Make it 8 in a row Tigers beat Astros 3-2

Pitching and home runs gave the Tigers a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros and made it eight in a row for the TIgers.

Freeway Rick pitched 6 and 2/3.  He allowed two earned runs on seven hits, a little high, he struck out five and walked two.

Ricky turned the game over Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan to close the game out.

What can I say about Joba, he continues to get it done, striking out the side in the 8th.

Joba is SMOKIN BALLS!

The Good:

  • The Tigers got their eight in a row and 20th win of the season.
  • Ricky put in another good outing.
  • Joe Nathan got his seventh save.
  • Joba continues to smoke balls!
  • Miggy and Victor went deep.
  • Rajai Davis stole his 12th base of the season and Don “DK” Kelly stole a base and got two hits.

The Bad:

  • The Tigers managed only five hits but the Houston pitcher, Brad Peacock, had a lot to say about that.  He pitched well for a bad team.
  • Joe Nathan walked a runner with two outs and allowed two stolen bases but was able to strand the tying run at third.

The Ugly:

  • Not much today or lately.  The Tigers have been playing pretty clean and came away with another win in a close game.

Don’t look now but Freeway Rick is 5-1 on the season.  Now if he can lower his ERA by a run he might make me look like Nostradamus.

Also, I liked Miggy’s homer the opposite way, he might be rounding into his MVP form.

Smyly pitches tomorrow afternoon as the Tigers for a four game sweep and ninth in a row.

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

 

 

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

A’s 1 Tigers 0

The A’s tied the series tonight courtesy of a 1-0 win handing the Tigers their 13th shutout of the season.

There was nothing new to see here.  The Tigers got tremendous pitching and no offense.

I was listening to the post game show on the radio and Dan Dickerson said that the Tigers have scored in only 5 of their last 54 innings going back to the last week of the season.

Miguel Cabrera has carried this team for years.  Now he’s hurt and there is nobody there to pick him up.

Austin Jackson was embarrassing. He went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts.  He took fast balls down the middle and then swung at every other piece of garbage Sonny Gray threw to him.

Torii Hunter was 0-4 with 2 Ks.

Prince Fielder was 0-4.

In fact, the Tigers only managed 4 hits.  Cabrera had one, DK had 2 and Iggy had the other one.

Speaking of DK, he got the start in left tonight.  I wonder if Puppet Master, Jim Leyland, read last night’s game post. 🙂

The pitching left nothing to complain about.  The only thing I might have done differently would have been to bring Ricky in after the lead off hit by Cespedes in the 9th.  But really, how can I complain about a game where the pitching staff surrendered 1 run and lost.  Everything can be second guessed.

Monday is a 1:00 pm start at Comerica Park.  The Tigers will need a big start from Sanchez.  What’s new?

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

Marlins 2 Tigers 1

I could talk about Joaquin Benoit blowing his second save in less than a week.  I could talk about Evan Reed pitching himself off of the post season roster.  Instead, I’m laying this loss right at the feet of the offense.

This offense is embarrassing.  No team can pitch well enough to win with an offense like this.  I know, I know, they didn’t play their A lineup the entire game.  This isn’t a one game thing.  This is a two season thing and frankly the lines between the A, B and C lineup are blurred beyond recognition.

This is maddening.

With the offensive explosion today the Tigers have scored 11 runs in the last five games.

Tonight they scored only one run on nine hits.

I don’t have much more to say.  I’m speechless.  If there is any bright spot it is that Peralta got two hits tonight and looks like he might be able to pull this left field trick off.  At this point, however, I’m not sure it’s going to be enough.

I have to mention Don Kelly Flashin Leather tonight.  He made a nice running catch in right for the second out in the bottom of the ninth.

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

Tigers 4 Twins 2

Whew!  Fister and the pen got it done reducing the Tigers’ magic number to 1.

The Tigers always seem to make it interesting.

Despite scoring 4 runs the offense was pathetic again.  They scored all their runs in the 4th inning but missed several chances to blow this game wide open and take some pressure off the pitching staff.  The biggest blown opportunity was in the second inning when the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out and couldn’t push across a single run.

Cabrera left 4 runners on base and took an 0-4.  Fielder was 1-4 and left 3 on base.  Matt Tuiasosopo and Alex Avila each took ohfers and stranded 3 runners a piece.  The bright spot on offense was Austin Jackson.  AJax has been struggling but went 3-5 and drove in the winning runs with a two run big-bingo to put the Tigers up 4-1.

Fister was good, the bullpen was better.  Fistet pitched 6.1, allowed 8 hits, one run, struck out 7 and walked one.

Smyly and The Amazing Al got the final two outs in the 7th stranding Twins at first and second.

Conspicuously, Bruce Rondon was called upon to pitch the 8th and was very impressive striking out the side.  Hmmm does anybody else find it interesting that Veras was brought in to pitch the 8th?  Maybe the Puppet Master isn’t getting the warm and fuzzies from Veras either.

