those feel good, baseball’s great and so are our Tigers kinda games…

The booing used to happen with Sparky Anderson and Mayo Smith before him. It’s directed at the manager’s decision, not anyone personally. I’m pretty sure of that. Leyland did say as much in his postgame. I also think, in last night’s game, that the fans were disappointed for Nate, for whom they’d just given a rousing standing ovation.

I don’t know what to do with Grilli. He really does have some wicked stuff, but like Jason Johnson, can’t always control it. The pitch to Gomes was a fastball, right down the middle. That because he couldn’t control the slider. If our starter gets knocked out early, Grilli is just the guy I want in there to give us a chance to come back.

Of course, in defense of JL, the dude only had to get one out. And if not Grilli, then you have to decide who else. As I recall, the Rays lefties weren’t due up. Miner had only thrown one pitch the night before.

I enjoyed the article by Tom Kirby ont he Tigers’ most memorable homer. However, there is a homer that I find very memorable that was not mentioned. It was a Gibson, homer, but not the 1984 World Series homer.

It was the homer against Toronto that I believe came in the top of the 9th inning on I believe the next-to-last weekend of play in 1987.

The biggest hit wasn’t even a homer—it was most certainly Jim Northrup’s triple in the 7th inning of the 7th game in 1968 against Bob Gibson.

I remember that Gibson homer in 1987. It saved the Tigers bacon that season because without it, that final weekend never happens. You want a collapse, how about Toronto that year, losing it’s final seven games, with no wildcard to fall back on.

I was at the game for the Matchick homer in 1968. It was probably the best regular season game I’ve ever been to. Unforgettable evening.

Come to think of it, Magglio’s dramatic HR last year to clinch was pretty big too!

Actually, Kirby named the Ordonez homer as 1a on the list.

Gibson was always hitting big homers. I saw him hit a walkoff against the Yankees in 1981, saw him hit a two out in the ninth game-tying homer a month later and, after he’d retired, he teamed with sportscaster Eli Zaret to play a game of two on two softball against two excellent female players. You guessed it, he even won that one with a walkoff, throwing in the 1988 WS fist pump as he rounded the bases.

When he hit the one off Eckersley, I could definitely “believe what I just saw.”

Not much good to say about today’s game.
Sure wish we could get a starter to pitch like Shields did today. We’ve faced a couple of guys like this (Vasquez comes to mind), that seem to get better the deeper they go into the game. Our guys are simply not doing that. If you do get a good game it often dissembles in the middle innings. Robertson’s effort yesterday excepted.

Well we can all wait with baited breath to see if Bonderman can get through the first tomorrow.

Bullpen was lousy once again.

Thames back tomorrow–he hit one out today for Toledo.

So did Big Red!

Would I sound like a broken record if I said something like “Tomorrow’s game is big one”?

About as much as I’d sound like a broken record when I reply “they’re all big ones.” :-)

Tonight was Tampa’s game to take in this series. That Shields is really tough. Never thought I’d be looking forward to Kazmir in their rotation. On the other hand, a catcher hitting .195 is tearing us up. Time to amend that scouting report on how to pitch him.

I thought that was the proper use of Jason Grilli, for what it’s worth. I wanted him to go ahead and finish the game, but we used two more pitchers.

Tomorrow is one of those directional games, as in “are we making a move or not?”

I watched the game tonight; just as i had predicted yesterday, we made no adjustments for Shields, not that it would have helped much anyway. Thirteen strikeouts out of 27 recorded outs is a disgrace. But rather than rant the whole time, i am slowly coming to a peaceful solution to my frustration. We are not a better team than last year; Sheffield impacted our lineup in a very positive way, but 7-8-9 have lost the magic. Monroe protected Inge, and Marcus often covered Monroe. We just don’t come through at the bottom the way we did last year. Our starting pitching is not as good; face it, we’d be better off with Miner and Durbin in the Starting 5 than what wev’e put together lately. Our bullpen is an accident waiting to happen. Andwe didn’t get all of those critical injuries last year. So I’ve decided that we won’t make it back this year. i think the magic belongs to Cleveland. We need to reasses, and get the starting rotation ironed out for 2008. And please don’t trade Jairjen for Wilson. I’m going to watch every game that I can, but I just don’t see Motown MOJO happening in 2007.

