Game 2011 Playoffs.9: Rangers at Tigers

Today’s playoff trivia question: Who has the MLB record for the highest single-season playoff BA and OBP (same player)?  Answer below.

What a difference a day makes.

The Tigers got where they are on their hitting as much as anything:  they had the 4th highest team OPS in the AL, behind Boston, Texas, and the Yankees.  But the guys who were doing it all year long had just not being doing it before last night.

Tiger OPS leaders regular season:

1.033 Cabrera

.895 Avila

.850 Martinez

.824 Peralta

Postseason OPS before Tuesday:

.791 Cabrera

.228 Avila

.556 Martinez

.632 Peralta

That’s 1.395 OPS points lower than the regular season, which is like replacing Cabrera and Martinez with 2 Adam Everetts.  In fact the Tiger team OPS was only .678, which is close to fielding a team of Adam Everetts (.640 career).  And it isn’t like the team was making productive outs:  they had rung up a whopping 69 strikeouts already (Texas has 38, by comparison).  And when they have put the ball in play, they have been prone to the GIDP:  they have a 1.05 ground ball to fly ratio (Texas is at .067), which has resulted in 8 GIDPs, 2 more than the other 3 playoff teams combined.

Leyland was doing what he could to adjust–the Tigers have 6 of the 7 AL posteason sacrifice bunts.  He even had Peralta sacrificing for the first time since 2009.

Last night that all changed.  Welcome back to Comerica Miguel!  Welcome back Victor, welcome Jhonny!   The Tigers had their first 3-HR postseason game since guys named Parrish and Gibson did it in 1984.

And what can you say about Doug Fister?  Even away from Arlington, this Texas lineup is nothing to sneeze at, but Fister sneezed away.

Martinez and Young, on the other hand, may want to refrain from sneezing.  V-Mart injured his oblique,  but refuses to consider the bench:  “The only way I don’t play tomorrow is if I wake up and I’m dead.”  He is alive and batting cleanup, in front of his Oblique Buddy Delmon Young, who returns to the lineup in the 5th spot.

Now it is Texas who is wondering what happened to the middle of their lineup.  The Texas 4-7 hitters were 0-15 last night, and Michael Young in particular is struggling, descending into Avila range (.111, .284 OPS).

Today it is Kid Rick’s turn to shine.  Porcello looks to even up the series against Matt Harrison, another Texas lefty.  This game is a big one for both teams, perhaps more so for Texas, with Justin Verlander waiting in the wings.  Harrison had a good season (14-9, 3.39) but gives Texas fans some reasons to be nervous.  Harrison’s career stats at Comerica:  1-3, 5.56, with opponents hitting .358 against him.  The current Tiger roster is batting .400 career against him (1.172 OPS), with Cabrera, Raburn, Inge, Avila, and Jackson all .400 or better.  Look for Raburn to have a big day.  The Fall Guy is 8-for-12 career against Harrison, with a 2.026 OPS.

So were any of our readers at the game yesterday?  Ranger fans seem to think the Tiger crowd was awfully dead for a playoff game.

Update:  it appears once again the weather is trying to rain on the Tiger parade. The tarp is on the field at Comerica.  Estimate start time moved to 5:45. 6:30.

Today’s playoff trivia answer:  Lloyd McClendon, 1992, Pirates (.727 /.750, 1.932 OPS).  So don’t try to pin any playoff slumping business on Ol’ Lloyd

Player of the Pre-Game:  Miguel Cabrera

Not only did Cabrera hit the majestic home run yesterday, but for the second consecutive game had the play of the game with his glove.  Let’s go for three.

Today’s Let’s-Get-Even Lineup:

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

 

106 Comments

  1. Stormin Norman$

    October 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    yesterday i said ‘the winner of game 4 will win the series’, McCarver just said the same thing, thus confirming i must be wrong

    Porcello is the key

  2. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Hero time for Ricky! Go get em’!

  3. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Ricky is pitching with something to prove as he thought he should have started game 2! May he have his stuff today! Go TIGERS!

  4. ouchudied

    October 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    EAT EM UP TIGERS EAT EM UP

  5. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Yes sir, Mr. Porcello! Very nice!

