Willis debuts for Lakeland

As you could probably tell, I’m off this weekend, but I wanted to drop a note about Dontrelle Willis’ first rehab outing for Class A Lakeland Sunday night. He gave up a run on three walks and a single in his two innings of work, facing 10 batters in the process. No pitch count available in the box score, so no word yet on the split of balls and strikes.

Most of the damage came in his first inning of work, as the play-by-play shows. He gave up the single in between two walks to load the bases with one out before a fielder’s choice ball to right brought in the run.

I’m off for the Minnesota series as well, so you’ll have to talk amongst yourselves for a little while longer. It’s a long stretch off, but it’s basically my all-star break since I’ll be working the all-star game in New York in a couple weeks.

240 Comments

have a nice vacation Jason.
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Thanks for the info on Willis by the way…I was beginning to wonder what he was actually doing

Dan,I read your post about Guillermo Morrosco(forgot how his name is spelled)…He`s got a WHIP of .90…There is also a guy down therewith 5 saves named Jay Sborz 30 K`s in 31 innings. He,at least by stats looks like he has potential as closer.His WHIP is .84……I hope the boys come out hitting tonight…Minn. is proving to be a club that hurts contact pitchers and are very good at working pitchers. I hope Armando brings his A-Game tonight……Jason,Ihope you have a good time at the All-Star game.

Looks like Jason is going to see the New Boston Red Yankees vs. the NL at th All-Star game.With Mags down,I guess our best hope of even getting someone in the game lies with Armando and possibly Carlos as backup somewhere.I`ll bet most of our players will be more than happy to have some time off with their families.I almost wish that MLB would go back to having 2 games.One that the fans pick and another that Managers would pick,with the latter determing the home field team for the World Series.

It will be tough against the Twinkies. For sure. The M & M will get their hits but the guys that we have to contain are Kubel and Lamb. If we can do that maybe we can take a couple.
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Sheffield showed us some hope when he first came back but has slipped back into non-production. I hope that will change for him as we really need the Ordonez void to be filled be a big RHB.
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I do like to see Marcus batting after MCab rather than Sheffield.
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Against RHP I would be inclined to play Thomas &/or Joyce in LF and RF and DH Marcus if he continues to hit better than Sheffield. If Joyce doesn’t hit then Marcus in LF and Sheff DH. In general I prefer Thomas to Joyce because Thomas can give you a little of everything.
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Against LHP I’d have Thames & Raburn in LF and RF. Sheff DH.
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When Santiago returns I’d have him get a few starts at SS. Renteria is scaring me out there. They may want to have his vision checked. He is fighting the ball off the bat. He is not the same SS that he has been over the course of his career. He will be under additinal pressure now that it is apparent that Atlanta got the much better end of the deal with JJ. I hope he can respond and show us what he can do.
The problem with the trade (and I don’t mean to open a can of worms) as I see it, is not just what is happening now comparatively but the fact that JJ’s star has not yet reached the apogee of his career, whereas Renteria’s star is already in noticeable descent. We will need another SS next year. Atlanta will not need to replace JJ in the rotation. That being said, if Renteria can provide steady leadership, a good solid bat and the slickness at Short that he is known for this year, then we will be forced to be happy with the possible outcome.
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There is still the matter of Aki Lopez to deal with. I suspect he will be back in a Tiger uniform soon. Ironic that Bonine has done so well and that they are stretching out Lopez in Toledo. To me, I would rather see Lopez in our bullpen. Miner has done well but he is prone to the base on balls. Lopez minimizes the risk of that. I’m not saying send Miner down I am only saying that Lopez can enter a game and throw strikes. He won’t compound a problem with walks so much. If you have to bring a guy in with a couple or three runners on, then bring me a guy who doesn’t walk batters..
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Not sure if naybody is aware of this but since Larish was sent back down he has played some 3B. AND, interestingly enough, Hessman has played some SS!!
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Hessman is still pounding the ball out of the yard in AAA. It’s only a matter of time before JL finds a use for him here. It may take another injury to do it but I think it will come. And it will be Hesman’s last chance to make it in Detroit. I am shocked he has not been traded as there are a number of teams in the bigs that can use a good fielding corner infielder who hits the ball 425′
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A couple more keys for us:
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Nate continues to get by
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Verlander stays composed even though his W’s are hard to come by
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The bullpen finds it’s way and provides late inning support
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We can move in a starter if Galarraga or Bonine falter
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MCab asserts himself as the clean-up hitter in Magg’s absence.

Oh yeah—-and the Tiger who would represent us at the All-Star game in NY?
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How could it be anybody else other than…
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Placido Polanco?
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He is good bet to win the batting title.

Not that I think it likely but Jl could ship out Fossum and replace him with Ian Oslund (in order to keep 2 LHP in the pen). Oslund has pitched 36 innings and walked only 6 while whiffing 41.
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Those numbers are way better than both Rapada’s and Fossums’ here in Detroit.

Let’s all not forget to wish Jeremy Bonderman luck again today and hope for a successful recovery as his surgery is scheduled (and may be completed by now) for today.

Good idea! Good luck Bondo! Here’s to a speedy recovery!
Go TIGERS

Dan, As soon as I saw apogee,I knew that it was you.Good call on Polly.He completely slipped my mind(which is`nt real hard to do)…..I agree about Miner.I like him a lot,but have always thought he was more of a starter or long reliever than a guy to bring in with men on base……I`m also hoping the best for Bondo,Good luck to him…..As far as Fossum is concerned,I view him as a starter that is gonna get clobbered most of the time in the AL.Better to trade him to the NL and get a potential prospect,while it is still possible.Rapda might turn out to be a pretty good specialist against lefties,but,I think righties will hit him very hard and very longReally hoping Armando keeps the ball down tonight,but it may be tough for him cause Minn. makes contact well and plays small ball.Armando is not nearly as good from the stretch as he is from the windup.Look for the Twins to hit and run.That usually means more fastballs with runners on.If he starts putting those up in the zone,it could be a long night for us.

thanks dan_ for the good feedback and info on some players. Speaking of pitching.. I hope they don’t rush Dontrelle either… Lopez could be a great starter if they allow him to acclimate himself to endurance and a starters role. He could be an ace when we need him, in a few weeks. If our bullpen comes together with Zach, Zoom-Zoom, Rodney, and Jones, my opinion is send down Fossum when Lopes is ready!
The last dozen or so games things have been solidifying, and some rest at third or short is immanent. Hearing that Larish, and Hessman working at those hot corners is uplifting. We have to just accept Edgar for time being at SS, but think that somebody in the front office can see what were seeing… I pray that Joyce, and Thomas, Thames and Rayburn, and Dane stay hot. THey can provide some mid summer punch.. Oh, and SHeff… “somebody find us a chicken to sacrifice!”…Please get hot again!.. For those first games when he came back, it was like the man that we expected coming from the Yankees..kill that ball when it comes to you!

This is a big series.
Keep climbing! C’Mon TIGERS!

Anybody else see the story that they are beginning demolition on Tiger Stadium today?
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Here’s the link:
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http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080630/BUSINESS06/80630086&s=d&page=4#pluckcomments
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The old place has seen better days, but I have a lot of memories there. Sad to see it go.

GoBlue,Gotta 2nd that emotion

Go Blue– as a spartan fan, it pains me to say this but thanks for posting the article on the demolition of Tiger Stadium. :) I understand that it has to go but we don’t have to like it. Let’s hope the foundation mentioned in the article– led by Ernie Harwell– can help save some memory of the stadium.
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The article reminded me of a great book I got for Christmas a while back. The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark (Honoring a Detroit Legend) (Paperback). Search for it on Amazon. The author, Tom Stanton, attended every game in the last year of Tiger Stadium. As we all know, the team was terrible and the story focused instead on the interviews that Stanton conducted with fans and stadium employees. The theme throughout was how baseball connected generations in Detroit and, more importantly, connected sons with their fathers. I really enjoyed it and if you’re craving some good ole Tiger Stadium memories, its a great read.
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Have a good one– let’s put the Twinkies in their place tonight. Go Tigers!

