Game 2013.132: A’s at Tigers

77-54, 1st place, 5.5 up on the Indians.

The Tigers just treated us to one of the most exciting games of the season, but wound up on the wrong side of 8-6. There was another Miggy Moment, the 2-run HR to right field on a 3-1 pitch off the plate that tied the game at 4. Miguel Cabrera is the Babe Ruth of our time, make no mistake. No pinstripes on that guy, either. He’s a TIGER.¬†Fielder gave the ball a nice ride with the bases loaded. Tuiasosopo was flat out robbed by CF Crisp on the play that may have saved the whole game for the A’s. Martinez gave the Tigers hope when it was fading. The team didn’t let up. For a loss, it was a thing of beauty.

Except for the pitching. It was like a tug-of-war between Tigers pitching and Tigers hitting. Pitching wanted to lose. Hitting wanted a draw. Pitching prevailed. Four Tigers pitched, and four Tigers pitched poorly. Sanchez was withering in the heat from the get-go, throwing 100 pitches in the first inning alone, and things might have gone still worse later if not for a gift strikeout on Tiger-killer Crisp from the 3B ump. Alvarez was very Coke-like. Looking sharp, pitching crisply. Giving up 4 hits and 2 runs, the nails in the coffin when all was said and done. Poor Alburquerque can’t keep a good thing going to save his life. One pitch, 2 outs, inning over was such a promising beginning. Bonderman is slowly pitching himself off the team.

The Illustrious Mr. Iglesias had his first bad game going until a clutch hit in the 8th kind of redeemed him. But by abandoning his position on a guess, he gave up the 4th A’s run more than Sanchez did. He also watched three called strikes go by in one three-pitch AB. But ultimately, just about everybody except the pitchers did something good. Infante even got a hit that mattered for a change, tying the game at 2 with his line drive 2-run homer.

Yes, it was a good game. Balfour-Cabrera showdown in the 9th. Wasn’t over till it was over. Best of all, since it was at Cabrerica Park rather than O. Co., it ended before 2 AM. Disappointment after midnight is strongly discouraged.

For those of us who like to complain, which is all of us, Detroit’s Pythagorean record is now +6 at 83-48. However, contrary to what you might have been thinking – which is exactly what I was thinking – the Tigers are actually 8-2 in first home games after road trips. 8-2. Do you believe it? I don’t. But it’s true.

Dotel pitched and Avila played with Toledo last night. I can’t say I’m excited about the prospect of either returning, but both surely will, and probably soon.

Except when conceding courtesy strikeouts to the likes of P Ryan Raburn, when Tuiasosopo is at the plate, good happens. Destined to remain a role player with the Tigers, probably. But I hope he keeps getting his chances. For a while there it seemed like he was well out of the picture. I hope he’s back in it.

Rod Allen informs us that… damn, can’t remember who it was now… well, whoever it was, he has good plate recognition. I really need to get around to streaming the radio broadcast while watching mlb.tv.

Tonight it’s lefty Tommy Milone against Justin Verlander. We ache for a standout performance from Justin. Let it be so. The performance, I mean, not the ache.

54 Comments

  1. Coleman

    August 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Well I certainly hope Verlander puts together a late-season surge, because–as much as it will irritate us all–there is a good chance Leyland gives him the ball in Game 1 of the postseason, as a few here have predicted.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      Its a guarantee that Ol’ Smoky will mumble something about Verlander being his ace and that he “deserves” to start Game 1, despite the fact that JV clearly does not deserve to get the ball in Game 1 of any playoff series with the way he has pitched this season. Despite the overwhelming evidence that JV is having a down season, Ol’ Smoky will ignore it and pretend that is 2011 all over again. There are two scenarios in which JV will not pitch Game 1 of the ALDS. The first scenario is injury. Considering that JV doesn’t miss time due to injury, this is highly unlikely. The second scenario would be if he pitches the final Saturday or Sunday of the regular season in Miami (which will only happen if we are less than two games up going into those two games). In other words prepare yourselves for a Verlander start in Game 1 of the ALDS.

  2. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    V-Mart since July 1 (50 games): .373/.425/.522/.947. The power isn’t there (75 hits, 15 2B, 5 HR – 1 every 40 AB), but ya gotta love OBP and the 30 RBI in that time.

