2014: The 8th Inning (11-7)

RD3

I have to admit it’s getting better. A little better all the time.

So the Detroit Tigers are now:

SP Verlander
SP Scherzer
SP Lobstein
SP Farmer
SP Porcello
SP Price
RP Nathan
RP Alburquerque
RP Chamberlain
RP Coke
RP Hardy
RP McCoy
RP Johnson
C Avila
C Holaday
1B-DH Cabrera
2B Kinsler
SS-2B Romine
SS Suarez
3B Castellanos
IF-OF Kelly
RF Hunter
CF Carrera
CF-LF Davis
LF J. Martinez
DH-1B V. Martinez


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Game 127: Farmer v. Pino. TWINS 12, Tigers 4. Never ahead, down 8. (Game 1 of makeup doubleheader.)
NICE PLAYS: RF KELLY, ROMINE, CF Santana-SS Escobar-P Pino-3B Nunez
MISPLAYS: CASTELLANOS, Escobar (2), RF Parmelee, Nunez
BASERUNNING NEWS: CASTELLANOS was out by a mile trying to stretch a double into a triple; something definitely went wrong there. Two examples of typically soft Detroit defense: Dozier scoring from 1B on a single, and the Santana triple.
THE BIG HIT: Bases loaded, none out, 1-1 in the 2nd, Schafer 3-run triple off FARMER.
THE BIG OUTS: Man on 1st, 1 out, Tigers down 1-0 in the 1st, FARMER strikes out Vargas and Parmelee.
GOOD HITTING: Mauer, Vargas, Dozier
BAD HITTING: Parmelee (golden sombrero)
GOOD PITCHING: Pressly
BAD PITCHING: FARMER, McCOY
OBVIOUSLY: The all-minor league pitching gets spanked, what a surprise.
AND, BUT, ALSO: All the Twins had to do was hit, and they did. They moved it on the bases pretty well, too.

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Game 128: Verlander v. May. Tigers 8, TWINS 6. Down 2, up 2. (Game 2 of makeup doubleheader.)
NICE PLAYS: KINSLER-1B V. MARTINEZ, LF Schafer, KINSLER, RF Arcia, SS Escobar-2B Dozier-1B Mauer, 3B Plouffe-Mauer
MISPLAYS: CF DAVIS, V. MARTINEZ, LF J. MARTINEZ, Dozier
BASERUNNING NEWS: HUNTER going 1st to 3rd and the challenge that reversed the out call helped put a run on the board. Santana again challenges the Tigers OF and wins for a triple. Holding up V. MARTINEZ at 3B on the J. MARTINEZ double was smart and helped put two big (and decisive) runs on the board.
THE BIG HIT: Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers down 4-3 in the 6th, SUAREZ 2-run single (with advance to 2B on E8) off May.
THE BIG OUTS: Runners on 1st and 3rd, none out, Tigers down 4-2 in the 5th, May retires CABRERA on a 6-4-3 DP (run scores).
GOOD HITTING: HUNTER, J. MARTINEZ, Plouffe, Dozier
BAD HITTING: Arcia
GOOD PITCHING:
BAD PITCHING: May, Burton
OBVIOUSLY: It wasn’t easy, but they didn’t quit.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Key defensive plays helped keep it a close game for both scuffling starters. Another hitters game, with 32 baserunners. Detroit failed to draw a walk and had to settle for 17 hits. AUSMUS pulling VERLANDER in the 6th was a very good move.

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Game 129: Scherzer v. Gibson. Tigers 13, TWINS 4. Never behind, up 9.
NICE PLAYS: HUNTER, C Suzuki-2B Dozier, 1B KELLY (2), Dozier, CF DAVIS, SS Escobar
MISPLAYS: Dozier-Escobar, AVILA, LF Schafer, Suzuki, Escobar, RF Arcia, CASTELLANOS
BASERUNNING NEWS: J. MARTINEZ was an easy out trying to steal 2B.
THE BIG HIT: Men on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers up 3-0 in the 3rd, Santana 2-run double off SCHERZER.
THE BIG OUTS: Men on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers up 5-3 in the 5th, SCHERZER retires Arcia (K) and Plouffe (flyball to deep CF).
GOOD HITTING: HUNTER, V. MARTINEZ
BAD HITTING: Arcia, Mauer
GOOD PITCHING: JOHNSON
BAD PITCHING: Gibson, Fien
OBVIOUSLY: Detroit had the offense to win and then piled on against Minnesota bullpen and poor defense.
AND, BUT, ALSO: A 42-pitch 3rd inning was part of the reason an inefficient SCHERZER had to settle for 5 innings. The Twins had a big opportunity to jump back in the game in the 6th vs. the Tigers pen and failed.