They should have never moved from Tiger Stadium. How hard can it be to refurbish some restrooms? I know there was more to it than that, but it could have been done. Now we’re stuck with one of the worst parks in baseball. I’m sure you’ll want to know why I say that.
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I’ve been to games in Washington, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Every single one of those venues beats Comerica hands down. The sight lines in Detroit are terrible. The entire lower bowl is below the entry points along the main concourse, so there’s a constant stream of people moving up and down, obstructing the view. The ushers make no attempt to stop the traffic during an at bat as they do in other ballparks. The incline of the seating is too low. Not only does this create a problem for outfielders trying to pick up the ball off the bat, it means that there’s always a big fat head right in front of you, blocking your view of the field. It’s worse than the much maligned posts of Tiger Stadium. The upper deck is only slightly better in this regard, the lower deck is a nightmare. The main concourse is too narrow and there’s a constant traffic jam there. Need I even mention the ridiculous original dimensions of the field itself?
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Adding to the misery of the place (I’ve been there four times) are the 3000-some standing room guests. I will admit it looks cool seeing them lining that outfield fence, but they also wander about the entire game, creating a crush of people wherever and whenever you go. They’ve lined the inner concourse with concession carts and woe unto anyone who tries to stand behind the carts and watch the game from there. The ushers on the whole are unfriendly, and some are downright mean. There seems to be a problem with power trips here. The food vendors, both in the stands and along the concourse are usually pretty nice folks.
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It is a pretty ballpark on TV and when you can get a good view, but it pretty much ends there.
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I’m sure many will disagree with me, but this is what I’ve experienced during each visit. And I’ve probably forgotten a few things. I’d be glad to read opposing viewpoints from folks who have been to other ballparks. I’ve listed the ones I’ve visited. Everytime I’ve gone to a game at Comerica, I’ve come away very unhappy. I’ll just stick to seeing the guys on the road from now on.
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–Rich

Chris Shelton was designated for assignment by Texas. On his birthday.
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–Rich

one month wonder

He’ll be back. If you can hit like that for a month off of MLB pitchers once—you are likely to be able to do it again.

Boy that was one sh!tty aB by Cab!

Boy that was one sh!tty AB by Cab!

And not a very slick play on the throw I might add.

christ this game isn’t going real well so far…
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error and pudge is probably hurt….

It’s pretty ugly already and it often is in Minnesota.

There is an article on the Detroit Home Page aboutt Bondo.According to it the surgery was successful……Boy o Boy Ryan just turned the wrong way on that liner……..I was worried about Armando pitching with runners on

Armando got out of it not too bad. Nice pitching against Kubel and that inning could have been a whole lot worse than it was.
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MCab has tighten up though. I’m not sure why he is so inconsistent.

thanks marcus!

Was it the SF boys that made that crack about Marcus not being able to hit nothing but homers? His average is now at .285,which is higher than most of the SF hitters.

high fast ball UGH again again again

i hate playing the twins mostly because i can not stand Gomez and Rod’s obsession with him.

Well, since my last comment MCab blew another one. He seems to need a wake up call. I was hoping his walk-off double might hiave ignited something hidden in his 2008 personna but alas, it didn’t. It is imperative that he start to clobber the ball with ordonez out.
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IMO JL needs to do something about this.

Take the words right out of my mouth! JL has pulled Cab out.
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Thomas doubles and I am shoclked as aggressive as Lamont has been he didn’t wave Polan co home with 1 out.
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really liking clete thomas these days

Looked like Cab was limping………Toledo Blade has an articl3e in which Kevin Rand states that the organization is looking into the players routine to see if there may be a correlation with the recent out break of oblique injuries.So far they have found none

I’m watching the Twins HD feed. They mentioned an injury too, but they’re guessing.
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I’ve got an eye on Sheffield tonight. He doesn’t look altogether healthy either. Hope I’m wrong.
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–Rich

I don’t get Lamont though. Thames may have been up but Thames also strikes out enough that with 1 out you gotta send Polanco..
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We need better hitting from the the power RHB when they have RISP. This is a problem with our club.
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I am not all gaga over Sheffield even though the initial burst of adrenaline looked good on him. If I were leyland I would be watching what he is doing at the plate very, very carefully. IMO, he is not 100% and he is not BACK.

Got to love Gallarraga.He made up,but good for that throw at Carlos head.He`s playing old time ball tonight.7 games to play before all star break.This could get to be a real interesting rivalryin the next few days

Morneau is a big out.

rookie mistake

Our defense is really looking bad tonight

Shows the importance of pitching ahead in the count and not giving up walks don’t it?
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If Galarraga was trying to hit Mauer I would suggest that to be a pretty stupid move- with Mornea uand Kubel coming up. Actuallly the walk proved it.
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This game is shaping up poorly as they are showing that they are incapable of hitting with men on. This is the advantage the Twins have—they know how to score, whether it takes a hit & run or a steal or aggressive base running they usually get the job done.
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Regardless of what Granderson does this AB I was very encouraged to see him hack at the first pitch last AB before singling. He too often has found himslef taking a couple of strikes and giving advantage to the pitcher.

The Twins announcers thought Galarraga tried to hit Mauer on both pitches.

The ugliness continues. I don’t know what’s wrong with these guys as they don’t seem to be able to hit what looks like a pretty flat fastball. Cab, Sheffield and Renteria have watched waist hitgh fastballs split the plate.
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They need to pick up their game if they are going to beat a team like Minnesota.

Not sure about this whole hip flexor deal but if Cab is indeed hurt and has to go down then they simply must pick up Mike Hessman.

Boy, the Boys do not look sharp tonight.
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They need to pick it up. Galarraga is not paritularly sharp himself but he has held these pests to 1 earned run and this lineup should be able to package together a few runs for him.
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If all Beck’s Bloogers can close their eys and colectively mutter a profound “Ommmmmm’ maybe we can help the guys out a bit.

I`m sure convinced that Galarraga tried to hit him.The first pitch was on the other side of him.Carlos took one up near the head.Mauers the catcher.In the old days that is exactly what would have happened and everyone in the park would have known it was going to happen before he even stepped to the plate.Galarraga is a rookie and wants to show his teamates that he is not going to allow the opposing pitcher free reign on his hitters.Makes absolute perfect sense to me.As far as the walk afterwards,Gala might have been a little pumped with adrenaline,whoknows,but my bet the only accident that occurred was when Mauer didnt get hit the first time

OK Mauer is up. Bring Clete in to play about 30 ft behind Renteria

Explain to me why they pitch this guy outside?

LMFAO now i think i’ve seen it all. thames throwing the whole glove at the pitcher… man that was funny regardless of the run scoring

We’re done now. I would be very surprised if Morneau doesn’t crank one right here.
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Man, this is just sickening–I don’t know how the Twins can perpetually win this way.
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That play at 1st was pretty close too.
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Something has to be done to stifle these Twins this year.

Typical Metrodome game so far……………….

We are a 3 run HR away from the leas but I’m afraid we don’t have anyone that can pull that feat off tonight.
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We just look “off”.
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Way off.

The boys sure arent working the count on this guy.Looks like they`re trying to kill everything tossed up there.Swinging at pitches a foot off the plate is favoring the Twins

Bad Break—Raburn caught that ball.

Bert Blyleven said he could tell Raburn didn’t catch it because he didn’t go get thrown out of the game. That’s ridiculous. I’d say he did catch it. And Leyland used all the “magic” words but still didn’t get tossed. How about that, Bert?

3 runs down should not be out of the question but what with the way they are playing tonight it does seem improbable

Dan … i can’t stand gomez either … and you are right bout rod …
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I was wondering the same thing .. bout so many injuries … they can’t ever say officially, or they are toast .. but i think this team might not be sold on staying fit .. especially when our manager prefers ballplayers to athletes.

Nice swing and another clutch hit by Polly……..You`re right Dan,I think Polly should represent us in the All-Star Game

Now we’re trailing by the run on the Raburn catch. Man……..

Thames was probably sitting on a fastball .. but shouldn’t he have fouled that off?

If we lose this one,we can pretty much chalk it up as real bad anti-fundamental defense.We need to do spring training all over again

Bhavin,looked like a pretty good curve,started off well off the plate,then broke in last second,looked like he got handcuffed

Oh .. I thought it was a straight changeup ..

Wonder why Pudge doesnt bunt

Far be it from me to criticize but Marcus ‘s problems but the knock on him has been producig when it counts and consistency. He has a long HR tonight but on 3 other occasion has fanned and twice left a guy on third. Once with one out.

Bhavin,I thought it was a curve,maybe not,but he sure looked handcuffed.Smart of JL to run Shef on 3-2.Saved double play

i am impressed …

All right Curtis,way to go,put some more pressure on

I honestly didn’t have much hope after we fell behind ..

OK we have a lead, I should be happy but something tells me that maybe Zumaya coming in right now may not be the best move.
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I don’t care for Fossum but even Rodney right now might be a preference as he has shown that he is going to throw strikes.

Leyland Leyland, give your head a shake.

I actually might have pitched Zumaya .. but after what you said Dan, I felt too that JL should have tried to put this win safely in the bag. The 1st AL game after a long time against a good team.
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Luckily … Zumaya got the 3 outs.