    Fielder since July 1 (51 games): .245/.311/.380/.691. The power is less there (51 hits, 7 2B, 7 HR – 1 every 30 AB) and 26 RBI. Ouch.

    I’d be intentionally walking Cabrera a lot more to pitch to Prince, especially with 2 out. And even with a runner on first.
    Dirks+Tui since July 1: .249/.334/.389/.723 – 8 2B, 6 HR, 21 RBI

  3. StorminNorman$

    August 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Avila’s back behind the plate 2nite…Holaday hopped the dog back to Toledo
    1. CF Austin Jackson
    2. RF Torii Hunter
    3. 3B Miguel Cabrera
    4. 1B Prince Fielder
    5. DH Victor Martinez
    6. 2B Omar Infante
    7. LF Matt Tuiasosopo
    8. C Alex Avila
    9. SS Jose Iglesias

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Great write up Loon….you are right on the Tiger offense battling our pitching!

  5. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Three batters into the game and it looks like another typical Verlander start.

  6. Angus

    August 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Over 40 pitches in the first. We will be lucky to get though 5 tonight.

  7. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    the new Verlander…and it ain’t good!

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    August 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Really, really frustrating. But let’s wait to judge. If he can give us 6 and keep them at 2 or 3, I’ll call it a success.

  9. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Brutal. 44 pitches, 26 strikes, 18 balls. And only 5 missed swings – that’s a big part of the problem. It takes him 6 or 7 pitches to get an out. And the walks.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Walk comes around to score.

      • StorminNorman$

        August 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        both pitchers have given 3 walks and 3 runs…seems to be a direct correlation with the walks & runs ;)

      • Vince in MN

        August 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm

        And the homeruns.

        I think it is time we accept the fact that he isn’t “going to figure it out” this year. Game after game, the results are predictably the same. Whatever is going on (or not going on) doesn’t look like it is susceptible to an in-season fix. He’s got some work cut out for him over the winter.

        • TIGERS RULE

          August 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

          Just like Prince ….. there’s probably a woman involved.

          • Vince in MN

            August 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm

            In JV’s case it may be a woman NOT involved.

  10. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    thats exactly what we need from Prince as teams are going to walk Miggy more and more

  11. StorminNorman$

    August 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    prior to Cespedes RBI double (with an 0-2 count) in the 3rd, he was batting .071 w/44 K’s this year 0-2 counts

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 27, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      That was a terrible pitch by Verlander. 0-2 count on Yoenis and he challenges him with a fastball right over the heart of the plate that had no movement on it whatsoever. Climb the ladder, try to get Cespedes to chase a pitch in the dirt, but don’t throw one over the middle of the plate on a 0-2 count. What is wrong with JV this year? He has regressed to his 2008 form. Its baffling to say the least.

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    August 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve seen enough. JV doesn’t have it tonight, and he may not have it any more this year.

    We can’t possibly start him in game 1 of a playoff series, can we?

    • T Smith

      August 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      At this rate we can’t start him at all. Porcello looks better in game 4 than JV.

      • Smoking Loon

        August 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm

        I think it’s pretty safe to say that Scherzer would start the first playoff game. More to do with Scherzer than Verlander.

        If it gets to a best-of-seven, a factor to consider is that the starter for Game 3 is the starter for the possible Game 7.

        • Vince in MN

          August 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm

          It has more to do with Leyland than either Scherzer or Verlander.

        • Vince in MN

          August 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

          I mean there is a good chance that Leyland Logic trumps statistical evidence.

  13. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I think Leyland has Rondon and Alvarez confused (to be fair, it’s easy to see how). Last night he brought Alvarez in to pitch to a whole bunch of righties. Tonight he goes to Rondon to face lefties.

  14. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    things are bad when you have to turn the station to the Indians game to root against them….

  15. T Smith

    August 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    And the tarp comes out just in time….

  16. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Rain delay. Good excuse to find something better to do.

  17. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    be careful using Leyland and confused in the same sentence!!

  18. StorminNorman$

    August 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    JV pitches the Sunday afternoon finale of the CLE series …against Salazar (their best pitcher over the past few weeks)

  19. TIGERS RULE

    August 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Yeh, wait till we are behind and then stop the game. F#@%*n umps!

  20. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Tigers record vs. teams with a winning record not named CLE: 26-27

  21. Smoking Loon

    August 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    This one hasn’t been fun.

