Game 2011.129: Tigers at Rays

Let’s give credit where credit is due…Ol’ Jimmy managed us to a win last night, and he’s been conducting the bullpen like a maestro over the last week.  Coke’s effort last night was tremendous, and may be the type of performance that defines a division championship (may).  He went 0-2 or1-2 on 6 batters, struck out the first 5 that he faced, and performed brilliantly in the face of extreme pressure after the IBB to put the winning run on.  The 10 pitch at bat to Zobrist had my stomach in knots.  And it’s not (get it?) even September yet.  WPs only bounce into the stands to save a run when a team is on a 5 game winning streak.  Overall, the bullpen has a microscopic 1.55 ERA and 58 Ks over their last 58 IPs dating back to August 4.

Brad Penny ate up 6 1/3 allowing only one run, and Ryan Perry maintained composure and got Longoria to fly out with the bases loaded in the 7th.

Avila’s Awesome August sees him leading the AL with a 1.338 OPS in 19 games.  His August slugging percentage alone would put him about 1/2 up the team leader board in OPS.  Oh yeah, and that was his 17th straight start.

Max Scherzer goes for the Tigers tonight against Wade Davis, perhaps the most hittable Tampa pitcher in the series.  Davis had one of his best starts of the season last time out (against the Mariners) but has carried a 4+ ERA for most of the season, and has a 1.41 WHIP.  Lefties hit .290 against him, and righties are batting .265 for the year.

Before you start checking your October calendars, remember that the Rangers were 7.5 games up on the Angels less than a week ago…that lead is now 3.5.

Lineups coming later.


  1. Kevin in Dallas

    August 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Indians lose again. Interesting, but I’m not going to count them out until after our next series with them. A 3 game sweep can change a lot.

    • stephen

      August 25, 2011 at 12:42 am

      Dude, you realize the Indians are under .500, right? They’ve been playing .450 baseball since mid May. They blow.

  2. Andrew in Toronto

    August 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I have been tracking a stat for the past couple months that I think is pretty interesting. One thing I like about this is that it has something for both the optimists and the pessimists on this blog. lets you see how many days a team has been in first place during the year. I put those numbers into a spreadsheet for all 111 Tigers seasons. Then, to look at our strength in different eras, I summed up days in first over ten year periods. Here are a few high-water marks:

    1907-1916: 405 days in first
    1941-1950: 224 days
    1966-1975: 323 days
    1984-1993: 331 days
    2002-2011: 403 days and counting (as of Aug 23)

    Given our lead in the division right now, the current team is guaranteed to take over the ten-year record for most days in first. And, since 2002-2005 didn’t contribute much to that total, we can expect the total to build considerably higher if we spend any time in first in the next few seasons. I guess our peak will be 2006-2015.

    So, for the optimists, it is hard to argue that this is not a great time to be a Tigers fan. After all, being in first place certainly contributes to the enjoyment of the baseball season, right? It’s a lot better than knowing, in July (or earlier), that you have no chance of making the playoffs. This decade is our greatest era of being in first! Yay!

    But wait… There are some strong points for the pessimists, too. Such as…

    -There are 3 divisions now, so it is pretty easy to be in first place. A completely average team should be in first for at least 324 days every 10 years, so what’s the big deal? Plus the Central division is pretty weak, so we should expect even better.

    -We may have been in first a lot of days, but we haven’t won a lot of games. In fact our 2002-2011 winning percentage (.463) is well below .500, and not even close to better Tiger teams from the past. (The Tigers have 3 ten-year periods with winning percentages over .550. Most recently, 1979-1988.)

    -Most important of all: How about finishing the season in first??? Hasn’t happened since 1987!

    Cue heads exploding.

    Oh, and by the way, Leyland just tied Sparky with 390 days in first as a Tiger. The all time leading manager, Hughie Jennings, is within reach. He had the Tigers in first place for 406 days over 14 seasons. Leyland will have the record for most days in first before he ever actually finishes a season in first.