You have made some very good observatins DT, but I sincerely hope that you end up being wrong with the outcome.

I see Verlander Banderman and Miller all making a comeback and Robertson to be effective as often as he is not. The 5 starter is going to be a problem no matter who it is.

We can only hope that the bullpen will reinvigorate itself with the return of Zumaya and Rodney.

Cleveland lost a battle tonight against the Sox. They made a fatal decision in not getting a reliever. Borowski as their closer makes me feel that they can be had. It miy be a horse race between the two, but I think Jones is actually a better closer personality and gives us a slight advantage. If Cleveland was astute enough to have picked up Gagne or Dotel I think we would have most certainly lost the division to them.

The Tigers have had a lot of bad luck lately and though there are no guarantees, I think the worst is over.

It would be nice to see Sheffield supply us with a couple of walk-off victories, (I don’t think he really has been a clutch performer for us—-yet), and I agree with DT that the bottom of the order (in particular, Inge) needs to help out more.

I think Casey is coming around and will be solid for the rest of the year.

I also hope that the revolving door in LF sorts itself out and quickly.

DT, I don’t think the club is gonna let Jurrjens go. He has been phenomenal in his last 3 or 4 appearances.

Well as I wake up this morning we are a percentage point out of the wild card now. Although still only 1/2 game out of first. Not the right direction we are heading in. The frustrating part is that with all the blown wins late (I think 18) and think about some of the games in the last few weeks against sub 500 teams if you just take 7 of the blown ones and add 3 more wins to the sub 500 teams we are 9.5 up on Cleveland and right now we are at least not even worried about the wild card.??? Amazing were we are, and were we should be.

I was at the game last night (sorry I know I am a jinx) with a work outing so we were in seats that we could really not see well, but was Shields really that good or were we really just that bad??? I have to think when Polance strikes out the pitcher must be on?? Regardless a frustrating game and today I don’t think that it is going to be any better Kazmir has been good lately and frankly we all know how Bondo has been?? But I hope for the best and will be watching, I have the day off. That is assuming that they are able to play the game, looking for rain in the area.

This is most definitely a pivotal game.

Infante is on 3rd today and Inge is sitting-not sure why but maybe just to give his body a bit of a rest. Anybody know what he is hitting of Kazmir?

Be good to see Raburn have a good game.

I think next year the Tigers will have a much different look to them. Casey, Jones and Rogers are all free agents and long in the tooth. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Guillen at 1B next year. He will make an excellent first sacker IMO. He’s smart, tricky and has good hands.

Brandon’s wife, Shani, is delivering today. This was planned.

I have went back and forth so many times after the all-star break on how we would end up. I still have the ‘Tiger Faith’ but it is hard to keep sometimes when you see the offense sputtering and the pitching just HORRIBLE! I think having Rodney back and Zumaya on the way back will control the downward spiral of the bullpen. As for the offense, guys NEED to stay healthy. I would drop C-Mo right now and play Thames and Raburn instead. I don’t know, many things will be ironed out over the offseason that is for sure.

First Inning Report: “Here we go again!”

Geez-Bonderman is letting his teammates down. I wish he would have taken my advice a month and a half ago and gone to see a shrink.

At this rate Bonderman will be out of the game by the 4th inning.

Listening to the game and it sounds like Jim Price is doing his best to camoflauge his disgust with the Tiger pitching in general and Bondo in particular.

The Devil Rays are sure getting nice at bats vs the Tigers this series.

By “this rate”, I mean the pitch count. Hopefully he can settle down and get a few low pitch coint innings.
Kasimir is going to be a tough nut to crack today so Bondo needs to throw a blanket over these guys today.

No magic. I am at peace. Unless we win the central, there’s no trip back. All of our starters seem so miserable and uncomfortable.
Hitters look like “deer in the headlight” mode. I dread Blanton and Harin

I sure hope these guys can pull one out of the hat today.

Doesn’t feel good. Ordonez whiffing at ball 4 (would have loaded the bases with 0 out), then Carlos whiffing with the tying run on 3rd (after a break on the throw to get Polanco).

Bondo gets lit up the following inning.

