Thursday: Tigers vs. Greinke (and Royals)

The abundance of left-handed starters facing the Tigers left Carlos Guillen with just eight plate appearances over the last week. He gets back into the starting lineup today against Zack Greinke. He was talking about maybe trying to hit right-handed during batting practice today, but I’m not sure what good it would do.

Don Kelly, meanwhile, earns his first start since July 5. He’s in right field, batting seventh.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Huff, DH
  6. Avila, C
  7. Kelly, RF
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Edwin Jackson

ROYALS

  1. Willie Bloomquist, RF
  2. Mitch Maier, LF
  3. Billy Butler, 1B
  4. Mike Jacobs, DH
  5. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
  6. Miguel Olivo, C
  7. Alex Gordon, 3B
  8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
  9. Josh Anderson, CF

P: Zack Greinke

28 Comments

Not sure if you all noticed, but at the game last night honoring Ernie, there was one fan holding up a sign that said it all “what a person should be”. Now how great is that?
God bless you Ernie.
Go Tigers.

Sparky Anderson said in all of years being around Ernie he never used a cuss word/

game over. Grienke will not give up 3 runs

Go out and stare at the clouds, GK. Take a break.

Santiago’s lacksidasicalness (spelling) cost the team two runs that inning.

Okay Ump Grienke is good enough you don’t need to give him strikeout calls that he doesn’t deserve.

And that would be that. Fourth 3-run homer in last three games. So, it’s now down to 4 games unless we get a comeback here.

This umpire is full of it. Appearently Grienke can throw balls out of the strikezone that are called strikes. Jackson throws the same pitch and it is a ball.

This is ugly – not worth my time. Where or where has the pitching gone?????

Josh Anderson has hit three, count em, three homers in his CAREER! G-man comes in and badda bing badda boom, the FIFTH 3-run homer in four games. Somebody turn the lights off when they leave.

This is not a team with a bunch of rookies on it. It is a team with veterans and as veterans they had best understand that focus and concentration are of importance right now.

I was thinking, driving in this morning, how nice it was to be in a pennant race. Every day a new adventure etc. But watching this is simply getting to be a re-run of years past. Haven’t won a division in 22 years and apparently there is a reason for it. Mr. Harwell said it best yesterday when he said that he admired his fellow Michiganders for their midwest values and their grit and their work ethic. I wish that my team, that represents a state and a city that I happen to love, would show the same sort of values.

Maybe we’d see a little more passion, a little more grit, a little more work ethic, if they were playing for Venezuela.

It probably wouldn’t have mattered, but it certainly didn’t help matters, but this umpire is whacked. The differences in his strikezone were obvious and unfair. And just about made me want to rip my face off. Nobody can convince me that Grienke didn’t get a few strikeouts handed to him on a silver platter??
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And again Cabrera gets a homerun when it doesn’t really matter. He cannot get a hit in the clutch to save his life, only when we are out of it. Pressure may be too much for him. Beautiful average no clutch hits.

Hey, at least we found a way to get Greinke out of the game!

Doesn’t look too good, does it? We had six games with KC and lost five of them, and soon the Twins will get their six games with them. Wonder how that will come out? Just goes to show you can project the future by strength of schedule, number of home games, size of your lead, but you still have to play the games.
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We may yet win it, but it won’t be the comfortable ride that some have anticipated. This is the cost of Leyland’s leadership style. Not too high and not too low leads to playing flat when they should be playing…..what….round?
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My boy Santiago messed us up when he nonchalanted that grounder in the first inning. Then you factor in all the dinks and dribblers that have gone for hits in this series, an umpire who was practically genuflecting to Greinke, and a manager who calls for a hit and run in the 3rd inning of a five-run game when we haven’t yet found out if we can even hit Greinke today, due to the the odd strike zone up to that point. And five 3-run homers in the series. How does that happen?
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I suppose the plan is to fire up and play better in the Minnesota series. Let’s hope the Twins don’t have that plan themselves.
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With 2.5 weeks left, the team is in disarray. What button do you push, Mr. Leyland? I don’t think stomping up and down the dugout and muttering about certain players in front of other players is going to get it done. Is that how “one of the best managers in baseball” does it?
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–Rich

Our lefty brigade with the possible exception of now Huff are unfortunately continuing their slump. Maggs and even Raburn, whilst his spell continues should be in the team on a daily basis.
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We have now scored 668 runs for and let in 670, yet have won 10 more games. The Twins are 710-693, Chisox 656-661 and NYY 843-694.
Thankfully the 2009 Tigers have known how to pull out the win in close games being 48-30 in 2 run or less close games.
The team is 14-21 in laugher games of 5 or more run blowouts with a mere 3-7 post break giving us few chances to relieve our constantly high blood pressure.
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Chisox finish their horror 21 game run tonight and are right in it still. Having just gone 3-4 at home, having any lead out of the upcoming 9 game final road trip will be huge. One thing is certain though, it wont get played out how we expect it.

