Game 2013.45: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 25-19, 2nd Place (.5 behind Cleveland)

After a brief, but lengthy (the two games took 8 hours and saw almost 800 pitches) two-game sweep of the Central-leading Indians, the Tigers return to Detroit for four with the Twins, followed by a 2-and-2 series with the surprising (and Penguins-Jersey-Wearing) Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Twins have been struggling, to put it mildly. The Twins have lost 8 in a row, during which their starters have an ERA of 8.41 and have lasted into the 5th inning only twice.

As if things weren’t bad enough, the Twins lost 3rd Baseman Trevor Plouffe for the series to a concussion suffered while breaking up a double play.

Once again, weather should be an issue.

*****

Series Summary:

  • THU 5/23 7:08  Rick Porcello vs Scott Diamond
  • FRI 5/24 7:08 Anibal Sanchez vs Samuel Deduno
  • SAT 5/25 4:08 Doug Fister vs Kevin Correia
  • SUN 5/26 1:08 Max Scherzer vs Mike Pelfrey

*****

Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Miguel Cabrera. OK, that was easy. No home run he hits all season will be as amusing as the one he hit last night off of Hill. Well, and Bourn also. I happened to be listening to the Cleveland feed, and the announcers were saying they had never seen anything like that happen before, and could only think of Canseco’s header as a comparison. Hey guys! Look in Right Field! There is a Mr. Raburn there who has seen one even stranger.

Today’s Tui-Avi-Torii Lineup:

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

Avisail gets another opportunity, as the return of Austin Jackson looms, and Brayan Pena gets back-to-back starts.

75 Comments

  1. jud

    May 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    This Is a perfect time to move past the Indians and put a little distance between the Tigers and the rest of the AL Central…

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    May 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I know that many of you will appreciate this: http://gizmodo.com/this-incred.....gn=morning

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      He should sell that set on eBay!

  3. StormanNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for the link to the classic Raburn HR assist… comic relief, punctuated by the confused Raburn looking in his glove for the ball afterward… only the referenced (by Coleman) gourd-assisted Jose Conseco HR (also in CLE) is more amusing. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play......d=13109513

    • Coleman

      May 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      That is the best part…he doesn’t see the ball then looks in his glove. The amazing thing about the Canseco play is how little it seemed to affect him…I have a feeling a fly ball of the head would have me down for the count.

      • William

        May 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm

        I think the Canseco play –and perhaps Bourn’s as well–should have been scored as a 4 base error. It wouldn’t have gone out without Canseco’s melon making the play.

        • Coleman

          May 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

          Yes, that is odd. If a fly ball bounces out of the glove onto the field, it is an error most of the time. If it bounces out of the glove over the wall, it seems to always be a home run. One of those unwritten rules?

  4. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Game scheduled to start at 8:05.

  5. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I thought it was a bit lame for the Free Press to try to stir something up by running a picture of Inge in a Penguins jersey.

  6. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    It appears that the thumbnails have returned from the DL.

  7. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    OK, this is starting to get ridiculous!

  8. StormanNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    can anyone remember a DET starting lineup with 6 guys batting north of .300?

  9. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    The back to back Triple Crown talk has already started, but I predict there is going to be a wave of .400 hype soon.

  10. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    On the other hand an ESPN blog just predicted Trout as a potential MVP because…I don’t know, he hit for the cycle or something (actually I’m sure because they haven’t let go of him being “robbed” last season).

    • StormanNorman$

      May 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      I thought the exact same thing – how even if Cabrera ended up batting .400, there would be (so called) experts on MLB-network and ESPN pooh-poohing how over-rated batting average is… while still touting the wonders of Trout

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      After the season he had yet still losing to Cabrera, they thought he would have a good enough season to win this time? Yikers. Just the odds of him duplicating his last season is a heck of a tough thing, plus there is no guarantee it would have been enough.

      The sad thing is that I think Trout lost a lot of points last year because he was a rookie, and the voters didn’t want to give him full credit for his season’s numbers because of that. If Trout was a 2nd year player last year maybe he would have won it.

      • Coleman

        May 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        I would’ve been ok with Trout winning last season. But if anyone if foolish enough to start predicting MVPs this early in the season, he is an idiot if he predicts anyone but Cabrera.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

          Yeah I agree with all of those points. But I would have been more than just fine with Trout winning cause I thought he won the award by a hefty margin.

  11. jud

    May 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Before everyone puts Trout in the Hall of Fame. or directly into Sainthood lets see what his numbers are after 5 years…..