Then Kasimir comes back with a very strong inning to emphasize the “tone” of the game.

Broadcasters mentioned the disproportinate amount of strike outs and walks for the Tiger hitters over the last few games.

Plate discipline lacking.

Feels “bad” today–real bad.

Man O Man-our pitchers sure have trouble with Mendoza quality hitters don’t they?

I juust don’t see how a pitcher with Bonderman’s stuff is getting burned everytime out now. You are right Dan in that average big league hitters hurt us atthe most inopportune time. Unless there’s a homer from someone, I see a shutout. And this from the worst record in MLB

It is extremely discouraging to see a group of guys like this become a mediocre, at best, team.

They have lost the last 2 games (I’m counting this one today as a loss) to a poor ball club in the very first inning.

That is troubling as it indicates lack of heart.

When you can’t win ball games with your starting 10 players it isn’t gonna matter who is in the bullpen.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the team’s performance. I include the coaching staff because it is their job to see what is going wrong and take the actions necessary to correct the problems.

I must admit that my feelings about this team’s performance and their potential to reverse it, are much like the ones you expressed yesterday.

They are downright dreadful but have also crossed the boundary into embarrassing.

I agree Dan, this team is literally embarrassing themselves. I have no idea what is up with Bondo, he has simply just been aweful. I do watch every game, I wish I could stop, it is like a train wreck, I can’t look away. But, I am beginning to think that this is little more than a small skid, this is some kind of problem. I hate this, it is like last year when you just had to pray that the other team would lose, because you were sure that you were not going to win. I don’t know what there problem is but they had better get their heads out of their butts pretty soon. I can’t take it.!!!!!!!

I was at the game today and it was as depressing in person as I’m sure it looked on TV or sounded on the radio. It’s hard to win when you don’t score, no matter how you good or bad you pitch.

FYI Dan- Brandon Inge was having a baby today.

Brandon and Shanni’s joy was the only joy in Tiger Town and Congratulations to them!

The Tiger starters have won 1 game (and Tata the winner, in not a rotation guy) over the last 17 games.

Tampa Bay had lost 19 out of their last 21 road games before yesterday.

At least Bonderman has mitigated his 1st inning problems………..unfortunately he has evened out the problem only be pitching as equally bad in other inning now.

Polanco has now passed Ordonez in batting.

Byrdak may have saved Grilli’s job.

Monroe is now struggling so much he has to be setting his next short term goal as lasting till the roster expands.

Ordonez will be the next Tigers DH after Sheffield…maybe next year?

With little light at the end of the tunnel, we have to wonder if anyone on this club can ignite the team. The only individual that I can see doing that (and it is a longshot), is Kenny Rogers. If ever they could use some leadership, intensity, and emotion, it is now and Kenny is the kind of guy who COULD provide that. I don’t see anyone else on the team that get these guys rolling again.

If you didn’t already know which team had the winning record today you’d guess Tampa Bay. Apparently their top 2 pitchers are unhittable. Why don’t they play like this against other teams? No plate discipline. It would be great therapy for me just to see Pudge get a walk ONE TIME, and maybe even score. I’m not asking for much am I? How about the opposing team’s pitcher reaching a 100 pitch count by the 5th? All right now I know I’m asking for too much.

David Tiger, you came to the realization this team was not better than last year’s. Not long ago I said that it was better. I’m inclined to agree with you now. With all of the injuries and the poor performances they are not the same team as last year. Potentially I still think so, but that potential has not played out on the field for a month now. It’s a shame that the highly touted young starting pitchers have not carried the team as expected. Now the hitters have cooled off and are no longer carrying the team. Everthing just seems out of sync. If they don’t turn things around soon, as Ty mentioned, there will have to be some changes in the off season. It’s so sad to see this team, AL Champs last year, play like this. Are they going to be perennial second half flops with the exception on 2 hot post season series last year? I’m not gonna give up on them. Yeah GK, no matter how depressing this gets, giving up on them is just not an option. You just can’t close your eyes no matter how bad it gets. Perhaps the team needs that strange little psychiatrist/hypnotist whom the New York Knights employed in “The Natural”. His mantra was something like…”Losing is a disease….Ah but there’s a cure”…anybody got any ideas?

