Game 2013.56: Rays at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 30-25, 1st Place (1 ahead of Cleveland).

It’s a big week in the D: Detroit take on the tough Tampa Bay Rays (who, while in 4th place, have a better record than the Tigers), then have a 3-game set with the Cleveland Indians.

The Tigers just got back from a 1-4 road trip, in which they scored 20 runs (decent, right, that’s 4 per game), but in which they also had 8 runs in one inning, and 12 in the other 46 (oh…not so good). This may explain why they have a skewed Pythagorean win number (as Stormin’ Norman pointed out, and as we pointed out here after Game 48).

At any rate, the Tigers have trouble “manufacturing” runs, which is not news to the DTW readers–Alex Avila’s bunt DP probably generated as much comment as anything so far this season.  The team is beginning to show its 2012 Feast-Or-Famine form, where they alternate blow-outs with no-show-outs, punctuated by inning 7-9 narcolepsy.

The Tigers are batting a combined .216 through innings 7-9 this year, with a paltry .616 OPS, which is better than all of one team in the AL. The good news is that that one team is the Indians, but this does not exactly bode well for a playoff run. ( A classic example was Sunday’s game against the Orioles: O’Day got through the 8th inning with 4 pitches–and gave up a hit! the whole thing took less than 5 minutes).

*****

In other news Quintin Berry was claimed by the Royals. I predict he will steal 20 bases against Detroit in his brief time with Kansas City.

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Then there is the “Sponsored Headlines” section of the ESPN previews. I mean, what’s up with that? “Kristen Stewart Leaves Little to the Imagination?” Or “21 Facts About Dogs That Will Make You Blow Your Mind?” I mean, seriously.

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Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Anibal Sanchez. With Moore on the mound for TB and the Tiger bats in full Feast-Or-Famine mode, Anibal has small margin for error.

Today’s Home Cookin’ Lineup:

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

49 Comments

  1. Smoking Loon

    June 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks for the news on Berry, hadn’t seen anything yet. Wonder what happened there. Perplexing, indeed.

  2. Smoking Loon

    June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Who’s catching for the Rays, the Michelin Man?

  3. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    The question tonight is do the Home Tigers reappear after a dismal performance by the Away Tigers? Will they maintain their blistering home pace (17-9) or merely begin to regress to the mean? On a somewhat positive note, the Away Tigers do have the best road record in the Central at 13-15.

    The lineup looks good. Here’s hoping Leyland is over his managing slump.

    • Vince in MN

      June 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Make that 13-16 on the road – still best pct. wise.

  4. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Berry’s time was so brief with KC that he is already at Omaha. And he is on the bubble as for his security of being on the 40-man roster goes. He could well end up doing the Casper Wells Shuffle.

  5. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Was the the old unintentional intentional walk to Cabrera? Hope it backfires.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Sure was, and it always backfires. It’s great.

  6. Coleman

    June 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Feast.

    • Coleman

      June 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      And then there is Victor Martinez.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 4, 2013 at 11:59 pm

        Fear of whom is rampant among MLB pitchers, which is why Prince gets so many pitches to hit and hardly ever draws a walk anymore.

  7. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Does Sanchez really have six pitches in his arsenal? MLB tonight has shown: 4-seam FB, cutter, slider, sinker, curve and change.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      I think it’s true. Big bag of tricks, technicalities of pitch names aside.

      • Vince in MN

        June 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm

        I also wonder how much “guesswork” is involved with their in-game pitch identification. But if he can really utilize effectively even 4 of those on a regular basis, that is a nice edge to have. 6 would be wow.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

          I wonder the same. Watching the pitch types from another starter, any starter, any game, might yield an idea of whether they (the MLB folks, whoever they are) operate from some generic grab bag of classifications.

          • JimEggersUSMC

            June 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

            Cutter, slider, sinker, curveball are all varieties of the same grip or effect you are trying to put on the ball. I think most commentators are taking educated guesses and would be better of going with the generic breaking ball, I threw a cs breaking ball, which my Coach explained to me meant it was a chicken sh– breaking ball. He quit coaching in the late 70′s when the School district banned toabacco from school grounds. (He was a chewer… Old Chewy??) The field is named after him. My teams from the exurbs would always get a tongue lashing for referring to my Alma Mater as a “ghetto” school.

  8. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Sanchez is apparently immune to the Luke Scott effect.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Rod and Mario were making fun of Scott’s beard. Not sure why.

      The Luke Scott Effect is actually well in the past, but I remember how it was.

  9. TIGERS RULE

    June 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Sanchez is turning into a strike-out machine!

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      It’s true.

  10. TIGERS RULE

    June 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Heads-up base running by Miggy!

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      That guy is something else on base. Did you see him smiling rounding second? Priceless.

  11. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    There just must be some way Tui can get more PAs.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Yes. It’s called “rest Victor.” Every other game.

      • StorminNorman$

        June 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm

        agreed – and since JL remains obsessed with the whole lefty v righty-thing, at a minimum Tui should be DH’ing against lefties. Tui has a .480 OBP this year, vs VMart who’s OBP is .278…and although Tui’s not the fastest or most gifted base runner, he’s a gazelle compared to VMart.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

          I was happy to see the ice broken within the past week or so of Tui getting a start against a righty. That was a pitcher with a reverse split, and there are other such pitchers. You would hope that there will eventually be a realization that Tui can just hit, period. That OBP and the well within reason K rate speak to just how far he’s come. I’d roll with him at every opportunity until he shows some reason not to.

          Obsession with lefty-righty isn’t really my thing, either. It’s funny how Leyland is willing to make exceptions on the pitching side, but not for the hitters. Coke can face a RHB, but someone gets pulled (I don’t mean tonight, different thing) in order to get Kelly – Kelly! – in against a RHP.

  12. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    This is exactly the kind of situation where Coke should be put to use since he can’t hurt anything. With a nine run lead you can even let him pitch to RH.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      A confidence-building exercise. Either that or there was some possibly justifiable fear of letting Valverde pitch the 9th.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        But seriously… I like to see good at bats, good innings pitched, and good defense from the Tigers, no matter what the score or the inning is. I don’t stop watching and evaluating. Anibal Sanchez had a substantial lead for 5 of his 7 innings, and we don’t think less of his fine performance for that. So I don’t think that Putkonen or Coke deserve any less credit for good work just because the game was practically in hand.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

          Or maybe 4 of his 7 innings. Either way.

  13. Vince in MN

    June 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    No need for a post-mortem on JL’s managerial decisions tonight.
    Jimbometer:
    Tonight: 0
    Running Total: -1

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      Agreed.

  14. StorminNorman$

    June 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/.....52922.html
    Peralta and several others stars (ARod, Braun, Cruz, etc) linked to a FL clinic that has been associated with PEDs… this article suggests MLB may drop 100-game suspensions on the guilty ones (owner of Biogenisis is apparently cooperating w/MLB). That would be have an effect on DET if Peralta is implicated and suspended. We shall see – the burden of proof can be pretty tricky in these matters

    • Vince in MN

      June 4, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      The problem is that the more players involved, the more “complicated” it becomes to drop those big suspensions. 100-game suspensions sounds good from a PR perspective, but considering the “image” of the game is at stake, the likelihood is that the one that ends up getting punished is the whistleblower owner of Biogenisis, while everyone else gets exonerated for lack of evidence or some such excuse. I suppose there could be one or two sacrificial lambs to make it look good, of course.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        I don’t like the idea of suspension through implication or association. It’s a bit too close to suspension by accusation.

        I also don’t like the idea of the rest of the season without Peralta. I’m not sure who those other guys are.

        • Vince in MN

          June 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm

          The bigger the scandal potential, the longer it will take to come to a head, if ever. The Clemens and Bonds things went on forever and not much resulted. Then there was that clinic in CAL (?). What all happened with that? There will be headlines for a while and then once in a while about this, but in the meantime the games will go on as usual.

          • JimEggersUSMC

            June 5, 2013 at 12:41 am

            remember when Ozzie Guillen said that Latin players would have more problems with the PEDS thing because of the language barrier? The list is almost entirely Latinos…

            • Vince in MN

              June 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm

              I’d forgotten about. It does seem as though the Latin American players are under more scrutiny, maybe because of the faked birth certificate fiascos. Which reminds me that a year or so ago I saw the movie “Poletero” which concentrates on the Dominican Republic baseball academies and the signing and training of Lat Am youths. Lots of legal and ethical issues surrounding those schools and the agents that sign them as well as the MLB teams that recruit from them. Highly recommended.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      June 5, 2013 at 1:48 am

      A potentially tricky situation for the Tigers. If JP gets suspended for 50-100 games, who plays SS for Detroit? Santiago?? Worth?? A platoon of the two? That would be a tough blow to the Tigers if it comes to fruition.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm

        Yeah, tough blow no matter what. I’m hoping Vince and others are right in thinking that it’s going to be a long time before this is more than another story for a slow news day.

  15. Kevin in Dallas

    June 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Good win tonight. A little embarrassed for Miggy, no RBI and the dreaded BLL20 3-0 K. I doubt he’ll show his face around town tonight.

    We need about 4 more of these.

    Is anyone watching what Oak is doing these days?

    • Smoking Loon

      June 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Oakland? I’ve heard they’re doing better, but haven’t really checked it out. What’s up with them?

      Didn’t realize no RBI for Miggy. Great baserunning play, a couple smooth plays at 3B. He can go out.

      I liked the defense tonight.

  16. Smoking Loon

    June 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Baseball is funny. The Tigers, up against a 8-0, 2.18 ERA Matt Moore, win 10-1 in a game where they fail to score a run in a bases-loaded, none out, Hunter-Cabrera-Fielder situation (and Omar left ‘em loaded again later) and leave a slew of runners stranded, just after going up against Kevin Gausman and his 11.70 (I think) ERA and coming up empty. What can you say? That’s baseball. The runs score when they score. Too bad you can’t save some for other games, but then other teams would be hoarding the excess runs, too. Although the Tigers would have more of them.

    What about that Alex Torres? Has a Tigers pitcher done that yet this year? I’m doubting it.

  17. Smoking Loon

    June 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    “21 Facts About Dogs That Will Make You Blow Your Mind?”

    That sentence in itself is hilarious. Is that straight from the sponsored headline, question mark and all, or was the question mark within the quotes a typo? I mean, it’s funny either way, but the question mark makes it funnier.

    I’m sorry, I must be going. I have to go check out that Kristen Stewart thing, whoever she is.

  18. Smoking Loon

    June 4, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    “Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Anibal Sanchez.”

    Good call.

  19. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

    “Former Tiger update: Armando Galarraga improved his record to 4-3 with a 3-2 victory on Monday for Louisville over Toledo. His ERA is 2.70.”

    Battlestar!

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      June 5, 2013 at 1:52 am

      Who’s farm system is Louisville a part of? Cincy?? I wouldn’t mind Battlestar back in Detroit for middle relief. Always kind of liked Battlestar…………hope he gets another shot in the bigs.

      • JimEggersUSMC

        June 5, 2013 at 2:15 am

        Yep, they are the Reds AAA team… called the Louisville Bats… clever huh? Were managed by my old friend Rick Sweet till last season… been there… great little ball park on the shores of the Ohio river

        • Coleman

          June 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

          And they have Corky Miller catching, who has one of the great moustaches in baseball.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm

            And also Billy Hamilton, prospect of legend.