Game 2013.44: Tigers at Indians

24-19, 1.5 in back of Cleveland, JV on the rebound vs. Jimenez the Menace coming up.

Well, what do you know – Tui got a start against a righty. Nothing to show, took the ball for a ride the first time and struck out twice after that, but I’m still all for it.

Is there a chance that this might not be the last year for Jhonny Peralta at SS? With Detroit, I mean.

Say what you will about Don Kelly, but when was the last time you saw him have a truly lousy at-bat? It certainly doesn’t happen often. You can say much the same for Andy Dirks and Matt Tuiasosopo.

Let’s keep up the pressure on the “let someone split time with V-Mart at DH” front. I think it’s helping.

Is it mere coincidence that Marcus Thames and Matt Tuiasosopo have… oh, never mind. It’s an empty thought, you might say. Free Matt Tuiasosopo!

Last May 22, the Tigers were 20-21 and about to meet the Indians for the first time, in Cleveland. They would be swept in three, an insult that kicked off what were probably the darkest days of 2012, days which saw them tumble to their nadir of 25-31. Things have gotten better since.

Y’all come back now for the post-game, y’hear? We’ll crack open a Vernor’s and listen to some Bob Seger. Justin Verlander’s dominant performance will call for some kind of celebration…

POST-GAME: Tigers 11, Indians 7. A wild one. Not back and forth as the score might seem to indicate. The Tigers never trailed, and yet it seems like they came from behind, doesn’t it? Given a quick 2-0 lead, Verlander was in trouble after striking out the first two, and the 37-pitch 2nd inning was downright painful to watch. He looked absolutely lost. How only one run scored, we may never know. Jiminez had troubles of his own, no command, and the Tigers sent 9 men to the plate in the break-it-open 3rd. He was lucky to leave after 4 down only 6-2, and then Detroit greeted David Huff rudely in the 5th with a bottom of the order rally that plated three and featured the marvel of a CS (Infante) that scored Kelly from 3B. Verlander had righted himself for the 3rd and 4th, apparently after some off the field consultation with Jeff Jones, and with a 9-2 lead, we were settling in comfortably, weren’t we? But the other Justin showed up for the 5th, and three batters in, Carlos Santana was rounding the bases. 9-5. With only one out, the rain began to pour down. Oh no – not even in the books yet! After an hour delay, Verlander managed to retire the side. Smyly came on in the 6th and threw the same first pitch he always throws. Unfortunately, Yan Gomes was waiting for it, and it ended up in the stands. Not a good inning for Drew, and afterwards it stood at 9-7 Tigers. After Putkonen had pitched a very reassuring 7th, again came the rain and another long delay. When play resumed, it was before a mostly empty ballpark. In the 8th, with Dirks on, Miggy hit one of his deceptive fly balls that just kept going and going. CF Michael Bourn had it at the wall – and then he didn’t, because it had bounced straight out of his glove and over the wall! 11-7. Sweet insurance. The life went out of the Indians and really the game itself at that point. Benoit and Valverde did creditable work to finish the game against the lifeless Indians batters. I think Jose’s little celebration of a strike two (Santana) had to do with getting a swing and miss on something other than a fastball.

Hunter’s “error” on Raburn’s “single” – gloved and dropped flyball it took effort to go back for – is mostly notable we because we expect more from him. It did cost a (tying) run that might have been crucial some other game. Bourn in CF, despite the freak play on the Miggy HR, was busy and stellar defensively throughout the game. Don’t look now, but solid-but-ordinary Peralta made a great play on the Gomes “IF single” that was actually an out. Quite a few notable defensive plays in the game overall, Tigers getting their share or more. Pena was really stepping and throwing lively in the “dead 9th” to run down the 3rd strike that got away and nail Santana at 1B.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Miguel Cabrera
HONORABLE MENTION: Brayan Pena, Victor Martinez, Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, Carlos Santana, Luke Putkonen
NOT SO GOOD: Justin Verlander, Ubaldo Jimenez, David Huff

91 Comments

  1. Kevin in Dallas

    May 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    RSVPing for the postgame party.

