Game 2013. Playoffs 2: Tigers at A’s

This new season is off to a great start. For the “bad guys,” 27 outs and 16 of them strikeouts. 2 runs, and you can practically write off one of them. 3 hits, 6 baserunners. This, for the good guys, against an Oakland team that has pretty much demolished everything in its path since they fired up the steamroller in their last meeting with the Tigers. Outstanding.

Let’s compare notes on last night’s game. Here are mine:

ALDS Game 1: Detroit 3, Oakland 2. Tigers score 3 in the first, highlighted by the rarely seen (from anyone) Rally Reignited, a two-out, bases-empty double from Victor Martinez followed by a “single” from Alex Avila that’s booted by 1B Barton and 2B Sogard and scores Victor all the way from 2B for run #3 (see final score). Max Scherzer is good. Bartolo Colon is also good, as is SS Lowrie in making a play that nips Jose Iglesias. Andy Dirks misplays and then gets a bad bounce on the Cespedes triple, but Max doesn’t let it bother him. Miguel Cabrera hits the ball very hard but is out, and Victor goes down swinging on back-to-back change-ups from Colon (a double rarity). Max walks Crisp on four pitches and wild pitches him to 2B, but it comes to naught. Andy swings on the first pitch and is roundly and probably justifiably criticized by the radio guys for wasting an at bat, while 3B Donaldson draws praise for foiling a Jose Iglesias bunt for a hit attempt. Max strikes out the side, the heart of the order; he’s been dealing all along, and now it’s starting to get ridiculous. Great bunt by Torii Hunter gets him aboard. He tries to catch the A’s sleeping with a SB attempt between pitches. Doesn’t work (some say he was safe), but no complaints. 1-2-3 and strikeouts #8 and #9 for Max in the 5th. Three straight hits, but the rally is deflated by sending Victor home from 2B on Omar Infante’s single to RF-with-arm Reddick. Outcome and criticism equally predictable and equally just. Max walks Crisp again but otherwise has a great “don’t let the tide turn” inning. Colon out, Otero in, and the Tigers 9-1-2 go down meekly. Jose Iglesias makes a highlight play without the highlight throw, and Moss is at 1B. This shouldn’t count for much, but it does when Cespedes makes Max’s 2-2 fastball go far away quickly and convincingly. Max comes back strong to keep it a 3-2 game and finish with 7 superb innings peppered with 11 K. LF Cespedes loses Victor’s drive for a two-base error, but Alex strikes out to end the insurance run threat. Nonetheless, this Martinez-Avila thing is becoming quite the rally combo. Miguel out, Ramon Santiago in at 3B. Drew Smyly pitches well around yet another walk to Crisp, and Joaquin Benoit comes in to get the sigh of relief third out. Still nothing happening for the Tigers against Doolittle in the top of the 9th, despite a cameo from Jhonny Peralta at the plate (Don Kelly will be in LF for the bottom half). Joaquin puts it away in impressive fashion against the A’s 4-5-6, at least two of them major threats to tie the game with one swing.

* Spotlight on Max Scherzer. His pitching performance in Game 1 has to rank high in Detroit Tigers postseason annals. I’m anxious to see how his BR Game Score compares with some of the 1968 WS starts, in particular.

* Rather surprisingly, since 2000, the ALDS teams that have won Game 1 have only gone on to win the series 15 of 26 times. But since 2007, it’s been 10 out of 12. Also since 2007, winners of Game 1 away from home have gone 5-0 in series wins.

* Anyone remember Detroit vs. Oakland in the 1972 ALCS? I don’t have clear memories besides bitter disappointment. I don’t know how much of it I watched or listened to; I may have followed most of it by newspaper. I remember plenty of the names on both sides, of course; the Athletics were so star-studded that I probably remember more of those names. I wonder how many of the 1972 Tigers I can name without looking it up. Let’s see… Lolich, Coleman, Brinkman, Rodriguez… after that I start to get confused about how many of the 1968 guys were still on the team. Horton, Stanley, Cash, Northrup, Brown, McAuliffe, Freehan – were they still around? I’ll take a couple more stabs in the dark with Hiller and Timmerman, and then give up and check the record.

