The Tigers tried something a little different yesterday (no, I don’t mean scoring run, although that too) and it worked: going with both Davis and Gose in the outfield, resting Victor Martinez and letting JD bat 4th, and giving Holaday his first start all worked like a charm, and the Tigers pulled out the series win.
Gose and Davis combined for 7-for-10 with a double and triple, Holaday went 3-for-5 with his 2nd career home run, and even JD Martinez knocked in a run from the cleanup spot with a 2-for-4 game. Of course none of them could match Miguel Cabrera with his two home runs and 5 RBI, but it was nice to see the very different lineup work so well.
The Tigers finished the series with 17 runs, which works out to an average of 5.7 runs per game, which is excellent. It isn’t recommended, however, to accomplish that average with games of 2, 2, and 13.
The difference between yesterday’s game and the first two was like night and day. The difference might not have been the revamped lineup though–it might have been, well, night and day.
The Tiger is becoming a fully diurnal creature this season, pouncing in the daytime and snoozing at night.
Day Tiger: 14 – 4 (.778) Night Tiger: 7 – 10 (.412)
Most of this can be traced to the Big Man, Miguel Cabrera, who is actually a giant during the day and a little guy at night. I ran his numbers earlier; they’ve split even farther apart.
- 2015 Night: 70 PA .158 BA .472 OPS
- 2015 Day: 81 PA .471 BA 1.455 OPS
Last season, and over his career, he was actually better at night than day:
- 2014 Night: 437 PA .343 BA .983 OPS
- 2014 Day: 248 PA .260 BA .741 OPS
- Career Night: 5266 PA .328 BA .979 OPS
- Career Day: 2696 PA .304 BA .925 OPS
So there you have it: last season his success split significantly toward the night from his career average; this season it has split even more significantly toward the day.
Any theories? There are some guys who are just better at one than the other; it’s not to hard to theorize that that is because of how they see the ball in different conditions, since hitting is so much about vision. But someone who has been better at night throughout his career flip-flopping like that is very unusual.
It is most like just a random variation that will even itself out over the season. And remember, a lot of these early night games have been quite cold, and maybe that is a factor. Something to keep an eye on as the season unfolds.
Tonight’s A Little Greene With the Bat Lineup:
- Anthony Gose, CF
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- JD Martinez, RF
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- James McCann, C
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Shane Greene, P