Game 2011 Playoffs.11: Tigers at Rangers

So it all comes down to this.  Tonight is either the last game–and the last game post–of the season,  or it’s the catapult into a deciding game 7 with our best postseason pitcher on the mound I like our chances to take this thing if we can make it to game 7, where the Rangers really don’t want to be facing the preternaturally calm Doug Fister.  They really don’t.

Whatever happens, the Tigers have managed to overcome a lot this postseason, and have pitched quite well against arguably the two best offensive teams in baseball.  The Tigers have given up a total of 16 regular inning runs in 5 games (we’ll set aside the 11th inning runs for the moment), or 3.2 per game, to a team that averaged 5.3 in the regular season.

That being said, the odds are stacked against us tonight.  We are in Arlington, where Texas loves to hit.  AccuScore gives Texas a huge advantage (64%)…the ESPN fan poll likes us even less (Texas at 72% chance to win).  And yet…

Alex Avila has this figured out.  You see, there is Max Scherzer, who is a very analytical, calm pitcher.  And then there is Mad Max.  Avila says, it’s time for Mad Max.

And–as we have known all along–it’s all about the eyes.  The analytical Max pitches with his blue eye, the intense Max with his brown eye.  Says Avila:  “He gets all jacked up and ready to go.  He gets this look in his blue eye, then his brown eye starts twitching, and it doesn’t even matter what pitch I call.  It seems like he comes out throwing great.”  Let’s hope tonight the eyes have it.

Again tonight, the way the game begins will be crucial. In his first run through against the Rangers, Max Bondermanned the first inning, then made it until the 6th without giving up a base runner.  Holland only lasted 3 innings, before being Raburned right out of the game.  On the other hand, he should certainly be rested for tonight.

In case Max goes all blue-eye tonight, warming up in the bullpen will be Rick Porcello.  Kid Rick has never come out of the bullpen yet in his fledgling career.  I’m guessing Ol’ Smokey ain’t expecting him to tonight either.

Random note of interest:  according to a DKnobler tweet, Craig Monroe is in the stands tonight wearing a Tiger shirt.  So we’ve got the C-Mo going for us.

Player of the Pre-Game:  Brandon Inge

Inge? Seriously?  Yes.  When Inge does hit, it is against lefties.  And I just have a feeling.  And besides I need something dramatic here for prediction parity with Kevin.

Today’s Naturally Cycling Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Ryan Raburn, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Brandon Inge, 3B
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B



  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Like Ernie Banks always says, “Let’s play two!”

    Go TIGERS!

  2. Coleman

    October 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Raburn going for the golden girdle

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    October 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Raburn will come through next time.

  4. Coleman

    October 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Inge is playing better 3B in this series than he has in 2 years

  5. Gman

    October 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Great strategy pitching around Andrus Max. Brilliant.
    And more stellar fielding from Austin Jackson.

  6. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Tonight we have Bad Max

    • Coleman

      October 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      And now we have Schlrrrrth, oh boy

  7. Andrew in Toronto

    October 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    That was strike 3. That’s a shame. But Scherzer didn’t have it tonight.

  8. Coleman

    October 15, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Holy Brad Thomas

  9. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Our bullpen sucks

  10. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    How bleak… 🙁

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    October 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    If we can keep it at 5-2 we’ll be alright.

    • Coleman

      October 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

      On the other hand…

  12. Gman

    October 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Another ‘Lefty-Lefty’ matchup forced by Leyland, favoring a crappy lefty pitcher over a mediocre RHP. Brilliant Jimmy.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Lefties were .174 off of Schlereth this year. It was the right move.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    October 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    3 walks 2 bobbles and 2 wrong calls will do that to you.

  14. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    What a disgraceful performance by our pathetic pitching staff.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      It’s bad, but this is against the best lineup in baseball. Should we go on to lose this game, I’ll rest well knowing that it was a tremendous season.

  15. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Oh well.

  16. ouchudied

    October 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    It’s been real, guys. Kevin, Coleman – I appreciate the work you guys put in this year – you did a hell of a job. Maybe next year.

