Game 2011.43: Tigers at Red Sox

“I don’t recall any team ever winning a game without scoring a run.”

This is one thing we learned from yesterday’s game, courtesy of Stormin’ Norman.

For all of the hand-wringing over Leyland’s decision to go with Schlereth, and stay with him after he walked Crawford (not to mention the decision to lift Coke at 78 pitches after a short rain delay), the real story of the game was the failure to capitalize on 2 opportunities with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 out.  In fact, after a big recent surge, the offense has started sputtering a bit

A big reason for this has been the slump–yes, it’s time for the “S” word–of Miguel Cabrera.  Over the past 2 weeks, here are the numbers of Cabrera, and the much-maligned Inge:

.188 .372 .281 .653

.200 .314 .300 .614

Inge with a bit more hitting and power, Cabrera with more BBs…otherwise, almost identical. Yikes.

Tonight has all of the makings of another game where capitalizing on scoring opportunities will sort the winner from the loser, as the 2 hottest starting pitchers in the AL, Justin Verlander and Josh Beckett face off.  While Verlander has been nearly unhittable, literally, in his last 2 starts, Beckett has posted a 1.75 ERA for the season himself, so this will likely be good stuff for fans of the pitching duel.

Tonight also has the makings of another rain-delayed affair.  Weathermen are standing by.  Brandon Inge has the hockey gear ready.

One more thing we have learned:  it isn’t just here at DTW that clowns are unwelcome.  The anti-clown backlash has been sweeping the nation–even Ronald McDonald is not immune: Critics to McDonald’s: Stop the clowning

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game:  Miguel Cabrera

Was his double yesterday against the tough Buchholz a sign that he is emerging from his little “s” thing? In a game where one big hit could make the difference, we hope so.  Hit one for all of the classy Red Sox fans who were chanting “DUI” yesterday.

Today’s Mr. Dirks meets the Green Monster Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Scott Sizemore 2B
  3. Brennan Boesch RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Andy Dirks LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Brandon Inge 3B

50 Comments

  1. StorminNorman$

    May 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I thought when the Tigers traded Matt Joyce for Edwin Jackson (which consequently brought Scherzer to the Tigers) was a great deal for DD/Tigers.

    With a quarter of the season in the books, Mr Joyce is hitting .365 – .434 OBP – .619 SLG and 1.054 OPS. He’s taken a while but MJ might finally be establishing some consistency to the flashes he displayed while on the Tigers.

    This also seems to be another affirmation that the first-place (after starting just 1-8) Rays front-office has an eye for talent – and doesn’t need a huge budget/fan base to field a quality team.

    If the Rays ever decide to fire Maddon, i’d like to see him in Detroit.

    • Mr X

      May 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Joyce is off to a red hot start, but it’s still just 126 AB’s. Some people would say that his .419 BABIP is unsustainable. He’s normally a .300 BABIP type fly ball hitter.

  2. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    We need to send Cabrera down to the minors so that he can find his stroke. Just kidding. I’m the least worried about him. He hit a laser beam down the right field line for a double Yesterday. It’s just a matter of him getting decent pitches to hit.

  3. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Time to get a bucket of Beckett

  4. R3L2O Police

    May 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    We award a Special Commendation to young Mr. Dirks

  5. R3L2O Police

    May 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Mr. Inge, you too receive a Commendation; Mr. Lamont, we are going to need you to come down to the station with us.

  6. TORONTO TIGER

    May 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Last nights game management decision making along with tonights management decision making so far are a very good reason why, unfortunately, we won’t make it to the post season.

    • Mr X

      May 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      I think the managing has been good. Not many experts were picking us to compete for the division this year, but here we are in contention for the wild card. Whatever Leyland is doing to piss people off, I hope he keeps doing it because I want to win. Leyland see’s the big picture. He’s trying to groom players into certain roles and getting them the experience they need in high leverage situations. Growing pains should be expected. His in-game decisions work out about as much as any winning manager I’ve watched over the years, such as Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre,ect, ect. It’s up to the players to hone their games and make those strategies work.

      What I do know is that any strategy can work at any given moment, but any strategy is just as prone to failure.

      • TORONTO TIGER

        May 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm

        Grooming is what the minor leagues are for! Every game in the majors counts!
        All the games that Smoke on the Brain and his crew have thrown away are a chance at the post season most likely thrown away.

        • Mr X

          May 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm

          oh please. The minors doesn’t teach how to handle pressure cooker situations against the best players in the world in a jam packed MLB ballpark with the fans rocking the house down. Normal people would probably wet themselves under those situations.

  7. JOE Z

    May 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    gonna need a break the bullpen rally tonight. lets do this tigers

  8. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I’m surprised Rayburn isn’t in the lineup again tonight since he is so due – 4 for 41 this month.

  9. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Inge! Just when you think he is permanently going to go below th Mendoza Line, he comes through.

  10. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Why did Beckett get pulled? He threw just 83 pitches.

    • Vince in MN

      May 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Perhaps Francona is learning from the Master?

  11. tbran in Troy

    May 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Is Sizemore going for the Bobby Higginson look or what?

