Quick thoughts: Managing by the NL book

USA TODAY Sports

The best players on the Nationals beat the Tigers' best players. That happens sometimes. National League style baseball, on the other hand...

How to explain the Tigers losing to the Nationals?

Jordan Zimmerman out pitched Anibal Sanchez. Zimmerman was pounding the strike zone all night long. He had 16-of-19 first pitch strikes at one point.

Aces win games, and Zimmerman is becoming an ace. Most nights Sanchez pitched more than well enough to win. This wasn't one of them.

Bryce Harper homered and had a pair of RBIs, showing why he's on his way to becoming the next Big Thing in baseball. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder had relatively quiet nights, combining for two hits and an RBI.

In other words, the Nationals' best players beat the Tigers' best players. That happens.

The Tigers are going to lose occasionally, and the Nationals are a very good team. So the loss didn't irritate me. But something else did.

What irritates me is in interleague play American League teams are forced to use lineups minus one of their most productive bats. In this series, Victor Martinez has been reduced to a late innings pinch hitter.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of NL style baseball. Never have been, never will be. It's irritating!

Before anyone goes off on the National League being the real game, having superior strategy, making it more difficult and interesting? Jim Leyland, who should know from managing in both leagues, disagrees:

Exactly. NL managing is strictly by the book, more so than managing in the AL. Amongst other things, no there's no set time to pull your pitcher, use a pinch hitter, or when to lay down a (UGH) bunt in the AL. But in the NL?

Every NL manager makes the same moves at the same time in every NL game. Yes, there are outliers, but for the most part, the NL managerial book is a strict one.

  • Pitcher is due up and has a lead? Leave him in the game!
  • Have a base open and the pitcher is due to hit next? Intentional walk!
  • You're behind in the sixth inning or later and the pitcher is due up? Pinch hitter!
  • Relief pitcher due up? Pinch hitter!
  • Making a pitching change and his spot in the order is due up soon? Double switch!
  • Your pitcher will be remaining in the game, so he will bat with a runner on base with less than two outs? Bunt!
  • Need a run? Bunt!
  • Need to move a runner over? Bunt!
  • Can't hit? Bunt!
  • You're playing in the NL? Bunt!

You are now the next Tony La Russa, ready to manage in the National League.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs

BULLETS:

After yesterday's fiasco of a postponement (they played a full game in Baltimore, yet called the game in DC), it looked like there might be a legit one tonight. After a 57 minute rain delay, the Tigers and Nationals finally took the field.

What I imagine Prince Fielder was thinking tonight: "It's a hundred and six miles to Chicago, I have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and I'm wearing sunglasses."

Sunglasses_medium

Danny Espinosa laid down a two out bunt base hit in the second inning. I agree with the opinion of the man I call the "Id of the Tigers fan base."

The Nationals have loaded the bases in the second inning! Oh, no! What will the Tige ... Wait a sec. This game is being played under National League rules. The pitcher is up next.

Anibal Sanchez led off the the third, not improving the mood of the AL baseball loving fan base.

For what it's worth, Rick Porcello was the last Tigers pitcher to record a hit. He singled against the Pirates on May 22, 2011. Of course, Justin Verlander is on track to retire without a base hit.

Jordan Zimmerman's scoreless inning streak ended after 20 innings on Miguel Cabrera's RBI single.

Cabrera is good stat number one:

Cabrera is good stat number two:

Hate for Denard Span is a healthy hate.

They even hate Span in Norway:

Winner of the Presidents Race was George Washington, who cheated like wrestler with an unknown object shoved in his tights. Jason Beck agreed.

Cabrera seemed to be limping after taking an uncomfortable looking swing for a 6-3 bounce out in the sixth. Even Rod and Mario noticed it. EVERYBODY PANIC!!!

But Cabrera remained in the game and it was never mentioned again. EVERYBODY CALM DOWN!!!

Confusing move of the night: Your first bat off the bench is not Victor Martinez, but Don Kelly? Hmmm.

Explanatory stat of the night:

And they wouldn't. Game over.

THREE ROARS:

Anibal Sanchez: Normally Sanchez would have pitched deeper into the game, but not when you're playing NL style. Not that it would have made a difference tonight.

Jhonny Peralta: The only Tiger with more than one hit or to reach base three times.

Jose Ortega: Another impressive outing. Ten pitches, three up, three down.

THREE HISSES:

Alex Avila: Not a good night for the Tigers' catcher, 0-for-3. Struck out twice with two out and a runner in scoring position to end scoring threats.

Omar Infante: Bottom of the order had an off night, including Infante's 0-for4 in the eight spot.

Jim Leyland: Donnie Baseball is your first bat off the bench? Really?

GAME THREAD ROLL CALL:

Roll Call Info
Total comments 941
Total commenters 50
Commenter list Alex Baker, BadCompany22, BeardedPlayoffJesus19, Cabbylander, Dale S, DetroitSports, Fielder'sChoice, H2OPoloPunk, JWurm, J_the_Man, JerseyTigerFan, Keith-Allen, Kurt Mensching, Lukas M, MSUDersh, Matthew Malek, Michigan&TrumbullinLA, NCDee, RationalSportsFan, RewertsSpartan, Rob Rogacki, SabreRoseTiger, SanDiegoMick, ShowingBunt, Singledigit, SpartanBoiler, SpartanHT, TN Ben, TheLegacyofJordanTata, Tigerdog1, Verlanderful, Vreeland2, Wolfgang97, aelix, ahtrap, bowling255, dishnet34, dominator039, dpsmallwood, frisbeepilot, japobere, jcbeckman, jhitts08, kirdo, kland83, knucklescarbone, mrsunshine, rbbaker, rea, smithereens
Story URLs http://www.blessyouboys.com/2013/5/8/4313562/game-31-tigers-at-nationals-7-05-p-mhttp://www.blessyouboys.com/2013/5/8/4314016/game-31-overflow-tigers-at-nationals


TOP TEN COMMENTERS:

# Commenter # Comments
1 frisbeepilot 110
2 SpartanHT 70
3 kland83 65
4 Rob Rogacki 59
5 JerseyTigerFan 58
6 SabreRoseTiger 57
7 J_the_Man 56
8 MSUDersh 45
9 Singledigit 41
10 TheLegacyofJordanTata 35


TOP RECS:

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
2 Fielder'sChoice [no title]
2 Fielder'sChoice Ohhh you said "sacrifice"!
2 Kurt Mensching why i'm glad donner doesn't like baseball
2 jcbeckman or Alien autopsy?
2 knucklescarbone Rob wins the bet t


GAME 30 PLAYER OF THE GAME:

Justin Verlander carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning made it a given he would be PotG. He was, with 63% of the vote.

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