    • Coleman

      May 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      I’m planning to show up fashionably late.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        All right, but Kevin and I might drink all the Vernor’s. Don’t show up too late. Rumor has it that the Detroit Ti-Girls might be paying a visit.

  2. The Strategy Expert

    May 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Good thoughts to think about. I don’t know what to say about Don Kelly but I think it’s rare that he does have a good atbat so I’m not seeing what you are seeing about his usefulness at the plate. It’s just not his thing and he has no talent for it. He is a project that needs to develop and that seems like an extreme long shot to me. Marcus Thames was one of my favorite Tigers because he was one of the more underrated Tigers. He was a helluva lot better than a lot of other guys we paid good money to that didn’t deserve it. Thames quietly was respectfully productive. I always thought he would have been a better player if his career happened somewhere other than Detroit, and we got about the least out of him that we could.

    Jhonny sticking around for the future is an interesting thought. His contract is up this year so the big thing that will determine that is do they see him as a long term player and want to give him a 4 year contract, or would they just try to sign him for one year and keep their options open? Stephen Drew was a consideration this year and his defense looks good, but he still hasn’t done anything with the bat as everybody was concerned. Only 2 guys in baseball have a higher BA than Peralta, one is Tulo, and the other is Segura. But you don’t have to hit for power to be a star on the Tigers, as long as you have a high BA you are a superstar in the minds of Tiger managers. Segura doesn’t hit for much power either so he has a similar hitting profile as Peralta but without all of the veteran experience the Tigers like, and Tulo would require a monster package that would be a shocker to see the Tigers pull off a trade for.

    If you sort players by SLG percentage, then the same 2 guys are ahead of Peralta but only Ian Desmond gets added to the list with a slightly better score and way less BA. There just isn’t a lot of strong batting performances by very many guys. Segura is new and looks impressive so far, but other than that only guy with a superstar hitting performance this year is Tulo at this point. .338 BA, .409 OBP, and a whopping .606 SLG which crushes Peralta’s .461. This is why I mentioned Tulo probably about 4x so far this year as the top SS to trade for, but COL is inching up to competing for their division now so a trade would be really tough. I was trying to suggest it BEFORE the season started because COL did so poorly last year that we had at least some tiny chance that we would have been able to negotiate a decent price, and I think it surely would have been less than it would be now that COL has some competitive credibility established. We were in a far more certain competitive position, so we should have valued him more to serve our team than COL could for their team, plus we have more willingness to spend money, so it was only natural to try and execute that trade. At the end of the day we had only a tiny number of offensive positions to upgrade, and SS was one of them, and there are only a tiny number of potential superstar SS’s, and Tulo was a possibly obtainable one. If you can’t get him then you can’t get him, but you have to try and then get the best guy you can to upgrade any spots and we ended up succeeding on upgrading 0 of those key top needs entering the start of the season.

    So what will happen with these spots now? Are we finally going to attack those weaknesses and shore them up or will we just resign everybody we have now and just keep playing with this same basic team design? I sure hope not since I think this team design is horrible. It shall be interesting to see what happens in the next offseason because they are at least forced to do something as opposed to nothing at all like this past session.

    I’ll end this with the best sentiment to end on that probably nobody would argue with:

    Free Matt Tuiasosopo!

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      May 23, 2013 at 12:37 am

      I’m just curious as to what you would have offered to Colorado for Tulowitzki this past offseason? We are talking about one of the top shortstops in the game here, so I’m curious as to what you would have offered to Colorado. I hope you are not like some of these talk radio geniuses that call in and say things like “we should offer Don Kelly, Alex Avila, and Ramon Santiago to Colorado for Tulowitzki.” That obviously would get rejected and the Rockies GM would tell Dombrowski to lose his phone #. In other words we would have to give up something of value to get Tulo, but I’m wondering what you think would have been a fair package to offer the Rockies for Tulo.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 23, 2013 at 12:56 am

        Well I would have said let’s not talk about Cabrera/Fielder/Verlander, because those are our 3 best overall players and guys that have complex reasons to trade anyhow, other than that figure out what you want and we can come to an arrangement. I’m confident that I can find a deal that is in our best interest whether it’s in COL’s best interest or not.

