Game 2013. Playoffs 3: Athletics at Tigers

1-1, 10 games to go.

Relax. Take a deep breath. The Tigers own home field advantage for the rest of the ALDS. Yes, the hitting is a concern. Dare I say a grave one. But offense can be restored as quickly as it was lost, and this offense is simply too good to disappear forever. As KW pointed out, just look at what the Giants did (or didn’t do) during their first playoff series last year. They certainly didn’t have any problem scoring runs in the World Series.

Anibal Sanchez takes the rock this afternoon. Our #3 playoff starter is the reigning AL ERA leader. How sick is that? He was incredible during last year’s WS run, posting a 1.77 ERA and .192 BAA despite a 1-2 record. He allowed 2 ER on 5 hits in 6 1/3 in Game 3 of last year’s ALDS versus Oakland, but I feel confident that things will be better today.

Selected Sanchez Splits for 2013:

– v. Oak: 1-0, 12 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP (7 BBs), .596 OPS

– Day games: 4-3, 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .589 OPS

– at Comerica: 8-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .606 OPS

Same for Jarrod Parker

v. Det: 0-1, 3.1 IP, 21.60 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 1.345 OPS

– Day Games: 5-3, 4.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .705 OPS

Johnny Peralta will get his first start of the series in LF this afternoon. Unfortunately, Dirks and Kelly have been so bad against righties this year, that Peralta’s .750 OPS versus righties will be a remarkable improvement.

It’s expected to be overcast with temperatures in the upper 50s this afternoon.

A few notes:

– Cabrera has reached base in every postseason game he’s played in – 26 in a row now.

– Today’s game will be exclusively broadcast on the MLB Network.

– For the A’s, Josh Donaldson moves to the No. 2 spot and Jed Lowrie falls to third. Seth Smith will DH for a second straight game. He’s 6-for-17 with two career homers off Anibal Sanchez.

Today’s Take the Series Lead Lineup:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Peralta, LF
7. Avila, C
8. Infante, 2B
9. Iglesias, SS

1:07pm ET start today. So take a long lunch.



  1. judpma

    October 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Lets see..LA is scoring, Atlanta is scoring, Boston is scoring, Tampa is scoring, StLouis is scoring, and Pittsburgh are all scoring runs…that means something is seriously wrong here!!..I even saw Mark McGuire talking to Adrian Gonzales about hitting, actually during the game last night. And I thought all hitting coaches just stood all game long leaning over the dugout fence just staring out into space…..

  2. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    With Cabrera reduced to a merely human singles hitter, the whole key to the Detroit offense becomes Austin Jackson, and he has been horrible, and getting colder by the game. He has done this before, and then suddenly gotten hot. Let’s hope one of those hot streaks begins very, very soon.

    • Coleman

      October 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      I take a little of that back–he did get a double in the first game. I do think he is the key to the Detroit offense right now.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        Don’t take too much of it back.

  3. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Ok…got the game TIVO’ed while I am at work where I maintain the mantra “the Tigers will hit, the Tigers will score; the Tigers will pitch, the A’s will K!” Thanks for soothing my sole Kevin until I get home and watch the match!

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Kevin…sorry to nitpick but Smith has 3 homers (instead of 2) in 17 ABs against Sanchez.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Also Game 5 would be played in Oakland on 10OCT13 as another 9PM start.

  5. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Bah. That’s 5 strikeouts in a row for KJax. Not the best omen. Followed up by Torii hacking at the first pitch.


    October 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    18 scoreless innings for our offense ….. and counting.

  7. JimEggersUSMC

    October 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Watching live on MLB, Jhonny has two F7s, and honestly looked pretty comfy… love Jim “Kitty” Kaat on the mike, and thought his partner showed his lack of baseball savvy by suggesting that Chili Davis, the A’s hitting coach advised his hiiters to try to hit the ball to left. WE WILL HIT and score runs, patience my brothers… hey the Dodgers scored 13, it can happen here too….

  8. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    MLB just died here.


    October 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Don’t they teach you to get in front of ground balls ….. Mr. Miggy.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Horrible error. The broadcasters thought Miguel was carrying on later in the dugout, complaining about the condition of the infield. No idea if that’s true. Pretty weak if it is.

      • Coleman

        October 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm

        I thought the same. But later in the game Iglesias caught his spikes in the dirt, stumbled, and couldn’t make the play. Hmm.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm

          You mean the condition of the infield? You’re right, it’s something to consider. I should let Miggy off the hook. A complaint (an assumed one at this point) can look bad without being bad. Maybe it’s not “making excuses.”

