The Third Best Hull…

by Dennis Hull.

I’m reading this book on the plane on my way to work yesterday and couldn’t stop laughing at the exchange below between Dennis Hull and Chicago Blackhawks coach, Billy Reay.

” ‘What happened?’ Billy asked. ‘Did Jarrett get hit in the ankle again?’

‘No Billy, he got hit in the head.’ I replied.

‘Oh good.’ He said.”

The background to this is that Dennis Hull’s friend and teammate Doug Jarrett kept getting hit in the ankle by shots.  This time, however, he got hit in the forehead and was knocked unconscious.

I was laughing, almost out loud, for about five minutes after I read this.

Tigers Sweep Tribe 10-4

I’m not going to get too excited about the sweep and the four game winning streak.

I’m not really sure what to make of this team.  This is the same team that was 9-20 in their last 29 games before winning the last four.

The difference, I guess, is the starting pitching.  They’ve been getting quality starts, scoring enough runs, and winning in spite of their bullpen.

I think one of things I’ve noticed in the last few games, is that Miggy has starting coming up big again with both his glove and his bat.  Although, he was never one the Tigers really had to worry about, when he would strike out, ground into a double play, or hit a rocket right at someone, it was magnified because the team was running so bad.

I’m not so sure the bad run is behind the Tigers but Miggy has been flashin leather and getting big hits.

On another note, I’m a little surprised that Alex Avila got two starts in a row.  Perhaps it was wishful thinking but I kind of got the impression that Avila was going to be the defacto backup while Ausmus rode Holiday while he was going well. I can see giving Holiday a day off, but two starts in a row for A Squared Money?  He is hitting .218.

Anyway, needless to say, I’m glad to be talking about a four game winning streak, than the nightmare run we endured for the month prior.

On another note, did you know that the Tigers own Freeway Ricky Porcello’s maternal, grandfather, Sam Dente played in the 1954 World Series for the Cleveland Indians? H/T – My Sister

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

Tigers 5 Indians 4

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

 

 

Whew!

The Tigers survived another miserable performance from Ian Krol to take the first of a nine game road trip.

Despite Krol giving up four runs in 2/3 of an inning, the eighth, the Tigers beat the Indians 6-4.

I was at a restaurant, celebrating my birthday, so I was watching the game with the sound turned off. There are a few things that I wished I had an explanation for.

First, why was Don Kelly trying to steal third base in the third inning?  Was this some kind of missed hit and run?  He led off the inning with a double.

I’m a DK fan but WTF?

Second, why did Ian Krol come in to pitch the eighth inning?

Third, why did Ausmus leave Krol in after he gave up back to back singles to lead off the inning?

Fourth, why did Ausmus leave Krol in after Cabrera hit a three run homer?

Fifth, why did Ausmus leave Krol in after Santana cut the lead to one run?

Ausmus is beginning to worry me.  While Krol threw batting practice to the Indians, Ausmus had the deer in the headlights look?

Didn’t he go to Dartmouth?

On the bright side:

  • The Tigers have won back to back games.
  • Freeway Rick was great for six innings.  I would have liked to get at least seven out of him but you can’t complain about six scoreless innings.
  • Victor and J.D. Martinez continue to get it done and carry this team offensively.  I’m not sure how long the ride is going to last with J.D. but I hope the Tigers ride it for as long as they can.
  • Miggy FLASHED LEATHER in the sixth, he started and finished, a 3-6-3 double play.  The finish was sweet.  He dove for the ball but kept his foot on the bag just long enough to get Asdrubal Cabrera called out at first.
  • The Amazing Al pitched a clean seventh.
  • Joe Nathan got his second save in a as many games by pitching a scoreless ninth.

One more thing, at the beginning of the season, I was on the DD band wagon proclaiming his genius.  I should have listened to my gut, my first reaction.  Dave Dombrowski traded Doug Fister for three humpty dumpties.  We’re reminded of this every time Ian Krol takes the mound.

The Tigers, for the second game in a row, were able to win in spite of themselves.

I hope the ship has turned in the right direction.

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

Turning Point?

As I listened to the Tigers 2-1 victory over the Royals this afternoon, I kept waiting for the implosion.  After what we’ve seen from this team over the last 30 games, can you blame me?

The Royals scored in the top of the first, “oh no, another terrible start by a Tigers starter?”

Sanchez pitched 7 innings, allowed five hits, one run, and walked only one.

In the bottom of the fourth, Miggy gets picked off of second base. J.D. Martinez follows with a home run to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. “Watch they’ll  lose 3-2.”

They didn’t.

When Joba took over for Sanchez in the 8th, “its Joba’s turn to melt down.”

He didn’t.

When Nathan came on in the ninth to close the game, “another blown save”.

He struck out the side.

Today the stars aligned.  The Tigers got a quality start, a few runs, overcame a few mistakes and pulled within 1/2 game of the Royals.

Is this a turning point or an anomaly?

We’ll see.

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

 

9-20…

is the Tigers record over their last 29 games after their third straight loss to the Royals, 2-1.

Pitching wasn’t the problem this afternoon, Drew Smyly pitched 7 innings, allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits, with 6 strike outs and zero walks.

No, today the Tigers offense decided not to show up, excluding J.D. Martinez.  This is actually starting to look like another bad trend.

The Tigers struck out 13 times including two by Davis, two by Kinsler, two by Victor, two by Avila, and two by Suarez.

At 29 games, this is way past a slump or a skid, I think this is who the Tigers are.

It looks like 2014 is going to be another disappointing season.

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