Tigers 5 Angels 0

JV’s third no-hitter would have been a nice saving grace to an otherwise dismal season. It was no to be.  However, I think it is safe to say Verlander is back to being a legitimate ace.  He was smokin balls, all night. He had legitimate no-hit stuff.  He made one mistake to a .188 hitter and didn’t get any luck. That’s the way this season has gone for him.  The Tigers did get him some runs so got his second win of the season.

Yes my friends, Miggy is that damn good and for the last two seasons, J.D. is just a notch, maybe two below; he’s pretty damn good too.

Miggy, J.D. and Castellanos each hit conniption shots. Do you remember yesterday when I asked why would the Angels pitch to Cabrera in the eighth? Why would they pitch to him with first base open today? They must don’t know.  They got burned today.

I’d like to see Miggy win the batting title at .350 +. I’d like to see J.D. drive in 100+ runs. I’d like Castellanos to get to 20 home runs and JV finish with an ERA at 3.20 or less. These are the things that keep me watching.

Jose Miguel Cabrera is that damn good. Let’s hope he stays healthy.

Nebraska, I wish I could have joined you Pal. I miss you! You didn’t by any chance cough up $12 for 3 chicken fingers did you? 🙂

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Tigers 12 Indians 1

This was a flash from the past. For one game I was reminded of the Sports Illustrated cover, “Fear His Awesomeness”. Miggy looked like Miggy.

Fear His Awesomeness
The Mighty MIggy

I know is wasn’t all about Miggy, up and down the lineup, from Kinsler to A Squared Money, just about everyone had a good day. And David Price was smokin balls for eight complete. But once again the Mighty Miggy was the story. Miggy went 4-5, with two home-runs, four runs scored and three RBIs.

Unfortunately, I think this game was an anomaly. I can’t believe that one or two days off cured what ailed “Fear His Awesomeness”. But it was nice to see a glimpse of the once Mighty Miggy.

I guess time will tell.

Thank You Victor!

Victor hit a solo shot in the 10th to bail out Tigers closer, Joe Nathan, and give the Tigers a split of the two game series with the Dodgers, 7-6.

After blowing his second save in a Tigers uniform, Tigers closer Joe Nathan, picked up a bat and headed to the on deck circle in the top of the 10th.  As he was heading up the stairs of the dugout he had a short conversation with Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus.

Ausmus: What are you doing?
Nathan: Getting ready to hit.
Ausmus: Sit down.  You’ve done enough.

Early on, I was afraid Ausmus was going to let Anibal go too long so he could qualify for the win. I thought he should have come out after Crawford’s double with two out in the 5th. But, Sanchez was able to get out of it.  He was shaky at first, throwing 63 pitches in the first two innings, but settled down to retire nine in a row before Crawford’s aforementioned double.

Ausmus probably wanted to save Smyly, who was warming up, for the Dodgers left handers coming up.  Whatever the case, it worked out, although Sanchez didn’t get the win.

Thanks Joe!

Despite Nathan’s heroics, there was a lot to like in this game, not the least of which was Victor’s game winning solo shot in the 10th.

The Good:

  • The Tigers manufactured a run with steals in the first.
  • Sanchez had a nice, unexpected double in the second.
  • Dee Gordon’s costly error to extended the second inning.
  • The Dodgers squeeze play in 2nd with a 3-2 count on Beckett, while not good for for the Tigers, was still a pretty sweet play.
  • Nick Castellanos hit a three run shot in the third, his first MLB homer.
  • The Tigers stole three bases.
  • Ajax had a big sac fly in the 7th to increase the Tigers lead to 6-3.
  • Tyler Collins got is first MLB hit in the 8th and added his second in the 10th.
  • Drew Smyly and Ian Krol were smokin’ balls out of the pen. Smyly pitched three complete, allowing only one hit in relief of Sanchez.   Krol came on to relieve Joba in the 10th and struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Eithier.
  • The Amazing Al came into relieve Krol and got the final out.

The Bad:

  • Anibal Sanchez was shaky in the first two innings throwing 63 pitches.
  • The Tigers bounced into three double plays.
  • Joe Nathan.
  • Joe Nathan got the win.

The Ugly:

  • Joe Nathan blew another save by giving up three runs in the 9th.  I don’t have the words.  He was horrible.

Quietly, Ian Kinsler seems to be a nice addition to the Tigers.  Whether it is hitting, fielding or running, he seems to do something good to help the Tigers win.  However, the best part about the Kinsler acquisition is that Prince in not in a Tigers uniform anymore.

Trivia: The Dodgers have now played longer in LA than they did in Brooklyn. (H/T Shannon Hogan)

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

Mets Dust Tigers Again!

The Tigers wasted chances early.

In the first after Damon flew out, Santiago walked and Magglio singled putting runners at first and second with one out.  Cabrera flew out, Boesch walked loading the bases but Guillen grounded out to end the inning.

Another runner in scoring position with less than two outs that the
Tigers couldn’t cash in.

In the second, Damon led off with a single and stole second.  Santiago bunted him over to third but both Magglio and Cabbie grounded out weakly stranding Damon at third.

Another runner in scoring position with less than two outs that the Tigers couldn’t cash in.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

Bonderman looked good, especially if the first when Reyes led off with a triple but was stranded there.  Bonderman struck out Pagan, Wright grounded to third and Davis grounded to first.

After retiring the first two in the third, Reyes singled and stole second, Pagan walked and Wright doubled.  Bondo got Davis to ground to Santiago ending the inning and limiting the damage to 1 run.

The Mets knuckleballer, R.A. Dickey was smoking balls, retiring 4 consecutive Tigers on 4 pitches.  Inge ended the streak with a two out single but Avilla flied out to left ending the inning.

Bondo retired the Mets 1, 2, 3, in the fourth on 4 pitches.

With two outs in the 5th Reyes got his third hit in three at bats with hit a solo shot.  Pagan flew out to end the inning, 2-0 Mets after 5.

Bondo gave way to Zumaya after the first two batters reached in the seventh.  Zumaya came into to face pitcher Dickey and walked him on four straight balls.  Reyes grounded to second and Gullien threw Blanco out at the plate.  Feliciano pinch hit for Pagan and grounded to second scoring Tejada.  After Zumaya walked David Wright, Leyland made a double switch, bringing in Coke for Zumaya and Rayburn for Inge. 

Ike Davis singled on an 0-2 pitch from Coke scoring two.  Wright was thrown out at third to end the inning.  5-0 Mets after seven.

Francisco Rodriguez came out for the ninth and surrendered only a single to Cabrera.

The Mets dusted the Tigers for the second night in a row.