How Game 6 turned against Tigers

The more Tigers players talked, the more the sense emerged that if they won Game 6 Saturday night, they loved their chances at winning Game 7 behind Justin Verlander.

“Absolutely,” Don Kelly said. “Fenway’s a great place to play. It’s fun. It’s exciting. But to have Max and Ver going, you feel good about your chances.”

Verlander himself felt pretty confident, too.

“I felt confident in the way I’ve been throwing the ball lately,” he said. “I obviously wanted the opportunity.”

But then, Omar Infante thought, they might not be in this position if they had won Game 2.

“I think the second game, we have to win that game,” Infante said. “That happens in baseball. Sometimes you have to get lucky.”

Call it luck, call it skill, call it fundamentals. Whatever terms you use, though they credited the Red Sox with making the big plays, this was a series with regrets.

“In my years in the postseason, if you make mistakes, they get magnified and they cost you,” Hunter said. “We made mistakes. We can’t do anything about it, nothing about it. It’s tough.

“We can always look back and think of certain situations, certain pitches, certain situations we didn’t come through in. You can always look back and second guess. We probably should’ve won at least one of these games, and it should’ve been 3-3, but why? It’s over with. You can’t do anything about it, can’t take it back, it’s over. It’s tough. Tough for me. The door’s closing.”

Said Justin Verlander: “I felt like we put ourselves in a position. I felt like we were one or two plays away from going to the World Series. It just didn’t happen. I think when you get to this point in the season, it’s one or two plays, especially against a team that’s as good as the Red Sox. I feel like we were just as good as those guys. It was just that kind of series where a couple things went their way and they won those ballgames.”

That said, Alex Avila wanted to make sure credit went to the Red Sox.

“As disappointing as the loss is, we can’t be upset on how we played, how hard we played,” he said. “They’re a great team over there, they played their ass off too. I think fans got everything they could ask for in this series.”

That said, if you’re going to look at the plays that cost the Tigers, there were a few on Saturday:

1. The Prince Fielder rundown at the plate

This is one case where the replay looked stranger than real life. As Victor Martinez tried to continue a rundown between first and second, Prince Fielder seemingly froze going home. Whether Dustin Pedroia would’ve had a play at the plate had Fielder kept going is a question, but he had no play by stopping.

“I was trying to keep us out of the double play,” Fielder said, “and once I saw Pedroia tag him I kind of got stuck there – and it was a double play anyway.”

The rundown might well have kept the two-run inning, the only scoring inning for the Tigers on the night, from becoming something bigger.

2. The Austin Jackson pickoff

Jackson was not going when he was on base in the fifth inning, before Jose Iglesias hit into a double play. He was caught off base, however, in the seventh by reliever Brandon Workman.

“Just trying to be too aggressive right there,” Jackson said. “It just happened, I don’t think it was necessarily a deal breaker or anything but it was definitely not the right time to be that aggressive.”

3. Xander Bogaerts

Three times in as many chances, Max Scherzer moved ahead in the count against the rookie third baseman: 0-2 in the third inning, then 1-2 in the fifth and seventh. All three times, he worked the count full before reaching base. His fifth-inning double ignited the two-out rally for the first run of the game. His seventh-inning walk, which included some pitches that Tigers fans are vehemently arguing are strikes, led to Scherzer’s exit.

4. Jose Iglesias’ error

Say what you will about what impact Bogaerts’ walk had on that play, forcing Iglesias to look to turn two. It looked like Iglesias’ positioning right behind the bag at second might have led him to expect a different bounce, perhaps off the bag.

If not for that, Iglesias said, “We probably finish that inning there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it done. It would be a huge double play if we turn that one but we didn’t.”

5. Jose Veras’ hanging curve

Shane Victorino took the first curveball he saw from Veras and then fouled off the second, a nasty pitch in the dirt. Veras wanted to bounce another one but left it up just enough for Victorino to make contact.

“We wanted to bounce the ball,” Veras said. “It was down but it was supposed to bounce the ball, breaking ball in the dirt. He made the adjustment. Today was the big hit for him. Sometimes you have to tip your hat. He dived a little bit and he hit it.”

In other words, right pitch, wrong location.

“He hadn’t done much with breaking balls this series,” Avila said, “and you have to give him credit for hitting it hard. That’s really it. …  Ideally you maybe want it a little lower, something if he’s going to swing, he’s not making contact. But I know Veras and he was trying to make a very good pitch there. It was a little bit up which allowed him to get some good wood on the ball but he hadn’t been hitting very many breaking balls either and you have to give him credit, too.”


Prince is my anti-tiger. he’s a bum. his contract is a noose.

Infante, Benoit, Peralta , Santiago,Peña,Dotel:FA
Veras , team option
Arb. eligible Scherzer (and looking for 16 MM) , Fister ( extend him), Porcello ( looking for 8 MM as 5th starter) ,Avila,Jackson,Dirks( was he playing thru injury?), Kelly ,Coke, Al2,
Scheduled raises for Sanchez ,huge, and the others but for Martinez, 1 MM less this year.
Last season before FA for Scherzer, Hunter and Martinez.
Time to sign an extension for Miguel,If they dont do it now,they would take the draft pick. And we are talking of Pujols, ARod territory with 30 MM/year

They need speed but no to steal:
“ But when you’ve got guys like we have in Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez in the 3, 4 and 5 spots, you had better make sure that you’re stealing those bases and not getting thrown out. Or that wouldn’t make a lot of sense, either.”
That just common sense and can not but fully agree. Beside taking away the bat with the IBB for Miguel ( Managers will keep taking their chances with Fielder) , you may add stealing with Fielder or Victor (LH) AB means the 1b could play normal position closing the field for them
But going from 1b to 3b or scoring from 2b on a single,as most teams do, would be great.
Fantasy baseball pick. If they could be envisioned going for Cano, why not?, Ellsbury, Boras client, will be a FA ( but Jackson is his client too)
WS in 2014 or rebuilding time

Sharp mentions the Ellsbury point too.

The needs for this team are many for a division winning team; speed in the leadoff, a closer, LF, consistent bullpen arms. Can the Dodgers, Giants or Jays plz take Fielder?
With Fielder out, you can move Miggy back to 1B or insert VMart there (alternate DH)and open up 3B for Castellanos. Avila has to learn to make solid contact or they need to find a catcher. This team was more frustrating to watch in ’13 than ’12!
The central division will only get tougher as the Royals and Indians get stronger.

I agree but I think trading Prince is doable because of lack of 1st basemen in free agency but I am thinking Mariners, Mets or Rangers as trading partner. Rangers like Prince and they have had a tough time the last two years winning their own division.

for a team who wants to win their division or get into the playoffs, Prince Fielder is YOUR MAN! He’ll get you 107RBIs! In 2003 I would have sold my soul to the devil for this guy.
But if you want a WS, he isn’t your man. He’s like Karl Malone in that regard.

Victor had 103 in 2011 with Delmon Young in the 6th spot ( half season) and Miguel in the 4th.
Fielder had a ton of runners in scoring position.
Delmon was a money player for sure

I really think the first question is whether Jim Leyland retires or comes back next year. Whether one likes him or not, the manager dictates how a team goes about it’s business. This is very vague but also very real. What kind of tweaks are made over the offseason has a lot to do with who is the field manager, in my opinion.

Well they pay your salary:
Told fans might not be able to understand how he could get over it so quickly, Fielder said: “Because they don’t play”.

Lunch bucket mentality, right or wrong. It’s a job. Turn around and go again next year. It does kind of make it sound like it’s not a very rewarding job.

He could never be a Yankee. Can you imagine Mark Texiera saying that? No, I didn’t think so.

i always knew his mind was light-years away from the game (this season at least). Guy just wants to go home and play with his kids. I wish he could and we didn’t have to pay him.

Didn’t want to open my eyes this morning when I woke up. It’s over again.

Stupid base running and stupid coaching. Taking pitchers out when their pitching good makes no sense at all but Leyland has done it all season long. It’s time for him to go.

Watched the interview with Prince. I realize the guy is a bit socially awkward but the constant reference to having kids does not either make his shortcomings on the field excusable or him a better man with altruistic lifestyle.
The Detroit Tiger baseball club will be better one if he is not on it.

