Game 2012.151: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 80-70, 2nd place,  .5 back.

The rain went away, Doug Fister was the Fister we expected and more (he pitched his first career shutout), the bats were booming (every Tiger except Peralta had at least one hit, and 5 different Tigers knocked in runs), and the Angels were playing well, which means the Tigers have the potential to end today in 1st place (the White Sox game begins shortly before the Tigers’ should end; the the 2nd inning or so they could find themselves tied for first).

That all will depend in large measure how Max Scherzer bounces back from his sore shoulder. Since July 30th Scherzer has been the best pitcher on the Detroit staff, going 6-0 with a 1.93 ERA, and a whole barrel of strikeouts.

Scherzer, for his part, says he feels fine. “Everything felt good,” Scherzer said. “My arm warmed up quick. My arm felt 100 percent. I was able to throw every pitch.”

Going for the Twins will be Scott Diamond, who has pitched well against Detroit (3.26 ERA), but only has an 0-2 record to show for it.

Oh, and Miguel Cabrera hit home run 42 and is now tied for the triple crown lead, in case any of you somehow missed that.

Stat of the Day: 1/2 game behind is the stat for today.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Miguel Cabrera.  Predicting #43 for today.

Today’s Day-Night Lineup:

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

47 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    September 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Speaking of Peralta:
    Since the break: .229/.286/.390/.676
    Last 30 days: .191/.248/.319/.567

    Ouch. That is approaching Raburn territory, although he has hit 3 HR in the last month.

    Double ouch: Santiago is the only other option.

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    September 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    At this point in time, we control our own destiny from here on out…

    stephen’s right, we’re gonna back door our way into the playoffs.

    Quick question – could Leyland be changing his ways just a bit – letting Fister come out for the 9th despite his highest PC to date; starting Dirks in 5 straight games; pulling Coke out of his LOOGY role so quickly (this was a few weeks ago)? Just a thought.

    • Jeff Molby

      September 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      I wasn’t surprised to see Fister come out for the 9th last night. Leyland said he considers a lead of at least 5 runs to be “comfortable” and he surely wanted to save the bullpen for today’s doubleheader. Plus it was Fister’s first shutout and he’s definitely earned the right to go for it.

      I don’t think there’s any doubt that the winner of the AL Central will be the worst team in the playoffs. Oh well. Do you know what they call the guy that graduates last in his class at medical school? Doctor. I’d prefer the front door, but the back door is fine too. :-)

    • Vince in MN

      September 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Kevin, Leyland might just be going with his gut. Every once in a while he surprises me and I begin to think he has learned something about managing, but he always reverts to form shortly thereafter. After almost 7 years of the latter, I no longer give any credence to the former.

  3. Jeff Molby

    September 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I’m going go on record as supporting Trout for MVP.

    Miguel is having a season of historic proportions and no one can take that away from him. He is clearly the most dominant hitter of our generation (tied with Pujols) and he’s having a year so dominant that it’d be enough to win the MVP unanimously in any other year.

    But it’s not “any other year.” It just so happens the kid in LA is also having a season of historic proportions. The simple fact is that all three triple crown categories are measurements of hitting and while Cabrera is certainly the better hitter, we all spent last fall arguing that the MVP award isn’t just about hitting. Trout is significantly better that Cabrera at the other facets of the game and that should propel him ahead in the voting.

    Or let them share the award. They both deserve it.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      So you are saying somebody can win the Triple Crown, the first since 1967, and not be an MVP?

      • Jeff Molby

        September 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Yes. I never imagined I’d see it happen, but it’s happening. It’s ridiculously bad luck for Cabrera that they’re both playing this well in the same season, but I don’t see how you escape the conclusion that Trout is having a better all-around season, which is what the award is for.

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          September 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          I certainly see your side, however Trout is young. Give him the well deserved ROY, and let him try for an MVP in the next few season. Also, what may determine all of this is whether the Tigers and Rally Monkeys make the playoffs.

          • Jeff Molby

            September 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

            Saying rookies shouldn’t win the MVP is like saying pitchers shouldn’t win the MVP. I’d feel like a hypocrite if I took that stance.

    • Vince in MN

      September 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      For what it is worth, and aside from sabermetric comparisons, you could argue that without the year Miggy is having, the Tigers would not be contending for the division crown, while without the year Trout is having, the Angels could still be in 3rd place in their division. Also, Trout has fallen off a bit in the 2nd half, while Cabrera has been consistent throughout.

      • Jeff Molby

        September 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        You’re right that playoff considerations will probably come into, but I don’t agree with that line of thinking. The only reason the Angels aren’t in the playoffs is because of the competitive imbalance. They’re a playoff-caliber team by any meaningful definition.

        Regarding consistency, Cabrera’s second half is clearly better than his first half was. It’s a regular season award, so I don’t think it really matters whether the player’s best months came before or after the all-star break.

        Also, everyone keeps talking about sabermetrics, but you don’t really need them. You can come to the same conclusion I did using purely traditional stats. Cabrera is a slightly better hitter than Trout. Trout is a significantly better runner and defender. I don’t see how anyone could disagree.

        • Vince in MN

          September 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

          Using purely traditional stats, I find Cabrera to be more than a slightly better hitter than Trout, but I agree on the baserunning and defense, of course.

