Game 163: Tigers at Twins

Though speculation was rampant whether Miguel Cabrera would play, he’s in the lineup in his usual spot. He actually looked pretty relaxed after talking with reporters real briefly once the clubhouse opened.

As Jim Leyland had suggested, he put Ryan Raburn in the starting lineup for this tiebreaker game, batting him sixth and starting him in left field. Carlos Guillen is still in the lineup, but he’s the DH. Aubrey Huff is a pinch-hitter for this one.

Though Raburn’s bat would’ve been tough to sit for this one, especially against a pitcher (Scott Baker) who gives up a higher average to right-handed hitters than left-handed ones. It’s his first start against a righty since August.

TIGERS

  1. Curtis Granderson, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Carlos Guillen, DH
  6. Ryan Raburn, LF
  7. Brandon Inge, 3B
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Ramon Santiago, SS

P: Rick Porcello

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Jason Kubel, RF
  5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  6. Delmon Young, LF
  7. Jose Morales, DH
  8. Matt Tolbert, 3B
  9. Nick Punto, 2B

P: Scott Baker

129 Comments

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!!!!!!!!!!
Great lineup, let’s just hope the bats come alive tonight.

I hope our boys, especially our M&M boys, go bonkers and shut the crowd up and all the gossip mongers. Go Tigers! Please bring home a Division Championship!

Beck, are you a seriously not gonna mention the cabrera situation at all on blog or twitter and barely mention it on tigers.com?

I like this lineup. I like it a lot. I feel good about Santiago rounding out the bottom.

Lineup looks good, am not surprise that Miggy is playing – no charges were filed, he can make it up to his team.
Let’s go Tigers!

I like Ordonez behind Cabrera so that’s why I had Raburn third, but this still works to a degree. It’s like trying to predict the future anyway, creating lineups. Looks like everyone so far is happy to go to war with this one, so away we go.
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If there was ever a time for 9+ grind it out innings, this is it.
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–Rich

I’ll be watching and cheering for our Tigers here in Illinois, but I must say I am feeling “numb.” After all the anxiety, frustration, and disappointment of this season, I just can’t let myself get cardiac about this game. My biggest hope is that they at least make a game of it. No 11-0 win by the Twins. Whatever the outcome, the management needs to take a hard look at this team and make some tough decisions if we are to have any hope for a good showing in 2010. With all that said, Go Tigers!

So happy to see Miggy crush the ball. Go Tigers!

GO TIGERS! If not to win, so finish with pride. To win will be better :) GO TIGERS!!!

The good news is- the Tigers are hitting the ball well so far, and Ricky is keeping the Twins down. It’s gonna come down to who gets the 3 run bomb tonight. God, I hope it’s us.
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Nice to watch a game and not have to listen to Rod.

Tracey

I can only get a single camera feed. Can’t see anything but the batter and pitcher. Very ticked off. Thanks MLB.com

Wow – Miggs looks sharp and at ease. This is great for the team’s morale.

The ump had better have the same latitude at the bottom of the plate as he is showing on Baker’s high stuff.

Thank you Carlos Guillen. We can always count on you.

hello!

Pathetic effort with an opportunity to score Cabrera.

Man–Guillen has hurt us again. He just does not get his job done properly anymore. Leadoof double squandered and we all know what the Twins would do with that opportunity.
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Of course JL would never even consider bunting him along would he?
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Mistake #1 by our manager.

How come we NEVER score from 2nd on a single!

I am trying to watch th game on mlb.tv It is so far behind the radio… and you can’t even watch the normal feed…. you can set it up with 4 different cameras but they aren’t all in synch.. very frustrating…

I am not so sure I would say it was a pathetic effort to score Cabrera. Inge hit the ball well, and Orlando Cabrera made a pretty decent catch. I would say it was typical though, but not pathetic.

I think I know why Miggs got on the sauce – sick of being stranded on base!!

Way to go Granderson, Magglio and Miggy – keep it up guys. Come on Rick shut down inning.

I hear you Mayo. I don’t think (though with this telecast it is hard to read) MCab would have made it but given our very poor track record of getting those runners in from 3rd–it may be a better option to wave them home.

Well so much for the shut down inning and Kubel is nearly as dangerous as Mauer. Yikes.

thank you magglio, and thank you ump for not calling granderson out though i’ve seen a lot worse of the striding past the bag to turn the double play.

makes you wonder if we could have clinched this had he not been hung over on saturday..

Well, this is the better way to apologize to your fans, Miguel. GO TIGERS!

That boy can really hit when he’s not hungover!

inge should be bunting but won’t be.

Come – on

Well stated mxrussiantiger. As a fan, I don’t need to hear an apology. Maybe his teammates need to hear one. This is the best way to apoligize.

