2014 ALDS: Game 1

I had been wondering who, or what, to use for the Game Post picture for today, and then Miguel made it easy. Miguel threw down the gauntlet.

In case you haven’t seen the story yet, when Max Scherzer was going around collecting signatures to receive playoff share money on Wednesday, Cabrera wasn’t interested: “I just want the ring.”

And with those 5 words, the tone for Detoit’s 2014 ALDS has been set. No excuses, no distractions (not even money), nothing will do but the ring.

(Does anyone else find it odd that you actually have to sign up for playoff money? One would think they team would distribute it automatically. I suppose it’s one of those quaint remnants, like golfers having to keep their own scores).

I had just read this article about Cabrera as team leader, with a strange disparity between the headline (“Cabrera Speaks Loudly”) and the content (he is a quiet leader), but Cabrera’s response to the playoff share signup was simultaneously quiet and very, very loud (it’s the top trending topic on Facebook).

*****

The Detroit ALDS Roster has finally been released (the team had been waiting as long as possible to gauge Rajai’s ability to play–they submitted the roster 15 minutes before the 10 am deadline):

PITCHERS (11)

RHP Al Alburquerque
RHP Joba Chamberlain
LHP Phil Coke
LHP Kyle Lobstein
RHP Joe Nathan
RHP Rick Porcello
LHP David Price
RHP Anibal Sanchez
RHP Max Scherzer
RHP Joakim Soria
RHP Justin Verlander

CATCHERS (2)
Alex Avila
Bryan Holaday

INFIELDERS (6) 
1B Miguel Cabrera
3B  Nick Castellanos
2B Ian Kinsler
INF Hernan Perez
INF Andrew Romine
INF Eugenio Suarez

OUTFIELDERS (5)
OF Ezequiel Carrera
OF Rajai Davis
OF Torii Hunter
INF/OF Don Kelly
OF J.D. Martinez

DESIGNATED HITTER (1)
Victor Martinez

There aren’t really any surprises, unless you count leaving out Blaine Hardy, who had a good season, until his last two appearances, in which he was awful. Hernan Perez on the roster means that the team doesn’t foresee any issues with Rajai Davis, which would have resulted in an extra outfielder. Speaking of which, I don’t really trust Carrera as a defensive replacement, but there he is. I was holding out a faint hope for Tyler Collins. (Edit: Ausmus said that Hernan was going to be on the roster regardless; if Rajai wasn’t good to go they would have added Collins and gone 1 short in the bullpen).

Today’s Show-Me-The-Ring Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Hunter, RF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, LF
  6. Avila, C
  7. Castellanos, 3B
  8. Romine, SS
  9. Davis, CF

Scherzer, P

Baseball Reference Game Preview. Baltimore’s Chris Tillman has had a pretty good career against current Tiger hitters: .238 BA against, .671 OPS against. One notable exception has been Miguel Cabrera, who has hit Tillman at .385 with an OPS of 1.159.

The good news is that Max’s numbers have been almost exactly the same against the Orioles: .238 BA against, .663 OPS against. But hold your breath when Nelson Cruz comes to the plate: Cruz hits Scherzer for .381 (.952 OPS), and absolutely bombed him in his one postseason game facing him (2 doubles, a HR, 5 RBI).

Season Series: Detroit 5, Baltimore 1, including a 3-game sweep in Baltimore. (Tillman had only Baltimore win).

23 Comments

  1. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    That was predictable. And idiotic. First base was open.

  2. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Miggy might be the heart of the team, but Victor is the bat.

  3. jud

    October 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Everyone talks about the Orioles Home run power. I think in their park the Tigers can match up home run power easily!

  4. jud

    October 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Hunter king of the two hop GB right at someone…hits a two hop GB bases loaded right too someone…go figure!

  5. jud

    October 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    JD Martinez…big time play and throw!!!

    • Coleman

      October 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Unfortunately Miller is making fools of these hitters.

  6. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    C’mon, this is the playoffs. This home plate umpire is awful.

  7. Mark

    October 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Somebody get a urine sample from Cruz please. He most be on the juice again.

  8. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Clowntober.

  9. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    OK, time to get Kelly up in the bullpen.

  10. Mark

    October 2, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Tigers bullpen… Have we learned nothing from the past?

  11. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    What is wrong with Avila?

    • KW

      October 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      What is wrong with this team?

      • Coleman

        October 2, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        True.

  12. KW

    October 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    The 8th inning was like a microcosm of the bullpen’s entire season. Can’t say I’m too surprised.

  13. Coleman

    October 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    They probably should have left Rajai off the roster.

  14. KW

    October 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    It’s rally time! If they can score 8 off our bullpen in one inning, surely we can score 9.

    • Coleman

      October 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Damn, I couldn’t find my rally sombrero in time.

  15. T Smith

    October 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Some observations on game 1:

    1. Note to Tori Hunter: If you finally want to top your career with a World Series ring (which is well documented), you’re gonna need to come up clutch a hell of lot of better than you did tonight. The two opportunities the TIgers had to build momentum and blow open the game came on your at bats. This game would have unfolded MUCH differently if you would have come thru in just one of those crucial at bats.

    2. The very sad reality is, our bullpen is NOT to be trusted. Period. It is almost an oxymoron to be a playoff team with such a horrid bullpen. If we have any chance at all, we need to rely on the Cy’s and Ricky–as in push the envelope a little. That was an EPIC and comic meltdown. Let me get this straight. The Orioles score 8 runs before the bullpen can record 2 outs? What is this, little league? Un-frickin’ believable. Brad may have made the right move by pulling Max after the double in the 8th, all things being equal–(and in every other universe but this one)–but with the makeup of this team, you can’t go by conventional wisdom. Max was under 100 pitches and in retrospect you let him finish out the inning if you want to give your team the best chance to win.

    Don’t believe me and want some supporting evidence? Rewind tonight’s game and labor through the eighth inning after Max came out. Then rewind back to the previous two innings and observe how the O’s were faring against Scherzer’s stuff. Translation: He has the best stuff we got, even at 98 pitches, to pitch around a one-out double in the eighth.

    3. If we can’t execute with just an average defense, we don’t deserve to advance past game 3. C’mon guys. This isn’t the circus; it’s the ALDS. Focus. That was embarrassing.

    4. On the final results: This is the exact reason why I didn’t want Verlander in game two. Why am I nervous this series may be over already–or at the very least it might come back to Motor City with the Tigers down 0-2? Because I just don’t know what Verlander we’re going to get tomorrow afternoon in a must win crucial game. Yes, Price has been up and down as well. But we have a MUCH better chance at bringing this series back to Detroit 1-1 with Price going tomorrow. Verlander may well come through, but it’s a gamble. A big gamble. Frankly, this little fish-bowl of a ballpark makes me very nervous with Verlander towing the rubber with the O’s already up 1-0.

    5. Let’s bring this back to Detroit 1-1 anyway we can. Losing in this fashion makes me very nervous, given the Tiger’s recent past (see results of recent Twins series after similar blowout)…. Let’s hope the boys can put this game behind them and pretend it never happened.

  16. jud

    October 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Unfortunately we all knew this could happen…and it did…lets win tomorrow to forget today!!

  17. Jason

    October 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    After Torii’s disastrous performance, I’d duplicate Leyland’s move from last year and hit Cabrera 2nd. Put your best four hitters – Kinsler, Miggy, Victor, JD – as your first four. Ausmus won’t try it.

    I would’ve gone with ‘Q’ instead of Soria to face Pearce and Hardy, but by then it was 6-3 anyways.

    Thumbs down to Joba for not bothering to hold Adam Jones close.

  18. Coleman

    October 3, 2014 at 1:16 am

    How about those Royals.

  19. Jim EggersUSMC

    October 3, 2014 at 3:00 am

    That was not fun at all, Mr. Smith’s ( if that’s his real name) post says it all, and well