Angels Dust Tigers…Again!

Make it 10 in a row for the Angels over the Tigers and this one wasn’t even close.

The Tigers fell behind 11-1 before scoring five runs to make the final score somewhat respectable.

Drew Smyly’s first start was horrible.  He needed 82 pitches to get through three innings and gave up four earned runs. Luke Putkonen came in for long relief and was worse.  Putkonen was charged with seven earned.

I can’t do a Good, Bad and Ugly on this game for two reasons.  First, the entire game was an abomination.  Second, I woke up late and am getting ready go down to game two of this series.

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

Marlins 3 Tigers 2

This series in Miami is like spring training and although you always want to win, the most important thing is evaluating your talent.

The Tigers would have needed a sweep of the Marlins and have Oakland lose 2 of 3 to the Mariners in order to get home field advantage.  That didn’t happen.  The Tigers will start in Oakland next Friday.

It looks like Ricky is going to the bullpen for the post season and he looked pretty good in relief of Jose Alvarez in the third.  He pitched an inning and a third allowing two hits, one a wounded quail, and no earned runs.  Ricky is going to be fine however the Tigers use him.

Luke Putkonen, who I’m expecting to be on the post season roster, looked good as well.

Jhonny Peralta was 1-4 and looked pretty good in left field.  After one game it is hard to tell but remember, Delmon Young was the ALCS MVP last season and nobody would mistake him for Gary Pettis.

Like Dick Allen said, when asked how to play good defense, “Swing the bat!”.

Hmmm, I’m wondering if Tui will be on the playoff roster?  I’m sure Dirks will be.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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

Tigers Lose 2-1. It’s up to Ricky Tomorrow.

Tonight’s game was a battle of aces that lived up to its billing.  Lester and Scherzer both pitched well with Lester and the Red Sox evening the series courtesy of their 2-1 victory.

Mike Napoli didn’t start tonight but he did pinch hit in the 8th inning against Luke Putkonen.  I would have loved for Luke to have drilled that shit bird but it wasn’t the time.  The score was 2-1 with runners on first and second and only 1 out.  It was more important to prevent the Sox from extending their lead than evening the score with Crapoli.

Speaking of Putkonen, he has been very impressive and may be pitching himself onto the post season roster.  He came in last Thursday and stopped the bleeding against Oakland which eventually allowed the Tigers to rally late and save the last game of the series.

Putkonen came in again today in a pressure situation.  Scherzer came out to pitch the 8th but didn’t retire either batter he faced.  He left the game with runners at first and second and nobody out.  Coke came in and got David Ortiz to fly out.  Putkonen then relieved Coke.  With runners at first and second and one out he gave up a single to Crapoli to load the bases.  He then got Jonny Gomes to pop out and Stephen Drew to ground out, both to Iggy, to end the inning.

What does all of this mean?

First, Putkonen and Coke are making cases for spots on the post season roster.

Second, the burden falls on Ricky tomorrow to win the rubber game and hold Crapoli accountable for his Dave Rozema karate kick on Iggy during Monday’s game.  It seems like these things fall on Porcello a lot.  As has been documented here at Flashin Leather, Ricky hit Youkilis in August of 2009, then beat him into a conniption when he rushed the mound.  Then earlier this year in Tampa Bay, after The Crooked Hat threw at Miggy’s head the night before, Ricky lit Zobrists’ rib cage up to defend the MVP the following game.

Third, and this is the most important take away from tonight’s game, Tommy “The Windmill” Brookens is the worst third base coach in baseball history.  He always manages to get the call exactly wrong.  Today, The Windmill got Brayan Pena thrown out at the plate in the second inning. With Pena on first and Infante on third, Iggy doubled, scoring Infante easily. Brookens, then, mistook the 5’9″ 230 lbs Pena for Rickey Henderson and sent him home.  Although the play was considerably closer than most of The Windmill’s sends, Pena was still out by 30 feet.

I love Tommy but not as the third base coach.  The Tigers need Geno back at 3rd.  Let Tommy move to first or to the bench.

It would be nice to come out of Boston with Napoli’s ribs bruised and a series win.

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

Shawn Windsor: Walk-off was a blast, but Tigers’ deficiencies remain | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Check out this article from Shawn Windsor at the Freep dot com.  Hat Tip to regular Flashin Leather reader and all around good guy, Nebraskaknows for pointing this article out.

