is the best way to describe the game tonight.  The Tigers looked flat and disinterested and I got that feeling the minute I walked into Comerica Park.

Rick Porcello was good for 3 innings but, for the second straight outing, fell apart in the 4th.

Ricky only lasted 4 and 1/3, striking out 6, walking 2, and allowing 5 earned runs on 7 hits.

With one out in the 5th, Phil Coke relieved Porcello to pitch to lefty Justin Morneau and surrendered a two run double. That is the last batter Coke will face in a Tiger uniform for a while as he was sent to Toledo immediately after the game.  Jose Alvarez was called up to replace him.

I’m sorry to see Coke go but I can’t make excuses for him anymore.  After struggling this year he was basically used as a left handed specialist for the last few months but couldn’t get lefties out.  I guess the Tigers have just decided that they’ve seen enough and can’t afford to use a roster spot for a lefty that can’t get out lefties.

The offense didn’t look that good today, and they did their best to make Mike Pelfry and his 5.19 ERA look like a Cy Young contender.  Even the Mighy Miggy didn’t really have good at bats today.  He ended the night 1-5 and ended the game by striking out with the tying runs on base.  But the Tigers can’t count on him to bail the them out every game.

The at bats, as a team, got better in the late innings but they just couldn’t get the big hit to get them back in the game.

On the flip side, Prince had a homer and two RBIs tonight.  And Victor Martinez, Brayan Pena and Jose Iglesias each had two hits.

Let’s see if they can get back to winning tomorrow.  It would bad to lose this series to the Twins.

Update:  Here is a link to the Freep regarding Coke’s demotion.

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

Tigers Uniforms Rate 6th Best in Baseball by Uni Watch

Here is what they had to say about the Tigers uniform.

Fun fact: The Tigers’ pants have more belt loops than any other team’s. Been that way for decades. No real reason for it — it’s just one of those team-specific quirks (although it no doubt comes in handy for Prince Fielder’s uni).

Here is a link to the article.

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

Japanese Baseball

Back in 2008 I was in Japan for a few months and got to see a few Japanese baseball games.

The first game I went to was at Yokohama Stadium and featured a Central League matchup between the Yokohama Bay Stars and the Chunichi Dragons.

The game had a college football game atmosphere complete with cheerleaders and bands.

Here are some photographs I took from the game.

Yokohama Stadium
Walking into Yokohama Stadium
Bay Stars Cheerleade
Yokohama Bay Stars Cheerleader
Yokohama Bay Stars Batting Practice
Yokohama Bay Stars Batting Practice
Bay Stars vs. Dragons
Bay Stars vs. Dragons
Yokohama Stadium Scoreboard
Yokohama Stadium Scoreboard
Yokohama Sky Line
Yokohama Sky Line

The last picture is from Tokyo and has nothing to do with baseball but it is of Salma Hayek.

Salam Hayek Sign Tokyo
Salam Hayek Sign Tokyo

If you are interested, here is a link to Japan Ball by Bob Bavasi.


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

Another reason to hate the Red Sox!

Except for Ted Williams, I’ve always hated the Red Sox, and now I have another reason to hate them even more.  Look, I’m not fan of ARod but what he did or didn’t do is between him, the Yankees, and MLB.

The Yankees and Red Sox are on Sunday night baseball.  ARod just came to bat and Demptser threw three inside pitches, one behind him, and hit him on the 4th pitch.  He clearly hit him intentionally.

For some reason, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora, did not toss Dempster. Instead he tossed Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was rightfully livid, and he warned both benches.  This was an abomination of baseball justice.  Dempster got away with his petty little vendetta and now Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia can’t throw inside because if he happens to hit a Red Sox player, he’ll probably get tossed.

On queue, true to their despicable nature, the Red Sox fans cheered Alex Rodriquez getting hit.

Like I said, I’m not fan of Alex Rodriguez, and if the allegations are true that his “camp”, snitched on other players, I have even less respect for him.  But, at least for this game, I’m on ARod’s side.

I wish ARod had charged the mound and he and Dempster may have settled this issue man to man, but he didn’t.

If your not tuned in, this one could get interesting.

If I were the Yankees, Pedroia or Ortiz would get it!

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

Jose Miguel Cabrera!

in the words of John Kruk, “he’s just better than everybody else”.

Miggy started today’s game the way he ended yesterday’s.  He took the first pitch he saw from Royals’ starter, Bruce Chen, and deposited it over the left field wall for his 40th home run of the season.  Miggy’s blast gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead and the Tigers never looked back.  MIggy drove in another run with a single in the 3rd and finished the day 2-3, with a homer and 3 RBIs.

Here’s an animated GIF of Miggy’s 40th courtesy of the Bless You Boys Blog at SBNATION.

Miggy's 40th
Miggy’s 40th

After today’s game, Miggy is hitting .360, has 120 RBIs, and 40 home runs.

A bit over shadowed my Miggy’s performance was Max Scherzer.  Max picked up his 18th win of the season.  He pitched 8 innings allowed 2 earned, struck out 4 and didn’t give up a walk.  He and Roger Clemens are the only pitchers since 1919 to pick up 18 wins in their first 19 decisions.  He should be the runaway winner of this year’s Cy Young award.

Miggy was intentionally walked in the 5th.  The thing I’m wondering is, how long will any team continue to pitch to Cabrera?  I know if I was an opposing manager, I would pitch to him rarely especially while Prince Fielder isn’t hitting as well as his track record shows.  Additionally, teams really can’t pitch around Miggy, via the unintentional intentional walk, because he’s proved time and again that he can and will expand his strike zone and do major damage.

Tigers fans, you are seeing on a regular basis, the best hitter in baseball, and probably one of the best of all time.

Behind Miggy and Scherzer, the Tigers took the rubber game of this 5 game series and welcome the Twins to Comerica Park this Tuesday.

Update: Cleveland Indians second baseman, Jason Kipnis, tweeted this after the game, “Dear Miggy… You’re making the rest of us look bad.. Knock it off! – MLB Hitters”.  Hat Tip to Sark for pointing out the Kipnis tweet.  I’ve retweeted it and it can be seen on the right side of this page.

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

Mighty Miggy!

The Mighty Miggy hit his 39th home run, a solo shot, in the bottom of the 9th to give the Tigers a 6-5 win and even this 5 game series with the Royals.

Despite leaving 9 men on base, the Tigers offense was able to bail the pitching staff out tonight.  The pitching wasn’t horrible but it is not what Tigers fans have come to expect.

Doug Fister lasted 6 and 1/3.  He surrendered 3 earned.  Fister walked 2, struck out 6 and gave up 10 hits.

The top of the 4th inning featured one of the strangest plays I’ve ever seen. With Chris Getz on first base and nobody out, Fister threw a pitch that Alcides Escobar foul tipped behind home plate.  Home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski ruled it a wild pitch.  While Brayan Pena was waiting for the umpire to hand him a new ball, Chris Getz ran all the way to 3rd base.  If it wasn’t for Doug Fister, realizing what had happened, and retrieving the ball, Getz would have scored.  As it turned out, Getz ended up scoring when Escobar doubled to tie the game at three.

Jim Leyland and Brayan Pena, furious at the call, were both thrown out of the game.  Replays showed that the call was blown.  It was clearly a foul tipped ball.

Withe score tied at 4 in the bottom of the 7th, Prince Fielder homered to give the Tigers the lead back 5-4 but the bull pen couldn’t hold it.  Jose Veras allowed the tying run in the top of the 8th and the stage was set for Miggy’s heroics.

Royals reliever Aaron Crow came in to pitch the 9th with Miggy leading off.  Crow fell behind Miggy 3-1 and I was sure he was just going to put him on.  And in fact, he may have been trying to.  The 3-1 pitch looked to be about 6 inches off of the plate away, but Miggy expanded the strike zone and did what he does.  He hit a bullet over the right field fence giving the Tigers a much needed win.

