Tigers, Fister Salvage Game in KC

Doug Fister pitched 6 strong innings and the Tigers avoided a sweep at the hands for the Royals with a 4-1 on Sunday.

Fister allowed 1 run on one hit, a home run to Miguel Tejada in the bottom of the second.  He struck out five and walked one in his 6 innings of work.

Miggy started the scoring for the Tigers in the first inning with his 31st homer of the year, a solo shot, to give Fister and the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.

The bullpen was excellent, again, with Smyly, Rondon, and Benoit each pitching an inning to close out the game.  These three are looking very good coming out of the pen.  I might be able to make a case for Smyly as the team MVP at this point in the season.

Offensively, Fielder, Martinez, Peralta, and Dirks had two hits apiece.

Another encouraging sign was that the Tigers were able to add on runs late, scoring 1 in the 7th and 1 in the 9th to extend the lead and give the bullpen a little bit of a cushion.

Don’t look now but Benoit might be the missing, closer piece, as he recorded his 9th save.

On a side note: I know he hit a homer today and he is still batting .360 but something looks, not right, about Miggy.  I’m not sure if he’s just expanding the strike zone too much or his back in bothering him more than anybody knows.  I hope I’m wrong, I just have a weird feeling.  That being said, he did make a really nice play at third on Tejada in the bottom of the 4th.  Like I said, perhaps I’m wrong.  I hope I’m wrong.

The Tigers are off to Chicago tomorrow with Scherzer on the hill.

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

Tigers Lose Two In A Row. Verlander Terrible!

Well, my predictions from yesterday are already starting to fall apart.

I was expecting Verlander to be lights out in the second half but his first start after the break was nothing short of horrible.

The Tigers lost to the Royals, again, 6-5.

Verlander pitched 5 and 2/3 allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, he struck out 3 and walked 4, including Eric Hosmer in the bottom of the 4th with the bases loaded to force in a run.

With the Tigers down 5-3 going into the 5th, the offense scored two runs to tie the game on an Alex, A Squared Money, Avilla single but Verlander gave the lead up for good in the bottom of the 5th when he allowed a two out home run to Mike Moustakas.

I’m not sure what to say about JV.  His velocity seems ok but his command is terrible.  His curve-ball and slider weren’t coming close to the strike zone.  I guess the only thing to say is what I saw, he looked TERRIBLE.  If not for his track record, you’d think he was a back of the rotation guy auditioning for the bullpen.  If he doesn’t get straightened out, the Tigers are in trouble and my fifth prediction from yesterday is not going to happen.

On the bright side, Alex Avila had three hits and two RBIs.  Prince had two hits.  Victor had three hits.  Alburquerque and Smyly were good out of the bullpen allowing no runs, one hit and striking out three combined.  Also, the Twins beat the Indians again today so the Tigers still have their slim lead.

This is not what I was expecting coming out of the break.

Hopefully, Fister can salvage a game tomorrow.

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

Tigers Bats Still On Break

The Tigers lost 3-1 in Kansas City tonight and could only muster 3 base runners.

Royals pitcher Ervin Santana pitched 7 and a 1/3 allowing two hits, 1 walk and 0 runs.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was wild but pitched well.  Sanchez pitched 6 innings allowing only 1 run on 2 hits.  He struck out 3 but walked 5.  It seemed like he was in trouble most of the game but managed to get out of jams.

If there was anything to like about this game, Phil Coke went 2/3 of an inning allowing a hit and striking out 1 and Bruce Rondon pitched an inning and a third with 1 strike out.

This was the seventh time the Tigers have been shut out this season.

Kansas City center fielder, Lorenzo Cain, made about 4 good catches in deep center but that was about all the Tigers did to threaten.  Torii Huner flied to center to end the game leaving Miguel Cabrera on deck.  It would have been nice to see the big man come to the plate in the top of the 9th with a chance to do some damage abut Royals’ closer Greg Holland was too good.

Let’s hope JV has a good outing tomorrow and the Tigers start hitting.  This was not how I was hoping the second half would start.

