Game 2011.122: Twins at Tigers

Well, this series didn’t exactly start well last night, although it did have its interesting moments.  Delmon Young swapped jerseys, and began his Tiger career with a HR off of his previous team (the last time someone did that was Dave Martinez in 2000.  Aren’t we lucky there are people who look these kind of things up?).  In related news, Lester Oliveros was already named as the player-to-be-named-later today.  Hardly qualifies as later.  The circumstances of Young’s team-switching were actually a bit humorous.

Jim Thome hit HR #599, then #600 off of Dan Schlereth, and got a nice ovation from the classy Comerica crowd. It figures he would reach the milestone against the Tigers. As Chris said, congratulations–now retire already.

And Raburn was…well Raburn.  He hit a home run, but also made an error that led to 2 unearned runs, and had another clownish play where he ended up sitting on 2B instead of turning a DP.

At any rate, no use dwelling on that, it’s Verlander night.  The Tiger rotation has again begun to devolve into Verlander and a bunch of Other Guys;  despite his great season, the Tigers are only 11th in the AL in team ERA.  In fact, I decided to take a look at how the Tigers compare to other teams with their 2nd best starter:

  • LAA 2.96 Dan Haren
  • NYY 3.16 Freddy Garcia
  • TBR 3.22 Jeremy Hellickson
  • TEX 3.28 CJ Wilson
  • BOS 3.32 John Lester
  • SEA 3.45 Erick Bedard
  • OAK 3.62 Brandon McCarthy
  • CHW 3.67 Phll Humber
  • CLE 3.97 Josh Tomlin
  • TOR 4.11 Jesse Litch
  • KCR 4.15 Bruce Chen
  • MIN 4.36 Nick Blackburn
  • DET 4.37 Max Scherzer
  • BAL 4.66 Zach Britton

So after Verlander, the Tiger rotation starts off in the realm of Baltimore and Minnesota, and goes down from there (the Tigers can’t compete with the worst 4 and 5 guys though–there are a few truly awful ones out there).

Verlander draws Minnesota’s 2nd best starter Nick Blackburn (7-9, 4.36).

Player of the Pre-game:  Justin Verlander

Watching last night’s infield play from the dugout, Verlander says, “Really?”

Tonight Raburn and Betemit are out, Santiago and Kelly in.

Today’s Boesch-is-Baeck Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch RF
  3. Delmon Young LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Alex Avila C
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Don Kelly 3B
  9. Ramon Santiago 2B


25 thoughts on “Game 2011.122: Twins at Tigers”

  1. the Twinkies are uncharacteristically 13th in the AL in hitting (BA) and 12th in pitching – with the Tiger’s upcoming schedule, these next two against the Twins are games the Tigers need to win

    1. Yeah we have terrible baserunning tactics and mentality, and that’s been a problem for many years. Even Delmon Young trying to squeeze out 2B was completely stupid. It actually looked like a close call and maybe a wrong call but he still has no business even trying. We had a man at 3rd and a 6 run lead, and with that kind of lead the very next run is worth far more than the 2nd run from a statistical probability standpoint, that for all intents and purposes a 7th run towards the lead is worth something whereas an 8th run is worth practically nothing in comparison. The larger the lead gets, each additional run above the next is exponentially worth less, and players need to understand that logic beforehand so they know when it’s appropriate to gamble or not. That’s not skill that’s just simple using your head, and you have all these coaches, plus 2 coaches on the field, and we have to be able to think intelligently if we want to be taken seriously. This was a minor mistake that cost very little, but it’s bad practice to show that you are stupid and that kind of poor intelligence shown is an indication that the player might be hurting us in other areas due to being intellectually weak.

      1. On the other hand, knowing that the run means so little, perhaps this was a time when you would play with abandon and see what happens. “Hey, we’re up by a lot, no harm if I get thrown out, let’s try to catch them napping.”

        1. Well it’s not that kind of a strategy game. The MIN defenders aren’t going to process what we should logically do and then conclude we won’t go for it, they play the ball and move it in expeditiously no matter what. They are going to defend and deliver the ball back into the field in a routine normal fashion even if they are down 100, it’s not like being down 100 would give them any special reason to want to take extra time for no reason.

  2. No lie, Gameday is showing that Adam Dunn just struck out with the bases juices on 2 balls that would have hit his hip. R3L2O fail.

    We’re rooting for the Sox, no?

    1. I don’t know if there is a right answer to that question. However, I’m rooting for the Indians in that series. The Sox scare me.

  3. A) Did Boesch run outside the line there (brilliant) and
    B) Young was safe, with a normal slide it gets called that way.

  4. I will say this, Say what you want about the Tigers. Its great to have to Legit stars in Miggy and Verlander. If Avila keeps it up, he may not be a star, but we will have a great everyday catcher. I like how we look for the next couple years and having an owner that will spend.

    Kevin, I thought the exact same thing. He was totally safe but never getting that call. Good thing we have a 7 spot up and JV pitching we can cash one in tonight.

    Hope everyone is doing well out there tonight.


