Tigers 9 White Sox 1

The Tigers took the rubber game of a big early season series this afternoon by beating White Sox starter Jose Quintana into a conniption.

Yoenis Cespedes had a monster day.  He had six RBIs on a grand slam and a two run homer.  Today’s game was a mirror image of yesterday’s game, it was over by the time the Sox came to bat in the top of the fourth.

Shane Greene got his third win.  The Tigers are 10-2 and right now I don’t hate them.

Here are a few early season observations:

  • Iggy looks great at short and even though he swings at a lot of pitches he’s pretty good at making contact.
  • Miggy looks very good, defensively, at first base.
  • Nick Castellanos has been flashin’ leather at third.
  • Despite his miscue today, J.D. Martinez plays a pretty good right field.
  • Doesn’t Miggy usually start seasons slowly?
  • Victor is still hurt.

Yankee are in town tomorrow.

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Tiger 4 Twins 0

Well, this was almost a perfect game to start off the 2015 season.

David Price pitched 8.2 shutout innings and Joe Nathan got the final out, striking out Torii Hunter.

J.D. Martinez and Alex A Squared Money Avila went deep and Yoenis Cespedes was two for three with a double and a triple.

The Tigers flashed plenty of leather today as well. Cespedes, Iglesias, Kinzler Castellanos, and Miggy all had nice plays defensively.

I hope this is a harbinger of things to come for the 2015 Tigers but I can’t help wondering if Price and Cespedes are only here for half a season.

We’ll see.

Nice article about Iggy…

From SportsOnEarth, Motown Motivation by Matt Crossman:

Iglesias’ hands are so fast, and his range so vast, that when second baseman Ian Kinsler was traded to the Tigers in the offseason, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia sent Kinsler a warning via text: “Hey, man, you’re going to love Iggy. But keep your glove up. You’ll get hit right in the teeth, look like a hockey player.”

Iglesias’ defensive reputation has preceded him since he learned to field grounders hit by his dad on a diamond near their house in Cuba. The better Iglesias got at catching them, the more he scooted in, and the harder his dad hit them.

“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

Red Sox 1 Tigers 0

How much more can the Tigers ask from their pitching staff?  It has gotten to the point where the staff can’t afford to surrender a single run.

JV was “smokin balls” again today.  He had one mistake in 8 innings and it cost the Tigers a game and allowed the Red Sox to reclaim home field advantage.

I believe this is the 5th or 6th time since the beginning of September that the offense have failed to give JV a single run.

Pathetic.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all the Tigers offense reaches new heights of futility.

I understand they are facing good pitching but the hitters have to find a way to scratch out runs.  This Tigers team has proven over and over again that they not capable.

The Tigers had chances.  They had a runner on third with less than two outs twice and couldn’t manufacture a run.

In the 5th, Peralta led off with a double and went to third on an Alex Avila ground out.  Omar Infante, who is now hitting .100, struck out. Dirks followed with a ground out.

The Tigers failed to score.

In the 8th, after an Iglesias K, Jackson walked and went to third on a Torii Hunter single.  Runners and first and third with one out and the Tigers still trailing 1-0.  Things looked good with Cabrera and Fielder coming to the dish.  But Miggy struck out on 4 pitches and Fielder one-upped him with a K on 3 pitches.

The Tigers failed to score.

Pathetic.

It is impossible to win when you don’t score.

Fister vs Peavy tomorrow.

Your guess is as good as mine.

I wasn’t at the game but a frequent reader of this blog said the crowd sucked. However, I didn’t see much to get excited about.

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

Red Sox 6 Tigers 5

DISASTER!

That’s only thing I can say about this game.

After the offense finally put up some runs and built a 5-0, Max throwing a gem, the bull pen and defense blew it.

Max threw 108 pitches through 7 innings.  He struck out 13, allowed 2 hits, and 1 run.

I was hoping he’d come out for the 8th but when I saw Veras warming up I began to worry.

Veras, Smyly, Alburquerque, and Benoit couldn’t protect a 4 run lead and the Boston Red Sox evened the series with 4 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.

Porcello came in to start the 9th and the wheels began to immediately fall off.  He got Gomes to hit a ball between 3rd and short.  Iggy fielded the ball and made a wide throw to first.  The throw took a glove high hop but Fielder couldn’t knock it down.  The hit and error sent the winning run to second with nobody out.  Porcello got Saltalamacchia to foul down the first base line.  Prince went to the stands but couldn’t make the catch.  The ball hit off the heel of his glove giving Saltalamacchia new life.

Porcello then threw a wild pitch sending Gomes to third and Saltalamacchia singled through a drawn in infield to end the game.

I don’t have the words to describe this one.  What an awful way to lose.

I hope it is not a back breaker.

Torii Hunter almost robbed David Ortiz of a game tying grand slam but seemed to over run the ball.  It would have been a great catch but it looked like he might have made it if he didn’t over run it.

The Tigers may have stolen a game yesterday but they gave this one away.

Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter were both 0-5.  If there is any good news coming out of the 1 and 2 slots in the order it is that Jackson only struck out once tonight.

I’m stunned and sick to my stomach.

This one hurts!

Let’s hope JV can give the Tigers 9 on Tuesday.  Despite yesterday’s success, the pen worries me.

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

Tigers Dust Indians 10-5

The Tigers starting pitching today was better than it has been all week.  Anibal Sanchez lasted 6 and 2/3 surrendering only 3 runs.

Omar Infante had a day, he hit two homers and drove in 5 runs.  He hit a three run shot in the second and a two run shot in the 6th.

The impressive inning for Sanchez was the fifth.  With the Tigers up 4-1, the Indians put runners at the corners with nobody out.  Sanchez was able to get Lonnie Chisenhall to pop out.  He struck out Ian Gomes, gave up an RBI single to Michael Bourne, then struck Nick Swisher out to end the inning.  Sanchez was able to avoid a big inning and keep the Tigers in the lead surrendering only 1 run.

I wasn’t at the game, so I couldn’t see, but was Dirks or Hunter hustling to backup Ajax when he ran into the wall and hurt himself in the top of the 8th?  It looked like it took Dirks a long time to get the ball.

It was also in was nice to see the Tigers come back and put runs on the board in the bottom of the 8th after the Indians cut the Tigers lead to 6-5.

Lead by Austin Jackson’s 2 run triple, the Tigers put up four more runs in the bottom of the 8th to extend the lead to 10-5.

Iggy continues to impress, this time with his offense.  In the bottom of the 8th after Jacskon’s two run triple, Jim Leyland put the squeeze play on with Iggy at the plate.  The first pitch Iggy saw was a fast ball over his head but he found a way to get the bunt down allowing Jackson to score on the play.

Also, kind of under the radar, Brayan Pena has had a really nice season at the plate.  He was 2-4 tonight and his hitting .313 on the season.  This is huge considering the Tigers have gotten relatively little in the way of offense from the often injured Alex Avila.

Jose Veras didn’t look good.  He gave up three hits, two earned runs, and several hard hit balls in his one inning of work.

Verlander gets the call tomorrow as the Tigers go for the sweep.  I don’t know what to expect but I’ll hope for the best.  I’ll take 7 innings with 3 earned runs or less.

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