Tag: Miguel Cabrera

Boston Red Sox

Pedro Martinez wonders if bad chemistry is the reason the Tigers and Mariners are out of contention


Pedro Martinez is whip smart when it comes to baseball, but we all have bad days I guess:



We’ve already talked a lot about team chemistry this week and it’s relative importance so I won’t rehash it all here. I will, however, default to Occam’s Razor and prefer the simplest explanation which explains a phenomenon over a more complex explanation. And in this case it goes like this:

  • Robinson Cano has been far below his usual level of production for most of the year, Seattle has one of the worst offenses in the AL and, unlike the past couple of years, now has the fourth worst pitching staff in the AL in 2015;
  • Justin Verlander was gone for the beginning of the season, sucked for a decent chunk in the middle and has only recently returned to form;
  • Miguel Cabrera missed a month and a half on the DL and, even when he was there and was awesome, was not, unfortunately, a member of the Tigers awful bullpen and could not start games in place of the back end of the Tigers rotation which, for most of the year, has been a tire fire.

I will also note that, during my visits to Comerica Park over the summer, I specifically asked Justin Verlander, Gene Lamont, Al Kaline and some other Tigers about their clubhouse culture and the like. All of them, particularly Verlander, talked about how great a clubhouse it is, how supportive the veterans are of the kids and how, even when they were losing like they were then and even when trade rumors were swirling, everyone kept an even keel. And it was born out in their behavior too. Guys joked and laughed and played video games together and all of that. If there are chemistry issues in Detroit, they’re really, really well-hidden.

Chemistry is a thing. I’ve never argued that it’s not. But it’s not a big enough thing to cover for the aforementioned issues with the Mariners and Tigers, and it’s certainly not as clearly explanatory as those things are.

Star players can carry a crappy basketball team. They can’t carry a baseball team. Especially when the star players themselves do not perform like stars.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Houston Astros v New York Yankees

Astros 15, Yankees 1: The Astros beating the hell out of the Yankees is the secondary story here. The primary story is the benches clearing after the Yankees took issue with Carlos Gomez’s deportment. Sure, Gomez and Evan Gattis both homered and drove in four runs and sure Dallas Keuchel got his 15th win, but this happened too:


Which is absolutely dumb. The Yankees were mad at Gomez for being upset that he popped out. And after the game Joe Girardi actually said Gomez should “play the game the right” and to “show some professionalism.” This from the guy managing the bench where dudes not even playing in the game were barking at Gomez. Much the same came from Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy — “there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game,” he said. Dude is 24. We’ve covered that kind of thing a bunch of times around here and I’ll have a bigger post on it later, but it’s beyond stupid. If the behavior of a guy on a team with a big lead bugs you, maybe don’t get your asses beat so bad by that team and it’ll never come up. How about YOU play the game the right way? Like literally correctly and in a fashion where you aren’t losing by a ton and thus quick to anger at any perceived slight?

Nationals 8, Padres 3: The Nationals got some offense — a Ryan Zimmerman grand slam chief among them — and Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs over six. Entering play last night the Nationals were only a game or so closer to a playoff spot than the Padres by the way. And they didn’t make up any ground on the Mets because . . .

Mets 6, Phillies 5: . . . the wheels fell off for Jerome Williams and Jeanmar Gomez in the sixth inning allowing the Mets to rally. Things got testy here too when, in the seventh, Hansel Robles quick-pitched Darin Ruf, causing Jeff Francoeur and the Phillies to bark and Larry Bowa to get ejected. Bowa got his money’s worth too:


Quick pitch politics are far more rare than bat-flip and frustration politics. So rare, in fact, that not even everyone knows the rules. Get this:

“I was surprised they were mad about it,” Robles said through an interpreter. “The batter was in the box and the umpire pointed to me.”

Said [Terry] Collins, “Until they make the (quick) pitch illegal, you can do it.”

It is illegal, Terry!

Rule 8.01(b) Comment: With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position. If, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball. See Rule 8.05(e) Comment.

. . .

Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

Oh well.

