Game 2013.29: Tigers at Astros

Again it didn’t come easy, but the Tigers are right where they wanted to be, taking the first two games of the four-game series with the struggling Astros, thanks partly to contributions by the slumping Alex Avila and by everyone’s favorite bench donkey, Don Kelly (his working a 1-2 count into a walk ahead of Avila’s home run was one of the subtle plays of the game).

Tonight should be where the strikeout-happy Tiger staff meets the strikeout-happy Houston batters, as Max Scherzer takes the mound in the creosote game of the series. Watch for an increased use of curveballs.

I’ll put the over/under at 12 Ks.

The Tigers face Lucas Harrell, who has been a bright spot for Houston this season, winning his last 3 consecutive starts–in fact his last 2 were the only Astro wins in the last 10 games. Harrell is a sinkerballer who has induced a ML-leading 10 DPs over the span of his last four starts. I predict at least one foolish-looking failed hit-and-run attempt. Cue the teeth-gnashing.


Speaking of DPs, Today’s Poll:

Which Tiger is slowest at running from home to first?

  • Alex Avila
  • Victor Martinez
  • Matt Tuiasosopo
  • Other


And don’t forget boys and girls, the Toledo Mud Hens will be celebrating Star Wars Weekend (today is May the Fourth Be With You Day, and tomorrow will be Revenge of the Fifth Day) by wearing so-called Chewbacca jerseys.


Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Austin Jackson. Look for a rested Jackson to make his mark at the plate, in the field, and on the base paths.

Today’s Let’s-Go-For-Three 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


  1. Vince in MN

    May 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    With Cy Harrell going for the Astros today, I hope Scherzer is on his A-Game. Look for Flash Kelly to pinch run at a critical juncture. More importantly than who is slowest to first base, who is slowest from 2nd to home – are you paying attention Tom Brookens?

    Hopefully they have good weather in Toledo this weekend for all the in-between inning family fun.

  2. bada bing

    May 4, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    If you want a laugh, check out Jose Altuve’s zone on Gameday. It’s tiny.


    May 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    We see ya boys!!!

  4. Vince in MN

    May 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I hope the bases loaded fail doesn’t come back to haunt them.

    • bada bing

      May 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Still slightly worried here…

      • Vince in MN

        May 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        It ain’t over ’til it’s over. And with our bullpen…


    May 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    There’s only one explanation ….. Miggy is a baseball machine!!!

  6. Kevin in Dallas

    May 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Scherzer is embarrassing us.

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    May 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Kidding. Guys, it’s over.

  8. Vince in MN

    May 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    10 for 14 with 2 walks from the top 3 guys in the lineup.

  9. Coleman

    May 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    So what happened in the 3rd inning? They didn’t even score!

    • Smoking Loon

      May 5, 2013 at 3:44 am

      Three consecutive ground ball outs counts for something. Scoreless innings are a commonplace. Odds for 3 groundouts within an inning are at least slightly lower. It’s all about variety.

  10. Vince in MN

    May 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    It’s nice to get a no muss no fuss blowout once in a while. I hope they saved something for tomorrow.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 5, 2013 at 2:36 am

      I was hoping for the CG shutout. Or at least the CG. Wasn’t too happy to see Alburquerque in there.


    May 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    It will be interesting to see what lineup Smokey throws out tomorrow. JV deserves to have the best lineup possible backing him up!

    • Smoking Loon

      May 5, 2013 at 2:13 am

      I don’t think Verlander would complain, even privately, about having any of the reserves playing. So why should we?

  12. StorminNorman

    May 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    just returned home from the DET-HOU game… definately worth the price of admission.

    At least 1/2 of the fans were DET fans

    • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

      May 5, 2013 at 1:47 am

      Noticed the same thing when I was at the M’s game in Seattle. Actually, see that everywhere these past few years… a more mobile society, or possibly folks looking to just tweak the home folks??

      • Smoking Loon

        May 5, 2013 at 2:14 am

        Maybe the Tigers are becoming the new Chicago Cubs, the team with fans everywhere.

  13. Vince in MN

    May 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Miggy is on pace to drive in 306.94736842105 runs this season if he plays all 162 games.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 5, 2013 at 2:20 am

      I’m getting 201.103448275862. So he’ll probably finish just behind Raburn, dashing hopes for consecutive Triple Crowns.

      • Vince in MN

        May 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

        And certainly no MVP due his poor defense and lack of speed.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 6, 2013 at 12:12 am

          Absolutely. It’ll be between Trout and Raburn this season. Could be a tie.

  14. Smoking Loon

    May 5, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Which Tiger is slowest at running from home to first?

    I say Avila. Once on base, he’s a good deal faster. Seriously.

