Game 2013.139: Tigers at Red Sox

81-57, 1st place, by a lot.

No wonder the Boston faithful gave Jose Iglesias a standing O yesterday afternoon. Besides his double, he was the cornerstone in 3 double plays yesterday, the last of which demonstrated his ridiculous athleticism and baseball IQ. First of all, he pretty easily got to a ball well to the right of 2B. He then managed to contort his body and tag a passing runner near 2B with this glove hand, only to pull the ball out of this glove and make an accurate and timely throw to 1B, while moving in the wrong direction, to double up Pedroia.

If you’re John Farrell, how depressing is it to get beat so cleanly by Detroit yesterday, then look at today’s match-up and see Scherzer staring back at you. Mad Max threw 7 innings of 2 run ball versus the Bo Sox back on June 22. A win today would put him alongside the Rocket as the only players to start 20-1, and make him the only one who did it without artificial aid.

As good as Jon Lester is, he gets drilled by Detroit. Current Tigers hitters have combined for a career .413 average and 1.081 OPS in 124 plate appearances, and he has a 5.26 career ERA in six starts against Detroit.

A few notes:

– Did anyone else think that Napoli’s attempted take-out slide on Iglesias was far beyond the context of acceptable? Considering the Infante injury, I’d love to see someone address this on the mound, at the plate, or behind the podium.

I’m wondering if yesterday’s victory bought Miggy another day off. If we win today, I’d be shocked to see him in the lineup tomorrow with a scheduled off-day on Thursday.

– ALDS starts October 4th. MLB said it first, not me.

– If the Pirates win today, this will guarantee their first .500 season in 21 years.

– Prediction: Miggy hits a bomb today and wins the Triple Crown (at the end of the season).

Today’s Blackline Lineup (yes, those are real stats):

1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF (10-19)
3. Cabrera, 3B (10-16)
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH (6-10)
6. Infante, 2B
7. Tuiasosopa, LF
8. Pena, C (6-14)
9. Iglesias, SS



  1. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I’m going with Pena as the POPG. He hit almost .400 in August, and hit Lester well before he even suddenly became a hitter. Heck, who knows, maybe he’ll even throw someone out. Never mind, let’s not get crazy.

    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Ha! And I may be the only one who went with Pena on Beat the Streak.


    September 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I wonder if they let Miggy back too soon? Is he fully healed? Lets see if he can run normally and do all the baseball plays without having to be pulled from a game ……. I doubt he is close to 100%. If he isn’t, he should not be out there. Winning games and trophies is not worth ruining your health!

  3. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Two games in a row with a lead off double (and two days in a row Torii leaves him on 2nd).

  4. PHToy in HK

    September 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Great start by Max

    • Smoking Loon

      September 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Yeah, it was. He was out of gas in the 8th, but the rest was inspiring.

  5. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Tom Brookens -1. His WAR must be about -10.

    • StorminNorman$

      September 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      had it been Jackson or Dirks instead of Pena, Brookens probably would have held him

    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      If we DL Brookens is Gene Lamont playoff-eligible at 3B.

      • Vince in MN

        September 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        I thought Lamont had vision problems, or is that a pre-req to be thirdbase coach on this team.

  6. judpma

    September 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    in Little League you keep your runners running all the way because no one could throw and no one could catch….Hey Brookens you need to go back there……that wa beyound brutal!!!

  7. judpma

    September 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Someone brought this up before.. but maybe Lamont was really good and we didn’t know it!!!

    • Vince in MN

      September 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Leyland said he was the best in baseball. Maybe I have underestimated Leyland’s baseball acumen!


    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Gene Lamont was just a computer-generated program that gave random stop-go signals. The smart players (especially Cabrera) ignored him. Somehow Brookens is worse.

  8. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Lester just struck out the 1-2-3 hitters…I wish we’d gotten more than 1 run last inning.

  9. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Which pitcher do you start in Game 1 of the playoffs? It’s an interesting question. I’d like to add: which catcher? I say Pena, even though I know there’s about a 7% chance of that happening.

    • Vince in MN

      September 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Plenty of time to bitch about that when the time comes.

  10. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Maybe playing Miggy tonight wasn’t the best call.

  11. judpma

    September 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Miggy looks like he is about 25%…..should he be playing????

