Game 2013.73: Red Sox at Tigers

40-32, 1st place, 3 games ahead of Cleveland, losing streak at 1. Phooey on the Red Sox and their silly beards.

The good great news is that Jose Valverde has been DFA. The talk of repairing him down yonder is just to soften the blow. No freaking way he pitches in a Tigers uniform again, ever. Al-Al is back, and that might be good news, not sure. Thus concludes the good news portion of our broadcast. AJax, out yesterday with “soreness,” has become A-Glass. With Tui on the DL and the well-known “durability” of Andy Dirks, I don’t think Avisail Garcia will be spending much more time in Toledo this season, but he is playing as though he might wish to.

Max Scherzer gets the call tonight. Will he answer it or be the next domino to fall? Beware the Unknown Struggling Rookie looming in the headlights dead ahead. We have learned to fear things like “11.74 ERA” by now.

The Detroit Tigers have played .500 baseball since May 8. The Detroit Tigers have played .500 baseball since May 8. Oh, did I repeat myself?

And now, the flip side of yesterday’s “offensive hero” list:

OFFENSIVE WPA/RE24 TURDS (thru 67 games, bold = loss) + OPPONENT

GAME 1 AVILA (MIN)
GAME 2 FIELDER 
GAME 3 FIELDER 
GAME 4 PERALTA (NYY)
GAME 5 MARTINEZ, SANTIAGO
GAME 6 INFANTE, MARTINEZ 
GAME 7 PERALTA (TOR)
GAME 8 AVILA 
GAME 9 DIRKS
GAME 10 MARTINEZ (OAK) 
GAME 11 JACKSON, MARTINEZ
GAME 12 INFANTE
GAME 13 AVILA (SEA)
GAME 14 INFANTE 
GAME 15 AVILA
GAME 16 FIELDER (LAA) 
GAME 17 JACKSON, INFANTE 
GAME 18 MARTINEZ 
GAME 19 JACKSON (KCR)
GAME 20 MARTINEZ 
GAME 21 PERALTA. PENA (ATL)
GAME 22 FIELDER
GAME 23 FIELDER
GAME 24 INFANTE (MIN)
GAME 25 DIRKS
GAME 26 MARTINEZ 
GAME 27 PENA (HOU)
GAME 28 HUNTER
GAME 29 FIELDER, JACKSON
GAME 30 CABRERA
GAME 31 AVILA (WSN) 
GAME 32 HUNTER 
GAME 33 HUNTER (CLE)
GAME 34 CABRERA, JACKSON 
GAME 35 MARTINEZ 
GAME 36 CABRERA (HOU)
GAME 37 HUNTER, GARCIA
GAME 38 CABRERA, FIELDER 
GAME 39 HUNTER (TEX) 
GAME 40 KELLY, HUNTER
GAME 41 INFANTE 
GAME 42 DIRKS, MARTINEZ 
GAME 43 TUIASOSOPO (CLE)
GAME 44 INFANTE, MARTINEZ
GAME 45 DIRKS, PENA (MIN)
GAME 46 MARTINEZ
GAME 47 GARCIA, DIRKS 
GAME 48 DIRKS
GAME 49 GARCIA (PIT)
GAME 50 DIRKS 
GAME 51 PERALTA, INFANTE 
GAME 52 DIRKS 
GAME 53 PERALTA (BAL) 
GAME 54 DIRKS, AVILA
GAME 55 AVILA 
GAME 56 MARTINEZ, HUNTER (TBR)
GAME 57 FIELDER, GARCIA 
GAME 58 DIRKS
GAME 59 FIELDER (CLE)
GAME 60 MARTINEZ, GARCIA
GAME 61 INFANTE, AVILA
GAME 62 INFANTE, FIELDER (KCR) 
GAME 63 HUNTER
GAME 64 MARTINEZ 
GAME 65 HUNTER, TUIASOSOPO (MIN)
GAME 66 DIRKS 
GAME 67 FIELDER

I wouldn’t make too much of a certain name coming up 14 times. I’m sure Gary Martinez, I mean Victor Sheffield, I mean Victor Martinez has just been a bit rusty and will soon get going, as we all wish he would, though perhaps in different ways. Maybe we can blame Brennan “11” Dirks instead.

Shut them down, Max! Please.

