Tigers fall to Tribe 3-2

The Tigers managed only two runs on nine hits and lost to Cleveland 3-2.

Anibal Sanchez lasted only five innings, walking 4 and striking out 8.  He allowed only two earned runs but needed 104 pitches to get through five complete.

The Good:

  • The bullpen – Evan Reed, Ian Krol, The Amazing Al, and Joba pitched four combined scoreless innings to pick up a relatively short outing for Anibal.
  • Kinsler, VMart, AJax, and A Squared Money each had two hits.

The Bad:

  • The offense could only score two runs
  • Miggy’s error in the second led to an unearned run that was ultimately the difference in the game.

The Ugly:

  • The Tigers blew chances in the eighth and ninth to tie or go ahead.
  • The ninth was especially ugly.  A Squared Money was at third with one out but DK struck out and Rajai Davis grounded out to end the game leaving the tying run at third.

This ship needs be righted.  They’ve lost four of their last six.  I know it’s early but they need a big home stand.  Have I mentioned the 30 year World Series Championship drought?

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

Not Good! Tigers Fall to Padres 5-1, lose series

The supposedly light hitting Padres got to Max for four earned and beat the Tigers 5-1 this afternoon.

Despite striking out 10, Scherzer only lasted five innings then turned it over to the bullpen.

Max didn’t get much help from the offense either.

The Good:

  • Max struck out 10
  • Phil Coke pitched a clean, 1-2-3 sixth inning.
  • Rajai Davis had two more hits.
  • The Amazing Al struck out Chris Denorfia, the only batter he faced, to end the 7th.
  • Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless 8th striking out 2.

The Bad:

  • Miggy was 0-4
  • Ajax was 0-3 with three strikeouts
  • The Tigers could only push across one run

The Ugly:

  • Miggy grounded into a double play in the 8th after Torii Hunter lead of with a walk.
  • Miggy is struggling, big time
  • The Tigers lost the series and finished the road trip 2-3.

The Tigers come home this week to meet the Tribe and the Angels.  I hope they can turn around their struggles against the Angels.  They need a big home stand.

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

 

Tigers even series with Padres, 6-2

After the first inning, JV was smokin’ balls!  He needed 31 pitches to get out of the first but lasted seven complete.  He struck out eight, walked one, and allowed two earned runs.

I thought the home plate umpire, Seth Buckminster, was squeezing Justin for the first five innings but seemed to give him calls in the 6th and 7th.

The Good:

  • Justin Verlander second through seventh inning
  • JV’s first two career base hits.
  • Austin Jackson’s big two run double in the ninth
  • Ian Krol out of the pen
  • Joe Nathan pitched the 9th without giving up a run
  • Rajai Davis was 2-4 with three runs scored
  • Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with two runs scored and an RBI

The Bad:

  • Nick Castellanos getting picked off of second base in the 8th
  • Despite his double, Miggy is still struggling.

The Ugly:

  • Justin Verlander’s first inning
  • All four of Alex Avila’s at-bats including the last one that resulted in a single

Max is on the mound tomorrow for the rubber game.

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

Thank You Victor!

Victor hit a solo shot in the 10th to bail out Tigers closer, Joe Nathan, and give the Tigers a split of the two game series with the Dodgers, 7-6.

After blowing his second save in a Tigers uniform, Tigers closer Joe Nathan, picked up a bat and headed to the on deck circle in the top of the 10th.  As he was heading up the stairs of the dugout he had a short conversation with Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus.

Ausmus: What are you doing?
Nathan: Getting ready to hit.
Ausmus: Sit down.  You’ve done enough.

Early on, I was afraid Ausmus was going to let Anibal go too long so he could qualify for the win. I thought he should have come out after Crawford’s double with two out in the 5th. But, Sanchez was able to get out of it.  He was shaky at first, throwing 63 pitches in the first two innings, but settled down to retire nine in a row before Crawford’s aforementioned double.

Ausmus probably wanted to save Smyly, who was warming up, for the Dodgers left handers coming up.  Whatever the case, it worked out, although Sanchez didn’t get the win.

Thanks Joe!

Despite Nathan’s heroics, there was a lot to like in this game, not the least of which was Victor’s game winning solo shot in the 10th.

The Good:

  • The Tigers manufactured a run with steals in the first.
  • Sanchez had a nice, unexpected double in the second.
  • Dee Gordon’s costly error to extended the second inning.
  • The Dodgers squeeze play in 2nd with a 3-2 count on Beckett, while not good for for the Tigers, was still a pretty sweet play.
  • Nick Castellanos hit a three run shot in the third, his first MLB homer.
  • The Tigers stole three bases.
  • Ajax had a big sac fly in the 7th to increase the Tigers lead to 6-3.
  • Tyler Collins got is first MLB hit in the 8th and added his second in the 10th.
  • Drew Smyly and Ian Krol were smokin’ balls out of the pen. Smyly pitched three complete, allowing only one hit in relief of Sanchez.   Krol came on to relieve Joba in the 10th and struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Eithier.
  • The Amazing Al came into relieve Krol and got the final out.

