2014 ALDS: Game 2

Quick (and unusual) turn around for game 2. Which is exactly what we need.

Win this game and we’re going home, tied 1-1, with David Freaking Price pitching game 3. That’s right, DAVID PRICE.

To get us there, Verlander will have to be Playoff Justin, and not 2014 Regular Season Justin. By “Playoff Justin” I mean the guy with a 30-inning scoreless streak in the division series. The guy who still haunts the Oakland A’s. The guy who, time and time again, has put this team on his shoulders and delivered a win when we needed it most. Verlander hasn’t walked a batter over his past two starts, and I think he’s just as sharp today, if not even better.

Rajai Davis still CF. Good for the lineup, not sure if this is good for the defense.

Lots of stats in the Baseball-Reference game preview here.

My pick for player of the game is Kinsler. He’s been a complete player as of late, and I think he sparks the offense today.

Today’s #DoItForTheRotation lineup (with stats v. Wei-Yin Chen). Chen is pretty good, our hitters are better.

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (3 for 10)
2. Torii Hunter, RF (1 for 4)
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (1 for 4)
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, LF
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Andrew Romine, SS
9. Rajai Davis, CF (1 for 3)


119 thoughts on “2014 ALDS: Game 2”

  1. At least yesterday was “same old Tigers”..meaning the loss was just like about 40 of this years losses…now today we need a win thats like about 90 of this years games!

      1. If anyone is watching the national broadcast, I’d love to know what those announcers are saying regarding whether that was a 2B or HR.

        1. Eckersley is confounded that Verlander threw all fastballs both of Markakis’s at bats. And also Markakis’s took strike 3, but Verlander didn’t get the call.

  2. Okay, here we go. Got lucky with Miggy stretching that one out. Let’s take the lead here.

  3. I’m just as confounded as Eckersley. You have more than one pitch, mix it up! Even if Justin doesn’t trust his breaking ball as an out pitch, at least show some variety early in the count!

  4. What’s happening?? Score please? I’m on an airplane for another hour with crappy wifi and this is my only link to the game.

    1. Markakis hit a two-HR with 2 out in the bottom of the 3rd, Tigers have now responded 4 in the top of the 4th.

      1. Hunter single, Miggy 2B off of the top of the wall in straight-away center (though a good through gets him at second), ground ball base hit for VMart scores 1, JD clears the bases with a 3 run bomb.

        1. HOLY COW. I got up to go to the bathroom, and MLB Gameday is still stuck on the Markakis video review. I completely missed the Castellanos HR.

          Let’s go Tigers!

  5. Three balls this inning travel about 1200 feet…lucky for the O’s that Avia bats next or more might have gone out!!!

  6. Carrera is terrible,!!! Routine fly ball little low but routine..he has a fielding eye like Avila has a hitting eye!

  7. I don’t get it. Anibal is lights out, and they are pulling him for the blowoen. And it’s too early to drink.

  8. I’ll say it ahead of time: even if Joba pitches a clean 8th, it’s bad process, good results. Anibal should have stayed in the game.

  9. What is going through Brad Ausmus’s head? Bruise some egos! You can’t trust your players to succeed when they aren’t succeeding!

    1. Something must be up with Alburquerque. It makes no sense that he was not called upon in Baltimore, not to me, anyway. I read something to the effect of “overwork” accounting for various Tigers bullpen difficulties, including his. Al-Al has only 16 more BF and 8 more IP this season than last, despite the “Everyday Al” 72 games.

  10. Well I said all along our manager would kill us in the end and obviously our bullpen also Dave Clark has been terrible all year at third-base sending Cabrera turned out to be a huge play.

    1. But we did “shore up” the bullpen with Soria. And it’s done so much good. It’s like having another Nathan for earlier in the game. Just as planned! But not as intended…

  11. Sanchez can’t keep pitching for what reason??????..you can write everything Assmus and Lamont know about pitching on a bottle cap!

  12. Ausmus has been completely outmanaged! We have Perez batting in probably the most important inning of the series for us?

