Tag: Ian Kinsler

Houston Astros

The Astros turned a 5-4-3 triple play against the Tigers


The Astros found themselves in a bit of a jam in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Tigers on Saturday afternoon. Rookie starter Lance McCullers allowed a leadoff double to James McCann followed by an infield single by Jose Iglesias. McCann then came around to score when second baseman Jose Altuve made a throwing error on an Anthony Gose ground ball. That gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead with runners on first and second base with no outs.

Ian Kinsler got ahead in the count 2-1 against McCullers, but rolled over on a slider, sending a ground ball to third baseman Jonathan Villar. Villar stepped on the bag, whipped a throw to Altuve, who sent the ball down to first baseman Chris Carter to compete the 5-4-3 triple play.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Dodgers 11, Marlins 1: Andre Ethier went 5-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in this laugher. Although the Marlins had the highlight of the night. Hold on to you butts, my friends, and watch this drive:


Giants 8, Astros 1: Chris Heston tossed a two-hit complete game while striking out ten. Seeing a complete game from anyone who isn’t a thirtysomething frontline starter these days is sort of like seeing a double rainbow or the Shamrock Shake back at McDonalds or something.

White Sox 4, Brewers 2: Chris Sale had been suspended and thus had five days of rest instead of the usual four between starts. The extra day must’ve done him wonders as he struck out 11 brewers in eight innings of three-hit ball. In other news, “five-day” suspensions cause starting pitchers to, in reality, only be pushed back a day. May as well just do fines for starters instead of suspensions. The extra rest actually helped the guy here.

Royals 7, Rangers 6: The Royals took the lead in the ninth and handed it over to Greg Holland, who blew the save. Alex Gordon hit a homer in the 10th to give them the lead once again and it was once again handed over to Greg Holland and this time he locked it down. Well, got the win anyway, not the save. You can’t really blow the save then get the save. Statistics don’t work like that.

Cubs 6, Mets 1: Noah Syndergaard made his big league debut and it was not one he’s going to count among the best in his career, I don’t think. He started strong, matching zeroes with Jake Arrieta until the sixth inning when the Cubs hung four on him. Oh well, welcome to the big leagues, kid. Kris Bryant went 3-for-4 with a homer and a triple. The homer was a long one, but the triple was maybe more impressive, going the opposite way, farther than it should’ve given the swing he put on it. Guy just has crazy power:


Rays 4, Yankees 2: Chris Archer looked like he was going to get pummeled early, but managed to only give up two runs in a first inning when the first five men he faced reached base. Then the Rays rallied for two in the seventh and two in the eighth. Attendance was 10,417. Not even the Yankees can draw in Tampa Bay anymore.

Reds 4, Braves 3: Yesterday, when I tweeted about how I was heading down to Cincinnati to cover this game, someone on Twitter told me that I should ask Bryan Price why Devin Mesoraco  — who has been limited to pinch-hitting duties due to hip problems, thus leaving the Reds with, in effect, a 24-man roster — hasn’t been placed on the disabled list yet. It’s still a good question, but last night it was good for the Reds that he was around, given his pinch-hit walkoff double. The reason that was the winning run and not merely the tying run was because Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz threw away a ball while trying to get the lead runner on a sac bunt in the seventh rather than take the dang out the Reds were trying to give him. The lead runner scored the tying run. In other news, it’s harder than you think to not yell down at the field at the top of your lungs from the press box when the team you root for does something boneheaded.

Tigers 2, Twins 1: A walkoff bloop single for Ian Kinsler in the tenth, set up by an Anthony Gose double. Before that Alfredo Simon and Kyle Gibson dueled.

Pirates 7, Phillies 2: Four straight wins for the Pirates who you knew dang well weren’t going to scuffle along all year. And you knew Andrew McCutchen was going to right the ship too. Here he singled and hit a two-run homer to back A.J. Burnett, who allowed only one earned run in seven innings.

Blue Jays 10, Orioles 2: Edwin Encarnacion hit two homers. This is where I’d insert that “Nacho Libre” clip, but someone went and took it off of YouTube. Oh, there are a lot of them there still, but not the one that’s just ten seconds long with no pre-roll ad. Really, YouTube ads have killed the short video clip as insert comedy. This makes me way sadder than it should, because that was some comedy right there. Not as much comedy as the Orioles’ defense last night, but some good belly laughs.