        Again going back to the premise I have stated twice now, DET in my opinion should have valued him more and we have more willingness to spend and overpay for players. That spells an obvious opportunity for us to figure out what COL values him as and give them something of value that is inbetween that price and our price. Since our weaknesses on offense are pinpointed to a smaller and specific number of spots moreso than COL can say that, we would have been able to very likely find a trade that makes sense for us that would be enough to get them to pull the trigger.

        So combine every player on the team minus those 3 stars, and include every minor league asset as well as potentially cash as an option. With some combo of players, prospects, and cash, Mr. Illitch can afford to buy Tulo since he has a lot of money and the collection of all those players is plenty enough material to make it happen. All it takes is the conversation and the negotiation to pinpoint the specifics of the deal.

        Furthermore, while I’m confident that if I’m the GM I’m getting Tulo one way or another, I’m also somewhat confident that I might be able to rip off COL at the same time and grossly underpay relative to what I’m willing to pay. But that’s not a lock and guarantee to create a steal, and it might be much harder to get a steal on a high profile player like Tulo that they might internally overvalue anyhow, but in any event, I don’t HAVE to have Tulo in order to win at baseball.

        Now if to my shock and dismay I can’t somehow figure out a way to pry away Tulo, then simply I find a way to get some other player to help the team at that position or maybe some other position. These are all just details, and at the end of the offseason I don’t give two craps what names are on the list of our roster, I only care about assembling a dominating team in terms of value and efficiency such that I put our team in the best possible position to win.

        But to answer your question, I know what you are talking about and every single GM says the same thing, in fact I believe DD himself said something at one point almost exact to this effect: “these armchair baseball experts think it’s so easy and you can just get great players for free and nobody will get in the way of anything you want to do, but they don’t really get it or understand what they are missing”. This is what DD and ALL GM’s truly believe of the common fan and they are right. But I’m not a common fan yet DD and those GM’s would lump me in as one and not think twice about it. I can see why you might be skeptical too, and I think if you get to know me more intimately you will see more and more that my ideas hold water, are always based on proper logic, and I don’t oversell myself or promise things I can’t deliver. That’s a pet peeve of mine since I’m in the financial services industry and it’s a tough industry to compete in if you want to do everything the proper way. Most agents and advisors just care about making commissions however and will say anything. But I don’ t say anything that is untrue or offer a value that I can’t provide or back up.

        And one way or another I’m going to get the team that I want that is a qualified mix conducive to efficient baseball results. It’s inconceivable to me to think I could be a GM and walk away as a failure in trying to accomplish getting a roster that makes me happy. It’s supremely easy because I follow this sport religiously and hardcore and I can tell what other teams think of other players in terms of conceptual valuations. There’s 29 teams out there and I’m most interested in the ones that are the most ignorant in terms of what they are giving up. Even the smartest team in baseball makes LOADS of horrifying mistakes, but the worst teams are easy plundering and need to be taken advantage of.

        • Jerry the Tiger Fan

          May 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

          Ok, if I am the Rockies GM and I say to you as the Tigers GM “well if those three are off the table I would require a starting pitcher such as Doug Fister because he is under club control, and I will also need a top level prospect such as Castellanos.” Your response?

          • The Strategy Expert

            May 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

            Sure those guys aren’t a problem to discuss or other guys that are like them, who else do you want? Cause you have other players I want too, maybe you have 10 guys I want and I have 10 guys you want. Heck this can be a 100 player trade if you want it to be. I just called for Tulo though but I would like to examine a list of other players you have that I like. Why don’t we just go through everybody on our roster and you name every guy you would be willing to take. That way I can say do I have enough for just Tulo, or do I have enough for more of your players too. What are your needs for starters, depth, reserves, and prospects for ALL levels of the organization? How about I just fly out to your office today and we talk about this in person cause I really dont have anything to do right now here in Detroit. All I have is an army of assets and I’m looking to move all of them, so I don’t really have a team here…

            You have to understand I’m replacing DD who I have a very low opinion of and I’m looking to clean house, not clean up around the house like most people mean, I’m talking about cleaning the entire house, so this really is an opportunity of a lifetime for you. Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing and you can fleece me. If you’ve got something better to do today other than let me try to pawn off about 100 exciting baseball prospects at discount prices then I understand, but I bet you can spare a little time to go shopping while the iron is super hot right now?

            • The Strategy Expert

              May 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

              Oh and congratulations by the way, because I chose you as the first GM to call, the next team might not have the same opportunity of available players. Just good timing and luck for you to get the first crack at a sweet deal. I’m making some team VERY happy this week.

  3. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I think it is a bit early to make a determination on Peralta’s future. I’m betting that the front office boys wait until after the WS to give it due consideration. In the meantime they should be looking at drafting middle infielders (if there are any left when they finally get to pick).

    As for Don Kelly (career: .229/.282/.342/.624), well, he’s not going anywhere, so not much to talk about there. Just a quick glance at his stats seems to me to indicate many, many bad at-bats, but I could be wrong. Maybe if Leyland played him more that would get him going.

    I agree with TSE on Thames, who didn’t have a career with much pizzazz, but was definitely underutilized in his time with the Tigers. Hopefully the same doesn’t happen with Tui, who I also believe deserves more playing time.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      With the way that the Tigers soured on Boesch prior to the playoffs and guys like Valverde and Delmon etc. during the playoffs, yea I agree with you that they won’t make any major moves until AFTER the season ends. Personally I very much hate this realization because I think there are extra advantages to making your decisions sooner rather than later, but that makes simple sense only for me since I advocate major changes, but for the Tigers they don’t want change and are stuck with more of a pat hand and they have no interest in drawing for new cards until the game is over.

      They’re stuck unless they choose a new strategy that undermines their previous chosen strategy. And that’s NOT going to happen.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      You can look at a guy like Kelly’s stats and conclude that he’s a simply a lousy hitter. Nothing wrong with that. Hardly untrue. But… I’ll delve into some of the finer points on Kelly and other Tigers in some future post.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        Well he plays for a cheap salary, that’s the finest point I can find from any of the numbers at least!

        His best hitting stat so far is that he hasn’t grounded into a single double play this season. He’s 20 for 20 on avoiding DPs.

        And 33 might be his worst statistic, that’s his age which is pretty old for how well he has developed his hitting game thus far.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm

          Oops I accidentally counted 2 out situations as well, make that 13 atbats this season where a DP was possible and he avoided it.

          • The Strategy Expert

            May 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

            Arrgh, and not counting the 1 time he had a single runner on 2nd, sorry just making sure nobody complains about the stat reporting being imprecise!

            • The Strategy Expert

              May 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

              NVM again another correction, the time with a runner on 2B had 2 outs anyway. Sorry I just have a bad habit on posting before I’m ready and keep thinking I’m going to get my Edit or Preview option so I can see my full post and review before I submit. I will get better at this I promise and try to remember not to hit that button so quick!

  4. jud

    May 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Jimenez won’t throw more than 25 pitches in the strike zone..the question is how many of the rest of his pitches will the Tigers swing at…

    • Vince in MN

      May 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      They are showing some patience tonight.

      • Coleman

        May 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        Jimenez has gotten away with a lot the last few starts against Detroit. Not tonight!

  5. Smoking Loon

    May 22, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Tonight’s “Where’s my lineup guy?” lineup:

    LF Andy Dirks
    RF Torii Hunter
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Victor Martinez,
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Brayan Pena
    CF Don Kelly
    2B Omar Infante

    Raburn and Gomes are in the lineup for theTribe.

  6. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Raburn?!

  7. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Verlander is getting hit hard.

  8. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    59 pitches through two innings. We are going to see plenty of bullpen today, luckily they should be well-rested after the off-day and the Max gem.

    • Vince in MN

      May 22, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Smily should be good for at least three innings tonight.

  9. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Everybody is chipping in tonight.

    • Coleman

      May 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      4-for-8 from the 7-9 hitters.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Well MAYBE they are. If they don’t resume this game and it gets called then nobody chipped in anything because none of it will have happened on the record. But shouldn’t those stats be counted anyhow on an informal basis? I wonder how many teams actually adjust the stats to include stats from called games or if they don’t even bother tracing those when making any personnel decisions. What do you guys think?

      • Smoking Loon

        May 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

        Good question. My guess is that if it’s not official, it counts for nothing statistically to anyone.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm

          But the players didn’t know those atbats didn’t count, so why wouldn’t a GM want to include that data?

          • Smoking Loon

            May 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm

            None of it would have had anything to do with a win or a loss.

            • The Strategy Expert

              May 22, 2013 at 11:52 pm

              But those atbats are indicators of how well those batters performed. To take that out of an evaluation isn’t being representative of what the player actually did in what he believed to be a real game situation.

  10. jud

    May 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    this is the best the Tigers have done against Jimenez in awhile. He didn’t throw anymore strikes than he usually does. ..about 25 but the difference being the Tiger approach..they hit a lot of those 25 for line drive hits…took a lot of his garbage

  11. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Uh oh, rain delay!

  12. Vince in MN

    May 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Can we finally admit that JV is stinking it up this year? I don’t think there is an injury problem, but there is something not right – mechanics maybe. He has never scuffled so much or been so inefficient/ineffective.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Maybe he is just pacing himself in the early stages of his new long contract to try and stay solid for the long-term so he can maximize that next one. If he pushes himself to the limit to perform his absolute best every single game, then he could wear himself down and get an injury and maybe he’s just trying to be safe and conservative.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        May 23, 2013 at 12:42 am

        There isn’t going to be another “next big contract” for JV. He got his huge payday when he signed the new extension towards the end of spring training. By the time this contract expires he will be deep into his 30′s and no one will be giving him any more long term deals.

    • PHToy in HK

      May 22, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      You seem to be forgetting about 2008.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        I can’t say why, but the fastball command hasn’t been there (obviously), and from how hittable it has become, you would think that there’s a problem with “movement” (trajectory). Velocity can’t help with that.

        I’m certainly hoping this one gets to a full five. Let it rain after that. Things were going so well for JV in the 3rd and 4th, really nice curveball working, and then it all went south again.

        Don’t want to see those 9 runs wasted and all that good hitting wiped off the books.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 22, 2013 at 9:53 pm

          Vince, I think that it’s only over the last 3 starts that Verlander has been stinking it up.

          • The Strategy Expert

            May 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm

            Somebody else was complaining about this much earlier in the season too, not sure who and when but I think I saw a couple of comments of concern about Verlander early on in the season.

            • William

              May 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm

              A few articles mentioned a drop in velocity , but that has been rectified, IMO

              This Is command and location related. Mildly troubling for now, but it obviously needs to get fixed in order for this team to have championship designs.

              • The Strategy Expert

                May 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm

                Well somebody on this site had made a comment about it which is what I was referring to. I don’t seem to remember it being a speed concern in particular but that’s one of the issues too with this site is it’s tricky to go back and locate earlier posts. If you searched for the name Verlander you will find at least one or two other threads where those comments were made.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        I agree that it looks worrisome. But I’m not going to worry about JV until this goes on for several months. His stuff is too good. I’m sure it’s something minor with his mechanics.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      May 23, 2013 at 12:45 am

      I don’t see anything different about JV’s mechanics compared to his previous years. I am seeing a lot less of 97 and 98 on the gun than we did in the past, which leads me to believe it is health related. He has thrown a TON of innings over the past five seasons and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he has a bit of a “tired arm”. He just doesn’t seem to go to the whip (by that I mean the power fastball) as often as he did in past seasons, which leads me to believe that maybe his arm is fatigiued.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    May 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Guys on Twitter are saying that the rain is still coming down something fierce. JV may get a reprieve. Or does a 4 run lead against Cle hold up with our pen?

    • Smoking Loon

      May 22, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      I think there are more Detroit runs yet to come, weather permitting. Maybe if we frame it as a challenge to the bullpen, dare them to blow the lead, they will choke and the Tigers will go down to ignominious victory.

  14. Smoking Loon

    May 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I haven’t looked at the stats, but my impression over 4 games is that the Tigers have not been overly daunted by Cleveland’s bullpen.

