Game 2014.84: Rays 7, Tigers 2


Chris Archer vs. Anibal Sanchez today.

Game preview

Detroit Tigers on BBREF or MLB

Tampa Bay Rays on BBREF or MLB

TODAY’S LINEUPS:  Sorry, Ray. This is a Tigers blog. Victor is out, yup and (long-term) uh-oh. The Lettuce is in and AJax is back at leadoff, cue fan outrage. But Davis is in LF today and may distract us, positively speaking.


NOTABLE (PREGAME): Last night can be summed up in the phrase “not good enough.” Not terrible, except for Mr. Gilded Mexican Headwear at the plate, but not good enough. Smyly, apparently, either has it or doesn’t, no gutting it out or battling back for him. He didn’t have it, and was in one batter too long when Sean Rodriguez put the nail in the coffin. Not good enough. Alex Cobb bested the Tigers for 5, and when the base-loaded, no outs situation came to be, getting one run out of it was clearly not good enough. Lost in the shuffle was great defense from Kinsler to get one out on a run-scoring play and some nice defense at 3B by Kelly in the 9th… As we contemplate the deals Detroit (or the Olde English DD) might make before the trade deadline, one thing to remember is that any meaningful suggestion starts with giving up someone you’d rather not. Cabrera, Victor, Kinsler, Verlander, and Sanchez are all off the table, of course. Scherzer might not be off the table, but when you consider where the Tigers are (1st place) and a big reason why (Scherzer), well then, I guess Scherzer is off the table. What do the Tigers need so badly that they would give up the young talent of Porcello, Smyly, Castellanos, or Suarez to get? Or current hot ticket J.D.? (Nothing.) What’s left of the good to pretty good, and what of that is – more or less – surplus? Hunter? Davis? Surely not Alburquerque or Chamberlain? What’s to gain, what’s the need? Bullpen, you say. Well, they can probably get Joaquin Benoit at a reasonable price in trade, but is even that really worth it? Does Benoit put this team over the top? So why’d they let him go? Counting on Rondon? Anyway, some of us would love to unload Jackson or Avila, but the return would not be flashy or likely to solve anything immediately. Unlike last season, Detroit doesn’t have to make any deals at all. No Garcia situation, no Peralta situation. But Mr. Dombrowski may have something shrewd and more subtle up his sleeve just the same, planning for September/October even now… I guess it’s safe to say that J.D. Martinez is for real… Unfortunately, the recent aches and pains of the other Martinez are also for real. Victor (back soreness, right side) might be “back” for the Dodgers. Or he might not. Chronic isn’t what we want to hear, but it’s the word I’m starting to see in my crystal ball. Uh-oh.

POSTGAME Look away, it’s hideous.


* Stats, facts, graphics, and assorted coolness courtesy of  and  and


  1. 80HD

    July 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Nice post, Sir Loon.

    I agree – they don’t Have to make a deal. It’s easy to put out of my mind the apparent weaknesses – weak bullpen, cement gloves, inconsistent run production – when they are playing well. I don’t get much comfort from my hunch that these are exactly the things that really hurt in the postseason.

    I don’t see an easy – one deal – solution for the gloves or the scoring but some bullpen help would be great. Lynn Henning’s been saying lately that they have promising middle IF prospects up the wazoo. Maybe some could be moved for bullpen help.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Dirks return. He could do little harm and the LH bat would be welcome as well. He can also catch fly balls. I don’t think he got much recognition for being a Gold Glove finalist last year. Superior OF play will make him stand out a little in this crowd.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Andy Dirks might be the wild card. The silence about him is pretty ominous, though, don’t you think? Joel Hanrahan hasn’t made any appearances on the radar recently, either.

      This team can obviously win as is. I don’t see any deadwood that simply has to go. We can get as exasperated as we want with Nathan, Verlander, or Smyly – they’re not going anywhere. Seems the same with Hunter and Davis (if you’ve watched a lot of Rajai’s at bats, you know why he makes this list). That leaves:

      Jackson (Mr. Streaky, could get “hot” at any time… right?)
      Avila (don’t underrate D, at least through 2014)
      Romine (would we rather have Ramon Santiago?)
      Kelly (eternally useful, I’m afraid)
      Coke (but he’s back!)
      Krol (unimpressive but not exactly awful)

      So I’m not kicking anyone off the team just yet. You can always get someone better, or someone who’s supposed to be better. At this point, I would take my chances with existing personnel, more or less. But one of DD’s specialties has been the right mid-season trade at the right time. We’ll see what he comes up with this time. I don’t dare speculate.

      • Vince in MN

        July 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm

        Jackson: can also go “cold” at any time. So far more cold than hot this year.
        Avila: mild-mannered “Mr.K” turns into “Super D” when he enters that telephone booth and dons his catcher’s gear.
        Romine better than Santiago – interesting question.
        Kelly: best pinch-sitter in baseball; on-deck skills par excellance.
        Coke: not back today unfortuantely
        Krol: not back at all.

        Actually, one of our excess oufielders, and I’m thinking more Hunter (who at 39 YO is probably not going anywhere) or Jackson than Davis (J-Mart is a lock to stay) for bullpen help would be a reasonable move to help lock up the division. Beyond that, I’m not so sure. And do we need to be thinking about how we would replace the V-Mart, the team’s MVP? Scary thought.

        • Smoking Loon

          July 5, 2014 at 10:30 pm

          I won’t editorialize about it, but I won’t miss any of the 6 guys I mentioned when they’re gone, whether it’s this month or after the season. There’s something to be said in their defense, and I’ve said it. The thing is, the Tigers *might* be a better team with someone else in their stead. But the Tigers have to play better than they have the last two games no matter who’s on the team, and I can’t point too much of a finger at any of these 6 guys for the two losses.

          Detroit’s not much for winning at Comerica any more, are they? Sheesh.

  2. jud

    July 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Nobody would trade to get the Tigers underachievers Jackson and Avila. The only other trade bait coming up is the flood in left field. Dirks/ Davis/ Martinez odd man out is the only” trade-able Tiger”…But wait! Do the Tigers need to do anything. Compared to everyone else they are in pretty good shape. The cupboard ain’t exactly bare! I saw stand pat or add Benoit, I am good either way!

    • Coleman

      July 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Maybe we can trade for Cy Archer.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 5, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Yeah, I hear you about Avila and Jackson. That was the underlying theme of my little trade talk. No one trades for guys midseason in the hope they’ll bounce back. That’s an offseason deal thing.

  3. Coleman

    July 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    “The Rays are really playing some decent baseball right now.” Oh stop it Rod!

    • Vince in MN

      July 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      8-2 in last 10.

  4. jud

    July 5, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    It continuez to amaze me that the pitchers that shut down the Tigers in the last 4-5 losses have 1 -3 wins on the season. CHRIS Archer another bum off the street has a win total of 4 before today… problem shutting down the Sluggos

    • Vince in MN

      July 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Their bum (4 wins) was better than our bum (5 wins) today.

  5. Coleman

    July 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Even the end of this game is frustrating–Ball Four pitching, with no Victor in the lineup.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 6, 2014 at 12:16 am

      I was hoping Victor would pinch hit. What’s one AB?

  6. Vince in MN

    July 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Carrera is hitting .308 with .401 OBP and 33 steals at Toledo. Of course there would be some falloff at the MLB level (although there hasn’t been for J-Mart), but even so, those look more like leadoff credentials than what Jackson brings to the table (with his high K-rate also). And Carrera has ML experience, so presumably you wouldn’t have to bat him 9th to protect him like some rookie.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 6, 2014 at 12:15 am

      I’d be willing to try it until Dirks gets back. If Dirks gets back. Dirks can play CF pretty well, as I recall. Davis in CF every day is something I’d probably regret proposing. He’s got some wheels out there, though.

  7. Judpma

    July 5, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    for the 5 really good games Jackson has played this year out of 82,,,he can leave today and not be missed…..Hunter isn’t exactly Mr Clutch anymore either. If V Mart is out for any extended time………Tigers are in trouble!

  8. Smoking Loon

    July 6, 2014 at 12:39 am

    It is my guess that we won’t see VMart again until after the break. The caution might be wise.

    • Vince in MN

      July 6, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Good time to put him on the DL then, retroactive to the 4th, and audition Carrera in the meantime. There really isn’t anyone else to call on in the in the high minors as far as position players go.

      • Coleman

        July 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

        If this were the old days (pre-2006), it would be time for the last hurrah of Mike Hessman.

        • Vince in MN

          July 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm

          Could he refuse the assignment? It would interfere with his record breaking season.

          Actually, any deal would also require taking someone off of the 40-man. Who would go?

          Carrera is also not on the 40-man.

          • Coleman

            July 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm

            Couldn’t they move Hanrahan to the 60-day DL?

            • Smoking Loon

              July 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

              They could, but I don’t think they want to DL Victor. They could go a pitcher short (only 6 games until the break) and bring up Carrera. The main bullpen has been gathering dust lately. McCoy is injured and/or going back to Toledo, and they’ve had their look at Smith.

              • Smoking Loon

                July 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm

                Or they could bring up Hessman to DH for a bit. Why not? That would be fun. He can play 1B, too. I’d even give him a start at 3B.