Game 2017.117: Twins at Tigers

It’s hard to be a curmudgeon with a mean streak when the Tigers pull out a game the way they did last night. It’s hard to say enough about Mikie Mahtook. Since the break he has been hitting .361 with an OPS of 1.037.

Maybe it was sharp scouting or maybe just plain baseball luck, but the Tigers really seemed to have pulled one off when they picked up Mahtook for some player to be named later. (OK I looked it up, some minor leaguer named Drew Smith, who Tampa has since released and is now on the Mets AA team).  And the best thing, with the Tigers dire salary predicament, is that they are getting all this for $541,000. Mahtook is not eligible for arbitration until 2019, and free agency until 2022.

Still, Justin Upton upstaged Mikie with the walkoff. Another one. Upton is the one player playing up to his very high salary. I shudder to think where this offense would be without him.

Miguel Cabrera left last night’s game with back stiffness and is taking today off. Although in this down season, John Hicks may even be an upgrade.

Edward Mujica pitched himself back to Toledo; the Tigers call up RH Jeff Farrell.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Mikie Mahtook, CF
  2. Alex Presley, RF
  3. Justin Upton, LF
  4. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  5. John Hicks, 1B
  6. Victor Martinez, DH
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Andrew Romine, 2B
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Pitching:  Matthew Boyd vs Ervin Santana

11 thoughts on “Game 2017.117: Twins at Tigers”

  1. I’m not going to be negative about it, but I notice that Romine is playing 2B while a guy by the name of Machado is on the bench. Leaving 7 runners on (so far) is an unusual accomplishment.

  2. Loon, you know I love Lettuce but I agree. I’m looking toward next year and know that Ian has 1 year left at $10M. For what Bootsie brings every day, that’s a bargain. Ian can benefit from less playing time. Machado has showed he can play 2nd well. (Iggy to me is a must keep player, Machado IS NOT as good a SS as Iggy). Can you think of a better mentor for Machado playing 2B than Bootsie?

    1. I can believe it, and I don’t think it makes Brad an idiot. Tie game or one run down in the 9th, maybe you remove Victor for a pinch runner (but with two outs and Victor only on first?). Two runs down or any time earlier, you don’t. Two outs, runner at 1B, McCann and the bottom of the order due up… I don’t see anything to get excited about here, Tony. Either McCann knocks it out of the park or he doesn’t.

      1. Perhaps and I do apologize for calling Brad an idiot. While idiot can mean foolish, incompetent would have been more accurate. V-Mart singled (had a good day 2 for 3 plus BB). McCann is our last hope. He’s also one of our hottest hitters right now. Can’t count on a home run but what if he gets a hit into the corner that would normally go for a double. With Victor on first, he can not advance to 2nd. So Iggy comes up with 1st and 2nd instead of 2nd and 3rd. Big difference; since now another hit would not tie the game. This is all make believe, I grant you but the manager is supposed to put the team in a position to make a win possible. In the unlikely event McCann and Iggy had gotten hits, Victor is clogging the basses and prevents us from tying the game. One hit, hard, two hits almost impossible (except when facing certain Tiger pen arms), three hits in a row as likely as us winning the Central this year. It didn’t happen but we could have been better prepared in case lightning had struck 2 days in a row.

        PS: We are all victims of the past few years experience with the Tigers where we think the only acceptable result of an at bat is a home run. Many teams have been know to string together singles doubles, stolen base, even sac bunts and a safety squeeze to produce runs.

        1. Oh, Tony, I wasn’t calling you out for the word “idiot.” We baseball fas are prone to hyperbole. Doesn’t faze me. I was just pondering the strategy question at hand. I just think you’re overdoing the chess master bit of being a manager. Let’s say McCann singles or draws a walk. There’s where – I think – the question of a pinch runner for Victor comes into play.

          Yes, what they call manufacturing runs is real, and the Tigers can do it even if they’re not built for it like some teams in terms of personnel and manager. In the situation we’re discussing, however… 2 runs down, 2 outs… everyone is hoping for a home run from a guy who can hit them. Even if Rajai Davis had been available to pinch run, he can’t steal you two runs. Romine and Iglesias coming up… well, not an impossible rally, but an implausible one. Sometimes you really just have to hope for the big home run or extra base hit, right now. Sometimes it happens. Probably about as often as the scratch out a run thing does.

  3. Well, the bullpen didn’t explode, but they couldn’t hold it. Wilson did his part, and it was good to see the new guy Ferrell getting another shot and having a clean inning.

    Lots of chances this game. Chances are better than no chances.

  4. Ok, I’ll admit I can’t figure out what’s going on with Bruce Rondon. He came in and threw 8 balls in 9 pitches. Brad did yank him as quickly as possible but both runners scored. What I do not understand is why he was sent to Toledo. Last month he had 3 consecutive games in which he gave up a total of 8 ER and they kept him here. Is there something else going on?

    1. Just a last straw sort of thing, I reckon. Rondon has been afforded plenty of opportunities and has been cut plenty of slack. I think his days in the organization are numbered.

      You can’t accuse the Tigers (well, not too much) of not making the changes when changes are called for. Get it done or get out. A lot of bullpen guys have been tried and gotten bounced. The failures are unfortunate, but I applaud the continued effort to move on and get better. Even if it doesn’t get better.

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