POST-GAME: Tigers 10, Red Sox 3. Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about. The historic Max Scherzer (first Tigers starter ever to start the season 11-0, first in 16 years in MLB) gave up a couple quick runs in the 1st, including a David Ortiz bomb, but thereafter was dominant, not in a highlight reel kind of way, but in the best and most frustrating way to the opponent (or their fans – we’ve been there, eh?) – effective and effectively untouchable. The Tigers came out strong right away against rookie Allen Webster, fill-in for injured Clay Buchholz, and loaded the bases for Fielder. Who struck out. Leaving this up to Martinez was not what we had in mind, But leave it to Victor to have a sensational game after a 7 for 45. He took a Webster pitch to the railing in RF. GRAND SLAM. Given the lead, Max cruised. Webster wasn’t so bad through 4.1, striking out 5 (he even struck out the side in that damaging 1st), but when he came out, the Tigers piled on against long man Franklin Morales, who left the game (injured?) after Infante’s HR with new OBP sensation V-Mart aboard made it 9-2 in the 7th. Alburquerque came in for the 8th and worked himself into and out of a jam, and Putkonen pitched a somewhat rocky 9th that would have been easier (and possibly scorelesser) without Jhonny Solid’s uncharacteristically poor relay throw on a would-be GIDP off the bat of Mike Carp. I like 10-2 better than 10-3, but I’ll take either. The Tigers hitting was Comerica Hot, with 11 of the 15 hits off the bats of Jackson, Hunter, and – gak – Martinez (5 RBI, after all those mean things we said about him) and Dirks! The 5 walks didn’t hurt, either. Jackson was the defensive equivalent of Country Strong (Nationwide?) in CF. New nemesis Jose Iglesias was de-nemesized when his extension of single to double resulted in a tumble over the bag and a Hunter-to-Peralta putout that reduced a possible-stress inning for Scherzer to dust. Fielder had a bad day, missing out on two prime opportunities to turn this into a blowout of Astro-Proportion. The running joke of the series is RF Shane Victorino now twice throwing to 1B on Cabrera singles (it’s going to work eventually if Miggy isn’t careful), and Hunter and Ortiz played off this joke later in the game when Ortiz singled.

ALL-STAR TEAM

C Pena
1B Carp
2B Infante
SS Drew
3B Cabrera
LF Dirks
CF Jackson (oh, he’s bad… he’s Nationwide)
RF Hunter
DH Martinez
P Scherzer

RULE 5 DRAFT PICK: David Ortiz

DFA: Franklin Morales

103 thoughts on “Game 2013.73: Red Sox at Tigers”

  1. Well………….we get to face the dreaded “making third major league start with an ERA north of 11” guy tonight, eh? I can already feel the frustration building up inside and first pitch is still over 3 1/2 hours away.

  2. Tonight’s Lineup:
    1. Jackson, CF
    2. Hunter, RF
    3. Cabrera, 3B
    4. Fielder, 1B
    5. Martinez, DH
    6. Peralta, SS
    7. Dirks, LF
    8. Infante, 2B
    9. Pena, C

  3. Scherzer has a 4.21 home ERA this season. And yet he’s 7-0. That bodes well, I think. 2-0 Boston after top half of 1st.

  4. Very poor at bat by Prince! He swings at 2 ball fours that weren’t close from a pitcher that isn’t is having a tough time hitting the strike zone.

  5. More of that, please. Martinez picking up Fielder. With a grand slam, no less. Otherwise, Webster strikes out the side. 4-2 Tigers after 1.

  6. hope this is more than Martinez monthly contribution to the offense..is there a 5 hitter in baseball with less RBI than him?

    1. Believe it or not, Detroit is up to 7th now in RBI from the 5 spot (trending up). KC is the most hapless, with a mere 20. And only 22 for the Yankees!

      1. I’d like to know how that RBI figure looks by comparison to RBI opps. Not as good, probably.

  7. Seriously?? You steal 2nd with Cabrera at bat and 2 out (with one, it at least keeps you out of the DP)? Best case you make it and then Cabrera gets walked. Stupid call, whoever made it.

    1. No big deal, IMO. No problem with a Cabrera walk in this situation. I don’t think Fielder strikes out again against Webster.

  8. Eventful half-inning. Keep hitting, Pena. It might yet happen. Oh no, Jackson 6-4-3. Oh, yes, clutch IF single (Miggy next) Hunter. Oh no, Hunter caught stealing, score one for Saltalamacchia. Webster’s not going to be easy. 4-2 Tigers after 2.

  9. BTW – Papelbon comes in w/a 7-5 lead today in the 9th, promptly gives up two runs – and then PHI gets a HR in the bottom of 9th. Another blown-save-win for Papelbon. That’s two in the past week

  10. exactly…the fact that Martinez is not one-two- or three with ALL the RBI chances he has had with RISP is the truer indicator.

    1. getting him closer to ’11 form when VMart batted around .400 w/RISP would be a dramatic improvement – going into today, VMart is batting .213 w/RISP

  11. When Max gets two strikes on you, you’re pretty much dead meat. .091 BAA, .296 OPSA.

    1. I’ve to spring training and have seen where DET does work on: 1) pitcher’s fielding, and, 2) hitters – sacrifice bunting… but i’m not sure much of that ‘work’ shows in the regular season

        1. from when these guys were Little Leaguers most MLB hitters have always been the best (or one of the best) hitters on their teams, and therefore, likely never had (or wanted) to learn to sacrifice bunt – too bad, because I believe the ability to effectively bunt can also help a hitter…hit

  12. Scherzer has a 1-2-oops-3 inning. Looking for the bottom of the order rally next. Webster has had his fun. Now he will pay.

