Game 2013.152: Mariners at Tigers

88-63. Tigers match their 2012 win total with 11 left to play. Oh, and 1st place. To stay. Cleveland is 6 out even after winning. 11/6 = ? Count ’em down. It’s Magic Number time.

Last night: Tigers 6, Mariners 2. It was a nail-biter until the bottom of the 8th; I thought the Tigers were going to give this one away. Kind of a long game, wasn’t it?

Jackson: Stole a base! Late 2-run single allowed us to breathe.
Hunter: Sacrifice line drive. Game-winner. We’ll take it.
Cabrera: First HR in 22 days. Coupla fine plays at 3B.
Fielder: Struck out twice while leaving 5 on. Turned a double into an out with his glove.
Martinez: Started the 8th inning rally – wisely pinch-run for.
Kelly: Golfed a HR, big 8th inning single pushing Perez to 3B.
Infante: Big insurance run RBI. Not real fond of all the getting to the ball and failing to glove it going on lately.
Avila: Huge leadoff TRIPLE to set up game-winner, turned rundown between 3B and home into a plus.
Iglesias: Busy man. Good bunt. Bad error. Scored game-winning run tagging from 3B on a line drive to CF. Made the DP that ended the final Mariners threat.
Dirks: Ugly strikeout.
Perez: Handy as a pinch runner.
Santiago: Wore something on one of his forearms.
Sanchez: Made the Mariners look silly, pitched a little too long and the win slipped away.
Alburquerque: Saved Sanchez’s bacon. Nice.
Coke: Rescued by Fielder, let down by Iglesias, on thin ice as usual. Postseason roster? Not so sure about that.
Alvarez: Saved the 8th under heavy pressure. Too many pitches, wise to pull him after the 2-out walk in the 9th.
Veras: Get it done already. Thank you.

I noticed the following ridiculous headline: “Suspended infielder Jhonny Peralta could solve Detroit Tigers’ glaring weakness in left field.” There is no glaring weakness. There are three competent players. You can find fault with each, but put their number togethers and you have a slightly above average outfielder. Add ’em up. Peralta in LF is all about a practical slot for a potentially hot and hungry bat in the postseason. Nothing to do with any “glaring weakness.”

Hisashi Iwakuma takes the hill for the Mariners tonight. He’s very good. Considering how difficult it’s been for the Tigers hitters to get it going against Seattle starters already, I might just watch the top halves of innings this game. It’s another boring weekday night game against a non-contender that you probably won’t want to watch. Too bad, because you’ll miss Verlander’s no-hitter, and I won’t even tell you about it later.

37 thoughts on “Game 2013.152: Mariners at Tigers”

    1. Thanks for the link. I could have easily grown up a Pirates fan: I was born just down the road from Tiltonsville Ohio, home town of Bill Mazeroski, and Pirates territory. But then my family moved to Michigan, and here I am on DTW.

  1. These last ten games, which are against 4 of the 6 worst offenses in baseball, shouldn’t really tax our pitching overly much.

  2. I for one, am eagerly looking forward to seeing if Peralta still has his bat and can play a decent LF. I’m not worried about Dirks, but Tui and Castellanos aren’t going to get the job done from the other side of the plate.

    1. With Porcello I think we have seen some improvement in the second half, although based on past experience, this might be just temporary with a subsequent return to No. 5 status by the playoffs. With Verlander however, with the exception of the occasional game, he has pitched consistently as he is tonight. In good conscience and based on his year-long pitching performance, as of the moment,unless Porcello collapses, he doesn’t belong in the 4-man rotation for the playoffs. He’s the long man role on my post season team.

        1. I do know. But the fairest (and best) way is to go with the guys that got you there. This year, not last.

    2. Don’t really have a high confidence level with Porcello or Verlander right now. I guess that Verlander still has that potential to shut a lineup down for a game moreso than Porcello so I’d go with Verlander as my #4 in the postseason. Porcello scares me as he has had two awful blow-up games on the road this year (@ANA and @BOS). Rick seems to unravel completely if things aren’t going well for him early and in the postseason you need a guy that can keep his composure on the mound.

      I do believe that Ol’ Smoky will not bump Verlander any lower than #3 in the postseason rotation. I don’t agree with it but my gut feeling is that Scherzer gets the Game 1 start, followed by Snachez in Game 2, followed by Verlander, and then Fister. Porcello goes to the bullpen as long relief. I’m pretty sure that is how Ol’ Smoky and DD will roll with their postseason rotation. If Ol’ Smoky does the unthinkable and starts Verlander in Game 1 I will know for sure that he is a bat-shit crazy old man (pretty sure that he is already but that will confirm it 100% for me).

  3. Every batter is a great labor for JV. With so many pitches per PA, the batter just gets that many more chances to slug it.

    1. I was about to post that Ol’ Smoky put the Thursday matinee lineup in a day early. Maybe the old man was confused. Its not just Sundays that Ol’ Smoky likes to ruin, its also the TH matinee get away game.

  4. Iwakuma is pitching to Cy standards this year with his 1.03 WHIP, so if you want to give a game away I guess this is a good time to do it (Sunday Lineup with No. 5 starter on the mound).

      1. The hitters concerned me today. Yes, Iwakuma is very good–but so will be most of the guys they face in the playoffs. This feast-or-famine offense could famine their way to a quick exit.

        1. Hopefully they aren’t going into a complacent mode, what with the division all but wrapped up now. I don’t think so, but I remember 2006 when they had all that time on their hands before the WS started, which then didn’t turn out too well. The “we can take it easy now until the real games start” attitude can get you caught flat-footed.

        2. The hitters always concern me. This lineup looks like a monster some days, but too often takes a nap. 11th time they have been shutout in 2013. It makes me very worried about the postseason. Feast or famine offense is not usually a recipe for postseason success.

    1. Well, the one good thing about this game is that the Coke “question” concerning the playoffs roster should have been answered. I say “should”.

  5. If I’m Leyland I’m trying to sell Verlander on the idea that they have to “save” him for a potential game 5/game 7.

    1. Although they need to keep their edge, think of today as like one of those late ST games where you are winnowing out some of the not-ready-for-prime-time guys whose season will end in 9 more games. Now, I don’t want to see 9 more games like this understand, but I think we are closer to deciding who isn’t going to be on the post season roster and there is a plus to that.

      1. Yes, but can’t these decisions be made just as well with wins? It wasn’t the “Sunday Lineup” to blame in this one. Wasn’t exactly wowed by the A-team guys.

        10 more games.

        1. Ol’ Smoky and DD already know what they have with the “A” lineup guys. I get that they are trying to see what they have in terms of their “B” lineup guys for the postseason.

      2. Good point. Water seems to have found its level with Tui the deeper we go into the season. Tui seems like he is running on empty for the last month. I actually like the idea of having Peralta play LF versus LH pitching in the postseason and Dirks against the RH pitching. Tui and Castellanos may be the odd men out. Castellanos does not appear ready for prime time just yet.

        At this point I’d rather see Alvarez get a spot in the bullpen over Coke as a lefty specialist. So I guess we are finding some things out for the postseason roster. I’m not thrilled with Alvarez or Downs, but I will take either as a lefty specialist over Coke. The shark has jumped Phil in a big way.

        1. I’m not sure why Downs was called up, since he is just taking up bench space. So maybe it will be Alvarez, although I am not exactly jumping for joy at that prospect . As far as the shark jumping Coke, with the exception of very late last season and then the playoffs (about 1 month) when he caught lightning in a bottle, he has been crap for two years.

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