Game 2013.46: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 26-19, 2nd Place (.5 behind Cleveland)

At this particular moment in time the best hitter in baseball walks the earth in a Tiger uniform with a big number 24 on the back.

Once again, for the 6th time in the past 4 games, Miguel Cabrera cleared the fence and led the Tigers to a 4th consecutive victory (well, that was the 3rd–tonight is the 4th), a come from behind 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins.  The impressive thing about the recent Cabrera home run barrage is that they have been mostly to center, on pitches that have been spread around the strike zone.

For an impressive graphic depiction of how well Miguel Cabrera covers the plate with power, take a look at this fascinating piece on Fangraphs, where Drew Sheppard takes 6 Cabrera home runs and combines them into one composite gif. You will not watch it only once.

*****

Of course Cabrera didn’t win the game single-handedly. For the fourth consecutive game, Prince Fielder knocked in a run following a Cabrera walk. He may have popped up in every other at bat in the game, but if Fielder continues to hit consistently following Cabrera walks, things will work out very well indeed.

The bottom of the order continued to contribute (I’ll throw temporary leadoff man Omar Infante in that group); in fact the Tiger 7-9 hitters are now 3rd best in the AL with a .718 OPS, and 2nd with a .268 BA. Really the only weak spot in the lineup right now is the 5th spot, and if Martinez regains his form this team will plate a lot of runs.

The icing on the cake for last night’s game was the quick and efficient job by Jose Valverde to close the game out. This was by far the best outing by Papa Grande v. 2.0; he had both velocity and location–Pena barely moved his glove. This is the first time this season I felt like this Valverde thing might actually have a chance of working.

*****

Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Omar Infante. Infante just keeps hitting. His 3-for-5 night last night brought his average up to .323, and his Comerica average up to a ridiculous .429. Cabrera, eat your heart out (a mere .402). A couple times on base in front of Cabrera will put the pressure on the Twins.

Today’s First-Time-For-This-One Lineup:

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

54 thoughts on “Game 2013.46: Twins at Tigers”

  1. Not to be a wise guy or some kind of crustacean, but the Tigers have won 3 in a row.

    1. Ah, well I see what happened there (the 4 games from earlier in the sentence carried over). That leaves a dilemma–if I fix it does that jinx today’s 4th consecutive win?

      1. I suggest throwing in a “will soon lead” and “after a.” Then ask me what I’m talking about and am I drinking again. He he.

    1. Victor being Victor. Failure to cash in on Deduno in the brief time he’ll be in there might prove costly.

      1. I find it hard to believe that Deduno lasted 5.1. The kindness of strangers, surely. Did you see how completely out of the game (mentally) he was? Man

    1. Somebody coughed at just the right moment and gave it enough momentum to get it over the fence. It might as well be a tape measure job in the boxscore though.

  2. “Really the only weak spot in the lineup right now is the 5th spot…”

    Plus wherever Avila bats.

        1. In terms of PA appearance share, it’s largely Peralta and Infante, so while nice, it’s not quite amazing. Oughta be better, when you think about it. Oh, right. Avila.

  3. Avila looks like he is 70 years old, drags himself to the plate..he drags himself back to the dugout after hhis many K’s …He jogs to first on his ground ball to second. He never hustles…….in fact he acts like he is 70….hey Alex wake up

    1. This is how a lot of our players approach the game. Look at Fielder even, on that last grounder he let up near the end of his run. It’s a lot of work to go hard for 90 feet and we have a 6 run lead. Why should Prince take things so seriously and get too aggressive? We’re only paying him $24MM per year. We’d have to pay $30MM if we want a full and total effort consistently. Or maybe that wouldn’t be enough either or maybe that would just remove all his incentive to give a max effort.

    2. Wow that last atbat he looked groggy and depressed indeed. Just his body language at the plate and how he trotted back after that latest K just now he looked like he was miserable to be here. Even seemed to mumble maybe 2-3 words to himself. I hope he was giving himself good advice to pick himself up for the future!

  4. We all know how JL feels about too many Ks.

    Just got a Scorecenter alert about Sanchez…so hit coming soon.

  5. Prince usually runs hard..Jackson always runs hard. Martinez seldom runs hard and Avila never runs hard. My point to this is its very evident when you do or do not run hard!!. ..So everyone knows…Does anyone in Management care????

    1. I’m sure they care. Especially a guy like Leyland who is old-school. If Leyland was batting and struck out and the Catcher dropped the ball, then you can bet Leyland would run for 1st like his life depended on it.

      1. Martinez is lucky to get to 2B on his own double. Avila is so stunned to make contact with the ball that he’s essentially “rounding first” on every groundout to the second baseman, gazing with HR admiration and taking the slow HR trot as he watches the bouncing ball.

      1. As good as a no-no to me. Lone hit was a technicality. Brilliant, Anibal Sanchez. And yet only a bit more brilliant than usual.

  6. Hung the curve paid the price…..a GREAT follow up to his last start…he is still solid

    1. Ace of the staff at the moment. The long-term deal is looking pretty good so far.

  7. There is news about Dotel, sort of:

    ” • Octavio Dotel threw a bullpen session on Thursday at the Tigers’ Spring Training complex in Lakeland, Fla. It’s his first mound work since the setback that shut Dotel down for more than a week in his rehab from right elbow inflammation.”

      1. Yeah. By the way, who is he? The name sounds made up. I really need to check my sources first.

          1. Do tell. D’oh!

            Tell me, how did Benoit just walk in and take the 8th away from Octo-Man? Can’t remember, it’s been wah too long.

  8. Sanchez: 3rd Tigers pitcher to lose a no-hit bid in the 9th inning in the last 4 seasons. June 2, 2010– Armando Galarraga vs Indians May 18, 2012– Justin Verlander vs Pirates Friday– Anibal Sanchez vs Twins Only other team with more than 1 in that span: Rangers (2)
    This was Anibal Sanchez’s 3rd 10-K game in 22 starts with the Tigers… He had 3 10-K games in 132 starts with the Marlins.

    1. Wow, what a neat game, ok I registered! Thanks for bringing some attention to this!

        1. So why wouldn’t somebody use the Double Down feature? It just effectively gives you double the chances to play throughout a season right? I’m just assuming you can play as many times as you want once your streak ends.

  9. I am not able to see Tigers games unless mlb or espn/wgn/tbs/fox shows them. Missing this gem by Anibal leads me to think it is time to enter into discussions with my bride about getting that mlb.tv thingie, at least after they cut the price after the ASG game. So, your good vibes and all the other talismans you all may have send them out to the West.
    In other Baseball news, Bob Davidson called a BALK!!!, and the M’s sent down Jesus (Montero) and called up Jesus (Sucre). Sucre is French (?) for sugar, wonder if his nickname is Sweet Jesus ? apologies to Tom In Lakeland….

    1. I’m rooting for you to get mlb.tv, Jim. An argument in your favor relative to negotiations with your bride is that you can watch the game after the game should there be any scheduling conflicts. (Or blackouts for the Mariners games and nationally televised ones. You get the Detroit radio coverage live for those.) We probably shouldn’t mention that it allows you to watch any previous games from the season as well.

      I’m not sure how it works for being able to watch games from previous seasons. I first signed up in the offseason for a package that allowed me to watch the 2012 games and 2013 ST games. That was before I went with the 2013 package (including MiLB.tv for minor league games). Pretty cool, though not without the occasional maddening technical glitches.

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