Game 2013.126: Twins at Tigers

Detroit Tigers: 73-51, 1st Place (5.5 ahead of Cleveland). Best record in the AL.

Well, apparently I managed to jinx Omar Infante, Rick Porcello, and Miguel Cabrera, all in the same post yesterday.

Of course, nobody wins them all. And sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other guy. No, really, all joking aside, this from Jim Leyland in the post game interview: “I’ve got to tip my hat to Pelfrey.” Yes, he really, actually, said that.

OK, as much as we joke about the hat-tipping here, sometimes lack of hitting is really great pitching, and vice-versa. But Mike Pelfrey? Not buying it.


Catching is hard. As in difficult, and as in hard on the body. Avila took batting practice again today, but is still not ready to play. The Twins put Joe Mauer on the new special 7-game concussion DL, so we won’t see him in this series. For Detroit, Pena is day-to-day with a bad toe (he has been a real spark lately), and Victor Martinez–yes, that Victor Martinez–has been putting in work behind the plate.  “I’m contemplating catching him a game in New York, and I’ll leave it at that,” Leyland said.


As you all probably know by now, Phil Coke has been optioned to Toledo, and Jose Alvarez has been called up to take his place. Which is intriguing. Is he now the lefty bullpen specialist, instead of the 5th-6th starter guy? Not to worry about Phil Coke though: he could still be eligible for the postseason.


Speaking of relievers, imagine this situation: tie game, bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, bases loaded, and you need to bring someone in from the bullpen…hmmm, who do you go to? The Red Sox decided Brayan Villarreal, and every Tiger fan yelled Noooooooo!!!! Walked in the winning run. This is not to say that Zorro won’t turn out to be a key bullpen arm, but right then and there…um, no.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Victor Martinez. Martinez has a career 0-fer against Correia, but he has been hot (.358 in 2nd half), and has been strapping it on. I’m going against the splits today.

Today’s Celebrate Holaday Lineup

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


  1. Kevin in Dallas

    August 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I think that ball is gone if Cabrera is feeling okay.

    • Coleman

      August 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Cabrera hit the ball really solidly his 2nd at bat…and it was a routine line out to LF. I don’t think he has his legs under him.

  2. Coleman

    August 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Thought I had a POPG score there. Victor Martinez has the longest singles in baseball.

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      I think you ended up with the POPG score after all.

  3. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    is it me or does AJ look like a deer in headlights batting the last few….weeks??

    • Coleman

      August 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Maybe he should wear sunglasses at night, like Prince. To help with the headlights.

      • Smoking Loon

        August 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Earlier this season, when the slump had begun and he was off the sunglasses for the most part, I was thinking he hits better with sunglasses. Somebody with a lot of time should look into the sunglasses/no sunglasses splits.

  4. StorminNorman$

    August 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    going into today, MIN is dead last all MLB for ‘quality starts’

  5. Coleman

    August 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Oh no, there is going to be more hat tipping tonight, isn’t there?

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      You’ve nailed an important point. No more hat tipping. I notice a strong association between hat tipping and losses.

  6. Coleman

    August 21, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    The inevitable stolen base cost us a run there.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 22, 2013 at 12:17 am

      This is the dirty little secret about the Tigers that no one wants to talk about, but it will cost us a big game somewhere down the stretch. Teams run with impunity against us (part of the reason why the Angels swept the season series from us). It doesn’t matter if Avila, Pena, or Holaday is behind the dish. The green light is always on. The Tigers need to figure out a way to slow down the running game because when they are playing other good teams that they can’t just overpower into submission, that glaring weakness is going to get exploited.

      I don’t know if Ol’ Smoky needs to start calling a few pitchouts, but whatever the Tigers are currently doing in terms of holding base runners is a huge fail. If Hunter doesn’t get that big hit in the 7th, that easy stolen base by Florimon with two outs that immediately preceded a RBI single may have been the difference in a 1-0 ballgame.

      I’m genuinely worried about our complete inability to stop the other teams from swiping bags. I believe I read on that the Florimom stolen bag was the 16th straight successful steal versus the Tigers. In the postseason runs are very tough to come by and we just can’t afford to have people taking second base so easily after a walk or a single.

  7. StorminNorman$

    August 21, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    other than walking the #9 hitter (Floriman, who then scored) who’s only hitting .216, Sanchez has pitched a smart/good game…

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Sanchez punched his own ticket for the no-decision. Walking Florimon, ignoring Florimon, hanging the pitch to Dozier. To the extent you can be annoyed with a pitcher who pitches 6 shutout innings, I was annoyed with Sanchez. Not one of his better starts, IMO.

  8. Coleman

    August 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    And there is another free base.


      August 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      It looks like everyone is starting to steal on us ….. big disadvantage!

  9. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    giving up a double to anyone who singles is getting annoying and should be an embarrassment to the Program seeing that they have tried three catchers and none of them can throw!!!

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      More and more I’m seeing what a big part the pitchers play in this. I gather that Jeff Jones considers controlling the running game a distraction.

