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 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

Tigers Win 7-2…

the biggest beneficiary of the Jose Iglesias acquisition is going to turn out to be Rick Porcello.  Tigers fans have seen several times over the course of Ricky’s career where he gets opposing teams to hit the ball on the ground but they some how find holes.  The best case in point would be the Angels game back in April.  Ricky didn’t make it out of the first inning of that game and surrendered 9 earned runs.  But when you take a look at it the Angels had maybe 1 or 2 hard hit balls.  The bounces just weren’t going his way.

The second inning of last night’s game had the makings of one of those innings for Ricky.  Carlos Santana lead off with a ground ball down the right field line for a double.  Michael Brantley followed with a ground ball single.  At this point, flashes of the Angels game were going through my mind but the Incredible Iggy thwarted the disastrous inning before it could get started.  Asdrubal Cabrera followed Brantely with a ground ball that looked like it was headed for left field but Jose Iglesias flashed his leather.  Iggy pounced on the ball and started a 6-4-3 double play.

As long as Iggy continues to flash leather, I think were going to see Ricky’s numbers improve dramatically.

Ricky didn’t make it 6 innings but compared to the last 4 Tigers’ starts it was a gem.  Ricky pitched 5 and 2/3, allowed 5 hits, struck out 2 and walked 2.

The game was called after 7 inning due to rain.

Sanchez is on the hill tonight for game two.

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

Elliot Johnson’s postgame interview will crack you up

Great interview if you like NASCAR, and I do!!

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

Breslanta



There’s no doubt the Atlanta Braves need a little comic relief after a rash of injuries have plagued the team all season.

So they brought a new face into the clubhouse in recent weeks, Elliot Johnson, to provide a little extra hilarity, and he hasn’t disappointed. He came from the Kansas City Royals, a team that has stunk for years and probably has a light-hearted clubhouse as a result. With the Braves being more than a dozen games up in the division and the team having a need for a speedy utility player, Johnson seemed like the perfect fit.

And that was before we knew about his funny side.

In Tuesday night’s victory over the Cleveland Indians, Johnson had a pretty little triple in the second inning, scoring what would be the game’s only two runs. Naturally, Braves reporter Tom Hart asked Johnson about that play, and his answer is…

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