  22. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    are the Tigers over .500 at home in August!???

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Just barely. The Tigers are 7-6 in August at Comerica Park after tonight’s rain-shortened loss. On a 3 game Comerica losing streak at the moment (finale of Twins series last week plus the first two of the Oakland series).

  23. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Braves..2..Tribe..0

    • Vince in MN

      August 27, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      We’re not worried about CLE anyway. It’s KC we have to watch out for. Coleman said so.

      • Coleman

        August 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm

        See, I don’t only jinx the Tigers!

  24. stephen

    August 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Look on the bright side: We only owe Verlander another $160 million to be a competent #3 starter.

  25. stephen

    August 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    My prediction: Tigers either win or lose the World Series in 6 or 7. Make another run in 2014 and then with the 300 lb first baseman/fading flamethrower being owed $300 m, Illitch croaks and 2015-2020 is back to baseball nuclear winter.
    When you come to think about it, the Tigers will have a nice 06-14 run which better than most clubs have. If they close the deal this year, no one will care about the rest of the decade. If they don’t, there will be gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      If we win a WS, I’ll be okay with it.

      If we don’t, I’ll complain on here for 10 years.

    • Vince in MN

      August 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Don’t forget the part about the farm system getting gutted in a last d(Ill)itch effort…

  26. Vince in MN

    August 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Yahoo sports “upgraded” their site today. I used to get a lot of my info from there, and the layout was user friendly and easily readable, but now it is almost unusable.

    • StorminNorman$

      August 28, 2013 at 11:49 am

      I agree…yahoo’s upgrade is a mess

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        August 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

        Ditto….but it sure looks cool with all that dark background!

  27. judpma

    August 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Tigers have 30 left..if they go 15-15 the Indians have to go 21-9…tough task…but I am more worried about getting 15

  28. judpma

    August 28, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Jerry I agree witb you 100%…there isn’t anyway in the world Leyland doesn’t start JV in the playoffs game 1. Doing this is far more important than winning. Leyland has proved time and again winning is way down the list of priorities. Hurting someones feelings rank 1…2…and 3…On Mumbles list

  29. T Smith

    August 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

    My prediction is Verlander will have another rocky outing or two vs. Red Sox and Indians. It will stir huge controversy about his place in the post-season rotation, and then he will manage to will string together a couple “quasi” gems (relative to past performances) against the the Twins and White Sox at the end of September, which will prompt Leyland to start him game 1 in the ALDS and throughout the post season, provided we are lucky enough to advance.

  30. StorminNorman$

    August 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

    • StorminNorman$

      August 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Prior to last night, In Verlander’s previous 6 starts against the A’s – including the postseason – he was 6-0, 0.63 ERA (3 ER allowed in 43 IP).

    • Vince in MN

      August 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      I agree with that. Another angle, coming from my own personal experience, is that being only 30 year old, Verlander isn’t appreciative of the changes that come with getting older. Relatively speaking, 30 is still young, but in sports that is middle aged.

      • StorminNorman$

        August 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

        I agree that the gravity associated with aging may be a factor with JV this year, but I really believe that he became a much smarter/more efficient pitcher beginning in 2011, rather than in previous years where he tried to overpower and K every hitter. Whatever the cause(s) for the regression this year, its been virtually all year, with the exception of a handful of starts.

        Pitching and real estate rely heavily on the axiom “location, location, location” – and JV’s biggest problem this year has been locating his pitches with any consistency.

        Whatever the case, DET’s chances to go deep in the playoffs this year will greatly improve if JV can return closer to ’11 or ’12 form… and as long as he’s not hampered by some nagging injury, and he says he’s not, it is ‘possible’ for him to get back into a more consistent rhythm and become a more reliable version of himself. …and that type of ‘hope’ is a part of every Tiger fan’s DNA

  31. StorminNorman$

    August 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Tonight’s lineup against RHP Dan Stailey who’s 6-7 on the season with a 4.56 ERA
    1. Jackson cf
    2. Hunter rf
    3. Cabrera 3b
    4. Fielder 1b
    5. Martinez dh
    6. Dirks lf
    7. Infante 2b
    8. Avila c
    9. Iglesias ss

  32. StorminNorman$

    August 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Felix Hernandez got pummeled by the Rangers today – his line 3IP, 11H, 9R 8ER…can’t help his CY chances any