Game 2013.Playoffs 9: Red Sox at Tigers

Wrong side of 2-1, 7 games left to go.

So, my intention was to just post a “short and sweet for the W” and then let the chips fall. It worked pretty well back in the day (meaning 2011 – 2012).

Well, I’m glad I put something up last night. There has been (understandably) so much chatter pre-game on the Relaxing post from last night, that even if I did want to get into things, there is not much to cover.

I have noticed that the DTW is calmest between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am central, which are prime reflecting hours for me. It gets a little lonely,I must admit. Refresh. Refresh. MLB network is too painful, so I pass the time on the Golf Network. Their late night show is actually pretty awesome.

Then I step into one little meeting during the day, get back to my desk, and bam, T Smith and KW have already dealt Prince Fielder. Interesting topic. That and Max Scherzer. But we’ll discuss that in November.

For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, Jim Leyland has made some radical changes to the lineup. Not only did he bump the leadoff hitter, a surprising move for loyal Leyland, though not surprising in light of the situation, but he also moved up everyone else in the order. I LOVE the move. Leyland recognizes that this is win or go home (basically) and that it is imperative to have his best hitters hit more often, conventions be damned.

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

Beyond the relief to Jackson, this also it presumably gives one of the guys at the top an extra AB. And if anyone can handle leadoff in a crucial game like this one, it’s Torii Hunter.

Honestly, I don’t know what to expect, other than thrilling baseball between two of the best teams in the Majors. It’s hard to fault the hitters while we reap so much praise on the starters. Shouldn’t we acknowledge how dominating two of Boston’s starters have been? And Uehera? Good night. He’s throwing golf balls to guys trying to hit with pencils out there.

I will readily admit that I expected a deep playoff run this year. In fact, I felt entitled to it. What I forgot was the anxiety, heartache, and frustration that comes with it. I know, I want to scream “it’s just not fair” as badly and as loudly as you do.

But this is the playoffs. We’re all in this together.

I’ll be back here for game 7.

153 Comments

  1. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I think the lineup is an improvement. I think our best hitters right now are Peralta and Martinez. This moves them from 5-6 to 4-5. I’d rather see them 2 and 4. At any rate, I have a feeling the Tigers will hit Peavy. Let’s score early!

    • Smoking Loon

      October 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Improvement, agreed, if only slight. I could hardly believe it when I read it.

  2. stephen

    October 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Just back from the Dodgers game. A few hits makes everyone relax. Lets hope Tigers ca do the same.

  3. TIGERS RULE

    October 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Smokey has completely lost his marbles ….. fielding this line-up, especially batting Miggy second .The line-ups suggested by our fellow bloggers in the RELAXING post and in other previous posts are much more potent. I would also put Fielder at DH and VMart at 1st.

  4. Smoking Loon

    October 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    “I’ll be back here for game 7.”

    We’re gonna hold you to that.

  5. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    After yesterday’s game, I am live and prime time with Dan and Jim and Joe and Tim muted. Yesterday I forgot the Red Sox were playing and only extended my DVR one extra hour…silly me…I needed at least two hours as it kaputed in the top of the ninth. Gaux Tigers!

  6. StorminNorman$

    October 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    muting Joe and Tim is a wise move…

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Do you think Tim still has heartburn from the ’68 Series? I do.

  7. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Maybe the lack of a no-hitter will help.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Looks like Cabrera is glad to have a visitor at third and is social networking with Napoli.

  8. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Peralta–not Cabrera, certainly not Fielder–is the bat they fear, and they will pitch around him hear on out. He should be batting 2nd.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      *Here* on out.

  9. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Bases loaded, with Jackson up. That’s baseball!

  10. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Whoa, Sox clown show, we needed that.

  11. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Buy those fans on the third base some Stroh’s for not going for Torii’s hit! Well done Fans!

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      October 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      You couldn’t buy someone a Stroh’s at Comerica if you wanted to. Its Budweiser and Labatts products (at least in the concourse). Maybe they carry it in the beer hall, but not likely.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        October 16, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        …but yeah, regarding the point of your post it was great to see such knowledgeable fans occupying those seats and not touching the ball to give Iglesias the opportunity to score from first base.

