Game 2011.121: Twins at Tigers

Detroit failed to get the series sweep last night in Baltimore, but the Tigers are still 8 games over .500 (64-56)–even though they have only scored 533 runs while giving up 547.  Their Pythagorean win loss record (which uses runs scored and given up to calculate expected record) is 59-61, which means the Tigers should be in 3rd place, a game behind the White Sox.  (Although, actually, somehow every team in the Central should have a worse record than it does).

One way to look at those numbers is to say the Tigers have just plain been lucky–and consequently, can’t be expected to continue winning at the same rate all season.

On the other hand, Detroit has been doing two things that winning teams do–they have been defeating their division opponents, and they have been winning the close games:  the Tigers are 19-13 in 1-run games, and 26-16 against Central Division opponents.

Tonight Detroit comes home to start a 3-game series against Minnesota, who has lately been a favorite Central opponent:  Detroit has won 12 of the last 13 games between the two rivals, and has averaged 6.3 runs per game against them this season.

Tonight’s starter, Francisco Liriano, has seen his share of the damage, managing less than 6 total innings for his two starts, while giving up 8 runs.

Tiger starter Rick Porcello looks to get back on track after getting knocked for 8 runs by Cleveland his last start.

**breaking news, Delmon Young will be darting across the field to exchange jerseys: The Tigers have acquired Young from the Twins for Cole Nelson and a player to be named later. And he steps right into the starting lineup!

Player of the Pre-game:  Victor Martinez

V-Mart has been one of the hotter Tiger bats over the last 2 weeks (.366), and his career average against Liriano is a nice fat .476.

Today’s Look Who’s 3rd Lineup:

Austin Jackson CF
Ryan Raburn 2B
Delmon Young LF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Magglio Ordonez RF
Alex Avila C
Wilson Betamit 3B



  1. TSE

    August 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Going to the game tonight and already feel like a loser to the Twins. That was a smart trade for them to dump Young on us. If you are going to make a move like that, you WANT to sucker a division rival into making a negative move for them. They gain once on the value of the trade, but in relation to us they gain double. So that’s a nice juice to the value of the base trade. Good job Minnesota, you bastards.

    • Vince in MN

      August 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Delmon Young is an outfierlder. We don’t need another outfielder. We need a thirdbaseman or secondbaseman or LH starter. Young does none of these. He has been injured a lot this year. He also does not hit well. He does, however, hit into a lot of DP, so he will fit right in in the 3-hole replacing MaDPlio.
      At this very moment I am guessing that most Twins fans are jumping for joy to see him go. DD gets a 4 year extension and comes up with this, playing the rube to a snake oil salesman. There is a pattern here.

      • Vince in MN

        August 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm

        PS, don’t expect a lot of flashy defensive plays. I haven’t paid much attention this year, but the last couple of years the knock on him was that his defense was sub-standard. When the Twins originally picked him up, the hope was that he could play CF, but it didn’t take long to shelve that idea (imagine Raburn in CF).

        The best that can be said is that he is a very slight upgrade over Ordonez, but with Maggs still on the roster, I just don’t get this deal

        • Tom in Minneapolis

          August 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

          I don’t get the deal either. The local press has been down on the tempremental Young for the last 3 or 4 years for poor fielding, hitting singles when he has the power to do other wise, and a lack of “Minnesota nice” in dealings with the public. But I think that there is some latent hitting talent there and it would not surprise me to see him pound the Twins a little in the Tiger’s reamining games with them. Still, why make the deal?

          • Kevin in Dallas

            August 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

            It’s definitely an indictment on Maggs. But I don’t see what’s wrong with a Dirks/Jackson/Boesch OF.

            • Vince in MN

              August 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

              With Raburn, Ordonez, Kelly and now Young, we have 7 outfielders on the roster. This does not compute. Granted Kelly is more versatile and Raburn…….. well, Raburn is Raburn.

        • TSE

          August 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

          He missed a ball late in the game that turned into a double, he ran laterally all the way to it and if he would have taken an angle and ran short he could have dove and saved a double.

