TIgers 7 Red Sox 3

The Puppet Master pulled the right strings tonight.  In an unconventional, but much needed move, Jim Leyland shook up the lineup in hopes of waking up this pathetic offense.

It worked.  At least for today.

Leyland moved the first 7 batters up a spot and put the struggling Austin Jackson in the 8th slot.  The revamped lineup scored 7 runs.

Importantly, Austin Jackson seemed comfortable hitting down in the lineup.  He was on base 4 times with 2 hits and 2 walks.

The only Tiger not to reach base tonight was Prince Fielder.

Victor Martinez continues to rake with two more hits tonight and Alex Avila, although he didn’t get a hit, walked twice and got hit by a pitch.

It was nice to see Iggy chip in today with a hit, an RBI, and flashin serious leather.

Fister pitched well.  He went 6 complete, allowed 1 run on 8 hits, struck out 7 and walked only 1.  He turned it over to the pen, they got the job done, and the Tigers evened the 2013 ALCS at 2 games apiece.

Even with a 7 run lead, after Sunday’s disaster, the bull pen makes me nervous.

The one move I have to take exception with is bringing Benoit in for the 9th.  Smyly retired the last two outs in 7th and got the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the 8th.  He was, in a phrase, ‘”smokin balls”.  I was hoping he’d come out for the 9th.  But Jim Leyland didn’t agree with me.

Apparently, Jimmy was trying to give Benoit a chance to regain his confidence by bringing him in with a 5 run lead.  In my humble opinion, this is not the time to worry about a player’s confidence, it’s time to win ball games.  That being said, it worked out and the series is even.  Kudos in Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

I’d like to extend a Happy Flashin Leather birthday to regular reader Al, who shares a Birthday with former Tiger Juan Gonzalez and FOX broadcaster, Tim McCarver.

Sanchez against Lester tomorrow.

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

Red Sox 1 Tigers 0

How much more can the Tigers ask from their pitching staff?  It has gotten to the point where the staff can’t afford to surrender a single run.

JV was “smokin balls” again today.  He had one mistake in 8 innings and it cost the Tigers a game and allowed the Red Sox to reclaim home field advantage.

I believe this is the 5th or 6th time since the beginning of September that the offense have failed to give JV a single run.

Pathetic.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all the Tigers offense reaches new heights of futility.

I understand they are facing good pitching but the hitters have to find a way to scratch out runs.  This Tigers team has proven over and over again that they not capable.

The Tigers had chances.  They had a runner on third with less than two outs twice and couldn’t manufacture a run.

In the 5th, Peralta led off with a double and went to third on an Alex Avila ground out.  Omar Infante, who is now hitting .100, struck out. Dirks followed with a ground out.

The Tigers failed to score.

In the 8th, after an Iglesias K, Jackson walked and went to third on a Torii Hunter single.  Runners and first and third with one out and the Tigers still trailing 1-0.  Things looked good with Cabrera and Fielder coming to the dish.  But Miggy struck out on 4 pitches and Fielder one-upped him with a K on 3 pitches.

The Tigers failed to score.

Pathetic.

It is impossible to win when you don’t score.

Fister vs Peavy tomorrow.

Your guess is as good as mine.

I wasn’t at the game but a frequent reader of this blog said the crowd sucked. However, I didn’t see much to get excited about.

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

A’s 1 Tigers 0

The A’s tied the series tonight courtesy of a 1-0 win handing the Tigers their 13th shutout of the season.

There was nothing new to see here.  The Tigers got tremendous pitching and no offense.

I was listening to the post game show on the radio and Dan Dickerson said that the Tigers have scored in only 5 of their last 54 innings going back to the last week of the season.

Miguel Cabrera has carried this team for years.  Now he’s hurt and there is nobody there to pick him up.

Austin Jackson was embarrassing. He went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts.  He took fast balls down the middle and then swung at every other piece of garbage Sonny Gray threw to him.

Torii Hunter was 0-4 with 2 Ks.

Prince Fielder was 0-4.

In fact, the Tigers only managed 4 hits.  Cabrera had one, DK had 2 and Iggy had the other one.

Speaking of DK, he got the start in left tonight.  I wonder if Puppet Master, Jim Leyland, read last night’s game post. 🙂

The pitching left nothing to complain about.  The only thing I might have done differently would have been to bring Ricky in after the lead off hit by Cespedes in the 9th.  But really, how can I complain about a game where the pitching staff surrendered 1 run and lost.  Everything can be second guessed.

Monday is a 1:00 pm start at Comerica Park.  The Tigers will need a big start from Sanchez.  What’s new?

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

White Sox 6 Tigers 3

After an emotional come from behind victory last night the Tigers fell to the White Sox today.  That coupled with another Indians victory over the Astros and the Tigers’ magic number remains at 2.

