Game 2012.130: Tigers at Royals

Detroit Tigers, 69-60, 2nd place, 2.5 back, 2 back for WC spot.

“That’s just baseball,” said Tiger manager Jim Leyland about last night’s loss to the Royals, so we’ll just leave it at that.

Well, as soon as we tip our hat to Royals ace Bruce “Cy” Chen, who earned praise from Leyland: “Well, he was awful good,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He made it look pretty easy, to be honest with you. He was good. He cuts the ball and changes it up, backdoor breaking ball. He really knows what he’s doing, obviously. He’s not overpowering, as anybody can see. He pitched a great game.”

OK then.  As we previously mentioned here on this very website, the Tiger offense is either feast or famine; last night it was famine, and they lost, since they don’t do the kind of things to scrape out a run in low scoring games (when they lose “feast” games like the Tuesday game, that spells trouble).

One of these little things is managing a simple fly ball to the outfield with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 out (R3L2O).  They had 2 chances last night:  2 strikeouts. Are they really as bad at this as they seem?

I like to measure this by runs per plate appearance (RPA), which tilts a tiny bit in favor of slugging teams, in that it is higher for teams who sometimes hit the 3-run homer instead of the sac fly.  The average AL RPA for R3L2O is .663, or approximately 2 runs every 3 PA.

The Tiger RPA is only .613.  The White Sox RPA, by contrast, is .730.  That means if the Tigers had been as good with R3L2O as the White Sox, they would have plated an additional 32 runs so far this season, based on their 274 plate appearances with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 out.  Think those runs would have been helpful this year?

Well, today is another day, another chance to feast.  And the White Sox already lost.

Stat of the Day: Tiger record in 1-run games since the break: 3-7.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Cannot be revealed. He agreed to POPG on condition of anonymity.

Todays Laird of the Rings Lineup:

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

36 Comments

  1. MLR

    August 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    In other words the Tigers really are as bad as they look. And I take it that would include the manager.

  2. TIGERS RULE

    August 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Chicago opened the door for the Tigers by losing earlier today …… will they walk on through and continue walking by taking this weekends games. If not ……. this season for the Tigers is pretty well over.

  3. Dr Strangelove

    August 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    The Tigers are 4 games under .500 on the road. The WSox are 2 games over. This is not a good sign. In fact, it is the difference in the standings right now.

    • Vince in MN

      August 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      By the way, another bad sign is Guthrie’s well-over 5 ERA.

  4. Vince in MN

    August 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Leyland on Guthrie after tonight’s game:
    “That’s just baseball,” said Tiger manager Jim Leyland “Well, he was awful good.” “He made it look pretty easy, to be honest with you. He was good. He cuts the ball and changes it up, backdoor breaking ball. He really knows what he’s doing, obviously. He’s not overpowering, as anybody can see. He pitched a great game.”

    • Florian

      August 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Leyland on the TIgers offense after tonight’s game: “Obviously, we were not scoring many runs. Runs are what decides a game.”

      • Vince in MN

        August 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        He’s a regular Socrates of baseball wisdom.

  5. Coleman

    August 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Tigers offense, in a 3-game series: 8 runs, 0 runs, 3 runs. Tiger record for series: 1-2. Tiger fans: we need better pitching! We’re scoring plenty of runs, like 4 per game!

  6. Vince in MN

    August 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    By the way, what does “feast” mean for the Tigers hitters? They have scored more than 5 runs 3 times in the last 18 games (they lost two of those games.)

  7. Florian

    August 30, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Against the Tigers, “Feast” clearly describes the amount of runs for the Royals right now.

  8. Vince in MN

    August 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Porcello got off with a light sentence that inning.

  9. PHToy in HK

    August 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    OK, time to stop messing around….

  10. Doug of troy

    August 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    That brick wall relay was better than many of our pitchers’ throws to the bases.

  11. Florian

    August 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    A propos “messing around”: how stupid can you be to argue a strikeout with the umpire? Especially if you’re the catcher? Not even small likelihood the ump will be less lenient towards you when you are behind the plate in the next inning.

    • Florian

      August 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      meant “strike”, not “strikeout”

  12. Vince in MN

    August 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    A leadoff double and they can’t even advance the runner to third. This kind of embarrassing failure has been going on for most of the year. All teams will have bad streaks over the course of 162 games, but the good ones will keep them to a short duration and there will be fewer of them. But the Tigers have made failure at the fundamentals a team signature this year. There is no way this trend is going to magically disappear over the final 30 games. They are just pretenders.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      It’s not going to disappear. They may get hot and make the playoffs, but it will be a quick exit against more disciplined, deeper teams. Just trying to enjoy the game for what it is.

      • Vince in MN

        August 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        Kevin, you are right. At the beginning of the season I had these guys pegged for an 85-win team, so I guess I really shouldn’t be too upset.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    August 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Still difficult to believe that the Tigers are 2nd in the Majors with RISP.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sorta.....split=risp

    OPS is still a healthy 5th.

    • Vince in MN

      August 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      Actual scoring with RISP they are 5th, but that is even hard to believe. OPS is over-rated, Leyland says so.

      • Vince in MN

        August 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Check that: 5th in AL, 9th in MLB.

  14. jud

    August 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    0 runs in 16 innings…..that’s just baseball!!!!!!

  15. jud

    August 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Who in their right mind would bat Rayburn…I mean Baker here

    • Vince in MN

      August 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      Leyland pushing all the buttons. He has a gut feeling that one of them will work.

  16. Doug of trou

    August 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Ryan baker comes through again. Brilliant move by Jl.

  17. Florian

    August 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Ugh, I feel sick.

  18. TIGERS RULE

    August 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    PATHETIC ….. being swept by KC …… and what’s worse ……. being shut out in the last two games of the sweep!!!

  19. scott

    August 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    well what’s to say? WSox lose 3 of 4 to Baltimore, and we lose ground. this is getting ridiculous……..swept by the Royals??…….sheee-it……… :-(

  20. Doug of troy

    August 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Tigers along with cabrera limp off into the sunset

  21. jud

    August 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    0 runs on 6 hits…1 run on 12 hits….this team sucks no matter which way it goes..

    By the way Cabrerra way to dog it to first on that DP

  22. The Rake

    August 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I’m always touting Cabby for MVP, but either he is much more hurt than reported (true) or he lagged it over to first on the GIDP (also true). FUGLY!!

  23. Coleman

    August 31, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I’m glad Kevin is doing next post, is all I’m saying.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      I’m dreading it.

      • Coleman

        August 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        Well, it looks like the Baker era has mercifully ended, and the Avisail Garcia era has begun, so there’s that.

        • Vince in MN

          August 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

          Two prospects for 35 AB of mush. Cool.

          Let’s hope Garcia can be another version of early Berry.

  24. StorminNorman$

    August 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    On the positive side of the ledger, if Fister is indeed healthy and effective, having Fister, Scherzer & Verlander SP for the CWS series gives DET the best chance of winning… though Peavy, Liriano and Sale provides CWS would a pretty good counter.

    DET is at home vs the 1st place team – both teams have 32 games remaining…getting swept or losing 2 of 3 is going to have much more significance for DET (if it happens to them) than CWS. If there is such a thing as ‘a must win series’ with 32 games left, that is exactly what DET is up against.