I really hate to say this, and I certainly hope it’s not what it looked like, but it looked to me like they quit. There were some things on the basepaths and in other areas that looked like a team that had quit. They’ll just have to prove me wrong, I suppose.

As long as we’re quoting sports movies, how about Jimmy Dugan (A League Of Their Own) on baseball: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would do it.”

Now that all expectations have been ground into the dust, there’s nowhere to go but up. This may be the first time that none of us had an optimistic comment.

For the old guys like me, success and a turnaround just came on us too rapidly. Ihad never had great expectations until last year’s experience, and just saw the best rotation in baseball.We do have three of the best young arms in baseball(Bondo, Verocious, and Leftmiller) theyr’e all still babies including Bonderman. I think Verlander needs to get more serious; he seems very happy go lucky. He just needs to use that immense talent and not be going to a fire with it. Miller was pushed along a little too quickly, and perhaps Bondo is just pressing to pick up the slack since he’s a 5 year veteran at age 24. I feel so sorry for Craig Monroe; perhaps a change of venue is what he needs. I am convinced that Casey needs to be in the lineup every day. He’s the type of player who seems to really come through when it’s crunch time. As much as I like Rayburn, his “greenness” was on display the last two games. I believe that it’s now time to keep Granderson in every day too. Grady Sizemore does not sit against great lefty’s, and I think Curti’s upside is far rosier than Grady’s.Finally had Nefi not been ADHD, maybe he would have been the eqal to the Ray’s Zobrist or to those part time players that every team seems to have except us. With our lineup, we are extemely vulnerable to quality righty’s ie Harin, Blanton, Carmona, Wang, Mussina, Clements, even Wetbrook now, Vazquez, Garz, Bonzer, and I could go on and on and on. Bobby Higgenson, where are you when we need that great left handed bat? Or how about Paw Paw Maxwell? Le Grande Orange? Gates Brown?
Oh, how I bleed Tiger blue, and oh how I have the Tiger Blues. Help!

Don’t forget Norm Cash, David. :-)

It’s possible that Bonderman, by being thrown into the rotation at age 19, missed out on valuable minor league time. And the same thing is happening with Miller and Verlander. The latter two are still new, but Jeremy has been here for five seasons. I’d have hoped for more consistency by now. Just because he’s only 24 doesn’t necesarily mean he will develop into a great pitcher.

The main problem as I see it though, guys, is homeruns. A definite lack of homeruns. You can’t punch out 15 hits every night but you can drop in a couple of timely taters to win a game. Go right down the list. Sheffield, Ordonez, Guillen, Monroe, Inge. I thought Casey would hit at least twelve. You can’t win baseball games without homers unless you have the kind of pitching that we don’t have right now. These guys drop a few bombs into the mix and you’d be amazed how quickly things can turn around.

Couldn’t agree with you more David. Last year’s success happened so quickly. I’m more used to nice steady 5 year plans, like Sparky’s from ’79 to ’84. Last year was a great surprise but was it an anomaly?

That’s a long list of right handers David. This team is going to be facing most of them a least one more time. They’re going to have to find a way to beat every one of them. There is no reason why they couldn’t.

I still believe they will come out of this funk, and when they do I think they’re going to do some damage.

I HOPE you are right Marty, that they are going to come out of this funk.?? I don’t know if it will be enough though anymore. If it were just one area slumping I would say okay maybe, but it is every aspect of their game. Other than the top of the lineup, Grandy, Polanco, Sheff, Ordonez, Guillen and really I guess Casey as well, I have no faith that the rest are going to come out of it. They cannot keep anything going past those top guys. Pudge swings at anything and everything. I swear if I see him swing at one more ball up around his neck I am going to throttle it. He is not the worst of the problems though.

Pitching Pitching Pitching, they cannot pitch all of a sudden (starting or relief) Again there are some exceptions (Seay, Jones (yes I am including Jones) and we finally had a good outing by Robertson.) Everytime I turn on the game, I think this is the game that Justin or Bondo are going to figure it out and every game they disappoint. Where is the pitching coach, where is the manager?? Where is the guy who is coming up with the game plan on how to pitch to the other team??? It seems that they are highly predictable and everyone know what is coming and they are teeing up on them. It is obvious to me, why isn’t management doing anything to counteract it???