  2. Andrew in Toronto

    August 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Mario tweets: Going forward Leyland said Boesch, Jackson and Young will be the primary outfield.

    Rhymes sent back to Toldeo.

    Beck quotes Leyland as saying: Boesch will be playing every day, and they’ll pick their spots with Magglio

    • TSE

      August 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Then why did we give Maggs all this money this year if we weren’t comfy with gambling on him? His poor stats this year will have no relevance to the post-season, so if you believe an older guy still has it, then you ride it out and take your chances. That’s what you are paying him for, is hope he can deliver like he might be able to. Half-measures on multi-million dollar deals are not smart. They are in fact, stupid, and annoying.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    August 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    So then where is Boesch tonight? Does “every day” mean “platoon” in mumble speak?

    • Vince in MN

      August 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      Whenever Leyland pronounces “He’s my regular _____”, be afraid, be very afraid.

  4. StorminNorman$

    August 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    despite not really giving up much, this Delmon Young trade is a bit of a head-scratcher… is this a ‘win now’ move or a sign of desperation? …and talk about sending a message to their current crop of outfielders. I’m hoping DD sees something i don’t, and Young hits .350 – .400 for the remainder of the season. He does have some playoff experience.

    This reminds me of an Illich/Holland/Red Wing trade-deadline deal in pre-salary cap days

  5. Brenden

    August 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    So…Rhymes goes down, who plays at 2nd now? Raburn? Wow… because he plays it so well…

  6. StorminNorman$

    August 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    and how about that Delmon Young deal?!?!?

  7. Brenden

    August 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Nice intro for Delmon!

  8. Brenden

    August 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    If Raburn is the starting 2nd baseman for the rest of the year, we are screwed…That guy is an awful 2nd baseman…

  9. Brenden

    August 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Now that he has the starting spot, the real Raburn is showing his face…Errors and Ks galore!!!

  10. Brenden

    August 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Man…this time through the rotation has been brutal for everyone….

  11. Vince in MN

    August 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Without Verlander this team would be in last place, the starting rotation is so bad.

    • Brenden

      August 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      Yeah….Fister looked more like Washburn yesterday….No more pitchers from Seattle…

  12. Chris

    August 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Our team sucks.

    I hate Thome. Congradulations, Jim…Retire already

  13. Mark

    August 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Another career highlight for Schlereth. Earlier in the the season it was 2 grand slams in 1 game and now Thome’s 600th.

    • TSE

      August 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      Yeah well at least we aren’t burdened with having Granderson and his 33 homers and .584 slugging percentage and his growing legacy.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      August 16, 2011 at 1:07 am

      I have no idea why Leyland shows any confidence in that bearded asshat. Why not go with Below after we cut it to one run? Below has been lights out as a middle man since his so-so debut as a starter. Schlereth’s inability to consistently throw strikes effectively ended any hopes we had of coming back. A solo HR to Thome doesn’t hurt as much as the three-run bomb that was set up by Schlereth’s wildness (two walks earlier in the inning preceding Thome’s historic HR). My love-hate relationship with this franchise adds another chapter tonight. If we can’t beat this offensively challenged Minnesota team on a night that we score six, I just throw my hands into the air. Delmon Young may not be the answer, but he’s not the problem. I literally hold my breath on every pitch our starters not named Verlander throw. I say go for broke and call up Turner to take Penny’s spot. We aren’t going to win with this rotation.

      • TSE

        August 16, 2011 at 1:35 am

        Oh yeah Delmon can’t HURT us this year, the HURT comes in the future when we are short 2 prospects and a million dollars in cash in exchange for not winning the WS this year. And MIN becomes wealthier in the future, so we have them dead to rights this year, but the next 10 years they have a little bit more on us than they had as of last week. And so do the rest of the teams in MLB to a lesser degree.

  14. Vince in MN

    August 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Twins giving Tigers a chance to get back in it here – Burnett sucks.

    • Vince in MN

      August 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Oh oh, Gardenhire wakes up and brings in a real pitcher. Perkins got hit the other day though.

  15. Angus

    August 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Perhaps the twins have a Blowpen as well.

  16. Vince in MN

    August 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    That was ball 4 Jhonny.

