Wednesday: Tigers at Angels

After thinking it over, manager Jim Leyland opted to start Curtis Granderson Wednesday against Angels left-hander Joe Saunders. He’s on a hot streak in a ballpark where he hits very well (8 HRs in 20 career games at Angel Stadium) and where the ball can fly on day games, so it’s as good of a situation as any for him. On the other hand, while Aubrey Huff is 8-for-18 lifetime off Saunders, he’s in an 0-for-13 skid and a 1-for-16 road trip.

One factor to keep in mind today: It’s hot. Really hot. As mentioned, the ball usually carries well in day games here anyway, so that’s a factor. The Tigers had a note up in the clubhouse to drink plenty of water.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Thames, DH
  6. Raburn, LF
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Edwin Jackson

ANGELS

  1. Chone Figgins, 3B
  2. Bobby Abreu, RF
  3. Torii Hunter, CF
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
  5. Kendry Morales, 1B
  6. Maicer Izturis, 2B
  7. Erick Aybar, SS
  8. Mike Napoli, C
  9. Gary Matthews Jr., LF

P: Joe Saunders

57 Comments

Game starting and it’s 97 degrees. Geesh, that’s a meltdown out there. Wait til the Tigers come home. It’s almost freezing here with temps in the 60’s. Quite a change from a few days ago with temps in the 80’s.

Well hit ball pubp but I agree. I thought Curtis was going to pull that one down. I think he wasn’t able to get set to time his leap. Problem was EJ letting Hunter tee off like that. He tends to do that-gives up a lot of long fly balls.
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Hunter seems to destroy Tiger pitching.

Wow! 2-0 in the first inning. I thought Grandy had a chance to catch that one. The Angels are gonna fight like dogs to win this one. I just hope the Tigers are willing to do the same.

Along with the camera angles here in LAA I won’t miss Rod’s love fest for Tori Hunter.

Wow did Inge get screwed on that strikeout and just as I am writing this Matthews gets walked on and he was struck out. Go figure, already not liking this guy and his inconsistent strikezone that appears to be favoring the ANGELS so far.

Jackson has got to stop walking the rabbits.

Granderson is in ugly today. I kinda figured he would get the start after yesterday.
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For sure when the September call ups come they will bring up Dlugach and Ramirez. They may want to bring up Clevlen to spell Curtis. Not sure if they would trust Ramirez to play CF but Clevlen plays a very decent CF. There will be (and hve been) times where they know Curtis is going to be overmatched and need to bring in a real RHB center-fielder.
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They will need to give Dlugach a look if Everett keeps strugglling. They have to have a thought about next year but they also can’t afford to have an automatic out in the lineup this year.

well Jackson although I think has gotten screwed on a few pitch calls, but my god dude throw a strike, at least make them earn it.

Whitey Ford and Bob Gibson?

We’ve only had one stinkin hit.

This looks like this might be an ugly game – and not in a good way. Edwin isn’t feeling it and the rabbits are running today, and while I thought the first two could of been called out maybe?? Wow they are really running.
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And the commentators love fest for LAA and Tori Hunter continues, I think that I will barf.

OH MY GOD CABRERA – REALLY ARE YOU SERIOUS.

Perfect opportunity wasted.

Bad call Leyland. You just took the club right out of the game with that bonehead call. Polanco was out by a mile and MCab, as hot as he is, will not truly be a fantastic hitter until he can unload on those 3-0 fat balls. He did once this year but is back to watching ‘em again.

If the game stays withing 3 runs or even 4 runs, we’re still in it. All it takes a couple hits and a couple runs.

Okay, bad call there by JL to send the runners. First off, I don’t like doing that with Cabrera up, but more importantly, Polanco had tipped the play on the previous move by Saunders. At that point, you take the play off. Come on, Leyland.
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–Rich

Dan, you and I have to find a way to watch a game together someday.
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–Rich

with all due respect how do you know that Leyland didn’t give him the green light to hit 3-0??? Cabby may just not of done it. The problem is that Miguel did swing at a bad pitch and hung Polanco out to dry by not even making contact.
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But your right it was a wasted opportunity, but not necessarily Leylands fault.

Not talking about swinging on 3-0, talking about putting runners in motion after Polanco tipped the play. And the last thing you want to do is distract your big hitter by having a runner bolt from secondbase in his line of sight.
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Jackson’s not holding these runners at all.
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–Rich

GK–I don’t care about Leyland. He has given the green light to him before and I ASSUME he has pretty much given him a green light unless he specifically says no. MCab is as close to an elite hitter as you can get but a truly elite player can take advantage of a 3-0 pitch and salivate over the opportunity.

