Game 2014.144: Royals at Tigers

Don’t worry about whether the Detroit Tigers are going to make the playoffs, because the playoffs have already begun, if not already at the very beginning of the month, then certainly with this 3-game showdown against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers have already spent the one series loss they can afford; from here on out it’s “brink of elimination” with every series as a game. If they can manage to run this gauntlet, they get to do it all over again in October. But that’s what we want. If we don’t get it, well, at least we had these playoffs, and I would rather that they go on and not fizzle out 2-3 weeks before season’s end.

Does Detroit really belong in the conversation along with Baltimore, the Los Angeles Angels, and Oakland as an AL team that can beat the best the NL can offer? The first two in the Giants series added nothing to my confidence in that regard. Last night… well, that was better, much better. OK, kind of better. I’ll let Coleman have the glowing review of Lobstein for their next turns in the rotation. I’ll only say that Rock Lobster/K-Lob/(ugh)Lobber was impressive and deserves a beach party in his honor for a much-needed apply-the-tourniquet outing.

Tigers pitching/defense Games 126-142: 5.04 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, .292 BAA and 35% of those hits for extra bases. 98 runs allowed, 14 unearned, 1 of 12 CS.

Royals comparison (Games 125-141): 3.04 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .248 BAA and 36% of those hits for extra bases, 63 runs allowed, 11 unearned (??), 5 of 18 CS.

Tigers offense Games 126-142: 5.6 runs per game, 307/356/444/800. Every Tigers position starter save Eugenio Suarez has a (full season) higher than league average XBH/PA%.  That is outstanding well beyond a comparison with the Royals.

Royals comparison:  3.2 runs per game, 232/284/352/636. 20 stolen bases.

Identical 9-8 records in those spans. We’re afraid of these guys? The Tigers do hold a 9-4 series lead so far. On the other hand, there’s pitching.

Baseball Reference Game Preview

Jeremy Guthrie vs. Justin Verlander

Guthrie can frustrate the Tigers. Coincidentally, so can Verlander (going for career win #150). Justin’s career splits show September to be an outstanding month for him, in line with his overall excellence (April and August seem to be the rough spots). This seems to be talked about every year, with some justification. The old “time for him to step up [again]” thing. Could actually happen, eh?

Miggy and Victor are en fuego, as they say in Washington. What can possibly go wrong here?



    September 8, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Allowing Miggy to run the bases after his single yesterday was both asinine and criminal. Assmus is a bumbling idiot!

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    September 8, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Playoffs start today!

    • PHToy in HK

      September 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Let the games begin!

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        September 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm

        If this team is successful, it will be the series that Tigers fans will talk about for years to come. Just like the Blue Jays series in 1987, now is the time Boys!

        • StorminNorman$

          September 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm

          …they both meet again in about 10 days… with likely the same pitching matchups (JV – Guthrie, Scherzer – Vargas, Porcello – Shields)…so we shall see – one would presume they need to win at least 4 of the 6 against KC

          • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

            September 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm

            If they can sweep this series it may be the knockout punch and the KC series may be moot.

  3. Coleman

    September 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Over the past month, Johnson’s WHIP is a ridiculously high 1.556. Verlander’s is 1.655. So I have very tempered hopes for tonight. Couldn’t we make a last minute swap for the other Kyle?

    • StorminNorman$

      September 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      what’s the over/under on JV surpassing 100 pitches? I’m predicting the 5th inning.

      Let’s hope the Donkey-infused DET offense shows up today…I suspect they’ll need it.

  4. Coleman

    September 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    2015 schedule has been released:

  5. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Well boys we have been at this just about everyday for better than 6 months……now let the “real games begin”……

  6. Kevin in Dallas

    September 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Comerica looks gorgeous today. Would be nice to be out there.

    • StorminNorman$

      September 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Regardless of the outcome that would be great. I have a few friends that are going to take in the double-header (Tigers – Lions)…they texted that its like the opening day type atmosphere.

  7. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Sweet home Alabama…the baseball gods are with us!

  8. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    WE never get breaks like this…the omens keep rolling in!!

  9. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Don Kelly…you magnificent Utility Man! And you too Nick and Alex! Motown is rocking and the Tigers are making a statement…get into the bullpen early for the next two games!!!

  10. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    How about those “omens”

  11. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Surprized at all the open seats today! think they would have called us to fill in the spaces!

  12. kw

    September 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    So the real question is, is an 8-2 lead big enough for a Verlander start? And if he starts to struggle, is Ausmus going to be smart enough to pull him before it’s too late?

    • kw

      September 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Here’s where it starts to unravel. Keep a short leash, Bradley.

  13. StorminNorman$

    September 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    The Donkey has made some good plays in the OF this year… that one in the 7th wasn’t one of them… he played that one like a free-safety head hunting a receiver across the middle causing a fumble, unfortunately in this case the “receiver” who caught the ball was Hunter, and the ‘fumble’ went from an out to an inside-the-park HR.

    PS: I’d trade Rod Allen for Jack Morris in the booth tomorrow…

    • kw

      September 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Apparently Jack’s going to be in the booth for 6 games. Anyone know why? Maybe he’s auditioning for Rod’s job next year.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        September 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

        I hear ya KW!

  14. PHToy in HK

    September 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Time for a GIDP

  15. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Ump…did you miss 6 or 7 pitches that inning…that was brutal both ways!

  16. PHToy in HK

    September 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Let’s see if the bats can blow the save opportunity. Don’t need the drama.

  17. StorminNorman$

    September 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    insurance run(s) always a good thing w/this bullpen

  18. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    The real..real game now begins!

  19. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Hopefully JV will inspire Max for tomorrow…nice win….silly me I thought the whole season was going to go like this!..

  20. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Royals tip their caps to the Tigers!

  21. jud

    September 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Asmus +1….Romine solid D..and two hits. Kelly big hit, rbi.

  22. Kevin in Dallas

    September 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Man did I need these last two wins. Prior to that, here was my weekend rundown:
    1) HS football team loss
    2) Tigers loss
    3) Tigers loss
    4) Brother alma mater football loss
    5) Wife alma mater football loss
    6) Dad alma mater (Michigan – favorite team growing up) blowout loss
    7) Texas blowout loss
    8) NFL survival team knockout (Bears)
    9) Cowboys blowout loss (was at the game)
    10) Fantasy Football loss

    Not to mention the Ron Washington resignation.

    • Coleman

      September 9, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Must have been a party in the D tonight–6 straight hours of Win.

  23. jud

    September 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Lions and Tigers blow out wins….Are we in Iowa?