Red Sox 4 Tigers 3

An error, a wild pitch, and three double plays proved to be the undoing of the Tigers tonight.

Neither starter, Sanchez or Lester, were great, but they both pitched decently.

Both bullpens were good.  I was very impressed with Coke Veras, and Alburquerque.

After falling behind 4-0, the Tigers showed some fight, battling back with single runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th, to make it a one run game.  In the end they just couldn’t get it done.

If the Tigers are going to end their 29 year World Series drought they’re going to have to win two in a row at Fenway Park, no easy task.

The Tigers will have Scherzer pitching in game 6 and Verlander pitching the finale, if it goes to 7.  If they can turn in performances close to their first outings, the Tigers may have an outside chance but they’re going to need some clutch hitting.  What else is new?

The Tigers had a great chance to tie the game in the 7th.  Down 4-2, with one out and runners on first and third, Cabrera stepped to the plate but grounded into a double play.  The third run scored on the play but the double play effectively killed the rally.

The Tigers are getting nothing from Prince Fielder, except for the occasional single.  It’s not good enough.  He hasn’t driven in a post season run since game two of the 2012 ALDS.  What makes matters worse is that he is having horrible at bats.  Most of the time he falls behind 0-1 and ends up grounding into the defensive shift.  He’s pretty much become an automatic out.

I’m also not thrilled with Torii Hunter’s performance in the lead off position but I guess there aren’t many other options.

Saturday it, once again, it’s time to “F*** or walk”.

We’ll have to wait and see.

“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

Twins 4 Tigers 3

If you haven’t been worried about Jose Veras now might be a good time to begin.

With the Tigers leading 3-0 going to the bottom of the 8th Veras took over for the Amazing Al.  Jose lasted 1/3 of an inning and surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk.  This forced The Puppet Master to ask Joaquin Benoit to get 5 outs and save the game.

Benoit got two outs to end the 8th but gave up a solo home run to Brian Dozier leading off the 9th.  This was Benoit’s first blown save of the season but a lot of the blame has to fall on Veras.

That being said, it is a sad state of affairs for the offense that only managed 1 run against Twins starter, Mike Pelfrey, who had an ERA over 5.50 entering the game.

I’m very worried about Veras, and he has to take a lot of credit for this loss, but this game shouldn’t have been this close to begin with.  I think the biggest problem is Austin Jackson.  He managed 1 hit today but is 1 for his last 18.

JV was very good today.  The only problem was his pitch count which forced him to exit after pitching 6 scoreless innings, during which he walked 3, and struke out 12.  Verlander had only thrown 107 pitches after 6 so I was surprised he didn’t come out for the 7th.  Instead, Smyly and Alburquerque came in to pitch the 7th.

Besides striking out 12 hitters JV was able to pitch out of a few jams without allowing any runs.  The most impressive was the bottom of the 5th when Verlander allowed a lead off double to Alex Presley but managed to get out of the inning without allowing him to get any further.  This type of pitching reminded me of the JV vintage 2011 and 2012.  This was a very good sign.

The Amazing Al pitched very well tonight again.  After Smyly started the 7th and allowed two singles, AA, was able to get Dozier, Willingham, and Pinto to end the inning and preserve the three run lead.

The magic number remains at 2 and I don’t think it’s a lock by any means.  The Tigers have two more with the Twins but right now the season series is only Tigers 9 Twins 8.  After Minnesota, the Tigers head to Miami where the team isn’t that great but they do have some starting pitching that could give a slumping offense problems.

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

Tigers 7 White Sox 6

WOW!  Do I feel like an ass for leaving this game in the top of the 9th.

For the first 8.5 innings, I saw exactly what I expected.  After scoring 12 runs last night and facing who I believe to be the best pitcher in the American League, Chris Sale, the Tigers offense did next to nothing.

Chris Sale was dealing.  Except for Miggy, who had two hits against him, the rest of the lineup was completely and thoroughly dominated.

On the Tigers side of the ledger, Fredrick Alfred Porcello was fantastic.  For 6 and 2/3, Ricky was almost as good as Chris Sale.  Almost as good.  This was a match-up between an Ace and an Ace in waiting.  Ricky allowed only 6 hits and 2 runs while walked nobody and striking out 9.

I’m not sure what has gotten into him but Ricky has been getting a lot of swings and misses lately.  He struck out 10 in his previous start and 9 more today.  If Ricky and Iggy can stay healthy, Porcello will make a bid to win 20 games next year with an ERA well under 4, perhaps 3.50.

Tui was flashin leather tonight.   Jose Veras came in to relieve Ricky.  With two outs and the left handed hitting, White Sox catcher, Bryan Anderson at the plate.  The defense was shaded towards right.  Anderson hit a wounded quail to shallow left field and Tui made a fabulous diving catch to end the inning and save a run.

What can I say about Good Ole Dirksy?  He pinch hit for Tui in the bottom of the 9th with two on and nobody out and delivered a 3 run shot to pull the Tigers to within one run, 6-5.  Good for Andy.  It would be great if got to his 2012 form in time for the playoffs.

