Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Reasons Why That Might Have Been The Worst Loss Of The Season

You get the feeling sometimes the Tigers are being held together by paste and glue. Particularly their bullpen.
It sure appeared that way as they blew a lead during the late innings in a loss to the Royals Monday.
Bad pitch selection in the eighth by Joel Zumaya, and the ninth by Fernando Rodney, led to the defeat. Don’t know why Zumaya and catcher Gerald Laird felt compelled to select a breaking ball as a first pitch to Willie Bloomquist. - after Zumaya walked the previous hitter. It setup an 1-0 count - and everyone knowing a fastball was coming over the heart of the plate. No shock Bloomquist drilled it into the gap for a two-run triple. Jacobs clearly is struggling. Rodney does throw in the mid-to-high 90s. Why the hanging changeup on a 1-1 pitch? The Tigers had their chances to break the game open in the early innings. Gil Meche was not at his best for the Royals. The Tigers didn’t do it. A second inning double play Adam Everett hit into was especially painful.
If the Tigers are going to win the American League Central, they must clean up against Cleveland and Kansas City - especially at home. You know the Twins and the White Sox are going to do just that. Monday was an opportunity wasted. It was probably the Tigers’ worst loss of the season in terms of impact. The Twins are just 1.5 games behind the Tigers, and the White Sox two games. Huge start for Justin Verlander tonight, especially with the Zack Greinke-Luke French matchup looming Wednesday.

Random Thoughts

- The Maple Leafs did particularly well in free agency, getting defensemen Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin. They also added tough guy Colton Orr. Obviously Brian Burke is trying to shed the Leafs "soft" image.

- Three of the first six calls I took on my radio show last night following the Tigers' loss blamed the defeat on Magglio Ordonez. Tell he hasn’t become a scapegoat in this town.

- Food for thought for those who think Brandon Inge deserves an all star bid over Curtis Granderson. Who is the better player? Granderson by far. Considering they are having comparable seasons, why shouldn’t Granderson get the all star nod ahead of Inge? Look at the numbers. They aren't that much different. Inge is having his best year and Granderson an off year - and they are about equal. Career-wise, it's not even close. And Granderson is at least as good a fielder as Inge.



Blogger billfer said...

On Granderson v Inge, I guess I don't get where the comparison even comes into play. (not your analysis but the fact that one is more deserving than the other) Granderson was selected by the players to be a reserve in the outfield. Inge was going up against Granderson, he was up against Longoria and Young and Rolen and Figgins.

8:16 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're right: this was a tough loss. I'm glad you brought up the point about Greinke pitching against French on Wednesday because that's huge. They absolutely needed the first 2 games of this series. Now, I guess if the Tigers pick up the game tonight with Verlander going and then sweep the Indians this weekend behind Edwin, Armando, and Verlander, then it is a moot point. I'll take 4 out of 6 on a homestand.

Another excellent point about Granderson. Curtis had a case for the All Star Game in 2007, but the Tigers already had 5 All Stars that season (Maggs, Verlander, Guillen, Pudge, and Polanco). With Grady Sizemore on the DL for much of the year, Curtis is without question the best two-way centerfielder in the AL right now. Plus, he is the best US-born international ambassador that the game has at this point. The All Star nod coupled with his ridiculous game saving catch in Cleveland could also pave his way for a well-deserved first Gold Glove selection at the end of the season.

Besides, Inge still has a chance with the final man vote. For the sake of being a homer, vote early, vote often... vote Inge!


8:50 AM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Just comparing this year, Inge has a better average by 11 points, a better on base percentage by 11 points, a better slugging percentage by 44 points, 11 more RBIs, and a VORP of 20.6 to Granderson's 16.8.

They've been our 2nd and 3rd best players by a wide margin, and yes Granderson has been a much better player than Inge over their careers, but Inge has still clearly had the better season. And Inge seemed to have weaker competition than Granderson. If it was just about who was the best player Cabrera would've been on the team.

Also I think Inge is a better fielder, namely because of Granderson's below average arm strength. Inge's range, when compared to 3rd basemen, may be even better than Granderson's (when compared to CFers), and Inge has a great arm. He commits more errors, but infielders naturally do.

9:22 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I agree that was a crap loss. I mean no hitting what so ever. Rodney he has been living on the edge for quite some time. So it was not shock to me he gave up that home run. Zumaya same thing. As I posted to you yesterday they need to shape up.. and these are the keys I feel need to happen for the tigers to be successful.

1) Zumya, Brandon Lyon, and Fernando need to find a groove and rally off more consistant efforts.

2) Our top guys we actually count on need to produce. Granderson needs to start hitting lefties that or go back to taking some time off against them. As well as go back to hitting the gaps for triples. He hasn't really given anybody much to knock in these days. Crabera needs to live up to the hype more. There is a reason Texeria, Mourneau, and Youkliss are a head of him. They produced better then he has thus far. Polanco needs to go back to getting them seeing eye singles and stuff. Get on base.

3) Gallaraga needs to step up and show why we got excited about him at the beginning of the year. Cause I think Porcello will hit that wall some time after the break.. so we need a 3rd arm to be consistent.

