The perfect season is over…

and the Nebraskadamus prophecy unfulfilled.  The Tigers fell to the Pirates 5-4 for their first loss of the 2015 season.

Anibal was not good.  He gave up 5 runs in 6.3 but the offense nearly made a top of the ninth comeback to bail him out.

If not for a 1 pitch, rally killing at bat, by Nick Castellanos that resulted in a double play, the Tigers may have forced extra innings.  That would have been no guarantee of a better outcome given the bullpen but hope does spring eternal.

I won’t whine too much about being 6-1 but it would be nice to get a win in Pittsburgh.  It seem like the Tigers never play well there.

Tigers 8 Indians 5

The Tigers move to 6-0 and Nebraska still looks like Nostradamus.

The offense continues to impress. Jose Miguel Cabrera was 4-4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs.  Isn’t he usually a slow starter?

In the first six games of 2015 we have seen a role reversal.  Success in the last five seasons consisted of the pitching bailing out an erratic and often stagnant offense.  This year the offense is mashing regardless of what the pitching does.

Here’s what concerns me, it doesn’t look like the Tigers are going to get a lot of length out the fourth and fifth starters.  That means more bullpen innings which means disaster.  It isn’t an issue now because the Tigers are scoring 7+ runs a game but if the offense slumps it is going to be tough to win when the starters only pitch five innings.

I’ll take 6-0.

Still Perfect But…

not pretty.

The weakness preventing the Tigers from winning a World Series in the last five years has been the bullpen.  After last season, I didn’t think the pen could get any worse, and with Joe Nathan’s early absence I was optimistic. I was wrong.

My biggest issue with David Price last year was that he rarely, if ever, but together two consecutive solid starts.  It was generally one superb outing followed by garbage.  I’m reserving judgement because today’s start was skewed by his own throwing error that allowed three unearned runs. Seriously, what is the issue with Tigers pitchers throwing to bases? That being said, Price only lasted five and two thirds.  That’s a problem because, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, the pen is a Carnival of Asses and the Soria experiment might need to be over.  I know we are only five games in but his leash is as short as Nathan’s.  At least Shit Bird Nathan had the decency to go on the DL.

The offense is SMOKIN BALLS!  Getting two runs off of Kluber was impressive but continuing to come back after losing the lead or having the lead shortened was even more so.  In fact, even though they struck out 10 times against him they were able chase Kluber after 6.2. Hey, I just thought of something, the Indians pen is worse than the Tigers.

One more thing, I’ve had it with Ausmus’s stupid late game substitutions.  This is an asinine habit he picked up from Jim Leyland or Gene Lamont or both.  Look we know you went to Dartmouth but you are making things more complicated than they need to be, and you don’t have Ryan Rayburn and Clete Thomas, defensive specialists, sitting on the bench. Remember Occam’s Razor.  More to the point, knock off the college boy antics jackass.

I’ll take 5-0.

So Far, So Good

The Tigers thumped the Indians this afternoon 8-4 and moved their 2015 record to 4-0.

Alfredo Simon looked pretty good for the first four innings. He struggled in the fifth and was ultimately able to last 5.1.

No surprises, the bullpen didn’t look that great but didn’t look horrible either.  We know the pen is a chink in the armor so there is no sense kicking a dead horse.  🙂

There are two things that struck me about this game.  First, the offense didn’t go in into hibernation after putting up big numbers in the two of the first three games. Also, after the Indians made it it 5-3 they came right back in the top of the 7th and got the runs back. Second, they won their first road game in Cleveland.  Remember what happened when they went into Cleveland, I believe for the first time, last year?

I’m excited for the tomorrow’s match-up, Price v. Kluber.  I’m not expecting the Tigers to dominate Kluber but I’d like to see some good at-bats and a least a run or two.

Did anyone see Babcock’s interview after last nights loss? Check it out,|DET|home

Tigers 7 Twins 1

Nebraska’s prediction of a 162-0 season got one game closer as the Tigers completed the sweep of the Twins.

Shane Greene was smokin’ balls!  One game into his Tigers career he looks like the guy we saw last year.

And looooky here, the Tigers offense put up 7 runs one game after scoring 11.

Three games into the season we’ve seen some good signs.  First, Anibal didn’t implode in the 6th inning yesterday and second, the offense didn’t go into hibernation after an explosion the game before.