    Just thought this was interesting…. so, is it the best of times, or worst of times?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Great, great stuff. Next time, let me know, and we’ll make a full post out of it.

    • TSE

      August 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      Worst of times for me. We spend more money than ever to not win the WS and the title is the thing that matters most and carries the heaviest weight. At least in the past the team was losing respectably by not spending gargantuan amounts of millions. The ratios of having far less teams to compete with when factored in make the stats even more deplorable. It’s the saddest time in 100+ years to be a Tigers fan today, because we are now approaching 30 years without a title, and our disgusting perversions of the principles of the game are at the highest and most obscene ever imho.

      • Mith

        August 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

        “disgusting perversions of the principles of the game…”

        LMAO. My ridiculous meter just broke while scanning your post.

        • TSE

          August 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm

          Well if you approve of the team and are a supporter of DD, of course that comment won’t jive. I’m of the opinion that he’s doing a horrendously bad job, and if you are convinced otherwise, then naturally you shouldn’t agree with that opinion. But I don’t see how it would be ridiculous just cause you have a different viewpoint. Especially when my logic and rationale for why DD does a bad job is vastly superior to the logic a person can come up with in how he does a good job, imo of course. So I neglect to understand why you think that comment is funny or ridiculous, I don’t see the logic there, could you clarify?

      • stephen

        August 25, 2011 at 12:44 am

        What would happen if TSE and Mr. X went camping??

        • TSE

          August 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

          Then TSE would desperately search for a TV and a high-speed internet connection to plug back into the real world. Camping is for people who lived a thousand years ago, or people who enjoy camping.

          • ouchudied

            August 25, 2011 at 9:14 am

            You even found a way to show your hate for something as natural and enjoyable as camping. Bravo, sir.

            • TSE

              August 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

              What? I don’t have hate for camping, i just simply don’t enjoy it. It’s not natural, it’s an artificially planned experience, and I disagree that it is an enjoyable activity, how do you figure it is? That’s the more curious question.

  3. StorminNorman$

    August 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    A 6.5 game lead in mid-August is much better than trailing by 6.5 – but despite the challenges facing CLE and CWS, i’m not going count the Tigers in as ‘a lock’ until they have a 6 game lead with five games remaining.

    Continuing to compile W’s while staying healthy becomes a bit more pronounced coming into Sept.

  4. ouchudied

    August 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Woah. Avila just bombed that

  5. William

    August 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I haven’t posted in years…just mostly read scan the board each night. But I have to post this question:

    TSE, are you this miserable in person, everyday? Seriously, man, you have to be the most pessimistic guy I have ever seen.

    cheer up! you’ll live a lot longer.

    • ouchudied

      August 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      I called him pessimistic a week or so ago and I was informed that I was wrong.

    • TSE

      August 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      No I’m a happy and positive person every day, full of encouragement and positive strides in my life and effort to help others stay positive and happy. I only “seem” miserable because I’m talking about our miserable team.

      The state/condition of our baseball franchise has nothing to do with me on a personal level. If this was an Osama Bin Laden blog, and all I had to say was Osama sucks, that’s not because I’m a negative or miserable person; it’s because he was a negative and miserable person that I’m narrating my opinion about. Just because he was a mass murderer (if he truly was behind it which obviously I couldn’t possibly know so just using him as a hypothetical example) doesn’t mean that I’m like him just cause I choose to comment about his actions and what I think of the value of his actions.

      • William

        August 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm

        if you feel that we are “miserable” now, what did you feel like in 2003?

        what were we in 1984? mediocre?

  6. TSE

    August 24, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    2003 is way in the past, I don’t remember offhand how I felt compared to the precise and focused tune I’m at now, what does it matter anyhow?

    In 1984 I was 5, so I have no idea what we did all year transaction-wise that I would approve or disapprove of.

    • Andrew in Toronto

      August 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

      2003 was the end of a 15-year pathetic run by the Tigers. The worst period in their history, by miles. A .424 winning percentage over a 15-year span is very hard to do. The even had a ten year run at .400. Four separate seasons with over 100 losses. 6 last-place finishes and 3 second-last. Only 68 days in first over that entire span, mostly in 1993.

      As “disgusting” as the team may be now in your view, they are an enormous improvement over the garbage that prevailed for most of your life.

  7. TSE

    August 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Wow, that was a MISERABLE decision by Inge, no reason to throw to 2nd.

    • ouchudied

      August 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      I think we can all agree on this.

  8. tbran in Troy

    August 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Good thing Inge is back with all of his golden (tin?) glove like defensive prowess at 3rd base. God thing …

    • TSE

      August 24, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      Yeah that game was a gift, yikes, where’s Betemit when you need him, or any 3Bman that has ever played baseball before according to the fundamental logic of what to do with the ball when there’s 2 outs and not a gimme out at a nearby bag?

  9. judpma

    August 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    when you only get 4 hits you aren’t gonna win /….so it really doesn’t matter how you lose….but that was a classic …hey Cringe why didn’t you just walk over and step on third…oh well!

    • TSE

      August 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm

      I didn’t even bother to watch the replay in slow-mo to see if it was possible to be a wrong call, it just doesn’t matter. We deserve to lose for even attempting to throw to 2nd when there was an absence of any reason to not throw to first.

    • Stormin Norman$

      August 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      i agree, managing only 4 hits isn’t going to win many… good game and tough one to lose – especially with CLE losing and CWS on their way to losing another to the angels

      regarding that last routine grounder, Reynolds on MLB asserted that ‘the Tigers had a play on’ – and any grounder to 3B or SS would be thrown to 2B – i’m not buying that – and even if that was the case, an infielder (veteran) also needs to use some discretion. I agree with Mitch Williams’ (MLB) comment that Inge has only one play on that grounder, and that is 1B… where the batter would have been out by a couple steps

  10. Stormin Norman$

    August 25, 2011 at 8:06 am|topnews|text|Sports
    Mr Inge says ‘his only play was to 2B’ – even JL begs to differ

    Through the years ‘excuses’ have come much more frequent from Mr Inge than admitting mistakes or shortcomings… the first one that comes to mind is when he attempted to defend a stretch of poor hitting by saying, the pitchers aren’t giving him anything to hit, and they’re pitching him like Babe Ruth – “I can’t explain it,” said Inge. “I’m getting pitched like I’m Babe Ruth. Everything is on the corner. I haven’t seen a ball in the middle of the plate for a week.”

    • ouchudied

      August 25, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Inge’s sound bytes over the years have really pissed me off.

  11. Andrew in Toronto

    August 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

    This is strange:

    As odd as the ending to Wednesday’s game was, manager Joe Maddon said it couldn’t have been more fitting that Sean Rodriguez’s extreme hustle was the key to the Rays’ win.

    That’s because Tuesday, Rodriguez was getting yelled at by Detroit starter Brad Penny and possibly some other Tigers for hustling too much running hard on an infield pop out.

    “For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,” Maddon said. “And if Sean had just charged the mound, I’d have been fine with that at that particular moment.

    “I think that’s ridiculous, and then he shows them (Wednesday) what that means to play hard. So any time a guy gets on another guy because he’s going to show him up by playing too hard, I have a hard time with that myself, personally.”

    Rodriguez said he appreciated Maddon having his back but didn’t want to discuss what happened Tuesday.

    • Andrew in Toronto

      August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      Follow-up on this…


      Penny said Thursday morning that was totally false. His problem with Rodriguez, he said, was with his yelling in frustration while he rounded first base.

      “He’s just screaming and cussing because he got out,” Penny said. “I guess he should’ve hit the ball out of the park like he does every at-bat.”