  15. Kevin in Dallas

    May 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Restarting in 10 minutes. Smyly headed out to warm up.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      But JV now back on the mound. This should be interesting.

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    May 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Official game now.

    Quick last 2 outs…one more inning?

  17. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    OK, the rain is free to resume if it likes.

  18. PHToy in HK

    May 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Not good.

  19. jud

    May 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    can anyone get anyone out????

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Well Smyly has statistically gotten out the highest percentage of hitters out of any RP on our team this year, except Valverde and Putkonen’s 2.2 innings of work. I think Leyland picked his best guy available.

    • PHToy in HK

      May 22, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Smyly was just setting up a save opportunity for The Big Potato.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        But they could have just left Verlander in for that.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 22, 2013 at 11:16 pm

          Sure but they probably thought it was unsafe after that kind of delay and didn’t want to risk it. If there was absolutely no concern then he would have resumed pitching, but they decided there was concern. Or it’s possible due to the length of delay and how Verlander pitched a good chunk of the game already that Leyland wouldn’t even consider putting him back in even if Verlander swore he was fine. You would think Justin would beg to go back out in hopes to make up for his ERA getting a little swollen today. Leyland just wouldn’t let him go back out and that was the safe call.

          • Smoking Loon

            May 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

            I think JV was happy just to get out with the lead still intact tonight.

            • The Strategy Expert

              May 22, 2013 at 11:32 pm

              Well he didn’t stop them from scoring a handful of runs, so he’s probably not happy in any event. If the number isn’t 0 when he exits, he’s probably upset about something.

  20. The Strategy Expert

    May 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Wow I thought Pena was a dead duck, thanks for the charity throw Michael Bourn!

    And he just made up for it before I could even finish that sentence, screw you Michael Bourn!

    • Smoking Loon

      May 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Speaking of outfielders, wasn’t it a bit generous of the scorekeeper to spare Hunter an error on the Raburn flyball he gloved and dropped? That’s an error in my book.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        Oh I missed that one, I changed the channel and lost my buffer on it so I can’t look at it now. And to me there’s tons of things that I mentally score as errors that don’t count on a stat sheet. I wish I could pull up stat sheets that were built according to my scoring system, because the MLB system is complete junk, especially on logging errors. They have such a bizarre and arbitrary way of scoring those. It’s ridiculous. But it is simple and consistent.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm

          Well, Hunter did go back and into deep RCF and leap for the ball. Not at the wall, but nearing it (as I recall). However, he wasn’t diving or sliding or horizontal or reaching over the fence. It was playable, and he got a glove on and around it. Not well enough not to drop it. The glovework was clumsy. Go to all that trouble just to drop it… error. A good effort error, but an error nonetheless.

          • The Strategy Expert

            May 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm

            Well it’s possible the scorer didn’t see the ball hit his glove, and they could update it tomorrow after further review. Or if the scorer didn’t think he had a reasonable shot at it he could have gave him a break. It’s all about whether an “ordinary effort” would have made the play.

            • Smoking Loon

              May 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm

              True. Gray area here. My *unofficial* view is that if the play did not *require* truly extraordinary effort to be made, it should have been made. The ball didn’t just glance off his glove. It was in there. Not a big deal, except for my little notes on games and performances.

              • The Strategy Expert

                May 22, 2013 at 11:50 pm

                Yeah I agree, from the sound of it I would score an error too, but in MLB terms definitely not, because it sounds like it would take more than an “ordinary” effort.

                Although I don’t care about scoring errors, I only care about keeping track of them and what type they are for purposes of learning and preventing repeats of the same mistake. That’s one of our tough areas is we don’t do a great job of adapting and learning from past mistakes.

  21. jud

    May 22, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    The Cleveland Indians are for real. There pitching might not hold up , but they aren’t going away

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      They play the game right (it helps when you have speed and defense), but I think that Bourne, Raburn and Gomes are all playing well above their talent level. I think that they’ll fade before the AS break like they usually do.

      Maybe they’ll call it now.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm

        They’d be doing me a favor. Getting late. I’d like to be righting the post-game write about now. But wouldn’t this win feel a bit counterfeit if they did call it?

