Red Sox 4 Tigers 3

An error, a wild pitch, and three double plays proved to be the undoing of the Tigers tonight.

Neither starter, Sanchez or Lester, were great, but they both pitched decently.

Both bullpens were good.  I was very impressed with Coke Veras, and Alburquerque.

After falling behind 4-0, the Tigers showed some fight, battling back with single runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th, to make it a one run game.  In the end they just couldn’t get it done.

If the Tigers are going to end their 29 year World Series drought they’re going to have to win two in a row at Fenway Park, no easy task.

The Tigers will have Scherzer pitching in game 6 and Verlander pitching the finale, if it goes to 7.  If they can turn in performances close to their first outings, the Tigers may have an outside chance but they’re going to need some clutch hitting.  What else is new?

The Tigers had a great chance to tie the game in the 7th.  Down 4-2, with one out and runners on first and third, Cabrera stepped to the plate but grounded into a double play.  The third run scored on the play but the double play effectively killed the rally.

The Tigers are getting nothing from Prince Fielder, except for the occasional single.  It’s not good enough.  He hasn’t driven in a post season run since game two of the 2012 ALDS.  What makes matters worse is that he is having horrible at bats.  Most of the time he falls behind 0-1 and ends up grounding into the defensive shift.  He’s pretty much become an automatic out.

I’m also not thrilled with Torii Hunter’s performance in the lead off position but I guess there aren’t many other options.

Saturday it, once again, it’s time to “F*** or walk”.

We’ll have to wait and see.

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

TIgers 7 Red Sox 3

The Puppet Master pulled the right strings tonight.  In an unconventional, but much needed move, Jim Leyland shook up the lineup in hopes of waking up this pathetic offense.

It worked.  At least for today.

Leyland moved the first 7 batters up a spot and put the struggling Austin Jackson in the 8th slot.  The revamped lineup scored 7 runs.

Importantly, Austin Jackson seemed comfortable hitting down in the lineup.  He was on base 4 times with 2 hits and 2 walks.

The only Tiger not to reach base tonight was Prince Fielder.

Victor Martinez continues to rake with two more hits tonight and Alex Avila, although he didn’t get a hit, walked twice and got hit by a pitch.

It was nice to see Iggy chip in today with a hit, an RBI, and flashin serious leather.

Fister pitched well.  He went 6 complete, allowed 1 run on 8 hits, struck out 7 and walked only 1.  He turned it over to the pen, they got the job done, and the Tigers evened the 2013 ALCS at 2 games apiece.

Even with a 7 run lead, after Sunday’s disaster, the bull pen makes me nervous.

The one move I have to take exception with is bringing Benoit in for the 9th.  Smyly retired the last two outs in 7th and got the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the 8th.  He was, in a phrase, ‘”smokin balls”.  I was hoping he’d come out for the 9th.  But Jim Leyland didn’t agree with me.

Apparently, Jimmy was trying to give Benoit a chance to regain his confidence by bringing him in with a 5 run lead.  In my humble opinion, this is not the time to worry about a player’s confidence, it’s time to win ball games.  That being said, it worked out and the series is even.  Kudos in Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

I’d like to extend a Happy Flashin Leather birthday to regular reader Al, who shares a Birthday with former Tiger Juan Gonzalez and FOX broadcaster, Tim McCarver.

Sanchez against Lester tomorrow.

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

Living a Dream…

Gene Strenzel, featured here on Flashin Leather’s Generations post, is “living a dream”.  He is attending  Game 4 of the America League Championship Series at Comerica Park tonight.

This time Gene has his beard dyed Tigers orange.  With Gene are his Daughter, Sara Kazan. Gytis Udrys who also has his beard dyed Tigers orange, and his grandson Nelson Kazan.

IMG_7686

Gene_Sarah2

Gene_Sarah

Gene_Gytis

Gene, “it’s not a dream.  But it’s pretty darn close.”

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

Red Sox 1 Tigers 0

How much more can the Tigers ask from their pitching staff?  It has gotten to the point where the staff can’t afford to surrender a single run.

JV was “smokin balls” again today.  He had one mistake in 8 innings and it cost the Tigers a game and allowed the Red Sox to reclaim home field advantage.

I believe this is the 5th or 6th time since the beginning of September that the offense have failed to give JV a single run.

Pathetic.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all the Tigers offense reaches new heights of futility.

I understand they are facing good pitching but the hitters have to find a way to scratch out runs.  This Tigers team has proven over and over again that they not capable.

The Tigers had chances.  They had a runner on third with less than two outs twice and couldn’t manufacture a run.

In the 5th, Peralta led off with a double and went to third on an Alex Avila ground out.  Omar Infante, who is now hitting .100, struck out. Dirks followed with a ground out.

The Tigers failed to score.

In the 8th, after an Iglesias K, Jackson walked and went to third on a Torii Hunter single.  Runners and first and third with one out and the Tigers still trailing 1-0.  Things looked good with Cabrera and Fielder coming to the dish.  But Miggy struck out on 4 pitches and Fielder one-upped him with a K on 3 pitches.

The Tigers failed to score.

Pathetic.

It is impossible to win when you don’t score.

Fister vs Peavy tomorrow.

Your guess is as good as mine.

I wasn’t at the game but a frequent reader of this blog said the crowd sucked. However, I didn’t see much to get excited about.

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

Red Sox 6 Tigers 5

DISASTER!

That’s only thing I can say about this game.

After the offense finally put up some runs and built a 5-0, Max throwing a gem, the bull pen and defense blew it.

Max threw 108 pitches through 7 innings.  He struck out 13, allowed 2 hits, and 1 run.

I was hoping he’d come out for the 8th but when I saw Veras warming up I began to worry.

Veras, Smyly, Alburquerque, and Benoit couldn’t protect a 4 run lead and the Boston Red Sox evened the series with 4 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.

Porcello came in to start the 9th and the wheels began to immediately fall off.  He got Gomes to hit a ball between 3rd and short.  Iggy fielded the ball and made a wide throw to first.  The throw took a glove high hop but Fielder couldn’t knock it down.  The hit and error sent the winning run to second with nobody out.  Porcello got Saltalamacchia to foul down the first base line.  Prince went to the stands but couldn’t make the catch.  The ball hit off the heel of his glove giving Saltalamacchia new life.

Porcello then threw a wild pitch sending Gomes to third and Saltalamacchia singled through a drawn in infield to end the game.

I don’t have the words to describe this one.  What an awful way to lose.

I hope it is not a back breaker.

Torii Hunter almost robbed David Ortiz of a game tying grand slam but seemed to over run the ball.  It would have been a great catch but it looked like he might have made it if he didn’t over run it.

The Tigers may have stolen a game yesterday but they gave this one away.

Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter were both 0-5.  If there is any good news coming out of the 1 and 2 slots in the order it is that Jackson only struck out once tonight.

I’m stunned and sick to my stomach.

This one hurts!

Let’s hope JV can give the Tigers 9 on Tuesday.  Despite yesterday’s success, the pen worries me.

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

Tigers 1 Red Sox 0

Nebraskaknows hit it right on the head when he said he “feels like a thief in the night” after the Tigers 1-0 win in game 1 of the 2013 American League Championship Series.

The Tigers pitching staff was fabulous again tonight.  As a staff they allowed only one hit and no runs.  It would be hard to ask much more from a pitching staff.

The Tigers offense strove for an unprecedented level of ineptitude.  The Boston pitchers were good but the Tigers offense was an abomination.  They managed only 1 run on 9 hits.

Without an extra base hit it takes the Tigers 4 hits in an inning to score a single run. The likely hood of that scenario playing out is not very good and this pathetic excuse for an offense is living proof.

Miguel Cabrera hit a ball in the corner tonight.  It bounced around, the outfielder bobbled it and still Cabrera could only get to first base.

Austin Jackson is on the verge of becoming un-playable.  He is doing absolutely nothing.  He did have a single tonight but struck out 2 more times.  In six postseason games this year he is hitting .200 with 15 strikeouts.  The Tigers may not have another center fielder but Austin needs to be moved out of the lead off spot. No matter how much I like him he has become an embarrassment at the plate.

In the top of the 9th he had a chance to make up for some of his struggles by doing something useful at the plate.  Iggy lead off with a single.  The Tigers needed Jackson to move him over.  AJax tried twice to bunt him over but couldn’t get the job done.  He ended up striking out.  What made matters worse was the Torii Hunter followed Jackson with a double to left field moving Iggy to third.

At this point all the Tigers needed was a fly ball to push across a second run and give Benoit some breathing room.  Unfortunately, as a result of substitutions, Don Kelly was now hitting in Cabrera’s spot.  DK struck out on 3 pitches.

I thought Leyland managed masterfully in the last game against Oakland.  But today’s moves leave me almost in shock.  With a one run lead Leyland had Cabrera and Peralta on the bench for the remainder of the game.  He got away with it today but for me these types of moves are asking for trouble.

Back at it tomorrow.

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