Game 2013.37: Astros at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 21-15, 1st Place (.5 ahead of Cleveland)

Last night was not only the 5th consecutive game that the Tigers have won from the Houston Astros, but it was the 36th game of the season, which means it was the end of the 2nd inning, to revive a Billfer tradition, which was inspired by Bill Hoff.  If you divide up a 162-game season you get 9 18-game segments, which means each 18 games is something of a metaphorical inning in the season-long game.

Let’s look at how the Tigers have done so far this season, as compared to last:


  • 1st Inning:  10-8
  • 2nd Inning: 8-10
  • Innings 1-2: 18-18


  • 1st Inning: 9-9
  • 2nd Inning: 12-6
  • Innings 1-2: 21-15

An optimist would see an improvement over the early part of last season’s division winning pace. A more skeptical sort might point out that almost a third of the “2nd inning” has been against the Houston Astros.

At any rate, the Tigers should be doing even better than they have, even with the team the way it is: the Tigers’ Pythagorean record at the moment is 24-12 (courtesy of, which is a fairly large deviation from their actual 21-15 record. (The Pythagorean formula, developed by Bill James, attempts to measure what a team’s record should be, based on runs scored and runs given up. A team above or below their Pythagorean line is a team that has been lucky or unlucky…or perhaps unusually well or poorly managed).

More 2nd inning numbers to come in tomorrow’s post.


One way in which the Tigers have been lucky is in their lonely Disabled List. Kevin posted an interesting and informative New York Times link that ranks the MLB teams in order of how much salary is being spent on players on the DL, with a ticker on daily costs for each team. Currently the Yankees are at $429,600.  Make that $429,723. Make that $430,124…


Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Omar Infante. Infante is bumped up into the 7th spot, as Kelly continues to patrol the Jacksonless center field, and Ramon gets the rare start at shortstop. Infante is a perfect 4-for-4 in his career against Astros’ starter Lucas Harrell.

Today’s Hey Ho Let’s Go Lineup:

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


  1. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Whatshisname spells the hot Jhonny at short and “Dedication” Avila bats 6th again. If V-Mart continues to struggle, maybe Avila can move up to the No. 5 spot.

    Even though it is Houston we are playing, scoring 7 runs again may be a trifle harder this evening.

    I’m not a big fan of the Pathagorean index this early in the season. A couple of blowouts will throw everything off. At or near the end of the season, when 1600 runs (+/-) have crossed the plate, then perhaps it gives a general idea of team performance.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      I think part of the value of the Pythagorean winning percentage formula is to show that something is off when something is. It could be blowouts, could be luck, could be a lousy bullpen, etc.. It doesn’t specify *what* is off – that’s for us to look for. Team performance is shown by W-L, with the Pythagorean record being a possible asterisk on that record.

  2. The Strategy Expert

    May 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Well I think we lose a good handful of a number of games every year due to managerial deficiencies, and I think our Pythagorean score has been higher than our results every single year over the last several seasons.

    • William

      May 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Lower the past two years

      One game higher in 2010. Higher in 09 and 08. Lower in 07.

      Pretty close overall, actually.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 14, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        Oh ok, just doesn’t seem like that from my POV.

  3. Coleman

    May 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Saved by the Bottom Of the Order Boys! I guess they didn’t get the memo that they were facing Cy Harrell.

  4. Coleman

    May 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Hey ho let’s go!

  5. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Avila now 1 for 17 with 9 Ks vs.LH.

    • Vince in MN

      May 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Maybe they should turn him into a switch-hitter. He couldn’t do any worse.

    • tbran

      May 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      He is batting a buck 86. He needs to sit for while. I would rather see Pena in there swinging. And when Pena is in there, I see no degredation in the way the pitchers are handled.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        I guess the new lefty BP pitcher isn’t helping Alex. Maybe he strikes out just as much against him in BP. (Ed Hodges, right?)

  6. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Good time for Garcia to get his feet wet.

  7. tbran

    May 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Catcher Castro needs a larger mit.

  8. tbran

    May 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    That ball was crsuhed!

  9. Coleman

    May 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Fasten your seatbelts.

  10. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Valverde actually threw a splitter!

    • Smoking Loon

      May 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Nice inning Valverde. If he could do this against a tougher team with tougher hitters in one-run ballgame, I could really get behind that. Getting called third strikes with the splitter is a good sign.

      Wesley Wright makes Joaquin Benoit look fast.

  11. Smoking Loon

    May 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Doug Fister went 7 innings without hitting a batter. I think there was one close call.

  12. JimEggersUSMC

    May 15, 2013 at 12:33 am

    We heard a lot of talk out here in the PNW what having the Astros would do for the W/L record of teams in the AL west, who as you all know, will face Houston 19 times. It was determined that it would only add 2 wins more if they were not in the division, per team. Soooo, if the Tigers play them 7 times, does that mean it only increases the season win total to a total less than 1???

    • PHToy in HK

      May 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

      Can we play the Strohs every day?