Red Sox 7 Tigers 2

Daniel Norris’ second start didn’t go as well as his first.  In fact, he needed 40 pitches to get out of the first inning.  His offense didn’t show today either but that’s another story.

I have tried to defend Brad Ausmus and give him the benefit of the doubt but I am at my end with this team’s base running.  This has to be the worst base running team I’ve ever seen an I have seen some abominations.  How many double plays and does this team have to hit into? How many line drives have to not get through, with runners taking off, do we have to sit through for something to change? Can’t they at least try sacrificing? Can’t they at least try to move runners over?

Tempers flared in the dugout.  Jose Iglesias shoved James McCann after they exchanged words over something apparently regarding defense.  I like Iggy but he may need an attitude adjustment.

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/141789874/jose-iglesias-james-mccann-exchange-words

The Tigers just can’t win three in a row.

Twins 7 Tigers 1

I’m late with this post.  I was under the weather most of last week and the weekend.  The Tigers play didn’t help any either.  They finished the theoretical first half .500 and were fortunate to do so.  The first few months of the season they couldn’t score consistently. Their pitching, including the bullpen, paced them to an impressive early season record.

The bats woke up the first week of June. The starting pitching imploded and the bullpen had a Fukushima like meltdown.  Since May 16th the Tigers have the worst record in the American league.  In June the Tigers bullpen ranked 29th in ERA. In July, so far, some how, they rank only 28th.

What has this taught me?  An old lesson that I guess I need to learn over and over no matter how much baseball I watch. If you can’t pitch you can’t win.  It is a lot more entertaining to watch a team that hits until you wake and realize you team sucks and isn’t going anywhere.

If your team can pitch it can win no matter how crappy the hitting is.  I guess we’ve seen this in practice over the last five to six years.  We had sit through an inconsistent offense that would score 10 runs one game then nothing for a week and they found a way to make it to the post season.  Granted, we are still waiting for a World Series but we are looking at a team right now that is scoring over six runs a game but can’t pitch a lick.  We are seeing a tale of two seasons in one this year.  The first two months of the season the Tigers could pitch and couldn’t hit but were winning.  The last month and a half they are hitting and can’t pitch and are one of the worst teams in baseball.

Here’s another conclusion i’ve come to.  I don’t want to trade Nick “The Quick” Castellanos.  I’ve been critical of him.  However, He’s young. He’s show’s flashes.  He’s homegrown.  They need somebody on this team that’s homegrown. Geez.  Look around this team  Avila and Nick.  That’s it.

Speaking of A Squared Money.  There’s no hope that Avila is going to hit if he stays behind the plate.  I don’t know why they didn’t leave him at first and leave McCann behind the plate.  They’re not getting anything from Kraus offensively.  His .135 is worse than Avila’s .192.  What exactly did they think Kraus was going to give them?  Put Avila back a first. McCann behind the plate.  Wait for Miggy to come back.  Get what you can for Price.  He’s not staying.  The Tigers aren’t going anywhere this year. Start planning for 2016.

FYI:  You need a whole bullpen.

Blue Jays 10 Tigers 5

The Blue Jays avoided a sweep by putting 10 runs on the Tigers pitching staff, seven off of former Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander. For four innings JV looked pretty good. He surrendered only one run in the first off of a bloop double and a ground ball single then retired 13 straight.  He got into trouble in the fifth and that was all she wrote.

Ausmus found no relief in the pen either. VerHagen, Wilson, Hardy and Farrell didn’t look very sharp collectively. That being said, when a team scores seven off the starter you probably aren’t going to win too many of those games.

I was really impressed with former Tigers prospect and current Jays second baseman Devon Travis.  It is a small sample size but he looks like a keeper. I’m not sure if you saw Mike’s comment, from Minoring in Baseball, from yesterday’s post.  Yesterday when McCann picked off Travis at first it was an “all Whitecaps play, McCann to Avila, picking off Travis.”  There is something nice about homegrown talent.  Unfortunately there is not a lot of it on the Tigers.  Which brings me to another thing I’ve been thinking about.

Dave Dombrowski’s philosophy seems to be draft power arms then trade them for what you need to fill out the roster.  It is hard to argue with the success he’s had with the trades he’s made.  The Tigers have gotten the better end of the vast majority of his deals.  However, shouldn’t baseball be littered with former Tigers pitchers?  The only one I can think of that is still around is Andrew Miller?  Is the scouting that bad that nobody the Tigers scout and draft ever pans out anywhere?  I guess Cameron Maybin looks like he’s turned things around but he’s not a pitcher, but who else?

Tigers 5 White Sox 4

The Tigers got their first win of the season when trailing after the 7th and it didn’t look like they were going to get their first Sunday either.  They were doing nothing with Jeff Samardzija until James McCann led off the eighth with a single.

The four run, eighth inning, rally was even more impressive because the Tigers got nothing from Miggy.  Samardzija was able to blow three 95 mile an hour fast balls by him, the last up and away, for the first out of the eighth, with bases loaded.  Luckily, he tried to do the same thing to Victor who took the first pitch and cleared the bases with a double.

It looks like, when the bases are loaded Miggy, is trying to hit a home run instead of just a single or a sac fly and as result he’s striking out.  I believe he is 0-5 now with the bases full this season.  Usually, especially with RISP, he’s fine with taking the pitch the other way between first and second.  I guess it’s hard to complain about a guy hitting .350 but he did leave five runners on base yesterday.

Anyway, big win.  Even thought the White Sox suck, they’ve played the Tigers fairly even this year.  At this point, every win is big.  The Tigers are basically a .500 team so far.

Cardinals 2 Tigers 1

A sweep would have been nice but I’ll take 2 out of 3, on the road, against the Cardinals, any time.  Although there wasn’t much offense to speak of Yoenis Cespedes flashed some leather.  He made a nice running catch in the second.  In the seventh, the made a good, one hop, throw to the plate to cut down Jhonny Peralta to keep the game tied.  On the back end of the throw, James McCann made an excellent pick and tag.  After the play I couldn’t help wondering if Avila would have made the play.  Speaking of A Squared Money, does he still have a job?

Am I the only one that found John Kruk and Curt Schilling’s incessant Miggy worshipping too much to take?  It was making his at-bats hard to watch.  JMC is probably the best right handed hitter I’ve ever seen but enough already.  They were acting like fifteen year old girls, in the 80’s, at a Rick Springfield concert.  Hmmm, I’m showing my age.