          Even so, horrible error. I thought the Iglesias play was just “one of those things.” Just getting to that ball and gloving it gets him some points, at least compared to an ordinary shortstop.

  10. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Cy Parker.


    October 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Our offense better wake up ….. or we’re f#*&%d.

  12. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    20 scoreless innings, the pitching can only hold up so long under that kind of pressure. Tigers might be toast.

  13. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Peralta -1

  14. Bill

    October 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Miggy’s injury was turning point of our season. Should we have put him on DL? If we did, we might not have made playoffs. He played through it and now he is only a below average to average singles hitter. He carried us up till mid August. Sad to see him play this way. Pitching has been great.

  15. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    VMart says take the toast out of the toaster!!

  16. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm



    October 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Is our offense woken from the dead ….. or just a false alarm.

  18. Kevin in Dallas

    October 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Oh man, that home run is killer.

  19. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Leyland left Sanchez in a batter too long. Toast goes back into the toaster.


      October 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Isn’t that Smokey’s modus operendi ….. leaving pitchers in one batter too long.


    October 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Too bad the pitching is now tanking ….. put the toast back in the toaster.

  21. mcb

    October 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Cabrera is hurting more than helping. Leyland needs the courage to sit him.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      The drive Cabrera hit to right center in the 4th would of been out if he was 100%. While sad no legs in his swing; it’s been a long September for him.

  22. Kevin in Dallas

    October 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I’m remarkably unaffected by the performance today. I think that professionals call this “denial.”

    • Smoking Loon

      October 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Or fatigue. I’m with you there.

  23. judpma

    October 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm


  24. judpma

    October 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    hey Mr Illich maybe another $150 mil and you can find some players who can hit!!!

    • T Smith

      October 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Or a manager who can manage. The players are flat, but this series could and likely should be 2-0. The way the ninth inning was handled last night is inexcusable.

      • Vince in MN

        October 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        “The players are flat…”
        A recurring theme during the Leyland Era. You’d think that because they all love him so much this woudn’t happen so frequently.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm

          The 9th inning Saturday: Well, I didn’t really want to see Alburquerque back out there, but I can’t think of any guaranteed alternative to it. Once a man was on 3B with none out, nothing but desperation was possible. I can see bringing in your top ground ball pitcher there after the IBB, hoping against hope, but I can also see leaving Alburquerque in there to get the strikeouts you know he can get, even at the risk of the wild pitch. Still, our goose was pretty much cooked at that point, and 9 innings without a run from the offense did most of the cooking. Can’t reasonably call that a game blown by the bullpen, or the manager of the bullpen, nor did Leyland or McClendon have any bad ABs.

          We (including me) like to blame one guy, and many like that one guy to be Leyland, but it’s the team that lost Saturday, and the team that lost today.

          • Vince in MN

            October 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

            The team is losing because, to some extent, they are not prepared. At this level the little things (fundamentals and also mental attitude/toughness) can mean the difference between victory and defeat. That’s the manager’s responsibility. His role is to mold 25 guys into a team. Otherwise you just have 25 individual ballplayers on a roster. Every year for eight years the Tigers exhibit many (and sometimes long) periods of “flatness”. Teams go into slumps of course, but it is a regular occurrence with these guys. A good manager “manages” to minimize this.

          • T Smith

            October 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

            For the record, I don’t fault Leyland for bringing in Porcello once the bases were loaded. He could have even stayed with Al-Al at that point. Six to one, half a dozen to the other (although Al-Al does make me nervous with bases loaded given his wild side).

            The problem was bringing in Al-Al to start the ninth. Where has Veras been this entire series? Even if you bring in Porcello to start the inning, that would have been acceptable.

            The optimal choice is to let Veras pitch the ninth and hand the ball to Porcello in extras until you score and need Benoit.

            Bringing in Al-Al when you have both Veras and Porcello rested is probably the single most prominent decision that cost the Tigers game two. Yes, the hitters are flat and the Tigers could have lost another way later on, but it’s hard enough to win these games on a level playing field, all other things being equal, let alone on a playing field skewed by absolutely asinine managerial decisions.