Ha! I must have really taken Mr. Tiger Al Kaline for granted back then. Couldn’t recall now how far into the 70s he’d played. Anyway, what a series. Look it up (if you need to). Heartbreaker. Starting lineups for the decisive game:

1972

2006 was sweet, of course. Saw a clip of the Magglio HR recently and had the thought that this is what the Tigers see in Castellanos. Last year was a close call, but I think the better team won, for sure. I’ve got a good feeling about the current series. Is it just the way it’s started, or are the stars and the planets really aligning in Detroit’s favor? It’s hard to be pessimistic, up 1-0 and JV coming up. Bats, schmats. I don’t think the unknown rookie jinx is valid for the postseason. No. I really think that has expired. Call it a guy feeling.

155 Comments

  1. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 5:21 am

    You left off the all important 3rd-string catcher, dude named Gene Lamont.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 5:29 am

      You had me going there, but I don’t think he was on the postseason roster. I don’t think he was any string at all in ’72, in fact. But to tell you the truth, I thought Lamont had his fling with the Tigers *before* ’72. Not true, really, though he had brief stints. I bet I remember him from some circa 1970 Tigers yearbook or media guide or whatever they were called.

  2. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 5, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Don’t forget Frank “Hondo/The Capitol Punisher” Howard was on that ’72 team!

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 1:52 am

      Not in the ’72 ALCS, though.

  3. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Frank Howard one of the first 175 strike out guys before it was fashionable to do so…but he could also hit the long ball!!!

    • JimEggersUSMC

      October 6, 2013 at 12:56 am

      Met Hondo in 70/71… very kind, gentle giant of a man. Remember him tearing up a huge patch of sod, think it was in DC or some such…

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 1:58 am

        If you look over his career stats… 155 K tops, kind of an anomaly, K rate not so extreme, power also a bit overrated (known for tape measure shots, yes, but I mean frequency), better OBP than you’d think, really drew a lot of walks late in career (also big surge in IBB).

        Too bad he didn’t get in the ’72 ALCS, last chance at a second postseason, as it turned out. Pretty good final year with the Tigers in ’73.

  4. TIGERS RULE

    October 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Anyone know why JP is not in the today’s starting lineup.

    • TIGERS RULE

      October 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Could it be for defensive purposes, because of all the extra real estate to cover in the Oakland LF.

    • Vince in MN

      October 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Gray is a RH pitcher. It’s the Platoon thing dontcha know.

      • TIGERS RULE

        October 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm

        So what, Colon is also a RH pitcher. You make no sense, or dollars, for the matter of fact.

        • Vince in MN

          October 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm

          JP did not start against the RH yesterday either.

          • Smoking Loon

            October 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

            True, but Leyland said Kelly tonight was for defense, and I believe him. He might throw defense to the wind after tonight and go with Peralta.

            • Vince in MN

              October 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm

              JP is the new 2E.

              • Smoking Loon

                October 6, 2013 at 12:45 am

                2E. Nice. I like it. 2E and B-Hol are with the team, by the way, just not on the roster.

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    October 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    JV is better at pitching than Oak hitters are at hitting. He needs to know that.

  6. TIGERS RULE

    October 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    This Oak kid has a wicked curve, like JV used to.

  7. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    JV oitch count could be the whole game today..he must be effecient!

  8. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    oops pitch count!

  9. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    you know they know and will grind out at bats to get the numbers up

  10. TIGERS RULE

    October 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    We were second last in the AL for HR’s in the month of September, just ahead of Houston. Doesn’t bode well for a team that depends on the longball as we do.

  11. tbran

    October 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Keep it up JV!!

  12. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    whens the last time we got JV a lead..no how bout at least a run???

  13. tbran

    October 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    JV is dealing!

  14. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    If the Tigers go all the way, or maybe even if they don’t, I’d say that the real AL MVP is named ScherzerPorcelloSanchezVerlanderFister.

  15. TIGERS RULE

    October 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Sonny Gray ….. sounds like a Miami undercover cop.

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    October 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Does Leyland still have the sticker on the underside of his cap?

  17. Kevin in Dallas

    October 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Really silly call there. Hunter is going to rip a double to lead off the next inning.

  18. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    That was a horribly wasted opportunity of an inning. 1st and 3rd, 1 out, 3-0 count, what could go wrong?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Gray made two really nice pitches to get to 3-2. We (including Oak) all knew that Jackson would chase out of the zone. Good scouting and good execution.

      Running into the DP is 100% on Leyland. There’s a huge difference between Don Kelly batting and Tori Hunter batting. I know that Leyland is trying to get the team going (the TBS guys just noted – 4 runs in last 4 games, 3.7 for the whole month of September), but you can’t force it.

