Wed 7 Oct 2009
A full baseball season can be broken into nine 18-game segments. I have termed these 18-game segments as an “inning” of a season. The 9th inning of 2009 provided an extra game as the Tigers and Twins hooked up for an exciting but deflating one game playoff.
Let’s compare the nine innings of 2009:
W-L RS –RA HR-SB-AVG/OBA/SLG W-L- IP- ERA W-L-S-ERA
1st: 10-8 102-84 21-12-276/349/432 7-6-103.1-4.62 3-2-4-3.96
2nd: 10-8 99-86 20- 6-265/342/436 8-5-104.0-3.63 2-3-3-5.68
3rd: 9-9 67-65 14-13-252/317/370 9-8-114.1-3.23 0-1-5-4.23
4th: 12-6 85-84 29- 8-259/335/459 6-5- 97.2-4.98 6-1-6-4.08
5th: 7-11 70-76 23- 7-234/307/403 5-7-108.1-3.90 2-4-3-3.66
6th: 10-8 82-86 16- 7-268/338/412 6-6-113.2-4.75 4-2-5-3.44
7th: 9-9 74-85 25- 9-250/321/423 5-5-104.0-4.76 4-4-6-4.39
8th: 10-8 85-92 19- 7-267/355/425 7-5-101.1-4.88 3-3-6-5.28
9th: 9-10 79-87 16- 3-271/351/390 7-8-109.1-4.45 2-2-5-4.13
On Sunday September 6 the Tigers completed a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tigers were 14 games over .500 and had a 7 game lead on the second place Minnesota Twins who were at exactly .500. The Tigers used their whole roster that magical weekend at TB which featured late inning wins in every game. Exactly one month later on the 163rd game of the season the Tigers were knocked out of first place for the first time since May 9th, finishing with an 11-16 mark while the Twins closed 19-8. This pattern of limping to the close has happened in all four seasons that Jim Leyland has managed the Tigers. The 2009 collapse happened later in the season than the previous collapses:
2006: The team had a 76-36 record and a 10-game lead on August 7th, they then went 19-31 the rest of the year and lost the division on the last day of the season to the Twins.
2007: The Team had a 59-38 record which was the best record in baseball and a 2-game lead on July 23rd. They got swept at Chicago in a double header the next day on route to a 29-36 finish.
2008: After a horrible start, the team climbs back to a 52-49 record on July 23rd. They were within 5 games of the White Sox. A blown save by Todd Jones against the White Sox starts a 22-39 run to end the season.
Starting Pitching: Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello were both terrific going down the stretch. Eddie Bonine did as well as can be expected from a 28-yr old career minor leaguer. Edwin Jackson lost three of his 4 starts, his whip wasn’t horrible as he walked only 8 batters, but he gave up 12 extra base hits and was hurt by some big innings. Nate Robertson was very ineffective and the one Figaro start was bad albeit brief.
|Eddie Bonine||3||16 2/3||1||1||8||2.70||1.32|
|Nate Robertson||3||14 1/3||1||1||10||5.65||1.81|
|Alfredo Figaro||1||1 1/3||0||1||2||13.50||3.75|
Bullpen: In looking at the numbers, why was Fernando Rodney continuously trotted out? Between the 8th and 9th innings, Rodney pitched in 19 of the teams 37 games logging 19.1 innings in which he gave up 24 hits, 15 walks, and pitched to a 7.45 era. Brandon Lyon was very effective as was Perry. Miner was also very effective in every outing except his last when he was pulled 2 batters too late. Ni pitched great and it would of been nice to see more than 3.1 innings out of him. Figaro had an effective outing in Chicago picking up a win as the Tigers came back from a 5-0 deficit. Bobby Seay was clearly hurt and hopefully will be ready to go next spring. Fein, Rapada, Bonderman, and Galarraga all got in some mop-up duty.
|Brandon Lyon||9||10 2/3||0||1||0||7||2.53||1.31|
|Ryan Keith Perry||6||7 2/3||0||0||0||9||2.35||1.30|
|Zach Miner||7||9 2/3||1||0||0||7||1.86||1.45|
|Fu-Te Ni||7||3 1/3||0||0||0||2||0.00||0.60|
|Alfredo Figaro||2||4 2/3||1||0||0||2||1.93||1.29|
|Fernando Rodney||10||11 2/3||0||1||5||2||6.94||1.89|
|J Bonderman||3||2 1/3||0||0||0||2||0.00||2.14|
|A Galarraga||3||3 2/3||0||0||0||3||12.27||2.18|
|Bobby Seay||5||2 1/3||0||0||0||1||15.43||4.71|
Offense: The offense had their second best inning performances with a 271 BA and a 351 OBP, but the 390 SLG was the second lowest of the year. Magglio Ordonez finished on a tear finishing 10th in the league in batting despite getting benched mid season. Miguel Cabrera was good, though not great in the closing inning. His final weekend was marred by a 0-11 performance and a drunken police call to his home. Hopefully, he will get his personal matters straightened out before the 2010 campaign.
Ryan Raburn completed a nice breakout season, Polanco got on base at over a 400 clip, and Carlos Guillen showed signs that he can be a viable DH option for 2010. All that Ramon Santiago did was play good defense and hit, unlike his counterpart Adam Everett who did not hit a lick coming down the stretch. Curtis Granderson really hampered the top of the lineup by not getting on base enough.
Inge and Laird were in the lineup everyday for their defense and neither one hit a lick. While I can generally agree with starting them for defense, I am perplexed on Leyland’s in game management of those two. On September 18th Detroit lost to Minnesota 3-0. In the 9th inning of the game with two out Avila PH for Inge and walked, after a Granderson double, Huff pinch hit for Laird and popped out to Short Stop to end the game. That was the last time either one of them were pinch hit for? I will forever wonder what Avila would of done against Keppel with 2-out and the bases loaded in the 12th inning of game 163. I am pretty sure he would not have been caught chasing an obvious ball 4 like Laird did.
Marcus Thames’ Tiger days may be over and he went his last 86 ABs without a HR, Clete Thomas has to reduce his high strikeout rate, and Huff’s Tiger career was a disaster. On a brighter note Don Kelly had a memorable 163rd game and as a 29-yr old minor leaguer that will probably be his career highlight.