Game 2011.143: Tigers at Indians

by Kevin in Dallas on September 7, 2011 · 43 comments

in 2011 Season,Game Post

Post image for Game 2011.143: Tigers at Indians

A few numbers for you guys…

14, .5, 10, 3.  Answers at the end.

JV takes on Masterson for the sweep.  Is there any question that it’s going to happen?  I can actually see the momentum.  It looks like this – Phil Coke throwing breaking ball after breaking ball for 4 strikeouts in 5 batters.   Delmon Young working a walk.  AJax ripping a double in the 8th.  Rick P recording 13 out of 19 ground outs.

Chris Singleton on MLB tv postulated last night that perhaps the Tigers are peaking too early.  I don’t buy that because they’ve had extended winning streaks this season, and Porcello, Scherzer and Fister all have track records of outstanding pitching ability.  I think the real difference is that the lineup chaos has been thwarted.  The Tigers are getting production from the least productive spots, and that in turn allows Cabrera, Martinez, Avila and Peralta to be even more productive.  I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it seems like Ordonez, Inge and Guillen have seen the least number of at bats during this win streak relative to everyone else.

I know that we had a 7 game lead around this time 2 years ago, but that was the Twins chasing us.  This year we have momentum.

The Freep has some really cool stats this morning regarding historical consecutive win streaks for Tigers pitchers, check out the absurd number of complete games those guys were throwing back then.

Magic number.  Games behind the Rangers for the #2 seed and home field advantage.  JV going for his 10th consecutive win.  Triple Crown.

Today’s Double Sweep Lineup:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Rhymes, 2B
3. Dirks, LF
4. Cabrera, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Avila, C
7. Betemit, 3B
8. Kelly, RF
9. Santiago, SS

 
 

{ 43 comments }

Brenden September 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

This line-up seems a little strange to me, especially considering that everyone gets an off day tomorrow.

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I’m OK with Rhymes or Kelly, but noth both. What happened to Maggs and Raburn?

Brenden September 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Uh oh, Verlander is looking human today. Let’s hope the offense can bail him out. I had a strange feeling that this might happen today.

KW September 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm

In case anyone was wondering, this was the walk to Santana in the second inning:

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/location.php?pitchSel=434378&game=gid_2011_09_07_detmlb_clemlb_1/&batterX=11&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3

Yes, that’s ball four right in the middle of the plate above the knees. That has to be one of the worst calls I’ve seen all year.

ouchudied September 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Uhhh…. where was that pitch?

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Avila is the R3L2O master.

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Goodness, that one was at his eyes.

ouchudied September 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I know… it’s almost like he was sitting on an 0-2 fastball up out of the strike zone. Weird.

StorminNorman$ September 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Sandy Freakin Duncan?! Well Masterson already has 73 pitches through 4, so the Tigers will have an answer for his 2nd one also.

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

We’re gonna come back and win this one for JV. Momentum.

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

These Tigers are pretty good…

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm

10 RBIs for VMart in this series…Momentum.

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Martinez has come through with a lot of big hits this year, and although initially I thought it was a great pickup, he has far surpassed what I expected. Certainly one of the many MVPs on the team this year.

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm

That would be a great debate…who is the team MVP other than JV?

Cabrera – just doing what he does.
Peralta – serious production from the SS and the bottom of the order.
Avila – iron man, all star.
Valverde – seems that 41 straight almost gets lots.
Martinez – clutch hit after clutch hit, especially down the stretch, plus, he’s protecting Cabrera.

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Don’t forget Leyland ;)

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Well, if we can blame him for end-of-season collapses, I guess he would get credit for end-of-season surges and key-game victories.

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

With 89 BIs but with only 10 HR, and considering he missed a bunch of games because of the DL, you could argue that he has actually been the most productive hitter on the team.

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I think it would come down to Cabrera vs. Avila for the MVP-other-than-Verlander.

Cabrera’s offensive production is well beyond Martinez’s, even when you look at clutch situations like RISP or “late & close”. Martinez is having great RBI totals in part because Cabrera has been getting on base more than ever.

Still, Martinez has been a great pick-up. In fact, if you look at the people Dombrowksi has picked up since the end of last season, it looks really good right now.

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

One of the few situations where Martinez has outperformed Cabrera is with the bases loaded.

BEFORE today:

Martinez: 8 for 13, 3 doubles, 2 walks, 21 RBIs
Cabrera: 2 for 7, 6 RBIs

JOE Z September 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm

O U T A H E R E

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Benoit has a 1.87 ERA, .86 WHIP and just over a K per inning since June (not including today).

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm

15 straight games without giving up a run since Aug 2 – 15.2 IP and only 4 hits.

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

So that’s why Kelly was in the lineup today!

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Just watched the replay of Kelly’s triple. I think his fly was open??? He’ll have to do that in all games from now on, for good luck.

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Ballplayers!

StorminNorman$ September 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

OUTSTANDING!!! I can’t remember the Tigers EVER having a run like this in Aug and Sept… i mean they just swept the divisional 2nd and 3rd place teams – who were in the ‘must win mode’. This is unfamiliar territory for this Tiger fan.

