OT: Tigers/afternoon baseball Open Thread

Submitted by Moleskyn on June 12th, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Tigers finishing up a series with the Royals today. Good guys jumped out to a quick lead, it's 1-0 after 1.

Other afternoon games today include O's vs. Angels, Reds vs. Cubs, and Braves vs. Padres a little later.

How has the season played out so far compared to your expectations?

Comments

Allin4Blue

June 12th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

Prince has just been locked in after a Cabby walk.  I think he takes that shit personal!

Edit: and to answer your question, I though we'd have a 5-10 game lead by the All Star break. I think they are really under performing but the AL Central is REALLY bad.

tpilews

June 12th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

AL Central is bad. If this horrible bullpen hadn't blown 7 games this year, they'd be right on the mark for where my expectations were; 8 or so games up at the break. There's still a chance to get there, but they can't be dropping any more games to the likes of KC, Chicago, Seattle....

WMUgoblue

June 12th, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

I'm going to throw this thread off the Tigers a bit, but does anyone else have a problem with MLB's scheduling this year because of the Astros shift to the AL? I cannot remember so many Wednesday day games, I used to love heading downtown for the Thursday afternoon games (which became pretty unique for the Tigers) and now it seems like they end series on Wednesday afternoons and  begin series Thursday nights. This all seems bizarre, add on to the fact that we won't even face our primary rival until July and it's just a clusterfuck.

WMUgoblue

June 12th, 2013 at 3:22 PM ^

I don't have any real proof to back it up but just looking at the schedule you see far more 2 game series and 4 game series than in previous years, and I think we play division opponents 19 times instead of 18 so I'm assuming the Houston move is indeed the catalyst.

maize-blue

June 12th, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

It seems the road performance is a little lacking and for sometimes the hitting seems to go cold out of nowhere, starting pitching is definitely a strengh of this team. Like Allin4Blue mentioned I think they are underachieving a little at this point.

My concerns so far would be a solid closer (not too confident in Valverde) and low performance against bigger name teams: Angels, Rangers, Nationals.

Steves_Wolverines

June 12th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

The Rangers have our number. I have zero confidence in our boys against the Rangers. Doesn't matter when or where; we can't beat that stinking team. 

As for the season, I agree with everything you said. And it's the exact same thing we all said last year: inconsistent, struggle against top teams, bullpen issues, (managing some would say). 

As for the class of both leagues, I think the two teams to beat right now are St. Louis and Texas. With Atlanta and Detroit being the next bests. I just don't think Boston, NYY, or Oakland are going to be much competition against Detroit or Texas. Same in the NL with St. Louis and Atlanta. Nobody really compares against those two in the NL, especially with St. Louis. That team is primed to win the next 5 WS'. 

Moleskyn

June 12th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

I wouldn't argue with your concern over a better closer, but regarding playing well against better teams, I think you're just focusing too much on the negatives. We've won series against the Yankees, A's, Rays, and Braves, all legit teams. It's always easier to focus on the negative things, especially with a good team that you expect to win every time they go out, but they've held their own against some of the league's best.

Moleskyn

June 12th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

Things I've been surprised by:

  • The Red Sox and Yankees sitting atop the AL East. Buchholz and Ortiz are both having resurgent seasons.
  • Jhonny Peralta hitting as well as he has. Probably not sustainable with a .411(!) BABIP, but I'm enjoying the balance he's giving our lineup while it lasts.
  • The NL Central being solid at the top. Especially the Pirates. I think good days are ahead for Pittsburgh, as Gerrit Cole pitched well in his ML debut last year, and they have another promising young pitcher in the minors (Jameson Taillon), as they're slowly building a strong young core. I'm happy for them, they deserve to have good baseball. It's been long enough for that city.
  • Along those lines, I can't believe how well St. Louis is playing. I mean, they're absolutely on fire. 

WMUgoblue

June 12th, 2013 at 3:22 PM ^

Just image if Appel ended up signing with them last year as well...talk about a dynamite trio of high end prospects. As for the Cardinals, ya they are ridiculously good and have basically an AL type of lineup in the NL so they've destroyed pitching this year and are living with 2 rookies in the rotation.

The Geek

June 13th, 2013 at 9:09 AM ^

They lost 3-2 in extra innings. How many late, close games have they lost? 4th in the majors in runs scored doesn't help you when you lose two games to Kansas City 3-2.

 

 

Moleskyn

June 12th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

And that's for all of MLB. They're #2 in the AL in runs scored.

