Tag Archives: white sox

How Was The Game? (August 4, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

More of the same.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2 (12 innings)

The Tigers got another fantastic start, this time from Rick Porcello (20 GS, 120 IP, 4.28 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 2.1 WAR) who went 7.2 innings and allowed just 1 run on an Adam Dunn long ball in the 4th. Porcello continues to pitch well and improves his ERA and FIP to 3.45 and 3.23 since his laugher in LA on April 20th. He’s 16th in MLB in xFIP and continues to be baseball’s best 5th starter quite easily. The Tigers couldn’t get much going at the plate until the 7th inning when they pushed across two runs on an Avila double and Santiago sacrifice fly. Smyly got the final out in the 8th but surrendered the tying run in the 9th inning and Veras was called on to get three outs in the 9th to set up bonus baseball. Despite threatening in the intervening innings, it took a Cabrera PH single in the 12th and an eventual RBI single from Hunter to put this one away. The win is the Tigers’ 8th straight, completing a perfect homestand, and 12 wins in their last 13 games to push them 19 games over .500 with a four game set looming Cleveland starting Monday. The ball will be waiting for Anibal Sanchez (18 GS, 111 IP, 2.59 ERA, 2.46 FIP, 3.7 WAR) to start the series.

The Moment: Hunter singles in Tuiasosopo in the 12th.

How Was The Game? (August 3, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

Another pleasure.

Tigers 3, White Sox 0

I’m starting to sound like a broken record stuck on a good song, but the Tigers played another brilliant game. Max Scherzer (22 GS, 151.1 IP, 2.85 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 4.5 WAR) led the way with 7.2 superb innings of 0 run baseball in which he allowed 3 hits and 3 walks but also struck out 6. The Sox couldn’t get anything going against him and he cruised through this one easily and left to a standing ovation. The Tigers’ bats didn’t do a ton, but they made it count when they did getting solo homeruns from Hunter, Peralta, and Iglesias to give Max all he would need. The Tigers have now won 7 straight, 11 of 12, and will look to notched their 3rd consecutive sweep on Sunday behind the very solid Rick Porcello (19 GS, 112.1 IP, 4.49 ERA, 3.52 FIP, 2.0 WAR).

The Moment: Iglesias launches his first HR as a Tiger…and the crowd gets on its feet for Scherzer.

How Was The Game? (August 2, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

A joy.

Tigers 2, White Sox 1

Any time Doug Fister (22 GS, 143 IP, 3.52 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 3.2 WAR) is on cruise control, it is must see television. He had quick inning after quick inning, getting through 5 innings in 45 pitches, 7 in 75, and 8 in 88. He was brilliant, delivering 8 innings of 7 H, 0 BB, 2 K baseball and allowed just a single run in the 6th inning. He was backed by a Jose Iglesias RBI single and a Jackson solo homerun, but he did the rest without a problem getting ground ball after ground ball and mowing through the White Sox order. It was one of the easiest 8 innings we’ve seen this season from any Tigers starter and there isn’t much else to say other than that while Fister is good, the White Sox are an abysmal offense. The game took just 2 hours and 7 minutes despite Leyland going to the glacial Benoit instead of allowing Fister to finish what he started. I mean seriously it was awesome other than Leyland’s desire to ruin every CG ever. Their 6th straight win  and 9th in their last 10 pushes the Tigers to 62-45 and they will go for the series victory Saturday night with Max Scherzer (21 GS, 143.2 IP, 3.01 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 4.3 WAR) taking the baseball.

The Moment: Anything and everything Doug Fister did.

Appointment Television: Baseball’s Must Watch Starting Pitchers (August 2013 Update)

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In May, I rolled out our list of Appointment Television starting pitchers, or pitchers who were worth planning your baseball viewing (and life) schedule around. Today, as I did in June and July, I’d like to update that list and talk about the changes. The original list can be found here, which also includes a little more detail on the origin of the project. Recall that the order is tiered into stable and non stable (italics), but each ranking is meaningless.

Here is the gist from the original:

The methodology is simple but also subjective. To be classified as Appointment TV you have to have a high likelihood of pitching a gem. There is no set definition of gem or likelihood, but the idea is that to make this list, you have to be likely enough to throw a game worth clearing your schedule for. I think a number of pitchers qualify. Most are high strikeout guys, but that isn’t a requirement. If you are good enough to dominate on a semi-regular basis you’re in. If on your day to pitch, I make sure I’m aware of the start time so that I can check in, you’re Appointment TV.

