Thursday’s lineup: Tigers at Royals

Gerald Laird, 4-for-9 off Jeremy Guthrie, gets the start behind the plate. He’ll be catching Rick Porcello for the first time since July 21, when Porcello tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the White Sox and outpitched Chris Sale.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Andy Dirks, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (5-for-15, 2 HR off Guthrie)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Brennan Boesch, RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Omar Infante, 2B
  9. Gerald Laird, C

P: Rick Porcello

 

147 Comments

Desperately need a win tonight, its getting bad. This weekend will decide the rest of the season but still believe in them. Go Tigs!

Valverde, Young, Sanchez and Peralta are free agents next year. They are the next 4 in salary after our “Big 3″.
DD might be actually saving some money in letting those guys go.
I hear Peralta is considered a bargain. i disagree. He had an off year and will be another year older. I would expect less from him next year rather than more.
Could have signed Josh Willingham for about the same amount of dough as Young.
Ouch.
Hindsight?
I’d like to see all 4 guys gone next year. They are expensive and they are not paying their way.

Believe me, there will be some bigtime discussion this offseason. The entire direction of the team, actually. What kind of team. Based on who’s team.

We have a “Big 4″! Please don’t forget V-Mart. We have an option on Peralta for either $5.5 or $6 mill. That sounds like a good value to me. The Yankees and Dodgers will be after guys like Valverde, Young, and Sanchez. Especially if the Orioles, Rays, and Giants beat them out this year. We need a R/R catcher who hits lefthanded pitching really well, at least one lefty relief specialist, and maybe keep an eye out for a corner outfielder willing to take a one year deal. That’s it. We already have some potential at these needs in the farm system. It should be some great competition next spring. If we make the playoffs and do well, we will get what we need.

This lineup tonight has the most potential, if nothing else. Can we get two guys, other than AJ, Miggy and Biggy, to have a big night?

At least we have our guy hitting .875 against KC this year in the lineup. All is well.

can’t wait for the game to start today. yesterday’s lunch is killin’ me! Lets get this offense going!!

Can’t agree about Peralta. The team has shown it needs more impact players. Shortstop is one area where you can really affect the outcome of any game. Peralta is a steady, no nonsense, dependable guy. But, for him to be justified he does need to hit .280/20/80. I don’t see that happening ever again.
We need someone who can impact the game defensively or on the bases at that position.
I’d have traded Boesch and Avila to get Starlin Castro.
Perhaps we will see some potential in Romero next year. Infante should be OK for another year. But we really NEED a sterling shortstop/2nd baseman tandem to amount to anything next year. Our corner infielders are OK, but barely OK. Dynamic defense up the middle is needed to help compensate for that.
Enough of next year. What about this year?
Do we have the players? Do we have the character? Do we have the ability?
I think the answers are no; possibly and yes.
IMO it is time for some gutsy decision making on the part of management.

Dan, I would love an impact player at short too. There just arent that many around and we dont have one coming up in the system in the foreseeable future. I cant believe the Cubs are going to move Castro anytime soon. He is still under club control for 2 or 3 more years. I believe it will take more than BB and AA to get him. The Cubs are just swapping the same parts (from a club control perspective). They will insist on NC, Garcia or Rondon for sure. Peralta may be the best option available on the market.
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I would be fine with and outfield of Jackson, Dirks, and Garcia next year. It will be time to break the kid in. Omar’s offense will be here for another year.
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As far as Valverde. That is interesting. Closers are a weird breed … like hockey goalies. What is going to be available in the offseason. I dont know. I would take him back for another year if he was interested. Yes, he drives us crazy and it never seems easy but for the most part he has gotten the job done in the 3 years he has been here. There are many teams who have taken what he has given us the past 3 years. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you dont.
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But it will be an interesting offseason but I dont really expect alot to happen. Maybe a corner outfielder if they dont think Garcia or NC will be ready.
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Need a win tonight.
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

Raburn not in the Hen’s lineup tonight.

Well if the Tigs lose tonight, it may just finally break my faith in them. Here’s the thing not many of our players have good numbers against Guthrie. So m I nervous….absolutely.

Time for the lesser lights to come out from behind the huge shadows on the team and man up.
The pitchers have, long overdue for the offense and defense.
Management is all about creating a clubhouse theat enables the players and team to reach their potential. Apart from a few short periods, the Tig environment has been stifling all season long.
With so many games against cellar dwellers remaining, you can’t get swept tonight.

Who did Raburn hit that homer off in Chicago??? Peavy????

Which time? He hits more home runs off the White Sox than anybody else.
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— Bob

Raburn hit a grand slam off Peavy in Chicago last year.

If our idiot fans can refrain from booing Raburn’s shadow, we might get something good here this weekend.

Yes. Maybe we can get 30 days of lightning in bottle from Raburn. I think Raburn’s only homer this year was off of Peavy too in Chicago in May.
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— Bob

I’m sure you know…..the Sox lost today. Another of their young pitchers (Quintana) crumbled. The Tigers won’t see him this time around. Sale had trouble his last start but the Tigers are not hitting as well as the Orioles. If they can’t get by the Sox, they still need a better record than the Orioles, Rays, and A’s to get a wild card. I am losing enthusiasm quickly. These last two games have just been horrible.

It’s the most frustrating year that’s for sure, just never feels real good very often does it.

Wasted opportunity #1

Well we’ve got another Venzuelan in Erie, Niuman Romero, who can hit, run and field.

