The Detroit Tigers’ wild walk-off victory against the New York Yankees Tuesday night spared the team a chance at breaking the 2003 club’s record for futility by winning their 43rd game of the year. But the series that came before started weirder than anyone had foreseen.
The Tigers “home” game in Oakland nearly broke everything
Eno Sarris takes a look at the bizarre makeup match between the Tigers and the Oakland Athletics last week in this article for The Athletic. That game had the fourth-longest delay in major league history — 110 days and three hours elapsed between the postponement and the final pitch, to be exact. But there was much more to the time warp than just days on the calendar, as there was also the issue of where the results of the game would ultimately be recorded.
Although the contest began at Comerica Park on May 19, it would be finished in Oakland on September 6. The location of the entire game was recorded as where the game began, according to the record books, which was in Detroit. This caused some issues for statistics websites, especially ones that update daily like Baseball-Reference.
“I hate them a lot,” wrote Forman, Baseball-Reference founder, of these time-displaced games. “We have a big database of players whose debuts were messed up by suspended games.”
Some services, like Elias Sports Bureau, were able to patch the issue by making some simple adjustments, such as declaring that player debuts and first-time events would be recorded as occurring on September 6. But for players like Chad Pinder, who hit a home run in the top of the ninth inning of the makeup game, the dinger counted in his away splits, even though it happened at Oakland Coliseum.
It was a weird situation all around that caused a lot more trouble than the game was probably worth, as the loss had already been pretty much conceded by the fanbase. That said, rules are rules, and the game must go on. But in the future, let’s not do the time warp again.
Ranking the worst losses of 2019
The Tigers have lost 100 games this year, and will, in all likelihood, tack on a few more before the end of the season. This article from the Detroit Free Press ranks every single loss, from their first ‘L’ on March 29 at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays to their last defeat on Sunday in Oakland.
Number 100 was a 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros at home in Justin Verlander’s second return to Detroit, with the results pretty much as one would expect. At the top of the list is the August 13 loss to the Seattle Mariners — again at home — in the game where a fly ball off the bat of Kyle Seager infamously bounced off of Niko Goodrum’s glove and over the fence for a home run. You can read about the other 98 in the article, if you dare.
Oy vey, what is happening in the outfield tonight? I've made Niko comparisons to Ryan Raburn, but this is not what I meant. pic.twitter.com/ebUemmzn4k— Adam Dubbin (@AdamDubbin) August 14, 2019
Tigers prospects poised for 2020 debut
Jason Beck over at MLB.com takes a look at who the fans can expect to see next season in his mailbag article. The team has seen 11 players make their MLB debuts this season, and it is possible that next year’s number will at least come close, especially given where the Tigers currently stand in their rebuild.
Several of the names listed come as no surprise, including Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and Isaac Paredes, who will likely spend significant time at Triple-A Toledo before their 2020 call-up. There are also the bounce-back candidates like Daz Cameron, Beau Burrows and Kyle Funkhouser, as well as Jacob Robson and Danny Woodrow, who may finally get their cups of coffee if they can prove their mettle.
Interestingly, MLB Pipeline does not see any Tigers prospects entering the overall top 10 list by the end of next season. It looks like Matt Manning will have his work cut out proving these prognosticators wrong.
Farm system ratings and the Tigers
The Tigers now have the No. 6 farm system in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline’s latest list. Jumping up from the 10 slot, there were some very encouraging words about the talent level of the current crop of prospects.
The Tigers system hasn’t been this strong since Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker and Co. were coming through in the late 1970s.
When legends likes those named are invoked, the bar is set very high. The Tigers’ past four first round picks are posed to make significant contributions for this franchise, so long as they avoid injuries and regression; the Justin Verlander trade might not turn out to be so bad either. But who knows if they can form a similar nucleus and lead the franchise back to the promised land.
Well that’s interesting
Bruce Bochy has managed from 1995-2019.— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 10, 2019
His current managerial record is 1995-2019.
(via canigetawoop_woop on reddit)
Feel free to check my math, but ...— Lewis Kamb (@lewiskamb) September 11, 2019
from 1995 through the 2019 season as of today, the Seattle Mariners’ regular season record is 1994 wins 2019 losses. Meaning if they win tonight they’ll pull even with Bochy — and hold the same mind-blowing stat. https://t.co/Gly7G5hxRZ
The Mariners won.
Around the horn
Can the Tigers be competitive in 2021? The Boston Red Sox fire Dave Dombrowski and look to confront new challenges. Do we even need minor league baseball? As feds probe MLB’s Latin American operations, a flashy scout and contested deal draw interest. Is Statcast a righty or lefty? Minor League Baseball posts an attendance increase of over one million in 2019. Suits, dinners and the secret world of paying it forward in the big leagues.