Game 2012.47: Tigers at Twins

by Coleman on May 27, 2012 · 66 comments

in 2012 Season,Game Post

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Detroit Tigers, 22-24, 4 games behind Cleveland, winning streak: 2.

I can finally stop worrying how the Tigers are going to get back to .500 without winning winning consecutive games.  We are now in the midst of a full-blown 2-game winning streak. It’s almost enough to make one forget the shaky defense they have been playing.

The offense came through again, and the icing on the cake was the bullpen performance. Scherzer struck out 9, after striking out 15 his previous performance, but was faltering even before a rain delay ended his day early.  Dotel came in with runners at 1st and 3rd with 1 out, struck out Willingham, got Morneau to foul out, then struck out the side in the 7th.  All in all the Tigers struck out 16 in the game.

Manager Jim Leyland said “a good game and everything but to me the hero of the game was Octavio Dotel.” As for Dotel, when asked how he keeps throwing 94 m.p.h. at his age, he said, “Yeah, I’m 38, but I feel 15.”

Speaking of the bullpen, we may need it today.  Rick Porcello takes the mound for Detroit, and he has gone 3 straight outings without making it through the 6th inning.  Porcello faces P.J. Walters, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Twins, filling in for Nick Blackburn with a 2-1 record and 2.95 ERA, including his first complete game last time out. He also beat the Tigers 4-3 in his previous appearance against them.  On the other hand, past performance is not a guarantee of future results, and he is named after pajamas.

***

I often find it entertaining to take a peek at the ESPN game previews and see what the two predictions for the game are, the AccuScore prediction and the fan prediction.  Today AccuScore says Minnesota has a 52% chance to win this afternoon, Detroit 48% (I’m guessing home field is what swings it their way). The ESPN fan poll says: Tigers 96.2% Minnesota Twins 3.8%.  On behalf of the Twins, we’d like to think you fans for your support. Both of you.

***

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Prince Fielder. The Tigers’ slump and Fielder’s slumps coincided. Fielder was 4-for-4 yesterday, and homered off of Walters the previous time they met. Fielder keeps the hot bat, and we forget that he takes the field wearing clown shoes.

Today’s Leyland-Read-The-Vince/Coleman-Posts-and-is-Trying-Boesch-At-DH Lineup:

  1. Quintin Berry CF
  2. Andy Dirks LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Brennan Boesch DH
  6. Alex Avila C
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Don Kelly RF
  9. Ryan Raburn 2B
 
 

{ 66 comments }

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

OK, can’t remember the last time I saw that work…nice hit Cabrera, but let’s try to stay awake out there.

Tigers Rule May 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

We make too many errors!

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm

And good baserunning by Fielder, he salvaged a run for us out of that.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

It’s spelled “Clownburn,” no Y.

Tigers Rule May 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Why oh why is this guy still on the team, never mind in the lineup?

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Only Leyland can explain why he consistently uses a defensive liability that hits under .150. Then when you have a groundball pitcher that is struggling..why would you use Raburn? The Tigers eem to be so stubborn w/ their philosophy. Use these mediocre hitters that are defensive liabilities, can’t run or bunt, to complement two ground ball pitchers and a few legit hitters. Berry may be a flash in the pan,but, if he can consistently draw walks and hit even .230…his range, speed, and ability to bunt makes him more valuable then having both Boesch and Young on the team, long term. I am not saying Berry himself is the answer…but, their complementary players need to be able to do other things to help the team win. You don’t need a whole team of DH’s that swing for power, and strike out a lot (because it’s a bad tradeoff, for guys that at their best hit 15-20 HR’s. You have to field routine groundballs to 2nd,especially if you are an everyday player that has about 8 rbi. Santiago may be a bad hitter, but, he gives you defense.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Only Leyland can explain why he consistently uses a defensive liability that hits under .150. Then when you have a groundball pitcher that is struggling..why would you use Raburn? The Tigers eem to be so stubborn w/ their philosophy. Use these mediocre hitters that are defensive liabilities, can’t run or bunt, to complement two ground ball pitchers and a few legit hitters. Berry may be a flash in the pan,but, if he can consistently draw walks and hit even .230…his range, speed, and ability to bunt makes him more valuable then having both Boesch and Young on the team, long term. I am not saying Berry himself is the answer…but, their complementary players need to be able to do other things to help the team win. You don’t need a whole team of DH’s that swing for power, and strike out a lot (because it’s a bad tradeoff, for guys that at their best hit 15-20 HR’s. You have to field routine groundballs to 2nd,especially if you are an everyday player that has about 8 rbi. Santiago may be a bad hitter, but, he gives you defense.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm

In Leyland’s case, I think he just has to plead ignorance. Remember, he manages by his gut, which presumably means he gives short shrift to things like statistics and so on.

