Game 2014.65: Twins at Tigers

Minnesota at Detroit

Happy Father’s Day Friends! I’m going to spend my day relaxing outside, reading, and cursing the Tigers.

This Tigers tailspin has been going on for nearly a month now. Miraculously, the Tigers have remained in first place during this 8-17 run, but the Royals are hot on our trail, only 1 1/2 games out after their sixth consecutive win yesterday. In fact, the entire division is in the hunt. The Tigers had a larger lead on the division a month ago (7 games) than they do on last place right now (4.5 games).

Like any fanatic, I work hard to make sure that I’m correctly placing my blame, as it somehow makes me feel a little better to be mad at the right people. So, using the incredible tools available at, I pulled some very basic team and player stats. You can click on the hyperlinked words below for more info.

Games 1-39: 27 wins, 12 losses.

Batting: .278 BA, .757 OPS, 4.8 runs per game

Pitching: Team ERA 3.13

Games 40-64: 8 wins, 17 losses.

Batting: .266 BA, .764 OPS, 4.0 runs per game

Pitching: Team ERA 5.39.

Hitting has been pretty consistent. We’re scoring a little less, which is probably due to some mixture of luck and situational hitting. The Tigers have slipped to middle of the pack with runners in scoring position. But I expect that number to come back up, and the runs per game to climb back towards 5.

Fielding is much harder to split-out like this, but I’ve heard Dan Dickerson say over and over what we’ve gone from top of the AL to bottom four over the past month, so that’s a part of the problem. I think we all see that on a daily basis.

But the pitching has been horrendous, and really, nearly the entire pitching staff is to blame. Take a look at this.

Excel Pitchers 6-15-14

Of the regular guys on the staff, 8 of them have been awful over the past month. Maybe we can exclude Smyly from that label, but everyone else save Sanchez, Chamberlain, and Alburquerque should have to come and mow our lawns for what they’ve put us through. The Tigers pitching staff has been handing out hits and walks like they’re flyers on the Vegas Strip. Not surprisingly, the team ERA for June is worst in the AL, and the team WHIP is second worst.

I expect Scherzer and Verlander to be much better. We’ve already seen it from Scherzer. But Nathan, Reed, Krol, and Coke are legitimate issues, and I fear that no lead will be safe until a couple of moves are made. Hanrahan still isn’t pitching live BP, and Toledo isn’t much help. Dombrowski – work your magic.

Tigers have a shot at a rare series victory today, which is sorely needed for a dozen or so reasons.

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



  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Good write up Kevin! “Handing out hits and walks like they’re flyers on the Vegas Strip”…I love that analogy!

  2. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Kinsler looks like he may be coming out of his funk. Cabrera has not been hitting the ball hard at all; 2 of his hits and 3 of his RBI have been on balls he bounced over the pitcher’s head. I wonder if he is hurting? Standard issue Kinsler and Cabrera and the offense is back where it was, with Suarez as frosting on top.

    Davis seems to be in the doghouse.

    As for fielding, the Tigers had 11 outfield errors in 2013. They have 10 already this season.

    • Vince in MN

      June 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Davis v. RHP in the last month: .224/.250/.347/.597

      Return to normal may have something to do with it.

      • Vince in MN

        June 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        On second thought I take that back. I am probably just projecting here; getting the distinct impression that Smokey Jr. doesn’t consider stuff like that.

  3. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Cabrera again. He’s just not himself right now.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      June 15, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Like others he may not be seeing the ball well?

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Escobar is the Suarez of the Twins.

  5. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Nice start by Ricky. I wish we weren’t leaving so many on base though…that makes us Blowpen Bait.

    • Coleman

      June 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Maybe i spoke too soon about Porcello.

      • Vince in MN

        June 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm

        90 pitches.

        • Coleman

          June 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

          94 to start the 7th

  6. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Gee, great job Alex.

  7. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Avila intentionally walked? Thank you very much!

    • Coleman

      June 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      That was actually a smart move, Avila’s standard grounder to 2nd would have scored a run there.

  8. Vince in MN

    June 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Su and Ajaks should switch places in the lineup.

    • Coleman

      June 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      6 runners LOB by Ajax today.

      • Vince in MN

        June 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

        AJ since May 1 (154 PA): .224/.274/.301/.575.

        It gets worse: v RHP since May 1:.198/.237/.283/.520

        8 RBI during that span – about 1 every 19 PA.

  9. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Torii with a good catch!

  10. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Fasten your seat belts

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    June 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Nathan’s current ERA is 6.66.

    • Vince in MN

      June 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      The devil you say!

  12. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Hard to complain about Victor, but he should be on 2nd, he stood there admiring his “walk off.”

  13. Coleman

    June 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Good win! And that was one of the worst throws home ever.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      June 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      That’s saying a lot considering what we see.

    • Vince in MN

      June 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Good to get a win? Yes. Good win? No. 2-14 RISP 11 LOB. Yesterday was an anomaly and the offense is still in a funk (disagree with Kevin here, 4.0 runs a game is not very good). BP almost imploded again – Joba and Uncle Joe two runners each.

      • Coleman

        June 15, 2014 at 4:46 pm

        To be fair to Joba, one of his runners was on a strike out that Avila should have been able to block.

      • Coleman

        June 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        Jackson was a big .116 with RISP BEFORE today’s game. He is the official Rally Killer.

        • Vince in MN

          June 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

          Obviously he can’t take the pressure of batting 6th.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        June 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        4 won’t get it done, I agree; but my point was that the hitting wasn’t that far off during this stretch from where it was during the first 39 games).

        • Vince in MN

          June 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

          Twelve points off BA and down .8 runs a game seems like a big drop off to me. OPS is up, but I would expect an increase in RS from that. Most of the blame definitely has to go to the pitching staff for the poor showing the last month, but the Motor City offense isn’t hitting all cylinders either.

  14. jud

    June 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Joe Nathan dazzles the Twins giving up 5 line drives and three were caught to pick up the win. Smarty mentioned after the game..” its great to have Joe back”….hmmm!

    good job JD..with all the criticism the farm system takes it has sent us Three guys this year that have helped the team JD and Su a lot and Knebel will be just fine!

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      June 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Wholeheartedly agree with you on Nathan. Two of the three men he retired hit rockets off of him, with Cabrera and Kinsler saving his bacon by making fine defensive plays. The only ball not hit hard off of Nathan was also in need of a fine defensive play by Kinsler. Nathan is still looking very vulnerable and I guess Ausmus can’t admit that to the media. The only hope this team has for a closer in 2014 is Hanrahan recapturing the magic of his Pirate closing days. We’re not going to find a closer worth a damn at the trade deadline, especially in a year where the vast majority of teams still feel like they are in race.

  15. Vince in MN

    June 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Check out Lee Panas’ new Tiger Tales article on the Tigers’ bullpen woes.