Tigers 8 Rays 6

The Tigers scored three runs on two bases loaded walks and a past ball. Add to that a mis-played ball, that turned into a triple, and an error that led to three un-earned runs, and the Tigers got plenty of help from the Rays tonight.

The Tigers showed some grit. They fell behind early but kept coming. They even put together some good at-bats. They fouled off some pitches, drew some walks, and got a much needed win.

I’m not sure this is a turning point, I still think this team is too flawed to make a playoff run. At this point, I just hope they finish ahead of the Indians.

I’m warming up to Andrew Romine. He’s playing well defensively and has been coming up with important hits lately. He looks a whole lot better at short than Suarez.

Joba and the Shit Bird were both bad, again. There doesn’t seem to be any answers in the bullpen. I guess The Amazing Everyday Al and Blaine Hardy have pitched the best lately so perhaps try Hardy in the eighth and Al in the ninth? I don’t see what you lose by trying different combinations.

A note to the starters, you need to last at least eight innings and hand over a three run lead, or there is a good chance you won’t get a win,

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Ricky Deserved Better…

Through 7 complete, Ricky had given up three runs, struck out 5, walked none, thrown only 77 pitches and trailed 3-2.

Somehow, through a comedy of miscues and a timely Hunter single, the Tigers took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two out it was Ricky’s turn to bat. Then the unthinkable happened. Brad Ausmus pinch hit Rajai Davis for Freeway Ricky.

I don’t have the words to describe Ausmus’s lunacy. After 96 games you know what you have. Regarding the Tigers bullpen, you don’t have much.

For Ausmus’s edification, you have one reliable arm in the bullpen, Joba Chamberlain. You decided he wasn’t available tonight. That leaves you with nothing. And that’s what you got.

After Davis failed to deliver, Phil Coke came in to “relieve” Ricky in the bottom of the 8th. He retired the first batter on a line shot into his stomach then walked the next two batters.

In comes The Amazing, Everyday Al. Al gets a fly ball for out number two then walks the bases loaded.

In comes Ian Krol who surrenders a two run single and game over.

Did I mention Freeway Ricky had only thrown 77 pitches?

You (BA) child.

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

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Tigers 4 Diamondbacks 3

The same recipe yields the same results. Well almost.

JV lasted 6.2 innings, allowed 3 runs, and got the win. The normal recipe calls for 7 complete but The Amazing, Everyday Al, was able to get the third out in the 7th to preserve the lead and the win.

I’m happy JV got the win. I’m happy the Tigers got the win. But let’s not kid ourselves, JV wasn’t good tonight. The Diamondbacks hit a lot of balls hard but had little to show for it.

A little more honesty, The Amazing, Everyday Al is not good. I cringed when BA brought him in. Almost as much as I cringed when Nathan came on in the ninth. I can’t help wondering if the situation were the same, in a must win game, would BA ask Joba for four outs?

That being said, The Amazing, Everyday Al is as good, if not better, than any other option out of the pen, except Joba.

Freeway Ricky goes tomorrow and God willing I’ll be there again.

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

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Tribe 9 Tigers 3

Ok. What’s going on with the seventh inning? The last two games, Verlander on Sunday, Sanchez today, Tigers starters have smoked balls for six innings, then blew up in the seventh.

Tonight, Sanchez was dealing for six innings. He was tossing a shut out, striking out seven and walking one. He couldn’t record an out in the seventh. He was charged with four runs.

Did I mention, the bullpen didn’t help him out any?

  • Ian Krol was charged with a run and didn’t retire anybody.
  • Everyday Al, got two big outs then gave up two bombs.
  • Phil Coke pitched an inning, didn’t give up a run, but walked two.
  • Chad Smith pitched an inning and gave up two runs.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise but this might be the worst bullpen in history. They suck.

If the starters can’t give the Tigers seven innings, I don’t like their chances.

Double header tomorrow.

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

Tigers 5 Indians 4

The Tigers won their third straight and second against the Indians, 5-4.

JV, was very good tonight.  He pitched seven innings, allowed two runs, one earned, struck out eight and walked one.

At first, I was annoyed that he didn’t come out for the eighth inning.  However, after thinking about it, I believe sitting him down was the correct move.

JV has thrown a lot of pitches and innings over the last five or six years.  It might be time to pull the reins in a piece. Also, he’s struggled lately, so let him come out of the game feeling good about himself.

The problem is that he has to turn the game over to one of the worst bullpens in MLB.  In fact, according to the CBS post game show, the Tigers bullpen ERA is second worst and has surrendered 10 more NINTH inning runs than the next worst team. I think the Astros are the only team with a worse bullpen ERA this season.

I’m not going to complain too much about Nathan tonight.  He blew the save but sometimes you just get a bad run of cards and there’s not much you can do about it.  Nathan struck out the first two batters in the ninth.  He had David Murphy 1-2.  Murphy worked the count to 3-2 then hit a ball off the ground into center field to extend the inning.  In fact, Nathan had Murphy, Gomes, and Bourn down to their last strike and ended up giving up three consecutive singles.

The good news is, Phil Coke was SMOKIN BALLS.  When have I ever said that before?  Have I ever said that before? He came in to pitch the 10th inning, struck out the side, and got the save.

Blaine Hardy came into relieve the The Amazing Al in the eighth and looked pretty good.  I’m not going to get too excited yet but so far so good.

One more troubling statistic that I saw on the post game show was that this isn’t the first year the Tigers bullpen has hit the skids.  They’ve been among the worst in baseball for the last five years.  This is probably a big reason why the Tigers haven’t won the World Series since 1984.  You’d think Dave Dombrowski would have plugged this hole by now.

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

 

 

Indians 5 Tigers 4

Well,  I guess the Tigers can’t win them all and truthfully, last night, the Tigers didn’t pitch well enough to win.  I know they only gave up five runs but that was mostly due to the Indian’s inept hitting. (Sound eerily familiar?)

Between a combined six base on balls, five by starter Drew Smyly, and 14 Indians hits there was traffic on the base paths all night and it seemed like the Tigers were pitching out of trouble all night.

When J.D. Martinez hit the game tying shot in the bottom of the ninth, visions of 1984 raced through my brain.  However, when Rod Allen said, in the bottom of the 10th, that The Amazing Al couldn’t let Michael Brantley beat them, I knew it was over.  And it was.

Let’s hope for a good outing from JV tonight.

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

 

Tigers 4 Orioles 1

The story of this game should have been another ball smokin performance from Freeway Rick and timely hitting but there is more to the story.

Freeway Rick was cruising along.  He pitched six complete, allowed one run on five hits, he struck out two and walked none.

In fact, the entire Tigers staff didn’t walk a batter.

The first part to the story is why Ricky was pulled after six innings.  He had only thrown 83 pitches so I was rather surprised that he didn’t come out for the seventh.  I hope there’s not something wrong.

The secondary story of the game was Torii Hunter getting drilled in the ribs in the eighth by that sawed off little jerk, Bud Norris, after Kinsler took him deep for a two run homer to extend the Tigers lead to 4-1.  The benches emptied but there was no punches thrown.  Norris was tossed but seemed to keep jawing at Hunter even after he was in the dugout.  I’m not sure if there is any history between the two but someone on the O’s has to get it tomorrow.

The Good:

  • This was a nice bounce back win for the Tigers after blowing a three run lead yesterday.
  • Freeway Rick improved to 6-0.
  • While not dynamic, the offense got the job done.
  • Tigers pitchers did not walk a batter.
  • The Amazing Al, pitching in his fourth consecutive game was smokin balls.  He pitched a complete inning and struck out two.
  • Joe Nathan recorded his eighth save on only six pitches.

The Bad:

  • The Orioles scored their run in the bottom of the first on a ball that looked like Rajai Davis should have caught.

The Ugly:

  • Other than the play by Davis in the first and Romine’s error in the second, nothing too egregious today.

Smyly pitches tomorrow and somebody on the Orioles has to answer for Hunter.

Remember when Freeway Ricky beat Youk into a conniption?

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