Why not have Brandon bunt Rayburn over?

becaue jim leyland thinks that ingle is a .330 hitter and not a .230 hitter.

Here’s a stat, Tigers are last in the American league in runs scored without a rbi 25, the Twins now have 47. Shows how not being aggressive on the bases and not putting the ball in play with a man on third.
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Why on Earth didn’t Inge BUNT! Twins would have!

8 is Porcello’s K high this year… he looks like hes on a mission!

If nothing else, Inge bunting would have extended the inning, forcing Baker to waste more pitches.

preaching to the choir.

Nice inning Porcello. Lets get some more runs guys.

Well here we go. Kubel just hit a homer. That is what you get when you rest and stop tacking on runs.

Well, I said it after the 3rd, you have to continue to tack on runs. Much like the Twins didn’t start playing until the last two weeks of the game, they seem to have a knack for coming back late in games. They don’t hit real well in first 4-5 innings but seem to just be able to get themselves going late in games.

Crap – this aint good, come on Miner

i dont want to see miner again in bottom half… hes throwing frantic and is going to wind up throwing one to the backstop at the wrong time.

I agree, GK. We need to score immediately!

He wouldn’t start Miner against the Chisox to save him for the bullpen and then didn’t use him all weekend, now he’s rusty.

Need to make this walk count. This inning decides the game.

miner is “rusty” 90% of the time.

For all the complaining that we do about not bunting enough did you all hear them say that Tigers have the 2nd most in the american league???

why wouldn’t you go to Ni with punto and span up?

that’s what leyland deserves

sure could use that that double play ball – and that ugly little piece of you know what hits a homer crap

he manages with no sense of urgency.. gardenhire made 3 pitching changes in the 7th.. he just stays with miner.. over and over, ball after ball.

That was stupid to put Miner there. He blown at least two games at Metrodome. Oh…

every single pitcher on the tigers roster outside of jackson should be available for this game.. and you just sit there and pitch zach miner..

Zach hadn’t given up a run in nearly a month. He picked a horrible time to not get the job done. I knew it was too good to be true. This is why you have to get tack on runs. Well I guess I will save some money by getting a refund on those playoff tickets.

lol.. and then he goes to Ni.. 4 batters too late you *******.

rusty or not, miner is worthless… the tigers have had no urgency as a whole… JL lifted Porcello with urgency, but sadly put in a busher… for the last 2 weeks, the Tigers have just seemed tired and deflated.

there is no excuse for this managing choke job. You need 6 outs to get to rodney in the 9th, 4 out of 5 batters coming up are left-handed. How do you leave Zach in? Zach Miner is allowing .250 against lefties.. Ni is allowing .115!!!!!!!!!!!

was to save jimmy magglio.. better get another.

this game time makes me feel like it’s after 10pm.. it’s not eve 8 yet!

Its quite easy to see why JL didnt bring in Ni to face Span… Span was supposed to bunt and Seay isnt available so why waste a specialist on a bunt? you would then lose the percentage game against Cabrera on the way to Mauer… however Miner shouldnt have been the righty throwing to anyone… Leyland isnt the one to blame it all goes to the individuals.

Go Mags!

the point is NI should have been brought into face lefty punto, the first batter of the inning, and then span.. if he gets both of them you take your chances with cabrera against NI, who has the same BAA against righties as miner at .289, if he gets cabrera, you keep in in in 8th for mauer and kubel, if he gets on, you still have him in to get mauer.. if he takes him deep… the outcome is the same except they only tie it up instead of take the lead.

Well, Miner hadn’t given up a run in nearly a month. And Orlando Cabrera hadn’t had a hit against Miner in the last two years in something like 14 or 15 AB’s. I actually think he did it right there.

Well we got hosed there. Polanco DID NOT strike out. It is obvious that Mr. Nathan is getting a different strike zone than others.

understood. I think it was more about keeping options open for a pinch with the middle of the order. Bringing in your only specialist for 9-1 just wouldnt make sense… while your idea is valid, you’ve gotta worry more about the middle of the order and keeping options open than two little speedsters who just so happen to be lefties.

Could the strike zone be any more different all of a sudden. Those pitches Nathan was getting were balls, we got completely hosed. Now look at that 5th pitch to Punto it was the same pitch that Freaking Nathan got called a strike.

Miner had really nice results lately but it was abundantly clear he was not going to be so fortunate tonight.

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Clear to everyone but JL that is.
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Man has Ordonez ever been a monster lately.

i hear ya, but beck says that Seay is available and you also have Rapada and gasp, robertson.. i just think with 6 outs to get to rodney, you need to 3 to get to lyon.. with 4 of 5 up lefty, you go ahead and put him in and hope he gets 3 of the 5 batters.