  12. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I like what Iglesias adds, beating out infield hits, scoring from first on a double.

  13. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Let’s get some payback on game 140!

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Miggy has twice been ejected for less.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      I’ve never seen a team whine more about called strikes than the Red Sox.

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        Probably comes with the territory for a team that takes so many pitches.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        October 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

        I think it’s an unfortunate by-product of the team batting philosophy.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        October 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

        Every strke is a debate if you are a Red Sox!

  15. judpma

    October 16, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    it will be ok to keep scoring…just sayin!

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      October 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Lions, Tigers, and add-on runs. Oh my!

  16. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Ok…the I-J-I-H Express is coming up! I like this as we can get some speed on the bases.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      All aboard!!!

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        October 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm

        Choo Choo!!!

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          October 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm

          I believe that is my first “choo-choo” this season. However it worked as we say goodbye to Peavy!

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        I’m on!

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          October 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm

          Here comes da Cabose! BTW, Peavy is officially out of the MLB Man’s Club by drinking from a bottle with his name on it!

  17. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Nice play by Jackson holding that to a single.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      AJax is now officially a “happy camper!”

  18. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Jim Leyland, much-maligned genius.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      October 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Don’t get me started Coleman………………………. :-)

  19. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t understand what is happening. Is this still baseball?

  20. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Iggy! He covers ground so quickly out there.

  21. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Amazing play. Man is Iglesias fun to watch.

  22. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Well done Cabrera! Time to take Jhonny out of left after this bat?

  23. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    That hurts, Coke. You all know what I’m thinking.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Save some for Alburquerque.

  24. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Why didn’t Leyland just let Porcello pitch three innings and save the short relievers for tomorrow? This man is beyond lost in managing a bullpen.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      Why didn’t he just let Smyly pitch 3 innings? Porcello out of the bullpen isn’t going so well.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        October 17, 2013 at 12:33 am

        I agree with Smoking Loon and Jason to varying degrees. Let Porcello work at least two of those innings and save Smyly and Al-Al for when you really need them in a close game. I will be gritting my teeth tomorrow if I hear that Smyly is unavailable after using him for 1 2/3 innings in a five run game. I didn’t have a problem getting Benoit some work because he needed it since he hadn’t pitched since Sunday night. Benoit also needed to regain some confidence (not sure if that was accomplished) and he may have done so after a rough beginning to the inning. It had to feel good to him to get Ortiz for the final out tonight.

        • Coleman

          October 17, 2013 at 12:37 am

          I get what Leyland was doing with Benoit, but Ortiz missed a 3-run home run by a fraction of an inch…and that would have been a disaster, even if Detroit held on to win. Playing with fire there. I think the potential downside was bigger than the upside.

  25. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    And why is Smyly pitching to Ortiz instead of Coke, with Ortiz’s 2-for-19 record against the latter?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Coke was already burned.

  26. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    This is just as thoughtless as Game 2. Odds are still in the Tigers’ favor, but it’s the same obtuse and idiotic process at work.

  27. judpma

    October 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    this is so stupid..burn your pen in a 7-1 game

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Gotta win them one at a time. Off-day on Friday.

  29. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Another note: the lineup was a wise and original move from Leyland. I just hope he’ll stick with it for the rest of the series.

    I like:
    1) batting Cabrera 2nd (recommended by sabermetrics)
    2) the natural AJax/Iglesias/Hunter/Cabrera series running 8-9-1-2

    He may have to demote Prince Fielder, though.

    • T Smith

      October 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      +1

  30. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    6 outs left. One pitcher per out. I would go:

    Porcello
    Veras
    Benoit
    Dotel
    Coleman
    Paws, with Fister and Kelly warming up.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Actually that reminds me–Rondon they say may be ready for the World Series.

      And they should save me for a pinch-hitter, because I can pitch equally well with either hand.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      I think Kevin went for the celebratory dip a bit early.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        October 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        I would put in Stephanie of Detroit Fox Sports South Gals before Paws. I believe she is a left-hander!

