Game 2013.55: Tigers at Orioles

30-24, .5 ahead and in first place, winning streak at 1. Torii “300″ Hunter is back in the lineup and Rick Porcello throws sinkers, so today’s victory is, of course, assured. The stone glove, Teflon hands, and paper bat of Ramon Santiago will not prevent it! Sorry, Ramon. I’m sure you’ll have a good game.

VERLANDER

JACKSON

SCHERZER

MR. POTATO-HEAD

CABBY

QUINTIN BERRY & FRANCISCO WHO?

TUIPLUNKOSOSOPO

Nothing “heavy” as threatened, but here’s a little statistical potpourri. Well, not even potpourri, really; just a coupla things:

A look at BA v. BABIP. Differential between ‘em is the thing to look at.

2013 BA/BABIP* (CAREER BA/BABIP)

Tuiasosopo .333/.415 (.212/.288)
Peralta .328/.403 (.267/.313)
Cabrera .369/.380 (.320/.347)
Hunter .312/.367 (.278/.309)
Jackson .272/.336 (.280/.367)
Pena .307/.323 (.252/.270)
Infante .294/.309 (.276/.307)
Garcia .270/.308 (.298/.365)
Fielder .270/.300 (.287/.322)
Dirks .247/.273 (.282/.314)
Martinez .230/.247 (.300/.313)
Avila .173/.220 (.252/.315)
Kelly .173/.177 (.226/.244)
Santiago .135/.167 (.243/.279)

*League average is .256/.298

PITCHING OPS-AGAINST*

Villareal 1.426
Rondon 1.227
Dotel 1.125
Coke .751
Porcello .738
Reed .733
Verlander .710
Ortega .699
Alburquerque .688
Fister .665
Downs .640
Sanchez .606
Benoit .577
Scherzer .568 (who has a high XHB%!?)
Putkonen .558
Smyly .539
Valverde .529 (his BAA/BABIP-against are the same at .156 – this is weird)

*League average is .735

HITTING: OPS PLATOON SPLITS, RHP/LHP*

Avila .648 R / .132 L (not a typo, and no, this is not BA, but OPS)
Fielder .800 R / 1.025 L
Infante .713 R / .797 L
Peralta .795 R / 1.054 L
Cabrera 1.064 R / 1.364 L
Martinez .616 R / .566 L
Dirks .705 R / .573 L
Jackson .689 R / .758 L
Hunter .798 R / .743 L
Tuiasosopo 1.185 R / .831 L
Pena 1.054 R / .529 L
Kelly .572 R / .706 L (crucial that he gets the start against righties, eh?)
Santiago .432 R / .517 L
Garcia 1.167 R / .600 L

*Team totals are .771 R / .790 L

Today’s “String Beans To Utah” lineups:

DETROIT

Dirks LF
Hunter RF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Avila C
Santiago 2B
Garcia CF

BALTIMORE

Oh, the usual, I suppose. Actually, DH Dickerson has taken Wieters’s spot in the lineup, and Snyder is in at C.

Do not come back for the post-game, but instead be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting wabbit.