This is a rolling list and pitchers will be added and subtracted throughout the season and it will be updated as necessary. There is no order other than that pitchers lower on the list in italics are recent additions, so if you’re wondering if Jordan Zimmermann really qualifies, know that he’s earned his way onto the list in his last few starts. Remember, this is a list of pitchers who on this date are can’t miss TV. These are not necessarily the best pitchers and plenty of good pitchers aren’t on the list.

Appointment Television Starting Pitchers:

  1. Justin Verlander
  2. Adam Wainwright
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Felix Hernandez
  5. Yu Darvish
  6. Matt Harvey
  7. Cliff Lee
  8. Max Scherzer
  9. Anibal Sanchez
  10. Stephen Strasburg
  11. Chris Sale
  12. Doug Fister
  13. Jose Fernandez
  14. David Price
  15. Shelby Miller
  16. Mat Latos
  17. Derek Holland
  18. Jordan Zimmerman
  19. Francisco Liriano
  20. Homer Bailey
  21. Partrick Corbin
  22. Hiroki Kuroda
  23. Clay Buchholz  (On the DL, no return set)

Let’s talk about the changes. First of all, Jose Fernandez made the jump from the borderline region into the stable region because he continues to impress during his rookie season. Jordan Zimmernmann falls into the fringe ranks because while he is still pitching well, he hasn’t been turning in dominating, turn the game on and notice performances.

Everyone else on the list is in the same spot and the remaining changes are those who have joined the party. Francisco Liriano is impressing in Pittsburgh over his 95 IP this season. If he remains healthy, he should hold his spot on the list. Price is an obvious addition to the list. He’s been dominant since coming off the DL and was one of the top pitchers in the game last season. He’s now healthy and even more efficient than before.

Bailey, Corbin, and Kuroda are all having very nice seasons and have earned their way onto the list. They don’t make me turn my head quite as much as some others, but they have now pitched their way to the point where I will always be aware when they are on the mound.

Feel free to make a case for other starting pitchers who are must watch guys and we’ll consider adding them to the list.

The Morning Edition (August 1, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

 

From Last Night:

  • Essentially nothing happens at the trading deadline
  • The Pirates win their 4th game in 3 days against the Cardinals
  • Minor dominates as the Braves crush the Rockies
  • Three Astros pitchers I’ve literally never heard of shutout the Orioles
  • The Indians walk off on the White Sox
  • Beltre and the Rangers walk off on the Angels
  • Bailey dominates the Padres

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Sale takes on Masterson in Cleveland (12p Eastern)
  • Matt Harvey day! (1230p Eastern)
  • Someone named Zeke Spruill pitches against Darvish (7p Eastern)
  • Cain and Hamels in Philly (7p Eastern)
  • The Cardinals try to avoid a 5 game sweep in PIT (7p Eastern)
  • Felix faces the Sox (7p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Are you ready for the A-Rod coverage?

With such an incredible day of baseball behind us it is sad to realize that a ridiculous amount of coverage will be focused on the impending attempt of MLB to ban Alex Rodriguez for life. A-Rod. The Yankees. The City of New York. Steroids. I’m surprised ESPN hasn’t melted already. Let’s talk about the games, okay? The Pirates have won four straight against the Cardinals and might grab a fifth today. The Pirates are going to finish over .500 and will likely make the playoffs. Woah.

The Morning Edition (July 31, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

 

From Last Night:

  • Tigers, Red Sox, and White Sox consummate a 3 team deal with Iglesias, Peavy, and Garcia on the move (Tigers coverage)
  • A’s add Callaspo from the Angels for Grant Green
  • Wheeler flirts with a no-hitter, Mets win in extras
  • Davis homers to beat the Astros
  • Pirates sweep a double headed with division rival Cards

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Gonzalez and Verlander (1p Eastern)
  • Dickey faces Colon (330p Eastern)
  • MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline (4p Eastern)
  • Wainwright and Locke hook up in game 4 of the NL Central Series (7p Eastern)
  • Kuroda and Kershaw out west (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • How’s your team doing at the deadline?

