Just About Unwatchable…

that’s what the 2013 Tigers have become.  This team BLOWS!

Rick Porcello started, went 6, and gave up 3 earned.

After Miggy tied the score at 1 in the top of the 4th the Rays came right back with 2 in the bottom to take the lead for good.  I hate to blame coaching, especially at the major league level, but I’m wondering what in the sam hell Jeff Jones says when he visits a pitcher at the mound.  Does he offer any useable advice?  It sure doesn’t seem like it.

After 3 straight singles loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 4th, out comes Jones for a confab with Porcello.  It was obvious, Ricky was trying to induce a ground ball for a double play to end the inning.  Ricky was pounding the bottom of the zone but Lobaton and Escobar weren’t biting and Ricky wasn’t getting the strikes called.  It seems obvious to me, who knows nothing, that Ricky needed to change the eye level or move the hitters off of the plate, but no, he just kept throwing the same pitch in the same location.  When Lobaton finally got one that caught the strike zone he singled in a run.  Escobar drove in the second run by walking and seemed to have no intention, whatsoever, of swinging the bat.  During Jones’ visit what was he saying, “we need to get a ground ball here Ricky”.  Did he have anything productive to say?  I guess perhaps he did but Ricky wasn’t listening.  Luckily, Porcello got Matt Joyce to line into an inning ending double play.

Next it was the offenses turn stink up the place.  They loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the 7th and couldn’t score a single run.  Apparently, the Tigers are now the worst hitting team in baseball, in terms of runs scored and batting average, from the 7th inning on.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that follows them regularly.  Even Cabrera and Fielder don’t look like they have good at bats late in games, and if they don’t do it, rest assured, nobody else will.

The 2013 Tigers suck.  They are now either tied, or percentage points behind, the surging Indians who just finished a 4 game sweep of the White Sox.

Honestly, it is getting to the point where I can’t watch this team anymore.  The same shit for the last year and a half.

To really rub salt in the wound, The Crooked Hat came out and got the save surrendering only 1 hit in the 9th, a double to Omar Infante.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

The Curse of the Crooked Hat

Former Tiger, Fernando “The Crooked Hat” Rodney, pitched two scoreless innings and got the win, as the Rays beat the Tigers in 10 innings 4-3.

Justin Verlander pitched pretty well, he went 8 innings and gave up 3 runs, only 2 earned.  The unearned run was the result of an error by Prince Fielder.

I don’t think we saw the “old familiar” JV but he was much better than his last two starts.

Smyly pitched a scoreless 9th but the Rays got to Bruce Rondon in the 10th to score the winning run.

The story of this game, and much of this season, is the ineptitude of the offense in the late innings.  The Tigers scored 3 runs in the 3rd but didn’t really threaten to score from the 4th through the 10th.  The FOX commentators said that the only team that has scored fewer runs in innings 7 through 9 is the Seattle Mariners.  For the amount of supposed firepower this offense has, it sure doesn’t do much late in games.

A feud seemed to be brewing between Miguel Cabrera and the The Crooked Hat after Miggy’s 10th inning at bat.  With a 1-2 count, The Crooked Hat threw a 98 MPH fastball up and in to even the count at 2 and 2.  The next pitch, TCH got Cabrera to swing and miss on an 86 mph changeup low and in.  Miggy was yelling at TCH on his way back to the dugout and while he was in the dugout.  He seemed to be taking exception to the 1-2 pitch.

Personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with what the TCH did, in fact, I wish Tiger pitchers would take note.  Yes, the 1-2 pitch was up and in but it really didn’t come close to hitting Miggy.  It was a purpose/setup pitch.  TCH thought Miggy was a little to comfortable at the plate and decided to remove some of that comfort, and he did.  It worked.  He got Miggy to strike out on a ball low and in.

I’ll take TCH approach every time compared to the way Tiger pitchers allow hitters to lean out over the plate and foul off pitch after pitch, extend at bats, and shorten outings.