      • Vince in MN

        October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

        The time to get them going with this kind of fundamental baseball is in ST. Since all manner of Tiger baserunning related plays have been of the sandlot variety all season, I assume that this kind of stuff is not a very high priority for JL and his team of guys who “slug it”.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm

          The price they pay for the makeup of the team. I don’t know how much they can possibly change for 2014, either.

  19. TIGERS RULE

    October 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Looks like Smokey is back to his brain cramp ways.

  20. tbran

    October 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Was that even necessary in a tight ball game with: a man on 3rd, Iglacias’ speed and one out?? I don;t get putting him in motion.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Not to mention Jackson’s speed.

  21. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Jackson has the worst “eye” on the team so you don’t let him swing 3-0..and you sure don’t send a runner with 175 strike out batter…and Jackson is the worst contact hitter after Dirks….Mumbles -3

  22. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Too bad Jackson isn’t.. didn’t.. oh, never mind.

  23. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Jackson is very fast after he strikes out he gets back to the dugout really fast!

  24. tbran

    October 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Grizzly Adams cannot bunt — fortunately.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Grizzly Adams has been good to us this season. He’s our go-to guy this series.

      • Coleman

        October 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        Maybe he could lend some of that hair to Sonny Boy, so he can have a grown up moustache (to match his grown up arm).

        • Smoking Loon

          October 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm

          Grizzly Adams really let me down there.

  25. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Well done JV!

  26. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    What a save by Verlander!

  27. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    JV….h*ll ya!!!!!!!!

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    October 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Sogard looks like my accountant.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Everyone’s. Wait. You have an accountant?

      • Kevin in Dallas

        October 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm

        Busted. If I did.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          October 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm

          I was going to write looks like “an accountant”, but “my accountant” seemed so much funnier.

          • Smoking Loon

            October 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm

            Good call. It was funnier that way.

            • JimEggersUSMC

              October 6, 2013 at 12:59 am

              Google the Foo Fighters and tell me Sogard does not look like the bass player (bro in law)

              • Smoking Loon

                October 6, 2013 at 1:08 am

                He does.

  29. tbran

    October 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Tiger bats are dead.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      Yeah.

  30. tbran

    October 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    but worse yet, their ABs of late are just not the girtty and battling ABs you would expect against a kid like this — Sonny Gray.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Danny Salazar, etc etc etc. All season. Weird. More evidence in favor of “overrated offense.”

  31. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    gee no runs since 6:15 pm yesterday…..business as usual!!!

  32. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Don’t worry, hopefully Verlander can throw 12 or 13 shutout innings.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      September 21. Last time they scored more than 4 runs. 3-3-4-1-2-1-0-3 since. Nothing else like it in 2013.

      Thank goodness for Verlander tonight, the starting rotation all year. It’s why they’re in the postseason and apparently all that’s going to keep them in it.

  33. Kevin in Dallas

    October 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Way to go Jose!

  34. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    JV should demand to be put in the batting order when he pitches!

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      And bat leadoff.

  35. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 5, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    The A’s follow the Tiger’s lead on 6th innning bats that helps JV’s pitch count

  36. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    The Pusstcats keep violating the number onerule in all of baseball….You can’t win with ZERO!

  37. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    This is quite the exciting game going on here. I don’t like it.

  38. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 5, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Sweet home Alabama! Way to pitch JV…let’s go bats!

  39. Kevin in Dallas

    October 5, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Wow. How p’d is JV at his O right now?

  40. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Donkey to the rescue.

  41. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Good break for the Donkey. This could be the start of something good.

  42. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Special Edition ALDS Golden Sombrero for Austin “the Windmill” Jackson.

  43. Coleman

    October 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Why do you waste an out by bunting when you have the Human Strikeout on deck? Also a guy who is not going to hit into a DP. Not a fan.

    • Vince in MN

      October 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Preventing striking out into a DP?

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Don’t mind the bunt, but why couldn’t he have been bunting for a hit? He can do it. He just stuck his bat out last time and got a hit.

      This offense is WS dead.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

        Good call, Vince. The strategy is now apparent.

  44. Vince in MN

    October 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    JacKKKKson. Give the man a golden sombrero.

  45. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    What a fail.

  46. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    hey Jackson..maybe if you went up there without a bat youd have a better chance!!!

    • Smoking Loon

      October 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      He *had* a bat? I’m only listening, so I was assuming not.

  47. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Are we going to have to tip our cap again? I think I’m about tipped out.

  48. judpma

    October 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    well its not like the Pussycat offense hasn’t been shut out..15-20-25 times this year already

  49. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Dan & Jim are questioning why Crisp didn’t sac bunt.

