Game 2014.154: Tigers at Royals

I had to think about it, but I’ve decided I like winning 10-1 better than losing 8-4. Justin “Ricky” Verlander dominated KC without really being dominant. Pretty darn good. He didn’t seem too happy about being lifted from the game rather unnecessarily, or maybe he was just upset with Ezequiel Carrera’s nonchalance in allowing a runner to tag and advance to 3B, but that did make it less of a challenge for Evan Reed to preserve his inherited runner scored streak. The Tigers hitters jumped all over Jason Vargas right away and kept it up post-Vargas. Tbran could be right that Detroit should have maybe saved a few runs for these next two games, but a blowout was just what the doctor ordered after the last two against Minnesota.

James “Buster” McCann thought he was me in his first AB, but snapped out of it and went on to have a bit of a game there. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Of course you are. Meanwhile, the J.D. Martinez unreality show proceeds apace, and Ian Kinsler was swinging it like we haven’t seen since… when?

Scoring 10 runs on the Royals doesn’t happen every day. All it takes is one shutout loss for us to forget, but this team can really hit. We may not see an offensive show like the 2014 edition for a number of years, which is funny if you remember how many of us were concerned before the season started whether the new low-cal offense could possibly do enough to support the Dream Rotation. Well, the Dream Rotation has, since David Price arrived, been more like the Dream On Rotation. I don’t know if the oft-maligned bullpen has really done anything lately to deserve piling on, but could you have imagined a couple years ago that the Tigers bullpen would soon include the likes of Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, and Jim Johnson… and be among the worst in baseball? Maybe they should go out and get Jason Grilli, Fernando Rodney, Ernesto Frieri, and Grant Balfour for 2015 and have a 7-closer pen. Their nickname could be The Famous Last Words. When will we have The Magnificent Seven? Maybe someday.

With Detroit batters having been dumbfounded by Ricky Nolasco only a few days ago, it stands to (baseball) reason that they could bomb James Shields today. Meanwhile, our own Max Scherzer faces an agonizing decision about which inning he will allow the 4-5 runs in. Tigers hit, Tigers win. That’s what I’m seeing. Keep it up.

A game and a half lead is good, but it will take a sweep to breathe easier for a day or two. A win today is one giant step.

55 Comments

  1. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Good write up Loon. The Tigers are leading MLB in batting at with a .279 average and OPS of .763. In September, the Tigers are hitting an incredible .318 which is 13 points higher than the next team and 74 points ahead of the Royals. Do you think they are stepping it up and want this Division Championship? Let’s hope for another good game today.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I can’t explain why the Tigers struggle vs. the Twins and the White Sox, but against the Royals and Indians especially, Detroit plays with a confidence and energy that I would compare to how the San Francisco Giants just played against them. The pressure is on KC, and I think they’ve got to be feeling the strain. As someone else put another way, it’s now up to the Tigers to keep their foot on the Royals’ neck for 2 more games.

      Come on, Detroit pitching! (Of course, that could be the battle cry of teams about to face Tigers pitching. NOT what I mean.)

  2. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Mad Max is pitching in front of his peeps. Well done Mad Max.

  3. Coleman

    September 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    2nd and 3rd with 1 out, and Willingham pops up the 1st pitch, and Max strikes out Hosmer to get out of the inning. That’s one that my haunt Royals fans for a while.

  4. Smoking Loon

    September 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you again, Max. To re-sign or not to re-sign. This will be a game to remember when considering that question down the road.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      I have a unmitigated hunch that Max wants to sign with the Cardinals.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm

        That does seem to be the foregone conclusion.

    • Coleman

      September 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      This is the Contract Bowl, with Max and Torii holding down the lead. I expect Victor to hit one out next.

      • Smoking Loon

        September 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm

        Tomorrow. Two, I’m thinking.

  5. Coleman

    September 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Bad time for Kinsler to leave his glove at home.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Kinsler missed it, but did anyone notice Suarez’s backup? Casual, perfunctory. Not good. Part of the bad scoring play. Romine would have never done that.

      Kinsler made a nice play on the next one.

      • Coleman

        September 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        It was Suarez.

        • Smoking Loon

          September 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

          Yeah, that’s what I said.

          • Coleman

            September 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

            But of course.

  6. Coleman

    September 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Kinsler-Suarez clown show.

  7. Smoking Loon

    September 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    OMG! Sweet! The BRILLIANCE of Kinsler-Suarez! This was all planned.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Now get Romine in there. Eugenio is not awake today.

      What I mean to say is the Suarez should be left in for one more AB, since I’ve pored over some stats and concluded he’s going to draw a 4-pitch walk from Shields.

  8. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Tigers need to score now.

  9. Coleman

    September 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Ausmus +1

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      +10.

  10. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Tyler Collins you magnificent Rookie!

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      I love that guy.

  11. jud

    September 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Collins….attaboy!

  12. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Troy, you earn Kevin’s post of the game award.

  13. Kevin at another wedding

    September 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Always seems to happen this way.

    Keep it up boys.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      You’re not really at another wedding. Are you?