“If Tori can’t catch it it is uncatchable” Shut up Rod, we all know you have a thing for Tori Hunter. God I can’t wait till we don’t have to hear about him anymore.

The other thing (and that’s a real good point about the Angels knowing Polanco was going), is that what would happen if MCab drills a liner at the 3rd baseman with runners going? Oh yeah, I think we saw that happen already this year.
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Polanco was in scoring position already and there was nobody out. Duh!

See there. Still in it.

Adam Everett!!
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Maybe this will become a Yogi Berra defined game. “It ain’t over, till it’s over”.

Well I have the right to my opinion. And in my opinion Leyland gets blamed way too much instead of just saying that Cabrera screwed up and didn’t even make contact with it or let it go for ball four which it was. HE in my opinion is the one that didn’t do his job. And I believe that there is a whole lot that goes on that we know nothing about in our armchairs at home, and it is real easy to second guess everything. If Cabrera does his job there then we are thinking how smart? But does Leyland get the credit there or does Cabrera??? My guess is that Leyland gets no credit.

Well I have the right to my opinion. And in my opinion Leyland gets blamed way too much instead of just saying that Cabrera screwed up and didn’t even make contact with it or let it go for ball four which it was. HE in my opinion is the one that didn’t do his job. And I believe that there is a whole lot that goes on that we know nothing about in our armchairs at home, and it is real easy to second guess everything. If Cabrera does his job there then we are thinking how smart? But does Leyland get the credit there or does Cabrera??? My guess is that Leyland gets no credit. So I respectfully gave my opinion and I would sure that you would be respectful to me, not that you have to agree with me.

If I gave up a homer to Everett, I’d be really ticked off. :-)
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–Rich

You got that already GK.
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Love watching Laird play, nice pick-off at third.
And I’m in the apparent minority enjoying the different camera angles. JP

By the way, I’ve been to several games in Anaheim, and I understand the family atmosphere and all that, but I couldn’t get used to the vendors yelling “Fruit Parfaits!” and California Pizza Kitchen. No “Beer Here!” No shouts for hot dogs or get-your-peanuts. Something just not right about that. It was a very very sad day indeed the first time I heard “Fruit Parfaits!” in the stands at a baseball game. – JP

They sell beer but not in the stands :(

Wow, GK, a time warp, worm hole, whatever, how did my answer about the beer post before your question? We have to find a way to work this to get the lottery numbers before they are drawn.

They don’t sell beer at Angels stadium???

Another test for the kid Perry.

Boy I learned something there I didn’t even know something like that was possible. He stuck him out, Laird threw the ball back to Perry, he turns his back and Figgens trys to come home. I thought it would of been a dead play? Learned something new today.

He gets an A for that assignment.
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Now how do we score 3 runs?

Thats the question how do we get a few runs – at least tie this thing up. Interesting that today they cant really hit the guys that you thought they would be able to – and yesterday I thought we would of been toast. Go figure. It seems pretty par for the course this year. They bear down against good pitchers and maybe they relax against high ERA pitchers?? ALA PAVANO.

bad throw by laird there good throw had em easy. Kudos to Inge for almost still getting him.

Fuentes is their only weak link.

5 Stolen bases and 6 walks kinda strange that they have only scored 4 runs. Lets hope that either we can do something here and/or Wakefield has that knuckleball dancing tonight. All and all I am happy that we one two games here. Not so impressed with the performance in Oakland though.
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Time for Fuentes to blow another one here. Unfortunately this is not the part of the lineup you want up here.

You don’t PH for Everett? You kidding me. What on earth is Leyland thinking? I know he’d been 2 for 3 but geez there’s this thing called averages. That’s not a great call there by Leyland. Laird just got hurt why not bring up Avila? God, anyone but Adam. You have to at least try.

It defy’s logic why the skipper did not pinch run for Laird and pinch hit for Everett. He drives me nuts. Even if Everett had gotten a hit, how is Gerald gonna run fast with a swollen knee. Basically, just gave it up. imo

Ya kinda surprised that he didn’t pinch hit there either, I wonder if there is a big lefty/righty difference?? Has anyone noticed how Avila hasn’t gotten a hit in quite a while??? My real problem is that after he just hit two batters and had a wild pitch why are you swinging at the first pitch???

Good point Dan although a winnable game if they take advantage of the opportunities given, but I wasn’t feeling it right from the get go.

I like to follow the Rockies and could never understand the Angels paying $17.5m for Fuentes over 2 years.
Shame Huff was in such poor form having previously hit Saunders 8 for 18 and Fuentes 2 for 5.

Good point pup about Laird. The PH thing though was a little more difficult as he really has no one that can really hit much bettter from the right side. I don’t think Carlos is swinging RH yet–though it might have been a time to give the old college try!
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No hitting today and when your only runs are a result of an aanomaly like a 2 run HR from a 2 HR hitter, then you are obviously not in contention that game.

They had some chances today. Virtually no hitting from the better hitters to supplement a lucky homerun from Everett.
Jackson did not seem in as good control as some other starts but held them to 4 runs. A victory today would have put them 10 games over .500, a milestone they don’t seem to be able to reach. Another loss by the WSox and one good game from the Orioles in Minnesota would keep the standings the same. Tampa is fighting for its playoff life so those games will not be easy at all.

All that was left on the bench were LH hitters, other than Santiago who hasn’t been getting ABs from the right side, and up against a LH closer. Don’t know what the numbers were. We’ve come full circle from a team that pounds lefties to one that has trouble with them.
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Got the 3-3 road trip, so that’s a success in a convuluted fashion.
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I’m not sure where any disrespect was, so I’ll just say (again) that I don’t second guess. I said out loud to an empty house to take the play off before the pitch to Cabrera but nobody can hear me. I obviously can’t prove this. I’ve given Leyland plenty of compliments for good decisions, and plenty of grief for bad ones. It’s baseball.
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I don’t want to automatically assume that Nate will crash and burn on Saturday, so I’ll just point out an alternative which is having Miner start and putting Bonderman in the pen. But I’m fine with giving Nate a shot at it. That’s a first guess with a backup plan included.
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–Rich

Here is our answer regarding Fuentes – his era against lefties is 1.17 and against righties 5.50. I guess there wasn’t much of a choice there since there were no big bats from the right to bring off the bench.

Now that the WSox have lost 3-2 and the Twins are behind 4-1, I took a look at what could happen down the stretch. IF the Tigers continue at a .532 winning percentage as they have so far, they will end with an 86-76 record. In order for the Twins or WSox to pass the Tigers at the end, they would have to be 24-9 the rest of the way. Anything is possible but it seems as though that might be a monumental task. The Twins are having pitching problems and have a trouble winning on the road. The WSox are having pitching problems (Contreras, Peavy) and have trouble hitting in the clutch. Some of these problems are affecting the Tigers too, but they do have a 4 game lead the others have to overcome. Let’s hope they can at least continue playing at that .532 clip. What “clip” it is. Go Tigers!

How long can this team supprt Inge’s lack of offensive participation?
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Today, to me, Perry looked like he has a definite future.
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Wonder how Laird is?
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No inherent problems in getting GMan on the post season roster if he is brought back after Sept 1?
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Fingers crossed that Nate will be reinvented.

How about that?! Twins and Sox both lose. The Twins at home to the Orioles no less.
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Rich and West Coast Fan, I liked the different camera angles too. As Rich explained, you get a baseball park perspective of the game.

Jason, that’s an excellent article about what the Tigers mean to an economically challenged Detroit area. I’m glad you wrote that. I see that one of our posters, Tracey, is included. I lived up there until 1999 and have always been proud to call Detroit and Michigan home.
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Maybe you can do a similar article someday about displaced Tigers fans, the challenges of following the team from afar, always being the visitors when we do get to see the guys play, etc. There are a lot of us out here. I’d consider it a privilege to contribute anything I can to such a story.
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–Rich

Just a side note to Jason’s article and Rich’s comments. I’ve been a Tiger fan since I was 10; was never in Michigan until 1974. I was born in Big Stone Gap, Va. Willie Horton was born in Arno, Va, a mining camp 2 miles from where my Dad was Chief Electrician at Derby. Willie attended Appalachia , Va schools until he moved to Detroit. Another side: My single A high School, Powell Valley High(750 students), graduated two NFL running backs, Thomas and Julius Jones. With all that, I think I was the only Tiger fan in Wise Co. Go Tigers!
Greg

As I write this, it is 60 degrees and has been raining for the past 24 hours here in southcentral Michigan. Let’s hope they can get the game in tonight, but it is definitely going to be cool.

Greg, I read your comments about being a Tiger fan from afar just as I was thinking about how much I enjoyed my conversations with other fans at the Tigers vs. A’s game last week, hearing stories about childhood memories of first trips to the ball park. Always makes for interesting conversation.
JP

I have been a fan of the Tigers since 1963 and have not lived in Michigan since 1977.
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Life is much easier today for distance fans now than it use to be prior to the MLB package on Direct TV. Saturday afternoon games are about the only ones I cannot get now and I hate the blackout rules. It use to be Saturday games were about the only ones I could see.
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I spent years reading box scores and imagining what happened during the game and it is more fun to be able to watch now especially in HD.
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Mark

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