Game 2013.157: Tigers at Twins

91 – 65, 2.

I liked it better when you got all of your baseball stats from one place: the sports page. Or really, one to two pages of the sports section. Everything was laid out right in front of you, so you could jump from team to team, or stat to stat, without clicking anywhere or waiting for a page to load. Once I became stat aware, I regularly read the Fort Worth Star Telegram and then the Freep and Detroit News when I was visiting the D, and they did it the same, so I assumed that everyone did; the league leaders were published daily, and then all team stats were be published on a regular basis. I loved scanning the full stats for the all-stars, but what I really enjoyed was seeing the long lists of the league leaders. They would usually list the top 10, maybe the top 20. Top 10 was awesome, and top 20 was still pretty darn good.

Anyway, I was doing some in depth stat searching the other day. The was on my mobile phone, so it was pretty artificial, but I saw something interesting. Which prompted more research, and then led me to find these:

1) 7 1/3 IP 7 H 3 ER 2 BB 4 K

2) 7  IP 9 H 2 ER 1 BB 12 K

3) 7 IP 8 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K

4) 7 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K

5) 8 IP 9 H 2 ER 4 BB 4 K

6) 8 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 6 K

7) 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 6K

8) 7 IP 4 H 3 ER 3BB 6 K

Total for the eight games: 58 1/3 IP, 51 H, 13 ER (2.00 ERA), 17 BB (1.17 WHIP), 50 Ks (7.71 K/9, 2.94 K/BB). Record: 0-3 with 5 no-decisions.

Know that those are? Those are JV lines from selected games this season. Eight very winnable games with no wins to show for it.

Now, on to step two of my point. AL rankings for selected JV stats:

ERA: 18

IP: 8

K: 5

W: 8

K/9: 8

fWAR: 6

BABIP: 4 (from the bottom – .303, Fister’s .314 is 3rd; note that Senchez’s .301 is 7th and Porcello’s .300 is 8th; I’d love to know what the team BABIP is post-Iglesias).

But here’s my point. Had the Tigers simply won 4 of those winnable games above, JV would have 17 wins, good for 2nd in the AL. How does our impression of his season change then? 2nd in the AL in wins, top 20 ERA, 5th in Ks, 6th in fWAR.

While this has been a disappointing JV season, it’s really a matter of perception. He’s still in the upper echelon of AL Starters.

For fun, here are the ERAs of some of the pitchers above JV in the wins column – Porcello (4.38), Fister (3.71), Dickey (4.27), Sabathia (4.78), Guthrie (4.09), Griffin (3.78), Lester (3.67), Tillman (3.70).

Note, what prompted this is that JV is still 18th in ERA.

We’ll get into the post-season rotation tomorrow.


Back on the 13th I suggested that the Tigers should close their final 16 games at 10-6 or 11-5. Winning the 3 series at home puts them at 7-3 and on pace for 10 to 11 wins. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be enough to wrestle away home field from the Bo Sox, and may not be enough to pass Oak.

The Wild Card stuff is great. I’m pulling for the Royals. People are being talked off of ledges around here regarding the Rangers.

Lots of scoreboard watching these days.

Lineup coming later.



  1. StorminNorman$

    September 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Kevin presents some interesting stats regarding JV’s season…and at the opposite end, MLB’s Brian Kenny suggests JV should be relegated to the pen –

    Though DET’s pen can use a lot of help, I don’t think JV is the answer especially in any AL playoff scenario – plus it might be a blow to JV’s already bruised ego. I believe in the playoffs JL & DET must rely (hope) JV can be an effective #3 or #4 starter.

    Plus I think DET has more pressing concerns than where JV is going to pitch.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      The more I think about it, the less I see any other reason than tradition for not using 5 good starters in the postseason in the unlikely event you *have* 5 good starters. Porcello would improve the bullpen, true. But do you expect a great need for long middle relief with Scherzer-Sanchez-Verlander-Fister going for you?

  2. Coleman

    September 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    One could argue that at the current moment, Porcello is a better starter than Verlander, and I get the arguments, even though I don’t agree. And I’m not going to try to make a case for my disagreement, it’s just that I don’t agree. I just don’t.

    Besides, I do think that Porcello will actually be better in the bullpen than JV would be. I think Porcello’s biggest weakness is his lack of endurance. He may be one if our best 5-inning starters, but he seems to just fall apart in the 6th, which leads to appearances by Phil Coke et al, which leads to inherited runners scored, which leads to high ERA.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      No other Tigers starter has had a career approaching Verlander’s. The expectations are high, as they should be. Pretty darn good the majority of the time isn’t good enough to maintain the reputation. I can’t think of any 2013 games offhand (there probably a couple much earlier in the season) when JV owned the opponent start to finish.