As for Boesch, over the last two weeks his line is: .353/.411/.52/.940, although the power really isn’t there so much, with 6 doubles and only 1 homer. I think he is coming around.

ckelly@hotmail.com May 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I think Boesch is fine, but, he is your DH and occasional OF…Delmon is the odd man out. Now, there is not much you can do…because you are not going cut Delmon Young for a 27 yr old rookie. I just think that having more balance in your lineup offensively and defensively..will ultimately win you more games.. Which is why hyped teams in baseball, normally do not win…because the hype comes from big names w/ some sports center highlights, not, from guys getting to more balls over the course of a season, going to 1st to 3rd, bunting, getting productive outs, and having a good bullpen (which are notroiously volital)

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I think we will need to score more; a 2-run lead is not clown-proof.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

And certainly not Porcello-proof.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Porcello may have to be helped off the field at some point.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

And Kelly with the untimely GIDP with R3L2O (what is that now, 48?)

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

49

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Cabrera has hit into 8 so far and Fielder 10, so between them they could finish the season with 70 or so. Not the kind of production you are looking for from you 3-4 hitters.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Jimmy Bloodworth grounded into 29 DPs in 1943, a team record that still stands, even withstanding the onslaught of Magglio Ordonez (27 in 2008) and even legendary speed demon Rusty Staub (23 in ’76, 27 in ’77, and 24 in ’78). Ol’ Jimmy may have a problem this season though.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

And Delmon Young, our No. 5 hitter with 6, is just getting warmed up, as we saw yesterday.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Kelly swings at that pitch w/ the bases loaded…FIRST PITCH SWINGING…borderline strike,low…when you don’t want a groundball…That guy has no reason to be on the team…why he is playing today is beyond me…The guy sucks, so bad.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

He bats LH and Leyland has loaded the lineup with lefty bats to take advantage of the L/R matchups, regardless of the hitters ability. It’s in his copy of the How-To-Manage-A Baseball-Game book; you can look it up.

ckelly@hotmail.com May 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I am just sick of the Tigers swinging at terrible pitches, when the moment gets tight and then wondering why they have not been successful. They were going to nibble to Cabby and he obliged by expanding his zone for them..Selfish at-bat…Hopefully, Boesch can pick him up, but, they are letting a bad pitcher, hold them down. Can somebody find the Tigers average as a team w/ the bases loaded? That was a terrible call by the umpire. He just called the same pitch a ball, except this one was lower. Just a god awful call…but, Cabrera failed and the Tigers will probably lose unless, they score some runs. This pitcher is awful and they will let the Twins get into their suprisingly good bullpen and it comes down to guys…just not having good at-bats. Cabrera and Kelly stand out as some bad at bats in the clutch today.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Great strategy by the Twins manager Gardenhire: just load the bases and let the Tigers do the rest.

scott May 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

note to Boesch after K’ing with the sacks juiced: generally things only happen when the bat meets the ball and it goes somewhere………especially when the pitch was a strike……. :-(

ckelly@hotmail.com May 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm

That wasn’t a strike. The ump has called that a ball sometimes and a strike other times today. He just called it a ball a few pitches earlier. you can’t hit that pitch, so, he might as well not swing at it.

ckelly@hotmail.com May 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

We pitched to Morneau when we fell behind 3-0 yesterday and now today, w/ 1st base open..we pitch to Mauer after falling behind 3-0. i don’t understand it. You have a GB pitcher on the mound and Mauer and Morneau are the studs of this team. I don’t know.. Boy, I’m glad Don Kelly’s defense was in RF, a catcher scored on a play, he had to wait on into shallow center. he must be in for his offense. You can’t blow chances two innings in a row, to blow the game open. This team sucks and winning 2 games against the worst team in baseball does not change that…There is a real chance they will be in 4th place after the Yankees series at Comerica. They need to make some changes. This is a bad baseball team. Porcello is not a good pitcher..His career ERA is nearly 4.70…He wins because the team scores for him. He has very little command of his pitches. But, they should have a chased the Twins starter a long, long time ago…FIRE LLYOD…it’s the same crap night after night. It worked when they fired Chuck , try it again.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Kelly just outdid himself.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I think the sacrifice bunt should just be banned for the rest of the season, it’s painful to watch. That inning was painful to watch: walk, single, bunt popup, GIDP.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