    I don’t think Tuiasosopo deserves to be on that poll question list, but I could be wrong.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      May 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Not Avila. VMart runs like a wounded three-toed sloth from home to first. Tui doesn’t even belong in this conversation as he is quicker from home to first than Miggy, Avila, and VMart.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 6, 2013 at 12:11 am

        You’re right, Jerry. It’s VMart.

  15. Smoking Loon

    May 5, 2013 at 3:15 am

    How about the called third strikes on Prince? Pretty egregious.

    Aside from a pretty clear ball called a strike on Ankiel earlier in the series, the Tigers have been on the short end of the stick for bad calls. The Martinez HR-turned-single and Dirks being called out at 1B come to mind.

    • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

      May 5, 2013 at 3:42 am

      Looked like the ump had a pretty long fuse, and I assume Prince gets a little more room to blow off steam, or perhaps the ump could not SEE where the sound of the angry man was coming from

      • Smoking Loon

        May 5, 2013 at 3:50 am

        Ha! Post of the post-game!

        Yes, it’s fortunate that the blind man was not quick of temper. Unfortunate that he wasn’t at home plate for the 11th inning of the first game. Maybe. He might have heard the tag, though.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 5, 2013 at 3:53 am

          If, I’m not getting the games mixed up, I think Scott Barry was also the guy who called a safe Dirks out at 1B Friday.

          • Smoking Loon

            May 5, 2013 at 3:56 am

            And also the guy who would have made the initial ruling on VMart’s “single,” no?
            We’ll have to remember this guy and look out for him. Where will he be tomorrow (today)?

  16. Smoking Loon

    May 5, 2013 at 3:24 am

    The creosote game of the series? Hmmm. Yes, I suppose a 4-game series doesn’t have a “rubber game.” But… creosote?

    “The name is derived from the Greek kréas (κρέας), meaning “flesh”, and sōtēr (σωτήρ), meaning “preserver”.”

    OK, Coleman. Still not getting it. Funny, nonetheless.

    “is the compound responsible for the preservation and the flavor of meat in the process of smoking.”

    Were you saying this is the game where the Tigers smoke the Astros?

  17. bada bing

    May 5, 2013 at 4:09 am

    My complaint of the night – Fielder striking out on a pitch that was a ball.

    It was a good night for Tigers baseball.

  18. Smoking Loon

    May 5, 2013 at 4:09 am

    Let’s not forget to mention Torii Hunter’s between ABs stolen base off the sleeping Astros. I love it. Second time the Tigers have pulled that off this year, the sleeping part, anyway. I think Miggy’s steal of 3B was actually within an AB.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Yeah that was really awesome. Baseball is a game loaded with lots of hidden and obscure strategems that a player can utilize to help manufacture an increased advantage and a good baseball player will seek those options out and seize them as they should. Torii was paying attention and when the other team shows a weakness and gives you an opening due to their own negligent mistakes, then the job is to make them pay, and Torii got that job done.

  19. Tom in Lakeland

    May 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Did not see the steal. Can some one describe in detail? Thanks.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Torii on 1st base after a hit and the infielders and pitcher are all lollygagging around and turning the other way, virtually every fielder was staring at the ground or the sky. He was just standing there nonchalant at about a leadoff spot until he spotted this and then he just darted and by the time they realized it he was almost there while they were still at about their normal playing positions, so nobody was within 20 feet of him at any point.

      Over the last few years this has happened a ton of times where Tigers left bags on the table in this exact situation. It happens more than you might realize that an opportunity to use a base running tactic can become available when another team is sleeping or you can use one to provoke a mistake in certain situations. And we typically do a horrid job of picking up on that stuff, but this year the Tigers did hire some kind of expert baserunning guru that is supposedly helping them so perhaps they are now more focused on trying to manage these opportunities a little more effectively than they have been.

      • Tom in Lakeland

        May 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm


        Somewhat related, and not as intentionally clever on my part, when I played Legion Ball. I was on second, and a runner was on first. There was no balls and strikes indicator the scoreboard. I thought that the pitcher had thrown ball four, and I nonchalantly jogged on to third base as the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher. But the pitcher had only thrown ball three for a three-two count. Everyone in the infield was caught flat-footed, and a couple of infielders started hollering, “Hey!,” and pointing at me. At which time our manager yelled at me, “Stay there, that’s a stolen base.” I eventually scored, but the manager slowly shook his head at me as I walked to the dugout.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm

          Nice story! It’s also extra embarrassing if you give up one of those bases as the Defense when you are professional getting paid millions. Well in Houston’s case I guess they don’t make millions though, so you get what you pay for, or in your case what you can steal!

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Forgot to mention, this happened while the pitcher had the ball and was on a long walk, he walked over the pitcher’s mound and was well on his way directly towards 3B before Hunter started to bolt. If the pitcher were to ask a question when he was finally alerted by another player it would have came out like “who is watching that guy…that is now standing on second base? Well I guess it doesn’t matter now that he’s already on the base, nevermind, so who’s up now?”