  10. Coleman

    August 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Huge hit by Torii, we needed that.

  11. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    nice piece of hitting..not trying to do too much..just hit it where it was pitched…atta boy!!!

  12. Coleman

    August 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Well now, you don’t see that every day.

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Prince really hoofing it to first helped. (After looking very silly on the strikeout.) I can think of at least one Tiger – a really good hitter – who would have just stood there until it was too late. (Then again, don’t see this guy striking out like Prince did, either.)

  13. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Tigers running game at its best….haha!

  14. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I stayed up til 12:30 pulling for the Angels late last night against those pesky Indians…I came away with one obsevation…the Angels suck against everybody except thhe Tigers…just like a lot of teams…

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Cleveland against everybody but Detroit: 66-45

      Detroit against everybody but Cleveland: 61-49

      Pesky could be a problem.

  15. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    i the past two days..Angels strand 27….2 for 22 RISP…2 runs…and we think we have problems

  16. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Jackson musta been reading
    DTW..between at bats and got fired up over the deer lights! way to go!

  17. judpma

    August 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    at 70%…Miggy is better than 90% of players in MLB

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Imagine 100%.

  18. StorminNorman$

    August 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    a bit of charity from the Twinkies tonight… we’ll take it.

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      True. Quite a collapse.

  19. Kevin in Dallas

    August 21, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    A few observations:

    1) Love the doubles power from Martinez (even if he only gets one 50% of the time).

    2) I’m not sure how to find this, but the late inning hitting woes seem to be gone; and I wonder where we stand for the season.

    3) Torii Hunter, ladies and gentlemen. If any of you were listening to the radio call, the Hunter double was absolutely beautiful, and then hearing the excitement for “Torii Hunter will score without a throw” on the Cabrera double spoiled me. A) I’m ready to call Dan one of the best radio guys around right now, and B) I think he gets extra giddy for Hunter. I’m going to do a post just on radio guys around the league here in a bit.

    4) “De Veras” in spanish with a question mark after it means “for real?” As a statement it means “Indeed.” Yup, de Veras.

    • Smoking Loon

      August 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      What does the Spanish word “veras” literally mean? Real? Actual? Truth?

      Jose Truth sounds kind of cool. Still any hitters in the league named Justice?

      • Smoking Loon

        August 21, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        Tigers OPS still:

        12th AL 7th & later

        11th AL Late & Close (last in HR)

        11th AL Extra Innings (not a single HR… only team)

        • Smoking Loon

          August 21, 2013 at 11:34 pm

          I like the doubles power of Martinez as well. Unfortunate that half of his 28 doubles have been with bases empty, and that only 9 have come with runners in scoring position. Imagine how many more doubles he might have if he could run just a bit… and if he didn’t pause to admire his HR and double singles so often.

          Martinez has the lowest SLG with RISP of any regular at .382. Unless you count Dirks as a regular (.306 here.) Nice work, Andy.

          Martinez K/BB overall: 56/43. RISP: 27/14.

          Of course, this covers the whole season. I suspect the numbers would look a lot hotter from mid-June onward.

  20. judpma

    August 22, 2013 at 1:59 am

    We teach our high school catchers that their “pop time”…(from time they receive the ball to the release ) has to be .6 or .65 sec at the longest.The really good ones are .5-.6 If you time the three Tiger catchers all three are consistently over 1 sec to 1.3..because big league players run 25 feet a second ( high school run 20) this is a huge amount of time. You would think Leyland being a catcher would…….oh never mind!

    • StorminNorman$

      August 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

      speaking of Tiger catchers… JL considering VMart behind the plate in NY(Mets)… and the WS?

      • Coleman

        August 22, 2013 at 10:40 am

        He was doing drills behind the plate before yesterday’s game.

        • StorminNorman$

          August 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

          I like the move (as long as VMart’s knees are going to be OK with it) because if (and that’s a big “if”) DET makes it to the WS, game 3’s starting catcher could/should be VMart… but he’d DH in game 1&2 in DET.

          Throwing out base stealers was never a real strong aspect of when VMart was a full-time catcher, but he likely can’t do much worse than Avila, Pena or Holaday

          • Jerry the Tiger Fan

            August 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm

            Exactly, I like the move too. VMart can’t do any worse than our other catchers are doing and you get VMart’s bat over Avila’s, Pena’s, or Holaday’s bat. That’s a plus in my mind. If teams are going to run on us regardless of catcher we might as well play one that can give us some offensive production in road games in the World Series (if we are fortunate enough to get there).

  21. StorminNorman$

    August 22, 2013 at 7:53 am

    only 13,000 fans in KC to see the Royals lose their 4th straight game… I guess most KC fans feel like they’ve already ‘heard the big-boned lady sing’

    • Coleman

      August 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

      I wish she’d do an encore in Cleveland already.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        August 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        Me too. It would be nice if the Twinkies go to Progressive this weekend and take two of three after playing us so tough this week in Detroit.