  13. Could this team be mismanaged more than it is…I can’t wait to hear Assmus whine why he brought Joba in for Sanchez

    1. No, probably not, but in fairness to Ausmus once you get past the starting line-up the position players are all minor league players or — at best — borderline major league players. Look at the formidable hitters the Tigers brought to the plate in the 9th.
      On the other hand, given the importance of this game and the fact that the next game is Sunday and the equally indisputable fact that the bullpen sucks — why didn’t Ausmus have Porcello ready to pitch the 8th AFTER bringing Sanchez back out? They couldn’t have done any worse than the clowns who did.
      Finally, is there a worse 3rd base coach in all of professional baseball than Clark? He served up Cabrera on a silver platter for the O’s.

      1. All other things being equal, I agree about sending Cabrera. All your points are valid. However, you also have to factor in this teams Achilles heal with EVERY other managerial decision. You have to manage like every run is sacred when you’re planning on using a bullpen (in much the same way) that is capable of giving up eight runs before recording two outs. In other words you need to manage like you always only have a one run lead. The more conservative move have been to hold Miggy (you are also risking him getting hurt on a bang-bang play at the plate). It is never a good idea to run your way into the first out a home. My guess is that one decision (among many others) decided the game. It is possible runners on 2 and 3 no outs wouldn’t have yielded more runs, but highly unlikely.

        As far as the bullpen goes, half the problem is the way it is managed. It’s not just about talent–but how, when, and why the talent is used. A cookie-cutter algorithm approach (especially when it’s NOT working) is recipe for epic failure.

        BTW, if Ausmus would have pitched Price in game two (instead of consulting his algorithm), who regardless of ups/downs is virtually a guaranteed innings eater, we’d be going home with this series tied 1-1 after plating six runs, guaranteed. How refreshing would it be to go into game three with Verlander up against their number three guy.

        1. It occurs to me now that a factor in starting Price in Game 3 might have been the location of Game 2 and his propensity for the long ball.

  14. Even 4 year old children know not to put their hands on a hot stove twice, why did Ausmus think the Joba/Soria combo would do any better today?

  15. I just do not get it. You have until Sunday to rest the pen. Let Sanchez finish the game. He is a starter. He pitched 30 pitches. I would think he was at least good for 50 to 60 pitches if needed. Now we have to hope Price and Ricky can take this back to Baltimore. That will be a big task.

    1. It’s not going to happen. Hope is not a strategy.

      Hopefully Ausmus is learning something at least. We’re going to have to try this again next year without Scherzer.

      1. and potentially without Martinez and Hunter. Hunter I can live without, but it’s gonna hurt not having a legitimate backup behind Miggy

    2. I get it:
      1. Smokey Jr.doesn’t know anything more about pitching than his mentor, Smokey Sr.
      2. Who built this team anyway.

  16. The winning run scores because Avila reaches out to catch that throw instead of letting it come to the plate..we teach our high school catchers let the ball travel don’t reach for it!!

    1. And the winning run should have been the tying run if the slowest runner on the team wasn’t stupidly sent home with nobody out.

  17. Based on his playoff performance so far, if Chamberlain starts on Sunday (I’d say it’s definitely possible) and completes the game (also possible since Ausmus doesn’t trust anyone else), he’ll allow 108 runs.

  18. Fire Ausmus! What was he thinking by taking out Verlander in the 5th and then Sanchez after 2 innings? And to top it off, giving the ball to Soria who let Balt. blow it open yesterday???

    1. Taking Verlander out was the right move. He was only a couple pitches away from a complete meltdown… I mean no disrespect; he had pitched well up until that point. But in the 5th inning he began losing control of his fastball, was getting behind on batters, was battling from the stretch, and also the outs he did record were hit very hard. In my estimation, Verlander was done.

