Game 2017.89: Blue Jays at Tigers

Normally there is nothing better than the first game after half a week without baseball. Other times, there is last night.

At least we get Mr. Fulmer tonight, who will have to somehow compensate for a lineup with a vortex of negative WAR right smack dab in the middle of it.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  3. Justin Upton, LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Victor Martinez, DH
  7. Mikie Mahtook, CF
  8. James McCann, C
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Pitching: Michael Fulmer vs Francisco Liriano


  1. Tony de Florida

    July 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Love that 2 out run! Mikie infield hit, McCann manages a walk and a dying swan from Iggy.

  2. Jud

    July 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    A wow! Start.. Keep it up…

  3. Jud

    July 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Lariano did exactly what he does. Throws a lot of balls out of the strike zone. Credit the Tigers for allowing him to walk them. The Tigers usually don’t, so good job.

  4. Jud

    July 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    “We don’t need no stinkin meeting”… Says Brad… Oh well… something woke this team up for one day at least.

  5. Smoking Loon

    July 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Tough to beat good pitching. Tough to beat Fulmer. Cabrera and JD turned it around in one day.

    Detroit hasn’t taken this long or longer for their 40th win since 2003. Not even 2004 (July 9) or 2005 (July 7).

    Detroit has not been 40-49 or worse at 89 games since… 2003.

    Detroit had not been 10 games below .500 this early (32-42 on June 24) in a season since they were 16-26 in May 2008. You may recall that things actually got better then (45-44, even)… only to get much worse. The 2017 Tigers are keeping it at a steady 8-10 games below .500.

    A comparison of the 2004 and 2017 Detroit Tigers is interesting. Baseball was more of a hitters game in 2004 than it is today, I think, but how the Tigers ranked statistically in the AL as a team shows some interesting similarities just the same. Those Tigers finished 72-90. Will these Tigers? Doesn’t seem unlikely to me anymore.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      2004 & 2017 similarities:

      Top 5-6 hitting team, #13 in pitching, same defensive (in)efficiency
      Strong in the C position, weak at 3B and CF
      7-4 start fell to 23-27
      W-L an underperformance relative to stats (though more so in 2004)

      Coincidental, sure. It seems weird to compare the two teams at all. Circumstances are different. I wasn’t following the 2004 team, so I’ve got nothing but numbers. Still, at this point in 2004 Detroit was 43-47 despite having outscored opponents 478 to 464, and however nondescript the pitching staff looks now in retrospect, it was doing at least as well as the 2017 staff so far. The possibly funny takeaway is that then as now, you’d think that things wouldn’t get worse, at least. But they did, and I guess they can now, too.

      2015 is our most recent losing season comparison. That seems completely different, though. Ownership just completely panicked in July. I still find that weird, though I guess it mostly paid off.

  6. Tony de Florida

    July 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    The Cubs still struggling below .500 after winning it all last year just obtained Quintana from the White Sox and apparently are still interested in getting Sonny Gray from the A’s. I mention this only because it shows both Chicago teams are still proactive in continuing to improve their respective clubs, even if their goals are different. Our Tigers on the other hand are apparently waiting for the right package or an offer that includes Trout, Chris Sale and maybe Mookie Betts in exchange for Stumpf, Hardy, JD and Victor. Just my joke, but I’m frustrated that there doesn’t appear to be any sense of urgency to make changes of any kind. What will really be tragic will be if JD (our one true trading piece) goes to free agency at the end of the year. This could be an indicator that the club will be sold. That wouldn’t bother me at all since new ownership will immediately make changes starting with the GM and field manager. For now I will predict that if nothing changes, we will claim last place in the division from the White Sox by season’s end.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 16, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      But even if there are trades (or changes – what other changes?), Tony, I don’t see them improving the team right away. To the contrary, the loss of JD alone would make last place that much more likely. He was instrumental in the last couple wins. To be fair, he was instrumental in the most recent loss, too, but that is not a frequent occurrence.