  6. Vince in MN

    October 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Porcello throwing strikes. That’s right – make ‘em swing and don’t let them stay in the box too long.

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Man, what a buzzkill from a 3-0 count.

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      I think Raburn read that he had an OPS over 2.000 on this guy and decided he could do no wrong

  8. Vince in MN

    October 12, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Cabrera batting 3rd 2 games in a row – what a concept.

  9. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Our infield is looking sharp!

  10. Vince in MN

    October 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Porcello has established his 2-seam fastball.
    Porcello has established his 4-seam fastball.
    Porcello has established his slider.

  11. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Well played Porcello! Let’s score some runs!

  12. Todd

    October 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    yes I got one of those cool shirts at homeofthebigcats.com.. It’s very nice

  13. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    so far, so good from Rick… we’ll get runs eventually, he just needs to keep putting up 0′s

  14. Only Tiger in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Porcello has the same mindset that he had in game 163!

  15. Vince in MN

    October 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I like the 4 to 1 K/B ratio.

  16. Todd

    October 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Great Job P!

  17. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Inge + Raburn + Cabrera = woohoo!

  18. Vince in MN

    October 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Cabrera batting 3rd seems like a good idea.

  19. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Love those 2-out rallies!

  20. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    RicKKKKK Porcello

  21. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’m singing in the rain! Well done Porcello!

  22. Mark

    October 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Nice to see Delmon Young back…

  23. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    A former exchange student just called me from Germany to say he was fired up watching the Tigers and enjoying German beer!

  24. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Lost the first pitch strikes, lost the lead.

  25. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    This SUCKS!!!!!!

  26. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    That was all Andrus. Jackson should be taking notes.

  27. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Alright, we can do this, c’mon! Runs! MOAR RUNS

  28. Stormin Norman$

    October 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    worked out for the rangers, but that was stupid for kinsler to try and steal third, he gets thrown out, that would have been a HUGE break for DET.

    Harrison has 91 pitches going into the 6th, they had better get to HIM NOW before TX goes to their bullpen

  29. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Great. Now comes that devastating Ranger bullpen. The Tigers have no answer.

  30. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Despite the score, good performance by Kid Rick

    • Stormin Norman$

      October 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      i agree

  31. Stormin Norman$

    October 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    scrap that plan, ogando was wisely brought in

  32. Stormin Norman$

    October 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Tigers have 3 hits – not going to win many games with just 3 hits…

    projected hero: DYoung

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Not so much. He was looking all Betemit there. I
      Say it’s Donkey time..,

      • Stormin Norman$

        October 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

        that was ugly Delmon

  33. Stormin Norman$

    October 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    that was ball four Vmart

  34. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I hate goshdarn Ogando, Murphy, Cruz, Feliz… Hate ‘em, hate ‘em, hate ‘em

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Watch the language, please.

  35. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    It’s Al-Al time

  36. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Biggest out of the season right here gents. Need a 1st pitch strike.

  37. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    This could get ugly and fast

  38. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    It’s over…

  39. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Maybe “we were just kidding” and bring Porcello back would be worth a try…

  40. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Phew

  41. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Maybe that’ll help Al get his mojo back. Goodness.

  42. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Still 9 outs to score two runs.

  43. Joe

    October 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Lets get some runs!!!!!

  44. ouchudied

    October 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Unbelievable.

  45. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    INGEcredible!!!!!!

  46. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Superman defeated by…… Inge

  47. Todd

    October 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    woooooooo

  48. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    INGE!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Joe Buck – Inge won’t pull it but Beltrie is guarding the line for a double!

  50. Joe

    October 12, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    YES!

  51. Joe

    October 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Lets get a couple of runs!!!!!

  52. Todd

    October 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    yea baby!!!

  53. Todd

    October 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    check out homeofthebigcats.com

  54. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I demand Don Kelly!

  55. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I demand the head of Gene Lamont

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Fire Gene Lamont, and before the 9th inning starts.

  56. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Why!!?!?!?!?!?! Shallow fly ball slow runner?!?!?!?!?!?!

