Game 2012.16: Rangers at Tigers

Good pitching beats good hitting. Or maybe the adage should be superior pitching meets incredible hitting.

On a day when JV did not have his best stuff, he demonstrated why he’s the best pitcher in baseball by shutting down baseball’s best offense and ending the Rangers’ 8 game winning streak. Ron Washington said after the game “We didn’t lose, we got beat.”

+ 1.

JV’s run was unearned due to a passed ball where Avila simply missed a high curve. The Rangers took pitches and worked counts, which is what led to Verlander’s departure after only 6 but 115 pitches. Dotel was good, Benoit was okay enough and Valverde was Valverde. But the pen got the job done.

The Tigers face the shrewd Colby Lewis tonight, a guy with average stuff at best, but who has a supreme understanding of the Art of Pitching. He gives up a lot of flyballs (30/11 fo/go), but has solidified himself as the Rangers’ ace. Though the Tigers have hit him hard. Over the past two years Lewis is 2-3 with a 7.52 ERA against Detroit. For the 2012 season he’s 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 22 Ks in 19 2/3 against only 1 walk.

Smyly is will be tested a bit more today than he was in his first two starts against TB and KC. Smyly will need to limit base runners, so keeping walks down will be crucial.

I’m looking for AJax to break out of this 10 game funk (6/32) today. Jackson is a career .444 hitter off of Lewis.



  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Yes, we have no Inge or Raburn in the line up. When AJAX and Cabby hit the Tigers win.

  2. Chris in Texas

    April 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Leadoff 2B, by AJaxx and Boesch can’t even make contact w/ a ball that tails back over the middle of the plate. That guy is absolutely killing the Tigers…Your 2 hole hitter should be able to move the guy to 3rd. What does a guy have to do, to get benched or moved down in the lineup? Boesch has had one good game all year. They need to start manufacturing runs…Smyly is a rookie and we are going against COLBY LEWIS. All season, this offense has really stunk except against Boston and they have the worst pitching in baseball…It is time to score some runs, to support the rookie against a team w/ a good offense, not an overhyped offense. How many games does this Tigers offense get before taking some heat? The staff has been awesome, otherwise, we would be in last place. Today is a good day to get it going.

  3. Chris in Texas

    April 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I would hate to pitch for this team. They score three runs per game, normally, and any ball on the ground..will normally get through for a hit. Why is Kelly at 1st and Cabrera at 3rd? They should switch…That is just stupid.

  4. Brenden

    April 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I think we found a 2nd basemen! Go Ramon!

  5. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    They got to score him.

  6. Brenden

    April 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Boesch needs to be benched… Leadoff triple and can’t get him across…Come on, Miguel!

  7. Coleman

    April 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    The ol’ R32L2O EFail. Poor effort.

  8. Chris

    April 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    This offense has been pathetic

  9. Coleman

    April 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    This is like the White Sox series–bailed out by the wild pitch.

  10. Brenden

    April 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for the gift, Texas. Obviously they can’t score on their own, so Texas will help out…

  11. Chris

    April 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Ramon is good, but not as an everyday player. Leyland is using him correctly, IMO.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      I agree with that. Unfortunately, Ramon Santiago is struggling mightily at the plate (really, really bad), but he now has as many hits as Raybinge, as many XBH as them, twice as many RBIs (4 to 2), and all in roughly 1/3 of the ABs.

      • Coleman

        April 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

        I think a bigger problem is that he has as many XBH as Boesch, in 1/3 the ABs.

        • Chris in Texas

          April 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm

          I agree that Ramon is not an everyday player, but, it’s a little unfair to talk about his lack of offense…for one, he has not played that much and he brings something to the table that all these other guys do not…He is a legit above average fielder at both 2b and SS…Inge has shown that he has a lot to learn about 2B (not his fault, but, when you hit as bad as he does…you can’t commit errors on DP balls or miss 2B on another dp) Ramon can also move runners and do things that the other guys can not. If it were me, I’d cut Inge and bring up worth and try that platoon for the short term and if it doesn’t work…I would trade a prospect for a 2B.

        • Coleman

          April 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

          I spoke too soon.

  12. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Smyly is having a great outing giving only 4 hits with 6Ks.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      April 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      We would expect similar from Fister.

      • Jerry The Tiger Fan

        April 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

        Yeah, except that Smyly is not pitching for Fister. Smyly made the team out of spring training as the 5th starter. Wilk is the guy pitching in Fister’s spot. Hopefully Fister can get back by May 1st and we can either move Wilk to the pen or Toledo. The other starters have been doing just fine. Wilk is showing that he’s not quite ready for primetime. although I think he’ll be a decent fourth or fifth starter down the road.

