Game 2013.69: Orioles at Tigers

39-29, 1st place, 5 games up on Kansas City who is 8-2 over their last 10 and has passed Cle to move into 2nd.

Good solid win yesterday. Scherzer was good, but not great, on his way to his ML leading 10th win. I don’t think anyone would argue with me on that. Thank about that for a second, the guy Ks 10 and allows 1 run over 6 innings, and it’s only a “good” outing for him. He was incredible in jams, as the one hit the Orioles got with a RISP off of him only advanced a runner to third. A high K rate will strand a lot of runners. Scherzer would be the best pitcher on a number of staffs around the Majors.

The offense pounded out 14 hits, though only 2 of them were XBH, including the Miggy HR and another two-bagger for Johnny Doubles.

JV climbs the hill tonight looking for his 10th win. Wait, he only has 8 wins? He didn’t get a win last time out? It’s okay, I expect he’ll be at 10 in 6 days. JV is 8-0 vs. the O’s with a 2.93 ERA.

Thanks to an injury to Jason Hammel, the Tigers face Zach Britton tonight. Britton is a struggling lefty who was in the majors for all of 2011, then roughly 1/2 of 2012, and will be making his second start in 2013. His career WHIP is 1.49, his career ERA is 4.85, and he has a career K rate of just 6.19. The Tigers should have their chances early and often tonight.


Saw some good stuff on the web today, so an expanded few notes:

– My brother gives pretty good gifts, but Justin Verlander gives better ones.

According to Fangraphs, the Tigers 2013 WAR projects to be the third best of all time. Yes, your 2013 Tigers are being mentioned in the same breath as the ’27 and ’39 Yankees. Even more interesting is the current Tigers WAR rankings: Cabrera (4), Sanchez (3.4), Verlander (3.0), Scherzer (3.0) and Fister (2.7).  I really liked this quote:

“The rotation is obscene. Dave wrote about this at the end of May. With Rick Porcello suddenly striking batters out, all five of the starters would be top starters on other teams, and Drew Smyly isn’t bad as insurance. Cabrera, in his prime, is one of the best hitters ever, and Prince Fielder is obviously dangerous, and look at those performances from Avila and Martinez. Avila stands to improve, and so does Martinez, and if they don’t, the Tigers could make roster upgrades as they think about the playoffs. Nick Castellanos appears to have figured out Triple-A, clearing the way for him to figure out the majors, and that’s good young support.”

– With Jose Alvarez filling in on Thurs for Sanchez, who gets sent down? Likely to be an outfielder, says James Schmehl of MLive. Also note Schmehl’s distaste for the bunt and his reasoning why (3rd question down).

– I think that it’s safe to say that Valverde has officially lost the everyday closer role. Though my guess is that he’ll still get first shot in a close game.

Mike Heath is old enough to be a grandfather?

Tonight’s Series Clinching Lineup (remember, we gotta win series):

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


  1. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Tui’s last chance to earn a spot on the roster tonight?

  2. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    A minor quibble or two, but a good analysis of the bullpen situation so far:

  3. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    JV at 60 pitches after 3. And it is like this every start. Good thing he is a horse.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      And not a potato. Although some would put one back on the other:

      • Coleman

        June 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm

        I looked at that, and someone should inform the Skipper that that thing is not a potato, it’s a, um…horse pie.

  4. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    So far a typical Tigers game against a pitcher with an ERA over 6.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      June 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Cy Britton! What else is new?? Baffled by a nobody making a spot start.

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    June 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Talk about run prevention.

  6. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    June 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Would anyone else in this forum agree with me that Verlander has been less impressive than every other starter in our rotation in 2013 with the exception of Porcello? He doesn’t seem “right” this year. That 30-pitch third inning another example of his struggles this year. BALT didn’t score, but they were able to wear JV down and consequently able to get to him for two in the following inning.

    • Vince in MN

      June 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      I wouldn’t except Porcello. JV is our #5 starter right now and has been for the last 4-5 times through the rotation. Part of that is that of course is the rotation is very good, with Scherzer a good Cy Young candidate to this point and Sanchez not far behind, but another part of it is that JV is having a poor year.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm

        I still like watching Verlander the most, but I no longer feel any added confidence about a win.

  7. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    WHIP/BAA for Tiger starters (pre-game):
    Scherzer 0.91/.189
    Fister 1.12/.256
    Porcello 1.14/.250
    Sanchez 1.15/.234
    Verlander 1.30/.253

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    June 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    JV pitched his way into this one. No one else to blame.

    Still a lot of ball game left. The pen will come in and shut them down, let’s get some runs.


      June 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      This team has not shown that they are able to mount a comeback, and seeing that we are 5 down, I don’t expect a W. It’s time to get away from the TV and check out some eye candy.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        It is getting old and more than a bit depressing to feel so hopeless that being down 5-1 feels like a blowout. I watch these useless innings out of self-imposed obligation only.

  9. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm


    Perhaps Leyland considers Tui to be a kind of secret weapon, and like all other secret weapons, the threat to use it is more powerful than actually doing so.

    • Vince in MN

      June 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      To be fair to Britton in that situation, with a 5-run lead he was probably just pitching to contact, and in a closer game Tui likely wouldn’t have had such a juicy pitch to hit.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        He was pitching to contact throughout. That’s the kind of pitcher Britton is.

        Tui can hit a HR off anyone at any time. That’s why I was so glad to see Kelly PH for him. No time wasted on suspense, popped out right away. The genius of the move really showed when Kelly caught those two routine fly balls next inning. No way Tui makes those plays.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm

          Maybe Jim could make Victor Martinez the next secret weapon.

  10. Smoking Loon

    June 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Team behind:

    Jackson .179, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .545 OPS in 45 PA
    Hunter .210, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .586 OPS in 68 PA

    • Vince in MN

      June 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      That might be bit hard on Jackson, as much of it was probably happening while he was being injured.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm

        Jackson was slumping before he struggled through 7 games or so with his hamstring injury. I think it’s fair.

  11. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm


    1. Victor Martinez
    2. No. 5 slot

    Which two things do not go together?

    • Smoking Loon

      June 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      I give up. Clues, please.

  12. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    It will be interesting to see how Leyland handles the bullpen now. I would let Putkonen finish the 7th and 8th and then bring in Mr. Ed for the ninth (unless the game has gotten close or we have miraculously gone ahead – then Benoit).

  13. Coleman

    June 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Brookens, +1 !(finally)

  14. Smoking Loon

    June 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Tigers 2-3-4 really “slugged it” there in the 7th. Just how they roll.

    • Vince in MN

      June 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      I would have been tempted to PH for Hunter there myself, but then I don’t have the “loyalty” dynamics to deal with.

      • Vince in MN

        June 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm

        Based on his .218/.259/.327 line this month (last 14 games).

        • Vince in MN

          June 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

          Of course I had forgotten that Kelly would be needed to PH for Tui in the 8th, so nevermind.

          • Coleman

            June 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

            Doesn’t matter who bats, after the 6th inning, offense Out To Lunch.

            • Smoking Loon

              June 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm

              No argument there. What a strange predicament.

  15. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Bringing in Coke to finish off the loss is as good as going with Valverde. +1 Leyland.

  16. Vince in MN

    June 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    An appropriate finish. Very much an Away Tigers performance.

  17. Kevin in Dallas

    June 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Cabrera can’t be superman every game.

    We’ll get them tomorrow.

  18. Smoking Loon

    June 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Nice job by the bullpen. Downs, Putkonen, Coke. Good pitching, well used. Coulda been one sweet win if Verlander doesn’t put the team in a hole.

    I don’t think Machado made the tag on Pena, but they (FSD) weren’t showing replays from any definitive angle, so… If Machado did make the tag, he certainly didn’t sell it very well. Score one for crafty veteran Pena. That could’ve been huge.

    Cabrera really stunk in the clutch tonight.

    • Coleman

      June 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Cabrera, strangely enough, regularly does (look at the Late and Close numbers). His job is to make sure there IS no clutch.

    • Coleman

      June 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Who is the Tiger with more career walk-off HRs, Miguel Cabrera ((340 HRs) or Brandon Inge (151 HRs)?

      • Smoking Loon

        June 19, 2013 at 12:44 am

        I’m guessing Inge. Is this as a Tiger or overall career? Maybe Inge either way.

        • Coleman

          June 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

          Yeah, Inge has him, 7-5. This does not necessarily mean that Inge is more “clutch” or anything else, it is more a continuation of my point that nobody wants to pitch to Cabrera with the game on the line in the 9th.

  19. Smoking Loon

    June 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Dates the Tigers have made it to 40 wins by in the Leyland years:

    June 11
    June 18
    June 28
    June 24
    June 27
    June 24
    July 4
    June 19??

  20. Coleman

    June 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Here is a strange (and disturbing) tidbit for you: Cabrera leads the Tigers in GDP with 11. More than 50% of those (6) have come in innings 7-9.

    Cabrera leads the team in both walks (14) and GDP in innings 7-9, so it looks like teams have a method for dealing with him: if first base is open, walk him, if not, go for the DP.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      June 19, 2013 at 1:25 am

      Well, based on where he hits he’s going to have the most opps. Needs to be a %.

      • Coleman

        June 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Wish I could figure out a way to check that out, even manually (other than looking through every box score of every game).

        Highest % overall:
        Garcia 20%
        Martinez 18%
        Cabrera 15%

        Since the majority of his DP balls are in innings 7-9, I am guessing his % is high, probably at least 25%. But of course we are working with ridiculously small sample sizes, so it may not mean anything at all.