White Sox 2 Tigers 1

The Tigers lost their third game in a row.  This is not the way I was hoping they’d close out the season.  I guess this was no surprise.  They usually don’t do much against Chris Sale.

On the bright side, Alfredo Simon pitched a gem.  He threw an eight inning complete game allowing only two earned on five hits.  He only struck out one and walked one but he pitched more than well enough to win. Unfortunately, he got little help from the offense.

Notes: Chris Sale set a White Sox single season strikeout record when he Kd James McCann for his 270th in the second inning.

Twins 6 Tigers 2

Well, I didn’t see much of this one past the third inning.  However, this was pretty good outing from Simon.  He lasted eight complete and allowed four earned.  Unfortunately, two runs offensively aren’t going to get it done.

The rubber game is this afternoon.

In other news: After hearing rumors that Ron Gardenhire was the next Tigers manager.  After announcing Brad Ausmus would be fired after the end of the season. New Tigers GM, “Big” Al Avila has changed his mind.  BA is staying.

http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2015/09/watch_al_avila_announce_that_b.html

I will take issue with one thing Big Al said in the video above. How exactly do the Tigers work on base running?  Perhaps they should stop.

One more thing, they need a new third base coach.  It’s hard to see how anybody other than Tom Brookens could be worse than Dave Clark.  The Tigers lead baseball in runners thrown out at home.  The only advantage Clark has on Brookens is that Clark gets runners thrown out by 10 feet whereas Brookens got runners thrown out by 30 feet.

Royals 10 Tigers 3

The four game winning streak came to an end today.  Alfredo Simon was atrocious and the offense couldn’t come up with 11 runs to complete the sweep.

On the bright side, Miggy had another hit and RBI, although he was only 1-4 and did leave four runners on base. Victor had another hit and RBI and was 1-2 with a walk.  Additionally, this was the second straight series win.

Simon is a free agent at the end of the season and I’m wondering if the Tigers are going to make him an offer. He does have 13 wins but his ERA is 5.21 and he is wildly inconsistent.  Perhaps, for the right price, he’d be ok for a fifth starter or long relief, but I don’t think he can be counted on for much more.

The White Sox come to town tomorrow and it looks like the Tigers might miss Chris Sale which I’m not sure is much of a break. Sale has really struggled down the stretch, as he did last season, which probably cost him the 2014 A.L. Cy Young Award.

Is it just me or does it seem like J.D. is struggling?

Tigers 5 Twins 4

Alfredo Simon pitched well, better than his final line indicated.  He ran into some bad luck in seventh but this was a quality start. Both VerHagen and Simon’s outings would look and feel better if they had a little luck but both pitched well.

Victor Martinez had three hits and should have, should have, had four. This is his first three hit game since July according to Mario Impemba.

James McCann had three hits, raising his batting average to .276. I didn’t realize, he hasn’t made an error all season.  This is a very impressive rookie campaign.

Drew VerHagen and Alex Wilson both looked good out of the pen and the Tigers have a chance for a series win tomorrow night.

The Twins missed a chance to pick up a game on the Yankees and Blue Jays who both lost tonight.

UPDATE: I almost forgot to mention the perfectly executed hit and run and safety squeeze the Tigers pulled off in the top of the ninth inning. These two plays resulted in the fifth and winning run.  My first thought was, bravo.  My second thought was, ‘where has this been all year?’ In any case, I guess it is better late than never.

Rays 8 Tigers 0

The Tigers failed to complete their first three game sweep since very early in the season.  The Rays absolutely mutilated Tigers pitching and the offense did nothing.  The game was pretty much decided when Miggy struck out in the bottom of the fifth with the score 3-0, with runners on second and third and two out. After that, the Rays added on and the Tigers never threatened again.

I heard a rumor.  Supposedly Ron Gardenhire will be the next Tigers manager. Again, supposedly, it is a “done” deal and will be announced shortly after the season is over. The comments are not too complimentary of the former Twins manager on the site the rumor is posted on.

I’m not sure what to think to think anymore.  Gardenhire was one of my favorite managers for a long time but Sark made me rethink that position. Paul Molitor seems to have done a good job with the same team Gardenhire had problems with. Also, I’m not really sure what to think about the job Ausmus has done. The Tigers have had horrible injuries to key players with no farm system. Ausmus can only call on who he has available.  What else is he going to do?

After the first two months of the season, the Tigers have had two reliable arms out of the pen, Wilson and Hardy.  They had 1.5 reliable starters, David Price and Alfredo Simon. After Price got traded, Verlander became serviceable but Simon fell from half a reliable starter to a quarter of a reliable starter.

The offense has been pretty much feast or famine.  I guess the one thing I could put on Ausmus is the atrocious base running.  The Tigers make so many outs on the bases that it is hard to stomach and it costs them especially in close games.  Also, Dave Clark might be the worst third base coach in the history of baseball. But it is hard to put this abomination of a season on the shoulders of BA.

This team is a mess and I’m not sure a new manager is going to fix anything.  This team seems to play hard for BA for whatever that is worth.

Tigers 4 Rangers 0

Where did this come from? A winning streak?  Three games in a row?  A complete game, one hitter from Alfredo Simon?  Wow! Victor Martinez Flashin’ Leather ? For one game the seventh grade band class looked like a symphony.

On the same day the Tigers put both Daniel Norris and Anibal Sanchez on the DL, Alfredo Simon came up with his first complete game and first shut of his career, and gave the Tigers their first three game winning streak since the end of June.  It is probably too late to mean anything but it’s always nice to win games.

JV pitches tonight and I’ll be there.  Four in a row perhaps?

Astros 5 Tigers 1

Well I didn’t give the Tigers much of a chance to win this game going into it. Astros’ starter Dallas Kuechel was undefeated at home and I didn’t think the Tigers offense, even with the return of Jose Miguel Cabrera, was much of a threat to change that.

I was correct.

Alfredo Simon wasn’t good and neither was the offense.

The best offensive play came from the Astros. They executed a beautiful safety squeeze, a play I wish the Tigers would try, in the sixth to extend their lead to 4-1.

JV pitches tomorrow.

Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and two strike outs.  He hit the ball hard his last time up but lined out to I believe short or second.