Game 2014.14: LAA at Det (updated)

Game 13 Postgame: Well, that sucked.

Game 14 Pregame:

You know, you gotta win series at home, so today is the linoleum game of the series if they are gonna have a chance at winning the series.

Rationally, if you’re going to lose a game, it may as well be their 1 v. your 5. Smyly was in trouble early, as he got out of a runner on 3rd 1 out situation in the first before the floodgates opened in the 2nd and 3rd. The Tigers gave the fans something to cheer about with rallies in the 7th and 9th, but the game was never really in question. Cabrera, uh, needs a few hits.

In case you are wondering, the Tigers have only given up the 2nd most stolen bases this season in the American League. The .810 success rate against is 4th worst in the AL. It’s early, but this could be a problem. The throwing arms aren’t going to get any better, so the pitchers will have to a) give up less hits and b) pay even more attention to runners. Even those on 2nd.

I had to look this up – the Tigers threw the 4th most pitches in the Majors last year. Once we catch up on games I’ll be curious to see where we stand as a staff. I watch a lot of Rangers games and a number of other games, and I don’t see many other teams wasting as many pitches as we do. I wonder if going for Ks or painting corners is a club philosophy; or if this is simply the innocent byproduct of having two tremendous power pitches on the staff. I’m leaning towards the latter, but man am I tired of starters not ever reaching the 7th.

Davis into the lead-off spot. I’m not crazy about Martinez/Hunter/Jackson. They just don’t seem to fit. I really want Jackson to learn to take a walk and steal a base and bat lead-off. Is that possible?

1. Davis, LF
2. Kinsler, 2B
3. Cabrera, 1B
4. Martinez, DH
5. Hunter, RF
6. Jackson, CF
7 .Castellanos, 3B
8. Holaday, C
9. Romine, SS

Game 14 Postgame: 

That’s pretty much what I expect every game to be like. Scherzer was tremendous. He was really only ever in trouble in the 4th when he walked two and a steal of 2B was overturned in the Angels favor. 3 H, 2 BB, 9 Ks in 7 innings. Salty.

Joba Chamberlain has become the defacto 8th inning guy. This isn’t necessarily good news, but just news. Good job tonight Joba, keep it up. Nathan can give up all the 4 run lead HRs he wants. Better than bad walks.

Castellanos’ bat is quick.

BOOBs – 6-14 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs.

Gotta win the series tomorrow.


  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Another first batter homerun off Scherzer. Becoming a Bonderman?

  2. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I believe one reason you mentioned is JV and Scherzer have such dominating stuff they get a ton of swing and misses and batters just barely getting a piece if the ball. Poorer pitches get hit more often…Also I would think teams ranked 1-2-3 ahead of the Tigers walk more batters. It doesn’t seem the Tigers have a high BB ranking (research dept)..thus more pitches.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      True, Tigers doing well on the BB so far. Strikeouts are down.

  3. Smoking Loon

    April 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    The staff as whole is only slightly above league average in pitches/PA. The starters have thrown an average of 17.4 pitches per inning. By contrast, the Rangers are at 15.7.

    Tigers pitching has the highest XBH% in the league by far (9.2%). Also the highest % of foul balls as strikes (29.2%).

    Overall, team pitching looks pretty good to not bad statistically.

  4. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Boy if this isn’t the story of the Tigers…1 batter gets 1 run…Tigers put three runners on ..nadda….1-0 Angels

  5. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm



    April 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    When Nick really gets it going, look out! Romine is just plain brutal at the plate!

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Isn’t he, though? Bunt, please! Also, like Luke Putkonen, he looks too affable.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 19, 2014 at 8:23 pm

        Was Romine lazy on the late tag at 2B (overturned call) or does it just look that way in slo-mo? Holaday’s throw was there in time, bounced but accurate.

        I’m impressed with replay so far. Justice is being served on those toughest of calls, the safe/out on base calls.

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    April 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Looks like Fox & MLB got Saturday afternoons worked out. Game is on, not Rod & Mario though.


    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Kenny Albert (figured that one out) with Tom Verducci. Interesting to hear Verducci’s voice. May ruin his SI Articles.

      • Coleman

        April 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm

        With guest commentary by Rod Allen.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          April 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm

          I thought Rod was really good with them.

          • Smoking Loon

            April 19, 2014 at 8:01 pm

            Rod. Good. Same sentence. Huh.