    • Vince in MN

      October 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      Absolutely. Strategic fail by OAK there.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

        I don’t have a strong opinion about it, haven’t analyzed it, but I’m generally against the sac bunt with man alone on 2B.

        • Vince in MN

          October 6, 2013 at 12:15 am

          So many extra ways to score from third: SF, balk, WP, PB, E, iF single, short hit to OF, ground out. And when the IF has to play in, batting averages go up.

          • Smoking Loon

            October 6, 2013 at 12:24 am

            True. Depends on the hitter, I guess. I like Crisp’s chances for reaching, and a ground ball to the right side advances the runner anyway.

        • Vince in MN

          October 6, 2013 at 12:25 am

          If you have a hitter who can hit the ball on the ground to the right side, that is worth a shot, since a base hit is a possibility, and used to be SOP. Polanco was exceptional at that, but I guess that is a lost art too.

          • Smoking Loon

            October 6, 2013 at 12:35 am

            Tigers have a number of ground ball to the right side experts in Avila, Fielder, Kelly, and Dirks, but most of that is unintentional.

  50. Doug of troy

    October 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

    We don’t fare well on close late inning games. I would have stayed with JV.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Coleman had it right. JV should have just pitched the whole game, however long.

  51. Coleman

    October 6, 2013 at 12:03 am

    If you’ve got Al and Porcello in the bullpen, and guys on 1-2 with 1 out, why not bring in your ground ball DP guy, rather than your strikeout wild pitch guy?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 6, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Thank you.

      I’m so nervous right now.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 12:08 am

        Yeah. High stakes. 2-0 going back to Detroit… that would be huge.

  52. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Al-Al is coming in. Concede the WP now and advance the runners. In exchange, they have to hold on the first actual WP.

  53. TIGERS RULE

    October 6, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Who was it that threw the WP that lost us the last game of the season?

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:09 am

      Putkonen.

  54. Coleman

    October 6, 2013 at 12:10 am

    AlburKK

  55. judpma

    October 6, 2013 at 12:10 am

    AlAl…wow. atta boy!!!

  56. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 6, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Al Al! You magnificant breaking ball pitcher!!!

  57. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 12:10 am

    2011 Al-Al is back. I credit his unusually upright posture.

  58. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 12:12 am

    The downside to this is that the Tigers are batting again. At least they can’t score negative runs. I hope.

  59. Kevin in Dallas

    October 6, 2013 at 12:12 am

    That was Alesome.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:15 am

      Just beerly.

  60. Doug of troy

    October 6, 2013 at 12:13 am

    It’s this inning if we’re going to prevail with 3-4-5. I don’t see our bullpen pitching shutout ball.

  61. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Ugh. Miguel.

  62. judpma

    October 6, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Jackson has 4 K’s the sad part is 2-5 haven’t looked any better..that ball by Victor was the first good swing 1-5 in the order

    • Coleman

      October 6, 2013 at 12:23 am

      The Kelly-Iglesias heart of the order is 3-for-5, hopefully we can take this to 10 and they bail us out.

  63. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Uh-oh. The Tigers might have dodged their last bullet here.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Walk-off losses are depressing.

  64. Doug of troy

    October 6, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Why was Cabrera standing at 3rd base. Typical Tiger mismanagement. fielder no help either.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:39 am

      What do you mean, Doug?

      • T Smith

        October 6, 2013 at 1:22 am

        Let me translate:

        Guarding the line against a double (standing at 3rd base)… Personally I think it’s an over rated strategy. If Cabrera is playing at his normal position, or at least half-way over he makes a routine play for the out on that hit.

        In which case Fielder isn’t playing on the bag on the next play, which renders the next ball in play a routine ground out to the first basemen. And actually, a better defensive and more agile first baseman makes the play, probably a double-play, regardless. Played differently (in this case managed differently): two outs instead of runners first and third no outs.

        Now that I’ve taken my translation hat off, I can’t say for sure I fault the move. It didn’t work out and it does weaken an already challenged infield. I sure didn’t like the look of that gaping hole in the infield, so I think Doug of Troy may have a point.

        I am resolved to the fact that the Tigers are a station-to-station sub-par defensive team at the corners (especially with Cabrera hobbling and Price scarfing nachos from fans when attempting plays on foul balls that land first row in the seats). It just really stings, however, when we specifically sacrifice the kind of defensive play that preserves pitching gems (well done JV) for a team that can’t even get a hit out of the infield, much less drive the ball with any authority or power. Ouch.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 6, 2013 at 2:10 am

          Ah, the single to LF and then the single to RF in the 9th. Didn’t see it (radio). I think I can agree with the comment and the translation. More little things that lose the game. Actually, quite a big thing. I wonder if there will be questions to this effect for Leyland. I’m doubting it. Subtleties of defense don’t seem to popular with the media, or with fans, for that matter.

