Game 2010.002: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: It will be Max Scherzer versus Luke Hochevar in game 2 of the 2010 season. The big news around this game in Detroit is that we won’t be able to watch it, until the Red Wings game is over anyways. Due to a scheduling tsunami the Tigers are pushed off of both Fox Sports Detroit, and it’s FSD+ brother (which will show the Pistons). A bummer to be sure but FS Detroit is likely contractually bound to the 2 other games and picking up the Tigers in progress is extra effort on their part.

But back to the game…

Hochevar gets the #2 role due to an injured Gil Meche. The Tigers have beat up Hochevar the last two times they faced him. Miguel Cabrera will try to make history as he has gone a perfect 8 for 8 in his last 8 at-bats against Hochevar. Lefties strike out just as much as righties against Hochevar, but they walk twice as often.

Scherzer makes his Tigers and AL Debut. He dominated righties last year with a 4.58 K/BB ratio and hopefully he can hold down Billy Butler.

The Tigers lefty heavy lineup is:

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Avila, C
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Santiago, SS

Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals – April 7, 2010 – Preview

POSTGAME: That was certainly a disappointing ending to an otherwise compelling game. The Tigers did quite a few things right in this game, but also had their share of struggles.

Offensively the Tigers couldn’t muster anything but ground balls against Hochevar. Sixteen of the Tigers outs against Hochever were ground ball outs, including two double plays. The only hit of note was a wind blown triple by Austin Jackson. And unlike against Greinke, many of those outs came early in the count meaning that Hochevar was able to hand the ball directly to Joakim Soria  with 2 outs in the 8th and avoid the tasty middle relief options of the Royals.

Fortunately Scherzer was up to the task and he didn’t allow a hit until the 5th inning and left after 6 scoreless innings. It was a very nice Tigers debut for Scherzer who’s only blemish was a couple of HBPs. (Bless You Boys has the pitch f/x breakdown)

The bullpen which was quite efficient on Monday, didn’t control the strike zone to the same degree. Fu-Te Ni, Brad Thomas, and Phil Coke each threw more balls than strikes. It was Ni’s walk in the 8th that moved a runner into scoring position for Chris Getz’s RBI single.

Jose Valverde, a notorious slow starter, didn’t do much right in the 11th inning with a chance for his first save. The Callaspo homer was a bullet, and the Ankiel shot off the wall was smoked as well. Yes, Scott Sizemore blew the relay play, but even if he catches it clean the winning run is 90 feet away with nobody out and the closer being bludgeoned. There is definitely shared responsibility for that 11th inning.

  • The Miguel Cabrera at-bat in the 9th inning was tremendous. Down to the last strike Soria couldn’t put him away and with pitch #10 Cabrera doinked the foul pole to tie the game. That’s 4 big hits in the first two games for Cabrera.
  • It was the Venezuelan uprising in the 11th that again game the Tigers a chance. Singles by Ordonez, Cabrera, and Guillen  gave the team the lead. It goes without saying that the majority of the offense will run through those 3.
  • Don’t make too much of the Cabrera caught stealing. It was costly, he just left a tad too early. I don’t mind the added aggressiveness.
  • Where was that aggressiveness earlier though when Jackson led off with a single only to have Johnny Damon with a first pitch GIDP?
  • I didn’t care for the Sizemore bunt in the 8th inning. Hochevar had barely been in the stretch, and even though Sizemore was his last batter, make him try and get the out. The Tigers had already handed over too many easy outs.
  • Gerald Laird is 2 for 2 in not even making a throw down to gun out a runner.
  • Jackson’s strike out in the 10th was a pretty bad at-bat, but not all that surprising either. He was probably experiencing some additional pressure, and he’s already a player who’s entire minor league career has been prone to the strike out. Not that he won’t do a lot of things right this season, but he’s going to have his whiffs.
  • Two more walks for Sizemore who continues to work the count.

Post game video with Leyland/Avila/Sizemore/Valverde


  1. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Looking forward to seeing Scherzer’s Tiger debut.
    I love this line-up. Getting Avila significant PT is going to help our offense so much.

  2. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm


  3. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Austin with a triple!

  4. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    So quiet here. I wish this game was on TV!