      Taking Sanchez out, however — ABSOLUTELY IDIOTIC. This is the kind of move that makes me believe in conspiracy theories… i.e., is Brad Ausmus really on the Orioles payroll? What in the hell are you thinking? Sanchez dominated… almost every batter he faced fell behind in the count, six up, six down. What a relief seeing Sanchez pitch the 6th and 7th after JV labored through the 5th and failed to get the first out in the sixth (for no fault of his own, however, compliments of Carrera). For the love of God, that was the most asinine move Ausmus has made to date. And during a must-win game. Sanchez could have went another inning.

      BTW, when I posted that I hoped the boys would forget all about last nights game and move on, I didn’t mean to imply they should delete it completely out of memory so to repeat the same mistake TWICE in as many games…. My goodness. When I heard Dan and Jim (who bore the same anxiety in their voices as me) say Sanchez’s day was done, I was beside myself. I knew we were going back to Detroit 0-2. (sorry guys, I’m not a pessimist, just a realist). I disagreed with this move so much I even turned off the 8th inning and couldn’t bear listening (which is a habit I acquired back in the days of Rollercoaster Todd Jones) … It’s always a crap shoot coming back to the game to discover if the bullpen held the lead, kinda like flipping a coin, but somehow the pain isn’t as bad when one reads about what happen instead of watching it unravel in real time.

      This is just heartbreaking. It’s one thing losing the must-win game because the other team outplays you; it something entirely different when you lose the game after you outplay them, when you lose because you beat yourself and the other manager out manages you.

  19. Only a Tiger’s manager can continually prove the definition of insanity for the Tiger’s fans. Going to the same used up sack of crap pitchers in the same “Leymland” like sequences over and over again and expecting a different result. The Tiger’s will win when the entire coaching staff with the exception of omar vizquel is fired and replaced with anyone whom hasn’t been employed or is currently employed in the Tiger’s organization.

  20. I never thought the Tiger weakness including Asmus would be exploited this badly…A 3-2 and a 6-3 game in the 8th inning and you basically stand zoro chance of winning! And your coaching staff is Clueless!!!!

  21. Ron Gardenhire is available friends. He’d probably welcome the chance to manage a MLB team again given his frustrating time w/ that AAA twin cities team he’s had for the last 4 yrs.

    1. This team would have won 101 games if either Garndenhire or Terry Francona were managing. Hell, we probably would have even won 95 games or so if Jim Leyland were managing.

      Hiring Brad Ausmus to manage this team was like letting your 15-year old son, who just got his driving permit, take the lamborghini a few laps around the racing track.

  22. I’m not an Ausmus fan and hope this is his first and last season with the Tigers, but is everyone here blaming the coaches forgetting the fact that the bullpen just plain sucks? They’re the ones responsible for these past two clown shows. If you want to blame leadership, blame Dombrowski for putting that bullpen together.

    As for Dave Clark, he’s been a pretty good third base coach simply based on the fact that you’ve hardly noticed him all season. Compare that to Lamont and Brookens the past few seasons, where it seemed like every other game we were complaining about them. Sending Cabrera today when the Tigers were ahead was hardly a big deal. Getting him out required two perfect throws from the center field wall, and that’s what they got. It was a high percentage play for the Tigers, and they just happened to come up on the wrong side this time. And they still just barely got Cabrera.


    I was once a legislative aide for Carl Levin. From my time in his office, I learned that standard operating procedures do not change unless there is sustained public disapproval through official channels.

    Therefore, I urge everybody to call Detroit Tigers Inc. (313-962-4000) and Ilitch Holdings (313-471-6600) and formally express your disgust at Brad Ausmus with a live person. Flood the switchboards. We will have our voices heard that way. If we keep our complaints confined to the Internet, we’ll get nowhere.

    1. I called, and they assured me everything would be fixed right away, so I’m encouraged. They even sent a letter where they addressed me as Dear Valued Customer or Current Resident, so I feel pretty special right now.

  24. Sunday lets save time…Start Nathan Soria in the second…Joba in the third all three of Asmus brothers then at 12-0 in the fourth let the real game begin…..lets get this over with…..then call Ron Gardenhire

  25. I’ve been traveling on biz, but following the games (on ESPN gamecast when I can) and exchanging text’s w/a friend in BAL at both games…

    before JV came back in the 6th, I texted my friend, Ausmus should bring in Sanchez to start the 6th thru the 9th, unless he gets into trouble…and then when he mowed down BAL in the 6th & 7th, it seemed like a no-brainer to bring back Sanchez for the 8th (especially in light of last night’s 8th inning bullpen nuclear fail)…apparently not as “no brainer” than I thought.

    Today’s meltdown ranks up there with one of the all-time DET worst losses – in the same league as last year’s Ortiz/ALCS cluster-cuss. As was the case with last year’s BOS ALCS series, DET is the better team (except for a sub-mediocre bullpen made worse by mismanagement) that got out-managed.

    As I texted my friend today, I’m so glad I didn’t invest the 6 hours and actually watch these two games – today’s BP meltdown would have been seared onto my brain too long.

  26. Hearing Tiger pitchers being raked over the coals for their pitch choices raises the inevitable question: who is calling these pitches? Verlander’s two best starts of the year were his last two. The catchers were McCann and Holaday. Just throwing that out there.

      1. Hey, that’s why Braddy calls me Impugny. Anyway, you’re forgetting about the all-important Pitch Framing.

  27. Pitch calling can’t possibly be a problem because of Daddys boy. Its the only reason he is on the team. And accoarding to his uncle Asmus this team would fold without Alex behind the plate!

  28. There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said.

    Ausmus is just as married to the “7th inning guy”, “8th inning guy”, “9th inning guy” rule as Leyland was. I can only hope that Ausmus still has time to divorce the rule. We’ll find out, but probably not until next year.

    I think they’ll win game 3, but lose game 4 or 5 in a similar fashion.

    Make sure you cheer loudly for VMart, as he likely only has a handful of ABs left in a Tigers uniform.

  29. You can see 4 minutes of Ausmus’ post game here. http://www.detroitnews.com/sto...../16643485/

    He looks pretty rattled to me.

    Some tough questions from the reporters, though I really wish someone would have asked if “Sanchez were a FA next year, would you have run him out there for another inning?”

    Ausmus is out of his league right now. I don’t think he’ll get fired, I can only hope that he’ll learn from his mistakes.

    Honestly guys, it may be better to put us out of our misery on Sunday. How much more of this can you take?

    I remember when we were beat by the Rangers in 2011 and SF in 2012, I just felt that those teams were better. These last two seasons have felt like we’re beating ourselves. So much talent…so much payroll…so many expectations.

    1. I saw that video earlier and only had one reaction: Ausmus is an idiot. I mean really, to say he didn’t use AlAl today because he’s a 6th and 7th inning guy? In 2014? That’s the old school attitude I thought we were getting rid of when Leyland left. This is playoff baseball—if a manager doesn’t understand that you have to manage differently in the playoffs, especially when it’s clear to everyone that your bullpen can’t be trusted, he doesn’t deserve to be manager. Just look at Showalter using Miller in the 6th inning yesterday and bringing in his closer for four outs.

      We’re coming up on 10 years since the magical 2006 season, and since then it’s become more and more clear that the Tigers have too many organizational problems to win a World Series. It feels like I say the same things every October: The owner wants to throw the majority of his money at superstars, the president can make big trades but doesn’t know how to build a complete team (partially crippled by the owner’s obsession with superstars), and the coaches and managers are still living in the past when a lot of other teams are thinking outside the box.

      We’ve had a good run, but it’s looking more and more like we missed our window. I feel like last year was our last best chance to win it all with this group of guys, and if the Boston series went our way like it should have, well…a guy can dream, can’t he?

      1. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, if Torii Hunter had caught that ball before going over the wall, the Tigers go on to win the whole thing.