    • Coleman

      May 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      I’m sure he’ll take the Bobby Higginson contract.

    • Vince in MN

      May 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      He’s looking more and more like the 4A player he is.

      • Brenden

        May 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

        Ugh…yeah…I’m starting to wish we would have offered Polanco whatever he wanted to stay with us…It would have been worth every penny because right now we have no 2nd baseman…

        • Vince in MN

          May 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

          I could also live with him playing 3B, with a rotation of others at 2B. We would have production at one position at least. Right now we have nothing at both.

        • Mr X

          May 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

          Polanco always gets off to a hot start like this then turns to crap come August or he gets hurt. I thought he was one of the main reasons why we had problems down the stretch.

          • Vince in MN

            May 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

            Yeah, those 2nd half swoons were just killers. Here are Polanco’s splits for the last five years:
            ’06 – .285/.317
            ’07 – .335/.348
            ’08 – .305/.309
            ’09 – .256/.315
            ’10 – .318/.280

            • Mr X

              May 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

              I knew my statement didn’t hold water shortly after I posted and looked at his splits. But still, for some reason I didn’t care much for Polanco and thought he didn’t have much baseball left in him. Opinions are like farts, everybody has them and they all stink.

              My last memory of Polanco as a Tiger was in the EPIC game 163, when he let the game winning hit get through the infield to end the game. Maybe that’s why I think negatively on him.

              • beejeez

                May 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

                I did have issues with Polanco, as beloved as he was here. Great contact hitter, but he hardly ever walked, homered, stole a base or took an extra one. But he looks like a hall of famer compared to what we’ve got there now.

              • beejeez

                May 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

                I did have issues with Polanco, as beloved as he was here. Great contact hitter, but he hardly ever walked, homered, stole a base or took an extra one. But he looks like a hall of famer compared to what we’ve got there now.

  12. JOE Z

    May 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    http://www.teamrankings.com/ml.....n-per-game

    tigers are the worst team in baseball at the moment with leaving runners in scoring position -> on the road. the top 3 home balance still leaves them in the bottom 10 overall. lets get it done boys

  13. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Boesch Bash!

  14. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Bosh Baesch!

  15. JOE Z

    May 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    GO

  16. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I knew that look. I knew Cabrera was going yard. I could see it in his eyes.

    • Coleman

      May 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      I think somebody told him I used the ‘s’ word

  17. JOE Z

    May 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    OH MY GOD MIGUEL. BULLPEN BASH GO GO GO

  18. JOE Z

    May 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    verlander needs to stay in. home game i bet jim switches him out easy, but on the road, in this game, justin needs to stay in right here

    • tbran in Troy

      May 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      Amen

  19. tbran in Troy

    May 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Alert the national media, Mr. Inge now has a 2 hit game. With that hit, he won’t make contact between bat and ball for another 20 ABs.

  20. tbran in Troy

    May 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Ok, someone quickly check the Earth’s rotation (CCW still?). Both Inge and A. Jackson now have 2 hit games.

  21. tbran in Troy

    May 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    This is the game right here. Bases loaded in the 9th against Chucky. Come on Bosch!

  22. tbran in Troy

    May 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I am starting to see the 2nd half swing in Boesch’s stroke. Hope I’m wrong.

  23. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I’ve seen Papplebon work his way out that situation a few times. He’s so good when the pressure is on.

  24. JOE Z

    May 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    GOSH DANG verlander

  25. Brenden

    May 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Why does our bull pen have to suck?

  26. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Wow. Dirks. Nice throw.

  27. Brenden

    May 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Another loss at Fenway…I hate that park…

    • Coleman

      May 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      I blame Gene Lamont.

  28. Mr X

    May 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    What a game. Had my heart pounding. Result sucked for us, but a great game to watch nevertheless.

    • JOE Z

      May 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      fun game late. wish we could have stole one in fenway. lets get back on track at a weirdo pitt team

  29. R3L2O Police

    May 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    For consecutive game infractions, a warrant has been issued for Brennan Boesch

  30. Mark in Chicago

    May 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Hey Jimmuh, on the off chance you are reading this, please try the following:

    Move Cabrera into the 3 slot.
    Hit Martinez 4th
    Hit Boesch 5th (he does not belong in the 3 slot)
    Peralta 6th

    I got nothing after that, but at least you make sure that Cabrera won’t be leading off the second inning…

    • Vince in MN

      May 20, 2011 at 10:08 am

      To make that move you’d have to play Cabrera in LF/RF, since the 1B always bats cleanup.

  31. StorminNorman$

    May 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    The Tiger’s league worst bullpen ERA rose to 5.61 last night.

    No real secret to the Tiger’s wins this year – quality starts and some clutch hitting. On the flip-side, a constant theme in their losses has been: a lack of clutch hitting and bullpen breakdowns.

    Need some production (or at least base runners) from the top of the order – as this is only magnified by a weak #9 and sometimes #8 hitter… that’s 4 or 5 breaks for opposing pitching… kind of evokes some painful memories from yester-year when JL would role-out Inge, Everett, Laird, Inge, etc in succession.