The Bad:

  • Anibal Sanchez was shaky in the first two innings throwing 63 pitches.
  • The Tigers bounced into three double plays.
  • Joe Nathan.
  • Joe Nathan got the win.

The Ugly:

  • Joe Nathan blew another save by giving up three runs in the 9th.  I don’t have the words.  He was horrible.

Quietly, Ian Kinsler seems to be a nice addition to the Tigers.  Whether it is hitting, fielding or running, he seems to do something good to help the Tigers win.  However, the best part about the Kinsler acquisition is that Prince in not in a Tigers uniform anymore.

Trivia: The Dodgers have now played longer in LA than they did in Brooklyn. (H/T Shannon Hogan)

Tigers fall to Dodgers 3-2 in 10

Max pitched well.  He got through seven innings, surrendering only two runs but seemed to pitch out of trouble all night, evidenced by the eight hits he surrendered.

Unfortunately, lead off walks and wasted opportunities were the Tigers undoing.

The Good:

  • A Squared Money picked off Crawford in the first
  • Victor came up big with a two out RBI in the 9th to tie the game after DK and Miggy failed to advance Kinsler after his lead off double
  • Joba struck out the side in the 9th
  • Nice steal by Davis in the first
  • Ajax homer in second
  • Romine, Jackson, Kinsler and Victor all flashed leather

The Bad:

  • Hunter couldn’t get the run in from third with one out in the first
  • Even though he got a hit, and swiped second to lead off the game, I didn’t like Rajai Davis swinging on 3-0,  especially to lead off the game

The Ugly:

  • Miggy hit three of the softest ground balls I’ve ever seen off of his bat and struck out in the 9th with the tying run on second.
  • Jackson’s throw to the plate in the 7th that Kemp scored on was an abomination.
  • Kelly grounded softly to third in the 9th with Kinsler on second after a lead off double.  Horrible!
  • Phil Coke gave up the game winning hit.  Although, in a mild defense, he inherited a lead off walk from Joba.

Back at it tomorrow for the last game of a short, two game, series with the Dodgers.

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

Tigers Trade Fielder…

to Texas for Ian Kinsler!

According to this post at CBSSports dot com, the Tigers have moved Prince Fielder.

The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, CBSSports.com has learned.

There was no word yet of any other players being involved, so it may just be a one-for-one swap of stars. Fielder’s salary is much larger, and it is believed money will got Texas in the deal it wasn’t certain how much.

I like Prince Fielder but I think the Tigers made the right move.  I know overall, Prince’s numbers with the Tigers, looked pretty good.  But as Mark Twain once said, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

I’m not sure why but it just didn’t seem like Prince was a good fit here.  He really couldn’t come through when Cabrera struggled, which was rarely, and Prince’s performance in the post season was nothing short of an abomination.  He could have been charged with two errors in the 9th inning of game 2 of the ALCS,  he got picked off at third in game 6 of the ALCS, and he didn’t drive in a post season run since game 2 of the 2012 ALDS against Oakland.  That being said, I like Prince, he just didn’t fit in here.  With all of his personal problems perhaps a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered for Prince and the Tigers.

With Kinsler’s acquisition, it looks like Ian will go to second, Miggy will go to first, and Castellanos, though I ‘m not sold on him yet, goes to third.  Kinlser can fill the lead off slot in the lineup and let Ausmus move Austin Jackson down to the 7th or 8th spot.

Perhaps, even more importantly, the Tigers may have freed up enough money to sign Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

Now for left field.  I hope Ausmus didn’t inhert Dirksburger syndrome.  He’s not the answer.

Hat tip to Nebraska, Vart, Sark and Mickey for giving me the news.

Also, a belated congratulations, from Flashin’ Leather to Miggy and Max!

“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

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

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

Mitch Albom “Winds blow. Things change.”

Here is a nice game four article from Mitch Albom, H/T Alice.

From the freep dot com:

How fast was Austin Jackson’s heart beating? All his failures were around him. The only way out was in front of him. Ten times he had struck out in this series — three times in this game already! — and there were two strikes on him again, in the bottom of the seventh, with two out and the bases loaded and the score tied in what could be the last game of the year in Detroit.

How fast was he breathing? How heavy was that bat? “I was screaming at him from the on-deck circle, ‘Dig in! Dominate!’ ” Torii Hunter would say. “Anything to put something positive in his head.” The pitch came in hard from Oakland left-hander Sean Doolittle, and Jackson swung and made contact, hearing the “thwack” of cracking wood.

His bat was dead.

But the ball was alive.

Keep reading here.

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