The Tigers won their third straight and second against the Indians, 5-4.
JV, was very good tonight. He pitched seven innings, allowed two runs, one earned, struck out eight and walked one.
At first, I was annoyed that he didn’t come out for the eighth inning. However, after thinking about it, I believe sitting him down was the correct move.
JV has thrown a lot of pitches and innings over the last five or six years. It might be time to pull the reins in a piece. Also, he’s struggled lately, so let him come out of the game feeling good about himself.
The problem is that he has to turn the game over to one of the worst bullpens in MLB. In fact, according to the CBS post game show, the Tigers bullpen ERA is second worst and has surrendered 10 more NINTH inning runs than the next worst team. I think the Astros are the only team with a worse bullpen ERA this season.
I’m not going to complain too much about Nathan tonight. He blew the save but sometimes you just get a bad run of cards and there’s not much you can do about it. Nathan struck out the first two batters in the ninth. He had David Murphy 1-2. Murphy worked the count to 3-2 then hit a ball off the ground into center field to extend the inning. In fact, Nathan had Murphy, Gomes, and Bourn down to their last strike and ended up giving up three consecutive singles.
The good news is, Phil Coke was SMOKIN BALLS. When have I ever said that before? Have I ever said that before? He came in to pitch the 10th inning, struck out the side, and got the save.
Blaine Hardy came into relieve the The Amazing Al in the eighth and looked pretty good. I’m not going to get too excited yet but so far so good.
One more troubling statistic that I saw on the post game show was that this isn’t the first year the Tigers bullpen has hit the skids. They’ve been among the worst in baseball for the last five years. This is probably a big reason why the Tigers haven’t won the World Series since 1984. You’d think Dave Dombrowski would have plugged this hole by now.
“God I love baseball.” Roy Hobbs | The Natural