Game 2013.134: A’s at Tigers

77-56, 1st place, 5.5 games ahead of the Indians.

So this is what it’s like to be an Astros fan. Oh, right. The above. Strike that remark. But losing 14-4 will correct your Pythagorean record in a hurry.

The pitching has gotten a bit soggy lately, eh? The A’s are also swinging the bats very, very well. The Tigers have run into them at the wrong time. Seems to happen with some frequency vs. the AL West. And I’ve got a Mariners series coming up. Eek.

No sweeping conclusions based on three games, now. The team that wins 12 in a row can lose 3 in a row. Even at Cabrerica. It’s the same team.

The good: Hunter and Martinez were impressive. Jose Iglesias is just something else at SS.

The bad: Well, there’s the pitching. And also the pitching. How ’bout the pitching? Did I mention that already?

The at bats by Cabrera and Fielder in the 5th were disgraceful, beneath contempt. I like to think that the reason these two took a seat early is less because of the score and more because Jim Leyland saw what I saw better than I did. Cabrera gets moody and gives away at bats. It happens. I’m more surprised by Fielder. The funny thing about it is this: I was still stewing about those at bats when the 7th inning started (and I was watching the game without audio on purpose, so I had no warning), thinking about how I would have sat those two bums immediately and replaced them with Kelly at 3B and Tuiasosopo at 1B, when who should appear on my screen but… Aha! Sweet justice, I thought.

Coco Crisp isn’t the first opposing CF we’ve seen this season who makes Austin Jackson look ordinary, but I don’t think I’ve seen Jackson have a game like this in center field before. Misplayed an out into a single… an out into a double… and lazied a single into a double. On top of an 0 for 5. Huh. Onward, don’t look back.

Doug Fister gives up a lot of hits. Have you noticed that?

Bartolo Colon is indeed back from the DL to plague the Tigers. Although Colon can be a brute (get it?), I fully expect Max Scherzer and 20-1 euphoria to push this three-game funk out of our minds and send us up against Cleveland full of renewed optimism. This is, after all, the same team that won 12 in a row. Except for Coke. Could that be the problem? Maybe clubhouse chemistry is in a shambles without kooky Phil to stir things up. Oh well. He’ll be back soon.


  1. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Second year in row where this time of the season everyone begins talking about the “surprising” A’s. How many years in a row will it take before it isn’t surprising?

    Last season one of the stories was about the great “clubhouse presence” of Brandon Inge on the A’s, and how he contributed to a winning atmosphere. You see where I am going with this…Inge is available. They wouldn’t even have to sign him to the roster. He could just be an employee of the team, like Paws, and roam around the stands during games (fans would love it! half would give him hugs, half would throw things at him), and before and after the game he could hang out in the clubhouse doing those “clubhouse” things that people talk about, like wearing a hockey mask or whatever.

    • StorminNorman$

      August 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Sections 344 & 345 need a new hot dog vendor – if Inge still has ‘the range’ to cover his position 😉

  2. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Today’s Thanks-for-the-3-for-5-Torii-Now-Take-A-Seat Lineup:
    1. Jackson, CF
    2. Dirks, LF
    3. Cabrera, 3B
    4. Fielder, 1B
    5. Martinez, DH
    6. Kelly, RF
    7. Pena, C
    8. Infante, 2B
    9. Iglesias, SS

    • Coleman

      August 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      BTW, that should be Santiago 9th at SS, not Iglesias, in case you haven’t figured that out already.

  3. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Et Tu, Maximus?

  4. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    OAK put up 2 runs in the 1st inning in every game in this series except yesterday, where they didn’t score in the 1st but put up 3 (of their eventual 14R) in the 2nd… mind boggling for just a ‘meh’ hitting team like OAK

  5. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    And there is the inevitable stolen base.

  6. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    as Loon wrote in the post, it appears DET definitely ran into the A’s at the wrong time

  7. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    JBeck just tweeted: “Just the 2nd time since Scherzer’s loss July 13 that he’s been down by multiple runs”

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    August 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    This series can’t end soon enough.

    • Smoking Loon

      August 29, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      I was with you. Glad it ended on this note. Let’s not forget how close the first game was, either.

  9. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    for those not watching, I just stopped at the house and watched Scherzer pitch the 4th, and sure there were a couple fielding miscues, but the hits they got off Scherzer were not good ‘pitcher’s pitches’…they were up in the zone

    • Smoking Loon

      August 29, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Agree. Everything was up for Scherzer today, and the A’s weren’t missing.

  10. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Kelly looking a bit shaky in RF today

    • StorminNorman$

      August 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      he made a real nice throw there – to hold the runner at 3rd

  11. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Take Max out, this one is over. It looks like Putty Time.

  12. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    apparently there will be enough humble pie to go around for the whole team…

    how they respond against CLE will be telling

  13. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    And it just got way worse.

    • StorminNorman$

      August 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      right…’insult to injury’ in reverse

      • StorminNorman$

        August 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        …and that SAC bunt (leading 6-1) is adding the insult to Cabby’s injury… relentless

  14. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Well, I called the Putty Time, for what that’s worth.

  15. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Mario and Rod: of all the September callups, Phil Coke is going to help the team the most. Umm, really?

    • Vince in MN

      August 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      It’s a moot point. The Tigers take the division regardless. None of the Sept. call-ups are likely to be on the post-season roster (with the exception of maybe Coke, please say it ain’t so) and unless DD makes some kind of big move in the next couple of days, what you see now is what you get for the playoffs.

  16. judpma

    August 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    is the AL Central really this bad????

    • Vince in MN

      August 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      The Central isn’t that bad. But because the Tigers are by far the best team in an otherwise mediocre division, I think they have been over-rated a bit (after today they will be 26-30 vs. winning teams not named CLE; think about that). The blah blah blah all year about them going to and winning the WS is mostly exaggerated media hype/wishful thinking.They are a pretty good team, but not a great team, but they will make the playoffs. I see 5 relatively equally matched teams going into the AL playoffs this year and it should be an exciting series. But I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the Tigers get knocked out in round one. It will all come down to which team is playing the best when the chips are down. At the moment I don’t see a front runner myself.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Not really. Far better than it was the last two seasons. CLE is 68-48 against every other major league team not named the Detroit Tigers. That doesn’t sound like a bad team to me. KC is also an up and comer. Can you imagine if we had spilt the first 16 games with CLE instead of going 13-3?? We’d be 73-61 and CLE would be 76-56 heading into their game at ATL tonight. In other words, we’d be 3.5-4.5 games out heading into tomorrow night if CLE had just gone 8-8 versus us and not 3-13. I’m not saying that they are the better team because obviously we have handled them, just trying to show how good CLE has been this year outside of their head-to-head games with us. Also take into consideration that CLE went 5-2 versus the same OAK team that just punked us at Comerica this week.

      So the short answer is no, the AL Central is not really this bad.

      • Smoking Loon

        August 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        I don’t think the AL Central is so bad, either.

  17. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    It looks like Victor is going to make it tom .300 again this year. Even before the season started, and especially after his disastrous first half, I didn’t think there was a chance.

    • Smoking Loon

      August 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Me either. Now he’s holding a clinic out there every game.

  18. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    At least the Tigers have got the tying run to the plate, who would have guessed that…makes it interesting at least.

  19. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm


  20. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm


  21. Coleman

    August 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    WOW!!! That is unbelievable….just unbelievable. And HUGE! (and Torii wasn’t supposed to play today).

  22. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    …the rollercoaster ride continues…amazing!

  23. Tom in Lakeland

    August 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm


  24. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Glad to see this especially for the team morale after the earlier 3 game thumping. Well done Boys…..never quit!

  25. judpma

    August 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    UN-frickin- BELIEVABLE

  26. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Scherzer dodges a bullet to his sterling win-loss record…in grand fashion

  27. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    …a lead-off walk started it all.

  28. Vince in MN

    August 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Bittersweet if Miggy misses some games.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      It is, but we fared pretty well the last time Miggy sat for five games (I think we went 4-1). I have no idea why he was trying to stretch that single into a double in his condition. It might have been the competitor in Cabby coming out after watching his team get its ass kicked for three and half games, but it really wasn’t a smart thing to do. I guess we’ll see tomorrow afternoon when the lineups get announced.

      • Smoking Loon

        August 29, 2013 at 10:33 pm

        The competitor in Cabby should have started legging it much earlier. Pretty dumb play.

  29. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    These moments are what keep me hooked on sports. They don’t happen everyday (thank goodness because then they wouldn’t be special), but when they happen its such a good feeling. Wow. Going to be heading out with a little extra pep in my step tonight. Way to go Torii!!