We got away with one there. Zumaya has NOT been fooling anybody. That ball was smoked and if it’s a foot and a half higher it’s big trouble.
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This would be a monumental victory so let’s hope we can hang on.
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Roller Coaster is open and the lineup outside the attraction is building.

Rodney might close today actually .. since TJ pitched last 2 days, and dolsi went 2 yesterday.

Wow … this is the 6th Minn pitcher tonight.

Before they went on the 1/2 inning break .. I saw Zumaya walk back on the field … this is gonna be tight.

Whoa! Jones appears as though he is not coming in at this point. Not sure what to think about that but I can tell you if JL is putting his faith in Zumaya for the 9th then he must be an Eric Clapton, Rick Gretch, Stevie Winwood, Ginger Baker fan.
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Marcus is digging himself a hole on the bench–it don’t matter how many homers he hits if he keeps performing like this.

Dan .. aren’t you wishing TJ was closing :) .. Lolll

I’m going to first guess here. I’m in favor of Zumaya in the 9th. You know I like Jones, but here in the dome, it won’t work. A dink, a high hopper, disaster. We need someone to strike some guys out. If this backfires, it backfires. I think it’s a good idea. Joel, don’t make Jim and I look stupid.

I am actually. Not a TJ fan but Zumaya is not ready for this. In fact he is nowhere near being ready for this.

I like leaving Zoom in for the ninth, but I say pull him if he puts

a runner on

I would prefer TJ .. but he might not be available .. and with Rodney’s last 2 outings, i would have used him in the 9th.. not after we are at the brink ..

2 on … and 1 out

Looks like were riding Zu,win or loose.He needs that 100mph heater now

That’s two! GUess it’s up to Zoom to win or lose it.

This is a big mistake. If we luck out great but it is still a big mistake

Why not replace Zoom at the 1st sign of weakness .. since he is still not 100% .ready.. why wait till its too big a jam?

Zoom vs. Mauer. I give him a 50 percent chance.

He really needs that heater now

I was nervous, too, but it’s good experience for the future closer.

Well played Tigers … esp the offense .. coming back from 4-1

Great win but Zumaya not ready for this. If he was he would be throwing chairs to the opposition, not ground balls and line drives.
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Fantastic win but thank our lucky stars too.

whewwwwww!Way to go Tigers!Another nice come from behind win.Wonder how bad Cab is.Maybe he can DH…….Both our big sluggers out.Hope Nate brings A-Game tommorrow.Come on Tigs!Keep it rollin

I don’t know, Dan. How is he going to get ready without being put in save situations sometimes? I didn’t like the decision either, but in retrospect, it was good for him to be given the opportunity, win or lose. I don’t think Leyland is going to do this a lot, but TJ has been pitching too much to go to him. Who was he going to go to?

It was a logical move keeping Zumaya in. I was wondering if JL might do that. Rich and Jim, you were right. A little “Blind Faith” is good Dan:) And Dan, why you so down on Marcus? He contributed. All 5 runs counted equally. This is winning baseball, and the young bench players are contributing nicely.

I’ll tell ya. I’ve played in games like this. I’ve managed games like this. But it’s gut wrenching to have to just watch and have no darned control over anything. :-)

Winning this game tonight, with everything going wrong, the Dome, the injuries…………I’m a believer now. As they said all through the winter and spring training, I’ll now say: we have a good team. It took awhile, but this is a good TEAM now. 18-4? That’s a run to take seriously.
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As has been the case the past few weeks, there are too many heroes tonight to remember them all. Another gritty performance by what has become a TEAM.
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JL went with Zumaya because he’d pretty much decided before the game not to go with Jones. It worked. These things work when you’re going good. I will say, if Zoom is going to become a dominant pitcher, he needs to have that curveball. I don’t think he’ll master a changeup, so it’s the hook that he’ll have to make an effective secondary pitch. Until that happens, it’s still a crapshoot with him.
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On the “beanball war”, I’m thinking Galarraga deliberately threw behind Mauer on the first pitch. The second one I think just got away from him. He’s thrown one like that countless times. Just my take on it. I agree with Gardy when he complained that the warning should have been issued after the first pitch. He got tossed but he was right. JL should have been tossed after the Raburn play but the umpires knew they’d missed it. JL dropped the “bomb” at least once, if not more.
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Man, that’s some darned entertaining baseball, win or lose. This season is going to be fun.
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We’re in good shape to take this series now.
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–Rich

tonight on ESPN sportscenter they were showing Raburn’s “catch” with all the other great catches…so in my opinion, it was a catch…from every angle it looked like a catch to me, but i guess it doesn’t matter now anyway.
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good game tonight—a little bit nerve racking, but nonetheless Tigers pulled out a win against an AL Central team…that’s what we’ve been waiting for :)
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Unfortunately Cleveland couldn’t beat Chicago tonight though.
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I’m hoping MCab is alright–I didn’t get to see the beginning of the game, but we really can’t afford to be losing players to injuries right now…or ever…but especially right now.
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Eat em up Tigers :)

I’m not “down” on Marcus. In fact I thknk Marcus may overtake Sheffield as the DH. I’m saying that performances like he had tonight point out the reason that he has not been able to win a full-time job. He does need to buckle down and learn how to drive a run home too.
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I don’t see the big deal about throwing TJ 3 games in a row. I do see Rich’s point, and it is a very good one, that throwing him in the dome on that playing surface might be problematic. It does make sense to have a strikeout guy in there. I just don’t think Zumaya is the strikeout guy yet.. He was graced with extremely good fortune tonight. Some pretty hard hit balls and Mauer hits his ground out a couple feet more to left and we have a tie game. The Strikeouts didn’t come. and though we won and Zoom got a save, this is a factor that should be remembered for future decisions.
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Again, it was the “Toledo Triple” that won a ball game for us again. The callups have had some pretty key hits for us in 2008.
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I hope MCab is all right. He is really needed right now as the lineup has taken a completely different look with Ordonez out. I also hope Pudge is OK. Saw him wincing (not sure if that was pain or emotion) after striking out.
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These guys are finding a way to win and that is the mark of a good team. They will be tested these next couple of weeks and it will go a long way to determining how tight a race this will be.
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What would be really good to see is them to come out swinging and scoring on Thursday. Verlander could really use some run support to ease some of the pressure he is feeling.
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These Twins are a darn impressive team.

Marty, my comment on Marcus is an observation not a personal belief. We have all seen how JL has “handled” Marcus over the last 3 years. i.e. Thames is lucky to be in the lineup even when he is hitting the snot out of the ball. My comment about him digging a hole on the bench for himself is my feeling that that is where JL will put him without too much of an excuse.
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If it were me I would be playing him in left till he dries up, and I hope that never happens to him.

Hey Dan. I just felt like you were accenting the negative with Marcus. He was 3 for 4 on Sunday, all singles, and he hit the HR (which I missed last night), he’s hitting around .280 and twice you mentioned his name. It almost seemed subliminal. I know you like the guy. Given the AB’s he will get 40 HR’s. I wanted to answer GK’s comment from the other day. She was saying we were making too much of Marcus and that he was our weakest defensive OFer. I agree with the fact that he won’t cover the same ground as the rest of them, but his power hitting potential easily compensates. This HR power has to be utilized. And I would argue that his defensive OF play is on a par with Ordonez.
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On the weird play with Mauer’s bouncer to first, that was one of those typical lucky Twin choppers that hit in the perfect spot to cause confusion between the pitcher and 1st baseman. Couldn’t tell if Marcus was late in getting to first but when he saw the ball get by the pitcher he quickly reacted and darn near made the play. It was a little comical that he threw his glove and the ball in his hurrying but really little chance for anyone to make that play. The Twins announcers made light of it, and I didn’t particularly appreciate that….Well the Tigers shut them up later.
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Speaking of the announcers, (Blyleven and partner) normally I don’t mind them but they are getting a little too self assured with this Minnesota team. You know, they have the attitude that the Twins have our number and they exploit that regularly. I’m getting tired of it really, so it makes it even sweeter to steal a game and take the air out of their voices so to speak. Loved it. Then the fly ball by Casilla in the 9th that Granderson caught routinely in rather shallow center, you would have thought that it was crushed and on its way out for a 3 run HR the way they reacted…..humorous.
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When it is difficult to pick out a player of the game you know it’s a good team victory. I thought Fossum’s 4 out relief work was impressive. If he can pitch like that consistently, I think he could be a contributer on this team, and would be worthy of consideration.

