Here’s to not getting swept

I don’t know that things came any easier today for the Tigers, but the boys did enough to secure a 4-2 win and stave off panic in Detroit. Max Scherzer did his job, the offense did enough, and the bullpen locked it all down.

Scherzer was quite good for the bulk of the day, save for Casey Kotchman being a tough out. Scherzer fanned 4 in 6 innings, and was fairly efficient with 87 pitches and likely could have gone another inning or two. Leyland’s reasons for pulling him were fairly sound though. Kotchman would have been due up in the 7th inning and Scherzer wouldn’t have faced him. In between was Ken Griffey Jr so Leyland went to Phil Coke.

The offense went 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position. As much as I hate the 2 I love the 18. Tigers hitters drew 9 walks to go along with 9 hits. Some wasted scoring situations were particularly frustrating (like Miguel Cabrera fanning on 3 pitches with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out). Others were unfortunate. Ordonez hit a ball typically deep enough for a sacrifice fly, but it was to Ichiro. Guillen and Avila both ripped balls that resulted in double plays. It happens.

  • Avila had a heck of a day with a double, a caught stealing, and a nice job holding on to the ball in a collision at home (pictured above). The Angels run, a lot. We’ll see how much playing time he’ll get in the next series.
  • Ordonez looked uncomfortable at the plate for the first time this season, but he did make a nice play to double off Ichiro with a strike to first.
  • Johnny Damon reached base 4 times and now has a .396 OBP this season.
  • I hated the sacrifice bunt call after Snell had walked the first 2 batters in an inning, and not just because Ramon Santiago didn’t execute. Snell really needed an out, and Leyland was happy to give him one.


  1. Packey

    April 18, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Love these pictures.

  2. Jeff

    April 19, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Yeah, I thought the sac bunt call was a bad move there. Snell couldn’t throw strikes, and you know at the point he’s just trying to get them over the plate. Could have been a big inning, but at least we won.

  3. jud

    April 19, 2010 at 2:51 am

    I liked the bunt call there. Baseball is a game of percentages and with Santiago up and no outs, runners on first and second …. is the greatest percentage that he walks, gets a hit, or puts down a successful sac bunt. I go for the bunt there every time, in that particular situation, with that particular batter.

    • Mark in Chicago

      April 19, 2010 at 9:12 am

      agree jud. If you’ve got the top of the order batting already, I think billfer’s right and you don’t give up the out. but Santiago is your #9 hitter for a reason and it’s not fair to him to expect big things offensively, so you put him in a position to succeed, which in this case involves moving two runners over. then you’ve got the top of the order coming up with two RISP and only one out, a very good situation to be in. unfortunately the execution on the bunt wasn’t there, but i agree with the thinking.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        April 19, 2010 at 10:29 am

        Not against a pitcher that has just walked 2 straight batters. Santiago can handle the bat, I would have much rather seen if he could get a hitters count and then try and hit something to the right side. I’m with billfer here. At least make Snell throw a strike before putting it on.

        I think that Smokey manages inside a vacuum sometimes and neglects to consider the current circumstances.

        • Mark in Chicago

          April 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

          Santiago didn’t bunt the first pitch, he took it for strike one, so mission accomplished on making Snell throw a strike. If memory serves, he bunted the 1-1 pitch.

          • Kevin in Dallas

            April 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

            Oh. Okay, 86 everything I wrote.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    April 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Some Monday morning fun:

    Tigers hitters are top 5 in the Majors in BB, OBP, and K’s (fifth fewest). 7th in MLB in Avg. (KC is #1, they can thank us for that) and OPS.

    • Coleman

      April 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      They seem to have discovered that walk…from the most unlikely sources–Inge is in the AL top 20 in BB (and 2B, and OBP), but not in strikeouts. If that can last for awhile, it could have very good results. In fact the Tigers are also above league avg in Pitches Per Plate Appearance, which is the first time I can remember seeing this, even this early in the season.

  5. Longball111

    April 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

    How many different ways must it be proved that a bunt is almost always a bad call before people catch on? This must be how Columbus felt trying to convince people the earth isn’t flat. I’d much rather have Santiago at bat against a wild pitcher trying to work a good hitters count and maybe get one grooved. He’s gotten some big hits in the past.

    • Mark in Chicago

      April 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      Totally agree about overusing the bunt, outs are precious things and you don’t want to give them away for nothing. But they are not always the wrong strategy, and ahead by 1-run game with your #9 hitter and moving two runners over for the top of the order, I think that’s an efficient use of a bunt. The strategy is predicated on Jackson putting the ball in play, something he struggles to do, but it’s highly unlikely he hits into a DP, so you give Damon a chance.

      If you let Santiago swing away you’re counting on him not hitting a ground ball at anybody because it’s an easy double play. Also, I’m pretty sure Santiago took strike 1 from Snell, so working himself into a hitter’s count was a lot more difficult.

      • Vince in MN

        April 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm

        Agree with Mark. As bad as they have been with R3L2O so far, the bunt was the right strategy in that situation. Santiago just didn’t execute.

  6. Ryan

    April 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    That whole bunting situation shows me why we need a proven lefty power bat off the bench to get the start and mash mediocre righties.

  7. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Good job on avoiding the sweep. The Mariners aren’t nearly as good as I thought they were. They have some spectacular players with Figgins, Guiterrez, Ichiro, and King Felix, but they have some huge gaping holes elsewhere. It’s really sad seeing Ken Griffey Jr. being so over-matched these last few seasons. I can’t think of one good reason why he shouldn’t retire. I guess when you have Mike Sweeney and Eric Byrnes on your team, Griffey starts looking like a option. I can’t think of a worse player in the majors than Byrnes. I thought Seattle’s GM was supposed to be sabermetric inclined, but to me he just looks stupid for having 3 incredibly useless players on the roster.

    • ouchudied

      April 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      Byrnes finished 11th in the MVP voting in 2007. Just sayin’…

  8. jim-mt

    April 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    He probably has 3 useless players on the team because he has 3 uselesser players in the minors.

  9. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Speaking of getting swept, the Red Sox lost all four games in their series against Tampa Bay which finished today. Boston (now 4-9) managed to go 0 for 30 with runners in scoring position in that series. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that they won’t be able to keep up that pace.