If you can’t pitch, you can’t win…

said Peter Gammons on many occasions.  Well the last few games, the Tigers didn’t pitch and didn’t win.

The Tigers lost to the A’s for the second day and for the second straight day, the pitching was horrible.

I’m not sure what to make of JV, to say he sucked tonight, would be an understatement.  He needed 44 pitches to get out of the 1st inning and ended up throwing 104 pitches in 5 innings.  Infante’s error in the 5th didn’t help him much, but he doesn’t look anything like the pitcher of the last two years.   Verlander’s final line was 5 complete, 5 runs, 3 earned, 3 strikeouts and 3 walks.

If the playoffs started tomorrow, Verlander would be 4th or 5th on my starter depth chart.  I have no confidence when he toes the slab anymore and I’ve lost hope of him getting any better before next year.  Unfortunately, to make a run, this is the JV the Tigers have to expect.

Bruce Rondon relieved JV in the 6th and Seth Smith promptly deposited the second pitch he threw over the center field wall.

Mercifully, this game was called after 6 innings due to rain.  I couldn’t take anymore.

Prince had a walk and drove in his 89th and 90th runs of the year with a bases loaded single in the first.  Other than that, there wasn’t much to cheer about.

Back at it tomorrow.  The Tigers need two in a row to split.

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

A’s 8 Tigers 6

The bottom line is that the Tigers didn’t pitch well enough to win tonight.  Anibal Sanchez and the bull pen had a rough outing.

That being said, the Tigers had plenty of chances to even the score or take the lead.  They left the bases loaded in both the seventh and eight innings.

As the Tigers head down the stretch, Prince Fielder needs to start coming through or Cabrera will never get a chance to hit in crucial situations.  In the 7th inning, with two out, the A’s walked Miggy to load the bases preferring to pitch to Prince.  Fielder flew out deep to center field to end the inning.

Early in the season, Prince seemed to respond when a team walked Miggy to pitch to him, but he hasn’t lately.

On yesterday’s post, in the comments section, Sark asked, “Could you imagine this team with a good JV?”  I’d like to add to that, how good would the Tigers be if both JV and Fielder were performing?

I’m getting afraid that the team is counting too much on Miggy to get it done every night.  He just can’t come through in every situation, in every game.  That’s why it was so nice see Dirksy get the big hit in yesterday’s game.

Perhaps it’s time to move Fielder down to the 5 spot and Victor up to clean up?

The loss tonight makes the Tigers 1-3 in their last 4 home games.

Besides Fielder not coming through, it was disappointing to see the pitching give the lead back up twice, immediately after the Tigers came back to tie it.  But, really, we can’t complain too much about the pitching.

Torii Hunter left the bases loaded in the 8th when he struck out on 3 pitches.  Not the at bat the Tigers were looking for in that situation.

Coco Crisp was flashin leather tonight.  He robbed Tui of an extra base hit, thwarting a rally in the 8th, after Victor lead off with a solo homer.

Verlander is on the mound tomorrow and I’m not sure what to expect.  Just when I think he’s regaining his form, he goes out and takes a dump.

The Tigers need at least a split of this 4 game series with the A’s.

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

Good Ole Dirksey

Paced by seven strong innings from Rick Porcello and a 3 RBI day from Andy Dirks, the Tigers beat the Mets and swept the weekend series at Citifield.

With the Tigers down 3-2, Andy Dirks hit a two run homer in the top of the 6th, to give the Tigers the lead for good.

It was a one run game going into the 9th but the Tigers exploded for 7 runs to put the game out of reach and give Porcello his 10 win of the season.

Good Ole Dirksy drove in another run in the 9th when he drew a bases loaded walk driving in the Mighty Miggy.

Speaking of Miggy, he was 3-4 and drove in 2 on his 42nd home run of the season to get the Tigers started in the 1st.

Ricky gave the Tigers 7 good innings. He allowed 3 earned on 4 hits, struck out 4 and walked 3.

The A’s are at Comerica tomorrow for a four game series.

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

Tigers Win, Scherzer 19-1

Despite only scoring 3 runs on 15 hits the Tigers managed to beat Matt Harvey and the Mets 3-0.

Max Scherzer was cruising along and looked like he would go deep in the game but two at bats in the bottom of the 5th significantly shortened Max’s start.  Juan Lagares led off the inning and worked Max for a walk on 12 pitches.  John Buck followed and made Scherzer throw him 8 pitches before flying out to right field.  Max needed 35 pitches to get out of the 5th but kept the Mets off the board.

Scherzer’s final line was 6 innings, 3 hits, 11 strikeouts and 4 walks.  The 4 walks are a season high for Scherzer.  Max is only the third player in MLB history to start a season 19-1.  The last to do it was Roger Clemens in 1986.  Before Clemens, Rube Marquard, went 19-1 in 1912 for the New York Giants.

