Game 2013.97: Tigers at Royals

Detroit Tigers: 52-44, 1st Place (1.5 ahead of Cleveland). 

About a month ago I commented that I thought Kansas City, not Cleveland, would end up being Detroit’s closest Central competitor, which looked rather foolish when the Royals ended the first half with 5 consecutive losses, including a three-game sweep by the Indians. Now after taking the first two games from Detroit, the Royals are in a position where another win today would bring them within 5 games of first place (the Indians, like the Tigers, have started the 2nd half 0-2).

The Tigers, for their part, would love nothing more than to get out of Kansas City with a win this afternoon, although the teams won’t have to wait too long to see each other again: the Royals head to Detroit August 15th for a 5-game series (yep), and the teams play each other a total of 11 more times this season.

As has been common this season, the Tigers came up short once again in a 1-run game, which brings their season record in 1-run games to 9-14 (the Royals are an even 17-17, which is an awful lot of 1-run games). Kansas City has now beaten Detroit by 1 run 3 consecutive games.

The Tigers tried to manufacture a run in the 8th inning, and break the 7-9 Dead Zone curse. After Alex Avila singled and Don Kelly got a pinch-hit walk (in his 2nd consecutive game pinch-hitting for Ramon Santiago), Jackson bunted the runners over to 2nd and 3rd, but Hunter and Cabrera were unable to get a run home.

I liked the bunt call. I can understand why there was some grumbling, but consider that Austin Jackson is in an awful slump right now: he is only hitting .202 since returning from the DL, and an awful .139 over the last 2 weeks, with on On-Base % of only .205.  Add to that the Tiger propensity for rally-killing DPs and the fact that a successful bunt almost guarantees a Cabrera at bat with someone on base, and I think it was a great call. Just didn’t work.

*****

Of course Detroit was in a hole to begin with because of another appearance by Bad Justin. There seems to be a little tension between Verlander and Leyland also.

Leyland: Verlander is pitching a bit too careful. [Why is that?]

Leyland: You’ll have to ask him.

Verlander: No I’m not [Then why would Leyland say that?]

Verlander: That’s a question for him.

Well, nobody is happy about losing, right? Anyway Verlander’s velocity was back up, for what it’s worth.

*****

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Victor Martinez. Martinez dusts off his glove while Fielder gets the day at DH. The last two times Martinez has played first he has played some sparkling defense, including this play, which had a good run as the reigning Web Gem.

Today’s Lineup:

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

30 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Pertinent info from Lee Panas:
    http://www.detroittigertales.c.....nning.html

    No surprises here. As Leyland might say “We don’t need no stinking small ball; this team slugs it.” Except of course when they don’t.

  2. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    An interesting article on Castellanos:
    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....-gene-roof

    Working on his D is as good an excuse as any for leaving him in Toledo. I’ve had my fill of Tiger leftfielders with holey gloves and rubber legs and if he were brought up while Dirks is still on the roster, he would just sit on the bench anyway. Let the guy work on stuff under low pressure until they get the ML roster mess straightened out (might take a while).

  3. TIGERS RULE

    July 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Why isn’t Mad Max going today …… we need a win in the worst way …… we don’t want to be swept by the Royals in the first series after the break!

    • Vince in MN

      July 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Every year after the AS break Leyland has to reset the rotation.

  4. judpma

    July 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Since the 4Th of July the Tigers have not scored run in the 7th inning…They have scored ONLY 2 in the ninth inning, however they did score 2 in a 10th inning..

  5. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Fielder since June 1:
    .262/.319/.430/.749
    8 2B, 7 HR, 28 BI in 188 PA
    With one IBB, teams aren’t even itching around him anymore.

    Those are Delmon Young numbers.

    • Vince in MN

      July 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Or pitching around him for that matter ;)

  6. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Who’s the long man today, we’re gonna need him.

  7. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    14th HBP for Fister. Right behind him on the staff are… a whole bunch of guys with 2.

  8. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Random stats:
    1. Within the next couple of games Santiago (OPS+ 29) will have more PA than Tui (OPS+ 178). Think about that.
    2. GDP – 84, with the Tigertubbies (Fielder, Cabrera, Martinez) leading the way with 15, 14, 13 (total 42). Our 3,4,5 uber-hitters. What the Lord giveth, the Lord can taketh away. Check that- as I write it goes to 85 and 43.

  9. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Dirks breaks his tie with Tui for HR by LF. He already has one more 2B.

  10. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Almost in every start Fister struggles mightily through the first few innings and then miraculously turns into Mr. Efficient. Very strange. Perhaps they should consider an extended warmup before game time.

  11. Coleman

    July 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Nice job by Fister…but it is still one of those dreaded 1-run games.

    • Vince in MN

      July 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      RSB time.

  12. Coleman

    July 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Pena with the R3L2O success!

  13. judpma

    July 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    runs are so hard to get…good job, we will take it!

  14. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Tigers small ball in action: 4 singles = 1 run. But it was in the 7th inning, so there’s that.

  15. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Leyland is skipping Rondon and going right for the relief aces. I guess this means Smyly goes 2 if things go according to plan.

  16. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Great battle with Dyson.

  17. Coleman

    July 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Rondon looking good again!

    • Vince in MN

      July 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Too many strikes.

  18. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Jhonny Dhouble.

  19. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Being that this is Pena’s first year with the Tigers, he obviously doesn’t understand the R3L2O Fail thing.

  20. judpma

    July 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    26 hits in 3 games…1 win…guess its all about runs!!!….Tigers actually scored 1 run in the 7th for the first time this MONTH…what more can one expect!

  21. judpma

    July 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Pena thanks for your contributions today….too bad you will sit all of next week til sunday!!!

  22. Vince in MN

    July 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    B.O.O.B.s and pen get credit for this one.

    Jackson is slumping again. Maybe it’s time for some Don Kelly, playing CF, batting first. With the proper match ups of course.

  23. travisfry

    July 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    With three LHP coming , you would expect that Pena would play a couple of games.
    Tuiasosopo for sure will be there
    And Perez, finally will have the opportunity to show a glimpse of the future

  24. travisfry

    July 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Jackson´s Babip is the same of 2011.

  25. judpma

    July 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Pena has 16 RBI playing once a week to Avila’s 21 playing 5 days a week….hmmmm!

  26. Smoking Loon

    July 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Good series for the bullpen. I’m impressed.