How Was The Game? (June 7, 2014)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

Youthful.

Tigers 8, Red Sox 6

After this game, the Tigers might be looking into a move to the AL East. Max Scherzer (13 GS, 85.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 1.9 fWAR) struck out nine and walked only one, but he was hit around a little bit over 6.2 innings and allowed four runs. It wasn’t his best outing, but the bats had him covered as they assaulted the Red Sox all evening. They got a pair in the 1st when Cabrera, Martinez, and Hunter had back-to-back-to-back hits and followed it with a run in the 2nd and a Castellanos bomb in the 3rd. Suarez chimed in with his first career hit and home run in the 4th, they added two more in the 6th, and another in the 7th. The bullpen held the line for 2.1 innings and the Tigers won their second in a row. Well, the bullpen didn’t allow the tying running, at least. Nathan gave up two runs, but you have to build that into your expectations. They’ll make a run at their second sweep of the Sox this year on Sunday night with the man, Anibal Sanchez (9 GS, 50.1 IP, 2.15 ERA, 2.14 FIP, 1.8 fWAR), taking the ball.

The Moment: Suarez homers for his first MLB hit.

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3 responses

  1. Stephen Pershing | Reply

    Now that Suarez has tied all other Tigers shortstops in homers, what is the team’s biggest need now? Do you think the go after Papelbon?

  2. Bunch of stuff about Nathan:

    (1) Some of the Tigers twitterverse has been comparing Nathan’s work to The 2013 Jose Valverde Experience and I haven’t wanted to take it that far, but, yeah. Abysmal pace, ridiculous histrionics, unwillingness (or inability) to throw strikes. The worst for Valverde was 4-run leads. Could be my perception but that seemed like it brought out his worst. Like he actually wouldn’t get his head in the game until things were desperate, so you KNEW a couple of runs were plating before he’d get to work. Last night: four-run lead. 30+ pitches. Miserable viewing.

    (2) Like Late Period Valverde, Nathan goes about his work like a guy who doesn’t trust his ability to get anyone out. He executes the same endless pre-pitch routine every time, for all the good it’s doing him. (Honestly don’t know why coaches let struggling pitchers do this–it’s almost always better to clean up their routine and just get them to throw, rather than worrying about throwing.) His body language says he’d rather be anywhere else than in charge of closing a game. He appears to hope that maybe if he just delays throwing long enough batters will get bored and lose their focus. I don’t remember San Francisco Giant Joe Nathan or Minnesota Twin Joe Nathan being like this at all. He was one of those guys that you just knew you weren’t scoring against.

    (3) All that said, the Drew at-bat for the final out was unexpectedly interesting (in a good way). Every pitch Nathan threw had life on it. He got the ONLY swinging strike of the night. Induced weak contact and got the out. So where the heck has that been? Either (a) Nathan’s so old that he needs 30 pitches to get loose or (b) he needed to get desperate to get to the right mental state. I’m hypothesizing (b)–bases were loaded, nothing had worked, so he just started letting pitches fly and saw good results. If we see similar stuff next time out, we can elevate this idea to Theory and hope this AB reminded him that he’s got to go after guys because he’s not fooling anyone with his repertoire anymore.

    (4) An afterthought: Nathan really couldn’t be any more obvious that he’s rubbing some kind of crap from his cap bill onto his thumb. But he kinda makes a token effort to make it look like he’s adjusting his cap, rather than, say, glopping from a big patch on his neck. I have no point to this observation.

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