  5. kathy

    April 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I have it on audio. They make it sound like the weather is deplorable. Sure wish we’d get some runs.

  6. ian (seattle)

    April 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    oh that was a filthy pitch LOL. way to get out of the jam, Max


  7. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Phew. Nice pitch on the inside corner to DeJESUS there.

  8. Kathy

    April 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Bottom of the 5th, bases loaded, and Scherzer strikes ’em out.

  9. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Austin with another hit. Attaboy. Now go steal 2B for us.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      April 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      bloody dp for Damon. shucks.

  10. jcm

    April 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Jackson is still here. Good pitching no run support

  11. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Great outing by Scherzer. Unfortunately, I think his day might be over, especially with it being the first start of the year and Verlander getting yanked after 93 pitches a couple days ago.

  12. Steve

    April 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    yeah, it would be nice if he had a little run support here and was able to pick up the win. Looks good here, lets see how we all do against the top tier teams. For now we look good.

  13. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Well, on a promising note, we get to see the KC bullpen after another inning. Hopefully they are still throwing meatballs.

  14. jcm

    April 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Avila will be in aaa before asg

  15. RoseTattoo

    April 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Yay! FS-D is airing baseball now!

  16. Vince in MN

    April 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    If you like low scoring “pitching duels”, this year I have a hunch we’re in for bunch.

    • David

      April 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

      Does that mean you have little confidence of decent seasons by Ordonez, Guillen and Inge? Or you believe in a Bonderman/Dtrain miracle? Or a bit of both.

      • Vince in MN

        April 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

        I think Maggs will bounce backsome, but his heydays are behind him, but Guillen’s a ? due to his perennial health issues. I do not believe in Inge ever having a “breakout” year, the rooks are ? because they are rooks and in general the 6-7-8-9 spots in the order do not instill much confidence (Everett – please; Laird’s new batting stance – uh uh) – they are going to have trouble scoring on a consistent basis. It’s just too much to expect all the weaknesses to magically disappear, although hopefully there should be some improvement. I forsee a lot of games where they score 4 or fewer runs, which is not a prescription for winning a lot.

        If Bonderman can actually learn a 3rd pitch (how long have we been waiting now?; has he tried the knuckler yet?) there is some hope there, but I have no faith in Willis, who could well be gone by the end of the month. Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello are dependable and the pen should be okay if it doesn’t get overworked. The pitching staff is the strength of the team. If trouble is brewing there, we can write the season off because the offense won’t be able to pick up any slack. The pitchers I think will be carrying the bulk of the load and working under pressure most of the time.

        There are quite a few interesting stories to be played out this year, so I am looking forward to the race. My expectations just aren’t particularly high.

  17. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Rally caps, people…

  18. Brenden

    April 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I don’t like losing 0-1…

    • Brenden

      April 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm

      Thank you MiggY!!!!

  19. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    YES! MIGGY!!! YES!!

  20. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Wow. Gotta love that dude.

  21. Coleman

    April 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    MC hammers the pole!!!

    • coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm


  22. billfer

    April 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm


    (say it, it’s fun)

  23. JOE Z

    April 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    10 pitch at bat leading to a 2 out homer to tie. WOOOOO

  24. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Wow. What an AB. New ball game now.

    • Coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      And no Billy F’ing Butler coming up

  25. D Glenn

    April 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I would think Perry would be in here. But if he gets this last out no worries.

  26. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for swinging at that garbage pitch on a 3-1 count, Jose, GIDPs are your friend.

  27. David G

    April 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I should post under the name I have before.

  28. David G

    April 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Ugh, on the offense this inning.

  29. Coleman

    April 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I guess it’s the economy…but G-money so far has been a handful of couch-cushion-change. I’m used to his pop-ups at the plate, but what’s up with the glove pop-ups on the SB attempts?

  30. Vince in MN

    April 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Both Sizemore and Jackson both showing good plate discipline so far. That’s a breath of fresh air for the Tigers.

  31. Kevin in Dallas

    April 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    SS needs to pick up the 3B coach.

  32. Mark in Chicago

    April 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    That was an absolutely atrocious at bat by Jackson. Not a single strike was thrown and he swung at three of them. Those pitches weren’t even close. I know he’s a rookie and all, but there’s no excuse for that kind of approach.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Goodness, what was that, his 8th big league at bat? He’s doing fine.