THE NEED FOR TECHNOLOGY TO CALL BALLS/STRIKES IS BECOMING MORE & MORE EVIDENT!!!
How many times have I said this???
Nuts to the Kitty Cats – Go U of M football!!!

Lee

Putting all emotion aside, here’s what I see:
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If the Tigers go 6-10 and the Twins go 10-6, we end up tied. Those numbers look about right to me.
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In other words, when we pack up and leave the Dome late Sunday afternoon, it may not be for the last time.
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Just saying.
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–Rich

Let’s hope Galarraga is just experiencing the sophomore slump.

Oh the sights and sounds of clueless Jim in September.
Not looking good despite 4 up and 17 to go. For someone not believing in momentum, chemistry and obviously body language impact, it amazes me that he has been able to manage for 18 years getting by on a steady as she goes .496 record.
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Dont you just love management 101. Danks thrown 97 pitches for 4 hits and gets replaced by Jenks giving up 2 tying homers in the 9th!!
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I think your going to be close Rich but I am a lot :-) more positive hoping for a 4-3 record from Rick and JV’s remaining starts and 3-6 from Nate, Bonine and EJ. 85 wins though is definitely the target.
One thing is certain, we wont get it done by ignoring momentum and start going with those who are hot, and not which side of the plate they stand.

I was only able to watch the first 3 innings today because of an appt. Didn’t miss much, I see. Very surprised Maggs wasn’t in the game. It mystifies me, a guy who’s hitting, why Leland doesn’t put him in the lineup. I suppose I could cry and complain but not going there tonight. I’ll be glad when the Tigers hit the road.

I see what you’re saying, Dave, but we’re just as likely to get 3-6 from Rick and JV and 4-3 from the others. :-) And yeah, 85 is shaping up as the number at this point.
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It will be very interesting to see how JL handles this. Will he change his usual habits or stick with them? Will he put more of the load on Seay Lyon and Rodney or will he continue to manage tomorrow’s game today? I don’t foresee him making any changes to the lineups he’s been running out there.
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And the team. Ever since we took that “comfortable” 7.5 game lead before Labor Day, we’ve lost 7 of 10. Will they pick it up now that it’s nut cuttin’ time? We’ve seen them do it before. Or will they continue to subconsciously think this thing’s in the bag and get swept in Cleveland?
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At any rate, this is no time to jump off the bandwagon. This is where the fun is, even though it seems far from fun most of the time. And if we don’t win it in the end, will our consolation prize be a new, younger, and more energetic manager?
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–Rich

By the way and if anyone missed it, there are new rules regarding homefield advantage in the event of a one game playoff on October 5th. It goes to the winner of the season series which means, in our case, we play it in the Dome. If we were to win the season series over the Twins, it’s nearly mathematically impossible that there would be a playoff game.
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–Rich

Gentlemen and especially our gentleladies. I’ve been laying low. Not a lot to say. I would have thought the Huff homer would stir us on. Amazingly, the Royals might have sealed our destiny over a 10 day period of time. We don’t have a Willy Bloomquist on our team, and every team needs one. What a pest he has been. We have a team of “Stars” who for some reason, just haven’t collectively stepped up this year.
A passionate leader in the mold of Gibson would have led us to smooth sailing down this ulcer inducing last two weeks.
If we do pull this thing out, the team will probably apologize to the Twins for interfering with their season. We seem so thumpingly routine and “normal”. I just wish they would determine to win this one for the man who made my childhood come alive. As a 10 year old kid, Mr. Ernie charmed my socks off each night on WJR, and those 50000 watts reached Big Stone Gap, Va, some 575 miles away. Thanks Ernie Harwell. If God ever made a classier human being, I’ve never seen nor heard of him yet. That’s all from me. 16 to go. I’ll never stop bleeding Royal Blue whether my team, the TIGERS win or not. Yes I’m feeling sorry for myself.

One of the things that gets to me is that the Tigers don’t seem to have a set tried & true lineup to go out there everyday to get it done. Too many changes during each game, not sure if I like JL having so many options. It’s a line up card Jim, not a dance card. I know players need to rest, but they need to win games.

I am not giving up, I’m always a Tiger.