POST-GAME: Orioles 4, Tigers 2. This one slipped away in a most unpleasant manner. Once again, a struggling rookie held the Tigers (mostly) (largely) in check. Kevin Gausman got Cabrera for 2 GIDP and a strikeout. Say what? Miguel Cabrera? Porcello started out looking like the expected groundballs were all going to be line drives instead, but then settled down, and settled down GOOD. He struck out Adam Jones 3 times, carved Mr. Hyper-Gum right up, as a matter of fact. Rick was helped along in his transition by a 2nd-inning great catch in RF by Hunter on J.J. Hardy’s fast-receding deep flyball. The only damage done against Gausman was in the 4th, Fielder’s solo bomb to RCF on the same pitch Fielder had just missed for strike three in his previous AB. But note that just prior to this HR, Miggy had erased Hunter (aboard after a fine bunt for a hit) and himself on a 6-4-3. One run lost. In the 5th, Peralta had made it as far as 3B with one out before Santiago and Garcia turned in failed ABs. Another run lost. Top of the 7th, 1-0 Tigers, Brian Matusz in for the O’s. Prince doubles, Martinez singles, and Jhonny bloops in Fielder to make it 2-0 Detroit. Here’s where it starts to get ugly. A horrible sac bunt “attempt” by Avila resulted in a 2-5-3 DP. Ramon’s noble sac fly attempt came two innings late and was unable to score Peralta… from 2B… with 2 out. Shall we say the total of runs lost is up to 3 now? Meanwhile, Porcello was obviously out of gas to begin with when he came out for the 7th and immediately served up a towering RF home run for Chris Davis that made it 2-1. Phil C-uh-oh-ke came on with none out and runners at the corners. The good news is that he got out of a tough 1st and 2nd, one out jam. The bad news is that two runs charged to Porcello scored first. 3-2 Orioles, with what would prove to be the winning run scoring on a clutch knock up the middle by Nate McLouth. How many GIDP today for Detroit? 12? Hunter added one more in the 8th. Downs came on for the 8th and would have had a fine inning, the Davis clever beat-the-shift double notwithstanding, but for a slight technicality. His mistake – no Tigers bullpen appearance is complete without one – was the Casilla RBI double, which may have been misplayed to some extent by Dirks in LF. 4-2 Baltimore. Ortega came in replacing Downs and walked #9 hitter Chris Snyder on 4 pitches before escaping. Last chance, 3-4-5 due up. Cabrera singled, too little too late. The rest went quietly.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Nate McLouth, Chris Davis
HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Gausman, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter
NOT SO GOOD: Adam Jones, Jim Leyland

133 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    With the season being 1/3 over, just for chuckles I did some back of the envelope $ per PA computations for our bench guys, extrapolating out to 162 games. Loon may want to double check my figures, since the last time I did something like this I goofed. Anyway, based on MY figuring the bench mark guys of course are Cabrera ($27,559/PA) and Fielder ($31,039/PA).

    The bench guys:
    Tui ($2,354/PA)
    Kelly ($3,409/PA)
    Pena ($3,645/PA)
    Santiago ($17,073/PA)

    Stats/salaries are from http://www.baseball-reference......2013.shtml

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Heh. I try to avoid the money stuff. But that’s a fun analysis.

      I do think we are trending to seeing more of Tui and Pena and less of Kelly. Santiago, well, what can you do?

  2. jud

    June 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Tigers are 25th in runs scored in the 7-8-9 innings
    Tigers are 7Th in runs allowed in 7-8-9 innings

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      We’ve noticed, eh?

  3. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Watch Hunter today. This Camden Yards/300th HR thing isn’t necessarily good. If he’s going up there with HR in mind, you can bet Gausman knows (like everyone else) about Hunter’s high fastball weakness and will try to exploit it. I have seen much of this over the past month.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Nice bunt, Torii. Look how wrong you can be. 2 for 2 and no chasing anything.

  4. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Uh oh Hunter is down this doesn’t look good at all!

    • Coleman

      June 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Phew looks like it was nothing.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Yeah/ What’s up with that. Watching as the they cut away, no commentary, saw the ump helping him up and thought Torii was just goofing with him at first.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        Heh. I guess he was…

  5. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    “The Orioles and Tigers have the two best defenses in the league.” Some comic relief from the Orioles announcers.

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Incredible falloff in Hunter’s power numbers this year. Since becoming a regular, between 2001 and 2011 (with the exception of ’05 when he only played in 98 games), he has hit at least 21 homers. Last year he hit 16 as a full-timer in LA. This season he has 2. Perhaps he is consciously changing his approach to keep the average up, which I am OK with as long as he does so, considering who bats behind him. Otherwise…

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      You were saying? (Hunter catch.) He he.

      Tigers really are quite good defensively this year. In my opinion.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        Not worried about Hunter HR power. Still lotsa XBH.

