Game 2013.47: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 27-19, 1st Place (.5 ahead of Cleveland). Win streak: 4

“When you pitch a one hitter and the one hit you give up is to a guy with three batting titles, that’s one hell of a performance.” -Jim Leyland

The Tigers re-took first place in style last night. Just 4 weeks after he set a Tiger record with 17 strikeouts against Atlanta,  Anibal Sanchez flirted with his 2nd-career no-hitter with a masterful 1-hit, 130-pitch complete game shutout of the Twins.

Well “flirting” may be too mild–it was an all out seduction, and he almost had the thing, until the one guy in the Minnesota lineup most likely to break up a no-hitter came up, and Mauer ended the drama with a solid single up the middle. With his pitch count over 120 and the no-hitter gone, Sanchez smacked his glove at what might have been, stepped back on the mound, and struck out the rest of the side.

Sanchez, Leyland, and some of the Tigers give their reactions to Sanchez’ performance.


After last night’s game, and with Anibal’s 17-K performance still in memory, I began hearing a little chatter about how Sanchez is the real “Ace” of the staff. Wasn’t it just a few days ago that Scherzer was the one that was maybe the real Ace now? (And at times in the past one could even hear that said about Doug Fister). I’m not sure how useful the concept of a staff Ace is; I suppose it does matter when it comes to naming the Opening Day starting pitcher, and when setting up a playoff rotation, otherwise I am not sure. At any rate, I am sure of this: when you have a starting rotation such that you have guys who can compete with Justin Verlander for the title of Staff Ace, your pitching is going to take you a long way


Last night was a special performance. Today the Tigers celebrate a special team, the 1968 Tigers.  on the 45th Anniversary of their World Series Championship team.


Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Andy Dirks. Dirks continues leadoff duties. Andy is on a 7-for-17 streak, and is 3-for-7 with a HR off of The Pajama Man

Today’s Lineup:

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

41 thoughts on “Game 2013.47: Twins at Tigers”

  1. “When you pitch a one hitter and the one hit you give up is to anybody, that’s one hell of a performance.” – The Strategy Expert

      1. It could have been shorter, but I was feeling poetic and inspired by Leylandism.

        1. Well, the form was perfect. When you can alter one word from a quote and turn it on its head, that is brilliant. This time *I* am congratulating you.

          1. Sweet I knew I had at least one post worth something on this page. It’s just a numbers game!

    1. Pena should ask why every week Alex gets almost triple the money. That’s fine if you want to overpay him, but I should get at least what he’s getting!

      1. Pena is 13/29 from the left-side. Sounds like they need to keep him in the order with right-hand pitchers. How about $5K bonus for every hit?

        1. Well are you asking TSE the agent, or TSE the GM? TSE the agent says yeah that’s reasonable and thank you for being fair, but TSE the GM says sorry your great play only means that now I’m trading you today, thank you so much and bless your heart!

  2. Walters is throwing very few strikes..that always puts the Tigers at such a big disadvantage…

    1. Yeah I’m fairly impressed with him on MOST of the little things and intangibles, but he can still improve a few areas. He just doesn’t offer much upside with the bat so we should relish every hit he gets. Personally i disagreed with the signing at the time because I saw Avila as the starter and I wanted to push for more value at that spot and try and find a better #1 so Avila could be the #2. I don’t dislike Pena for any reason other than he’s an opportunity blocker to find the next great Catcher if Avila is not going to be that guy which we can’t obviously bank on.

  3. That was a nasty shot to Wilkin. The freeze frame shows how the ball had just landed into the other guy’s glove and right at that moment Wilkin’s jaw comes smashing hard right into the mitt/ball part and at such a speed it was probably like getting a knockout punch in the face. I’m wondering if he just lost some teeth.

    1. Looks like his head hit the ground hard. That was the LF ball all the way.

      1. Yeah and he didn’t even make the play even though his glove was in front! Weird, but I guess maybe at the last instant he could have restrained from stretching his glove out more. Or perhaps if the LF wasn’t there maybe he just totally whiffs on the ball. Indeed very clearly the LF’s ball so you can bet his Manager will be asking him “what were you thinking dude?”

  4. Pena probably is not the long term answer, but he sure is the right guy at the right time considering the circumstances

    1. Well yeah I agree he’s a nice fit for the shape of this team with his best attribute being he’s not one of the many players we have that are making countless millions of dollars undeservingly.

      1. It has happened without announcement and fanfare, but Avila and Pena are now splitting time at C. I don’t think we can call Pena the backup catcher any longer.

      1. Prince has had some kind of problem going on. He’s not turning on the inside pitch like he did at the start of the season. He’s taking a lot of pitches that he used to hit. Just lately, he’s getting under stuff that he would normally drive.

  5. this was one of those game where the Tigers put in as little effort as possible, waiting for Miggy to win it somehow….they play many games like this! oh well!

