Game 2013.57: Rays at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 31-25, 1st Place (2 ahead of Cleveland).

Despite leaving all of 12 runners on base (including failing to score with bases loaded and nobody out), the Tigers offense was in Feast mode against the previously 8-0 Matt Moore, knocking him out after 2 innings on their way to a 10-1 victory. Anibal was again in Ace mode, although he didn’t need it with all the run support. Not that that mattered to Sanchez:  “No matter how many runs we score … I don’t want to allow any runs,” Sanchez said. “If we make a lot of runs, the other team can do it, too, so we have to keep the same game.”

But runs they did score, and the Tigers have now scored 10+ runs a league-leading 8 times (and have given up 10+ only 3).  Perhaps that is why oddsmakers have the Tigers down as favorites to win the World Series. If only they could do something about those 1-run games (6-9).


Of course the big news in baseball, and for the Tigers, is the brewing story reported by ESPN’s Outside the Lines that as many as 20 MLB players are facing suspensions of up to 100 games for performance-enhancing drug use, including Detroit’s own Jhonny Peralta (the leaked names are listed here).

Peralta’s name originally surfaced in connection with Biogenesis–whose Director Tony Bosch’s cooperation with MLB has set the current scandal in motio–in February. At the time Peralta released this statement: “I have never used performance-enhancing drugs. Period,” Peralta said in a statement released by his attorney, Barry Ross. “Anybody who says otherwise is lying.” Peralta has given a “no comment” in response the the current story.

As well as the scope and solidity of the investigation (the alleged drug provider providing names), the unique aspect here is the rumored threat of the 100-game, 2nd Offense suspension for those involved, using a strange argument that lying about not using performance-enhancing drugs constitutes another PED offense. I suspect that the 100-game suspension threat is being used as a bargaining chip for encouraging cooperation with the investigation (in return for “reduced” penalties).

At any rate, I suspect this will be a long process: there will be insinuations, more leaks, investigators assigned, depositions, suspensions, appeals, testimony, lawsuits, who knows what. There is a good summary of various legal angles the players could take here, just for starters.


So what does this mean for the Tigers and Peralta? Even if Peralta is found guilty by MLB, I have a hard time imagining he would get the 100-game version suspension, and have a hard time imagining the process working itself out by the end of the season. What is certain is that the scandal will create an unending distraction, which at the very least will include a lot of media attention, and may include Peralta having to meet with investigators or even testify. In addition to having his name on The List, I think it would be naive to not think that there will be assumptions made about Peralta’s turnaround this season, playing almost 200 OPS points higher this season than last, and more than 100 points above his career average. Whether or not Peralta can keep his focus amidst these distractions will be a big story this season.

Either way, I agree with Jason Beck about one of the big issues the story raises–the Tigers don’t have a Plan B at shortstop, either on the team on in the minors.


Speaking of legal matters, as the Tigers prepare for their upcoming three-game series with Cleveland, Indians closer Chris Perez has narcotics agents investigating a delivery to his home.


Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Jhonny Peralta. Jhonny tries to keep his focus on the field, and keep up the hitting.

Today’s Lookin’ to Feast Lineup:

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


  1. StormanNorman$

    June 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    CLE just lost to the Yankees again; they’re (CLE) now 30-29…soon DET might be the only AL Central team above .500

    ‘Cream rises to the top’ – well actually cream doesn’t rise, but rather it’s the denser milk that sinks below the cream… the homogenized AL Central seems to be following basic dairy science…so far anyway.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Good analogy. One thing to be said for whatever strength the AL Central has overall is that the division lacks a cellar-dwelling punching bag.

      • Vince in MN

        June 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        CHI seems to be making a run at it – last in BA and Runs in AL, 29th overall in both categories, just a notch above Miami. KC has been in a funk of late, but they’ll come back some, right?

        • Smoking Loon

          June 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm

          It’s not that I’d *mind* a divisional punching bag. The White Sox would be my first choice. I was just thinking of ways to defend AL Central prestige against East and West snobs.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm

            I have this sinking feeling that the Royals will come back some as soon as the Tigers play them again.

  2. StormanNorman$

    June 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Regarding the latest ‘PED scandal’, I understand the MLB player’s association is lobbying behind the scenes to add Alex Avila, Adam Dunn and Mike Moustakas to “the list” to help the MLBPA discredit the report (since these 3 are all batting south of .183)

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Regarding Peralta alleged links to a PED clinic and his performance this season, the connection isn’t making sense to me. The Biogenesis allegations had already surfaced in the spring, and from that I infer that they had to do with the past at that point, perhaps well in the past – 2011, for instance? Those allegations having been made very publicly, would someone or anyone – at this point in the PED game – continue using whatever secret potions they were on?

      • Vince in MN

        June 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

        Another thing about Peralta is that if this drags on until past the season, the Tigers will be off the hook, as his contract is up. I’m guessing that any extension talk is off the table for the moment also. In the meantime, I can’t imagine him involved with PEDs now, so his current level of hitting shouldn’t have anything to do with the recent past. He is probably overperforming to some degree, but is that due to luck, contract year incentives, or what?