And more clown show defense. We may have to accept GIDPs, R3L2O failure, inability to advance runners, poor baserunning, and clown show defense, and just count on winning by pitching lights out or blasting our way through big innings.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Don Kelly has no purpose being on this team. He is a bad fielder, bad hitter, can’t run, and can’t even execute a sac bunt…and he is the 25th man on the roster. As Berry has shown, there is no reason to carry marginal dead weight. Yes, Don hit a big HR in game 5 last year,but, he also dropped a popup, that coast us the division title in 2009. The guy sucks and the idea, that you could not find another minor leaguer that could not fill the 25th man on the team in a more productive way is ridiculous. He used to have some value because we had very few left handers, now, we have a lot of lefties. I was a huge Inge hater,but, in reality Inge could play the OF as well as Kelly and play 3B better,so, Inge would have made more sense to keep than Kelly. You can not continue to play such fundamentally poor baseball and expect to win. Can they get hot? yes. But, they will not start winning because of talent…Their talent level is not that much better…They can’t make simple plays in the field and they can’t have professional at bats at key moments in games. A team full of hall of famers would not have enough talent to overcome this type of play and why the coaches are not held to account is beyond me…They are in charge, as a teacher…they make more money in one year, then I can make in many, many years and I am not complaining about that…but, I am confused why they demand such a high salary if they are not responsible for the product from a fundamental standpoint. The only reason they are not in dead last is because Mr.I has given them a lot of money to buy talent. They are playing worse baseball then they did under Garner or Bell, or Trammel. They just have better pitchers and some studs on offense. This display is inexcusible.

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

There were times last season where the backup catcher was Martinez, who was too injured to catch, and Kelly was the emergency back up catcher (he did get into one game). Now with Laird here that little bit of a plus is no longer applicable.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I suspect that part of the difficulty of coach/player relationships as far as teaching goes has to do with the salary differences. Most of the players make more than the manager and coaches do – a lot more. Many players are notorious for not listening to coaches’ advice. It didn’t used to be that way, but in this age of high salaries and superstardom for the players the story is a lot different.

Kevin in Dallas May 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

1-10 RISP. 1-11 after Boesch?

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Well Boesch and Fielder both swung at awful pitches early in the count to get themselves in a hole..Fileder got lucky and Boesch got unlucky..but, if you fall behind 0-2 because of your own stupidity…the chances are that you are going to fail and that is what happened…add in, Cabrera’s weak flyball out, in what may be his last at bat in a one run game…The Tiges get themselves out so much, that all pitchers should just nibble, You can call it pressing, choking, or whatever…but, they consistently let the pitcher off the hook. You can’t win games that way.

Kevin in Dallas May 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

That’s what D will do for you.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

The last two games were outliers, more gifts from the Twins or probalistic accidents than a show of the offense getting untracked. In fact they should have scored a lot more than 6 runs yesterday. So far it is the same old same old. When do the “the hits just aren’t falling in”, “the calls are going against us”, “we’re not getting any breaks”, etc. excuses start?

Jud May 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm

a total explanation for all of this by the Tigers, especially Smokey….is a very sad “Thats just Baseball”….the total BS Tiger excuse for anything that happens…

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

At least the few days off means Raburn is in no danger of having enough plate appearances for a while to officially be the worst hitter in baseball.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

The top four guys in the lineup have reached base 10 out of 16 PA (w/1 sac bunt, so officially 10 for 15) and they have two runs to show for it. What is wrong with this picture?

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Another crappy outing by Porcello today – 13 baserunners (not counting the error) in 6 innings. He was lucky to get off with only 3 runs. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about putting Below back into the rotation and sticking Mr. P in the mop up role, where Jeff Jones can work with him to his heart’s content on figuring out how to pitch.

Vince in MN May 28, 2012 at 10:59 am
Coleman May 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Q-Berry!!

