Relax

It’s just 2-1. We’re playing the best regular season team in baseball, not Minnesota.

There’s no home field advantage in MLB playoffs.

We have the best rotation in baseball, and the best hitter too.

Big game tomorrow.

We’ll be alright.

More to come.

43 Comments

  1. JimEggersUSMC

    October 16, 2013 at 1:30 am

    K in D : I sure hope you are right… btw, where did you get that pic of my winter quarters?

  2. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Relax and enjoy…three one-run games!

  3. Angus

    October 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

    You are correct Kevin in D. We need to get some bats going. The 8th inning was a killer last night. Cabby looked human. Infante, Jackson, Hunter, Fielder wake up and produce. Otherwise it will be a long winter.

  4. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    To borrow a phrase from someone famous, there is still a lot of baseball left. If they win tonight, there will be even more.

  5. KW

    October 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

    My only consolation through all of this is that if the Tigers underperform in the playoffs for the third straight year, Leyland will be gone. Right? Right guys? Hello? Guys?

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Dombrowski has already said he can manage as long as he wants.

      • StorminNorman$

        October 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        its a given, barring any unforeseen health issues, JL will be back managing DET next season whether they lose the next 2 games or win the WS – I agree w/Coleman, DD will let him be DET’s mgr as long as he wants to, and JL has indicated he wants to continue to manage

        …I guess the only ‘wild card’ could be that DD has been mentioned as the possible successor to Bud Selig (as Commish) – could just be wild speculation, but if DD left, a new GM could change the dynamic.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm

          There’s hope that Leyland might call it quits, hopefully on a high note with a WS championship, but possibly after this possible debacle of a series. It’s gotta hurt. It is what it is, and what it is shouldn’t be.

  6. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Maybe a good diversion would be a pool on how long it takes Doug Fister to hit Shane Victorino with a pitch. I’m going with pitch #4.

    Justin Verlander did a good job yesterday talking about how some of the pitches Victorino gets hit with are actually strikes–better to get that out there before the game than argue with the umpires during a game. And he was getting the strike call on the high tight ones (which weren’t as high or tight as Victorino makes them appear).

    • StorminNorman$

      October 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      great observation re: JV’s very timely disclosure about Victorino crowding the plate (and getting a HBP on a strike).

      I suspect Victorino will allow himself to get hit by the first inside (belt or higher) pitch Fister delivers…and i’m a little surprised it already hasn’t occurred, but maybe the speed of Scherzer or JV makes less attractive to leaning into one

      BTW – this approach of crowding the plate and ‘taking one for the team’ might be something Jackson should consider

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        Fielder took one in the arm without really moving, but then again he has a little bit more padding than Jackson does.

  7. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    October 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Honest question: Has Prince Fielder in his two years as a Tiger ever come through for us when the chips are down in the late innings? I can think of big late inning (walk-off or tying the game in the ninth) hits from pretty much everybody in the lineup (except Iglesias but he has only been here 10 weeks) over the past two seasons at some point (even Santiago and Avila). I, however, cannot recall a single walk-off or game tying late ining hit from Fielder in his two years here.

    Is there seriously a less-clutch guy than Prince other than maybe A-Rod?? I said it at the time of the deal and I believe it to be true now more than ever, that was a terrible signing by Mr.Ilitch/Dombrowski before the 2012 season. That contract is going to be an albatross around the neck of whomever takes over the franchise in the coming years, and we are likely going to have to live with it or agree to pay the majority of it down the road in order to get another team to take Prince off of our hands. His power numbers were down this year and that only seems likely to continue with each passing year as he gets older. He can’t play first base at a major league level (just look to the ninth inning of Game 2 for confirmation of that), but refuses to DH (in other words…..what a great team guy). Last night in the 8th inning he once again proved why he is “A-Rod with dreadlocks” as he struck out meekly in the bottom of the 8th with men on the corners and two out. Fielder is BY FAR my least favorite Tiger right now, surpassing Ol’ Smoky for that honor and for anybody who has read my posts in the past………………that takes some doing. It just steams me to know that he got that kind of money from the Tigers and this is the return that they get on that investment from him.

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      To be fair, Cabrera had also just “meekly” struck out against an easier relief pitcher. But I agree with the general point: he is a liability in the field and on the bases, and we thought we were signing a 50-HR guy, not a guy whose contribution is poking singles to left field. When Papi comes to the plate, we all go “oh no.” When Fielder comes to the plate, the Red Sox fans just shrug.

      In fact, with Cabrera injured and mostly a singles hitter now, we have a huge problem: our 3-4-5 guys are singles hitters who are anchors on the base paths (Martinez is a doubles hitter, but he usually only makes it to first on his doubles), which makes us a DP waiting to happen. Peralta is the only guy who scares anybody right now.

      Of course we could always acknowledge this and move the lineup around, but we know that isn’t happening.

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        This all changes if Jackson and Hunter start getting on base. Then those singles aren’t starting rallies (and clogging the bases), they are knocking runs in.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        October 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        Cabrera is hurt and has done so much more than Prince for the team this season, so I’ll cut him some slack (even tho it was an ugly strikeout for Miggy). Prince has failed us time and time again when the chips are down and we really need a big hit late inning hit from him.

    • KW

      October 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I feel like Prince has had a couple of clutch hits, but don’t quote me on that. Can you look up game-tying or walkoff hits on Baseball Reference? That said, I’ve never seen a power hitter ground out to second more than Prince. Is McClendon even working with him on that? He has to be able to put the ball in the air, especially with runners in scoring position. That’s why he’s getting (over)paid the big bucks.

      My biggest issue with Prince is that he just seems indifferent to everything that happens in the game. He’s very Manny Ramirez-esque in that respect. Misses the pop foul catch? Smirks and shrugs it off. Strikes out? No reaction. Ground ball two steps away? Takes one step and goes to the bag. The guy just doesn’t seem to care. I can’t think of one time where a call went against him and he argued with an ump. I’m not looking for a crybaby or even someone who’s considered “gritty” (groan), but someone who cares about what happens. Right now, he just seems like someone who’s punching into a job he doesn’t like, doing the bare minimum, and going home.

      On a similar note, how likely is a Prince Fielder trade this offseason? I know his contract is huge, but there are other huge contracts out there I’d rather have. How about a Prince/Porcello trade to the Phillies for Hamels/Papelbon? Crazy talk?

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

        The guy I am coveting is Jacoby Ellsbury (2014 free agent): a great outfielder, good on base percentage, huge stolen base threat–in other words, the leadoff hitter we have been looking for since I can’t even remember when.

        • JimEggersUSMC

          October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

          Like him too, health is a concern, and if you were the redsox, would you let him go?

          • Coleman

            October 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm

            If I were the Red Sox I’d try to extend him, and if unsuccessful trade him rather than losing him to free agency. The Tigers have a track record of picking up guys like that and signing them to extensions.

      • StorminNorman$

        October 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        http://www.freep.com/article/2.....on-red-sox
        the national sports media also shining a light on Mr. Fielder’s playoff performance…

        • KW

          October 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

          Has Leyland ever been asked why he thought it was a good idea to play Fielder every single day? I know he’s got some kind of mini-Iron Man streak going on, but the dude is at least 100 pounds overweight and didn’t have a great year by his standards, so he’s was the perfect candidate to have at least a few days off during the season. And who knows, maybe he’d be playing a lot better now if were given some breathers.

          The same thing goes for Cabrera. It’s complete insanity that he was never put on the DL during the regular season, especially after it was apparent he wasn’t going to win the triple crown.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        October 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        Good observation. Very little fire in the belly (at least not discernible to the fan) and he seems to be non-plussed when things are going good or bad, which can be read as not caring (perhaps he does). It is possible that he does care very much, but his actions do not make it apparent. It would make me believe that he cares if he actually showed some frustration once in a while (throw your helmet against the dugout wall just once please Prince). People that show emotion after failure or success lead me to believe that what is happening to them matters, people that have the same stoic (being nice here) look all of the time regardless of the circumstances lead me to believe that what is happening around them is no big deal. I’m of the belief that you have to have some fire in the belly to succeed at this level, that you can’t achieve at the highest levels without it. Just not sure if Prince has it.

        Regarding your trade proposal, I’d do it in a second. Not sure if the Phillies would do it because there is no DH in the NL, and at some point Fielder is going to be a DH only type of guy before his contract expires after the 2020 season.

    • T Smith

      October 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      If there are any suitors — and I’ll grant there are only a handful of teams that could even consider taking that contract — I would try to unload him and get the best group of prospects we can while Price Fielder still has some perceived value as a super star. It’s just a hunch — and I will be delighted to be wrong on this — I just think Fielder is past his most productive years. It’s downhill from here. He may even have another couple decent years al a 2013, but they will not be 20 m a year decent.

      Maybe it’s the huge contract and he just doesn’t care anymore; maybe he’s peaked already as a player; maybe he’s lost ambition. Who knows? He just doesn’t look to me like the guy who hit 51 home runs for the Brewers. He looks more like an over-paid has-been.

      People tout his stats and say it’s crazy talk; but as you have pointed out, when has he truly been clutch? RBI, for that matter, is an over rated stat. So he has 108 RBI? I would argue almost anyone batting cleanup in the Tigers lineup would produce 100 RBI. Martinez, Peralta, Torri Hunter for that matter–any good hitter will produce 100 RBI batting clean up in the Tigers lineup. When you’re batting behind a guy who is on base almost 50% of the time how can you not have inflated RBIs ? The real stats that matter is the line with RISP, and if I’m not mistaken Price Fielder doesn’t exactly shine in that category.

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        The Yankees were after him before he signed with Detroit, and who can blame them–they were salivating over the idea of him launching balls into their short right field porch. Plus, they say those pinstripes have a slimming effect. I think that ship has sailed though (when is the last time he pulled a ball?)

  8. StorminNorman$

    October 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    a day after JL insists Jackson is our leadoff guy, he drops him to the 8th spot…hmmm
    tonight’s DET lineup vs RHP Peavy
    1. Torii Hunter, RF
    2. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
    3. Prince Fielder, 1B
    4. Victor Martinez, DH
    5. Jhonny Peralta, LF
    6. Alex Avila, C
    7. Omar Infante, 2B
    8. Austin Jackson, CF
    9. Jose Iglesias, SS

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Hmm.

      • StorminNorman$

        October 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        very uncharacteristic for JL to make changes suggested in the sports media… typically that (media chatter) strengthens his resolve…

        is it possible he recognizes how critical these next two games in DET are and that the status-quo wasn’t too effective yesterday?

        • Coleman

          October 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm

          It doesn’t really accomplish much. Now instead of the 9-1-2 hitters striking out, the 8-9-1 hitters will be striking out. Here is what I’d rather see (assuming the same guys in the lineup):
          1. Iglesias
          2. Peralta
          3. Cabrera
          4. Martinez
          5. Fielder
          6. Hunter
          7. Avila
          8. Jackson
          9. Infante

          Iglesias may be a dumb pick for leadoff, since he is a strike out bait hacker like AJax and Torii have been. He does get on base though, you can have him steal. He can score from first on a double. Batting Jhonny 2nd might get him an extra at bat.

          • Coleman

            October 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm

            Oh, and one of the bottom of the order guys get on, Iglesias can bunt them into scoring position for Peralta/Cabrera. He and Omar are the only guys on the team who can put down a bunt.

          • T Smith

            October 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

            That lineup works. The important piece, imho, is putting Martinez as cleanup and Fielder behind him.

            • Coleman

              October 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm

              Leyland’s lineup works too…if moving Jackson down relaxes him and if Torii takes to the leadoff role.

          • Jerry the Tiger Fan

            October 16, 2013 at 9:59 pm

            Coleman, I love your proposed lineup except that I’d bat Infante leadoff and Iglesias in the nine hole. Peralta batting second would make a lot of sense.

  9. Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Speaking of bad contracts, somehow this slipped under my radar: in August the Angels signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract (Salt Lake Bees)

  10. StorminNorman$

    October 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Surprised to see that of the remaining 4 teams, DET is 2nd in BA, and STL is last w/a .182 BA (but they have a 3-1 lead in the NLCS) – team stats:
    LA .278 BA, 33 R, .776 OPS 27 XBH (extra base hits)
    DET .231 BA, 23 R, .631 OPS 17 XBH
    BOS .224 BA, 33 R, .663 OPS 16 XBH
    STL .182 BA, 29 R, .566 OPS 17 XBH

  11. StorminNorman$

    October 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....on-red-sox
    “You can’t get new players. We have to be creative,” Leyland said. “A little bit of a shocker. But hey, postseason, let’s try something. I’m not afraid to try something. We’ve scored 1 and 0 runs in two games. We’ve got to take a shot. Something to churn up the butter a little bit. I thought about this long and hard. I think it makes a lot of sense. I really do.”

    **Leyland said he doesn’t want Cabrera and Martinez to bat back-to-back, as some have suggested, because he’d have to pinch-run for one of them.**

    ???…OK, he lost me with the ‘pinch-run’ comment… is he suggesting that if Cabrera and VMart both got consecutive hits he would immediately have to pinch run for one of them (in any inning)?…or is he implying that the speedy (;)) Fielder nicely offsets or compliments Cabby’s & VMart’s more deliberate approach to base running?

    • Coleman

      October 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      If running were really such an issue he would make sure that none of Peralta, Cabrera, Martinez, Fielder, or Avila were back to back.

    • Vince in MN

      October 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Leyland conflates “taking a shot” with being “creative”. Sorry JL, creativity and panic are not the same thing.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        Agree with Vince, though I’ll give Leyland credit for being way radical by his standards in dropping Jackson.

        There’s no getting around the “clogged bases” thing with the Tigers. None. It forces an extreme emphasis on XBH, which the Tigers are sometimes capable of delivering… and sometimes not.

        We must examine at some point during the offseason the utter folly of this “taking the bat out of the hands of” thing. If you can’t trust at least one of your first two hitters to be a high-percentage SB guy*, your lineup is flawed, as is your roster, most probably. And it doesn’t help to have a hacker batting behind such a guy.

        *Not necessarily a Lou Brock, but someone you TRUST.

        • Vince in MN

          October 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm

          Poor team speed condemns them to the station to station mode or, as you say, dire need fro XBH. Factor in the lousy baserunning/coaching, and the problem is amplified. This issue (these issues) must be dealt with this offseason. And it isn’t all on roster changes, if you dig my meaning, if you get my drift.

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  13. Smoking Loon

    October 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Nice thought with the Relax thing, Kevin. Good idea. We’re all a bit frustrated right now.

    • Vince in MN

      October 16, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      You can always tell when Kevin is nervous because he rolls out the “we’ll be OK” line.

      Speaking of nervous, why am I more nervous with a 5-0 lead than a 1-0 lead?

      • Coleman

        October 16, 2013 at 9:23 pm

        As long as we can be up, say 5-1 in the 8th, I don’t think anything could go wrong.