It’s certainly not the whole story of last night but I still cant get over that umpire last night.

They have way too much power and that’s why MLB needs to modernize with technology. I’ve said so for years and the first place I’d do it is ball & strikes. They have to do away with the umpires are never wrong or at least minimize it.

Can we clone Victor Martinez? That dude is amazing.

Whoever called for 3 curveballs in a row should get their walking papers. Veras should known better and thrown the 3rd curve off the plate. There is nothing wrong with mixing your pitches especially with two strikes on the batter. First things first sign Beltran and put him in LF and trade Prince to the Mets, Rangers or Mariners.

I think they may need to trade Prince for his own good. He’s not making many friends in Detroit. On a more logical level, it would unclog most of the starting nine and begin to allow for more speed and/or athleticism, which is the way I think they want to go.
Have to eat salary but they should look at it.
The first game in Lakeland with Prince at first and Dan Iassogna behind the plate is a chilling prospect. “Man, these people are in a bad mood for a spring training game!”

Cafardo also sees a fit in Ellsbury. For once,he was injured last season so caveat emptor, I like the Boras´ player everybody wants the Tigers to have.
Jhonny wants to remains in the D

Bullpen market:Rodney and maybe Janssen and Nathan as closers.
Perez, Scott Downs (my favorite option) , Gonzalez and Lopez LHP

“Detroit Fans , THANK YOU so much to make me part of your HEART and to open your arms to me and my family I WILL NEVER FORGET U GUYS !!LOVE U”
That sounds like a farewell

Probably so. No more NERTS.

NERTS? my grandfather used to say “Nerts till it hurts” often

Said this two years ago. Avila probably done as an MLB catcher.
We’re not talking Bill Dickey here.
Can’t expect him to handle the requirements physically.

Alex mentioned that he thought about walking away, I think after the concussion. My question is how many times do you let someone or something beat you up before you walk away?

Pena was grossly mis-used. Tigers actually need a first rate catcher next year and maybe beyond. It’s not Holaday. We can hope it might be McCann
Quote from Leyland:“It breaks your heart as a manager,” said Leyland before Game 6. “It’s really a shame. To be honest with you, for the whole baseball world, because they’re not getting a chance to see him at his best.”

Memo to JL, it’s not about Miguel Cabrera and it’s not about Jim Leyland. There were a lot of other loose ends that never got buttoned down.

what happens when your owner is hypnotized by a snake and doesn’t listen to his GM or manager? you get contracts like Prince’s!

if it broke JL’s heart he should have put him on the DL a long long long time ago.

First time at the computer since the game, have not read or watched any interviews as I have been busy and could not bear to relive most of it, but I will tonight. Prince should have hauled butt to home plate and plowed into their catcher to make it at least a play. Victor should have been on 2nd anyways prior to that play and then no double play. Victor however was pure money for us – he is a gamer and I feel for him as you can see how much he wanted this. I would have prefered max to give up the slam than anyone else, he was not wanting to come out and in this situation with our bullpen I would have bet on Max. Of course if he stays in and gives up the slam everyone would be yelling about keeping him in. 2nd guessing gets us no where – such a bummer to have the season over. Guess I can start catching up on my sleep. Will be interesting to see who is back next year.

The second guessing that has gone here on this BLOG has not all been second guessing.
We have some very astute baseball fans here who have made suggestions based on knowledge and observation.

no offense was meant to you Dan on the 2nd guessing comment – we all have our theories and we all believe in them which is great, I just can only do so much of it without driving myself crazy.

Can we get a challenge flag for the strike zone? Do you think Verlander should have come in to pitch? Iggy’s error was big. Why was Veras in the game? Do you think it was Leyland’s fault? Will he come back next year? I like Prince but he sure NOT Mr. clutch and wasn’t with Milwaukee. No need to call him a bum or names. He is what he is. I would have batted him 7th and batted Victor behind Miggy. Maybe we do need a manager who gets the players in the best shape.