Boy they really made Guthrie work there in the 2nd……8 pitches hopefully he can catch his breath in time.

My head is hurting again! I just don’t understand these guys at all.

5 Hits so far but we don’t get ‘em until 2 gone.
Before Porcello makes his mistake that will cost him the game, let me say, I really like this kid. He needs a 2 seam fastball or cutter and he is on his way to stardom.
He’s a keeper.

Wouldn’t it be a treat to have BB DHng for us?

Billy Butler?

Well Ricky is holding up his end of the bargin so far hitters…….again not so much.

Yes, Butler. Fantastic hitter.
Another 2-out hit. Yippee!

Get ready. RP is gonna make one darn mistake and our hitters aren’t gonna do squat.

At first I was thinking by BB you meant Boesch. Took me a minute. Porcello just gave up that double there’s your mistake. All that offense wasted on Verlander the other night…..geez. Timing is everything.

Tick tock, tick tock…..14 innings.

Miggy looks fairly healthy tonight. Somewhat mobile and using more of his back side when at bat. How so? He looked ready for the DL this last week.

Do you smell that? That’s the smell of the season wafting away.

This team gives me a headache!

Boy they got the bases loaded (KC) and nobody out….freaking terrific. Tigers simply just don’t have it.

Well Ricky did a good job to get out of that with minimal damage…..can the Tigers score some freaking runs now anything? Is it too much to ask?

Well, Porcello didn’t make a mistake he was punished on and actually pitched very well under duress in that inning.
I guess we should be glad we gave up only 1 run there but that’s all it took to defeat a mysterious offense yesterday.

Wasted opportunity after wasted opportunity after wasted freaking opportunity! I am so sick of this team I can stand it! Screw this!

Not only did they waste another opportunity it only required 7 pitches for Guthrie to get out of that inning! What a bunch of idiots!

15. DY + BB + JP = Death Valley. BB and JP on the very first pitch. Gotta get RP back out there with little time to breathe.

Guthrie actually looks pretty good tonight and has shown better stuff. He has been horrible for awhile. KC has been a good place for him. Still glad the Tigers did not acquire him when opportunity last presented.

Two hitters too late, Leyland. Your pitcher throws over 30 pitches, gets a 5 minute rest and you run him back out there. What a good manager.

I don’t think I can stand to listen to Rod Allen for one more second gushing over KC instead of talking about what a piece of crap team s doing wearing grey which is absolutely nothing!g! Guess what Rick it doesn’t matter if you give up 0 runs or ten because this piece of crap team won’t give you any run support because they are content to gather their paychecks and go through the motionss night after night. Guess what Guthrie, and Chen last night not good pitchers, but your making look like king Felix! Embarressing not to mention predictable.

“little time to breathe” Oh boy did I ever call that one right. Game lost. Nighty night pussycats.

GK, you have a manager that is dense enough to back impatient hitters back-to-back. What do you expect.
JL needs to get Boesch going for the team to have a decent imposing lineup. The only spot Boesch is going to hit is in the #2 spot. Andy would bring a little more discipline and results to the 6 hole. Seems like a sensible option but it is totally lost on Leyland.
If Boesch can’t hit in the 2 hole then send him to Southern California.
With 30 games left in this season and the formula (status quo) not working, it makes sense to shake things up..

Illini—it was very observant. And this part of the lineup have let their pitchers out to dry like this all year. You can watch this team and you can see things that are very telling about how they mesh, how they understand each other, how they pick each other up. The 1st pitch swinging in the latter part of ball games when their pitcher needs them to give him a blow is not only the hitters’ fault. You have a coaching staff that pretty much needs to treat them like little leaguers and give them in-game instructions and reminders on what they need to do. This has happened so much that it is improbable to think Leyland is so obtuse that he wouldn’t mention it. And fine the bloody guys for not listening.
Just not a good “team”.

17 innings and counting. What a joke.
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If they are not going to win this division, I would rather the Chisox beat the crap out of them this weekend and put us out of our misery. Because I cannot bear to watch them cough if it away with efforts like this in the last 2 weeks against the weak sisters of this division. They should be embarrassed.
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— Bob

I tend to blame the hitters! I feel like JL has tried numerous lineups this year and nothing as worked. I really don’t know what you want him to do, he can only play the players who are given to him. That’s on DD! The fact of the matter is they just don’t have the metal….or gumption or something. But they continually make poor pitchers look good and it’s inexcusable. They were all sent here to this team to torture me!

KC pitching is 13th in AL according to Dan & Jim. OMG, it’s unbelievable.

I don’t they are. I think they subscribe to the JL theory that the “team is good and the bats will come around”. Sounded better with 130 games left in the season than it does now, “to be honest with you”.

17

I’m comfortable with placing blame on Leyland AND the hitters.
They’ve both been responsible for some pretty devastating losses.

Terrible umpire.

If BB still has trade value, now is the time to exercise it. Prospect has turned suspect.

I will take DY over BB in a heartbeat.

When they pull the plug on Leyland I will agree wholeheartedly with the move.
I will give him credit for being aa good players’ manager, a man with good mind and baseball knowledge, a man who actually seems to be in control of an assembly of much younger men. But, a man who could not win the big one, a man who had scads of talent but whose team fell short, time and time again. A man who was too inflexible who seemed intent on forcing an idea into a reality even when it was abundantly clear it wasn’t gonna happen.
And, oh yeah, A man who started Justin Verlander instead of Kenny Rogers in the 1st game of the World Series.

