Game 2012.13: Rangers at Tigers

9-3, 1st place, 2.5 games up on CWS

Unstoppable force, meet immovable object.

The first highly anticipated rematch of the 2011 ALCS begins today and continues through Sunday for a four game set. Sunday’s game will be the national game on TBS. (Tigers will also be featured next Sunday in NY.)

The Rangers, have been an unstoppable force so far, pummeling their opponents by averaging 5.75 runs per game while only allowing 2.5 per game. The Rangers lead the AL in every major offensive category, blasting 22 home runs during their torrid start. As if their modern day murderer’s row isn’t enough (Mike Napoli bats 7th most days), their pitching staff sports a 2.33 team ERA to go along with their 10-2 record.

The world’s only 6-5 Japanese/Iranian pitcher, Yu Darvish gets his 3rd start of the season tonight. It will be a while before anyone can reconcile his $100M price tag, but the early returns look good. He got shelled in his first inning of the season, but has only given up 2 runs in 10 innings since then. That said, he’s giving up a lot of hits and walking a lot, so the Tigers should have opportunities to score, and to hit into DPs.

The immovable force is our own Detroit Tigers, whom will not budge no matter how many quality starts from left handed pitchers the opposing teams throw at them.  The Tigers won the last two in Kansas City despite being tied or behind in the 7th in both games and scoring only 10 runs in the series. The Tigers may not be putting up the numbers that the Rangers are, but they’re not winning by good fortune. The Tigers offense ranks in the middle of the AL and their pitching staff is posting a fantastic 3.08 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

Looks like Fister may need more time, so perhaps that will help to relax Wilk tonight. Taking this series would really make a statement to the rest of the AL.

I gotta admin, I’m still a little frightened of Nelson Cruz.


Tomorrow is the 100th birthday of Tiger Stadium (woulda been). The Freep is asking for memories from readers to publish tomorrow. When I was a kid I loved being able to sit behind home plate, shouting, and hearing myself in the radio broadcast. I think the proximity to the field brought a special tint to Harwell’s broadcasts.

Pudge Rodriguez is hanging them up and will retire as a Ranger.

Jim Price is back tonight. Petry was good, Price is better. Glad you’re back Jim.


Pre-Game player of the game is Cabrera. He’s due.

Delmon Young DHs, Don Kelly gets the nod in left in tonights Inge/Rayburn less lineup. If the playoffs started tomorrow this is what I would expect the lineup to look like.

1. Jackson, CF
2. Boesch, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Avila, C
7. Kelly, LF
8. Peralta, SS
9. Santiago, 2B


  1. Tigers Rule

    April 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Do our pitchers get/take any BP?

    • Vince in MN

      April 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      When Interleague play starts they’ll take some BP, not that it matters.

  2. Mark

    April 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Leyland must be trying tonight. No Inge or Rayburn. I second the “still afraid of Nelson Cruz” comment.

  3. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    The two hottest teams in the AL.

    Peralta batting 8th is kind of funny, but it’s good to see Santiago and Kelly in the lineup for a change.

  4. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    There really aren’t any soft spots in the Rangers lineup.

  5. Tigers Rule

    April 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    This series will be a good measure to show where we stand.

  6. Brenden

    April 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Looks like they’re going to need the bullpen tonight. Wilk is having a hard time getting these guys out, which could lead to much bigger problems than just the 2 runs right now…

  7. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Good thing the bullpen is rested, it looks like it’s going to be a quick exit for Mr. Wilk.

  8. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    That could have been so much worse.

  9. Henion32

    April 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I see you Don lets go

  10. Chris in Texas

    April 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t think we have much of a chance w/ Wilk on the mound, but, in fairness…every ball hit in that 1st inning would have been fielded by an average infield. The only ball, that was hit hard was Hamilton’s…All I know, is, we need to hit a lot better then we have so far, to make up for this terrible defensive range, Make no mistake about it…as far as range is concerned…Our leftside of the infield is terrible…They can mitigate some of the damage by not commiting errors (Which they have done a good job of)…Miggy is not a third baseman any more than Ryan Raburn is a 2B…Hopefully, he will hit enough to make up for it…I just feel bad for a kid like Wilk, who pitched well in the first, only to get in a real jam because he has cardboard cutouts playing behind him.

    • Vince in MN

      April 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      It will be interesting to see how Porcello, who is a groundball pitcher, fares against the Rangers tomorrow.

  11. Brenden

    April 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    So…when is the offense going to show up?

    • Tigers Rule

      April 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      I think we will have to wait for warmer weather!

    • Chris in Texas

      April 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Brenden…I love Prince Fielder,but, I think their offense is a bit overrated. They pretty much just swapped Fielder for V-Mart and have a worse defensive team. Jackson, Boesch, and Avila are question marks. Delmon has a lot of baggage. Raburn is terrible and the DH position is a question mark. So, of course, I think they will hit…but, it’s not like we added Fielder w/ V-Mart. We added Fielder and lost V-Mart..Victor had over 100 RBI last year…How much of an improvement can Fielder be? Certainly Cabby will cost us plenty in the field…so, I think the real encouraging things that show we can be better is on the pitching side. Fister (when he comes back), Smyly over Penny. Dotel and Below being added in the pen. Laird being a great backup catcher, but, they need to become more efficient w/ R3L2O because they are so slow…They need more productive outs to make up for their lack of speed. All of these things are doable, but, they won’t happen just because Illitch spent money.