I am completely in shock at this turnaround (in a bad way) and don’t even look forward to watching the games because I always think that they are going to lose now. I hate that.

They say good pitching beats good hitting. I’d say the Tigers don’t have much in the way of good pitching anymore, and haven’t had for a couple of months. They should trade Chuck Hernandez for a decent pitching coach.

Well, Hernandez was the PC at Tampa Bay. Just a thought. I always believed Cluck was a great PC, but I knew Leyland wouldn’t keep him from the Trammel team. In tonight’s game, I think we really need to make Blanton work. Marty was so correct when he addressed pitch count. Our boys are at plus 60 by the fourth, and they are at -80 in the seventh. Strikeouts are needed by relievers, ground balls by starters. That was the good thing about Rogers when he took the mound. He pitched; he had to pitch. Flamethrowers are nice to have, but baseball’s most recent 300 game winner is not a flamethrower. Carlos Zembrano will never win 300 games. My point is that our big three(Verlander already has that third pitch) need that truly effective non-fastball type outpitch. The good rightys we have faced have splitters, changeups, orsome other off speed pitch to finish the job. Even Zumaya will have to have a solid second pitch that he can continually control to be truly successful. The Zobrists of the majors can eventually time a straight fastball at 98. One final comment. You will be able to tell if the Tigers win tonight after seeing our first six batters face Blanton. Two innings will tell you if we are up to the test. Until then I humbly cede the sphere to wiser minds.

Well we do have some problem areas on the team. Some are problems right now and some are next year.

Personalities aside, and most Tiger fans love these guys-myself included, we are not getting championship contribution numbers from our corner infielders.

Between them, Inge and Casey have 15 homers and 94 RBIs. Inge is hitting less than .250 and has more strikeouts than games played.

Again, nice guy and whou wouldn’t want him on your team–I am just saying that good teams generally provide needed power numbers from the corner infield positions.

Left field, that’s a no brainer. Monroe has been brutal and another position that offers key offensive production has not happened.

This means a third of your offense is not working the way the plan was drawn up.

You throw in very mediocre numbers from your catcher and you have an offensive lineup with some holes in it.

The Tigers have really only 2 guys that are the best (or near) in the league at what they do, in terms of all around play. Polanco and Granderson.

They have a very leaky bullpen, starters that have lost their way and coaching that has admittedly failed in righting the ship.

We have been doding a bullet with Guillen at short all year long. He is gimpy and if he goes down now there is a huge compromise in anyone who is parachuted in to replace him. Guillen himself has lost range and though he is smooth and fun to watch, can make costly routine errors with his glove and his arm. He still does a more than adequate job and more than offsets any defensive questions with his heady play and stick.

Ordonez has treated the fans to an almost spectacular offensive season so far, though his numbers are beginning to average out a bit more and he won’t be able to continue at a superman type pace during the important months of August and September. Defensively he is pretty much a body out there in RF. I like to to see someone out there that wants the ball hit to him, not someone who is hoping that if it comes his way that it is right at him.

In order to compensate for some of these deficiencies, a team has to play with cohesiveness and heart. When the Tigers do this there is not a better team in baseball. Somewhere, somehow, they let those attributes slide away from them. If they can get hungry again and start playing ball WITH each other as well as against their opponents, I think they have a chance to take their division. If not, I don’t see anything “wild” in the cards.

Oh- I forgot to mention our DH. He is a threat every time he steps to the plate. He gets on base and is smart when running them, he has helped Ordonez, but–he has not provided the late inning walk-off power that we have so badly needed before we started losing by 5 runs a game.

The Tigers need some leadership right now–let me borrow a phrase from Jim Leyland, “to be honest with you”, they are not getting it from Jim Leyland. We need the 2 elder statesmen on the club, Sheffield and Rogers, to start kicking some clubhouse ***. Of course no one is going to listen if they themselves are not performing, so buck up guys and simply go out there and “win this thing”.

In the movie “Major League,” the Indians drew inspiration by placing a life-sized cardboard cutout of their owner in the clubhouse and, everytime they won a game, they’d remove one piece of clothing from the cutout. I don’t think that would work the same with Mr. Ilitch. :-)

So far, all the Tigers have really accomplished is beating up on some National League teams. We’re two games over .500 against the American League. And we somehow lost the season series to Tampa Bay. We are looking like a very average ballclub.