      • Coleman

        June 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        They are fine, but best in the league? (they were going off of fielding percentage).

        • Smoking Loon

          June 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm

          Well, you know how commentators are. They can’t get beyond fielding %.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

            Too many little things go wrong for the Tigers to be anywhere near the best defensively, but on the other hand, game-changing miscues have been few and far between.

  6. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Berry was hitting a whopping .168 in 190 PA for Toledo. With that drastic of a falloff it makes me wonder if he isn’t still injured. Swapping him off the 40-man roster (Berry will be DFA) for Martinez, who never matured for SEA, and is being sent to Lakeland (isn’t he a bit old for high A?) seems a bit odd. And Martinez is a thirdbaseman. Maybe it is just a temporary roster-filling move.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Yeah, Vince. Seems like one of those precursor moves.

  7. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t think Gausman will get away with that strike three pitch to Prince again. I hope he tries it.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      What did I tell you? Same pitch. Gone.

  8. TIGERS RULE

    June 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Beauty catch by Torii. It looks like the few days off has been good both at the plate and in the field.

  9. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    CAD for Ramon (clown-aided double).

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Nah. Good effort by Jones. He never even had it, though. Trapped and squirted out.

  10. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Dirks’s swing has grown long. And what’s up with the “hold the pose” after the swing?

  11. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    28th SB vs. Avila to go along with his 5 PB.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Yeah, but a lot of those are on the pitchers. In this case, Avila’s throw was brilliant, but the way McLouth read Porcello there was no chance.

      • Vince in MN

        June 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm

        Well, it’s just that his defense declined last year over 2011, and it is looking somewhat poorer so far this year.
        http://www.baseball-reference......al01.shtml

        • Smoking Loon

          June 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm

          Watching him, he looks as strong as ever. Good thing, considering the BA.

  12. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    The Avila version of the sac bunt.

    • Coleman

      June 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      The Avila version of the sacrifice DP bunt.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm

        And he advanced a runner both times. How can we fault him? He got in two productive outs for the price of one on that last. Shrewd move.

  13. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Well, that was weak, man on 3B, one out, and no score. But we always say that. Still, Ramon knows how to hit for the sac fly. I was expecting it. Honest I was.

  14. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Porcello’s stats are *still* “unfairly” skewed by that Angels outing. Take that out and you get a better idea of how good he’s been. The Tigers don’t really have a “#5″ starter, in a sense. No one’s been that marginal.

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      ERA drops to 3.43 minus that 1 abomination.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Thanks. I had a feeling it was still that extreme, the differential.

      • Vince in MN

        June 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        It must be due to Avila’s game calling ;)

        • Smoking Loon

          June 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

          Downs was just about to earn the Fine Inning Award before the Casilla double.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm

            Avila’s contributions to ERA must be coming out of his BA…

  15. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Unfortunately, we are up against Cy Gausman today, other than one mistake to Fielder everyone looks helpless (well, there’s also Hunter’s infield hits I suppose).

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      The Away Tigers are not the same as the Home Tigers.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

        I long for the Minute Maid Park Tigers. They stopped by yesterday..

  16. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Gausman has a story to tell about facing Miggy. 2 GIDP and a K looking.

    Have we seen this movie before? Tigers quieted by a struggling rookie or unknown.

  17. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    That play (Machado hard grounder) is the smoothest play I’ve seen from Miggy all season. VERY nice.

  18. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Does Adam Jones drink a lot of Monster or what?

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      I mean, he acts highly caffeinated or sugared-up.

  19. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Great 0-2 hit from V-Mart.

  20. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Please PH for Avila.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      OK, I’ll take the bunt. (I’m amazed at the call.)

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        Oh man. Unbelievable. So *that’s* why he never bunts…

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Pathetic.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        June 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        Perfect example of why some guys shouldn’t ever bunt. It’s not an easy skill, and a useless one for some players (the time required to learn it won’t be justified by actual use).

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm

        Ramon with the sac fly, getting it done! Oh wait. That was last PA. Why didn’t Brookens update him?