4) Guillen needs to come back healthy.

5) Dave Dombrowski needs to step it up. Make a couple quality moves and put this team in a position to compete in the second half. Otherwise I would like to see him get some major heat not Leyland... We need to get a corner outfielder and a solid arm weather it be bullpen or rotation..

11:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont really see where there is much of an opp. for the Tiger's to do much improvement. the bullpen was in question throughout the off-season and Lyons was all we were able to come up with. We have a bunch of dead weight in salary so i dont see the Tig's as having the luxory of taking on another overpriced guy in order to say they did something, and i dont see the same depth in their young talent pool as they did say 4 years ago. I think the biggest thing they can do is add a sean casey type guy as they did a few years ago to give them a good glove and some good at bats. we are all enamored by the big name, but at the end of the day, championships are won by pitching, defense and timely hitting (i.e. the cardinals, marlins, and angels to name a few over the past decade). they have not put up a lot of runs like everyone wants to see but they are not making costly errors, which is why they continue to be competitive. whats your thoughts on them bringing back francisco cordero (any chance)? would he even be a good fit (i know he can be erratic at times too)?

lil rob

11:33 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

KC at Comerica and Galarraga gives you a good quality start - then to have the two that we have deemed the saviors of the bullpen, Rodney and Zumaya give the game back with two bad pitches - yes it was a hard loss.

Before the game started, I heard or read someone say that every game that Thames or Raburn homer, the Tigers have won this year. So Thames homers - then Raburn homers - and then Rayburn gets the Triple with RBIs again?

And we lose on two pitches.

But what is even more concerning is that consistently this year - the hot bats have been the Raburns, Thames, Kelly's.

At some point - in late July or early August - one of these three teams are going to get hot - and they will just pull away from the pack. My guess is the Twins.

Vote Inge.

12:25 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, looks like the Maple Leafs are going to go into a defensive shell. Should the Maple Leafs be rename the Mighty Ducks. Maggs games and ABs are numbered especially when Guillen comes back. He should be given an applause not boos for what he has given to the Tigers.

2:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question to everyone suggesting that we make a move:

Who are we going to trade in order to make a mid-season move? Porcello should be untouchable. We need Scott Sizemore for next season. Cale Iorg's value is down. Holliman, Kelly, Thomas, Anderson, and Raburn are 4A players and not valuable trade pieces. Satterwhite and some of the other young relief corps will be needed next year to offset the loss of Rodney to free agency.

So, simply put, I don't see how we have anyone that we should trade to get this corner outfielder or back end of the rotation starter. The Tigers have to either win or lose it with what they have.


4:03 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It depends on how you look at it. By position, you're correct. But every team needs a rep. So team does factor in. Also, I've heard several times from people the last couple days that if they had a choice, Inge is more worthy than Granderson. Not necessarily if you base it on career or better player. The season is more even than is being suggested.

7:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yeah, it's not like Granderson has been to the All Star Game before. Also, he has much more of national presence than Inge. Don't more people nationally want to Granderson play?

7:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
Great points. But let me ask you this: Who have better numbers by the end of the season? Granderson is closing the gap in those areas you mentioned - and leading in a couple others.

7:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

lil rob,
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop from the Tigers bullpen, too. But their greater need is probably offensive firepower. They won't get a closer-type. I don't think, anyway.

7:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Yeah, obviously when the Tigers role players play well, they win. The question is: Will they keep playing well that often?

7:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You make a great point about Cabrera. His numbers look good overall, but when is he going to put the team on his back offensively? He is capable of doimg more - a lot more. And it is needed most now.

7:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They did give Magglio a nice cheer when he returned to right field after homering against the Cubs. Without Ordonez and Guillen, the Tigers would have been awful in recent years.

7:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I'm not sure Iorg's value is necessarily down. The potential is still there. Type of guy somebody will try to pick Tigers' pocket. Doubt Dombrowski will bite. Sizemore more likely to go. Doesn't quite have Iorg's upside. Very productive player, though.

7:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess i just dont see who they have as a bargaining tool to get another quality bat in the lineup. I think a big part of their lackluster offense has to do with the low production from the shortstop position. however, to me it seems like everett's glove is more valuable than a big stick. that leaves us with upgrading the corner outfield positions or DH if we are to add a bat. I just dont see who we can get at one of those positions thats going to make an impact. i dont think adding more power #'s or more average makes that much of a difference (statistically speaking), i believe what we are talking about here is impact and i dont see where that is going to come from based on our bargaining chips. The bullpen worries most but if you look at it on paper they have a quality situational lefty (Seay), a set-up man that throws in triple digits (Zumuya) and a closer who is sitting on/around 20 saves at the all-star break (Rodney). Despite all those facts you'd think we had the worst bullpen in the league the way everyone talks about them (and they worry the heck about me too). As far as starting pitching I think we are in the same position as we are as far as adding another bat. we already have a glutton of guys who we can send out to the mound, but where in the world do people propose we are going to find some kind of 'impact' guy? I think at the end of the season you are going to see a roster not much different than now based on what we have to offer (unless the Tigs are willing add another cumbersome contract, and i'm willing to doubt that).

lil rob

11:34 AM 

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