Playoffs?! Playoffs?!

Yes, playoffs!

I figured I would throw out a new post for pre-ALDS talk. As you may have heard by now, the Tigers have announced their starting rotation for the playoffs, which goes Scherzer/Verlander/Price/Porcello, ending the speculation/hope of some that they would buck tradition and go with a three-man rotation.

Chris Tillman (13-6, 3.34) is going for Baltimore in the opener, but the Orioles have yet to announce their rotation beyond that.

The actual schedule of the first three games of the series is out:

  • Game 1 – Thu Oct 2 – Camden Yards – 5:37 pm if Royals win wild card, 6:07 pm if A’s win wild card
  • Game 2 – Fri Oct 3   – Camden Yards – 12:07 pm if Giants win wild card, 3:07 pm if Pirates win wild card
  • Game 3 – Sun Oct 5 – Comerica Park – 3:45 pm

Those 3:07 (if Pirates win) and 3:45 games would seem to favor the pitchers, with the odd late-afternoon shadow factor. Sunday would also seem to be courting a little panic in Detroit with the Lions’ home game ending shortly after the Tigers begin.

Tonight the Royals and A’s play their game 163 (otherwise known as the Wild Card game). I’d love to see KC win. Besides representing the much-maligned Central, the A’s just plain got buried by the Angels at the end of the season, and it would be nice to see someone take out the Angels and save Detroit from another horrid LA experience. The Royals seem to have a better chance at that than Oakland. Of course, as I am typing this the Royals just ran into an out from 3rd, not a good sign.

In other Tiger news, Victor Martinez was nominated for the Hank Aaron Award, and Miguel Cabrera was named the AL Player of the Month for September.

 

30 Comments

  1. Kevin in Dallas

    September 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    1) Huge for Miguel after last September’s decline. I expect him to be a monster this weekend.

    2) Who are we rooting for tonight? I’m thinking KC. We play them well, and if we had to play the As again, it seems improbable to beat them a 4th straight year.

    • Coleman

      September 30, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      My take is that the Angels are the team we can’t beat, and the A’s can’t beat them either, so let’s see what the Royals can do. Plus, the Royals fans have been waiting a while for this.

      • T Smith

        October 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

        I would agree with this statement exactly…. except this Royals magic thing going on is starting to scare me a little bit…

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    September 30, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Hopefully Ausmus was watching that. Best bullpen in the majors, worth a lot less when you are behind.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    September 30, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    This is some exciting stuff, that’s for sure.

    • Coleman

      September 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Perez just had one of the worst at bats I’ve ever seen in a playoff, may have cost them the game.

      • Coleman

        October 1, 2014 at 12:55 am

        He just made up for it.

  4. Coleman

    September 30, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Man, this is a great baseball game.

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    October 1, 2014 at 12:22 am

    This is some nice bunting.

  6. jud

    October 1, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Hey Ned you have 7 steals now you give up an out every inning with a bunt…why not just steal 3 more bases…just sayin!

  7. jud

    October 1, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Speed……kills!!!!!

  8. jud

    October 1, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Great job AL Central….two teams in……..

    • Smoking Loon

      October 1, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      … the ALCS? That would be great.

  9. T Smith

    October 1, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Well, that’s not the kind of game you see every day.

    • Coleman

      October 1, 2014 at 1:21 am

      It reminded me of the Detroit game 163 against Minnesota.

  10. Coleman

    October 1, 2014 at 1:10 am

    The Royals are officially the most annoying team in baseball (I say that with admiration): a thousand stolen bases, a hundred bunts, and a score of infield hits, and they somehow pull it out.

  11. Jim EggersUSMC

    October 1, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Wife walks in, it is 7-3 in the 7th , and I say it’s over. She says nope. She is never freaking wrong about anything.

    • T Smith

      October 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Well, hopefully she’s picking the Tigers in 3 or 4 then

      • Jim EggersUSMC

        October 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

        She likes the Giants tonite, and is hoping for a Dodgers/ Tigers World Series to avoid an off season of whining from yours truly.