    • T Smith

      October 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      You forgot Raburn… oh yeah, forgot… oops.

  31. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    If Smyly doesn’t pitch the 8th after his effective 7th, I will hit the roof.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      The roof is safe.

  32. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Well done Drew!

  33. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Austin is having a nice night!

  34. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Heck, I’d leave him in for the 9th.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      You would have been right.

  35. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Now we waste the closer in a non-save situation? Me no like.

    • Vince in MN

      October 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      What closer?

      • Smoking Loon

        October 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm

        He has a knack for making it a save situation. Nothing wasted but our time and the occasional game.

  36. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I’m warming up Kevin. Get Paws on the phone.

  37. Vince in MN

    October 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Leaving AJax in the lower third of the order permanently may be best, but it presupposes picking up another leadoff hitter in the off season. Since they don’t run anyway, speed probably won’t need to be as much a consideration as OB ability and contact. With Infante possibly on the way out, are there any secondbasemen out there that could fill the bill? A trade using surplus starting pitching would be the way to go. If no 2B, I guess the next option would be a corner OF. I’m not sure about Hunter, due to his age and all. On the other hand, there is a saber argument for loading up the top of the batting order with your best hitters (JL seems to be leaning that way tonight, although I doubt his reasons are based in that kind of logic), so maybe just putting another slugger in there would work. It will be interesting to see what happens this winter regardless of the outcomes of the rest of this season.

  38. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Get Benoit out of there now.

  39. Vince in MN

    October 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Get Valverde out of there.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      That’s what I was thinking.

    • T Smith

      October 16, 2013 at 11:57 pm

      Get Todd Jones out of there, now….

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:42 am

        “Get Todd Jones out of there, now….”

        That’s what Jose Valverde was thinking.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      October 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

      What is it with the ALCS and our closers looking very ordinary. Third year in a row where our closer looks like he is fighting it in the ALCS.

      • Coleman

        October 17, 2013 at 12:41 am

        I think that is because 1) our closers ARE very ordinary. And 2) MOST closers are very ordinary. I don’t have the stats on the tip of my keyboard here, but someone ran the numbers and when you are winning by 2 runs or more, you win like 80% of the time, and with a top closer it’s like 90% of the time…so how many games a year is that? Closers make much less of a difference than people think.

        • Coleman

          October 17, 2013 at 12:42 am

          Actually I think the numbers are more in the 85%/90% range.

          • Smoking Loon

            October 17, 2013 at 12:45 am

            Yes, but closers would be more accurately rated based on how nervous fans are when they pitch.

  40. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Scherzer… I’m not kidding.

  41. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Get Valverde up in the bullpen!

  42. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Ortiz just missed getting that one. I’ll take it!!

  43. Smoking Loon

    October 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Oh man, what a relief.

  44. Vince in MN

    October 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Nice recovery by Benoit there ;)

  45. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Well done Benoit!

  46. Jason

    October 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Under no circumstances is Benoit to pitch to Ortiz again in this series.

  47. Vince in MN

    October 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Ok, so it’s a best of three series now. Gotta make the most of the non-existent home field advantage tomorrow.

  48. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Hey Boys…there will be a Saturday night in Beantown!

  49. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I think I’ll toast Austin Jackson right now. I feel relieved right now–I know I’m not alone here. But can you imagine how HE feels? Cheers!

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Skal y’all!

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:40 am

        Skål på dig!

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          October 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm

          Du skål
          Jeg skål
          Til alle de vakre flicker vi skål
          Alltid en Tiger

          • Coleman

            October 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

            That’s one way to get around the language filter!

            • Smoking Loon

              October 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm

              No worries, all PG so far, although it does present possibilities.

              So, Only Tiger Fan, I’m not quite sure. Perfectly comprehensible, but is that Danish, maybe? It’s *almost* Swedish.

              Dags för Fielder att slå till, eller hur? För oss och alla de vackra flickor, för att inte nämna nachos från publiken.

              • Coleman

                October 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm

                It’s clearly Norwegian.

              • Smoking Loon

                October 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm

                That was my second guess. You are tres cosmopolitan, man.

              • Coleman

                October 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm

                It was pretty obvious from the syntactical use of…OK, actually I think I remember him posting as Only Tiger Fan in Norway earlier this year.

              • Smoking Loon

                October 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm

                No, I think it was Iceland. I thought Iceland was a Danish territory originally, but now I think that was Greenland. Iceland is more closely connected with Norway. Unless I’m wrong again. I like Björk a lot, in any case.

  50. Kevin in Dallas

    October 16, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    When Benoit got that 2nd strike on Ortiz, I thought that a bad start could actually end on a positive note if he could get Ortiz to strike out.

    Then when Ortiz barely missed another HR, I changed my mind and walked away with a sick feeling. Which is hard to do in a 7-3 series tying victory.

    I think that Benoit still closes, but Leyland is open to situational pitching at every point in the game.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      He was warming Veras up. He never does that with his closer in.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

        Veras in relief of Benoit makes me very nervous, for some reason.

  51. StorminNorman$

    October 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    I feel the winner of tomorrow’s game will win the series.

    after tonight’s game, Fielder’s career post-season BA is .203 – it would be great if he could get hot, but history indicates that may not happen.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      October 17, 2013 at 12:00 am

      We really just need one key swing. Guys are getting on base in front of him. 1-4 with an XBH could make all the difference.

      I’m very anxious about tomorrow night’s game, but it’s nice to know that Scherzer and Verlander follow Sanchez.

      Pretty sick.

      • Coleman

        October 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

        It would be nice, but I don’t see it happening.

        Fielder’s postseason OPS is a Kelly-like .649. And that is not a small sample size, that’s 152 plate appearances (this doesn’t include tonight’s numbers.

        By way of reference, Brandon Inge’s postseason OPS is .799. (Hi stephen!).

        • Coleman

          October 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

          And his numbers are a lot lower if you take out his glory days in Milwaukee.

    • Coleman

      October 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Jackson had a good game. Congratulations Mr. Fielder, the hot seat is yours! Mr. October he is not. And I agree about tomorrow: I’m not seeing Detroit take two in a row at Fenway.

      • T Smith

        October 17, 2013 at 12:08 am

        I’m actually surprised Fielder didn’t have a better game. No pressure, huge lead. That’s usually when he decides to find the seats.

        Oh well. Maybe he’ll surprise tomorrow.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:08 am

        Let’s not overlook Martinez. Hot stick. Consistently.

        • T Smith

          October 17, 2013 at 12:11 am

          I’ve been bullish on Martinez all year… even when he was in Mendoza territory pre-All star game. Never doubted. He’s just an outstanding, outstanding hitter. Only thing stopping him is age.

          • Smoking Loon

            October 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

            I doubted him, totally. Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

            • Coleman

              October 17, 2013 at 12:14 am

              It makes me wonder.

          • Coleman

            October 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

            If only the Tigers could have a Designated Runner…

            • Smoking Loon

              October 17, 2013 at 12:29 am

              In a tree (town) by the brook (sea), there’s a Quintin that runs…

              • Coleman

                October 17, 2013 at 12:33 am

                And he’s biding his time till Game Seven.

              • Smoking Loon

                October 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

                Excellent. It even scans. Sometimes when you play the song game with people, they throw in all sorts of wrong accents and extra syllables, and you have to explain, “no, see, the idea is to…”

              • Coleman

                October 17, 2013 at 12:38 am

                Of course it scans. I’m not some rookie hack!

              • Smoking Loon

                October 17, 2013 at 12:50 am

                Sorry. Nobody’s fault but mine.

  52. StorminNorman$

    October 17, 2013 at 12:03 am

    with BOS’ offense and DET’s bullpen, the mindset moving forward for DET should be ‘no lead is safe’

    • Smoking Loon

      October 17, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Absolutely. Also DET’s offense and BOS’ bullpen.

  53. Smoking Loon

    October 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

    How about the SB by Miggy? I was sooooooooo disappointed when Fielder struck out after that. That would have been one extremely demoralizing RBI (to the Red Sox, of course), had Fielder knocked Miggy in.

    Smyly was big, about time he came through with something convincing again.

    I was prepared to be elated after 7 runs, but the bullpen took care of that with the first batter faced. I ended up shaky-relieved. Note that the Tigers scored 0 on the Boston bullpen. That would seem to bring the total to… 0.

    • Coleman

      October 17, 2013 at 12:07 am

      Boston’s bullpen owns us, which is why I said “score early!” Clearly they read this stuff, and that is how they got the novel idea.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:12 am

        Remind them again tomorrow. Please.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      October 17, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Technically that is correct (all seven runs charged to Peavy), but Miggy did drive in a run (inherited runner) off of Workman. It doesn’t count against the BOS bullpen, but it was good to see Miggy greet Workman with that hit. It was an important add-on run to be sure.

      • Coleman

        October 17, 2013 at 12:50 am

        EVERY run is important! (Papi was at bat with 2 on and a 4 run lead. Without that add on run, we are looking at Groundhog Day). No lead is safe! No lead is safe! I hope that is in their heads by now.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 17, 2013 at 12:54 am

          I stand corrected, Jerry, Just relying on memory, didn’t check my facts. I’m more concerned with who allowed the runs than the silly business of “charged to.” I’m relieved that the Tigers *have* driven in at least a run against the Boston pen.

          • Coleman

            October 17, 2013 at 12:58 am

            I still haven’t figured out if Sunday set some sort of postseason record: a grand slam where 4 pitchers (Veras, Smyly, Alburquerque, and Benoit) were each charged with 1 earned run.

            • Smoking Loon

              October 17, 2013 at 1:05 am

              Yeah, I’m not sure how one would go about looking that up. The search tools on baseball-reference don’t seem especially robust in my brief experience with them. Must be some way. You’re always hearing these little factoids from Elias Sports Bureau, etc., about the incredibly obscure.

  54. T Smith

    October 17, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I have been very vocal about Leyland’s shortcomings this series, but I will give kudos where due. Well done on the lineup tonight (except Fielder should not be in the 3 hole)…I didn’t think the ol’ curmudgeon had it in him to shake things up.

    Let’s consider this a momentum change going into tomorrow’s game. Best of three with Sanchez, Scherzer, and Verlander. Could be worse….

    • Smoking Loon

      October 17, 2013 at 12:22 am

      I think a more or less set batting order is more of a convenience to the manager than a benefit to the team. I’d say the same for the matter of bullpen roles.

      Getting Jackson out of the leadoff spot was good. Nothing brilliant about the rest of the order, really.

  55. StorminNorman$

    October 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

    DET showed some real spark, ran the bases very well and capitalized on offensive opportunities tonight, but if I had to pick one MVP for DET tonight, it would be Peavy…and I don’t mean any disrespect to Peavy, because I respect him and his approach to the game… but he was off tonight (that 4 pitch BB to AJ was a sign) and hopefully woke up the sleeping giant (DET’s offense)…but I guess we’ll see what LHP Lester (damn lefties) has to say about that tomorrow.

    • Coleman

      October 17, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Here’s a guy, who has been struggling, struggling mightily, almost historically. He dropped from leadoff to the 8th spot. Here is his 1st at bat in the 8th spot, all eyes are on him: will it help? will he strike out again? The first pitch is too bad for even Austin to swing at. 1-0, that should help. Oh, a quick 2-0. Surely, he has the take sign now? Oh no, or is Leyland having him swinging away, to give him confidence? No matter, hard to swing at that, even without the take sign. 3-0. Now it has to be take…this pitch is close, but no cigar, it’s a 4-pitch walk. Runs scores! RBI for Austin! Fans go wild! Pressure is lifted! That was a huge gift to Austin, and probably the At Bat of the Game, every bit as much as the Ortiz home run was the at bat of that game.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:27 am

        All eyes are still upon him, of course, and will be until he smokes one for extra bases. Radio call had it that he still seems to be having trouble just picking up fastballs.

    • Coleman

      October 17, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Hunter, Infante, Jackson and Iglesias all ran the bases well because they (and only they) can. The trick is getting them on base to run the bases well. (OK, also tip of the cap to Cabrera: he can barely run now, but he is one of the smarter baserunners on the team).

      Who was the last Tiger starter who went from home to first as fast as Jose Iglesias? He is faster than Jackson, and I would bet faster than Granderson (nobody went from 1st to 3rd like Granderson though). I will exclude Quintin Berry as a non-starting player. What do you think?

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:33 am

        I can’t remember a Tigers regular as fast around the bases as Iglesias, but there are significant gaps in my observational history.

        • Coleman

          October 17, 2013 at 12:54 am

          The last guy I can remember that I would put my money on would be Gary Pettis. Man, he was fast! Ridiculously fast. I’m not sure who since then.

        • Angus

          October 17, 2013 at 10:37 am

          Nook Logan?

          • Coleman

            October 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

            Ah, Nook Logan! Good call.

  56. StorminNorman$

    October 17, 2013 at 12:34 am

    BOS out-hit DET tonight 12-9, and every DET pitcher gave up at least one hit EXCEPT Smyly. Me, i’d have brought Smyly back out in the 9th, but it (Benoit) worked out…and DET fans might feel cheated if there’s not some late inning drama…;)

    I think DET should play Iglesias every remaining game at SS – his glove will likely make up for any drop-off in offense contemplated. Peralta is slow in LF, but adequate…as long as he keeps hitting, he’d be my LF.

    Also as suggested before here by others, VMart should get a start at 1st and DH Fielder…how about tomorrow? If Fielder is going to continue to bat 3rd or 4th, DET really needs something meaningful from him offensively, and maybe giving him a DH (day off) will help get him out of his funk.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 17, 2013 at 12:38 am

      Yeah, like Martinez at first base. Hoping for an upcoming series where we’ll get to see him catch, as well.

    • Coleman

      October 17, 2013 at 12:47 am

      Remember what a spark Avisail gave us in the postseason last year? Wouldn’t it be nice if Castellanos turned out the same way? I saw nothing really from him in September that makes me excited…I almost wish we had sold high, but I believe that Tiger folk know more about this than I do. And I like the trade for Iglesias; no regrets. But man if we had a good young outfielder like that, wouldn’t it be great to have him in the outfield, and Iglesias at short, and Martinez at first, and Peralta at DH this series? (oh, and this scenario also requires T Smith and KW to trade Fielder).

      • Smoking Loon

        October 17, 2013 at 12:58 am

        I’ll be shouted down here, but they could activate Tui for a possible spark. Nothing against Perez, but an entire roster spot devoted to pinch runner?

        • Coleman

          October 17, 2013 at 1:06 am

          That would be worth it for a Billy Hamilton or a Quintin Berry.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        October 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

        Agreed that Castellanos did not show much in his September call up. Zero pop in the bat with an okay batting average. I don’t believe that Castellanos had a single extra base hit in any of his at-bats. Garcia showed some extra base power almost immediately last year. It would be nice if Castellanos showed the same. I don’t regret the Garcia trade at all though as we got ourselves a SS that should be plug and play for the next 10-12 years.

  57. judpma

    October 17, 2013 at 1:38 am

    is it me or did it seem that the last place Fieler wanted to be at the ballpark tonight…just like last night of zero effort!!!

  58. TIGERS RULE

    October 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

    He looks like he has been staring into space for a while now ….. on a different planet ….. take your pick?

    • T Smith

      October 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Leyland needs to DH him, drop him to the fifth spot, and play Martinez at first. See if that shakes anything up.

      Oh, and did I mention it would even be an upgrade defensively?

  59. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    October 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Would Leyland “dare” to drop Fielder from the lineup if we get to the World Series in the away games where there is no DH? VMart has shown that he can adequately man first base (I’d say better than Fielder can) and I’d much rather have VMart’s bat in the lineup than Fielder’s. Or do we have VMart catch and sit Avila even though Avila has outperformed Fielder by a wide margin in this postseason offensively?? It would hurt us defensively at catcher while the VMart for Fielder move doesn;t hurt us one bit defensively at first base. It is something that I hope Ol’ Smoky gives some consideration to if we get to the WS.

