Game 2013.80: Tigers at Rays

43-36, 1st place, 1 game up on Cle…

Well, last night was incredibly disappointing, and the Rondon outing led to an outcry of criticism regarding Leyland’s bullpen management.  Hop over here if you want to discuss.

Even more concerning that the bullpen issue is Justin Verlander. Yes, he went 8 and allowed only 2 ER, but he allowed 9 hits and 4 walks. That’s a 1.625 WHIP. With only 4 Ks. Not a good outing. As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I couldn’t find league-wide count specific data, so I decided to list the same counts, with JV’s OPS+ against:











For whatever reason, JV gets hammered on 1-1 and 2-1 pitches. Note, even when the next pitch isn’t put into play, the OPS+ against for all events after 1-1 is 137, and after 2-1 is 147. He’s having a lot of difficulty when he gets behind in counts. Let me rephrase that, because I’m certain that every pitcher has a lot of difficulty after they get behind in counts. JV is having an unreasonable, and unusual, amount of trouble once he’s behind in the count.

The Tigers have baseball ops guys who I’m sure have all of these stats, plus some, so JV knows or will know all of these things. Curious to see when he gets it worked out.


Porcello gets the call in today’s rubber match. The last two times out have been pretty bad for the kid, but we’ve seen stretches of good stuff from Porcello. And those stretches seem to be getting longer and longer.

He’ll be opposing Jeremy Hellickson, who would be 4-0 with a 1.87 ERA in June if you remove an 8 earned in 5 2/3 inning outing vs. the Royals in the middle there. On the season Hellickson is getting a lot of run support. Despite a 5.11 ERA he’s 6-3.  He doesn’t strike out many (6.74/9), and gives up nearly 1 HR per start. He’s given up 10 to lefties already this year. In 16 starts this year he’s given up 5 or more ER 6 times. He’s got 6 quality starts, 3 of those in his last 4 outings.

Also, let’s not forget the Rodney – Cabrera subplot which came to the forefront during post game interviews. In case you missed it, Cabby took a shot at Rodney by shooting an imaginary arrow into the rafters after the win on Friday night. Rodney responded by buzzing Cabby last night. Cabrera struck out on the next pitch. Leyland wasn’t too pleased, though I’m not sure if we can coin Leyland’s response as a “threat”. Considering the thin ice that is the bullpen these days, I’d prefer to focus on winning the game without getting anyone ejected. The best way to show-up Rodney and TB would be to win a series on their home field.

We gotta win series.

Today’s Lineup:

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



25 thoughts on “Game 2013.80: Tigers at Rays”

  1. On the JV pitch count data, I think it would be interesting to see what is happening on two-strike counts as well. I’m seeing a lot of foul balls. Despite the high K% this year, he is having more trouble putting them away it seems.

    In Panas’ article, the rise in line drive rate is of concern. He is getting hit harder.

  2. So, is the Zobrist HBP the anticipated revenge action, or do we have to wait til the game is on the line? If so, since an ejection will be the likely result, I nominate Phil Coke as the sacrificial lamb (preferably against a RH batter, who would likely get on anyway).

  3. Lefties hitting .291/.330/.396/.708 against Porcello this year, so of course teams load up against him – more LH PA than RH this year.

  4. The Indians are in the process of sweeping the hapless Black Sox 3-0 after 6. Interestingly, although the Sox have 3 hits, Masterson has only faced the minimum of 18 batters because of 2 GIDP and one pick off.

  5. Peralta’s invaluable day off interrupted to PH. “Where’s my lawyer”, Jhonny yells. “Looking into your PEDs case”, replies some wag.

  6. Leyland’s B team is no threat as the Detroit pussycats show their stripes once the 7th inning kicks in.

  7. This team has the talent and payroll to run off with the Central, yet after this game will be tied with Cleveland…Absolutely mind-numbing…Almost a half billion tied up in contracts with the line-up and can only score one measly run…

    Don’t even get me started on the bullpen…

  8. The No. 5 slot up through June 29:
    2012: .252/.286/.369/.655 (almost exclusively Delmon Young)
    2013: .233/.294/.339/.633 (exclusively V-Mart)
    Both seasons almost exclusively the DH.

    I propose that we have some rigid (stubborn and inflexible also come to mind) thinking going on here to persist in such an obviously failed lineup strategy.

      1. With the current roster, that’s who I would bat there. After Cabrera and Fielder he has been the next most productive. I’d follow with 6.Dirks (or platoon)/Infante, 7. V-Mart, 8.Dirks (or platoon)/Infante and whoever the catcher is. I’d also give V-Mart lots of days off. When Tui gets back from the DL (July 6 or so), V-Mart would get even more days off. With the misplaced commitment to V-Mart and the horrible bench, there isn’t much flexibility – more black holes when Santiago, Holaday and Kelly (to a lesser extent) play. The lineup needs some tweaking, but V-Mart batting 5th rally gums up the whole works, because you are limited to only shifting around the bottom of the order (assuming Peralta bats 6th).

  9. Man, the Tigers are just on an endless loop: Underachieve but make playoffs because of the crummiest division and/or expanded playoffs format. They could win 86 games and win the World Series or 93 and go out in the first round. The bottom line for me is the division is so weak and there’s the extra wild card slot has devalued the regular season to the point I don’t get angry/happy about their performance in the regular season. I mean everyone knows I’m a huge baseball pessimist, but there’s no way the Tigers don’t make the playoffs. The Indians just don’t have the talent for 162 games to win, say, 89 games. Right? Right??

    1. The Indians may not need to win 89 games. They have a very good manager who handles his limited resources well. They don’t have a Miggy or Prince in their lineup, but it is fairly well balanced and although they may have weak spots they aren’t saddled with black holes. Their bench is a lot better than ours and Francona can rotate guys in and out of his lineup without any significant drop-off in offensive production. They likely won’t score as many total runs as the Tigers, but they will probably be more consistent in what they do put up on the board. And they put up a lot of runs against the White Sox this weekend who have a pretty good pitching staff. Their weakness may be the starting five, but the bullpen is pretty good (.237 BAA). With the Tigers all-or-nothing offense and any lapse in the starting staff production (and it looks like there are cracks developing to me), I certainly wouldn’t count them as a shoe-in right now. It is clear that they have thrown away a bunch of wins already and have failed to mount challenges (the 7-9 bugaboo) in more. Their pathagorean record should be 47-33 while actually only 43-37 represents a 4-game difference in the standings. That is a pretty dramatic testament to their ineptitude at the halfway point of the season. So far the most consistent thing about the Tigers is their inconsistency. It remains to be seen whether they “get straightened out”.

      1. Starting July 8th, 26% of the Tigers remaining games are against the White Sox.

        Hope they play like they did the past 4 days. The White Sox, that is.

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