Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tigers 2017 Game 102: ad subsidium jaculatorum exspectantes

Despite the win, Collin McHugh proved too much for the Tigers on Saturday. Tigers hitters had to wait for the Astros' relievers to begin their stints on the mound in order to make progress. Thankfully, another decent start from Matthew Boyd kept the team in the game long enough that the bats were able to put this one in the win column, as Joe Angel might say. Boyd, though, did not put in a great performance, in that he was pounded for eight hits (although one demanded a replay review in the first to get the safe call). The home run by Evan Gattis in the first in particular deserved the adjective 'shot'. I just lost the ball in the bright sunlight as the camera tried to track its course out of the ballpark.

The day began with the news that Alex Presley had been put on the disabled list (and would be receiving an MRI), leading to Jim Adduci being called up to play rightfield. That change might have hurt the Tigers, as my memory is that Adduci doesn't quite have the range of Presley. Jake Marisnick’s single in the top of the 2nd might have been run down by Presley. Adduci is a big man, and to my eye it doesn’t look like he moves as fast.

For me, the catch by Ian Kinsler in foul territory -- in the stands really -- in the eigth inning was the moment at which I knew the game was one the Tigers ought to win. That kind of concentration suggested the team's spirit has not been crushed by the loss the day before, nor by some other heartbreaking, soul-destroying moments in the past week.

Let's remember, whatever has happened since, that this club was on the verge of being four games out of first in mid-July, with plenty of games left. This is a team capable, on paper. of getting into the playoffs. But it does highlight how much falling a game short last season was a lost opportunity.

Random notes:

-- 6.10 pm Saturday starts are really bad for visibility. No more, please.

-- Kirk Gibson, during the television broadcast, noted that Richie Hebner suggested hitters look bad early in the count so that you could get that pitch later and punish it. I'm going to remember that one.

-- It could only occur to a film buff like me, but when I squinted I thought the Astros' Luke Gregerson looked like a young Jean Reno, French star of films like Leon: The Professional and Ronin.

QMAX rating: Matthew Boyd, Soldier of Fortune/Tommy  John
Batting win values:
Iglesias      0.192
V-Mart        0.164
Cabrera       0.034
Castellanos   0.016
Kinsler       0.007
Mahtook       0.007
Adduci       -0.012
J-Upton      -0.031
Avila        -0.221

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