Game 2013.18: Tigers at Angels

After two resounding losses to the Angels and three consecutive overall, the Detroit Tigers are on their heels trying to salvage one win in the series and end their road trip on a positive note with a positive record (for the trip and the season both). We don’t want to see .500 again, do we? And we sure don’t want to get to the point where we do want to see it again.

Today RHP Doug Fister goes up against LHP C.J. Wilson. Have the Tigers beaten a southpaw yet in 2013? I’m thinking not. Fister was brilliant last time out. Wilson had a decent albeit labored outing against the Astros in his last start. In 67 PA, current Angels have put up an OPS well over Fister’s career OPS-against, but 19 of those PA belong to Josh Hamilton, whom Fister has had in his pocket to date. (Beware: This usually spells trouble.) Wilson, despite a marginally significant current Tiger .714/career .674 OPS-against, has done well against the Tigers he’s faced the most. (Don’t be surprised to see Santiago at SS, and maybe even a day off for V-Mart.) He’s a bit generous with walks, but stingy with home runs.

Alarm status on Tigers hitting has been officially upgraded to Code Funk, after 9 runs in 5 games. Let’s look at these 9 runs. 5 were driven in by Miggy. 2 scored on infield outs. 2 were walked in. Hmmm. What does it all mean? I don’t want to look at the RISP numbers over this stretch. Really I don’t.

Being humbled by C.C. Sabathia and humiliated by King Felix is one thing. Being humbled by Tommy Hanson and humiliated by Garrett Richards is quite another.

Why don’t we move on to a cheerier subject, such as the Tigers bullpen? This problem has been overshadowed by the hitting woes, but it’s still there. I often wonder why stats such as inherited runners scored and first batters faced (each inning) reaching aren’t more front and center for relievers. Drew Smyly and Darin Downs have turned in some good work, but I guarantee you the aforementioned stats aren’t pretty for the rest of the pen. I was going to work up the stats for you, but two ugly games have left me exhausted. Perhaps by the time of my next series the issue will have gone away. That would be nice. In the meantime, Octavio Dotel and Joaquin Benoit appear to be making their inexorable way down Valverde Road, and perhaps Brayan Villarreal could go to Toledo and stay there for a while.

And now the Redemption Game starting lineups, courtesy of that inveterate baseball savant…

POST-GAME: Angels 4, Tigers 3, in 13 innings. Tough loss. Taking back a lead is not the Tigers’s strong suit.

TURNING POINT: After Tigers hitters leave the bases loaded in the first two innings, the bottom 3rd becomes outright Clown Show, with 2 Fister HBPs, a Pujols “double” that was clearly a Cabrera error good for 2 haunting runs, and a botched DP throw by Infante (Fielder gets a share) good for 1 haunting run more. TURNING POINT: Top of the 5th, Prince golfs a 2-run shot to RF off of Wilson to turn back the clock with one swing. TURNING POINT: Top of the 9th, Cabrera and Fielder draw what are essentially intentional walks to load the bases with 2 outs to get to Martinez. Martinez battles, but Frieri gets him to pop out harmlessly to left. Big time fail. GAME-LOSER: The 3-1 breaking ball Coke (not Jim Leyland) threw to Trumbo for the walk-off HR. Cokey has to deal with his 2nd walk-off of the year. He was way good for the 2 innings prior, though.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout

HONORABLE MENTION: Al Alburquerque, Doug Fister, Prince Fielder, Jerome Williams, Ernesto Frieri, C.J. Wilson

NOT SO GOOD: Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera

Minus some generous official scoring, by my count Cabrera has 5 errors at 3B this year. 2 today, including the first very costly one.

Tigers hitting failing to turn threats into runs is the THE story now, and the bullpen was good today – Alburquerque especially was in otherworldly 2011 form – but here are those bullpen stats I mentioned just the same, updated through today’s game:

INHERITED RUNNERS SCORED (8 OF 17 TIMES, 12 OF 24 RUNNERS SCORED OVERALL)

ALBURQUERQUE: 2 OF 4 TIMES, 3 OF 7 SCORED

VILLAREAL: 3 OF 4 TIMES, 3 OF 4 SCORED

COKE: 1 OF 3 TIMES, 1 OF 3 SCORED

DOTEL: 1 OF 2 TIMES, 3 OF 5 SCORED

DOWNS: 1 OF 3 TIMES, 2 OF 5 SCORED

BENOIT: 0 OF 1 TIMES, 0 SCORED

FIRST BATTER FACED IN AN INNING RESULTS IN REACH OR ADVANCE (23 IN 80 BF); WITHOUT SMYLY, 22 IN 62 —  FIRST BATTER OBP = .275; WITHOUT SMYLY, FIRST BATTER OBP = .339

ALBURQUERQUE: 4 IN 11 BF (5 K, 2 BB, 1 H, 2 WP ON SAME BATTER)

VILLAREAL: 5 IN 8 BF (3 K, 3 BB, 1 H, WP, SB)

COKE: 2 IN 11 BF (4 K, 0 BB, 2 H)

DOTEL: 4 IN 7 BF (1 K, 0 BB, 4 H)

DOWNS: 4 IN 11 BF (5 K, 3 BB, 1 H)

BENOIT: 4 IN 12 BF (3 K, 2 BB, 2 H)

SMYLY: 1 IN 18 BF (9 K, 0 BB, 1 H)

PORCELLO: 0 IN 2 BF (0 K)

31 Comments

  1. stephen

    April 21, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Inge violently heckled, peanuts tossed. I SWEAR IT WASN’T ME I HAVE ALIBI.
    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ml.....s#comments

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 21, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Well there’s just no place in baseball or any game for throwing peanuts at somebody. What’s the point of that? Ok congratulations you got your point across that you are a disgruntled nut. And it would have been a more economical choice to throw nickels with the price of peanuts nowadays!

