Game 2014.120: Mariners at Tigers

Miggy 8-15-14

(“I got this”)

The scorching hot Mariners roll into the D tonight, winners of 4 in a row and 8 out of their last 10. In fact, the Mariners are 9-3 in the Austin Jackson era, and he recently accounted for all 4 RBIs in a 4-2 Mariners win.

The Tigers counter with an impressive streak of their own, having won 2 in a row, 2 out of their last 6, and 3 out of their last 9.

What looked like an innocuous Austin Jackson returns series a few weeks ago (and should have been), is now a crucial one, as the Tigers maintain a scant .5 game lead on the Mariners for the do or die playoff spot. In fact, every game from here on out is going to be critical since the Tigers, well, you know, aren’t in first place.

There was a lot of buzz yesterday surrounding the fans booing Joe Nathan after Nathan walked the first two batters he saw on Wednesday night. I think the easiest way to appease everyone but Joe Nathan would be to release Joe Nathan, but I don’t think that is going to happen.

Nathan did not take kindly to the booing, as he Corleone-d a fan or the fans in general on his way off the mound after closing out the game. Nathan apologized Thurs morning, but I find his chin flick to be immature and indicative of a lack of focus and confidence.

Victor Martinez commented liberally on the boos after the game on Wednesday. I only heard Dan D’s recap of Martinez’s comments, but it sounded like Victor was disappointed, though understanding of the fans’ reaction. Victor, in case you haven’t figured it out, the fans are incredibly disappointed and are not understanding of the team’s sub.500 performance over the past 3 months.

I firmly believe that paying the price of admission gives any fan the right to cheer or boo, in a reasonable manner. Athletes, like CEOs, celebrities, and public figures, are well compensated (in pay or power), and absorbing frustration from constituents is part of the job. I applaud the fans that gave Nathan what he deserved, and only hope that they booed Ausmus as well. Neither have been performing to an acceptable level as of late and that type of reaction is warranted. When players and the team perform well, we cheer.

Praise needs to be earned. The players shouldn’t be surprised by the boos given the struggles over the past three months. Expectations are high because, on paper, this is the most talented team in the Majors. By a long shot. We have the past three Cy Young winners and Miguel Cabrera for goodness’ sake. Ausmus should be able to win with this team, no matter who he has in the bullpen. Other managers have made lesser bullpens look much better.

The whole team needs to look out into that sold out stadium tonight and realize that playing for such loyal and passionate fans is a blessing. They need to look at each other and recognize that playing with the teammates, and for an owner like Mr. Ilitch, is an opportunity. At the professional level, oftentimes the difference between winning and losing is effort. Not talent, not circumstance, but effort. If this team goes out and gives all the effort they have, they’ll get all the cheering they want.

****

-  Grantland recently rated Ausmus 25th out of 30 in a “manager meddling index.”

- Tigers lost 2/3 in Seattled May 30 – June 1

Baseball-Reference Game Preview here:

Rick Porcello v. M’s lefty James Paxton

1. Rajai Davis, CF
2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. Torii Hunter, RF
6. J.D. Martinez, LF
7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
8. Bryan Holaday, C
9. Eugenio Suarez, SS

14 Comments

  1. Jim EggersUSMC

    August 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Here’s how you beat the M’s… Pitch around Cano & Seagar, and make the other .225 hitters beat you. And as always score more runs than them. And be sure to flip off your fans, the only smart Tiger ( and M’s) fans I know are either on this blog or related to me.

  2. TIGERS RULE

    August 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    The bumbling has started and the top of the first is not yet over.

  3. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    This is the free game on MLB TV.

  4. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    August 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Paxton looks like a young bearded Mickey Lolich.

  5. Jim EggersUSMC

    August 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Cannot let these 4A hitters beat you, but the now it is Plan B time, can we score more runs than the M’s??? Jud, I already know where you stand on this issue…..

  6. Bill

    August 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Why leave Porcello in? He pitched in relief several days ago he is obviously tired and doesn’t have as good stuff. On the radio they said just a bad night I agree. Why is he still in?

    • Vince

      August 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Smokey Jr. is not about to meddle with the starter’s need to get in their 100 pitches.

  7. jud

    August 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Sure didn’t take the Sluggos long to return to their 1-2 effort we see over and over and over….they are probably tired from trying really hard two whole days in a row!

  8. Angus

    August 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Good point by Jim Price. KC has Twins, Rockies, Rangers, and then Twins again. We do not score runs and we could be 3 or 4 back in about 10 days.

  9. Vince

    August 15, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Mercedes looked pretty good. Now about that new hitter…

    • Coleman

      August 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Ian “Add-On Runs” Krol, not so much.

  10. Vince

    August 15, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    They really are stuck on this two runs a game thing.

  11. jud

    August 15, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Kinsler..Hunter 0-7 that’s not the bad part…did they see even one strike thrown their way??? So much for the “changed approach”..Hunter is at least consistent because he has swung at 5 pitches that have bounced in 2 days.

  12. jud

    August 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Say goodbye to the Royals!!! As they leave us in the dust….