Game 2013.162: Tigers at Marlins

93-68, AL Central Division Champs. Woo-hoo. 

Seems like only yesterday it was a chilly Opening Day in Minneapolis with Verlander on the hill for Game 1 and Coleman on the game post mound…

Last night: Marlins 2, Tigers 1 (10). Four innings of shutout ball is a tall order for any bullpen. It almost happened, and Alburquerque was the best of the lot in the attempt. But alas, Benoit was flop sweat all the way, and Reed was just lost out there. But you know, Detroit had Cabrera… Fielder… Hunter… Peralta… Infante… Martinez for an AB. One run? ONE RUN?? Three runs in 19 innings? Against the Miami Marlins??? Are you kidding me? Anyway, Sanchez missed out on win #15 as a result, officially, and possibly win #20, unofficially.

What the Tigers have that is grrrrrrrrreat is starting pitching. Nothing else. Defense isn’t too bad, until you factor in the inability to prevent teams from stealing. The bullpen is not good. Not far from awful, if you want to know the truth. The hitting is overrated, and now you have a situation where Cabrera can’t hit doubles (nothing new – look at his season total) and doesn’t hit home runs. (Really good singles hitter, though.) They can’t steal, they can’t take the extra base; in brief, runners on amount to no special pressure on the opponent. They are perfectly set up to be feast or famine, which is exactly what they are. The good news is that none of this – or at least not much – was any different when they were winning 12 in a row. So there’s no use in any doomsday prognosis for the postseason. Things can turn on a dime.

Check out some pitching stats:

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/JuJIm

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/kITpY

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/UQ1PE

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/qOedO

Catchers defense?

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/lqnxG

Team defense?

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/ZVRIp

Speaking of feast or famine, or really just of famine:

BAT ZERO

And now the sadder part:

NO SUPPORT

All right. Could the Tigers maybe win #20, I mean #14, for Justin Verlander today? Please? Finish the (regular) season with a win, perchance? (Seeing how likely it seems that 2013 is gonna end with a loss eventually…)

Oh, right. It’s down to the wire in the Game Poster League. I need a win to tie. I think. Let’s see here…. No! I’ve lost! Coleman has clinched it. Congratulations, Coleman.

Coleman 31-21
Smoking Loon 32-24
Kevin in Dallas 30-23

… and 93 or 94 wins sounded pretty reasonable. Certainly nothing to complain about. 

55 Comments

  1. Bill

    September 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Your negativity never ceases to amaze me

    • TIGERS RULE

      September 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      At least he calls it as it is.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Bill, every negative can be qualified with a positive, and every positive with a negative. Sometimes I do this (there are examples above) and sometimes I don’t. I don’t feel the need to turn what I write into an endless string of on-the-other-hands. Losing 2 (and now 3) in a row to the Marlins is a disappointment to most fans. I’m no exception, and that mood is going to influence what I focus on and write.

        A few days ago I was celebrating the best wins of the season. Last I checked, that all passed without comment.

        Perhaps you fail to recognize what the italicized beginning and ending to the above was intended to mean. It’s a comment acknowledging that the Tigers have so far accomplished what we, back in April, hoped they would, and yet here we are, finding fault, wanting more, wanting better. As fans do, as fans will, and as fans ought to if it matters to them.

    • T Smith

      October 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      It is an exceptional synopsis.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Why, thank you, T. Or maybe you meant Bill’s comment. Which may have also been an exceptional synopsis.

  2. TIGERS RULE

    September 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Thank-you Coleman, Smoking Loon and Kevin in Dallas for providing those of us who love our Tigers a forum to rant and rave. Well done!

    • Coleman

      September 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      You are welcome! And thank you and everyone else for the comments. Time for the real season to start!

      • Smoking Loon

        September 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

        Thank you, TIGERS RULE. We try. Well, Kevin and Coleman try. I just phone it in.

        • StorminNorman$

          September 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm

          I agree – and also appreciate Kevin, Coleman and Loon taking the time to draft daily posts, always with some degree of info, analysis, humor…and sure, the occasional venting, but this provides a venue for a handful of other Tiger fans to comment both positively and negatively.

          Being a Tiger fan will probably continue to be a roller-coaster ride. Having ‘your team’ playing October baseball can be both awesome and nerve-wracking, but it sure beats the alternative (of the season ending today). It would be nice to see DET win the last game of the ’13 MLB season, and whether they do or bow out before then, its been another fun-filled ride… and don’t forget, a sense of humor might be essential in the coming weeks.