KL3

“It’s great to be alive and to be a Tigers fan.”

Game 130: McCarthy v. Porcello. TIGERS 5, Yankees 2. Never behind, up 4.
NICE PLAYS: KINSLER-SUAREZ-CABRERA (2), CABRERA-PORCELLO (2), 3B Headley-1B Teixeira, Headley, KINSLER-CABRERA, LF Suzuki, CABRERA-SUAREZ, SUAREZ, CABRERA-NATHAN
MISPLAYS: KINSLER
BASERUNNING NEWS: DAVIS was all in from the start on the 7th inning single-turned-double, beating a good throw by Suzuki, and he soon scored. That’s the way you do it.
THE BIG HIT: None on, 2 out, Tigers up 2-0 in the 5th, Ellsbury HR off PORCELLO.
THE BIG OUT: Bases loaded, 1 out, 0-0 in the 2nd, McCarthy retires KINSLER on a 5-3 DP.
GOOD HITTING: Ellsbury, J. MARTINEZ, DAVIS
BAD HITTING: KINSLER
GOOD PITCHING: PORCELLO
BAD PITCHING:
OBVIOUSLY: Good to see them adding on when the lead got slim.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Outstanding infield defense from the Tigers. Aside from Ellsbury’s 2 home runs, PORCELLO didn’t allow an extra base hit. NATHAN even had a 1-2-3 9th. What a win!

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Game 131: Greene v. Price. Yankees 8, TIGERS 4. Never ahead, down 8.
NICE PLAYS: KINSLER-SUAREZ-CABRERA, SS Jeter-1B Teixeira, LF J. MARTINEZ, CASTELLANOS-CABRERA, SUAREZ
MISPLAYS: CABRERA, 2B Prado, AVILA
BASERUNNING NEWS:
THE BIG HIT: Runner on 2nd, none out, 0-0 in the 3rd, Jeter RBI double off PRICE.
THE BIG OUTS: Runners on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, 0-0 in the 2nd, PRICE retires Cervelli on a 4-6-3 DP.
GOOD HITTING: Headley
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING: Greene, COKE, McCOY
BAD PITCHING: PRICE
OBVIOUSLY: The “What just happened here?” game with that 8-run Yankees 3rd inning.
AND, BUT, ALSO: PRICE’s Baseball Reference Game Score was 2 (that is an insanely low number). Strange as it seems, this was not the lost cause it appears to be. Detroit left 5 runs on the table with its 1-8 RISP. The Tigers bullpen committee was immaculate through 7 innings, the only runs (charged to PRICE) coming in on a couple sac flies.

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Game 132: Kuroda v. Lobstein. TIGERS 3, Yankees 2. Down 1, up 1. Walk-off win.
NICE PLAYS: CASTELLANOS, 1B Teixeira, CF DAVIS
MISPLAYS: CASTELLANOS, C McCann (2)
BASERUNNING NEWS: Hit and run with CASTELLANOS and KELLY pays off with an early and important run.
THE BIG HIT: Men on 1st and 2nd, 2 out, 2-2 in the 9th, AVILA RBI single off Kelley wins it.
THE BIG OUT: Men on 1st and 3rd, 2 out, 2-2 in the 9th, COKE strikes out McCann.
GOOD HITTING:
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING: Kuroda, LOBSTEIN, HARDY, CHAMBERLAIN
BAD PITCHING: Kelley
OBVIOUSLY: Well-pitched all around and down to the wire.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Yet another clutch hit (and 2 of 3 Detroit RBI) from the guy who can’t hit otherwise (we’ll take it). LOBSTEIN struck out 0 through 6 but was nonetheless efficient and impressive in his first MLB start.

