Sheff's shutting it down

His shoulder is bothering him again, this time worse than before in terms of pain. He’s out for at least the rest of the homestand, basically as long as it takes for him to feel well enough to hit like he should. Here’s the lineup without him:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Casey, 1B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Guillen, SS
  6. Rodriguez, C
  7. Thames, DH
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Maybin, LF


Not exactly a shock or anything. You can tell he was swingin at a lot of outside pitches that he usually doesn’t touch. This is not good. I swear it has been one thing after another.. Not that he has been doing well this month, but I still think that his presence in the lineup puts the fear of god in pitchers, and lets face it also affects how they pitch to Magglio.

Not surprising. This is the chance you take when you sign older players.

Well, we did it without him last year and we’ll just have to do it again. The problem is who to put in that three hole. Maybe should get creative and try Granderson or something.

Glad you said it and not me Rich!

I was actually thinking of making the same suggestion. The challenge is finding a leadoff hitter. You could put Polanco there but really don’t want to disrupt his hitting so not sure it’s worth the risk.

My guess is that you use Maybin or Raburn–depending on who you have playing. They both would could consider it an honor and the confidence placed upon them might even be a positive for them.

Heck, you could tell Inge that you’ll give him a shot IF he agrees to shorten his swing!

Santiago could fill the role if need be, against lefties.

For that matter Pudge might even respond to the idea.

Well I guess it wouldn’t be too hard a spot to fill after all.

Wish I was watching the game tonight but will have to stick it out on radio.

Does he stay on the active roster, or does he go on the DL so the Tigers could bring up a guy like say Shelton, or maybe a left handed batting position player? It sounds like Shef may need more than a week off.

Ok, here is a question. Does a player have to be on the teams 40 man roster or the 25 man roster to be eligible for the postseason roster by Aug 31? I know if a player is on the disabled list on that date they are still eligible for the post season. If you are able to pick your post season roster based on the 25 man roster plus anyone on the disabled list (that becomes healthy by then) and Sheffield will be out longer than that, why not put him on the DL and call Infante back up? The same goes for Kenny Rogers, why activate him before the end of August if you would still have him eligible plus another pitcher that would currently be on the active roster? Sheffield and Rogers have been hurting and we will need players eligible for the post season (since I just know we are going to get ahead of Cleveland and take the division.) I guess I just don’t know enough about the roster moves we can make when it comes to the post season roster but we need to plan for then. Besides, with Sheffield hurting we are going to be playing short on our bench and it would be good to have the added flexibility Infante could bring.

I love to see a starting pitcher go as long as possible in a game especially when they are pitching as good as Jurrjens was last night. However, that said, I was not complaining that JL brought Zumaya in. It was a good time to bring him in and get the 1 out to end the 7th. The bullpen looked good last night and if they can keep pitching that way it will help us take the division. It was a well played game last night. Yes, some of our hitters are struggling lately. However, Carmona was just nasty last night and we should be glad we got those 2 runs when we did. We had our nice close game and now it is time for us to put about 8-10 runs up tonight while keeping Cleveland to 3 or less.

Tiger fan,

I think the thought with Sheffield is that he shouldn’t be out for 15 days so they don’t want to put him on the DL. They can expand the rosters in two weeks so that doesn’t matter. Additionally, the playoff rosters aren’t set until a little bit later (I’m fairly certain) so that isn’t a concern.

As far as Rogers is concerned, if they don’t want to lose a pitcher, they could send down Miner if Kenny comes back before the first and then recall him on the 1st. The better option, in my opinion, would be to waive Grilli when Rogers comes back but I guess I’m a broken record on that one (with a few others).

Hope that helps. Lets stomp the Tribe tonight! Justin’s due for a good game.

My first choice to lead off would be Raburn based on obp.

Rough 1st inning so far for JV. Hope he can cut down on the pitches and a Victor Martinez DP would sure look good right here.

Geez, those 0-2 counts that our pitchers let evolve into base hits drive me nuts. I just don’t understand how guys like JV and Bonderman, who have to be scary to hit against, can’t take better advantage of the best position a pitcher can possibly be in.