    1. Well we have a lot of rich elitist veteran players, and they don’t necessarily all congregate together and play like a Little League team. When I played baseball you would get screamed at for not hustling, effort and fundamentals were taken seriously or you would get coached and trained to improve until you get it right and do it right consistently. We don’t run that kind of program, it’s more like a ball club than a complete team.

      And our batting lineup is weak in overall continuity, we have too many diminishing small returns when you interject the inefficient producers throughout that 9 set. Miggy can’t win every game by himself.

      1. You do realize that the Tigers are first in the majors in R, BA, and OPS, and 5th in Slg. right?

        You sound really ridiculous when you call the best lineup in the majors (thus far in 2013) “weak in overall continuity.” In fact, ridiculous may not be the right word. Idiotic is more worthy (based on your conjecture, I don’t know you personally).

        1. Yes I realize that and I completely disagree with the concept that the lineup is good because you can make that statement.

          To me the lineup is garbage and it’s a losing combination, and I think the key element we are missing in the recipe is the continuity and greater efficiency. I think my analysis is brilliant and for you to suggest the opposite is extremely ridiculous considering I think I know what I’m talking about and that you do not.

        2. I bet that book you made a post about probably talks about concepts like this too, so you might feel differently once you finish it. Having one superstar Cabrera is nice to get some overall output, but for the dollars we spend on this team and how we manage our assets and balance them, we have terrible leverage in the complete 1-9 grouping. We could have the same offense output numbers with $100MM as an example. But for $150MM, if you balance it properly and manage all the parts, you can create a ton of extra efficiency. We don’t have to spend more to get a lot greater results, we just need to spend the money more wisely and employ a better system of learning how the individual 1-9 hitters combine for a total team result and overall efficiency and continuity.

          I also have made tons of posts on this site revolving around these concepts and I think after that book you might form different conclusions about how good this lineup is. And what if every other team employed only 9 year old girls? Well we would look even better comparatively, but comparatively is irrelevant to us getting our money’s worth for our particular dollars. Other teams doing worse to make our results seem slightly more palatable might qualify as enough for you, but I see our offensive unit and mngmt of our roster design to be total chaos and disarray. We have Cabrera and Fielder as our top 2 guys, and virtually everybody else is a question mark in some way.

          We have a horrible setup, ESPECIALLY for the long-term. Sure we can survive and get by for now, but there’s more to the game than just this one season, a season of which we still have major lineup problems!! It would be one thing if we had a superstar juiced lineup this year and then took another big hit next year but could justify it by having a special season this year, but for $150MM and the massive number of missing pieces on offense for both the short-term and the long-term is absolutely atrocious. It’s insane and totally irresponsible, but we are plagued by strategy ignorance since our GM doesn’t understand these high level concepts.

          1. Here’s a numerical concept to think about, and maybe something like this appears in that book too. To get a run on a combo of hits, you have to combine a pair of other hits if it’s not a homer as a typical way to do that. Now let’s just play a number game, you have let’s say 50 points to distribute from 1-9 and we’ll say the computation of all 9 numbers to get the highest number is what you want. Well how could you distribute those numbers, in terms of what types of different ways?

            Well you could do 50/9 and that would come out to 5 for each with 5 6’s, or you could do eight 1’s and one 42, or many other combinations. Let’s say each of the 50 points costs a million dollars so it doesn’t matter how you distribute as the cost is the same in this simple game.

            So what do you get if you multiply 1 by itself 8x and then by 42? You get a tiny 42. Let’s double those 1’s and see what happens, so what about eight 2’s and then a 34? Well that’s much better than the last one. You can quickly see that the best computational power when dealing with a finite amount of math resources is to make it more evenly distributed as you get closer to where we are using only 5’s and 6’s. Now this isn’t a perfect analogy since naturally the top order in a baseball group of 9 gets more PAs, this simple little illustration is for no reason other than to spark a thought about how numbers work when you can combine them. So you over-complicate the math logic as you think about a baseball team and what our lineup looks like is one super top heavy number surrounded by a bunch of tiny numbers. But we didn’t have to do it that way. And we don’t need to find more Cabrera’s to get a better yield. We can easily find 2s to replace 1s or 3s to replace 2s, it’s harder as you go up in number, but if you can find guys that are 6s that other teams think are 4s, then you can not only find upgrades but nice ones. And sometimes you can find that you have 4s that another team sees as a 6 because they might have a far less precise system of evaluating players.

            Our team has tremendous opportunity to look at the 1-9 recipe and find ways to reconfigure for extremely cheap improvements. In fact, you could even in many cases shed salary while getting more overall points to distribute across your 9 spots if you can further use other concepts to identify where those steals are available when negotiating with other teams that throw away good leverage for free. All of the other teams often take on trash and throw away treasure, they all do it in some way and way too often, and the art is to find a way to identify that and then create efficiency harmony within your lineup for the best price, and the better the value, the more potential you have to spend even more in the future to keep pushing the limit and piling on more if you are so inclined. Let us know after you read that book and give us your book review thoughts and mention any highlights you think are interesting as takeaways from it.

