Pregame 8: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres

The Tigers (5-2) are in San Diego, where it’s always baseball weather, for three against the Padres (3-6). Rick Porcello makes the start for Detroit, facing Andrew Cashner.

Obviously, not much history between these two clubs, but there was one famous series (famous if you’re a Detroit or San Diego fan, anyway) back in 1984. I followed the Tigers’ magical season game in and game out that year by way of the newspaper (remember those?). Watched the World Series on TV. I was in for some surprises 30 years later when I had a look at the bbref franchise encyclopedia for that season (for instance, how many team SB there were with only one guy any good at it, and how miserable the success rate was – different game then, maybe). I recommend it. Could lead to some interesting discussion and recollections.

At any rate, my recollections were a bit off, to say the least. I had come to believe that the 1984 Tigers were The Little Team That Could. Not so, even though they were without any true superstars and none of the players had what could be called statistically amazing seasons. They were the class of MLB in 1984 in all sorts of ways. They had no one even close to Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, and Tigers teams of recent vintage have it all over them in terms of talent (and yet… Rusty Kuntz, .805 OPS!), but they put up 111 wins. I think the 2011-2013 Tigers lose a theoretical best-of-seven with the 1984 Tigers, 4 games to 2. The 2014 Tigers stand a better chance.

Yes, I think the season is off to a good start. This team is putting on a much, much better show through 7 games than last year’s. Hear me now and believe me later.

Regarder le match, écouter le jeu, suivre le jeu. Nous allons voir certaines réactions ici. Des prix vous attendent pour “Soup Du Jour.”



  1. Vince in MN

    April 11, 2014 at 2:06 am

    The ’84 Tigers were stacked. No holes in the regular lineup AND an excellent bench (it can be done), while the pitching staff and pen were also way better than average.

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I forgot Mike Laga was on that team. For about 4 years he was always going to be the Next Somebody.

      • Smoking Loon

        April 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        I certainly don’t want to put down the 1984 Tigers, Vince, but maybe over the course of the season I’ll play the devil’s advocate in arguing that they weren’t really that stacked and that the 2014 Tigers a) compare rather favorably to them, and b) are also similar. Of course, I might have to abandon this if the 2014 Tigers don’t keep a comfortable distance between themselves and .500.

        • Coleman

          April 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm

          From those 2 starting lineups, only Cabrera, Martinez, and Verlander crack the ’84 lineup.

        • Vince in MN

          April 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm

          Just as a quick guide, check the OPS+ and ERA+ columns, which is a pretty good indication of where each player stood in relationship to league average.


    April 11, 2014 at 9:52 am

    We have played some sloppy baseball and very easily could be 2-5 instead of 5-2. Nathan does not have the stuff of a closer ….. is he washed up? Do we have someone in the organization that can step up and assume that role or will it be mix and match for the near future?

    • Coleman

      April 11, 2014 at 11:25 am

      When Alburquerque came up it looked like he had the stuff of a closer, including a killer slider. But these days batters sit on his fastball and kill it. I wonder what happened there. Has he lost velocity? Movement? He can’t locate it? Or he’s just too predictable now?

      • Smoking Loon

        April 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm

        We’re all wondering. The slider is as good as ever. Must be the fastball. I guess when you have two pitches, you’re on a constant tightrope of having to make them work off of each other.

  3. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The best way to solve this temporarily is to go out and smack the ball around San Diego…and lets hope leaving Los Angeles helps Miggy find his stroke. It usually does!

  4. StorminNorman$

    April 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    the Freep has been running articles chronicling the start of the ’84 season – wishful parallels? I’m hoping for a similar ending anyway.

    the stars really aligned for the ’84 team (Willie Hernandez CY + MVP, Parrish Gold Glove/Silver Slugger, Gibson, etc) – good ‘balanced’ team w/only one guy (Trammel) that his over .300, but 8 guys who hit 12 or more HR’s – no one w/over 100 RBI (Parrish had 98, Gibby 91), very solid pitching staff – top to bottom.

    DET started off 9-0 on their way to a staggering 35-5!!! Record by month: APR 18-2, May 19-7, June 18-12, July 16-12, AUG 16-15, Sept 17-10 = 104 – 58

    30 years is a LONG time…unless of course you’re a Cubs fan…


    April 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Hey LOON, “Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”, you young sexy French thing.

    • Smoking Loon

      April 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      All right, that’s it. No soup for you. In fairness, I think the French language has this effect on everyone. Maybe even the French.

  6. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Can’t believe this game starts at 11 back Michigan way!…lets go Tigers!

  7. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Hey Rod its not his left knee its his left head!!

  8. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    MIGGY Has 1 HR and 3 RBI…all came in one game……6 other games of nothing…no games even with 2 hits….anybody but me think theres something wrong here!????

  9. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I don’t understand how that wasn’t an E on Kelly.

  10. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Hey Tigers feel free to put your bat on any of these pitches fron Cy Cashmer

  11. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    These last 10 swings against LA and SD…are a effort and zero bat speed!

  12. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I am talking Miggy!!

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    April 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Cashner’s stuff tonight is fantastic. First pitch strikes, working the bottom of the zone. He makes it look easy.

  14. Vince in MN

    April 11, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Avila has K’d 10 times in 23 PA. On the plus side, he has 2 hits, 4 BBs and has only hit into 1 DP.

  15. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Miggy looks worse than At the end of last year…WTH!

  16. jud

    April 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Hey Jackson the ump has called that pitch a strike 35 times tonight including your last strikeout…but you think nah its a ball……we have here a failure to learn !…

  17. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 12:33 am

    We let Laird go
    We let Pena go

    We keep Avila and the only guy in baseball that actually hits worse than him….
    Holiday 0 for 2014 season!

  18. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 1:01 am

    I don’t think 35-5 is happening.

  19. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 1:11 am

    This teanm could easily be 1-7

    Cabrerra ain’t right either!

  20. Vince in MN

    April 12, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Sometimes you just have to tip your cap. And the bottom of the order is a black hole. Not to take anything away from Cy Cashner of course.

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