Game 2014.49: A’s 3, Tigers 1

It would have been enough for me last night for the Tigers to just play a competitive game, and keep Oakland under 10 runs; that’s how bad things had gotten. But the Tigers did more, much more, and got a quality win against a quality team: Oakland leads the AL in both runs scored and fewest runs given up, which is a pretty good recipe for success.

Max Scherzer wasn’t great last night (although the did have some great moments), but he kept the Tigers in the game. The hitters put up 4 runs against a very tough Sonny Gray, led by Cabrera, Avila, and J.D. Martinez, who is quietly making a case for playing time. If 4 runs doesn’t sound like a lot, it should be pointed out that’s that most that has been plated against Gray so far this season.

The real fun started in the 7th though, when Hunter hit a massive (410 ft.) shot to dead center to tie the game. In the bottom of the inning Krol walked the leadoff hitter on 4 pitches, Ausmus yanked him, and from that point on the bullpen shut down the A’s.

Still, Detroit needed a run and that came at the hands feet of Rajai Davis. After Castellanos walked as a pinch-hitter (his 6th walk in 4 games!), Ausmus put Davis in to pinch-run. He promptly scooted to second on a passed ball, and then daringly stole 3rd while the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher, and scored on a grounder to short when Jackson beat out the double-play attempt to first.

The stunned A’s announcers picked ex-A Rajai Davis as the Player of the Game.

The bullpen did the rest, with Kevin in Dallas nervously counting down the last 6 outs. It was a needed win, and a good one, and one won in a way the Tigers didn’t win games last season.

Davis gets a start today, as Austin Jackson sits against a lefty he has never managed to hit (3-for-14). In center, which could possibly be an adventure.

Anibal “Only Good Starter Last Week” Sanchez takes the mound against Scott Kazmir.  Look for Victor Martinez for the big hits (11-for-23 against Kazmir). Oh, and I’ll just throw this out there: Victor Martinez never takes an at bat off. Even in 10-0 games.

If you missed Vince in MN’s link, Suarez has been impressing people. More fun and excitement may be had at the shortstop position in the near future.

Tonight’s Never-Before-Used Lineup:

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

I jinxed Romine yesterday by mentioning his 4-game hitting streak, so now Danny gets a chance to show his worth.

Postgame

Damn. Best start by any Tiger this year. That one hurt.

38 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    May 28, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    The Athletics and that elephant. Some baseball history.

    New York Giants manager John “Little Napoleon” McGraw was a feisty man. “He ate gunpowder every morning and washed it down with warm blood,” said one umpire of him. His sandpaper personality rubbed everyone the wrong way. His 1905 Giants are still on Sports Illustrated’s list of “Most Hated Teams of All Time.”

    In July 1902, McGraw trashed the American League president, Bancroft “Ban” Johnson, for expanding the franchise to include a second-rate team from Philadelphia called the Athletics. “The Philadelphia Athletics club is not making any money,” he scoffed. “[The league] has a big white elephant on its hands.”

    The owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, then in its second season, was Cornelius McGillicudy. The fans called him Connie Mack for short. Mack bet McGraw a thousand dollars that the A’s were making money and lots of it. McGraw backed down. Defiantly, Mack raised a flag over Columbia Park with a white elephant on it, and the Athletics became “The White Elephants.”

    In 1905, McGraw’s Giants played in the World Series against Mack’s Athletics. Before the game, Mack presented McGraw with a stuffed white elephant. McGraw laughed and promised in return to give the Athletics a good whooping. New York beat Philadelphia four games to one. The Giants future Hall of Famer pitcher Christy Mathewson pitched three of four shutouts.

    After a disastrous season in 1908, Philadelphia sewed a white elephant onto the team’s sweaters. The team turned around the next year, and the Mackmen went on to play in the 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914 World Series. They won the title three times, once against the Chicago Cubs and twice against McGraw’s Giants (1911 and 1913).

    After winning the world championship in 1910, Philadelphia citizens presented Mack with a live, whitewashed elephant. Mack was grateful but baffled about what to do with an elephant that was eating thirty-five pounds of hay per hour. “He does not know what he is going to do with the beast,” wrote one columnist, “especially when he is away from home on his wedding tour next week.” The Chicago Herald jeered, recalling the lessons of the the Unfortunate Man Who Won an Elephant in a Raffle, as Mack ” cursed his lot / that he ever got / an elephant on his hands.”