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      But the MVP award should not really take anything into consideration except what happened in that ONE specific season.

    • StorminNorman$

      May 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Amen!

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    May 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Cle putting it to Bos. Grilli with his 19th save.

    • Mcb

      May 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Pitt rolls into town next!

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Not bad for a guy that was traded for a Pitcher that never has seen the majors.

  13. The Strategy Expert

    May 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    That was a peculiar Infield hit there. I freeze framed the replay and you can’t see the SS’s position after the bat hits the ball until they switch angles and the ball is about halfway between the Pitcher and the dirt behind him. But at that point, it looks like the SS is in almost the very same spot as where he was standing prior to the pitch being thrown. It’s almost like he was a sleep and didn’t move until the ball got at least to the Pitcher. I think he should have been able to react quicker and easily field that ball rather than barely making it there.

    We messed up an Infield player earlier in the game. Porcello stopped hustling at one point thinking Brayan would get it, and Brayan should have seen Porcello stop but he wasn’t paying attention. I’m still trying to decide which of them screwed up that play more, I’m about 60/40 blaming Pena because he was closest and he had all the opportunity to take charge there and while Porcello blew it too by not backing him up and bailing him out by going hard himself, but Pena has less of an excuse so I’m charging him with a mental error.

    And Porcello needs to figure out a different plan just in case his Catcher lets him down again.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      asleep and play not player

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm

        Or maybe that ball was just smoked. That seems like a much more likely explanation than a major league shortstop fell asleep in the middle of a game.

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

          Well I don’t think he literally fell asleep. And that ball was clearly not smoked. But you get a good shot before the pitch of where he’s standing and by matching it up it seems like he hardly gained an inch during that juncture. I think it’s extremely obvious that he had a horrible reaction time before he started moving. Just before the pitch he looked like he was well grounded and there was only a short instant before the Pitcher delivered the ball, so extremely doubtful that he suddenly jumped and shifted further to his left which would be one possible explanation for why he made virtually no progress so deep into the action of the play.

          Don’t take my word for it you don’t want to, record the replay and tell me you still don’t think he fell asleep, in the figurative sense?

          • The Strategy Expert

            May 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

            to his right I mean

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm

          Did you even see the play the first time?

          • Kevin in Dallas

            May 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm

            Yes, I was watching it live. At first, I too thought it would be an out. But upon watching the replay, it’s clear that Cabrera got good wood on the ball as evidenced by the distance between the hops. I don’t have any data on this, but I’m willing to be that not many hit the ball harder than Cabrera; a notion that was reinforced by how hard the ball went into Escobar’s glove.

            • The Strategy Expert

              May 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

              Yeah Cabrera on average hits the ball harder than most, but that wasn’t especially hard. But the speed of the ball isn’t paramount to the fact of studying the player’s position and movement. For that ball in terms of the placement and speed of that ball, it’s a routine play if he reacts routinely. You need to spend 5 minutes freeze-framing it like I did to figure out precisely where this fielder was at each of the 2 reference spots we had and I don’t see any conclusion that makes any possible sense other than he had a huge delay before he started moving.

              • Kevin in Dallas

                May 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm

                I don’t have it saved, but I’ll take your word for it on this one.

                Perhaps he was surprised the the ball wasn’t being parked in the OF stands.

              • The Strategy Expert

                May 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm

                LOL, well my first thought which sparked the reason why I reviewed it in the first place, is I was trying to determine if the Manager had put on a shift to the right side and just got bit by bad timing for it. But he was in position and in fact he was standing at the tip of the OF grass! So it was extra easy for him to get over there being deep and still plenty close to 2B as he was in a typical spot. And he had to dive to BARELY get to the ball yet he didn’t show a lack of hustle. The only explanations left are he didn’t start like a normal SS starts, or he jumped to his right at the very last second for some completely random reason despite hunkering down on both knees and looking firmly set at just before pitch time.

              • Smoking Loon

                May 23, 2013 at 11:52 pm

                These things are hard to judge. Looking at it in freeze-frame and such often just obscures things. A really bad break or wrong read shows up in real time. I wouldn’t sweat it beyond that. But that’s just me.

              • The Strategy Expert

                May 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm

                Yeah I can’t be 100% sure because I can’t verify it with an independent angle. It seems like simply the most logical conclusion. I have mentally charged the player with an error and taken the hit away. But I don’t physically record it since I have no real reason too. I just acknowledge it because I like to keep the game straight and baseball justice in tact. And I don’t show favoritism for or against our players. I just like to get the facts as straight as I can.

