Game 2014.70: Tigers at Indians

CLE at Detroit

Yesterday’s win was a lot like getting a Valentine’s card from the cute girl in 4th grade. It’s awesome for a minute, then you realize that eventually, everyone gets one.

For whatever reason, the local press still continues to paint a rosy picture on the state of the team. Bob Wojnowski wrote today that the Tigers “dodged a complete disaster” yesterday by taking one from the Royals.  Hold on a sec Bob, we need to get on the same page here. Losing 3/4 to anyone at home in the midst of a .333 month is a complete disaster. It doesn’t mean that the team can’t get on the right track, but losing 8 games in the standings in June spells death for a lot of less talented teams. The Tigers fate hangs in the summer.

I will admit that some tough questions are finally being raised. The Freep published a comment by Jayson Stark which suggests that Verlander’s consistent high pitch counts have caught up to him. Would he be more effective in the bullpen? How long is long enough to make such a determination. Probably not 8 starts, but 20 – 30? A whole season? I fear this will be an ongoing conversation.

Also, is Alex Avila tipping pitches? He says no, but what else is he going to say? Seems like this would be an easy theory to prove.

Unfortunately, you can’t read anything Tigers right now without mention of Ausmus’ ill-fated comments. Perhaps Ausmus-gate 2014 can serve as a welcome distraction to the losing that has been going on for a month.

Porcello v. Kluber tonight.

1. Kinsler, 2B
2. Jackson, CF
3. Cabrera, 1B
4. Martinez, DH
5. Martinez, LF
6. Castellanos, 3B
7. Kelly, RF (Hunter supposedly back on Sunday)
8. Holaday, C
9. Suarez, SS

 

100 Comments

  1. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    You have Holaday batting 8…is that a typo????..I bet big Al has a call into Smarty as soon as he read that!!

  2. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Both J-Mart and Holiday starting. Does Smokey Jr. read this blog?

  3. StorminNorman$

    June 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_.....loser-role

    the inevitable catches up with Grilli… loses membership from the exclusive “closer’s club”

  4. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Another great play by Kinsler.

  5. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Avila tipping the pitches? I’ve heard of pitchers tipping their pitches, but catchers tipping them for them? If so, outside of impugning the batters paternity, Alekks needs to shut up when he is in the catcher’s box.

  6. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    It’s looking like another Scrubs & Slugs offense today.

    • Vince in MN

      June 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Shouldn’t The Master Bunter been sacrificing there?

      • StorminNorman$

        June 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

        yes, and I’m not watching – following on Gamecast… so why was Kelly (of all people) trying to steal 3rd?

        • Coleman

          June 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm

          Ausmus felt dumb for not having Holaday bunt him to 3rd, so tried to make up for it by having him steal.

  7. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Dumb way to squander a run.

  8. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Smokey The Clown Jr.

  9. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    What was Ausmus doing for those eighteen years sitting on the bench? Catching up on his Proust instead of watching the game no doubt.

  10. StorminNorman$

    June 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    lead-off double, a hit and a walk and no runs… par for the past 10-20 month

  11. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Hey Brad Holaday is the only bunter on the team……..nevermind!

  12. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Runs! Woo-hoo!

  13. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Hey Holaday just cause your playing for Avila you don’t have to bat like him.. .swing the frickin bat!!!

  14. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Good job Victor!!!

  15. KW

    June 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    The Research Department will have to confirm, but it looks like this is only the second time this season Holaday has started two games in a row. I’m going to say it’s evidence of Avila tipping pitches.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      June 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Games 21 thru 23 Holaday started. He went 3 for 9 with a double and two singles and one walk.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        June 20, 2014 at 8:33 pm

        Also game 22 against the White Sox was when he sac bunted a successful safety squeeze scoring AJax. They are letting him played tonight as he is very upset at TCU’s loss to Ole Miss.

      • KW

        June 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

        Thanks for checking. Do you remember if that was because Avila had an injury? Seems like it was, but I can’t remember. I’m just looking for proof that this two-game stretch is different…

  16. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Jackson since May 1 (43 games, 173 PA): .228/.277/.310/.588 1 HR 10 RBI

  17. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Lousy AB by Miggy.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      June 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Amen, he ain’t seeing the ball or his head isn’t in the game. Speaking of that, will we see Ryan Raburn in this series?

  18. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Miggy 1-8 vs KC…lots of bad swings…a single today..but more bad swings

  19. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Last of the 6th. Porcello will hit 90 pitches. Let’s see what happens.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      June 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Little Ricky lives for another inning.

      • Vince in MN

        June 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

        Thank you DP.

      • Vince in MN

        June 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm

        Ausmus must be paying attention, pulls him for AlAl to start the 7th.

  20. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Another great start, not much hitting. I guess that’s the new thing.

  21. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Identical bats for Holaday from last night: KC, KC, hit.