About all you can do is hope Zumaya makes a difference, hope for a strong return from Rogers, and play Raburn and Thames instead of Monroe. C-Mo is doing no good by strking out and stomping into the dugout wondering what’s wrong all the time. Negative impact.

Our All-Star and future Hall of Fame catcher has the worst approach to hitting that I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe he compiled those career numbers with that approach. What’s the matter with him? He swings at nearly every pitch thrown up there and who in the world doesn’t know that by now? It’s become a joke.

Speaking of approaches, our best one as fans is to try to enjoy just being in the race (for now) and see what happens.

Well the lineups are in and Inge & Pudge are out.

The As do NOT have a .300 hitter in the lineup–the bottom 4 guys in their lineup are all hitting under .240

As we all well know-our starters have had a ton of trouble with the bottom of the order this year. It is a key today to be sure–for us as well. we need a contribution from our bottom 4 too.

I see Maybin has been promoted to Erie and DD says he won’t be up with the big club this year. If he does get called up you can bet it means they have thrown in the towel and are trying to reel the fans in for next years season ticket sales.

Looking forward to seeing what Jurjjens can do–I expect he will be one of the call ups as long as they can slip him onto their 40 man roster through an injury replacement.

The broken record is playing again. a 2 out walk and a Tata Tater to a guy with 4 homers lifetime and a lifetime BA of under.200

Can’t handle the bottom of the order–they wear our pitchers out and then by the next time thru the middle of the lineup they are softened up and then get roughed up even more.

Buck steals a homer from Granderson–has Ordonez ever done that?

BTW–Ordonez should have been on 3rd on the missed catch by Buck.

The bad play just doesn’t go away does it?

Holy Cow! It happened just like I wrote it. That’s bad when some obscure fan in a foreign country, listening to the game can know what is going to happen. These guys are so predictable right now it is almost surreal.

Leyland can tell us how “dull” everything is, and how bad everyone is, how bad he is and yada yada yada. But what are they actually doing about it to make anything different.

Bottom of the lineup up again now and Scutaro doubles. Scutaro!!!

Time to make some serious moves JL. Tata is not and will never be a bonafide MLB pitcher. The hoping and dreaming approach is not working. Ship some of these guys out and bring in some arms from Erie. They can’t do much worse.

The team is deflated and defeated–they have no belief in themselves and quite frankly shouldn’t be collecting their full paycheck. Too bad if you play half heartedly you don’t get compensated equivalently.

Can you believe these scores and the number of hits the pitching staff has been giving up?

It’s bad to see these guys quit during a game but you have to be fearful that they quit altogether.

Hard to believe that things that were so bad a couple of weeks ago have only gotten worse and have gotten to the point that everyone expects them to worsen even further.

We must have offended the baseball gods (maybe with the way we played in the Fall Classic last year), because you couldn’t write a script with more pain and suffering.

The only question that remains to be answered today is who will be on the hill when the As get to double figures.

How do you fight back to take a 9-8 lead on a grand slam and then go out and give up eight runs in one inning? How the **** do you do that? You know how every team has one or two bullpen guys that are just there for garbage time, when the team is hugely ahead or behind. Our whole bullpen is like that. Think about it, name one guy on our team that any other team would want in their bullpen. Don’t say Byrdak or Seay either because they are way overachieving and will come down to earth anytime now. Oh, that’s a scary thought. Pudge, where the **** are you? Are you quitting again just like you did on Trammel? I love Dan’s idea of bringing in some arms from the minors because these guys are horrible. Just don’t make it Capellan who is getting shelled down there. Nice call there DD. It will be interesting to see which new way we invent to ,lose tomorrow. GO MUDHENS!

I am sorry i was at the game tonight, left early for obvious reasons. But after McBride hit the batter then walked the first, why the heck didn’t he take him out of there?? I mean the had thrown something like 42 pitches I could tell that he was toast. But the stubborn old fool left him in there to walk one more and give up a grand slam. I sorry I really really hate to say it, but is he going crazy or something??? I mean I could not believe it, they had worked and overcome a large hole only to have it blown again. I could not freaking believe that he kept him in there. I totally put this one on the shoulders of Jim Leyland.