      • Mark in Chicago

        April 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm

        You are both right, he’s probably overanxious and is doing fine overall, but that was a really bad at bat. He gets the benefit of the doubt for now, but none of the pitches he swung at were even close to the strike zone.

    • Vince in MN

      April 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

      The pressure probably made him a bit overanxious.

    • David

      April 8, 2010 at 12:38 am

      Yea I’d give him a mulligan for a bit as well… He did seem to like that high hard stuff…Thoughts of Pudge instantly sprang up.

  33. Cameron in Singapore

    April 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    The old strikeout with a man on third and less than 2 outs…
    Looks like Austin Jackson IS taking Curtis Granderson’s place…

  34. coleman

    April 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    We’re not going to PH Raburn here?

    • Coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Nevermind, since Laird pinch-ran for Avila that made Raburn unavailable (he is now the Special Emergency Catcher in Reserve).

  35. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm


  36. Vince in MN

    April 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    RO3L2O virus bites again.

    • Coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      …of the special RO3L2O-RAB strain

  37. billfer

    April 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    This will come down to the heart of the order (if the Tigers come up again). It’s a one swing of the bat type game at this point.

  38. ouchudied

    April 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    More Coke? Give some to ol’ smokey so he can wake up.

    • Coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Scouting reports say the Royals are susceptible to Coke. Er, wait, it seems those are old reports from the ’80s…

      • ouchudied

        April 7, 2010 at 10:24 pm

        I guess more helped us. Or it hurt them. Hit the white part of the plate, Phil. Follow your nose…

  39. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    knots in the stomach…

  40. Vince in MN

    April 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I like pitchers that come in and throw strikes. I am having trouble finding the love for Mr, Coke so far.

    • billfer

      April 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      Tonight was rough, 7 of 11 were strikes his first outing.

  41. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    nice work there. here are our big sticks. this is our chance.

    • Coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      And we face The Sobbing Barber….

  42. billfer

    April 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Don’t bunt Guillen!

  43. Kevin in Dallas

    April 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    WOW. GREAT send by Lamont. Podsednik has a noodle out there.

  44. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    attaboy Guillen!

  45. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    very aggressive baserunning there. i didn’t think he had a chance.

  46. Mark in Chicago

    April 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Ah yes, I remember Farnsworth. At least he’s doing this for somebody else now…

  47. Vince in MN

    April 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    With B.O.O.B.s coming up, Carlos comes through.

  48. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    we pay him for his bat, not his legs but that was a bit ugly.

    • Vince in MN

      April 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      Was it a double steal attempt or dd he just get caught off 2nd?

      • jason

        April 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

        got caught between 2nd and 3rd.

  49. Mark in Chicago

    April 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Boy, that was some terrible baserunning. Nothing like taking ourselves completely out of the inning.

    Question for the tech people out there – my name and e-mail don’t stay in the boxes above after posting a comment. After I hit ‘submit’, the comment posts but the boxes are blank. What setting do I need to change to get them to stay? I am using IE7.

    • jason

      April 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      mark- i was going to mention the same thing, but i have been tinkering with my settings to see if it was my fault first… i guess not. i am using firefox3.6.3

    • ouchudied

      April 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

      I’m using firefox and the same thing is happening to me. Didn’t happen last year, though.

    • jason

      April 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      while we are mentioning changes. i also noticed i cannot edit posts anymore. i think you used to be able to edit them for a couple minutes.

    • Coleman

      April 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

      Same thing here on Mac OS/Safari so I’m guessing there’s nothing on the user end at work here.

      • Mark in Chicago

        April 7, 2010 at 10:49 pm

        Good to know it isn’t just me. I wonder if this is billfer’s way of getting all of us to post less so he doesn’t have to read and moderate 150 posts for every game thread. Or maybe his host is charging him by the word… 😉

        • jud

          April 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

          same thing here…Hey Billfer whats up ??????

          • billfer

            April 8, 2010 at 6:59 am

            I don’t know actually. It was nothing I knowingly changed. I’ll poke around.

          • billfer

            April 8, 2010 at 11:39 am

            I’ve spent all morning trying to figure this out and I’m no where. Except for completely breaking the site and having to put it back together again. I’ll work on this more in the future, but it looks like you’ll just have to live with it for now. Sorry.