The Tigers are getting nothing offensively from left field.  If they can clinch tomorrow perhaps they should start Jhonny Peralta all three game is left in Miami and see what they’ve got.  Offensively, it is hard to imagine doing any worse than the platoon of Dirks, Tui, and DK.  (Hat Tip Rossie for this suggestion).

I’ll say this one more time, WTF is up with this offense?

Scherzer goes for number 21 and the division tomorrow.

Get it done!

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

Keep Dirks For His Glove?

Nebraksa knows turned me onto this article at DetNews dot come by Kurt Mensching, Tigers have the left fielders they need, if they’re used correctly.

For the first few paragraphs, I was agreeing with what Mensching had to say.  I don’t think Nick Castellanos is the answer to the vacancy in left field.  He’s not pounding AAA pitching, he’s only batting .278.  I think that at this point, the best the Tigers can do is platoon and hope Dirks’ bat perks up.  If it doesn’t, try Don Kelly.  If that doesn’t work, hoping and praying won’t hurt.

The second half of the article, Don’t Forget About Defense, is where I lost any interest in the story.

What should keep Dirks in the lineup is his glove. That’s a far cry from what we’ve come to expect of past Tigers left fielders.

The advanced metrics have painted a nice picture of his game. Those stats take into consideration a number of factors, such as where and how hard a ball is hit as well as the unique configuration of each stadium. Baseball Information Solutions has people watch and “score” every defensive play, then formulas are applied to the results to compare players.

This season, Dirks has been worth eight runs more than an average left fielder according to the Defensive Runs Saved stat. For his career, he has been worth 18 runs.

Using Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games, Dirks again shines. He has been about 17 runs better than an average left fielder this year per that stat. For his career, he has been worth about five runs per 150 games by UZR.

I am a believer in Money Ball statistics and I’m sure there is an advance metric that makes Andy Dirks look like Willie Mays but I also know statistics and metrics can be manipulated to say anything.  In fact, there is an entire book written called, How To Lie With Statistics.  I’m not saying this “advance metric” is a Mensching fabrication, I’m just saying that empirical evidence doesn’t seem to corroborate the metric.

Dirks, at best has been an abomination in left field.  I’m thankful when he makes the routine play.  Anything more than routine, he won’t come close to.  I remind readers again of his embarrassing performance on the last trip to Chicago.

Look, here’s the bottom line, I know the Tigers don’t have a left fielder.  I think platooning and hoping is the only option for the Tigers right now.  That being said, running Dirks out there every night because Jim Leyland suffers from Dirksburger Syndrome is not the proper way to platoon.  Use Tui against lefties, but don’t let him sit around so long that he gets K’d by Ryan Rayburn.  Put Dirksy in against righties but don’t let him struggle for a month before pulling him out.

One more thing, NEVER PULL MIGUEL CABREREA OUT OF A CLOSE GAME UNLESS HE’S INJURED.

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

Tigers Thrash Yankees 9-3…

even series at 1.

The Tigers beat up on Yankee pitching early and often.  The 1-2-3 hitters were on fire but the big hit came off the bat of Don Kelly in the top of the 5th.  After a Victor Martinez double, Kelly came to the plate with runners at second and third with two out and delivered a 2 RBI single making it 6-0.

Miggy, Ajax, and Hunter each hit home runs today.  Hunter’s 3 run shot in the 6th, effectively put the game out of reach.

Anibal Sanchez pitched well.  He went 7 complete, allowed 2 earned, struck out 8, and walked only 1.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Yankee Brett Gardner, went in to second base high and hard on Jose Iglesias to brake up a double play.  He was successful.  Iglesias threw the ball wide and Ichiro was safe at 1st.  This may be considered an acceptable, hard, baseball play, but after what happened to Omar Infante in Toronto, I think the Tigers should have responded and sent the Yankees, Gardner and the rest of the league a message.  In his next at bat, Gardner should have gotten a 95 mph fastball in the ribs but it didn’t happen.  Perhaps tomorrow? Perhaps next year?

As far as I’m concerned, the Tigers have two scores to settle.  The first is with the Toronto Blue Jays and Colby Rasmus.  That little jerk should be given chin music in his next 3 at bats against the Tigers and his in his 4th at bat his ribs need to be light up with a Rondon 103 mph fastball.  As for Gardner, one in the ribs should suffice, Verlander perhaps tomorrow?

Jose Iglesias and Victor Martinez flashed leather today.  In the bottom of the 3rd, Iggy made a nice diving stop on a ball hit sharply, off the bat of Austin Romine, between short and 3rd and Victor made a nice scoop at 1st to complete the play and end the inning.  Iggy also had two hits raising his average to .323.  Not too bad for a guy the Tigers got for his glove.

Tiger manager Jim Leyland had a slight reprieve from his Dirksburger Syndrome.  Andy Dirks was replaced in left field by Don DK Kelly.  Kelly was 2-4 with 3 RBIs.  What’s even more surprising is that Dirksy didn’t even come in as a defensive replacement late in the game.

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