Game 2012.138: Tigers at Angels

Normally, a Verlander start would be all about Verlander.  But recently, the Tigers have fallen into a funk where sharp starting efforts have been undone by an inability to score runs on offense.  Last night after a brief bit of trouble in the first (exacerbated by Cabrera’s failure to turn a DP), Max Scherzer settled down and had one of his best outings of the season.

After the 1st inning, Scherzer only gave up 2 hits in 7 innings, with 9 strikeouts (and 0 walks for the game), which incidentally puts him in the Tiger record book as the only Tiger to strike out 8 or more in 10 consecutive starts, breaking a tie with Hal Newhouser. Max seems to be in playoff form…if only.

Unfortunately, the Tiger offense was unable to put together a rally, settling for a couple solo home runs (the hallmark of their early season malaise), had too many strikeouts (10 from their 3-6 hitters), were unable to advance the potential winning run from 2nd with no outs in the 9th, and had the range of their infield exposed.

Result: for the 3rd time in the past week, the Tigers fall 3-2 (in fact the Tigers have had 16 3-2 games already this season). The Tigers now have a 2nd-half record in 1-run games of 3-10, which is not how one makes the playoffs.  The last 1-run game the Tigers won on the road: June 24th. Perhaps the Tigers could borrow a 1-run game or two from the Orioles.

Also notable last night: Ryan Raburn made his late season debut.  Confidently aggressive, he scorched a two-hopper to the mound on the first pitch he saw. Impressed, Leyland decided to start him tonight, and placed him in the 6th spot in the lineup.  (This may be the season where Raburn waits until the 3rd half to get hot).

I blame the fans.  Someone emailed in a lineup that had all right-handers.  I’m not blaming any of you personally, but if you confess we will go easy on you. (Luckily, Leyland scratched out “Santiago, 1B” and scribbled in “Fielder, 1B”).

Leyland also decided to take a day off from the Maybe-Boesch-Will-Run-Into-One Project (and he did run into one against Cleveland, a mammoth shot to dead center), perhaps inspired by his 4 AB, 3K performance last night, so tonight in RF we get to see Mini-Mig, Avisail Garcia.

Stat of the Day: Prince Fielder had one of the few offensive highlights last night with a solo home run. Over the past 2 weeks, Fielder has hit for .385 (1.196 OPS), with 3 HR and 6 RBI.  And 3 HBP.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Avisail Garcia.  The Halos pitch around the dangerous Raburn to get to Garcia, and he makes them pay.

Todays Almost All-Right Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Omar Infante 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Ryan Raburn LF
  7. Avisail Garcia RF
  8. Gerald Laird C
  9. Danny Worth SS


  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Worth, Raburn, and Laird? Didn’t the White Sox win today? I hope JV has his stuff tonight!

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Ohh… I forgot Garcia!

      • Coleman

        September 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm

        Sometimes the Player of the Pre-Game is meant ironically, but I actually do think there is a chance Mini-Mig is the difference tonight.

    • Coleman

      September 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      I don’t mind Worth tonight, it’s been a long time since Peralta has had a day off, and he is obviously leg-weary, he moved in slow-motion on that game-winning ground ball last night. Plus he is a career 2-for-21 off of CJ Wilson (ouch).

      Except…wait. How can he be only 2-for-21 off of Wilson, since Wilson is left-handed and Peralta is right-handed? (sounds of head-scratching from Tiger dugout…)

      • travisfrymanfan

        September 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

        Last hit during regular season was in 2005.
        Different divisions , low number of AB.
        1 for 16 during regular season.

        • travisfrymanfan

          September 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

          Inverse splits? They still dont get Boesch

          • Coleman

            September 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm

            How about Laird? 2012 splits:
            vs RHP .391 (.848 OPS)
            vs LHP .167 (.598 OPS)

  2. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    To be fair, the (almost) all right-handed lineup gives us a huge edge: Lefties are only hitting .239 this season against Wilson, whereas righties are pounding him at a .241 clip.

  3. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    If you are looking for something good, the Yankees are losing to the O’s 5-2!

  4. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    OK, it just got harder, now we will need at least 2 to win this.

  5. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    The whole pitching staff has gone Bonderman on us.

  6. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    The Rally Monkeys are jumping on JV’s first pitch.

  7. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    The bad news is that no matter what happens, Verlander will be in for the obligatory 125 pitches. The good news is that we might be done with that by the 4th.


    September 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    With the line-up our great leader has thrown out tonight a 4 run deficit after 1 inning is pretty well insurmountable. With the moronic decisions Smokey is making ….. you would never know we are fighting for a playoff spot.

  9. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    AJax has blown catchable balls this series, a very disturbing trend.

  10. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I think we have the GIDP title for the year locked up.

  11. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    OK, complete meltdown mode. Grow up Cabrera. These guys cannot handle the pressure.

  12. Kevin in Dallas (but in Ann Arbor right now)

    September 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    This is a noticeably frustrated team. Leyland’s got 1 month left.

  13. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Wilson, 5 innings, 56 pitches. Now on pace for 101 pitch complete game.

  14. Doug of troy

    September 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Rayburn and worth should never be seen in the major leagues and certainly not on a team fighting for a playoff spot.

  15. Coleman

    September 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Not Enough Strikeouts

  16. stephen

    September 8, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Jim Price just said ‘I didn’t know there was so much concern about lineups.’ DUDE IS PAID SIX FIGURES TO FOLLOW TIGERS AND DOESN’T KNOW FAN COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LINEUPS.


  17. jud

    September 9, 2012 at 12:14 am

    there is just NO LEADERSHIP……Martinez ran the show last year. He didn’t need Leyland or anyone else……tell me who runs the show now.?……………………………..NO ONE…..

  18. jud

    September 9, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Our only hope now is that by Playing Kelly, who was actually cut 6 weeks ago, Mumbles ended Young’s hot streak with that day off on the most important playing date of the year, and Playing Rayburn, today on the most important day after a pathetic loss …… the straw that breaks the camels back for DD . And the final move is to CAN CAPT MUMBLES the day after the season ends…….AMEN.

  19. Ben A

    September 9, 2012 at 2:25 am

    The Tigers lost Friday night’s game, again – as in so many games – against the Angels based on Jim Leyland’s “pitch count/closer” concept. Scherzer (after giving up 2 runs in the 1st) pitched scoreless thru the 8th inning. In the 9th, Leyland put in his “closer”, Dotel, who promptly gave up 3 runs and lost the game. Sports casters and announcers blamed the lack of hitting. Had Leyland not replaced Scherzer, who was pitching very good, the Angels might have been shut down in the 9th and given Tiger hitters a chance to win the game. The Tigers have lost almost 1/2 if not more of their losses based on Leyland’s pitch count/closer concept. When a STARTING pitcher, who is getting outs w/o problems passes Leyland’s pitch count max; or when a RELIEVER who may have swept away 3 batters in his only inning ends the inning, Leyland puts in a CLOSER, or another pitcher. The closer or HOLDER, frequently gives up one or more runs that result in a Tiger loss. Leyland’s pitchcount/closer concept will probably keep the Tigers out of the playoff. Only when the Tigers get a manager who doesn’t follow the pitchcount/closer rule, will they win a pennant or World Series.

    • Vince in MN

      September 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Leyland doesn’t have concepts as such. Concepts require knowledge, thought, and reflection followed by understanding. Concepts are fluid and subject to change with the addition of further thought, reflection and so on. What he does have is a set of maxims or RULES that he has developed over the years, put in his little black book brain, and then references under particular situations. These rules are fixed and immutable and are applied under virtually all similar situations regardless of any subtle differences in the conditions. In fact, if you are a fundamentalist believer in rules, the subtle differences go unnoticed. Time and again, as the rules fail to provide the expected result, frustration sets in and Leyland tries to be “creative.” However, creativity requires an understanding of concepts and their inherent fluidity. Leyland, not in possession of this asset, makes decisions based on his “gut” which he confuses with creativity but is actually just convoluted guesswork. The end result of this flip-flopping between absolutism and nihilism is just….. well, a big mess, for the players and the fans. And it has been going on for 7 years.

    • tj

      September 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      I pretty much agree. Removing starters prematurely, or as you said a reliever that threw a masterful inning, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I would think the odds that three or four pitchers all have great performances on the same day are not that great.