This game should have been a blow out but the Tigers lack of speed, coupled with their lack of extra base power today, kept the Mets in the game.  In the seventh, the Tigers looked like they would open the flood gates but failed to score on 4 consecutive singles. With one out, Infante and Cabrera singled, bringing Fielder up with runners on first and second.  Fielder delivered a single to left and Tom Brookens sent Infante home.  This was one of the worst sends by a third base coach I’ve ever seen.  Infante was out by 45 feet.  Tui then followed with another single to load the bases.  Torii Hunter, who didn’t start the game, came in to pinch hit for Andy Dirks, who was 3-3, and grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and keep the score at 2-0.

The Tigers scored 2 runs off of Matt Harvey on 13 hits.  The 13 hits allowed are a career high for him.

The Tigers go for the sweep tomorrow with Rick Procello on the mound facing Dillon Gee.

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

Life is a ballgame

I just finished watching the move Cobb for the first time and it was fantastic.  I can’t believe it took me this long to see it.

At the end of the movie, while the credits were rolling, this song was being played.  I loved it and thought I’d share it.

The title of the song is The Ball Game by Wynona Carr.

The Ball Game by Sister Wynona Carr
Life is a ball game
Bein’ played each day
Life is a ball game
Everybody can play

Yes you know, Jesus standing at the home plate
He is waiting for you there
You know, the life is a ball game
But you’ve got to play it fast

The first phase is temptation
You know the second phase is sin
The third phase tribulation
If you pass, you can make it in

Old man Solomon is the umpire
And Satan pitchin’ a game
He’ll do his best, strike you out
He playin’ just the same

You know, Daniel’s up to bat first
You know, he pray three times a day
Yes Satan pitched him a fast ball
But he hit it anyway

Yes you know, Job is up to bat next
Satan’s struck him in every way
But Job hit a home run
And he came on in that day

Yes you know, prayer is a strong bat
To hit at Satan’s ball
And when you start to swing it
You got to give it your all and all

Yes you know, the priest gonna be your catcher
And on him you can depend
Oh Jesus standing at the home plate
And He is waiting for you to come in

Yes you know, Moses is on the sidelines
Waiting to be called
You know, the day he parted the Red Sea
Little price all and all

Then John came in the ninth inning
And the game was almost done
Then God gave John a vision
And he knew we’d already won

Yes you know life is a ball game
Being played each day
You know life is a ball game
Each and everybody can play

Yes you know, Jesus is standing at the home plate
He is waiting for you there
Well you know, life is a ball game
But you’ve got to play it fast

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

Tigers 6 Mets 1

The Tigers beat the Mets tonight, 6-1, a Citifield.

With the game tied 1-1, the Tigers exploded for four runs in the second for a 5-1 lead.  As usual, Doug Fister, put up zeroes and shut the Mets out, with help from his friends in the pen.

The big blast in the second inning, came off the bat of the Mighty Miggy.  With two on and two out Miggy took the first pitch from Daisuke Matsuzaka and sent it over the left field wall for his 41st of the season.  Torii Hunter hit a solo shot in the first to get the Tigers started and AJax, Austin Jackson, capped off the scoring with a solo home run in the 7th.

This was the first start for Daisuke Matsuzaka in the big leagues in over a year and other than the second inning, I thought he pitched pretty well.  He gave the Mets 5 innings, allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits.  He struck out 4 and walked 1.  If he could have avoided the long ball, his line would look a lot better.  If I were a Mets fan, I would be fairly happy with what Daisuke gave them.

For the Tigers, Fister, was aces.  But I think the important thing today was the pitching of Drew Smyly.  Smyly relieved Fister with one out in the 7th and inherited runners on 1st and 2nd.  Smyly got Eric Young Jr. on strikes and got Daniel Murphy to fly out to right to end the threat.  This was big because I thought Smyly struggled, just a bit, in his last few outings but looked impressive today.

Victor Martinez started at catcher tonight for the first time in two years or so and looked pretty good.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but Victor didn’t look broken down at all.  He actually looks like he’s feeling pretty well.  In fact, in the first inning, on the play that the Mets scored their only run, Victor made a nice play at the plate.  Don Kelly made a great throw from left field, and Victor received the ball well and did a good job of blocking the plate.  Although, the runner was safe, it was a solid play on both ends by DK and Victor and not one I would expect from an ailing catcher.

The Tigers got some bad news regarding Alex Avila today.  Apparently, he’s been playing in Toledo and has complained of headaches.  Concussions are tricky things and I hope this doesn’t linger.  That being said, I think Alex has looked broken down and beaten up since the end of the 2011 season and I think his declining offensive production is directly related to his ailing body.  While I hope his concussion problems get solved I think an extended period of rest would the be best for his career in the long term.  I think Alex is so beaten up that it will take more than a few months for him to recover.  If Victor feels ok, perhaps the Tigers should consider making Pena the starter, let Martinez spell him once a week or so, and just let Alex rest.  While I like Alex and wish nothing but the best for him, I think a six months to a year off would do the trick for him.  He needs to get healthy not only for the Tigers long term, but for himself.

Scherzer v Harvey tomorrow afternoon.

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