      I still have more confidence in a win, to start out with, in a game JV starts than with any other starter, including Scherzer. He’s still my favorite to watch. All the others battle their reactions to some degree and try to maintain their composure. Verlander lets it all hang out, or more accurately, he can’t hide it. When he’s battling or when he’s cruising, you really see it, and you’re there with him.

  3. Coleman

    September 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    The A’s just finished a 3-game series with the Twins. They scored 31 runs. I fully expect the Tigers to be shutout tonight–which doesn’t mean the A’s will beat Detroit (Coleman’s Second Law).

    • StorminNorman$

      September 23, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      so far you’re spot on… as DET making a less-than-mediocre pitcher look like an ace

  4. Coleman

    September 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I can’t imagine being a Rangers fan at the moment. They did this last season also. What do you think, Kevin: does Washington’s head roll?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      There are a few clamoring for Washington’s removal, but I just don’t see it. The triumvirate of Daniels/Ryan/Washington has built one of baseball’s most successful franchises over the past 5 years. I’ve gotta think that Washington will have a little more leeway in a year in which Cruz was suspended for 50 games, Colby Lewis never pitched, Matt Harrison was gone nearly the entire year, and Neftali Feliz barely made an impact.

      Letting Josh Hamilton and Michael Young walk proved to be great moves. I’m curious to see what they do with Profar. His value may be waning.

  5. Coleman

    September 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    And I’m not pulling for the Royals, because they will beat Cleveland, and I don’t want to play them again this season under any circumstances.

    • StorminNorman$

      September 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      but I suspect you’d rather have DET play KC than BOS in the ALCS…right? I would.

      very slim chance KC gets in, but i’d like to see both CLE and KC grab the two wild card spots and bring a tad bit of respectability to the often maligned (most deservedly so) AL Central

      • Smoking Loon

        September 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

        The two teams I don’t think Detroit could beat in a 7-game seres are KC and Baltimore, moot point though it may be. I like their chances better against any other team, including Boston. In any series, really.

        Detroit-Pittsburgh would be the coolest WS, but also the toughest, I think.

  6. StorminNorman$

    September 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    against righty Pelfrey – Tonight’s Tigers lineup

    1. CF Austin Jackson
    2. RF Torii Hunter
    3. 3B Miguel Cabrera
    4. 1B Prince Fielder
    5. DH Victor Martinez
    6. LF Andy Dirks
    7. 2B Omar Infante
    8. C Alex Avila
    9. SS Ramon Santiago

    apparently Iglesias ‘and Pena’ (?) were taking grounders at SS – Iglesias’ hand still bothersome when gripping bat

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      He’ll be okay.

    • Coleman

      September 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Pena? Or Avila? Avila practiced at infield last season.

  7. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    lets close this out!!!…and how about a few runs before the 7th inning!

  8. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    where will JV give up his usual 2…in the first, second, or third????

  9. StorminNorman$

    September 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    things like walking the #9 hitter (.224) on 4 straight is indicative of JV’s struggles this year. He’s just not locating like he did in the previous two seasons, and that leads to walks and hittable pitches

    • StorminNorman$

      September 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      …also high pitch counts in early innings… tonight 47 pitches through the 2nd

  10. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    if you question Porcellos stamina whats the difference if Verlander has 100 pitches every time he gets thru 5….Porcello not only deserves the chane to start a playoff game , he has out pitched Verlander this entire second half

  11. PHToy in HK

    September 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    9 outs, 8 Ks!

  12. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    when Miggy said today he was 80-90%..he was lying!!!

  13. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    JV is dealin tonight!! might be a good sign for next week!

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    September 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    If he pitches another scoreless inning or two, and gets 6 or 7 next time out, he’ll end up with an ERA < 3.5.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Crazy thing is his WHIP is 1.5 for the game.

  15. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    nice job AlAl…I still don’t trust you at all…but nice job here.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 23, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      My thoughts exactly/

      • Coleman

        September 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        Do you remember Al-Al from last year? He was unhittable. Then he got beaned with a BP fly ball and everything went south. One thing V-Mart taught me: comebacks take time. I think we should consider the pleasant possibility that we may be seeing the real Al lately.

  16. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    hey curve, no slider, no change up..85-87 mph fastball ain’t gonna cut it !!!

    • Smoking Loon

      September 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      No excuse for the doubles, but there were some questionable balls called on the guy he walked.

  17. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    and how good has Benoit been…all year!!!

  18. Smoking Loon

    September 23, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Man. They don’t like to make it easy, do they?

  19. judpma

    September 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    16 baserunners…3 runs…this one, just like most, is on the Pussycats inability to score runs!

    • Coleman

      September 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Oakland–who supposedly had no offense–just averaged 10 runs per game against these guys.

