Game 2014.48: Tigers 6, A’s 5

Well down your lattes, slap your own cheeks, and prepare for a 10:05 spectacular (except for those of you not in the Eastern time zone, which is, actually, probably, a majority of you).

The Tigers have been plagued with facing Cy Whoever lately, but tonight, at least, they get a legitimate Cy Young candidate in Young Sonny Gray (pardon the redundancy), the 24-yr old with the 1.99 ERA and the 5-1 record. Let’s take a moment to pre-tip the cap to Sonny Boy, but that’s no reason we have to give up double-digits again. We need a chance to back off the ledge here, so, no matter what happens with Sonny, let’s keep these guys to single digits tonight, okay? We don’t need to win tonight, but we can’t have another massacre.

The Tigers are all about Team Unity right now: they wear matching Zubaz, their pitching–even the celebrated Starting Pitching–has been awful, and the bats are in tune, making average pitchers seem like Cy Young. We’ve seen this before, and every team sees it at some point every season. But didn’t it just rankle you a little bit when, shut down by Random Rookie Guy or Bruce Chen or Whoever,  Jim Leyland would start his post game comments with “you’ve got to tip your cap to Random Rookie Guy…?” Right?

Well it looks like it bothered Legendary Lloyd a bit too. McClendon’s Mariners were shut down by Houston’s Dallas Keuchel (remember him? he went all Cy Young on the Tigers on May 8). Lloyd was NOT about to cap-tip: “I saw average stuff,” he said. “We didn’t swing the bats very good. At some point, you’ve got to stop giving credit to average pitchers. That becomes a broken record. At some point, we’ve got to start swinging the bats.” Lloyd’s getting some blowback for that one, but I find it refreshing. By all means, tip your cap to Sonny tonight if he shuts us down, but it’s not ALWAYS good pitching.

What we really need is a Zubaz bonfire. I mean the stuff became popular in the early 90s in professional wrestling circles (red flag!). I don’t really believe in an actual Zubaz Curse, but I do think there is a symbolic aspect worth contemplating. I appreciate the team-unity aspect of the Zubaz-flaunting. But other than the hideous patterns of the stuff, the big selling point of Zubaz is the comfort. Thus the symbolic aspect: did the team get too comfortable, too early? Burn it.

Also, a sacrificial lamp wouldn’t hurt (tip of the cap to Jud). It’s very cool that Ausmus is all cerebral and whatnot, but that would make it even more effective were he to smash a lamp in the clubhouse. And wear the lampshade in the dugout.

Well, we can make our suggestions here, but they mostly float into the ether like the smoke from a Leyland Marlboro. What we CAN do though, is choose appropriate nicknames, and I’m not feeling it for “Smokey Jr.” Ol’ Smokey was perfect for Leyland, but Ausmus is just not a Leyland Jr. to me (among other things, the lineup shakeup yesterday was very un-Leyland-like). This may be a trial-and-error thing, but I’m going to throw this one out there to start: Ol’ Smarty.

Tonight’s Ol’ Smarty’s Slump-busting Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Hunter, RF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, LF
  6. Kelly, 3B
  7. Jackson, CF
  8. Avila, C
  9. Romine, SS

Andrew Romine now has a 4-game hitting streak.

77 Comments

  1. Smoking Loon

    May 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    “Houston’s Dallas Keuchel”

    If the game out west goes south, here’s some trivial pursuit for ya: Find another authentic (baseball player) city/state name combo as in the above. I’m not entirely sure you’ll be able to.

    Cheers to McClendon for not tipping his cap.

    Sonny Gray. Named to avoid middle age. No prime in his career destiny.

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Does Grover Cleveland Alexander count? It is a middle name, but then again he’s a Hall of Famer.

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Oh never mind, that’s easy!

      • Coleman

        May 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        Detroit’s Austin Jackson

        • Smoking Loon

          May 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm

          I’m thinking two cities in the same state or a readily identifiable city-state combo. There’s probably a Jackson in Texas, like there’s a Jackson in every state, but I’m looking for something a little more sticking, as Houston-Dallas is.

          Austin will qualify if and when he plays for Texas or Houston.

          • Smoking Loon

            May 27, 2014 at 10:10 pm

            A little more *striking*, I meant to say.

          • Coleman

            May 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

            Well, there’s a Jackson near Detroit.

