Game 2016.2: Tigers at Marlins

It’s a brand new season, but is it the Same Old Tigers? It sure looked at first glance like the SOB (Same Old Bullpen), as Francisco Rodriguez, or FRod (pronounced “Fraud,” per PHToy) had absolutely nothing in the 9th inning, and was a highlight Justin Upton catch away from handing the game to the Marlins. It’s easy to put too much importance on just one outing, and the first outing of the year at that, so we need to see a few more before getting too excited about our closer situation. But it’s hard to be rational having seen all this before—the Tigers have had a knack for having a closer who has just then lost his effectiveness, and then sticking with him for way too long after.

Lost in all of that is how good the rest of the bullpen was, which is definitely not something we had too many occasions to say last season. Together they combined to give up only 2 hits and 1 walk in 5 shutout innings, and Shane Greene looked unhittable. Would this be the worst idea in the world: when Daniel Norris returns from the DL, let Shane Greene close out games? Not that it would ever happen, since we have A Closer. (I see Stormin’ Norman beat me to that idea).

The other SOB of the game was the Same Old Baserunning, as JD Martinez may have cost the team a run by sleeping on 2nd instead of advancing, as he easily would have, on a long fly to right, then Iglesias ran into a rundown situation, which found Martinez asleep again (instead of moving toward home with Iglesias in the rundown, he stood on 3rd with his hands in his pockets, making the rundown easy for the Marlins). And then of course the inevitable pickoff (the Tigers lets the league in runners picked off last year), with the usual suspect being the batting hero of the game, Ian Kinsler. At what point does Omar Vizquel start taking heat for this stuff?

Anyway, the Tigers will have a lot less room for error in today’s game, with Jose Fernandez on the mound, who has never lost a game at Marlins Park. Anibal Sanchez is no slouch himself, undefeated at Marlins Park since 2012.

Today’s Undefeated Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Upton, LF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. JD Martinez, LF
  5. Castellanos, 3B
  6. Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Iglesias, SS
  8. Gose, CF
  9. Sanchez, P

27 thoughts on “Game 2016.2: Tigers at Marlins”

  1. Justin Wilson will end up the closer before too long..The idea that you closer has to be a washed up old guy , if you notice,only is in the minds of a few teams. Most teams have found a reasonably young guy and it has worked. It just takes time and the teams confidence in that person. Its a mental job, not so much a physical one. Most good closers only have one or two pitches. The Tigers in modern times have not been very good at picking the right guy. In my opinion you put a relatively young guy like Wilson in there and let him grow into it. Tigers have done that with Iggy, McCann, JD…well lets try it again….Maybe that guy is Ver Hagen..he has great stuff. Maybe that guy is Greene!!!

    1. They tried that with Rondon, and it was a huge failure. But then he had issues with his mental commitment, so that was probably a bad person to try that out on.

      1. Agree Coleman….wrong try a different guy. In the meantime all closers are on the short leash like you always do with the rest of the pen. Brad jerks pitchers constantly after on or two batters. Why leave any guy in for 5 bombs!!!

  2. Old saying….
    Pitching is 70% Mental..25% skill 5% luck….
    Closing is 80% mental..15% skill 5% luck. And I might be short on the 80%…

  3. Sorry, I can’t throw F-Rod under the bus based on one game. It took me a while to dislike Joe Nathan. Let’s see how he’s doing in mid-May.

    Wow, Salty just hit one out. Should keep McCann on his toes. He also cut down Dee Gordon in the first!

    Now let’s see how Sanchez looks.

    1. I agree don’t throw FRod under the back bus Tony, not at all. Down the road however if this is a Nathan sighting then try the young guy like most teams are now doing!…KRod should be ok as per his track record, but thats what we thought before!

  4. Assmus brain cramp ….. why did he not pinch-hit VMart for Sanchez? We need all the addon runs we can get?

    1. Then the idiot takes Sanchez out the next inning anyway. How long will Assmus last as manager?

    2. I was yelling at the TV. Sanchez was about done and with the basses loaded we had a chance to break the game open.

      VerHagen did OK, but did you notice the Marlins beat the shift two days in a row?

  5. Maybe The FRod has a little of Gas Can Jones’ ability to add a little fuel to the fire just to make things interesting.

  6. Least he tried something different in the 9th….shudda PH though….there are no bad wins.!!! its on to fridgid Detroit where the Latin players don’t do very well in the cold!….


    POW….Alex Avila….oops I mean Salty!!!!

  7. I don’t think it’s too early to consider the bullpen a major failure already.

    Nor is it too early to question Ausmus.

    Man have I become bitter over the past few years.

    But I do love me some spring baseball.

      1. Adding to Kevins assessment.
        I didn’see Casty get to even one ball that wasn’t directly to him. So much for the “dramatic” defensive improvement.

  8. Dispite the hiccup yesterday this is a pretty nice team. I wonder how many teams can say they are set in Lf..CF..Rf…C…ss..2b…maybe 1b..for many years to come!..without even looking at pitching.

  9. for any concerns raised or complaining done by DET fans (myself included) this first week of the season; DET is 2-0 (and there’s been a bunch of other positives) but it could be a LOT worse…how’d you like to be a SD Padres fan?…who hitters set the MLB record by beginning the season with 27 straight scoreless innings – 3 shoutouts!

    BTW, speaking of records: VMart’s slugging % after two games 4.000 …something tells me that pace is probably unsustainable 😉

  10. I took another look at K-Rod’s ninth inning last night and will now predict that he will be fine as our closer. He walked the first batter he faced and it brought Stanton with the bases full. Last night watching, I was really uncomfortable. Today as I looked at the replay, I saw he really didn’t give him anything good to hit. There were 2 fouls that were close to staying in play for the third out and he got him with a filthy breaking ball. Last year, I would be heading for the Crown Royal and the 10th inning (assuming we didn’t lose it in 9). We may not be a championship team but it will a better year than last!

    1. I thought it was interesting that KRod and Brad decided KRod got in trouble because he threw too many changeups tuesday . Well I also went back and replayed the 9th inning of wednesdays game, and KRod enters the game and throws 7 consecutive changeups!!!. Walks the batter before Stanton then goes FB and then in that at bat threw 2-3 just filthy sliders including strike 3. The 7 changeups baffled me. But I am sometimes easily baffled!


    good article on some of the details behind the deal that brought Cabrera to DET… which in my mind is the best trade in DET history and in the mix for one of the best one-sided trades (thefts) in MLB history

    Through the years the Illitch – DD combination may have had some “misses”, but ‘the hits’ (trades, FA signings) soundly outweigh the whiffs… they certainly did bring in a lot of talent to DET – and in retrospect, talent i feel should-a/could-a won at least one or two WS

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