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:
Postseason OPS before Tuesday:
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
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: