Game 2012.127: Angels at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 68-58, 2nd place, 2.5 back, 1 back for WC spot.

The Angels came in to Detroit with the hottest 2nd half offense in baseball (.816 team OPS), but missing the big bat of Albert Pujols.  The Tiger pitchers have taken advantage.  Porcello had his best start in weeks, holding LA to 2 runs (and those in an inning extended by bad defense).

More bad defense put Smyly in a hole last night, but he kept his composure and held the Angels to 3 runs (1 earned) over 6 innings, and kept the Tigers in the game, a clutch performance by a spot starter.

The offense was in here-we-go-again mode: run-costing base running blunders, double-plays with a runner on 3rd and 1 out, which combined with the fielding follies made the game’s outcome seem inevitable.  But it turned out to be evitable after all, thanks to a late inning splurge by the bottom of the order, and the much-awaited big day from Delmon Young.

Strangely enough, Miguel Cabrera was the hole in the lineup, and seemed generally unhappy at the plate.  Leyland pulled the plug on him for today, giving him 2 days off with the off-day tomorrow.

Today Max takes the mound, and tries to make it 3-for-3 in strong starts this series. Max was his bad self last time out against Toronto, holding the Jays to 1 run and 5 hits in 7 innings, and striking out Too Many (8).  The last time he faced the La-Las he held them to 1 run and struck out Too Many (9).

The Tigers will face Ervin Santana (7-10, 5.46), who is likely to be completely unhittable.  Or Detroit will put up a bunch of runs against him.  And either result will be completely predictable.

Stat of the Day: Gerald Laird has reverse splits this season:  He is hitting .169 against left-handers, and .429 against right-handers. .429!

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Gerald Laird. Leyland forgot to rest Avila with all the lefties pitching, and now is stuck playing Laird against the RHP. Or is Leyland more clever than we think? (see above). Plus he is .333 lifetime against Santana.

Todays First Cabreraless Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Omar Infante 2B
  3. Andy Dirks LF
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Brennan Boesch RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Jeff Baker 3B
  9. Gerald Laird C


  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Yes, we have no Cabrera. First time all year. I am headed to KC on Tuesday for the three game series, so I hope to see him play.

  2. Vince in MN

    August 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Jackson in somewhat of a slump – 9 for last 43, 0 for 12 this series.

    • jud

      August 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      All of a sudden he is starting to take a lot of pitches…not a good sign with AJ

  3. Vince in MN

    August 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Can our pitching hold ’em? We might be lucky to scratch another run today.

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Since last Sunday, the Tiger have had only one homerun. Overdue!

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      August 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Sweet home Alabama! Prince and Delmon!

  5. Vince in MN

    August 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    14 in a row for Mad Max. Too bad he has thrown so many pitches though – 107. Next inning might be his last.

  6. jud

    August 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Back to Back….yea baby!!!

  7. Vince in MN

    August 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I like Andy Dirks – he can do it all. Maybe he can teach bunting to some of the other crew while he’s at it.

  8. jud

    August 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Dirks…too bad Selig won’t allow Leyland to bat him 5th

  9. Vince in MN

    August 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Here we go.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    August 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    You’d think Valverde would throw over to first every once in a while just to practice it. It’s as if he thinks he doesn’t need to worry about base runners.

  11. jud

    August 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    The Tigers allow that steal of second with “indifference” make it easier for ValV to check the runner seeing that he looks at second with a runner on first ANYWAY..and never looks at first…

    • Vince in MN

      August 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      Something tells me that Vaselverde looks “in the general direction of”, rather than “at” second. Whether he actually focuses on anything at that particular distance is debatable.

      • Coleman

        August 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        I always thought he was looking out toward the bullpen to see if anyone else was warming up.

        • Vince in MN

          August 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

          As Leyland’s “Closer” he never has to worry about that.

  12. William

    August 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    White Sox hit a go-ahead 2 run HR in the bottom of the seventh, rain comes two batters later, and then the game is called after a two hour delay. CHW wins 4-3.

    when things are going right, they’re going right. and they are definitely going right for the Sox now.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      Just saw the highlights on the MLB network. It’s so painful listening to Harrelson over and over. Apparently, they went through a long delay, then started the game up again. Millwood stays out there after the delay, gives up a bomb, then they call the game.

      • Vince in MN

        August 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

        It’s rigged I tell ya, it’s rigged.

    • Vince in MN

      August 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      They have a pretty balanced lineup with good power (only 1 BOB), good rotation, and the back end of the bullpen is solid with Myers and Reed. They are playing good ball and long losing streaks are not likely IMO. Despite the sweep at the hands of lowly KC, they are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They aren’t likely to collapse, and should win many more than they lose over their last 36 games; they have 25 divisional games left, the other 11 being 4 v BAL, 4 v TB, and 3 v LA. The Tigers meanwhile have 29 divisional games remaining with the other 6 being 3 each v OAK and LA.

      On paper CHI and DET are pretty close. Surprisingly, with a team OBA of only .318 to the Tigers .337 the Sox have scored 20 more runs. A big part of that is probably due to the fact that they have hit 169 HR (2nd behind NYY 195 and 43 more than the Tigers.) So maybe Leyland is right when he says OBP is over-rated and it is better to have guys that “knock ’em in.”

      We absolutely have to take 4 out of the last 7 vs CHI and in the meantime get some help from our other divisional mates, all while avoiding the various versions of Clown Show Follies. It’s gonna be a tough uphill fight.

  13. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Leyland on siting Cabrera the day off Sunday:

    “I didn’t even sleep last night,” Leyland said. “I talked to a lot of people. I made a couple calls last night. I talked to my coaches all day. But you know, at the end of the day, when I talked to Cabrera, I knew the best thing to do was to rest him today, no matter what the outcome of this game was. That’s what managing is. …

    “At the end of the day, what’s best for Miguel Cabrera is best for the Tigers. And it was best for Miguel Cabrera to sit today. I believe that with all my heart. I don’t even have any question about it.”

    The short version: “I had a gut feeling and gave him the day off.”

  14. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    August 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Best news of the week so far, ChiSox going to BALT to play four this week. One of those two is going to take some lumps this week before we play the ChiSox this weekend. If we take care of business in KC we are going to gain ground on one of them, but I’m saying go Orioles! Much rather win the AL Central than get a wild card, but I’m not greedy. I’ll take either one. Also, go Rangers this week as they host the Rays for a series that begins tonight.

    • Vince in MN

      August 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      I’m actually pulling for the Rays to take the East from the Yankees. Just because.

      • Coleman

        August 28, 2012 at 12:10 am

        Not me. If we win the division, would rather face the Yankees in a full playoff series. In a mini wild card playoff who knows.

        • Jerry The Tiger Fan

          August 28, 2012 at 2:09 am

          Me too. I’m pulling against everybody in the AL wild card race every night unless they are playing the White Sox (such as BALT this week). We are much better served by Texas beating up on Tampa than the other way around.

  15. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Interesting fact of the day: The Seattle Mariners may be one of the main reasons that we don’t win the AL Central this year. We went 1-5 against Seattle this year, the White Sox went 8-1 versus Seattle this year. That’s a 5.5 Game difference. Wow. Considering that we are currently 2.5 games back of Chicago, that’s a huge variance coming from one opponent. Consider that the next time someone shrugs off getting swept at home in April by a non-contender. Losing two of three happens, but that Seattle sweep of us at Comerica is looming really large right now as we head down the home stretch.

    • Florian

      August 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Actually, the White Sox have also done much better than us against the Yankees and the Rangers… and have a better record against Minnesota and Cleveland. The reason we are still close is threefold: better interleague record, better record against Kansas City (7:1 vs. Chicago’s 4:9), and better record in direct confrontation.
      The coming week is make or break for the Tigers.

  16. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Good sabermetric article by Mike Rogers, who used to post here a few years ago. DY takes more deserved lumps.

    • Coleman

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am

      So, sabermetrically, the biggest drains on the offense have been Young, Boesch, and Raburn? Who’d’ve guessed that!

      Actually if you look at the comments section, look at the spray charts on pitch selection for Young on August vs July, posted by Keith Allen…Young has started laying off of outside pitches, resulting in increased production (he want to credit Toby Harrah…who knows. If this is a real trend it could be huge down the stretch (although it all could do with facing a steady diet of lefties lately).

      • Vince in MN

        August 28, 2012 at 7:36 am

        The spray charts are interesting (although Mike Rogers doesn’t like the data site for some reason) and if you go back and look at the June ones it does seem that there is better selectivity on Young’s part now. However, he has been a streaky hitter his whole career, so he could just be temporarily “hot.” And then there is the lefty question. It is probably best just to keep your fingers crossed and hope it lasts. For the moment anyway he is doing the job and seems to be the best option for the 5-spot….

        ….until Mr. September Raburn gets back 😉

        • jkl

          August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

          Becasue the data goes against the narrative . The headline is biased. Boesch has a worse oWAR.