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.


  1. Coleman

    April 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Not dejected, but posting the lineup anyway:
    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

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Gotta win series (I intend a hard plural ‘s’ at the end there)

    • Smoking Loon

      April 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      I was so vexed by this word that I had to do some research not long ago. It turns out that “series” is spelled and pronounced the same way whether singular or plural. What a relief. I was afraid the plural might be “seria.” I think the possessive is still the awkward but correct series’s. Just like Tigers’s and Jones’s. Nobody likes it, but the more rational case is made for it. Avoids confusion. Do you like the Tigers’ chances, or do you like the tiger’s chances? Was Jones’ cause a lost one, or was Joan’s cause a lost one?

      • Coleman

        April 11, 2013 at 11:28 pm

        By Jones, do you mean Jacques? At all costs, try to avoid the Jacques Trap.

        • Smoking Loon

          April 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

          Ah, Jacque Jones. Brings back memories of the 2008 debacle. The blue glove, Sheffield, the ham sandwich, and a month or so of Jones. Look at his career stats. Talk about falling off a cliff, and early. There was a lot of falling off cliffs and sliding down slopes going on in Detroit in 2008.

          Or did you mean the roadhouse?

          • Coleman

            April 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

            The Ham Sandwich recently announced his retirement, which for some reason brought to mind “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    What an inning.

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Look at the current batting averages of our 9-4 hitters:

      .370 Infante
      .378 Jackson
      .390 Hunter
      .412 Cabrera
      .333 Fielder

      That is a lot of guys in a row getting on base.


        April 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        Wait till the weather warms up!!!

      • Vince in MN

        April 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        Now if we could just get that 5-8 black hole going.

        • TIGERS RULE

          April 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

          Just think when ….. not if …. Vmart gets rolling at the plate!!!

          • Vince in MN

            April 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

            I mean the 5-6 black hole.

  4. Vince in MN

    April 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Is the baserunning better so far this year? Lots of movement out there that inning.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Was there a change in the baserunning process??? Maybe one of the inputs?

  5. Coleman

    April 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    That should just about bullpen-proof this one.

  6. The Strategy Expert

    April 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    LOL Rod Allen says “gotta get back in that weight room son” after that Maritnez fly-out.

  7. judpma

    April 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Few more runs will exceed the Blowpens “Blow Range”

    • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

      April 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      sure hope that is the case

  8. The Strategy Expert

    April 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    VMart threw that bat down quite strangely after that last fly out. I wonder if the thumb was bothering him and he lost the grip or if he just got frustrated. I hope it wasn’t intentional because it could have hurt his wrist the way he threw it down and it came close to landing on his foot and possibly bouncing up to smack him in the knee.

    • Vince in MN

      April 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Sprain his knee, break his wrist and tear open those eight stitches all in one throw – ouch!

      • The Strategy Expert

        April 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        He was going for the cycle!

        • Kevin in Dallas

          April 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          Good catch, TSE. I definitely think he’s frustrated.

          • The Strategy Expert

            April 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm

            Well there have been little hints here and there that look like he’s distracted and not focused well. I think he’s feeling the pressure. Even when Rod Allen joked about him needing to go in the weight room, if you listen to it he says it quite sincerely and firmly and there isn’t a peep out of Impemba. Obviously he meant it in jest, but it seems like even Rod is sensing a negative affect from VMart as of late, so I bet he is secretly concerned. Keep an ear out the next couple games and see what Rod says, cause he’ll eventually point that stuff out especially if VMart continues not to produce.

            Although I still think it would have been in our best effort to trade him for anything we could prior to the start of the season, just for the record and recap. He doesn’t provide much versatility and has a stiff price tag and we shouldn’t have him fitting into our plans.

            • Kevin in Dallas

              April 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

              I like your insight. I disagree with your thoughts on trading him. I guess we’ll see over the coming months.

              • The Strategy Expert

                April 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

                Well there’s no point to trade him unless they were going to shake things up. As things stand right now he’s a good fit for this team as having an extra bat as they take a stab for a title run. But since I’m of the position that I still think the team should be undertaking major changes, then only from that perspective is it highly annoying.

                Naturally it would be no fun trying to trade him now while he’s off to a slow start. We still were at the top of the money bidding when we recently acquired him and we had to rely on the general increase in market prices to justify much leverage off of him in a trade. There wouldn’t be any way to keep the team as strong this year as the only outlet for moving him would be in such a way that we would have to take a deferral in proceeds until a later point in exchange for giving up the usage of him for this year. So it doesn’t make sense to trade him anyhow unless they have a specific player to target and he can pick up his stock price a bit when his thumb heals up.