            • Smoking Loon

              May 27, 2014 at 10:23 pm

              He’ll have to change his name to Michigan or Flint to make it. Sorry, Austin.

              Flint Jackson. Man, that was one hard-nosed baseball player. A grinder, a gamer. Old school.

  2. TIGERS RULE

    May 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Ol’ Smarty, have you lost your marbles. I have yet to see any smart decision making from Ausmus.

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Well then it works, ironically, doesn’t it? I mean all we hear about is how he is Ivy League.

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      I confess I did lose my marbles though, decades ago. I think my little brother stole them.

  3. Smoking Loon

    May 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Ivy League Boy works if we want to sneer at him (I typically don’t). A nickname for Ausmus is tough. We’ll have to wait for some kind of quirk to surface, I suppose.

    Baseball managers are not typically youngish and handsome. Could call him Head and Shoulders. Or the Young Sophisticator. OK, way obscure.

    Let’s see… something to do with surfing? We could call him Barbara Ann, somewhat obscurely.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Speaking of nicknames grown here (as far as I know), Battlestar is the classic. Who came up with that? All I remember is that it caught on like wildfire, possibly because it was so much easier than all those l’s and r’s and g’s.

  4. Coleman

    May 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    The A’s may have supplied Zubaz-Curse reversal, now is the time to cast off the Zubaz!
    http://oakland.athletics.mlb.c.....alooza.jsp

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      I hereby predict an A’s losing streak to begin July 20.

  5. jud

    May 27, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Whats a lead?

  6. Coleman

    May 27, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    It’s fun listening to the A’s feed.

  7. Coleman

    May 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Detroit needs a couple more Martinezes.

  8. jud

    May 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Heres exactly the hitting problem…5-6-7 no RBIs

  9. jud

    May 27, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Sure be nice ig Martinez II keeps improving…

  10. Coleman

    May 27, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Ian Kinsler sure pops up a lot, for a .300 hitter.

  11. Coleman

    May 27, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    That was a major league home run by Miguel there.

  12. jud

    May 27, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Miggy….long gone..and I mean long!

  13. StorminNorman$

    May 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    17 pitches to walk and hit a guy…looks like another 6-inning max for Max

    • StorminNorman$

      May 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      then 9 straight strikes by Scherzer = 2 K’s. As the saying goes, “trust your stuff”

      • Coleman

        May 27, 2014 at 11:21 pm

        Three straight change-ups to Moss, how often do you see that??

      • jud

        May 28, 2014 at 12:02 am

        Hey Victor anyone that slow should never ever ever go unless the ball bounces into the stands!!

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      2 huge K’s, and then a nice play by Kelly. This is the best game in at least a week.

  14. Coleman

    May 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Alex Avila? Really? Oh yeah!

  15. jud

    May 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    A rare 5-6-7 RBI..we will take it…the fact that it was Jackson or Avila +2

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    May 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    We may never win again.

    • Brenden

      May 27, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Starting pitching aint worth a darn. It is as if we have minor leaguers pitching for us…

    • Coleman

      May 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      As someone famous once said, there’s a lot of baseball left.

  17. jud

    May 27, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    We need to win a 10-9 game and go from there….or maybe…we will never win again!

  18. Angus

    May 28, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Only good news is that we are possibly going to run Sonny (Cy) Gray out by the 6th inning or early 7th inning.

  19. Kevin in Dallas

    May 28, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Let’s be clear about this, Scherzer is getting drilled tonight. I shudder at the thought of what our starters’ ERA/WHIP is over the last 9 games.

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 12:19 am

      Yeah 1 run per inning, pretty ugly.

  20. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 28, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Ok Night Owls, plenty of game left. Also lots of time to dub Brad an earned nickname.

  21. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 28, 2014 at 12:11 am

    What’s all that stuff on the top of Sonny’s cap?

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 12:18 am

      Sonny Shine

  22. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 12:36 am

    It’s back on! Now we just need to spray the field with Blowpen-Away.

  23. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 12:37 am

    OK, Smarty, get Krol out of there–4 pitch leadoff walk?

  24. Kevin in Dallas

    May 28, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I’m glad Ausmus got Krol there. That’s not going to cut it.

  25. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 12:42 am

    I didn’t see that shift, but how in the world did Don Kelly just catch a pop fly in foul territory behind 1st base??

  26. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Ol’ Smarty using the whole bench tonight, you know this is a big one for him.