The problem with Prince is not only the Prince Problem. It is the Domino Effect he has on the composition of the team. Not only does his salary eat up a large part of the finite budget but it precludes other more important or useful signings. His Iron Man string at 1st base means nobody else (read Miggy or VMart) can play 1st and allow the development of another outfielder or Castellanos at 3rd.
Fielder is monkey wrench in the machinery. If he stays the same at 1st then so do two other slow footed DH types at the positions they have been boxed into.
As to name calling, well I won’t call him a name but how about naming the dive back to 3rd yesterday (or was it second he was reaching for)?
The Fielder Flop.
Non taken TG.

For some reason, I thought if we won this year -> I could stomach what Prince is going to do to this team down the road. In my mind there is nearly zero chance you can resign Cabby with Prince at 1B. Cabby isn’t going to play 3B for much longer, and he certainly isn’t a DH.

My thoughts too, Dan, and I like your use of the term domino effect. It will probably sound like we’re piling on after another poor postseason performance, but this has been an issue since the day he was signed. I can’t see this going on for another seven seasons. May as well see about addressing it now, as costly as it would be.
One thing fans can do that baseball personnel and, to an extent, media can’t do is tell it like it is with no repercussions. Maybe some disagreement, but that’s about it.

How much of Prince’s salary would it require of Mr. I to eat in order to make a trade possible? Would it make sense (or more possible) to get a top prospect(s) over established player(s)?

I’d enjoy a reasonable discussion regarding options there are in regards to Prince. Do the Dodger’s need a 1B?

I forgot, 7 years left at how much per year? How did a 9 year guaranteed deal happen in the first place? Many, probably most players don’t even last that long in the majors. It boggles the mind. Leads to contemplative concussions.

What was the longest contract Al Kaline signed? Dan, you probably know this one. It’s not a rhetorical question.

Kaline predated free agency. He was under the old reserve clause.

Mr I really did this one from his heart. He thought Prince would love to play in Detroit and would hit 50 or more home runs every year. This is why I do not like more than a 3 year contract, except for Al Kaline.

I am not sure Al ever signed more than a 1 year contract. I do know he refused the offer to be the Tigers first $100,000 player. Probably made more money as a broadcaster! He also asked to be left off the World Series saying the guys (he had been injured that year) that got them there should play.
He was truly a prince. Just not in name.

I have suggested Texas. Nolan Ryan is gone now. They are not thrilled with Moreleand. Fielder might become another Josh Hamilton there.
I’d take Feliz for him in a heartbeat.

everyone knows jhonny has expressed desire to be a tiger. IF someone took Prince off our hands (assuming we pay part of his contract), would people be opposed to jhonny playing 3rd and Miggy playing 1st? Give jhonny 10mil.

I wouldn’t be opposed to it myself, but I think he gets snapped up quick by a team that has a need right now. A Fielder deal may take some time.

does some kind of swap of ARod and Prince Fielder make sense? Prince is owed 168M over the longest 7 years of your life. ARod is owed 86 through the next 4, but he might not be receiving a paycheck for the first 2 years.
Just saying!

with a suspended Arod instead of a paid Prince, we can get 2 good players for that 24M – like Omar and Beniot!

I hope it doesn’t go that way. We need more mobility and speed and energy. Jhonny provides neither.

Sherman sees the Tigers trading Porcello and going with Perez to cut cost down and be able to afford one more year of Scherzer.
Of course, he also, sees Scherzer in pinstripes after 2014

Jim is stepping down. I was just thinking about him and clicked on the Detroit Free Press and there it is.

And, I don’t want Don Mattingly in case he gets canned. Too much like Jim. Had to throw Hanley out there with broken ribs and he didn’t do squat. Also P.O’d the players.

Im sure all of you a Leyland hatters are thrilled. I’d caution to be careful what you wish for…… sucked baseball wise around here for a long time before Leyland got here. Lots of premo jobs out there and not a lot of choices with any experience.

I never hated him personally. But the game requires a younger man and someone who can deal with all of the media demands in today’s world. Jim probably got very weary of just the media demands and that wasn’t going to go away. I’ll miss his quirkisms and sense of humor, but not his management style.

I for one can’t wait to hear the complaints about the new manager! It’ll have to wait until we find a new manager – I guess!

I know……..

Pretty sure Jason already was aware of this since Jim told the team after the game it was time for someone younger to take over. Dave said after the series he would sit down with Jim in a couple days and discuss his return. I’m really surprised because I thought they’d just stick with him because it would be the easiest thing to do.