Case in point … Jeff Baker shoved down our throat just because it was a lefty on the mound.
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— Bob

I don’t even know if you are wrong anymore, but I always here what a horrible manager everyone thinks he is, and all the mistakes are made, I didn’t like bringing Baker in there. But I also think its real easy to sit in our chairs and second guess. To me the problem is with this team is that there is no rhyme or reason to these guys. One day they hit, the next they don’t. Delmon and AJ were hot coming into this game but literarily neither have done anything. So how does he know what to do because they are so unpredictable?

Here’s the lefty Collins. We get Baker now? Some bench.

I said when DD got baker that it was an insult to Tiger fans. I meant it.
Peralta singles, great hit but why didn’t Leyland run Berry before that? Has he been thrown out yet?
Duh!!!

You are correct, sir.

From my understanding Berry has the green light all the time…..Berry just didn’t go.

Okay, Baker worked well, hey? May as well have taken a chance on Boesch.
Finally got a run, but somebody needs to just hit one out. That’s how Leyland-ball works.

He’s got a team of station to station hitters that we’re GIVEN to him.

Green light or not… Berry should of been standing on third when Peralta came through. Otherwise he or Leyland shouldn’t be on the roster. Cabby needs to sit or DH as well. He isn’t right now and we need him to be.

That is the part I don;t understand about Berry being on the roster. They keep him because of his speed. Period. But they don’t use it when they can force the issue. They don’t make him bunt, they don’t make him attempt to steal. Why PR for Young? Young could have watched the game from 1st base as easily as Berry.
Perez would have to make a perfect throw to get him. Likely would not have thrown at all with the runner on 3rd and having made 2 errors already. Might have thrown it away. Who know? Not us because we got to watch Berry stand on 1st base.
Leyland has had leadoff men in Detroit and if they can steal 15 a year they are lucky.
There will be no tears from me when he’s fired.

I’ll have some comments on this subject after the game.

Oh … he wont be fired. It will be spun that he retired.
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If we are lucky.
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— Bob

I know it’s all Leylands fault, nothing to do with the 25 on the team!?

Well, we can pitch. There is that.

No way GK. Absolutely no way. Leyland is not going to give that latitude to run to anyone. Especially in that situation. Berry is getting the go ahead from Lamont.
Leyland runs this team, make no doubt about it. He just doesn’t do a very good job at it.
And yes, the hitting stinks.

I’ve heard Berry say he has the green light!
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And I can’t freaking believe they just made another catch. Like that in the outfield son of a?

I heard something similar. Not sure if it was a legitimate source. Would Jason know?

Read/heard today Hererra has the BEST average fastball in MLB.

Okay Miggy ….time to earn the money!

Nope! Son of a gun!

Suppose it’s Leylands fault their were 12 hits and only 1 run scored tonight? A lot of blame to go around. Well I suspect that this crappy pitching we’ve faced over the last week that made them look so bad…they’ll probably get no hit everytime over the weekend when actual good pitching rolls into town! Losers every one of them…a real joke. I give up I’m done!

They could have let that kid on the mound bury himself.

It’s over now. The season I mean. When everything goes wrong all the time on both sides of the ball and your main guy doesn’t come through—well, your done.

That we agree on. Was thinking about turning down an invitation to a party on Saturday because I would miss the game…..I think I’ll go to the dinner party!

That’s alright. You need at least one night away. Do what you need to do.

That ball was hit sooooo slow. I know the ankle is bad but did Miggy let up on his running. He had no problem running through the stop sign the other night. Not accusing … just wondering.
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We are 6-6 in the first 12 of this key 18 game block. Just spinning our wheels and the Orioles helped us out. What a lost series in what is becoming a lost season.
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— Bob

Miggy did slow down I think!

Seems to me I remember another time they got swept by KC in the middles of a race, or has it been several times? Over the years it has been with different players so I believe it is Leyland, Leyland and Leyland. Seven years’ worth of SOC. One more day with this team and then bring up everybody from Toledo, Erie, Michigan, Lakeland and Timbuktu. I’ll bet there are some players from somewhere who will show some effort.

By the way I get really sick and tired of hearing from the media and alike and how wonderful this offense is…..it’s not, it hasn’t been all year long
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Again all that offense wasted on JV the other night… 4 of those 8 runs we probably win 2 of these games. Unbelievable.

These players are not shoved down JL’s throat, this is the type of team he wants and gets. You think he has no input on this? You’d be thinking wrong.

Read thru the comments tonight. For the 4th time. Not very uplifting.

And in a season of no fun and wasted opportunities, the Tigers have managed to exacerbate it. Three games back now, they’d have to sweep the Chicago series to make a dent. 2 out of 3 only gets you 2 back, which is where we were yesterday. An opportunity lost, and a potentially exciting and fun filled weekend deflated. This has been a terrible year. The two teams come limping into Detroit for the not so big showdown. I guess it’s true what they say about the Central Division. By the way, for the Tigers to win a wild card slot, they’d have to win enough games that they would have won the division anyway, so that’s pretty much a non-issue, although they will try to sell us on the chances of it.

Dirks did a good job of breaking up that DP, but Miggy wasn’t running hard to first. I wish I could blame it on his ankle injury, but I’d by lying to myself. He dogged it at the worst possible time.