Brent, I know a player has to be on the roster before September 1st to be eligible to be on the post season roster. The roster is not “set” until later. However, if they are not on it they can NOT be on the post season roster. Perfect example is when we added Matt Stairs last year in mid Sept. I’m just not sure all of the lesser more techical rules and if it is the 25 man roster or 40 man. I believe it is the 25 man.

Anyway, Maybin really took the wrong route on Lofton’s double which didn’t help. I think Casey was shielded by the runner on the base hit past him. Hopefully, Verlander will settle down the rest of the way.

Way to go Carlos!!!! Way to make them pay for letting Casey’s single under Martinez’s glove go by and Ordonez’s walk cost them.

After that HR by Carlos I had to break down and buy the MLB TV. Now maybe if I can see what is going on I’ll complain less!

Tough break with Casey up–hit the ball well 3 times and nothing to show for it.

That comment about not complaining now that I can watch….forget about it.

Granderson struck himself out on the first pitch take. That was the pitch to hit with RISP. After that Byrd just playing games with him. He needs to be a bit more aggressive at the plate.

Verlander really needs to pitch better when ahead in the count.

Whew-gotta like getting away with one vs Haffner on the 2-0 pitch.
Anybody else out there havin’ as much fun as I am right now?

Well we are coming close to breaking the game open. Casey then Ordonez. Gotta keep the good swings going.

I feel like swearing. Geez. It’s Verlander’s fault of course but Carlos did not show the range we need from a short stop on blake’s hit.

Now we deal with the dreaded 0-2 count and Verlander serves one up to lose the lead. Cleanup hitter up after all this damage started after 2 out and giving up a hit to the #9 man. That’s bad.

Well I was enjoying the game until this inning.

I think I am having buyer’s remorse. Wonder if they will giv me my money back at MLB TV!

Verlander is coming unglued.

It is worth it though Dan. I have tried listening to the games but it is so much better watching them. Nice pitch on the strikeout to end the inning but it was a BAD inning.

An inning can’t get much worse, unless you are an Oriole fan and have had to deal with a 9 run inning and a 10 run inning today.

If Verlander can’t start getting a few outs here they really should yank him.

Seems like all the good starting pitching we have seen in the last month or so has come from rookies, Tata, Vasquez, Jurrjens.

It’s one thing to get beat but it is something else to get beat up when you have a pitcher’s count.

Verlander is obviously getting a tired arm. I say this becasue both his velocity is down and he is resorting to throwing way too many change-ups.

Shame that we couldn’t have picked up a couple more runs after Maybin’s double. All this may never have happened.

Verlander was the tonic the Indians needed to snap out of their hitting slump. Sorry for going on about this but it is very distressful to have to watch this kind of performance.

Your right nothing like Tigers starting ace pitchers to get a team out of its hit hitting funk. I can honestly say that having Bondermand and Verlander starting makes me more nervous than anything.

Didn’t they learn anything from Jurrjens last night on how to get these batters out?? Keep the freaking ball down. I swear they just don’t want it this year do they??? Justin was ahead of every single batter and can never put anyone away. It is like he thinks that he needs to strike everyone out instead of just trying to get them out. For the most part he has been less than impressive since he got that shutout. With very few quality non-nervewracking outings. He did this even after he had an extra day off.

That gift that Miner threw Guiterrez sure looks big now that we are only down by 2.
He’s pitched well since that but man did that hurt.

We need to get the top of the order going again. Granderson and Polanco not getting on is costing us those big rallies we saw early in the season.

Texas’ 30 runs tonight were more than the Trible scored in their last 9 games before tonight.

there’s the break we need. Polanco up now. We need a hit.

Polanco looks like he is struggling up there at the plate. We know he can go into a nasty slump (World Series) at times so I hope he is not slipping into one after the flu hit him.
Betancourt in now and this guy has been tough on everybody (and I think especially us) all year. Tough nut to crack.

There was the chance against Perez and Betencourt. Bottom of the lineup coming in next.

We squandered a chance there. Magglio just missed and Guillen swang at ball 4, but realistically, Betancourt eats Pudge up anyway. I’m surprised he just didn’t walk Guillen to get to him

I’m not so convinced that walking Martinez is gonna result in something positive. Byrdak is not exactly a sure fire bet to get Haffner out anyway.

