Game 2012.74: Tigers at Rangers

36-37, 3rd place, 2 games behind CWS.

Rick P climbed the mound last night against the same team that battered him for the worst performance of his career eight weeks ago, and turned in his best performance of the year. He threw first pitch strikes to 19 out of 27 batters, and used the Texas heat to consistently threw his best sinker of the year down in the strike zone. Now, he still walked 3 and gave up 6 hits before being pulled 1 batter into the 7th, but he was charged with only 1 run (due to Villareal’s only bad pitch of his outing). I think that Porcello still has a lot to learn about the art of pitching, but that sinker can win a lot of games.

Smyly back up today and will make his first start in 15 days. Smyly’s brief career can be defined by the number 6 – as in 6 brilliant starts to begin his career, and then 6 mediocre ones. He started his career 4-2 with a 1.59 ERA (including 1 ER over 6 IP against Texas), but is 1-2 with a 6.67 ERA since. Let’s hope that this begins a devilish 6 game win streak and brings his 6 streak to 6 – 6 – 6.

No word on how debilitated Yu Darvish has become from hearing the intro to Soldier Boy over and over.

I’m wondering if it may make more sense to bat Berry 1st, and Jackson 2nd. With Jackson’s ability to go the other way, I think that he can develop into a great #2 hitter; and Berry’s speed and base stealing ability almost mandate that he bat 1st.

A few notes:

– Dave Cameron demonstrates how pitchers are successfully pitching to Josh Hamilton.
– Fangraphs posted an argument that JV could have entered the 7th on Sunday with a no-hitter on the line, but for Cabrera’s defense. (Video replays included, makes for healthy debate).

PoPG is Cabrera. He mashes against Texas – .378 BA and 1.033 OPS over his career. He leads the AL in hits since May 10th with 60, and has posted a 1.065 OPS during that time.

Tonight’s Seemingly Rational Lineup Until I Looked at Order Splits:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Berry, LF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Boesch, RF (2012 OPS batting 6th – .615, 2012 OPS batting 7th – .839)
7. Peralta, SS (virtually identical 6/7 order splits)
8. Avila, C
9. Santiago, 2B


  1. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Clearly, someone at Fangraphs reads DTW…

  2. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Agreed about Jackonberry. Some guys just aren’t meant to be leadoff hitters…and Berry is 12-for-12 in SB attempts, and could have even more, but for all the times he has come to the plate with Jackson on first. But it will never happen, due to a a Smokey Stubbornness (the CF bats first!!)…Granderson shouldn’t have been leading off either btw.

    • Coleman

      June 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Oops, that should be “Jacksonberry”…but really should be “Q-Jax.”

    • Kevin in Dallas

      June 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Roger that. Granderson should have been batting 4th to get Cabby the extra ABs.

  3. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Hey, a Fieldet solo HR!

  4. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Hey, a Fielder solo HR!

  5. Brenden

    June 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Is it just me, or has there been an inordinate number of fielding errors by Detroit pitchers this season? It almost seems like every game there is an error by one of the pitchers… Did they completely skip that part of spring training?

    • Coleman

      June 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Not THIS season (see 2006 WS)

      • Brenden

        June 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

        That did come to mind. Apparently they have not learned from history, so it is doomed to repeat itself…

  6. Kevin in Dallas

    June 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Cruz was out at home. Check out the slo-mo replay.

    Man this has been a tough year of calls for us.

  7. Brenden

    June 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Errors and Passed Balls, just giving runs away…

    • Coleman

      June 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Avila is not right. He had patellar tendinitis (isn’t that what Inge had?)

  8. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    MLB.TV announcer: the way to beat Darvish is to take a team approach, and wait him out…you can drive his pitch count up…who here thinks the Tigers would be capable of that (raise your hands).

  9. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I’d rather watch Raburn bat than Boesch…it’s painful.

  10. Coleman

    June 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Ditto Avila. Laird needs to start, and Avila needs to get healthy.

  11. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    June 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Its past time for Smyly to head to the bullpen and Below to take his spot in the rotation. Smyly has shown that once teams have had a chance to scout him that he is less than mediocre. Time to stretch out Below with a minor league starts at Toledo and then converting Smyly to long relief.