Game 2011.10: Rangers at Tigers

The smoking hot Rangers bring baseball’s best record into CoPa for a three game set of afternoon games.  The Rangers are 8-1 and lead the majors in Home Runs, Slugging, OPS, oh, and ERA to boot.  They recently took 2 out or 3 from Baltimore, in Baltimore, and the Orioles did not score a run over the last 16 innings.  They’ve been playing pretty well.

Alexi Ogando makes his second career start today.  His first went about as well as it could, as he allowed 2 H, 2 BB and struck out 4 over 6 IPs.  He really only has two pitches, a plus fastball that was in the mid-90s through the 6th last week, and a good slider that he’s not afraid to throw on any count.  What made him so effective as a reliever last year, and in his first start, was good location.  You might see a change-up or two today.

JV goes for the Tigers.  Verlander has dominated the Rangers in his career.  In eight starts, he is 6-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 54 Ks in 49 1/3 IPs. Did you know that JV has the most wins in the AL since 2006 (74) and is second in Ks (975)?

If you are on the fence about heading out to the game, remember that Lower Baseline Box and Upper Box Infield seats are half-price through Wednesday.

Today’s AJax less lineup feature Don Kelly:

1. Rhymes – 2B
2. Boesch – LF
3. Ordonez – RF
4. Cabrera – 1B
5. Martinez – DH
6. Kelly – CF
7. Peralta – SS
8. Avila – C
9. Inge – 3B

Seems to me that Maggs is more of a #2 hitter these days, but JL and I disagree on quite a few things.


  1. PHToy in HK

    April 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Today would be a great day to start their first winning streak of the season!

  2. Coleman

    April 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I’m not sure that Maggs is a #3 hitter these days either, but I don’t know that I would like him as a #2 hitter–he hits into too many DPs, and is slower than ever on the basepaths. Although, now that I think about it batting #2 would probably decrease his GIDP opportunities, since our leadoff hitter is never on base.

    I don’t actually mind Rhymes at all in the leadoff spot–he sees a lot of pitches, gets walks, doesn’t strike out. As weak as his hitting has been he still has an OBP of .303 (AJax is at .244).

    Speaking of Jackson, he was struggling, and needed Leyland to give him a…day off. Jackson is only hitting .184 / .244 OBP, with 3 BB to 14 K. But before grumbling about the trade, it would be worth checking out Granderson’s current stats: .172 / .250 OBP, 3 BB to 12 K. (The difference is that the Yankees have figured out that he is not a leadoff hitter).

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    1-2 change gets Hamilton. I love it.

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Tried it twice, Hamilton got him the 2nd time

  4. Coleman

    April 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t think we have to worry about that 6th-7th inning relief issue today; Verlander through 4 innings with only 48 pitches

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Did Ordonez’s inability to run just cost us a run?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Well, he just did now.

  6. Coleman

    April 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I’m not sure, but Cabrera’s baserunning cost us a run

    And Verlander just saved us a run

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Rangers broadcasters are saying that both of those balls should have been caught.

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      He blew a catch against the Royals too, same thing, over his head. He might as well start playing deeper.

  8. Coleman

    April 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    You know that old thing about how it always seems like when a fielder makes a really great play, he bats first next inning? Well then why is Magglio up first this inning?

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      Make that First-Pitch-Popupplio

  9. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    How about if we can get 2 more base runners before the game is over we’ll call it a moral victory.

    Penny is going tomorrow against their ace, so we’re looking at 3-8.

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Moral victory is ours

  10. Coleman

    April 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Apparently Ogando had a blistering fastball today

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm


  11. Andrew in Toronto

    April 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Nice at-bat by Raburn.

    Why is Cabrera batting left in Gameday? The intentional walks look like bean-balls.

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I’m going to predict Ordonez to the DL.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Leyland says he’s going to rest Magglio for a few days. Leyland: “I’m going to wait until everything is right.”

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    This gem from Dickerson on Twitter:

    #Tigers had few threats today – only put as many as 2 men on twice today…only 4 times in the last three games.

  14. Dre in Chi

    April 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I’ll preface by saying I still think its much too early in the season to hit zee panic button. I’ll follow by probably contradicting myself entirely.

    I’m also not sure how much this year’s start vs. last year’s is affecting my perception of things, but heading into the 2010 season, there appeared to be more of a plan than this year. I know that sounds silly in light of the acquisitions they made heading into this year…but I feel like the team really skimped on the plan B.

    Again, this is all hind-sighty in nature, and could easily be erased by a good run of play (also much of this may well have already been said).

    The way I see it, heading into 2011, the Tigers replaced Damon with VMart (I know they’re different types of hitters) and shored up the bullpen. That was about it in terms of things I would describe as probable improvements.

    The rest I don’t get:

    – They had to know AJax was headed for regression.
    – They couldn’t have thought that 1/3 of an MLB season outweighed 4 years of minor league date for Rhymes.
    – Avila, take out the game where he went all Luke Scott on the Orioles, and you’re left wondering who’s kid is this that he’s on the team?…oh wait, you’re not.
    – No back-up plan if Maggs gets hurt, well good thing that’s not likely.

    On the bright side Raburn and Boesch are repeating their standard pre/post ASB splits so at least we know who should start regularly until late summer.

    I don’t know, in the past I’ve at least been able to understand the rationale of DDs moves…but this year is apparently different for me. I can see going into a season with 1-2 question marks, but methinks this is a bridge too far…too much riding on the shoulders of too few. But hey, its still early. Maybe Sizemore does so well in AAA that we can remove one question mark from the mix. Maybe Maggs isn’t hurt that bad and heats up.

    Just bummed.

    • Andrew in Toronto

      April 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      I’m pretty disappointed too, but here are some additional things they must have been thinking/hoping…

      -Penny & Coke > Galarraga & Bonderman
      -Porcello to rebound
      -Benoit is a big addition & hopefully Zumaya to return
      -If Avila isn’t great we have VMart catching. Better than Laird
      -At 2nd base hopefully Guillen comes back
      -Peralta an upgrade over how we began last season
      -More playing time for Raburn and hopefully Boesch gets fixed
      -Ordonez does a full season with OPS+ of 130 like 2010

      The team is looking pretty bad right now, but I would hope that at least some of the above pans out.

      • Dre in Chi

        April 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        “-Penny & Coke > Galarraga & Bonderman
        -Porcello to rebound
        -Benoit is a big addition & hopefully Zumaya to return”

        I think the above are reasonable to anticipate (except maybe Zoom). My problem is with the rest. They didn’t sign VMart as a starting catcher; I don’t know if a) he’s cool with it, and b) I don’t know if he holds up over a season with that kind of work. I don’t think there’s much reason to expect Guillen to stay healthy if he does come back. In that same vein, what were the odds that Maggs play a full season or duplicated a 130 OPS+? Let alone do both. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s back.

        I just feel like there’s a critical mass you can reach when you have a large number of “ifs”. Once you reach that threshold, its pretty easy to cascade. Now I don’t think we’re in for a whole season of the bats falling silent when the pitching is on and the pitching falling apart when the bats are hot…but I’m worried at how seemingly thin this team is on proven talent.

        • Coleman

          April 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

          The Tigers’ If Threshold + rating is currently 135, and rarely does a team make the playoffs with an ITR+ over 100.

          • Dre in Chi

            April 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm

            Well, at least I’m smiling now…


    April 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    We can’t score any runs for our ace…….and then we will be expected to score 10 for Penny……..fat chance……. looks like one more in the L column tomorrow! Things are really starting to look dismal……what more is there to say!