Game 2013.12: Tigers at A’s

After a three-HR assault, a three-hit six-inning Verlander gem, and a three-K 9th by Joaquin Benoit to end some bullpen drama, the Tigers go into today with a chance to start their only West Coast trip with a series win.

The Tigers give the call to Anibal today. Sanchez has had two strong outing so far (1-0, 1.50 ERA), and has struck out 13 in 12 innings so far. Look for some more today, as Anibal faces an Oakland lineup missing Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes to injuries, and seems to have a game plan of taking a lot of pitches against the Tigers staff.

Left Fielder Seth Smith is one guy that Sanchez might want to be careful with: Smith is a career 7-for-15 with 3 home runs agains Anibal.

When Anibal does need to hand over the ball the A’s will get to face a bullpen that is not only shaky, but depleted: not many pitchers will be available today. Dotel suffered elbow soreness in Friday night’s game). Coke should be available, as is Wild Brayan. And of course Don Kelly. But beyond that, who knows? The main option though, is likely to be…Rick Porcello.

You may have noticed Porcello warming up last night. Since the one off day on the West Coast trip falls on Monday, Porcello will skip his normally scheduled Tuesday start and Fister will take Tuesday, leaving Porcello as a fill-in bullpen guy.

Speaking of bullpen guys, Jose Valverde pitched to his first live batters in an extended spring training game in Lakeland (1 scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout). Only one walk per inning? That is looking good these days.

*****

We had a lot of good input on the potentially controversial BHIP (beard hit by a pitch) situation inspired by Josh Reddick. I should add that it should be pretty clearcut that if his beard is in the strike zone (even if his body is not), the correct call would be a strike. I think there are also potential issues such as interfering with the catcher’s throws that should be considered while forming a MLB beard policy.

Today’s A of the Day is Eric Sogard, who is one the few position players in MLB in this century to sport eyeglasses. Here we have a proposed All-Time players-with-glasses list, which overlooks a certain Tiger closer for the closer spot, preferring instead a fictional character.

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Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Victor Martinez. Snakebit or not, the longer his slump goes the more pressure it will create. A three-hit day would solve that nicely.

Today’s Sub-less Lineup:

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

19 Comments

  1. The Strategy Expert

    April 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Wow what a brilliant slide by Hunter to score that run and a terrible job by the Catcher to protect the plate.

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Even with the Catcher not positioning himself well for that easy out he still could have tagged him out if it wasn’t revealed on replay that he also lost control of the ball so he screwed up twice on that play.

  2. Vince in MN

    April 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Yay V-Mart!

    The way Hunter is swinging the bat, I am beginning to think he has a good shot at hitting .300 again this year.

    Good article by Lee Panas on the “Small Ball Tigers” from yesterday: http://www.detroittigertales.c.....igers.html

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Well for his career he is .302, and he’s coming off an injury and battling a sore thumb. So starting off this slow on the actual BA number is going to make it a pretty impressive accomplishment if he can get over .300 by the end of the year. I think the odds are against him doing that given the history and current production contributed.

      • The Strategy Expert

        April 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        Well plus he’s a good contact hitter and you can bet you will see more times like this last time where he will use his skills to put the ball in play to sacrifice for runs to be scored by the good OBP guys that are ahead of him.

        • Vince in MN

          April 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

          I was talking about Hunter hitting .300. I don’t expect V-Mart to hit .300 again, because of the long layoff due to last year’s in jury. Something in the .280 range with a good OBP would be just dandy by me. Anything more than that would be a huge bonus.

          • The Strategy Expert

            April 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

            Oh my bad I got all excited about the run. And yeah Hunter is leading with 20 hits right now. 3 Tigers made the graphic for most hits in the Majors with AJ and Prince up there.

            • The Strategy Expert

              April 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm

              Plus nobody has a duo like Miggy and Prince to follow so he will get challenged to hit every single time! lol he’s having a feeding frenzy this year so far.

  3. Vince in MN

    April 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Maybe we’ll get Smily for one of those 3+ inning saves today.

  4. Vince in MN

    April 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Seth who? I think Anibal would like to pitch to him all day.

  5. Coleman

    April 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I think this wouild be a good time to find out if Don Kelly has what it takes to be a closer.

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Yeah put him in, it will save us a few bucks if we extend any of our relievers with the Save count being reduced by 1 for somebody. Now that’s using versatility to your advantage!

  6. Vince in MN

    April 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Easy inning there for Porcello. I think we found our closer!

  7. Vince in MN

    April 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    The Oakland A’s don’t look to tough to me.

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      They hit a lucky stretch.

      • Vince in MN

        April 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm

        I hope we’re going into a “lucky stretch”. These early season West Coast trips haven’t traditionally gone too well, and since it is the only one we are making this season, it would be nice to get it out of the way with a nice plus score. Anyway, the bats seem to have heated up and with the starting pitching going so well, if we can avoid late inning close games, we should do okay as we wait for Vasilerde to work himself into game saving form.

        • The Strategy Expert

          April 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

          The season is going just as expected. We just have to crawl our way to the All-Star break when only us and KC will have any shot in the 2nd half, and then eventually we just keep building on the separation over them.

  8. judpma

    April 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Nice series win…the next series will be more interesting with Seattle basically schooling the Tigers the past few series

  9. Smoking Loon

    April 15, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Not to detract from a fine series win, but the Tigers caught a real break with Crisp and Cespedes missing the last two. As it was, Detroit was a wasted Santiago triple and an improbable opposite field HR away from a sweep.

    The overall performance of the Tigers pen was the most least awful of the young season.