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.

Tigers 8 Twins 6

This game came down to a tale of two pitchers.  Kyle Ryan came on in the eighth to preserve a tie game when three other Tigers relievers, Chamberlain, Coke, and The Amazing Al, could record only one out and surrendered the two tying runs.  Ryan relived Alburquerque an got an inning ending double play.

In the top of the ninth, Casey Fien came in for the Twins.  On three pitches he surrendered back to back home runs to Torii Hunter and Jose Miguel Cabrera.

Joakim Soria closed the game for the Tigers in the ninth.

Max was not good tonight.  He was ok through five innings but ended up giving up four runs in seven complete.  When the offense stakes you to a six run lead you can’t leave with the game that close.

I’ll take the W.

FYI: Kansas City overcame a three run deficit to beat the White Sox 4-3

Tigers 8 Rays 6

The Tigers scored three runs on two bases loaded walks and a past ball. Add to that a mis-played ball, that turned into a triple, and an error that led to three un-earned runs, and the Tigers got plenty of help from the Rays tonight.

The Tigers showed some grit. They fell behind early but kept coming. They even put together some good at-bats. They fouled off some pitches, drew some walks, and got a much needed win.

I’m not sure this is a turning point, I still think this team is too flawed to make a playoff run. At this point, I just hope they finish ahead of the Indians.

I’m warming up to Andrew Romine. He’s playing well defensively and has been coming up with important hits lately. He looks a whole lot better at short than Suarez.

Joba and the Shit Bird were both bad, again. There doesn’t seem to be any answers in the bullpen. I guess The Amazing Everyday Al and Blaine Hardy have pitched the best lately so perhaps try Hardy in the eighth and Al in the ninth? I don’t see what you lose by trying different combinations.

A note to the starters, you need to last at least eight innings and hand over a three run lead, or there is a good chance you won’t get a win,

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Ricky Deserved Better…

Through 7 complete, Ricky had given up three runs, struck out 5, walked none, thrown only 77 pitches and trailed 3-2.

Somehow, through a comedy of miscues and a timely Hunter single, the Tigers took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two out it was Ricky’s turn to bat. Then the unthinkable happened. Brad Ausmus pinch hit Rajai Davis for Freeway Ricky.

I don’t have the words to describe Ausmus’s lunacy. After 96 games you know what you have. Regarding the Tigers bullpen, you don’t have much.

For Ausmus’s edification, you have one reliable arm in the bullpen, Joba Chamberlain. You decided he wasn’t available tonight. That leaves you with nothing. And that’s what you got.

After Davis failed to deliver, Phil Coke came in to “relieve” Ricky in the bottom of the 8th. He retired the first batter on a line shot into his stomach then walked the next two batters.

In comes The Amazing, Everyday Al. Al gets a fly ball for out number two then walks the bases loaded.

In comes Ian Krol who surrenders a two run single and game over.

Did I mention Freeway Ricky had only thrown 77 pitches?

You (BA) child.

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

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Tigers 4 Diamondbacks 3

The same recipe yields the same results. Well almost.

JV lasted 6.2 innings, allowed 3 runs, and got the win. The normal recipe calls for 7 complete but The Amazing, Everyday Al, was able to get the third out in the 7th to preserve the lead and the win.

I’m happy JV got the win. I’m happy the Tigers got the win. But let’s not kid ourselves, JV wasn’t good tonight. The Diamondbacks hit a lot of balls hard but had little to show for it.

A little more honesty, The Amazing, Everyday Al is not good. I cringed when BA brought him in. Almost as much as I cringed when Nathan came on in the ninth. I can’t help wondering if the situation were the same, in a must win game, would BA ask Joba for four outs?

That being said, The Amazing, Everyday Al is as good, if not better, than any other option out of the pen, except Joba.

Freeway Ricky goes tomorrow and God willing I’ll be there again.

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

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Tribe 9 Tigers 3

Ok. What’s going on with the seventh inning? The last two games, Verlander on Sunday, Sanchez today, Tigers starters have smoked balls for six innings, then blew up in the seventh.

Tonight, Sanchez was dealing for six innings. He was tossing a shut out, striking out seven and walking one. He couldn’t record an out in the seventh. He was charged with four runs.

Did I mention, the bullpen didn’t help him out any?

  • Ian Krol was charged with a run and didn’t retire anybody.
  • Everyday Al, got two big outs then gave up two bombs.
  • Phil Coke pitched an inning, didn’t give up a run, but walked two.
  • Chad Smith pitched an inning and gave up two runs.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise but this might be the worst bullpen in history. They suck.

If the starters can’t give the Tigers seven innings, I don’t like their chances.

Double header tomorrow.

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

Royals 5 Tigers 2

There goes the ’84 feeling.

JV looked pretty good for six innings then blew up in the seventh.  He’s just running bad.  And when you’re running bad everything seems to go against you.  That’s what happened to JV.

In his defense, he only gave up one hard hit ball and didn’t get much help from his friends in the pen.  Ian Krol recorded the second out but Everyday Al gave up a two run single to Omar Infante.

I really need to look up the Tigers bullpen record on stranding runs.  The eye-test says they’re an abomination.  I wonder what the numbers say?

OK, Miggy is worrying me.  He took another ofer today.  He got a bunch of hits in the first game, as did everyone else, then I don’t think he got a hit in the final three games.  This seems to be a reoccurring theme, one game he gets 3 or 4 hits then disappears for a few games.  This is not what I expect for $30 million a year.

Between Verlander and Cabrera, the Tigers are getting $60 million worth of , not good enough. “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48(KJV)

This is the worst week of the summer.  After the ASG, not baseball for two days.

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