There’s a press conference on FSD at 11:30.

All I can say is that I’m feeling the age in a big way and Jim is older than me. I’m amazed he did it this long.
The timing would seem to coincide with a new team direction, a little less smash and bash.

I guess we will see what the blog thinks of whoever the new manager is next year. Right or wrong, we went to the post-season a lot with him at the helm – so if his players were the reason they got that far then it is the players that didn’t do the job. I am on the fence about him, the players seemed to have a lot of respect for him and will be interesting to see what a new perspective has to offer.

Jim was brought in when they had a roster he could win with. Does anybody honestly believe he would have accepted a managerial position say in 2001 thru 2003. Doubtful, imo. Maybe Jim saw the handwriting on the wall and didn’t believe he could win next year with this team. They barely won the division this year.

sad to see Jimmy Smokes go, but happy with hope that they also replace McClendon. just unfortunate that we didnt win it all last year, Jimmy could have retired last year and we could have had Francona.

It’s a start. Leyland brought the term Major League back to Detroit. But obstinancy only worsens with age. it was time to make a change. I wish him well. Farewell to the SBLOC.

SBLOC. Exactly.

The game has changed and JL didn’t want to make the necessary changes or step on toes preferring to be a player’s coach. I hope he writes a book about his time in the “D” especially, this year. There were alot of injuries, Fielder’s game streak & divorce, politics (Avila), JV’s ego/struggles, etc. Thank you JL and we wish you the best after 8 yrs of above average baseball and 4 yrs in the playoffs! Now how about getting someone like Gibby?? I now he has a contract thru 2014 though.

I like Gibby, but i would not trade a good player to get him. I heard a fan on the radio say he would trade Nick C. for Gibby. That is a stupid thought.

Just my gut feeling, but I feel the next coach won’t bring them to the WS. I think the next one will be fired after 1-2 seasons, and people will wonder how it was ever so much better with JL. And while I’m out on a limb, I now predict Donny Kelly Baby won’t be making the team next year.

My guess ……it’s very likely we won’t touch the playoffs for quite some time. Can’t wait to hear you all complain about every decision out of the hundreds that are made on a daily basis by the man who takes over. And rarely to never get credit for the wins. The players, his colleagues and the rest of the league always had a lot more respect for him and the job he did not only here but for decades, than the respect he was shown on here and out there……he was voted the manager you’d most like to play for.
We will see how you all feel next year when you don’t have him.

Gibby would spit on the offer! The Tigers only hope is Mr. I ups the salary and Gardenhire takes over. Getting rid of Fielder will be impossible.

the real question is why would you want the Tiger’s manager position with a fan base this critical of your every move? Better pray managers don’t know about how we treat our managers round here.

Most fan bases are critical and most managers could care less what the fans think as long as they come to the park.

Holden, Do you attend games? The fifteen regular season games I have been to in the last two years (in Detroit, Cincinnati & Minneapolis) have been some of the most boring games I have ever attended. I also watch most games on television. Just look at GK complaining during almost every game he has attended over the last few years (He blames the players but where does it start?). How much fun have you had attending games, GK? A manager motivates, and I haven’t seen any motivation from the team in years (just laboring). Good riddance.

oh yeah you think they’re having a grand ole’ time in Minny huh? If not that rules out Gardenhire. Then who would you want as the manager?

Probably 30-40 over the last 2 years. But that doesn’t matter. Hate to break it to you not every baseball game is exciting. Ive been to boring games I’ve been to Sanchez’s 17 strike out game. I’ve was at games where raburn inge and donn kelly got game winning homeruns or hits. Not everygame is going to be won 10-0 as much as we’d like it to.
I can’t speak for gk but it seems like he just gets sick about the manager getting all the criticism for losses and no credit for wins.

Maybe as a manager?

And adios Pittsburgh mafia.

There’s Don Kelly.

Lots of strong feelings both ways for JL. Comes with the territory. Just because you don’t agree with the guy doesn’t mean that you don’t respect him or appreciate what he’s done. It doesn’t make you a Jim Leyland “hater” either.
The guy is lovable. He was not the perfect manager but there will never be a perfect manager. It is a new era in Tiger history. Embrace it.

