Tigers 5 Royals 1

Before the ninth inning I was going to start complaining about the offense the last two games. I was going to cry how they’d only scored two runs each, in the last two games. Fortunately, J.D. Martinez and Alex “A Squared Money” Avila, stole my thunder.

J.D. came through with a solo shot and A Squared hit a two-run homer to extend the Tigers lead to 5-1.

The lead extension was important because it kept Joe Nathan out of the game. I didn’t want to go through another ninth inning like they did the game before. Nathan and a one run lead is playing with fire.

As it turned out, Everyday Al came in and closed out the ninth. The Tigers won their fifth in a row, third straight over KC, Freeway Ricky got his 12th win, the lead is extended to 7.5 games, and today, the Tigers have a chance for a sweep.

Win or lose this afternoon and I’m going to feel good about the Tigers going into the break. However, a ball smokin performance by JV and a series sweep might give me a bit of the ’84 feeling.

“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

 

 

Tigers 12 Twins 9

The Tigers got a win but it was ugly.  They had an 11-1 lead but needed four relief pitchers to hold off the Twins.

Anibal Sanchez pitched 6.1 innings and allowed three earned runs.  He turned the game over to the pen and then the game degenerated into the theater of the absurd.

Ausmus needed Evan Reed, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, and Ian Krol to close out the game.

The Tigers are fortunate that Joe Mauer is struggling or this game could have slipped away.  Mauer was 0-5 and left six runners on base.

I wrote briefly yesterday about this team being out sync and it showed again today.  Luckily the offense scored 12 runs because this bullpen is horrible.

The rubber game starts tomorrow at 1:00 pm.

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

Tigers earn split with A’s 5-4

Despite Joe Nathan’s best effort to blow his third save in the last 10 games, the Tigers found a way to squeak out a 5-4 victory and split the four game series with the A’s.

What makes this win more impressive is that they Freeway Ricky Porcello failed to provide a quality start despite winning his eighth game of the season.  Ricky’s performance was maddening. He pitched in and out of trouble all day long and gave up seven free passes, six walks and one HBP.  What was even more exasperating than the free passes was giving up a two run homer to Nick Punto. NICK PUNTO!?

The last two times through the rotation, Tigers starters, with the exception of Sanchez, have blown.  They better right the ship soon because like Peter Gammons says, “if you can’t pitch, you can’t win.”

With the exception of Joe Nathan, the bullpen was adequate.  However, the Amazing Al walked two in his inning of work.

That brings me to Nathan.  He has three blown saves and has a 5.23 ERA.  I hope Brad Ausmus has a plan B for the closer role.  Additionally, after his post game comments yesterday, I’m beginning to question his character.  I’ll be the first to admit that Castellanos is not good at third but he didn’t give up the home run to Donaldson.  So man up, JACKASS, and accept the fact that you’ve blown this year.  Instead of blaming the rookie start earning your money suck-hole.

On the flip side of the coin, this Tigers team has shown a type of resiliency that I haven’t seen for a long time.  They play for nine innings and on most nights, I get the feeling that they expect to win.  I guess time will tell.

 

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

Indians 5 Tigers 4

Well,  I guess the Tigers can’t win them all and truthfully, last night, the Tigers didn’t pitch well enough to win.  I know they only gave up five runs but that was mostly due to the Indian’s inept hitting. (Sound eerily familiar?)

Between a combined six base on balls, five by starter Drew Smyly, and 14 Indians hits there was traffic on the base paths all night and it seemed like the Tigers were pitching out of trouble all night.

When J.D. Martinez hit the game tying shot in the bottom of the ninth, visions of 1984 raced through my brain.  However, when Rod Allen said, in the bottom of the 10th, that The Amazing Al couldn’t let Michael Brantley beat them, I knew it was over.  And it was.

Let’s hope for a good outing from JV tonight.

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

 

Tigers Dust Astros Winning Streak at Seven

Behind 5 and 1/3 ball smokin innings from Tigers newcomer, Robby Ray, the Tigers beat the Astros into a conniption, 11-4, and extended their winning streak to seven. Ray allowed one earned run on five hits.  He walked only one and struck out five.

What impressed me the most about Ray was that he got in trouble early in the first and was able to pitch out the jam without surrendering a run.  It’s a small sample size but perhaps Dave “Double D” Dombrowski knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

The Good:

  • Just when I was beginning to worry about Miggy, he shoved those concerns down my throat.  He was 4-5 today with a homer and four RBIs.  If he returns to form this could be a very formidable Tigers offense.
  • Ian Kinsler had three hits.
  • Alex “A Squared Money” Avila, Nick Castellanos, and “Downtown” Danny Worth had two hits each and Worth had three RBIs.
  • The Amazing Al pitched a shut out inning in relief and struck out two.
  • The Tigers got 18 hits and scored in multiple innings, the first, third, fourth, seventh and eighth.

The Bad:

  • Justin Miller struggled through the ninth.  He allowed three runs, but to be fair, only one of them was earned.

The Ugly:

  • I like the new look offense but really Torii?  You get thrown out trying to steal third with one out and Miggy batting?

I guess we can’t get too excited, the Astros are not good, to say the least but seven straight is seven straight and we’ll take all the Ws we can get.  Also, I like the 18 hit attack and scoring in multiple innings.  This is in stark contrast to last year when the Tigers seemed to score all their runs in only one or two innings.

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

Behind Feeway Rick, Tigers take series 2-1

This was a big win.  Not only did the Tigers win the game but they won the series with the Angels, 2-1.  Prior to yesterday’s game, the Tigers had dropped 10 in a row to the Angels.

The Tigers got seven strong innings from Ricky then turned it over to the pen.  Ian Krol, the Amazing Al, and Joe Nathan finished out the game and series.

The Good:

  • Freeway Rick
  • The Bullpen
  • Alex Avila threw out Howie Kendrick at second in the fourth inning.

The Bad:

  • The offense was horrible.  They managed only five hits and two runs and were aided by four Angels errors.

The Ugly:

  • Alex Avila was 0-3 with two backwards Ks.
  • Miggy was 0-3 with two backwards Ks
  • The Tigers as a team left 18 runners on base.

Chisox come to town tomorrow.

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