On the clock

For those of you still wondering about the decision to play last night, well, it’s not totally the umpires’ fault, either. Supposedly all the umpiring crews received a memo from MLB on Friday that with the pennant races developing, they should try to get every game in that they possibly can. Thus, when crew chief Rick Reed saw the line of storms would eventually pass, he decided to wait it out. But it begs the question for MLB: Do you want your playoff races decided at 3:30 in the morning?

While MLB and Elias Sports Bureau don’t keep track of rain delays and the time that a game ends, there are people who do. Phil Lowry of the Society of American Baseball Research emailed this morning putting the game in a historical context:

  • It’s just the sixth rain delay of four hours or more in MLB history. The record is 7 hours, 23 minutes between the Rangers and White Sox on July 23, 1990. It was supposed to be an afternoon start before it was finally called off at 8:58 p.m.
  • The longest to actually be played that day was a 5-hour, 45-minute delay between the Reds and Brewers on Oct. 3, 1999. Again, it was supposed to be a day game, but it didn’t start until just before 9 p.m. That game had to be played because it was the last weekend of the season and the Reds were in playoff contention. The win put the Reds into a one-game playoff with the Mets.
  • Of the eight games in MLB history to end after 3 a.m., the 3:30 a.m. end to Friday’s game ranked third on the all-time list, trailing the 4:40 a.m. end time to a rain-delayed Padres-Phillies game on July 2, 1993 and a 3:55 a.m. end to a Mets-Braves contest that lasted 19 innings on July 4, 1985. Ironically, that was also a fireworks night, and they actually went ahead with the fireworks. Friday’s game sets an American League record.

Not surprisingly, a few players have the night off. Here’s the lineup:

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

Pudge is sitting because he caught 11 innings last night, not because of any hand injury. He said his hand is feeling OK.

Also, this just in: The official scorer changed the call from last night. Instead of Placido Polanco’s first error in more than a year, the error goes to Marcus Thames, and Polanco’s errorless streak is alive.


Good news on the error call! I still think he was out but that’s neither a here nor a there.

Interesting on the error. The announcer said something at the time about Tames’footwork on the play and the he thought therror could have been charged to tames.
Nevertheless, interesting reversal.

Yikes Jeremy gives up 2 again in the 1st inning after getting the first 2. I tell ya, he needs therapy on this issue.

Too bad they follow up a good game with a bad one. They will need to break this cycle of not taking advantage of emotional victories and good performances. Instead they seem to be drained and kinda’ back right off.

I’m backing off and becoming a fan instead of a “fanatic”. We got only one chance of making the playoffs, Cleveland is as mediocre as us. I don’t fault DD, you just have to guess about the future and we guessed wrong signing Bondo four years at that kind of money. He just doesn’t have any stones. Every outing he looks iminently hittable. Also some of JL’s moves should start to be questioned. Did we bring Maybin up to play or not? Every other day isn’t going to help his development. If I’m not mistaken we gave up arguably last years MVP. I thought that meant a commitment to playing the kid. A very frustrating “500” team. The sooner we all realize that the sooner we won’t be frustrated anymore. They constantly follow up big emotional wins by laying huge eggs. That’s the perfect definition of mediocrity. Thank god for interleague play or we’d be under 500.

I don’t know what is wrong with Jeremy. I thought that he was going to make it through, but alas no another first inning blunder.

The interesting or I should say disturbing trend though that I have noticed with him is before yes he was having problems in the first, but he ususally shut it down afterward. But in the last month or so in his starts he is not even doing that anymore. He settles down for a few like tonight and then has a blow up. He has become a very unreliable pitcher and I almost know that when he pitches we will lose. I have the same fear with Verlander these days. (Verlander not quite as bad, he is more like an every other game kind of guy.)

It will be interesting seeing what if anything Jurrjens can do with the Yankees. Or to see if Detroit can get a hit. By the way I suppose you all know that the at least 1 extra base hit streak was broken tonight???

