Game 2013.142: Tigers at Royals

82-59, first place. Magic number 16, should you hanker for one this early. Detroit and Cleveland seem to have reached an accord about staying 6.5 games away from each other. If the Tigers go undefeated the rest of the way, this is a win-win.

Was I saying something about a close game being a good game? Oh, baloney. 16-2 Tigers – any team, any time – now that is a good game. 16 runs without a home run (close call on the Infante 3-run double, though). It’s not as though the Tigers bombed Big Game James or any of the Royals pitchers. They just wouldn’t stop hitting. And the Tigers RISP figure was none shy of obscene, at least if you’re a Royals fan. There have been other games where 26 hits (and 5 walks) might have gone for 5 runs or so, or so you’d have been thinking. Omar Infante, Andy Dirks, and Austin Jackson were the headliners and about half of the offense, but 11 Tigers collected hits and 10 scored runs. The greedy Tigers fan might feel a bit cheated of more by Shields’s clever pickoff of Dirks at 3B with bases loaded and none out, where a big inning unraveled into a zero. But Dirks didn’t hang his head after that, and good for him. Oh, and Anibal Sanchez pitched 7 good innings of 1-run baseball. Luke Putkonen could be the Anti-AlburCokey, at least as a 14-run lead specialist.

Last night’s game wasn’t a laugher the way some laughers are laughers. The Royals didn’t look sorry in lopsided defeat (as the Tigers really hadn’t, either, in their blowout loss to Boston, except for a few of the pitchers). There were quite a few notable defensive plays. KC’s David Lough turned some nice ones in both RF and LF. But the Tigers had the edge here, too. Avila, Fielder, Tuiasosopo, Infante, and Sanchez all put in some nice work. There was that sailing throw by Avila, true. And Danny Worth at 3B managed to make Miguel Cabrera look spry (not to mention his PA). It’s unfair to make a broad judgment based on one game, so allow me to be unfair and say that Worth looks just about done as a ballplayer. I still think that Worth and Quintin Berry should have made the team out of ST. I don’t know if the team would be better now, but it would have been more interesting.

Detroit’s Pythagorean record is back up to +5, and I’m fine with it. Let us savor the blowouts:

Detroit 11, Toronto 1
Detroit 10, Oakland 1
Detroit 10, Atlanta 0
Detroit 17, Houston 2
Detroit 9, Houston 0
Detroit 10, Tampa Bay 1
Detroit 11, Toronto 1
Detroit 10, Philadelphia 0
Detroit 12, Philadelphia 4
Detroit 11, Washington 1
Detroit 11, New York Mets 3
Detroit 16, Kansas City 2

This, and a glance up and down the Tigers OPS+ column, kinda makes you wonder: What are we complaining about? A list of the shutout and near-shutout losses and extra-innings losses could answer that, I suppose.

Nick Castellanos gets his first start in LF tonight, and it is rumored that Torii Hunter is getting a blow (this is a perfectly innocent old expression for “time off,” and in my continuing efforts to emulate Rod Allen, I am trying to overcome my aversion to it). Justin Verlander gets his rematch with Danny Duffy, and I don’t see Duffy getting the better of it this time, not if JV can help it. Also, 1 hit in 6 innings? I don’t think so. Not this time. Now, Danny Salazar of the Indians was very good against Detroit twice. Will Danny Duffy be? I didn’t see that last game. Maybe the Tigers have a problem with the name “Danny.” That would also explain Danny Worth and also Danry Vasquez, whom the Tigers may have traded by mistake thinking his name was “Danny.”

More amazing stats of no particular consequence to follow…

I find various run support measures vague, unsatisfactory, and possibly misleading. Consequently:

AVG SCORE WHEN REPLACED: Tigers 4.8, Opponent 2.0
LEFT WITH LEAD: 14/25 = 56%
LEFT TIED: 2/25 = 8%
LEFT BEHIND: 9/25 = 36%

AVG SCORE WHEN REPLACED: Tigers 4.1, Opponent 2.8
LEFT WITH LEAD: 14/29 = 48%
LEFT TIED: 3/29 = 11%
LEFT BEHIND: 12/29 = 41%

AVG SCORE WHEN REPLACED: Tigers 3.5, Opponent 2.8
LEFT WITH LEAD: 13/28 = 46%
LEFT TIED: 6/28 = 22%
LEFT BEHIND: 9/28 = 32%

AVG SCORE WHEN REPLACED: Tigers 5.3, Opponent 2.3
LEFT WITH LEAD: 21/28 = 75%
LEFT TIED: 3/28 = 11%
LEFT BEHIND: 4/28 = 14%

AVG SCORE WHEN REPLACED: Tigers 3.7, Opponent 2.7
LEFT WITH LEAD: 15/26 = 58%
LEFT TIED: 2/26 = 7%
LEFT BEHIND: 9/26 = 35%

From my gleaning of the pitching game logs, it stood out how easily Scherzer could be 25-3 right now.

I think it’s been clear for a while that Miguel Cabrera is not going to catch Chris Davis in HR and gain the Triple Crown. I can’t get excited about any MVP debate, either. Cabrera is having a Triple Crown season nonetheless, and I’d just like to see him put together a quality stretch run and help the team put the division race to bed in no more than 10 games or so. I’m very content to let Davis take his 55 HR and Mike Trout his (eventual, possible) MVP, take them home with them, sit down, and watch the Tigers in the playoffs and the World Series.