I suppose they’ve gone to the play offs inspite of Leyland. So hes just gotten lucky some years in making decisions but the years they haven’t gone he’s made all the wrong ones. I just don’t get the logic…. I don’t love every decision he makes but for gods sake he doesn’t actually swing the bat or throw the ball.

I don’t actually know how much input he does or doesn’t have in the team because I’m not behind those closed doors where those decisions are made.

GK…I like the way you think when you don’t go to the DARKSIDE.

None of us know what it is like in the Tig clubhouse but the Inge comment haunts me about how the air was lifted going to the A’s clubhouse.
DD has assembled a team of guys who have done it in the past. Why they are now not handling the pressure collectively has to get back to the mood of the clubhouse and the inability to handle the pressure squeezing the club.
Management creates the environment, pure and simple.
Being able to cover players backs may win their support but does nothing to win games when everyone knows they should.

Sure the air was lifted. He left a team that was given World Series Expectations in January. During his final seven games with Detroit, the team was 1-6 and outscored 46-21. Tension?. You better believe it.

I’m not sure why the discussion becomes one of choosing to blame either the players or manager/coaches, but the answer is right in front of you. From what I see, after seven years, Leyland’s way of doing business is used up. It’s based on 1992 baseball, which believe it or not is 20, that’s twenty, years ago. Gk, these things that drive you crazy year after year all go back to Leyland’s style of managing. He does not put his people into a position to win, but only to survive the season, whatever that means. This is why you see the Tigers do the same thing year after year, even though the players change. Mr. Ilitch and DD have given him plenty of talented players and he’s underachieved with them. This team plays like they have no manager. I think his time here is done, whether we win this weak division or not, and can only hope he retires at the end. I can’t do another season of this, I know that.
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If Leyland and coaches can’t get these guys going, they have to do it themselves. This week saw the guys smiling, laughing with the KC players, patting the KC players on the butt, just real friendly, recreation league types of games. Collect a paycheck and get on the plane. There’s no fire, there’s no consequences, it’s just a real good life to be a Tiger. As professionals, they owe it to themselves and the paying fans to give a max effort but, watching the first pitch swinging and the thoughtless at-bats calls that effort into question. I already mentioned Miggy dogging it to first to end the game and he’s a team leader.
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Leyland just said in his interview that we have a good team. I’d like to know his definition of that.

I do want to commend the commenters we have here. I was just considering looking at some other sites but realized that the majority of those comments would be hysterical. There aren’t many of us here, but I sure do enjoy the conversation.

Rich…Totally agree and also commend commenters on this site. Do not wish to sound patroninizing, but it is a breath of fresh and reasonable air in which to discuss a game and a team we love.

As of today, I agree with JL that the Tigers are a good team. It is, but some adjustments need to be made. I will put my bet on JL and DD to make those adjustments.

Kc just swept the mega million tigers with all their offense? Funny how teams with half the salary know how to plate a runner. What we have is a bunch of hotshots that cant play as a team. Glad i choose not to place a deposit on playoff tickets.

Actually, MLB(?)ESPN(?) today noted the Tigers are no longer among the top 5 money players and really are no longer in competition. Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers are now players. Red Sox and Tigers are out.

Well, there wasn’t a lot of pretty in this game tonight, that is unless you’re a KC fan. They’ve swept the Sox and the Tigers now over the past month. They really have a corp of young talent; one solid free agent pitcher, and they will be heard from next year. It’s truly amazing how one player’s injury changed the dynamic of a team. If Martinez is healthy, there’s no Biggy, and Miggy’s at first. Inge would probably still be gone, so Youkalis would have ended up at third. Martinez would take care of the five spot, Dirks would have batted third. Defense would have been better, and on and on. What we end up with is Three Superstars surrounded by mediocre performances by everyone else. Fans go insane, with the lack of quality performance permeating the field 6-7 games a week. Don’t accuse me of abandoning my team. My 53 years with t his team is probably in the top 4 on this blog, but I tell you, the last 5 months of Tiger baseball have been a challenge to watch, and to enjoy. You just get a feeling after awhile; when Miggy cops out on the last play, you’re not all that surprised. A leadoff double, and then 3 outs on 4 pitches; that’s the headline of this game. I still liked three things about tonight’s episode(er, game):
1. Downs continues to come in during pressure situations, and gets the job done. He’s always up, this guy, Downs.
2. Solid third base play by Miggy tonight, including a solid double play. We won’t talk about hitting in the clutch.
3. Villareal keeps the game in check, where one swing can tie the game. One swing, in our case, can lead to two outs.

The Baker deal is probably the worst in DD’s illustrious career. i really believe that the Tigers will win the Central —- next year. That new look team, with Martinez back, and JV reaching new heights, makes us the prohibitive favorite for 2013.
Again, I will not give up until the Math says so, but it looks pretty grim right now.
Good morning all!

Richard, that’s good news. It would be better if we dropped out of the top ten. What would it take?

The numbers I saw had the Yankees and Dodgers at $200M/year. The Tigers were at $132M/ year. A dramatic difference, noted by the commentator.

Huh? Porcello, Sanchez, Smyly. The target of those who thought the pitching won’t carry them. They do well but they lose.
The ace flops, the superstar slugger has three opportunities to change three games and misses everyone of them. The manager puts in a pinch-runner to stand on 1st. Hard hit balls get caught. Easy double plays get botched. The closer is frightening to the fans. The young bucks swinging from the left side of the plate hit nothing hard most of the year.Mistakes get hit out of the park by the opposition but we pop them up.
Home runs go foul, umps conspire against the citizens of Detroit.
Our manager keeps saying we have a good team ( I knew he would sing that refrain again after another debilitating series) and good hitters. And yes, as Rich says, we keep swinging at 1st pitches and joke around with the base-runners that eventually score and win the game.
It all adds up to one thing—-this is not the “Year of the Tiger”.
All the criticizing and warnings proffered by many of us here with 120 games to go in the season were not misplaced. They were not simply reactionary. They were disturbing visions of what we were afraid might happen amidst all the rhetoric from a cantankerous SOC that was promising otherwise.
Will some brave soul in one of Detroit’s fine newspapers have the courage to actually publish public poll with a simple question:
Do you think Jim Leyland should manage the Detroit Tigers?
How ’bout it Lynn?

We have played the KC Royals eleven times. Seven of them have been one run ball games. We also played them two games decided by a pair of runs. And we won a couple of six run laughers. This is the Big Leagues. We play the Hawk Sox tomorrow so let’s get ready!!!!!!!!!!!

That game-ending DP? Weird. When Escobar came back down to earth on two feet then threw to 1st I momentarily wondered why? Did Cabby turn to 2nd after crossing the bag?
Couldn’t believe my eyes to see him still strolling into 1st!

What can I saw that hasn’t already been said? Looks like the begining of the end, but maybe some new blood will help this team get focused. I’d like to see Justin Henry get called up this weekend from Toledo. he was just the IL ‘Hitter of the Week’, and can play outfield and infield. He and Garcia would might give this team some spark. I’m not sure what pitching prospects I’d go with, though. Trading away Brantley and Turner seems worse and worse….
–Mike

http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

I agree totally….some new blood! I just keep on going back to why did the team last year with a similar cast of characters do well and ths group under achieve? Was Martinez really the difference? Valverde blew some saves this year to the tune of 4 games plus I think Dotel and Benoit might have a few between them. Fister being hurt certainly didn’t help but we didn’t have him until the end of the year anyway? I’d be interested to see how many runs we scored ths year at this time versus sat year.

To get the best comparison you must add what happens this weekend .

2011 73-60 up 6 games runs 602 allowed 594
2012 69-61 dwn 3 games runs 589 allowed 560

Chicago has been better.

We have to get the offense rolling. It seems like our pitching is back on track – so if the hitting comes…i think we can go on a tear.
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Look at the bright side – the Whitesox have come back to earth and this series is at home.

It is so tough to be a Tigers fan right now, their pitching last night was again terrific – Ricky did a great job and his team let him down after he got out of a huge jam by getting out immediately at their turn at the plate. I flipped to another channel for what I thought was 3 minutes and came back to see us back in the field. After his first hit they should have taken him out, but all in all he did really, really good and so did Downs and Villarreal – not our pitching staff’s fault that our hitters are so inept right now.

Dombrowski said we have about the same record as last year so all we need is that same streak – it can’t happen like last year all the time, and if it is going to we have to figure out more things to fix in a hurry. Agreed that Leyland isn’t the one hitting, but also things like not calling for Berry to steal is tough. I know it was a lefty pitching, but I assume the reason he was in was to get into scoring position.

I will continue to watch and love my boys, but doesn’t mean it is enjoyable.

and this site is awesome – the other sites get very personal between posters and very personal about the players and that is too disrespectful for me – this site we always have agreed to disagree in certain areas and are ok with differing opinions – I learn a lot from what I hear on here and the different angles I don’t often see the game from. Now if we could just field enough great hitters from our blog we might field a team!

Well said.

Where’s Ryan now???
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Has Young followed by Boesch ever had an RBI in the 5 & 6?
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Our one run record is fast approaching the inverse of the O’s. Both crazy.

looks like RR cooled off a little. on another note he stopped striking out so much too so that’s good.

Ryan did not play in the game last night, if that is an indication of his current status

Probably driving to Detroit!

Gk, I looked up our runs scored numbers two days ago. Can’t remember the exact percentage, but it’s about 4.8 runs per game last year and 4.4 runs per game this year. Just enough to cause us to lose all these close games, I guess.
The comments from DD that they showed were strange, considering the differences between the first five months of last year compared to this year.
Looks like us crusty ol’ longtime baseball fans see the writing on the wall. You do get a feeling for things after witnessing so many seasons. As I said the other day, if I was a disinterested observer, I’d see the Tigers as having zero chance at the postseason. I’ll still be watching and hoping, though.
The main difference between 2011 and 2012? Better competition. We beat up some pretty poor clubs last September to end up at 95 wins. Teams these days are young, energetic, and faster. We need to evolve with the times if you know what I mean.

As usual, I agree with Rich. As usual means the majority of the time….had to clear that up:>} If the Tigers don’t fare well this weekend, we might see our very own “Boston thing” with our own team. Maybe a managerial change, and maybe much more.
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Also, where is ElTigre? I hope we didn’t run him away. Some of us can be pretty critical and I hope he’s just taking a short break. Please come back ElTigre, we miss you.
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Mr. I was hoping for 3million + in attendance this year. If the organization doesn’t reach that goal, there will probably be consequences.

We’ll get the 3 mil in attendance. That’s actually part of the problem. People come out in droves to see the highly paid stars. Unfortunately, it’s been akin to attending a play starring Dustin Hoffman and Glenn Close but presented by a middle school. It’s a 7th grade production as far as the direction, supporting cast, music, and sets.

