Game 86, Tigers at Mariners

Dave · July 12, 2007 at 6:47 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Miller vs Hernandez, 7:05 pm.

Happy Felix Day. No, really, this might be the happiest Felix Day in a long time, because I can finally hang up the Mix Your Pitches soapbox and just enjoy the ballgame.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the kid the Tigers are throwing tonight, well, you could say I’m something of a fan. I wrote this report in March of 2006, and I then spent the next few months trying to convince anyone who would listen that Andrew Miller was a left-handed Roy Halladay, and clearly the best pitcher in the draft. The Mariners picked 5th overall and selected Brandon Morrow. The Tigers then proceeded to take Miller with the next pick. (There were extenuating circumstances surrounding the draft, covered here, so I’m not criticizing the scouting department for not selecting Miller.)

Of course, Morrow has since been turned into Matt Thornton 2.0, a hard-throwing reliever with no command or secondary pitches. Meanwhile, despite pitching issues of their own, the Tigers refused to alter Miller’s development plan, having him begin the year in A-ball while refining his overall game until he was ready to step into their rotation. A month ago, they made the call, and Miller’s solidified himself as a key member of their pitching staff, and a guy who will be counted on to start for them in October should the Tigers make the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Brandon Morrow’s lost his job as the right-handed setup man to Chris Reitsma and Sean Green, and will now pitch the middle innings when the ability to throw the ball over the plate is not required.

Had some different decisions been made, the two guys taking the hill tonight could both be Mariners – the 21-year-old right-handed prodigy and the 23-year-old left-handed phenom. Andrew Miller could have been starting for the Mariners tomorrow night. On the brightside, if we need someone to come in and issue an intentional walk, we’re set for the next 15 years, so that worked out well too.

But you know what? As much as I like Andrew Miller, he’s not Felix. Let’s hope the ace the Mariners actually do have shows up the rookie tonight.


378 Responses to “Game 86, Tigers at Mariners”

  1. Chris on July 12th, 2007 10:29 pm

    Favorite Levine quote of the night from his radio broadcast “Cleveland is breathing down Detroit’s throat.” Quite an image he created with that one.

  2. juneau_fan on July 12th, 2007 10:30 pm

    349. I’m sure he’s a delight; I hear that’s his cult appeal.

    In the Old Spice ad, he *plays* a fat jerk–or at least, that’s my interpretation of the ad. Frankly, I can’t figure out who’s the audience. It seems to be playing off some ridiculous idea that a cologne will make chicks love even some old dude singing off key…but that’s what the ad’s selling. I just don’t get it. (What did I just see, that we lose our joke comprehension as we age?)

  3. davepaisley on July 12th, 2007 10:32 pm

    350 – the 3rd base camera showed clearly that Guillen missed ALL the tags.

  4. davepaisley on July 12th, 2007 10:33 pm


    msb, if he was supposed to replace Niehaus, then he would have been doing pbp anyway, no?

  5. Joe Bag o' Doughnuts on July 12th, 2007 10:34 pm

    352… Bruce is mugging it up for the camera.

    If you haven’t, go forth and rent “Bubba Hotep.” Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK (“they dyed me!”) Classic film.

  6. planB on July 12th, 2007 10:35 pm

    Ergh, that’s not a good introduction to Bruce Campbell. Army of Darkness!

  7. 88fingerslukee on July 12th, 2007 10:37 pm

    353 – I don’t know about that. The third tag was not visible from that point of view. It was being mad running down the line from 2nd to 3rd. There is no way that angle could definitively tell if he tagged him or not. Froemming had the best angle.

    Was Yuni really interfering? His swing took him across the box. Is that illegal?

  8. planB on July 12th, 2007 10:37 pm

    353: Ah, okay. Wonder why they kept showing the other angle.

  9. Joe Bag o' Doughnuts on July 12th, 2007 10:38 pm

    356… Shop Smart! Shop S-Mart!

  10. juneau_fan on July 12th, 2007 10:51 pm

    See? The dude’s a cult.

    Uh, with all this talking about tagging and who did what…they can’t take the win away, can they?

  11. gwangung on July 12th, 2007 10:59 pm

    Was Yuni really interfering? His swing took him across the box. Is that illegal?

    Yeah. Certainly impeded Pudge.

    But it wasn’t as clearcut as other interference calls. Wouldn’t have been surprised if interference was called.

  12. shortbus on July 12th, 2007 11:25 pm

    Clearly Guillen tagged Beltre and the ump made a lousy call. He made up for it by calling Beltre out on the appeal. The ump knew Beltre tagged second or he wouldn’t have called him safe. A really lucky call for the M’s.

    I don’t know about Betancourt’s interference…doesn’t it have to be intentional? He was swinging for an outstide pitch on the hit-and-run and his momentum carried him over the plate.

  13. Mr. Egaas on July 12th, 2007 11:55 pm

    Lucked into another win. I’ll take it!

    Good performance by Felix and the Pen though, absolutely.

  14. ndrfx on July 13th, 2007 12:16 am

    Well, even if Beltre was out it the game still would have been tied and we’d have gone extra innings. So we only lucked out…uh, 50%? Haha.

  15. Lauren, token chick on July 13th, 2007 12:16 am

    Ha! Has anyone looked at JJ’s page on lately?

    He used to pitch for us, but was acquired by the American League recently.