Thanks Kathy. I have the day off and just got on the blog and ran to the TV. It is sad if people hate Jim Leyland. Many of us have said, including me, that the game has passed him by. I do not understand some of the decisions he makes. I respect him for announcing his retirement after he said if the Tigers don’t sign him he will look for another managing job. I was impressed with everything Jim said. It is a game and how do people deal with life? Well, I was saving this for the right time. My brother-in-law had a tumor removed from his brain 12 weeks ago and found out it is cancer. They did not get it all and his left side is so weak he is now in a wheelchair. At 57, he has been a huge Tiger fan all his life. His sister made a call had the Whitecaps came to visit him in the hospital. She also called the Tigers and they sent him a package of stuff in the mail that include a letter signed by Willie Horton. His spirits are good and we went out to dinner last night and talked about how much the loss to Boston hurt. Looking forward to a new manager and he WILL get us to the World Series! Go Tigers, 2014! –Dave

geez, so sorry to hear that news about your brother in law. That is a true tragedy and my prayers are with him

likewise DB i’m sorry to hear that

Just watched his press conference – I will always have a place in my heart for the guy. He is very giving towards his home town and you can tell how much he loves baseball and more importantly, Tiger baseball. Am curious what type of job he will have but best of luck to him and thanks for the years you gave us, am sure it is not an easy job to live up to the fans expectations.

Tony La Russa has spent some time with Dave Dombrowski the past couple spring trainings. Does he have the fire back to manage???

I wouldn’t mind seeing Alan Trammel being considered. Yes his managerial record is poor but the reality is he had an extremely poor team to work with.

Most all available managers are going to be a step down from JL. La Russa might not be one of them. Gardenhire might not also. Regardless, this is the first “step down” of the offseason – there will be several more before April.


why would they be steps down from JL or the other expected step downs?

C,mon, you know that Dave will get that bullpen piece this year. He is a smart guy who pulled off the untouchables Maybin and Miller for Miggy. Mr I wanted Prince so let DD do his job.

fair enough – albeit he didn’t get us a bullpen this last year – and he’s smart but doesn’t always make the right moves. Washburn, Veras, and Huff all come to mind..

Thanks for your response, Holden. I have a six-hour round trip to get to Detroit. I expect to be entertained at least a little bit. I love going to Comerica, but it has seemed more like a chore when we load the car up these last few years (except for the playoff & world series games, hard to take the excitement out of them!) Sorry to hear about your brother, DB.


The manager, Evan. I don’t know why I couldn’t reply to your specific question.

JL (and francona and joe madden) is the TOPS manager if you are a player – they vote every year. He also gets mad respect – he’s won it all in both leagues, he went to the WS his first year here, he’s chew off Bond’s butt and he’s probably HOF bound. Yes he doesn’t get too up or too down, but I lots of folks like that in their manager.
So who else has these qualities? Maybe there are those out there that have other qualities that would make up, but would they be a fit here? Small ball manager ain’t going to work here. DD designed a team (now and for the future) that would eat most managers alive.

I don’t know. You don’t have to like your boss to want to do your best. Sometimes a person needs their superior to come down on them a little bit. Not saying ranting and raving, just some prodding. Do you think Jim Leyland ever lost his cool in the clubhouse (not directed at media)? Classy tweet by Verlander.

Yea I think he did get on them!

Joe Girardi would be my first choice, but he’s gone.

Sorry about your brother-in-law DB.

Also, we have 2 people named Evan on here. One has a capital E. Just curious if you are 2 different posters or 1?

I’ve only seen 1 evan.

Read the thread and you will find them and not just today.

no I mean Evan = evan…..i’ve never seen a post from an Evan I don’t remember typing (even if it was a vague memory)

So does that mean Evan and evan are the same person? That’s all I’m asking. If you look up in the thread there are comments from Evan and several days before.

Send Fielder to Toledo and keep Peralta to play first. Fielder is only interested in his $66k/day check and we got nothing to show for it. Letting Peralta go on waivers and keeping the fleet of foot, quick thinking, big stick Fielder in the rooster would be a shame.

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