BTW: i was debating with my brother last night as to whether this offensive lineup is better than the ’84 Champs… i think they are. I can’t recall a Tiger team with 4 legit .300 everyday players in September …along with a near-.300 (Boesch) and Betemit .287 (though he’s not an everyday player)

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I can’t remember so many .300 hitters either. But surprisingly, the team’s overall batting average isn’t very different from other recent good seasons…

2011: .274 team average before today, 3rd in AL
2006, .274, 8th in AL
2000: .275, 7th
1993: .275, 3rd
1987: .272, 3rd
1984: .271, 4th

One big surprise: 2007: .287, 2nd in AL

But out of the years I checked, only 2 teams had an OPS of .800 or better… 1987 had .800 and led the league. 2007 had .802 and was 3rd in the league.

(Note: I didn’t check other years, so maybe I missed something dramatically different. Also, I was only looking in the 1984-present era. Obviously some old teams had much higher averages, like 1935 which hit .290)

Andrew in Toronto September 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Note – that 1935 team also had 4 everyday players hitting .300, so we’ve matched that. They just didn’t have Inge!

StorminNorman$ September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

thanks for that info/stats.

The Rangers just tied Tampa in the 9th, but as of right now, the Tigers have the exact same record as the Rangers. A Rays win would mean the Tigers have a half game lead over the Rangers… but not that it matters a whole lot come playoff time – would you rather open against the red sox or yankees? similar teams in my book – good offensive teams with some questions in their starting pitching… which also sounds like the Tigers… and the Rangers

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the #2 seed means home field, right? Or does a WC team with a better record get home field?

StorminNorman$ September 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Since 1998, the wild-card team has been assigned to play the division winner with the best winning percentage (outside of their own division) in one series, and the other two division winners meet in the other series. However, if the wild-card team and the division winner with the best record are from the same division, the wild-card team plays the division winner with the second-best record, and the remaining two division leaders play.

Home field advantage goes to the team with the better regular season record, except for the wild card team, which never receives the home field advantage. The higher seed plays at home in Games 1 and 2. The lower seed plays at home in Game 3 and Game 4 (if necessary). If a Game 5 is needed, the teams return to the higher seed’s field.

Andrew in Toronto September 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

Thanks, I didn’t know that. I thought having a better record than Texas would only matter if we happened to meet them in the second round. Now, I see it has immediate benefits… Let’s keep winning!

Vince in MN September 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Well that SHOULD pretty much take care of the Indians for the year. The WS are back in 2nd and it would be nice to get some help from the Twins tonight in the last game of their 4-game series. I am not too hopeful, in that the Twins have scored 1 run in the first 3 games. But a game in the standings is a game.

Of the Tigers’ 19 remaining games, only the three with the WS are against a team with a winning record. I’m not sure what the effect of playing the last three weeks of the season against only patsies will have on their competitiveness once they get to the playoffs, but I guess I’ll wait and worry about that when it comes.

StorminNorman$ September 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm

If CWS lose to the Twinkies tonight; and the Tigers win just 9 of their last 19 games – for the CWS to catch the Tigers, CWS would have to sweep the 3-game series with the Tigers AND win at least 7 of their 8 remaining games with CLE; as well as win at least 9 of the 10 games they have left with KC (7) and TOR (3).

The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi September 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Magic Number is now 13! Great win Boys!

StorminNorman$ September 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm

12 after Pavano beats the CWS tonight.

Kevin in Dallas September 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

“the switch-hitting Martinez turned around to the right side and hit the first pitch into the left-field seats for his second career slam, both against the Indians. The first was Oct. 3, 2009, for Boston, a couple of months after Cleveland traded him to the Red Sox.”

Ouch.

Scott September 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm

the ’68 Tigers won 13 in a row in early / mid-September. This year, over our last 20 games, Tigers have a 16-4 record. It’s pretty critical for a winning team to have a hot September….as we’ve painfully experienced the last couple years. Except for 3 more games at WSox, we play all crappy teams……and we just knocked the crap out of the Sox………so we should be able to finish this…….GO TIGERS!!!!!

Chris September 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Hats off to the Tigers. They swept the two closest rivals in the standings, right out of contention. This is the killer instinct in action that we have not seen in the past 5 seasons.

Also, DD deserves a lot of credit. His acquisitions and trades over the past year have been gold. Jhonny, VMart, Fister & D-Young are really making things happen.

Stormin Norman$ September 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

agreed on all points… and do you think the red sox wish they would have re-signed VMart?

Vince in MN September 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Since he wouldn’t be catching, I’m guessing the Red Sox are pretty happy with Ortiz at DH.

Stormin Norman$ September 8, 2011 at 8:01 am

This could be the stat of the day: Cabrera and Martinez rank 1-2 in the American League in batting average with runners in scoring position. Cabrera is at .402, Martinez .397

Vince in MN September 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Now if Inge could only get his stroke back, we’d be absolutely unbeatable.

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