  17. Vince in MN

    August 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Coke seems to be back.

  18. Brenden

    August 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    So….what are the odds the Tigers fall out of 1st this week after the Cleveland series? It’s not like Leyland has anything to worry about anymore, he still has a job at the end of the season.

  19. Chris

    August 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Tigers will fall out of 1st and they will collapse at the end of the season. That’s what they do… And no, it won’t be Leyland’s fault as he’s not the one sitting in the bullpen, waiting to blow it. He’s not the hack starting pitcher not named Verlander. The truth is managers don’t have that much impact on the game, unless they make gross strategical errors, which Leyland has not done. For the most part, he’s done the best he can do with what he has to work with.

  20. Chris

    August 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Granderson likely wouldn’t have the season he is having with the Yanks in their ballpark. Yet, I wish we had him instead of Austin Jackson and his horrible strikeout rate (which comes with zero power).

    • TSE

      August 16, 2011 at 12:02 am

      Yeah, it would make more sense if we had quality batting instructors that knew how to teach him. We get the least out of all of our players, as every single guy on this team has tremendous batting approach flaws and technique problems. We are even shortchanged on Cabrera and you could argue that he might have the most to gain in absolute value if we had proper hitting geniuses instructing him on how to overcome his weaknesses. His numbers on efficiency are way down from previous years, and his highest ever was when he was with the Marlins.

      That’s according to my OE%, but from my POV that is startling, cause the logic of my formula is designed to back out some of the luck that comes as a result of hitting, and pushes to the forefront both mental logic and physical logic. It suppresses the rest in a tiny way and it reveals a SHOCKING story from where I’m sitting and with how I interpret my statistical inventions. i believe that Cabrera is capable of a 15% value improvement, and maybe possibly 20-25% in the absolute best case scenario. But it’s impossible for him to achieve that on his own because he has a specific approach that he would never change to adhere to my ideas which he couldn’t possibly know.

      That’s why we need to stop trading for and signing big contracts with crappy journeymen players and start investing our money into BRAINS to support our transactions and our getting the most out of each player. We should have at least 5-10% improvement on EVERY single batter on the team, they are all shortchanged from their potential due to weak hitting instructors and the Manager not calibrating them properly in both general preparation and specific situations. .

  21. Brenden

    August 16, 2011 at 8:17 am

    What has happened to this pitching staff? Its like we are back to the days of Chuck Hernandez, who almost destroyed Verlander. Is there no one coaching this staff?

    • TSE

      August 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Don’t worry, Jim Leyland is our manager, we are in good hands, I’m sure he has everything figured out or will soon figure it out. Ugggh.

  22. StorminNorman$

    August 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    NOTE: Verlander will NOT be pitching in the upcoming CLE series… the Tigers will face: Tomlin, Huff & Jimenez… and then the Tigers play 4 games against Tampa (the 5th best ERA in the AL)… and JL’s ace-in-the-hole will be starting Raburn at 2B or 3B – so relax Tiger fans, Skipper has it all under control.

    • TSE

      August 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      Raburn is fine with me at 3B. I hate it, but I can’t stand seeing Betemit cause it just reminds me that he is one of the newest acquisitions that isn’t good enough to be on this roster. We need to get rid of all the players that aren’t compatible with being the hands down best team in baseball. Let’s start with getting rid of DY and WB please. Somebody out there has to have some prospects for us. Or maybe not, cause we might have been the only team willing to give up that prospect value to get these guys! Uggh, such a conundrum!

  23. StorminNorman$

    August 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    in case anyone was wondering, the Tigers are 11th in the AL in both pitching (ERA) and fielding (%)… that may help explain why a team that is 3rd in the AL in batting avg is only 7 games over .500 rather than 17.

    • TSE

      August 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Plus BA is often skewed in telling you if a player is good or not. There are so many other factors that need to be considered, and we are favorable in BA relative to the rest of the league, which should tell an idiot like DD that his formula of baseball science might have some flaws. He needs to have an internal system of statistical measure that evaluates the players correctly, but he CLEARLY DOES NOT have that or use that, otherwise the trades he makes could never happen.