Yes, a really scary rotation right now and I don’t mean that as a compliment. I’m trying to remember an observation I’ve often noticed in Sports. Big steps forward are often followed by a step back and then a leap forward to finish the job. Hate to say it but we are very close to turning our thoughts to next year. The only thing holding that back is Cleveland is also bad. Tomorrow and Monday could finish the job. Oh, by the way, do we have any “leaders” on this team? I think not. As JL said, ” a nice team getting it’s fanny kicked”. This has to be remedied in the O/S.

Maybin was brought up because the scouts said he was ready. He’s quite a talent, but it’s obvious he’s not good defensively in LF especially in a pennant race. He’ll probably play more as the Tigers continue in their decline. Calling Monroe last year’s MVP is a bit much. At least he was consistent last year with his hitting and he did give us some big homeruns but nothing close to being MVP IMHO. This year was just a waste of space for him on this team. The change in scenery sometimes helps players get their groove back.

Re the rainout: Rick Reed (or somebody) misread the radar. The first line of storms did pass as expected, but it was obvious that the second line of showers which developed was going to take quite some time to pass. Thanks for those rainout facts, Jason, I’d been wondering about that.

Re the scoring on the error last night: I saw the replay this evening and that was definitely an E-3. Marcus messed up his footwork. No conspiracy or foul play on the reversal.

Bonderman, for whatever reason (I can’t get that out of my head now), has become a pretty poor pitcher. His fastball doesn’t move and his slider doesn’t slide. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go on the DL for the ol’ tired arm. I mentioned that to my wife and she replied that she was tired of his arm, yes. Perhaps Rogers can replace him in the rotation. It doesn’t appear that Bondo is going to suddenly turn it around. I don’t know…..I’m not big on bringing up these kids so early and he hit the big leagues at age 19. The Tiger organization as a whole has become overly enamored of hard throwing youngsters.

Jason Grilli did a great job tonight saving the bullpen. Three scoreless innings, that was important. I know he’s on most people’s….uh….waste list, but give credit where it’s due. Good going, JG.

Leyland used pretty much the exact lineup I posted a couple days ago and it didn’t work out too well, did it? Shows what I know. Jim, quit reading this blog for ideas. 🙂

So now the series is back to square one, tied 1-1 and everybody rested up for the final two games. Tomorrow’s matchup should be very interesting. Let’s see what Jurrjens can do with a team that actually knows how to hit. You can’t say Cleveland does.

Pennant race? What Pennant Race? When was the last time we even won three games in a row? When was the last time we won a series? Is Comerica a scary place to play for visitors? What’s the difference between Maybin and Miller? We’re using Miller regularly and living with his growing pains. Why not Maybin? Bet they didn’t play Griffey every other day when he came up. Pennant race? What Pennant race?

If Bonderman and Verlander can’t find themselves by their next starts. The team is done.

Miller is gonna be OK. Jurrjens is a raw rookie and a question mark but I think he is going to be a solid pitcher.

Robertson will make contributions every now and then.

But it’s Bonderman and Verlander that need to figure out what it is they are doing wrong and fix it. They are definitely good power pitchers with scads of future ahead of them but they both have an arrogance about them that is almost palpable. I think they both need to put the team ahead of themselves and make any adjustments it takes to salvage this year.

The team we are seeing on the field right now is not a good one. The record since the All Star Break speaks for itself.

It’s easy to adopt them as cute and cuddly lovable losers but let’s dispense with the 3003 mentality and put them to the task.

If JL is going to continue to play Pudge, Inge and Casey he at least should require them to hit in order to stay in the lineup.

Did you see all that lefty hitting junk the Yanks laid on us tonight? I expected Ruth and Gehrig to come out of the dugout at any time. What a luxury for Torre to have. Another thing we need to fix in the O/S. We got to have more LH hitters and power from that side. If we can’t quite pull that off, maybe we can get a lead-off hitter and put Grandy in a more productive slot and tell him to go get it. He has a body style very similar to Soriano. I think there’s power there.