Speaking of World Series, it’s nice to see the San Francisco Giants in the cellar and on the brink of elimination. Not a big deal, just nice. Kung Fu Panda, Sergio Romo and his saves… so yesterday.


  1. Smoking Loon

    September 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Even as we remain on the fence about whether Dirks has Boesched at the plate, let it be noted that he’s a great defender in LF. Unless he turns out to be Hank Aaron (or even if does), the Tigers might be better off grooming Nick Castellanos as a RF. Position opens in 2015…

    Then again, Dirks could go to RF, too.

  2. Coleman

    September 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Iglesias still not back; his double shin splints could very well become an issue for the rest of the season and postseason. Will that come into play as Dave Dombrowski decides whether to make Peralta playoff-eligible? Supposedly he is in the process of deciding right now:

    • Smoking Loon

      September 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Bad news for this game and beyond. Very disappointing. So we go from needing emergency replacement OF Peralta to emergency replacement WITH Peralta.

      Iglesias all by himself has made the Tigers at least 50% more interesting to watch. I’m bummed.

    • StorminNorman$

      September 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      in my opinion Peralta should be on the roster after he’s served his 50, even though there likely won’t be a starting position open for him. I’d much rather have him PH (or in reserve) off the bench than DKelly, Worth, etc.

      Colon, who was tied to the same PED scandal, served his 50 and has been pitching for the A’s, the Rangers plan on having Cruz on their roster after his 50. Cruz has been staying in shape at the Ranger’s Dominican Republic facilities – and I believe he’s now playing in the AZ instructional league. The playoffs are about winning, these guy’s served their time and should be allowed to re-enter society ;)…and their respective teams. that’s my 2 cents

      • Smoking Loon

        September 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

        I agree, and would want Peralta back regardless of the Iglesias situation. A five-man bench of Pena, Kelly, Tui, Santiago, and Peralta should work.

        • William

          September 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

          I concur…why is there even a debate in the front office about this? We need his bat.

          Not that Dombrowski asked for my opinion(g).

  3. judpma

    September 7, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The Indians are playing great ball and in a real dog fight for a wild card spot. The only way and I mean the only way they have a chance at the Division is if the Tigers fall apart and let them in….at a Tigers .500 in the remaining games Cleveland will fall short!

    • Smoking Loon

      September 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm


    • William

      September 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      KC is still alive too..4.5 back, although they have 5 teams to jump.

      KC and Cleveland play soon.. Maybe next week.

  4. Coleman

    September 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Wait, we threw out a guy at 2nd–is that legal? Isn’t KC going to play the game under protest now?


    September 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    There is some nice eye candy in the KC crowd tonight! Some of the best I have seen all this season anywhere.

  6. judpma

    September 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    every game you think Verlander is getting squarred away….and he is not!!

  7. Coleman

    September 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Torii the Lobster.

  8. judpma

    September 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    hey Tori would be nice if you could knock in any of these guys who are on base when you bat today..of at least hit the ball

  9. judpma

    September 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    all the big at bats were 2-5 tonight. If they can’t come thru going .500 the rest of the way will be another well documented Tiger dive!

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    September 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Tough loss tonight, gotta win the series tomorrow.

    Two questions for you:

    1) What’s your playoff rotation. Seriously.

    2) What do you think JL will do. He needs to start getting it line up now…

    • Smoking Loon

      September 8, 2013 at 2:09 am

      Scherzer (wanted twice in a 5-game series)
      Verlander (wanted for any Game 7, anytime, anywhere)

      Assuming the Tigers win the division, there are 5 off days before the ALDS. As currently set, Verlander starts Game 162 in Miami. There is no need to reset anything, but what could happen is this:

      Game 158 – Fister
      Game 159 – Scherzer
      OFF DAY
      Game 160 – Sanchez (skipping Porcello)
      Game 161 – Verlander
      Game 162 – Fister

      That would be a “reset” without any real shuffle.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 8, 2013 at 2:25 am

        Actually, there are so many contingency plans here you need a spreadsheet to keep track, due to how long this or that series goes. But if all series went to the max (Max), I’d say:

        Scherzer (10/4)
        Sanchez (10/5)
        Verlander (10/7)
        Fister (10/8)
        Scherzer (10/10)

        Verlander (10/12) (10/23)
        Sanchez (10/13) (10/24)
        Scherzer (10/15) (10/26)
        Fister (10/16) (10/27)
        Verlander (10/17) (10/28)
        Sanchez (10/19) (10/30)
        Scherzer (10/20) (10/31)

        I guess Max ends up being my 3-7 guy. No problem.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          September 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

          Can you imagine if Verlander goes 2x and we lose in 5? With 2 top 5 Cy Young candidates on the bench? It’s a lot of what ifs right now, but this theme is going to get brighter and brighter.

          • Smoking Loon

            September 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm

            That would be tough, but there would be a lot of second guessing no matter what. My suggestion above is about the best protection there is from Game 1 & 5 letdown from JV. If the Cy Young candidates do *their” job, the Tigers don’t lose a 7-game series in 5… unless there is a repeat of the 2012 WS for the hitters.

  11. judpma

    September 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

    all I know for sure is JV hasn’t recorded a win in over a MONTH!!!!!