I noticed that about the Twins announcers too, Marty. I think they’re the best of the opposition broadcast teams, always prepared, interesting, and pretty unbiased. There does seem to be some bias creeping in, though. Maybe they’ve got a soft spot for this particular group of players. It was funny, though, that as the Tigers started scoring, I was practically jumping around the family room and those guys sounded like they were describing a funeral.
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No, I can’t claim any credit for Zumaya last night. He didn’t strike anybody out. We won because, well, we’re just winning. TJ can indeed go 3 days in a row. I think he and Leyland have an understanding and Todd lets him know how he’s feeling. He’s an intelligent ol’ vet. What’s interesting here is that the Next Tigers Closer may not be Zoom at all. I’ve got an eye on Freddy Dolsi. Sometimes a guy just gets into his comfort zone. You’ll remember that the White Sox were already well on their way to the World Series when they “discovered” Bobby Jenks late in the season.
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I’m feeling kind of left out during the games. My TV is in the family room and my computer is in my office, so I’ve been walking in here to enter a comment. Good exercise, I guess. I’ll have a new laptop next week so I may be able to join into the in-game chatter. Then we’ll REALLY run up the comment count. :-)
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–Rich

Concerning the decision about Zoom closing last night…….Steve Kornacki wrote that TJ told JL that he could not go after throwing 40 pitches the previous 2 nights.The article is on mlive.com….I liked Zoom`s remarks after the game regarding Mauer.Said he wasnt going fool around with breaking stuff on him.Just straight heat for guys like Morneau and especially Mauer.Thats the kind of attitude a closer has to have.Of course,he has to throw strikes with that heat,or it means nothing……I question some of Pudges pitch calling in the late innings…….In the 8th the first batter zoom faced was down 1-2 all fastballs 98-97.the hitter couldnt catch up to them.Then he comes back with a 92-93 mph curve that gets drilled…..I guess my motto is if a certain player cant hit heat (some can hit 100mph,some, like Pudge, cant) keep bringing heat,the fastball is the out pitch,not the curve.Use the curve to set up the fastball.Of course,its all relative to control,he has to be able to spot that fastball.Anyway, I thought his close was a little shaky due to control and pitch selection,But I thought his attitude was the right stuff for a closer.

Did anyone see where the major league players voted Polly as the most underrated player in the game. I dont know if that is both leagues or just AL. Still,either way,mighty impressive.Hegot I think 495 votes.

I think we need to remember that Zumaya really has not pitched much and has a way to go. He is coming off a very serious injury, one that a lot of baseball people feel cannot be “come back from”.
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I think he will be the Tigers closer and I think it will be this season but he does need to develop an off-speed pitch that he can throw at any time in the count.
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His bravado and demeanor is well suited for the job but he does need to understand that maturity and intelligence matter as well.
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I think he has a good curve, almost excellent, especially in juxtaposition to the fast ball. But it would be to his advantage to learn how to “admire” it as much as his hard one.
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Joel made this statement last night:
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“I was going to go right after him, that’s just me,” I’m known for my fastball, and going right after guys. I’m not going to flip him a changeup or a curveball. I wanted to go in, hard in, and I ended up getting it in and he got a ground ball and we win.

“I don’t back down. I don’t care if it’s Mauer, Morneau, guys like that. They are great hitters, they are going to put the ball in play — especially Mauer — in that situation, and I got the best of it.”
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Key in the statement is the part that he is “known” for his fastball. We are talking about MLB hitters here, and good ones at that. Joel Zumaya will become a real fine pitcher when he learns how to fool a batter as often as he overpowers them.
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On another topic, Guillen is playing some fantastic third base right now. His range is rivalling Inge, I suppose some of that is due to him being a little lankier than Brandon, but he does seem to be reacting to the ball very quickly.
I am not saying he is as good as Brandon at third. He is darn close though and is very good on balls to his left. IMO, Nobody is better than Brandon on the backhand or the pop fouls though.
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Santiago played SS for Toledo last night.

Very well put Dan,I think that Zu is our closer of the future,also.But,like you said he needs to be able to put his other pitches where they are supposed to go and have the same confidence in those pitches like he does for the heater.And, I think he needs to learn pitch selection.Its important to use the count to your advantage and know when to change speeds,and locations as well.I`m really pulling for him cuz I think if he can learn to control his pitches and set up hitters, he could be potentially as effective as Rivera and be that championship type closer that this organization so desparately needs.

Poly has come thru countless times both offensively and defensively, and is I think the most vital player on the Tiger team. I think without him the Tigers are still 8 games under .500. He so quietly goes about his business, his numerous contributions to Tiger rallies and the opposing rallies he’s killed, that he just gets overshadowed by the bigger power hitters, and more highlighted defensive positions. Without him the Tigers do not have a winning record. Good for him that his peers take note of it.

Last night I was thinking, just throw fastballs Joel. Go with your best pitch, challenge them and let the chips fall where they may. I know Zum has a really nice curve but I kept thinking, “don’t take any chances with it. Just throw hard and see what happens. His FB has some decent movement and he was just “wild” enough to keep them a little off balance. He threw strikes down the heart of the plate when he needed to and the Minnesota hitters could have helped themselves more if they were willing to swing on 2-0, but they didn’t. You’re right Dan, he’s not throwing 101-103 yet, and to put him in that pressure position against a team that can handle the curve was tough, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and see what happens. All I was thinking, (and I like Jones and actually hope he finishes the season as our main closer), is that keeping Zum in there just seemed like the right decision at the time. It got a little dicy but it always does….we’re used to it.

Although I advocated having Zumaya pitch the 9th the past two days, I’m not close to being sold yet. As I said last night, he’ll need to at least be able to control his curveball. It’s effective when he can get it over.
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The bigger mountain to climb will be learning to channel the adrenaline in a positive way. He was interviewed on the field after last night’s game and he was literally shaking while practically bellowing his answers. You need to feed off the energy but yet maintain an inner calm. Not easy to do, for sure. Now, if you combined Zoom with Dolsi, you’d have one heck of a relief pitcher.
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I foresee Jones remaining the closer for 2008, barring injury.
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I hope Santiago can join the team for the Seattle trip.
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Cabrera is going to battle his weight and the injuries it can cause until the day he retires, I’m afraid.
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–Rich

Finally get the HD set up with the new tv and what do you know.. no game in HD til thursday’s 10pm game…

LETS GO TIGERS!!!!

twinkie announcers are whining about galarraga’s attempts to hit mauer.
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waaaah…
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mike

lucky!

Hey, They`re the ones that almost put one through Carlos ear. Mauer called it. He`s real lucky Gala missed him. Boy was that a strange DP. Good break for us, Dont recall a play quite like it

i don’t know about putting a guy that had 4 strikeouts last night in the cleanup spot but i can’t tell you really who else would fit there.. our lineup looks pretty pedestrian without cabrera or ordonez in the middle.

time for the rookies to show what they got chad

I was hoping we would take advantage of that inning right away. We got a nice dose of luck that inning with the way it started.

Robertson is not pitching well today.. they have to keep a close eye on him..
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we’re gonna need another dose of luck this inning to get out of it scoreless.

What the heck is wrong with Nate tonight?

Nates not looking to sharp tonight.Needs another DP here

same thing that has been wrong with nate for the past X amount of years. he’s nothing more than a stop-gap subpar pitcher. i have personally never cared for him or his big league chew. i was mad when maroth was traded and not nate robertson.
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mike

At least he is following all the mess up iwth ground balls.

Very lucky to get through the first two without any runs. Looks like Nate won’t be pitching that deep tonight…

He got outta that pretty quick,but,he better settle down,we cant keep getting that lucky every inning

these weak outs are killing me.. will someone put a good charge into one?
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nate’s pitch count is in pretty good shape considering 2 walks and 2 hits.. but he’s not gonna get a DP ball every inning.

Nate may not be great but I much prefer him to Maroth.
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Nate could be much better if he did 2 things, got LHB out better than he has and to be able to put somebody away with 2 strikes.

Another reason why Polanco is the most under-rated player voted by his peers. Great play.
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But what on earth is Nate doing not wasting a pitch? I figured a high outside fastball would have been in order to try and keep Gomez honest there too.
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It worked out but I hope Natte can start to keep thse guys of the bases.

Nice play Placido!

Well we got 1 so far.Nate….3 DP in 3 inn. Livin on the edge

Years back Nate would bust lefties in. This year he almost exclusively pitches outside.Guess he`s scared to come in on em anymore

Sheffield is a concern. After a couple of good games, he’s back to what he was like before the DL. At least JL’s leaving him down in the order. I’m praying he leaves him down there until Sheff is hitting well. Of course, that may never happen. The guy might just never be the same.