Jud May 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Ajax……..I mean..Berrrrry

Jud May 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

where the hell has that been …..Miggy

Coleman May 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Wow, Cabrera, an 0-2 pitch too.

stephen May 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

An 0-2 meatball!! Right over the plate. What a terrible pitch.

Jud May 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm

how about Quinten Berry in this whole series…O.. and D….wow!

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Why when Dirks is ahead 2-0 in the count is trying to go the other way and swing at pitches outside? We have the tying run on 2nd w/ 0 outs…we don’t even have a smart approach…Terrible, Terrible at-bat by Dirks and Cabby’s talent bails you out. I don’t mind when guys fail…I do not like it, when they give themselves no opportunity to succeed. The pitcher made a terrible 0-2 pitch and he paid for it. Now, Valverde needs to get the sweep.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm

In fact, why not have him sac the runner to third. Maybe the thinking was that then the Twins IBB Cabrera? But then Fielder is up – IBB him too? Well maybe and go to the Tigers weakness, which is when the bases are loaded. I think Leyland was just going with his gut there.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Miggy’s first homer since May 15th couldn’t have come at a better time. But where would we be without Berry? Now on to Potato Time I suppose. Hold your breaths.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

We are in trouble because, Valverde can’t hold runners.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

That is why they are a last place team. now, maybe try a pitchout at some point, here. They will be running.

stephen May 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I can’t believe Twins tried to sacrifice. Wasted out.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Span should have stolen first, and then had Revere try the sacrifice, kind of like what we should have done in the top of the 9th.

stephen May 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

@Vince Yes.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Valverde, Porcello…Why do we have pitchers that turn bunt singles into doubles..You have to be able to hold runners a little bit. That is too easy.

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Boesch’s was a strike, but, that was a ball…What a joke.

stephen May 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Twins don’t have a big hit in them. They’re terrible

Chris in Texas May 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Big Win..was a little scared when I saw that swing by Morneau.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Valverde = worse than Todd Jones.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

My revised suggested batting order for when Jackson returns:

1. Quintin Berry RF
2. Austin Jackson CF
3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Brennan Boesch DH
6. Andy Dirks LF
7. Jhonny Peralta SS
8. Alex Avila C
9. ______ 2B

Absolutely have to keep Berry at leadoff, at least until scouts figue out his weak spots. And to hell with Leyland’s R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R batting order thing.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

White Sox swept the Tribe – well anihilated them actually, scoring 35 runs in three games – so we are right back in it. Still need to get the offense going as that was a poor overall showing again today – what, 2 for 15 RISP.

Kevin in Dallas May 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Can Berry be a long term solution in RF b/c we have so much power at the corners? What’s his arm like?

Just watched the 8th inning catch. WOW.

Vince in MN May 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Shoot, give him Raburn’s glove and let him play 2B.

Kevin in Dallas May 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

I thought about that. I can think of two who went from from 2nd to the Outfield (Biggio, Soriano), but only one who did the reverse (Kipnis). I just wonder if we give up one of his greatest tools in the IF. I don’t think he’s going to hit .380 all year. But if he can hit .270, draw a few walks, steal some bases and keep runners from going 1st to third while covering ground, then I’d like to see him in the OF.

At a minimum he’ll be a great 4th outfielder. Kelly and Raburn are equal parts in my mind. It will be interesting to see if DD and JL keep all 3. I agree that Worth gets sent down now, but it’s only a matter of time before Henry gets called up.

Vince in MN May 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

Ya, he’s probably too valuable in the OF. The switch might be kind of tough to make on short notice, but if Mickey Stanley can go from CF to SS, why not Berry to 2B? With the black hole at 2B, I’d be willing to try almost anything.

Andrew in Toronto May 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I just read that Berry is the first Tiger since 1918 to have base hits in his first 5 MLB games.

He definitely needs to stay with the team when Jackson comes back. I doubt Raburn or Kelly is going anywhere, but I think we still have Worth and he’ll be sent down.

It has been quite an eye-opener to see what it’s like for other teams that have speedy base-stealing types.

Even if Leyland won’t start him ahead of Young or Boesch, he’ll be more useful on the bench than anybody else we’ve got.

Coleman May 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

We can reshuffle the lineups all we want, but none of us are managing geniuses. At least none of us thought of batting Hit-A-Week Raburn 2nd.

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