Game 2014.59: Red Sox 5, Tigers 3

BOS at DET

Well, make that 2-0 since Torii’s pre-game Zubaz, which means that Detroit’s finally got themselves a series win. Could a sweep be possible? They might have the right guy on the mound for it. Although Anibal Sanchez has lost his past two starts, he has only given up 1 run in 15.1 innings, with a minuscule .3973 WHIP.  Of course all bets are off once the bullpen appears, but it’s worth noting Joe Nathan is probably unavailable tonight.

I named Nick Castellanos Player to Watch last night, which, shockingly, turned out to be a good call. Nick now has 3 consecutive games with 3 hits, making him the first Tiger rookie to achieve that since Rick Peters in 1980, if StorminNorman$ is to be believed. His rookie cohort Eugenio Suarez had an auspicious first start, hitting a home run for his first Major League hit. It was just one evening in June, but watching the two young infielders last night warmed the heart, at least its baseball chamber. Then again, the last Tiger to homer for his first hit was Wilkin Ramirez in 2009, and that was his last home run ever. That’s baseball!

As for the pitching, Max wasn’t great but he was good. My inner Laptop Manager pulled Max for Alburquerque to start the 7th, but even so, once he got to two outs with Ortiz coming up, I liked letting him pitch to Ortiz. First of all, the alternative was Phil Coke, and that would not have ended well. But also, you may remember the time last fall Scherzer was pulled (prematurely?) against Boston, and what Ortiz did. I like that Max wanted to handle things himself, and liked that Ausmus said OK (see previous point). Ortiz may have won the battle, but Max kept him in the park (and barely missed a called 3rd strike) by staying outside, which is another way of “shifting” against a pull hitter, by the way.

Harold Reynolds loved the Old School aspect of the Our Guy vs Your Guy face off (as opposed to Our Situational Left-Handed Relief Specialist etc), and that is more appealing from an entertainment aspect I suppose. There is a reason some things change though (they work). But for me, if you assume the primary goal is to keep the ball in the park, I’ll take a gassed Scherzer over a Phil Coke.

The real question is: why not just walk Ortiz there?

I don’t think there is much more to be said at the moment about Joe Nathan, other than that I’ve been vainly searching for a progress update on Hanrahan’s rehab.

Tonight’s Bryan Back On Holiday Lineup:

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

49 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    June 8, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    “Ortiz may have won the battle, but Max kept him in the park…”

    Success!

  2. 80HD

    June 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Now that our Tigers have begun, ever so tentatively, to rise from the dead I’m thinking about what might cause the fortunes to turn. I think the Red Sox do bring out the best in the Tigers – cause them to take the games personally.

    Here’s a tweet from Buster Olney of ESPN from 5/18 (during the sweep in BOS):

    “One thing clear from talking to DET veterans: Last years ALCS gnaws at them, because they felt they played well – but for three pitches.”

    I think the importance of team psychology, how the team is thinking, is hugely under appreciated. Given the tiny difference between winning and losing, anything that causes the team to feel different about the games is a very big deal.

  3. TIGERS RULE

    June 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Doc should be left behind the plate until he shows that he can’t be the regular catcher.

  4. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Be nice to get Sanchez a W once in awhile considering he is your best pitcher!!

  5. Vince in MN

    June 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    A pitcher’s duel after 1.

  6. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Sure glad we got Avila back in there…I was worried that there wouldn’t be someone to K…instead of moving that runner to 3rd with 0 outs!

  7. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    June 8, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Love the Boston approach at the plate tonight. Kind of wish that we would employ that type of offensive strategy more often. It’s great to hack away when the batted balls are finding holes, but the risk is that you allow games like the Elias game in Seattle where you can’t get into the opposing bullpen.

  8. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    June 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    More shoddy defense as Davis misplays Pierzynski’s fly ball into a double.

    • 80HD

      June 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Agreed. We swing at an awful lot of bad pitches along the way.

  9. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Worst Defensive outfield in baseball…Davis has unreal speed can’t get to anything…Jackson REFUSES to dive..also has lost a step or two despite being prime MLB age….Hunter is the MLB worst….

  10. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Miggy double…Victor rips a single….hey I have seen this a few times before ….good job!

  11. Vince in MN

    June 8, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Anibal at 101 pitches after 5. Gonna be a short night for him – 1 more inning?

  12. Coleman

    June 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Bad time to boot one Nick.

    • Coleman

      June 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Ha, thanks AJ, we needed that.

  13. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Oh Oh…this ain’t good!…..

    • TIGERS RULE

      June 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Left hamstring tightness ….. day to day.

      • StorminNorman$

        June 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        never a good thing to have Cabrera pulled for an injury, but could be worse than a tight hammy.

        BTW: I think Cabrera makes that play (Holt’s triple) down the line – that got by (a diving) Kelly… as I believe Cabrera would have been shading the line to prevent extra base hits.

  14. StorminNorman$

    June 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    run saver there by Castellano

  15. StorminNorman$

    June 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    …Coke going to pitch to big Sloppy

  16. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I am turning to the NBA game and I hate the NBA…but I can’t watch this at bat…….. …

  17. StorminNorman$

    June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Avila’s K’d twice tonight against Lackey… he’s got to be bunting here

    • StorminNorman$

      June 8, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      ‘should have’ pinch hit Holaday (for Avila)…at least he can get the bunt down

  18. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Avila just pain sucks!!! Why niy PH Holaday who is one of the best bunters on the team..if your going to bunt!!!!!

    • Coleman

      June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Avila can’t make contact bunting or swinging.

  19. Coleman

    June 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Good job Rook!

  20. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Suuuuuuuuu!….hell ya!

  21. StorminNorman$

    June 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    …even though Nathan isn’t pitching tonight, DET needed to get that 2nd run in that inning 7th

    • TIGERS RULE

      June 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      No creativity on Smokey Jr.’s part to get that second run.

  22. Doug of Troy

    June 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    We’ve got the lead for now. Can the bullpen hang on after Su’s great ABs?

  23. Doug of Troy

    June 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    The bullpen is hanging on by its fingernails.

  24. Coleman

    June 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Phil Coke? Phil Coke! Oh yeah.

  25. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Is this the Twilight Zone!…i just saw Coke get out of a jam!!!

  26. tbran

    June 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    New Coke or Classic Coke??

  27. PHToy in HK

    June 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Who is pitching the 9th?

    • Coleman

      June 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Joba

  28. PHToy in HK

    June 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks, works for me!

    • Coleman

      June 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Didn’t work for the Tigers

    • PHToy in HK

      June 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      I take that back.

  29. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    the Ninth inning Curse…….continues….thanks Nathan!!!!

  30. tbran

    June 8, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Another typical 9th inning implosion. I would say “unbelievable” except for the last 2.5 years this is totally believable and more or less expected. The Blow Pen does it again. DD has made some great trades and moves but this mess — aka the Blow Pen — has been his calling card now for 2.5 years.

  31. Doug of Troy

    June 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    We finally get to see a bona fife closer, something
    we haven’t seen in a Tiger uniform.

  32. Kevin in Dallas

    June 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Tigers have been outscored 46-23 in the 9th inning this season.

  33. jud

    June 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    46 runs in just the 9th is unbelievable!!!!

    • Kevin in Dallas

      June 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

      That puts our 9th inning ERA at somewhere around 8 or so. It’s an absolute disgrace, and I don’t get why no one is talking about it. I get that Ausmus has to tow the company line, but I rarely see any of the Detroit beat writers take issue with the ball club. I’d like to see someone get fired up. We need a DTW call-in show after the games to set the record straight.

  34. jud

    June 9, 2014 at 12:55 am

    One big thing that Asmus is identical to Mumbles is he is afraid to hold anyone accountable for anything….Avila comes up big at bat in the 7th inning and a PH is in order. Even someone who can bunt…..results another frickin whiff…about his 1000000 of the season……oh well Nice try..Alex!…..I would hate to hurt your feelings by Batting for you there

  35. Josh

    June 9, 2014 at 2:02 am

    One of the odd claims in the press and on the radio was that the Tigers lost to Boston last fall because the Tigers’ offense was too dependent on the long ball. Some callers said the Tigers kept waiting for the 3 run homer vs Boston.

    Funny, I could have sworn they lost because their bullpen twice gave up 4 run homers.

    Similar thing tonight. The reason why Earl Weaver’s “pitching, defense, and the 3 run homer” philosophy was genius was because, in a low scoring environment, home run power is MORE important, not less important.

  36. Vince in MN

    June 9, 2014 at 7:55 am

    With Coke being unreliable, that leaves Krol as the only situational lefty in the pen, and he needs to be saved for critical matchup situations. The start of the 7th was not one of those situations. Against a predominantly LH hitting lineup, Smokey Jr. burned through both of our lefty relievers in the 7th inning, leaving us high and dry for the 9th when we really could have used Krol to face Ortiz. If your closer is “out” for that game (for whatever reason), you can’t just appoint someone else closer-for-a-day with the attitude that he is going to pitch to everybody no matter what like you do with your regular closer. How many times in the last umpteen years have we seen the “9th inning guy” blow up and yet remain in the game because “that is his job”. A little more nuanced thinking ahead (e.g “hey, maybe we will need a LOOGY in the 9th”) instead of plug-and-play on the part of our chief strategizer would be a welcome change to the stale old regimen. I’m not seeing it.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      June 9, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Agreed. This is exactly the type of move that we expected Ausmus, with his youth and statistics, to avoid.

      I wonder if we are missing something, however. Perhaps there is an art to running a bullpen that we can’t see from the outside. From what I can tell, most teams do it like the Tigers do, and I don’t think that DTW is smarter than every club out there.

  37. Angus

    June 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Our bullpen is our weakness. We really have no strength in long relief. We have Nathan and Coke who would not be on other teams bullpens. The front office is not going to make hard decisions when they spent $ 20 million on a closer who is not performing. At this point you would like to see some bullpen callups from Toledo but that is not going to happen. I am also sick of the let’s leave em in attitude that Leyland always had once we get to the 9th. Jonesy throwing 40+ pitches and blowing up a game looks a lot like the past 2 nights. We just got lucky and one the first one because we had a big enough lead. Why can’t we have a shutdown closer. Is Mariano available to come out of retirement?