        1. Concur 100% (or even if Benoit would have pitched around Ortiz…)

          There is always the slim hope for a 2012-Giants miracle card in the deck of this Tiger’s team. Let’s will them to draw it and play it on Sunday, Monday, and in game 5, Scherzer/Tillman rematch. This team is built to do it, sans idiotic managerial decisions derailing the ride. If we don’t play those cards, however, we may just be adding the following haunts to our repertoire… “if only Clark wouldn’t have sent Miggy into that out at home… if only Sanchez would have pitched the eighth… if only Donny Kelly were playing center field on the misplay that chased Verlander….”

          This team is built to beat the Royals in a seven game series. Let’s get it there so yesterday’s game doesn’t become the latest ghost to haunt us right beside the 2013 ALCS game 2.

        2. “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, if Torii Hunter had caught that ball before going over the wall, the Tigers go on to win the whole thing.”

          Yes, but then they would have finished last in the AL Central this season.

    2. Even if there is some validity to the 30-pitch limit thing (which I don’t buy–you don’t manage this sport by an all-encompassing algorithm–every arm is a unique case), the Tiger’s should have had Sanchez stretched out and ready to pitch more than two innings by the ALDS. He had already pitched an entire simulated game without issue, had already thrown bull-pen sessions, and in this case, all we needed was three innings. We weren’t requiring six or seven innings. Why didn’t they let him pitch more than one inning in one of the blowout games if the objective was to stretch out his arm? Duh? Who’s in charge here?

      The bottom line is, some guys might need to limit themselves to 20 pitches, other guys to 40, yet others may have pitched up 100 there with no issue. Sanchez had thrown two clean, stress-free innings. Except for the runner he inherited, he never once pitched out of the stretch. His stuff was very good. He had another inning in him, period. Besides, going on their own logic, if you send him out there in the 8th, he is more stretched out and prepared for whatever they may need him for in the upcoming games.

  30. I will take a Lions win and a Tiger loss Sunday..I live and die with you guys everyday with these wins and losses… I can’t take it anymore…the last two days did me in..
    As you watch all the other playoff teams they pitch..they hit..they field..they bullpen….they have managers making sound decisions…they have outfielders that can throw…they have guys off the bench that can hit….they battle every pitch…
    The Tigers have about half of all this…sometimes a little more, and a lot of times much much less. But I would rank them near the bottom overall talent wise…..first one out!!!!

    1. Detroit has plenty of talent, and I think you’re overrating the wonderfulness of the other teams. What really sets Detroit apart as an underdog is that bullpen. I have to wonder when the last time a team with a bullpen this bad even got to the divisional series. And it’s not that the Tigers bullpen doesn’t have talent, but talent is only potential.

  31. And can I just nitpick here since I’m so disgusted with Ausmus and want to pile on? The nicknames he uses publicly for his players are annoying and stupid. Alby, Sanchy, Lobber…I’m sure there are more. Ausmus, please, just go away.

    1. Oh man, KDubsy, I’m with you here. That drove me nuts. He’s really known these guys for what, 8 months? I kind of wish he took a more Bill Parcells approach “the reliever pitched poorly, and the other reliever didn’t get it done.”

      I’m feeling fortunate that it’s Colemansees turn to put up a post tomorrow, b/c I don’t know that I could find the motivation to do so.

      Being a fan is tough work.

      1. Kevvo, our nicknames are way better. If he would just start reading DTW he would improve in that area, and maybe even in a few others.

    2. There is always the hope that Mrs. Ausmus decides to turn the tables and go in for some husband beating.

      1. Those beatings probably commenced right after he made the joke. He has looked kind of whipped ever since.

  32. And it looks like KC may be taking out the Angels in round one. Wow. The Tiger’s one nemesis I was afraid to play in a best of 7.

    Man, if only we didn’t have such a challenged manager. This would have lined up well to be the Tigers year to get back to the big stage.

    1. If only we didn’t have such a challenged everything. This team is held together with duct tape.

  33. Wow, guysies. Two straight games washed away by the bullpen in the 8th inning. Just like that, everything good washed away. Game 1 was Never Say Die, for the most part, a lot of sharp defense to begin with, and then Miggy’s “we’re coming to get you” HR. Game 2 was We’ve Got This, We Can Do This, for the most part… and that 10 pitches, 5 runs thing? Did it ever feel better to be a Tigers fan? All washed away.

