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Bad baserunning, bottom of the lineup does in the Tigers

Oct 25, 2012, 11:25 PM EDT

Prince Fielder, Buster Posey Getty Images

One of the big stories of the 2006 World Series is how poor fielding from the Tigers’ pitchers did the team in. In 2012, the focus might go a similarly specific problem; bad slides led to two outs and cost Detroit at least one run in a 2-0 loss in Game 2.

The Tigers lost a run in the second, when Delmon Young doubled and Prince Fielder‘s horrible baserunning allowed Buster Posey to employ a swipe tag at the plate. Posey, who has forbidden from blocking the plate since last year’s collision, was up the line and never would have been able to reach Fielder had he taken a wider angle to the plate. Instead, Fielder was actually running inside the baseline by the time he was approaching Posey. He still almost got in anyway, but Dan Iassogna made the right call at the plate.

If Fielder had scored, the Tigers would have had a 1-0 lead, a man on second and no outs, putting them in position to do some real damage against Madison Bumgarner. Instead, Bumgarner got out of the inning scoreless.

The second bad slide came on Omar Infante‘s caught stealing to end the fourth. That one probably wasn’t so costly, but maybe Young would have come through again with a man on base. For what little it’s worth, he struck out to open the next inning.

The Tigers are also suffering from a lack of production at the bottom of the lineup, which was a recurring theme even when the pitcher wasn’t hitting during the regular season. The Tigers don’t have a hit from their seven, eight or nine hitters through two games. Things might get better there now that the Tigers are returning to Detroit and can employ the DH. Andy Dirks is probably the team’s fourth-best hitter, and he’ll be back in the lineup with right-handers on the mound the next two games.

  1. randygnyc - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Fister takes the loss but the tigers bullpen owns this loss.

    • rodtorfelson - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      No, the Tigers’ offense owns the loss.

    • mrwillie - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Sounds like the Tigers own the loss.

  2. historiophiliac - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    I see a lot of people talking about how bad the Tigers’ bullpen is, but the problem is really that we are leaving people on base and not scoring runs. You can have the best pitching in the world and still lose, if you can’t score. Hopefully now that some of our better “other” players will be back, that will help. WTF, Don Kelly?

    • sailcat54 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      True, you can’t win games without numbers on the board. Maybe a trip to Detroit will change the Tigers’ luck.

      Good game, though. Well done, Bumgarner!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        He did good. Do we need to explain the DH to you? lol

      • sailcat54 - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        All I need to know about the DH is that it sucks!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        *Your* DH maybe.

      • sailcat54 - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:07 AM

        Touché!

      • sailcat54 - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        Now that I think about it, Giants pitchers have hit RBIs in three out of their last four games. The DH may not be much of an issue when the Gigantes play in Detroit!

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 26, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        Are you saying the giants will employ pitchers as a DH?

      • sailcat54 - Oct 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        Don’t be silly. I’m saying the performance of the GIants’ pitchers lately has been as good as any DH, though.

  3. hcf95688 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Should have been the A’s. America has inept umpire Jim Reynolds from ALDS Games One and Five to blame.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:06 AM

      Joe West simply won’t stand for this. He is the baddest ump in MLB and he will not be upstaged by some piddly two-game ineptitude. He is a PRO.

    • zzalapski - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM

      No, you’re not bitter, at all!

      • hcf95688 - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        Wrong. I’m QUITE bitter.

  4. skerney - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Yeah, bumgarner, casilla and romo had a lot to do with it too.
    Remember 2010 when the baseball world was saying “the rangers just aren’t hitting!”
    The giants and their fans are used to that dialogue.

    • nbjays - Oct 26, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      “Dialogue” is so 2010. This year’s buzzword is “narrative”. :-)

      • paperlions - Oct 26, 2012 at 7:51 AM

        In fact, dialogues are discussions between two or more people, whereas narratives are stories. Even in 2010, that was the narrative.