Apparently he is not gonna. I can’t see him getting away with another one. He has escaped 3 times already.

Guess Nates gonna slowly bleed us to death tonight

I had a bad feeling about that with Craig at the plate

I would like to see them get somebody warming up in the bullpen.

I had a gut feeling.. seeing the way Nate was pitching to C Mo.

Just a matter of time. Nate has been gifting these guys all night and he gave a pretty one to C-Mo.
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I would say there’s the 1 bad inning but he hasn’t had a good one yet.

A lot of us on this blog saw this coming .. and in earlier games too .. a lot of us see the signs and body language of our player .. I wonder if JL doesn’t see it ? .. and do something bout it.
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Not only the earlier innings .. but Nate’s confidence(lack of it) was obvious in this inning.

C’mon Leyland–you are letting this one get away from us.
He has to be taken out.

It’s miner time. This is getting rediculous.

Well this doesn’t look real good does it? Desparation throws and all.
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This is getting downright brutal.Who is our long reliever tonight

That’s 12 baserunners in 4+ innings..
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Part of me is calling this game a loss and says let him eat up a couple more innings and save the bullpen… the other part says get him out of there while we still have a chance.

He gifted Redmond too.
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We were due I guess, but this is getting embarassing.

At some point the tigers are going to have to figure out what to do about Nate Robertson.. Lopez deserves a shot and Nate has done nothing to prove he deserves a locked down spot in this rotation. I’d like to see them skip robertson’s next start or put him on the dl for 2 weeks and see what Lopez is gonna do in the starting rotation. Nate has gotten hit so badly in his last 2 outings and has had a 5.25+ ERA all season long and has shown no signs to show that he is any better than a 5.0 era guy..

Well, maybe we can get 5 back if Zach can hold them down.But,the whole game has been played shabbily tonight.The defense looks like a bunch of peewee guys out there.We have the worst defense in the league,no question about it,in spite of the recent accolades Tiger press has been feeding us……….And Nate looked like a wet poodle out there tonight.Whatever happened to the bulldog

Good call Chad,Give Nate a shot in the bullpen and see if he can regain his courage against lefties and make room for Lopez, or possibly Willis if he can ever regain his form.But, I think Lopez went 6 or 7 the other night.Maybe he`s ready,cuz Nate looks whipped out there

Atta boy Marcus,Now we`re only 3 down

Guys …
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We saw Nate pitch scared all day .. and then he gave up 3 in the 4th … it was obvious he was toast .. and then he comes out next again .. and now they have 6.
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Why is JL more proactive ?

I meant .. Why ISN’T JL more proactive?

Just read the article on the Tigers home page where JL admitted that both pitches at Mauer was intentional.I was 99.9 percent sure that was the case.I still bet the first one was supposed to hit him though.Just good ol fashioned baseball. I still think Carlos was brushed intentionally,but they threw at his head.Thats wrong and deserves retaliation.AnywayCOME ON TIGERS BEAT THESE WHINERS!!!!

Like it or not with Bonderman and Willis out and Bonine a question mark, Nate has a spot pretty much assured.
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He has had mediocre results in his career and his seasons won’Loss record contradicts his effectiveness. I have always thought his value would be the fact that another team might be able to use a middle of the rotation LHP.
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Nice job by Miner. Sheffield gets another bases empty hit. Not sure why he puts on a better swing when there are no RISP. I think he watched one go buy in his last AB with a man on 2nd.
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I just hope they do not get into a trap of letting him hurt the team again. If he hits great, but they have more than enough talent on the bench to fill that role. I don’t wanna jump the gun but I too, am concerned with what I am seeing on my screen.
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I just don’t see how Lopez could be worse… he’s shown he can do it out of the pen.. now lets see if he can do it starting.. Bonine and Galaraga both have been able to so i don’t see why he wouldn’t be serviceable.
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After tonight.. Nate will have the second highest era of a pitcher with enough innings to qualify. Coming in, he was the third to last. His 5.56 just barely edges Silva’s 5.69
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Come on Cleveland.. help us out tonight.

Hate to see us give those runs back. Miner is having trouble finding the plate and when that happens I have no idea why they don’t yank him.
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I hope they just aren’t giving up on this one.

To clarify.. he will be 45 of 46 in the A.L.
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93 of 101 in MLB.

I need to vent a little so I think I will toss a little barb at the Twins announcers, Bert & Ernie, they are not very good nor very interesting. There, I feel better.

Dan,Shef is tied for second on team in GIDP,but he has a whole lot less at bats than the other top fellows.In other words he leads the team by far in GIDP per at bat.That is why I would not bat him in the 3hole.Still think he might be decent in the leadoff spot if you could convince to play the role by working pitchers to get on by BB.I doubt they would even consider it,but in my opinion at this stage of his career,he is a bona-fide rally killer waiting to happen

Doing refrigerator repair while the team is losing = not fun

Miner has these outings where he walks guys. This will not ingratiate him with his manager. Another reason whey he never really contended for a late-inning role.

Nate has just 5 starts in 17 that were quality. He has given up at least 5 ER in 5 of the 17…
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He has entered only 2 games with an ERA under 5.60 and he promptly gave up 5+ runs his next time out.

The Cleveland-Chicago game is still 1-1 going into the 10th.

I don’t think it happen, I don’t think we deserve it to happen, nor do I think the twins will let it happen. But wouldn’t it be nice to score 3?

Well,I`m proven wrong again,Way to go Shef.We only need 2 to tie….Cleveland just took lead 2-1 in tenth Casey Blake homer

Thomas is hitting 545 off leftys, so of course hit for him

Boy another lucky break there

In leyland’s defense.. clete is 6 for 11 off lefties.. it’s not like it’s 80 at bats or anything and he has 45 hits..

well that’s that.. the difference in the game was staying with our ineffective starter for 3 or 4 hits too long…
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in other news.. chicago tied it at 2 in the bottom of the tenth..

oh and they just got another to walk off with a 3-2 win.. yippee!
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6 back.

The whole idea, and I think a good one, is that you want Cab to pop a 2 run HR. He has a better chance to accomplish that than Thomas. Even though he seems to constantly hit to right field. I know this is part of his game but IMO we will not see the HR power from him until he starts to pull the ball more frequently.
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Man, ChiSox scored 2 in the bottom of the 10th to win again.
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The Tigers have very little marging of error this year with the way the teams ahead of them are playing.
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The whole idea, and I think a good one, is that you want Cab to pop a 2 run HR. He has a better chance to accomplish that than Thomas. Even though he seems to constantly hit to right field. I know this is part of his game but IMO we will not see the HR power from him until he starts to pull the ball more frequently.
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Man, ChiSox scored 2 in the bottom of the 10th to win again.
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The Tigers have very little margin of error this year with the way the teams ahead of them are playing.
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Granderson and Polanco were 0 x 9 tonight. Strong correlation to wiin ball games.
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Not the reason, the reason was the starting pitching, but nevertheless, the correlation is an important one for the Tigers.

It could and should have been a lot worse. Twins left a lot of men on base. Marcus has 16 HR’s now in 152 at bats, averaging a home run per 9.5. He has 14 walks so he would have 16 HR’s for 166 plate appearances, which is still 1 HR/10.375 appearances. Not too shabby.

The Twins very seldom give you bonus base runners; no walks tonight by twin pitchers. We gave them seven free runners; luckily only a couple of them scored. Look at the extra runners last night via the errors. As someone alluded to, not a great margin for error here. Minus Cabrera and Maggs, Polanco and Granderson MUST hit. The 0-9 tonight from those two sealed the deal for the Twins. I hope Bonine has them putting the ball in play or striking them out like we did tonight in the first five. It was time for a breather; we knew it would come. It’s just critical to get the series win tomorrow.