  57. tbran in Troy

    October 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Lamont should fired before the next pitch is thrown. Enough is enough.

  58. Joe

    October 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Actually, I would have snt him. You gotta try it. Their rf has a gun! And Miggy not the fastest. Lets hold them + get 1 next inning.

  59. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    The only way to rid ourselves of the evil that is Gene Lamont is to fire Leyland, and the only way to get rid of Leyland is to fire Dombrowski, so we might as well take a deep breath and accept this.

  60. Joe

    October 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Funny thing, I think Leyland has had a great postseason and Lamont a HORRIBLE one!

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      The Lamont way: hold Santiago or Jackson, send Cabrera or Ordonez

  61. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Rod Allen is steadfastly defending Lamont on twitter.

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      I believe that is referred to as a Twit-Tweet

  62. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Just one run pleassssse…. please…

  63. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Ok boys, here we go! Hold on to your Stroh’s!

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Believe me, they are just empties at this point

  64. Joe

    October 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    1 Run! Lets Go Tigers!!

  65. Coleman

    October 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    OK, never fear, let’s get through the 10th, and we’ve got Inge coming up!

  66. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I hate that we have to use Valverde here. This has to be a 1 inning appearance for him. Schlereth should be next.

  67. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    That was a gift. Gotta get to 2nd here.

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      If only they would’ve called that on Inge in 2009

  68. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Why?… why?

  69. tbran in Troy

    October 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I still say Tigs take this one. Not sure how or when but I just believe it.

  70. TSE

    October 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Sweet a high drama ending is in the cards.

    • TSE

      October 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      Well only half the drama since our half of the inning got rendered moot.

  71. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    There’s no beating this bullpen, right now

  72. Todd

    October 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Stay away from CRUZ!!!!! What the heck????

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      Denny McClain would give him the 1-pitch intentional walk next time up.

  73. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    If we’re gonna go down, better to go down with our best arm out there.

    Series isn’t over yet.

  74. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    BTW, that was too many innings for Valverde. That’s gonna be the first thing JL says.

  75. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Sigh. Like our chances tomorrow, but it’s a long climb now.

  76. ensigntaiga

    October 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    What could Leyland do? He was outta quality arms. Rangers bullpen depth is the difference in this series, other than our weak bats.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      Not sure if I have a better solution. But I’m not surprised. I think it was a lose/lose for Leyland. If it’s not Valverde, Coke or Perry are likely gonna get beat.

      This one is on the bats.

      • ensigntaiga

        October 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

        agree 100%. Truth is, our lineup was hugely meh for 2/3 of the season, got crazy hot at the end, and has regressed to the mean now. We don’t get extra base power from second, third, and center field. Stuff to address in the offseason.

    • Coleman

      October 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      They could’ve tried Ryan Perry. Isn’t he the governor of Texas or something?

  77. Chris

    October 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Nelson Cruz and the red hot Ranger bullpen is killing us.

  78. Kevin in Dallas

    October 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Let’s make a pact and focus on one game at a time. I’ll start with a full pro JV post tomorrow. Let’s just win tomorrow, and then worry about what’s next.

  79. tbran in Troy

    October 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    A few years back another team in this town thought it had a championship wraped up after winning game 3 in a 7 game series. That team and its fans were giddy with the thought that they were up 3 zip and with a game 7 to be played, if even necessary, at our building. 4 games later a guy named “Cindy” Crosby was hoisting the cup in our building. Our team and the rest of us just could not believe it actually happened. But it happened because it can happen.

    We’ve got JV, Sherzer and the “Fist” coming up. We just need some offense and we’re on our way. It ain’t over til it’s over. Keep the faith.

    • Jeff Molby

      October 13, 2011 at 3:18 am

      You speak the truth. I was at the game today; it was a crushing blow. But…. momentum is only as good as tomorrow’s starter and I like the next three guys we’re sending up there. We could just as easily be up 3-1 right now and there’s no reason we can’t rattle off 3 wins. Is it likely? No, it’s not. We’re hurt and we have no margin for error, but ya never know…. :-)

  80. Tater

    October 13, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Nice pep talk, but the Wings were only up 2-0, and in fact after 4 games the series was tied.