Well GK–that’s gonna just about do it I’m afraid.
The inability of the tiger pitchers to coax an out when they are ahead in the count have hurt this team badly all year and tonight was a prime example. it almost defines our season in a way, can’t pull the trigger when the target is in the sights or a failure to kick womeone when they are down. Sorry for the inhumane metaphors but it’s true.

Intentional walk to Guiterrez. First time that I agree with how the game has been managed.

Another outstanding game by the Detroit Tigers pitching. Overall excellent performance (do you sense the sarcasm in my typing??) Amazing what good relief pitching can do. Although really this game was lost 4 innings ago.

Lot’s to talk about in a game like this.
The positive is they did not fold, at least offensively.

Maybin looked promising. Then there was Polanco getting back into the hit column–that’s good.

On the negative side–I’m thoroughly disgusted with Pudge. He should have taken the 2-0 pitch and the 3-1 pitch. The 3-1 pitch was a ball and now Marcus is up with a chance to actually win the game. Pudge does not have legitiamate HR power anymore, but he simply cannot “take” one for the team. At the risk of committing heresy, he is actually a liability to the team. If they take his option for next year theys are stupid. We all admire his career but there is something else supposed to be going on here besides hero worship.

The other disconcerting factors were JV’s inability to look like a Major League starting pitcher and the bullpen (sans the big 3) absolutely crapping the bedsheets.

Miner and Durbin’s stats don’t look bad but they allowed 4 inherited runners to score. Byrdak was lousy too. As awful as Verlander was, it was the bullpen that really threw this game away.

You can’t have less than mediocre middle relief when you are already dealing with less than mediocre starting pitching. Prescription for failure.

Well that’s my first day of MLB TV!

Just when you think that they might just might be getting out of it they have a way of sinking you right back in to despair.

Oh whatever, I probably should stop complaining. It is just baseball afterall.


Okay well, the guys showed continued life by coming back twice, so that’s a big positive.

I’d like to tweak the lineup so that Thames hits after Guillen, then Pudge. It became obvious that Cleveland wasn’t really going to pitch to Carlos because they’d rather go after Pudge. If Marcus is on deck after Guillen in the ninth, Carlos gets better pitches. They do not want Thames up there as the potential winning run. Bottom line, Pudge following Guillen takes the bat out of Carlos’s hands. A simple tweak, should help a lot. Everybody in the ballpark knew Pudge wouldn’t take that walk when it was needed. And no, you can’t bench him, you just have to put him in a better situation.

I’m not going to blame the bullpen because it’s up to Verlander to do his job. As I said a couple days ago, we have no ace. There’s not one starter you can put out there and have confidence in. If JV does his job even a little, all that bullpen stuff doesn’t happen because it’s a totally different ballgame. You think JL wouldn’t have come with Zumaya if the situation called for it? You bet your bobblehead he would have.

What this does is make tomorrow’s game huge. We lose and we’re 2.5 back with New York coming in for four. Of course, knowing human nature, we’ll adjust to that deficit and hope against hope from that position. You can’t dig that hole too deep, though.

We need strong starts. This may take a legendary September performance from Mr. Kenny Rogers, because I don’t know where else it comes from.

GK, I feel we are kindred spirits! you take the losses pretty hard and I do to. What bothers me more though is stupidity. And when the Tigers get in a funk they play as stupid a baseball as I have ever seen on the sandlot or anywhere else.

Send Byrdak away, send Grilli away, bring in Darensbourg and Vasquez or Martinez.

You have to be able to shut a team down and Miner and Durbin rarely escape unscathed. Jones is throwing well, as is Rodney. Zumaya is back but this all falls on deaf ears if you can’t be isn a position to win the game or to have the luxury of being ahead at the end of it.

It’s been a disaster of a season really, and if there aren’t any major turnarounds in performance then it just ain’t gonna happen this year.

It would be nice if these guys can pull it together but whatever happens this year, next year this is going to be a much different ball club.

Just to make perfectly clear, the Guillen/Pudge/Thames thing came into play in the seventh inning too, not just the ninth. And it will come into play tomorrow if allowed to stand. No one fears Pudge. Boy, do I hate to have to say that.

I went over and looked at the boxscore from the Baltimore game.

The bottom three hitters in the Texas lineup went 13 for 19, scored 14 runs and drove in 16.

