Game 2012.50: Tigers at Red Sox

23-26, 3rd place, 5 games behind Cle.

The Boston Red Sox, who started the season 0-3 after being swept by the Tigers, crept above .500 for the first time all year after yesterday’s 6-3 victory. JV had his worst outing since May 2011, allowing 5 ER in 6 IPs. He’s now 0-2 following a Tigers loss after a remarkable 12-0 run in his previous 13 games following a loss. I know that things look bleak, and it’s fashionable to write the Tigers off, but here are a few reasons why I’m not going to do so just yet:

1) Fielder and Cabrera are not hitting up to their standards, but they will. Both have below career average walk and slugging rates. Superstars do not forget how to hit. They alone are going to win several ball games individually, and jointly.

2) Scherzer will get better. His stuff is too good, and his K rate suggests that he should be significantly better. Moreover, his BABIP is .394, which is ridiculous, even with our infield. That number will come down.

3) We can’t get any worse at DH or 2B. I haven’t looked at WARP, but I’m pretty sure that we are deep into the negatives for both of those positions. The OPS+ for DH is 50, and for 2B is 46. It may take a few weeks to find better players, but DD knows that Delmon Young and Santiago / Worth are not viable solutions for DH and 2B. The key is that we just need better players. Laird, Berry, etc. Even if they can get to an OPS+ of 75, we’ll be fine.

4) The bullpen is coming around. Villareal, Dotel, Coke, Benoit and Valverde should get it done most nights.

Drew Smyly on the hill tonight, he’s come down to earth a bit after his incredible start. Smyly hasn’t pitched past the 5th in any of his last 3 starts.

A few notes:

Raburn down, Santos up. Kind of anti-climatic. Look for Laird/Avila to get more ABs at DH. Santos was hitting .310 with 9 RBIs in 27 games at Toledo.

Fister to the 15 day DL again with that same oblique strain.

– Ordonez will announce his retirement during a pregame ceremony on Sunday.

– Leyland is back to .500 for his career, 1,611 up, 1,611 down.

Tonight’s Lineup:

1. Quintin Berry, CF
2. Danny Worth, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Brennan Boesch, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Gerald Laird, DH

38 thoughts on “Game 2012.50: Tigers at Red Sox”

  1. OK, without looking, are we the only team in MLB tonight with a DH batting 9th? OMG, we need better DHs!! Seriously, just let Smyly bat, if nothing else that would generate a lot of comment (nothing against Laird, he’s been better than our regular DH).

    1. Laird’s bat has been a surprise this year (currently .316). I remember cringing every time he came to plate when he was on the team previously. He hit .225 in 2009 and .207 in 2010 for the Tigers. Of course he is currently only backing up Avila so he is getting fewer plate appearances.

      1. Laird is OK as a backup catcher. with a 10-year mark of .243/.301/.361/.662 I expect this year’s numbers to come down quickly (he’s only had 38 AB so far.) Playing him as the everyday DH is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. I would have left the catching setup as it was and recalled Eldred, who really didn’t get much of a chance in his short stint earlier. At least he has some power potential, something we are lacking right now and not likely to be provided by Laird, and certainly not Santos.

  2. That’s 3 HR that the Boston RF has taken away from Cabby in 3 games. Need to get a cheapy over the monster.

    1. He’s such a smart ballplayer. Great decision there. All Middlebrook had to do was take 1 step towards him.

  3. Hopefully Smily has recovered from the last few speed bumps. He’s very efficient tonight with only 39 pitches through the 3rd.

  4. Why is Avila laughing about being the first out at 2nd in a one run game, in the 7th? I wonder if this team realizes that they have only won 1 central division title since 1987. (because they sure act as if they are entitled to the division title) They make moves, they talk,, they have better at bats, but, they score only 3 runs…Why? Because they are stupid. Nobody gets a 2b on the ball that Avila hit…why is he pushing it? yes, I know that he was really safe,but, it was all risk and no reward…start a rally…You are a catcher. Take the single.