    Hopefully JV is not a hockey fan…

  81. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Hmmm……I had this same feeling back in ’68 and ’06. However as a hopeful positive scenario, Verlander needs to go deep while the Tiger bats also get into the Ranger bullpen. That would set up Sherzer very well and also give our bullpen a rest. Fister is then a great start for game 7. Again, the middle lineup I needs to bat as getting only 3 hits for Porcello didn’t work. Keep the faith. Go Tigers.

  82. Stormin Norman$

    October 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

    even with the injuries i still believe DET is the best team left in the playoffs, unfortunately the offense has just not delivered… the Tigers were a clutch hit away from winning the first 4 games

    winning 3 in a row against the Rangers is not impossible; but DET offense has to dramatically improve for that to happen

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 13, 2011 at 9:08 am

      I don’t know about that “best team” moniker, SN$. Offensively, the Rangers are better at every position save 1B & SS (LF could be a toss-up). Defensively, the Rangers are better at every position save 1B, C & CF. Pitching-wise – the Tigers’ 1-4 starters are better, but the Rangers’ bullpen is so superior that they are winning every close game. Rangers are also better on the basepaths – better speed and better coaching.

      I think the Tigers have had their chances, and will over the next several nights. But we’re losing to a better team.

      • Andrew in Toronto

        October 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm

        It’s a small point, but I’d argue we’re a little better at the DH position too.

    • ouchudied

      October 13, 2011 at 9:28 am

      Hey, I think the Tigers are very much in this. We just need JV to go out there today and be JV, and if Max can keep match his solid performances from his other postseason starts then we could easily be looking at a game 7. From there anything can happen. However…

      There is no way that the Tigers with(!) their injuries are the better team. I’m not sure the Tigers at full-strength are the better team. Their starting pitching is solid but unspectacular while their bullpen is spectacular. Their lineup is stacked with a mix of power, speed, and average. The Rangers don’t really have a weakness on their team.

  83. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 13, 2011 at 11:51 am

    When comparing teams, any thoughts on who has the better manager and GM? Dave is more prettier than Nolan but has a lousy sinker!

  84. Andrew in Toronto

    October 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Game 5 line-up:

    Jackson 8, Raburn 9, Cabrera 3, Martinez dh, Young 7, Peralta 6, Inge 5, Avila 2, Santiago 4

    Leyland says no Benoit or Valverde. He wants Verlander to pitch a complete game, otherwise it’s Coke. No pressure, though, Justin!

  85. gman

    October 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Texas is the better team. For the Tigers to have a better series, and thus win the series, you almost had to have 2 Wins from Justin Verlander. In short, we needed Justin Verlander to be just ‘average’ for Justin Verlander. He hasn’t really been close to that, and never has been in the postseason. He has a cumulative 5.71 ERA in the postseason over his career, which includes a 5.54 ERA postseason this year. That’s not going to get it done unless Texas pitchers implode. But that hasn’t happened. What has happened is that for most of the series, the Tigers hitters have made some decent pitchers look phenomenal. Too many guys trying to be the hero swinging for the fences and ending up with a ton of strikeouts, swinging bunts, and long flyouts. I think this is likely because the Rangers have much better coaching. They know how to gameplan. Maddux came up with a gameplan based on good scouting and the Rangers pitching staff have executed it brilliantly. And other than a couple of exceptions, the Tigers hitters haven’t adjusted. It’s difficult to watch Austin Jackson at the plate….unless you enjoy watching a Judy trying to imitate Babe Ruth, swinging from his heals and racking up K’s left and right. Frustrating. The Tigers could learn a lot from watching Miguel Cabrera, who shortened his stroke with two strikes once during the series and lightly poked a line drive double to right field in a key situation. That’s how you win ball games.

  86. Kevin in Dallas

    October 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Buddy of mine has a single avail, section 118, row 2, seat 9. Paid $266, asking $250. If you’ve got an offer, post here and I’ll have him email you. He’s at the ballpark now.

  87. stephen

    October 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Time for Verlander to step up and drop his 5.71 ERA in seven playoff starts. Don’t want to start calling him the A-Rod of the mound.