Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another walk off win for Tigers

Last night Clete Thomas doubled and then scored the winning run in the ninth inning on a base hit by Gary Sheffield. Today, Thomas pushed in a run in the tenth by walking on a 3-2 pitch from Cardinal reliever Mike Parisi giving the Tigers a 3-2 victory. Curtis Granderson singled to lead off the inning and moved up to second on a a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Raburn. The Cardinals then loaded the bases by intentional bases on balls to Carlos Guillen and Miguel Cabrera leading up to Thomas' walk off walk.

The tenth inning was not the only inning that produced drama today. The Cardinals had gone ahead 2-1 in the top of ninth on a single by Albert Pujols who went 4 for 4 on his first day back from the disabled list. Gary Sheffield then tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a homer to left on a 2-2 count. The only other Tiger run scored on another bases loaded walk to Thomas in the sixth.

The win gave the Tigers their 5th consecutive series win. This includes sweeps of the White Sox and Dodgers and two of three from the Giants, Padres and Cardinals. They now host the Rockies in a three game series at Comerica starting tomorrow night.

Other notes:
  • Curtis Granderson extended his hit streak to 14 games with a four hit day. The streak has raised Grandy's batting average from .235 to .282.
  • Fernando Rodney had his second consecutive good outing retiring all five batters he faced. This included getting the last two out in the seventh with runners on first and third.
  • Bobby Seay was also clutch pitching a scoreless tenth allowing just a walk.
  • Michael Hollimon played shortstop in place of the resting Edgar Renteria and got his first two major league hits. He doubled in the ninth inning but was out trying to stretch it to a triple. I was listening on the radio so I didn't see it but by all accounts it took a perfect relay to get him.
  • Catcher Dane Sardinha made his Tiger debut by spelling starter Pudge Rodriguez. He went 0 for 4 but he is in Detroit for his defense. He will remain with the team until Brandon Inge (strained oblique) returns from the 15 day disabled list.


  1. Question for Lee if you have the resources to answer it...

    1. What is the average walk + hit by pitch - intensional walk rate in the AL?

    2. How much do those numbers change, if at all, with the bases loaded?

    I know part of Larossa's decision was based on facing a Rookie rather than Cabrera, but I'm still curious.


  2. 1. It's about 9%

    2. Looking at data for a few different teams, it seems to be about the same

  3. So in other words its not worth walking a batter in these type of situations unless you are getting a person who's OBP is 90 points lower then the current batter.

    Thomas's (.366) and Cabrera's(.347) OBP are similar.

    Baseball Prospectus put Thomas's expected OBP at .302 vs. Cabrera at .379 starting the year.

    Add this all plus the fact that this pitcher is prone to giving up walks. In conclusion, and obviously in hindsite, this was a poor managerial decision to walk Cabrera to get to Thomas.



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