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

Tigers 14 Dodgers 5

I’m not sure what to make of this game. I’m not sure what to make of this team.

Let’s be honest, JV blew. Again. I don’t care if he pitched five scoreless innings. He gave up five runs before the Tigers even got to bat. He got lucky today.

The Tigers got a break on the Hunter replay in the second and the offense exploded. But spotting any team a five run lead is a dangerous way to play.

JV got lucky as well because Chen Meing Ryu was worse than he was and couldn’t get straightened out.

Another thing that is concerning is that this is the fourth crappy start in a row for Tigers starters. They need a stopper and nobody has really stepped up to fill the role. That’s how you go on 9-20 runs.

All the above being said, it’s a win and I’ll take it.

Let’s see if Max can give the Tigers a good start tomorrow. I’d like to see seven innings with no more than two runs allowed. 🙂

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

Sent from my iPad

Tigers Sweep A’s 9-2

WOW! I never expected the Tigers to sweep the A’s.

This was a big three games series. (I guess as big as you can get in the first half of the season.) The Tigers were able to win the first game despite a sub-par start from Drew Smyly. In game two they got a lights out performance from Freeway “Pretty” Ricky. Today the Tigers got a good start from JV. I guess, as Sark always says, as the starting pitching goes, so goes the Tigers.

I’m getting a little fired up now. I hope I’m not treated to another 9-21 run.

The Rays come to town tomorrow Max v Eric Bedard.

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

Freeway Ricky Porcello…

is the new ace of the Tigers staff. He pitched his second consecutive complete game shutout as the Tigers beat the A’s 3-0 at Comerica Park.

I think the most impressive part of the game was that Ricky needed only 95 pitches to get through all 9 innings.

One interesting / odd thing about FR’s line is that he didn’t walk or strike out anyone.

Ricky’s last two starts reminded me of JV, vintage 2012, except that Ricky is a ground ball pitcher and JV tends to get more fly outs.

In any case, Ricky has to be in the CY Young discussion, at this point in the season, at least.

The Tigers go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with a former ace on the hill.

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

Sent from my iPad

Astros 4 Tigers 3

The Tigers seven game win streak ended at the hands of the Astros last night in 11 innings.

The Tigers, technically, got a quality start from Justin Verlander.  He pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs.  But that’s not a $30 million start.  I have no problem when players, or anybody else, make as much as they can, but “to whom much is given, much is expected.”  I expect more than six innings and three earned runs for $30 million.

JV struck out 8 and walked only 1 but had to throw enough pitches to get through 6 that he couldn’t come out for the seventh.  I guess he’s been better recently but not $30 million better.  His ERA is down to 4.80.

I’m hoping that the Tigers can take at least one game in Houston.  Remember the last road trip the Tigers started 6-0?

Let’s not repeat that.

“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

 

 

Verlander, Tigers Get Smoked in Windy City

Make it three losses in a row.  The Tigers went down to the Whites Sox last night 8-2.

JV was horrible.  I listened to the game on my iPad.  All I kept  hearing about was even though his line didn’t look good, JV had good “stuff”.  Guess what.  They can take all that good “stuff”, roll it into a huge ball, and shove it up their arse.  I don’t care what kind of “stuff” anybody has.  Baseball teams need pitchers that can get people out.  Right now, few on the Tigers pitching staff can do that effectively and their record shows it.

How’s that Doug Fister trade look now?  Lombardozzi, isn’t even on the team.  Robbie Ray is in the minors and didn’t look great when he up in the show.  And Ian Krol hasn’t exactly been lights out.  I know his ERA looks good but he comes into games where he is supposed to strand runners.  Guess how many he stranded yesterday? ZERO!  He couldn’t get  Brandon “I Money” Inge out  and he’s retired.

I know.  I know.  The Tigers needed another left hander out of the bullpen.  But the caveat to that is that they needed a left hander that can get people out.  If all they need is a left hander then sign me up.  I can come in, throw left handed, and not get anybody out too.  And I’ll do it for the league minimum or less.

By the way, Fister is 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA for the Nationals this year.

The only bright spot from yesterday is Nick Castellanos, whose glove I’ve criticized plenty, flashed some leather last night and seemed like he saved the game in the fifth inning.  Unfortunately, the White Sox came to bat in the sixth.

Basically, the Tigers suck and I’m losing hope that they are going to turn it around.

 

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

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 Mariners 3

I think we can put to rest the stories about JV losing his velocity.  He threw 17 pitches tonight at 95 MPH or above.  Instead, I think his issues have been command and not pitching inside.  That being said, he pitched well tonight.  He went seven and two thirds and allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one.  Really, his only blemish to was the homer to Kyle Seagar. At least it wasn’t to the Ackley Kid. 🙂

I know Seattle is not really a powerhouse team but the Tigers don’t seem to play very well there so this was a very impressive outing for JV.

Ok, it is way past time to say this but Miggy and Victor are smokin balls!  Miggy hit a two run shot and Victor hit a three run homer after Legendary Lloyd McClendon intentionally walked Miggy in front of him.

Let’s see if Smyly can put in a good performance tomorrow.

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

Indians 6 Tigers 2

Ok, so, that 1984 euphoric feeling is fading just a little.  What bothered me most about tonight’s game was JV.  He’s the Tigers Ace.  And we needed him to be a stopper tonight.  After a rough outing from Smyly last night, the Tigers needed seven strong innings from JV but didn’t even get a quality start.

What makes this more troubling is this is JV’s third non-quality start in a row.

The offense doesn’t get a free pass for tonight either.  They squandered chances to cash in runs mostly by grounding into three double plays.

So, eight games in to the road trip, the Tigers are 6-2, not bad, but avoiding a sweep tomorrow afternoon would go a long way to regaining the warm and fuzzies.

Also, I thought the strike zone was an abomination for both pitchers.  Before Verlander even took the mound I was complaining to Nebraska that home plate umpire, Gabe Morales, was squeezing Trevor Bauer.

Let’s hope Max can be the stopper.

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