  21. TIGERS RULE

    June 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Why have AA bunt with Santiago following?

    • Coleman

      June 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      That would have been a sac fly right there.

      • TIGERS RULE

        June 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        Would have, should have, could have ……. nice call after the fact!

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      In that situation, why have AA bat with anybody following?

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        It was a perfect opportunity to PH Tuiasosopo, even if the Orioles had countered with a righty. Pena is also fresh, due for some play time. Getting Avila “going”? Bah.

        • Vince in MN

          June 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

          Leyland is afraid of playing both catchers in the same game, because there might be an injury or something. Even with Kelly available in such an emergency, it’s extremely rare.

        • TIGERS RULE

          June 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

          Smokey would never think of a good idea like that because it is way beyond his IQ range.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

            Good point, Vince.

  22. Doug of troy

    June 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    A well-executed bunt and we’d have at least another run. The leyland tigers can’t execute anything. We may need that extra run.

  23. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I didn’t want to mention it pre-game, or at all, but Porcello has allowed the most HR of any Tigers starter.

  24. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    What has become of Darin Downs? Haven’t seen him lately. Get him in there.

  25. TIGERS RULE

    June 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Why would you throw Davis a BP fastball down Broadway …….. so he can run into it!

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      And Rick was so good against him in previous ABs.

      Porcello ran out of gas fast. Not a good day for it. I can’t recall too many 2013 games where the bats suddenly woke up late.

  26. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Same old Bonderman today in MN, getting hammered with the long hits – 7 runs in 4.2 innings. I don’t expect that experiment to last too long. Too bad.

  27. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Hardy has got to be Porcello’s last batter.

  28. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Wow, Porcello was great but he lost it in a hurry.

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      As good as he was early, I don’t think Porcello can be counted on for deep pitch counts. In times past Leyland would pull him around 90 or so. He was at 99 today when it was maybe already too late.

  29. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Valencia v. Coke: 2 for 4.

  30. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    And then in comes Coke, who the O’s PH for with a righty. Who would have guessed?

  31. tigerfan

    June 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    here we go again time for this so called bullpen to lose another game

  32. mcb

    June 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    If we lose this one, all on Jimmy. Avila never should have hit. And you have to know your pitchers – Porcello does not go deep. Not having someone ready after that homer was a mistake.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Porcello likes to let others go deep. Chris Davis, for instance.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        • Coleman

          June 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

          Jim Leyland is no fool (ducking tomatoes). No, really, he isn’t. That “it’s my fault” is classic. You know this trick if you’ve ever been involved in politics. Jump out and say sorry, it’s my fault! My fault for [thing that was not my worst mistake].

  33. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Fortunately another catcher that can’t bunt.

  34. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Coke gets the DP here. I’m calling it. (McLouth.)

    • Coleman

      June 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I like your version better.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        Thanks. No cooperation from McLouth, who was supposed to hit it on the ground and not as hard. Coke is pretty good at getting the DP, Opp%-wise.

  35. tigerfan

    June 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    what a joke

  36. Kevin in Dallas

    June 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Coke is in danger of losing a job.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Yeah, it’s been that way for a while, in our minds, at least. I really like Coke. Feel bad for him. Wish he’d get it done in spectacular fashion one of these times out.

  37. tigerfan

    June 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    this has to be the most frustrating top tier ball club in the major leauges

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      I feel ya, but probably not. It’s all a matter of perspective. I think all the fans moan and groan about their team at the drop of a hat. Or bat. Or at bat.

  38. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Whoa, that LF pop was scary. Remember Texas?

  39. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Well, 8 men to the plate and only 3 runs. Coulda gone WAY south…

  40. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Nice job by Coke, who lowered his ERA to. 6.06 with that fine outing.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Bullpen ERAs are nearly worthless. I’d like to recalculate them using RUNS ALOWED regardless of inheritance.

      • Vince in MN

        June 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

        I was being facetious, and should have done the :) thing. Whatever happened to the Inherited Runners Scored stat. That was a good one I thought. Did it go away with the Game Winning Hit stat, which was pretty worthless.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm

          I knew you were being facetious. I was chiming in. No smileys necessary with me.

          It appears hard to look up the Inherited Runners scored thing. Maybe I’m overlooking it. I’d also like to know whose runners they are. It’s one thing to allow base runners, and another to allow them to score. Neither are good, but I am not high on charging runs to pitchers no longer in the game. It’s tough, but your job as a reliever includes dealing with the inherited situation, and if you can’t hack it, your ERA deserves the hit. So sick of hearing commentators oohing and ahhing over sub-2.00 ERAs for relievers. SO WHAT. How many batters do these guys face??

  41. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    That’s it. When you need a run, insert Kelly.

  42. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Don’t worry, Don Kelly will save us!

  43. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    In case you were starting to miss watching our bullpen, you are in luck, we breezed through our half of the inning on 4 pitches and less than 5 minutes.

  44. tigerfan

    June 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    whats that I smell I must be at the zoo I think a tiger took a dump

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Well-crafted. I think.

  45. Mark

    June 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    “Coke is in danger of losing a job.”
    You’re talking about the team that brought Valverde back.

  46. Smoking Loon

    June 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Downs was just about to earn the Fine Inning Award before the Casilla double.

    (Sorry, misposted as reply elsewhere…)

  47. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    As frustrating as the late-inning pitching was to watch, this one’s on the guys with the bats. You don’t win games with only 2 runs, especially against Baltimore, especially at Camden.

    • Vince in MN

      June 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Well, some of it has to do with who gets the bats and when.

      • Coleman

        June 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        Don Kelly should get the bat more often–in fact each at bar, after the guy is done with it :-) I didn’t like Kelly PHing for Garcia (most of our RHB hit RHP better than Kelly. But I don’t think it made a difference.

        Seriously, though, a healthy Austin Jackson would be a fine thing to have soon.

        • Coleman

          June 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm

          That should have been “each at bat,” but he may also excel at collecting bats in bars. I know a bar in northern Michigan where bats sleep on the walls in the daytime.

          • Vince in MN

            June 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm

            I like your esoteric tastes.

            • Coleman

              June 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

              It sometimes verges on the exoteric.

              • Smoking Loon

                June 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm

                What I want to know is what that guy in the bar was doing with the bat before Kelly got it, and why Kelly would accept a used and possibly abused bat when he can clearly afford his own pet bat or a whole host of them, although he may have been adopting the bat, an act of kindness that I fully support, none of which explains why the bat was in the bar to begin with, although bats in general are in dire straits these days and I would not blame them in the least for turning to alcohol.

                Bats are misunderstood benefactors of humanity. Case in point: Just today the Tigers demonstrated great misunderstanding of their own bats, to humanity’s detriment. A sad day, indeed.

                I do agree that Kelly should spend more time in bars and less at the plate. I think that’s what Coleman was trying to say.

              • Coleman

                June 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm

                I just got handed the short end of the esoteric stick.

              • Smoking Loon

                June 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

                I’ve been studying you, and meaning to turn your face to alabaster when you found your servant was your master.

              • Smoking Loon

                June 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

              • Smoking Loon

                June 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm

                (smiley)

              • Coleman

                June 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm

                Never could get into the late Police. But I saw them on their first American tour, and they–and their warm-up band (XTC)–were awesome.

              • Smoking Loon

                June 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm

                Nice double bill. I like ‘em both. XTC was kind of the British Steely Dan, minus the jazz influence.