    Miguel Cabrera can’t score from 2B (edit: wrong, see below, but his lack of legs is a constant irritant) on a double (he can barely get to 2B ON a double he hits) and Justin Verlander can’t get it done with two strikes or two outs. Faces of the franchise. Brad Ausmus removes Anibal Sanchez to entrust the 8th inning to the same flammable duo from the previous night’s embarrassment. Unbelievable.

    The Detroit Tigers have become what the New York Yankees were not long ago. Big names, small results. Break it down, clean house. Build a team already. Here the table was being set for an ALCS against the Royals, about as close to a pass to the WS as it it gets. The last chance for this bunch has come and gone, heralded by the 8th inning appearance of Joba Chamberlain two (playoff) games in a row. Nails in the coffin.

    By the way, what is Jeff Jones’s role in all this? Does Ausmus defer to him, ignore him, what? Well, whatever. It is up to the pitcher on the mound to deliver, and it is painfully clear that Chamberlain and Joakim “Our Two Top Prospects For Another Washed-Up Reliever” Soria cannot.

    Lose the beard, Joba. It’s our only hope.

    1. Oh, right, Cabrera was trying to score from 1B. Well, that’s even worse, then. I guess it really is on Dave Clark, although Cabrera has been known to consider Clark’s signs as suggestions rather than orders…

      1. And if I sound even more hopeless than the rest of y’all, get this: I watched these two games BACK TO BACK last night (no spoilers; I avoided all news and warning).

    1. The good news is that both will be available for 8th inning duty in Game 3. I don’t see any choice but to use them, even if Price has a no-hitter thru 7. I think it would be cruel to shake their self-confidence by doubting them in the final game of the season.

  34. OK, I’m over it. Disappointed that the Tigers have lost two they could have won, but that’s baseball, meaning that most of it’s a toss of the dice, the flip of a coin. Damn the luck! Anyway, rebuilding the team along the lines of another organization (why can’t they be more like the Cardinals or A’s or Giants or Rays, etc.) or firing Ausmus or anyone else – in our minds – won’t take back the last two games.

    Might as well enjoy the possibility of a storied comeback. Don’t suppose they owe me an apology for losing. Don’t suppose it would help if the Tigers themselves were hanging their heads and beating themselves – or each other – up. Don’t suppose it would help to make Chamberlain or Soria or whoever “go stand in the corner” for a game or two to teach them a lesson. Gotta look ahead to the next game as long as there is a next game.

  35. Thanks for letting me sound off. That whole organization is full of incompetence.
    FIRE these guys: Scouts/purchasers. TRADERS/Dealmakers, Batting/Pitching coaches, Base coaches.
    Who are the scouts looking at?? NO new Young talent (pitchers). I have seen 3x this year that Dave Clark, 3rd base coach has sent Cabrera home when there was not a chance he could make it safe. Ausmus couldn’t coach a T-ball team. Tigers have too much talent to be managed by a young first time manager.
    Look at all the guys they had, that helped them make it to top by seasons end that they get rid of and those players go on to be as great or greater with their new teams. Like, Pudge Rodriguaz, Brandon Inge, Polanco, Infante, Raburn, Smily, Fister, Jackson(best centerfielder in the league) Rodney, Peralta,and of course the guy who “stuck it to ’em” today “DY” Delmon Young.

    Are you kidding me! Why do our batters not try to wear out the pitcher instead of swinging at the first pitch, or stand there like a house beside the road watching the ball go by for a called 3rd strike. Rookie in the outfield, afraid to dive for a catch, no excitement in their actions.

    How can you take out your starting pitcher with a 2 run lead, Verlander was right,”are you sure your taking out the right guy”. If I was a member of that team, I would say, I won’t play next year if Assmus is the Mgr.