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      September 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      Quick answer: No. I would have given him the entire Boston series off after we took the first game. With the off day coming this Thursday, that would have given Miggy six straight days off without playing. You watch him closely in batting practice in KC on Friday and if everything looks OK, then you green light him. If we had sat Miggy tonight and we won the game, I might even consider giving him the entire weekend off in KC too. Oh well. I didn’t actually see any of the game tonight. Did Miggy look bad in his at-bats???

      • Coleman

        September 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        I think the problem is that he is not going to be healed without surgery–offseason, or season-ending surgery. So it isn’t a question of resting him until he’s completely better, because it isn’t happening, even if he’s shelved until the playoffs. But the less he plays, the fewer chances to make it worse. But you also don’t want him to go into the postseason cold. There’s your problem to solve.

        Remember when Inge was gutting it out playing with two knees that needed surgery? We were rightly annoyed: Inge without range at maybe 75% was just not worth it. But Cabrera at 75%…

        • stephen

          September 4, 2013 at 12:13 am

          You said Inge.

          • Coleman

            September 4, 2013 at 12:19 am

            And magically, stephen appears…

            • Coleman

              September 4, 2013 at 12:21 am

              BTW, it’s nice to see you, Stranger.

  12. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    And there is the inevitable stolen base.

  13. Vince in MN

    September 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Tui not very impressive tonight.

  14. judpma

    September 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    35 guys in the dugout and any one of them have a better chance of hitting Lester than Tui today!!!

  15. Vince in MN

    September 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Looks like we’re headed for another one of those multi-hit games where we don’t score.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Outpitched. Red Sox are putting on a show tonight. If they’re taking turns, I hope the trend continues.

  16. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I’m officially over Tui.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Now, now. It was Jon Lester. Lester was dealing. The 3rd Tui strikeout, I’ll go along with that one being Tui helping him out a bit.

      Miggy didn’t eat his Wheaties. He seems healthy enough.

      • Coleman

        September 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm

        There are guys–guys who’ve never had success–who just plain get hot. And Tui was hot. It was a little frustrating to see him sit so much when he was hot (he was hitting righties better than any of the lefties he was platooned for). Chris Shelton, Quintin Berry, Ryan Raburn for the last two months of two seasons in a row, it happens, and I think you play these guys until they cool off. I’m sure you can think of other examples. I think Tui Time is over now (hopefully I am wrong).

  17. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    That makes 75 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout for Victor Martinez.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      Wow. What’s the second longest streak for a Tiger, currently? I’m guessing… hmmm… no idea. Pena at 4, maybe?

      • Coleman

        September 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        I don’t even know how to look that up. But I’m guessing it’s the longest since Polanco.

        • Smoking Loon

          September 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm

          You’re probably right about longest since Polanco, and I’m not sure how to (easily) look up something like that myself. But I only meant currently, for 2013. It seems like I’ve seen every Tigers hitter (besides Martinez) strike out fairly recently.

          Jhonny Peralta hasn’t struck out in about a month. That I’m pretty sure of.

  18. Smoking Loon

    September 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Are we getting an early look at the ALCS? I’d prefer comfortable Tigers wins, but these are good games.

    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      That’s the reason why some of these things which aren’t really a big deal right now, seem like a big deal. If we continue to run the bases like clowns and can’t stop the running game, that will be exploited mercilessly in the postseason.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        We’ve made a big deal of it all season. Nothing wrong with that.

        Ouch. Pena didn’t look too good there. Ouch.

        • Smoking Loon

          September 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

          But back to running like clowns and not stopping the running game of the opponent. Sometimes the Tigers can overcome it and sometimes they can’t. Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t. I don’t imagine it will change anytime soon.

          Brookens made a poor decision. Then again, Max made a few mistakes, just enough of them, capitalized on to the max by the Red Sox. Then again, Cabrera crapped out with the bases loaded. There’s some blame to go around.

          Good pitching on both sides. I thought the Tigers were going to hit Lester the way it was early. I guess he had a plan, and I guess it worked.

          It was only one inning, but hey, the Tigers bullpen didn’t implode.

  19. Smoking Loon

    September 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Yay Phil (Torii). Yay Luke.