    The elephant appeared on the A’s jersey s;levee from 1918 until 1963, when owner Charles Finley traded him for a mule (supposedly to curry favor with the MIssouri Democrats). The elephant returned as the official team mascot in the 1980s, first as “Harry Elephante” (an allusion to the calypso singer Harry Belafonte) and in 1997 as the team’s current mascot, Stomper.

    from
    “Behemoth: The History of the Elephant in America”
    by Ronald B Tobias.

    A fun read, especially if you are interested in Elephants. Incidentally there were elephant baseball leagues at the turn of the 19th C. (circuses were really big too remember), but you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

  2. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    A tip of the cap to the Historical Division of our Research Department.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      May 28, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      My first MLB game was 08AUG62 when the KC A’s played the Twins in KC. Finley had sheep and shepards beyond the rf fence. They also had a sunken box behind homeplate that kept extra baseballs for the ump. Very cool and high tech for its time.. Ed Charles won the game that night in the 9th when he stold home. I was 8 years old and haven’t seen home stold since.

  3. 80HD

    May 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Is it even possible that there is no one on the Tigers radio staff who could take Jim Price aside and explain how to pronounce “Castellanos”? I can’t take it any more.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 28, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      +1

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        May 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm

        They both mispronounce Chamberlain’s first name. I ran into his Dad at a KC hotel and he quickly corrected me….Joooba instead of Joova.

        • KW

          May 28, 2014 at 11:34 pm

          Your comment left me more confused about his name than I thought I could be.

          • Coleman

            May 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm

            His real name is Justin, I can pronounce that, I think.

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      Art of Pronouncing.

  4. Kevin in Dallas

    May 28, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    3-6 are stinging the ball right now.

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      That double play stung.

  5. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Uh oh, no more Davis.

    • Coleman

      May 28, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      We’ll have to score runs the old fashioned way. Hitting!

  6. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Sanchez looks like the staff ace these last 2 weeks.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 28, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Man is he dealing.

  7. Coleman

    May 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Very Inge-like swing by Castellanos there.

  8. Coleman

    May 29, 2014 at 12:08 am

    OK, if anyone’s here: 100 pitches, do you bring Anibal out for the 9th?

    • PHToy in HK

      May 29, 2014 at 12:09 am

      Of course!

      • Coleman

        May 29, 2014 at 12:10 am

        I say Yes also. What will Coach Ivy say?

        • Kevin in Dallas

          May 29, 2014 at 12:11 am

          We have to.

        • Coleman

          May 29, 2014 at 12:11 am

          Nathan is up in the bullpen.

        • KW

          May 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

          Poison Ivy tonight.

  9. Kevin in Dallas

    May 29, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Nathan loosening up…

  10. Coleman

    May 29, 2014 at 12:12 am

    A’s announcer Shooty Babitt (great name by the way) says “why would you even THINK of taking Sanchez out right now?”

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    May 29, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Combined strike rate this game is about 70%. Talk about a quick game.

  12. Coleman

    May 29, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Wow, Cabrera tagged out twice, maybe three times, still called safe. Nice effort though!

  13. Coleman

    May 29, 2014 at 12:17 am

    It’s Sanchez to start the 9th!

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    May 29, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I’m very anxious.

    • Coleman

      May 29, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Wow, Nathan looks bad.

  15. Kevin in Dallas

    May 29, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Gotta win tomorrow.

  16. jud

    May 29, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Everyone sure its just the pitching when we score a whole 1 run again!!!

  17. T Smith

    May 29, 2014 at 12:49 am

    That was a very hard game to lose.

    And for the record, it was Anibal Sanchez’s game to lose. Very bad move Brad.

    You have a pitcher who has dominated all night long. He gives up only his third hit of the night, is just over 100 pitches, with only two outs to get. C’mon. Let him get his two outs.

    And another thing: Nathan is FAR from automatic. (Just in case someone is tempted to bandy that argument about in favor of the bone-headed move to relieve Sanchez)…

    • Coleman

      May 29, 2014 at 12:52 am

      Unless Sanchez let him know he was gassed. Sanchez didn’t look like he wanted to stay out there.

      • Jim EggersUSMC

        May 29, 2014 at 12:58 am

        Not our night…. See you all in Seattle Friday, will have much to say post game, I hope.
        Triple A ball in Tacoma tomorrow night too!

  18. Doug of Troy

    May 29, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Ole smarty pants has no memory. He replaces the ace pitcher with a a so-called closer who’s blown saves.

  19. jud

    May 29, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Hey Joe!..at least you got one guy out!!
    Hey Smarty the closer starts the inning!!! Period!!!

    • Coleman

      May 29, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Actually he got nobody out.

  20. jud

    May 29, 2014 at 1:35 am

    A complete game is the most over rated stat in all of baseball….just sayin!

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