World Series Thoughts…

After three games of the 2014 World Series the Kansas City Royals are two wins away from their second World Series crown in franchise history and first since 1985.

I know they are the Tigers’ Central Division rivals but I’m pulling for them.

I respect the Giants but they’ve won two of the last four World Series. It is time for new blood, new champions.

Watching these games I can’t help pondering the following:

  • Perhaps speed and defense trump power? Maybe “Money Ball” is good for regular seasons but the A’s haven’t won a World Series in the Billy Beane era.  Someone once said, ‘speed doesn’t go into a slump.
  • Sark was correct, James Shields doesn’t deserve the “Big Game” moniker. In my opinion, he’s the weak link in the Royals staff.
  • Maybe Ned Yost is good manager?
  • Miggy had bone chips removed from his ankle and a stress fracture repaired.  Basically, he was playing with a broken ankle.  I’m sorry I ever complained about him.
  • Does Joe Maddon’s free agency mean anything for the Tigers?
  • Maybe Earl Weaver’s philosophy was right, ‘pitching, defense and three-run homers.’  The Royals are using pitching and defense.  Actually, they’ve hit their share of homers this post season too.
  • The Royals don’t strike out too much.

Anyway, these are just my most recent musings.

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

Tigers Lose Finale 4-0

I feel about as good after this lose as a Tiger fan could.  I would have loved to have swept the Tribe but the Tigers have beaten up on them pretty good this season.  It doesn’t hurt that bad to drop this one.

Why do I feel good?

First, JV looked good.  After a 35 pitch first inning when it looked like deja vu all over again, Justin regained some of his lost form.  JV allowed only 4 hits, no runs, walked 2, struck out 6, and threw 116 pitches. If we subtract the first inning, JV averaged just 13.5 pitches per inning over the final six he pitched.   Very encouraging.

Second, Alex A Squared Money Avila went three for three and raised hit average to .207.  This is huge considering he’s been below the Mendoza line for the majority of the season.  In fact, going into July, I believe he was hitting around .165.  Perhaps, Alex is getting healthy and his offense is showing it.  Whatever the case, I’ve always like Alex and I’m glad to see him above .200.

Third, Andy Dirks had two more hits and has raised his average to .257.  It looks like Dirksy might be getting a little bit of a stroke back which will bode well for the playoffs should the Tigers make it.

On the flip side of the coin, the Tigers did have 11 hits but failed to score a run.  This just highlights the way the team is built.  The Tigers have virtually no speed so unless they hit for extra base power they have a hard time scoring.

I’ve come up with a hypothesis.  I believe that a team should be able to score a run for every two hits they get.  So at the end of a game if a team puts up 10 hits they should have  5 runs.  Here’s my reasoning:

  • The lead off man singles.
  • The next batter singles.
  • The runner on first goes to third on the second hit.
  • The runner on third can now score on a ground out or a sac fly.
  • This is not an exact science but I feel like it is mostly accurate.

The problem with the Tigers is that they cannot go from first to third on a hit, they’re terrible at taking an extra base.  As a result, they have to play station to station.  That’s why we see games like today when they have 11 hits and no runs and other games when the have 4 hits and 6 runs.  The Tigers have to win using Earl Weaver’s formula, pitching, defense and three run homers.  They didn’t get the three run homers today so they lost.  But I’ll take 2 out of 3 against Cleveland any day.

Off to Boston.

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

Pitching, Defense, and Solo Homers…

not quite the formula advocated by the late Earl Weaver, but it is a formula that powered the Tigers to their 7th straight win, and Max Scherzer to his 16th win of the season.

Scherzer improved his record to 16-1 tonight as he blanked the White Sox 3-0 at Comerica Park.  Scherzer pitched 7 and 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting the Sox to 3 hits.  He struck out 6 and walked 3 on 107 pitches.

Jose Veras got the last out in the 8th and Joaquin Benoit recorded his 12th save by pitching a scoreless 9th

The offense was supplied by solo home runs from Torii Hunter, Jose Iglesias, and Jhonny Peralta.

Iglesias played third again tonight for the ailing Miguel Cabrera and looked excellent.  His fielding looks like it comes naturally and his hitting, to this point, is better than advertised.  We still need Miggy back, although the Tigers are 7-1 without him in the lineup.  The rumor is that he won’t play tomorrow either but will suit up for the Indians series.

Despite the torrid pace the Tigers are on, 7 in a row and 10 out of the last 11, they can’t distance the Indians.  The Indians won again tonight and remain only 3 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central.  And, don’t look now but the Royals are only 7.5 back.

On a different note, today was Mexican heritage tonight at Comerica Park.  Before the game, the Tigers honored former pitcher, Juan Berenguer.  Much like retiring Willie Horton’s number to be politically correct, it seems like the Tigers were in dire need of a Mexican player to honor, and they must have pulled Berenguer’s name out of a hat, or more precisely, a BIG hat.  This whole ceremony was asinine.  Berenguer pitched parts of 4 seasons for the Tigers, hardly a track record that would warrant a ceremony.  In any case that’s my take on it.

The Tigers go for the sweep and a perfect home stand tomorrow afternoon with Ricky on the hill.

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