      1. Why? He’s never struck me as a fragile player prior to this season. Just about every player hits the DL once in a while.

        1. I’m an alarmist. Jackson is a young guy trending toward missing more and more games each season. After they were so cautious with the hamstring just recently, after a few games he’s again suffering from “soreness.” He’s rather important to the team as an everyday guy, being the closest the Tigers have to a complete ballplayer. If he’s reaching his offensive ceiling *and* is going to be an ongoing injury concern, or if nagging injuries are going to hold him back from a higher ceiling… the Tigers might need to rethink their CF plans over the offseason. That’s the alarmist point of view.

  13. Big 2-out RBI from AJax, Webster is lucky to get away with 1 allowed after Hunter scalds one right at Iglesias. Webster must now pay the outstanding balance next inning. 5-2 Tigers after 4.

  14. TOR just won their 10th in a row today to move 1 game over .500 – the AL East could get real interesting in the coming months

      1. The AL East should actually just get an automatic bye for the ALCS. It’s that good.

        1. the AL East’s strength is magnified by collective weakness of the Central & West

  15. Whoa! Iglesias tumbles over bag at 2B going for the double, tagged out by Peralta to end the inning. Good break. That guy is a triple waiting to happen every time he comes up.

  16. Webster comes out, rookie pitch count thing mainly, Tigers burn Morales for 2 runs after Prince, the guy he’s supposed to get out, walks. 7-2 Tigers after 5. Don’t relax, Max. (This happens at times.)

  17. Ortiz sends it to the wall in CF with Ellsbury on 2B and Austin takes it away for out number 3. Yay. Scherzer’s BAA on a 3-2 count is on its way to near-zero. Insanely good!

  18. Nap time? Against Morales? Jackson and Hunter fan on 6 pitches. Cabrera and Victorino share another special moment. Fielder lines out to LF. 7-2 Tigers after 6.

  19. Max over 100 pitches, getting to 3 balls more often, but… 1-2-3 with 2 Ks. Nice job through 7.

    1. What about radio? Those guys are great. I’d rather watch it myself, but this (the radio through MLB.tv) is the next best thing.

      1. Yeah, that’s what I’m doing. Still..,gripe. MLB knows where you are, because you get blacked out locally. Which means they know you can’t watch the so-called National Game where you are, right? Yes, I know they are honoring “contractual obligations,” to which I say: stupid contract!

        1. I’m with you. I’d like MLB.tv to know that I don’t even have a TV. So why must I be blacked out? The national advertisers miss out on me entirely this way.

          1. Actually, I’m confused on the whole blackout thing. I don’t live anywhere near Detroit or Boston, so there’s no way a broadcast costs my attendance. Watching it on MLB.tv doesn’t cost Fox anything, because it’s a Fox broadcast there, of course. Same national advertisers. So… is local advertising the sticking point? I still don’t get it. MLB.tv is essentially pay-per-view. I don’t get what the benefit is to Fox – or anyone – of not letting me watch a game on my computer that I’ve (theoretically) paid in advance to watch. I can be a little slow, so maybe someone can explain all this to me.

            1. Fox sells the national advertisers on the notion that all baseball viewing on Saturday nights will be on their network. The advertisers pay out the wazoo to advertise there, and then Fox pays out the wazoo to MLB for the exclusivity.

              So we don’t get to watch our Tigers.

              1. But what does Fox gain from Tiger fans not being able to watch the Tigers on MLB, and also not watching the Diamondbacks (my “local” game) on Fox? Nothing, actually. But the contract is much simpler that way, and if MLB says “yeah sure,” then you have…what we have now.

                MLB does actually advertise the “162 games” thing. I think a Class Action suit is needed. I want my pro-rated subscription money refunded for the blacked out games that are not local, and are not televised locally. Not really; but that WOULD make them make more sensible arrangements in the future.

              2. But Kevin – I see Fox’s national ads on MLB.tv anyway, online, during the games that aren’t blacked out. Blacking me out only assures that I don’t. Fox isn’t getting their money’s worth on *that* exclusivity deal. They paid MLB for my exposure to WXYT advertising (and cool between-innings musical interludes, way better than crappy old FSD) rather than their own. That makes sense?

              3. I think I see my error. I assumed that since the MLB.tv broadcasts I get are Fox, the ads are Fox. I suppose that MLB instead is the payee for these ads, and it is more lucrative for MLB to swap that for big-time Fox wazoo (ad revenue) for nationally televised games.