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm

          Sure it would feel counterfeit in a way, that would be too bad for the Indians but that would also be the extent of my sympathy for them. Tough break but not our problem, so I won’t lose any sleep over it.

          • Smoking Loon

            May 22, 2013 at 11:21 pm

            Not really thinking of the Indians. Counterfeit in the sense that the Tigers bullpen didn’t have to prove its mettle in a game that would ordinarily be a fine test of it.

            • The Strategy Expert

              May 22, 2013 at 11:22 pm

              Oh well, what can you do about it, sometimes you win by great effort and skill and sometimes you luck out to some extent. I don’t think this team has a qualified “mettle” anyhow, so I’m on auto-concern anyhow. This team is fragile and weak in terms of guts and spirit and mental health.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 12:10 am

      Well one thing the Indians have on us is look at the bottom 4 guys on their offense. They are all at pretty respectable numbers for being the worst on the team. Then look at our 4 worst guys and see how far below they compare to their worst 4. They have more continuity of decent performances across their complete lineup. And it’s huge when a division rival gives up a player to you scott-free that makes your lineup longer. That’s a -1 for us and +1 for them, for a 2 point swing in relation to us. That doesn’t mean Raburn will keep it forever, but based on what he has done so far, they are getting a lot of extra efficiency over us for those bottom 4 + the freebie Raburn bonus. That’s a lot of good stuff in aggregate, and enough to keep them in 1st place for the time being.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        May 23, 2013 at 12:51 am

        We shopped Raburn around last summer to everybody and got no interest. What else could we do? If we didn’t DFA Raburn then Garcia never gets his shot last season and into the postseason. Its not like Dombrowski didn’t try to get something back for Raburn, there just weren’t any interested parties in Raburn’s services. Once he was released you knew somebody would sign him because there isn’t any risk involved. Ol’ Smoky and DD gave Raburn more chances than he probably deserved and he finally ran out of those chances.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 23, 2013 at 1:06 am

          Trade him anyhow, make it happen. Or trade him at an earlier point in time before his value plummeted to zero. If you can’t trade him then work with him and make him hit. He had verifiable talent and capacity to hit well, as I have seen him hit and I think he’s wonderful for a low cost player minus the inconsistency which I think a good hitting instructor can vastly improve. I LOVE Ryan Raburn as baseball clay to work with and I would treasure an opportunity to mentor him and get him to work. Maybe I could help Don Kelly and Santiago too, but those aren’t guys I would fight for and guys I don’t believe in them as strong potential hitters, so I’m just not highly interested in their cases at all, but the Raburn case is a hot case for a guy like me.

          So if you can’t figure out a way to make him work, then you hire somebody who can get that job done. And if you can’t trade him, and you can’t get him to work, then you learn from your mistakes of acquiring a player in the first place that you couldn’t figure out an appropriate exit strategy for. But in my opinion a good owner should evaluate GM’s on the basis of guys who know what they are doing. Problem is a guy like Illitch has no idea how to qualify a GM though.

      • Vince in MN

        May 23, 2013 at 9:57 am

        Bench strength is an important component and over the course of a season can add or subtract from the win column. Some teams realize this and make an effort to supply the roster with credible reserves, while others don’t.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      May 23, 2013 at 10:23 am

      They also have a manager that I believe is legit. Manny Acta was OK, but they made a huge upgrade by getting two-time World champion Francona. Our division is stacked at the manager posiiton. Francona and Gardenhire are two of the top five managers in the game IMO.

  22. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    So if they call the game now, that means the 7th was the last inning of the game, which means Putkonen gets the save (?).

    • Smoking Loon

      May 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      He’d be deserving of it, if so. Nice inning.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        Wikipedia says:

        A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in Rule 10.19 of the Official Rules of Major League Baseball. That rule states the official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:

        He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
        He is not the winning pitcher;
        He is credited with at least ⅓ of an inning pitched; and
        He satisfies one of the following conditions:
        He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning
        He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
        He pitches for at least three innings

        If a relief pitcher satisfies all of the criteria for a save, except he does not finish the game, he will often be credited with a hold (which is not an officially recognized statistic by Major League Baseball).