The Tigers have no pitching. None. And it’s happened all at once. Coincidence or coaching? What is Hernandez doing about this?

How in **** do you give up 16 runs? 16!!?!?

I am sorry i was at the game tonight, left early for obvious reasons. But after McBride hit the batter then walked the first, why the heck didn’t he take him out of there?? I mean the had thrown something like 42 pitches I could tell that he was toast. But the stubborn old fool left him in there to walk one more and give up a grand slam. I sorry I really really hate to say it, but is he going crazy or something??? I mean I could not believe it, they had worked and overcome a large hole only to have it blown again. I could not believe that he kept him in there. I totally put this one on the shoulders of Jim Leyland.

Well I guess we are getting pretty tired with looking for a silver lining but there were 2 glimmers–the hitting and Rodney.

The rest of the pitching staff tonight was a contradiction of terms.

GK was absolutely right–Gascan McBride was finished and was an accident waiting to happen. JL cordially obliged and inexplicably left him to give the game back. He got a little to obsessed with leaving the lefty in to get the lefty–the problem with that was that after hitting Buck there were 2 RHB coming up!! He should have been yanked after he plunked Buck. He was rewarded for walking Swisher because Cusp is coming up (where is Bobby seay?). Looks like Cusp can hit lefties JL.

Tough loss on the position players-they came back against all odds but the weak sister bullpen had to be depended on and once again looked like they do not belong to be in the bigs.

As I said before the game-Oakland is NOT a good hitting team. For this to happen against them, Tampa Bay and even Chicago is unforgivable.

GK, JL has not lost his mind yet, if he has the temerity to play Monroe then you might want to make sure he is taking his lithium.

Embarrasing.

What’s the deal with this blog site? I’ve been trying to get on for 4 innings. What is it, like one at a time or something?

Yeah, I agree GK, JL should have taken McBride out after the first walk following the hit batter. Right there is where you put Rodney in and see what he can do. He might have at least bridged the team through the 7th. You just can’t play the same way every game…You can’t hold back ANYTHING after a beautiful comeback like that. I’m sick of losing, but I’m even more sick of a lack of any imagination, any boldness.

The Tigers had them by the jugular in the 5th. What a shame Rabelo’s liner went right back to the pitcher! The Tigers could have easily ended the inning ahead 11, 12 to 8 had that gone through…the piling on would have certainly continued. Fortunes are so often turned on “inches” like that. It was a great inning but you just knew one run was not enough.

Something good has to be said here. Marcus you are the man. Just can’t say enough about how much he could mean to this team down the stretch, and how much his slam meant to the team and fans tonight. It was huge, and hopefully the positive is not lost on the poor pitching and managing we saw. WAY TO GO MARCUS! He is the positive this team can take away from this mess.

I would hope this staff gets a little angry about how they looked, and maybe start pitching with some intensity, like they’re gonna throw strikes, and get people out. Otherwise find someone on the farm who can. If they’re all so tired, bring in some help. Anything is better than what we’re seeing now! Dan, I must admit that you were right all along for insisting a quality reliever (maybe 2)was needed. I thought they could make it through July and August but it’s looking grim at this point. Course it doesn’t help having both Rogers and Miller out, and Maroth and Ledezma gone. I

I thought Leyland made a massive mistake by leaving McBride in there two hitters too long. His team was back in the lead, McBride had done his job, but JL seemed to get all hung up in “the book” that preaches lefty on lefty matchups or something. I watched the postgame hoping for some explanation, but none of the media seemed to ask the right questions, so I’m left to wonder what it was all about. A lot of pitchers were used needlessly in the two lopsided losses to Tampa Bay, but I guess I’m still living in the past when there would be relievers who could pitch six innings. At any rate, Miner was warmed up and ready, and I was flabbergasted when he left the gunslinger to face Cust. I’m still hoping for an explanation to that one.

Infante extended the inning by totally blowing that rundown in little league fashion. I guess you actually do need Inge in there everyday.