Angels 8, Tigers 7: Man, what got into everyone last night? Bad vibes all around. Jered Weaver was seen yelling in the dugout after Mike Trout lost a ball in the lights. He also hit a batter and, a couple batters later, it looked like Miguel Cabrera was sort of pointing at him and taunting although that wasn’t 100% clear. In any event, Weaver pitched poorly but good enough to win as the Angels blew a 4-0 lead but then piled four more on. And Trout atoned for that ball he lost in the lights:

Indians 11, Brewers 6: Michael Brantley homered twice and Josh Tomlin survived giving up three homers of his own and got his first win at Progressive Field in a dog’s age.

Rockies 5, Braves 1: Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia had a couple of big hits right after he came up. But between is defense and the impending arrival of Hector Olivera, his days are numbered. Nights in which he commits three errors allowing four unearned runs merely hasten that process along. It was Atlanta’s 12th loss in 15 games. Wheeeeeee!

Dodgers 5, Reds 1: The Dodgers snap a five-game losing streak thanks to Alex Wood taking a shutout into the sixth inning and JimmyRollins and Justin Turner each hitting two-run home runs. The Dodgers turned three double plays behind Wood too, making life easier.

Marlins 5, Pirates 2: Dee Gordon stole four bases, reaching on a couple of infield hits. He’s also still batting .333 on the year which I wouldn’t have guessed. Haven’t paid that much attention to him since his hot start and since the Marlins feel out of relevance early in the year. I’ll be damned. Our friend Old Gator pointed out to me that in the 7th inning the Marlins had a triple, a walk and four stolen bases – and they scored zero runs that inning. That’s pretty hard to do, one assumes.

Twins 11, Rays 7: That’s five straight wins for the Twins, who are only a half game out of the wild card. Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario homered.

Blue Jays 6, Rangers 5: Down by one in the ninth the Blue Jays rallied for two and the win. Troy Tulowitzki had three hits, including the game-tying RBI single in the ninth. The go-ahead run scored on an Adrian Beltre throwing error. Which, man, you don’t see that sort of thing happen too dang often.

White Sox 5, Red Sox 4: Sox win. Trayce Thompson drove in three runs. He was a homer shy of the cycle. He was called up at the beginning of the month and has gone 12-for-23 in part time play. The White Sox rattled off 15 hits in all.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Kansas City had a 3-0 lead after three innings and it held up. Leads hold up, even early leads with small margins, when you got Luke Hochevar, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis going for you. They didn’t even need Greg Holland. Ho-hum, Kansas City fans say, when do the playoffs start?

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 1: A four-run first inning was all the Cardinals needed. Tommy Pham singled twice and tripled, scoring three times. The Cards win their 80th game.

Mariners 6, Athletics 5: Oakland blew an early 5-0 lead. Robinson Cano doubled. According to the Associated Press, he became the first player to have at least 30 doubles in his first 11 seasons in the major leagues, passing Albert Pujols. In a year where you’re hitting .277, I suppose any accomplishment is worth celebrating.

Cubs 8, Giants 4: Jake Arrieta allowed only an unearned run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.22 and notching his 16th win on the year. Not that he needed to be so good as he had an 8-0 lead by the time the sixth inning rolled around. Kyle Schwarber homered. He does that a lot.

Miguel Cabrera negotiates with terrorists

miguel cabrera getty

The guys from the Detroit Sports Rag are Tigers fans but they’re not big fans of Brad Ausmus. So last night their second in command, a guy named Justin Spiro, brought a “Fire Ausmus” sign to his seats in Wrigley Field behind the Tigers dugout. He also had a “Hire Acta” sign. Which, man, no matter what you think of Ausmus, is a clear sign that we’re dealing with a dangerous and unhinged mind.

In any event, Miguel Cabrera saw the sign and defused the situation, Jack Bauer-like, by trading Spiro a ball for the sign:

Whatever happened to principles, man?

Anyway, that wasn’t the only sign incident Spiro had last night. Apparently some Cubs fan didn’t like his Acta sign or him standing up or . . . something . . . and came over and slapped him, so there’s that. The whole sordid story is here.

Fandom, man. It’s just not worth it.

(h/t to the DSR’s Jeff Moss for supplying this headline. He’s insane if he wants Manny Acta to manage the Tigers, but he has spirit, and that’s important).