If the Tigers can take anything positive out of this loss it should be to employ The Crooked Hat Make Hitters Uncomfortable Tactic.  That’s it.  I just invented and named the pitching philosophy I’ve been begging the Tigers to employ.  I’m calling it the The Crooked Hat Make Hitters Uncomfortable Tactic or TCHMHUT for short.

Another positive out of today’s game was that Victor Martinez went 3 for 5.  None of the hits were clutch.  None of the hits drove in any runs but he got 3 hits and raised his batting average to .231.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers End Skid…

using familiar formula, Starting Pitching + Cabrera + Fielder, beat Rays 6-3.

Max Scherzer pitched seven good innings, allowing three earned while striking out 9 and walking 1.

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder provided just about all of the offense.  Cabrera was 4 for 4 with two home runs and 3 RBIs and Prince Fielder went 2 for 3, driving in 2 and smashing a majestic home run.  This was enough offense to win but it came from the usual suspects.  Besides Cabrera and Fielder, nobody else could deliver a clutch hit or even a productive out.

Victor Martinez dropped his average down to .225 as he went 0 for 4 leaving 3 runners on base.

The bullpen looked pretty good, Alburquerque, Smyly and Benoit pitched the 7th, 8th, and 9th respectively, without giving up any runs.

It was nice to stop the skid.  It was nice to get the win.  It was nice to move Scherzers’s record to 12-0.  It was nice to get good pitching again, but if nobody but Fielder and Cabrera is going to get a timely hit, the 29 year long World Series drought isn’t ending anytime soon.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

The Time Has Come For DK

As we are approaching the mid-way point of the 2013 season, it should be apparent that all is not well in Tiger Town.

Right now, the Tigers are 42-35 with a 3 game lead on the Cleveland Indians but something needs to be done with the Tigers if the this 29 year World Series drought is going to end.

The Tigers are getting no production from the 5th spot in their lineup.  I wanted to give Victor the benefit of the doubt but we are running out of time.  In addition to hitting a paltry .228, his on base percentage is .286.  This is ridiculous.

If there is no appetite for a trade or a trade to be made, the Tigers need to try something new, something unconventional.  I don’t want to tinker with the slots Peralta and Infante are hitting in, because if something is not broken, don’t fix it.   But the 5 slot is broken and must be fixed.

I offer you my solution, Don Kelly, DK.  I know what you are thinking, DK?  He’s not an everyday player, he doesn’t have the power.  These things may be true but is he going to do any worse?  In only 92 at bats DK is hitting .228 the same as Martinez.  DK’s OPB is .333 compared to Victor’s .286.  DK is slugging .380 to Victor’s .337.  And what is even more important, DK busts his ass down the line where VMART acts like he’s skipping through a flower bed.

Some may say, VMART can’t run, he’s knees are shot.  I say, I can tolerate that if you’re hitting over .250 with power but not when you’re hitting .228 and slugging .337.  The Tiger’s need to find a different way, a new alternative, to the conventional thinking of the last 29 years.  DK might not be a classic 5 hitter, and he might not even work out, but at this point Victor is not working out either and the Tigers just finished a 10 game home stand 4-6.

To add insult to injury the Tigers just got swept, in the 6 game season series, by an Angels team that BLOWS.  This is the same Angels team that got swept in a four game series, at home, by the Houston Astros.  And to really rub salt in the wound, game two was decided by a two run homer by that sawed off, little, jerk, Erick Aybar after a visit to the mound by pitching coach Jeff Jones.

And here’s some advice for Jeff Jones, next time you get a good idea, like the one you had before the Aybar at bat, sit back down and chew on tin foil, you Dummy!

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

THEY’RE MAKIN’ ME MAD!

Well, the Tigers got swept this afternoon by the lowly Angels.  Yep, the Angels don’t seem to beat anybody but the vaunted Tigers with their deadly offense and lights out pitching.

This afternoon, the Tigers got pitching, but the offense could score only one run in 10 innings.