  22. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    was Holaday walking to 2nd on the steal? Out by a mile.

  23. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Smart move for Smarty to out Al-Al in as Porcello was toast on a good outing.

    • Coleman

      June 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      And Al blew right through all 3. Of course, The Rules say he can’t come back for the 8th.

      • Smoking Loon

        June 21, 2014 at 12:39 am

        Francona could have PH Brantley for Aviles leading off the 8th (although Aviles has 2 hits and 1 walk in 3 PA vs. Al-Al) or Brantley for Bourn. Either way, Cleveland was set to ward off Al-Al that inning. Also, Al has had his troubles with Cleveland and at Cleveland this season. One inning and call it good might be rules, or it might be sensible.

        Krol, well, wasn’t too impressed even when the numbers were good. Toledo for Ian, maybe.

        • Coleman

          June 21, 2014 at 3:04 am

          Al isn’t really a L/R matchup kind of guy, he’s more a he has it or he doesn’t kind of guy, and he had it tonight:

          Career OPS against: RHB: .571 LHB .573.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

            I think I agree with you about the has it or doesn’t have it, and I wish for a return to the days of 2 and 3 inning saves. But I thought I’d delve into what else might have gone into the decision to not bring Alburquerque back. Brantley has burned him, and he’s never retired Aviles.. That might have done it. Or it might have been a done deal when the score went 5-0. Time to get somebody some work and not “waste” Al-Al (or Joba) on a seemingly low-leverage situation. Plus the usual platoon advantage stuff, demonstrably overrated but deathless and ubiquitous.

  24. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I know we haven’t had many runners this week…but Kelly and Holaday your base running demons!. Brad at least play smart baseball!

    • Vince in MN

      June 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Normally with 2 out and a runner on 1st with the top of the order up, trying a steal isn’t a bad strategy. But Holaday?

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        June 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        Of course, his Mom taught him how to steal

  25. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    The offense is racking up the Ks lately. As I recall, that wasn’t happening early in the season, when despite the low walk rate they were putting the ball in play much more.

    • tbran

      June 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Our hitters just miss Lloyd.

  26. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Why would you ever throw Kinsler a strike???

  27. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    AJ runs into one.

  28. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Go ahead and walk Martinez, we’ve got another one.

    • Coleman

      June 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Unbelievable!

  29. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    JD Mart is smokin’ hot WOW!(He does not miss Lloyd).

  30. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    J.D. you magnificant hitter! Sweet home Alabama!

  31. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    U kiddin me!!!!!….JD..JD..JD..JD

  32. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Nice. I thought the IBB to V-Mart might be a mistake.

    • Coleman

      June 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      That might be the last one of those he sees for a while.

  33. jud

    June 20, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    The Martinez family is a wrecking crew!!

    • Coleman

      June 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Maybe there’s another one out there who’s a catcher.

  34. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Ian Krol?

    • Vince in MN

      June 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Didn’t make any sense to me either. With a 5-run lead, maybe Coke on a short leash.

  35. StorminNorman$

    June 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    JMart has hit as many HR’s this year in 104 AB’s than he did all last yr in HOU in 296 ABs. Glad HOU gave up on him, and the change of scenery has done wonders for him.

    hitting .447 w/4 HR’s and 11 RBI in last ten games

  36. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Where is Mr. 8th inning — Jobba Chamberlin Smarty? Don’t understand the Kroll move.

    • tbran

      June 20, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Ok, I guess it’s time to put your 8th inning guy in now, Smarty.

  37. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Way to change the momentum Brad!

  38. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Why was he still in there? They are going to blow this game

    • Vince in MN

      June 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      All of his pitches were really working in the pen.

  39. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Kroll is just hanging them.

  40. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    He wants Krol to pitch to Swisher.

  41. TIGERS RULE

    June 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Smokey Jr. is a blooming idiot! Why would you not bring AlAl back for an other inning when he was pitching lights out baseball? And then he leaves Kroll in to get really beat up!

  42. Bill

    June 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    A ball went on the field. Was that from the tigers bullpen trying to wake up Assmus?

  43. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Where’s a manager when you need one?

  44. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Oh well, if we go to extra innings JD gets to try and hit for the cycle.

  45. StorminNorman$

    June 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    WTF?! apparently there must be some MLB Rule that if your “7th inning guy” breezes through a 12 pitch 7th, he’s prohibited from pitching in the 8th.

    that type of logic just does not compute in my simple brain.

    • Vince in MN

      June 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      And then he tried to pull a fast one on the Indians by bringing in a fake 8th-inning Guy. But they weren’t fooled.

  46. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Very questionable moves by BA. Kroll didn’t have it from the start and probably was as surprised as the rest of us when he got called to the mound. There’s something to be said about a certain level of predictability and role playing over the course of the season with the pen and line up. But so far BA has disregarded that convention.