            • Coleman

              April 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

              He was, and Mario did a turn with the San Diego guys and was good also. Maybe we underrate our own guys. Or maybe they do better when they are guesting with someone else.

              One thing about Rod though…I think it’s pretty hilarious that they always announce him as “Rod Allen, member of the championship 1984 Tigers.”

              • Smoking Loon

                April 20, 2014 at 2:04 am

                Rod Allen had a truly impressive minor league career. Carrying those numbers of his over 13 years in the minors (and not even counting the stats I don’t see from Japan and the Mexican League)… kind of a shame that a cup of coffee with the Tigers is all that gets mentioned.

                Radio and TV are different animals, I know, but I can’t help but judge Mario and Rod against Dan and Jim. TV, as far as I can tell, is the lightweight version, and Mario and Rod are probably no better or worse than the norm there. Overall, I just don’t like FSD’s production.

  8. Coleman

    April 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Another sac fly for Austin Jackson! That’s 4 this season already. Last season he had 3.

  9. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    AJ is getting good at this situational hittibg.. something Leyland thought was a worthless concept!..RFTL2…success again!

  10. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Victor..has been good since day one ..kinda caarrying Miggy so far

  11. Coleman

    April 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Maybe Holaday could hold a little bunting clinic, that was perfect.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      It was sweet, wish they’d pull a little more of that with Romine and Davis as well. Kinsler can do it, too, if memory isn’t completely off.

  12. Coleman

    April 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    First career golden sombrero for Mike Trout.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      I was stunned, in a good way.

  13. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Needed that Max special to get off the schnide with lets win the series…..hey Miggy feel free to continue AB’s like that last one…..just sayin!

  14. Smoking Loon

    April 19, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Why do you want Jackson to bat leadoff again, Kevin? I don’t think he wants to be that guy. Plus, Kinsler’s already playing that role with a good deal more panache.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 20, 2014 at 12:30 am

      I think Kinsler’s power is better suited further down in the lineup.

      And I don’t think that Jackson has the power to bat 6th. We’ll likely see Castellanos there sooner than later, and it seems a waste to have such a quick hitter like Jackson so late in the lineup. So what I really wish is that Jackson would develop into a leadoff hitter. You make an interesting point about him not wanting to be there, and perhaps Jackson will be more comfortable at 5/6. We’ll let Ausmus figure that out.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 20, 2014 at 1:22 am

        Some power in the leadoff position does come in handy. They had it with Curtis Granderson and were after it again (I think) with Austin Jackson. I think Ian Kinsler is actually more of what they’ve been after, and this frees Jackson to be what I think he wants to be. I’m not positive what that is, but it seems like he doesn’t want to be typecast and put in the spotlight that way, as “leadoff guy” or “20/20 guy.” Don’t tell him I said this, but even if he doesn’t have 20 HR power, I think he might be very good as “RBI guy,” much as Victor Martinez is now. Think 12 HR, 100 RBI. So I’m high on the idea of having him right behind Victor and Miggy. No one finds it odd that Martinez should bat cleanup with his modest HR power. So why would it be odd for Jackson?

        There are some interesting schools of thought about the significance of batting order. I find a lot of the traditional ideas about it questionable (having read articles that opened my eyes to the questions). The best point made that I’ve seen is that, logically, you want your best hitters to have the most batting opportunities. Logically, then, Cabrera and Martinez are your 1-2 hitters (either way). That runs into the objection that batters #7-9 won’t be on base often enough for the Big Two. OK, so you move ’em down – but how far? Interesting discussion.

        For what it’s worth, I think considerations of staggering L-R and “clogging the bases” by batting slow guy ahead of fast guy just muddy the waters. The only circumstance you really control with batting order is who gets to bat more often than who. Rajai Davis might seem like a top of the order guy by some measures, but bottom of the 9th, do or die, will you be glad that it’s him up and Ian Kinsler all the way over in the on deck circle? Or that it’s Kinsler up and Cabrera on deck?

  15. Commerce Dave

    April 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Victor Martinez is just a rock.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Very rarely do you see even a bad swing, let alone a bad at bat. He’s something else. Wonder if the Tigers try to hold on to him after 2014.

  16. Smoking Loon

    April 19, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    (Not counting today’s game, JV 4 starts, MS 3, AS 3, RP 2, source bbref):

    STRIKE %
    Porcello 68.1
    Scherzer 65.9
    Verlander 65.2
    Sanchez 61.1

    Porcello 27.8
    Verlander 25.4
    Sanchez 25.4
    Scherzer 23.2

    Scherzer 18.5
    Porcello 18.3
    Sanchez 17.9
    Verlander 17.4

    Sanchez 37.0
    Scherzer 35.5
    Verlander 28.2
    Porcello 22.2

    Porcello 31.7
    Verlander 28.9
    Scherzer 22.7
    Sanchez 19.7

    Scherzer 50.6
    Porcello 49.2
    Verlander 48.6
    Sanchez 45.6

    Porcello 74.7
    Scherzer 75.9
    Sanchez 76.0
    Verlander 76.6

    3-0 COUNTS/PA %
    Porcello 2.0
    Sanchez 5.1
    Verlander 5.3
    Scherzer 6.4

    0-2 COUNTS/PA %
    Sanchez 35.6
    Verlander 23.9
    Porcello 22.0
    Scherzer 21.8

    Scherzer 64.1
    Porcello 64.0
    Verlander 62.8
    Sanchez 57.6

  17. jud

    April 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Hey Loon …nice stuff…our research Dept ranks right up there with the best of them…And were fast too! Notice I take a little credit ..not that I research a lot ….but I call on them alot!!!

    Hey know those two hits and the miss throw out by an eyelash..well it will be back to the bench tomorrow so Daddy’s boy can resume his futility!!!

    • Coleman

      April 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Yeah, but can Avila do this?

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks, jud. If I was a really good Research Department, I’d also explain what it all meant. Alas, I’m no Lee Panas. But there are interesting little surprises in this early season look.

      I’m surprised Holaday hasn’t played a bit more, just as a matter of occasional rest for Avila (regardless of how he’s doing) and getting more experience for the backup and keeping him sharp. I guess the early interleague play disrupted things. I don’t expect Holaday to challenge Avila, but I like to see all the players play and the chance to see what they’ve got. That’s why I never complain about Sunday lineups.

  18. Smoking Loon

    April 19, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    LF J.D. Martinez and OF Ezequiel Carrera are tearing it up in Toledo, and Tyler Collins is off to a nice start there as well. Wondering what’s in store for SS/2B Hernan Perez, also off to a pretty decent start.

    • Coleman

      April 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Hernan will be with the team before the All-Star break. Omar Vizquel is a big fan, and coached him in the Venezuelan league. I think Omar has a lot of pull with the team right now.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 19, 2014 at 9:51 pm

        You’re probably right. Bears watching how much SS he plays with the Mud Hens. When Perez gets the call, I think it will be to start at SS. If the affable Romine doesn’t affable himself out of a job, he’ll be the utility IF.

  19. Coleman

    April 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I’m not sure how this got under my radar, but when Iglesias went down, one of the options supposedly discussed was…Omar Vizquel. Yep. Nope, they were just joking. Except, maybe not. At any rate, Alex Gonzalez probably seemed young after they went there.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Oh yeah, I remember that. It was the joke that wasn’t entirely a joke. I’m sure Vizquel was/is capable, but we can well imagine what a distraction all the attention to such a move would have been.

      I don’t think there was anything in the media about it, but it seems I read some fan comments about the possibility of Ausmus catching a while back (it occurred to me as well). Hard to see the player-manager coming back, but who knows what the future holds? Manager hires do seem to be getting younger and younger.

      • Jim EggersUSMC

        April 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm

        I say let’s get a cup on both of them and throw them out there. Then when they can’t hit or run or catch or throw, we can all rag on them till they, you know, hurt something real bad.

        • Smoking Loon

          April 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          I can’t imagine us ragging on anyone. We’re very urbane here.

          • Jim EggersUSMC

            April 20, 2014 at 1:46 am

            Sorry, wrong verb…..

            • Smoking Loon

              April 20, 2014 at 2:14 am

              No problem with the verb, Jim. I was only being urbanely facetious. We do pick on players, managers, and coaches as all good fickle fans will. I wasn’t quite sure where you were going with that, so I took a swing. You might have thrown a curveball right over my head.

  20. Smoking Loon

    April 19, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    It was nice to see Brennan Boesch playing for the Angels, emphasis on the last four words. First ex-Tiger so far this year to *not* exact some kind of vengeance. Surprised we didn’t see Delmon Young v. the Orioles or Ryan Raburn v. the Indians.

  21. Vince in MN

    April 20, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Gonzalez out, Worth in. Well, duh!

    • Smoking Loon

      April 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      A bit sooner than I expected. How about you?