            1. Now baseball batters don’t multiply in a perfectly congruent way to the way the basic math operations work. You have to work through the logic to get more specific pictures in mind of how these concepts interlink within a baseball lineup. Connected hits add for bases, but you need 4 bases for a run, but sometimes you have a double and a single for only 3 bases yet you scored a run for a discount. And sometimes you have 2 guys in scoring position and you can get 2 runs for one single. So as you link this baseball lineup concept to that simple math game from the above post, then there becomes a slightly more complex abstract math game to keep track of all the moving parts, but as you do you find these mini math games and principles that favor good efficiency when you can get a good flow from the 1-9 system.

              So if you have that maximum perfect flow rate figured out, and then I could say well we could dismantle this pipeline and turn it into the bottleneck system we had before, then your natural response would be well why would you do that, you would screw up the whole flow!! Well but wouldn’t the sum of our parts still be the same so what’s the difference, shouldn’t they be equal quantities of total value in either scenario?

              The answer is NO, that’s now how math logic works. I sure hope you aren’t a GM if you can’t figure this out.

              1. And I don’t know how many GMs in MLB understand this concept, it’s possible it could be any number from 0-32. But I’m 100% positive that exactly 0 GMs in MLB understand how to implement this type of concept at all, let alone with minimal mistakes. That’s like asking for them to buy 2 winning lottery tickets in a row after I first explained to them what the lottery even is which this post string could represent.

                Those elements are the even harder part to figure out, and none of them would be able to figure that stuff out if they each had another 20 years to ponder the question absent any new clues.

              2. Ridiculous, TSE. All of that. You should really have your own blog, where you can hold forth on your theories and congratulate yourself on your brilliance. It’s not going over very well here.

              3. I don’t understand why you would say that. I have no interest in congratulating myself about anything, but I was called out rudely and I defended myself and my baseball position the best I could to rebut the strong comment of dissent.

              4. “I think my analysis is brilliant and for you to suggest the opposite is extremely ridiculous considering I think I know what I’m talking about and that you do not.”

                This quote from you is why I would say that. No interest in congratulating yourself? Come again?

              5. He outlandishly attacked my intelligence and in not even remotely a subtle way so I backed up a rebuttal point speaking to my vast level of baseball intelligence and I thought I did a fantastic solid job in making that case while also elaborating on the subject matter and concept point that he called into question.

                I’ve seen so many times that people here have asked me to elaborate much further and not be so vague, and I went for some thorough ideas to share and took a strong position that was appropriate considering the circumstances of Kevin’s hostile interrogative.

              6. He opened up hard so I closed harder. I aim to win and destroy my opponents to the best of my ability whatever it takes.

              7. Well, then I suppose you “destroyed” Kevin by discouraging any further discussion. You could have just reasonably qualified your “weak continuity” statement, instead of going over the top by calling the Tigers lineup garbage. Kevin was reasonable in pointing out that calling a lineup (yes, a lineup – Miggy hasn’t done it all by himself) weak, a lineup that that leads MLB in runs, is, on the face of it, ridiculous. He didn’t call YOU an idiot. He attacked your statement, and it deserved attack. You didn’t so much defend it as restate it even more obscurely.

                People, it’s gotten a little ridiculous when the lengthiest exchanges here are TSE vs. Challenger on the subject of, essentially… TSE. I hear that the 2013 season is underway and that the Detroit Tigers are playing baseball games. I’m watching them. Are you?

              8. Yeah sorry I just respectfully disagree with your opinion on this one. For one my original comment was pretty solid. I was very specific about the sentiments that I wanted to convey, there was nothing that should have spurned the kind of reaction he had. There was nothing I had to defend because all I did was post a few fleeting thoughts and nobody had asked any questions or furthered any discussion that warranted an expansion or defense of what were some very simple and straightforward observations and opinions. But nevertheless the tone and taste with how he chose to engage me I thought was very inappropriate, so I don’t see why any person would be discouraged to talk with me just because Kevin has an issue with being polite and professional in communicating. This isn’t the first time Kevin has made a very rude comment towards me, he has done it many times in the past and I just think that his attitude towards me has been unfair and unfortunate.

                Despite that I didn’t launch back with name calling, but I delved in and provided a lot of effort to try and give very good detailed information about very unique concepts to add further to my original comment which I felt stood just fine on it’s own. Other people had asked me to expand on some of these concepts in that past and this seemed like a good time to do so and I thought I did a good job with presenting a couple of ideas.

                And as always, if somebody doesn’t think there is value in discussing baseball with me, then they are free to ignore me, and anybody that sees any point in discussing anything with me is equally free to do the same.

  6. Or more possible to be 0-30 since there’s only 30 teams, sorry it’s getting late!

    1. I felt a little stir. It’s like he was trying to drop a bunt on me or something and I had to react!

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