When I saw the lineup I knew that the Tigers would not win the game. With Sheffield and Pudge out, you can not put to play Santiago. Please! I continue without understanding how they sent Infante to Toledo and they brought to Santiago. The Tigers are not a better team with Infante in AAA and Santiago up. With this movement the only thing that has been made is to add to pitching problems one of offensive. Less bad than it is still had Maggs, Guillén and Granderson.

Some questions:

Did Casey miss the hit and run in the extra inning game that hung Polanco up?

Why not PR Santiago for Casey after his single? Maggs is up-hits doubles like nobody’s business and there were 2 out.

Where was Jeremy (and Jeremy’s head) on the triple that Carbrera hit? There was a throw to the plate and he was drifting between the 3rd base line and the mound with his finger in his xxx. Nobody was backing Rabelo up. Frightening. All that PFP and it vanishes when these guys get flummoxed.

Why is Casey DHing? Seems to me if you want to play him, they should at least DH Carlos. You get Casey’s experience + you rest Carlos somewhat. Carlos does the job well over there but it still makes more sense to me.

Nice AB by Polanco preceeding Carlos’ HR (is he beginning to get hot?) What can yous say about Granderson-other than Wow?

JJ come to town and embarrasses the other starters and then this happens. Sort of defines how things have gone this year. Let’s hope he kid is OK, but at this point it looks like we might not see him again this year.

Can nothing go right this year? I was just thinking about how much more big league ready Jurjens looks than Miller, so of course he gets hurt. I like Chad and hope he can keep the momentum going.

I can’t say enough about Curtis or Carlos–along with Magglio they’re pretty much our team right now.

You know it’s bad when I could care less about Pudge being ejected.

I know what you mean JS.

The boys are slipping back into “We’re not sure of ourselves” mode again. Hard to believe that an inspirational win like Friday has not injuected the team with a new resolve.

I don’t think Zumaya should be throwing another inning.

Fabulous play by Guillen at first.

Will Inge ever hit again?

Well I must say that JL has had phenomenal success out of his bullpen decisions on the last little while. Sure would be nice to see these guys clutch up rightn now and get a couple for Jones.

Zumaya went out there for a second inning. However, he was not throwing that inning. That inning he was doing more pitching rather than throwing which was great to see. If he can get those pitches working more often then he can be truely dominate, especially when he gets the arm strength back.

It was a nice play be Guillen at first and very heads up by Inge at third.

To answer you question Dan, no, Inge will not hit again. He prefers usually to check his swing and strikeout. We need him to get back hitting along with Casey and Pudge. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Clutch pitching. Bobby Seay did deserve the win. Durbin did a good job too, 3 run HR was one swing of the bat and other than that he was in charge.

The main point here is that they did not issue any walks the entire game. Important to do against a good hitting team.

Guillen looks like a possible Gold Glover at 1B.

Heckuva play by Santiago to turn the DP.

Let’s just hope they can carry this over to tomorrow. There has been that disconnect all year long in terms of building momentum.

Here is my assessment of the game. Started out on a real high. Jurrjens out a real low. Thames HR high. Durbin 3 run homer low – Pudge ejected. Then high high nervous high. Great defensive plays, and good pitching by all.

Dan, as JL says, and he’s dead right when he does, “momentum is only as good as your next day’s starter.” It’s up to Verlander to keep this going. Whether we hit Mussina again or not, Justin has to get this done tomorrow night. Somebody’s got to be the ace here.

I found it interesting that JL moved Guillen to first for the late inning defensive changes. I realize he did it to keep his bat in the lineup, but it’s still saying something when Casey comes OUT of the game for defense.

Speaking of Casey….as his days in Detroit wind down, I look back and see that Chris Shelton would have been just as good, if not better. He certainly would have provided more long ball. That will probably remain a strange move in Tigers lore. For now, though, I think we’ve got a firstbaseman (Guillen) and can concentrate on other moves in the offseason.