  12. jud

    October 1, 2014 at 3:07 am

    The Royals are even fun to watch. They make things happen…I think the success the Tigers have against them is that the Tigers don’t allow that many base runners. Everyone in baseball and out of baseball knows the Tiger outfielders and catchers could not stop that running game. And the Royals at least this year are not the same team we saw tonight against the Tigers, thank goodness!

    • T Smith

      October 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      The key is NOT to walk the leadoff man, or anybody. If they get a bloop, they get a bloop. Unfortunately a bloop often equates to an automatic triple for the Royals, especially if they are down by a run or two and have Dyson or Gore still on the bench. I say pitch them as carefully as you can, but for God’s sake don’t walk them. (I’m talking to you, Joe Nathan)

  13. Jason

    October 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

    So many unbelievable, awful decisions by the managers, it made Ausmus look like a savant!

    – Ventura for Shields. It was the proper time to remove Shields, but why not with Herrera, who got five outs anyways? Or, as Jay Jaffe suggested, with a lefty (either Finnegan or Danny Duffy) instead.

    – No Adam Dunn. I’d have pinch-hit him for Lowrie in the bases loaded/top 9 scenario, with Punto as the new SS.

    – Of course, the 8th: I was floored to see Lester still in the game. Then, after Escobar’s single and SB, and Aoki’s hard-hit out (a great defensive play by Sogard), “he gone”! There is NO EARTHLY REASON why Melvin didn’t bring in Luke Gregerson to face the right-handed Cain.

    So the Royals advance… good luck against the Angels!

    • Coleman

      October 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

      I agree with you on the Ventura move. There’s this feeling that you have to “save” your good relievers until at least the 7th, which doesn’t do you much good if you blow the game in the 6th (more games are won and lost in 6th innings than any other).

      • T Smith

        October 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        Your point especially amplified in an elimination game scenario. Why Yost didn’t bring in Herrera (or any of the available lefties) defies all reason.

  14. Coleman

    October 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I liked the bunting, since it was so well done, after watching how many Tiger bunt fails this year. Sacrificing may be a bad strategy; attempting to sacrifice and failing is worse.

    I think Jud is right though: the Royals were stealing at will yesterday, so why bunt a guy to 2nd, when you can save an out and just run there? The worst was one guy who was trying to bunt, but the pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone. He finally successfully bunted what would have been ball 3 on a 2-0 count (hint: a walk also moves the guy on 1st to 2’d).

    I’m grateful to Ned Yost for having Aoki sacrifice twice against Detroit, only to have Willingham whiff. We probably wouldn’t have been able to stop a steal, or stop Aoki, who at the time was on a ridiculous hot streak, something like 15-for-18.

  15. Coleman

    October 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve been trying to find any mention of a record, and coming up empty. But I’ll be shocked if Kansas City’s steals by 7 different players has ever happened in a postseason game.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Not the postseason, but on August 1, 1976, 8 different Oakland A’s stole 12 total bases in an 8-7 (12 inning) loss to the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium in MN.

      • Smoking Loon

        October 1, 2014 at 9:09 pm

        And the last time the Detroit Tigers stole as many as 7 bases in a regular season game was in 1932. Postseason, the Tigers have swiped as many as 3 four times, including 1984 and 2012. That’s it.

  16. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 2, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Looks like Miguel’s passion for a World Series ring is being conveyed:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/.....30947.html

    I hope this passion rubs off on other Tiger hitters and pitchers.

    Meanwhile my playoff schedule is on the fritz…wife hosting a social at 1630CDT today. Tomorrow I drive to Fort Worth and need to leave very early to make brother’s house in time for game start at 1100CDT. Then we drive out to Lake Powell and will only have access to game via XM. However while no DTW, Dan and Jim are all we really need. We will have Swedish cousins on the houseboat that we will turn into loyal Tiger fans. Vem är din tiger/Alltid en Tiger!

  17. Angus

    October 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you Ausmus for not including Jim Johnson on our ALDS roster.