  5. Here comes the Tigers Achilles heel…Where can I find the team’s batting average w/ the bases loaded?

      1. I am beginning to believe the anomaly was last season. This season is more the norm..a slightly below .500 team w/ the best starting pitcher in baseball. So, every 5th day, they become a great team…otherwise, they are streaky team, that will hit some homers, have a big inning or 2…but, not win anything. .121 is pathetic. They are lucky that I am not the owner because if I paid this kind of money and got this product over the last 7 years…I would be extremely upset.

        1. There may be something to that. The Tigers were (I think) 53-28 at home last year while pretty much annihilating all their opponents in the division. For various reasons CHI, MN, CLE, and KC had prettty much given up by mid year and were in cost cutting/rebuild modes of one type or another. The Tigers were still pretty good, but probably the 95 wins finish could be partially attributed to the lack of competion in those 81 divisional games.

          1. Tigers were 50-31 at home last year, 50-22 vs the division (4 x 18 =72 not 81), which means that against everybody else they went 45-45.

  6. No lead is safe with these guys as the potential for a pitcher implosion or a clown show on defense is extremely high, and when they are behind it is like pushing a boulder uphill.

    1. When you look at these guys you would think they would be better boulder pushers than they actually are.

  7. The Red Sox have scored all there runs tonight after two were out and the bases were empty.

  8. We have given up all the runs with two out tonight ….. but when we had bases loaded and two out, do you think we could have come up with a clutch hit …. not. Very frustrating to watch game in and game out!

    1. 4 pitches, not one of them a strike and he swings at 3 of them. Who are these clowns that DD has assembled? Get a clue.

  9. Way to keep up the team philosophy of swinging at awful pitches. Way to grind. I’d fire a bunch of people.

    1. Almost nobody is done this early in the season. They are starting to brown nicely though…

  10. Some ass chewing needs to be going on here, and I don’t mean Leyland swearing at the press corps.

    Tigers second basemen — Santiago, Worth, Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge — have combined for a .178/.253/.252 batting line so far this year. The group’s .504 OPS ranks last in the American League at second base and next-to-last in MLB (the Giants rank 30th).

  12. Hey Vince…I enjoyed your above analysis on DH and 2nd base needs. It is tuff to do the homework and write those given the last month of play. But it is appreciated.

    Meanwhile, here is what appeared in today’s(31MAY12) Vicksburg Post sport section: Who’s Hot: Justin Henry. Toledo Mud Hens and former Vicksburg High baseball player is third in the Class AAA International League with a .318 batting average and fifth in on-base percentage at .414.

    Meanwhile the Tiger’s second basemen are batting a combined .178 this season which is second to last in MLB. Also, the Tigers are second in GIDP and last in turning double plays. With DH’s batting ninth, we are wondering why there are scoring three runs or less in half (25) of the games played? Very simply put, when compared to other teams, we can’t get guys out and we get out when men get on base. That hurts our pitchers and batters.

    Let’s score some runs tonight!

    1. Glad to see you’re on board with the 3 runs or less stat. Avg runs per game is telling, but overrates teams who come up empty most game and binge on runs every 4th game or so. The reality of AL baseball is that you need more than 3 runs each game to win, not more than 3 runs on average. We are turning into an all or nothing team.

      1. Thanks…I wish I didn’t have to worry about the 3 runs or less stat! Meanwhile before posting I didn’t see Stormin’s post above mine.

      2. More nothing than all, as in only 17 of their 50 games have they scored five or more.

  13. This is for Rod Allen and Mario, you guys are the best broadcasters in baseball, I had to move to St. louis from Detroit after 32 years to work at Chyrsler, and wanted to tell Rod Allen that the media just blew the rice and beans comment that really was nothing to talk about. If Rod could send me an email back just to say hello back to me would make my day. Thanks you very much. Harold Woods

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