Should the Tigers Dump Alex Avila aka A Squared Money?

Paul Swydan at ESPN Insider thinks so.

When Alex Avila suffered an injury in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, there was a lot of worry that he wouldn’t be able to play in Game 6 either. In reality, though, the Tigers would have been fine without him and should be looking to replace him heading into next season.

That’s certainly a touchy subject, considering that his father is the team’s assistant general manager, but the simple fact is that Avila didn’t cut it this season. His 0.6 WAR (per FanGraphs) ranked just 37th overall among catchers, and 26th among 32 catchers who had at least 300 plate appearances.

Swydan makes some good points but getting rid of Alex doesn’t seem likely.

Hat Tip Nebraska for pointing out this article.

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

 

Interference

Cards win game 3 on an obstruction call 5-4.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m pulling for the Cards.  But, I don’t like to see any team lose on a bad call even when they are playing the Tigers.

That being said, I thought the obstruction call was correct.  It looked like Will Middlebrooks lifted his legs to trip Allen Craig.

Here’s the video, decide for yourself.

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

It’s Over

The 2013 Detroit Tigers season ended with and 5-2 loss in game 6 of the ALCS. The World Series drought will last at least 30 years.

Besides the starting pitching, this team just wasn’t very good. The Tigers rode the starting staff as long and hard as they could but in the end the pitchers needed help, but couldn’t get it.

The Tigers need to be retooled for 2014 and nobody is untouchable including Miguel Cabrera.

The bull pen was marginal.

The defense was marginal.

The offense was embarrassing.

I don’t want to see Prince Fielder back in a Tigers uniform next year. It seemed that he found a way to hurt the team, in some form or fashion, in critical moments during this entire series. Besides doing nothing at the plate, his fielding cost the Tigers in the bottom of the 9th in game 2, and his base running killed a rally again last night.

I feel bad for the the starters. They did more than any single team component should be asked to do. They were good enough to win a World Series.

Iggy made a crucial error yesterday.

The Tigers need to do what the Red Sox did last year, dump over priced, over paid, prima donnas, and replace them with members of a team.

This is still stinging.

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

Sent from my iPad

Red Sox 4 Tigers 3

An error, a wild pitch, and three double plays proved to be the undoing of the Tigers tonight.

Neither starter, Sanchez or Lester, were great, but they both pitched decently.

Both bullpens were good.  I was very impressed with Coke Veras, and Alburquerque.

After falling behind 4-0, the Tigers showed some fight, battling back with single runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th, to make it a one run game.  In the end they just couldn’t get it done.

If the Tigers are going to end their 29 year World Series drought they’re going to have to win two in a row at Fenway Park, no easy task.

The Tigers will have Scherzer pitching in game 6 and Verlander pitching the finale, if it goes to 7.  If they can turn in performances close to their first outings, the Tigers may have an outside chance but they’re going to need some clutch hitting.  What else is new?

The Tigers had a great chance to tie the game in the 7th.  Down 4-2, with one out and runners on first and third, Cabrera stepped to the plate but grounded into a double play.  The third run scored on the play but the double play effectively killed the rally.

The Tigers are getting nothing from Prince Fielder, except for the occasional single.  It’s not good enough.  He hasn’t driven in a post season run since game two of the 2012 ALDS.  What makes matters worse is that he is having horrible at bats.  Most of the time he falls behind 0-1 and ends up grounding into the defensive shift.  He’s pretty much become an automatic out.

I’m also not thrilled with Torii Hunter’s performance in the lead off position but I guess there aren’t many other options.

Saturday it, once again, it’s time to “F*** or walk”.

We’ll have to wait and see.

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

TIgers 7 Red Sox 3

The Puppet Master pulled the right strings tonight.  In an unconventional, but much needed move, Jim Leyland shook up the lineup in hopes of waking up this pathetic offense.

It worked.  At least for today.

Leyland moved the first 7 batters up a spot and put the struggling Austin Jackson in the 8th slot.  The revamped lineup scored 7 runs.

Importantly, Austin Jackson seemed comfortable hitting down in the lineup.  He was on base 4 times with 2 hits and 2 walks.

The only Tiger not to reach base tonight was Prince Fielder.

Victor Martinez continues to rake with two more hits tonight and Alex Avila, although he didn’t get a hit, walked twice and got hit by a pitch.

It was nice to see Iggy chip in today with a hit, an RBI, and flashin serious leather.

Fister pitched well.  He went 6 complete, allowed 1 run on 8 hits, struck out 7 and walked only 1.  He turned it over to the pen, they got the job done, and the Tigers evened the 2013 ALCS at 2 games apiece.

Even with a 7 run lead, after Sunday’s disaster, the bull pen makes me nervous.

The one move I have to take exception with is bringing Benoit in for the 9th.  Smyly retired the last two outs in 7th and got the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the 8th.  He was, in a phrase, ‘”smokin balls”.  I was hoping he’d come out for the 9th.  But Jim Leyland didn’t agree with me.

Apparently, Jimmy was trying to give Benoit a chance to regain his confidence by bringing him in with a 5 run lead.  In my humble opinion, this is not the time to worry about a player’s confidence, it’s time to win ball games.  That being said, it worked out and the series is even.  Kudos in Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

I’d like to extend a Happy Flashin Leather birthday to regular reader Al, who shares a Birthday with former Tiger Juan Gonzalez and FOX broadcaster, Tim McCarver.

Sanchez against Lester tomorrow.

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

Living a Dream…

Gene Strenzel, featured here on Flashin Leather’s Generations post, is “living a dream”.  He is attending  Game 4 of the America League Championship Series at Comerica Park tonight.

This time Gene has his beard dyed Tigers orange.  With Gene are his Daughter, Sara Kazan. Gytis Udrys who also has his beard dyed Tigers orange, and his grandson Nelson Kazan.

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Gene, “it’s not a dream.  But it’s pretty darn close.”

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

Red Sox 1 Tigers 0

How much more can the Tigers ask from their pitching staff?  It has gotten to the point where the staff can’t afford to surrender a single run.

JV was “smokin balls” again today.  He had one mistake in 8 innings and it cost the Tigers a game and allowed the Red Sox to reclaim home field advantage.

I believe this is the 5th or 6th time since the beginning of September that the offense have failed to give JV a single run.

Pathetic.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all the Tigers offense reaches new heights of futility.

I understand they are facing good pitching but the hitters have to find a way to scratch out runs.  This Tigers team has proven over and over again that they not capable.

The Tigers had chances.  They had a runner on third with less than two outs twice and couldn’t manufacture a run.

In the 5th, Peralta led off with a double and went to third on an Alex Avila ground out.  Omar Infante, who is now hitting .100, struck out. Dirks followed with a ground out.

The Tigers failed to score.

In the 8th, after an Iglesias K, Jackson walked and went to third on a Torii Hunter single.  Runners and first and third with one out and the Tigers still trailing 1-0.  Things looked good with Cabrera and Fielder coming to the dish.  But Miggy struck out on 4 pitches and Fielder one-upped him with a K on 3 pitches.

The Tigers failed to score.

Pathetic.

It is impossible to win when you don’t score.

Fister vs Peavy tomorrow.

Your guess is as good as mine.

I wasn’t at the game but a frequent reader of this blog said the crowd sucked. However, I didn’t see much to get excited about.

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

HAKA

Sark is hoping this video can get the Tigers fired up for tomorrow’s game against the Red Sox.

The dance may seem familiar.  It appears the Tigers have adopted it.

I first saw the University of Hawai’i do this during pregame warm ups.

After a little research, I leaned that the Haka “is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Maori people of New Zealand.”

The haka was made famous globally by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team.

Here’s a video of the All Blacks performing the Haka at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

I hope the Tigers take a look at this post. 🙂

I’m willing to try anything.
“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Red Sox 6 Tigers 5

DISASTER!

That’s only thing I can say about this game.

After the offense finally put up some runs and built a 5-0, Max throwing a gem, the bull pen and defense blew it.

Max threw 108 pitches through 7 innings.  He struck out 13, allowed 2 hits, and 1 run.

I was hoping he’d come out for the 8th but when I saw Veras warming up I began to worry.

Veras, Smyly, Alburquerque, and Benoit couldn’t protect a 4 run lead and the Boston Red Sox evened the series with 4 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.

Porcello came in to start the 9th and the wheels began to immediately fall off.  He got Gomes to hit a ball between 3rd and short.  Iggy fielded the ball and made a wide throw to first.  The throw took a glove high hop but Fielder couldn’t knock it down.  The hit and error sent the winning run to second with nobody out.  Porcello got Saltalamacchia to foul down the first base line.  Prince went to the stands but couldn’t make the catch.  The ball hit off the heel of his glove giving Saltalamacchia new life.

Porcello then threw a wild pitch sending Gomes to third and Saltalamacchia singled through a drawn in infield to end the game.

I don’t have the words to describe this one.  What an awful way to lose.

I hope it is not a back breaker.

Torii Hunter almost robbed David Ortiz of a game tying grand slam but seemed to over run the ball.  It would have been a great catch but it looked like he might have made it if he didn’t over run it.

The Tigers may have stolen a game yesterday but they gave this one away.

Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter were both 0-5.  If there is any good news coming out of the 1 and 2 slots in the order it is that Jackson only struck out once tonight.

I’m stunned and sick to my stomach.

This one hurts!

Let’s hope JV can give the Tigers 9 on Tuesday.  Despite yesterday’s success, the pen worries me.

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