  36. I have Detroit as the #29 bullpen in MLB for 2014. Going back to 2000, I find zero instances of any Bottom 4 Bullpens on any ALDS/NLDS qualifier. Zero.

    Neither the Giants not the Tigers had good bullpens in 2012, but they met in the World Series. (Neither were Bottom 4 Bullpens, however.)

    The last time Detroit had a good bullpen was 2006. In fact, in the past 15 years, there have been only 3 exceptions to “not even close to good” – 2000, 2005, and 2006.

    The 2003 Tigers bullpen (ranked higher in MLB) compares only slightly unfavorably to 2014. Only the 2008 bullpen might have been worse. Maybe.

    What we’ve just seen, however, is completely off the chain, as Rod might say. 18 batters faced, 12 baserunners (13 counting ROE), 12 runs yielded in 2 innings. Without a HR! 8 hits, 2 BB, 1 IBB, 1 HBP. And it’s not even the whole bullpen. Yes, it’s a team game, you can never blame one guy or two or certainly not put it all on the manager, but… WOW.

  37. “Nationals manager Matt Williams opted to bring in his closer with two outs in the ninth, despite the fact that starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was at only 100 pitches and had not allowed a hit since the third.”

    “Nationals closer Drew Storen gave up a first-pitch single to Buster Posey and a game-tying RBI double to Pablo Sandoval, knotting the score at 1 in the ninth inning.”

    Staff mismanagement, i.e. pitching changes fans decry and often with hindsight, are everywhere. On the other hand, Chamberlain in for Sanchez Friday, and then Soria, is still more of a head-scratcher.

    1. Crazy, just crazy.

      Doesn’t excuse Ausmus’ actions, but at least he has company. He and Williams can lament over their decisions on the golf course this week.

      Who would have thought that Det, LAA, and Wash would all be down 2-0.

      I gotta admit, I don’t have a good feeling about today. I don’t think that this team has the fortitude to overcome the last two games. Miggy does, but I don’t know who else does.

      1. V-Mart does as well. So we’ll see Miggy and V-Mart doing a lot of station-to-station today, setting up for the 5-9 guys, who will, in predictable fashion, leave them on base. Even a couple of doubles or drives in the gap by aforementioned slugging duo does not guaranty a run (the same hits would likely plate two runs were it Dyson and Cain)–but for no fault of their own (they were hired to hit, not run), this teams’ true clean-up guys, in practical terms, (five thru two) will leave them on base, until Showalter finally adopts the strategy to just pitch around MIggy and V-Mart somewhere starting in the middle innings, no matter what.

        Some apologies to J.D. Martinez for the above observation, who has raked all year long and done everything humanly (and sometimes inhumanly) possible to pick up this team (the 3 run HR yesterday was a thing of beauty–the go-ahead HR in the ninth against the Twins a thing of beauty). But after listening to his interview after the loss, (he was absolutely crushed–and can you blame him? He endured the same deflating emotion after his HR against the Twins…) I just don’t think he has it in him, or the fortitude to overcome the defeat. One can just read his thoughts there in that interview, i.e. “how many frickin’ go-ahead home-runs does Miggy, V-Mart, and I have to hit in this fishbowl to produce a W?”

        All said, what I do see as a likely scenario today is David Price stepping up and delivering — and refusing to allow Ausmus to take the ball from him as long as he can pitch. I see him pitching into the 9th, but running low on fumes (the directive for the 0s today, for sure, will be to work the starting pitcher and get him out of there). After 8 1/3, and a TIgers’ one or two run lead, we may see Joe Nathan try to record the final out or two. Which will open a whole new ride for us fans to embark upon. All things considered, the Tigers should win today.

        If the story is going to end in despair, I see it more likely coming tomorrow, pressure on the young RP to carry the emotionally-battered team bereft of a legitimate skipper. If the team can give him 5 or 6 runs early, the Tigers win game 5 as well. If it’s a nail-bitting affair, nearing the middle and later innings, and approaches the witching hour where the bullpen is needed, the whole thing blows up and we all settle in for a long, cold winter.

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