Game 2013.106: Nationals at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 60-45, 1st Place (2.5 ahead of Cleveland). 

Today is Christmas in July at Comerica Park, featuring Santa Paws. He will have his eyes on you, Mr. Verlander. Will this outing be naughty, or nice?

The Tigers won their 4th consecutive in the two-game series opener as Alex Avila was the unexpected hero with his first career grand slam. It was a big win because Cleveland won their 6th straight, as Ryan Raburn came through with a two-run pinch-hit single. Raburn is now batting .321 for July. The Royals have also won 7 straight and crept over the .500 mark.

After the conclusion of the quick two-game series with Washington, the Tigers get another day off, then the White Sox (and Avisail Garcia) come to town, and then it is off to Cleveland. (I don’t think I can ever remember seeing a two-game series in the middle of a home stand with days off before and after).


Miguel Cabrera seemed to tweak his hip flexor yesterday charging a slow roller at 3rd. According to Kevin Rand Cabrera actually suffered an abdominal strain, and is listed as day-to-day, with today not being one of those days, and tomorrow being an off-day. There is a chance the Tigers could begin their White Sox series with a Santiago-Iglesias-Perez infield.

In better news, Omar Infante has begun running and may be able to join the team on its upcoming road trip.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Alex Avila. I may be pressing my luck with this one, but Avila is on a 5-game hitting streak, and has actually put up respectable numbers for July: .250 BA, .740 OPS.

Today’s  Lineup:

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


  1. Coleman

    July 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Naughty it is. I hope Paws has a lump of coal handy.

  2. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    By the way, Perez is batting 7th and playing 2nd, not Dirks in LF.

    • Coleman

      July 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Will fix that, thanks.

  3. KW

    July 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    So does JV need a new pitching coach or a psychologist?

    • Vince in MN

      July 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      After the Upton thing went south, maybe he just needs to… well, you know.

      • KW

        July 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        Seeing as he was with his high school sweetie for *years*, you may be on to something. He might just be the kind of guy who needs a woman around. C’mon JV, it can’t be that hard to find another hottie when you’re a studly pro ballplayer.

  4. Coleman

    July 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    POPG indeed. Avila is out of control.

  5. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Can JV hold a 4-run lead til we get to the pen?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 31, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      The walks are gonna come around to hurt him.

      • Vince in MN

        July 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        The mechanical flaws he and Jones found are certainly proving difficult to correct.

  6. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Odd stat of the day:
    Fielder has had 4 HR and 0 doubles since June 28th (27 games).

  7. Vince in MN

    July 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    The Nationals have about 1hr 20min to be sellers.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm


  8. KW

    July 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Well, this one got fun fast.

  9. Kevin in Dallas

    July 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This might be one of those games where we let JV go a managed 5 or 6 to try and get him back on track.

    • Vince in MN

      July 31, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      With tomorrow off we could even let Coke get some extra work.

      • Coleman

        July 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        Someone–I don’t know who–may have figured out Coke’s problem. He may be fine now.

        Of course, I am talking about his change in theme music. He has stopped entering to Nickelback (I am serious). Unfortunately this flaw went undetected for so long because the coaching staff is too old to get it.

        • Vince in MN

          July 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm

          Everyone should change their theme song from time to time, to keep ’em fresh.

          • Coleman

            July 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm

            BREAKING NEWS: Phil Coke’s new entrance music is Thunderstruck by AC/DC.

            • Vince in MN

              July 31, 2013 at 4:11 pm

              I’ve heard of them, that’s OK then.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        July 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        Verlander has been really bad today.

        • Smoking Loon

          July 31, 2013 at 9:49 pm

          “Unfortunately this flaw went undetected for so long because the coaching staff is too old to get it.”

          Coleman proves once again that he is the ace of our staff.

          • Smoking Loon

            July 31, 2013 at 9:50 pm

            Yeah, Kevin. And yet he picks up the win for Coleman.

  10. judpma

    July 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Avila is pulling a second half Raburn…wow..who is this guy???

    • Smoking Loon

      July 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      There was something about the later AB, the single on the breaking ball where he was behind in the count. If there turns out to have been a turning point for Alex, we might have just seen it there.

  11. Coleman

    July 31, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I think The Cycle is rather over-rated as an achievement (I’d rather have 4 home runs). That being said, Brookens just screwed Torii out of a cycle.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Brookens and Avila both. Kinda miffed about it. I could have lived with the (second) out coming at home, as we all could have, I’m sure.

      At the risk of sounding highly original, let me just say that theTigers sure are slow and clumsy on the bases. Martinez earlier, coulda scored (earlier). Wins cover up this sorta thing. Which is good.

      • Coleman

        August 1, 2013 at 12:35 am
        Brookens said after the game that he didn’t know Hunter was going for the cycle, and would have sent Avila if he had known. Also–and this is the bad part–the reason he was holding Avila in the first place is that Avila is hobbled with a bad hip.

  12. judpma

    July 31, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    it must be Christmas in July sticking with the days theme, with Coke and AlAl goibg 6 up 6 down…hohoho!

  13. Smoking Loon

    July 31, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Good times. Tigers wheeling and dealing, and winning. 8 of 9 with no Infante and not much of Miggy. Nor much of Fielder, though present, but we’re getting used to that, aren’t we?

    I like the trades, I like the way the Tigers are playing, and I especially like the way the last 3 opponents have played against the Tigers.

    Let the good times roll on.

    • William

      July 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Yes. And hopefully the Indians will use up their quota of walk-off wins before we see them again….I see they got another one again tonight.

  14. Coleman

    August 1, 2013 at 12:06 am

    The Tigers have now won 5 in a row, the hot team in the AL Central. Not so fast, say the Indians, we have won 7 in a row. Which would be impressive , except that the Royals juggernaut just rolled to their 8th win in a row. Heady times at the top of the ol’ Central Division.

  15. JimEggersUSMC

    August 1, 2013 at 2:01 am

    If any of you live near Lansing, and can get out to see the Lugnuts(???) check out a young RHP/Canadian(via Thunder Bay) by the name of Eric Brown. He was pitching in Vancouver, and when his club was here in Spokane, he befriended and was very kind to my grandsons.(The aforementioned Battery, 10yo RHP and 8yo C) He is also a very good hurler, was 5-1 w/ a 1.7ish era.
    On a more apppro note, the Tigres finished this month with a 17-9 w/l record, best month so far this season. The dreaded dog days of August are next, but since Tigers are cats (and big ones!) shouldn’t be a problem…..predict a 16-13 month, no wagering though… that for the horses…..

  16. Dennis the Menace

    August 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Gentlemen, I stand on the following predictions.
    1. Avila will continue the hot streak he is on
    2. Coke will burn out in September.
    3. Prince will start seeing the ball soon.
    4. Miggy will go on the 15 day DL to fix that muscle problem.

    Just remember these and sit back and watch. I haven’t been wrong yet this year.
    Oh, JV will get himself straightened out just in time for the stretch run in September.
    Bye for now.

  17. Vince in MN

    August 1, 2013 at 10:49 am

    The Tigers now have the biggest run differential in the majors (+132). I hate these blowout games because they screw up their pythagorean; they should be 66-40 now.

  18. Vince in MN

    August 1, 2013 at 11:15 am

    August is going to be a tough month: 31 games in the next 31 days (incl Sep 1) with only one day off, a DH on the 16th, all 7 remaining days against the Indians, 19 of those 31 games against teams above .500.

    The Indians meanwhile have, including today and thru Sep 1, have 29 games in 32 days, 3 days off, and play 13 games against teams that are above. 500.

    We’re not getting any help here, and those 7 games vs. CLE are huge. The Indians aren’t going away and the Tigers are going to have to take it up a notch and not take anything for granted.

  19. Coleman

    August 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Uh-oh, Ryan Raburn has “gotten going.” 3-for-4 today with 2 home runs, Cleveland wins their 8th in a row, 6-1.

    • Vince in MN

      August 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      He seems to be doing well in his selective role under Francona.

  20. Coleman

    August 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Royals just won their 9th in a row, now 3 games over .500.

    • Vince in MN

      August 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      We have 11 games left with KC.

      • William

        August 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm

        we are 8-0, with a 65-14 aggregate run differential, vs the NL East. Do we get the Mets in September? I know we play the Marlins late.

        • William

          August 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

          scratch that last stat…we did lose to 2 to the Nats back in May.

        • Coleman

          August 2, 2013 at 1:44 am

          Makes you wonder how good the Braves actually are.

          • William

            August 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

            they are like us…good, not great. Alabama is heavy Braves territory, so I get inundated with Braves talk on the radio and TV. I try to ignore much of it (g).

            I took the family to see them play the Reds a few weeks back…when they showed the stats on the board, I was shocked at their offensive numbers: they had one guy over .300…and really everyone else was in the .250-.270 range. they do hit a lot of HR, though.

            I was kind of surprised they weren’t more active in the Peavy stuff…Hudson had just gotten hurt, and they needed a starter. Peavy is from Mobile, AL, so I am betting he would have liked to got to ATL (and back to the NL)

        • Vince in MN

          August 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

  21. StorminNorman$

    August 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Heyman/CBS Sports reports Monday is Biogenesis suspension day