Game 2013.9: Blue Jays at Tigers

Victor Martinez back in the lineup already, what a trooper. Martinez is on the unlucky side of BAbip at the moment. Ain’t nothin’ but a thang.

How about that bullpen? Abysmal with inherited runners. 6 of 6 scored… in one game?? But it’s early, much too early to contemplate Villareal and Alburquerque being sent to Toledo and replaced by Rondon and Valverde, so I won’t even mention it.

Rain in the forecast threatens to seriously delay or postpone today’s game, but in the unlikely event it comes off, here’s one angle on the pitching matchup:

Josh Johnson has, for all practical purposes, never faced the current Tigers. Doug Fister’s OPS-against (90 PA, 0 HR and only 8 XBH) vs. current Blue Jays is a sparkling .668 vs. a sparkling  career .676. Too bad if the game is rained out, because Fister could be Fister against the Jays and rule Toronto, unless we factor in regression to the mean, in which case Fister gets bombed. Prayers for rain would appear to be unnecessary today, in any event.

Actually, the Tigers bullpen is making the starting pitcher matchups somewhat irrelevant. Unless that turns around (in a good way, not a reversal of failure), it might be more informative to pit bullpen vs. bullpen in my little OPS-against doo-dads.

And now today’s starting lineups, courtesy of the dejected but resilient…

POST-GAME: Tigers 11, Blue Jays 1. Sometimes a lopsided score makes a great win. This time a GREAT win makes a lopsided score. Pitching, baserunning, hitting, defense – the Tigers had it ALL going on. Detroit (5-4) takes the series from Toronto (3-6) in what could easily have been a sweep. In keeping with a game to remember, Miguel Cabrera had a career first – same game triple and stolen base (a brilliant steal of third by the smartest baserunner on the team). Doug Fister did indeed rule the Blue Jays. Watch the Arencibia at bats.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Doug Fister, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter

HONORABLE MENTION: Jhonny Peralta, Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, Andy Dirks

NOT SO GOOD: Josh Johnson, Esmil Rogers

Turning point: 1st inning,  Miggy catches the Jays sleeping and steals third (two outs!), scores shortly thereafter. Game winner: 2nd inning hit parade, kicking off with 6 hits wrapped around a sac fly. Game keeper: 3rd inning, Peralta ranges to keep one in the IF that could have sent Reyes to 3B, then ranges right again to get the force on Reyes at 3B. And then Dirks nails Melky at the plate to take the wind out of Toronto’s sails for good. Two on with no outs and nothing to show for it. Beauty.