          • Jeff Molby

            September 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

            The difference between their hitting is clear and undeniable, but it’s not a statistically huge difference. As measured by Slugging % (that’s a traditional stat, isn’t it?) you’re talking about the #1 hitter in the AL versus the #5 hitter. I don’t know about you, but I’d happily build my team around any of the top 10.

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Typical first inning Mad-Max?

    • Vince in MN

      September 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      As long as he doesn’t have typical Bonderman first innings, I’m Ok with that.

  5. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I feel so cheap this morning as last night I watched a ballgame other than the Tigers – White Sox v. Angels. I did have a good time!

    • StorminNorman$

      September 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      i watched a lot of that game also (during the painful UM – ND game).

      it was kind of comforting to see both the Angels and CWS making poor base running decisions, some lousy defense and leaving a bunch of men on base (i.e., Angels having bases loaded nobody out, and no score)… i’m sure Angel and Sox fans go through the same suffering Tiger fans do… and lose some perspective when over-analyzing their team(s).

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        September 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        Good observations. The White Sox aren’t playing the same ball as the Tigers are presently playing.

  6. Vince in MN

    September 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Cy Diamond working on a 94 pitch perfect game.

    • Vince in MN

      September 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      84 pitch.

  7. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    CY Buster Cabrera, MVP

  8. mcb

    September 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Our D is not helping Max here

    • Florian

      September 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Not to worry, Twinkies, you can win this one – JL brings Coke in.

  9. Florian

    September 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Coke brings the runs in.

  10. Jeff Molby

    September 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    ::Sigh:: I miss the old Coke. Any idea what happened to him? Is his velocity down? Did his pitches flatten?

    • Florian

      September 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Actually, have to say that this was not his worst outing, in retrospect. Right now, everything flattens. Let’s see: Dirks lets the ball drop twice in one inning, Villareal does not apply the tag at home plate… hmmm. Baseball fundamentals are a bitch, especially when the Tigers have already scored their obligatory 2 runs per game.

      • Jeff Molby

        September 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

        I know the hit was just bad luck, but the 4-pitch walk is a sign that he’s still scuffling.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Looks like his control is off. However he was close on a KC againstMorneau who singled on the next pitch.

  11. mcb

    September 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    And the defense still is the problem 5 runs later

  12. StorminNorman

    September 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Dirks has to make that catch (that was in his glove)…everything went south after that.

    …and Villareal thinking he had a force-out covering home in tag situation was the icing on the cake

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Agree. The sticks must make up for these debacle.

  13. Jeff Molby

    September 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Ridiculous inning all around, but we’re still in this. C’mon boys!

  14. stephen

    September 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Well, no one said this was going to be easy. Win the nightcap and White Sox lose to Weaver and we’re tied. Not a bad outcome for the weekend.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      I would have taken that offer last Friday afternoon

    • Jeff Molby

      September 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      I’m with ya on that one, stephen.

      • Jeff Molby

        September 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

        With Scherzer coming off the injury and Diamond having a good year, this was the game I was worried about anyways. I like the rest of the day’s matchups.

  15. Jeff Molby

    September 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Weaver just escaped a huge jam to get out of the first.

  16. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    After this game, I need a pity hug from one of the Detroit Fox Sports gals. However, if the Tigers go into tonight’s game knowing the White Sox have lost, they will be playing with confiendence rather than panic.

    • Coleman

      September 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Just having finished watching the Lions game…a hug might not do it.

  17. stephen

    September 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Dude, flip on the White Sox game that will put you right. They’re not taking any pitches, basically saying ‘gas up the jet.’ Maybe they right themselves when they get home, but right now they look godawful.

  18. Kevin in Dallas

    September 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you LAA.

    Playing for first, friends.

    • William

      September 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      stephen called this…Sox are reeling. unfortunately for us, the pitiful Tribe awaits them in Chicago. Hopefully, Tampa will still be in the thick of it by Thursday when they visit Chicago.

      Is it to much to ask that the Royals play like the “April-August Royals” next week and not The “September Royals”?

      • Jeff Molby

        September 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm

        Don’t dismiss the Sox. They’re a slightly above average team and that kind of team is going to have short losing streaks from time to time, especially when they have to play against good teams; getting swept by the Angels is no disgrace.

        The Sox aren’t “reeling”, “choking”, or whatever your favorite term is. They’re gonna win a handful of games this week and we’re gonna have to play at least .500 ball to win this thing.

        • Florian

          September 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

          Sox are 4-0 against the Rays this season, plus they have a better record against Cleveland than the Tigers have against the Twins and Royals. Not looking too good yet – I am bracing for a Sox win of the division. There. I said it. I hopefully jinxed it. And a win by the Tigers will be so much sweeter then…

  19. stephen

    September 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    White Sox began to lose pennant when, after a game of baserunning gaffes, Ventura intentionally walk Jeff Francoeur (!) and then the next Royals batter lined a 0-2 pitch and run came in. Ventura’s inexperience and team suckiness finally intersected. (Well, Wise tried to jumpstart it against Tigers with his baserunning, but it took a couple of games to stick). He intentionally walked the 2nd worst statistical batter in the American League!

    • Florian

      September 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Maybe he took lessons from Smokey and now also goes with what his lunch burrito tells him (i.e. “going with his gut”).

  20. Florian

    September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Why does the lineup to a CRUCIAL game feature Santiago and Boesch, both hitting below .250, and leave out Dirks (.313) and Infante (.277)?