  65. tbran

    October 6, 2013 at 12:27 am

    It was time for Porcello after the first hit. JL is making some questionable calls here. I love the guy but you’ve got to scratch your head.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:33 am

      It was time at the beginning of the inning. Agree with judpma below. Additional innings from Alburquerque frighten me.

  66. judpma

    October 6, 2013 at 12:27 am

    hey Mumbles ..using Al for a second inning has never ever ever ever ever ever worked..what are those percentages!!!!

  67. Coleman

    October 6, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Triple play time.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Yeah. How else? I don’t see it. Bases loaded, none out. Pretty much no win here.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 12:31 am

        Yup. No win situation.

  68. judpma

    October 6, 2013 at 12:31 am

    maybe someone paid off Jackson, amHunter, Cabrerra,Fielder and Martinez…not only didn’t hit…they did NOTHING

  69. Vince in MN

    October 6, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Well that was a big dud.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:38 am

      Don’t forget that we need to tip our cap to Sonny Gray. Also, that’s baseball. Not to be a wise gut or anything.

      • T Smith

        October 6, 2013 at 1:37 am

        If I am forced to tip my hat any more, Fernando Rodney’s hat will look prim in comparison

  70. judpma

    October 6, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Capt Mumbles…-4

  71. Coleman

    October 6, 2013 at 12:32 am

    17 consecutive innings without a run.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:36 am

      And another Verlander masterpiece gone to waste.

      I like Dan & Jim. They tell it like it is. You never hear anything approaching real critique on FSD.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        October 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

        Well said Loon. I listen to D&J with the sound turned down on the TV. Only thing worse are the TBS announcers in general. I do like Buck Martinez!

        • Smoking Loon

          October 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm

          I don’t have a TV, myself. Otherwise I’d do what you do. I tried it with mlb,tv, didn’t work, wouldn’t let me open two windows, one for radio and one for FSD. I suppose I could try it with multiple computers. My older ones are starting to lose their streaming Internet touch, though.

  72. Doug of troy

    October 6, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Leyland made sure the hitters were well-rested for the playoffs. He accomplished his goal and sacrificed JV in the process.

  73. judpma

    October 6, 2013 at 12:50 am

    sure glad the starters had 8 days rest Mumbles…you have them at a razor sharp edge!

  74. stephen

    October 6, 2013 at 12:51 am

    I always say if you can bring a career starter into a bases loaded no out bottom of the 9th situation you have to do it.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 12:58 am

      That situation never would have arisen if they still had Inge at 3B.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 1:02 am

        But seriously, no reliever on the staff gets out of that situation alive.

  75. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 12:56 am

    The bright side is that Tigers pitching has only allowed 1 run in 17+ and struck out a ton. The hitting is either there or not. What can you do? It’s not a question of substituting this guy for that. You could draw the lineup from a hat and get boom or bust from any combo.

    This game was there for the taking, That K/CS double play looks even worse now. I fault the execution more than the call. Bad AJax.

    • Vince in MN

      October 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

      With somebody that swings and misses as much as K-Jax, it is a bad call (you don’t ask Don Knotts to play the Marshal Dillon role). Another guy you don’t hit and run with is Avila. Or Dirks I guess (although with Slow-Mart on 1s in the game at the end of the season that was really a dumb call). Or.. Or… A fairly dependable contact hitter is needed for the hit and run. Maybe that play just isn’t in the Tiger’s playbook. It’s one of those little things that the Leyland Era has been so spectacularly ungood at.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

        Aside from a remarkable knack for scoring when he gets on base, no small matter, I don’t know that Austin Jackson is such an automatic to bat leadoff in my book. I think Omar Infante might be a better choice. But he could sign elsewhere next season. Can’t think of any other candidates. Dirks in a good year, maybe.

        Pretty disappointed in Jackson all season, really. Last night, totally.

        The Tigers’ “tablesetters” do strike out a bit much.

  76. JimEggersUSMC

    October 6, 2013 at 1:28 am

    In the bad timing department, turned on the game (was out at an EAGLE scout thingie) just as what’s his face scored the winning run…

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 2:12 am

      Well, you were spared the agony of hope, anyway.