  17. rob

    October 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Might as well forfeit, its bad enough to lose but to come this far and get smoked is a disgrace, damn bullpen blows!

  18. gman

    October 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Kevin in Dallas – respectfully disagree. Those stats taken in isolation ignore context and, I believe, lead people astray.

  19. Jeff Molby

    October 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Ugh! What an atrocious strike zone. Scherzer painted the corner on a lot of those and just couldn’t get a call.

  20. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Well, a lot of the things we thought we’re going to bite us in the butt happen in one inning. Delmon Young’s defense, nonexistent middle relief and questionable second base.

    I don’t think its impossible for the Tigers to get nine. I fear the Rangers are going to get 16.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      We’ve had our chances, but we’ve been outmatched all series.

      Now, had Mike Scioscia not thrown in the towel for the last series…

      • stephen

        October 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm

        I agree. We were threading the needle and needed some breaks and guys plsying above their heads. Ran out of gas.

  21. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Brutis time

  22. Kevin in Dallas

    October 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    BTW – a Rangers fan buddy of mine flew up for game 5. Couldn’t stop talking about how great everyone was around him.

  23. Coleman

    October 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Clown show!

  24. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Why is Ryan Perry still in there

  25. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Ok, you’ve got to bring in Benoit in the 6th and let him go two and then go to Valverde. I know it sounds crazy, but you got to keep the Rangers right here so your team doesn’t lose hope. Worry about the 8th if you get to the 9th and you’re within shouting distance.

  26. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    You’re joking, right? Rangers have Ogando. Tigers have no chance.

    • stephen

      October 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      They’re down by six, their chance is about 1 in 150.

  27. Mark

    October 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I was hoping I wouldn’t have to see Penny any more this season.

  28. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    You simply can’t bring Penny in this game.

  29. rob

    October 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Penny aint worth one damn cent! Off season get rid of him and a few other losers in the pen!

  30. rob

    October 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Hell, why not bring in phil choke now

  31. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Seriously, That’s managerial malpractice.

  32. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Hey Dombrowski, Bronsan Pinchot called. He wants his wardrobe back.

    • Coleman

      October 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      I defy anyone to find another Tiger blog that has a Bronson Pinchot reference.

      • stephen

        October 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

        Coleman are you on twitter? That’s where the real comedy lives.

  33. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Hard to believe, but that was the 1st ranger homer hit by someone not named Nelson Cruz

  34. stephen

    October 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Hey Leyland, well done on using Penny for 2 innings. Seriously, suck it.

  35. tbran in Troy

    October 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Sad ending to an otherwise exciting and interesting year. Sad. Well, nothing left but the excuses I guess.

  36. Tod

    October 15, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Should have sent the batboy out to yank Penny

  37. Kevin in Dallas

    October 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    It’s as if Jimmy gave up. I don’t get it

  38. Kevin in Dallas

    October 15, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Cabbie – wow. I’m telling you, gold glove coming up. I think the fraternizing/concentration issues have been put to bed.

  39. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Good run… It’s over. Blahhh

  40. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Kevin and Coleman…many thanks for your great work! It’s been a great ride and one we can hold our heads up high as Tiger Fans.

    See y’all in Spring Training!

    Congrats and Good luck Rangers!

  41. Chris

    October 15, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Ogando, Cruz, Napoli… I hope you all choke in the WS

  42. Marcos

    October 16, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I’m steaming mad at Ron Washington. The Rangers are a NO CLASS organization.
    Running up the score and then not one mention about the Tigers during the interviews.

    The first thing you do is to acknowledge the other team and their season coaches and players….I really hope they get DESTROYED IN THE WS

  43. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Unless Wash was the one making the calls to the Tigers’ bullpen, you may want to redirect that anger towards Leyland.

    Wash isn’t perfect, but he respects the game and no doubt he respects the Tigers.

  44. rob

    October 16, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Anger towards Leyland, pitching coach, pitchers and Dombrowski for bringing that loser Penny to Detroit. Come on, this loss has to due with the fact we are only 2 good starting pitchers deep, maybe three on a good day, 2nd to 3rd pitchers we are horrible, and only have one damn good closer even with his crazy antic’s on the mound!

