Game 2011.113: Tigers at Royals

It’s Justin time!

Tonight Justin Verlander looks to follow up his near-no-hit bid against the Angels with a win against KC (and possibly tie CC Sabathia with the AL lead at 16).

In fact Verlander still has an outside shot at the pitching triple crown:  He is 2nd in wins at 15, has a solid league lead in strikeouts at 178, and has only Jered Weaver (1.78) and Josh Beckett (2.20) with ERAs better than his 2.24.

Kansas City would seem to be a good opponent in his pursuit of win 16:  he has won 3 straight vs the Royals, with a 1.19 ERA.

Billy Butler is most likely to be a Royal pain:  he is hitting .389 against Verlander.

Also Detroit is planning to pitch Verlander against Cleveland Thursday on 4 days rest, so, for a change, his pitch count may be an issue tonight.

KC sends out rookie starter Danny Duffy (3-4, 5.05).  As always with Detroit, beware Rookie Pitcher Guy (I would love to see the Tigers’ cumulative stats against rookie pitchers).

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

Raburn will make the occasional brilliant play in the outfield, or nice play at 2B. Not so much at 3rd.  Over the last 3 seasons he has 4 errors at 3rd (and only 7 assists) in 44 innings, so it’s been almost an error per game with him.  With Verlander on the mound, the Royals are likely to try to bunt their way on.  Take a deep breath.

Today’s Raburn Roulette Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta SS
  7. Carlos Guillen 2B
  8. Ryan Raburn 3B
  9. Alex Avila C


  1. Vince in MN

    August 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Don’t forget Sabathia, who also gets bonus points for being a Yankee.

    Weaver 211
    Becket 187
    Verlander 173
    Sabathia 165

    • Coleman

      August 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      The Red Sox aren’t impressed, 7 runs in the first 4 innings.

  2. Vince in MN

    August 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Central Breakdown using Runs Scored vs. Runs Allowed followed by Pathagorean record based on those differences:

    DET 501, 507 (55-57)
    CLE 468, 476 (54-56)
    CHW 433, 461 (52-59)
    MIN 442, 538 (46-66)
    KC 497, 542 (52-60)

    Clearly the Twins are playing way over their heads again this year.

    • Coleman

      August 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      According to Pythagoras then it looks like the Central should be won by a sub-.500 team

  3. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Verlander in Cleveland on Thursday…rats! I plan to be in Baltimore for the 3-game series next weekend. I hope that will allow me to see Ricky Porcello on Friday? Meanwhile back on the TDTWL after a hiatus to Norway and Sweden. I hope all have behaved themselves?

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      August 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      BTW, my brother is at tonight’s game. He is sitting a few rows behind the 3b dug out with a zoom camera.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      August 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Rats?? I know you’re going to the game, but pitching JV at CLE on Thursday is actually one of the few things that Ol’ Smoky has done right. You don’t miss a chance to pitch your ace in a big road divisional series if its at alll possible this late in the season. Its on JV’s normal four days of rest (Sun, Mon, Tues, and Wed off before pitching Thursday at CLE) and is really a no-brainer.

  4. Mr. X

    August 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    AJAX!!!! What a catch!

  5. judpma

    August 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    #1 web gem…………………………..Jackson

  6. Coleman

    August 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Jumpin’ Jax

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    August 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Looks like Leyland got TSE’s letter.

    • Coleman

      August 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      Nice link.

  8. Coleman

    August 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Why Sabathia should not get the Cy Young: the Yankees and the Red Sox will go down to the wire neck-and-neck for first. Sabathia’s season ERA vs Boston: 7.20

  9. stephen

    August 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Jered Weaver on why he didn’t wait and throw at Carlos Guillen next year: “Is he going to have a job next year?”

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      Brilliant if it’s true. Sounds like one of your lines stephen. Love it either way.

  10. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    August 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Question that will look like a bit of hindsight now, but why on earth wouldn’t you pinch-run for VMart? It was the 8th inning in a one-run game where he likely would not get another at-bat. That was a natural spot for a guy like Dirks to pinch-run for VMart. Now he has a left knee sprain and who knows how much time he will miss. If this had occurred in the sixth inning or earlier I wouldn’t have brought this up, but it seems to me as though the situation was screaming for a pinch-runner. Anyone agree/disagree??

    • judpma

      August 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      and Mumbles hardly ever pinch runs for Maggs or Miggy he isn’t going to pinch run for VMart…..unless 9th inning…so it just wasn’t gonna happen!

    • Mr. X

      August 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      I disagree. If it were a tie game or we were down by a run, then we’d need a pinch runner. Otherwise, I wouldn’t risk taking our back-up catcher out of the game.

      • Jerry The Tiger Fan

        August 7, 2011 at 3:12 am

        Even if he is unlikely to hit again? The odds of Avila getting hurt were pretty remote, and Don Kelly can catch for us in a pinch if necessary. Its not like we were up by four runs, we were hanging on by a single run and VMart represented a big potential insurance run. As I said earlier if this occurs in the sixth inning or earlier I don’t bring this up, but the value of keeping VMart in the game when he likely won’t hit again versus the speed of Dirks potentially getting a big run in for us seems as though it was a highly questionable decision by Ol’ Smoky.

        • Mr. X

          August 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

          Dirks was going to be used and was used as a pinch hitter for Raburn, when they switched pitchers. Don Kelly was already in the game and playing 3B. What your suggesting is that the team go for broke to score 1 just insurance run, when we already had a lead. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

          We still needed to have a back-up catcher in the game. The odds of Avila needing to be replaced is fairly high compared to everyone else on the team. I shouldn’t even need to explain why. I’d like you to imagine catching just 1 Verlander fastball. I bet the pain in your hand doesn’t go away for a month.

    • Coleman

      August 7, 2011 at 2:11 am

      The situation was actually screaming for a 3rd base coach who has some sort of idea when to send runners and when to hold them…he hurt himself trying to dance around a tag (which he recently did successfully), because he was out by a mile. At least he didn’t break an ankle.

  11. judpma

    August 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Congrats ValVerde….lets keep that streak going for a few more……!!!

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      August 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      That was closing out a game STRONG tonight. Strikeout, strikeout, pop out to shortstop. Nice win, looks like we’ll need it to maintain the four game spread over CLE as they currently TEX 3-0 in the 7th.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        August 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        And great game AJax as that catch gave Verlander his 16th win on his road for the CY!

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    August 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Rangers up 4-3 in the top of 8th, and Uehara just picked off Cabrera off of 1st following a lead-off walk.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    August 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Cle just took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 9th. Feliz doesn’t have it tonight.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      7-4. Bullpen blew it. No worries, we’ll get to +5 tomorrow.

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    August 7, 2011 at 1:01 am

    AJax’s first web gem of the season. Should we be worried about that? Vince in MN, can you give us some stats to help frame AJax’s place as a defensive CFer?