Indians 6 Tigers 2

Ok, so, that 1984 euphoric feeling is fading just a little.  What bothered me most about tonight’s game was JV.  He’s the Tigers Ace.  And we needed him to be a stopper tonight.  After a rough outing from Smyly last night, the Tigers needed seven strong innings from JV but didn’t even get a quality start.

What makes this more troubling is this is JV’s third non-quality start in a row.

The offense doesn’t get a free pass for tonight either.  They squandered chances to cash in runs mostly by grounding into three double plays.

So, eight games in to the road trip, the Tigers are 6-2, not bad, but avoiding a sweep tomorrow afternoon would go a long way to regaining the warm and fuzzies.

Also, I thought the strike zone was an abomination for both pitchers.  Before Verlander even took the mound I was complaining to Nebraska that home plate umpire, Gabe Morales, was squeezing Trevor Bauer.

Let’s hope Max can be the stopper.

“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 COMPLETE SWEEP…

Thrash Red Sox 6-2.

Other than the two errors, one by Avila and one by DK, that should have been charged to Avila, this was a thorough ass kicking.  The Tigers strolled into Fenway Park and beat the Sox into a conniption in every facet of each game.

The beating couldn’t have been administered to a nicer bunch of shit dogs.

Off to Cleveland tomorrow with Smyly against Kluber.

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

Tigers take first two games against Royals

The Tigers have looked very good in taking the first two games of the weekend series against the Royals in Kansas City.

Last night, Freeway Rick, pitched seven complete innings.  He allowed two earned, struck out 6 and walked none.  The Tigers offense got him eight runs, and the bullpen, Krol and Reed, finished the game.  The Tigers won 8-2.

Tonight, Drew Smyly pitched seven complete, scoreless innings, the offense followed up last nights outburst with nine more runs tonight.  The Tigers won 9-2.

I’m seeing a nice recipe for success.  Strong starting pitching and a new look offense.

I’m getting more encouraged regarding the Tigers offense this year.  As, Eric Karros pointed out on the broadcast this evening, the Tigers aren’t standing around waiting for a three run homer to score.

A great example of this new, Tigers, offense was how they scored their first run.  In the fourth inning, the bases were loaded with Miggy on third, and one out. Castellanos hit a shallow fly ball to gold glove, left fielder Alex Gordon.  Gordon made the catch.  To the astonishment of everybody watching, Miggy tagged up and went home.  Gordon had flipped the ball to the infielder and by the time the ball was relayed to the plate, Miggy scored easily.

It worked this time and I like the new look, but given that situation again, I wouldn’t recommend a second try.

The only sour note of the fist two games was Phil Coke’s ninth inning tonight.  He came in with a 9-0 run lead and gave up two runs.  The most worrisome part of Coke’s pitching was that he got hit hard by left handers.  He gave up a single to Nori Aoki, a double to Eric Hosmer and a double to Alex Gordon.

In Phil’s defense, I thought he struck out Aoki but didn’t get the call.  I guess that how things go when you’re running bad.  If Coke is going to be of any value in the future however, he needs to get lefties out.

JV goes for the sweep tomorrow.

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

White Sox 6 Tigers 4

I didn’t see the game but it looks like Smyly turned a 4-2 lead over to the bullpen and the pen couldn’t hold it.

Smyly’s line looks pretty good.  He went six complete allowing two earned runs on six hits.  He struck out seven and walked one.

The Good:

  • Four runs should be good enough to win with good pitching.
  • Ajax was was 1-3 with a two run homer.
  • Victor had two hits.
  • J.D. Martinez had a hit and two RBIs.
  • Justin Miller pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two.

The Bad:

  • The Tigers lost the game and will have to win tomorrow afternoon to split the series
  • The bullpen gave up four earned runs.
  • The Tigers only scored in one inning, the fourth.

The Ugly:

  • Even Reed allowed three earned runs in a third of an inning.
  • Ian Krol gave up a grand slam in the seventh to Marcus Semien.

The Tigers need a shut down game from Max tomorrow to split the series.

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

 

Angels Dust Tigers…Again!

Make it 10 in a row for the Angels over the Tigers and this one wasn’t even close.

The Tigers fell behind 11-1 before scoring five runs to make the final score somewhat respectable.

Drew Smyly’s first start was horrible.  He needed 82 pitches to get through three innings and gave up four earned runs. Luke Putkonen came in for long relief and was worse.  Putkonen was charged with seven earned.

I can’t do a Good, Bad and Ugly on this game for two reasons.  First, the entire game was an abomination.  Second, I woke up late and am getting ready go down to game two of this series.

“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)