Greg

still hate the maroth trade. robertson has no business on this team with his usual 6-7 games per year below .500

you can’t hate the maroth trade too much.. at least robertson is still in baseball.
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Maroth had a 10.66 ERA last season after the trade in 38 innings..
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Oh and he made 3 starts for KC’s AAA club.. posting a 12+ ERA

I hope Bo comes out with the same mindset as his last outing.If he does I like our chances today>Funny how a teams defense can often refelect the attitude of the pitcher.Nate looked whipped last night.Not much confidence displayed on his part.And the D was horrible.I think a teams defensive intensity is more accute when they see their pitcher really going after another teams hitters,as opposed to when they know their own pitcher is throwing scared out there

Some comments and observations:
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We need more power to be provided by Messr’s Cabrera, Sheffield, Ordonez and Guillen.
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We need Renteria to pick up his game.
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We need MCab to pick up his game.
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We need another starter to emerge.
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The staff ERA iof 4.51 is 2nd worse in the AL. The staff has issued 328 walks, 3rd worse. That HAS to to change.
N.B. Minnesota pitchers have the worst bat avg against in the league but the staff is successful because they have the least amount of walks given up.
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We need to be able to generate some runs on the base paths.
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We are going to need about 90% efficiency from our 7th, 8th and 9th inning relivers.
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The fielding has to improve dramatically. The team is 2nd worst in errors committed.
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If they wait too long they will not get much of value in return for Nate Robertson. Great guy and all but the stats tell the story on how much he will be able to contribute. The talk of him being effective out of the bullpen is interesting but I don’t think he will have any more success getting LHB out there than he does starting.
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Miner will be next to go. Leyland will not tolerate his propensity for walks.
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Sheffield has to show he can hit when it counts.
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Verlander has to win 15 games.
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Does anybody remember seeing Curtis get back to 1st base without diving back? I would think that would tire him and actually be a bit of a deterrent to him running later in the count. That’s not a complaint.
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Is anybody concerned with Carlos’ neck? Have you noticed how he is constantly swirling and jerking his head around? That’s not a complaint either.
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Has anybody noticed the gurning on Kenny’s face when he throws the fastball as opposed to the circle change? That’s not a complaint (but maybe a suggestion).
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Does anybody else think their is going to be a trade before the deadline?

Can’t believe I spelled there “their”! duh!

I agree that there will be a trade. Renteria, Nate, Some AAA guys, maybe even Marcus could be go..

So we send down Miner and bring back Lopez? For what, the bullpen? I thought he was being stretched out to start? Am I missing something here?

.

Guys, I know I have been away for quite a while – busy with some things – but I am still reading all your posts….keep it up! Go Tigers!!

Miner was gone before you even posted that, Dan. :-) He’s in Toledo, Lopez is called up. For what role, I couldn’t guess.
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Guillen has always done that with his neck. And according to Rod Allen, Granderson is working on shortening his lead so he won’t have to lean back towards first so much.
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The rest I agree with, obviously.
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Bonine’s challenge today may well come on the fielding side of things. Hope he’s got his fundamentals in order.
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–Rich

Dan, I thought a gurning was what they took Nate off the mound on last night when JL finally yanked him…..As far as trades go,I just wonder what we`ll end up with afterwards. I hope they dont let Marcus go.If our pitchers can keep any game close( and the starters have beenvery good of late with a few exceptions) he can change the game with a single swing.Heck he`s hitting around .280 and that aint bad for his HR per AB ratio. In fact in this day and age its ptetty darn good.But, I think at this point a good defensive 1st baseman and another catcher would help us in late innings.If we go for ****,then lets get one long term(young with potential).Almost any lefty pitcher we have could go,and it wouldnt hurt my feelings(contractually we have to keep Kenny,but trade the rest of them,please!)But,please,no more of yesterdays stars chasing after 500 HR`s or 3000 hits or 300 wins,or whatever.Most of all,get somebody that can actually come in and play their position,instead of someone we have to move for God only knows whatever reason

The 4 stars up there was SS for shortstop dont know how that happened

Miner has been sent down?
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Well I’m not surprised.
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Right—about Bonine fielding his position today againt “The Rabbits”.
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Marcus too if he is at 1st. Looks pretty good there though. A little tentative perhaps but very servicable.
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We are always saying this but today is a big game. Road game, Metrodome game, contender, rubber game, after a poorly played loss, etc etc.
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Sure like to see Renteria snap out of it. If he doesn’t I hope they offer him up and go with Ramon.
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I think they did the right thing with the Miner/Lopez option swap.
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You could see this was going to happen yesterday when the camera showed Leyland visibly upset and vocal when Miner kept stalling on the mound. Bad enough he wasn’t throwing strikes but worse that he didn’t show that he wanted to throw anything at all. JL does not accept timidity.

Well, looks like the same lineup as yesterday with the exception of Sardinha catching for Pudge.
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I tell ya, at the risk of stating the obvious, that lineup doesn’t look nearly as fearsome without Maggs and Cabrera in the middle, even if Cabrera hasn’t been all that consistent this year. He still gives the opposing pitcher something to worry about.
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Hopefully Bonine can keep the ball down again today and the defense can be good enough to get the win today.
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One positive coming from Cabrera’s injury is that I had forgotten that Marcus is decent defensively at first. He’s made a couple decent picks over there and the couple of plays he hasn’t made wouldn’t have been made by Cabrera either.
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I hope to see Granderson and Polanco get it going today. Despite the bad pitching, yesterday’s game would have been different had they been on base with Guillen going 3 for 4 behind them.
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Let’s go Tigers! Make it 7 series in a row.

Bruce, that’s been happening sometimes with the word “shortstop.” Can’t imagine why the word checker would flag that.
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I just saw something interesting from Sunday’s game. On Dane’s triple, Renteria (who by the way is the go ahead run) is lollygagging down the line towards the plate, looking back over his shoulder, while Thames is yelling for him to get across the plate. If Dane is thrown out at third before Renteria touches the plate, that go ahead run doesn’t count.
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I saw Marcus yelling during the game, but the replay angle they showed today displayed why. Edgar, get your head in the game.
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–Rich

I think we can fill the SS position internally. Ramon, Iorg, Worth, Almonte, Dlugach. Heck they even have played Hessman at short some!
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I remember Miner griping some when he was optioned the last time. If we hear that from him this time I guarantee you, “He Goan”.

I think in the long run we will do OK with the Marlin trade. I think it doubtful that the Brave trade will work out to our advantage though.

Sure wish mlblog.com could fix their blog software. i can’t count How many times I have lost my post before submitting?

How would you like to play the hot corner in the Metrodome against this twin team? You play in and they will rifle ground balls by your ear on this turf.
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You play back and they bunt you silly.
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We need a nice solid infield presence today for “Ti(ger)-Bo’

We’re gonna need some better aBs too. Those were inferior efforts by the CGs.
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Polanco has been getting robbed lately. I think two or maybe even three times yesterday too.

We’re gonna need some better ABs too. Those were inferior efforts by the CGs.
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Polanco has been getting robbed lately. I think two ,or maybe even three, times yesterday too.

Hopefully they don’t get inside Bonine’s head too much with the bunt singles and cheap base hits the Twinkies are famous for.

Tough to think that fast but Marcus would have been better to dive at the bag and not the runner.
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Geez can that guy ever run!!

Wonder if Bo walked Mauer like that to set up DP.Hope so,if not its a bad sign

That was a huge out early in the game. Bo needs to stay focused out there.

Well we got the DP.Now if we can work this pitcher maybe we get him outta there early

Bruce–I think he definitely did.
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I hate to see this nice ‘polite’ baseball from our hitters.
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We need to keep these guys off the bases if we are going to beat them.

Bo has thrown only 22 pitches to get thru 2.This youngster looks like he is pitching and not just throwing.Keep it up Bo.Get him some runs guys,Go Tigers

I honestly don’t know how you can beat a team that is playing like this. Punto is not really **** but comes in and looks like Ozzie Smith. Polanco robbed again.
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Mistake made on that play though–JL should have had Granderson running on the play.

Geez–you can’t walk these guys and especially down at the bottom of the order to the weaker hitters.

Dan, Iguess the web must think our shortstop abbreviation must be some kind of Nazi talk amongst us.You called it a while back about the turf/bunt dilemma.That double may have been the result of Carlos playing a little in.Twinkies sure know how to play small ball.

Just discouraging to allow the opponents to play their game.
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If you can’t take a team’s game away from them you can’t win a championship. I don’t mean this game or series but I mean in general.

Rookie catcher,Rookie pitcher,back to back fastballs to Mauer.Ill advised.Carlos muffs one.Our pitcher is shook now

Yep, I think Bo is flustered

That leadoff walk was key.
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This game is making me look for a sedative.

I take away the Bonine is a question mark comment. I think the question has been answered.
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time to warm up lopez.
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dan- i’ve got some vodka, makes bad games better to enjoy. or makes bad games even worse, depending on the amount….. hell, its 5:00 somewhere

We were due to lose and we escaped with a little pride yesterday thanks to the 5 DPs but you could tell we were gonna get an old fashioned whipping.
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Looks like some more roster changes coming. No way Bonine can pitch up here, no way.
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I think Leyland really needs to analyze what has happened here the last 3 games. I hope he doesn’t just attribute this to a “Metrodome anomaly”, they have not looked good and there are some serious deficiencies that need to be addressed.
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If they go to Seattle and play like this they will get beat by a poor team too.