Back to today. The bullpen in this series has been lights out. Leyland does indeed make the right moves then it’s up to the pitchers to do their job. This weekend they have, including Grilli’s work. Now Mr. Rodney is all set for tomorrow night. Durbin did a good job in getting the first several hitters out. Many times when a pitcher comes in after an injury and is allowed to take as much time as he wants to warm up, they tend to rush it and say they’re ready when they’re not. I guess Chad was ready. Bobby Seay is finally being rewarded for his hard work. Zumaya had that curveball working and that’s the best thing I saw all day.

We get five runs on four hits, all because of those much needed homeruns.

Brandon Inge, now, will never hit much. He’s too stubborn in his approach, freely admitting he doesn’t change his approach depending on situation. It comes down to whether you value his glove enough to put up with it. At the plate, this is what you’ll continue to get.

When Sheffield returns, I hope it’s Thames that gets the majority of playing time over Maybin. I’d still like to win this division this year. Maybin is for later.

Unbelievably bad break for Jurrjens. Whatever his injury is, I’d be shocked if he made another appearance this season. The kid sure throws strikes.

So now Durbin will probably join the rotation yet again. He’s a better starter than reliever if they’d let him get stretched out again. This also means we may be stuck with Miller unless Rogers comes back. Miller, like Maybin, is for later, not for a pennant race.

They just announced on the radio that Jurrjens is on th 15 day DL. And it keeps coming. He is one of the only pitchers that I trusted.

Don’t look now, but the Twins have just won their fifth in a row. Here they come……

Just when the verdict is in( well, for the 75th time or so) that the bull pen, especially middle relief, is the #1 disappointment/weakness of this team, they now are pulling our collective rears out of the fire. What a jury are we! Fine, keep proving us wrong bull pen. Funny game isn’t it? Very, very nice win today.

Thoughts: Thames needs to play, or DH regularly. Play Santiago at SS as much as possible, as soon as you can get him in there with the lead. I disagree that Maybin needs to play daily. It’s not about him, it’s about how he can best help the team…and he can for sure. His full time play would sacrifice too much of Thames’ and Raburn’s playing time, especially when/if Shef comes back. I like to see him in there though. Looking forward to Infante coming back up. He is a major leaguer besides being a Tiger no question. A thought: Casey’s role in the pennant stretch may be diminished now, but he will still be very valuable for the playoffs, should the Tigers make it.

Defense with an 8th/9th inning lead should be:

Maybin LF

Granderson CF

Raburn RF

Guillen 1B

Polanco 2B

Santiago SS

Inge 3B

Rodriguez C

That’s a pretty solid group with speed in the OF.

I can’t wait for this series to be over so I can start watching the games again. mlb blackout in western NY state. I had to listen to the Yankee broadcast on the car radio while driving home last night, and that guy is too flippant and mumbly for me. (Melky Cabrera is “The Milk Man” who, by the way, always delivers)…..thuu-uu-uu pitch….

Marty, I had to listen to the YES TV team three times this weekend, on top of last weekend. It’s all Al Leiter rambling on about pitching because Michael Kay keeps asking him questions so he (Kay) won’t have to do play by play. It was so bad I was trying to get the Spanish version on. That way I’d still have the game sound but I wouldn’t have to hear what the announcers were saying. I’m looking forward to the ESPN crew tomorrow!

Maybin and Raburn are both too shaky in the outfield for my liking.

The Royals had Cleveland beat, up 3-2 with two out and nobody on in the ninth, Soria pitching to Sizemore. Sizemore hits a sinking liner to center with the Royals in a “no doubles” defensive set. So DeJesus dives at the darned thing, misses it, and allows Sizemore to get a double. Next pitch, Cabrerra singles to center and it’s tied. Cleveland won in extra innings. Frustrating.

Rlpressley, I was watching that Indians game via the MLBTV internet package and Sizemore was down 1-2 in the count at one point. He got the double at 2-2.

That game hurt.

Maybe the Indians are a team of destiny this year.

If Tigers beat the Yanks tomorrow, they move within one game of them in the wild card race.

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