The running game is becoming a big problem for the Tigers.  They can’t stop anybody from running and this deficiency is compounded when the pitching staff gives up walks.  They need to find a way to address this but I’m not sure they have the tools to do so.  Neither Pena, Holaday nor Avila have been very effective at throwing this year.  I hope this doesn’t come back to bite the Tigers in a crucial situation, like a playoff or World Series game.

On the flip side of the coin, the Tigers did a bit of running themselves tonight.  They scored their third run in the bottom of the second on a suicide squeeze.  With Infante on 3rd and one out, Iggy, laid down a bunt that not only scored Infante but gave Iglesias another infield hit.

With a win tomorrow, the Tigers can win the five game series 3-2.

Update, Cleveland Indian’s second baseman, Jason Kipnis, tweeted this today, “Dear Miggy… You’re making the rest of us look bad.. Knock it off! – MLB Hitters”.  Hat Tip to Sark for showing me the Kipnis tweet. I have retweeted the Kipnis tweet and it can be seen on the right side of this page.

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

Blown Save…

So, I’m listening to the A’s and Indians.  The A’s were leading 2-1 entering the top of the 7th.  I’m not exactly sure why, but the A’s brought in their closer, Sean Doolittle.  Doolittle ended up allowing the tying run.  The A’s announcers said that Doolittle would be charged with a blown save.  This is interesting and something I never thought of.

MLB rules state that a blown save will charged to a pitcher who enters the game with an opportunity to earn a save.

Here’s a link to the rule on wikipedia.

To earn a save a pitcher is required to:

That rule states the official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:

  1. He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
  2. He is not the winning pitcher;
  3. He is credited with at least ? of an inning pitched; and
  4. He satisfies one of the following conditions:
  1.             He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning
  2.             He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
  3.             He pitches for at least three innings

So was Bob Melvin hoping that he could get his closer to pitch 3 innings?  Hmmmm, I’m not sure what’s going on but this seems a bit odd.

If there are any A’s fans out there that can help me with this, I’d appreciate it.

Update:  I think I got it.  Doolittle is not the closer, Balfour is.

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

Tigers Drop Both Ends of Double Header

There’s not much to say about either of the games today.  The Tigers only surrendered 5 runs but could only muster 1.

The pitching in both games was good.  Even Coke and the Amazing Al pitched well but you’re not going to win many games, or series for that matter, by only scoring 1 run in two games.

In game one, JV was JV.  He pitched 8 innings, allowed 2 earned, on 7 hits.  He struck out 6 and walked 2.  But it’s hard to win when you don’t score any runs.  The Tigers were no-hit through the first 5 and 2/3.  Miggy broke up the no-no with a two out bullet down the third base line.  Royals’ Emilio Bonifacio got his glove on it but it was hit so hard it still rolled into left field.

Danny Duffy was brilliant for the Royals. He allowed no runs, only the Miggy single, walked three and struck out three.

The only run the Tigers got was a solo shot from Ramon Santiago in the 8th.

In game 2, Alvarez, Bonderman, Coke, and Alburquerque allowed only 8 hits.  Alavarez gave up the two earned his 5 and 2/3.  Bonderman gave up one unearned run aided by his wide pick off throw to first.

In game two the Tigers hit the ball hard but always in the wrong spots. After getting just two hit in the first game, they managed only 4 in the second.  So that makes 1 run and 6 hits in 18 innings.  That won’t get it done.

The only thing I can think of is that during their 12 game winning streak everything seemed to be going the Tigers’ way.  Since they went to New York, things have started to even out, and they’re not getting the breaks.

The good news is that there is still time to win this series, but they’ll wins tomorrow and Sunday to make it happen.

The bats have to wake up and the Tigers have to figure out a way to slow down the running game.  The Royals, like just about everyone else, are running on the Tigers at will.

Back at it tomorrow.

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