Tigers 3 A’s 0

The Tigers are moving on to the ALCS starting in Boston on Saturday night.

The game five win over the A’s was delivered by Justin Verlander who was the JV vintage 2011/2012.

He was, to steal another line, this time from The Game, By Neil Strauss, “smokin balls!”.  He was almost un-hittable.  He pitched 8 complete, threw 111 pitches, struck out 10 and walked one.  In fact, he had a perfect game before walking Reddick in the 6th, and a no hitter that was broken up by a Cespedes single in the 7th.

Miggy provided most of the offense with a two run shot in fourth.

At first I was livid that Jim Leyland didn’t send JV out for the 9th.  But in a post game interview Verlander said that he told Leyland he was running on fumes.

In came Benoit for the 9th.  After getting the first two hitters, Joaquin put the tying runners on base, but got Seth Smith to hit a fly ball to Hunter to end the game.

Benoit seems to be continuing the tradition set by previous Tigers’ closers, Todd Jones and Jose Valverde, he makes it interesting but gets the job done most of the time.  Joaquin scares me but I hope he can get it done.

I could bitch about the offense like I always do but there’s nothing more to say.  They had plenty of chances to blow this game wide open but couldn’t get the big hit.  Not much new here.

That being said, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta deserve credit for their offense.  Martinez hit .450 and Peralta .417.  Nobody else in the lineup is close to .300.

Austin Jacskon has become a problem at the worst time.  He has been HORRIBLE to put it mildly.  He struck out 3 more times today.  I think that makes 12 times this series.  It’s hard to generate offense when your lead hitter isn’t even making contact.  But at this point, I’m not sure if there is anything to do except hope.

I’m hoping for the best in Boston but I’m done with predictions.  I’m just enjoying (sort of) the ride.  I hope it ends with a World Series Championship!

“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

Tigers 3 A’s 2

Whew!

Behind excellent pitching and just enough offense the Tigers took the first game of the series in Oakland.

The Tigers scored three runs in the first but couldn’t add on the rest of the way.  This was not really a surprise.  This is the same thing we’ve seen all year.

Scherzer, Smyly and Benoit were outstanding and combined to strike out 16 Oakland batters.

Readers of this blog know I’ve been hard on Dirks this year and I’m going to continue.  The Tigers are still not getting anything substantial out of his bat and his fielding is terrible at best. I know, there is supposed to be some metric that tells us Dirksy is a wonderful fielder but the numbers don’t correspond to the visual.

In the bottom of the second Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard shot to left field that ended up as a one out triple.  I understand the ball was hard hit but it looked like Dirksy didn’t take a very good route to the ball.  It would have been a nice play.  It is a play I would expect a good left fielder to make.

There was another play in the 5th or 6th inning where Dirks ran for a ball in foul territory.  The ball looked like it hit the palm of his glove and he ended up dropping it.

Luckily, Max was able to pitch around these two plays and the pen was able to hold on for the win but I think Leyland and the Tigers really need to evaluate what they are getting from left field both offensively and defensively.  I’m not even saying put Peralta in but perhaps it’s time to put DK in left.  Let him play solid defense and take what you can from his bat.  What are you really losing playing DK over Dirksy?

In the 6th the Tigers had a chance to add on.  With one out, Martinez on second and Avila on first, Omar Infante singled sharply to right field.  Tom “The Windmill” Brookens sent Victor home and he was nailed at the plate for the second out of the inning.  At first, I was screaming about another horrible send from The Windmill, but on further review, I think it was the right thing to do.  The Tigers had just gotten three hits and Dirks was up next.  At this point, you can’t expect anything from Good Ole Dirksy.

I’ve been screaming all year about the offense but nothing is going to change.  The formula the Tigers used tonight to win will have to be the recipe going forward.  But at least if they could tighten up the left field defense, it might increase their chances.

JV goes tomorrow.  Your guess is a good as mine regarding what to expect.

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

Home Run Derby…

So I watched the home run derby tonight.  I didn’t really care for it.  I’ve never really cared for it, but I didn’t feel like reading and I don’t watch anything but baseball or hockey on television.

I find the derby exhausting to watch and worrying, like it is my problem, that the participants will ruin their swings and have poor second halves.  I know it is irrational, but so is being a semi-professional baseball/hockey fan.  🙂

In case you missed it and care, Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A’s beat the Washington National’s Bryce Harper to claim the 2013 crown.

Our own Prince Fielder, defending champion, didn’t make it past the first round.  He only hit five, which wasn’t enough to move on to round two.

The thing that struck me the most was the maturity of Bryce Harper.  I don’t know what he’s like personally but I find it astounding that he can be in his second ASG and he’s not even 21.  I guess I can’t imagine having the mental capacity to handle that big of a stage a that young of an age.  But, I guess a lot of guys do it.  There are plenty of 18 and 19 year olds playing in the NHL.

Well, at least we have the ASG tomorrow.  The lack of games makes this the worst week of summer, for me, anyway.

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