  48. Vince in MN

    June 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    When we get blown out once in a while, that doesn’t bother me too much – those things happen and we blow out other teams once in a while too. When we lose a close game once in a while, that doesn’t bother me either – baseball is a game of inches and sometimes a little luck or the team that makes the last mistake will decide the issue. However, when failure to execute by the players or strategic bungles by the manager and/or coaching staff start happening fairly regularly, I get irritated because this indicates a pattern of bad habits, no habits (e.g. who needs bunting practice), inflexibility of thought, inattention to detail both physically and mentally. There seems to be a lot of this about lately and over the course of a 162-game season it can add up significantly in the L column and then on into the playoffs (pitcher’s fielding on ’06 Series comes to mind). Baseball isn’t a game that can be played to perfection, but slovenliness on any level shouldn’t be condoned.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      I find this kind of loss the worst, probably. Kind of a now you see it, now you don’t. It’s misdirection, sleight of hand. The wrong kind.

  49. The-Strategy-Expert

    June 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I figured I would try to post a couple of my latest comments that didn’t make it on the last day I posted just to make good on issuing credit to a couple of good comments in particular that people made recently, so just depositing my last thoughts on those issues before my final post on here. I can continuously change my name and my IP address to get around the moderation censoring which really isn’t a censor as much as it is the admins on this site just flat out trying to block me.

    So on that first issue I just want to issue my opinion FWIW that the site operators should try and be a little nicer to people and show a little more professionalism and class with respect to how they talk to other people. It’s just not healthy in my opinion to badger people and treat them like crap especially when they put in a strong effort and a lot of time to try and contribute to this site the best they can. Some of those comments that Jeff Molby made recently really resonated with me and I think it would be wise for DTW to strongly consider some of his salient and brilliant points of suggestion and advice.

    Anyhow here were the last few posts I made just to they didn’t go to waste since I already bothered to type them out:

    To Judmpa as a follow up to his frustration comment:

    Well I hear your frustration, but it’s never going to get much better for you I’m afraid. Right now the Tigers are #1 in all of MLB for Runs Scored per Game. And that makes most fans accepting of their offense but more importantly the Tigers are very pleased to say that. They spent $150MM on all of the specific players they wanted to get exactly what they have now. They don’t dislike their offense like you, they like it so much that they went out of their way to create this type of an offense and they are getting exactly what they set out to obtain.

    To Smoking Loon regarding that call:

    Well like you were saying yesterday, the odds aren’t exactly super high for an OF to make a perfect throw that has both great speed and alignment. He was barely out with that, and Brookens can’t expect that the runner is going to have a breakdown in running effort and focus in the middle of the play. He’s assuming the runner is going as hard as he can and running in a technically proper way. I just can’t see blaming Brookens for that call, it seemed like a great call. If you can’t make that call to send a guy in that situation, then you just don’t have the guts or the instincts needed to be a 3B coach.

    To Coleman on his post about the 3B coaching call:

    Good catch Coleman, i didn’t see what Brookens did, but that’s a heck of an issue if you are the 3B coach and you are giving indecisive signals. Wrong or right is one debate, but you can’t defend being confusing or untimely with how you relay those decisions. I just made a comment earlier on this issue but all of my comments now have to go through moderation so it may or may not pop up later. I think I talk way too much on this site and nobody really cares what I have to say anyhow, just getting way too much negative feedback, so this will probably be my last post for a while unless I can come up with something really important that I just have to post.

    But I just think I’m burned out from sticking around here it just isn’t much fun any more being restricted in this way and I think I’m doing more harm than good with my contributions here. So if you don’t see my for a while then just know that I’m still reading and enjoying what you guys have to say and I’m not trying to be rude by going silent, so just wanted to say goodbye and happy chatting to everybody and good luck to us for the rest of the season and thanks to everybody for letting me post here in the past!

    And a special shoutout to Jim Eggers for being the most pleasant commenter on my posts and going the extra mile to supply some positive encouragement to me along the way, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the kind words of support, it was really nice to see somebody that seemed to find something useful in my sea of posts.

  50. The-Strategy-Expert

    June 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    And I am not going to bother jumping through the technical hoops to try and reply if anybody had any last words or comments for me, or if somebody needs to reach me in the future then you can all feel free to contact me at my personal email of szitrick@umich.edu.

    Just in case there is anybody out there that doesn’t like to talk baseball with me I want you to know you are always free to contact me anytime if you want to chat and I’m just always looking for new friends to make and talk baseball with, so if that interests anybody then feel free to hit me up to stay in touch, otherwise thanks for giving me a shot to be somebody you would like to converse with!

    Also if anybody is interested in talking with me regarding politics or movies/tv shows or football or insurance and financial topics then I also LOVE to talk about stuff like that. I am well versed in the areas of life insurance and annuities for people that do retirement or estate planning but i also can help find the best rates for any type such as auto, home and health, so if you need anybody to chat about on those topics then feel free to send me an email and I have some interesting things to share with you about saving money and positioning yourself in a more efficient way. You have little to lose to hear what I have to say and it could be well worth it to stay in contact with me and check out a unique idea you may not have seen before, so don’t be shy to say hello! :)

  51. Coleman

    June 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    “What does a guy have to do around here to not make the Not So Good list,” says Alex Avila, paraphrasing Darryl Rogers.

    • StormanNorman$

      June 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      please tell me Avila didn’t go there… but if he did, it appears that someone needs to inform Alex that batting .169 with 47K’s in 136 AB is going to land anybody on that ‘list’… from sandlot all the way up to MLB… plus, those stats are magnified with by the amount of money a player is being paid. (for AA, its $3M per yr)

      • Coleman

        June 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        OK: Alex didn’t go there (was just having some fun). Clearly though, as you point out, he needs to go…somewhere.

        • StormanNorman$

          June 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

          BTW – you aged yourself with the XTC (band) reference… seeing as XTC stopped touring completely in 1982 (because of their lead singer’s debilitating stage fright). I’ve always been a XTC fan… as well as pre-synchronicity Police – which also ages me.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

          My Not So Good, etc., is a bit slapdash, I admit. I try to keep the bar a little higher (lower?) for Not So Good. The rally-smothering bunt was bad, but it’s one AB that doesn’t cost the game. Combine it with nothing but Ks and/or a crap defensive play, he makes the list. Had Adam Jones made the catch he was trying to, that would have been enough to spare him, in spite of the golden sombrero.

          One game-winning hit, in a real clutch situation, is enough to make you Player (or Co-Player) of the Game. I think that’s only fair.

          Honorable Mention is an attempt to recognize an important contribution that I might not go into detail about in the game account.

          It’s all a bit lame and unoriginal as an approach. If I could grab WPA and RE24 data from baseball-reference.com immediately after a game and let the numbers speak for themselves, I would (not that I could call that original in the sense of being my own work), but it takes them a day to update their stats. Darn slowpokes. Just kidding. Great resource.

          Jim Leyland as Not So Good was a bit tongue-in-cheek (had no idea at the time about his mea culpa). But this was one game where I found some of his choices especially questionable. My position that it’s up to the players to execute hasn’t changed, however. Whoever’s up there or in there, I want them to get it done, and I expect them to.

  52. StormanNorman$

    June 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....306020082/
    Report on DET pitching prospects…a few bright spots (Rondon) and some not-so bright spots

  53. Smoking Loon

    June 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....1050/rss15

    Clete Thomas! I wonder if he’ll be around long enough with the Twins to where we see him next series against them.

  54. StorminNorman$

    June 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....itch-count
    amusing/short article featuring Mickey Lolich & Denny McClain – on pitch counts, radar guns, etc

    • Coleman

      June 4, 2013 at 10:59 am

      It’s always nice to get a bit of Old School now and then, thanks.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      That was neat. Nothing wrong with radar guns per se, but pitch speed gets an inordinate amount of attention now, to the point of a 1-2 MPH difference being thought significant (I’m not buying it). I think it’s pretty clear that $ now dictate babysitting pitch counts.

  55. StormanNorman$

    June 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....306040030/
    interesting take of DET’s fearless ‘leader’

    • Vince in MN

      June 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Leyland isn’t in a slump, this is who he is. Not being a particularly good strategic manager (especially bullpen and bench use, as the article refers to re the most recent games), he is also not particularly good at critical decision making in close game situations. I’ve been witnessing (and complaining about this) for 7+ years. The counterargument mostly falls into the “the players didn’t perform”, “Leyland pulled them out at the end of last year” , etc. vein – in other words, when the team loses its the players fault, when they win it is because Leyland is a genius. In reality, when the Tigers win 10-3 it doesn’t really matter what Leyland did; in reality, when the Tigers lose 10-3 it doesn’t matter what Leyland did. Many times when they win or lose 3-2 it also doesn’t matter. But in maybe 15-25 games per year, critical decisions by the manager do matter. In the majority (not all) of these kind of cases Leyland will pull a boner (wrong reliever, wrong/no PH, leave a pitcher in too long, etc.) and cost or contribute to a loss. Even in some easily winning situations he will make some incomprehensible decisions (or non-decisions), but then these tend to get overlooked if the game is won. Leyland might be fine with a young team like Miami, whose young players probably can use all the love they can get (this seems to be a strong suit for him – players like him), but he ultimately performs a disservice to a $130M+ year payroll of mostly highly talented and capable veterans trying to get to and win a world series.

      Baseball is a game of mistakes. Being able to take advantage of those of the opposition, but more importantly, to minimize your own, is the goal. All will agree that hitting, baserunning, pitching, and fielding ability (and others, individually and collectively) are skills necessary to the success of any baseball team – hone those skills and reduce error.

      Thinking, planning and strategizing, which are the areas of responsibility of the manager and coaching staff, are also complex skills necessary. And hone those skills and reduce those errors.

      After 7+ years I’m pretty sure Leyland isn’t your man.

      • StormanNorman$

        June 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        well stated!

        maybe its an unfair comparison, but when I see what Girardi has done so far this year with ‘that roster’ and the revolving door of key injuries, I can’t help but think of where JL and DET would be with the same magnitude/frequency of injuries…or imagine how Girardi would be doing with DET’s roster in the AL Central – something tells me better than 5 games over .500

        • Vince in MN

          June 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm

          And I don’t think Girardi is that great of a manager. Then you look at CLE and what Francona has done with that roster…

      • Smoking Loon

        June 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        Well, it’s a subject of interest to many (Leyland’s performance and impact), so why don’t we keep track of it here? (I’m suggesting it.) Make it part of a regular post-game discussion. Rather than having a vague estimate of how many games a critical Leyland decision or lack thereof factored heavily into, we’d have a good idea, and perhaps even consensus on a certain number of them.

        There are any number of times I wonder why Leyland did or didn’t do this or that, and often wished he had done otherwise, but I can’t say that my alternative strategies were guaranteed to work better. That’s the rub with all the second-guessing. No matter how much we might think in advance “THIS is never going to work; I’d do something else,” regardless of the result, we were only guessing ourselves, and with less information.

        It would take a very thorough analysis to convince me that *any* MLB team really suffers from the “lack of fundamentals” fans of any team are liable to complain about when things don’t go well. It could well be that, for instance, the defensive positioning of the Tigers is not as theoretically sound as it could be, but I am far from having the knowledge it would require to offer any serious critique.

        Taking the blame both fairly and unfairly is part of the job for managers and coaches. I’ve got no problem with that. I just don’t find it so interesting or fun myself, the blaming. Whether it’s Leyland or the last guy or the next guy, it all sounds the same to me.

        • Vince in MN

          June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm

          So, maybe we need a simple scoring system. Suggestion:
          +1 for some positive critical move(s) affecting game result
          -1 for some poor one(s)
          0 (neutral) for no important moves necessary – most games should fall into this category.

          There should still be room to debate over whether a move is good or bad, e.g. a good move (e.g. matchup) that fails might even get a +1.

          I doubt we will ever reach 100% consensus, but this gives us a chance to argumentatively back up our positions instead of the simplex “Leyland good” and “Leyland bad” stances.

          Starting with Sunday’s game, JL is -1, yes?

          • Smoking Loon

            June 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm

            OK, I’ll go along with that.