Set points: Getaway day from the division

Miguel Cabrera is done trying to figure out the day game-night game split. All he can do is shake his head.

“The glasses,” he said with a laugh. “You see?”

He wore clear glasses Wednesday night to keep the wind and the pollen out of his eyes. He wears sunglasses during day games to keep the glare out. The glasses he wore Wednesday also keep glare from the lights out of his eyes, which have been affected by allergies for the past several days.

With Thursday’s two-homer game, he improved to a .471 hitter (32-for-68) with six doubles, eight home runs and 25 RBIs in day games. He’s batting .158 (9-for-57) with no homers and one RBI in night games.

He knows about the day-night split. He can’t figure it out. He’s done trying to.

So are many of his teammates. Because Cabrera isn’t the only one with those types of splits, though his are the most extreme.

The Tigers have baseball’s most prolific offense in daylight, including a Major League-best .317 average, .374 on-base percentage, .894 OPS, 23 home runs and 104 RBIs. They’ve scored 113 runs in 18 day games, an average of 6.28 runs per game. The Royals are averaging slightly higher at 6.36 (70 runs in 11 day games), but with a smaller sample size.

By night, the Tigers bat just .231, 12th in the American League. Their .626 OPS is last in the AL and next-to-last in the Majors. They’re averaging just 2.47 runs per game at night.

It’s like the opposite of a superhero. They put their cape on in broad daylight.

“I don’t know. There’s stats for everything,” Ian Kinsler said. “I don’t know what our record is this side of the Mississippi, but it’s probably pretty good.”

One time of day, they can’t get the big hit. Another time of day, Bryan Holaday is falling a triple shy of the cycle, and Anthony Gose has his first career four-hit game.

“You can say we were struggling if you want,” Kinsler said, “but at any point an offense can erupt. We understand how good we are and we just need to keep swinging the bat.”

What went right: Eventually, the offense got it turned around, though it struggled for the first two games. Nick Castellanos had a solid series throughout, going 5-for-10 with a couple walks and consistently good at-bats. The bullpen tossed 10 innings without giving up a run, including work from every Tigers reliever and back-to-back outings from Al Alburquerque. Anibal Sanchez got his pitches down again and thrived.

What went wrong: The offense struggled to take advantage of opportunities for the first two games of the series. Victor Martinez looked like he took a step backward batting left-handed, struggling enough to earn a day off Thursday ahead of three days out of the starting lineup in St. Louis.

Takeaway: The Tigers are going to have to win some low-scoring games on pitching and defense, no matter what people think of the offense. It’s just a question of how many. Their overall pitching against a combustible Twins lineup showed they’re good enough to have a chance to do that.

Snapshot moment: Jose Iglesias’ shovel-flip double play turned a first-inning Twins rally into an easy opening inning for Anibal Sanchez, who caught momentum from there. As Sanchez put it, it was probably the play of the game.

Pitching performance of the series: Sanchez’s eight innings looked like the front-line starter the Tigers need out of him, including nine strikeouts and some very good breaking balls that brought him back to his strikeout form.

Hitting performance of the series: As good as Cabrera’s two home runs were, Castellanos had a very good day Thursday with an opposite-field home run, a line drive leadoff single, and a 10-pitch walk out of an 0-2 hole that might be one of the better at-bats from a Tiger this season.

12 Comments

Thanks, my question on the glasses were answered

This game was so much fun to watch, I’m watching the replay. Just as good the second time around.
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With all the technology today, I’m surprised to see JD hand writing notes about all his at-bats and who pitched what. They probably can’t have phones or tablets in the dugout. Wonder if he transfers all that data onto a spreadsheet or has someone do it for him.

I don’t know why JD does it, but the act of writing something down will commit it to memory better than any other recording method.

That is certainly true about writing (and for some reason writing by hand works better than typing on a keyboard for that). I’m sure this isn’t why he does it, but I’ve always thought he is benefitting from a more therapeutic aspect of it–for example instead of fuming or kicking himself after a strike out, he runs to the dugout, grabs his notebook and begins writing, thus clearing his head.

A high school science teacher of mine told me that piece of advice one time. So true.

you think writing helps you commit something to memory – you should try explaining it to your pal over a few drinks, sometime!
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Hey does anyone know where in the ORG you’d contact about a data analyst (stats work) application? The Baseball Operations Analyst? The Baseball Operations Director?

It does, I used it to pass tests in French, Italian and irregular verbs in English

Rich, nice comment about Mackinac Island. As a family we went every year and always tried to find another inch. We discovered the crack in the Island. Always tried to find a station that had the Tigers on. Hopefully the bats are loosened up. The local classic rock station was giving away 3 pairs of tickets today. Show up at the airport with your bags packed and be ready to go on the 6 am flight to St. Louis for the 3 game series. Hotels and rides included. Go Tigers!

Just saw the double play replay by Iggy and Kins yesterday – that is some big-boy defense there – wow!

Hey Jville, you around? Sorry to hear you’re blocked from the Sub pal,, keep trying, Miss Polanco made it back.

Tiger Girl are you TigerGrrl on the MLB thread? If you are, are you locked outt, and unable to post?

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