    • Coleman

      April 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Smyly and Below have come up huge so far this season.

      • Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

        April 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        Smyly’s performance this year has been extremely encouraging. We simply must have someone break through in addition to Verlander/Fister.

  13. Chris in Texas

    April 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    We have a lot of streaky hitters on this team…Not a lot of grinders. When we are not hitting, a pitcher can get through this lineup w/out using many pitches. This offense is terrible. We have talked about this for a long time around here,but, w/ the money spent and the talent…when does the hitting coach start to take some heat? I am not blaming it all on Llyod,but, they fired the pitching coach, and if none of this falls on Llyod…then why do they pay him so much money? I mean, if he has no responsibility for the hitting…then why have the position? My problem w/ the coaching is why can AJaxx for example, Not Bunt. My high school coach could teach far less talented players to bunt more consistently then AJaxx. IDK, but, the offense is doing pretty bad in all things that are considered situational. Take today, they had a leadoff double and a leadoff triple and they scored one run because of a WP. I read somewhere that going into this series, they had a less than 50% rate of success w/ a R3L2O. I do not see any change in our approaches..maybe I am wrong, but, that needs to change. The HR can not be your way of scoring runs.

    • Jud

      April 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      part of that is philosophy…..moving runners is way down Leylands priority list…he will tell you that

  14. Chris in Texas

    April 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Clown Show. Hey Avila, take a little pride in what you are doing. Yesterday, you couldn’t catch JV’s curveball and it cost you a run.

  15. Jud

    April 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Smyly great outing today…..attaboy!

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    April 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Stand up ovation for Smyly

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      April 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      I’m standing with you Kevin

      • Jud

        April 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

        me tooo

  17. Jud

    April 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    wow…Boesch where has that been all year….WOW

  18. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    After yesterday, the Rangers bullpen is much fresher than the Tigers.

  19. scott

    April 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    excepting the RSox series [whose pitching is proving to be about the worst in the league], the Tigers have scored 7 runs once and 5 runs twice. this offense hasn’t done squat. Boesch has been killing us, and the 2B position has been no better. Cabby had one ‘o-fer’ streak so far, but otherwise he’s been ok. Prince + Jackson have been fine; Delmon not bad; Avila reasonable. They just sent Schlereth down; an excellent move…he was sucking bad. With a couple timely hits by the opposition, the Tigers could have 3 more losses right now [KC + TB]. We need more hitting, more strikes by the relievers and to get that man in from 3B with less than 2 outs. If we can solve these issues, we’ll be fine……..

    • Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

      April 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      In summation: small sample size is small.

      • Chris Knecht

        April 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm

        In summation, “small sample size is small” WTF kind of english is that? How many games is a good sample size? The last time I checked, these games count the same as any other games. What did Scott say that was wrong? Do you think that a larger sample size will help the 2B position?

  20. Jud

    April 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    the Laird influence…Avila throwing runners out !!

  21. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    The World’s Most Interesting Pitcher is warming up.

  22. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I always thought they should including a “Throwing to Home Derby” during the All Star Game.

  23. Kevin in Dallas

    April 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Goodness Boesch, get behind the ball and and positions yourself towards home plate. Hopefully there weren’t any kids watching.

    • Jud

      April 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      stealing bases…bunting…hit and run..squeeze…and Leyland sits in the dugout waiting for the three run home run…hey one gets on!!! Washington could out coach Smokey from his hotel room….

  24. Jud

    April 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    hey Avila this is proffessional baseball not a game at the family re_union..two horrible errors

  25. Coleman

    April 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Smyly still has yet to get his first career win…after 3 starts and a 1.13 ERA…

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      April 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      And a part of that ERA was against the12-3 Rangers.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      April 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Its a shame. That kid should be 2-0 right now with reasonable support from the offense. You know what’s gonna happen, as soon as we score some runs for the kid is the day that he’ll struggle and still won’t get the win. Its tough when we waste good pitching, especially with a team that many thought would be Top 3 in the AL in runs scored.

  26. scott

    April 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    if Smyly can keep it up, I’ll be very happy………and his record will reflect it at some point……

  27. Chris

    April 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    The only hope the Tigers have is our bullpen outlasting Ogando. And then, if that happens we can only hope they can get a run.

  28. Mark

    April 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I hope the Tigers score something. The idea of Valverde pitching multiple innings scares me. It never seems to work out.

  29. Coleman

    April 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Great time for a guy to make his MLB debut (?)

