Game 2012.40: Pirates at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 19-20, 3 games behind Cleveland.

Last season on May 7 the Tigers were 16-18, and a whole 7 games behind Cleveland in the Central.  Then Justin Verlander sparked the team with a no-hitter against the Blue Jays, they won their next 6, and improved their way to a Central Division title.

Could Verlander’s dominating one-hitter last night be the spark that turns the 2012 season around?

Leyland perhaps summed up the game best: “Everybody who was here last night probably saw one of the best games pitched in the history of baseball.”

Here are some reactions by Verlander, Avila, and Harrison to the one lone hit.

There are those who think that the Free Press jinxed Verlander.  Justin’s own reaction was much more reasonable.  “God that sucks,” he said of the hit. But he knows he will have other opportunities.

Verlander’s shutout lowered his ERA to 2.14, good enough for 2nd in the AL (Derek Lowe is 1st at 2.05).  The 3rd place spot belongs to tonight’s pitcher and Little Rock native, Drew Smyly (2.31).  Smyly will smile upon fellow Little Rock native A.J. Burnett, who takes the mound for Pittsburgh.


Random stat of the day:  Jim Leyland’s career managing mark is hovering right around .500, but he is 71-38 in interleague play.


Random stat of the day part 2: We all know that Nolan Ryan holds the record for most career no-hitters with 7.  But he also holds the career record for the most no-hitters broken up in the 7th inning or later, with 24 of those (Randy Johnson is 2nd with 11).  So including the no-hitters that’s 31 times he has gone into the 7th inning of a game with a no-hitter.


Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Delmon Young. Young had a HR and a double last night; the Tigers need some production from the 5th spot in the lineup if they want any kind of offensive consistency.

Tonight’s Undefeated Interleague Lineup (Austin Jackson is “feeling better” and may be available from the bench):

  1. Don Kelly CF
  2. Andy Dirks LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Alex Avila C
  7. Brennan Boesch RF
  8. Jhonny Peralta SS
  9. Ramon Santiago 2B


  1. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Alternative Tigers lineup:

    1. CF
    2. LF
    3. 3B
    4. 1B
    5. DH
    6. C
    7. RF
    8. SS
    9. 2B

    Plug and play as necessary.

  2. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I’m pretty sure 2011 results have zero effect on the 2012 season. But, to take Coleman’s analogy a bit further: as I recall, the Tigers had a losing record in interleague play last year, so we may have to wait a bit longer for them to get “sparked.”

    • Coleman

      May 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Looks like it’s possible a 1-hitter just isn’t enough to inspire.

      • Vince in MN

        May 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm

        It’s early yet, but perhaps they are just succumbing a bit to the old daygame-after-nightgame blues. Equally possible is that last evening the Pirates succumbed to the old nightgame-before-daygame blues.

  3. Coleman

    May 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I continue to be impressed by Smyly. He has amazing composure for a young pitcher; when things go wrong he stays calm. He doesn’t seem susceptible to the implosion.

  4. Jud

    May 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Peralta is showing his totem pole range again today

    • Vince in MN

      May 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      But he gets to everything that is hit directly at him.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        Everett gets to that ball last night. But I’ll gladly give up a no hitter every few years in return for the Peralta upgrade.

        • Vince in MN

          May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

          I’m fine with our stationary IF defense as long as they hit, since I think that will moe than compensate. I do worry a bit about the extended innings taxing the pitching staff over the long haul. And I like Peralta at SS. The 2B situation is a different story.

      • Damus Fucious

        May 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

        “But he gets to everything that is hit directly at him”

        I believe that if you clean your specks, I said most-all.

        Better posters needed here.

    • Damus Fucious

      May 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

      “Peralta is showing his totem pole range again today”
      If you do your analytic job correctly and look at that replay more closely, the grounder was a hit regardless of what Peralta did.

      OMG. Better posters needed here.

  5. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Smily struggling so far today. With his pitch limit (70?, 80?, 90?, 100? – who knows), we better hope both Putkonen and Balester are ready to go.

  6. Jud

    May 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    hey Rod your gushing over the greatness of Burnett is getting tiring….why does he have a 5.0 e.r.a…

  7. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Although Boesch isn’t exactly bashing yet, he has now quietly built up a 12-game htting streak. Only 3 EBH in that span, but also 3 BB and only 5Ks, so he is putting the ball in play.

  8. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Santiago taking advantage of his chance to prove he is no Raburn.

  9. Coleman

    May 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    No need to worry about the offense. Rod says that they are hitting the ball “firmer,” so all is good.

    • Damus Fucious

      May 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Rod said that (firmer) – as meaning past tense.
      However, by now we all know there’s no genie or crystal ball in anything Rod Allen gets his hands on.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    May 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Before the RISP complaints start, know that the Tigers are actually 4th in the AL in RISP BA and 5th in OPS.

    • Vince in MN

      May 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Something fishy there. For example, getting a single to load the bases with one out, followed by a GDP would give you a .500 BA RISP but no runs. Conversely, a double followed by two Ks and then a HR would be a .333 BA RISP, but 2 runs. How often are they successful in SCORING with RISP? I don’t mean % as in the oversimplified example above, but in actual runs scored as compared to the rest of teams. How can they be fairly high in RISP while being abysmal in R3L2O?

      • Coleman

        May 19, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        I think it’s simpler than that. The Tigers are 4th in BA with RISP, and 5th with in OPS with RISP–but 9th in PA with RISP. In other words, the problem is in getting the R into the SP in the first place.

      • Coleman

        May 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm

        And also: yes, they are #2 in GIDP rate with RISP. But Baltimore is #1, and they seem to be doing OK.

  11. jud

    May 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Prince now thats our idea of a R3L2O kinda a sac

  12. Jud

    May 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    call 911,,,,,here comes the blowpen

  13. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Look’s like Smily (despite not getting flustered, which is a good thing), is going to have to start making some adjustments.

    • Coleman

      May 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      He pitched a non-McCutcheon shutout.

  14. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Note to JL: since MaCutcheon is virtually the only Pirate doing anything at the plate, you may want to consider not pitching to him.

  15. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Anyone seen any recent pitch f/x data on Smily? I’m guessing his pitches are coming up, which is usually bad news for a non-power pitcher. His GB/FB ratio has been going in the wrong direction lately.

    • Damus Fucious

      May 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Time for Drew to make adjustments. Rivals have seen enough tape and are sitting on pitches. Without adjustments, in another outing or two, power hitters will really be seen digging-in, prior to the first pitch.

      Poor adjusting skill has been my achilles heel with Jeff Jones, since taking over the job as pitching coach.

  16. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Avila mired in a 2 for 25 slump.

  17. scott

    May 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    slowly but surely Boesch’s average is climbing…… least there’s hope

    • Damus Fucious

      May 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Brennan gets pitched-to differently lower in the batting order.
      When looking at a past Tigers that’s similar (in numbers – not style), will Brennan ever be as good at the plate as Jim Northrup?

  18. Vince in MN

    May 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Another one-game winning streak comes to an end. The good news is that Villarreal did a nice job -keep it up. The bad news is that the offense is same-old-same-old.

    • Damus Fucious

      May 20, 2012 at 10:17 am


      Completely different hitting style between Martinez and Fielder. Victor is the consummate runner advancer. Will sacrifice to push runners forward. All Fielder wants to do is lift and pull.