Game 2011.44: Tigers at Pirates

Just how important is this inter league series, you ask?  I mean, we all know that AL Central match-ups have a direct effect on the standings; and playing the Yankees and Red Sox allow the boys to see where they stack up against the best.  But, Pirates?

Well, this weekend series against the Bucs kicks off a 12 game span that could demonstrate that 2011 could be a banner year for the Tigers, or could mean that the season is virtually over.  An article in today’s WSJ (yes, the WSJ, I found it underneath my baseball card magazines and Good Housekeeping) states that since 1996, just 9% of teams with a losing record on June 1 wound up with 90 wins, and the average correlation between a team’s win percentage on June 1 and its final winning percentage is 0.76 (which is high).  Before Cleveland’s inexplicable rise, 90 wins would have been a good bet to win the Central, and it still may be, or at least to earn a Wild Card slot.  The Tigers thus have 12 days to keep treading above .500, or we can all count on Matt Stafford shoulder updates 24/7 in October.

Who are the Pittsburgh Pirates, you ask?  Well, they come in at 20-23, which isn’t bad considering they have failed to finish above .500 since 1992, and have not won more than 68 games in a season since 2004.  Jeff Karsten started out in the pen, but now makes his 7th start of the season for Pittsburgh.  The righty has a 3.62 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and average 6.99 K/9.  He’s been much better in 2011 than the rest of his career, perhaps due to the development of a two-seam fastball which he’s relying on more in 2011 than ever.  He’s been decent over his 7 starts, keeping Pittsburgh in the game by not allowing too many runs, but he’s only reached the 6th inning twice all season.

Brad Bad Penny takes the first awkward swings of the year for a Tigers pitcher, as he looks to stop the 3 game slide.  Penny was awesome last time out versus Kansas City, allowing only 5 hits with no walks and no runs over 8 innings.  Over his last five BBP is 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA and .93 WHIP.

Lineups to come.


  1. Kevin in Dallas

    May 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm


    1. AJax
    2. Sizemore
    3. Boesch (RF)
    4. Miggy
    5. V-Mart (C)
    6. Dirks (LF)
    7. Kelly (3B)
    8. Santiago (SS)
    9. Penny (SP)

    • Mr X

      May 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      We got those lefty bats in. Hope it works.

  2. Mr X

    May 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I wanted to see Raburn get a chance to break out of his slump, but I think Dirks just might steal the LF starting job from him. Dirks has been impressive so far. Even if he doesn’t hit, at least our defense will be better.

  3. Steve

    May 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Lets take 3 from the Bucos this weekend. We need them

  4. Coleman

    May 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Bad luck of the draw that we have to have to face Cy Karstens

  5. Brenden

    May 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Man….we aren’t on the road for another long losing streak….This is ridiculous. Where is the offense?

  6. Steve

    May 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Its the Pirates………….. Not the Steelers.

    Guys come on.

    Brenden your right where is the Offense. Not that we have lost this, but these games are the ones you can not loose.

    As for Santiago that was a bomb. Nice job …. Can you play third?

    • Brenden

      May 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Yeah, the Sizemore experiment is a failure and Inge continues to fall further into the Mendoza abyss. At this rate, this team will be below .500 by Sunday…

      • Brenden

        May 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm

        Correction. At this rate, we will be two games below .500 by Sunday….

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    May 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Clown show alert.

    • Brenden

      May 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Clown show is here to stay….This is getting old….I’m turning it off….Everyone climb back on the roller coaster!

  8. Steve

    May 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I have the Pirates feed tonight on MLB EI. He just said ” The bags are full of Buc’s” Kinda of Hawk Harrelson like

  9. Steve

    May 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Need a bullpen Alert……… Its the Bucs for crying out loud.

    #!!$%&* Guys

  10. JOE Z

    May 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm


  11. Brenden

    May 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Time for Boesch to be moved out of the 3-spot while we are re-arranging the lineup…He obviously can’t hit there.

  12. Vince in MN

    May 21, 2011 at 12:30 am

    The good thing is we are still in the race for the wild card spot. Oh wait, that was last week.

  13. stephen

    May 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Sizemore’s OPS below Rhymes. Will, I apologize for all the nasty things I said about you.