  12. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    JaKKKson racks up strikeout no. 16. Maybe he needs to change his batting stance.

    One thing I’d like to see him do is bunt more to take advantage of his speed, but I have been saying that for two years and don’t really expect that to happen. There is no rule that says he has to see a minimum of 5 pitches every at bat.

    • Tigers Rule

      April 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      I like the idea ….. but remember what happen when Smokey had him try and bunt to move base-runners over!

      • Vince in MN

        April 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

        I was thinking of the bunt for a basehit variety, but maybe he just doesn’t know how, period. He should talk to Laird.

        • Tigers Rule

          April 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

          I feel A-Jax batting problems are more mental than mechanical ….. because he has a nice swing …. and Smokey is doing him an injustice by batting him lead-off …. before he learns how to hit.

          • Vince in MN

            April 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm

            But he only leads off once a game, so what mental problems come into the picture the other 3 or 4 trips to the plate. I agree, by the way that he isn’t a true lead-off hitter.

            • Tigers Rule

              April 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

              I notice that if he has a good at-bat to start the game the rest of his at-bats go better than if he has a bad first at-bat.

  13. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Despite the 10 hits, Wilk has actually thrown fewer pitches than Darvish after 4 – 66 to 73. So the Tigers hitters are making Darvish work, but they sure don’t have much to show for it.

  14. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Curtis Granderson has hit 3 HR in his first three trips vs. Twins tonight – game is only in the 4th inning.

  15. Brenden

    April 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Well that inning sucked defensively… Wow….

    • Vince in MN

      April 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      I think this is what Kevin meant by “immovable object” in the lead.

  16. Brenden

    April 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Can it be September already, with V-Mart back and the actual good hitting Raburn? This offense just sucks right now…

  17. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Rangers first 2 runs on 10 hits, second 2 runs on 0 hits.

    Clown Show.

  18. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Balester proving to be a RH version of Schlereth.

    • Coleman

      April 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Or a Grilli?

      • Chris in Texas

        April 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        Ballester got like 6 outs in that inning…His defense was terrible.

  19. Kevin in Dallas

    April 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Need a couple so that we see Nathan in the 9th. We can get to him.

  20. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    A post-game locker room chat may be in order.

  21. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Delmon racks up BB no. 2 in his 44th PA, which puts him ahead of last years pace by the way

  22. scott

    April 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    now why is Balester still in? he clearly has no command; this game really should be closer to 10-1 with a couple timely hits…..

  23. Vince in MN

    April 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    It’s too dark outside to go watch the grass grow, but I do have some paint drying. Night all.

  24. Chris in Texas

    April 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I hope that they get a butt chewing after this game. They are being embarrassed. The need to put away all the hype talk. They have not hit since the Boston series. Delmon Young’s baserunning was ridiculous. No excuse for that given the situation, down 4 and 2 outs. Finally, I think Peralta is a 3B, any ball…that he has to move for…He can not throw anybody out…it’s pathetic. When Inge was your 3b, you could cover some of that range. I personally don’t see how they can survive w/ that left side of the infield? Cabrera is an AWFUL 3B, the worst by a large margin in baseball. I think Peralta has the worst range of any SS in baseball…How do you survive that? You must hit…so, far, they have not been a great offense. I hope it works, but, you shouldn’t be happy anytime, your 3B makes a routine play

    • Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

      April 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      overreaction to one game in April.

    • Mark

      April 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Delmon Young was inspired by all of the great base running the Rangers were doing. He just forgot that he wasn’t a good base runner.

  25. Brenden

    April 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Wow….this game just blew up. Maybe this will be a wake up call for the team for tomorrow’s game?

  26. Chris

    April 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Schlereth is the new Grilli

  27. Kevin in Dallas

    April 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    The Rangers are really, really good.

  28. Mark

    April 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Below Yes. Schlereth No.

  29. Kevin in Dallas

    April 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I think the Rangers’ OBP for the game was .519.

  30. Chris

    April 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Schlereth is below Below

  31. Jud

    April 20, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I think the Tigs can get out of this hitting funk if they have Schlereth pitch batting practice like he is to every other team…

  32. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    So far this season:

    When Jackson and Carbrera hit, Tigers score runs and will win (hitting is contageous too).

    When Jackson and Cabrera don’t hit, Tigers will only score 3-4 run at a max so the pitching must win the day.

  33. Stormin Norman$

    April 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm|topnews|text|Sports

    looks like the Tigers are putting the band back together…who’s next Grilli?

    KC traded Miner to DET for ‘cash considerations’… (insert punchline here)

    • Coleman

      April 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      For old times sake: Zach Miner looks like a rabbit.