Game 2013.10: Tigers at A’s

Yes, the game post picture is a mite creepy. But then again, it is a 10:00 pm EST game, and creepiness is thematically apt.

Whenever the Tigers play at Oakland, there are three unavoidable questions that come to mind:

  1. Will anyone stay up late enough to watch?
  2. Who named O.co Coliseum, and how much would it cost to rename it? And what civil or criminal remedies are available? and
  3. The team name. I mean, Athletics is easy to work with, but A’s? It seem so…possessive. And what would the possessive of A’s be? A’s’s? As in the A’s’s record so far is best in the American League?

And it is. Against all odds, the A’s seem to be doing it again.

The Tigers just played the anti-A’s, and came within a bullpen meltdown from a series sweep. The Blue Jays spent the offseason stalking the Marlins and others like some crazed Ebay mavens, and gobbled up half a team’s worth of star players: Jose Reyes. Josh Johnson. Mark Buehrle. Melky Cabrera. R.A. Dickey.  It was like a fantasy league draft. And yet currently the Blue Jays sit at a glum 3-6, and just claimed Tiger (and Mariner!) castoff Casper “The Ghost” Wells.

The A’s, on the other hand, after surprising everyone with their unexpected run into the playoffs last season, bolstered their team for 2013 by…well, what, exactly? After making a big fuss about how important the clubhouse presence of Brandon Inge was, they flicked him aside without much ado. They lost Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy and Stephen Drew, and added…umm, Chris Resop? And yet there they sit at 8-2, with the best record in the American League, having just swept the “juggernaut” California Angels.

It’s still early, but still impressive.

Tonight they send out the Reanimated, Rehabilitated Bartolo Colon to face Mad Max Scherzer. Bartolo has no business being in a Major League Baseball uniform, which means he will probably shut out Detroit.

*****

By the way,  one of the best value tickets in all of Major League Baseball: the tickets behind the bullpens in Oakland, which are on the field between 1st/3rd and the outfield. I had the pleasure of watching Brayan Villarreal, Al Alburquerque, and Daniel Schlereth warm up there from about 20 feet away, and it was most informative.

*****

Stat of the Day:  Teams who rest two .400 hitters on a West Coast trip opener win 66.6% of the games on the road trip.

Really Weird, Check-It-Out-Yourself, No-Really, Stat of the Day: This is the ONLY West Coast road trip. All season.

Player of the Pre-game: Don Kelly. With the fearsome Ramon Santiago hitting behind him finally Kelly will get some good pitches to hit. And having Kelly on base in front of him will clearly get Santiago “going.”

Today’s Clearly-Hunter-And-Infante-Need-A-Rest-From-The-Long-Plane-Trip Lineup:

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Dirks, LF
  3. Cabrera, 3B
  4. Fielder, 1B
  5. Martinez, DH
  6. Avila, C
  7. Peralta, SS
  8. Kelly, RF
  9. Santiago, 2B

 

154 thoughts on “Game 2013.10: Tigers at A’s”

  1. Yikes. No offense, Max (and Coleman), but that photo’s a bit creepy.

    Ha! I wrote that even before I started reading the post. I was just about to delete it, thinking it didn’t sound very nice. But Coleman said it first.

    1. Max is a switch-pitcher. He can pitch with his right eye or his left eye, depending on the team he is facing. Of course, scouting helps a lot in choosing the correct eye, but still, it is a huge advantage.

  2. “Teams who rest two .400 hitters on a West Coast trip opener win 66.6% of the games on the road trip.”

    You copped that from baseball-reference.com. I’ve long suspected that you don’t keep your own stats.

      1. I set you up for that. I’m your 8th inning guy. Just call me Joaquin Loon. (That’s another setup. Two holds in one thread. Outstanding.)

  3. Smokey must think the Division is in the bag ….. by fielding a lineup like tonight!!! Like Coleman points out ….. who the hell would sit .400 batters for two scrubs ….. only an idiot!!!

    1. Relax. Torii is due for a day off, and Santiago has good history vs. Colon working for him. Both Hunter and Infante are still available off the bench. This is a good choice of a game to give Kelly and Santiago some work – think about it. It’s Bartolo Colon, man.

      I’m looking forward to seeing Andy Dirks in the #2 spot. I like his chances for a good game at the plate.

  4. Man, that is creepy though, isn’t it? Too bad he couldn’t just stare at the batters from about 2 feet away.

    1. It is. Guys who can hit 90+ MPH pitches probably DO see his eyes as though they were 2 feet away. Good for our side. Which makes me wonder – is there anything in the rules of baseball to prevent a player from wearing all-white contacts to get that Kung Fu guy look? THAT would be unnerving. Then again, soon everyone would be doing it, and the effect would be lost, and that would be that.

      1. Actually they DID used to have rules about tattoos. Guys who had tattoos used to have to wear long sleeves so as to not distract the batters with their artwork. I vaguely recall someone on the Tigers being subject to this. But after a while it was like the finger in the dyke and they threw up their hands and said “whatever.”

    1. He must be the drummer, they keep changing. If you are going to be a wise guy about it, I will edit my post and make your comment seem nonsensical.

      1. Ha. Then I’ll just edit MY post to make it sensical again. Nyuk, nyuk.

        No…. you’re not REALLY upset, are you? All typos must be seized upon. It’s a basic rule, isn’t it?

        1. Besides, you turned my whole plural world upside down by bringing “A’s” into it. I’m forced to concede that I won’t be writing A’s’s anytime soon. Or Athletics’s. Just like that, a neat theory toppled like a house of cards.

              1. That is the most ridiculous theory I have ever heard. Time to put down the bottle of Smoking Loon.

  5. Game under way out here in Cali…I know you guys think you get all the rough weather back in Mich…..but we are under a high surf warning here at the beach….

    1. Nothing spoils a day at the beach like a high surf warning (cue violins), haha.

      (Actually I used to live near SF, and they DO have weather there).

    1. Some discussion up here in the Pacific Northwest as to whom JR most closely resembles… Joaquin Phoenix in his I’m Still Here phase, or some one closer to home, Charles Manson ( ZZ Top was were (?) also mentioned )

      1. Now that should be the Ace Hardware Scotts poll question. Also: if he continues to grow the thing, say down to his chest, and it is swaying in the breeze, and a pitch grazes it…does he get to take first?

      1. 2nd inning Max heard me griping about the pitch count and told me where to go. He’s looking good.

    1. He’s swinging like a maniac and he crushed that one good like a few others this year. Including that foul ball on the first pitch, it looked like Colon gave a facial expression to his infielders after seeing that deadly swing attempt and laser bounce off the bat. Prince was over-swinging and then Colon came right back with 3 more similar fastballs and eventually Prince caught on. I thought it was a horrible handing of that entire pitch sequence by Colon as well as funky mental mechanics since he seemed to be aware of what just happened on the first fastball yet proceeded like he just wanted to serve one up for him on multiple tries of the same thing.

    1. Scherzer really is pitching more quickly. It’s working, looks like.

      Has anyone noticed that when Doug Fister starts to hurry even a bit (he’s quick as it is), it’s often a sign of trouble to come?

  6. Ah yes. Good to get out of that inning without any more drama after the error. Momentum thing.

      1. Is it really the first for the whole defense? Incredible. We’re really clicking in all aspects – starting pitching
        – hitting
        – fielding
        – bullpen

        oh, wait.

        1. It won’t be much longer til Valverde is here. And then back to the old times of last year!

        2. Except for that reversed Miggy error, minor ball transfer thing, yeah.

          Running on three wheels, it seems. So far.

      1. He was a dead duck at 2B quite easily, not sure why he hesitated and for the lead runner. There was guy in perfect position to field the bag as well. That deserves to be scored as an error.

        1. The Oakland broadcasters disagree with you. Considering their POV and experience, I’ll side with them.

  7. Good play by Jackson on that Sogard hit. Are there any other position players in MLB who wear glasses besides Sogard? Maybe I will make that a trivia question tomorrow (although I don’t know the answer).