BF3

Game 133: Verlander v. Carroll. Tigers 7, WHITE SOX 1. Down 1, up 6.
NICE PLAYS: HUNTER-KINSLER-CABRERA, SUAREZ, SUAREZ-KINSLER-CABRERA, KINSLER-SUAREZ (2), 3B Gillaspie-1B Abreu, KINSLER-SUAREZ-CABRERA, SS Ramirez-1B Viciedo
MISPLAYS: VERLANDER-CABRERA, HUNTER, LF De Aza, Abreu (2), CABRERA, CASTELLANOS (2)
BASERUNNING NEWS: De Aza getting thrown out trying for a triple in the 2nd was a game-changing play. KINSLER took 3rd on a double (ill-advised throw home) and then scored. SUAREZ and CARRERA pulled off a double steal. CARRERA got caught on the subsequent RBI groundout to SS, but it was hard to see what else he could have done.
THE BIG HIT: Runner on 1st, 1 out, Tigers down 1-0 in the 3rd, KINSLER RBI double off Carroll that scores CARRERA, with KINSLER advancing on the throw.
THE BIG OUT: Bases loaded, 2 out, Tigers down 1-0 in the 1st, VERLANDER strikes out Flowers.
GOOD HITTING: Eaton, HUNTER, J. MARTINEZ
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING: VERLANDER, Belisario
BAD PITCHING: Carroll
OBVIOUSLY: What looked like a trying game through 2 innings turned into a cakewalk.
AND, BUT, ALSO: HUNTER’s 8th inning ground-rule double with KINSLER on 1B was actually interfered with by a Chicago fan. KINSLER scored on the play, and it looked like he should have been called back to 3B, but the run stood for some reason (maybe it was ruled that he would have scored without the interference?).

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Game 134: Scherzer v. Sale. WHITE SOX 6, Tigers 3. Up 3, down 3. (Game 1 of makeup doubleheader.)
NICE PLAYS: SS Ramirez-2B Sanchez-1B Dunn, SUAREZ, HUNTER, CASTELLANOS, Sanchez-Ramirez-Dunn
MISPLAYS: CABRERA, KINSLER
BASERUNNING NEWS:
THE BIG HIT: Man on 1st, 1 out, 3-3 in the 3rd, DUNN 2-run HR off SCHERZER.
THE BIG OUT: Men on 2nd and 3rd, 2 out, Tigers up 3-1 in the 3rd, Sale strikes out CASTELLANOS.
GOOD HITTING: Dunn
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING: Sale
BAD PITCHING:
OBVIOUSLY: It started off so well. Losing the lead against Sale is not a good plan.
AND, BUT, ALSO: CABRERA and HUNTER each struck out thrice against Sale (although why HUNTER wasn’t awarded 1B when he was hit by a pitch still isn’t clear to me). Pin this one on SCHERZER. He was given a decent lead, and he blew it. 4 runs allowed in 18 pitches.

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Game 135: Ryan v. Bassitt. Tigers 8, WHITE SOX 4. Never behind, up 5. (Game 2 of makeup doubleheader.)
NICE PLAYS:KINSLER-ROMINE-1B KELLY, CF Eaton, AVILA, 1B Konerko, 2B Sanchez-Konerko (2), KELLY-CHAMBERLAIN, RF Garcia-Konerko-C Nieto, NATHAN
MISPLAYS: KINSLER, Sanchez (2), LF Viciedo, Nieto-Sanchez, CASTELLANOS, Nieto, ROMINE
BASERUNNING NEWS: Tons of speed and hustle from Detroit was the 4-run margin of victory, CARRERA, DAVIS, and KINSLER starring in that show. CARRERA made a single into a double, and DAVIS blazed home without hesitation on a shallow single to LF. The only fly in the ointment was AVILA getting thrown out trying to score from 1st, never really a good idea.
THE BIG HIT: Runners on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers up 5-1 in the 8th, Viciedo 3-run HR off CHAMBERLAIN.
THE BIG OUTS: Runners on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers up 2-0 in the 3rd, Bassitt strikes out J. MARTINEZ and AVILA.
GOOD HITTING: KINSLER, CARRERA, KELLY, Viciedo
BAD HITTING: ROMINE, J. MARTINEZ. Garcia
GOOD PITCHING: RYAN
BAD PITCHING: Cleto, Guerra, JOHNSON, CHAMBERLAIN
OBVIOUSLY: It got much tighter than it should have late in the game. The immediate answer was refreshing.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Very nice MLB debut from RYAN. The bullpen nearly managed to throw it away, allowing 4 runs in the span of 6 batters faced. The Tigers scored their 8 runs without a HR and with only 2 XBH altogether.

KR3

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Game 136: Porcello v. Quintana. WHITE SOX 6, Tigers 2. Never ahead, down 5.
NICE PLAYS: 1B KELLY (2), HOLADAY-SUAREZ, 3B Gillaspie (3), HUNTER, CF Eaton, 2B Sanchez
MISPLAYS: 1B Wilkins, LF J. MARTINEZ (2), HUNTER, SUAREZ (2), KELLY, CASTELLANOS, CF DAVIS, SS Garcia, HOLADAY
BASERUNNING NEWS: Chicago stole 3 bases and took every extra base possible on all of Detroit’s misplays and giveaways. HUNTER getting doubled off 2B on a pop fly to CF added a baserunning dimension to the overall clown show.
THE BIG HIT: Men on 1st and 3rd, 2 out, 0-0 in the 1st, Gillaspie RBI single off PORCELLO.
THE BIG OUT: Man on 2nd, none out, 0-0 in the 1st, PORCELLO retires Sanchez and Abreu (Eaton to 3B) to *almost* escape the inning.
GOOD HITTING: Garcia
BAD HITTING: J. MARTINEZ
GOOD PITCHING: Quintana, Putnam, Petricka
BAD PITCHING:
OBVIOUSLY: 5 Chicago runs had something to with a Detroit error. Ugh.
AND, BUT, ALSO: An absolutely awful defensive game from the Tigers, and not much to like about the offense, either. The White Sox were 2 for 17 RISP… and won.