            Get back to me this time tomorrow if I proclaim this particular asinine decision was the one that cost the Tigers the series… (and Ilitch his long overdue WS trophy)

  25. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Two positives from the game: one, they actually scored some runs, for the first time in 20 innings. Two, they lost angry, thanks to Crazy Closer. Maybe that will wake them up.

    • Vince in MN

      October 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Almost up to their 3.7 per game average. Maybe tomorrow.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 8, 2013 at 12:12 am

        That would take 9 runs, wouldn’t it? .sdrawkcab tsop txen ym etirw ll’I ,snur enin erocs sregiT eht fI

  26. judpma

    October 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    another positive..Jackson actually hit a ball!!…once!

  27. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I also think the Tigers should protest the game. I am pretty sure Cespedes came up to bat every inning; I think they had him playing outfield and DH, and batting twice.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm


  28. judpma

    October 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    i think Crisp does the he gets to go one base whether or not he makes an out!!

  29. judpma

    October 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    The players are flat….They have the personality of their manager which is also flat!

  30. Kevin in Dallas

    October 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    All of us here on DTW have worked too hard for the season to end tomorrow.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Yes, it would be a shame. We’ve all invested plenty in this season. I was rather hoping that the one season I took the time to live and breathe Tigers baseball day in and day out from the beginning of spring training to the end would end in glory to rival ’68 and ’84. Still and all, not a waste. No matter what happens tomorrow.

    • JimEggersUSMC

      October 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I concur, Kevin, we deserve better, and hopefully we get to go back to Dogpatch for game 5 and reverse our road numbers….

  31. Smoking Loon

    October 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    What is Balfour on, exactly? I mean, he’s got a freak show going out there.

    • JimEggersUSMC

      October 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      He was not nurtured as child.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Then again, I loved Victor’s reaction and the opportunity to hear some uncensored “English as it’s truly spoken” on live TV.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

        Jim, I think it was a combination of overindulgence and abuse. It’s how monsters are created.

        OK, Balfour isn’t a monster. But certainly an excitable boy (they all said).

  32. Smoking Loon

    October 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    What little we got to see of Peralta in LF wasn’t bad at all. The throw on the sac fly wasn’t bad. Trouble is, the attempt would not have even been made on Dirks or Kelly.

    • KW

      October 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

      His throw looked like a shortstop throwing across the infield. He definitely should’ve hit the cutoff man.

    • KW

      October 8, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Yay, my posts are appearing now. I submitted two or three yesterday that never showed up.

  33. Smoking Loon

    October 7, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Bullpen was outstanding. Alvarez, Veras. Gotta hand it to them. Real bright spot. This is the rare ’13 game where you can lay it squarely on the starter. Yes, I was thinking “get Sanchez out of there” before Smith came up, like everyone. One batter too long, indeed. Didn’t mean Anibal had to give up a HR. His pitch. Not Leyland’s. Alvarez has been known to come in and be a punching bag. Coulda happened there, too.

  34. Smoking Loon

    October 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Nice to see that brief, shining moment where Jhonny tied it. I saw it all going the Tigers way at that point. How quickly it changed.

  35. Doug of troy

    October 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Hard to believe that the A’s have struck out 40 of their 80 outs and we’re 1 game away from elimination. I hope our batters wake up along with JL so that perhaps the finest starting pitching staff in history gets a chance at the Red Sox. I do not want this season to end on such a feeble effort with hardly one ball hit deep much less no HR so far.

    • Coleman

      October 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Strikeouts are overrated–they are just another unproductive out, like a pop up or line drive to 3rd– and with the A’s are a result of 1) being selective–notice how many 3-2 counts they end up in, and 2) swinging for the fences, which apparently works sometimes.

  36. Coleman

    October 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    A reminder: the Rays win tonight, which means the Tigers play at 5:07 tomorrow.

  37. Kevin in Dallas

    October 8, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Just gotta win 1.

  38. mcb

    October 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I was there yesterday and heading back today. Hope people enjoy the game and the fact that it’s not over. Crowd was super tense yesterday.

  39. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    October 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Yeah, the crowd was disappointing yesterday in terms of noise. The Oakland fans are crazy right from the start and throughout the game, even if the A’s are losing. Our fans seemed to sit on their hands until the three run rally in the 4th. After that they were pretty quiet until the benches cleared in the 9th. Our regular season crowds are pretty good in terms of noise and support, but I wonder if the astronomical ticket prices for the postseason bring in the casual or corporate fan who just wants to be seen at an event like the ALDS.