  23. Smoking Loon

    May 22, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I know that no one is holding their breath for it, but I’m going to have to write the post-game on this one tomorrow evening. I have no idea whether they plan to resume the game at this point.

    I invite each of you to submit your own post-game wrap-up here. If it’s good, I’ll steal liberally from it and fail to acknowledge you. Just kidding. But seriously, making the effort could improve the comments section. We don’t call it a game post for nothing.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 12:36 am

      Sorry I haven’t done any of those, but I’m not much into baseball reporting. It’s just not my thing and I like to stick to commentating and analysis, and of course fantasy mngmt which is everything to me!

  24. Kevin in Dallas

    May 22, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Supposedly the game is going to resume in 12 minutes.

  25. Coleman

    May 22, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    That was worth staying up for! Bourn Raburns one over the fence for Cabrera.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 22, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      My oh my. How embarrassing.

  26. Kevin in Dallas

    May 23, 2013 at 12:28 am

    If you’re an Indians fan and you’re following the game, are you thinking “man, Valverde is looking good.”? Sub 1 ERA; .62 WHIP…

  27. The Strategy Expert

    May 23, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Nice game by Pena, he just followed up his 3 hits with nice hustle for that passed ball to throw out Santana. He had no shot if Santana picked up on what was happening quickly and also didn’t stumble and stutter for a really awful start.

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    May 23, 2013 at 7:44 am

    RECAP:

    Great win last night, no matter how ugly.Mini-sweep against an inter-division opponent who is ahead of us in the standings.

    Three stars:
    1) Cabrera – let’s enjoy this. He may be the best right handed hitter of all time, but even so, this has been a magical stretch for him. He’s on pace for 192 RBI, 1 better than Hack Wilson’s 1930 mark of 191.
    2) Putkonen – finally someone was able to bring the Indians to a halt.
    3) Indians’ field crew. They had the field ready to go just minutes after each downpour.

    Verlander picks up the win despite obvious troubles, but that’s okay. It’s nice to see him win ugly every once in a while. He’ll be fine. Props to Leyland for letting him come back out after the first delay so that he could qualify for the win. That probably doesn’t happen with any other starter.

    The Tigers scored early and often and never trailed. The bottom four of the order went 7-19 with 4 runs and 4 RBI. Tigers are getting top 5 production out of the 7 hole (mostly Peralta) across MLB, and top of the league production out of the 9 hole (mostly Infante) (using OPS).

    - Has anyone noticed that Fielder is on pace for 144 RBI?
    - Can we stop with this Ryan Raburn nonsense? If you haven’t noticed, he’s batting .185 over his last 10 games with more Ks (8) than hits + walks (7). Good for him that he had a great April, but he’ll regress. 32 year old hitters don’t all of a sudden “figure it out.”
    - 4 game set at home v. the Twins starts tonight. The Twins have lost 8 in a row.

    • JimEggersUSMC

      May 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Good stuff, Kevin. I especially love giving the grounds crew props, it is a thankless job,and even though it has been 40 plus years, I still remember the whining from players. As far as JV goes, there are three things you look for in a pitcher: Movement, Velocity and Location. Of these, Location is by far the most important and also the most difficult to grasp and maintain. He said he had been working on some mechanics, and that is the 1st thing you must do when you are not putting the ball where you want it. I always try to see how much the Catcher has to move his glove/body to recieve the pitch to get a clue on how well anybody is locating. Having said all that, he will figure it out and will be the stopper/ace of this staff as the season progresses.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        Baseball parks should have a roof! Play in the rain no matter what, or get rid of the rain. It’s one of my least favorite things about the sport; I dislike outdoor baseball parks as a fan.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 24, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Nice work, Kevin. Of course, you’ve had some practice. (I agree with Jim about props for the grounds crew. I saw them working at lightning speed and thought, man, those guys are fast, but with no real basis for comparison, just assumed it was normal fast for a grounds crew.)

      The invitation stands for the rest of you to join in with your own game summaries. Or commentary (beyond a one-liner) on some event of the game you found noteworthy. The season is, after all, made up of games. It might be fun to remember them in writing.