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Game 137: Price v. Kluber, Tigers 12, INDIANS 1. Never behind, up 11.
NICE PLAYS: SS Ramirez-2B Kipnis-1B Santana, Kipnis-Ramirez-Santana, KINSLER-1B V. MARTINEZ, Ramirez-Santana, 3B Chisenhall
MISPLAYS: RF Aviles (2), CF CARRERA (2), Chisenhall-Santana, LF J. MARTINEZ, RF Walters
BASERUNNING NEWS: Good to see KINSLER hustling into 3B twice (triple, then advance on error), even when he only scored once and not in a small ball way. Exciting play!
THE BIG HIT: Runner on 1st, 2 out, Tigers up 2-1 in the 3rd, V. MARTINEZ 2-run HR off Kluber.
THE BIG OUT: Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 out, Tigers up 2-1 in the 2nd, PRICE retires Bourn (groundout 2B).
GOOD HITTING: V. MARTINEZ, CABRERA, COLLINS, AVILA, J. MARTINEZ
BAD HITTING: CARRERA, HUNTER
GOOD PITCHING: PRICE
BAD PITCHING: Kluber, Price, Adams
OBVIOUSLY: The win seemed secure early, but pouring it on late was good.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Power to spare (5 HR)! Blowouts don’t get any better: Detroit roughed up a good starter, PRICE pitched like he didn’t have a comfortable lead, and all the new positional September call-ups got in the game. MOYA got his first MLB hit, and COLLINS his first MLB home run (a 3-run blast to straightaway center). CABRERA (looking a bit limpy) hit 2 home runs, the first a scalding line shot to LF to spoil Kluber’s day. Aviles left the game after 3 innings due to “dizziness,” a.k.a. inability to play RF.

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Game 138: Lobstein v. Carrasco. Tigers 4, INDIANS 2. Down 2, up 2.
NICE PLAYS: 2B Kipnis-1B Santana, Kipnis-SS Ramirez-Santana, HARDY-1B V. MARTINEZ, C Gomes-Kipnis
MISPLAYS: AVILA
BASERUNNING NEWS: DAVIS was amazing beating Kipnis for an infield single, but not quite as amazing getting caught stealing (late break). KIPNIS stole two, off of AVILA, no less.
THE BIG HIT: Men on 1st and 2nd, 1 out, Tigers down 2-1 in the 9th, J. MARTINEZ 3-run HR off Allen.
THE BIG OUT: Men on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers down 2-1 in the 6th, Atchison retires HUNTER on a 4-6-3 DP.
GOOD HITTING: J. MARTINEZ, Santana
BAD HITTING: HUNTER, Bourn
GOOD PITCHING: LOBSTEIN, COKE, Shaw
BAD PITCHING: Allen
OBVIOUSLY: Thrilling 9th inning comeback for a well-deserved win.
AND, BUT, ALSO: This was nearly the story of many missed opportunities and a hard-luck loss for LOBSTEIN. Carrasco was great at dodging bullets (10 strikeouts helped). Innings 2-7, after scoring their first run, Detroit left 15 runners on base without scoring. A key play in the 7th was HARDY picking off Ramirez at 1B (challenged, upheld). Nice to see a Tigers pickoff play not bungled for a change.