  5. jeremyjojo - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    @ hcf95688
    that comment makes no sense the umps lost the game for the As cause they couldnt score and i was there for game 1 it was so beautiful

    • hcf95688 - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Not “umps”. UMP. Singular. Jim Reynolds, the “umpire” behind the plate in games One and Five who gave Verlander 8 inches off the outside corner. Haven’t seen something like that since Eric Gregg. Of course they couldn’t score – he never had to throw a hittable pitch.

  6. TheBlindUmp - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Wow. Still no credit to the Giants, Craig? I thing a great throw from…wait…Marco Scutaro is what did him in. Fielder is slow, if he would have went any wider, it wouldn’t have been as close. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. How about arguing for a better slide? If he would have done an outside slide he may have had a chance. I just can’t see him going head first outside because he’s just too big. One of his several deficiencies.

    • mkd - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      Matthew Pouliot and Craig Calcaterra are two different people, but don’t let that stop you from deploying your obviously functional bias-detector.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:06 AM

      You mean, like this article from DJ?

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/25/madison-bumgarner-delivers-as-giants-top-tigers-in-game-2-take-2-0-lead-in-world-series/

      But then again you didn’t realize that Matthew != Craig, so maybe you don’t know how to scroll through other posts?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        If Matthew = Craig, does that mean DJ = Aaron?

    • zzalapski - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      1. Craig didn’t write this post, Matthew did.

      2. “How about arguing for a better slide? If he would have done an outside slide he may have had a chance.” Um, that’s pretty much what he wrote.

      I don’t understand the fans who pop out of the woodwork during the World Series to brand any kind of objective analysis here as a slight against their favorite team. But it is kind of amusing when it’s coupled with an abject example of reading comprehension.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM

      I try to do an entry on each team after every game. This was the Tigers-focused entry. The entry gushing about the Giants is now up.

      • TheBlindUmp - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:15 AM

        Sorry for getting your name wrong, I probably have an apt moniker. You guys do a good job, love the blog. I’ll try to bridle my enthusiasm. I forgot, for a moment, that not everyone is a Giants fan!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      If Prince takes the outside path to the base and dives head first (like he did later in the game for the foul ball at 1st base) he is safe. I have seen him slide head first numerous times.
      Prince Fielders is phuqing athelete.
      I am tired of seeing this “Prince is to big”…”Prince needs to lose weight”…”Prince lumbers.”
      It’s bullshit.
      If he raced 75% – 85% of the posters on this site in a 40 yard dash…I am putting my money on Prince.

    • clydeserra - Oct 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I couldn’t be a bigger Scutaro supporter, but he was just doing what he was supposed to do. Credit for doing it right, but it wasn’t an amazing play by him.

      Blanco recovered well after getting burned in his own ball park, so that was kinda a good play I guess. But really not that special.

  7. jeremyjojo - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    @hcf95688

    your comment is so lauphable

    • hcf95688 - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Nice use of phonetics.

  8. jeremyjojo - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    @hcf95688
    wow your comments are ridiculous

  9. Matthew Pouliot - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Now I kind of want to rewrite this one and throw in an extra note about bad roster construction.

    It was obvious Fister was pretty well done after six, yet Leyland tried to get one more out of him before going to the lefty. I think Fister almost certainly would have been pulled if the Tigers hadn’t had to use Albuquerque for two innings yesterday. I imagine Leyland felt like he needed to save Dotel in case there was a bigger situation later. He didn’t want to burn Dotel using him for just one batter. But that certainly didn’t work out.

    Essentially, the Tigers are wasting two roster spots on pitchers they have no desire to use in close games (Valverde and Porcello). My opinion before the playoffs was that they should have carried Villarreal over Porcello. If they had Villarreal available tonight, they could have either used him against Pence or, better yet, used Dotel knowing that they still had Villarreal for later.

    • joreaze1987 - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      I completely 100% AGREE with everything you just wrote on this post….But I would also add that Lamont is useless in his “job” right now. That was the dumbest thing I had seen to wave on Fielder!!!

      • blabidibla - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        If Fielder makes a proper slide on the outside of the line, he’s safe.

