J-Gutted: Eight-hit third fulfills Tigers plan against Guthrie

The Tigers had the same game plan that every other team has against the Royals: Get to the starting pitcher, before the vaunted KC bullpen can get a chance to protect a lead.

“We know that coming in. We’ve gotta jump on them,” Andrew Romine said.

They found their opportunity when Jeremy Guthrie left pitches in the strike zone. Once they adapted their plan at the plate, they strung together at-bats and hits that put up a six-run third inning and knocked Guthrie out of the game.

“I think it was good at-bats from the get-go. Guys were aggressive in the strike zone,” Brad Ausmus said. “They weren’t chasing a lot of pitches out of the zone. Last time Guthrie pitched here against us he pitched outstanding. Luckily today, we had better at bats and were able to get to him.”

Guthrie’s previous two meetings against the Tigers this year fell on opposite extremes. His June 18 visit to Comerica Park saw him tie a season high with nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, allowing the Royals to pull out a 2-1 win and a third straight victory over the Tigers in Detroit.

The July 10 rematch at Kauffman Stadium saw the Tigers score three runs in the opening inning, two more in the fourth, then eight straight hits (two off Guthrie before he exited) in an eight-run fifth. Guthrie was charged with eight runs on eight hits in four-plus innings, walking three and striking out just two.

Monday, especially the third inning, was more like the latter.

“It kind of seemed he was leaving a couple pitches up,” Romine said. “Guys were taking advantage of it. Obviously that carries over to the next guy, if you’re paying attention: Lay off some of those bad pitches and eventually he’ll leave one up. It seemed like everybody was taking that approach. At this level, that’s just watching a couple pitches.”

By the third inning, they didn’t take many. The eight-hit outburst took just 27 pitches over a 10-batter stretch. Just three hitters reached a two-strike count, and just two pitches resulted in a swing and miss.

None of the hits was especially crushed. They didn’t have to be. Torii Hunter singled deep into the hole at short. Miguel Cabrera pulled a line drive into left. Victor Martinez smacked a ground ball off a diving Eric Hosmer near first base.

J.D. Martinez hit into an out at second base, but Omar Infante couldn’t turn it into a double play.

The next three hits all were pulled inside the foul lines for doubles: Don Kelly inside first base, Nick Castellanos past Mike Moustakas and down the left-field line, then Alex Avila back inside first base and down the right-field line.

“Guthrie when he pitched here before, earlier in the season, he pitched really well. … We didn’t do much off him,” Kelly said. “So to get to him early today, get some balls up in the zone, be able to hit some extra-base hits, score some runs, was key.”

Romine hit an easy ground ball through the left side. Ian Kinsler finally broke the string by popping out on the first pitch. With two outs and the end in sight, Hunter lined a single into left to score Avila and build an 8-2 lead.

“Guthrie’s one of those guys that has that ability to make a big pitch,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was one pitch from getting out of that third inning but it just kind of snowballed on him. He couldn’t get that pitch where somebody would hit on the ground and we could turn two.”

Guthrie’s summary of the inning was fairly simple.

“Probably too many hittable pitches,” he said. “That’d be my guess.”

26 Comments

Tigers somehow have to keep the pressure on .We wont get too many more situations like the third inning . Tigers took care of business in game one .

Missed the game but caught a few highlights when I got home last night – nice to see the win. I did not see the collision with torii and kelly, glad they are ok. Let’s keep the pressure on boys, we want to get back to first.

Doesn’t seem like Rajai has hit Vargas well….while Torii has seen him a lot (29 times) and has hit him OK (.280ba). Ian Kinsler has seen him a ton (49 times in past 5 years) and has a homer off him. He’s not a huge strike out pitcher (at least the past 3 starts) so KC’s defense had better play better than yesterday.

I rather have Davis hitting 000 than Kelly.
There were no E scored but there were 4 misplays: Kelly unable to catch a flyball that and average fielder gets and then threw to home with no chance and the outs was possible at 2B.
Castellanos misplay allowed Infante to go on base
And the misplay that became a HR. Even If Kelly
was the captain, he had no business calling it.,the ball was in RF territory even for Hunter. He could have seriously injured Hunter. He never had the ball, he never followed it otherwise he would not have been looking it inside Hunter´s glove

BTW: I dont miss Jackson, he was having a bad year in defense. JD was the less bad OF even before Jackson left

Sure, people like to root for the underdog. I stiil rather have Davis at CF and Kelly as late inning replacement for Castellanos if at all., Romine could do that too

Kelly is an excellent utility man. Davis is the centerfielder. A sterling personality wins admiration, but not necessarily ballgames.

I’m not suggesting Kelly be the starting CF on many days. However, he likely is our 2nd best CF on the team so I see why he’d get starts there a few times a month. Best otherwise to leave him on the bench since he can bunt, run the bases and be a late game defensive replacement for the likes of Casty and Vmart (1B).

The next 3 starts from our vaunted rotation are critical. We need an Ace, a Deuce and another Ace to show up and make a believable statement to Detroit fans

Will we get good Max tonight or the mediocre to aweful Max?

if Max wants to make super bucks next year – it better be good max

Scherzer, FIP 2.82 He has been better than was his ERA shows ( another victim of the bad defense)
His payday will come:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/features/cyyoung

There are 30 qualifying pitchers in mlb better than Scherzer …..he’s had 8 games in which he’s allowed 4 runs or more…..only 2 of his runs all year are unearned.

He can control BB/SO and HR, for the rest he needs a good team

What about hard hit balls, just because a ball is hit through the infield doesn’t mean some could have or should have gotten to it…..same for balls hit into the outfield. Your telling me he’s only responsible for walks strikeouts and homers? Sorry but that’s insane he’s responsible for every thing that is hit off the bat except if it’s an error. Now I’m not going to claim we have a great defense but come on?

“Smyly, 25, clearly is benefiting from the Rays’ advanced approached to analytics. Upon joining the team, club officials informed him that they had detected some of his lesser-known strengths by studying the numbers.
The Rays told Smyly to elevate his fastball more — sort of a counter-intuitive move for a pitcher…
… Smyly is executing pitches, but he said the Rays’ suggestions made a big difference in his approach. Makes you wonder why the Tigers didn’t pick up on the same things.”
Rosenthal

The Rays told Smyly to elevate his fastball more.. Second time this week I read the same.. batters adjusted to the” pitch low” mantra and became golfers

simple: because they have a better coaching staff. much much better.

This makes me want to go back and view all of Smyly’s starts. Not going to do it, but it makes me want to.
I suppose we should see how this plays out over the long run with a larger sample.
The story of Fister being traded to make room for Smyly who was traded for Price is an intriguing one.

Vargas has a reverse split this season with lefties hitting .276 while .258 for righties. RHB have hit for power with 13 of 15 HR from that side. was just 2 seasons ago that Vargas gave up 35 HR while pitching in Seattle…an uncommon feat.

9 at home/26 away. The year before, he was mentioned as trade target because the Tigers were scouting the Mariners and a LH made more sense than that guy Fister

Lineup vs. KC: Kinsler 4, Hunter 9, Cabrera DH, V. Martinez 3, J. Martinez 7, Castellanos 5, Avila 2, Romine 6, Davis 8. Scherzer starting
.

One note, over his short career as Tigers, Smyly was notably good against the East. The game vs Toronto being the exception.

Simon:
Which MLB pitchers have given up hard-hit contact least often since All-Star Break. Marcus Stroman leads list pic.twitter.com/7dNKHCrBPT

no 17

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