Game 2011.63: Mariners at Tigers

There’s not much to say about Justin Verlander that hasn’t been said;  he just keeps turning in one excellent performance after another.  OK, maybe one thing:  he must lead AL pitchers in weird plays.  The weirdest is still the strange hop-jump-chuck-the-ball-at-the-batter thing he did, which was so confusing it even started a thread on Tonight’s entry:  the only run of the game scored on a strikeout that skipped off of the top of Avila’s glove, which Avila fumbled while trying to get to Verlander covering home.

The Tigers are no 8-2 over the last 10 games, which makes them the hottest team in baseball in that period, and leaves them one thin game behind the sinking Indians.  Oh, and the second-hottest teams in baseball, at 7-3?  The Twins and White Sox.  You knew it was inevitable.

The bad news is, the Tigers did their very best to squander their scoring opportunities, but were bailed out courtesy of Mr. Avila and Mr. Boesch.  After Avila’s first triple, the Tigers had a runner at 3rd with nobody out:  Raburn and Jackson both failed to get him home.  After his next triple, with a runner at 3rd with nobody out, Raburn and Jackson both failed to get him home.  At this rate the R3L2O Police will be setting up checkpoints outside of Comerica for tonight’s game.

So which has happened most recently, a catcher hitting back-to-back triples, or back-to-back R3L2O fails, back-to-back?  This question is bound to give someone hours of amusement.

Tonight the Tigers will be up against Erik Bedard, who only allowed 1 run to Detroit in April en route to a 10-1 Seattle win.  But as we pointed out yesterday, that was then, this is now.  Brad Penny goes for the Tigers.  The Bad Penny threw 100 pitches and gave up 3 runs in 5 innings in his last start, but got the win.  I guess that actually makes him Good Enough Penny, which works for me.

Fun stat:  this is the second time this season that Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde have exactly the same ERA (2.89). The first time was…well, you know.  Can’t sneak a trick question by this crowd.

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game:  Ryan Raburn

I recently said some fairly nice things about Mr. Raburn.  He proceeded to pop up in the infield with Avila on 3rd and nobody out, then strike out with Avila on 3rd and nobody out, then, with Avila on 1st and nobody out, grounded into a double-play.  Then he was pulled for a defensive replacement. Alex Avila was seen in the dugout begging to bat AFTER Raburn for today’s game.

Today’s Alex-Gets-His-Wish Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Casper Wells RF
  3. Brennan Boesch LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta SS
  7. Ryan Raburn 2B
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Danny Worth 3B


  1. Vince in MN

    June 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Leyland keeps shifting Rayburn around in the lineup, trying to find that “comfortable” spot. So far, not much luck, but maybe tonight will be his magic moment. If not now, soon, elsewise the MR2B pledge may have to be recinded.

    I see JL has decided to keep an extra relief pitcher until Maggs returns on Monday. With Penny going tonight and Scherzer going tomorrow, that may prove to be a very wise choice (hard for me to say, but I did it), especially if recent performances are any guide.

  2. Vince in MN

    June 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    One small scribble (I mean quibble): the Tigers are actually 9-2 in their last 11 games. This recent run actually began when they salvaged a win in the 2nd game of the doubleheader at Boston May 29, 3-0, thanks to none other than Mr. Verlander.

  3. JOE Z

    June 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm


    • Steve

      June 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Where Joe?, Where

  4. Andrew in Toronto

    June 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    That weird play from yesterday is all the weirder when you remember that that strikeout-wild pitch-run scored play was with 2 outs. Not too often a run is scored on the 3rd strike of an inning that already has 2 outs.

  5. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    since Smokey gave Raburn his vote of confidence Raburn has raised his average 5 poins…….so there!

    • judpma

      June 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      from .204 to .2009

      • judpma

        June 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm

        and back to .203 so there !

  6. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Victor……atta boy!!

  7. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    How come other teams get in a “Coleman” no problem run scores….The Tigers get in a Coleman and seems like they hardly ever get the run…..just one of those mysteries of life

  8. Brenden

    June 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Boy….Leyland’s 2nd chance for Raburn is really paying off…Not…

  9. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Hey Rug-burn nice game so far…….I can hardly wait for the second half of the season to see you hit .500………………………………………not

  10. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Penny did a decent job despite such little support

    lots of Reyes trade to Tigers involving Furbush and others…on the net……

  11. Andrew in Toronto

    June 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Come on guys. Cleveland is getting bombed. Ninth inning heroics –> first place.

  12. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Seattle pitchers basically own the free swinging Tigers evidence tonight as the swung at maybe 20 balls out of the zone…last night being different cause they threw too many strikes…
    …More to come watch the next two games….same as today…

    at least Raburn is due….I mean due,,no I mean really due…..DUE

  13. judpma

    June 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Sizemore…atta boy!!! watching the Sox blow that lead was the highlight of this day …and Sizemore who must be way worse than Rug-burn, or the Tigers wouldn’t HAVE TRADED HIM, hit a bases loaded double to win the game

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    June 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Cle, CWS and Min with losses today. Not a bad day to lose. Though Santiago was just a few feet away from moving us into a tie for first.