White Sox 6 Tigers 3

After an emotional come from behind victory last night the Tigers fell to the White Sox today.  That coupled with another Indians victory over the Astros and the Tigers’ magic number remains at 2.

Anibal Sanchez didn’t have it today.  He surrendered 4 earned over 5 innings, striking out 6 while walking 2.

The Tigers made a bid to repeat last night’s 9th inning magic but fell short when Austin Jackson struck out swinging.

Jackson was hitless again today taking an 0-4 dropping his batting average to .269.

I didn’t see this one coming.  After last night’s heroics and Sanchez on the mound I really thought the Tigers would pull off the sweep.

In another interesting move, The Puppet Master had Brayan Pena pinch hit for Alex Avila to lead off the 9th.  Alex was 3-3 and has been swinging a hot bat.  In fact, his batting average is closing in on .230.  Not bad for a guy who was hitting in the .160s in June.  With left-hander Donnie Veal pitching I guess he was playing the left right match-up, and it did work out, Pena doubled, but it seemed like a questionable move to me at least.

Anyway, there’s not much more to say about this game other than Fielder’s home run the game was kind of a dud.

Hopefully the Tigers can get back on track in Minnesota tomorrow and clinch the division ASAP.

Verlander against Pelfrey in the opener.

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

Tigers 7 White Sox 6

WOW!  Do I feel like an ass for leaving this game in the top of the 9th.

For the first 8.5 innings, I saw exactly what I expected.  After scoring 12 runs last night and facing who I believe to be the best pitcher in the American League, Chris Sale, the Tigers offense did next to nothing.

Chris Sale was dealing.  Except for Miggy, who had two hits against him, the rest of the lineup was completely and thoroughly dominated.

On the Tigers side of the ledger, Fredrick Alfred Porcello was fantastic.  For 6 and 2/3, Ricky was almost as good as Chris Sale.  Almost as good.  This was a match-up between an Ace and an Ace in waiting.  Ricky allowed only 6 hits and 2 runs while walked nobody and striking out 9.

I’m not sure what has gotten into him but Ricky has been getting a lot of swings and misses lately.  He struck out 10 in his previous start and 9 more today.  If Ricky and Iggy can stay healthy, Porcello will make a bid to win 20 games next year with an ERA well under 4, perhaps 3.50.

Tui was flashin leather tonight.   Jose Veras came in to relieve Ricky.  With two outs and the left handed hitting, White Sox catcher, Bryan Anderson at the plate.  The defense was shaded towards right.  Anderson hit a wounded quail to shallow left field and Tui made a fabulous diving catch to end the inning and save a run.

What can I say about Good Ole Dirksy?  He pinch hit for Tui in the bottom of the 9th with two on and nobody out and delivered a 3 run shot to pull the Tigers to within one run, 6-5.  Good for Andy.  It would be great if got to his 2012 form in time for the playoffs.

After Dirksy’s blast Infante walked bringing Santiago to the plate.  Ramon bunted Infante over to second.  I’m not sure how I feel about this play.  Generally, I don’t like bunting a guy from first to second.  In this case I didn’t particularly care for giving the White Sox pitcher an out when he was having trouble finding the plate.  Couple that with the Tigers’ bats perking up and nobody out and my initial reaction to the sacrifice was revulsion.  Looking back on it, however, it was the bottom of the 9th.  The Tigers were trailing by only a single run and it did get the tying run into scoring position.  It worked out this time but I’m still not sure if I would do it again should the occasion arise in the future.

Other than his inability to run, Miggy looked like his old self at the plate today.  He touched Sale for two hard hit singles and singled in the Tigers’ first run in the 9th.  He left the game with groin tightness and is listed as day to day.  It might be time to give him a day off.

Austin Jackson is struggling.  He was 0-5 with a walk tonight.  He had two hits last night, going 2-6, but he was 0-5 in the final game against the Mariners.  That makes him 2-16 in the last three games.  He needs to get on base so Miggy and Prince have a chance to drive in some runs.  That being said, AJax is a streaky hitter so hopefully he’ll go on a hot streak in time for the postseason.

The Amazing Al pitched well tonight.  He pitched two scoreless innings, the 11th and 12th, and got the win.  He allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out two.