  14. Smoking Loon

    September 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    We need 2 strong innings from Max yet, don’t we? Or are we playing with fire either way?

  15. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    This Waldo guy behind home plate has me rattled. KC has great fans but there are a few.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      I finally spotted him. I probably wouldn’t be good at “Where’s Waldo?”

  16. jud

    September 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Let the real game begin!

  17. Smoking Loon

    September 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Joba. In other words, 3-3, Coke, Soria, 3-4. Say it isn’t so.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Chamberlain was actually really good, in spite of the run.

      I feel calm, confident, and secure. The lead is a whole run. If it was .7 or something, I’d be worried.

  18. Jim EggersUSMC

    September 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Well, boys it is a happy to be alive day around here. Had a little “procedure” yesterday, a periodontist was installing an implant and lengthening 2 crowns, when some how he nicked an artery on the roof of my mouth. The Mrs. stepped up, got me back to the guy asap, he patched it up, but around 8 pm here, it was bleeding again( think mouthfuls of blood). An on call oral surgeon packed it off, over sutured it, and I sit here today in some pain. But I am enjoying the hell out of this here ball game. Consulted with my ump bro, and he agreed that vanover got it wrong, and then got it right. Love Max and his passion! ( looking for the complete game here!) oooops! maybe not stay tuned!

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Hey Marine, glad you are on the rebound. Don’t make us sit you on the bench with Avila.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Yow. Mouthfuls of blood. Glad you’re alright.

    • Coleman

      September 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Is your periodontist’s last name Nathan? Hope it’s all fixed up now.

      • Jim EggersUSMC

        September 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

        Funny you should ask… I have a son (RHP/biochemist) and a bro-in-law (rock star) named Nathan and a brother (RHP) named Joe, so you would think I would love to see JN toe the rubber. Not so much, he gives me cotton mouth and the dry heaves, although today that might just be the drugs!

  19. Kevin at another wedding

    September 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Wedding about to start. Please let it be Soria in the 9th. Good luck boys.

  20. Vince in MN

    September 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    So, with a loaded bullpen and Hosmer up, why not pull Chamberlain, who is about as dependable as Nathan, and go with a LOOGY?
    Ausmus -1

    • Smoking Loon

      September 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Tigers have a LOOGY? Kelly, you mean?

      • Smoking Loon

        September 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Oh yes, Kelly throws right, my bad. But he’s a LOOGY as a batter.

  21. Coleman

    September 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Time to down a glass of the hard stuff, take a valium, get a massage, and think about little fluffy kittens, because here comes Joe Nathan with a one-run lead.

  22. Smoking Loon

    September 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Well, that was easy. (Yawn.)

  23. jud

    September 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Ok everyone breathe!!!

    Joe….Joe….Joe….Joe!

  24. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    That Waldo clown guy disappeared in the ninth. Wait…..that was Nathan!

  25. jud

    September 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Thats Baseball at its finest!!

  26. Jim EggersUSMC

    September 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    WOW! That was exciting! A little too much!!! And to all of you, to say the least, you are the most!

  27. Coleman

    September 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Hernan Perez +1

    “Ausmus confirmed Hernan Perez was the one who noticed Salvador Perez never touched 3B. He told Vizquel in Spanish. Vizquel relayed to Ausmus.”

    • StorminNorman$

      September 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      …Perez’s alertness, might have saved that game.

      KC fans have got to be disheartened.

      …and Nathan, well… what can I say? If he’s the best DET can do in the 9th; come playoff time… I foresee drama and/or disappointment

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        September 20, 2014 at 7:26 pm

        During his at bat, I was thinking, ok…here’s where that Yeng/Yang payoff for last week’s mistake at second is gonna payoff. Nathan gets him to 0-2 and then dances around the plate and he gets a bloop single.

        Do you think Ausmus told Nathan he was yanking him on the first guy he walks?

      • T Smith

        September 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm

        Perhaps the best part of this victory is that Nathan is now unavailable for the tomorrow’s game. In the end he got the job done, but way too much drama for me. Forget about his ERA in the stratosphere, his WHIP is out of control. You simply can’t expect to close out games with a high degree of success (especially against a team like the Royals who turn walks and weak infield hits into automatic doubles and triples…) when you continually fill up the bases.

        On another note, if the Tigers had KCs bullpen, we’d have 100 victories by now…

  28. jud

    September 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Tyler Collins just might be the first actual hitter the Tigers have had in a PH situation off the bench in a long long time!…

    • PHToy in HK

      September 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Has Ausmus come out and said that he would not use Nathan in consecutive games?

      • Smoking Loon

        September 20, 2014 at 11:16 pm

        Not that I know. I very much doubt that Nathan is truly unavailable for the Sunday game.

      • T Smith

        September 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

        Just a hunch… but Ausmus probably won’t go to him in another one run game. I know his pitch count was in the 20 – 30 range, which could be the save-face excuse not to go to him in a close situation today. I could be wrong, but it would seem the Tigers are treading delicately with keeping Nathan as the official closer while reducing his role. In other words, he’s on an extremely “short” leash…