We strand yet another runner on third, but this time with nobody out. YEAH typical.

wouldn’t pitch Seay for nothin’, his arm is dead!

did I say that Nathan had a different strike zone. Polanco and the Tigers got screwed.

Grandy got one off Nathan last time he faced him in the dome.

for those of you keeping up with the batting race, if this game goes long enough and mags goes 30 for his next 30 and mauer goes 0 for his next 21, then ordonez will be the batting champ.

Yeah… maybe Seay can get the win in the 23rd inning or something but not before then… Lyon has been almost as impressive as Mags lately… both of them have been bonified gamers for the last month or so… other than that freakish wildness against Minn last week…

So glad Kubel was out of the game.
Nathan is out, now is the time!

Hard to believe. Polanco, Mr. Depedable and he buckles under the weight of the situation.
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Granderson should not have got himself caught off on that play. There was no need to be off that far on a ball that was clearly going to be a line drive out.
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That old bugaboo of not being able to get that runner from 3rd in again. Man!

Is 3.96 good enough for a Porcello ROY?

Why Polanco was called on strikes? The last pitch absolutely was ball! It was so distant from strike zone. Not good, not good… GO TIGERS!

yea, Nathan only threw about 2 strikes!

polanco’s strike 3 was worst ball/strike call of the night.. announcers completely ignored that the pitch tracker showed it was like 6 inches off the plate and gushed about what a tremendous pitch it was.

YES! FINALLY!

I thought Kelly was fast, why is he not running? Mauer can’t throw anybody out.

I guess thats why

bottom of the lineup up.. come on and close the door one more time fernando.

Dear lord I love Inge at 3B!

Ya I noticed it as well, the announcers completely ingnored that ball/strike call. Way to go Brandon.

mayo, i was gonna ask if mauer is that good at gunning down runners cause the tigers have not attempted a steal with anyone, kelly, ramirez, granderson

raburns defense burns us again.

What is he doing out there?

Wow was that a poor poor decision by Raburn. Turned a single into a triple.

they just don’t want it!

By the way two of those pitches Rodney threw Nathan got called a strike. Thatnks for that consistent umping (NOT)

heart is racing.. tolbert would be tough to double up.. gotta come home i think

WOW I cannot believe that Polanco didn’t get that. Crap Raburn you just completely cost us this game. I cannot believe it. CHOKE

this game is a classic.

What’s the dumb and dumber line about totally redeeming yourself?

Only now, when one point means everything, you understand a price of each game. Time to win another one, Tigers! GO TIGERS!

Wow, what can ya say!

Mauer has thrown out about 29% this year…. the Tigers just never steal.

Raburn is the master or redemption – but he is terrible out there…. We get another chance at a last chance… again.

Ya it was a nice play but come on we would’t even been talking about because we would be drinking champagne.

yeah if we werent 1-5 against kc the last two series we’d have partied on sunday.

Hard to believe. Polanco, Mr. Depedable and he buckles under the weight of the situation.
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Granderson should not have got himself caught off on that play. There was no need to be off that far on a ball that was clearly going to be a line drive out.
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That old bugaboo of not being able to get that runner from 3rd in again. Man!

Think Verlander might have an inning in him?

Has Polanco swung at a ball in zone even once today?

Well this could be it. An error by Porcello in earlier and even though they didn’t call it an error, Raburn cost us a run. They should be on a plane right now to NYC

do you pitch to Mauer?

yep!

I wouldn`t, but he did, huh? Who pitches the 12th for the Tigers? Do you really consider Verlander?

i would definitely pitch verlander in a save situation. it’s his bullpen day anyway isn’t it? like i said.. i would pitch anyone except jackson.

we got lucky when they took kubel out and had to bat gomez and now we’ve got to watch thomas bat instead of mags. somebody needs to do a study on how often the defensive replacement bats after a blown lead compared to the number of times the defensive liability blows the game.

I would love to call this game a classic, but if the Tigers dont win, I never want to see it again.

Why does Polanco keep getting burned on strike calls… all day and in the first pitch of that last at bat.

Wishful thinking…

lets see if 3rd time is a charm…

Time for redemption!

and it’s up to inge. bet he does it.

or a walk. come on Inge hit it to the outfield!

Ump screwed up again – brandon was hit hopefully it doesn’t cost us. Come on INGE

Well ya a .198 hitter took the final blow, but lets not forget about Porcello throwing the ball away that costs us a run, Granderson being doubled off, Raburn turned a single into a triple and a run for the Twins, don’t forget about the ump who changed is strikezone for Nathan and Nathan alone, and then proceeded to miss our hitter being hit by a pitch, which cost us a run. You have to play perfect baseball against the twins in that dome and we were not perfect. Although admittedly they got some help from the ump. And we stranded way too many runners.

