Here we go…

the era of Jhonny Peralta in left field for the Tigers is about to begin.

From the Detroit News: Hat Tip Nebraska Knows!

Tigers minor leaguers: Jhonny Peralta ‘a natural’ as outfielder
2013 Houston Astros
Tigers fans are vastly uneasy about Jhonny Peralta’s ongoing transition to left field. But two outfielders currently playing alongside the former shortstop have a message for you.

Calm down.

“He’s a natural,” said Austin Scotts, a Tigers prospect who played center field while Peralta played left in an instructional league game Monday.

“Can’t really tell he’s new to the position.”

Said Connor Harrell, another outfield prospect also working out in Lakeland, Fla.: “I think he looks really good out there — pretty natural, honestly.”

Peralta, 31, has been in Lakeland since the middle of the month, shagging countless flyballs and getting his bat back into shape.

He is expected to hear from the Tigers today regarding their plans — and it’s widely believe they will welcome him back for their final regular-season series this weekend in Miami, then for the postseason, as his 50-game suspension for his Biogenesis involvement comes to an end.

Keep reading at DetNews dot com here.

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

Tigers 4 Twins 2

Whew!  Fister and the pen got it done reducing the Tigers’ magic number to 1.

The Tigers always seem to make it interesting.

Despite scoring 4 runs the offense was pathetic again.  They scored all their runs in the 4th inning but missed several chances to blow this game wide open and take some pressure off the pitching staff.  The biggest blown opportunity was in the second inning when the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out and couldn’t push across a single run.

Cabrera left 4 runners on base and took an 0-4.  Fielder was 1-4 and left 3 on base.  Matt Tuiasosopo and Alex Avila each took ohfers and stranded 3 runners a piece.  The bright spot on offense was Austin Jackson.  AJax has been struggling but went 3-5 and drove in the winning runs with a two run big-bingo to put the Tigers up 4-1.

Fister was good, the bullpen was better.  Fistet pitched 6.1, allowed 8 hits, one run, struck out 7 and walked one.

Smyly and The Amazing Al got the final two outs in the 7th stranding Twins at first and second.

Conspicuously, Bruce Rondon was called upon to pitch the 8th and was very impressive striking out the side.  Hmmm does anybody else find it interesting that Veras was brought in to pitch the 8th?  Maybe the Puppet Master isn’t getting the warm and fuzzies from Veras either.

The Tigers are getting nothing offensively from left field.  If they can clinch tomorrow perhaps they should start Jhonny Peralta all three game is left in Miami and see what they’ve got.  Offensively, it is hard to imagine doing any worse than the platoon of Dirks, Tui, and DK.  (Hat Tip Rossie for this suggestion).

I’ll say this one more time, WTF is up with this offense?

Scherzer goes for number 21 and the division tomorrow.

Get it done!

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

Tigers 3 Royals 2

The Tigers took the rubber game of this series courtesy of Max Scherzer and Alex Avila.

Max pitched more than well enough to get his 20th win this season but his offense, once again, hung him out to dry.  Max pitched seven strong innings.  He allowed only one run on a solo shot from Alex Gordon.  He struck out 12 and walked only one.

Max left the game leading 2-1 but lost his 20th win when Drew Smyly surrendered the tying run in the top of the 8th.  However, Smyly surrendering the tying run isn’t the story of this game.  The story of this game, and the season, is that the Tigers’ offense BLOWS!

Let me be clear, I don’t care what the statistics say, this offense is pathetic.  As a team the Tigers left 10 runners on base.  Individually, Martinez left 4 on base and Dirks and Infante left 5.  I can’t wait for Peralta to get back to see what he can do in left field.  It is hard for me to believe that he’ll be worse than Dirks.

Max Scherzer picked Emilio Bonifacio off of first base in the first inning continuing the Tigers’ recent success of shutting down the opposing running game.  In fact, this is the third game in a row that Tigers pitchers have picked off a base runner.

What can I say about Alex A Squared Money Avila?  He’s hit .313 since the All-Star break and accounted for all three Tigers runs today.  He hit a two run homer in the bottom of the second to give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead and a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th to break the 2-2 tie and give the Tigers a much needed series win.

I wonder if Jim Leyland is second guessing his decision to have Nick Castellanos pinch hit for Avila in the 7th inning last night?  Although I forgot to mention it in the post, that was one of the worst moves I’ve seen JL make.

The Mariners come to town tomorrow.

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

Tigers 9 White Sox 1

The Tigers ended their 3 game skid with a 9-1 victory over the White Sox tonight at US Cellular field in Chicago.

The story of this game was Rick Porcello.  Ricky pitched the first complete game of his career,  He allowed one earned run, seven hits, walked one, and struck out 5.  He really looked good tonight and the Tigers needed it.

The offense put up 9 runs but you’ll forgive me if I don’t get too excited.  Five of the nine runs scored were unearned.  The White Sox defense aided the Tigers offense with four errors, three of them by third baseman Conor Gillaspie.

Prince and Alex Avila each had 4 hits tonight but Miggy was 0-5 and something just doesn’t look right with him.

The Indians lost tonight so the Tigers’ lead is back up to 5.5.

Let’s see what the offense does tomorrow with Anibal Sanchez on the mound in the rubber game of the series.

On a another note, I heard that Jhonny Peralta will rejoin the team for the last week of the season.  From what I can make out of Dombrowski’s comments, he is definitely not coming back to play shortstop.  John Keating said on the pre-game that Peralta was fielding fly balls.  Does this mean that the Tigers plan to put Peralta in left?  That’s the only thing I can think of and if he hits, it might not be a bad idea.  I think the Tigers have run out of corner outfield experiments.  I don’t think Dirks, Tui, or Castellanos are legitimate options for an everyday left fielder.  I guess I’m not sure Peralta is either but how much worse can he be?  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

“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

Tiger Dust Nationals! Sweep Two Game Series 11-1!

The Tigers but a beating on Nationals, southpaw, Gio Gonzalez, this afternoon at Comerica Park.  They touched Gio, who may be joining Jhonny Peralta in the detention room,  up for 10 earned runs on 11 hits.

Justin Verlander got the win improving his record to 11-8 and lowering his era to 3.88.  JV pitched 6 innings, gave up 4 hits, and one earned run.  The lone Nationals run came in the 1st inning.  I wish I could say that after a rough first inning, JV was lights out the rest of the way, but I’d be lying.  Sometimes a pitcher’s final line looks worse than it actually was. Today, IMHO, JV’s line looks better than it was.  He seemed to be in trouble all game and had a hard time finding the strike zone as evidenced by his 5 walks to go along with his 5 strikeouts.  Velander’s velocity looks ok but he doesn’t seem to be able to command any pitch, including the fast ball.  He was behind the Nationals hitters all day and threw 103 pitches in his 6 innings of work.

I don’t pretend to know what happened to JV but I’m not optimistic about him getting right before the end of the season.  I think the best the Tigers can hope for is what we saw this afternoon, 6 decent innings, making him the 4th or 5th man in the rotation.  Hopefully, he can get fixed in the off-season and return to form next year. It is hard for me to believe that he’s on the downside of his career.  I really hope I’m correct.

Alex Avila, has raised his batting average to .200 courtesy of a 2 for 3 day.  He hit a 2 run homer in the 2nd off of Gonzalez, walked and struck out in the 4th, and singled in the 7th.  Slowly, but seemingly surely, Alex seems to be coming out of his 1.5 year slump.  Again, I hope I’m right, I’ve always liked A Squared Money and hate to see him struggle so terribly.

Torii Hunter has a great day and was a triple short of the cycle.

Prince Fielder and Austin Jackson need to pick things up. Both are hitting in the .260s.  Right now, it isn’t hurting too badly because everybody else is hitting, but the Tigers are going to need them if they hope to end this 29 year World Series drought.

Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup and I’m worried he might be more hurt than the Tigers are letting on.

The White Sox are in town this weekend.

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