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)

Advertisements

Coyote Howl!

So I went to see the Phoenix Coyotes thrash the Calgary Flames, 6-0, on Tuesday.  While I hate this when the Red Wings play them, the official celebration of a Coyote goal is kind of cool.

Here’s a video I shot.

“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

Fister, Tigers Keep Rolling! Win 6th Straight At Home!

Behind a fantastic performance by Doug Fister, the Tigers beat the White Sox 2-1 tonight at Comerica Park to win their 6th straight on the current home-stand.

Fister was dealing.  He pitched 8 complete, allowed only 1 earned run on 7 hits.  He struck out 2 and walked none on only 88 pitches.

Benoit came in and closed the game out pitching a scoreless 9th.

The offense was led by Prince Fielder, Jose Iglesias, who played 3rd for the ailing Miguel Cabrera, and Austin Jackson.

In the Tigers’ half of the fourth, Prince Fielder led off with a double and moved to 3rd on a Victor Martinez fly out.  Jhonny Peralta followed Martinez with a fly ball but it wasn’t deep enough to score Fielder.  That brought Iglesias to the plate with two out and Fielder at third.  In his first game as a Tiger, Iglesias delivered a line drive, base hit, to right that gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 5th Austin Jackson hit a solo shot to give Tigers a 2-0 lead and Fister and Benoit made it stand up.

The key moment in the game came in the top of the 8th.  With the Tigers leading 2-1, Dayan Viciedo led off with a single.  Jordan Danks came in to pinch-run.  Gordon Beckham came to the plate and with a 3-1 count hit a ground ball just to the right of second.  However, the hit and run was on so Santiago was moving toward second on the pitch.  This was a fortunate break for the Tigers because instead of a single up the middle, Santiago was able to field the grounder, step on second and fire to first for a double play.

I really hope Miggy gets well soon.  I’m not sure how long the Tigers can keep rolling without him.  Also, it is a small sample but the rumors look true regarding newly acquired Jose Iglesias.  He looks very smooth in the field.  His demeanor reminds me of the Orioles Manny Machado.  I’m not sure how much he’s going to hit, but it looks like he can flash leather.

The Tigers picked up a game on the Tribe who got pounded in Miami 10-0.

Scherzer goes for his 16th win tomorrow night.

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