Game 2013.125: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 73-51, 1st Place (6.5 ahead of Cleveland). Best record in the AL.

Taking 3-of-5 from Kansas City was nice (sorry, Cleveland, but KC seems the the bigger threat right now), but after being swept in both games of the double-header–and held to 1 run and 6 hits–it was very nice indeed. All the better that the two series ending wins were driven off the bat of Miguel Cabrera, in back-to-back pitches ending Saturday’s game and beginning Sunday’s.

How good is Cabrera anyway? Lee Panas suggests the talk of the possible Triple Crown actually undersells how good a season he is having–whether he wins or not, his season is better than most Triple Crown seasons have been. Jason Beck points out that if his season ended today that he would have an historic season under his belt. Only 16 other people in baseball history have had a season batting .360 with 40+ home runs and 120+ RBI, and Babe Ruth is 6 of them. If he continues on the pace he is at, he would finish over .360 with 50 HR and 150 RBI, which has only been done twice, by Babe Ruth in 1921 and Jimmy Fox in 1932.

Is there any chance he could continue at this pace? Oh, he is just warming up. Here are Cabrera’s month-by-month OPS numbers:

  • .995 Mar/Apr
  • 1.222 May
  • 1.196 June
  • 1.028 July
  • 1.265 August

Fasten your seat belts.

*****

This is not to say that everything is roses in Tigerland. Despite his ridiculously hot bat, Miguel Cabrera is playing hurt, with multiple injuries. His inability to move in the field and inability to run the bases (congratulations Victor, you are now no longer the slowest guy on the team) have already cost the Tigers a couple of runs (we’ll take it). I predict he will get some rest after September call-ups.

Alex Avila’s health is also a concern. The good news is, that Avila has been cleared for workouts, and will take BP and run drills today.

*****

Detroit looks to keep rolling with 3 against the Minnesota Twins, before going on a weird 3-game road trip against the Mets, and then back home. Tonight features Mr. 2nd Half Rick Porcello (5-0, 2.84 since the break), who will have to solve Josh Willingham (.438 lifetime against Porcello).

And a tip of the cap across the diamond to Mr. Joe Mauer. Miguel Cabrera isn’t the only one playing today who is compiling a pretty darn good career. Mauer is still doing it, and doing it on a team that that is OK on its good days, depressing on others. The Twins were awful in July (9-17), during which time Mauer merely hit .360. He just doesn’t give away at bats. After 10 years as a career .323 hitter, he is hitting .324 this season, mostly at catcher, on a team eliminated from contention roughly in May. [Tip].

[Update: Mauer scratched with dizziness in BP--he has been taking a lot of foul tips lately, like Alex has. Let's hope they are both OK].

*****

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Omar Infante. Omar returns to the lineup with a 15-for-34 lifetime vs. Pelfrey in his back pocket.

Today’s Infantastic Lineup:

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

Omar Infante is back after a day off with back stiffness. I am liking how the Infante-Pena-Iglesias bottom of the order is coming together.

33 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    August 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Miggy’s longest hitless game streak this year is 2 – twice.

  2. Vince in MN

    August 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I had a feeling “Mr. 2nd Half” was going to cough up a homer to Morneau there.

    • Coleman

      August 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Are you accusing me of Jinxiness?

  3. Vince in MN

    August 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    The bullpen is rested. I wouldn’t wait too long here.

    • Coleman

      August 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Here is the Coke you ordered Sir.

      • Vince in MN

        August 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        Wrong guy.

  4. Doug of troy

    August 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Coke delivered as promised. Jacks up Porcello’s ERA.

  5. Vince in MN

    August 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Leyland just doesn’t get it.

    • Vince in MN

      August 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      I mean, I could hear Kevin’s little boy yelling “Smyly, Smyly, Smyly” from here.

      • Coleman

        August 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        NOW Smyly gets up on the bullpen.

  6. judpma

    August 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    at least Coke has it narrowed down to two kinds of hitters he can’t get out…LH and RH!!!

  7. StorminNorman$

    August 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    8/31 is the Waiver Trade Deadline & Postseason eligibility list deadline… in the event DET is still kicking around the idea of adding another dependable relief pitcher or ???

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    August 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Is there such thing as LNOGY?

    Props to Pelfrey on jamming Cabrera twice in a row.

  9. judpma

    August 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    the other side of the bullpen… good job Bondo!

  10. judpma

    August 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    there is no way on Gods green earth…Mumbles would let DD cut Coke……family!

  11. Coleman

    August 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    OK, this is a little interesting.

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    August 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    This gem in from the MLB At Bat Scout tool.

    “Perkins may prefer to go after Hunter, rather than facing Miguel Cabrera.”

    I haven’t yet figured out how to turn it off.

    • Vince in MN

      August 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Click on the gear wheel in the top right of the screen under the scores.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    August 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Still some game left…

  14. judpma

    August 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    plenty of chances to score …didn’t…ball game..lets get the next two!

  15. Kevin in Dallas

    August 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Well, not anymore.

    Can’t win them all.

    Yes, I would have LOVED to see Smyly in the high leverage lefty on lefty situation. Seems like Coke has give up hit after hit in those situations. But we all know Smokey’s MO. And it’s hard to argue with the best team in the AL. Leyland could stand to improve in some ways (in my completely unqualified opinion), but so could I.

    Let’s just get out there and win the series.

  16. Coleman

    August 20, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Coke pitched himself to Toledo tonight. He was optioned after the game, Alvarez called up.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 20, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      There’s something happening here…

      • JimEggersUSMC

        August 21, 2013 at 12:24 am

        What it is isn’t exactly clear….

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 21, 2013 at 12:40 am

      Long overdue move. Coke has been bad from jump street this season. Can’t believe they waited this long to do it.

      • Vince in MN

        August 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

        And he was bad for most of last season. He just got hot at the end. Two consecutive years of BLOWGY, and he shouldn’t be back. But he will because of the “we need Phile Coke” bs.

      • Coleman

        August 21, 2013 at 11:28 am

        Strangely enough, Coke seems to agree. He was surprised by the move because he figured it was going to happen a while ago, but didn’t. “I figured it would’ve happened in the first half, not right now.”

        • Smoking Loon

          August 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm

          I think it’s time we stop. Hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look who’s going down…

          The pitch that broke the camel’s back.

  17. Vince in MN

    August 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

    “I’ve gotten a lot of key outs recently. I’ve been on a decent run, no earned runs. I mean, I’ve given up THREE OR FOUR INHERITED. Sometimes those things happen, but right now it’s not something we can afford as a team” Coke said.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Sounds like Inge. I wish Coke would take his medicine and go down to Toledo and find what we know he has. Rather than puffing out his chest.

      • Smoking Loon

        August 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm

        I’m not sure Phil Coke has it any more. And I like Coke a lot, as a player and as a quirky, funny oddball. Nobody enjoyed his 2012 postseason more than I did, except maybe Coke himself.

        RIP AlburCokey. Aye, we hardly knew ye.

  18. StorminNorman$

    August 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    In the event CLE is still in the mix come mid-September, CLE’s last 10 games are against teams (HOU, MIN, CWS) with combined winning % of .392