  45. Vince in MN

    October 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I missed the game due to other commitments, but I guess I didn’t miss much. It was a good run and an exciting Yhere is no shame in getting beat by Texas – they are the better team. One has to remember that the Tigers were .500 against non-AL Central teams. Deficiencies showed up in the playoffs – Tigers were out-played by the Yankees as well as the Rangers,one could argue. Lots of weaknesses to be addressed in the off-season – hopefully most of them get attended to.On the positive side, I think we have a pretty good idea who should not be playing for the Tigers next year. We’ll see what the “braintrust” comes up with. I won’t say goodbye to Kevin and Coleman, because I know we will be discussing these issues in great depth after the WS finishes.

  46. Stormin Norman$

    October 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    A dinner engagement prevented me from watching the game last night, listening on XM, it was 2-0 when i checked out after the top of the 3rd – Tiger radio guys had just stated how Perralta said he liked hitting at the TX stadium, and although he had never hit an HR there, he said “mabye tonight”, and then one pitch later, Peralta hit a HR.

    Obviously the wheels (frame, steering wheel) fell off after i checked out in the top of the 3rd – that would have been frustrating to watch.

    All in all the Tigers had a great year and phenomenal final two months of the season. If they don’t bring in any new talent, they will compete for the AL Central next year, but hopefully they fill a few holes – because due to expiring contracts and the nature of the biz, next year could be the last year to make a serious WS run. A lot to be excited for next year.
    Cheers all! go Lions

  47. judpma

    October 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    if anyone would have told us Tigers would make it to the final four back in March we wouldn’t have believed them…and here they are….all in all a team that exceeded expectations…!!!!!

    with a very bright future!

    • Steve

      October 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Agreed. Great Season and its really nice to have legit stars on the team.

      2012 is another season for Tiger ball. Whos your new Tiger next year?


  48. stephen

    October 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Middle relievers, a serviceable 2nd and 3rd basemen, and a leadoff man. AJax can hack away and hit, hopefully, .275 with a .330 oba in the ninth spot.

    • Andrew in Toronto

      October 17, 2011 at 9:43 am

      + a backup catcher who can hit well enough to keep on the roster, and a fifth starter in case Turner isn’t ready

    • Vince in MN

      October 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      Inge is paid for, so he stays I’m guessing. He should be platooned, though it doesn’t look like Betemit will be in the picure. Hopefully Castellano develops quickly, but until then 3B will probably be mix and match. Definitely need to go for a new 2B who can hit leadoff, as I doubt there is anything on tap in the minors. Jackson drops to 9th where it will also be psychologically easier to PH for him late in games if necessary. A decent backup C is a must and a LH starter – Sabathia maybe? – that would be something. Turner can stay in Toledo for another year, or perhaps be brought in as long relief mid-season to ease into ML duty (e.g. Liriano, Papelbon, Chapman). Tigers ony haver a few bits to use for trade bait, so most improvement will probably come via FA.

      • Vince in MN

        October 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

        By the way, despite Delmon Young’s theatrics, I am not a big fan (Twins fans were REALLY HAPPY to see him go); he will regress at the plate and he will Raburn you in the field. I would like to see the Tigers fill that spot in another way, but they will likely re-sign him. Hopefuylly not for too much or too many years. Be prepared. Think of him as a Marcus Thames with less power.

  49. PHToy in HK

    October 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Unfortunate ending to a great season. Can’t wait until next year!
    Thanks to everyone who posted interesting and entertaining comments here. Please keep it up next season.

  50. beejeez

    October 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Not gonna lie, this one hurt, especially with JL in full-tilt brain meltdown mode. The good thing is that it shouldn’t be too hard to get another shot at it all next year. Add a second baseman who can bat leadoff and we’re halfway there. Are you listening, Brandon Phillips?

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      This Spring I hope the Tigers will give 2bman Justin Henry a try as he is a proven tablesetter in the minors. Sure it’s a big step to the majors but I am only asking for a try.