Game 2014.88: Tigers 16, Royals 4

Standings Update

Det     50-37     —
KC      47-43     4.5
Cle     44-46     7.5
CWS   44-48     8.5
Min    41-49     10.5

AL Standings
Oak     57-34     —
Det     50-37     5
Bal     49-41      7.5 (yes, Baltimore. Is anyone paying attention to this?)

The Tigers are off to Kansas City for the final 4 before the All Star break. BRef preview here.

Remember last time we played and KC and they left Detroit in first place? Royals Review fondly reminisces to prelude a wonderful weekend preview. Highlights: The Tigers are 13-5 since then while the Royals have gone 8-10. Alex Gordon is out for the weekend, and Jason Vargas is going to have to miss a start which means that we get Bruce Chen! Chen has a 50% chance of throwing a CGSO and a 50% chance of getting pulled by the 2nd inning.

If I recall correctly, the high water mark this year was 17 over. A sweep gets us there. A sweep the wrong way puts us at 9 over at the AS game, but still up .5 games. I expect 2-2 on our way to a 93 win season finishing 6 games ahead of every other team in the Central. (update – it was 15 over on May 18)

Did you vote for #PickRick for the Final Vote (aka “one more sponsorship haul” around MLB headquarters). I did, and it was remarkably easy to do so. Kudos to MLB. I even felt good about myself for a minute. Then one of my kids started screaming b/c the spoon I gave her wasn’t the “right one.” But my vote, and all the rest for Porcello, weren’t enough as Chris Sale won the Final Vote. There is still a chance that Ricky gets added due to injury, which would be a nice reward for a heck of a first half. Ausmus said today that no decision has been made yet regarding VMart’s participation.

Here’s your daily fun with JD: J.D. Martinez has started in 21 straight games. Over those 21 games, Martinez is hitting .393 (33-for-84) with eight homers, 18 RBIs and a modest 1.255 OPS. For the season, he’s hitting .329 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs — and a team-best .642 slugging percentage — in just 173 at-bats since getting called up from Toledo in late April. It’s a very small sample size, and this happens all the time around MLB. Enjoy it while it lasts. I’ll be thrilled if he can settle into a Chet Lemon like .270/20 HR/80 RBI guy year after year. Read the whole write-up on JD at today.


Injury updates for the weekend contestants:

 Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks continued his injury-rehab assignment with Class A Lakeland on Wednesday night, going 1-for-2 and playing leftfield. In two games with Lakeland, Dirks is hitting .400 with two runs scored. He has been sidelined since March 29 because of lower back surgery. … Kansas City Royals left-hander Jason Vargas was taken to the hospital Wednesday and had an appendectomy. There was no timetable given for how long Vargas will be out. Bruce Chen could replace Vargas for Sunday’s game against the Tigers. Royals All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup due to a sprained right wrist. He will have an MRI and see a hand specialist today.

Cabrera is back, Kelly for Davis in right, and VMart is still not in the lineup…though I couldn’t find any news other than day to day.

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


  1. Smoking Loon

    July 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    High water mark was 15 games over on May 18, the famous 27-12 that’s been bandied about. Around the end of the Great Depression I speculated as to how soon they might get back to it. Tossed out 52-37. Could happen!

    J.D. Martinez: Career numbers already suggest a Chet Lemon-like baseline offensively. I’m hoping for more. Castellanos and Martinez could be the Twin Magglio’s. If the Tigers could bank on that, they might be able to sign Scherzer, let V. Martinez and Hunter (the latter more or less a foregone conclusion anyway) go, count on Cabrera and Kinsler as the core w/the aforementioned, and go cheap everywhere else for another several years. Quality pitching can take you a long way, if it’s durable, and it sure has been so far.

  2. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    July 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Royals are coming off a big ninth inning comeback win against the Rays. I am glad Little Ricky got on the ballot. And yes, I voted often waiting for MLB to tell me I made my limit of 25 votes. I didn’t figure that out until I had voted 60 times or so. Congrats to Sale while Ricky is still my All Star.

  3. Smoking Loon

    July 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Liked the spoon anecdote. Sort of like being a big league manager, isn’t it? Whatever you do, you should have done something else.

    • Jim EggersUSMC

      July 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Each of my grandkids has their own fork, very crucial to a successful meal.

      • Smoking Loon

        July 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        Back in my day, we were lucky to have a fork. Many a time we had to pawn the fork for a plate, and the plate for some food, and some food for a glass, and the glass for some water, most of which ran out of our hands anyway. Hard times.

  4. Coleman

    July 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    A little small ball, wasn’t expecting that.

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    July 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Tanaka out…Ricky All Star?

    • StorminNorman$

      July 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      no the BOS reliever Uehara already took his place

      • StorminNorman$

        July 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        call me selfish, but I’m not too keen on DET pitchers pitching in the AS game… I’d rather they save the innings for October

        • Smoking Loon

          July 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm

          I’m with you.

  6. StorminNorman$

    July 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    good AB for Jackson there…can’t believe he laid off that outside curve ball…for ball 4

  7. Coleman

    July 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    The Donkey is out of control

  8. StorminNorman$

    July 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm;mlb.html
    Forbes lists there mid-season “most overpaid players” list…happy to report that no Tiger made the list

    NYY’s are well represented on this list

  9. StorminNorman$

    July 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    if Kinsler can pick up 2 more RBI today or in the next 3 games, DET will have 4 players with 50 or more RBI at the AS break… can’t remember the last time that occurred

    • StorminNorman$

      July 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      make that 1 more RBI for Kinsler…to hit 50

    • Smoking Loon

      July 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      SN$ – last time 4 Tigers had 50+ RBI in the first half was 1936.

      Only one guy on the ’84 team was 50+ at the break. Chet Lemon.

  10. StorminNorman$

    July 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    this is great, but if the offense is Jekyll today, will they Hyde tomorrow?

  11. jud

    July 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Hey boys…don’ t get tired of scoring those runs…you have all next week to rest from running those bases!!!

  12. jud

    July 10, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Good job by Smyly again today…he has pitched a lot better that his record indicates!

    • Smoking Loon

      July 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

      He’s pitched about as well as his ERA (which went up) indicates.

      • jud

        July 11, 2014 at 1:46 am

        I know of SEVERAL Tiger pitchers who would be elated with a 4.00 ERA!!!

  13. Smoking Loon

    July 11, 2014 at 12:20 am

    The Tigers are one of only 3 teams in the AL with no position player batting below .200 (and it’s a close call for the other guys). Name the other two.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      July 11, 2014 at 7:42 am

      As a wild guess….Oakland and Toronto?

      • Smoking Loon

        July 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        Sorry for the late response (I were gone), but at the time of the question the answer was:

        Cleveland (two guys borderline) and… can’t remember. Angels, maybe. Both Oakland and Toronto had sub .200 guys (and probably still do). Surprising, eh?

  14. jud

    July 11, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Lucky for the Royals tat Jackson and Avila went 2/11 or this game might still be going on!!!

  15. Jim EggersUSMC

    July 11, 2014 at 1:45 am

    You know most of the time I would be in the save some runs for tomorrow camp, but these guys are capable of double digits frequently. I reserve the right to change my mind if there is a RISP slump.

  16. StorminNorman$

    July 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    DET might be making a run at Soria

  17. StorminNorman$

    July 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    DET might be making a run at Soria…