        IMO, proper call to send him. Poor execution.

  10. riterboy - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    How about incompetent third base coach Gene Lamont doesn’t try to send slow runners like Fielder home from first? He consistently makes the wrong call, holding up faster runners and sending slower ones. You can say I’m picking my spots or whatever, but he did the same thing during the 2010 season, resulting in a broken ankle for Magglio Ordonez. It never healed properly, and Magglio ended up with another, “phantom” break during last year’s ALCS that put him out for the playoffs and, effectively, out of baseball. Yeah, his skills were definitely on the wane, but without good ol’ Gene’s help, he may have been able to play longer.

    • 1baseballfan - Oct 26, 2012 at 7:31 AM

      ….and with NO OUTS? Would have been 2nd and 3rd and no outs if he hadn’t sent him.
      Lamont knew it was Fielder running. This is on the coach.
      Unconscionable.

    • darthicarus - Oct 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      There was a pretty brilliant caller this morning on Detroit radio saying Leyland should switch Lamont & Brookens. Brookens was a 3B so he’s familiar with what goes on over there & I have a feeling he wouldn’t make half as many stupid decisions with runners as Lamont does. This is the second or third time I can recall in an important spot that Lamont has sent Fielder when a STOP sign is quite obvious.

    • clydeserra - Oct 26, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Not a great gamble by Lamont, but not the worst. Fielder had every opportunity to be safe, but he slide badly first by going straight in as Mathew points out and second by having his lead foot that was far enough to touch the plate before the tag NOT touching the plate.

  11. fusionix7 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Tigers fans really wish Gene Lamont got the Red Sox job. The man needs to get his eye’s checked. I get that it took a perfect throw from Scutoro. The fact is that Peralta is coming to the plate, the only player outside of Young who is hitting on a consistent basis and no outs and runners in scoring position. Outside of that the Tigers continue the season long tradition of making someone with crappy stuff (at least for the last couple starts with MadBum) look like Cy Young.

  12. cshearing - Oct 26, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Lauphable?? Now THAT’S laughable.

  13. dtownbeatdown - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    The Giants deserved to win the first two games no doubt about it. But being a Tigers fan it hurts my wee little heart, that being said nothing is over until the last out. One issue I have is the human stop sign Gene Lamont now is giving our slowest runners the green light to go home, he did the same thing he did to fielder that he did to magglio, luckily fielder didnt get hurt like magglio. Hopefully the tigers can make this a series….

  14. sparty0n - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    No knock here on the Giants. They are up 2-0. Kudos to them.

    BUT…. am I the only one that thinks Infante was safe? I saw the replay like 6 times. He looks safe to me.

    • marinersnate - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      “am I the only one that thinks Infante was safe?”

      Infante was very obviously out. So, umm, yes, you are the only one I have heard try to argue that he was safe.

  15. sportsdrenched - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Am I the only one concerned that 300 lbs dudes should not be diving or sliding that close to a fault line?

    Anyway, Now that hindsight is 20/20. I bring you the HBT Write-Up and subsequent snarky comments about the Marco Scutero trade from July 28th:

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/28/marco-scutaro-traded-from-rockies-to-giants/

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Which is why making predictions with certainty are always dangerous, leaves you exposed to a lot of crow.

    • APBA Guy - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Glad to say that I liked the Scutaro trade at the time, and that opinion has held up through Sept and the post-season.

      Haven’t seen a lot of comments on how Detroit chased on 2 strikes last night. Bumgarner kept his 2 strike pitches just outside the zone last night and Detroit hitters always chased. Amazing BBTN film showing that. Solid command by Bumgarner, and great recognition by him and Posey.

      Detroit looks rusty and anxious, but baseball being so unpredictable, it wouldn’t surprise me if they won Saturday.

  16. pbinca - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Bumgarner played center infield well. Fister ducked and got clocked (glad he’s OK!). How efficiently a pitcher transitions from the ball release to defending center infield makes a HUGE difference. Some pitchers are more committed to their follow-through than others. Leaving the center undefended is a gift to hitters.

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