      • Smoking Loon

        April 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

        Claiming to have an alibi isn’t the same as providing one. You remain the prime suspect, stephen.

    • Vince in MN

      April 21, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Heckling by peanuts. So it has come to this. Beer bottles used by be the preferred object of choice.

  2. Coleman

    April 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Dotel missed a little time with a sore elbow, then came back without a fastball. Count me concerned.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      He hasn’t been his usual quietly effective self, for sure.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 22, 2013 at 9:58 pm

        I think Dotel is going on the 15-day DL imminently, and Jose Ortega is going to be called up from Toledo.

        • Smoking Loon

          April 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

          I guessed wrong. I figured that when they called Rondon up, it would be with a view toward keeping him when convinced he’d stick, and thought it more likely that they’d go with a “look” at Ortega while Dotel was out, a more short-term “while we think things over” move. That look apparently belongs to Rondon now, though it doesn’t rule out this being more than a look, planning-wise.

  3. Smoking Loon

    April 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Today’s probable lineups:

    CF Jackson
    RF Hunter
    3B Cabrera
    1B Fielder
    DH Martinez
    LF Tuiasosopo
    SS Peralta
    C Pena
    2B Infante

    CF Bourjos
    LF Trout
    DH Pujols
    RF Hamilton
    1B Trumbo
    2B Kendrick
    SS Harris
    C Conger
    3B Jimenez

    • Smoking Loon

      April 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I guess I wasn’t wrong about Santiago. He was supposed to start at SS today, but went to the hospital yesterday with dehydration symptoms.

  4. Smoking Loon

    April 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I have good news. Enough data has been gathered to forecast the Tigers’s final victory total with confidence. Clearly, the Tigers are going to have a win percentage between .167 and .333 against teams Torii Hunter has played for, and go .667 against the rest of their opponents. This projects to 95-99 wins.

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Sounds good, I threw out 95 as a prediction at the beginning of the season and a shot at winning the division by 10. I figured KC for our top competitor at about 85 and the other 3 teams to be battling at the end to try and hit .500 w/ maybe all 3 coming up short.

  5. Coleman

    April 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Bases loaded and 1 out, and Victor whiffs. Sigh.

  6. TIGERS RULE

    April 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Bases loaded in the first and second inning ….. but can’t do anything. Looks like it’s going to be one of those games.

    • Vince in MN

      April 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      A couple of more walks that inning and we could have had another run.

    • TIGERS RULE

      April 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      ….. and the wheels fall off in the third!

  7. Vince in MN

    April 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Wilson seems to have settled down now. That might be the end of the scoring for a while.

    • Coleman

      April 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      We already have one run. At the rate we are going the next run is “due” about the 4th inning of Tuesday’s game.

  8. Coleman

    April 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Uh oh, Clown Show alert!

  9. TIGERS RULE

    April 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    The Tiger fortunes have taken a 180 on this west coast swing! Who would have thought?

    • Vince in MN

      April 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      It’s the weather. They’ll be fine when they get back home where the temperatures are cooler.

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

        April 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        Vince, it was cold and wet in Seattle, so I am assuming you were kidding around, and when is thing going to end?

  10. Vince in MN

    April 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    That’s the idea. If you want to keep the Tigers from scoring, just load the bases.

  11. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Martinez is getting to have some Inge numbers…no peanuts please.

  12. Vince in MN

    April 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    That’s baseball.

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      It was more like house cleaning since they swept us right out of the place.

  13. judpma

    April 21, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Phil Choke pitches to RH Hitters for what reason ?……………………nevermind…..

    • Jeff Molby

      April 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Because he had already mowed down five right-handed hitters and it was the 13th inning the day after our starter lasted only 2/3 of an inning. You don’t worry about matchups when you’re running out of relievers.

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    April 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    It’s a long season. This stretch is on the batters. Even with Dotel’s blowup on Friday, the pen has been pretty darn good over the last 4 games. The hitters batted less than .100 with RISP during this losing streak, and one of those singles didn’t score a run.

    Again, it’s a long season. First inning was disappointing, but a great 2nd inning will erase that.

  15. stephen

    April 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Yeah, it’s hard to stress with this division. Tigers will win this division with 87 wins.

  16. Vince in MN

    April 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    The bats will come back. Obviously they weren’t going to hit .310 as a team for the whole season, so the last few games are really a corrective to the hot streak they had before that. Things will settle into a more normal range when they will regularly be scoring enough to win most of the time (they should average over 5 runs a game over the course of the season). The bench is weak, but hopefully Kelly and Santiago will be replaced by upgrades in the near future. Anyway, the regulars should be steadily productive. The few kinks in the pitching staff aren’t insurmountable either. The severity of Dotel’s injury and Villarreal’s control are the two main issues with the pen at the moment, but there is qualified backup at Toledo, and don’t forget the return of Valverde by the end of the month. I’m still waiting for the arrival of the New and Improved Porcello, but am inclined to think we are just in store for more of the Original strength, which may provoke a switch to Smily for the starting rotation, but I think RP gets plenty more chances before any change is made.