  30. Coleman

    April 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Oh well.

  31. Kevin in Dallas

    April 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    That hit Gonzalez’s knee. Foul ball. What a bummer.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      April 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Baseball needs a replay system more extensive than the one they have now. Managers should get a challenge flag, one per game. Like football if they challenge the call and the call is reversed, they get another challenge. If they challenge and the call stands, then they get no more challenges in that game. In my opinion, the challenge should be applicable to everything except called balls and strikes. How many times have we seen blown calls on stolen bases at second, plays at the plate, etc. Today Texas gets a run on a ball that was clearly fouled off of the knee of the batter. The current system of reviewing home runs and nothing else is silly. We have the technology and refuse to use it. Why? To preserve the umpire’s feelings. I also hear it will lengthen the game? Really? We are worried about lengthening a game two or three minutes to get a call right? Today just brings up the issue again, but I’ve felt this way ever since the NFL instituted replay. Baseball needs it too, but is too stubborn to use it correctly.

      • scott

        April 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

        these idiots in charge are worried about lengthening the game? they’re the ones that lengthened it in the first place. how? simple: baseball is on a time clock, just different from any other sport. baseball’s clock: assuming no ties, how quickly can the winning team get 27 outs. ANYTHING that keeps outs from happening quickly lengthens the game….like contracting the strike zone to allow hitters to hit more HRs, teams to score more runs, BAs to climb, etc. I’m old enough to remember the 60’s, and especially ’68. the strike zone back then was from the letters [yup, all the way up] to the bottom of the knees. Denny McLain absolutely FEASTED on this; many of his Ks were ‘high hard ones’ letter-high…….stuff the hitter can’t catch up to. and games back then were commonly in the 2-hour range; outs were much easier to get back then. if they were really interested in shortening the game [which they’re not], then expand the strike zone. this navel-to-top-of-knees crap is the reason we see so many double-digit scores. to any baseball purist, these scores are laughable and total crap…..along with the DH and artificial turf. just asinine stuff. so to think baseball is gonna change this replay thing is ridiculous; ain’t gonna happen. the Tigers got screwed, that’s all there is to it. the only real bitch I got was that Leyland should’ve gotten himself tossed, to prove his point; I’m disappointed he didn’t.

  32. Coleman

    April 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    That was a blown call, he bunted the ball off his knee.

  33. Mark

    April 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I take it back. Bring back Valverde.

  34. Kevin in Dallas

    April 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Nathan is very beatable. If AJax gets on we’ll win.

  35. Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

    April 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    My take on these last few games:

    The bad: The Rangers are the best team in the American League, easy. The Tigers aren’t that team right now, though they might be the second best.

    The good: On a closer glance, this wasn’t as horrible a pounding as it might look to lose this series 3-1. We were beat soundly in game 1, but with Wilk, not the “real” member of our rotation. Game 2 would be a close game, subtract the disaster of a first inning. From the 2nd inning of game 2 on, you had tight baseball between both teams, with the Rangers displaying plenty of prowess but also getting lucky (all those hard hit balls that went for outs today).

    Not making too many excuses. The Rangers team speed and overall baseball “acumen” is daunting. But we can hang with em’, even beat them, if we play them in a series with Doug Fister and if our bats play more to their potential (and I am certainly not going into panic mode on the offense, yet. Too early for that).

    The best news: Not in our division. Angels fans are pissing their pants right now.

    • beejeez

      April 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      You nail it, Django. I don’t see the offense continuing to misfire like this for another month, let alone the better part of the season. Texas is looking unbeatable right now, but things happen.

  36. Angus

    April 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

    My only issue with this team is the horrible fielding and the Inge/Rayburn experiment. We send down Worth to play Inge and Rayburn. Dirks is the DH and Delmon is the LF. Boesch is the DH and Rayburn starts in RF. I heard he is DUE about 50 times on the Saturday day game. Send Rayburn to Alaska until after the All Star break and let Inge retire or send him with Rayburn. If we cannot have a decent hitting lineup at least give us an infield that can field some balls and keep the runs down. Thursday and Saturday day game showed just how bad our infield can be.

  37. StorminNorman$

    April 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    DET News today reports:
    Triple A Toledo – Who’s hot …

    Danny Worth, IF: Hasn’t pouted since his send-down. Worth is batting .343 in eight games, with two home runs and five doubles.

    Single A Lakeland – Who’s hot …

    Nick Castellanos, 3B: On his way to Erie if this keeps up, which it should. Castellanos is leading the Florida State League with a .388 batting average

    From The Detroit News: