Game 2012.146: Tigers at White Sox

77-68, 2nd place, 2 games behind CWS.

Before we get too upset about last night’s game, let’s remember that the Tigers had won 4 in a row heading into the game, and we’re not going to win them all. Not even against Cleveland.

Jose Valverde, however, does need to be looked at. If you’re questioning your closer during a season, you’re in a bad spot. If you’re questioning him at the end of the season, you’re in a terrible spot. And I’m afraid that the Tigers find themselves in a terrible spot. After allowing 3 hits and 2 ER while only recording 1 out last night, Valverde now has a 5.79 ERA and 1.71 WHIP over his last 10 outings. He’s allowed a run in 5 out of those 10 appearances and has struck out only 6 in 9 1/3. (He’s walked 4 – but two of those were intentional.) Despite what Valverde says about his arm feeling fine after pitching for the 5th night in 6 days, those balls were rockets.

Miraculously, the Tigers have won despite Valverde’s recent struggles, but who knows how often he’ll be given multiple run leads headed to the 9th. Though I doubt that the thought of replacing Valverde has been even a fleeting whim in Leyland’s mind; so you can largely ignore what the numbers & performances are telling us.

Fister looks to close out the season series with the Sox with the Tigers’ 13th win out of 18 games vs. Chicago. Since the All-Star break, Fister is 7-2 with a 2.49 ERA and 68 Ks in 76 IPs. His BAA during the stretch is .202. Fister has been even better as of late, as he’s won 4 out of his last 5 starts, and recall his masterful 7 IP 2 H (solo HRs) 2 HR performance last Tuesday against these same Sox. Rios is batting .500 against Dougie in 14 career ABs.

Quintana responded to a lot of critics who claimed that he was tiring with a tremendous performance last Monday against the Tigers. The 7 2/3 7 hit 1 ER performance was Jose Quintana’s finest in almost two months, and Ventura gave him an extra 2 days in the hopes of a repeat this afternoon. Still, the lefty is 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA over his last five starts, so I’m saying there’s a chance.

A few notes:

- Not everyone wants Leyland fired.

- Peralta hasn’t committed an error since June 21st. That’s 73 consecutive games and the longest such Tiger streak since at least 1957 (which means that the Tigers notes researchers got a little lazy).

- Tigers starters have 17 quality starts over their past 24 outings. Detroit is 2nd in the AL with 83 quality starts this year. Whenever the off-season starts, starting pitching should be a non-starter.

- The Tigers are 31-10 against CWS since September 7, 2010.

Today’s Lineup:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Infante, 2B
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Peralta, SS
7. Boesch, LF
8. Garcia, RF
9. Laird, C

35 Comments

  1. bada bing

    September 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I would enjoy a victory for this baseball game.

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    September 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Disappointing AB by Fielder here. Gotta get at least 1 in.

  3. stephen

    September 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Listening to White Sox radio broadcast. Ed Farmer questions every pitch selection, which base the pitcher throws to, and A.J.’s effort on that wild pitch. Every moment, they’re doing an autopsy ending with ‘this is why White Sox is 5-12 against the Tigers.’

  4. Coleman

    September 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Those were 2 huge strikeouts by Fister there…not just because of the bases-loaded, but because they made Hawk shut up.

    • StorminNorman

      September 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      i didn’t think that was possible (not the K’s…silence from Hawk)

  5. jud

    September 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Young jumped to 66 RBI in a hurry from. 48…Now we can only wish Peralta, Boesch, or Avila to move their RBI totals. Anywhere up

  6. Coleman

    September 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    The much-maligned Peralta just saved us a run.

    • Coleman

      September 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Then makes up for it with his 2nd GIDP of the game.

  7. StorminNorman

    September 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    a nice (rare) break from the umps there… now capitalize

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    September 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Wanted to note that DY has swung at the first pitch in each of his ABs. He’s 2-2 with a HBP today.

  9. StorminNorman

    September 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    DYoung has been big today

  10. StorminNorman

    September 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    GhIDP… not Jhony’s day at the plate

    I’m not overflowing with confidence that Fister will be able to shut them down for a few more innings…and if he does, who closes today?

  11. Coleman

    September 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Clown Show.

    • Coleman

      September 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      That throw took one nice big hop right between Fielder’s legs.

  12. TIGERS RULE

    September 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Execute ….. turn the DP ….. and they are out of the inning without any damage ….. but they have to do some Bumblin & Fumblin.

  13. StorminNorman

    September 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    For those not watching the game, Rios made that ‘error’ to Infante, Rios took out Infante’s lead leg, causing the throw in the dirt…that ‘at a minimum’ Fielder should have knocked it down, thus not allowing the 2nd run to score. The throw still would have been late

    • Coleman

      September 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Yeah, Infante actually made a nice play…that was a pretty routine one-hopper to Fielder, and right on line. I guess he closed his eyes.

  14. stephen

    September 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Strange position here. I have a fantasy about Francona being the next manager of the Tigers. It only happens if they don’t make playoffs. (I have sinking feeling even if Leyland limps team in the weakest division he comes back next year).

    Conundrum!

  15. Coleman

    September 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Well, at least that play by Miggy and Miggy Jr. is a temporary bright spot.

    • Coleman

      September 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      And Leyland pinch-hits Berry for Avisail…sigh.

  16. stephen

    September 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    That baserunning blunder by Wise is one of the stupidest plays you will ever see in a pennant race.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      If you consider the Tigers in a pennant race I think I may have a few candidates for you.

  17. tj

    September 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Norman’s comment about Fielder and Stephen’s comment about the baserunning were both spot-on.

  18. jud

    September 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    three in the do nothing 4 Infante..Peralta, Boesch held up there “do nothingness” going 0-10 stranding 10…..business as usual…

    side note Infante now leads all of baseball with 17 errors at 2B for that position

  19. StorminNorman$

    September 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    The individual LOB vs ‘team LOB’ stat is a more relevant LOB stat in my opinion. With that said, CWS players left 28 men on base today! (DET 11) CWS had less-than-two-outs and the bases loaded in 4 innings…and didn’t score anything in two of those innings – they also 2 on 1 out another, and didn’t score. Fister clearly didn’t have it today.

    Even though DET shoulda/coulda/woulda possibly won this game, CWS could/should have put up a lot more than 5 runs.

    CWS has 4 home games left w/TAM and two 3-game road series against KC and LAA. If DET wins 11 of their last 16, and CWS plays .500 ball 8-8, that would set up a game 163 in DET.

    • Vince in MN

      September 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      After another typical road trip (4-6), they need to go on a 10-game win streak at home now because they finish the season with 6 on the road. And we pretty much much know how that is going to turn out.

  20. Doug of troy

    September 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Leyland has stuck with infante and valweirdo without looking at other possibilities but
    Doesn’t play Dirks or Garcia regularly who have looked good. Leyland Is stupid.

  21. Jim Eggers

    September 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Caught the last bit of the make up tilt on MLB network, it was GOOD to hear my old friend “Wimpy” on the broadcast. He is the older bro I nver had. I had many deep conversations to and from the ball park (Spokane) in 1971. I still cherish those moments. I know we all cannot stand the Hawk, but he is a nice guy away from the mike. We are in clean up mode here at the Hacienda de Flores and I found an old list of the 19 ways you can score a runner from third with 0 or 1 out. Compiled and edited on long bus rides in my coaching days: Here it is :Home run, Triple, Double, Single, wild pitch, passed ball, sac fly, squeeze (safety and suicide) dp conceding the run,steal home, catcher interference, walk ( with bases loaded) fielder’s choice, infield grounder to right side, drag bunt, error, balk, and HBP( w/ the bases loaded)

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Good post Jim! Is tagging up on a caught foul ball the same as a sacrifce fly?

  22. Vince in MN

    September 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    FYI Tigers Defense.

    From Lee Panas’ Tiger Tales blog after today’s game:

    “Their 115 double plays is last in the American League and 22 fewer than league average. One reason for their lack of twin killings is that their pitchers strike out a lot of batters which means there fewer opportunities. Still, most observers agree that their inability to convert double plays cleanly has been one of the biggest problems with the team this year.

    “Add generally poor range around the infield and a first baseman who has a difficult time taking throws to the double play problem and you’ve got a team that gives up too many runs defensively. As a team (including all positions), they are currently last in the AL with -36 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), a statistic tracked by Baseball Info Solutions. In other words, Tigers fielders have cost the Team an estimated 36 runs compared to an average defense. The White Sox have a DRS of +1. The 37-run difference between the two teams translates into about four wins.”

    To say nothing of the errors.

    Plus, we have a great propensity for playing short innings offensively, given our 143 GDP. In effect, we have gone through the whole season playing under an outs handicap – the opposition gets more, while we get fewer.

  23. Coleman

    September 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Boesch, who was only surpassed in batting awfulness by Peralta, was in the lineup, Leyland says, because he was hoping “he might run into one.” He sure makes it hard to parody him.

    • Vince in MN

      September 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Pretty soon Leyland will run into one. –16 and counting.

  24. StorminNorman$

    September 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

    A’s bring in a hot (likely playoff-bound) team with very good pitching (2nd in AL w/3.41 ERA)…so something tells me we’re probably not going to see an offensive explosion from DET hitters. OAK is 41-19 post AS break, DET is 33-27.

    the A’s are 58-36 vs teams that start RHP, DET’s starters for this series, Scherzer, JV and Sanchez (all righties) – A’s have hit 88 HR’s since the AS break (DET 62).

    A’s in 1-run games 22-15, DET = 17-26. DET vs West = 11-19, A’s vs Central 22-15.

    On paper, this could be an ugly series for DET, we shall see how it plays out on the field. CWS travels to KC for 3 games…can’t expect KC to do DET any favors ‘again’.

    • Vince in MN

      September 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      The HR comparison reminds me of the fact that the Tigers are 10th in the league. So much for the “I hope so-and-so runs into one” theory.

      • StorminNorman$

        September 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        speaking of team HRs, 6 of the top 7 teams with the most HRs in the AL are either in first place in their division or have the top three records in the Wild Card (BAL, OAK & LAA) race…so apparently the playoff bound teams are ‘running into a few more’ and that strategy seems to be working for those teams

        Yes, i know Comerica is not a HR hitters paradise, but it is 7th in the AL parks for most HR’s hit in ’12