  50. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Papa Grande time

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      April 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm


  51. Coleman

    April 7, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Enormous Spud Dud

  52. kathy

    April 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm


  53. kathy

    April 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    too late? too cold? too old?

  54. Mark in Chicago

    April 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Well that was a terrible ending.

    At least the White Sox lost.

  55. Coleman

    April 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Caca Grande

  56. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Feels like somebody just slashed my tires

  57. jason

    April 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    that was ugly. very ugly. our new closer with a BS on the 2nd game of the year…

    did anyone notice the number of detroit fans at the end of the game there? nearly everyone left seemed to have detroit gear on.

  58. Joey in Portland OR

    April 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm


  59. Kevin in Dallas

    April 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Granderson with the go-ahead HR in extra innings. Way to go Grandy. See everyone manana.

  60. Cameron in Singapore

    April 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Well that was a great start to the Valverde era. Way to engender confidence in your new fan base.

    • Vince in MN

      April 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      He wasn’t exactly lights out Monday either.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        April 8, 2010 at 7:01 am

        Actually, to give up 2 errors (Santiago catch, Valverde misplay) and not give up a run…that’s pretty darn good.

        Let’s not overreact friends, I’d hate for this to turn into a Mets board. There are going to be a lot of nights like this.

  61. stephen

    April 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Memo to Sizemore: In the major leagues, it’s not permissible to be either clueless to the game situation and/or indifferent to picking the ball up and getting the ball to the infield before, uh, the winning run scores.
    The goal is to prevent the other team from scoring.

  62. Jud

    April 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Inge and Laird are so bad the Tigers figured out how to make all three outs with the two of them batting…first and second no outs….. Gee Marboro man don’t bunt the wonder boy Inge the then hit and run with Laird.(who used up all his hits in spring training)….as good as Leyland was yesterday he stunk today…..oh ya and we didn’t want to pay Polanco or Rodney the money…..

    • Andre in Chi

      April 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      I think its a little early to criticize the Sizemore/Polonca switch, after all Polanco is only projected to have 486 RBI this year…which is a little low for 2B.

    • David

      April 8, 2010 at 12:33 am

      Leyland has stunk every year… Collapse year after year after year after year is not a coincidence.

      Fool me once…

  63. Coleman

    April 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Well, that was awful.

    We were on pace to win 162 games; now we are on pace to win 81.

    So we pretty much blew 81 games tonight.

    • Vince in MN

      April 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm

      Well, you win some and you lose some. For a .500 team, they are about where you would expect them to be.

  64. Kathy

    April 8, 2010 at 12:03 am

    It was a good game, with a killer ending. Oh, boy, just wait til tomorrow!

    • David

      April 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

      Yes we all can’t wait to see the Greek errr African God of Walks…Oh wait he’s a pitcher…

  65. Andre in Chi

    April 8, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Friend of mine mentioned this was the second game where Valverde seemed to forget how many outs there were, anyone else catch that?

  66. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    April 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Thank God we let Rodney go for Valverde. The blown save not withstanding, I don’t see any movement on this guy’s pitches. This portends lots of bad ninth innings because he doesn’t appear to have a strikeout pitch, which is a MUST for a closer. As scary as Rodney was at times, he got the job done and he missed bats. I’m not seeing anything in the first two Valverde appearances that indicates he is going to be anywhere near solid in 2010. Another terrible move by Dombrowski. How does this guy keep his job? Please Mr. Ilitch, I’ll do his job for a quarter of his pay and get you better results.

    • Mark in Chicago

      April 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      How do you explain his past success? Luck? Or has something changed?

  67. Bill

    April 8, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Sizemore is terrible! Valverde is horrible. Great moves DD! Hopefully DD is gone soon!!

  68. Andre in Chi

    April 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Wow, two games in and its already the apocalypse.

    Methinks its a tad early to call Sizemore and Valverde duds. Especially since we knew to expect growing pains with the former and an NL –> AL adjustment with the latter.

  69. Kathy

    April 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Cabrera’s at bat reminded me of the All-Star HR derby. He just kept taking pitch after pitch until he hit one out of there. Tremendous at-bat.