August 27th, 2014
Three weeks ago, Shane Greene faced a Tigers lineup without Miguel Cabrera or Torii Hunter starting and shut it down on five singles over eight innings with five strikeouts, saddling Rick Porcello with a 1-0 loss at Yankee Stadium. Porcello got his revenge Tuesday night. Now the Tigers will field their regular lineup against Greene at Comerica Park, hoping to earn David Price a win in his first outing since taking a loss on a one-hitter with an unearned run at Tampa Bay.
TIGERS (numbers off Shane Greene)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (2-for-4, K)
- Torii Hunter, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH (1-for-3)
- J.D. Martinez, LF (0-for-2, walk)
- Nick Castellanos, 3B (0-for-2, walk, 2 K’s)
- Alex Avila, C (0-for-2, walk)
- Eugenio Suarez, SS
- Rajai Davis, CF (0-for-4, K)
P: David Price
YANKEES (career numbers vs. Price)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF (17-for-52, 5 doubles, 2 triples, HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
- Derek Jeter, SS (19-for-63, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 8 walks, 8 K’s)
- Martin Prado, 2B (4-for-9, double, HR, 3 K’s)
- Mark Teixeira, 1B (11-for-54, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 5 walks, 5 K’s)
- Carlos Beltran, RF (2-for-13, 4 K’s)
- Brian McCann, DH (5-for-12, 3 HR, walk, K)
- Chase Headley, 3B (0-for-4, 2 K’s)
- Brett Gardner, LF (2-for-20, 4 walks, 5 K’s)
- Francisco Cervelli, C (0-for-4, 2 K’s)
P: Shane Greene
The Tigers have until sometime later today to try to work out a deal with the Astros for Chad Qualls, whom they claimed on revocable waivers Monday. As of now, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to do it.
The growing belief is that the Astros are not inclined to move Qualls, much as they weren’t last month when he could be traded to any team without having to clear waivers. Between Qualls’ manageable contract that runs through next season with an option for 2016, and Qualls’ clear desire to stay in Houston, there’s not a lot of motivation.
“I don’t think there’s anything to talk about,” manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday. “As far as I know, Tigers baseball stance, there’s really nothing to it.”
The Tigers put in a claim for Qualls on Monday. Under terms of revocable waivers, the Astros have 48 hours (thus, until Wednesday) to work out a trade, pull Qualls back off waivers or let him go to the Tigers. The third option is a virtual certainty not to happen. Detroit must put together a deal, or Houston has to hold onto Qualls for the rest of the season.
The Tigers were interested in Qualls last month before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but the Astros were reticent to deal. The two teams worked out a deal last summer for the Astros’ previous closer, Jose Veras, in exchange for outfielder Danry Vasquez and pitcher David Paulino. With Qualls under a multi-year contract, rather than a rental, the Astros would be expected to seek more-advanced prospects.
Houston had a pro scout in Reading, Pa., while Double-A Erie was in town this past weekend. The SeaWolves have a selection of high-rising prospects, including slugging outfielder Steven Moya, gifted hitting infielder Devon Travis and reliever Angel Nesbitt.
However the Tigers — who parted with highly ranked prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel for Joakim Soria in July — appear unlikely to do the same for another reliever.
“I could have signed there in the offseason, and obviously they tried to trade for me at the Deadline, and with me being put on waivers, why wouldn’t they take another chance now?” Qualls told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. “Yet again, nothing’s changed. I’m going to go to work as usual and do my thing.”
If anyone on the Tigers would know about Qualls, it’s Ausmus, who caught Qualls in Houston from 2004 to 2007. If there’s a deal brewing, however, it’s news to Ausmus.
“Waiver claims this time of year, they don’t really mean anything,” Ausmus said. “I know there’s been a lot said about it, but there’s really nothing that I know about, quite frankly, other than what I’ve read.
Said Qualls: “I’m sure he wants me. I think around the Trade Deadline there were some other guys that were getting traded and I was just messing around and he’s like, ‘Well, if you would have just signed here in the first place, we wouldn’t have to trade for anybody.’ Just typical Brad Ausmus. Like I said before, I want to stay here and be a Houston Astro until I retire.”
The 36-year-old Qualls is 14-for-17 in save chances in Houston to go with a 3.07 ERA, 46 hits and 38 strikeouts over 44 innings. He has walked just five batters this season, and two were intentional. The 11-year Major League veteran has been used to protect leads anywhere from the seventh to ninth innings, much like the role the Tigers had for Soria.
The Tigers were gone on the road for a week. It only seemed by the crowd reaction that they’d been gone longer.
It was long enough for Tigers fans and Joe Nathan, two sides who seemed irreparably distanced last homestand, to begin this three-game homestand supporting one another.
“Good feeling to know we’re on the right track to hopefully mending and erasing a mistake that I made,” Nathan said after retiring the Yankees in order in the ninth inning Tuesday night for his 28th save. “Hopefully it means that we’re putting this thing behind us and now we can concentrate on a very difficult task in trying to win this division and get to the playoffs. Very good feeling to hear that. Now we’ve got to, I think, do what these fans want to see and that’s at the end of game 162, have a chance to play further.”
Yes, that was a segment of the Comerica Park crowd behind home plate chanting for Joe Nathan at the start of the ninth inning, and again with each hitter; chanting, “Let’s Go Joe.”
Yes, that was Nathan retiring the side in order as it went along, starting with a three-pitch strikeout, which no doubt helped the reception.
“I did hear them,” Nathan said. “I actually for a second sat there and kind of enjoyed it. Then told myself, ‘All right, make it white noise and get back to work, concentrate on a tough hitter in Beltran.’ Fortunately I was able to get him and kind of settle into the inning from there.”
It did not sound like something he expected after boos for most of the summer. Then again,
Said manager Brad Ausmus: “It’d really be a great side story if Joe could run the gamut here the last 30 or so games and endear himself to the Tigers fans again. The one incident that happened it was obviously a mistake and he’s already talked to the media about that. He has apologized. He wants to perform. He wants to do well and I’m sure he was a lot happier with the cheers than the boos, like any player would be.”