Game 2015.9: Tigers at Pirates

It certainly didn’t make much of a splash when the Tigers shipped Robbie Ray off to the Diamondbacks, and in return got Shane Greene from the Yankees (who got Didi Gregorius from Arizona). But if his first two starts are any indication, Shane Greene may turn out to be an absolute steal, not to mention the fact that he is not free agent eligible until 2021 and pulling in all of $515,000.

It would be hard to exaggerate how thoroughly Greene dominated the Pirates last night. There were only three base runners in eight innings, all on singles (no walks), and none of them reached 2nd base. Greene breezed through eight with only 81 pitches only 25 of which were balls (that’s 3 balls per inning)–and this after pitching eight his first start with only 85 pitches. If it were not an Interleague game (did I mention…yes, I did), Greene looked all set for a complete game shutout.

Ausmus said that he considered letting Greene bat in the 8th, until Iglesias made it to 2nd with a double, which was more like a single plus inadvertent defensive indifference. Ausmus’ logic was that scoring a 2nd run in that situation increased the probability of winning more than keeping a dominant pitcher in with a one-run lead. What do you think?

At any rate, the extra base taken by Iglesias may turn out to be one of those hidden pivotal plays, since it brought Soria into the game, which he closed like…a closer, which could possibly turn into something good.

Of course Greene didn’t do it all himself: there were a whole lot of good defensive plays: Kinsler robbed a single with a diving stop; Cespedes, Davis, and Martinez all made good running catches in the outfield, and Iglesias was a one game highlight reel–even the play he didn’t make was worth several replays, as he somehow managed to fling a cross-body throw to first while on his back. With an improved Castellanos at 3rd, dare I say the Tigers may actually have a good team defensively now?

Castellanos did provide one of the lowlights of the game, stranding another two on base, as did Alex “Shift Bait” Avila hitting ’em where they are. The real lowlight though had to be the weak pinch-hit at bat by Victor Martinez, who (shhhhh) does not look very good at all so far this season.

In other news, Justin Verlander pitched a simulation game today (I’m pretty sure he’s pitched a bunch of those the last two seasons), although it was cut short at three innings instead of the schedule four.

Today’s Undefeated at Night Lineup:

  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. JD Martinez, RF
  5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS
  9. Alfredo Simon, P

Francisco Liriano goes for the guys with the yellow P on their hats, and he has bedeviled both Cespedes (1-for-10) and Kinsler (3-for-17, yikes). The Pirates should be familiar with Simon from his time on the Reds, but none of them have hit him particularly well.

Oh, and everybody is #42 today, to honor Jackie Robinson.

16 Comments

  1. TIGERS RULE

    April 15, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    What type of game will the Big Pasta serve up tonight? It would be nice if it would resemble the first 5 innings of his last start.

  2. Only Tiger Fan in Mississppi

    April 15, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Aumus was correct in batting V-Mart as he sent a message to his Closers that he will try to put them in the best position to make a save.

    • Jud

      April 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Asmus +2 last night. Whether it worked or not, it was the thing to do. I am more worried about how Martinez is looking the last 3-4 at bats!

  3. Only Tiger Fan in Mississppi

    April 15, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Smokey is back in the expensive seats.

  4. Coleman

    April 15, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Hey, good job Castellanos, you beat the shift! Oh…then you get picked off. Man is he struggling.

  5. Jud

    April 15, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Casty is worried about not getting a chance to play the 8-9 innings….the way he is playing he should be worried about NOT playing 1-9 innings!

  6. Only Tiger Fan in Mississppi

    April 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    It appears we have something here with Mr. Simon.

  7. Jud

    April 15, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Isn’t that how 9th innings are supposed to go with your closer….again and again????

    Plus Raj…two nights in arow…lets go home boys

  8. tbran

    April 15, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Dear Joe, your services are no longer needed in Detroit. See ya.

  9. Coleman

    April 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Can we put Nathan on the 180 Day DL?

  10. TIGERS RULE

    April 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    It’s nice to see that this years team can win in multiple ways! Rock on.

  11. Coleman

    April 15, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    The Tigers went through the entire Pirates series without giving up a walk!

  12. jud

    April 16, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Another huge huge huge daily improvement is this team is vastly improved defensively over last year!!!. Last year the Tigers had the worst outfield in all of baseball. Also Iggy is just plain an A+ STUD on D………

    The pitchers are doing great, but I can’t help but think the Defense has more than a bit to do with that. Plus as Coleman stated. They are not walking people…..another huge plus!

    Whats not to like……so far…..

  13. Jason

    April 16, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Greene and Simon… wow. Unexpected and most welcome. Imagine if they can sustain a Scherzer/Fister level of production this season.

    • Coleman

      April 16, 2015 at 1:18 am

      We got Greene for Fister, if you work it all out. Greene is working for minimum wage more or less, and is locked up until 2021. It’s only 2 games, but still.

      Simon I’m not so sure about. He made the All-Star team last year based mostly on his win-loss record, even though his whatchamacallits (peripherals) were a fanfare of red flags. And, as I learned by watching the Pittsburgh feed, today was the first time that he took a no-hitter beyond 3 1/3 innings (really?), and the first time he’s ever taken a shutout into the 8th. And after watching two starts damned if I can tell you what his strength is as a pitcher. And he’s about to turn 34, and only has 34 MLB starts.

      Still…who knows?

    • Coleman

      April 16, 2015 at 1:22 am

      I did like the Simon trade. We got him for Suarez, who wasn’t going to make the roster anyway (and hasn’t made the Reds roster). I figured that the idea was to get a serviceable starter to hold down the fort until one of the young arms was ready (Farmer maybe?). Now I’m not so sure, so far he’s looked like a legit starter.