Hessman's hit-by-pitch mark

When Mike Hessman was hit by two different pitches in the second inning tonight, he actually entered some pretty rare company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, just four other players in modern baseball history have done it. Ex-Oriole Brady Anderson was the most recent, having been plunked by two Mike Morgan pitches in the opening inning against the Rangers on May 23, 1999. Former Rockies slugger Andres Galarraga (July 12, 1996), Mets All-Star Frank Thomas (April 29, 1962) and Cincinnati’s Willard Schmidt (April 26, 1959) are the others.


Well I have a hard time saying that was a great games, but I suppose at this point you take them however you can get them. That fifth inning was brutal seeing eye grounder after seeing eye grounder, it was painful to watch. I thought that I was going to lose my mind.
Sheff obviously had a good night as well as a lot of our hitters. Granderson had a diffucult time in which there were a lot of positives. Magglio looks like he is trying to get himself back into the batting title race. I heard that Pedroia had an o’ fer tonight. And I believe that he is only 4 behind, although there are a few guys in between.

Between Hessman’s “feat” and Sheffield hitting the 250,000th homer in MLB history, it was an historic evening. And there’s no truth to the rumor that Kenny Rogers gave up the first of the 250,000.
Zach definitely wasn’t on, but he didn’t have much luck either. In the 5th, he kept getting the groundballs he needed and they kept finding holes. That falls under the category of “that’s baseball.” If Renteria makes a clean exchange on that 1st inning grounder in the hole, Zach probably gets out of the inning with about 15 less pitches thrown. Those extra outs kill you.
Casey Fossum has contributed some big innings this year. That was a nice pickup. Glover has also been pretty effective.
Maggs is in one of his locked in phases. It would be something for him to win a second consecutive batting title. Something to watch for the remainder of the year.
It’s hard to see Sheffield as a clubhouse negative after watching the pair of team happy dances that went on following each of his homers. What was that second one, “ring around the Sheff”? It’s nearly as much fun watching Cabrera clown around as it is watching him hit.
Speaking of Cab, those 33 homers he’s hit is something of a rarity in Tigerland. You have to go back to Dean Palmer’s 38 in 1999, then Tony Clark’s 34 the previous year. Before that, you’re back to Cecil Fielder territory. We haven’t seen this much raw power since Big Daddy. El Gato Grande’ is also an RBI machine.
Long night, but a good one.

Missed most of the game but wish I could have seen it – must have been entertaining. Not sure what led to the team letting the A’s back into the game, but fun to see the long ball a lot. And also cool to hear teh guys were enjoying themselves and congratulating Sheff – no matter that I am ready for him to leave, not many people have hit that many homeruns in a career and to have a 2 ****** night that includes a grand slam is awesome for him.

Wow – nice last play of the game by Inge – give credit to him on that one and glad to see his triple!

Aa couple of Tiger related snippets from Nick Carfado at Boston.com:
“Shortstop hole
Besides trying to find someone who would take Gary Sheffield, acquiring a closer, and perhaps signing a starting pitcher, the Tigers will also have to head out in the free agent market for a shortstop. The feeling is Edgar Renteria will not return. The conclusion is simply this: Renteria can’t play in the American League. The Tigers thought they were obtaining a steady shortstop and good hitter, but he’s been far from that. There’s not much out there for free agent shortstops, so you wonder: Would the Tigers ever be tempted by Julio Lugo?”
“No relief in sight
While the Tigers are an early front-runner for Francisco Rodriguez’s services, don’t rule out the Cardinals. They will likely fall short of a playoff berth because of their bullpen. Through Friday, they had 30 blown saves and 30 bullpen losses, both worst in the league. They’ve lost 12 games on walkoff hits, 21 losses have come in the opponent’s last at-bat, and 14 losses came after they led through seven innings. While Dave Duncan is a tremendous pitching coach, he is not a magician.”

It’s not surprising that a Boston writer would have that view of Renteria, although he may be absolutely correct. Edgar actually hit better in Boston than he has here, but it was his defense over there that got everyone down on him. Anyway, another free agent shortstop is Orlando Cabrera. Not sure how attractive he is, as he’s going to be 34. They may have to trade to upgrade this position. I’d still like to see Santiago get a shot. This isn’t the same guy from 2003.
As far as closers go, I’d just be happy if the Tigers played well enough to actually need one. Looking back over the season, the closer was rarely the major problem, if ever. We weren’t in many real 9th inning save opportunities A team can rack up statistical blown saves in the innings preceding the 9th. Francisco Rodriguez, while a good closer, is pitching for the best team in baseball this season. I think he might become overpriced. Bottom line, no team can succeed with a good closer pitching behind a bad bullpen.

I wouldn’t discount the idea that the Tigers simply decline Renteria’s option year and then try to re-sign him at a lower salary. Defensive woes notwithstanding, his second-half performance (.302 average, .834 OPS) has given rise to the idea that he might not be completely miscast or over the hill here and that learning AL pitchers played a factor in his horrendous start. Given what’s out there this year, unless the Tigers can find a young replacement on the trade market — and mind you, the Tigers don’t have a whole lot to trade — a one-year deal on Renteria could serve as a stopgap. In any case, I don’t see them going after Orlando Cabrera.

If I recall the details correctly, Edgar wasn’t that expensive to start with. A one-year deal might allow for money to be spent in other areas, so that could work. If he is here next year, I’d still like to see Santiago get more PT. I don’t think it’s much of a downgrade wherever he fills in, if at all. I think Razor constantly sitting on the bench for long stretches ignites the Renteria complaints to higher levels. In addition, playing Edgar at short makes it that much more imperative to improve the defense at thirdbase.

Couple of thoughts:

Rich – I’m with you on giving Santiago a shot. Pittsburgh always seems to be looking to unload there SS so I’d give Ramon his shot at it for the first part of next season and then look to pick up someone at the trading deadline next year. I haven’t seen anything in Santaigo that would lead me to believe he can’t hit at .280 and above all year. And obviously his glove is a plus.

On K-Rod I would just pass. Being in LA I see him alot and this kid is a roller coaster ride (just like TJ and Fernando). His mechanics are such that I think he’ll be getting close to blowing out his arm any day now. So, I’d beware. Let the Cardinals take him. He’s had a great year but the Angels are a great team (or were) so he’s getting some benefit from that.

On the Shef thing, I guess I’m sort of left cold by it. If he is a leader in the clubhouse then I haven’t seen much of it. He hits a couple of dingers off a minor leaguer but hasn’t been there all year.

Finally on Cabrera, this guy is a freak and should be in a circus. He is an absolute hitting machine and the kind of numbers he is putting up right now at only 25 are unreal. DD’s legacy with Detroit may be that he not only got this guy but locked him down. Expect any number of records to fall with him.

Inge, Santiago, Polanco (choked up ont he bat Polanco not free swinging Polanco) and Cabrera are a great infield as far as I’m concerned, both from the glove and hitting perspectives. Grandy in center, Mags in right, insert name here in left and a couple of arms and I think we have the makings of a good 2009 group.

That would be my choice for infield too Eric. Good call.

No complaints from me either Eric. Despite JL saying he wants to put his best team on, he seems that he will experiment with Inge at 3rd and Ryan more opportunities.
Despite the ‘year from hell’ for Inge in terms of mindgames, he still has 46RBI’s from 294 at bats, compared to Carlos 54 from 420 and Renteria 48 from 466.
I agree Rich about that 1st inning miss by Renteria, not an error but the good SS & 3rds turn those into an out.

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