Paul Konerko flashed some leather tonight as well.  He made a game saving, temporarily at least, backhanded pick in the 12th, on a throw in the dirt from third baseman Conor Gillaspie

The magic number is 2.

Sanchez is on the mound tomorrow.

It would be nice if the Astros could help the Tigers out tomorrow but I’m not counting on it.

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

Tigers 12 Indians 5

The Tigers beat up on the White Sox and their pitching tonight and got Max Scherzer his 20th win of the season.

They jumped on White Sox starter, Dylan Axelrod, early and often.  The Tigers put 7 runs on him and got the bullpen for five more.

Scherzer put in a quality start going 6 complete, allowing 6 hits and 3 runs, while walking 1 and striking out 3.

The Puppet Master had Good Ole Dirksy in left field tonight and he paid dividends right away with a two run single in the first to give the Tigers an early two run lead.  Dirks would finish the game 3 for 4 raising his batting average to .261.

A few areas of mild concern are Miggy and Jose Alvarez.  Miggy was 1-5 tonight and left 6 runners on base.  Jose Alvarez pitched one inning and allowed 3 hits and two earned runs.  I say mild concern but I’m a little more than mildly concerned about Miggy.  I know he’s still hitting .346 but his batting average has been slowly dropping this month and he’s been struggling to drive in runs.  I hope it is just a little slump but I can’t help worrying about his nagging injuries.  It is going to be hard to make long playoff run with Miggy struggling to drive in runs.

The good news is that the Tigers won, Max got his 20th, and the magic number is down to 3.  Hopefully, they can clinch this weekend.

I hope the Tigers saved some runs for tomorrow because they’re going to need all they can get.  They’ll  face White Sox ace, and Cy Young contender, Chris Sale.

I’m looking for a big game from Ricky tomorrow.

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

Tigers 5 Mariners 4

Fister pitched well and got his 13th win of the season.  The four runs he surrendered is a tad high but three of the runs came on a homer off of the bat of the Ackley Kid.

Smyly got the last out in the 8th and Joaquin Benoit converted his 22nd save of the season to close out the game and give the a Tigers 3-1 series win.

Incidentally, Tigers starters struck out 10 Mariners in 3 of the 4 games this series.  The only one with less was Justin Verlander.  Is this telling the Tigers something?  I’m not sayin.  I’m just sayin.

Torii Hunter got the Tigers on the board in the first with a solo shot but Fielder and Martinez did most of the damage this afternoon, they were a combined 5 for 6 with 3 RBIs.

Victor Martinez caught today and I thought he looked great.  Oh, and his batting average is now .301.

In the 6th inning, the Puppet Master, Jim Leyland, went to work.  He had Good Ole Dirsky pinch hit for Tui.  Dirksy didn’t get a hit but he had a hell of an at bat.  He bounced out to second base on the second pitch he saw from Mariner reliever Tom Wilhelmson. Tui wasn’t doing much but isn’t there anybody else to pinch hit, like Charlie Marcuse?  Oh, wait, the Tigers fired the singing hot dog man a few weeks ago.

Good Ole Dirksy redeemed himself in the bottom of the 7th, with runners at first and third and one out, Dirksy had another grind em out at bat.  He struck out on four pitches.

Letting Good Ole Dirsky bat in the 7th, against a good left handed reliever, Charlie Furbush, is a clear indication that the Puppet Master is still struggling with Dirksburger Syndrome.

Austin Jackson had a rough day. He was 0-5 including grounding into a double play.

Iggy got hurt and left the game when he was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 6th.  Luckily, he’s only got a bruised hand.  When it happened it looked like it might be broken.

All in all this was a good win.  The Tigers’ magic number is 4.

The White Sox come to town tomorrow.

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

Ackley Kid…

Ok, I can’t help myself.  Ever since the Mariners got to town, every time I see or hear Dustin Ackley’s name, I can’t help chuckling to myself.

Robert Ackley is a character in my all time favorite book, The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield, the main character, liked irritating Robert and did so by constantly addressing him as the Ackley Kid.  This nom de guerrre drove Ackley crazy.

As a result, Ackley Kid, has taken on an urban meaning that translates to tool. For example, instead of calling a person a tool, simply refer to him as an Ackley Kid and the meaning is pretty much the same.

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