  47. StorminNorman$

    June 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Coming into today, Ian Krol was .319/.365/.574 against right handed hitters. That’s BEFORE allowing home runs to Cabrera/Santana.

    …apparently all part of the master plan to get the Chisenhall out… over-managing 101

  48. Bill

    June 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Honestly I think Assmus is in the running for MLB worst manager of the year.

  49. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    David “Spank’em in rhe 9th” Murphy comes up at first AB in the ninth for Nathan.

    • StorminNorman$

      June 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      CLE scored 4 in the 10th yesterday (GS by Swish) to beat LAA who had just took a 2 run lead

      DET better get at least one more insurance run – seeing as they (Krol/Ausmus) p*ssed away the 5 run cushion

  50. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Davis pinch-hitting? Ausmus +1.

    • tbran

      June 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Yes. It could’ve been Ingvila.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      June 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Agree. Well done but can’t say much about Brad, Jr’s bunt.

  51. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I guess 2 days in a row is too much for Holaday.

  52. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Win or lose tonight Assbutt racks up another -1.

  53. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Why send Kelly but hold Davis?

  54. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    On that one David Murphy looked like me playing right in 9th grade. Not a good look.

  55. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Someone just threw a 2-0 fastball in the strike zone to Kinsler, talk about not getting the memo. Now let’s get another one.

  56. Coleman

    June 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Fasten your seat belts.

  57. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    tied up in Seattle. 5-5.

  58. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    June 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Win or lose, games like this shakes players trust in their manager.

    • Smoking Loon

      June 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      I doubt that.

  59. Vince in MN

    June 20, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    And so, after Chamberlain throws 5 pitches in the 8th, Nathan comes in for the ninth. Because Closer.

    • Coleman

      June 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Shockingly, that was actually Closer-like.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        June 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        I am glad Santana didn’t get to the plate.

    • StorminNorman$

      June 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      …gotta stick to the script

  60. tbran

    June 20, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Nice win by the players despite shaky calls by the mis-manager.

    • StorminNorman$

      June 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Agreed, the 8th inning cluster-cuss, Kelly and Holaday stealing (caught)… players bailed out a few (what could have been) costly managerial decisions

      …sometimes a manager’s wisest decision is to do nothing.

      • KW

        June 20, 2014 at 10:48 pm

        I don’t understand why any manager would have his players steal third *unless* it’s a speedster like Rajai. Even then, the risk is rarely worth the reward. I mean, almost anyone scores from second on a base hit. What’s the point?

        • Kevin in Dallas

          June 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm

          Same question here. But Kelly sure did look safe.

          • Smoking Loon

            June 20, 2014 at 11:51 pm

            I don’t mind the risk-taking. It’s not clear whether that’s what Holaday attempting was, but still. I’m in no hurry to go back to the Leyland approach. He seemed to agonize a lot about being second-guessed.

        • Smoking Loon

          June 21, 2014 at 12:12 am

          I think the points are that a) you can’t assume the base hit, b) you can score a run from 3B with an out, c) odds of stealing any base but home are favorable, d) things can go very wrong for the defense on a CS attempt, and e) there’s a subtle advantage to being aggressive and unpredictable, but you have to play that way and accept the inevitable % of failure – you can’t get into your opponent’s head by faking that reputation.

          Kelly isn’t Davis, but he is pretty fleet of foot. He can steal a base, though this was his first attempt at 3B (it was close.) Only the second time he’s ever been caught stealing in 15 career attempts.

  61. Smoking Loon

    June 20, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    A win with some drama. I like it. But I think the drama seems better after the fact of the win.

    Avila tipping pitches? So, either he started doing this around Game 40, or it took the league 40 games to decode him. Maybe he only tips pitches in games where the starters give up a lot of runs. That’s where that theory is heading.

  62. Smoking Loon

    June 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Tigers are 7-7 in the last 14. 65 runs scored, 70 against. (They actually lost *less* ground in the AL Central during the previous 4-10 stretch. The standings aren’t entirely within their control.)) Verlander blew up twice and Scherzer once. Aside from that, not much to rail about.

    Not including the last game, a win with 6 runs, 7 of 10 batting regulars are .294+ BA and .760+ OPS since June 6. Not nearly as rosy on the pitching side, but look closer and observe that 43 of 70 runs were allowed by the Fab Four of Verlander, Scherzer, Porcello, and Reed. Sanchez and Smyly have been outstanding, and the bullpen would look pretty good without Coke, Krol, and Reed dragging them down. A mixed bag, much like: Joe Nathan, 1.929 WHIP. Joe Nathan 3.86 ERA.

    All in how you slice it. You can dwell on 11-20, or you can go to an opposite extreme with 2-0. 7-7 seems about right.

  63. jud

    June 21, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Holland pitches against the Tigetsswi g and miss, swing and miss,we can’t even foul off a pitch……9 th inning today…Seattle lights Holland up……that tells you alot about the Tigets sluggo offense.

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