SM3

Game 139: Verlander v. Salazar. INDIANS 7, Tigers 0. Behind from the 1st on.
NICE PLAYS: 3B Chisenhall-2B Kipnis-1B Santana, CF DAVIS, LF J. MARTINEZ, Kipnis-SS Ramirez-Santana, CASTELLANOS-1B V. MARTINEZ, VERLANDER, HUNTER-KINSLER, RF Walters (2), KINSLER-V. MARTINEZ
MISPLAYS: Walters, HOLADAY (2), V. MARTINEZ, 1B KELLY
BASERUNNING NEWS:
THE BIG HIT: Runner on 2nd, 2 out, 0-0 in the 1st, Santana 2-run HR off VERLANDER.
THE BIG OUT: Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers down 2-0 in the 4th, Salazar retires J. MARTINEZ (K) and CASTELLANOS (groundout SS).
GOOD HITTING: Ramirez, Chisenhall
BAD HITTING: J. MARTINEZ (golden sombrero)
GOOD PITCHING: Salazar
BAD PITCHING: VERLANDER
OBVIOUSLY: VERLANDER might have been in a batter too long, but Salazar was in 9 innings too long.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Salazar was just brilliant (ask yesterday’s hero). You wouldn’t know it from the score, but there was a lot of nice defense to enjoy. Not all nice. It might have seemed like a lack of effort on HUNTER’s part not to at least try to make a play on Ramirez scoring the 7th run, but considering what happened at home earlier (is there a catcher in the house?), it was just as well.

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Game 140: Scherzer v. Bauer. Tigers 11, INDIANS 4 (11). Never behind, up 7.
NICE PLAYS: LF Brantley, CF DAVIS, SS Ramirez-1B Santana, 1B V. MARTINEZ, CHAMBERLAIN, HOLADAY-ROMINE, LF DAVIS
MISPLAYS: C Gomes, SS Ramirez, KINSLER, LF DAVIS, HOLADAY
BASERUNNING NEWS: A lot happening at first base. 6th inning, DAVIS getting nipped by Ramirez – almost close enough for a challenge – changed what might have been a clinching inning for Detroit. 8th inning, CASTELLANOS hustled heroically down the line to beat the throw from 3B Chisenhall, but was ruled out on a challenge. 10th inning Bourn hit a ball to the perfect spot at 1B, forcing V. MARTINEZ’s hand and making it a footrace between Bourn and COKE (no contest). HOLADAY subsequently gunning down Bourn at 2B with a throw that couldn’t have been more perfect was a game-saver of a play.
THE BIG HIT: Man on 1st, 2 out, Tigers up 4-3 in the 7th, Brantley RBI double off HARDY.
THE BIG OUT: Men on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, 4-4 in the 10th, Atchison retires CASTELLANOS (K) and HOLADAY (groundball SS force at 2B).
GOOD HITTING: V. MARTINEZ, KINSLER, ROMINE
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING: SCHERZER, COKE
BAD PITCHING: Tomlin, Price
OBVIOUSLY: A slow-evaporating lead. An unreal 11th inning explosion.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Maybe it’s not a good idea to give SCHERZER (124 pitches through 6 IP) too much of a lead too early. Once HARDY had surrendered the lead, the bullpen was immaculate. The 1st and 11th inning were a lot alike. Seems like once the party started, the Tigers just couldn’t stop, runnin’ all over and hitting everything. SUAREZ, HOLADAY, and ROMINE combined to knock in 6 on 3 hits.

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“I hate baseball.

Game 141: Peavy v. Porcello. Giants 8, TIGERS 2. Never ahead, down 7.
NICE PLAYS: LF Blanco, KINSLER, HOLADAY-CABRERA, C Posey-1B Ishikawa, CASTELLANOS-HOLADAY, CASTELLANOS, 2B Panik-SS Crawford-Ishikawa, Panik-Ishikawa, Panik
MISPLAYS: CABRERA (2), CASTELLANOS, 3B Sandoval, Blanco
BASERUNNING NEWS: San Francisco made Detroit look old and tired without even stealing a base. One strange play was Panik being called out at 1B on what appeared to be an error by either KINSLER or CABRERA. The ball got away. Why wasn’t he safe? Next thing you know, Panik’s heading back to the bag in a panic, while HOLADAY gathers the loose ball and throws to CABRERA. Out. I dunno. There were two outs and a runner scored from 3rd. Might be related to that. Fine day for KINSLER, getting picked off 1B and also getting doubled up on a lineout.
THE BIG HIT: None on, none out, Tigers down 1-0 in the 2nd, Blanco triple off PORCELLO.
THE BIG OUT: Runner on 3rd, 2 out, Panik grounds to 2B off PORCELLO, and is thrown out at 2B by HOLADAY in the ensuing run-scoring but mercifully inning-ending play.
GOOD HITTING: Blanco, Crawford
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING: Peavy, Kontos
BAD PITCHING: PORCELLO
OBVIOUSLY: Pretty thoroughly outclassed.
AND, BUT, ALSO: What a pathetic and disheartening game. There was a long rain delay after 3 innings; Tigers fans could only hope the game would be rained out, but no such luck. The Giants certainly did their homework on PORCELLO. Detroit only got on the board at all as a result of a half inning of San Francisco clown show (LF Blanco’s 306-game errorless streak came to an end with a really bad-looking play). CABRERA was back at 1B, and is looking very limpy on the bases of late.

