Game 2013.28: Tigers at Astros

Surprisingly, last night turned out well, thanks mostly to a career performance by The Pride of Butler, PA, Don “The Donkey” Kelly.

As expected, the game turned into a strikeout duel, with Rick Porcello doing more than expected, and the Tiger hitters a little less so.

The key play of the game could have easily turned out to be Tuiasosopo being thrown at at home in the 11th.  I will go on the record as saying that the move by Brookens was absolutely the right one, usually: on the road, extra innings, 2 outs, the odds are in your favor to be aggressive and to send the runner home, every time. Think of it this way:  if the next hitter is a .200 hitter, the odds are 1 in 5 that the next batter will hit the runner in. The odds are much better that the defense will not throw the runner out.

On the other hand, you need to consider the variables. As in: Ankiel in RF, and Tuiasosopo on 3rd base. Tui might be a tad faster than Victor Martinez (who should never, ever again be sent home in anything other than a gimme situation). I like the aggressive approach of Brookens, but he needs to know when he is working against elite arms, armed with leadfoots.

OK, time for a new nickname: Tuiasoslopoke.


Tonight Doug “The K” Fister faces a guy named “Bud.”


If the game is sparsely attended tonight, you have to forgive the Houstonians. At 8-21, there is hardly joy in Mudville. And the real fans were all up late waiting out that extra-inning downer. And on top of all that, apparently the Main Event in town is a culture war.


Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Don Kelly. DK gets the rare start after his heroics last night.

Today’s No-Jack Lineup:

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

58 thoughts on “Game 2013.28: Tigers at Astros”

  1. I am still exhausted from last night. So little production out of so many chances………Glad it is Friday…..Go Fister lets get one!

  2. Excellant nickname/adjuctive for a Matt blast! Well done Coleman! Let’s enjoy this weekend…Cold in Mississippi….going to 36F!

  3. Who cares about Rayburn when Kelly is putting his 4 game hitting streak on the line!

  4. “Flash” Kelly scores from second on a single after stealing 2nd base. A small-ball run. I like it.

    1. Which strategy was necessitated by the fact that Automatic Out was due up after Peralta.

      1. Mumbles will say after the game Avila is swinging the bat really well…

        ..he just misses everything!

    1. FanGraphs, maybe? Don’t know much about the site yet, some of it might be “premium content” ($). There’s gotta be something out there, probably at some slight cost.


      1. I see one of Infantes road problems twice tonight he has struck out on a pitch 3 feet outside….maybe at HOME those pitches don’t look like that!

  5. It’s hard to believe the Astros are only 8-21 when they have Cy Whatshisname starting every day.

  6. Hunter-Fielder- Martinez-Dirks-Avila-……..5 for 37 so far in Houston against the 30th ranked pitching staff in the Majors….all named CY Somebody!

    1. No, I think he threw three before tonight. Glad to see him throw a bunch tonight. They didn’t seem to be very effective, but at least he’s showing them. I’ll take it.

    1. That was close. Fielder had his foot near the center of the bag and it almost was enough to let the guy make it there safe. He should have adjusted and went for the top corner of the bag and it would have really helped out tremendously. He was on the wrong part of the bag and with not the right angle and without a stretch, so he had 3 ways to gain an advantage there and he missed all of them. It’s an unusual type of play that doesn’t come up that often for that type of an angled throw, but this time we were lucky that it didn’t end up biting us.

      1. If you watch the replay, you’ll see that Fielder was surprised that Infante got to the ball, which may help to explain why his footwork was off by a bit. Good observation, though I don’t think that “tremendously” is the right adverb here.

        1. Well to me it is because of how close the play was, and the amount of distance that Fielder could have cut down relative to the difference between being out and safe is a giant proportion compared to most other scenarios where you are trying to determine how much a first baseman can gain by going for a stretch.

          See if Infante was throwing from 2B on a routine throw, then Fielder is almost surely going to have the right foot placement and angle to receive, and the only thing he has to worry about is to make sure to stretch which can only do so much.

          But in this case, he had 3 things he could have done for a much bigger advantage than normal. He missed a few inches on foot placement alone, he wasn’t torqued with his body for an optimal angle, and then he didn’t stretch fully and because he was on a bad body angle he also had limited stretch even if he had fully tried to stretch.

          And yeah it was definitely the case that he didn’t expect or anticipate the play the right way, and that’s the mistake here, is it’s not a technical problem with how his physical body parts work, it’s just an awareness issue and he needs to learn how to be more anticipatory and paying attention.

        2. The other thing too is when I watched the play it looked to me like Fielder may have picked up the play with still time to hustle over to that corner and get into position and extend to make it not even close.

          So the thing that I’m wondering the most is I’m imagining a conversation Leyland might have had with him when he comes back to the dugout such as “hey what happened on that one your footwork looked a little iffy there”. That would give Fielder a clue to address but a fair chance to honestly say what happened. I’d expect he would either say yeah I wasn’t sure if I had enough time so I just stepped to where I could step to make sure I caught the ball and I would have liked to get in a better spot if i could have, or he could say yeah that was great wasn’t it, I got to the right spot and everything was so perfect. In one of those scenarios we find out that Fielder is at least aware of what the technically best choice would have been and he just didn’t think he had time, but in the other event the follow up would be well why don’t you understand angles and positioning and footwork on the bag? So it’s important from an assessment standpoint to understand what is in Prince’s mind regarding how that play unfolded.

    1. Yeah he was laughing all around the bases probably thinking “ok, you’re going to screen me on my one free base, fine then let me just go ahead and take all four!”

  7. I don’t get how the umps missed VMart’s home run.

    I feel that we’ve been catching some breaks on calls this year (based on Jim & Dan’s reactions anyway), so maybe it was our turn to miss one.

    1. Maybe the camera work wasn’t too good and the umps ended up having to punt.

      1. Vince might have it right – maybe the video evidence wasn’t conclusive enough to overturn. The FSD footage in slo-mo I saw wasn’t that great, but enough to convince me that VMart got robbed on that one. That was one big stolen run hanging out there until Avila got ahold of one in the 9th.

        Alex’s game-inning 2-run homer was – far and away – the most significant AB event in terms of win probability added through 28 games in 2013. It was good to see him smiling rounding the bases. Cheesin’ like a chess cat, according to Rod Allen.

  8. Watch Doug Fister carefully. When, in situations of no particular stress, he starts to speed up his delivery and get a little herky-jerky, bad things are about to happen. This is the time when someone needs to go out and talk to him, or the time when he needs to be pulled from the game.

    Sometimes Doug just needs a Snickers. If he doesn’t get it, he’s liable to give the game away, as he almost did in this game.

  9. Tuiasosopo getting thrown out at home in the 11th is on Brookens. A questionable if not downright bad call to send him. A nice piece of hitting by Pena, though.

    The ball was hit hard, too hard. Ankiel had it on one hop and was coming in, could not have been better set up for a throw. Infante was due up next. Against lefty Keuchel. I think the odds of Omar reaching base were 1 in 3. The odds of Ankiel making a good throw were much higher than 1 in 2. As it was, the throw was perfect, and no one with the possible exception of AJax could have beaten it.

    So, I didn’t like that decision, though it wasn’t making my blood boil. The play was close, and maybe a smarter slide by Tuiasosopo would’ve scored the run. Even if he had scored somehow, I’d have put that down to an overly aggressive send that the Tigers got lucky on.

    Already this year, I’ve seen Brookens challenging the likes of Parmelee, Francouer, and Ankiel rather unwisely. I guess it’s a fine line between gutsy and ill-advised.

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