Shawn Windsor: Walk-off was a blast, but Tigers’ deficiencies remain | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

The story states that JV told Torii he was going to hit a home run and ends with this:

For nearly four games, the A’s outmaneuvered the Tigers, making them appear one-dimensional and archaic. Then the ex-Cy Young winner got in Hunter’s ear and inspired him to be a hero.

Now the question is: Can Hunter can return the favor?

My answer is no.  The only one that can return JV to his previous form is Emily Yuen.  He needs to beg, borrow, and steal, to get her back.  He hasn’t been the same since he went “Hollywood” and left his long time girlfriend.  My question is, can he get her back?  Only Emily can answer that.

Also, I don’t think enough was made about Luke Putkonen’s performance yesterday.  If you just look at the box score his line seems innocuous.  But viewed through the prism of what has been happening, Putkonen’s effort is huge.  Luke did what staff Aces do, stop the bleeding.

“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

Rangers Stop Scherzer’s Winning Streak

The Rangers ended Max Scherzer’s 13 game winning streak by handing the Tiger righty his first loss of the season.  Max went 6 innings allowed 4 earned, struck out 6 and walked 2.

It was another lack luster game on this home stand, similar to game 1 of the White Sox series.  The offense didn’t threaten much as Ranger lefty Derek Holland had his back foot slider in full motion tonight.  Holland kept the Tiger hitters off balance all night.

Holland did walk 5 and the Tigers had their chances but this game was really decided in the bottom of the 4th.  The Tigers were trailing 3-0 coming to bat in the 4th. Peralta led off with a single and stole second.  Tui walked which brought Pena to the plate with 2 on and nobody out.  This was not a good time for one of the worst at bats I’ve seen him have.  As usual, Leyland didn’t have Pena bunting but Pena didn’t even look like he was trying to move the runners up.  He swung at the first pitch from Holland, a 92 MPH sinker, and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

I’m not even going to bitch about Leyland not having Pena bunt.  Pena is a professional hitter.  He has to know that at the very least he needs to move the runners over even if is not a true sacrifice.  Nope, he pounds the first pitch he sees into the ground for a rally killing 6-4-3.

There were a few bright spots.  First, rookie second baseman, Hernan Perez, followed Pena’s double play with a single driving in the Tiger’s only run and his first MLB RBI.

The second bright spot was Phil Coke.  He came in to replace Luke Putkonen in the 7th and got A. J. Pierzynski to ground into an inning ending double play.  I was happy for Coke.  He’s been struggling, and it’s nice to see him have a little success that hopefully he can build on for the second half.

Other than that, there wasn’t much to like about tonight’s game.  Alburquerque pitched the 9th and was horrible.  It looks like he’s doing all he can to get back to Toledo.

JV is on the hill for the series and first half finally tomorrow.  I think it is very important to win the game tomorrow.  A win would give them a series win and even their record at 3-3 on this current home stand.  Losing two series in a row, at home, heading into the break, will leave the first half on a down note.  The Tigers really need JV to have a good start and we need better offense than we got tonight.

This team is so irritating.

On another note, I was watching part of the Yankee game before the Tiger game.  The announcers were talking about how Joba Chamberlain is a highly prized commodity that a lot of team are interested in.  Really?  I wonder what teams are interested in Joba?  Are the Tigers one of them?  Joba has a 5.24 era this season.  I guess, if you look at his career stats, they’re not bad.  He has a career 3.81 era and 2.57 K/BB ratio but I wouldn’t be willing to give up top prospects for him.  He’s not going to start.  He’s a power arm coming out of the bullpen who has occasional control problems.  I guess he’s probably better than most of the guys in Tiger bullpen.  But what would the Tigers have to give for him and how much would then have to pay him?  Any thoughts?

Did I mention how irritating the Tigers are?

Oh, Sark, I’ve been thinking about what you said about signing Sanchez.  The more I think about it.  The more I agree with you.

Did I mention how irritated I am right now?

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

Random Thoughts

Did you know Miggy’s real first name is Jose?  Here‘s a link to his bio on MLB.

Former Tiger prospect Jacob Turner is pitching well for the Marlins.  He has started 8 games.  He is 3-1 with a 2.33 earned run average.

Did anybody else find it comical that Luke Putkonen didn’t look the least bit worried or frightened when Ramirez acted like he was going to charge the mound?

This is the image of Reggie Jackson that in ingrained into my mind.  When I think of Reggie, this is the picture that appears.

Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson Home Run Swing

I’m hoping for a better game tonight against the Rangers.  The White Sox series made me sick.

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