HP3

Game 142: Bumgarner v. Price. Giants 5, TIGERS 4. Never ahead, down 4.
NICE PLAYS: 3B Arias-2B Panik-1B Posey, CASTELLANOS, LF Blanco, Panik
MISPLAYS: SUAREZ
BASERUNNING NEWS: Looked like they had DAVIS caught, but that speed and a very clever slide made it so close. Called out, challenged, out. I thought he was safe.
THE BIG HIT: Men on 1st and 2nd, 2 out, Tigers down 1-0 in the 1st, Susac 2-run double off PRICE.
THE BIG OUTS: Men on 1st and 2nd, 1 out, Tigers down 4-2 in the 2nd, Bumgarner gets popups to 2B from both KINSLER and HUNTER.
GOOD HITTING: CABRERA, Posey
BAD HITTING:
GOOD PITCHING:
BAD PITCHING:
OBVIOUSLY: Detroit ran out of time trying to make up for that 1st inning.
AND, BUT, ALSO: Bumgarner struck out none and walked none and did nothing impressive but win. Losing this one just wasn’t fair. 2 home runs from CABRERA, and they really had Bumgarner on the ropes early. But the 5th inning Posey HR off PRICE was the nail in the coffin.

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Game 143: Hudson v. Lobstein. TIGERS 6, Giants 1. Never behind, up 5.
NICE PLAYS: 3B Arias, 2B Panik-SS Crawford-1B Duvall, 1B KELLY-JOHNSON, CF DAVIS, CASTELLANOS-KINSLER, KINSLER
MISPLAYS: C Posey (3), Crawford, KINSLER
BASERUNNING NEWS: ROMINE was the man with a plan, stealing twice and scoring twice – pretty big runs, too, in the scheme of things. Speaking of big plays, I think HARDY picked off Blanco at 1B in between his big outs, but the safe call withstood an AUSMUS challenge. CABRERA, clearly hobbled, still manages to score from 1B on a double.
THE BIG HIT: Runner on 1st, 2 out, Tigers up 1-0 in the 3rd, CABRERA 2-run HR off Hudson.
THE BIG OUTS: Runners on 1st and 3rd, 1 out, Tigers up 3-1 in the 7th, HARDY retires Pagan (flyout to RF) and Panik (foul popup to C).
GOOD HITTING: CABRERA, J. MARTINEZ
BAD HITTING: Pagan, AVILA
GOOD PITCHING: LOBSTEIN, HARDY
BAD PITCHING: Kontos
OBVIOUSLY: It all hinged on that 7th inning, Giants turned away, Tigers not.
AND, BUT, ALSO: It fell to Lobstein (first MLB win, with big help from CABRERA) to put San Francisco in their place.

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Game 144: Guthrie v. Verlander. TIGERS 9, Royals 5. Never behind, up 6.
NICE PLAYS: LF J. MARTINEZ (2), 3B Moustakas (2), SS Escobar, 1B Hosmer-P C. Coleman, CF KELLY, LF Gordon, Hosmer-Escobar-P Frasor
MISPLAYS: Hosmer (3), Moustakas, CASTELLANOS
BASERUNNING NEWS: J. MARTINEZ beating out the DP played a part in the big inning – big difference between 2 out, man on 3rd and 1 out, 1st and 3rd (ask Guthrie). KELLY was picked off 1B by Downs. Gak!
THE BIG HIT: Bases loaded, 2 out, 0-0 in the 2nd, a ROMINE groundball to 1B off Guthrie results in a two-error play that scores 2.
THE BIG OUTS: Man on 1st, 1 out, 2-2 in the 3rd, VERLANDER retires Infante on a 6-4-3 DP.
GOOD HITTING: HUNTER, Hosmer, ROMINE, AVILA
BAD HITTING: KINSLER
GOOD PITCHING: VERLANDER
BAD PITCHING: Guthrie
OBVIOUSLY: Big 3rd inning answer says “Royals go away.”
AND, BUT, ALSO: The outfield collision between KELLY and HUNTER that resulted in the inside-the-park HR by Cain actually wasn’t such a collision. It was how HUNTER fell (backwards and then on his head, hail Torii full of grace) that hurt him (but he stayed in, doubled and scored his next time up). This “collision” was actually foreshadowed by a near miss earlier in the game.