Cardinals 8, Indians 3: A two-out three-run homer by Matt Holliday was just one of the many, many two-out RBI hits for the Cardinals. Indeed, all of their runs came on two-out hits. Indians pitchers: 66% is a failing grade no matter where you are. Lance Lynn shut the Tribe out for six innings, striking out 9.

Mariners 11, Padres 4: There was a time, not too long ago, when an M’s-Pads might not score 15 runs between them in a three game series. Here the ball flew out of Safeco, with Mike Zunino hitting two homers, Nelson Cruz hitting his league-leading 15th and the Mariners smacking six in all.

Athletics 9, Red Sox 2: Lots of blowouts out west last night, eh? The A’s snap their six-game losing streak thanks in part to Josh Reddick, who had four hits with a homer and three RBI. Eric Sogard drove in three himself, as Boston’s starting pitching continues to be a horror show.

Angels 5, Rockies 2: The Angels rallied for three in the eighth, thanks in part to Albert Pujols straight-up stealing second base and then coming around to score on a single. He reached base by snapping an 0-for-13 skid. But I’m sure no one was worried about that because, obviously, Pujols is all about his wheels and speed don’t slump. The Rockies have lost ten in a row. Which is some seriously special stuff.

Diamondbacks 14, Nationals 6: Two homers for Mark Trumbo, who drove in four. The Nationals had never given up 14 runs before. Not since they were the Expos, at least. Even if they and their fans like to pretend they were never the Expos.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Jeff Francoeur

Phillies 4, Red Sox 2: Jeff Francoeur has this thing where he makes a great first impression with new teams. He did it, obviously, when he came up with the Braves. When he went to the Mets. Again with the Rangers, etc. Then, after you get to thinking he’s awesome, he reverts to Francoeurdom and frustrates you like mad. I mean, there are worse players. Lots of worse players. And he’s a great guy so you want to like him. But that little flash of something he first showed you and then seemed to inexplicably lose just haunts you. Poisons the whole relationship. It’s like having a new significant other who cooks you the most amazing meals for the first three months of the relationship and then, for whatever reason, starts bringing home fast food every night and you wonder where all of the great dinners went. Anyway, Jeffy had a three-run homer off of Rick Porcello here and Aaron Harang shut Boston out into the seventh on a cold and icky night.

Tigers 11, Twins 0: I imagine the Twins will score at some point this year. Just not sure when. Ian Kinsler drove in four. Jose Iglesias had four hits. Alex Avila scored four times. This means something. This is important.


Cubs 2, Cardinals 0: Lance Lynn was good (6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 9K), but Jake Arrieta was better (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7K). The Cubs scored their runs in the seventh, the first of which came when Lynn hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch then threw a pickoff throw wide to let Rizzo reached second. Then Starlin Castro singled him in. In other news, there were about 9,000 fewer fans for this game than Sunday’s, 74 more toilets and no reported problems of bathroom chaos that I’ve yet seen, so all is right with the world.

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3: Down 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth, New York scored three when the Jays’ bullpen blew up with a bunch of unforced errors. Which, yes, is a tennis term and could be confused with actual baseball errors, but I think we overuse “implosion” when it comes to describing bullpens and I feel something more specific should describe this kind of garbage. Anyway: Aaron Loup gave up a double, a single and then loaded the base with a HBP. Then Brett Cecil came in and tossed a run-scoring wild pitch, loaded the bases again with an intentional walk, hit Brian McCann to allow a run to score and then gave up an RBI single. The Yankees’ offense is still pretty bad, but even a bad offense can score when you literally force them across the plate.

Nationals 2, Mets 1: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in six innings. But was he truly good enough? We’ll have to wait for Thom Loverro’s column to let us know.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: A long rain delay, a long game and then two extra innings on top of it ended just before 2AM when Joey Votto singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th. It was his second RBI single of the game. I’m so glad he has decided to hit RBI this year rather than choose to eschew all opportunities to drive in runs in the interests of leading the league in on-base percentage. Which is a statement that, I know, sounds insane, but people in Cincinnati actually think that.

Braves 2, Marlins 0: As everyone assumed would be the case, the Braves are 3-0. A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer. Which is a nice bonus considering that his entire raison d’etre is to be baseball’s version of a Hanson brother. Shelby Miller made his first start with the Braves and allowed four hits in five innings. Overall five pitchers combined on the six-hit shutout.

Rays 2, Orioles 0: Jake Odorizzi took a two-hitter in the seventh inning. I feel like there have been a lot of fast games so far, but this could be a textbook pace-of-play game. Three hours even which, no, is not an egregious game time in this day and age. But there were only eight hits overall and one of the only two scoring plays in the game ended with a baserunner running into an out. So little action for three hours, it seems.

