Pregame 6: Tigers at Dodgers

I’d like to start with a few thoughts on the first week.

First of all, we got shorted by two games. Opening week off days are kryptonite to my baseball superman.The rain made things worse.

Secondly, day games are awesome. Props to the Tigers’ scheduling powers that be. I love following as much as I can during the work day, knowing that I can re-watch at night.

Thirdly. 4-1 to start the season is fantastic. The starters were fantastic, the hitting was good enough, and the late inning wins can mean a lot for a team with some new key pieces. This is going to be a great season.

Finally…the bullpen. Oh boy, this is going to be a problem.

Bullpens are curious creatures. Often morphing on a weekly basis. What you look for from your bullpen is consistency, and we have had very little of that over the past few years. Rondon going down didn’t help, but let’s be honest, he was far from a sure thing. I know that Nathan hasn’t been sharp early, but he’s earned a long leash. Coke has used up 8 of his lives. Al Al has had an abundance of opportunities and continues to disappoint. I don’t see great things from Krol, Chamberlain, or Reed, so any setup help we’re going to get is likely going to come from outside the 25 man roster.
It’s early, but a 6.08 K/9 from the pen isn’t gonna get it done. This will be an ongoing topic.

Stat of the Pregame – the Tigers as a team have struck out 26 times this season. The Upton brothers have struck out 21 times in 47 ABs.

Puig out tonight. Interesting NL style lineup moving the speed guy from 9 to 1.

1. Rajai Davis, LF
2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
3. Torii Hunter, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
5. Victor Martinez, 1B
6. Austin Jackson, CF
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Andrew Romine, SS
9. Max Scherzer, P


  1. Vince in MN

    April 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    And moving Cabrera back to 3B with Martinez going to 1B instead of catcher. Romine starts to help the left side defense. Interesting lineup with Davis #1 and everybody else dropping a notch.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      These home runs from Torii are taking the bat right out of Miggy’s hands. What happened to table setter?

      – Disappointed in Detroit

      • Smoking Loon

        April 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm

        Yes, it is an interesting lineup. Would have batted Scherzer #7 myself. (Seriously, though… there is something strategically interesting about that.)

        • Smoking Loon

          April 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm

          I like this batting order (the one below, that is) – see if you don’t agree:


          Call me wildly unconventional, but there’s something about a .300 career hitter who walks a lot batting AHEAD of Cabrera that appeals to me. Batting with men on more often would be a good, no, GREAT thing for Hunter and the team. #9 should go without saying. Might have the same effect as AJ dropped from the leadoff spot last postseason, who knows.

          • Vince in MN

            April 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm

            Interesting idea, although Martinez’ foot speed might be a deterent on the New Tigers (last year not so much). Having Jackson batting cleanup is kind of odd though, and might mess with his head. I’d like to see how he adjusts to hittiing 5-6 for a while first. And I kind of like having a guy with some pop in his bat hitting 9th 😉


    April 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    We should have brought Davis in from 3B with less than 2 out ….. but I guess old habits are tough to break.


    April 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    AJax goes yard! We should really smoke this Haren ….. it looks like all he can throw are batting practice pitches!

    • Smoking Loon

      April 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Far from it. His cut fastballs are murder.


    April 8, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Romine stinks at the plate ….. Gonzo should get most of the time at SS.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 9, 2014 at 12:05 am

      Some glove/range/arm, though.

  5. jud

    April 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Why would you put the shift on for Avila…you only need a second baseman a pitcher and a catcher to get him out 100% of the time

    • Smoking Loon

      April 9, 2014 at 12:07 am

      Pitcher and catcher should do it. Bringing in a second baseman would constitute the “shift” in this case.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 9, 2014 at 12:14 am

        Maybe Avila should try batting from the right side. It couldn’t hurt.

  6. Kevin in Dallas

    April 8, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Uh-oh, Donkey in for Hunter. Hopefully Hunter’s okay. Tomorrow would be a good day for an off-day.

  7. Smoking Loon

    April 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Tigers vs. starting pitching at this moment: 36 for 135. .267. Sounds OK. Until you consider that 18 – half – of the hits were against Gonzalez and Norris. Bit o’ feast or famine going on, I’m afraid.

    First 2: 10 for 48
    Next 2: 18 for 40
    Last 2: 8 for 47

    Bodes well for the next two, maybe.

  8. jud

    April 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    TIGERS had two nights in Los Angeles before they played a game…this performance is identical to practically every trip the Tigers take out here….


  9. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Nothing like two whole runs in support of the last two Cy Young winners to make your week!…and I didn’t mean Cy Tillman and Cy Heran!

  10. Smoking Loon

    April 9, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Chris Perez warming up! There’s hope.

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    April 9, 2014 at 12:25 am

    The only thing worse than Jackson’s throw was the attempt at catching it.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 9, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Good point. Maybe not fair to hand Jackson that error. I could be wrong, but what’s wrong with a cut-off guy on a play like that? Never easy for a CF to make that play alone, seems to me. Even shallow.

  12. Smoking Loon

    April 9, 2014 at 12:32 am

    A leadoff runner! OK, Ausmus, make it happen.

  13. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Sure glad we kept Collins instead of Worth or Perez….

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    April 9, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Rally time!

  15. joe z

    April 9, 2014 at 12:53 am


  16. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 12:59 am


  17. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Victor it was stupid to try that against the Orioles over the weekend and even more stupid to try that here….

    • Smoking Loon

      April 9, 2014 at 1:13 am

      It was close. I like it.

  18. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 1:12 am


  19. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Coke in…I am out…..goodnight!!!!

  20. joe z

    April 9, 2014 at 1:35 am

    why does phil coke have to ruin everything

  21. jud

    April 9, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I came back….Fire DD…Fire Asmus….Fire Millen and fire Iilitch…and fire Leyland! For Coke being in a uniform of a major league team!