    1. Nice slap by Victor but man his aim is horrible! Look at where Prince placed his shot, he tucked it nicely in the corner, that’s a great spot!

          1. I think baseball is my favorite sin, currently. Spending this much time on something I’m not being paid for has got to be a sin. Unless it’s a labor of love, which might be overstating the case.

            1. Oh “vanity, is my favorite sin” is also a Pacino line. 🙂

              And I feel your pain. I’ve been toiling over the game of baseball for quite some time myself also for no money, but money doesn’t drive me in the quest to master the game.

              1. Aha, Pacino. I knew there was something cryptic going on there. I swung and missed like Matt Tuiasosopo.

              2. Yeah he’s graceful, a regular Tuibacca.

                And yeah you have to watch for those cryptic riddles hidden within the passing baseball chatter. There’s always a game to win somewhere, you just have to look closely enough.

      1. You could be right. Despite the average, he is easily the most iffy regular at the plate all season so far.

    1. Thrown and caught! I’m off Walking Loon, though. I’m drinking Hermaphroditic Crustacean these days. Heard about it from Ramone, former drummer with They Might Be Tigers.

  8. Wow, striking out the side again. No one recovers from trouble quite like Scherzer, it seems. Maybe he can work from the pen in between starts.

  9. Oh, man, Max was just dealing. Nothing against Smyly, but another inning of Max would have been much more relaxing to watch.

  10. Nicely cut off by Kelly. Coulda been worse.

    I was leaning toward another inning of Max myself.

    1. And we have the 5-9 spots due up. So the bullpen probably needs at least 2 shutout innings here. Wagers, anyone?

      1. I have $5 that says something shocking or dismaying will happen. I get to cover both conditions. 😉

    2. I wouldn’t make too much of that. Top of the 8th, the big boys don’t get it done, either. Still time.

  11. Tied, yes, but good job Smyly to gut that one out. Plenty of time for the bats to take this one back.

  12. Sometimes I just have to look at the ads behind home plate. And I am thinking that I really would not want my assets managed by a guy called “Rot.”

    1. That actually works on two levels–I realize “Rot” means “Red,” but is that any better a name for a guy who wants to manage your assets?

  13. Weak ABs like the Cabrera one bother me much more than bottom of the order hitters going 0 for anything. I know he gets it done so much of the time, but still…

    1. Suddenly I am overcome by a suspicion that Rot Adler is some kind of alias for Rod Allen. Laugh now, but you will have creeping doubts when he tells you that your 401K is “country strong.”

      1. Yeah a 401K is not ideal when tax rates are low because you may be deferring all of that tax liability into a time frame where tax rates could be much higher.

        1. That’s where the Roth IRA comes in handy. Although it sounds suspiciously like “Rot.”

          Great recovery, Darin.

  14. Tigs entered their This will take way too much effort to win ” mode about 6 innings ago…its just a matter of time now….and it will be a batter that they walk

      1. He’s been mod-o-fied. The A’s’s ability to hit him or even take any pitches out of the zone will be severely impaired. Villareal shall reduce the A’s to ambiguous crustaceans.

    1. Ok dismaying that a Santiago Triple and nearly HR didn’t give us a chance to win this one in the bottom half. Nice blast though, maybe he’s ready to stop fooling around and start hitting the baseball now.

  15. Resop is so clearly a made-up name. If I were to write a novel, I wouldn’t even attempt to get away with naming someone Resop. Leyland should go out and demand to know his real name. (Hint: Spell it backwards).

    1. Absolutely. It would have been much better if Coke, Benoit, or Alburquerque had given up the home run.

    2. It should have been done long ago!!! What kind of an idiot makes the moves that Smokey does??? Insert two scrubs in the place of .400 batters ….. bring in a 54 era pitcher in a clutch situation. This guy makes my blood boil!!!

      1. I only forecast the statistical truth of reality. It is what it is and it’s only doom if one chooses to stay on a doomed path and not move.

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