Game 2016.149: Tigers at Indians


If the Tigers, and not the Indians were the ones in first place, Justin Verlander’s season would be one of the  baseball stories of the year. I don’t think any of us foresaw him having one of his best seasons ever. Many tips of the cap to JV. Unfortunately the Indians got many whiffs of the bat from the 9-headed Cy Young they sent out there yesterday, and the season continues to flicker and fade.

Today’s Go Lions Lineup:

Kinsler, 2B
Maybin, CF
Cabrera, 1B
V Martinez, DH
JD Martinez, RF
Upton, LF
Aybar, 3B
McCann, C
Iglesias, SS


  1. Tony de Florida

    September 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    If you played the Indian 2nd inning with the Tigers at bat, the 2nd run would not have happened. Why? Easy, most of our hitters would have trotted to first after the “sure hit and RBI” and never made it to second on the CF error.

  2. Tony de Florida

    September 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Love our plate discipline. Bases loaded and we are all going to hit a grand slam. Both JD and J-Up strike out and J-UP first 2 were balls.

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  4. Tony de Florida

    September 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Nice hit by Aybar and proves that Miggy knows more about base running than our coaches.

  5. Doug of Troy

    September 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Clark has been pitiful all season!

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  7. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    September 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Yes, yes, I know the season isn’t over, but let me give you my Tiger report card for 2016:

    Cabrera: C: Lots of variance in his hitting this season. Perhaps old age is starting to creep into his career? Looked bored and tired in September.

    Kinsler: A: His preparedness and love for the game shows and pays off.

    Iglesias: C: While he has lot of God-given talent at short, he needs to focus on his hitting and base running

    Castellanos: B+ – much improvement in the field and at the plate as he comes of age.

    McCann: D+: While his hitting lacks…the pitching staff seems to want him behind the plate

    Upton: Incomplete – While his re-set (or re-sit) seemed to work, he needs to finish the season before receiving his final grade.

    Maybin: B: When Maybin plays, the Tigers win. Needs to learn how to stay healthy.

    Martinez, J.D.: B: His post-DL batting accomplishments were impressive

    Martinez, V: D+: While remaining fairly healthy all season, old age shows he can’t handle a 162 game season even only playing DH. (Can we get a DH runner when he hits the ball?)

    Verlander: A: Great comeback to his old ways; how long will it last?

    Sanchez: D-: Hopeless. Perhaps a microcosm of the 2016 Tiger season

    Fulmer: A-: A present surprise and has a great and humble attitude

    Norris: C+: Still learning but shows improvement

    Boyd C: Seems to be figuring it out.

    Greene: C: Once, or perhaps if he gets his head right he can soar.

    Lowe D-: Seems to have lost what we have never seen

    Wilson, A: B+: Found his role and delivered.

    Wilson, J: C: Should have been more consistent

    Rodriquez: B-: We finally get a closer that is a closer without much drama

    Ausmus: C-: Knows how to fill out a lineup card and manage a game; but can he lead his team?

    Overall Team Grade: C+ Had but didn’t take advantage of the many opportunities.

    • Jud

      September 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      This us pretty darn accurate!

      • Smoking Loon

        September 18, 2016 at 6:31 pm

        I agree. Very nice. How about:


        Miguel Cabrera is still the offensive cornerstone. He’s had a great season, in my view, but Triple Crowns are a tough act to follow. Justin Verlander is prone to the same comparison bias. Brilliant season from him. These two faces of the franchise have been out there all season and have not disappointed. Thank them for second place if you see them. Talk to some other guys (and the Cleveland Indians) about why not first place.

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          September 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

          Hi Loon…I only grade the regular starting players and tried to compare their play to expectations. I should have included Zimmermann whom I would give him a B for the first half of the season followed by an Incomplete. Yesterday’s excitement with the Tribe may be a good example of lack of leadership. Ausmus needs to step up and use that to motivate the team. Right now I don’t know of many players that would run threw a brick wall for Brad. Maybe that is asking way too much for a professional player to do, but have some pride for your team, it’s history, the fans who devotingly follow you, and your teammates.

          • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

            September 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm

            I mean, here we are with a day off from games. Is Brad holding a practice in Minnesota where he starts off with a team meeting sharing his vision on how they are going to make the playoffs and what each player’s role in it. It he motivating them for success? Is he showing his confidence in his players and what his expectations are? Just think about what Madden would do compared to Ausmus. (Of course while I am not there, I simply hope something is happening that takes advantage of this day off to get the hearts going!) They have come so far to fall so short or better yet, not give it their best try.

            • Tony de Florida

              September 19, 2016 at 3:29 pm

              Ole Miss, you’re hotter than your football team was Saturday! Aside from the motivation issues, how many games has Brad let get away just from mismanagement of the starters, ball pen and situational moves. Against the Twinkies he let Pelfrey (not our best starter this year) not only put 2 on base but allows him to pitch to Dozier with first base open. If we go back I bet we can find at lease 5 or 6 more dumb moves resulting in losses instead of not necessarily wins, but a chance to win. We need a new manager, coaching staff and medical/training overhaul. I was really impressed with Brad’s reactions after 3 of our stars were thumped by the Indian pitcher. Ian, bless his hot headed temper seemed to be the only one who took exception. I was glad JV wasn’t on the mound because I suspect his pin point control would have failed after the 2nd incident.

  8. Tony de Florida

    September 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    A couple of days ago I warned you that Brad was using A Wilson too much and not just for an inning. Here he is again. Ole Miss just on ball pen management Brad should get an F. Watch him leave Wilson in until the Indians tie or get a lead. McCannon just helped him out.

    • Smoking Loon

      September 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      But A. Wilson likes the work. “Overuse” is his role. Every bullpen has a guy like him. I don’t think he’s that fragile. The idea that relief pitchers are out there melting like popsicles is exaggerated. They get it done or they don’t. I don’t think it’s because they wear out, and jeez, they never even face the same batter twice.

  9. Tony de Florida

    September 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Good move by Brad in bringing in K-Rod in the 8th before Greene had an accident. Turning point: Clearly when Miggy ran Clark’s stop sign in the 3rd allowing them to take the lead. Without that, game would have been tied through the 6th which changes everything.

  10. Jud

    September 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Tigs won!….big deal!

    • Smoking Loon

      September 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Cool beans. It’s all about honor now.

  11. Smoking Loon

    September 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    The 2006 and 2011-2014 Tigers had it all over the pitching staffs of the past couple seasons. Aside from that, I think the 2014-2016 teams have all had more talent than Leyland ever had to work with. Thus, impatience with Ausmus.

    On the other hand, Leyland – a proven manager – needed 5 seasons under his belt before he got his groove on (and the complaints never stopped even then). Maybe afford Ausmus the same opportunity, I say.

    I still don’t find any merit in the idea that teams are very often managed to victory with obvious strategic moves, or that there is any significant difference in teaching of and emphasis on baseball fundamentals between one professional baseball organization and another. There is all sorts of strategy and preparation going on that is quite invisible to us. If your team has a winning record, chances are that it is paying off, whether you recognize it or not. As concerns fundamentals, talent is developed along the lines of certain skill sets favored by play at the elite level. The minor leagues aren’t producing well-rounded, Universal Baseball Player model athletes.

    Pitching and now defensive strategies have been winning the arms race against batting for some time now. You would think that strategic hitting, bunting, and baserunning should be becoming more important. Maybe they will be some day. That would please a lot of hardcore baseball fans, but the home run and the strikeout remain the more glamorous, attention-getting aspects of the game to the more casual fan. The trend in other sports is toward faster, flashier, and more easily consumed and digested by the attention span-challenged. I doubt that baseball will be immune to this. Measures to hamper pitching and defense to balance the scales may be forthcoming.

    Bottom line: Baseball players are much better athletes than they used to be, but not better baseball players, and that trend will continue. The upshot for managers is that I think this makes it harder to get results from being a clever and brilliant strategist. Aside from being motivators to some degree and considering obvious things like the physical state of the players, the baseball manager decisions *we* can see could have been made with a computer and a coin. Furthermore, our disagreements with them should always be considered incomplete (though certainly not abandoned – no fun in that!). We don’t have all of the information.