    • Coleman

      October 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      I wonder if his annoying consecutive game streak counts if he doesn’t play in the postseason?

      • Vince in MN

        October 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        No. You could sit him down for the rest of the post season and he would still have everything to play for next year.

    • T Smith

      October 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Please. It pained him enough to start Max Scherzer ahead of Verlander. I’m sure labored over that decision for weeks before he finally announced the move.

      Two confrontational (and controversial) decisions regarding our under-preforming super stars in one post season? (my apologies to JV for lumping him in with Fielder — he’s been awesome since September)

      I don’t see it happening. He wouldn’t dare. He will sit Avila for one game and use VMart off the bench for the other game (and if a third game involved, it will probably be a coin toss as to which way to go — sit Avila or use VMart off the bench).

      Save for anything short of Fielder hitting the decisive walk off in one of remaining games of this series, however, he absolutely should do exactly what you suggest.

    • T Smith

      October 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      BTW, this is why he hasn’t rested Fielder. He doesn’t want to offend him given the personal streak Fielder is on.

      I’m sorry, with all due respect to Prince Fielder and his skills, he is no Cal Ripken. It would have been better for the team if he was well rested for the playoffs.

  60. StorminNorman$

    October 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Now for something completely different. There’s been recent speculation that DET could try to trade Scherzer this off-season since he’ll be a free agent at the end of the ‘14 season AND since the salaries of JV & Fielder, + new extension for Cabrera, might make Scherzer (who as a FA will likely get Greinke [$26M per yr] money or more) unaffordable.

    Depending on how DET does this post-season… if they win it all, Mr. Ilitch (a/o the Ilitch family) having conquered that mountain, might take a different or less aggressive approach (?).

    Scherzer has been phenomenal and a huge steal for DET, but he’ll never have higher trade value than this (Cy Young) offseason; but with one year left before FA, the team that trades for him is going to want to also sign him to a long term deal. With all this said, where might Scherzer want to end up? …well he has family in MO and he grew up an avid Cardinal fan, that might be a perfect destination for him – and there are a few factors that could be in DET’s favor: 1) STL has some players and prospects that could/would greatly benefit DET, and 2) Beltran’s ($16M) salary might be coming off the books if he signs a FA deal with someone else.

    My suggested trade: DET sends ’13 Cy Young winner Max Scherzer AND perennial All Star Prince Fielder to STL for:
    Michael Wacha RHP SP – 22 yrs old making minimum salary
    Trevor Rosenthal RHP RP – 23 yrs old making $490K
    Matt Carpenter 2B Bats: R – 27 yrs old making $504K
    Kolten Wong 2B Bats: L – 23 yrs old #49 overall MLB prospect
    Oscar Taveras OF Bats: L – 21 yrs old #2 overall MLB prospect

    STL may not want Fielder and his contract, but if they do, DET would lose two great players but shed over $350M+ in contracts (assuming they re-signed Scherzer long-term + the $170M left on Fielder’s deal), but in return DET would receive a very good young SP (Wacha), an excellent young reliever (“closer”), a very solid starting 2B along with two great prospects that fill DET needs.

    DET could play VMart at 1B next season or continue to DH him and move Cabrera back to 1B and re-sign either Peralta or Infante to play 3B or possibly Castellanos (Carpenter has also played 3B)…either way, there’d likely be a net gain defensively

    • T Smith

      October 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      I like. We could possibly ask for even more. If there is a 2013 Tigers/Cards rematch, and either or both players factor into a World Series ring for the Tigers, that package would be huge and be very valuable to the Cards.

      A Fielder/Scherzer trade would never be more valuable. We might even get more for it than your proposal.

      I’d hate to see Max leave, but it would be a very practical move–unless we could unload the Fielder contract for something of value and somehow sign Max.

      • William

        October 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        I think we could get more, but I like this line of thinking. Scherzer’s value will never be higher, and we won’t have to face them unless its the WS or the occasional intra-league game.