        Or, putting on my conspiracy theory cap, is there something to it. The fact that the Tigers have nobody in the minors to play SS could be the real reason Santiago was resigned this past offseason. Leyland plays RS infrequently because he is keeping him fresh in case the boom lowers early.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm

          Leyland knows that Ramon is a favorite among Beat The Streak players. He just gets a kick out of frustrating them.

  3. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    • Vince in MN

      June 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Damn you Loon, you tricked me into clicking on a Lynn Henning article.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

        Sorry. I’ll try to remember a warning next time. But I was tricked into it, too. All it said was “Det News.”

  4. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    2012 Tigers, 25-31 at this point. 2013, 31-25. Not a huge difference there, and yet this season seems *much* more successful. Could that be because the Tigers have spent only one game (at 1-2) below .500? Not much time muddling at .500, either (2-2,3-3, 5-5, 9-9, 10-10). Losing 8-3 in extras to the Royals seems like it was years ago.

    • Vince in MN

      June 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      It is more successful. The Tigers, despite the downsides of Avila and a subpar Martinez, are a better team than they were last year at this point.
      Just a few reasons:
      1) Sanchez and Infante are regulars;
      2) Raburn and Inge are gone and not using up valuable ABs;
      3) Young is gone;
      4) Smyly one of the best relievers in the game to this point;
      5) Porcello is improved;
      6) Kelly is still on the roster.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

        Good reminder. #6 is key.

        Let us compare Messrs. Young and Martinez, however:

        188 PA, .267/.309/.398 4 HR 19 RBI
        230 PA .230/.278/.316 3 HR 24 RBI

        • Vince in MN

          June 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm

          True enough. But last year we had no other options for DH, while this year…

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    June 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Is anyone worried about Austin Jackson? How long has this been now?

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Funny you should mention it. Just thinking of him. The Longoria triple last night was the first time I found myself thinking “Jackson could have caught up with that” since he’s been gone. (I haven’t reviewed the play to see if I was anywhere near right in that assessment.)

      Considering that Jackson hasn’t really been missed much in his absence… the long, slow fade after the hot start (even if the hamstring was a factor in some of that)… the second season in a row where he’s missed substantial time with injury…. a closer look at his career stats… the fact that CF is not the hardest position in MLB to fill these days… AJax’s stock has slipped a bit with me. Could be another Granderson situation on the making. Or not.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        I’d be surprised if his leadoff spot fill-ins haven’t put up at least .272/.333/.371/.704.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

          He took quite the tumble April 17 – May 11. That’s 21 of 34 games. A hamstring doesn’t make you strike out 28 times in 99 PA. I don’t think.

        • Vince in MN

          June 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

          You get a gold star.
          Totals for the Tigers No.1 slot in the order are: .281/.330/.398/.728
          So, OBA down a tiny tick without him (must be walk rate because BA is up), but SLG is up. Infante and Dirks who have gotten the lion’s share since AJ went down have done well out of the leadoff spot. He’s been out since May 12, missing what, about 20 games?

          • Smoking Loon

            June 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm

            Yeah, 20-some and counting. Thanks for the fact-checking. I was too lazy to do anything but guess.

            • Smoking Loon

              June 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm

              Missed Jackson in CF this game, no doubt.

  6. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    A 7-pitch inning for Fister. That is the pitcher I have come to know and love.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      He was great. 16 innings and not a run scored on his behalf. Not so long ago, he was leading MLB in run support. Sometimes it’s not how you start, but how you finish. They barely scratched him, but it still cost him 3 runs charged.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        Or even 17 innings. It was 8 against the Pirates, right?

  7. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Atlanta beat Pittsburgh today 5-0 with a 1-hitter. Inge got the only PIT hit pinch-hitting in the 8th.

  8. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Classic 2013 V-Mart. Raise the arms as though the pitch were way inside and take strike two. Then swing and miss away.

  9. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Alex Avila just redeemed his entire season.

    • Vince in MN

      June 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      The 5-pitch walk, not taking the bat off his shoulder?

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        “The 5-pitch walk, not taking the bat off his shoulder?”

        No, really, that 2-3 DP was tremendous, a defensive grand slam. Prince was great and Alex was greater. Avila ran Lobaton right back to 3B by himself, applied the tag, and in an eyeblink put down the tag on the greedy Escobar trying to sneak into 3B.

        Alex had himself a nice game. V-Mart, well… kind of a gutsy take on the 3-2 ball 4 in the 9th. Good job. Coulda got something started, didn’t.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm

          I meant 3-2 DP. Why can’t I get those numbers right… ever?

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    June 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    The ol’ 3-2 double play.

  11. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm


    • Coleman

      June 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      At least that was one of the more creative R3L2O failures.

  12. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Great pitch count thru 4, but Fister sure is falling behind in the count a lot.