      • Coleman

        September 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm

        That’s baseball! And according to the law of That’s Baseball, Don Kelly will knock in the game-winning run in the 11th.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      I’d say it’s on the bullpen’s inability to preserve a 3-0 lead against the Minnesota freaking Twins.


        September 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

        How many games have the starters pitched well and left with the lead deserving a win have the bullpen come in and blown the lead and then lost the game ….. too many.

        • Smoking Loon

          September 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

          15, conservatively.

          I hope Coleman is right. I can’t hold out. I’m out.

          • Coleman

            September 24, 2013 at 12:26 am

            There he was, on deck, bat full of win…but the Donkey never came to the plate.

            • Smoking Loon

              September 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm

              That explains it. I’m sorry they lost, but glad I didn’t stay up another half hour to watch it.

  20. Kevin Vela

    September 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Win #18 for Verlander.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Yup. Shame.


    September 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    This team is far from ready to play playoff baseball.

  22. Coleman

    September 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    We’ll do fine. A lot of baseball left. Besides, Minnesota is bringing in Messing With Sasquatch.

    • Coleman

      September 24, 2013 at 12:03 am

      Uh oh, they left the Donkey on deck.

    • Coleman

      September 24, 2013 at 12:06 am

      BTW for those of you who don’t get the Sasquatch reference:

      Yup, that’s how Mr. Swarzak spends his off-season. Squatching. At least Plouffesquatch is on his side.

  23. Coleman

    September 24, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Hey, well, that’s baseball! We just happened to run into the best pitching staff in Minnesota.

  24. judpma

    September 24, 2013 at 12:13 am

    can we crawl into the playoffs….nothing like a razor shart .500 record the final two weeks to get you ready!!!

    JV didn’t deserve this one!!!!

    • Coleman

      September 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

      Lately it seems like barely scraping your way into the playoffs gives you the best shot at a World Series ring, so I say go for it!

  25. njkerosky

    September 24, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Right now, it couldn’t look much worse for the Tigers going into the playoffs…Verlander is unreliable. The other starters are tiring. The bullpen is horrible. Cabrera is in a slump and is hurting…No pop in his bat. His range is limited. He can’t run. None of the young prospects has stepped up. Leyland is playing just to get into the playoffs instead of going for homefield. Oakland, on the other hand, is on a roll, beginning when they took 3 out of 4 at Comerica to secure the tiebreaker from Detroit, Add to that momentum and the Tigers poor play, the fact that the A’s want revenge for the sweep Detroit got last year. Unfortunately, what you’re left with is the Tigers losing in the first round this year, probably in a sweep! When it happens, I just hope that Mr. Illich puts the hammer down on Leyland. Eight years and all the talent money can buy should have gotten the owner his World Championship…It would have, with a better manager.

    • Coleman

      September 24, 2013 at 12:37 am

      I would not be surprised if you are correct. Oakland is not just winning right now, they are beating the crap out of whoever they play. On the other hand…strange things happen in the postseason (there is no way the Giants should have pounded the Tigers in the World Series last year). In other words, it is likely that the A’s will demolish Detroit in the playoffs, and it will be easy to explain. Also: the reverse is true. Let’s just get there, and see what happens.

      • njkerosky

        September 24, 2013 at 12:53 am

        You are correct. Anything can happen in the playoffs. But not likely with this team and this manager…Also, the Tigers losing to the Giants last year had more to do with Leyland and the Tigers than the Giants (a last place team this year). Leyland just can’t get the most out of all this the talent. If you remember, pretty much the same thing happened in 2006 when the heavily favored Tigs lost to the Cardinals.

    • William

      September 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      DET won 3-2, they didn’t sweep.

    • William

      September 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      while I am not a huge Leyland fan, the two World Series meltdowns can hardly be laid at his feet. the last 3 games we lost in each WS were tight games in which our offense simply didn’t produce. hard to blame JL for that.

      I wouldn’t mind a change, though. sometimes you need that.

  26. Vince in MN

    September 24, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I was at the game tonight. Some observations:
    1.Typical Verlander start. He repeatedly pitched himself into trouble, but managed to get out of it each time. The 12 Ks were as much a product of the Twins K-rate this year (set a new team record earlier this fall) as JVs stuff.
    2. Miggy can barely run.
    3. JacKKKson looked horrible at the plate.
    4. Smyly was throwing, not pitching.
    5. The bullpen lost to a AAA lineup.

    A disappointing performance. Not a clown show, but a certain lethargy pervaded.

    • Vince in MN

      September 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

      AlAl looked good though.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        September 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm

        Hi Vince…thanks for sharing….let me also suggest that what I see from TV that Torii hasn’t lost his passion and mojo for going all the way.

  27. Smoking Loon

    September 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Sorry you had to see that one slip away at close range, Vince. Didn’t see you in the stands. Or maybe I did and just didn’t recognize you. Flash the secret DTW sign next time so we’ll know it’s you.