  16. DizzleChizzle on July 13th, 2007 12:49 am

    Maybe some can help me visualize it, but not having watched the game myself and relying only on the internet did Felix really pitch that good of a game? Seems to me that the Tigers were hitting him pretty well tonight and Felix was just lucky to get out of some of those innings.

  17. planB on July 13th, 2007 1:36 am

    He was okay. He got into trouble early, but I wouldn’t say he was “just lucky”… he pitched himself out of some tough spots.

  18. naviomelo on July 13th, 2007 3:19 am

    I thought he was pretty good. He had all his velocity back today, I saw him hit 100 on several occasions. Detroit got a number of hits that couldn’t entirely be attributed to hitter skill. I thought he really bore down on them after he got into that jam in the 4th.

  19. zzyzx on July 13th, 2007 6:29 am

    I was at a concert last night and I kept trying to get updates on the game from my phone. It was stuck on that 2-2 count for over 10 minutes. That was frustrating, but when I got home it made sense.

  20. msb on July 13th, 2007 6:30 am

    #362– according to Valle, it doesn’t have to be intentional to be be catcher’s interference.

  21. sodomojojojo on July 13th, 2007 8:30 am

    Does anyone besides me want to hear Levine say “InconCEIVable” or “…never get involved in a land war in Asia. The second, only slightly less well known, is this: never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha”?

  22. 88fingerslukee on July 13th, 2007 8:47 am

    Are you talking the Princess Bride?!? Brilliant!!

  23. sodomojojojo on July 13th, 2007 9:21 am

    I am, thank you. He just has the slightly annoying lispy thing going on.

    And IMHO the second “Evil Dead” movie is the one Bruce Campbell to start with, followed by the Briscoe County series and then Bubba Hotep as dessert.

  24. msb on July 13th, 2007 9:37 am

    #373– and there are some fine moments to be found, if one cherry-picks the Herc and Xena series. I can also happily recommend his book, “If chins could kill: confessions of a B movie actor”

  25. joser on July 13th, 2007 12:06 pm

    But even though Betancourt was out of the box, over the plate, he ducked to give Pudge a clearer throw. Which isn’t something he has to do when he’s in the box; when he’s out over the plate like he was, purely unintentionally because he was off balance, it’s the least — and the most — he can do. If he hadn’t done that, I think Pudge would’ve had a much better case (and in fact wouldn’t have been able to get the throw off at all). I think the ump was cognizant of all of those factors — that Betancourt wasn’t intentionally interfering, and was trying to stay out of the way — and so declined calling interference. I think that’s reasonable. If Betancourt hadn’t ducked, and the ump called an out on interference, I would have been ok with that too. It’s understandable Pudge got upset, but going completely ballistic was absurd. He needs to remember his noodle arm wasn’t going to throw out the runner at 2nd even under the best of circumstances.

    As for Beltre — we Tivo’d the replays and watched them carefully. Beltre obviously grabbed second base: no doubt there. And Guillen definitely missed him on the initial tag. Guillen also missed him on the second tag, as Beltre let go of the bag and started to scramble. But on the third try he tagged him on the arm as he was running to third. There are three camera angles in the replays, and one of them shows this pretty clearly; you can also see Guillen stop chasing Beltre at that point because he knows he got him. But Sexson broke for home while that was going on, and he crossed the plate before that third tag attempt was successful. So Beltre was out on the play, and the run did score. In other words, in spite of a blown call and a bogus make-up call, they got the situation right in the end. It’s not often you see umps make two bad calls on the same play and end up with everything the way it’s supposed to be, but that’s what happened.

    I’m sure Detroit is pissed, and they probably don’t see it that way, but it looks to me that in spite of everything the game was decided by the play on the field, and not the umps. Of course, Pudge could’ve not got himself thrown out and given his team another chance to win at the plate; then again, had he been behind the plate on the Beltre play his inevitably weak throw to 2nd might’ve given Beltre more time to overslide 2nd and get safely all the way to 3rd, extending the rally.

  26. joser on July 13th, 2007 12:13 pm

    Heck, even Beltre thinks that’s what happened

    Second base umpire Bruce Froemming signaled safe twice as shortstop Carlos Guillen missed tags before and after Beltre slid thru the bag. He tried to go back to second and Guillen missed again.

    Or did he?

    “He might have tagged me,” Beltre said, smiling.

    I do like giving this play the moniker “The Great Escape.” It may not rank up there with The Catch and The Throw, but take note: if the M’s end up taking the Wild Card by one game from Detroit, this is that game.

  27. joser on July 13th, 2007 12:14 pm

    Also, I like this:

    “You just hope you make good pitches … and that Sheffield doesn’t take your head off,” Putz said.

  28. KenLevine on July 15th, 2007 10:11 pm

    Thanks to all of you who commented on my fill-on stint broadcasting for the M’s this week. Even the negative comments.

    It was a crazy situation, especially being thrown onto the telecast and then that crazy play, but I had a great time, I love the Mariners, and although I was a little rusty and my voice is my voice, I think I conveyed the joy I felt being there and covering the M’s. And I think you could follow what was going on.

    In any event, this is a terrific blog. And I learn more about the team from you guys than from anywhere else.

    If anyone is interested, I have a blog as well. It’s more humor oriented. But for those who do enjoy my act, I invite you to check it out. Today I have posted my travelogue on my Seattle trip.

    Thanks again.

    Ken Levine

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