  3. judpma

    September 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Jim Leyland does not believe in momentum. I do.! I use Oakland and Cleveland as my current examples and the Cardinals of 2009 as another. We will see in a couple weeks who is right. I believe there is a reason Leyland is 1-8 in the last two World Series. If he wins I will be the first to Congratulate him…if they go 0-4 or 1-4 I believe We know a big reason why…

    • TIGERS RULE

      September 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Smokey has shown that he is a poor tactician, therefore he would not understand that concept.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    September 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This season can’t end soon enough

    • Coleman

      September 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      This game is heading for a penalty kick finish.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        I’m just kind of stunned, myself. Last thing I would have expected. Oh well. Onward and upward. Maybe they’ve “got it out of their system” now.

  5. judpma

    September 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    when Miami puts the Tigers out of their misery , Leyland should fly to Pittsburgh while the Tigers fly to Oakland

  6. Coleman

    September 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Ah yes, the ol’ walk off wild pitch no-hitter. What a way to end the season!

  7. mcb

    September 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I have no expectation that Leyland can deliver a World Series

  8. njkerosky

    September 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    The Tigers should be ashamed!

  9. Vince in MN

    September 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Sometimes you just have to tip your cap, right Smokey?

  10. TIGERS RULE

    September 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Things do not look good for us going into the play-offs ….. especially with a liability like Smokey steering the ship!

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    September 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I too, have my doubts.

    Time heals all.

    Enjoy 163 & the wild card day, and be thankful that we’re not in any of them. A new season starts on Friday.

  12. judpma

    September 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I would also like to thank Kevin, Coleman, and Loon for their “Bilfer” work. It was very well done all year!. And maybe this is the year we win that last game of ’13….

    • JimEggersUSMC

      September 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Agree with my fellow vet, this is my favorite group of baseball fans ever, and enjoy the daily stats, quips and just general good stuff. As far as the upcoming 11 games we need to win, lets get it done, and hang on, it is going to be a bumpy ride!

    • Coleman

      September 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you…we are like the Cerberus of blogs, but somehow it works. Kevin makes Verlander seem like he’s had a good year, Loon out-formats us all, and I, um, add…I don’t know what. Oh yeah, je ne sais quoi! Yes, that’s it.

      At any rate, it’s not always easy to get the posts out, but it always feels worth the effort. It’s nice to know we can still exist in the era of the Megablog, and nice to know there are devoted Tigers fans in Detroit, Illinois, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Mississippi, Washington, Southern California, Northern California, New York City, Lakeland by way of Perrysburg, and Hong Kong–yes Hong Kong!! Not to mention all the places all the posters are from who don’t mention their locales, and all the home towns of all the readers who never post.

      I’ve been to a lot of baseball games in a lot of cities, and seen a lot of Yankee caps and a lot of Red Sox caps. But when you consider the sizes of the various fan bases, I think that Tiger fans can compete with anyone for loyalty. Go Tigers!

      • Coleman

        September 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

        Of course now I feel like I omitted an important locale. I will definitely have to prepare notes if I ever give an Oscar speech. And Loon, feel free to correct my typo above:

        • Smoking Loon

          September 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm

          OK, typos corrected.

          (I’m giving you 15 minutes to notice before I change it back….)

          • Smoking Loon

            September 30, 2013 at 12:10 am

            Thank you, gentlemen. For the thank you and for all the comments and observations, without which the game posts are just a few guys talking to themselves.

          • Coleman

            September 30, 2013 at 12:17 am

            I see you left my colon above. Clearly, you recognized it as an early jinx on Big Bart.

            • Smoking Loon

              September 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm

              I thought it best to leave your colon alone. Bartolo notwithstanding.

  13. Coleman

    September 30, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I am predicting stephen will make an appearance in the postseason. But just in case, I will employ the magic formula:

    What the Tigers really need right now is…Inge!!

    • Smoking Loon

      September 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Won’t work is my guess. He will only appear if/when the Tigers are on the brink of defeat, or in said aftermath. I remember a few other posters with such tendencies.

      I still say Inge should have stayed at 3B after the Cabrera trade. An unbroken string of division titles would have followed. Besides the defense, Inge had the natural swing of a career .300 hitter and power to spare; only bad luck kept his average down. No one will deny that he was clutch, and he still has the 3rd highest BA w/RISP among actives.

      (Just in case.)