              • Smoking Loon

                April 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm

                I think Martinez has looked good at the plate and is about to catch fire. I think his frustration is the frustration of a perfectionist who knows how close he is and can’t be satisfied with that. Pretty normal.

                I liked Allen’s weight room comment, too. As far as home runs are concerned, everyone on the team needs to get back in the weight room, but I’m not complaining, not when they’re putting up 15, 16, 17 hits in a game. Yow.

              • Coleman

                April 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm

                Considering his recent bad luck with injuries, catching fire is a definite possibility.

              • Smoking Loon

                April 12, 2013 at 12:08 am

                He just needs to avoid doing commercials for Pepsi.

          • Smoking Loon

            April 12, 2013 at 12:09 am

            Not to mention freebasing.

  9. Vince in MN

    April 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Fister at 107 pitches, so let Villarreal finish it off. It’s the best possible situation for him to work on stuff.

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      They said they noticed some problems with BV’s delivery on video and are working with him, so he may have a day or two or three off coming up.

      • Vince in MN

        April 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm

        Let’s just hope the startrs keep going deep until the weather warms up.

  10. judpma

    April 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    The best part of today just might have been Fister going 8, with him only using 100+ pitches..keep the game out of the Blowpen.

    • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

      April 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      always the best case scenario, starting pitching eating up innings and keeping their pitch count down

  11. mcb

    April 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Amazing win in brutal weather today. Hard to believe they could throw up 11 runs in 35 degrees – very happy to see Fister go 8. Here’s to a big road trip! Looking forward to them returning so I can get back down to the Park on April 27th!

    • The Strategy Expert

      April 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Tough start for Toronto after absorbing lots of expensive contracts. What fun.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 11, 2013 at 11:51 pm

        If they want to start unloading some of that salary later this season, I could see the Tigers taking Reyes off their hands. I think that guy would fit right in. Though I’m not sure where you’d put him in the Tigers (adjective) lineup.

        • The Strategy Expert

          April 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

          Interesting though, but Reyes’ contract jumps up after this year, it goes up to $16MM next year after $10M this year, and then it goes to $22MM for 4 years after that. I can’t imagine Toronto constructing a deal that would make it tempting to take him. They would have to eat up some dollars there and they surely won’t do that, especially with the hot start that Reyes is off to.

          Toronto didn’t absorb countless millions of contracts only to get scared after 10 games, they are all in and probably very confident for the short and long term and they have a long way to go before they would move into the perspective of wanting to clean out contracts and rebuild. They are taking their stab with money investments now and going to work off of that, whether they reach the heavens or die miserably that’s the path they laid out for themselves. It’s super high risk without a proper foundation to support it, so it’s just a matter of time and likely statistical odds that they will crash and burn. We just need to anticipate when in the future that their mood will shift so we can pluck a value trade that makes sense for us when that time comes.

          • Smoking Loon

            April 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

            True that the Tigers wouldn’t actually go after Reyes. I “saw” it only as a pleasant fantasy. The way I think he fits in with the Tigers – besides being a SS any team would want – is based on how he was smiling and enjoying himself throughout the series. I don’t know if he’s like that all the time, but part of the reason the Tigers are fun to watch is that the players look like they’re having fun a lot of the time. Win or lose. I like that.

            • The Strategy Expert

              April 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm

              Yeah I totally agree and I think this team should be having a lot more fun out there AND a lot more winning, but fun is easier to come by and amplify when you win more regularly.

  12. Coleman

    April 11, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    With the 10:05 start tomorrow, tomorrow is a virtual off-day here. Hopefully we will see a showing from the hearty souls who stay up for it, and those of us in the West.

  13. Smoking Loon

    April 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Santiago gets the start at 2B tonight.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Richard Justice:

      “No team has [a starting rotation] better than Oakland. No team seems to have more fun than the A’s. But after last season, you probably knew that.”

      I beg to differ. The A’s starters are a bit better statistically through 10 games; that much is true.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm

        Ah, should have foreseen Kelly starting in RF.

        • Coleman

          April 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

          Obvi, as the youngsters say.

  14. Smoking Loon

    April 12, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Yeah, I was so pleased with myself for calling it on Santiago (even got the position right) that I didn’t think any further.

    Obvi? I’ll try to work that into some conversations soon. I’m more than a little out of touch with the youngsters.

    Just saw Rondon save a game for the Mud Hens. Aside from that, I missed all the real action. Toledo improves to 2-7. Got a brief look at Billy Hamilton (Louisville), who I’d read about for the first time only a couple weeks ago. Below had another good start.