Royals 7, White Sox 5: Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the eighth to break the tie and give KC the win. Cain was motivated, he and his manager said, by the fact that he had been hit by pitches in both games against the Sox and that, maybe, they were thrown at him on purpose. If the the Sox are throwing at Royals guys on purpose, maybe they should change their strategy, because it ain’t working: Chicago has lost 13 of their past 16 games against the Royals and have been outscored 86-43 in those games.

Rockies 5, Brewers 4: Wilin Rosario played his best position last night — pinch hitter — and it paid off with a tenth inning homer. LaTroy Hawkins vulutred a win when he blew a save in the ninth by giving up two runs on four hits and remained the pitcher of record until the home run was hit. But we’ll excuse him because he’s one of only two players in baseball older than me anymore, and we HAVE TO HOLD ON TO HIM.

Indians 2, Astros 0: Carlos Carrasco was on point, striking out 10 in six and a third shutout innings. Carrasco posted a 1.30 ERA in his last ten starts last season and is beginning this one on a roll too. Some guys just take a while to put it together, I guess, but the previously frustrating Carrasco has turned into a pretty darn sure thing for Terry Francona and the Indians.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 2: Chris Heston plunked a guy, allowed him to advance two bases when he sailed a pickoff throw into right field and later allowed a run on a wild pitch, but he shook it off to get his first big league win in his second big league start. Casey McGehee hit a two-run homer. Which helped remind all of us that, oh yeah, Casey McGehee plays for the Giants now.

Dodgers 7, Padres 4: Three homers for Adrian Gonzalez. He has started the season 10 for his first 13 with five homers, two doubles and seven RBI. That’s a 2.846 OPS. I think “on pace” jokes after three games are the hackiest thing out there, but I have no pride so I’ll note that he’s on pace for 267 homers this year. That would be a record.

Athletics 10, Rangers 0: I did three different radio spots in Texas Rangers country yesterday, including Tyler, Texas, Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. They all asked me if I think the Rangers have a chance this year. My answer is “nope.” Scott Kazmir allowed only one hit and struck out ten in seven shutout innings. Mark Canha who, um, not, I had never heard of before — and if you’re not an A’s fan or Canha’s mom or something, neither have you most likely — drove in four. UPDATE: OH MY GOD, Canha gave a postgame interview in which he did the “Bull Durham” “Good Lord willin’ . . .” speech word for word. I heart him.

Angels 5, Mariners 3: The Angels scored four in the first off Hisahi Iwakuma and held on. Iwakuma was poor in the second half last season. If that was more harbinger than aberration, the M’s staff isn’t gonna be as good this year as a lot of folks expect it to be. Albert Pujols homered to tie Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas on the all-time list at 521. That’s fairly decent company. I suppose.

2015 Preview: Detroit Tigers

Brad Ausmus

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Detroit Tigers.

The Big Question: Are the Tigers falling apart?

Detroit has had a very impressive run of success built around bold trades, big-money investments, and a roster full of star power, winning four straight AL Central division titles and a pair of American League pennants. Brad Ausmus took over for Jim Leyland as manager last season and kept things rolling with 90 wins, but the Tigers were swept out of the playoffs by the Orioles and enter 2015 with a lot of question marks thanks to injuries, free agent departures, and an aging core.

Detroit finished last season with three former Cy Young winners in the rotation, but Max Scherzer is gone, signing a $210 million deal with the Nationals after going 39-8 with a 3.02 ERA and 492 strikeouts in 435 innings for the Tigers during the past two seasons. Justin Verlander is still around–he’s signed through 2018 at a cost of $28 million per year–but looked like a shell of his former self last year while allowing the most earned runs in the league.

Detroit’s biggest star, two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera, failed to top a .900 OPS last season for the first time since 2008 and underwent offseason surgeries on his foot and ankle. Cabrera actually thrived down the stretch despite being beat up physically, but at age 31 and one year into a $248 million deal he’s been hobbled an awful lot recently.

Victor Martinez had a career-year at age 35 and then re-signed with the Tigers for $68 million, but now he’s at risk to miss Opening Day after tearing the meniscus in his left knee during offseason workouts. Concussions have made Alex Avila a question mark behind the plate. Joe Nathan appears to be on his last legs despite being a $10 million closer. Anibal Sanchez’s arm acting up again limited him to 126 innings. Jose Iglesias needs to show that he can solidify the shortstop position after shin problems knocked him out for all of 2014.