Three Baltimore relief pitchers combined for 4 innings, 20 hits allowed and 24 earned runs.

There’s something to be learned here, and when someone finds out what it is, let me know.

That game changed a few BAs and ERAs didn’t it?

And here we go again. Yes, we scored runs – 8 of them, in fact. That should be enough to win most games. But when pitching gives up 11, winning becomes nearly impossible. I’ll say it over and over – it’s not the run support we’re lacking, it’s the pitching. Worse, it’s the pitching from non-rookies that’s the problem. The rookies are doing fine. Pitching coach….oh for a pitching coach.

Dan I do take it hard, too hard, I kinda get on my own nerves. I just hate that this team is not playing up to to capabilities, it is extremely frustrating for me.

I use to think that going into almost every game we were going to win or at least had a pretty good shot with our pitching. However I go into all games now knowing that we are probably going to lose. I know remember what it feels like to be a Tiger of a few years ago??!! I have zero faith in the starting pitching, little faith in the bullpen. But I truly believe that it is a vicious cycle. The startig pitching has worn down the relievers and the relievers have worn down the starting pitching. (Doea that make sense.?) In the beginning of the year the starters were pretty good up until the Allstar break, but lets face it they were not going deep into games so the relievers were getting too much work and wearing down. Then JL came out and said that the starters had to go longer to give a break on the relievers then the relievers ther in late June and early July got a lot better. Then the starters went down hill again and so follows the relievers going bad again. Frankly they are both bad right now. I am disgusted. That one was definately Verlanders loss though.

Now on the Pudge front I agree. He was extremely selfish with that last at bat trying to swring for the fences instead of just taking his walk. And Gullen was trying to swing for the fences instead of just trying to knock in few runs.

And I wonder about Granderson as well. He did a little better last night, but is he so worried about getting a homerun so he can get to that 20/20/20 it seem like he is flying out deep a lot and not concentrating on just getting hits??? It has been sometime since he has gotten a homerun (I think the Angels series) that he is just pressing too much?? Again I don’t know.

That was Verlander’s loss. This team does not have a solid middle relief corps. Few teams do, to be fair. There’re not that many good pitchers to go around. On top of this they ‘ve been over worked most of the season. Rarely have our starters made it into the 6th inning. Verlander and Bonderman have been very disappointing in the second half. Robertson too, but you don’t hold him to as a high an expectation. The formula for winning was night before last’s game. The starter pitches into the 7th and then you got the big 3 in the pen to hopefully finish it off. This has happened all of about 2 times(just a sarcastic guess)since the all star break. It’s not the job of middle relief to come out every night and hold a run DEFICIT, hoping the team will come back. Let me clarify, it is once or twice a week but not EVERY game. But it would be nice if this team could find that 4th arm in the pen that they could rely on to bridge to the 7th or 8th.

Rich, I completely agree with you on inserting Thames in the 6th slot to protect Guillen. They can just pitch around him now. Imagine what a confidence builder it is to know you can get a guy out without throwing a strike or issuing a walk. I would bat Pudge 9th and that imo should be a no brainer but I doubt we see it happen. Nothing wrong with hitting 9th if your ego can handle it… Nice bridge to the top of the order. Yes, Thames following Guillen in the 6th slot might have made a difference last night.

Marty, you hit it on the head when you mentioned ego. If they put Pudge ninth, it would be disastrous. Just put him after Marcus. Did anyone notice that the Tigers scored 8 consecutive runs in this series with homeruns? You can win with homeruns and pitching. We need to have that pitching.

In the movie “Stand By Me,” the narrator says “it was only early afternoon, but it seemed much later. Too much had happened.” That’s what this season feels like. It’s hard to believe that there are still five and a half long weeks left, and there is still much that will happen.

Pitchers who are young, strong and successful sometimes will benefit from a trip to the garden of humility. I think Verlander and Bonderman haven’t been to the garden yet and when they do only then will they improve their pitching.

As to the lineup, I think we will start seeing more of Rabelo against righties if after the NY series Pudge has not snapped out of it. Some will argue that he is hitting .280 but if you remember he hit .300 last year but it was one of the softest .300’s I’e ever seen. Funny, he had no trouble last year drawing a walk in his last AB to preserve his .300

He is trying to contribute (albeit somewhat selfishly) but he is in a vicious cycle now and the more he tries the less he will produce. I can’t see him behind the plate full-time next year.