  14. jud

    May 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    there you go again talking about the Tigers and fundemental things..you should know better than that!

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Yeah I wonder if Porcello and Pena would be forgiving if I forgot the fundamentals of issuing them their paychecks.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm

        Or better yet, how about only one of you gets paid this week, let’s put 1 paycheck in the middle, and we’ll see which one of you rushes up for it first. Sound fair?

  15. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Tui and Pena continue to hit the ball hard, good news.

  16. StorminNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Wings just beat CHI

  17. Kevin in Dallas

    May 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Now this is a rally!

  18. jud

    May 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    how about Jhonny P from Day one to now ..pretty solid all year

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      Yeah he’s doing a good job.

  19. StorminNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    going into tonight Tui’s OBP is .463

  20. tbran

    May 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    What was that 2nd baseman thinking?

  21. The Strategy Expert

    May 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I love how the 2B stays flat on the ground for a while and then pops up aggressively when he realizes maybe that’s his ball to go retrieve! LOL 2x he looked stupid on that play!

  22. jud

    May 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    i know it went off a glove but it was a frickin rocket!!

  23. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Infante and Peralta continue to impress this season.

  24. Coleman

    May 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Papa Grande vs Mauer/Willingham/Morneau in the 9th.

    • tbran

      May 23, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      No problem

      • Coleman

        May 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm

        Good call.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Is that our MVP? He’s hovering closely to the lowest ERA in a season in baseball history! Yep I can see it now, Valverde #1 for MVP and Cabby picks up 2nd!

      So the big question, what’s more likely, for that to happen, or to win the Powerball?

  25. StorminNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Pena is redeemed for letting that popup drop

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Yeah that’s a fascinating setup position he was using. The ball hit him centered and the umpire bought into that being a strike somehow. If I’m Morneau I’m tempted to use my bat to knock some sense into the umpire, that was a horrible call! Pena squirts back for the next pitch after that and probably is screwing with his psychological angles and perspective and just giving him a tiny distraction of something stupid to think about other than getting a hit.

  26. tbran

    May 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    WOW!

  27. StorminNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    OK, i know its still May, but i’ll admit that (so far) i was dead wrong on re-signing Valverde… let’s hope the magic continues..

    • Smoking Loon

      May 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Just yesterday night I was wondering how soon the experiment would end.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      And I told everybody I had DD figured out and I knew this was happening! But that’s a good thing, because Valverde doesn’t cost any money and if he was a bust or ever becomes a bust he doesn’t have to lose many games for us to figure it out. So we never had a lot to lose and what if he jackpots and then develops trade value or can be used as a player? That’s a nice benefit to have some shot at obtaining. And because we overpaid him the first time more than anybody else would, and because we cut him to shoot down his credibility, it gave us nice insurance to pick him back up with no competition, and then use that lack of competition to drive down his salary price. It was an obvious move that even DD could figure out, and he sure did.

      That’s one point in his win column!

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    May 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Best inning I’ve seen out of Valverde this year.

  29. jud

    May 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Nice win considering it was a loss for most of the night!

  30. Smoking Loon

    May 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    That was a convincing performance by Valverde, easily his best of the season. There are 1-2-3 innings, and then there are *convincing* 1-2-3 innings.

    • Coleman

      May 23, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      He’s still no Jason Grilli.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm

        I’m not sure you get the same suspense with Grilli.

  31. StorminNorman$

    May 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    i STILL do not feel sorry for the Twinkies

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      They are junk food anyhow, no nutritional value. I say they deserved to die. The food and the baseball team.

  32. Smoking Loon

    May 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Omar Infante started both the tying and the game-winning rallies. Nice.

  33. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Cabrera first player in a season with .390, 14, 55 since Manny Ramirez in 2001 – was hitting .405, 15, 56.

    Can anyone think of a key difference?

    • Smoking Loon

      May 24, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Strikeout rate and K/BB.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 12:35 am

        Ramirez was a DH.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 24, 2013 at 12:42 am

          Steroids? Ramirez was (I seem to recall) a bit of a nut job?

          That’s all I can think of.

          • Kevin in Dallas

            May 24, 2013 at 12:50 am

            Steroids was what I was going for.

  34. The Strategy Expert

    May 24, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Also another issue I noticed is when trying to log in from a phone I can’t seem to reply to a message. Is there a way to do that? Everything appears as a single new post.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 24, 2013 at 7:53 am

      Just the limitations of the software.