Here’s a few thoughts on the Tiger second half:

  1. Fielder will start to hit and raise his average to over .280
  2. Justin Verlander will return to form
  3. Phil Coke will pitch the way he did at the end of last season. (I just can’t give up on Coke yet.  I’m biased because I’m like him but I have faith in him.)
  4. Bruce Rondon will shore up the bullpen
  5. The Tigers will win the World Series, ending a 29 year drought, by beating the Cardinals in 6 games.

This is my story and I’m sticking to it?  Or at least until they start makin’ me mad again.  🙂

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

Raise the Jolly Roger or Walk the Plank? Pirates Midseason Analysis

This is a pretty nice entry about the Pirates.

Tap-ins

So, here we are again. For the third year in a row at the All-Star break, the Pirates are in contention for a spot in the postseason. Do the Buccos have what it takes to hold on the rest of the way this season, or do they sputter out in another epic collapse like last season? Sean Meyers and Patrick Williams break down the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates.

0bucs

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National Pastime or Past Its Time?

Fantastic post from Black, White & Read. The Louisiana Lightning Picture reminds me of a magazine my Mom bought me when I was a kid. The cover had the same picture with the headline, “The Fall and Rise of Ron Guidry”.

BLACK, WHITE & READ ALL OVER

It was about 10:45 pm last night and I just finished watching Around The Horn, Pardon The Interruption and First Take on my DVR when I remembered the MLB All Star game was on.  I quickly turned to the station in time to see Neil Diamond singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ and the crowd singing along with him.  It seemed like a nice moment and I thought they were going to go into a commercial break but then I heard the beginning of Metallica’s, ‘Enter The Sandman’

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AL Wins ASG 3-0. Home Field for Tigers?

The American League will have home field advantage in the 2013 World Series courtesy of their 3-0 win in the All Star Game.

The game was dominated by pitching.  Max Scherzer pitched the first inning and shut the National League down 1-2-3, striking out Cincinnati’s Joey Votto to end the first.

The AL pitchers shut out the NL only allowing three hits.

Miggy scored the game’s first run when he led off the top of the 4th with a double and scored on Jose Bautista’s sacrifice fly.

Notes:

  1. Leyland had Mariano Rivera pitch the bottom of the 8th to make sure he got into the game.  The thinking was that if another pitcher came in a gave up the lead, and the AL failed to tie it or go ahead in the top of the 9th, Rivera would not be able to pitch the bottom of the 9th.
  2. Prince Fielder legged out a lead off triple in the top of the 9th but failed to score even though Nelson Cruz followed him with a ground out to second base.  It didn’t appear that the infield was playing in so I can’t figure out why Fielder didn’t attempt to score.
  3. Jhonny Peralta singled in his only at bat in the 8th
  4. Chicago White Sox’s pitcher, who could be the best pitcher in the American League, pitched the 2nd and 3rd and got the win.
  5. Yankee’s reliever Mariano Rivera was name the ASG MVP.
  6. Miguel Cabrera batted three times, was 1-3, and was replaced by Manny Machado in the bottom of the 6th.

Hopefully the Tigers can parlay this win and take advantage of home field in the World Series.  It would be the first Tigers championship in 29 years.

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

Home Run Derby…

So I watched the home run derby tonight.  I didn’t really care for it.  I’ve never really cared for it, but I didn’t feel like reading and I don’t watch anything but baseball or hockey on television.

I find the derby exhausting to watch and worrying, like it is my problem, that the participants will ruin their swings and have poor second halves.  I know it is irrational, but so is being a semi-professional baseball/hockey fan.  🙂

In case you missed it and care, Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A’s beat the Washington National’s Bryce Harper to claim the 2013 crown.

Our own Prince Fielder, defending champion, didn’t make it past the first round.  He only hit five, which wasn’t enough to move on to round two.

The thing that struck me the most was the maturity of Bryce Harper.  I don’t know what he’s like personally but I find it astounding that he can be in his second ASG and he’s not even 21.  I guess I can’t imagine having the mental capacity to handle that big of a stage a that young of an age.  But, I guess a lot of guys do it.  There are plenty of 18 and 19 year olds playing in the NHL.

Well, at least we have the ASG tomorrow.  The lack of games makes this the worst week of summer, for me, anyway.

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