Tigers Dust Astros Winning Streak at Seven

Behind 5 and 1/3 ball smokin innings from Tigers newcomer, Robby Ray, the Tigers beat the Astros into a conniption, 11-4, and extended their winning streak to seven. Ray allowed one earned run on five hits.  He walked only one and struck out five.

What impressed me the most about Ray was that he got in trouble early in the first and was able to pitch out the jam without surrendering a run.  It’s a small sample size but perhaps Dave “Double D” Dombrowski knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

The Good:

  • Just when I was beginning to worry about Miggy, he shoved those concerns down my throat.  He was 4-5 today with a homer and four RBIs.  If he returns to form this could be a very formidable Tigers offense.
  • Ian Kinsler had three hits.
  • Alex “A Squared Money” Avila, Nick Castellanos, and “Downtown” Danny Worth had two hits each and Worth had three RBIs.
  • The Amazing Al pitched a shut out inning in relief and struck out two.
  • The Tigers got 18 hits and scored in multiple innings, the first, third, fourth, seventh and eighth.

The Bad:

  • Justin Miller struggled through the ninth.  He allowed three runs, but to be fair, only one of them was earned.

The Ugly:

  • I like the new look offense but really Torii?  You get thrown out trying to steal third with one out and Miggy batting?

I guess we can’t get too excited, the Astros are not good, to say the least but seven straight is seven straight and we’ll take all the Ws we can get.  Also, I like the 18 hit attack and scoring in multiple innings.  This is in stark contrast to last year when the Tigers seemed to score all their runs in only one or two innings.

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

Tigers fall to Tribe 3-2

The Tigers managed only two runs on nine hits and lost to Cleveland 3-2.

Anibal Sanchez lasted only five innings, walking 4 and striking out 8.  He allowed only two earned runs but needed 104 pitches to get through five complete.

The Good:

  • The bullpen – Evan Reed, Ian Krol, The Amazing Al, and Joba pitched four combined scoreless innings to pick up a relatively short outing for Anibal.
  • Kinsler, VMart, AJax, and A Squared Money each had two hits.

The Bad:

  • The offense could only score two runs
  • Miggy’s error in the second led to an unearned run that was ultimately the difference in the game.

The Ugly:

  • The Tigers blew chances in the eighth and ninth to tie or go ahead.
  • The ninth was especially ugly.  A Squared Money was at third with one out but DK struck out and Rajai Davis grounded out to end the game leaving the tying run at third.

This ship needs be righted.  They’ve lost four of their last six.  I know it’s early but they need a big home stand.  Have I mentioned the 30 year World Series Championship drought?

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

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, JV lose first game of 2014 3-1 to Orioles

Justin Verlander deserved a better fate.  He suffered his, and the Tigers, first loss of the season, but he pitched very well.

The Good:

  • JV looked like the Cy Young and end of 2014 JV.  He pitched eight innings, allowed five hits, and two earned runs.

The Bad:

  • The Tigers only managed one run, however after scoring 17 runs in the first two games, I can’t complain too much.
  • JV only struck on three while walking two but saying this is bad is a little bit of a stretch
  • Torii Hunter hit his third home run in as many games accounting for the only Tigers run.

The Ugly:

  • The Amazing Al surrendered another run and currently has 6.00 ERA.

All things considered, it was a good home stand, and even I, didn’t expect the Tigers to go 162-0. 🙂

Off to Los Angeles for a meeting with the Dodgers.

“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

Mariners 8 Tigers 0

The Tigers scored 6 runs yesterday so I hope you weren’t expecting much today because not much is just what you got.

Hisashi Iwakuma completely dominated the pathetic Tigers offense.  He breezed through, statistically, the second best offense in baseball, and I can’t imagine he broke a sweat.  Iwakuma needed just 105 pitches to get through 8 complete innings.  He allowed four hits, walked 2 and struck out 6.  I’d like to say ‘tip your cap to a great pitcher’, but it seems like the Tigers make anybody look like a great pitcher.

On the flip side, the offense did absolutely nothing.  They didn’t have good at bats, they didn’t drive the pitch count up, and when they had runners on couldn’t get a clutch hit.

JV was JV vintage 2013.  He allowed 3 run in 7 innings of work.  He gave up 4 hits, walked 3 and struck out 6.  If the Tigers plan on winning any future games JV starts, they better plan on scoring 4 runs or more.  Tonight is what the Tigers should expect from Verlander.  That being said, this offense makes every pitch and every inning a stressful one.  As I’ve state several times previously, it seems any deficit is too much to overcome.

I could sit here and tell you Phil Coke is done, but then if you’ve been watching this team, you probably already figured that out.  Coke wasn’t good today but I don’t think he was expected to be.  When he came out to pitch the 8th inning it was actually Jim Leyland waving the white flag and conceding the game.  Coke wasn’t good yesterday, he hasn’t been good all season, so why would the Tigers expect anything different today.  They didn’t and they weren’t disappointed.  Coke actually retired two of the first three batters he faced.  By the time the switch hitting Kendrys Morales came to the plate Coke had thrown 7 pitches all for strikes.  Not bad for a guy who has had trouble finding the strike zone.  So what was the Tigers’ next move, they decided to have him intentionally walk Morales.  This might not have been a bad plan if they planned on relieving Coke, but they left Phil out there to completely implode, and that’s exactly what he did.  After the IBB to Morales, he surrendered a single to Justin Smoak, a double to Michael Saunders and then intentionally walked the .216 hitting Nick Franklin.

The Amazing Al finally relieved Coke and after giving up a wild pitch and making an error on a throw from Avila while covering the plate, he mercifully got Henry Blanco to fly out to end the inning.

If the game wasn’t over when the top of the 8th started, it was by the time it ended.

For as bad as Coke was, the pitching is not the issue. This offense blows and they can’t expect the pitching staff to shut down every team in every game.

Fister is on the hill for the finale.

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

THRASHED!

The Red Sox put a beating on the Tigers tonight the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time.

Rick Porcello was absolutely awful.  He gave up three home runs, walked four, allowed 9 runs, 8 earned in only 5 innings of work.

Not be outdone were the Amazing Al and Jeremy Bonderman.  These two looked like they were a) throwing batting practice b) auditioning to pitch in next year’s home run derby or c) auditioning for the independent league.  My guess is that it was a combination of the three.

It took the Amazing Al two pitches to wipe Ricky’s slate clean and start one of his own. After “relieving” Porcello in the 6th with the bases loaded, Will Middlebrooks took Amazing Al’s second pitch and hit a grand slam over the Green Monster.

Jeremy Bonderman “relieved” the Amazing Al and tried to make us forget how horrible Alburquerqe was.  It didn’t work.

I don’t have the words to describe this abomination.

I guess the only good thing to come out of this game is that Jim Leyland has a pretty good idea who won’t be coming out of the bullpen should the Tigers make the post season.

Did I mention, Iggy got hurt and left the game with bilateral shin splints?

Unfortunately, when Miggy grounded out to short last night with the bases loaded the opportunity for the Tigers to win their first series in Boston since August of 2006 went out the window.  The pitching absolutely imploded.

The only thing we can do is try to forget this one and look at trying to win a series this weekend in Kansas City.

It won’t be easy.

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