Regarding the starting pitching…Quality start percentages for this year now stand as follows: 1.Verlander 74%; 2.Sanchez 68%; 2.Fister 68%; 4.Scherzer 65%; 5.Porcello 50%; 6.Smyly 44%.

I was asked to quit so I did. But I have been reading most posters here saying what I said so I m here
I still think they can win. Why? Because
“All baseball fans believe in miracles; the question is, how many do you believe in?”
But they are a flawed team beyond fix.
The team is built on the wrong philosophy. And is not the 3 runs HR thing but the total lack of defense . The Tiger by august 1 were ” ranked 26th in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved at minus-33 runs”. There have been worse team going into the playoff . Like the 2005 Yankees with -115 runs. Of course being 5th in MLB in SO has eased the pain of the defense but Porcello and Smyly are not SO pitchers. Sánchez and Fister are pitchers for contacts that can SO when they need to. And they are all suffering from “hits” that any average fielder can catch. The missing DP? The Tigers are 19th in MLB and 13 in the AL. Of course, when you have the worst 1B in MLB every throw must be perfect. He is a DH and won’t be anything else ever.
They are not producing enough runs. And they are hitting a lot. MLB:
Avg: 6th/OBP: 3rd/SLG: 10th
RISP: Avg_2nd/OBP: FIRST/SLG:10th/runs: 9th/HR:19h/2B : FIRST
RISP, 2 outs: Avg.: 2nd/OBP:FIRST /SLG: 6th / runs 11th: / HR: 19th
Runners at 3rd , less than 2 outs: avg.12nd / OBP:11 / SLG:17 / Runs:12
Problems:
The child poster for a human stop sign at third.
The lack of speed, they go station to station and they need to hit the ball into Canada to score or hire a tow. Just imagine next year, Miguel, Fielder and VMart on base.
BB , DY. The latter has batted once in awhile. The former had to be in waivers a long time ago.
And Fielder has to slug . He is of no use on base. Nobody who knows about baseball care that much about OBP, as Baker( Dusty of course) puts it , walk only serve to crow the bases and slow down the following runner. .He has to slug. Who cares if he SO 200 times. As soon as he gets 40 HR
People is jumping on Miguel Cabrera:” you can play through pain but not thru injury”. A “journalist” asked to play him injured. Last night he went from 1rst to 3rd on a single. He did not hustle in the 9th and he SO twice in the 9th?
His numbers:
9th inning:306/390/1057 7 SO
Leads MLB with 26 RBI to go ahead. Fielder is 2nd with 24
Behind:341/.396/.998
Late and close:.351/.435/1.070
2 outs, RISP:462/.533/1.303
High leverage:344/.398/.968
Take him out and you have the Mudhens plus Fielder and Jackson.

What is wrong? JL and DD
Last year when VMart went injured they played Avila until he was broken. After the first injury, they had to call up Santos or trade for a catcher.
When Miguel went into bereavement list they called Turner instead of starting Below and calling Santos. After the next injury instead of calling Santos the called Cringe. Why? Because they wanted “flexibility”. Having Kelly , the legendary third catcher or the I first “third base” is flexibility? They traded for Betemit but did not cut Inge. How may infielder do you need in the bench?
Santos was called up and remained in the bench because we need Avila to catch the Rangers. Why? playing the Yankees was better than playing Boston( the wild card at that moment).He is young, he can manage it. No , he cannot.BTW: he still have a 350 OBP.
During the hot stove is asked Beck about Doumit. ” He is not ready to be a partial time catcher and they are set at RF”. They needed a half time catcher and they were not set at RF. Boesch was coming from an injury. He was a mirage . He is Scott Lusader or Chris Shelton redux.
Peralta remains reliable but you need a real SS to cover the field not covered by Miguel.
Baker? Check who is his agent.
Why is beyond fix? because they won’t DH Fielder and move back Cabrera to first.

I don’t remember you being asked to quit – I love your insights and your love for the team!

Thanks. There was a litle problem after the friday´s night game but it is over.Or I expect so

Great insight El Tigre…..stat man!

El Tigre, you shouldn’t quit just because one person made a remark. Your input here is very valuable. I would say that you’ve forgotten more baseball than we’ll ever know, but I don’t think you’ve ever forgotten any baseball. Incredible memory for things.

El Tigre, good that you are back!! What is your take on the two rotations, how they were set up for the showdown?? Personally I was disappointed that Max was not going in the opener. Why not give Fister the extra day?? Also, did not like how Max, Justin, and Anibal all threw 120 pitches in their last starts. Will our manager ever trust all the men he has in his bullpen?? Or is the right question, will he trust the right men???

I read your posts this week and I fully agree with you.Today, Scherzer and tomorrow Fister.
About Verlander , he has been first or second (to Haren once)in pitches since 2009. 3k plus a year.He is paying for those 132 pitches early.
Why he went so long? he was keeping bullpen for the next day.He is two man short in the bullpen. He can not use Smyly until he knows Fister is ready.And Coke? well , I dont like Pepsi neither Phil.

I want to agree with you El Tigre about Fielder he is a DH because to me you have a guy like him because he hits homers…well he doesn’t hit homers this year and is a liability at 1st base. He earns his keep and exorbinate salary (approximately 141,000 per game) by hitting for power and driving in runs. I’ve been saying it all year he’s a great singles hitter!
.

And again, thanks to all here. I kept reading it all this days.I wandered around the blogsphere and this place is the best.
And is the only or one of the few regularly updated among the MLB blogs.

We on this blog must all be delusional ……for still caring about this fiasco of a team.

Well, your team is your team. Like having a wayward child, sort of. We’re stuck with the bums. :-)

Let’s compare Prince to Victor last year through 130 games.
P .314 V .321 BA
P 27 2B V 28 2B
P 23 HR V 8 HR
P 93 RBI V 70 RBI
P 70 R V 58 R
P .410 OBP V .370 OBP
P .522 SLG V .445
What jumps out here is RBI total. Victor obviously cranked out a bunch in September as Miggy won the batting crown, so maybe Prince can do the same. I like Prince, I think everyone likes Prince. I also thought he’d have more homers but there’s no denying that he’s producing runs. We can always hope for a homer streak, not an unrealistic possibility.
The problem has always been and remains the 5-9 hitters, not surprisingly the group that Leyland shuffles around all the time. By all the time, I mean daily.
All that said, one of the fun factors for me last year was watching Victor take his ABs. The man was a magician. Prince could add an equal fun factor with a homer barrage.

A telling comment from JL during last night’s interview was “we just needed a double somewhere, someone to hit the gap.” We’ve built this team around gap power, but all we’ve seen in the last two series is speedy and talented outfielders catching them. Trying to hit doubles and never taking a walk is an approach doomed to fail.

Glad to see “nuestro amigo el tigre” back where he belongs. Please note that this is not the 1st time a new poster has offended an “old” poster. I’m sure this is not deliberate but more a result of not “knowing” one another yet, so to speak.
As to next year—there needs to be a lot of changes. Significant ones. Fielder won’t be DHing so we will need to get used to that.
We will be weak on the corners (though for the umpteenth time, Cabby is NOT bad), so that means we have to be ULTRA strong up the middle. I’m talking Trammel/Whitaker type strong. No more compromising the infield. Can’t afford it. If you keep Porcello, Fister and to a lesser degree Max and Ver, then you need to treat them right and complement their pitching style.
Now this year, speaking of dealing with what we’ve got. Bat Boesch 2nd or not at all.
Dirks can hit 5th or 6th sufficiently. Boesch may be even more of a colossal failure but I assure you he won’t have a ghost of a chance hitting in the bottom of the lineup. The only way to MAYBE getting him going is ahead of Cabrera.
The need Garcia to be called up along with Raburn. Garcia can do it all. And if Raburn bombs they will need that RHB. Dump Baker DD. Maybe people will forget you made this bonehead move and tried to shove it down THEIR throats.

Well if JL had tried to be creative with Berry all that would have been needed was a single—no double required!!!
I still am aghast with Leyland for that PR move.
All the rhetoric about a good base stealer is one “who can steal when they know he’s going to” yada yada yada. Twins but in Mastroianni-you know what’s gonna happen. He is gonna steal and the defense is about a 25% chance of throwing the ball around to make it even worse.

Right on, Dan. I think I agree with you about Boesch hitting 2nd. If he’s going to play, and he pretty much has to, that may be the spot. This would also put Dirks down there with the underachievers, and Andy is a threat to do something. JL overthinks this stuff. And he should NOT be listening to talk radio. What a boneheaded thing to do.

I havent written on this blog in years though I still read it regularly because the level of insight is tremendous, and the discussion, though always lively, remains civil, lucid and humorous. Listening to Mario and Rod I usually feel like I must be watching a different game, what are key moments and decisions to me go entirely unremarked by them. Then I turn to Jasons wonderful blog and everyone is talking about exactly the points I thought were important in the game. I doubt I could have made it this far in the season without all of you and for all that I owe you a debt of gratitude.

DD had a couple of huge choices to make after last season but among the most important was picking up Valverdes option and the resigning of Delmon Young. The choice with Jose seemed easy, the man was perfect, as they say, in save chances last year. How do you not resign someone who never made a mistake? Well those of us who watch the games and bleed Tiger blue know there was nothing perfect about Valverde or his season. Usually it was shear torture, followed by incredible luck and then washed down with a dance that seemed inimical to the basic spirit of the Tigers organization and dubious sportsmanship at best. And as for the dancing itself, well maybe that is best left for another blog.

There were a number of names on the market about whose talents and reliability reasonable people can and do differ – Papolbon, Nathan and our old friend Fernando. I wish DD had made a more hard boiled decision and parted ways with the dancing bear but I understand why he didn’t. I’d like to think he at least said something like this: ” Look I know its a strange thing to say to a veteran who was perfect in save chances last year but if i resign you, I really need you to work on a second pitch. Right now you only have one and a half cause youre splitter is only around every third or fourth game. Oh, and I know you’ve been in the league ten years but some kind of pick off move would certainly help a guy who is protecting one run leads…What Jose?…Yes, that does mean you would actually have to look at the runner…Well…you could do it out of the corner of your eye. Ask Justin…Yes Jose…And I’m going to need you to take 1,000 hours of pitchers fielding practice because for the life of me I dont understand why every team doesnt bunt to start the 9th because you will never throw them out and then steal second and…Great Jose thank you, we are really proud to have you as a Detroit Tiger…Oh, and one more thing, can you lose 50 pounds?”

But I doubt that he did.

