Not Good! Tigers Fall to Padres 5-1, lose series

The supposedly light hitting Padres got to Max for four earned and beat the Tigers 5-1 this afternoon.

Despite striking out 10, Scherzer only lasted five innings then turned it over to the bullpen.

Max didn’t get much help from the offense either.

The Good:

  • Max struck out 10
  • Phil Coke pitched a clean, 1-2-3 sixth inning.
  • Rajai Davis had two more hits.
  • The Amazing Al struck out Chris Denorfia, the only batter he faced, to end the 7th.
  • Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless 8th striking out 2.

The Bad:

  • Miggy was 0-4
  • Ajax was 0-3 with three strikeouts
  • The Tigers could only push across one run

The Ugly:

  • Miggy grounded into a double play in the 8th after Torii Hunter lead of with a walk.
  • Miggy is struggling, big time
  • The Tigers lost the series and finished the road trip 2-3.

The Tigers come home this week to meet the Tribe and the Angels.  I hope they can turn around their struggles against the Angels.  They need a big home stand.

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


Tigers fall to Dodgers 3-2 in 10

Max pitched well.  He got through seven innings, surrendering only two runs but seemed to pitch out of trouble all night, evidenced by the eight hits he surrendered.

Unfortunately, lead off walks and wasted opportunities were the Tigers undoing.

The Good:

  • A Squared Money picked off Crawford in the first
  • Victor came up big with a two out RBI in the 9th to tie the game after DK and Miggy failed to advance Kinsler after his lead off double
  • Joba struck out the side in the 9th
  • Nice steal by Davis in the first
  • Ajax homer in second
  • Romine, Jackson, Kinsler and Victor all flashed leather

The Bad:

  • Hunter couldn’t get the run in from third with one out in the first
  • Even though he got a hit, and swiped second to lead off the game, I didn’t like Rajai Davis swinging on 3-0,  especially to lead off the game

The Ugly:

  • Miggy hit three of the softest ground balls I’ve ever seen off of his bat and struck out in the 9th with the tying run on second.
  • Jackson’s throw to the plate in the 7th that Kemp scored on was an abomination.
  • Kelly grounded softly to third in the 9th with Kinsler on second after a lead off double.  Horrible!
  • Phil Coke gave up the game winning hit.  Although, in a mild defense, he inherited a lead off walk from Joba.

Back at it tomorrow for the last game of a short, two game, series with the Dodgers.

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

Tigers 7 Orioles 6

Sorry, I’m a little late with this post, tax season, hopefully is finally over.

The Tigers moved to 4-0 and followed a 10 run game by putting up another 7.  And in the end, they needed every one of them.

The Good:

  • The Tigers had another great offense outburst.
  • Kinsler, Hunter, and Ajax had two hits each and my man Donny Baseball was 3-4 with a RBI and two runs scored.
  • Freeway Ricky Porcello was dealing in his first start.  He went 6 2/3 allowing only one run on three hits.  He struck out three and walked two.
  • Torii Hunter blasted his second home run in as many games.
  • Evan Reed pitched an inning and a third, allowed zero runs, two hits, and one strike out.

The Bad:

  • The bullpen.  Combined, the pen surrendered five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.
  • The Amazing Al pitched to only one hitter in the 9th and allowed a single to Matt Wieters.
  • Joe Nathan, while recording his first save, allowed a run on two hits.

The Ugly:

  • Phil Coke.  Unfortunately, Phil is starting where he left off in 2013. He recorded only one out and surrendered three runs on two hits.  I’m pulling for you Phil, but the clock is ticking.

When it’s all said and done though the Tigers moved to 4-0 and the offense has looked pretty good the last few game.

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






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

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


is the best way to describe the game tonight.  The Tigers looked flat and disinterested and I got that feeling the minute I walked into Comerica Park.

Rick Porcello was good for 3 innings but, for the second straight outing, fell apart in the 4th.

Ricky only lasted 4 and 1/3, striking out 6, walking 2, and allowing 5 earned runs on 7 hits.

With one out in the 5th, Phil Coke relieved Porcello to pitch to lefty Justin Morneau and surrendered a two run double. That is the last batter Coke will face in a Tiger uniform for a while as he was sent to Toledo immediately after the game.  Jose Alvarez was called up to replace him.