Dan has said it best, polite baseball. Rich, excellent writing.
Dave, great stats. GK, you worry too much. To all the rest, how about a hitting coach? We got a new pitching coach. And, I am not a fan of Leyland. To me, it is baseball season, not football season, because we are in the hunt. Grandy is my Tiger and I wish I could talk to him reminding him he has spped and should bunt and hit the ball the other way and…….
Let’s see what the boys are made of. Who wants it more. No one wanted it more than Gibby. He would be in your face. Go Tigers! –Dave

I do worry too much – I am my mothers child. And I have to say I wouldn’t be worried so much if our starting pitching were performing as they have been all year, but they seem to be falling apart. Verlander can’t avoid the big inning, Jackson is falling apart, Porcello is okay but who even knows what to expect from Robertson or Bonine??? Our hitting is our hitting (I think that Rich has said it a thousand times), but in order to get by with that hitting the pitching has got to be better. It seems as though the Twins are playing better, they seem to be able to bring up any pitcher or any player from the minors and it just seems to work out.
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Regarding our hitting – Granderson is unreliable and should not be hitting against any left hander. Polanco is okay but does not seem to be able to get over that .280 hump. Ordonez is heating up the problem is and people talk about his lack of RBI’s well nobody is ever on ahead of him so he is coming up to bat a lot with the bases empty, and then he just hits singles. Cabrera can’t get a hit with guys on to save his life. He only gets a hit when the game is all but over or when there are already two outs and then he as well is hitting a lot of singles. Ya he got a homer yesterday, but lets face it the game was over – no pressure. Guillen was helping for a while, but is is really in a slump. Thames hasn’t hit a homerun in over a month, Josh Anderson has hit more homers in the last month than Thames. Huff seems to be hitting a little better lately, but who knows. Raburn is okay but strikes out a lot. Thomas, Inge, Laird, Everett are what they are. And really the problem is not them it is the fact that the guys are the top aren’t doing anything at all.
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Ya know this last series with KC we lets face it, probably faced the two hottest pitchers in the American League. The only chance we had was to keep it close, and I will go back to the starting pitching hasn’t been able to keep it close. The beginning of the year we didn’t lose games by that big of margin, now we have had about 4 in a week. If we were facing Hochever, Davies and Tejeda this weekend in KC like CWS are facing well we would of had a better shot. The real crime to me with KC were not the games this week but those last week when we blew two of the games, and the blown one against Toronto. So this weekend again we Pavano – can we ever miss that guy in the rotation?? And if my future forecast is correct we will not miss him the next time we see the Twins either.
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Anyway I am willing to listen if someone wants to talk me off the cliff, but I see these numbers that say the Twins have to with 80% of their games and we have to go .500. Well honestly is anyone sure that we can go .500? I am not. We haven’t so far in the last 10 games.

I saw something last night that reminded me how much fun baseball can be, so I’ll share since I doubt many saw it. I was watching Chicago at Seattle late last night and a foul ball was lifted towards the stands beyond firstbase. Sox firstsacker Mark Kotsay ran after it but the ball ended up in the hands of a slim Asian man in the first row. As Kotsay came to a stop in front of the man, he (Kotsay) held out his glove and pointed back towards the field, saying something along the lines of “they need that ball back.” The man looked shocked, but dutifully dropped the ball into Kotsay’s mitt, whereupon Mark immediately handed it back, said something like “just kidding” and sprinted back towards the diamond. The entire section was laughing uproariously along with the victim, who just pointed at the retreating Kotsay as if to say “Do you believe this guy? He got me good.”
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I’m going to have to see if I can find a video of this.
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GK, how is the view from that cliff? I called up a number of Tiger players to see if they’d come talk you down, but they were busy. I then called up some former Tigers and one of them finally did agree to come talk to you. Would you mind talking to Edgar Renteria? :-)
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Actually you made a lot of excellent points, especially the one about how we faced two of the hottest pitchers in the AL during the KC series. I agreed with everything except maybe Cabrera slightly. I think he’s had more big hits than he gets credit for. He’s often been in the middle of important rallies with a much needed hit, and his 3-run homer that broke a 3-3 tie last Friday should have won that game for us. There are indeed times in huge situations when he could stamp himself as Mr. Clutch and fails, but we can’t say he never comes through.
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It’s a strange race. The anticipation of the games is more fun than the games themselves. Kind of like watching the NFL……..
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–Rich

I agree with you GK & also Rich.
I think Miggs part problem is he is still only 26 and not used to having to carry the team on his run scoring offensive shoulders. Remember how he started the season – an RBI machine. A huge burden to carry knowing you will always have to step up with your older ‘brothers’ rarely pulling their weight.
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Hey Dan, hope your still logging on – all is forgiven!! :-)
Anyone who hasn’t been frustrated with this team the past month (season??) should be certified.

All is forgiven? Did I miss something? What happened, did Dan use the abbreviation for shortstop and get banned? :-)
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–Rich

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