Other than that, it was good to have Sheff and Marcus going deep. I had commented just yesterday about how quickly a couple of homers could turn a game around, and there was the proof. Let’s see some more of that. Too bad they didn’t continue to tack on runs in the fifth, instead leaving ‘em loaded with one out.

For an organization purported to be pitching rich, I’m not seeing much from the farm other than the two first round picks. This looms large with the loss of Rogers, as no one has replaced him.

I know this will sound crazy, but what if you put Grilli in the starting rotation? He could be better suited in that role, since a starter is allowed to give up a run here and there. As it is, he’s coming in to mop up every day anyway. Just have him go first and see what you can get in five innings. Yeah I know, he’d probably get slammed, but they all are.

As it stands right now, this isn’t a very good team. Just saying they are doesn’t make it so. Perhaps they’re not as bad as they’ve shown lately, but they are in no way solid with this pitching staff.

Them’s the facts and for the time being, it’s what we have to live with. You can’t always have a winner, and I’ll keep following along, but with lessened expectations.

–Rich

Marty, I have to disagree about trading for a quality reliever (or two) at the deadline. For one thing, there weren’t two quality relievers available (Gagne refused to come to Detroit) and even if there were, two wouldn’t be enough. The entire pitching staff has failed lately. You can’t trade for an entire staff. The problems this team has had couldn’t have been fixed by mid-season trades.

–Rich

Mr Leyland. Look!

From Tonights game:

Toledo

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA

Chiavacci (W, 10-6) 7.0 3 0 0 2 8 0 3.65

Darensbourg 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1.68

Lopez 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2.20

And Look a little further:

Jair Jurrjens 7-5 3.20 ERA

112.2 IP 112 H 31 BB 94 K

And he has been nothing short of sensational his last 3 starts:

3-0 1 CG 23 IP 12 Hits 2 ER 2 BB 24 Ks

You’re right Rich. Thanks for snapping me out of my temporary delirium! Sorry Dan, I remain in the “glad we didn’t trade” camp. However Dan, your observations and commentary have been right on lately. I think you might have something there in this recent fact finding. I see some unturned stones that are worth trying. What do you think Rich? Something needs to happen…or does the disappointment continue?

I think they would have been better off in making a trade.
Even if they weren’t able to get any franchise type player they might have been able to pick up someone good enough to pass as a major league pitcher and perhaps stemmed the tide in 3 or 4 games (as opposed to ZERO).

Even if this modest scenario had materialized we would be playing closer to .500 ball and a couple games AHEAD of the Tribe.

It was crystal clear that the bullpen was deficient and the solution was to hold your breath, and wait for a couple of “Maybes” to come off injury rehab. A prescription for failure.

And yes the starters are either dreadful, injured, narrow minded or just plain listless. But I think some of that is from the strain of not having a bullpen to smooth out the rough patches and then putting pressure on themselves to pitch a complete game in the first inning.

The starters will come around and probably soon. This relief staff does not have the confidence or the ability to get the job done. If Rodney and Zumaya can come in and excel and Jones can do his thing then we still have a chance. But they are going to have to do something about the middlemen, because not one of them can be relied upon to give a good outing. I’m not talking about results or stats, just simply a good outing.

If the year goes south the blame rests on management for not identifying a severe problem when it was evident.

We did this last year, Dan. :-) You’re in the “make a trade” camp and I’m in the “stand fast” camp. At least you and I are consistent. :-)

I just think anyone they would have picked up would have been either too expensive or, to borrow a phrase from 60s baseball, just as h****s**t as the guys we’ve got.

I saw Chiavacci pitch in Richmond last month and wasn’t impressed at all. Darensbourg and Lopez have already struggled at the big league level. Jurrjens is the wild card, which makes him intriguing, seeing as how Tata in the rotation doesn’t bode well for the stretch run. But they’ll probably need Rogers back to make a real run at it.

Rodney looked sharp yet again last night, and Zumaya is almost back. If that combo works, the stress is off the other bullpen guys, who can then revert to roles. This is all an assumption on my part, just as hoping for help by trading for an unknown commodity and having it work out is an assumption.

We have to have the injured guys back and effective to make a run at it, and that, to me, is the bottom line. If we don’t make it, I’m not going to blame DD. If not for him, we wouldn’t even be talking about all of this now.

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