The Tigers Are In Trouble…

After winning the first two against Boston I thought the Tigers were going to turn it around.  Instead they proceeded to lose two in a row.

The Tigers don’t have a closer.  Nathan hasn’t been good and Joba failed a test on Sunday, giving up three runs in the ninth to take the loss.

They followed that debacle up with a loss to the White Sox yesterday.  Ricky pitched horribly and I’m getting worried he’s not going to have the season I thought and hoped he would.

Perhaps today’s rain out is a good thing.  Maybe it will break the bad mojo.

The one thing that perplexes me is why the Tigers can never seem to find a closer.  In contrast, the A’s never sign a closer and always seem to find someone to pitch the ninth inning.  Maybe DD should take a look at what they do.

In any case, all we have now is to hope this team can somehow put it together.

Maybe it can start with a ball smokin performance from JV tomorrow.

We’ll see.

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

Tigers 6 Red Sox 2

The Tigers looked like the team we saw a few weeks ago.  They got good starting pitching from Drew Smyly, good work out of the bullpen, and the offense scored six runs.

It is only one game so I’m not getting too excited but it was a nice game to watch after what we’ve seen in the previous 20 games.

The Good:

  • Drew Smyly gave the Tigers a quality start pitching six innings giving up only one earned run.
  • Kinlser, Hunter, and Victor went deep.
  • Krol, Joba, and Nathan pitched three scoreless innings in relief.
  • Nick Castellanos had three hits.

The Bad:

  • The defense is still scaring me. Romine had a throwing error leading to an unearned run.
  • It doesn’t look like Torii Hunter is taking good routes on balls hit to right field.
  • Castellanos wasn’t charged with an error but he could have.  He missed a shot that looked like he should have had.

The Ugly:

  • For once, in a long time, nothing really ugly tonight.

Let’s see if they can follow this win up tomorrow.

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

 

 

Blue Jays 5 Tigers 3

This one may surprise you but I’m not putting this one on Joe Nathan.  I’m not a big fan of his and he did pitch himself into a jam in the 9th but he also pitched well enough to get out of it.  This one belongs to Andrew Romine.

What in the sam hell was he doing on the ground ball Bautista hit?  Can someone please explain why he stutter stepped?  Who did he think was supposed to field the ball.

Tigers fans we have a problem.  The left side of the infield is horrible.  Romine and Castellanos besides not fielding aren’t doing anything at the plate either.

I guess the good news is that Anibal Sanchez has established himself as the ace of this staff.  Over this abominable two week stretch, I think the Tigers have gotten four quality starts.  Three of them are from Sanchez who was absolutely smokin balls!  He shut out the Jays for seven innings?  With the way they’ve been hitting?  He looks like JV did during his Cy Young year.

Joba was good again tonight, but besides him, is there anyone the Tigers can count on out of the pen?

This thing is a mess!

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

 

Tigers earn split with A’s 5-4

Despite Joe Nathan’s best effort to blow his third save in the last 10 games, the Tigers found a way to squeak out a 5-4 victory and split the four game series with the A’s.

What makes this win more impressive is that they Freeway Ricky Porcello failed to provide a quality start despite winning his eighth game of the season.  Ricky’s performance was maddening. He pitched in and out of trouble all day long and gave up seven free passes, six walks and one HBP.  What was even more exasperating than the free passes was giving up a two run homer to Nick Punto. NICK PUNTO!?

The last two times through the rotation, Tigers starters, with the exception of Sanchez, have blown.  They better right the ship soon because like Peter Gammons says, “if you can’t pitch, you can’t win.”

With the exception of Joe Nathan, the bullpen was adequate.  However, the Amazing Al walked two in his inning of work.

That brings me to Nathan.  He has three blown saves and has a 5.23 ERA.  I hope Brad Ausmus has a plan B for the closer role.  Additionally, after his post game comments yesterday, I’m beginning to question his character.  I’ll be the first to admit that Castellanos is not good at third but he didn’t give up the home run to Donaldson.  So man up, JACKASS, and accept the fact that you’ve blown this year.  Instead of blaming the rookie start earning your money suck-hole.

On the flip side of the coin, this Tigers team has shown a type of resiliency that I haven’t seen for a long time.  They play for nine innings and on most nights, I get the feeling that they expect to win.  I guess time will tell.

 

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

Disaster

In tennis, when you break the other player’s serve, winning the very next game when you are serving is called consolidating the break.

Tonight was a game the Tigers needed to consolidate the break in their awful run of games during the last 10 days.  They pulled out a gutsy win yesterday but needed today’s game to get them on track.

They got an absolutely lights-out, ball smokin, performance from Anibal Sanchez.  He allowed only three hits in eight and a third innings but couldn’t get any help from his friends.

Joe Nathan blew his fourth save of the season surrendering a three run homer to Josh Donaldson in the bottom of the ninth.

Despite only scoring one run, I had a good feeling about this game, even after Sanchez gave up a one out double to Coco Crisp which brought in Nathan.

But the optimism quickly turned to despair.  The first batter Nathan faced was John Jaso who hit a line drive that went off of Nick Castellanos’s glove into left field.  I have no idea how Jaso was given a hit.  This was an E5 all day long.  If your third basemen can’t make that play, you aren’t going to win.

Here’s some food for thought:

  • Perhaps substituting DK for Castellanos late in close games would be a good idea.
  • The left side of the Tigers infield is a problem.
  • The Tigers still need a closer.

Another deep deep breath.

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

 

Tigers 4 Orioles 1

The story of this game should have been another ball smokin performance from Freeway Rick and timely hitting but there is more to the story.

Freeway Rick was cruising along.  He pitched six complete, allowed one run on five hits, he struck out two and walked none.