  14. StorminNorman$

    September 30, 2013 at 10:31 am

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....309300027/
    a little perspective of how fortunate DET is to have Mr Cabrera on their roster… and this knowledge/appreciation probably also causes a bit of the ‘win it all now’ mentality with a lot of Tiger fans… he’s one of the greats, but as everyone has seen this year, even Superman has his cryptonite (injuries, age, etc)

    DET is the best team on paper, but as we all know they play on grass and dirt…not paper. I’m hoping getting no-hit on the last day of the season turns out to be ‘a sign’ or the catalyst for a phenomenal finish. We shall see.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Not trying to be negative (honest), but I’m not sure if the Tigers are really the best AL team on paper. Something to examine during the off days, maybe. But, yeah, it gets done on grass and dirt. Well put.

  15. StorminNorman$

    September 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoff.....hers-daily

    great article on Big Rapids, MI born Clint Hurdle… his father played college baseball for Ferris State. Clint is also a big DET Lions fan.

  16. judpma

    September 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I was at that fourth game of the WS last year..it was about 10 degrees, it snowed and rained throughout….we definately have some unfinished business in 2013. I believe they will rememberthat!!

  17. Smoking Loon

    September 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Rays broadcasters are really down on the PED suspension guys and surprised about fans welcoming them back.

    • Coleman

      September 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      The fans beg to differ.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

        Yeah, they were really on the soapbox for a while there.

        I still don’t know whether Peralta (or any of them) actually used PEDs or just contracted to buy them or what. I’m tired of the whole thing.

  18. judpma

    September 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    ya the biggest part of Inge bad luck was his bat kept missing the ball….pitchers pitched him like he was Micky Mantle!

    (just in case2)

    • Smoking Loon

      September 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      No, no. You’re playing Stephen’s part now. Gotta get some convincing Inge-worship going here. (Like mine was real convincing.)

  19. judpma

    September 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    hows this: the only reason they traded Inge was because they told Cabrerra he could not play third while Inge was on the team, and Cabrerra told them he wanted to be traded!

    • Coleman

      September 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      They traded Inge because he was becoming too powerful. Another year and he would have fired Leyland and become player-manager.

      • Coleman

        September 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        He would’ve kept Raburn as hitting coach.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 30, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Actually, Inge was released. But that was only because they couldn’t unload Cabrera. Contract and all.

      Inge never got a fair shot with the Tigers. I don’t see how you give up on a guy like that, barely into his 12th season.

      OK, those are my best and final offers.

  20. Smoking Loon

    September 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Watching Rays-Rangers in blackout-compromised “mlb.tv” “Postseason.TV” “quad mode.” This is how I’m going to have to watch the Tigers, live anyway, so I suppose I’d better get used to it.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 30, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      I suppose I’m pulling for the Rays because I don’t want the Tigers to have to face Yu Darvish. Otherwise, the Rays might be the more difficult potential opponent.

  21. Coleman

    September 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Umpire fail (again).

  22. Kevin in Dallas

    September 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Did anyone see the first inning? Elvis Andrus was picked off of first when James Loney blocked Andrus’ hand from sliding back into the bag with his shoe. Is this allowable? I’ve never thought of that before.

    Can a player block first base?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      September 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      I’m really, really puzzled by this. Based on what Loney did, why doesn’t fielder just block the bag every time a player leads off of first.

      • Coleman

        October 1, 2013 at 12:00 am

        That would be a lot of Fielder to get around. I have no idea what the rules are for that.

  23. judpma

    October 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

    the rule book implies as long as you are in the process of catching or fielding the ball you can block the base line. I would guess that to mean the ball must be on its way before you get in the way!

  24. StorminNorman$

    October 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....f-rotation

    Scherzer to face Colon in game 1, JV game 2 against rookie Sonnie Gray; game 3 ‘the Animal’ vs Jarrod Parker; and game 4 Fister v Straily

    Sportswriters are thankful we’re not going to see the Fister Colon matchup or headline

    • StorminNorman$

      October 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      plus no Pepsi, no Coke, no Rondon

      • Coleman

        October 1, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        Our bullpen needs some Vernors. I guess we’ll have to settle for Mountain Drew.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm

          Vernor’s! Now you’re talking. Hold the Stroh’s. I’ll take a six of Vernor’s. Good stuff.

          Nice one, StorminNorman$. I don’t know how that one escaped me or especially Coleman. Coleman charged back with Mountain Drew, though. I’ve got nothing.