I’m sorry to see Coke go but I can’t make excuses for him anymore.  After struggling this year he was basically used as a left handed specialist for the last few months but couldn’t get lefties out.  I guess the Tigers have just decided that they’ve seen enough and can’t afford to use a roster spot for a lefty that can’t get out lefties.

The offense didn’t look that good today, and they did their best to make Mike Pelfry and his 5.19 ERA look like a Cy Young contender.  Even the Mighy Miggy didn’t really have good at bats today.  He ended the night 1-5 and ended the game by striking out with the tying runs on base.  But the Tigers can’t count on him to bail the them out every game.

The at bats, as a team, got better in the late innings but they just couldn’t get the big hit to get them back in the game.

On the flip side, Prince had a homer and two RBIs tonight.  And Victor Martinez, Brayan Pena and Jose Iglesias each had two hits.

Let’s see if they can get back to winning tomorrow.  It would bad to lose this series to the Twins.

Update:  Here is a link to the Freep regarding Coke’s demotion.

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

Tigers Drop Both Ends of Double Header

There’s not much to say about either of the games today.  The Tigers only surrendered 5 runs but could only muster 1.

The pitching in both games was good.  Even Coke and the Amazing Al pitched well but you’re not going to win many games, or series for that matter, by only scoring 1 run in two games.

In game one, JV was JV.  He pitched 8 innings, allowed 2 earned, on 7 hits.  He struck out 6 and walked 2.  But it’s hard to win when you don’t score any runs.  The Tigers were no-hit through the first 5 and 2/3.  Miggy broke up the no-no with a two out bullet down the third base line.  Royals’ Emilio Bonifacio got his glove on it but it was hit so hard it still rolled into left field.

Danny Duffy was brilliant for the Royals. He allowed no runs, only the Miggy single, walked three and struck out three.

The only run the Tigers got was a solo shot from Ramon Santiago in the 8th.

In game 2, Alvarez, Bonderman, Coke, and Alburquerque allowed only 8 hits.  Alavarez gave up the two earned his 5 and 2/3.  Bonderman gave up one unearned run aided by his wide pick off throw to first.

In game two the Tigers hit the ball hard but always in the wrong spots. After getting just two hit in the first game, they managed only 4 in the second.  So that makes 1 run and 6 hits in 18 innings.  That won’t get it done.

The only thing I can think of is that during their 12 game winning streak everything seemed to be going the Tigers’ way.  Since they went to New York, things have started to even out, and they’re not getting the breaks.

The good news is that there is still time to win this series, but they’ll wins tomorrow and Sunday to make it happen.

The bats have to wake up and the Tigers have to figure out a way to slow down the running game.  The Royals, like just about everyone else, are running on the Tigers at will.

Back at it tomorrow.

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

Tigers Problems…

Nebraskaknows pointed out a Lynn Henning article at DetNews dot com that I think is worth a read.  Henning takes a look at issues the Tigers are facing and possible solutions.

First-place Tigers still facing problems down the stretch: You can read the article in full here.

In the space below I use the problem Henning points out and add my two cents.

Problem: Miguel Cabrera can’t run.

FlashinLeather Solution: It’s hard for me to believe that sitting won’t allow Miggy to heal faster.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not, how could anybody, complain about his production. I’m just afraid that if they don’t let him heal now, he’ll end up battered like Alex Avila was in the 2011 playoffs.  I think a trip to the 15 day DL would be a good idea.

Problem: Left-field offense is killing the Tigers.

Flashin Leather Solution: I don’t think Castellanos is the answer.  Bring him up on 8/31, similar to what the Tigers did with Avisail Garcia last year, and see what he can do, but don’t hold your breath.  Castellanos his only hitting in the .270s in Toledo.  I’m not sure why he would be expected to hit better, or even the same, in the big leagues.

This is going to shock to readers of this blog but I have not given up on Dirks just yet.  He had some good at bats a few night ago and might be ready to break out of his slump.  That being said, I’m still not convinced that his fielding is what everybody else says it is.  I’ve watched almost every game this year, home games in person, and I think he’s closer to Albert Belle than he is Gary Pettis.

Bring Castellanos up and see what he can do but I’m betting Dirksy will be there in the end.

Problem: Alex Avila’s absence hurts the Tigers in multiple ways.

Flashin Leather Solution: I agree with Henning, all the Tigers can do is hope A Squared Money is healthy enough to return soon.

Problem: Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque are coin-flips in late-game situations.

Flashin Leather Solution: I agree with Henning.  The Amazing Al needs to be on the next bus down to Toledo and send Evan Reed back up.  I thought Reed pitched pretty well for the Tigers.  He just needs to learn how to throw to first base.

I think Phil Coke is going to be ok.  The last few hits he’s given up, while important, were flares over a drawn in infield.

Problem: Prince Fielder has one home run in his last 28 games.

Flashin Leather Solution: I think personal problems, read here, can have a devastating and lingering effect on a player in all facets of the game and his life.  I think Prince has hit the ball fairly well, but I would not be surprised if his struggles continue through the end of the season.  That being said, he has driven in 81 runs so far and is on pace for 110.  There is no solution.  They have to ride Prince and take what he can give them.

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

Scherzer Goes to 14-1. Tigers Beat Sale, White Sox 7-3.

Max Scherzer improved his record to 14-1 tonight as the Tigers beat Chris Sale and the White Sox 7-3.

There was a lot to like about tonight’s game, not the least of which, is that the Tigers beat White Sox ace, and arguably the best pitcher in the American League this year, Chris Sale.

True, the Tigers were helped by three White Sox errors but good teams make other teams pay for giving them extra outs.  Additionally, the Tigers who had a hard time scoring after the sixth inning before the break, scored one in the seventh and three in the ninth to seal the deal.

Both pitchers pitched well. Scherzer went 8 innings, allowed four hits and two earned runs while striking out 5 and walking none.

Sale pitched 8 innings as well, he allowed 4 runs but only 2 of them were earned.  He struck out 11 and walked 3.

The Tigers bullpen was pretty good tonight as well. Phil Coke came on to start the ninth and got Alejandro De Aza to ground out to second base.  That was the only batter he’d face as Jim Leyland brought in Bruce Rondon to relieve Coke with one out.

Rondon got Alexei Ramirez to ground to short for the second out but then had a hiccup.  He allowed a double to Alex Rios.  Rios took third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.  But Rondon struck out Adam Dunn to end the game and give the Tigers the first game of the series.

Victor Martinez continued his torrid pace with 4 more hits and 3 RBIs raising his batting average to .270.

Torii Hunter had two hits including a solo shot off of Sale in the 7th.

The big concern is the health of Miguel Cabrera.  As I wrote yesterday, something seemed amiss with the reigning AL MVP, and apparently there is.  It looks like he has a back/hip injury.  Let’s hope it’s nothing serious.

On another note, I like the way Leyland is using Phil Coke.  It looks like he’s just using him for 1 or 2 hitters to hopefully get his rhythm and confidence back. Let’s hope the recent success continues.

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

Tigers Bats Still On Break

The Tigers lost 3-1 in Kansas City tonight and could only muster 3 base runners.

Royals pitcher Ervin Santana pitched 7 and a 1/3 allowing two hits, 1 walk and 0 runs.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was wild but pitched well.  Sanchez pitched 6 innings allowing only 1 run on 2 hits.  He struck out 3 but walked 5.  It seemed like he was in trouble most of the game but managed to get out of jams.

If there was anything to like about this game, Phil Coke went 2/3 of an inning allowing a hit and striking out 1 and Bruce Rondon pitched an inning and a third with 1 strike out.

This was the seventh time the Tigers have been shut out this season.

Kansas City center fielder, Lorenzo Cain, made about 4 good catches in deep center but that was about all the Tigers did to threaten.  Torii Huner flied to center to end the game leaving Miguel Cabrera on deck.  It would have been nice to see the big man come to the plate in the top of the 9th with a chance to do some damage abut Royals’ closer Greg Holland was too good.

Let’s hope JV has a good outing tomorrow and the Tigers start hitting.  This was not how I was hoping the second half would start.

Here’s a few thoughts on the Tiger second half:

  1. Fielder will start to hit and raise his average to over .280
  2. Justin Verlander will return to form
  3. Phil Coke will pitch the way he did at the end of last season. (I just can’t give up on Coke yet.  I’m biased because I’m like him but I have faith in him.)
  4. Bruce Rondon will shore up the bullpen
  5. The Tigers will win the World Series, ending a 29 year drought, by beating the Cardinals in 6 games.

This is my story and I’m sticking to it?  Or at least until they start makin’ me mad again.  🙂

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