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Six Run Eighth by Twins Costs Tigers Sweep

What a weird inning and what a way for the wheels to come off the wagon.  Jeremy Bonderman was cruising.  He had a one hitter going through seven innings, and that one hit was the lead off hitter in the first inning.  Then Bonderman went five batters without getting an out and mixed in there was an error by Chris Shelton and a bases loaded balk by Bonderman.  The Tigers actually got the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but they fell short of coming back. 

On the face of things, if you would have told me on Friday afternoon that the Tigers would win two of three, I would have taken it.  The one bright point of the day was the White Sox lost their game when the Orioles came back on them in the ninth inning.  So the Tigers head into a four game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, minus Scott Kazmir, with an eight and a half game lead.

The second big deadline deal took place today.  Earlier this week, Carlos Lee went to Texas and now today, Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle are both Yankees.  I’m not sure I like this influx of talent all coming to the American League but I don’t see the Tigers making a big splash tomorrow as the first trade deadline expires.


For a Twins’ fan perspective of yesterday’s game, here’s Aaron Gleeman’s analysis of what went down yesterday.  Good stuff as always from Aaron.

Does anyone else question Leyland’s decision to keep Bonderman in the game? He seemed rattled after the first batter and things only escalated from there. I know that Leyland has made pitchers pitch out of jams successfully before, but this is nearly August, not May. I worry about what an inning like that can do to a pitcher’s psyche down the stretch.

Posted by Josh on July 30th, 2006 at 9:49 pm

You’re not going to beat the Twins with four errors…some work on the fudmamentals by the infield should be in order for the next day off…

Posted by adr on July 31st, 2006 at 6:25 am

Let’s not be too critical. The Tigers have had one of the best infield defenses this year. They’re bound to have a bad game, and they had it. I’m sure they’ll get back on track this week.

Posted by Brian on July 31st, 2006 at 6:30 am

Sean Casey wouldn’t let that ball through. I feel bad for Shelton, but the Tigers just improved their infield and their hitting.

It’s amazing we have a guy that actually walks about 10% of the time.

Posted by Chris on July 31st, 2006 at 7:28 am

I disagree that they’ve improved their hitting. Probably not.

Shelton was not hitting terribly well, but Sean Casey is one of the more overrated players in baseball. This move makes very little sense, but yeah, like he said, the price wasn’t very high.

Leyland’s continued insistence on using dumb “aggressive” plays like the hit-and-run again cost us at least one run yesterday. This happened much earlier in the game and will therefore never be discussed by anyone but me, as usual. Having a runner thrown out at third with no one out because the stupid, useless hit-and-run play was on (on a 1-0 count) really hurts the chances for a big inning. No one seems to ever criticize this, yet everyone is always very eager to praise the hit-and-run on the off chance that it actually works. I’m tired of watching the team run themselves out of innings because Leyland thinks he’s John McGraw. It’s dumb.

Before you tell me not to be so hard on the Tigers, that I should be happy they have played so well, as yourself whether youd rather be 72-32 and not 70-34. Every little bit helps, and it’s Leyland’s goddamn job to know how to get those little bits.

Posted by Dan on July 31st, 2006 at 8:19 am

not to mention that we just picked up a player that was injured on the 29th and is currently listed as “day to day” with an oblique strain. We didnt lose that game only because shelton made an error. there was plenty wrong in that game…like Leyland hitting and running with no one out and men on first and second. Wilson gets thrown out at third and on the next pitch, Polonco slaps a single. That cost us at least one run and possibly the big inning. PLus there is zero reason to let your starter melt down in the 8th and give up six runs. once the first 2 men got on base your strike out pitcher should be summond. Zumya was unavailable so rodney should have been called in.. only problem was that grilli was the one warming up. When you are playing a hot team on the road there is no reason to leave your starter in. everyone could feel that that inning was going south fast.

Posted by Michael on July 31st, 2006 at 8:39 am

Agreed, Mike. The hit-and-run pitch was a ball, so that would have been none out, 1st and 2nd, 2-0 count on a good hitter with Santana still laboring. We handed him and out and it cost us at least one run. Will anyone in the Detroit media talk about it? No. Will anyone on line talk about it? No one of note. If the hit-and-run would have worked the broadcasters and writers would have had their pants around their ankles within seconds.

This type of crap has cost us games this year, at least a couple. Once in a while it works and it helps us win a game, but it far more often hurts the cause.

Posted by Dan on July 31st, 2006 at 10:00 am


What’s funny is, the announcers did bring up the hit and run, like you said, when it worked. Can’t remember the situation, but they made a big deal about it because it was an 0-1 count, which they claimed was traditionally not a hit and run count.

I liken it to the stolen base. Way overrated and unless it succeeds way more times then it fails, it’s not worth doing.

Posted by Brian on July 31st, 2006 at 10:03 am

You go into the eighth inning with a 3-0 lead and your starting pitcher has a one hitter, which was a bunt single, and your defense gives the Twins 6 runs and all you guys want to talk about is a stupid meaningless hit and run play fifteen thousand innings ago where “Leyland cost us at least one run.” Oh, well we happened to lose by two runs. There’s a lot of manager decisions you can question throughout a game, but if your freakin first baseman can’t field a routine ground ball I don’t think there’s much to second guess about that now is there! Shelton has been a liability at the plate since May 1. While Casey may not be the best player available, he’s a .300 career hitter, and a little time at AAA will hopefully get Shelton’s head back on driving the baseball instead of swinging at crap and watching strikes fly down the middle of the plate. It makes a whole lot a sense to me!

Posted by Jeff on July 31st, 2006 at 3:59 pm

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