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

Here we go…

the era of Jhonny Peralta in left field for the Tigers is about to begin.

From the Detroit News: Hat Tip Nebraska Knows!

Tigers minor leaguers: Jhonny Peralta ‘a natural’ as outfielder
2013 Houston Astros
Tigers fans are vastly uneasy about Jhonny Peralta’s ongoing transition to left field. But two outfielders currently playing alongside the former shortstop have a message for you.

Calm down.

“He’s a natural,” said Austin Scotts, a Tigers prospect who played center field while Peralta played left in an instructional league game Monday.

“Can’t really tell he’s new to the position.”

Said Connor Harrell, another outfield prospect also working out in Lakeland, Fla.: “I think he looks really good out there — pretty natural, honestly.”

Peralta, 31, has been in Lakeland since the middle of the month, shagging countless flyballs and getting his bat back into shape.

He is expected to hear from the Tigers today regarding their plans — and it’s widely believe they will welcome him back for their final regular-season series this weekend in Miami, then for the postseason, as his 50-game suspension for his Biogenesis involvement comes to an end.

Keep reading at DetNews dot com here.

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

Tigers 4 Twins 2

Whew!  Fister and the pen got it done reducing the Tigers’ magic number to 1.

The Tigers always seem to make it interesting.

Despite scoring 4 runs the offense was pathetic again.  They scored all their runs in the 4th inning but missed several chances to blow this game wide open and take some pressure off the pitching staff.  The biggest blown opportunity was in the second inning when the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out and couldn’t push across a single run.

Cabrera left 4 runners on base and took an 0-4.  Fielder was 1-4 and left 3 on base.  Matt Tuiasosopo and Alex Avila each took ohfers and stranded 3 runners a piece.  The bright spot on offense was Austin Jackson.  AJax has been struggling but went 3-5 and drove in the winning runs with a two run big-bingo to put the Tigers up 4-1.

Fister was good, the bullpen was better.  Fistet pitched 6.1, allowed 8 hits, one run, struck out 7 and walked one.

Smyly and The Amazing Al got the final two outs in the 7th stranding Twins at first and second.

Conspicuously, Bruce Rondon was called upon to pitch the 8th and was very impressive striking out the side.  Hmmm does anybody else find it interesting that Veras was brought in to pitch the 8th?  Maybe the Puppet Master isn’t getting the warm and fuzzies from Veras either.

The Tigers are getting nothing offensively from left field.  If they can clinch tomorrow perhaps they should start Jhonny Peralta all three game is left in Miami and see what they’ve got.  Offensively, it is hard to imagine doing any worse than the platoon of Dirks, Tui, and DK.  (Hat Tip Rossie for this suggestion).

I’ll say this one more time, WTF is up with this offense?

Scherzer goes for number 21 and the division tomorrow.

Get it done!

“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 5 Mariners 4

Fister pitched well and got his 13th win of the season.  The four runs he surrendered is a tad high but three of the runs came on a homer off of the bat of the Ackley Kid.

Smyly got the last out in the 8th and Joaquin Benoit converted his 22nd save of the season to close out the game and give the a Tigers 3-1 series win.

Incidentally, Tigers starters struck out 10 Mariners in 3 of the 4 games this series.  The only one with less was Justin Verlander.  Is this telling the Tigers something?  I’m not sayin.  I’m just sayin.

Torii Hunter got the Tigers on the board in the first with a solo shot but Fielder and Martinez did most of the damage this afternoon, they were a combined 5 for 6 with 3 RBIs.

Victor Martinez caught today and I thought he looked great.  Oh, and his batting average is now .301.

In the 6th inning, the Puppet Master, Jim Leyland, went to work.  He had Good Ole Dirsky pinch hit for Tui.  Dirksy didn’t get a hit but he had a hell of an at bat.  He bounced out to second base on the second pitch he saw from Mariner reliever Tom Wilhelmson. Tui wasn’t doing much but isn’t there anybody else to pinch hit, like Charlie Marcuse?  Oh, wait, the Tigers fired the singing hot dog man a few weeks ago.

Good Ole Dirksy redeemed himself in the bottom of the 7th, with runners at first and third and one out, Dirksy had another grind em out at bat.  He struck out on four pitches.

Letting Good Ole Dirsky bat in the 7th, against a good left handed reliever, Charlie Furbush, is a clear indication that the Puppet Master is still struggling with Dirksburger Syndrome.

Austin Jackson had a rough day. He was 0-5 including grounding into a double play.

Iggy got hurt and left the game when he was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 6th.  Luckily, he’s only got a bruised hand.  When it happened it looked like it might be broken.

All in all this was a good win.  The Tigers’ magic number is 4.

The White Sox come to town tomorrow.

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

Tigers 9 White Sox 1

The Tigers ended their 3 game skid with a 9-1 victory over the White Sox tonight at US Cellular field in Chicago.

The story of this game was Rick Porcello.  Ricky pitched the first complete game of his career,  He allowed one earned run, seven hits, walked one, and struck out 5.  He really looked good tonight and the Tigers needed it.

The offense put up 9 runs but you’ll forgive me if I don’t get too excited.  Five of the nine runs scored were unearned.  The White Sox defense aided the Tigers offense with four errors, three of them by third baseman Conor Gillaspie.

Prince and Alex Avila each had 4 hits tonight but Miggy was 0-5 and something just doesn’t look right with him.

The Indians lost tonight so the Tigers’ lead is back up to 5.5.

Let’s see what the offense does tomorrow with Anibal Sanchez on the mound in the rubber game of the series.

On a another note, I heard that Jhonny Peralta will rejoin the team for the last week of the season.  From what I can make out of Dombrowski’s comments, he is definitely not coming back to play shortstop.  John Keating said on the pre-game that Peralta was fielding fly balls.  Does this mean that the Tigers plan to put Peralta in left?  That’s the only thing I can think of and if he hits, it might not be a bad idea.  I think the Tigers have run out of corner outfield experiments.  I don’t think Dirks, Tui, or Castellanos are legitimate options for an everyday left fielder.  I guess I’m not sure Peralta is either but how much worse can he be?  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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