I know, it is easy to blame Phil Coke, and the has been HORRIBLE, but 1 RUN IN 10 INNINGS!

The Tigers winning philosophy reminds me a lot of the average investor’s investing philosophy.  While the average investor buys, holds and prays, the Tigers pitch (starters), hold (bullpen) and pray (offense).

When are the Tigers going to win a 14-8 ballgame to bail out their pitching staff?  If this year and last year on any indicators, the answer is NEVER!

I’m sick and tired of this overpriced, under performing garbage that I’ve had to watch lately.

FYI: the Tiger’s 5th hitter is hitting .228.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

I HATE THE ANGELS…AND

The Tigers are on the verge of makin’ me MAD!

The Angels made it eight in a row over the Tigers today with a 7-4 win.  Spot starter, Jose Alvarez did an ok job going 5 and 2/3 surrendering 4 earned.  Things looked ok in the top of the 6th.  The Tigers had a 3-2 lead.  With two outs Chris Iannetta singled.  This brought out pitching coach Jeff Jones for a visit with Alvarez.  Whatever Jones said, he should have kept it to himself because on the next pitch, that sawed-off, little, jerk Erick Aybar, hit his third home run of the season, giving the Angels a 4-3 lead.  Drew Smyly came in to relieve Alvarez and struck out Brenden Harris to end the inning.

Smyly came out for the top of the 7th and it was his turn to take a shit.  He walked the lead off batter, Shuck and Mike Trout followed with a bloop double.  Before the top of the 7th was over, the Angels were ahead 7-3.

The offense was pathetic today as well, grounding into three double plays, with Fielder the only one hustling down the line to try to beat the relay.

It’s time to do something about the 5th spot in the Tiger lineup.  Victor Martinez is not doing the job and is really irritating me with his lack of hustle.  He never busts his ass down the first base line, in fact, most of the time he looks like he’s skipping.

This team is looking a lot like last year’s team, if the starting pitching has an off day, the bullpen or the offense doesn’t seem able to bail them out.  With the way Verlander has pitched the last two months and Dotel still hurt, I’m getting less optimistic by the day.

The last two games have been an embarrassment and now the best the Tigers can do on this home-stand is go .500, but they have to beat the Angels and Jeff Weaver tomorrow afternoon to do it.

One bright spot has been Bryan Pena.  He had two hits tonight and is hitting .297 on the season.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Not Good!

The Angels took Rick Porcello, and the Tiger bullpen, behind the woodshed again tonight, pounding the Tiger pitching staff for 14 runs.

I can’t make any excuses for Rickey this time, he was not good, and that is kind.  He allowed 7 earned in four and a third innings and didn’t get any help from his friends in the bullpen.

Darin Downs came in with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth and allowed all three inherited runners to score.

Evan Reed relieved Downs and sabotaged himself.  He allowed 4 runs but none of them were earned.  He made two errors himself.  His first error was a pick off throw to first that went down the right field line where Tori Hunter had to field it.

By the time the top of the fifth was over the Tigers were down 10-2.  The offense tried to fight back, answering the Angels’ 8 with 3 of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but the pitching staff couldn’t stop hemorrhaging runs.

The Angels demolished the Tigers 14-8.

This is two bad starts in a row for Rickey and all of the sudden I’m finding holes in the Tiger rotation.  The last two starts for Porcello and JV have been terrible.  Add to that an empty closer position and Sanchez on the DL, and I’m getting a little worried.

One of the key at bats for me was when Porcello faced Josh Hamilton in the top of the fifth.  With one out he had Hamilton 0 and 2 on two straight change ups.  I was expecting a high heater to try to induce him to chase.  Instead, Porcello threw him a 78 MPH curve ball low and in and Hamilton promptly drilled it to right, driving in a run.  If this is the pitch and location Holaday wanted, they should re-evaluate their game plan.

Alvarez goes tomorrow, hopefully he can stop the bleeding.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural