Tigers 6 Mariners 3

I think we can put to rest the stories about JV losing his velocity.  He threw 17 pitches tonight at 95 MPH or above.  Instead, I think his issues have been command and not pitching inside.  That being said, he pitched well tonight.  He went seven and two thirds and allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one.  Really, his only blemish to was the homer to Kyle Seagar. At least it wasn’t to the Ackley Kid. 🙂

I know Seattle is not really a powerhouse team but the Tigers don’t seem to play very well there so this was a very impressive outing for JV.

Ok, it is way past time to say this but Miggy and Victor are smokin balls!  Miggy hit a two run shot and Victor hit a three run homer after Legendary Lloyd McClendon intentionally walked Miggy in front of him.

Let’s see if Smyly can put in a good performance tomorrow.

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

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Tigers earn split with A’s 5-4

Despite Joe Nathan’s best effort to blow his third save in the last 10 games, the Tigers found a way to squeak out a 5-4 victory and split the four game series with the A’s.

What makes this win more impressive is that they Freeway Ricky Porcello failed to provide a quality start despite winning his eighth game of the season.  Ricky’s performance was maddening. He pitched in and out of trouble all day long and gave up seven free passes, six walks and one HBP.  What was even more exasperating than the free passes was giving up a two run homer to Nick Punto. NICK PUNTO!?

The last two times through the rotation, Tigers starters, with the exception of Sanchez, have blown.  They better right the ship soon because like Peter Gammons says, “if you can’t pitch, you can’t win.”

With the exception of Joe Nathan, the bullpen was adequate.  However, the Amazing Al walked two in his inning of work.

That brings me to Nathan.  He has three blown saves and has a 5.23 ERA.  I hope Brad Ausmus has a plan B for the closer role.  Additionally, after his post game comments yesterday, I’m beginning to question his character.  I’ll be the first to admit that Castellanos is not good at third but he didn’t give up the home run to Donaldson.  So man up, JACKASS, and accept the fact that you’ve blown this year.  Instead of blaming the rookie start earning your money suck-hole.

On the flip side of the coin, this Tigers team has shown a type of resiliency that I haven’t seen for a long time.  They play for nine innings and on most nights, I get the feeling that they expect to win.  I guess time will tell.

 

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

Disaster

In tennis, when you break the other player’s serve, winning the very next game when you are serving is called consolidating the break.

Tonight was a game the Tigers needed to consolidate the break in their awful run of games during the last 10 days.  They pulled out a gutsy win yesterday but needed today’s game to get them on track.

They got an absolutely lights-out, ball smokin, performance from Anibal Sanchez.  He allowed only three hits in eight and a third innings but couldn’t get any help from his friends.

Joe Nathan blew his fourth save of the season surrendering a three run homer to Josh Donaldson in the bottom of the ninth.

Despite only scoring one run, I had a good feeling about this game, even after Sanchez gave up a one out double to Coco Crisp which brought in Nathan.

But the optimism quickly turned to despair.  The first batter Nathan faced was John Jaso who hit a line drive that went off of Nick Castellanos’s glove into left field.  I have no idea how Jaso was given a hit.  This was an E5 all day long.  If your third basemen can’t make that play, you aren’t going to win.

Here’s some food for thought:

  • Perhaps substituting DK for Castellanos late in close games would be a good idea.
  • The left side of the Tigers infield is a problem.
  • The Tigers still need a closer.

Another deep deep breath.

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

 

They found a way…

to win.  That is the best way I can describe the Tigers 6-5 victory over Sonny Gray and the Oakland A’s tonight.

Max wasn’t great but neither was Oakland ace Sonny Gray.

The Tigers got step-up performances from the following:

  • Miggy, with his bat and glove.  His play in the 9th inning to record the second out might have been as big as his homer.
  • Torii Hunter, hit a solo shot with two out to tie the game at five.
  • A Squared Money, with his bat and glove.
  • Ian Kinsler.  Although he took an ofer, He made a great running catch for the first out in the ninth.
  • Joba and Joe Nathan came through and pitched clean innings to close out the game.
  • Don Kelly made two nice defensive plays at third.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with the starters, but we are in the middle of two turns of the rotation, where the starting pitching looks more like an Asses Carnival than a professional pitching staff.

After Scherzer balked home the third run I heard Rod Allen mention that this was something the Tigers worked on in spring training.  What exactly were they working on, how to allow runners to score from third without throwing a pitch?  I’d say they’ve mastered that move.  WTF?

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

Take a deep breath…

this is a 162 game season and the Tigers are going through a rough patch.  It’s concerning because the slump began with Smyly’s start last Monday and continued through the rotation, with the exception of Sanchez, and extended through Smyly’s start yesterday.

This is a rare instance when I’m going to stick up for the offense.  It has to be demoralizing to come to the plate and be down four runs in the first or second inning.

Here’s my remedy to end this streak:

  • The offense has to score early
  • One person on the staff has to step up, starter or reliever
  • Romine has to go at short.  His fielding is an abomination.  I’m not sure Worth is any better but Romine has been embarrassing.  On that note, Castellanos isn’t looking good defensively either.
  • I won’t mention Hunter again.  Yet.

Simple right?

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