  20. Ouch. Seems like Peralta is having a crappy day as well. Maybe Santiago will have to play both 2B and SS tomorrow and bat twice in the lineup.

    1. Tomorrow is Sunday, and the last day of a 4-game series. Clearly, Don Kelly will be playing both.

      1. Leyland foresaw this very situation last week of March. Damn, he’s a genius. Couldn’t do this with Quintin Berry.

  21. Then there’s the down side…we may not get to see who Leyland goes to for the “closer,” which is my favorite down side.

  22. Omar Infante hits 2-run HR so hard that pitcher Morales is injured by the sonic boom, and the Tigers lead is 9-2 after 7.

  23. Leadoff walk. I am really tired of having to write negative things about Alburquerque. Please. Do good, Al-Al.

    Maybe not. Quick hook, please.

  24. Oh, for Austin Jackson in CF. Maybe I can live with 120 games a year. Al-Al snakes out of a self-inflicted jam, and the blowout is preserved… so far.

  25. you would think the MLB would just pick a good game…the 14 million of us out here on the West Coast are watching the riveting action of Dodgers- Padres…even LA fans would rather see Boston- Detroit

    1. Fielder has been off and on. Hasn’t been the same since he won AL Player of the Week. Seriously.

        1. He’s certainly capable of +.300. And the power… it’s hard to forget how quickly he was getting around with the bat and how he was absolutely crushing pitches low and high earlier in the season. Something has changed. That start wasn’t luck or being new to the league.

  26. Tigers load ’em up against Wilson but score only one due to the bad odor of royalty. LF Nava robs the unstoppable VMart at the track to end the inning. 10-2 Tigers after 8.

  27. Peralta’s DP relay to 1B so bad, pulling Prince off, that wheelchair-bound Carp beats it. That’s not “solid.”

    Come on, Putkonen. Put it away without delay.

  28. I’d get Putkonen outta there. The conventional wisdom would be to leave him in, 10-3. Plenty of bullpen, guys need work. Get him outta there.

    1. That would be very impressive. It would be the first time since Atlanta that we could really, really crow about the Tigers. Or loon about them.

      1. I never “loon.” It seems like it would be proprietary or something…I think there are lawyers that hang out here…discretion is the best policy.

        1. Being of unsound mind and body, I hereby grant you license to loon. Actually, I think you were looning before I showed up. I just try to keep up.

    1. ditto! …personally, I’d like to see the “save” and “hold” stats criteria modified

    2. I will repost my numbers of the ’68 Tiger bullpen again at some point. The Save is a statistic analogous to The Win. (The best closers back then, by the way, were The Starters).

      I still like my idea if having an Opener. If The Closer is really the best reliever on the staff, isn’t it absurd to only be able to use him based on the vagaries of a Save Situation maybe appearing? As an Openef you could schedule his appearances, start off with a shut-down first inning (which is important in winning), and let your “starter” take it the rest of the way, The Opener would start maybe 2 of 3 games; the Ace would start the other one himself.

      1. I am on record as liking that idea. Far too “outlandish” (rational but different) to catch on. Baseball is fiendishly conservative in many regards.

        1. As Coleman indicated, statistically speaking the “save” stat seems to have been elevated to a level of importance as a “win” (for pitchers). In the modern day “closer” scenarios, pitcher enters the 9th, nobody on and a lead of 1-3 runs, and as long as he gets out of the inning without allowing the tying or go-ahead run, he ‘earns’ a “save”… sorry, but that just doesn’t compute in my tiny brain.

          If the “save” stat is going to be granted such importance, I feel there should be some caveats to the current criteria, for instance a relief pitcher can only earn the “save” if he, 1) inherits runners, and 2) doesn’t give up any earned runs. If the relief pitcher preserves the “win” but gives up an earned run (or two) and he doesn’t enter the game with inherited runners, he should earn a “hold”, not a save.

          I also think a defensive player could be considered for a “save” for a game “saving” play(s)…but that might make it a much more complex stat.

          …and while we’re on the subject of MLB rules, I also think it should be two bases for HBP, I think that could mitigate ‘some’ of the issues of intentionally plunking batters… I could go on-and-on about a few other rule changes that I think would improve the game, but instead i’ll opt for another cup of coffee

      2. PS: Coleman on your innovative “Opener” concept, I can remember a time when Jeremy Bonderman would have been the poster boy for a need for an “Opener”… as the 1st inning was his bugaboo for a time

        1. Of course we’ll never know, but that may just have meant he would have been a 2nd-inning disaster instead of a 1st-inning one.

        2. The biggest problem with the Opener concept is that it would effectively be the end of the No Hitter, which would be rather sad (also the Complete Game, but nobody seems to care too much about that anyway).

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