Game 2012.83: Twins at Tigers

40-42, 3rd place, 4.5 games behind CWS.

JV turned in just the performance that the Tigers needed last night, tossing a complete game 4 hitter in the 5-1 win. Incredibly, he only needed 78 pitches to get through 7 innings, and only because of a few long ABs in the 8th did his pc escalate to 115. JV was efficient early on and pitched to contact, before logging more Ks later in the game. For the first time in a while, JV never hit 100 on the gun.

The Tigers get sophomore sensation Scott Diamond today, as Diamond looks for his 3rd straight win, and 8th of the season. Diamond is a soft tossing lefty with tremendous command, having only walked 11 in 72 IPs this year. Curiously, his lefty/righty splits are inverted, as he’s held righties to a .255 average with a 2.08 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, but lefties hit .324 off of him for a 4.60 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.  Which means that Quentin Berry should be starting.

Porcello looks to continue his hot streak, where he’s allowed only 3 ER in this last 20 IPs. Porcello has seen his ERA drop from 5.18 to 4.35 during that streak, and a win today would be his third straight, and make him 4-1 over his last 5.

A few notes:

– JV is Verducci’s pick for mid-season Cy Young.
Scutaro at 2B? Let’s do it.

Today’s Why Is Raburn Even Playing Much Less Batting 2nd Lineup:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Raburn, LF (11-38 w/5 xBH since his recall)
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Peralta, SS
7. Boesch, RF
8. Laird, C
9. Santiago, 2B

69 thoughts on “Game 2012.83: Twins at Tigers”

  1. I cannot believe after a stranded runner and essentially 2 gidp Raburn is 2nd again. Defies logic.

    1. Hey mcb, long time no see…it’s Leyland Logic: 1. moving a guy up in the order can “jump-start” him. 2. Centerfielder leads off, Left-Fielder bats 2nd. 3. Raburn has a track record, he’s “due” to get going.

      Around August when Raburn finally gets going, Leyland will say, “see, it worked.”

      One of these seasons Raburn WON’T have a good August, then it will look really stupid running him out there on a regular basis all season.

    2. I was close. Leyland’s actual answers:

      “I’m kind of playing the string out right now to see if Raburn’s going to do something.”

      “The thought process is if Raburn doesn’t help us against left-handers then we have issues. You give him the benefit of the doubt to see if you can maybe get him going a little bit.”

      Hint: you may have issues.

  2. A big plus for Scutaro is he is a natural in the #2 spot. The downside of that is that Leyland might move him to left field.

    1. Hamels is not signed past this year, correct? If he is willing to sign an extension I’d do it if I was Detroit because NEXT year is the year that I think we are poised to do well. VMart will be back, Fielder will have his “adjustment” year to the AL behind him, and we’ll be rid of some dead weight like Delmon Young. Hamels might get us over the hump to the division title this year, but unless he is willing to sign an extension I say don’t do it. Castellanos may be our future third or second baseman and I wouldn’t trade him away for a rental player, even one as good as Hamels.

  3. Just listened to Leyland’s pregame show on WXYT. He describes Raburn as a “deer in headlights right now”, yet not only has him in lineup today and hitting second. Bizzaro world is the norm at Comerica under Leyland.

  4. I’m either having deja vu, or this game is eerily similar to one earlier in the year where Scherzer skirted through trouble a few times early, and then got drilled in the 5th or 6th. Sound familiar?

  5. Porcello isn’t having a great outing, but he is getting mostly ground balls, and the clowns are making life difficult–he has to get 5 outs this inning.

  6. Time to bring in the bullpen … least they are well rested ….. after a complete game by JV.

  7. This is a great example of where I’d love to see Coke. He can get Morneau and then give you one more inning.

    I do not like the idea of giving Downs his 2nd ML appearance with the bases juiced.

  8. I’m waiting for the part of the game where the whole team piles out of a tiny car, that always cracks me up.

  9. How can it be justified to call some of these guys professional baseball players, pay them millions of dollars, and then pay to watch this kind of performance!

    1. Because Dombrowski does not value defense, this is what you get. His idea of winning is power arms combined with three run homers. When the three run homers aren’t flying….forget about it.

  10. Coleman, Drew Sharp must’ve read your post….Tweet from @drewsharp
    @drewsharp: Cue the circus calliope music for the Tigers’ defense. All that’s missing is the relievers jumping out of the trunk of a Volkswagen.

    1. I’d like to take credit, but I think Drew Sharp knows a thing or two about clown shows himself.

  11. I’m kind of to the point where if I’m managing the Tigers I have the entire infield playing in on Span, Casillas, and Revere when playing this team. These guys make a living on beating out slow rollers and high choppers against us. It would force Span, Revere, and Casillas to take full swings and with their total lack of power you get them to hit the ball in the air more often, which is a benefit to us.