Rich’s point on Thames is very solid. I’d go a step further and bat him 3rd in Sheffield’s absence.

My lineup right now would look something like this:

Granderson, CF

Polanco, 2B

Thames, DH

Ordonez, RF

Guillen, SS

Maybin, LF

Casey, 1B

Inge/Raburn, 3B

Rabelo, C

If they insist on playing Pudge and they don’t have the chutzpa to bat him 9th then bat him 7th or 8th. And if he comes up with men on they could try to get him to hit to RF to help restore some bat discipline. He’s really at his best when he is slashing the ball to RF anyway.

Big game for Nate today. We really need someone on this starting staff to lead the way. Nate has become the the veteran pitcher on the staff and may be in the position to educate the young bucks with Kenny out. They need him to have a fired up performance with body language that screams out to the hitters that “you guys are NOT going to beat ME”. We haven’t seen that kind determination since Kenny so remarkably took care of business last year in the post season. Verlander and Bonderman don’t have it. Miller is still in awe, and Jurrjens’ demeanor (not his skills) are not conducive to that pitching approach. I think we really need to have someone out there that has that “just gimmee’ the ball” attitude and is able to stoke up his companions.

Nate has been giving up way too many hits (I’m guessing a lot of singles) but he does have the ability to be dominant. He has to completely shut down Sizemore & Haffner and contain the rest of the lineup. He has been guilty of giving up a lot of 2 strike hits and needs to have the attitude when he is ahead of the hitter with 2 strikes, that “I’ve got you where I want you”, not “what am I going to throw now?”, like we saw last night.

Big game, standing wise, but also as to the message it sends.

Looks like Westbrook is going to be tough today. The Tigers have done pretty well against him historically so maybe the next time through the lineup.

Nice DP by Santiago and Polanco.

Good to see Rabelo today. Kinda surprised to see Casey DHing–seems a bit more proactical to have had Guillen do it.

That old bugaboo–man on 3rd and <2 out. Casey has to have a better AB than that. A 1 pitch Pop-up is not what an experienced hitter in that situation should be doing.

Again, really nice to see Polanco hitting once again. Now if Curtis can start it will add a dimension to the game we have been missing.

If Curtis hits 20 HRs and steals 20 bases this year–I think we win the pennant.

Nate is throwing very nicely. He has only tossed 44 pitches in 4 innings so far so 7 or 8 innings is a distinct possibility. We do need to get on the sticks though.

I don’t have that good feeling about this game that I’d like to have with Nate pitching the way he is. Seems like the rest of the team hasn’t got out of bed yet.
It’s getting to gut check time for the season and the hitters can’t let this pick-me-up performance by Nate go by unsupported. Not likely Nate will keep the Indians down without scoring.

Tough break but it is good to see Granderson attack that pitch. In retrospect Inge could have been tagging up as he would have scored if it gets by Guttierez anyway.

I guess I am using up a bit of bandwidth again–anybody out there?
C’mon boys let’s get ourselves a couple.

Top of the order for the Indians. Three up and down for two more innings would be huge, especially because it seems a few Tigers are starting to figure Westbrook out.

This could be the biggest three innings of the season.

Nice job by Magglio but no results.

This is good old fashioned baseball and someone is going away from this game with a broken heart.

So far we have had more chances and been unable to cash in. Nate has pithced a fantastic game and whatever happens (and this would likely be the inning that it would) he has pitched magnificently. Way to go Nate.

I’m totally impressed with Robertson. The Tigers simply cannot let this game out of their grasp. Maybe the bottom of the order will help out here. I expect Robertson will come out for the 8th to face Haffner.

I expect if no one gets on, he’ll pitch the whole eighth. Then, if the top of the order can score a run in the bottom of the inning, we’ll get Jones. Otherwise, with his pitch count down, he might go nine.

I just realized that Nate’s faced the minimum…

Why do I even talk?

Carry the team, Magglio…

The Sheffield trade was a trade to help the Tigers in 2007. I still worry about trading Whelan and Claggett. That trade could haunt the Tigers years from now.

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