Pregame 9: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres

Howdy, friends and neighbors. The Tigers (5-3) try to get back on the righteous path tonight against the Padres (4-6), with our hero Justin Verlander carrying the bulk of our hopes for putting up a W to counter the L. He’ll be facing Ian Kennedy, who has the possible misfortune of facing a lineup thoroughly outdone the day before. Or the good fortune of extra motivation due to Detroit’s reputedly fearsome offense. It certainly does seem as if almost all of the starters the Tigers have faced so far have kicked it up a notch. It remains true that good pitching beats good hitting, so while being shut out on one hit is no fun, it’s too early to be worried about the hitting. It’s too early to be too worried about anything, really, including the bullpen. The season is young.

The last time (before last night) Detroit lost to San Diego, it was a good year for DTW and a bad one for the Tigers. P Eddie Bonine made his second career start/appearance, and the only current Tiger in the lineup was Miguel Cabrera (0 for 4). Bonine was much better through 7 than he’d been in his debut win v. the Dodgers, though he gave up two long balls (one to Chase Headley). Fernando Rodney, Casey Fossum, and Joel Zumaya teamed up to blow the game in the 8th, with a bit of help from erroneous RF Magglio Ordonez – right after Placido Polanco had tied it at 2 with a solo HR. Curtis Granderson led off the game for the visiting Tigers with a home run off none other than Greg Maddux.

In other (good) news, Miggy describes his ailing swing in an apt and funny way, which tells me it’s going to get better soon.  Maybe real soon. In what might not seem like good news, the Padres have demonstrated that they are (or can be) a better and smarter hitting team than, say, the Dodgers, and perhaps JV and Max had better watch their step – but the good part is that this might bring out the best in them. The bats are due. Not sure if this evening’s epilogue will be “they came out swinging and it paid off” or “they were too anxious and aggressive,” but there’s nowhere to go but up from zero. I don’t think consecutive shutouts are allowed. I’d definitely throw a challenge flag to that.

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46 Comments

  1. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I am one of those what have you done for us lately guys as you all know, and when Miggy straightens things out we will know in a hurry. Unlike Avila who when he straightens things out makes ground outs instead of K’s

  2. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    How is it possible that your two catchers BA ADDED together comes out to .105…..and DD how is it possible to have the two worst hitting catches in all of baseball……we had Pena and Laird who could at least be an improvement over Daddys boy…but this!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Wow a flyball to center and Mario says “now thats the Cabrerra we know”….I don’t think so!!!!

  4. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Hey Justin did you ever think if you just rhrew a bunch of strikes to start every game you could actually get batters out with way less than 30 pitches EVERY game.

  5. PHToy in HK

    April 12, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    After a 30 pitch 1st inning, I am guessing Smyly will be needed sometime today. Is he available?

  6. TIGERS RULE

    April 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    JV with 31 pitches in the first puts us behind the eight ball. We need our bats to go crazy!

    • Coleman

      April 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Avila just had a couple crazy swings, does that count?

  7. Angus

    April 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    The website Smyly is going on Wednesday but also says he does not have to. If Ol Smokey has his way it is a done deal. He would not be available. We will see what the new skip does.

  8. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Avila goes to the plate not looking for a pitch he can hit. He is looking for pitches he can take. He IS going to take all close pitches as we see every at bat. Once he falls behind in the count which is everyy time he bats the pitchers expand the zone and he has to go after one of those expanded zone pitches…very seldom is it a good pitch to hit. Until he starts jumping on early hittable pitches his woes will continue…..it ain’t brain surgery…its just hitting!

    • Vince in MN

      April 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      What makes you think Avila can hit the hittable pitches?

  9. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Pitch one right down the middle…strike!

  10. Vince in MN

    April 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Anybody keeping track of the number of different batting orders Ausmus has used? Seems to me he is on track to break Smokey Sr.’s record from several years back, which must have been about 125.

  11. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Pitch for 2-1 count right down the middle fastball…foul

  12. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Pitch five up and out of the expanded zone swing and miss

    Over and over and over….

  13. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    He doesn’t get a hittable pitch on strike three…by strike two hes already out!…you and I would both like to find out if he can hit a hittable pitch…!..

  14. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Hunter…nice two out hit!

  15. TIGERS RULE

    April 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Looks like JV has this hitting thing all figured out!

  16. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Nice play…Nick wow!

  17. Vince in MN

    April 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Avila did foul off one pitch that was in the strike zone.

  18. TIGERS RULE

    April 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Hey AA ….. see the ball, hit the ball!

  19. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I think Avila has already picked up strike one for his next at bat.

  20. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    JV if frickin dealing…hope they don’t blow this like his other starts…2 ain’t near enough for this blow pen!

  21. tbran

    April 12, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I think Ingvila would look better batting 10th.

  22. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Funny part is Holiday is at .000 and we’d rather see him try and get a hit rather than AA

  23. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Feel alot better with 1 more run!…just sayin

  24. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    More bad base running by Castellanos.

  25. Vince in MN

    April 12, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    At the end of last season, these were some of the offensive tweaks which were needed:
    1. A LF to platoon with Dirks
    2. A starting catcher that could hit his weight.
    3. A backup catcher that could hit half his weight.
    4. An upgrade for one IF bench player.

    As of today, what we need are;
    1. A LF to platoon with Davis
    2. A starting catcher that can hit half his weight.
    3. A backup catcher that shows up at the park most days
    4. A SS that can hit half his weight
    5. An upgrade for at least one IF bench player.

    Calling Dave Dombrowski, calling Dave Dombrowski…

  26. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Hey Nick thats your third high school baserunning error of the season…can you try and do better..all three were beyound a rookie mistake….and heaven open up AA monthly hit would have plated you

  27. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Vince…he isn’t answering!..,u are right on though!

  28. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I am beginning to like this Krol dude!

  29. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you, Ian “I am not Phil Coke” Krol.

  30. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    9Th inning…..let the real game …begin!!!!!

  31. Vince in MN

    April 12, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Is it possible Ian Krol could make us forget Phil Coke?

  32. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Hold your breath, El Brazo Muerto is warming up.

  33. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    One really nice DD factor is we don’t need anyone splitting time with Davis..he has been solid!

    • Vince in MN

      April 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Yeah, so far so good there, but I just don’t believe it will last. Davis’ splits vs. RHP over his career has been pretty bad. Right now though he is one of only a handful of guys who doesn’t have to talk to his swing.

  34. Kevin in Dallas

    April 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    I am already getting anxious thinking about Nathan, and we’re still batting. Time for a drink.

  35. tbran

    April 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    NICE!! AJ to the rescue.

  36. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Wow…4 might be Nathanproof!!!!!..@tta boy AJ!!!!

  37. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Huge hit by Jackson! There’s some dead arm cushion for us!

  38. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Come on Nathan…3 will be ok..just don’t go to a new area on us!!!!!

  39. jud

    April 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    JV a Win…Avila a Hit…Nathan 4 up 3 down….this is like Christmas in April!!

  40. Coleman

    April 12, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Nathan actually looked good.

  41. Angus

    April 12, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    No Jonesy or Papa Grande tonight. Hope we can take another one tomorrow and return home to clobber the Indians.

  42. Kevin in Dallas

    April 13, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Quick Update:

    Kinsler OPS: .706 (seems low, but only 2 XBH and 1 BB)

    Fielder OPS: .444

    Also, Valverde gave up a 3 run bomb in the bottom of the 9th to allow LAA to tie the Mets.

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