Man-Renteria is pretty much an automatic out these days.
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I might be a little presumptous here but I think the boys are playing “get out of town” baseball now. It’s not even polite anymore.

Carlos, Had a .953 fielding percentage at 3rd coming into this game.He has done a lot better of late,no doubt.But he doesnt come in on plays well.I question his range to the glove side.They moved him from short after posting .955 there last year.He never had a great arm.By rights,he should be the DH,but we have the potential Hall of Famer there!I do not attribute the poor outing to strictly Bonine.He needed a good play calling catcher out there,with a little more experience than a handful of major league games under his belt.And we need to field a better defensive team on the infield for contact pitchers. I dont even want to get started about 1st base.We will never be able to win a high percentage of close games with the defense we put out there.And when your best power hitter is a platoon player,we are probally not going to get large quanity of runs needed to compensate for all the runs our defense is handing out.

We can’t expect that the Toldeo guys to carry us through the entire season. They’ve collectively done a nice job, but without Maggs, Miggy and Sheffield producing, and strong infield defense, as mentioned, we won’t be able to compete long term.

Hey all, I just turned the game on, is it really as bad as it looks?

ok well this is enough of a joke for one afternoon. i’m gonna go brave the 100 degree heat, climb on top of the roof, and install my brand new american flag pole and flag…. i was gonna wait til evening, but now i feel i need the sun to burn away all the annoying things i’ve witnessed in this game.
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mike

Jobrocks,Did you just witness that comedy of errors that just took place out there.The Tigers dont even know where to throw the ball out there right now.Forget spring training,these guys need to watch some little leaguers practice fundamentals for a couple weeks before theyeven put a glove back on their hands.I am stunned at the ineptitude that I am seeing out there today.

The bright side is that Casey Fossum is holding them down to a run per inning

Shug, You missed a beauty all right.Baseballs version of F-Troop,at best.

Yes Shuggard, it has been a dreadful exhibition of incompetence.
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Bonine looked like he was throwing batting priactice.
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No hitting.
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Poor fielding.
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Lacklustre attitude.
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And they have just sent a very bad message to their competition. That the can play poorly and fold like an old handkerchief. This is not the way you want a team to remember you when you play them next.

How does Lamont not send Hollimon? May as well ,you don’t want to be shut out.

it seems Lamont has gone from one extreme to the other on sending them home.

I only saw the first few innings on TV, and have been following on Gameday- it’s depressing even online….

Looks to me like we should be thankful for interleague play. Hopefully they can gain some against Seattle. I don’t even know what to think of this team anymore. I will always try to keep the faith, but this season may age me an extra 15 yrs. Here’s hopin’. GO TIGERS!

I agree.Totally depressing,whether TV,radio,online,just awful.I guess we need some fly ball pitchers cause our infielders are way past pitiful………….Seriously though if we truly fantasize of competing for the playoffs,we need to get another good defensive backup catcher.We`ll need Inge in late innings at 3rd.And we need a good left handed defensive 1st baseman for late innings as well.With all our STARS, I doubt there will be any room for good ballplayers on the roster,though………………

The good news is, I will get to bed early tonight and hopefully feel better about the Tigers tomorrow. I’ll say a prayer the Indians can find a way to beat the Sox, and get on a roll on their way into Minneapolis……..I can’t believe I’m praying for Cleveland.

I think we all can see that our beloved team cannot win the central based on the makeup of our team. We are really, really slow as a team, and it’s showing up routinely now. The winners of the future will be a balanced combo of spped, timely hitting, and control pitching. We have none of those. We have star players who put up decent numbers in certain situations. While realizing that Ordonez and Cabrera didn’t play, I also realize that the Twins lost Hunter, Santana, and have had numerous injuries, but they are better this year than last. We can’t hit their young righties, and Bonine really showed what he is today. There is nothing in my comments meant to badmouth my team. I love this ballclub, but again, the last two games have really convinced me that it is what it is. We’re about the seventh best team in the American League, if that high. I think, we need to remodel the club for 2009. Can you imagine the second year of Sheffield’s extension for the production we are getting there. I’ve tried to think who I would rather see win if the Tigers can’t; I despise the White Sox and everything they stand for; Cleveland nauseates me, even Eric Wedge. The reality is that I’m more in awe of Minnesota and what they do. So if we can’t be the Miracle Tigers of 08, I’ll pull for the Twins, except when they play us.

Greg

The frustrating thing about losing to the Twins isn’t so much that they beat us with “small ball.” It’s the fact that even without Santana, Liriano, and Radke , they come up with pitching that is able to stifle Tiger bats. Baker had good outings against us last year and has continued this year to do the same. You can add Perkins and Slowey to new Twinkies that are probably going to give us fits for years. By the way, I don’t think small ball is a bad way to play the game. The Twins have speed and contact hitters and they use the carpet to their advantage-nothing wrong with that.

–Ed–

Wow, guys. Two losses and you’re packing it in? The best team (at this time) took the series, no surprise there. No way we can compete with that kind of baseball with guys from Toledo. The Twins don’t play like that all the time. If they did, they’d be undefeated.
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On our side, there are too many injuries right now. Ordonez, Cabrera, Inge, Santiago, etc. I mean, you’ve got Marcus cleanup followed by Joyce? The goal will have to be to stagger to the All-Star break then get some of these guys back. The sticking point there is the four games with Minnesota next weekend. We’ll have to take 3 of those, and that ain’t easy. But it won’t be in the StuporDome. I’m so glad we’re only going back there four more times.
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I’m not looking at things through rose colored glasses, though. It’s a proven fact that the NL is more like a AAAA minor league compared to the AL. That’s why you should never acquire NL players. Our recent streak will need to be proven real. Bonine, not surprisingly, got killed today. I expect more of that, and we should look at Lopez in the rotation.
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I don’t think the team exactly gave up today, but they were bound to be discouraged by the way the series has gone. There’s losing, and then there’s this. That will wear off, probably by tomorrow.
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Greg, you made an accurate prediction, IMO. The future of the game in this post steroid (?) era is speed and defense. Some of today’s big stars will become dinosaurs.
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–Rich

Thanks Rich, for the little pick me up, I will never pack it in. It just gets soooo frustrating! The injuries are killing us. Hopefully we can survive til the all star break. Maybe this was the worst of it! GO TIGERS

It’s pretty clear that we need this club to hit the 3 run HR more frequently.
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We do not manufacture runs very easily and we have a heckuva time keeping the opposition from doing just that.
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A lot of that is defense too. We are in pretty good hands with Polanco at 2nd, but the rest of the infield is inconsistent. Carlos at 3rd has improved a lot and makes some great plays but he is still learning and is prone to bad throws at any given time.
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Renteria has been as disappointing with the glove as he has been with the bat.
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Cabrera suffers from Diplodocus Syndrome as well brain freeze on balls that he should be holding the bag on.
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Granderson is a really good center fielder but does misjudge short fly balls once in a while.
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Thames gives you all he’s got in LF but is not what you would call a dependable defensive placement.
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Ordonez is an outfielder in name only, really does not give you an edge defensively but rather provides a DH spot for someone else.
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Santiago can tighten things up. Inge as well. IMO, Guillen or Cab has to DH.
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Ant that’s only this year—-nest year a sea change is needed.

sheff needs to be cut free.
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how long is renteria signed through? if it’s more than this year, he should be cut/traded back to the NL where he flurishes.
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the injured masses need to return to form……
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leyland needs to stop letting a struggling rookie minor leaguer pitch in a 5 run 3rd. shouldve brought in lopez.
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cab needs to hit 3hole, as i’ve been saying since before spring training.
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having inge back from his injury (any status on that??) will be nice to have sardinha sent back down, and him and pudge splitting time again. things were working out well for both involved when that was the case.
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today’s game was about as ugly as it can go. idk if its the metrodome or what, but i hate losing to minnesota. that turf is brutal.
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mike

Several positives for me out of this series.
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1) We got away with murder and took the first game
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2) It was kind of fun to watch Gomez play and even though he works for the enemy, still appreciate it.
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3) I saved myself a whack of money because now I know I don’t want to travel to Seattle for the series there.

i’m not real surprised about this series. figured getting back to real baseball teams and away from the NL Minor leagues it’d be a rough transistion. hopefully they’ll get a nice break at the Allstar game and come back ready to make a run….
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hopefully…
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mike

