Game 2013.48: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 27-20, 1st Place (.5 ahead of Cleveland).

The Tiger winning streak ended at four last night as the Twins got to Doug Fister for three runs early, and then quieted the Tiger bats for the 3-2 victory.  The big blow was a home run by none other than Joe Mauer, who came to the plate greeted with boos from the Tiger fans for his dastardly spoiling of a perfectly good no-hitter the night before.

Then of course his next at bat brought more booing, and according to Jason Beck Mauer said that Pena told him “they shouldn’t boo you. You got a homer after they booed you.” Well he responded with another hit, which led to more booing, and a Pena response of “No. Stop, stop, stop!”

Speaking of Pena, he did his part with the bat last night, with a 3-for-4 game that raised his average to .328.  Whether his success at the plate lasts or not remains to be seen, but he will be getting a lot more at bats, as Leyland tries an alternating catching mix. “I’m trying to have a little bit of one [day] on, one [day] off just to see if we can get him [Avila] going a little bit.” Avila will be in today with the Sunday Lineup.


Max The Undefeated (6-0) will take the mound looking for the Tiger series win. Max beat the Twins in April, holding them to 3 runs in 7 plus innings, with 10 Ks. And, more importantly, Mauer was 0-for-3 against him.  Scherzer has the 2nd-best run support in the majors at 8.23 per 9 innings, so I am expecting Avila, Kelly, and Santiago to pound the ball today.

Wilkin Ramirez seems to be OK after a frightening collision in the outfield yesterday, but he is out of today’s lineup with a sore jaw.


Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Hmm, well it was going to be Jhonny Peralta, after his nice day at the plate yesterday (not to mention turning a nice double play). So let’s try Victor Martinez, who takes a try at first. Maybe playing in the field will “get him going.”

Today’s Sunday Special Lineup:

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


  1. Kevin in Dallas

    May 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    A 4 game winning streak will be quickly forgotten if we split here.

    Let’s go Max.

    • Coleman

      May 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      That was a Maxterful job of getting out of a jam (and getting Ramon off the hook).


    May 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Max just bailed Smokey out for putting Santiago into the stating lineup!


    May 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Smokey is on some pretty bad drugs ….. putting Santiago, Avila and Kelly in the same starting lineup. Especially when we are trying to win the series and stay in first place.

    • Coleman

      May 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Well, technically Avila is the starting catcher, so that’s only 2 bench guys.

      • Vince in MN

        May 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        And Kelly is our regular CF, so really only 1 bench guy.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      He’s always going to keep his bench players ready. I’m okay with it.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        I’ve got no problem with the bench and getting those guys regular work, either. Though I applaud Vince’s little funny.

        The significance of a Peralta, an Infante, a Hunter out of the lineup on any given day is highly overrated. The Tigers have been without Jackson for a while now, and the lineup seems to be doing OK.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    May 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Miggy really read that well. Great base running.

  5. Coleman

    May 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Once again Fielder comes through after a Cabrera walk.

  6. Kevin in Dallas

    May 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Good base running by Prince too, though a slide would be preferred.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Yeah, I noticed that, too. Hicks in CF made it pretty close. Do you suppose it was Brookens not signaling slide?

  7. Coleman

    May 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Good baserunning by the big guys!

    • The Strategy Expert

      May 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      That is the highlight of the day for me so far. Prince needs to work on his awareness issues to spot opportunities that he misses in a lot of elements of his game. He needs to be more sharply focused and proactive in trying to find the clues that suggest to him where these tiny advantages can be picked up. And this time he did a fantastic job to anticipate the opportunity and process the entire play and he gave full effort and hustle. That’s a complete and full execution moment and really encouraging to see. A lot of players will be too lazy or less anticipatory and just mope around the bag with a tiny lead in case he drops it and they won’t even think twice about tagging and then find themselves still standing on 2B. But Prince was no fool today, he took what was easily available by making the smart effort play.

      • The Strategy Expert

        May 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

        And now Joe Mauer creates an out because he couldn’t anticipate and react on the basepaths. A simple slide is a safe and sure way to be safe and Prince had no shot if Mauer played that opportunity the right way. But he was being a lazy thinker and that’s an out due to assumption.

  8. Coleman

    May 26, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a Tiger starter look as lost at the plate as Alex does right now.

    • tbran

      May 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      I can, and his name is Inge. And for the life of me I cannot understand Ingvila is batting in between Martinez and Infante???

      • Smoking Loon

        May 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm

        Ryan Raburn looked quite lost last season, but not in the same way. I agree that Avila now is about as bad as I’ve ever seen. He looks almost sad up there, like he’s going to bat thinking “what’s the use?” It’s not even funny any more. You have to wonder what’s going on with him.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm

          And, of course, Raburn wasn’t a full-fledged, you’ve-got-the-job starter. I don’t think.

  9. The Strategy Expert

    May 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Ok the Avisail Garcia Triple is my new highlight of the day, that was just beautiful.

  10. tbran

    May 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Putty time

  11. jud

    May 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    putting Avila in the 6 spot is just part of Mumbles warped management style. By puttting him 6 I will reallly get him going!!!! instead of the reality of 2 outs in arow behind Cabrerra

    • Vince in MN

      May 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      At least he kinda ran into one in one AB today. The other three not so much. But he is batting .250 in his last 1 game, so he will be back in the lineup at No. 6 tomorrow. To be fair, despite all the Ks, he is hitting 12 points higher than Adam Dunn.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 26, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        Better lucky than good for Alex today. I was ecstatic when that bloop dropped. I wondered if it was going to have some effect on his next AB, but clearly it didn’t. I guess he wasn’t fooled by his own luck.

        • Smoking Loon

          May 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm

          From Jason Beck’s blog:

          “Joe West was joking with me asking me if I wanted to get the ball, keep it as a souvenir.” — Alex Avila on his sixth-inning RBI single, a blooper into short left field.

          • Vince in MN

            May 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

            We know it will be bad when they stop the game to give him the ball as a souvenir for a groundout to second.

  12. Vince in MN

    May 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Great to take 3 of 4 from the hapless Twins while the Indians lost 3 of 4 to the Red Sox. The next 4 games with PIT should be a good test. It would be nice to take the first two at home, since they are kind of slack as a road team (12-12) and Inge’s Pirates are playing good ball.

    • Vince in MN

      May 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      CLE has won quite a few games in their last AB lately, so I guess this is just a bit of tournabout.

  13. Smoking Loon

    May 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I’ll admit that I was thinking “Why not Tuiasosopo?” when Garcia came on to pinch-hit, and I was even factoring in the subsequent OF situation.

  14. Smoking Loon

    May 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Didn’t end up mattering, but Smyly didn’t look too sharp for the second (?) time in a row. Nor did Putkonen. Even if it’s 6-1, I like to see those guys pitch like it’s 6-5. (That’s a setup line for you, Vince.)