After Dirksy’s blast Infante walked bringing Santiago to the plate.  Ramon bunted Infante over to second.  I’m not sure how I feel about this play.  Generally, I don’t like bunting a guy from first to second.  In this case I didn’t particularly care for giving the White Sox pitcher an out when he was having trouble finding the plate.  Couple that with the Tigers’ bats perking up and nobody out and my initial reaction to the sacrifice was revulsion.  Looking back on it, however, it was the bottom of the 9th.  The Tigers were trailing by only a single run and it did get the tying run into scoring position.  It worked out this time but I’m still not sure if I would do it again should the occasion arise in the future.

Other than his inability to run, Miggy looked like his old self at the plate today.  He touched Sale for two hard hit singles and singled in the Tigers’ first run in the 9th.  He left the game with groin tightness and is listed as day to day.  It might be time to give him a day off.

Austin Jackson is struggling.  He was 0-5 with a walk tonight.  He had two hits last night, going 2-6, but he was 0-5 in the final game against the Mariners.  That makes him 2-16 in the last three games.  He needs to get on base so Miggy and Prince have a chance to drive in some runs.  That being said, AJax is a streaky hitter so hopefully he’ll go on a hot streak in time for the postseason.

The Amazing Al pitched well tonight.  He pitched two scoreless innings, the 11th and 12th, and got the win.  He allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out two.

Paul Konerko flashed some leather tonight as well.  He made a game saving, temporarily at least, backhanded pick in the 12th, on a throw in the dirt from third baseman Conor Gillaspie

The magic number is 2.

Sanchez is on the mound tomorrow.

It would be nice if the Astros could help the Tigers out tomorrow but I’m not counting on it.

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

Tigers 1 White Sox 0

Anibal Sanchez continues to make his case for this year’s AL Cy Young award.  He improved his record to 14-7 and lowered his league leading ERA to 2.50.  Anibal was masterful tonight in spite of an asinine strike zone from home plate umpire Larry Hanover.

Even with a strike zone that nobody could figure out, Sanchez managed to pitch 7 and 1/3 without allowing any runs.  He gave up only 5 hits, walked 4 and struck out 10.

A few weeks ago I thought Max Scherzer had the Cy Young locked up but Anibal is right on his heels along with Yu Darvish of the Rangers and Chris Sale of the White Sox.

The offense was pathetic tonight which is pretty much what I expected.  After scoring 9 runs last night. the Tigers managed only 1 run on 10 hits.  They were 1 for 11 with men in scoring position.

I’m not sure what the issue is but Miguel Cabrera doesn’t not look good at all.  I’m not sure if he just needs to get his timing back or if his injuries are plaguing him much more than we are lead to believe.  However, if continues hitting the way he did on this road trip, the Tigers are in trouble.

Veras, Smyly and Benoit were aces coming out of the bull pen to preserve the 1-0 win for Sanchez.

Nick Castellanos was 1-4 tonight.  I thought his most impressive at bat came in the first inning.  After falling behind 1-2 he worked the count back to even.  He then fouled off three pitches then took ball three to move the count to full.  He ended up striking out but he did make Jose Quintana throw him 9 pitches.

The Tigers lead in the central is back up to 6.5 games courtesy of the Indians loss to the Royals earlier in the day.

This was a nice win.  After losing the opening game, and third in a row, they managed to win the final two and take the series.

The Royals come to Comerica Park this weekend.  Friday’s game features Justin Verlander against Bruce Chen.  Let’s hope it goes better than the last time these two faced each other.

“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

BIG WIN!

The Tigers’ 7-6 victory this afternoon at Comerica Park is one of the biggest wins of the season.  The Tigers, are struggling, especially, their starting pitching, but found a way to avoid a 4 game sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics.

It wasn’t the way I hoped the Tigers would win, by Max Scherzer clearly establishing himself as the ace of the Tigers staff, but a win is a win.  We’ll take it.

For the 4th consecutive day a Tigers starter has failed to last more than five innings.  Today, Max lasted 5 innings, allowed 8 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, walked 1 and struck out 5.   Fortunately, the bullpen and offense bailed him out.

Luke Putkonen was really outstanding today.  He relived Scherzer in the 6th and stopped the bleeding.  He pitched two innings gave up two hits, and struck out four.  Putkonen’s solid outing couldn’t have come at better time.

Veras and Benoit each pitched a scoreless inning as well.

The Tigers’ offense scratched out 4 runs, with two out, in the bottom of the 9th off of A’s reliever Grant Balfour. The big hit was Torii Hunter’s two run, center field, blast to walk the game off.

The Tribe come to Detroit for a big three game series.  The Tigers are 6 games up with Cleveland facing the Braves in about 30 minutes.  Let’s hope Ricky doesn’t continue this four game, starting pitching funk.  The Tigers could use a long start out of him tomorrow.

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