“One of the most impressive managerial jobs by Jim Leyland ends in disappointment,” says Chip Caray. Hopefully he wasn’t refering to this season. When $115 million dollars can’t win the worst division in baseball, I think that speaks towards an awful job by the manager. Once again, he gets a free pass.

As a Yankee fan, I’m appreciating the two teams beating the hell out of each other. Let’s play two!

Time for DP!

This might have been the last chance we had to cry with this group of guys, you know, when that Division flag was raised on high in the CoPa come spring. It’s a hurtin feeling right now. We gave ‘em a show, however. The usual culprit: leaving RISP. Still love my Tigers!!!!

ouch.

A .198 hitter beats us!

comments like that at times like that are why everyone hates yankee fans.

Well, this game looked like a short story about Tigers’ 2009 season. It has begun from small lead which we held in the first half and in the middle. But at the end we missed too many opportunities (oops, I know I said it earlier). By the way, I remember that ESPN analysts forecasted that Detroit will have losing season. Finally, this team proved that it was wrong. We finished at .528 at the top of AL Central. That’s no so bad to be so sad :)

Seemed to do all the wrong things at the wrong time. .
Polanco, Raburn Granderson Ouch! Wasted chances, and same ol’, same ol’ came back to bite us..
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We really couldn’t have expected a better outcome because we really have seen a lot of them playing badly enough to lose even when they should have easily won, so many times this year.
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Lot of bad luck today too–the non-call by Marsh on Brandon getting hit was certainly one of them.
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There were a couple of times the ball was hit very hard but right at someone (Ordonez’ DP comes to mind) while the Twins had so many key seeing eye hits that it boggles the mind.
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I sure hope next year sees us dropping Grandy in the lineup and finding a true leadoff man with wheels to burn. I think it is time to let Polanco go. As much as I like the guy I just don’t know how he gets himself up for next year with this team. He really did play his most inconsitent baseball at the end of the year. Hard to believe he struck out there in the 9th inning. How would you want anybody else up there in that situation..
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Gotta give Brandon credit today for playing like he did. He gave his all and actually hit the ball when really needed him not to strike out.
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Porcello was fabulous. I do feel he was taken out too early. I think we have a lot to look forward to with him.
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Laird is a really nice catcher. But he is not an answer to our ongoing problems with offense. If we had 6 or 7 .300 hitters in the lineup then you can afford the luxury of having him do his thing behind the plate. We don’t have that luxury.
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Been a wicked year fellow bloggers. I know most of you are dealing with the same physical pain that I am feeling. I think the difficult thing is the blown opportunities—that will be the way we most remember this year.
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In retropspect they did OK for a team that had so many imprtant elements missing from their game. This club will not be able to compete next yer. They will need to make some very key changes.
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Leyland will be given a lot of credit for taking these guys to this point. Not from me. He is not the guy I want to see running the show next year. We need change and there is no better place to start than at the top. Do I expect them to fire JL? No. I think they will keep him, reward him and we will be complaing about many of the same things all over again.
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I wish you all the best and hope that you one day soon, will get to see your Tigers in a World Series.

Yea Dan, this game typified the entire season.

Bad lose no other way to put it, but at least the team showed up tonight for a fight. I wasn’t able to see the game, but from what I have read thus far it sounded like a really good game with the wrong team winning. Now as faithful Tiger fans we wait for April. I know changes are due, but I have to say if we don’t see Guillen and Polanco back they will be missed greatly, as they provided the fans with some lasting memories. I don’t feel like talking about the upcoming changes, but will be back on later in the year to see all the rumors and opinions of what our Tigers should do before spring training. If I can call in at least one favor from everyone. I work with all Yankee fans, so keep me in your thoughts as I am going to get hammered tomorrow about this game and then I will have to listen to how great the Yankees are for the rest of the post season. It will be a long winter if the Yankees win the World Series.

I guess none of the experts in spring training picked the Tigers to do this well. But so many games that could have been won with clutch hitting. And in this final game, in spite of a few good things Inge did, he and Laird stranded 18 runners. Unbelievable! Like Ol’ Jim likes to say, “We had our chances.” They certainly did. But all those runners left on base. Some kudos to the team. They did battle down to the wire. No Twins blowout.

Thank you fellow bloggers for helping me through the evening. I could hardly stand watching the game. I checked in to read your posts periodically. Our Russian friend mxrussiantiger now knows what it means to be a Tiger fan and get your heart broken, yet we love them anyway. Some changes have to be made this off-season, as we can’t count on the division being weak again next year. Now, over the next few weeks, the post-season rules in our family are that we root against the Yankees and against the Dodgers…!

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