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


  1. Smoking Loon

    May 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm

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

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      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?

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        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.

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Miggy being Miggy.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

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

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        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

  3. The Strategy Expert

    May 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    And now Kelly being Miggy.

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Donkey Kong!

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      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.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

        Oh he’s probably juicing and about to finish the year with 50 homers.

        • Vince in MN

          May 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm

          Or “dingers” as Inge would call them.

          • Vince in MN

            May 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

            I take that back, I think it was “bombs”.

  4. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm

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

    Plus wherever Avila bats.

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      That’s the amazing thing about the 7-9 stats: it includes a bunch of Avila.

      • Vince in MN

        May 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        And Kelly, and Whatshisname. So that is truly amazing.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

          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.

  5. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Interesting pitching performance By Sanchez so far.

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Too many strikeouts (8) for a complete game? 90 pitches through 6.

      • Vince in MN

        May 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm

        It probably depends on what the Twins hitters do in the next three innings.

        • Vince in MN

          May 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm

          Well you know what I mean.

          • Coleman

            May 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

            That was a very efficient 7th.

  6. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I’m beginning to think that it is just luck when Avila makes contact.

  7. jud

    May 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    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

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      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.

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      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!

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    We all know how JL feels about too many Ks.

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

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Do you mean Sanchez or Avila?

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm


        • Smoking Loon

          May 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

          Vince is clutch, man.

  9. jud

    May 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    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????

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      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.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm

        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.

  10. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Well I guess Sanchez comes out for the ninth.

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Let’s go Anibal!

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      And he shook off 3 pitches.

      Great win. BRAVO ANIBAL!

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        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.

  12. jud

    May 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

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

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm

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

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm

        Ace all year, really.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Granderson fractured little finger. Goodness.

  14. jud

    May 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    As good as it gets….Great Job!

  15. Smoking Loon

    May 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Tigers in 1st place again.

  16. Smoking Loon

    May 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    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.”

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      OK, so we won’t be hearing from him for a while yet.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

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

        • Coleman

          May 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

          I think he made up the name Octavio hoping to land a job as the 8th inning guy.

          • Smoking Loon

            May 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm

            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.

  17. StorminNorman$

    May 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    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.

  18. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Check out this Tigers Fan – he was leading’s beat the streak contest. It ended today.;c_id=mlb

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

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

      • Smoking Loon

        May 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        Yeah, what a neat site. Who knew?

        • The Strategy Expert

          May 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

          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.

  19. JimEggersUSMC

    May 25, 2013 at 3:30 am

    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 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….

    • Smoking Loon

      May 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      I’m rooting for you to get, 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 for minor league games). Pretty cool, though not without the occasional maddening technical glitches.