I don’t have much more to add that hasn’t already been addressed.
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I doubt they’d want to make a 25-year old into a DH, but Guillen is a prime candidate for that role. Seems that Carlos can adapt to just about anything. Real valuable guy, he is. Sheffield is on then off. One thing I notice is he’s not drawing walks anymore, he’s swinging at a lot of bad pitches. Still injured?
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I know they’ll never just hand the job to Santiago, but they could at least play him a lot more in Renteria’s place.
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Thomas has skills that can be used while Joyce is somewhat one-dimensional at this point. I think I might have opted for Hessman, but I don’t know what his option situation is.
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I wasn’t happy with the pitching staff over the winter and, if anything, they’ve weakened it. That will be the thing that kills us, probably. I will say that Rodney looks much improved here lately.
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And this new blog system is TERRIBLE!!!!! I think it’s acting up because we have so many posts on this thread? I can usually get my stuff back when it kicks me out, but last week with a laptop in hotels I couldn’t do that.
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–Rich

Yeah, Cab at DH is not what you want to do to be sure. Too bad he couldn’t catch!.
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When the team decided (and I don’t know how they didn’t know already with 4 years of previous MLB experieince) he couldn’t play 3rd that changed EVERYTHING.
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It changed the situation at 1st, the long term situation at DH, it blocked Larish, and created a learning curve that steeped itself in losses along the way.
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I don’t think this team has the luxurey of limping into the All-Star Break. I don’t think they can afford to lose many games and certainly not many series. They have looked bad the last 3 days in Minny and they need to recoup against what has been the worst team in baseball. There is no margin of error here in this series. If the Mariners thump us I’m afraid of what will follow.
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Whoever they put in this lineup has to be able to hit. We have not been getting enough of that commodity, not like we should be with these former All-Stars.
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It doesn’t appear to me that sheffield is likely to turn things around. He’ll get the odd hit but he is not producing in the clutch. I didn’t feel Ordonez was really either. Same goes for MCab. Theres’ your 3 RHB bombers who in their own ways, have bombed.
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Ordonez and Cab have to start whacking the ball and become fearsome. After all, they are both capable of that.
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I can’t put my finger on it but I “feel” that Renteria is not a positive influence on the team. Nothing to substantiate that, it’s just a feeling. I would not mind seeing him dealt at the deadline.
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I think Inge may also be dealt. In fairness to him I hope it happens. He is not likely to get 3rd back and I don’t think he is a top-level MLB catcher.
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I’m not going to furterh deconstruct the team at this time but would remind that if they ever want to take advantage of some value in Nate, now is the time.
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Didn’t watch the last inning but it looks as thought Rodney threw well. Lots of strikes.
.

i just can’t wait until jason gets a new post up. i’m getting carpel tunnel scrolling down through 200 comments.

well i missed the game today, fortunately. I saw the box score though…what happened with Guillen? Why did they put Raburn in at 3rd?
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I was a little bit confused about that.
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Anyways…here’s hoping all our guys come back soon from their injuries!
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I’m with you guys on this Santiago situation…maybe try out doing every other day or every 2 days… that way Renteria can rest and Santiago and show us all what we’ve been waiting for :)
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I doubt that will happen, but i’ll just keep my fingers crossed until then.
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Playing Razor in place of Rent-a-wreck would be a blatant admission that they screwed the pooch on that trade. None of us expect it, do we?
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I’ve noticed that the more posts on a single thread, the more of those “items remaining” appear at the bottom. Whoever signed off on this new blog system could be a general manager in the big leagues. I suppose the idea was for each of us to create our own blog so we could write things that no one would read, since they were busy writing their own blog.
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I’ll stop before I go into a full blown George Carlin routine here. I’d have to use the word for the number six fielder on your scorecard (you know, the shortstop) and I might get banned.
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See you guys tomorrow.
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–Rich

I too missed the game…… having to work has it’s privileges. Twins can sure expose your weaknesses. Must have been brutal. Too many injuries right now. And we need some changes. Pitching, defense, and speed, as stated somewhere above, are the key to success. I am looking forward to Santiago’s return and immediate insertion into the lineup. When is Inge expected to return? Any ideas? Want to see him playing also. Be fun to hear everyone’s (within reason) comments on short and long term solutions. Keep in mind this was only two bad games and yesterday’s game wasn’t even that bad except for starting pitching.

Marty,Yesterdays starting pithing was NOT the reason we lost.Far from it.I`ve thought that the comments regarding Bonine have been unfair as well as shortsighted. MISMANAGEMENT is the key word for our failure against the Twins…..The Tigers had an opportunity to make an adjustment 10 days ago and failed to make it.(I asked Jason a while back if we would skipp Bo on the 2 offdays in order to throw JV,KR,and AG at the Twins)Perfect opportunity to play our best against the Twins…He said no changes were planned……Dumb move I thought 10 days ago….So we bring our new CONTACT pitcher against the best small ball and contact hitting club in the majors…Save JV and KR for Colorado…bright…Then we put the new guy out there with a catcher who caught what 10-15 games in his career,22 yrs old…bright again…The trouble for him was a leadoff walk,still managble,but you dont call back to back fastballs in tha same location to Mauer…unforgivable…He started getting unnerved a little there.He ends up giving a single up for 2 runs.Now ground ball,squibber that Carlos boots setting up 3 unearned runs.But, it was after the muff he totally loses it.3rd base and 1st base fielding looked like T-Ballers fielding out there yesterday,we sawfielders throwing to the wrong bases,moving for bunts lacadaisicqlly, and even forgetting what bags that they were supposed to cover(more than once)Bo is used to the Mud Hens infield that knows how to field their position,then he comes up here and our STARS cant get out of their own way. Are hitters are swinging first and second pitches.But the biggest sin is to put him out there with a 22 yr old catcher with 2 games under his belt,that doent know the hitters,or how to pitch to them,I dont care how many games they worked together in Tol. That is just plain assinine,Sardinha should be working with Rogers and Bonine with Pudge,even though I think Inge is better at calling pitch selection than Pudge,(escpecially in later innings).But it really looked like those old legs out there couldnt handle Twins small ball…But the fault CANNOT be placed on rookie in his 4th career game,that is just to unfair a sentenceon the kid.He should have been pitching in Seattle if the correct adjustment had been made 10 days ago.

Greg,
I disagree to an extent with your post. I think we’re all a little blinded by the two losses that we think Minnesota is doing all the right things. Keep in mind that Minnesota has yet to reach a World Series under Ron Gardenhire despite their success… and they don’t do very well on the road.
Yes, speed’s important, and statistics show it leads to success. But two things: 1) You need to hit well to get on base no matter what your speed is. Bunting for base hits is not a smart thing to try regularly, the Tigers just made it look easy for the Twins. and 2) You still need guys to drive you in even if you steal 2nd. The Twins have Mauer and Morneau for that, and the Tigers have Polanco and Ordonez, two of the best hitters with RISP in the league. And it’s not like the Tigers are THAT slow of a team… Granderson, Renteria, Guillen and Sheffield all can steal bases. I just don’t think we’re being aggressive enough. Anyway, The best idea is to put this series behind us. I was hoping to get one game out of it, especially with Ordonez and Cabrera both out, and we did. Now we go into Seattle where we SHOULD be able to take 3 of 4.

Greg,Both Guillen and escpecilly Renteria are precisely the pair of old legs that I was talking about.Reterias legs are totally shot,and I`m talking ground balls that should be gotten too,that he could`ve reached 5 years ago,that he can no longer come close too.As far as hitting is concerned look at the xtra base hit total per at bat.He`s done aas a big time contributor.As far as stolen bases,whats he got? 2 maybe,I dont even keep track of him cuz he`s so slow.Guillen is smart and knows the few pitchers or catchers that he can steal on.He is a sneak stealer,at best.As far as the Tigers not being slow,I would have to disagre,I think that they are easily among the top teams as far as slow goes,How many bases have they stole as a team? in comparison to other teams,pretty far down the list….Caabrera and Ordonnezcant run fast in the field or on the bases…Curtis is good, Shef is the best base stealer on the team by far,but he`s looking for .500 HR……..But the slowness that I w2as talking about was our fielders inability to get to balls in the field that they should be able to make plays on,specifically,Cab,Carlos and Renteria……Most of our pitcher pitch to get the groudball and far too many make it through the holes in the infield because the range of our infield is worst in the league.We are the worst defensive team in the majors.Anybody watching yesterdays game should be able too see that…If the Tigers dont get better defensively they cannot make the plaqyoffs.The 2006 team was a much better team because they had Casey on 1st quite a bit and Inge on 3rd.Look at the ERA of that staff.Dont you think some of that is because they made plays that only show up as outs in the box score.Those same plays this year are showing up as hits in the box scores.Theres a whole lot more to baseball than just hitting.I`ve always been a bigger fan of Pitching and D,other than simply hitting,and this management is fielding a shabby second rate club out there.Polly cant play the entire infield.

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