Behind excellent pitching and just enough offense the Tigers took the first game of the series in Oakland.
The Tigers scored three runs in the first but couldn’t add on the rest of the way. This was not really a surprise. This is the same thing we’ve seen all year.
Scherzer, Smyly and Benoit were outstanding and combined to strike out 16 Oakland batters.
Readers of this blog know I’ve been hard on Dirks this year and I’m going to continue. The Tigers are still not getting anything substantial out of his bat and his fielding is terrible at best. I know, there is supposed to be some metric that tells us Dirksy is a wonderful fielder but the numbers don’t correspond to the visual.
In the bottom of the second Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard shot to left field that ended up as a one out triple. I understand the ball was hard hit but it looked like Dirksy didn’t take a very good route to the ball. It would have been a nice play. It is a play I would expect a good left fielder to make.
There was another play in the 5th or 6th inning where Dirks ran for a ball in foul territory. The ball looked like it hit the palm of his glove and he ended up dropping it.
Luckily, Max was able to pitch around these two plays and the pen was able to hold on for the win but I think Leyland and the Tigers really need to evaluate what they are getting from left field both offensively and defensively. I’m not even saying put Peralta in but perhaps it’s time to put DK in left. Let him play solid defense and take what you can from his bat. What are you really losing playing DK over Dirksy?
In the 6th the Tigers had a chance to add on. With one out, Martinez on second and Avila on first, Omar Infante singled sharply to right field. Tom “The Windmill” Brookens sent Victor home and he was nailed at the plate for the second out of the inning. At first, I was screaming about another horrible send from The Windmill, but on further review, I think it was the right thing to do. The Tigers had just gotten three hits and Dirks was up next. At this point, you can’t expect anything from Good Ole Dirksy.
I’ve been screaming all year about the offense but nothing is going to change. The formula the Tigers used tonight to win will have to be the recipe going forward. But at least if they could tighten up the left field defense, it might increase their chances.
JV goes tomorrow. Your guess is a good as mine regarding what to expect.
“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural