Game 2014.45: Rangers 12, Tigers 2

The series now even-IngeBasher, the Tigers (28-16, 1st place Central, 1st place AL) seek the advantage over Texas (23-25, 4th place West. 11th place AL)) in a game to be broadcast throughout the solar system, with Nick “Don’t Call Me Cy” Martinez on the mound for the Rangers and Rick “Don’t Call Me Frederick Alfred” Porcello for the Detroit. Yes, the Detroit. I left that in there because it looks so stupid. Anyway, I wish I could be of one mind on W-L records for pitchers, because I really do think that they’re practically meaningless, but still feel that great ones are cool, so I’ll feel as dazed and delighted as you will if Porcello can push it to 8-1 today. You may recall that Rick was stellar against Texas (at Arlington) last season in salvaging one win in an otherwise dismal series.

I recall a discussion this past offseason or the one before about players likely to be on the hot seat for criticism. This season has been such a success that there has been nothing on the Inge, Sheffield, or Renteria level, nothing close. Nor even the like of the Cold V-Mart impatience or the Fielder murmurs of 2013. (I’m sorry, but I can’t take the occasional scathing critique of Ausmus as more than venting in frustration. I think he’s been flat-out brilliant.) But the favored whipping boys on a more subdued level have clearly been Phil Coke, Alex Avila, and more recently Andrew SombreRomine (trademark Coleman). Now that the Bullpen As A Whole has essentially redeemed itself, that is. Wouldn’t you know it, Avila has really been swinging a better stick lately, and Romine just hit a HR. Which leaves us with Phil Coke.

On the positive side… well, we’re not really raving about anyone, are we? It’s hard to miss the more eye-popping stats of Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera (who has been on an absolute tear that is somehow flying a bit under the radar), and we recognize them, but the most fearsome 3-4 combo in baseball has been taken for granted to some extent. Even before the recent four-game blemish, I think the starting pitching had been… a little lot taken for granted. Could be a side effect of success. Team success. But Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Ian Kinsler, Rajai Davis, and Torii Hunter can be added to the list of those who deserve a little more raving about. Adding any of the bullpen guys to that list is probably tempting fate, so I’ll wait.

Speaking of tempting fate, I tempt the Tigers to make a monkey out of me by losing after I’ve said it, but my, what a fun team to watch.  2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. You wouldn’t think it could keep getting better, but it does.


  1. KW

    May 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

    “The series now even-IngeBasher”

    I always love a good Inge joke/bashing, but I don’t get this one. Explain!

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      That one wasn’t fair, there are only a couple people who would get it. Speaking of Inge, it’s surprising he never got a chance in the bullpen (he was a closer in college). Of course, then he wouldn’t have been able to bat.

      • Vince in MN

        May 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

        Thanks for the explanation 😉

        • Coleman

          May 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

          “Even-stephen,” stephen being the Inge basher.

          • Smoking Loon

            May 25, 2014 at 1:34 am

            I thought the even-stephen joke was almost too obvious. Figured many here would remember Stephen, half-expected Stephen himself to pop up (or at least strike out on a check swing). Perhaps he’s retired from the game along with Inge. Maybe he *was* Brandon Inge, and came here to bash himself under cover to see if some of us would defend him.

  2. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 11:52 am

    to carry over a conversation from yesterday the difference between Victor and Tulowitski is a large number. It sure seems like Vuctor is hitting a lot higher than .325 though..

  3. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Miggy in May:
    10 doubles, 5 homers, 27 RBI

  4. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Can the National League pitching be that much worse to have all those guys hitting .330+..or can the AL pitching be that much better for the leader to be only ..327

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      There haven’t been many yet, but in Interleague games the AL is batting .255, the NL is batting .254. So there’s that.

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Small sample size! We are only 1/4 through.

  5. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Now that there are so many challenges, many of which the calls gets reversed, do the video reviewers get acknowledged as the “5th umpire”? I say fans need to know in this age of ultra-high surveillance. Their names should be made public and put in the boxscore.

  6. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    9 pitches, all strikes, by Porcello in the 1-2-3 3rd. That’s pitching.

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      2nd inning.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 25, 2014 at 2:58 am

        It was a tremendous inning. Hard to imagine what was to come at that point.

  7. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Romine with a two-game hitting streak. Incredible!

    • Jim EggersUSMC

      May 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Was he just waiting to hit one out(last nite) and now he is going with the pitch? Signs of hitting life or coaching??

      • Vince in MN

        May 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        Martinez, aware of his power, was pitching very carefully to Mr. Romine, who was forced to slap one the other way. You take what you can get.

      • Vince in MN

        May 24, 2014 at 5:03 pm

        Or maybe he just ran into a couple.

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Guy get around the bases too.

  8. Coleman

    May 24, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Sloppy play for Detroit and a couple bad breaks for Rick…now they are crushing him.

  9. Jim EggersUSMC

    May 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    uh-oh… Porcello is melting down… 9-1-1 call to bullpen, and then the fun really begins!

    • Vince in MN

      May 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      It’s only one game, and he has been very good lately, but this has been a frequent visitor to RP performances in the past, and one reason I am not quite ready to jump on the Ace Porcello bandwagon quite yet.

      • Smoking Loon

        May 25, 2014 at 2:57 am

        Yeah. Got flustered today when the going got tough.

  10. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Lets see…best starting rotation in baseball and 4 of your 5 starters get pounded by a 4th and a fifth place team….whats wrong with this picture????

    • Coleman

      May 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Work Worth into the starting rotation.

      • Jim EggersUSMC

        May 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

        If he’s in the pen, he can bring one of his guitars and strum a few for the guys….

  11. Jim EggersUSMC

    May 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Either I’m very old, or that guy warming up is very young, or are both true?

    • Smoking Loon

      May 25, 2014 at 2:07 am

      You might have a few years on Corey Knebel, Jim, but he’s not that young. 22 or 23. Drafted out of college.

  12. Coleman

    May 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    2 on and Cabrera on deck and Torii hacks at ball 4…dang.

    • Smoking Loon

      May 25, 2014 at 1:55 am

      Big turning point there. Torii has what you might call “poor impulse control.”


    May 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Being knocked around by a team made up mostly of scrubs. What will tomorrow bring?

    • Smoking Loon

      May 25, 2014 at 2:54 am

      That’s what I’m wondering. This is weird.

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    May 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Rangers are 4-9 RISP, Tigers are 1-4. Before you get too worked up, know that the Tigers are middle of the pack:

    We’ll get them tomorrow (we better!).

  15. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Hey Brad what is the point of letting you starter get pounded for 8 runs…you saving your crappy bullpen for what???.let them get pounded…you keep this up with your starters and its gonna get old quick…..

  16. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Hey Brad you better get a handle on this pitching business because your pitching staff is pretty good minus Coke…but you aren’t very good at managing it…

  17. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    13 hits and 2 walks and you plate 2 runs….whats wrong with this picture?

  18. Coleman

    May 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Hey Research Department, when was the last time a position player pitched twice in the same week?

    • Smoking Loon

      May 25, 2014 at 1:53 am

      This week?

  19. Vince in MN

    May 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    The good news is that Coke didn’t give up a run!

  20. jud

    May 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Hey DD this Worth oitching buS’s uneasy is real cute. .but hiw about fixing the pitching problems on this team
    1. No long man instead Smokey jr in his infinate wisdom lets the starter get pounded game after game.
    2. Coke can hardly get anyone out. No wins and no saves and 3 holds in two years is cute but a serious problem which you ignore and jost want it to go away.
    3. Forget this LH- LH, and RH -RH matching up…these match ups mean nothing if guys can’t get anyone out.
    4. DD your manager is worst than Leyland at managing thats really bad
    5. The AL Central has won 10 games this week while you won 1…so instead of coming up with a SS who can throw a gimic pitch s cute, how about fixing the problem.

    • KW

      May 25, 2014 at 1:16 am

      jud: go home, you’re drunk.

  21. Smoking Loon

    May 25, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Down 5-1, several paragraphs worth of things had already gone wrong in this game. After that, it got out of hand.

    The two things that stand out as most inept and unnecessary are the way the infield played the grounder to SS and potential rundown in the 3rd (ending two on, one out rather than one on, two out), and the way Avila got doubled off 1B by hitting the ground on his headfirst slide about 6 feet away from the bag.

    Game 45 can safely be called the worst played game of the season for the Tigers. It wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. Beyond blowout.