In fact, the entire Tigers staff didn’t walk a batter.

The first part to the story is why Ricky was pulled after six innings.  He had only thrown 83 pitches so I was rather surprised that he didn’t come out for the seventh.  I hope there’s not something wrong.

The secondary story of the game was Torii Hunter getting drilled in the ribs in the eighth by that sawed off little jerk, Bud Norris, after Kinsler took him deep for a two run homer to extend the Tigers lead to 4-1.  The benches emptied but there was no punches thrown.  Norris was tossed but seemed to keep jawing at Hunter even after he was in the dugout.  I’m not sure if there is any history between the two but someone on the O’s has to get it tomorrow.

The Good:

  • This was a nice bounce back win for the Tigers after blowing a three run lead yesterday.
  • Freeway Rick improved to 6-0.
  • While not dynamic, the offense got the job done.
  • Tigers pitchers did not walk a batter.
  • The Amazing Al, pitching in his fourth consecutive game was smokin balls.  He pitched a complete inning and struck out two.
  • Joe Nathan recorded his eighth save on only six pitches.

The Bad:

  • The Orioles scored their run in the bottom of the first on a ball that looked like Rajai Davis should have caught.

The Ugly:

  • Other than the play by Davis in the first and Romine’s error in the second, nothing too egregious today.

Smyly pitches tomorrow and somebody on the Orioles has to answer for Hunter.

Remember when Freeway Ricky beat Youk into a conniption?

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

Make it 8 in a row Tigers beat Astros 3-2

Pitching and home runs gave the Tigers a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros and made it eight in a row for the TIgers.

Freeway Rick pitched 6 and 2/3.  He allowed two earned runs on seven hits, a little high, he struck out five and walked two.

Ricky turned the game over Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan to close the game out.

What can I say about Joba, he continues to get it done, striking out the side in the 8th.

Joba is SMOKIN BALLS!

The Good:

  • The Tigers got their eight in a row and 20th win of the season.
  • Ricky put in another good outing.
  • Joe Nathan got his seventh save.
  • Joba continues to smoke balls!
  • Miggy and Victor went deep.
  • Rajai Davis stole his 12th base of the season and Don “DK” Kelly stole a base and got two hits.

The Bad:

  • The Tigers managed only five hits but the Houston pitcher, Brad Peacock, had a lot to say about that.  He pitched well for a bad team.
  • Joe Nathan walked a runner with two outs and allowed two stolen bases but was able to strand the tying run at third.

The Ugly:

  • Not much today or lately.  The Tigers have been playing pretty clean and came away with another win in a close game.

Don’t look now but Freeway Rick is 5-1 on the season.  Now if he can lower his ERA by a run he might make me look like Nostradamus.

Also, I liked Miggy’s homer the opposite way, he might be rounding into his MVP form.

Smyly pitches tomorrow afternoon as the Tigers for a four game sweep and ninth in a row.

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

 

 

TIgers win 6th in a row beat Astros 2-0

The Tigers got excellent pitching and just enough offense to beat the Astros and Jarred Cosart 2-0 at Comerica Park.

The Good:

  • Max was smokin balls.  He pitched eight complete allowed no runs, on three hits, walked one and struck out nine.
  • Nathan got his sixth save.
  • The Tigers won their sixth in a row.
  • Vmart came up big with a solo shot in the eight to give Nathan and Scherzer a two run cushion.

The Bad:

  • The Tigers were baffled, for the most part, by Jarred Cozart but after their 26 run out burst over the weekend we’ll take it.
  • The Tigers managed only six hits.
  • VMart got caught looking for the first time in almost a year.

The Ugly:

  • After looking like he was retuning to form, Miggy looked bad tonight at the plate.  He was 0-4 with a K and really didn’t have many good swings.

A win is a win and the Tigers found a way to get it done.  I can’t complain about six in a row.

I’m looking forward to Robby Ray’s start tomorrow.  The Tigers, and especially Dave Dombrowski, really think a lot of this kid.  Let’s see what he’s got.

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

Tigers 7 White Sox 4

Behind six good innings from 2013 Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, the Tigers earned a split with the White Sox in this four game series.

The only thing I don’t like about Max’s line, while it is hard to complain when he strikes out 10, is that he only lasted six innings.  Max needed 110 pitches to get through six complete.

The Good:

  • The Tigers won.
  • The Tigers scored in five different innings, the second, third, fifth, seventh, and eighth.
  • The Tigers put up seven runs.
  • Max struck out 10 and walked only one.
  • Miggy had three RBIs.
  • Castellanos and Holaday had two hits.
  • Rajai Davis had three hits and two RBIs.
  • Joe Nathan earned his 4th save without surrendering a run.

The Bad:

  • Joba got roughed up today. He allowed two earned runs on three hits in one inning of work.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing today.

The Tigers go to Target Field for a weekend series with the Twins.  Freeway Rick Porcello is on the mound in Minnesota tomorrow.

 

 

Behind Feeway Rick, Tigers take series 2-1

This was a big win.  Not only did the Tigers win the game but they won the series with the Angels, 2-1.  Prior to yesterday’s game, the Tigers had dropped 10 in a row to the Angels.

The Tigers got seven strong innings from Ricky then turned it over to the pen.  Ian Krol, the Amazing Al, and Joe Nathan finished out the game and series.

The Good:

  • Freeway Rick
  • The Bullpen
  • Alex Avila threw out Howie Kendrick at second in the fourth inning.

The Bad:

  • The offense was horrible.  They managed only five hits and two runs and were aided by four Angels errors.

The Ugly:

  • Alex Avila was 0-3 with two backwards Ks.
  • Miggy was 0-3 with two backwards Ks
  • The Tigers as a team left 18 runners on base.

Chisox come to town tomorrow.

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