Also, #2 in runs allowed in the AL, #5 in all of MLB. Incidentally, KC is #1 in the AL in runs allowed, so it's no wonder our bats have been quiet against them. They've put together a solid pitching staff, and they've got an extremely athletic defense.

Moleskyn

June 12th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

Back to back doubles for Tuiasosopo and Pena! 2-0 Tigers.

Also, did anybody notice what Tui did right before Shields pitched to Pena? It looked like he was pointing at something, but was he signaling the pitch to Pena?

WMUgoblue

June 12th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

He's been great in limited AB's but you wonder if he gets more regular playing time if he goes back to being the career minor leaguer who could only hit lefties. He's more than earned expanded playing time but he doesn't have a good track record at all, so it looks like this will be his role most of the season. 

ppudge

June 12th, 2013 at 4:56 PM ^

Yes. I've been very impressed with him. It's the same argument that people had about Santiago being our 2B a few years back - could he do it full-time. But I don't ever remember Santiago hitting .350 nor having a .500 OBP at any point.

Actually, I've been disappointed in Hunter. Hard to be disappointed with a guy hitting over .300 but it seems like he never comes through with RISP and his defense - although not subpar - has not exactly been gold glove either. Take that play in the first game of this Royal series: Garcia dives for a ball that turns into a 2 run triple. Thing is, Hunter was supposed to be backing Garcia up, but did so poorly and let the ball get by him for the triple. It was the catcher (Perez) who hit it. If Hunter backs that up adequately, Perez is held to a single. And since Perez then scored the eventual winning run from 3rd on an infield single later that inning, Hunter's play conceivably cost us that game.

His Dudeness

June 12th, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

Can't believe nobody said "fire the hall of fame manager" yet. Weird. Maybe most Tiger fans are approaching sanity for once in my life...  naaaaaaah.

DLup06

June 12th, 2013 at 3:59 PM ^

Only 1 championship, 2 WS losses, career losing record until he got the Tigers job. Not part of the calling for his head crowd (though I admit to being driven up the wall by him from time to time), but honestly curious as to what you think he has done that is Hall worthy.

His Dudeness

June 12th, 2013 at 4:12 PM ^

Well his teams have won a pennant in both leagues. Also he has won manager of the year in both leagues. That is really hard to do.

I like the run he had in Pittsburgh. 3 strait divisional championships is tough to do no matter how talented the team is. Of course he did lose all 3 NLCS with those teams...

I don't really look at overall records in judging baseball managers. You lose a lot in this game even if you are really good.

I think his teams in Pittsburgh and of course the WS in Florida helped him. I think he is HoF worthy right now, but I genuinely feel he wins one with Detroit (hell he has been to two here) and that would solidify it even to the biggest Leyland hater.

 

His Dudeness

June 12th, 2013 at 4:59 PM ^

Your longevity point is also a good one.

The reason I get so upset at people calling for Jim's head (forgetting about the HoF debate for a minute) is that he has been in the pro game for around 50 years. People yell at him about line-ups and pitching changes, etc. from their couch. Jim has been in the pro game for 50 years. 50 YEARS. And people think they have the right to question his decisions.

I mean like it or not if Gordon Ramsey comes in my kitchen and tells me I am a piece of shit at cooking, I say "you're right" and he has only been doing it for 20 or so.

If Jim said anything about baseball I would be inclined to believe him. Everyone makes mistakes, but he has seen more in this game than any one of us on this board and most in major league ball. I just respect him a great deal. So much so that I can't really get mad at him.

I was pissed we got swept in the series, but nobody showed up! Leyland can't swing the bats and throw the balls. I think people forget that he is one of the greats.

 

It is a wonderful time to be a Tigers fan. We have arguably the greatest hitter and possibly pitcher of a generation on OUR team. I just love watching these guys play. It won't last long so enjoy it while we have it.

Moleskyn

June 12th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

What do you guys make of JV's decreased velocity? I think it's pretty apparent it's a thing at this point (his average FB velocity is down almost 2 full MPH), but do you think it's a sign of fatigue and all of his IP catching up to him, or just him changing his pitching philosophy? It's obviously not negatively affected his performance, but I wonder if it's a sign that he could be in for arm problems.

Moleskyn

June 12th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

Welp, Verlander's day is done. Excellent outing for him. Final line:

7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 R, 117 pitches.

It's up to the bullpen now. May God protect us.