  30. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Now for the negative: Can we get our starting pitching back online?? I’m hoping it was just catching Oakland at a bad time and that no staff would have shut them down the way they were swinging the lumber in Detroit this week. Big series this weekend. Take two of three and things will be looking up again. Could really use a big performance from Porcello on Friday to kind of get things back to normal around here. Its been nice that we’ve been scoring runs lately, but I think I preferred it when our starters were shutting other teams down while we struggled to score runs. When the starting pitching goes bad like it did this week versus Oakland it makes it very hard to feel good about the Tiger’s chances to win. I’d be more content with a 3-1 win tomorrow night than I would with a miracle rally win like this afternoon. C’mon boys. Lets take care of business this weekend against Cleveland.

  31. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    if for some reason the A’s winning their division or miss one of the wild card spots…by say…1 game…something tells me they’ll look back to this one

    DET has 28 regular season games left – let’s hope today’s finish sets the tone moving forward

  32. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    They probably will, but on the other side of the coin if they play the rest of the way in a similar fashion to the way that they played us this week missing the playoffs won’t be a problem for the A’s. This series helped them much more than today’s loss hurt them, that much I’m sure of. Even though today was bitterly disappointing for the A’s, I’ll bet that Bob Melvin is privately thrilled with taking three of four from the team that had the best record in the AL going into this series. My hat is off to those guys. Oakland was very impressive the past four days.

  33. judpma

    August 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    this hurts Cleveland more than it helps the Tigers because of what Cleveland will have to do try to because the games are tunning out..Cleveland has to do some serious winning

  34. judpma

    August 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    the much maligned bullpen comes thru big tine today

  35. judpma

    August 29, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    7 more wins than the Indians means that a 14-14 finish is a 21-7 finish for the Tribe!!

  36. StorminNorman$

    August 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    after tonight’s game against ATL, CLE remaining games/against:

    3 – DET
    3 – BAL
    3 – NYM
    6 – KC
    4 – HOU
    4 – MIN

    CLE’s last 10 games of the season – 4 home games against HOU, 2 home against CWS and 4 in MIN – all very beatable teams

    • Smoking Loon

      August 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      That’s when teams falter. Beatable teams.

      • Smoking Loon

        August 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        Teams falter *facing* beatable teams, if I wasn’t clear. I remember Tigers-Royals in 2006. Tigers better have their heads on straight when they head to Miami to end this season.

    • William

      August 30, 2013 at 7:27 am

      I think we finish with White Sox, Twins, Marlins, don’t we?

  37. Smoking Loon

    August 29, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Balfour doesn’t seem to be a very good name for a pitcher. Sort of like a hitter named Strikthree.

    My story: I watched the game late (not knowing the outcome). After 7 innings, I decided, OK, enough. Figured I’d check the scoreboard and find something more pleasant to do. Scoreboard said… well, you know what it said. Decided I’d watch the rest of the game after all.

    Started watching the 8th, wondering who would hit the grand slam and when. Or would it be a long rally? Watching, I started to doubt that I had read the score correctly. But I DID remember Benoit as getting a decision. It HAD to be.

    When Avila struck out (WHY AVILA???? AAAARGH!)… couldn’t see it happening… 2 down and 2 strikes on Victor… couldn’t see it happening… AHA! Torii Hunter. Huge. (He had been one of my first guesses for the slam.)

    Matt Tuiasosopo at 3B saved a run. Don’t forget it.

  38. JimEggersUSMC

    August 30, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Balfour ( a great book, ca.1969) has only two BS (blown saves) but leads all MLB in f-bombs… I counted 35-40 between his leaving the bump and going down the tunnel… stay classy Oakland! Oh wait, don’t the Raiders play in Oakland too?
    A win like this one forgives a lot of prior sins, but I will leave that to Tom in Lakeland to decide….

    • Tom in Lakeland

      August 30, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Complete absolution!!

      • Kevin in Dallas

        August 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        This is so awesome.

  39. JimEggersUSMC

    August 30, 2013 at 2:45 am

    If I may… last Sunday I took my 2 sons & 4 grandsons to the Mariners game. It was salute to kids day and my 10 year old RHP was chosen to steal 2nd base. He ran from the center field gate to 2nd, grabbed the base and we got to bring it home. I have been around the game most of my 60 years and it was an amazing moment. To see him on a MLB field, well it was special. As my brother said, he led the team in stolen bases that game. My wife reminded me that in 1969 MY grandfather took me to my first MLB game, Seattle Pilots vs Cleveland. If you have access to Ball Four, look up the Tommy Harper Night game, August 20th ish. I still have the 8×10 handout and the scorecard.

    • William

      August 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

      That’s a great memory…just like you, they will never forget it!

  40. StorminNorman$

    August 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm
    just in time for the final 3 games w/DET

    • Coleman

      August 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      He annoys the Tigers on a regular basis, good move. They are short a bat; Raburn went on the DL.