I spend much of late Tuesday covering the Tigers deal (link above) so I don’t have a lot of thoughts. I’ll give you quick analysis of tomorrow’s deals in this spot and on Twitter. I like the Callaspo move for the A’s. Like the big deal for all parties involved. Enjoy the deadline.

 

Tigers See Their Chance, Grab Iglesias From Red Sox

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Late Tuesday night, reports came down that Avi Garcia was pulled from his game in Toledo. This time of year that meant he was in the middle of a big trade rumor and it looks like that came true around 11pm as multiple reporters confirmed that the Tigers got involved in a three team deal that sent Garcia to the White Sox, Jake Peavy to the Red Sox, and Jose Iglesias to the Tigers. Additionally, the Tigers will send Brayan Villarreal to Boston and the Sox will send low level prospects to Chicago.

On the surface, it works for everyone. The White Sox get a high ceiling prospect in Garcia, the Red Sox get the starting pitcher they needed, and the Tigers get a SS to fill in for Jhonny Peralta who is, at this point, sure to be suspended this week. The Tigers gave up a young, cheap player from a position of strength for a young, cheap player at a position of weakness. The Red Sox gave up a young, cheap player from a position of strength for much needed pitcher. The White Sox traded a starter who won’t be a part of their future for an OF who could be.

This seems like a deal that works for everyone. I’m a Tigers writer, so I’m going to focus on the deal from their perspective. Jose Iglesias is an elite defender at SS and makes the Tigers starting pitchers, particularly their two elite level ground ball starters Porcello and Fister, much better. At New English D we judge pitchers on only what they can control, but it is also important to realize that run prevention wins games, not expected run prevention. The Tigers as a whole got much better at preventing runs with the addition of Iglesias, even if it doesn’t actually change anything about the pitchers themselves.

Porcello and Fister are very good pitchers, but their ERA’s will be helped a great deal by a player like Iglesias who will swallow up baseballs that Peralta couldn’t. Peralta isn’t a bad defender, but he’s not on Iglesias’ level either. And Peralta is getting suspended. Porcello and Fister are 2nd and 3rd in MLB in Ground Ball Percentage and the team just added someone who can get to ground balls with the best of them. Not only will Iglesias get to more balls than Peralta, but he can also get to a few ground balls in Cabrera’s zone as well that Peralta has been unable to help on.

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The Tigers traded an OF who isn’t expected to be a player on the 2013 club and doesn’t really have a place on the team for 2014. With Jackson locked in center, Hunter under contract for 2014, and Castellanos twiddling his thumbs in AAA, there isn’t really a place for Garcia right now especially with absolutely no way to find ABs at DH until at least 2015. Garcia may prove to be a better player than Iglesias, but the immediate value Iglesias can bring to plug the whole at SS with excellent defense during a championship run is worth the cost. Iglesias profiles as a guy who could hit, but might not. He started hot this season but has cooled off this month. As long as he can provide something more than Worth or Santiago at the plate, it isn’t even worth talking about and Brayan Villarreal barely registers as a cost to the team.

Iglesias is a great defender at shortstop who won’t be a free agent for five more years. He’s 23. Garcia has a higher ceiling, but has plenty of risk too. This is the move you make. It’s the most Dave Dombrowski move since he traded for Fister. I like it a lot.

Iglesias can pick up some slack for Peralta at the dish, but he’s going to make up the lost value on the other side of the ball. He’s Brendan Ryan but with a reasonably decent bat. And he’s younger. And under team control. Dave rarely rents players. He finds opportunities to exploit an evolving market.

He heard the Red Sox wanted Peavy and he saw an opening to grab the SS he wanted. The Sox have Drew this year and top prospect Bogaerts coming. It was a chance to get a player that can help the Tigers now and in the future.

He went for it.

Now Iglesias doesn’t have enough big league time for me to do an in depth statistical breakdown, but everything I know about him says the value will be there on defense. Given the alternative, this is a smart move that could be a great move. Defense plays up in October and the Tigers were going to need a SS next year anyway. Dombrowski said he was probably done dealing at his press conference Tuesday afternoon, but we all knew that wasn’t true.

Dave doesn’t stop, he lurks. He waits. On Tuesday he grabbed a SS who makes the team better without paying too much. That’s a tough thing to do in a sport devoid of shortstops.

Maybe Garcia becomes and All-Star and this looks foolish in 2016. But it’s a gamble you take because, despite how much of a cliche it may be, flags fly forever.