  77. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 2:25 am

    If symmetry with ’72 is what’s going on here, the call is:

    Game 3: Tigers shut out the A’s
    Game 4: A’s win by a run
    Game 5: Tigers win by a run

    • Vince in MN

      October 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

      So you are predicting that the Tigers are going to get shutout again on Monday?

      • Smoking Loon

        October 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        No. It’s not the simplest of symmetries. Game 2 took care of that.

        Game 1: ’72: O 3, D 2. ’13: D 3, O 2.
        Game 2: ’72: O shuts out D. ’13: O shuts out D.

        Game 3: ’72: D shuts out O. ’13: D shuts out O.
        Game 4: ’72: D +1 over O. ’13: O +1 over D.
        Game 5: ’72: O +1 over D (at Detroit). ’13: D +1 over O (at Oakland).

        Symmetry.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm

          So much for symmetry.

  78. Doug of troy

    October 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

    One last thought. The A’s have been struck out 29 times so far, yet they have the momentum going into game 3. Need I say more. Our starters have made 1 bad pitch in two games just 1 pitch short of shut out ball.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      I don’t think the A’s have any momentum. Coming off 33 games of averaging over 6 RPG and being made to look foolish at the plate of a sudden, they probably feel as lucky as they are to be going to Detroit 1-1.

  79. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 6, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Friends: A Few Realities:

    A. Tigers finished the season in a week-long batting funk.
    B. Cabrera is injured and doesn’t have the leg power for batting or for that matter running the bases
    C. The five days off after regular season compounds the Tiger hitters
    D. Tigers starting pitching remains very sharp and relievers remain constant

    We need to win this in Detroit.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Maybe they should just sit Cabrera and start Peralta at 3B. I am not kidding. The Tigers were something like* 14-4 in the regular season with no Cabrera/almost no Cabrera. Bring Miggy in as a PH when it counts.

      *I was keeping careful track but started to lose track toward the very end of the season.

  80. Coleman

    October 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Not to worry. Benoit says “I feel like we’re on the verge of the World Series again.”

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      There might have been some clever double-meaning in that statement.

  81. mcb

    October 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I wonder what Llyod McClendon does all day….

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      He tries to think of personal success stories as a hitting coach. Boesch? Hmm, no. Raburn? Hmm, no. Avila? Hmm, no. Dirks? Hmm, no. Jackson? Hmm, no. Tuiasosopo? Hmm, no. Iglesias? Hmm, no. Kelly? Hmm, no. Avi Garcia? Hmm, no. Verlander? Hmm, no.

      Can’t wait to see what he does for Nick Castellanos.

  82. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Wow. Pirates radio guys are pretty excitable fellows.

    Good for Pittsburgh.

    Tied 3-3 in the 8th, Andew McCutchen on 2B with no outs tried, inexplicably, to take third on a hard groundball to the SS and was thrown out easily. So, Tigers fans, I guess baserunning clown shows go on elsewhere, too.

  83. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Game 1 strike zones:

    http://tinyurl.com/ljpvmdl

    Game 2 strike zones:

    http://tinyurl.com/mad33w5

    Notable: Calls Max got vs. LHB in Game 1.

  84. KW

    October 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I’m as bummed out as anyone about last night’s loss, but take a look at SF’s losses in the NLDS last year: http://www.baseball-reference......LDS2.shtml

    They were down in the series 0-2 and only scored 4 runs in the first 3 games, then won the series, went on to win the NLCS, and, well, you know the rest.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Great thought, KW. I see now also that the Giants only batted .194 (OPS .606) for the series.

  85. Smoking Loon

    October 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    from Mlive:

    Given Martinez’s overall lack of speed, coupled with Reddick’s strong outfield arm, it’s certainly reasonable to question the call. But Leyland said the correct decision was made.

    “If the next guy or two guys pop it up and you don’t get the run, you wish he’d have taken the shot,” Leyland said.

    Nope. I never wish Martinez would have taken the shot, not before, not after, not during, not ever. I would not complain if he was on 2B and held up at 3B on a double, or if he was on 3B and held at 3B on a single, or if he scored from 3B somehow but went back to 3B just to be safe. He should be lifted for a PR the first time he reaches 2B as the lead runner in any and every game. The real reason I think Cabrera should not start for the rest of the series is so he can pinch run for Martinez.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      October 7, 2013 at 4:20 am

      As I said yesterday, Brookens is stealing Ilitch’s money. Of course Ol’ Smoky has to stand up for his guy publicly, but we all know it was a terrible decision by Brookens to send him.