  12. We can’t seem to get a favorable ricochet when we nail the pitcher with the hits.

  13. G-Money did hid job (got the man over), Santiago with the oh so predictable R3L2O fail. Is it so hard to hit a fly ball to CF??

  14. Tiger’s Midterm Grades

    Player Batting Fielding Citizenship Midterm Comments
    Avila C- B A B- Needs to take care of himself
    Fielder C C+ C C Needs to be a team player
    Santiago C+ C A C+ Works hard!
    Peralta C C+ B C+ Needs to hit
    Cabrera A B A B+ Plays well with others
    Dirks I I I I Get well soon!
    Jackson A A A A Much less Ks this half!
    Boesch D D+ C D+ Head game issues
    Young C- P C C Can do better with the stick
    Raburn F C- B D- Needs to stay in the outfield
    Laird A B A B+ Likes to hit!
    Berry A A- A A Learns well!

    Player Pitching Reliability CitizenshipMidterm Comments
    Verlander A- B A A- A role model w/ no followers
    Porcello C- D B+ C Needs to kick it up a notch
    Scherzer B- D B- B- Needs confidence
    Fister D F B C- Needs to get healthy
    Villarreal B- B B B A fast learner
    Dotel I I I I Incomplete
    Benoit A B+ A A Always there to toss
    Valverde C- C- D D+ Needs to focus

  15. Dear Miguel,

    I know that your teammates by and large suck at hitting and you have no confidence in them to do much behind you, but when the other team’s pitcher wants no part of you please take the base on balls. Swinging wildly at pitches that Delmon Young would pass on is helping no one.

  16. Jerry, when you listen to Francona talk about the Tigers it’s like he’s interviewing. He wants it bad.

    1. The guy that should have got the win today if there was any justice in the way baseball wins are decided among relievers. The unsung hero of the game. Cabrera was his usual stud self and Fielder had THE hit of the game, but Downs was the key. He slowed down the Twins offense in the middle innings and allowed us to chip away and get back in it. Even Ol’ smoky realized it when making his postgame comments as he singled out Downs as the key to winning this game.

    1. Me too. It shows me that he is into the game and that is half the battle. You’ve got to want it, and this guy wants it. I keep hoping that his enthusiasm will be infectious and that other guys will start getting excited and play with the same grit and enthusiasm.

  17. Someone will post the Tigers are 28-23 when Rayburn starts …and I will re-post..list four things in those 28 games where he contributed and I will list 15 things in the 23 losses where he didnt do squat…

  18. Downs got the Tigers thru a couple key innings..that along with Berrys key walk led to the fireworks display..of .Miggy..Prince and even Young

    1. I think is is about the 18th time that question has been posed here in this forum in 2012. Probably not, but we can always hope!

      This team is way too flawed to ever truly turn it around IMO. Instead of Cole Hamels I’d rather see a bat for the 5 hole to replace Delmon with, because to me that is our biggest hole right now. Teams are pitching around Fielder with impunity right now because of Young’s subpar season. We can play Berry in LF to replace Raburn, but we don’t have another hitter on the roster capable of filling that 5 hole in the lineup. That is what I’d be looking for if I was Dave Dombrowski right about now. Until that time, I don’t think we’ll see this team take off the way many expected it to do. I’m not sure there is anyone available to fit that bill, I’ll have to look at the rosters of teams that are out of it like Colorado, San Diego, Philadelphia, Seattle, etc.

      1. and out won’t be the last!

        I agree with your #5 hitter thoughts, but our rotation is nowhere near the caliber we need either. and unless we solve the #5 hitter problem with a stellar defensive player as well, then we have that issue to deal with too.

        the bullpen has been pretty strong since about mid-May, though.

        and no team is perfect, so we don’t have to solve all our issues, just enough to give us a legitimate shot.

  19. The Tigers are now 29-23 when Raburn plays. I think the correct strategy is to start him every game but pinch hit for him (or immediate defensive replacement) before he gets to bat. That way we get the Lucky Charm Effect without the negative Bum With the Bat effect.

    1. Vince,
      Ryan’s raburnation is almost over. Baseball zoologists have pegged July 13 as the date that Ryan emerges from said raburnation. Just hang in there for antoher week! 🙂

      1. Also, Raburn did contribute today with a beautiful throw in the second inning to cut down a man at the plate after a base hit to left field that would have put the Twins up 2-0 and allowed the inning to continue. So its not like he did not contribute at all to the win today. Of course it wasn’t with his bat, but nonetheless still a big play at that point of the game.

  20. I don’t want to take too much away from Porcello’s sub-par performance today being due to all the hits being of the infield/clown show variety, but perhaps his above par performance last time was as much, or more, due to the Rays, as his pitching ability.

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