Game 2012.12: Tigers at Royals

The Tigers are now 8-3, 2 games up on Cleveland (Cleveland?) in the AL Central.  The Tigers are also still undefeated in night games, and Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera both have 1-game hitting streaks.

Drew Smyly was again effective, and it was needed–Royals starter Bruce Chen once again shut down the Tiger hitters. The only run Smyly gave up was in the 3rd, when he joined Adam Wilk as victim of the Tiger rookie pitcher curse, and took a line drive by Escobar right between the shoulder-blades and then bounced the ball by first base. Smyly was fine, but said his back was tightening up after the game.

Tonight is Max Scherzer’s private rubber game:  he has had one start as Bad Max, and one as Mad Max.  The Royals will send out ex-Giant Jonathan Sanchez, who is known for being effectively wild, which should be a good test of patience for Detroit hitters. The only Tiger Sanchez has a real history with is Prince Fielder, and the results are encouraging: 5-14 with 4 BB, for a .550 OBP.

Tonight marks the return of the Bottom Of the Order Bombers lineup, with Inge/Laird batting 8-9.  The Tigers are undefeated (2-0) when Inge starts, and undefeated (2-0) when Laird starts.

Today’s Player of the Pregame: Andy Dirk

Dirks will be a fascinating study as he sits in the dugout watching Ryan Raburn take over for Delmon Young in LF, wondering what he has to do before he gets to wear a glove.

Today’s Undefeated-at-Night Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Ryan Raburn LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Brandon Inge 2B
  9. Gerald Laird C

60 thoughts on “Game 2012.12: Tigers at Royals”

  1. I’ll settle for a Glad Max, which would be 3 runs allowed in 6 innngs or so.

    The myth of Chen vs Tigers lifetime: Tigerkiller
    The Real Bruce Chen vs. Tigers lifetime: 4-4, 5.61 ERA 1.33 WHIP .247 BAA 11 HR in 69 IP = patsy

    The myth of Billy Butler vs. Tigers lifetime: Tigerkiller
    The real Billy Butler vs. Tigers lifetime: .327/.363 /.481 /.844 = if not a Tigerkiller, at least a royal PAI.

    Return of the BOOBs lineup tonight. I thought those days were in the past, but I guess Leyland is just a die hard retro fan. Let’s hope we are not seeing a return of the retro JaKKKson as well, or it could be another low (lower?) scoring night.

  2. Bruce Chen vs Tigers:
    2012: 2.57 ERA
    2011: 2.45 ERA
    2010: 6.58 ERA
    So I guess that means we have short memories.

    1. I get:
      2009: 9.69 ERA in 13 IP
      2010: 6.30 ERA in 20 IP
      2011: 2.45 ERA in 11 IP
      2012: 2.57 ERA in 7 IP
      So I guess he is getting better anyway.

  3. Leyland clearly playing the percentages with Rayburn in the lineup tonight as he is hitting 1.000 lifetime against Sanchez with 1 homerun. On a side note, with that hit last night, he would have to go hitless in is next 265 offical at-bats to get his average down to .001. It’s virtually impossible for him to get that many plate appearances in before the AS break, so I think that goal is beyond his reach at this point.

  4. It looks like the Good Max so far tonight. The Tiger pitching has been solid so far this year ….. except for the one Bad Max outing…..being able to overcome Smokey’s unorthodox managing style.

    1. Scherzer is the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of the pitchng staff. He can be cruising along and then just blow up out of the blue. The homerun especially plagues him – that was Escobar’s 10th CAREER HR in 1225 AB.

  5. Leave it to this offense to load the bases with no outs and not score a run…Great job Peralta, Inge and Laird….

    1. Well, Rayburn did his job and as far as Peralta, the pressure to produce must be intense sandwiched in with the BOOBS,

        1. Yeah, right now there are too many gaping black holes in this line-up for it to have any consistency, and that’s after they dropped 209 million dollars on Prince…

      1. Yeah, or not for now… Scherzer always makes me nervous… He has so much potential, but sometimes just implodes…

    1. Scherzer is beginning to remind me of Bonderman (or maybe I am just projecting here, who just drove me up the wall.) By that I mean he seems to be prone to the big inning. I just don’t get it: a bunch of 1-2-3 innings and then KABLOOEY. And a lot of times it seems to happen early in the game (Bonderman was usually the 1st inning, which usually isn’t the case with Max) when tiredness shouldn’t be a factor. And it shouldn’t be youth, the guy is 28.

  6. The one negative so far this season has been, the Tigers struggles w/ R3L2O…You just can’t have the bases loaded and nobody out and not get a run, other then that…You really can not complain too much. I was real happy to see Max, perservere and get through 6 innings.

  7. So far, the story of this season has been about the Pitching staff…Outside of the Boston series, the Tigers have not hit very well, and Texas has torched Boston pitching. Time to get the bats going.

    1. And another gift run. Take all those WP runs so far and the offense even looks worse. They’ll come around of course, but the pitching can’t carry the team forever. They have been kind of lucky so far.

  8. What a read by Laird and The unselfish Fielder beats the shift again. I really like this guy a lot. Miggy and Prince are going to be a treat to watch…Just a couple of excellent, professional hitters.

  9. Leyland wises up and settles for a Glad Max performance and decides not to force him to make it to .his 130 pitch minimum

  10. I am trying to remain positive about Inge and Raburn…but, those were two of the worst at-bats that you will ever see at the major league level. Hey Jim, Can you pick one of them to play and sit the other. Both of them in the lineup is ridiculous.

    1. Yeah, that would be nice to only have one blackhole in the line-up a night, instead of handicapping the team with two… There has got to be better options than those two clowns being in the line-up together as often as they are…

      1. Fortunately we only see one LH in the 4-game Texas series, so maybe there will be a little break in the routine.

    1. I think we have to accept the fact that Valverde is going to blow a few this year. He was kind of lucky last year and we have gotten spoiled. Hopefeully he won’t blow too many. The best insurance would be to not give him too many chances – hear that offense?

  11. Put that one in the win column! The pitching is really the success story right now. Let’s hope the bats start to warm up, especially for the Texas series.

  12. Ya gotta kick ’em when they are down, and the Royals are down right now. Not a particulary impresive series by the Tigers (the bats anyway), but anytime you can win when not on your best game, things are looking up. A 4-2 roadtrip is certainly acceptable And with a 4-game win strreak before a big series with the Rangers perhaps will get them charged up.

  13. If you like pitching, you would have loved the Phillies-Giants game, Matt Cain vs Cliff Lee, Giants win 1-0 in 11 (winning run knocked in by Melky Cabrera, who Giants got for Jonathan Sanchez).

  14. Inge was right on when he stated he would get that stroke back…after only four games he is right where he he was last year……. .100

    1. And .001 easily within reach: only an 0 for 90 streak needed. I think the Loyalty Clause in his contract demands that Leyland give him a shot.

      1. I may be too cynically dismissive of Inge’s ability to contribute. Realistically he probably can Inge his way up to a .550 (.548 last year) or .600 OPS, but I think his carrer mark of .692 is likely out of reach since he is in his declining years of production.

  15. Leyland and his gut:
    “To me, if I didn’t do what my gut told me tonight, I would just be pacifying the public as far as worrying about getting second-guessed,” said Leyland when asked about who he was going to play. “That’s not the way I manage. Win, lose or draw this game tonight, I know this is the best way to go. We might not win the game, but I know this is the best way to go.”

  16. Imported pitchers from Japan seem to do well against Tiger hitters.

    Make him throw strikes – he’s pitched 11 1/3 this year and walked 8

    Let’s hope tonight the Rangers get their first taste of ‘buyers remorse’ (for shelling out $100M to bring in Darvish) – because the Tigers will have to put up some runs, seeing as Wilk is starting tonight against a potent Ranger offense.

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