You get the idea. If healthy the Tigers’ star power is still unmatched in the American League, but nearly every impact player’s health and/or production is an issue. Fortunately for the Tigers no other AL Central team looks particularly strong this season and it may not take another 90 wins to claim the division title, which is why they remain the consensus favorites.

What else is going on?

  • Yoenis Cespedes was the Tigers’ big offseason pickup, coming over from the Red Sox in exchange for 25-year-old starter Rick Porcello. In addition to his big-time power Cespedes injects some much-needed upside into the lineup. Cespedes is generally talked about as being a much more fearsome hitter than his modest .780 career OPS would suggest and Detroit is betting on him making The Leap at age 29 because Porcello took a big step forward himself with a 3.43 ERA in 205 innings last season.
  • Despite losing Scherzer and trading Porcello the Tigers still have more than $70 million invested in the starting rotation and David Price is 33 starts away from free agency. They need Verlander to bounce back in a huge way and they need Sanchez to stay healthy for 175-plus innings, but the Tigers are also counting on the success Alfredo Simon had with the Reds last year carrying over despite his sub par strikeout rate of 5.8 per nine innings not matching his raw stuff. He’s obviously not going to replace Scherzer, but more or less replacing Porcello would be key.
  • Bullpen problems have plagued the Tigers and signing Nathan to an expensive two-year deal compounded the problem instead of fixing it. Nathan now looks more like a middle reliever than a closer, which could lead to Joakim Soria stepping into ninth-inning duties. Joba Chamberlain was re-signed to fill a setup role despite mixed results last season and Ausmus figures to count on Tom Gorzelanny to get lots of key outs versus left-handed hitters. There’s plenty of talent in the bullpen, but if the relief corps is once again a weakness in 2015 the Tigers’ rotation may not be quite as able to carry the pitching staff.
  • J.D. Martinez’s breakout 2014 season being for real is a huge key in 2015 and beyond. Martinez was once a top prospect in the Astros’ farm system, but then he hit just .251 with a .687 OPS in 252 games through age 25. Houston released him, Detroit snatched him up, and Martinez went on to hit .315 with 23 homers and a .912 OPS in 123 games last season. He’s a big reason why Detroit’s lineup could be scary for opposing pitchers.
  • Detroit’s recent success has revolved around power arms and power bats, but the Tigers have shifted their focus to add more defense of late by acquiring Iglesias, center fielder Anthony Gose, second baseman Ian Kinsler, and outfield speedster Rajai Davis. And ditching Torii Hunter in right field will also help, as the 39-year-old former Gold Glove-winning center fielder rated as one of MLB’s worst defenders statistically in 2014. It’s a much more balanced offense/defense approach, at least in theory.

Prediction: It won’t always be pretty, but 86 wins takes home the most mediocre on-paper division in baseball.

Gold Glove finalists announced

gold glove award

Gold Glove award winners are announced November 4, but in the meantime Rawlings just named three finalists for each position in each league:

AL, catcher: Alex Avila, Yan Gomes, Salvador Perez
AL, first base: Eric Hosmer, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols
AL, second base: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler
AL, third base: Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Kyle Seager
AL, shortstop: Alcides Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Alexei Ramirez
AL, left field: Alex Gordon, Michael Brantley, Yoenis Cespedes
AL, center field: Adam Jones, Adam Eaton, Jackie Bradley Jr.
AL, right field: Kole Calhoun, Kevin Kiermaier, Nick Markakis
AL, pitcher: Mark Buehrle, Felix Hernandez, Dallas Keuchel

NL, catcher: Jonathan Lucroy, Russell Martin, Yadier Molina
NL, first base: Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Morneau, Adam LaRoche
NL, second base: D.J. LeMahieu, Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley
NL, third base: Nolan Arenado, Juan Uribe, Pablo Sandoval
NL, shortstop: Zack Cozart, Adeiny Hechavarria, Andrelton Simmons
NL, left field: Justin Upton, Starling Marte, Christian Yelich
NL, center field: Billy Hamilton, Denard Span, Juan Lagares
NL, right field: Jason Heyward, Gerardo Parra, Giancarlo Stanton
NL, pitcher: Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright

I stopped paying much attention to the Gold Glove awards a long time ago–somewhere between Rafael Palmeiro winning one as a designated hitter and Derek Jeter winning five as a shortstop–but feel free to complain about the finalists.