Tigers 4 Rockies 2

Wow! This was the best I’ve seen JV look in a long time. He looked like end of 2014 and CY Young JV tonight.

Even in the seventh inning, when he gave up two runs, he looked good. There were a few seeing eye ground balls and a defensive miscue but JV was able to emerge from the seventh with the lead.

Don’t look now but Nathan might be turning the corner. This was his fifth straight scoreless appearance.

The Rockies are bad but this was an impressive start.

Onward.

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

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Tigers 5 Indians 1

I didn’t get to see a minute of this game.  I got on a flight at noon and didn’t arrive until the game was over.

From perusing the box score however, it looks the same tried and true recipe was used to salvage the last game of this four game debacle.

Drew Smyly pitched seven complete and allowed only one run.  Instead of relying on the bullpen for 3 or 4 innings, only two were required.

Joba continued to show that he is the only reliable arm out of the bullpen. He pitched a scoreless 8th, although he did walk two.

Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

It looks like the offense came alive, scoring five runs.  Miggy took an ofer but it looks like Ajax, Torii, and Costellanos had good games.

Although, I like him, he seems like a decent guy, I’ve been pretty critical of Austin Jackson.  But he seems be coming on a bit lately.  He had two hits today and his batting average is up to .264.

Off to the Valley of the Sun for a three game series with the Diamondbacks.

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

Indians 5 Tigers 2 (Game 2)

Nathan is horrible but the offense was worse.

During this four game losing streak the Tigers have scored a total of nine runs. That’s putting a lot of pressure on the pitching staff.

The pitching hasn’t been good either.

Max was ok. He only allowed two runs but the Tigers needed him to pitch deep into the game but he couldn’t make it through six.

I was at the game and it was one of the most irritating that I could remember. Max stood on the mound and allowed the Indians to foul pitch after pitch off and drive his pitch count up. As a result he had to leave after five and two thirds.

High pitch counts have plagued the Tigers pitching staff for a long time. For some reason they have a religious aversion to throwing inside. They allowed hitters to lean over the plate and send their pitch counts through the roof. Now add in an abomination of a bullpen and you begin to understand why the Tigers haven’t won the World Series since 1984 and probably won’t win this year.

I’m disgusted!

Smyly is on the mound tomorrow. I’m not optimistic.

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

Tigers 5 Royals 1

Before the ninth inning I was going to start complaining about the offense the last two games. I was going to cry how they’d only scored two runs each, in the last two games. Fortunately, J.D. Martinez and Alex “A Squared Money” Avila, stole my thunder.

J.D. came through with a solo shot and A Squared hit a two-run homer to extend the Tigers lead to 5-1.

The lead extension was important because it kept Joe Nathan out of the game. I didn’t want to go through another ninth inning like they did the game before. Nathan and a one run lead is playing with fire.

As it turned out, Everyday Al came in and closed out the ninth. The Tigers won their fifth in a row, third straight over KC, Freeway Ricky got his 12th win, the lead is extended to 7.5 games, and today, the Tigers have a chance for a sweep.

Win or lose this afternoon and I’m going to feel good about the Tigers going into the break. However, a ball smokin performance by JV and a series sweep might give me a bit of the ’84 feeling.

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

Tiger 2 Royals 1

The Tigers insured themselves no worse than a split, and no worse than a 4.5 game lead at the AS break, despite Joe Nathan.

Hmmm, ‘despite Joe Nathan’, I think I’ve written that more than once this year.

I guess I should give Nathan credit for nailing down the save but he made it a lot more ‘interesting’ than it should have been. He threw 27 pitches in the ninth inning and only 13 of them were strikes. In fact, of the five batters he faced, he fell behind 2-0 to three of them.

OK, I’ve complained enough for one post, especially after a Tigers win. But here’s a note to DD, you still need a closer.

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

Tigers 4 Dodgers 1

Impressive, is the best way to describe this win.  Not only did Max break the string of crappy starts, the Tigers beat a pitcher that has dominated them, Zach Greinke.

In yesterday’s post, I asked for at least seven innings with no more that two runs allowed.  Max did one better.  He pitched seven completed and allowed only one run.

Another thing that makes this win impressive is that neither Miggy nor Victor were in the lineup.  Victor still has an issue with his side and apparently, Miggy was just given a day off.

Nebraska told me that Brad Ausmus wanted to get DK in the lineup because he has hit Greinke well.  Coming into the game DK was 3-8 against Greinke, hardly a large enough sample, but Donny went 2-3 with a big RBI.

What I’m happiest about today is the pitching.  Max was great and Joba and Nathan were lights out.  If Tigers starters can go seven innings a lot of the deficiencies can be covered up.

The Tigers go to Kansas City for weekend set-to with Royals. Depending on what team shows, the Tigers could have a nice lead going into the break.

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

Tigers 5 Indians 4

The Tigers won their third straight and second against the Indians, 5-4.

JV, was very good tonight.  He pitched seven innings, allowed two runs, one earned, struck out eight and walked one.

At first, I was annoyed that he didn’t come out for the eighth inning.  However, after thinking about it, I believe sitting him down was the correct move.

JV has thrown a lot of pitches and innings over the last five or six years.  It might be time to pull the reins in a piece. Also, he’s struggled lately, so let him come out of the game feeling good about himself.

The problem is that he has to turn the game over to one of the worst bullpens in MLB.  In fact, according to the CBS post game show, the Tigers bullpen ERA is second worst and has surrendered 10 more NINTH inning runs than the next worst team. I think the Astros are the only team with a worse bullpen ERA this season.

I’m not going to complain too much about Nathan tonight.  He blew the save but sometimes you just get a bad run of cards and there’s not much you can do about it.  Nathan struck out the first two batters in the ninth.  He had David Murphy 1-2.  Murphy worked the count to 3-2 then hit a ball off the ground into center field to extend the inning.  In fact, Nathan had Murphy, Gomes, and Bourn down to their last strike and ended up giving up three consecutive singles.

The good news is, Phil Coke was SMOKIN BALLS.  When have I ever said that before?  Have I ever said that before? He came in to pitch the 10th inning, struck out the side, and got the save.

Blaine Hardy came into relieve the The Amazing Al in the eighth and looked pretty good.  I’m not going to get too excited yet but so far so good.

One more troubling statistic that I saw on the post game show was that this isn’t the first year the Tigers bullpen has hit the skids.  They’ve been among the worst in baseball for the last five years.  This is probably a big reason why the Tigers haven’t won the World Series since 1984.  You’d think Dave Dombrowski would have plugged this hole by now.

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

 

 

Turning Point?

As I listened to the Tigers 2-1 victory over the Royals this afternoon, I kept waiting for the implosion.  After what we’ve seen from this team over the last 30 games, can you blame me?

The Royals scored in the top of the first, “oh no, another terrible start by a Tigers starter?”

Sanchez pitched 7 innings, allowed five hits, one run, and walked only one.

In the bottom of the fourth, Miggy gets picked off of second base. J.D. Martinez follows with a home run to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. “Watch they’ll  lose 3-2.”

They didn’t.

When Joba took over for Sanchez in the 8th, “its Joba’s turn to melt down.”

He didn’t.

When Nathan came on in the ninth to close the game, “another blown save”.

He struck out the side.

Today the stars aligned.  The Tigers got a quality start, a few runs, overcame a few mistakes and pulled within 1/2 game of the Royals.

Is this a turning point or an anomaly?

We’ll see.

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

 

Tigers 4 Twins 3

Well a win and a series win is great but the MVP for the Tigers in this game was Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia.

Arcia misjudged two fly balls off of the bat of Victor Martinez that resulted in two runs including the winning run.

Freeway Ricky was good. He pitched seven innings and allowed three earned runs and the bullpen, Joba and Nathan, were adequate.

That being said the offense left an individual total of 25 men on base.

Like yesterday, it wasn’t pretty, but the way things have been going we’ll take it.

The Royals come to town tomorrow.

JV on the hill for the opener.

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

 

Twins 2 Tigers 0

The Tigers couldn’t consolidate yesterday’s win.

They got the pitching but couldn’t push across a single run.

Basically, the game was decided in bottom of the fifth, when Miggy bounced into a double play, with the bases loaded and one out.

I’m not even going to complain about Nathan, who walked in the second run in the ninth. Suarez made an error and gave the Twins an extra out. Nathan wasn’t good but didn’t get any help from the defense.

I guess that’s the way things go when a team is running bad.

This team is out of sync and finds ways to lose instead of finding ways to win.

4:00 pm start tomorrow.

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

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