The choice of Delmon was more key to the Tigers present troubles and much harder to understand. JL clearly likes the guy and loves running him out there an I have to believe he was a big part of that conversation and ultimate signing. Young had a terrific postseason everybody said so and why not give him another year. Dan mentioned Josh Willingham the other day, and he was the guy I was hoping the Tigers would sign. Well a few weeks after the Twins inked him (3 yrs at 21mil) the Tigers signed Young to 1yr at 6.75. The contrast between the two ball players couldn’t be more stark or revealing.

2011 stats:

Willingham: 29 98 .246 .332 .477 810
Young: 12 64 .268 .302 .393 .695

For his career, Willingham’s OBP is routinely 80 to 100 points higher than his batting ave. He gets on base, hits with power and drives in runs. he plays average defense but that is a lot better than Young can muster.

For all the anger directed at Young this season he honestly has done what he has always done – he is an undisciplined, sometimes streaky hitter who never gets on base or pays attention to the situation at hand, he is one of the worst outfielders in the history of baseball and he has a history of character issues.

His 2012 stats are remarkably similiar to last year:

15 64 .268 .302 .393 .695

Its really not Youngs fault, hes just being Young. He was signed to play left field every day in cavernous Comerica Park, get on base and drive in a lot of runs. He doesn’t do that. Its hard to remember now but we didnt have an Andy Dirks that was going to hit .330 when the season started. Where would we be without him?

At the trading deadline it had to be painfully clear that we needed an impact right hand bat behind Fielder to drive in runs and take the pressure off Prince because as the season went on you could see him having bad at bats because he knew if he didnt get it done, it wasn’t going to get done.

Well, we got Baker and though the time I have spent watching him hit are some of the most wantonly wasted moments of my life, at least he never goes deep into counts so its over quickly.

Tiger fans knew this team wasn’t as good as advertised, we knew it would be tough, but I agree with Rich, this has been a season that just wasn’t much fun to watch. Peralta’s, Avila’s and Bosch’s at bats are also hard to fathom. The continued mental and defensive gaps are increasingly hard to understand. Fundamentals baseball is so underrated. It wins games.

I thought Bosch would do something like 28 90 280 so what do I know?

Were in a pickle for sure, but more than the Division crown I just want to see my boys play their hearts out – smart, passionate, aware and seriously non polite baseball. Is that too much to ask?

Hey there, Michael (Mike?). Good points. Funny that we were both writing imaginary conversations at the same time! Valverde. Has anyone ever seen a pitcher check the runner by looking over his BACK shoulder? How do these guys even make it to the big leagues? And I wouldn’t call what he does dancing. Not sure what it is, but that’s not dancing.
We have a good staff of pitchers and everything possible should be done this offseason to complement that.

That business with Berry pinch running now. Is he flat out told to steal or is he given a green light to steal if he thinks he can? Does the following conversation take place in the dugout? “Q, can you steal off this guy?” I think so, Skip. “Have you been watching him? Seen any video? Anticipating having to steal on him?”
You know, like being in the game without being IN the game, that kind of stuff.

Well I got a couple of things one regarding Q and 1 regarding Valverde.

1st Q. …he did an interview early on when he was stealing and he was bunting for base hits. He said something to the effect of Skip told him he basically had the green light. Last night was he specifically told not to go even if he could, who knows we will probably never know. But he was told he had a green light. Not my opinion or feeling but it came out of hs mouth.

Regarding Jose he has blown 7 saves in three years which is just over a 93% conversion rate. Just for a comparison Mariono Rivera just over 90%. Now I’m not saying Jose is Riveria, but he oesnt exactly suck either. And yes I would like him t be better in non- save situations but this phenomenon iof closers stinking in non save is not exclusive to him. Neither is not holding runners… I don’t get it but most don’t even try to hold em on. Regarding the dancing or jumping I don’t give I crap, I actually find it amusing. Besides if hitters can jump around home plate and toss their bats when they walk off or hit homers then a pitcher sure as hell should be Abe to dance or shoot imaginary arrows into the sky ( Fernando Rodney) or untuck yor shirt like Sorionio. Old saying what’s god or the goose is good for the gander! I like Jose and I’ll take him for now…..who knew Fernando would be what he is, some might forget how adventurous his closes were when he was here and in Los Angles. Bull pens are fickle sometimes that’s what makes Riverias steadiness over years remarkable.

That’s correct. He said that Berry has a green light unless he gives him the no-go sign. That’s all I know. Don’t know if that’s still the case or if Q was free to steal last night. It is an example of how deeply fans become involved in the game these days, and that’s a good thing.

On closers, my preference is for the cold-eyed assassin type, no histrionics or fist pumping, but that’s just me.

You got your wish, Dan. Garcia called. For tonight. Baker DFA’d.

Just saw that.

Excellent. Visionary. Creative. Something.
As to Jose Valverde. Clear he is contradictory as a closer. Really like Mikes’s comments and Rich’s observation about looking over his back shoulder. The whole purpose of a closer is to shut the opposition down immediately, if not sooner.
Berry? It’s pretty clear JL is not going to give him the choice> to steal in the situatio whe had last night. No way. He may have the green light when he’s starting and getting on bse earlier in the game (another contradiction) but when you are sent in to specifically PR for someone you are being given direction from the dugout.
The dunce cap goes to Leyland not Berry for last night.
Welcome Mike and Welcome Back Cotter (El Tigre).
My 1st ball game (at least one that I can remember sitting in my own seat!) was at Briggs Stadium in 1955—the same year a 20 year old kid from Baltimore won the A.L. Batting Title.

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