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

Royals 5 Tigers 2

There goes the ’84 feeling.

JV looked pretty good for six innings then blew up in the seventh.  He’s just running bad.  And when you’re running bad everything seems to go against you.  That’s what happened to JV.

In his defense, he only gave up one hard hit ball and didn’t get much help from his friends in the pen.  Ian Krol recorded the second out but Everyday Al gave up a two run single to Omar Infante.

I really need to look up the Tigers bullpen record on stranding runs.  The eye-test says they’re an abomination.  I wonder what the numbers say?

OK, Miggy is worrying me.  He took another ofer today.  He got a bunch of hits in the first game, as did everyone else, then I don’t think he got a hit in the final three games.  This seems to be a reoccurring theme, one game he gets 3 or 4 hits then disappears for a few games.  This is not what I expect for $30 million a year.

Between Verlander and Cabrera, the Tigers are getting $60 million worth of , not good enough. “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48(KJV)

This is the worst week of the summer.  After the ASG, not baseball for two days.

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

 

Tigers 5 Royals 1

Before the ninth inning I was going to start complaining about the offense the last two games. I was going to cry how they’d only scored two runs each, in the last two games. Fortunately, J.D. Martinez and Alex “A Squared Money” Avila, stole my thunder.

J.D. came through with a solo shot and A Squared hit a two-run homer to extend the Tigers lead to 5-1.

The lead extension was important because it kept Joe Nathan out of the game. I didn’t want to go through another ninth inning like they did the game before. Nathan and a one run lead is playing with fire.

As it turned out, Everyday Al came in and closed out the ninth. The Tigers won their fifth in a row, third straight over KC, Freeway Ricky got his 12th win, the lead is extended to 7.5 games, and today, the Tigers have a chance for a sweep.

Win or lose this afternoon and I’m going to feel good about the Tigers going into the break. However, a ball smokin performance by JV and a series sweep might give me a bit of the ’84 feeling.

“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

 

 

Tigers 12 Twins 9

The Tigers got a win but it was ugly.  They had an 11-1 lead but needed four relief pitchers to hold off the Twins.

Anibal Sanchez pitched 6.1 innings and allowed three earned runs.  He turned the game over to the pen and then the game degenerated into the theater of the absurd.

Ausmus needed Evan Reed, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, and Ian Krol to close out the game.

The Tigers are fortunate that Joe Mauer is struggling or this game could have slipped away.  Mauer was 0-5 and left six runners on base.

I wrote briefly yesterday about this team being out sync and it showed again today.  Luckily the offense scored 12 runs because this bullpen is horrible.

The rubber game starts tomorrow at 1:00 pm.

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

Tigers earn split with A’s 5-4

Despite Joe Nathan’s best effort to blow his third save in the last 10 games, the Tigers found a way to squeak out a 5-4 victory and split the four game series with the A’s.

What makes this win more impressive is that they Freeway Ricky Porcello failed to provide a quality start despite winning his eighth game of the season.  Ricky’s performance was maddening. He pitched in and out of trouble all day long and gave up seven free passes, six walks and one HBP.  What was even more exasperating than the free passes was giving up a two run homer to Nick Punto. NICK PUNTO!?

The last two times through the rotation, Tigers starters, with the exception of Sanchez, have blown.  They better right the ship soon because like Peter Gammons says, “if you can’t pitch, you can’t win.”

With the exception of Joe Nathan, the bullpen was adequate.  However, the Amazing Al walked two in his inning of work.

That brings me to Nathan.  He has three blown saves and has a 5.23 ERA.  I hope Brad Ausmus has a plan B for the closer role.  Additionally, after his post game comments yesterday, I’m beginning to question his character.  I’ll be the first to admit that Castellanos is not good at third but he didn’t give up the home run to Donaldson.  So man up, JACKASS, and accept the fact that you’ve blown this year.  Instead of blaming the rookie start earning your money suck-hole.

On the flip side of the coin, this Tigers team has shown a type of resiliency that I haven’t seen for a long time.  They play for nine innings and on most nights, I get the feeling that they expect to win.  I guess time will tell.

 

“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 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