The Morning Edition (July 30, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

 

From Last Night:

  • The Pirates ride a strong start from Liriano over the Cards
  • Giambi walks off against the White Sox
  • The Rangers get two homeruns in the 9th to come back against the Angels
  • Price leads the Rays past the Sox
  • CarGo goes 5-5, but the Braves walk off

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Lynn and Burnett continue the 5 game set in Pittsburgh in Game 1 (4p Eastern)
  • Peavy scheduled to start in Cleveland, but might be traded beforehand (7p Eastern)
  • Strasburg and Sanchez (7p Eastern)
  • Wheeler faces Eovaldi (7p Eastern)
  • Wilson and Holland go in Texas (8p Eastern)
  • Latos and Volquez start opposite one of the players for which they were traded (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Did you enjoy bullpen upgrade day?

The Tigers added Veras, the Braves got Downs (good move), and the Rays gambled on Crain (good move). Will the next two days include any big name starters or position players? I’m sure the TradeRumor-Industrial Complex is hoping so. They’ve been tweeting out rumors for so long they will look pretty silly if there aren’t a lot of players moved in the next 36 hours. We’ll have complete coverage of any Tigers moves here and some quick thoughts on the rest of the deals as well. Follow me on Twitter if you’re looking for up to the minute reaction to things that happen in baseball because most of my day is spent thinking about baseball and deciding if I have something interesting enough to share with other people. Usually the answer is no, but sometimes it is yes!

The Morning Edition (July 28, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

 

From Last Night:

  • Sale goes the distances, allows 1 R, and loses to the Royals (#KillTheWin) as Davis, Coleman, and Holland blank the Sox
  • Bourn hits a leadoff HR against Darvish, no one else scores as Masterson out duels Yu
  • Nova goes 7, gives up 1 R, but Archer outshines with a CGSO
  • The Braves win a close one against the Cards with 2 in the 8th
  • 3 Nats HR back Haren over the Mets

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Rays try to stay hot behind Moore (1p Eastern)
  • Cole and Fernandez hook up in Miami (1p Eastern)
  • Corbin welcomes the Padres to Chase (4p Eastern)
  • Miller and Medlen on ESPN (8p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Are there going to be any deadline deals?

Despite what Heyman, Rosenthal, Olney, and Morosi are telling you there doesn’t seem to be any traffic on the trade market. We’ve had some low profile deals including Feldman and Nolasco and the Cubs did move Garza, but it doesn’t look like a flurry of deals are coming because the teams that are due to sell aren’t budging. The Jays, Royals, Phils, Angels, and Mariners are out of it but not ready to commit. Once that happens we could have some deals, but the second wild card is keeping a lot of teams in it. Peavy’s probably going to move, but now that we’re five days from the deadline I’m actually willing to talk about trades. Trade speculation is boring, but real trades are interesting and if we’re going to get a few, they’ll be coming soon. It’s important to remember that trades can only have a small impact on a team’s chances because there are only 50-55 games left after the deadline comes. You have to replace a terrible player with a great one to gain more than a win or two.

The Morning Edition (July 27, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • Tribe blows a big lead, but Ryan Raburn walks off to save them in the 11th
  • Minor out pitches Wainwright in a 4-1 win for the Braves
  • Rays shell CC, move into first place
  • The Royals finally cash in on a great start for Shields, beat the Sox
  • Huge 7th inning bails out Dickey in Toronto
  • Mets dominate the Nats in game one, but waster Harvey’s gem in game two as Zimmerman walks off
  • Chatwood strikes out 11 Brewers

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Darvish faces Masterson in Cleveland (7p Eastern)
  • Chris Sale faces the Royals (7p Eastern)
  • Bumgarner welcomes the Cubs to AT&T (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • How do you feel about Ryan Raburn?

Raburn hit a big 3 run walk off homerun on Friday, improving his season numbers to .273/.371/.533, good for a 153 wRC+ in 186 PA. He is now the Indians second best position player with 2.0 WAR which ties his career high for an entire season. I’ve always loved Raburn because he has the biggest range of possible outcomes of any human being I’ve ever seen. It’s equally likely that he hits 3 HR in a game as it is that he falls down the dugout steps and injures Jason Kipnis. He hits huge homeruns and makes the more untimely mistakes. There’s something quite compelling about that in my book. He’s also playing above average defense and walking 11.8% of the time. This guy.

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