    • Tony de Florida

      September 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Smokin, I resist in disagreeing with you only because I have embarrassed myself on this blog at least once or twice, but any defense of Brilliant Brad is not reasonable. I do not place ALL the blame on Brad. Most of the blame goes to DD and Mr. I who gave him the job. A little goes to Big Al who kept him this year. I understood keeping him given that here were no outstanding candidates available. I did not understand taking a harder look at the coaching staff. If Joe Madden had been our manager, we certainly would have won more games but I still do not think we would be that much better, we are still a mediocre baseball team. But with a Madden type, I can almost guarantee you that our fundamentals would have been better, the fire in the belly greater and the decisions made much better. We can not afford another year with Brad but if no outstanding individual becomes available, I would resist a 3 year contract for a so-so candidate.

  12. StorminNorman$

    September 19, 2016 at 10:53 am

    …oh, NOW its ‘win at all costs time’

    for some reason the expression, ‘too little too late’ comes to mind

  13. Jim Eggers USMC

    September 19, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Hey sportsfans! Am back from a quick trip with the Missus to Seattle to see a couple of the other AL wild card teams go at it. Saturday the Tigers -Indians game was on the ginormous screen and when the winning run scored, a cheer rose up from the fans! It took me a second to realize why, this Wild card stuff makes for meaningful baseball in September for lots of teams… as far as the Pussycats chances, well it is all about winning and the other contenders losing, right?

  14. Tony de Florida

    September 19, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Rick Porcello pitched a complete game tonight allowing the O’s just 2 runs and 4 hits. I hope that locks in his Cy Young.

  15. Jud

    September 20, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Look for theTigers to lose 2/3 to the Twinkies..the only match up in the Tigers favor is wednesday because of the Pussycat offense. Tigers will score 1 on tuesday and 0 or 1 on Thursday. This are must win games…right!..Tigers are totally worn out!. They play like they are all 70 years old!
    Prediction scores

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      September 20, 2016 at 7:41 am

      Correct…and there is no leadership there to motivate these players to correctly perform. Doing such would be a risk to the high salaries that are paid in this game. That is, it is easier to come in everyday and fill out a line card and manage the game instead of put your reputation and salary on the line by trying to come up with a game plan/big picture to win your division (and now to win a wild card spot). Saying “Well we just have to play these games out….every game is important,” is much easier than saying, “ok, here is what we are gonna do, and here is what I am expecting my players to do, to win the (division) wild card spot.” If that doesn’t happen, people’s jobs seem to be on the line which is way to risky for all. So, let’s just “play them out and we see what happens.” So, enjoy the remaining of the season and such approach is why you get predictions and frustrations like Jud’s that will probably come true.

  16. Will 1968

    September 21, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    12 to go. Only Baltimore (1.5 behind) to catch. Stay ahead of Hous and and Seattle. Sweep Minn, 2 from KC, 3 from Clev, 2 or 3 from Atlanta. 9-3, 11-2, to optimistic?

    • StorminNorman$

      September 21, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      F. Barmer to start Wed – over Sanchez or Pelfrey…personally, I don’t know how a guy could ‘go right’ with any of those choices – DET offense had better ‘show up’ Wednesday – as DET will likely need a TD, and maybe a FG to beat MIN

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        September 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

        Last night, Dan and Jim were talking Buck up based on his last recent start (gotta dig my scorebook out on when that was). However I share your same concerns.

        • StorminNorman$

          September 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm

          Farmer supposedly closed out his AAA season w/Toledo on a good note, but since being called up, he’s appeared in 3 games; 1 IN no runs/hits but 2 BB’s vs CWS; 2)3 IN 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB vs BAL, and 3) 4.1 IN 3 H, 0 ER vs MIN in a game MIN was blowing out DET (7-1) by the time Farmer entered the game.

          I hope it goes well for him 2nite, but do not expect it to

          • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

            September 21, 2016 at 6:19 pm

            Thanks for the analysis Storm’n…have we ever seen Buck in his prime?

  17. StorminNorman$

    September 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    no VMart or Kinsler again tonight – thanks CLE/Bauer