    1. Except by the time we get our act together, both Verlander and Cabrera will be retiring, and all of their value will have been pissed away. They are like Ferrari’s man, and you got no business buying expensive luxury cars if you don’t have a proper plan for utilizing them to success. The depreciation factor just makes it WORSE if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s smarter to buy a Toyota Prius if you expect that your owner is going to depreciate your assets away. That’s why I’ve mentioned trading Cabrera and Verlander many times, cause the seasonal values of those players are worth big amounts, and we have had SEVERAL of them now for each player that have been flushed down the tubes. It’s asinine and insane. It’s terribad business to possess players like this and then not use them to win!

  5. Schedule looks promising (not counting last night), which is easier than either CHI or CLE:
    Opponents’ winning %: .466
    Home/road: 22/19
    Off-days: Aug. 18, Sept. 8, Sept. 18
    Games vs. teams over .500: 13 of 41
    Key series: Cleveland, Sept. 26-28

    Of course 9 games left with CLE and 6 with CHI

      1. Looks like Cleveland has a fairly easy remaining schedule too, in terms of quality of opponents. .478 opponents’ winning rate versus .466 for our opponents. The hard part for Cleveland is 44 games in 44 days.

    1. A key point that doesn’t get mentioned is that the Tigers (and others at the top of the list, like the Giants) have compiled their current winning percentage against the stronger teams.

      If someone has too much time, it would be intresting to concoct a formula to show the winning percentage of teams played so far – weighted by how many games played against those opponents – and come up with an expected winning percentage. That is: if TeamA played Boston 10 times, New York 10 times, Oakland 5 times, etc. come up with “we expect a team with this schedule to have a .475 winning % (example). Then look at your team’s actual winning percentage and say “we are at .525, playing .050 above expectations,” or what have you. Then apply that expectation to the remaining teams. TeamA might play teams with a .450 wining percentage (also a .550 losing percentage) the rest of the season. If TeamA is playing .050 above league average, they just might win .600 the rest of the year.

      It just might work.

      1. There is no statistical relevance to crunching the numbers in that fashion, cause any period during the season is too short of a sample time to measure the value of the team in such a way that you can come up with an accurate percentage for future games. If you could simulate the teams on a computer and you could have the Tigers play 1000 full seasons with this same roster against those same rosters, then you certainly would have some kind of statistical assurance that you have a precise value of what our true odds are.

        What you are suggesting is a trap to fall into that just makes it more likely to become even more confused as to the science of how baseball really works. To give an analogy, what you are proposing is akin to say Raburn comes up to bat and they flash a stat that says he’s 5-9 against this pitcher in his career with a .556 BA and 2 HRs, and then the novice fan at home says oh well this means we are sure to win this battle, we obviously have a 56% chance for a hit here and over a 20% chance to get a HR too! But those aren’t the real odds. Baseball odds have to be calculated and interpreted and guessed at with a different kind of logic in order to precisely figure out what your odds are for any given situation and how to maximize those odds. It’s not that cut and dry.

          1. You make them up or you can’t do it. Which is why alternative methods to figuring things out need to be taken as opposed to the proposed idea.

  6. I still think that Leyland is making a huge mistake in not pitching JV this upcoming Sunday against the Tribe. Its on JV’s normal four days of rest and it is a divisional game against a team nipping at our heels. All your doing is pushing Porcello back a day to pitch Monday in Tampa while giving us a much higher probability of a win against the second place team in our division. Its not a tough decison and I don’t understand why Leyland can’t see this, or better yet why DD doesn’t TELL Ol’ Smoky this is what we’re going to do. It doesn’t have to be made public so as to save face for Ol’ Smoky, but this is what DD should be telling JL behind closed doors. It is amazing to me that JL does not see the value of every win within the division, especially after 2009. I will give Ol’ Smoky credit for adjusting the rotation in CLE so that JV could start, but he needs to do it again. We can’t worry about hurt feelings (potentially on Porcello’s part), we just need to be cutthroat and do everything possible to maximize our chances of winning the division. Does anyone else feel this way regarding the game Sunday? By the way, the Tribe is pitching Jiminez that day. I’d much rather have JV vs. Jiminez than Porcello vs. Jiminez.

    1. I certainly would want the Best Pitcher in the AL going against my closest rival in the final game of a very important series. Besides, just skipping the turn of one of our four No. 5 starters (doesn’t matter which) would seem to be addition by subtraction (an extra start for JV could be critical). Unless there is some compelling reason we don’t know of not to do this, it seems like a good strategy to me. After watching the EM at work in the dugout for the last six years, I get the VERY STRONG impression that strategy (short- or long-term) is not his greatest strength. On the other hand, some people don’t think managers have much impact on the game, so acknowledging the fact that there may be some merit in this argument, I guess I will just shake my head and wait and see.

      1. A possible argument could be that it helps every now and then to get that extra day off to avoid fatigue. After all, Verlander leads the league in innings (and I bet pitches, too).

        However, I have no idea if Verlander needs the rest.

        And, given how Leyland fills out a line-up card, I have my doubts as to how much he thought about this at all.

        1. Point taken about fatigue, but my guess is that if it was up to JV, he would be pumped to pitch against CLE.

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