I’m not making World Series plans but I’ll take 3-0.

On a different note, did anyone see the Red Wings game last night?  I’ve never felt so shitty about clinching a playoff spot. Jimmy Howard is an abomination.  In an important game like that, when his team is fighting for a playoff spot and gets him three goals on Carey Price, he gives up three goals that go right through him, two, from ridiculous angles.

And I don’t want to see Brendan Smith in a Red Wings uniform after this year.  In fact, after the stunt he pulled to put the Wings two men down late in the third, up by a goal, I don’t want to see him period.

Tigers Open Season With Back To Back Shutouts Beat Twins 11-0

There hasn’t been much to cry about two games into the 2015 season.

Besides the hitting it was nice to see Sanchez not blow up in the 6th inning, although the leadoff double brought back bad memories.

Anibal lasted 6 and two thirds, struck out 6, walked 2, and allowed only 3 hits.

We are only two games in so I’m not saving for World Series tickets but so far so good.

Sent from my iPad

Verlander takes selfie…

with unsuspecting fan at Starbucks.

This is a nice story about JV that was sent to me by an avid reader.

I used to be a huge JV fan and sometimes apologist.  However, I’ve soured on him over the last year or so.  The first strike was when I was told he doesn’t sign autographs anymore.  Apparently, he doesn’t want his signatures ending up on ebay.

I can understand JV getting irritated with people that approach him with a bag full of balls or a stack of pictures but he could institute an one autograph per person rule instead of no autographs for anyone.  I guess this bothers me for selfish reasons.  I’m an autograph collector and have been looking for a JV signed ball for a few years now.  I guess I have no chance of adding that to my collection.

For the record, I have never sold a single autograph I’ve gotten in person or purchased and I appreciate personalized signatures. I guess, since I’m a hapless, childless, bachelor, my nieces will have to decide what to do with my collection after they bury me so I guess they could end up on ebay sometime in the future.

The second strike was a story I heard from this year’s fantasy camp.  Apparently, JV was warming up and a small crowd of fantasy players gathered around to take in his warmup.  They were promptly told that Verlander does not want people watching him pitch.  Really, they why in the sam hell do I pay $12k a year for season tickets?

All my souring aside, this is a nice story.

Freeway Ricky Cashes In

The Boston Red Sox have given Freeway Ricky Porcello a $82.5 million extension.

Readers know I’m a huge Freeway Ricky fan.  I was sad to see him go and I was worried about how he would fit in with the Red Sox.  There are still a few players left that witnessed a very young Freeway Ricky beat Youk into a conniption.

Apparently my worries were unfounded.

Bravo Freeway Ricky!

Tiger 4 Twins 0

Well, this was almost a perfect game to start off the 2015 season.

David Price pitched 8.2 shutout innings and Joe Nathan got the final out, striking out Torii Hunter.

J.D. Martinez and Alex A Squared Money Avila went deep and Yoenis Cespedes was two for three with a double and a triple.

The Tigers flashed plenty of leather today as well. Cespedes, Iglesias, Kinzler Castellanos, and Miggy all had nice plays defensively.

I hope this is a harbinger of things to come for the 2015 Tigers but I can’t help wondering if Price and Cespedes are only here for half a season.

We’ll see.

Here we go…

I can barely contain myself. Baseball starts Sunday. The Tigers open Monday and the hockey playoffs are right around the corner.  The only downside is that I’ll be so busy watching or listening to baseball and hockey that I won’t get much reading done.

OK, I don’t expect much from the Tigers this year.  As Nebraska says, “too many ifs”.

The Tigers could contend “if”:

  • Verlander returns to form.
  • Miggy and Victor are healthy.
  • Someone can get on base in front of Miggy.
  • Joba pitches like he did in the first half of last year.
  • Nathan stays on the team past May.
  • J.D. is what he appeared to be last year.

Too many “ifs” and hope is not a strategy.  But there is always a chance.  The stars could align for the Tigers like they did for the Red Sox in 2013.

I’m excited but proceeding with caution.

Also, I recommend readers check out another site, Minoring In Baseball.  I’ve been reading this blog for the last few years and absolutely love it.

Have a blessed Easter and LET’S PLAY BALL.

FYI: I’m on the verge of hating the Red Wings.

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