    • Vince in MN

      June 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Maybe its a small zone with this ump.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        A bit generous, actually. Even-handed, though.

  13. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Moving right along. This could be a two hour game.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      If only.

  14. stephen

    June 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    So missed much of the first two months, but the Tigers seem exactly where I left them: Mildly underachieving for a team of this payroll, but bailed out again because they play in the crappiest division in professional sports. Yes? Same as it ever was.

    And did someone kidnap TSE, blindfold him, and drop him from a helo at 800 feet into a raging Lake Michigan??

    • Vince in MN

      June 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Good question, where is TSE?

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        Keep mentioning him, and you’ll bring him back. Is that what you want?

        • Coleman

          June 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm


          • Smoking Loon

            June 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

            I recall reading that the origin of some words is related to a superstition about summoning something (something feared or loathed) by speaking its name out loud, which led to a kind of misdirection, the use of an indirect reference, another word for it. “Bruin” for bear was one example. “The brown one.” Which, for all I know, might have come to be the actual word for bear in proto-German.

            • Smoking Loon

              June 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm

              Or perhaps the idea was to avoid naming at all what was feared and loathed. Maybe the bear was so feared by these people of the forest that they never gave it a name other than “the brown one.”

        • Vince in MN

          June 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm

          Bring him back? You make it sound like Count Dracula having the stake removed from his heart. Did I miss something?

          • Smoking Loon

            June 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm

            Heh. Maybe it is kind of like that, and no, I don’t think you’ve missed anything.

            • The Brown One

              June 5, 2013 at 11:25 pm

              I take exception to these remarks.

              • Coleman

                June 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm

                Uh oh. Trouble is bruin.

              • Smoking Loon

                June 6, 2013 at 12:09 am

                Grin and bear it.

  15. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    The ball that fell in CF for a hit was enough to make you miss not only Jackson, but Kelly. I don’t think Garcia will be starting tomorrow. Of course, that may be because of a RHP. Still. Not real good there, Avisail.

  16. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    This is their last at bat before hitting the Dead Zone.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      The witching hour, when the clock strikes 7th inning?

  17. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Bunting practice, like hitting practice, is so over rated.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      The Dirks bunt? Not bad, maybe a bit hard, good and pretty gutsy play by 1B Loney, and they didn’t get Garcia out at 2B by much. Couldn’t tell whether Garcia’s break was a factor.

  18. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Anybody else think Hunter is swinging at a lot of pitches inside out of the strike zone lately

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Haven’t noticed, but I’ll pay more attention. I’ve been distracted by zeroes just lately.

  19. Coleman

    June 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm


  20. StorminNorman$

    June 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    anybody following the CWS – SEA game – 0-0 into the 14th inning, then CWS put a 5-spot…in the bottom of the 14th SEA tie it up w/a run + grand slam…then CWS load bases on the top of 15th, don’t score

    • StorminNorman$

      June 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      going to the 16th

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        Wow, what a wild one. How I hope the White Sox lose.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

          But they won.

  21. Vince in MN

    June 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Talk about frustration. Our up and coming punching bag of the division, CHI, scored 5 runs in the top of the 14th inning of a 0-0 game vs. SEA only to give up 5 runs in the bottom half, all off their closer. Now in the 16th.

  22. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    A run or two would be nice. Just for appearance’s sake. I’m conceding the loss, but let it be 3-2.

  23. Coleman

    June 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your crooked cap to the other guy.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Yup. Too bad about the shutout, the bats, etc., but there have been worse losses this season.

  24. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    So, Vince, everyone – what’s the verdict on tonight’s Jimbometer?

    Aside from not putting in a PR for V-Mart in the 9th, I didn’t find much to question. After Fister’s 8th, I thought it might be a good idea for him to call it an evening, but I don’t think he fell apart in the 9th. No problem with the choice of Smyly.

    • Vince in MN

      June 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      No critical decisions that game. The manager can’t do anything when the offense doesn’t show up. I vote 0.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

        Zero it is, pending any dissenting opinion on the matter, which I don’t expect for a game like this, as you point out.

        6th time shut out this season.

        • Vince in MN

          June 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

          Amazing. 3rd in MLB in runs (after tonight) and get shut out 6 times in a little more than a 3rd of the season.

  25. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Avisail Garcia had a kind of understated very bad game. The throw on the sac fly was bad choice and bad execution in one. Even his hit wasn’t good. You hit a pitch like that one out of the park, not into CF.

  26. Smoking Loon

    June 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I’m optimistic that the Tigers take two of three here after a couple lost series in a row. We’ll see.

    • StorminNorman$

      June 6, 2013 at 8:07 am

      i guess that will depend on whether the DET offense shows up in ‘feast’ or ‘famine-mode’

      Thus far, DET hitters have supplied Scherzer with 8.02 runs per game this season, and 8.69 while he’s gone 5-0 in six home starts despite posting a 5.17 ERA.