JM3


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DEFENSIVE SCORECARD (in terms of outstanding plays one way or the other, X = good, O = not)

RF KELLY X +1
SS ROMINE XXOX +2
3B CASTELLANOS OOXXOOOXOOXXXOXXO -1
2B KINSLER XXXXOXXXXXXOXOXXXOXXXO +12
1B V. MARTINEZ XOXXXXOX +4
CF DAVIS OXOXXX +2
LF J. MARTINEZ OXOOOXXX zero
RF HUNTER XXOXXOX +3
1B KELLY XXXXXXOOX +5
C AVILA OOXX zero
SS SUAREZ XXXXXXXXXXXXXOOO +10
1B CABRERA XXXXXXXXXOXXXOOOXOO +7
P PORCELLO XX +2
P NATHAN XX +2
P VERLANDER OX zero
P CHAMBERLAIN XX +2
C HOLADAY XOOOXOXX zero
CF CARRERA OO -2
P HARDY X +1
LF DAVIS XO zero
P JOHNSON X +1
CF KELLY X +1

scrap8hit

GAME 127: Callups Kyle Lobstein and Pat McCoy got lost and were late to the game they ended up in. *** Brad Ausmus: “We have to sort it all out. The injuries we’ve had, with the doubleheaders, we’re a day at a time.” *** 32 runs allowed over the last two is the 4th-highest two-game total in franchise history.
GAME 128: Torii Hunter: “The first two games, we had some young guys on the mound. Of course, they’re going to get better and they’re going to learn from some of the mistakes they probably made. But I promise you, having Verlander on the mound, a guy that’s been around, that knows how to pitch, I think that he contained the situation and gave us a chance to win.” *** Ausmus on the Ian Krol mystery: “When he came back, there were times where the ball didn’t seem to be jumping out of his hand like it does when he’s right. We sent him down [before], and when he came back he looked good. I can’t really explain it. It hasn’t really been a pattern.”
GAME 129: After four games in 48 hours: Rajai Davis: “I think we were really fighting on at least tying this series. We were able to have a lot of good at-bats and hit the ball hard a lot. We hit some holes, caught some breaks really, and we took advantage.” *** Ausmus: “We had a nice recovery. The good thing, the four games here, the bats really picked up the pace.” 30 runs on 60 hits, unfortunately countered by 42 Twins runs. *** Victor Martinez matches a career high with his 25th home run.
GAME 130: Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Rick Porcello: “I actually thought we swung the bats pretty decent; we had nine hits off him. It’s hard to elevate the ball on him, so you’re going to see singles. You have to put a lot of singles together in the course of an inning to score runs. That’s what he’s so good at, being a sinkerballer.” *** The return of Anibal Sanchez from the DL is now indefinite, pain from scar tissue not allowing him to pitch at all. Team officials do not sound optimistic, if you read between the lines.
GAME 131: David Price becomes the first MLB pitcher in 25 years to allow 9 consecutive hits. “Didn’t get enough outs. Just didn’t have it.”
GAME 132: After an impressive starting debut, Lobstein is “procedurally optioned” to Toledo. Minor league starter Kyle Ryan will take his place for the next spot start. The Tigers also purchase the contract of Evan Reed from Toledo. Mud Hen Jose Ortega is DFA to make room for Reed.
GAME 133: Another stretch of four games in 48 hours begins. *** “We had a chance,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said, “and you don’t take advantage of it. He [Justin Verlander] usually gets stronger as he goes along. You see him in the middle there, all of the sudden he can get it up there at 95. He gets stronger as he goes along and you have to take advantage of it early and we just missed our shot.”
GAMES 134/135: Max Scherzer: “The margin of error between success and failure, right now, when you’re facing a team like this is razor thin. You have to be really be on top of your game to have success. Really, in my mind, I felt I had great stuff today. But it only takes a couple pitches to get beat.” *** Justin Miller, in spite of a terrific season at AAA, is DFA to make room for spot starter Ryan. *** Ausmus on Ryan, whose MLB debut was a good one: “He’s got kind of a funky delivery. He kind of hides the ball. He turns his back a little bit to the hitters. I think the hitters have a little bit of trouble picking it up. He’s got a little cutter, slider, fastball obviously, but I think the deception in his delivery creates issues for hitters.” *** Miguel Cabrera leaves game two of the doubleheader early, again bothered by his ankle. *** Detroit moves back into a tie for first place in the AL Central.
GAME 136: Don Kelly: “You can have the other team beat you. The thing that’s tough is when you beat yourselves. That’s the thing that eats at you, especially with a guy like Rick [Porcello], who works fast and gets ground balls, gives you a chance to make plays. We just didn’t make the plays.” *** Cabrera out of the lineup, day to day with ankle injury. *** The September additions to the expanded roster will be OF Steven Moya, C James McCann, IF Hernan Perez, OF Tyler Collins, and pitchers Robbie Ray, Buck Farmer, Lobstein, and Ryan. It’s pretty clear at this point that Luke Putkonen and Andy Dirks won’t be coming off the DL and rejoining the team, and if you even remember Joel Hanrahan, that won’t be happening, either.
GAME 137: Ausmus: “This was a day that Moya and McCann will never forget, and it was nice for Tyler to hit his first home run up here. You always enjoy a game like that. We were pitching good, hitting good. It was a lot of fun.” *** Back in the lineup already, Cabrera hit 2 home runs, including his first since August 2 (a month!).
GAME 138: J.D. Martinez on his 9th inning, game-winning home run: “It was one of those swings that feels perfect, like you couldn’t have done anything better. When I reached home, I was so pumped up, I wasn’t sure if I had touched all the bases. It’s September, this is win-or-go-home time. I’m so excited because I want to make the playoffs for the first time so bad.” *** Alex Avila was struck in the mask by a foul ball and had to leave the game, but said he’s fine. *** Ausmus on Cabrera’s ankle and the ongoing DH-1B concerns: “It’s going to be a balancing act from here on out because I can’t run Victor out there every day. That won’t be good for Victor, so it won’t be good for us. There is no one else on our team that I want following Miggy in the order than Victor, but it isn’t fair to make him our first baseman. This is just something else we’re going to have to work through.”
GAME 139: Bryan Holaday on Danny Salazar’s dominant performance: “Salazar was really tough and kept challenging us with his fastball all night. We just couldn’t hit him.” *** Victor Martinez’s monster August earns him AL Player of the Month honors. *** Hunter suffers a bone bruise on his foot from a fouled-off pitch.
GAME 140: Scherzer: “It was an absolute physical grind for me, but I battled as hard as I could and found a way to get through six. The way the game ended made it a great night with Suarez to be able to come up with that hit and Victor’s homer.” *** Victor Martinez has reached base in 23 consecutive games.
GAME 141: Porcello: “Really I think a lot of the bad pitches started to come in the third inning. First and second inning, I actually felt like I made some good pitches and they were just getting hits.” *** Avila misses his 3rd consecutive game, as the Tigers aren’t convinced he’s free of concussion-like symptoms as yet. *** The rain delay was about as long as the game itself. The Tigers’ head groundskeeper was injured getting the tarp onto the field.
GAME 142: Price on the 1st inning: “With the exception of Susac, I was OK with the pitches that I was throwing,. Posey did a great job, Pence, Sandoval. They just put bat on the ball.” *** Victor Martinez: “It was a tough, tough loss, trying to come back and just falling short by one run. I always say a loss is a loss, but this one was really tough… You know what, we have 20-some games left. Out of those, we have six more left against the team that’s ahead of us.” *** First MLB start for McCann: “They’re a very aggressive team. We started moving the ball in and out and keeping the ball down in the zone and letting them make quick outs.”
GAME 143: Avila (back in the lineup) on another good start from Lobstein: “There’s guys that throw 82 and get guys out in the big leagues. It’s just a matter of locating with movement, stuff like that. He’s got a good sinker, a good four-seamer that may be 90, but when you’re able to mix in all your other pitches, it looks 94.” *** Cabrera is on a September home run tear after a lengthy drought, and reaches 100 RBI for the 11th straight season. *** It appears that the last week of the season is the earliest that Anibal Sanchez might return.
GAME 144: Andrew Romine on the Royals: “We’ve gotta jump on them. Obviously, that team can swing and they can pitch. They’re a good team and they’re really hot right now, so for us to get ahead, perfect for us. That’s exactly what we needed to do today.” *** Verlander: “Most of us in the locker room have been here and experienced games in September that mean this much — high-intensity games in September. We did it a couple years ago when we were chasing the White Sox. That experience is extremely valuable when you get into these situations, and hopefully we can draw from that.” *** Cabrera has been diagnosed with bone spurs in his ankle, which puts a name to the problem but doesn’t change the day to day rest-DH-1B decision-making. *** Hunter gets the worst of an outfield collision with Kelly but appears to have escaped a concussion.

JJO3

79-65, 2nd in the Central, 6th in the AL, on pace for an 89-73 season…

RESEARCH MADE POSSIBLE BY: MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL and BASEBALL REFERENCE.
PHOTO CREDITS: DAVIS: Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press; LOBSTEIN: Associated Press; FARMER: Associated Press; RYAN: Ed Zurga/Getty Images; MOYA: Rick Osentoski/USA Today; PEREZ: Associated Press; McCANN: Associated Press; JOHNSON: Rick Osentoski/USA Today.