    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      One playoff spot available. You can give it to Coke, or you can give it to Putkonen, or you can give it to someone else (Castellanos? They did it last year with Garcia). Would be a fun audience participation topic for a future post,

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        September 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        My vote is Coke. As bad as he has been, its pretty tough to only have one left-handed reliever (Smyly) available in the postseason (assuming that Downs is not healthy). As long as Ol’ Smoky limits him to one or two batters at most I think we can get by with him. I like Putkonen a lot though and think he will be a decent middle relief guy for us over the next few seasons.

  20. Kevin in Dallas

    September 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Won’t be easy, but let’s go Tigers.

  21. judpma

    September 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    good game….all the playoff games against them will be played just like yesterday and today!

  22. Smoking Loon

    September 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Boston’s closer must be an illusionist. It’s good that the Tigers went down swinging, but maybe not quite like that.

    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Then why am I disillusioned?

  23. judpma

    September 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Tigers have thrown out 2 runners since the All Star break…I swear that is an inflated number by 2……….

  24. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    You know it’s getting bad when…
    Keating actually called out Brookens on the post game. Leyland, keeping Tommy well above the bus, said he’d have made the same call. (No he wouldn’t have. But I appreciate that he’s got his guys’ backs). That was potentially the difference in the game. I suppose things are going well when 3rd base coach makes the list of team problems, but it is a problem.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      September 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      It is beyond bad and its hard to believe that DD has not asked Ol’ Smoky to tell Brookens to play it more conservatively as the third base coach. This team has lots of proven hitters but is sorely lacking in speed. With that mind, why would you continue to send guys like VMart, Pena, Avila, Peralta (when he was here), and Cabby on balls that are at best going to be bang bang plays at the plate? He does it routinely with two outs and one out. About the only time that Tommy Boy ever puts up the stop sign is when there is nobody out.

      Lets see: No speed and lots of good hitters in the lineup that can drive in runs, I think I’ll send one of guys that runs likes he has a piano on his back. Its unbelievable that a guy can be this bad at his job and still keep it, especially with the stakes being so high for Ilitch and the Tigers. Brookens really is stealing money from the Tigers this year. Leyland’s refusal to do anything about it (lets not kid ourselves as this has been going on all season) is even more criminal. I know Brookens is one of his “guys”, but Ol’ Smoky’s refusal to step on anybody else’s toes is really hurting his ballclub. Sure the Tigers are in first place by 7.5 games, but how much further ahead could they be if they had a competent third base coach? How much further ahead could they be if they actually ran the bases as well as high school teams do? Its my belief that we could have an Atlanta-esque lead in the AL Central if we put any value on base running. The bigger the lead the earlier the division can be clinched, which in turn means the earlier you can set your postseason rotation and give regulars some days off in the final weeks of a long season.

    • Coleman

      September 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Ok, now I READ Leyland’s comments, and he said “make them make two good throws and they did. Tip your cap to them.” The Tip Your Cap is just too much! He was out by 15 feet!

  25. Coleman

    September 3, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Lyn Henning jumps on the Under-the-Bus-Wagon: “Tigers need a base-coach at home plate. Just to laugh and hold up their arms and tell guys not to bother sliding because they’re dead.” (Lyn Henning tweet). This is hard stuff coming from Lyn The Mouthpiece. My guess is that Brookens is toast–but not now, no, before next season.

  26. JimEggersUSMC

    September 4, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Traditionally, I tape the games that start out here at 4 and watch them later. I avoid the internet and any other score machine channel. I had a bad feeling the 1 run would not hold up, and it was indeed the case. Saw the NESN poll that asked who would be in the ALCS. 44% said Sox and Tigers. 4% said neither… WTF!! This proves to me that you all are much smarter than most of the BB fans out there, and why every night I look forward to 2 things: my good nite kiss from the bride, and reading the comments on here. We MUST get a new 3rd base coach next season…..

  27. StorminNorman$

    September 4, 2013 at 7:40 am

    yesterday’s game had all the makings of a playoff game, good pitching with maybe one or two legit chances on offense (both teams)… when Lester got Cabrera to ground out with the bases loaded, I had a feeling that was going to be DET’s best/last chance.

    Scherzer was sharp and DET’s bullpen actually shined (Coke & Putkonen stranding 2 inherited runners w/nobody out…didn’t think that was possible). Offensively DET should get into playoff mode, need to move runners (i.e. Hunter two days in a row stranding AJ @ 2nd) and need to come up with a few hits w/RISP.

    Can Porcello continue the QS string today?