Anibal Sanchez didn’t have it today.  He surrendered 4 earned over 5 innings, striking out 6 while walking 2.

The Tigers made a bid to repeat last night’s 9th inning magic but fell short when Austin Jackson struck out swinging.

Jackson was hitless again today taking an 0-4 dropping his batting average to .269.

I didn’t see this one coming.  After last night’s heroics and Sanchez on the mound I really thought the Tigers would pull off the sweep.

In another interesting move, The Puppet Master had Brayan Pena pinch hit for Alex Avila to lead off the 9th.  Alex was 3-3 and has been swinging a hot bat.  In fact, his batting average is closing in on .230.  Not bad for a guy who was hitting in the .160s in June.  With left-hander Donnie Veal pitching I guess he was playing the left right match-up, and it did work out, Pena doubled, but it seemed like a questionable move to me at least.

Anyway, there’s not much more to say about this game other than Fielder’s home run the game was kind of a dud.

Hopefully the Tigers can get back on track in Minnesota tomorrow and clinch the division ASAP.

Verlander against Pelfrey in the opener.

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

Tigers 4 Mariners 2

Behind a nice pitching performance from Rick Porcello, the Tigers managed to squeak out just enough runs to beat the lowly Seattle Mariners tonight at Comerica Park.

Ricky picked up his 13th win of the season.  He pitched 6 solid innings allowing 1 earned run on five hits.  He struck out 10 and walked 2 on 105 pitches.

The offense was pretty much non existent until the 6th inning.  Up until that time they had scored only 1 run in the first inning on a wild pitch.  In fact, it looked like Mariners’ starter, Joe Saunders, might got the distance.  He began the bottom of the sixth having only thrown 72 pitches.  In the 6th the Tigers managed to score 2 runs on a walk and three singles.

Besides being frustrating to watch the Tigers offense isn’t doing the pitching any favors.  Every pitch becomes a pressure pitch when the offense isn’t giving you any run support.  As a fan, I can feel it.  Sometimes I feel like if the pitching surrenders 1 or 2 runs the game is lost.  This is a lot to ask from any staff and completely unacceptable considering what the Tigers have invested on offense.

To put it another way, is just impossible to think of a way this team can go the distance with this offense.

Miggy looks beaten up and I think the window to address the problem has closed.  He can’t run period and he can barely swing.  In the bottom of the sixth he was at second base with Martinez batting.  Victor hit a ground ball down the right field line which should have scored a bad runner easily.  Miggy did score but if the Seattle right fielder, Abraham Almonte, hadn’t bobbled the ball three times he definitely would have had a play on Cabrera at the plate.  In the bottom of the seventh, Miggy hit a ball to right field that that we’ve seen leave the yard all season long.  I can’t help but think that his injuries are stifling his power.  Unfortunately, the Tigers are backed into a corner.  I don’t know if they have enough time to sit him and hope he gets healthy, and has his timing, by the time the playoffs start.

This I do know, the Tigers can’t win with this offense.  It is simply too much to ask the pitchers to put up zeroes night in and night out.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I hope I’m wrong.

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

Tigers 6 Royals 3

On a cold autumn night in Detroit the Tigers got Just enough.  They got just enough starting pitching.  Just enough offense.  Just enough relief pitching.

JV turned in a typical 2013 JV outing.  He went 6 and 2/3.  He allowed 9 hits, 3 earned runs and struck out 7 while throwing 111 pitches.

The inning that bothered me was the top of the 6th.  After the Tigers scored 3 runs to extend the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the 5th, JV gave two back in the top half of the 6th.  I know it was a 5 run lead but the old JV made a habit of putting up zeroes after his team got him some runs.  That being said, It was a quality start and the Tigers will take it.

After continuing to make Bruce Chen look like Cliff Lee for 3 more innings, the Tigers finally got 2 in the 4th and 3 in the 5th to take a 6-1 lead.  Torii Hunter and Prince fielder each drove in 3 runs and provided the bulk of the Tigers offensive output tonight.  Prince increased his RBI total to 102.

Jose Veras is scaring me.  He pitched 1/3 of an inning.  Walked 1 and hit another batter.  Veras threw 11 total pitches and only 3 of them were strikes.  The Tigers can’t have guys coming out of the bullpen that can’t find the strike zone.  He’s officially on the list.

Billy Butler continues to own JV with 2 more hits against him tonight.  Verlander has to find a way to get him out or just start walking him.  This is getting ridiculous now.

Fister and Santana face off tomorrow.  Let’s hope the Tigers don’t continue the trend of winning the first game of a three game set then dropping the final two.

“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