  27. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Great running by Rajai, love having him on this team. And great AB by Castellanos, now we get Austin with the R3L2O, which is the only thing he is good at, right? So for this one has been worth staying up for.

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    May 28, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Come on guys 6 outs. Please. My family can’t take any more pissed off for no rational reason Kevin in Dallas.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 28, 2014 at 1:09 am

      5 outs.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 28, 2014 at 1:10 am

        4 outs.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          May 28, 2014 at 1:15 am

          3 outs.

  29. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Some guys make difficult catches look easy; Rajai Davis makes easy catches look difficult.

  30. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Alright, all that stands in the way of Kevin’s household bliss is Joe Nathan and 3 outs.

  31. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 28, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Three to go Kevin. Hold on to your Strohs/coffee!

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 1:14 am

      I thought he was a Milwaukee’s Best guy.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 28, 2014 at 1:16 am

        Bulleit and Skoal tonight.

        • Coleman

          May 28, 2014 at 1:20 am

          Oh dear, they’d better pull this out!

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Glad to see I’m not the only EST guy left!

  32. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 28, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Give me a bottle of Nyquill!

  33. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 1:22 am

    A’s announcers just named their player of the game: Rajai Davis. (Wha?)

  34. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Kinsler with the glove!

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 1:25 am

      And a follow-up by Miguel. Prince would not have gotten that one.

  35. Kevin in Dallas

    May 28, 2014 at 1:23 am

    2 to go.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 28, 2014 at 1:26 am

      1 more.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 28, 2014 at 1:28 am

        Is that it? Did we win?

  36. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 1:28 am

    And bliss reigns in the In-Dallas household.

  37. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 28, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Sweet home Alabama! A good win against a worthy opponent. Raji’s spunk was the difference. Also Tigers give up only one hit in the last five innings.

  38. jud

    May 28, 2014 at 1:30 am

    AMEN my brothers….this was like a frickin playoff game…..is winning this hard?????!!!!!

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

      It is when your starters give up a bunch of runs. Tip of the cap to our guys though, for getting 4 runs off of a legit Cy Young type of guy, and pulling it out with the bat, the legs, the gloves, and the arms. Other than 4-pitch-walk Krol, great bullpen work.

  39. jud

    May 28, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Asmus coached his butt off tonight…Thanks Coach!!!

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 1:36 am

      A manager almost never does anything specific that wins a game. Pinch-running Davis might have been one of those times though.

      • Vince in MN

        May 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm

        Managers do many small things 162 games a season that contribute to wins and losses on a regular basis: lineups, pitching changes, how long a starter gets left in, pinch-hitting and pinch running, calling plays and so on and so on. Players get judged on production, managers should be judged on putting the players in a position to produce. Leyland was much reviled because he was crap at it more often than not (to be fair he was good at PR). Is Ausmus better? So far it is a mixed bag, but we are less than 1/3rd of the way through the season and he is a newbie at the job, so we need to withhold judgement one way or the other for now IMO. Being a glass-is-half-empty kind of a guy, “Smokey Jr.” (hat tip jud I think) seems like a fine nickname for the time being.

  40. Jim EggersUSMC

    May 28, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Sooo it’s late for you all? I always thought this time zone stuff was an Army thing (Kudos to Col. Henry Blake, 4077th MASH) Heidi was “kind’ enough to show me Joe’s Last hitter (looked like Joaquin Phoenix) and now I am wide awake. Happy we won one…. By the way, whomever it was that mentioned a slump buster? Are you aware of what is required to be done in that scenario?

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 1:56 am

      That’s Ol’ Smarty’s problem, not mine.

  41. Kevin in Dallas

    May 28, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Tip of the cap to Joba and Nathan too. See you guys tomorrow night.

  42. 80HD

    May 28, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Just finished watching the hi-lights on MLB At Bat on the phone. Hate these west coast trips. Way past my bed time. Might as well be playing on the moon. ICYMI Rajai Davis is one smart, observant ball player. Maybe not a great OF but sure fun to watch on the bases.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      May 28, 2014 at 8:29 am

      In last night’s pregame, Jim interview Raji who said that he is faster than he was three years ago with the A’s. Good trng and knowledge of baserunning were attributed to this skill. He also talked about pitchers’ ability/challenge to to monitor the baserunner and batter. A timely interview.

  43. Vince in MN

    May 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Su
    Su who?
    Suarez
    http://beck.mlblogs.com/2014/0.....i-leyland/

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