Tag Archives: Miguel Cabrera

Counter-Punch

maggshit

(Photo courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/DFP)

Well, after the Game 1 tirade, things turned around on the nightcap and the Tigers held on to a 6-5 win with a kung-fu grip. In true Tiger fashion, this one wasn’t in the bag until the last fly ball landed in Raburn’s glove, but a win is a motherf****n win and I don’t care how we get them at this point.

Hat tip to Miggy (solo homer), Maggs (2 RBI), Inge (2 RBI), Grandy (Solo homer, even though he gave the run back on a badly played fly to center) and Fernando (clutch save).

A BIG “We’re not worthy” to Verlander, who ended up pitching eight innings deep to the tune of something like 398,271 pitches.

The only number that matters now is FOUR.

Hunker down, Tigers. Stay hungry.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!

Series Wrap-Up: Brewers – This Brew Goes Down Smooth.

38-31, 1st in AL Central (4.0 GU on MIN)

rodneypump

(Picture courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

Well then! Apparently all it takes is a little ranting from yours truly, and all of a sudden the wins start piling up and the brooms get dusted off. Obviously, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but sweeping a division leader is something that is never easy. But the Tigers held fast, surviving a couple of rain delays on Friday, a rookie on the mound Saturday, and an old fashioned pitching duel on Sunday to get the sweep of the Brew Crew and get back on track in the standings.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. Literally. Friday night’s game got underway with the threat of rain looming, and Armando Galarraga pitched like he was afraid of getting hit by a lightning bolt on the mound. The “Sick Cat” pitched the Tigers into an early hole, giving up a three run shot on a miserable changeup to Prince Fielder. Honesty, Galarraga just doesn’t have it right now and it’s really starting to show. Seriously, when he’s on the mound, does ANYONE feel like the Tigers have a chance to win? I sure as hell don’t.

Anyways, despite Galarraga’s best attempts to fail, the Tigers’ bats came alive and the baseball gods offered up a rain delay after the boys clawed back for a lead, mercifully ending Galarraga’s night. Marcus Thames popped a pair of home runs, and Miguel Cabrera and Curtis Granderson added their own, fueling the Tigers to a 10-4 win.

Coming into Saturday’s affair, all of the talk was around 24 year old starter Alfredo Figaro, making his major league debut. However, the storyline quickly shifted to the re-energized Tigers’ bats, led by Thames and Cabrera, who both went 3 for 5 on the day. Add to that rookie Don Kelly adding three hits, and the Tigers offense was officially back in the swing of things (no pun intended.) This is not to take anything away from Figaro, though, who performed very well in his first start, going five innings while giving up two runs on eight hits and striking out seven.

With a sweep on the line, both squads trotted out their aces on Sunday, as Justin Verlander squared off against Yovani Gallardo. Neither pitcher disappointed, as they both threw late into the game and struck out eight each. But it would be Brandon Inge’s sixth inning home run that would be the difference in this one, giving the Tigers a 3-2 win and a series sweep to boot.

Like I said earlier, this was a big sweep for the Tigers. Not only did it give them a four game winning streak *knock on wood*, but it was a real confidence booster for a team that has struggled to sustain any sort of momentum throughout this season. That said, any momentum earned over the last four games will be put to the test when the Cubs come calling, and the Tigers will need to play to their full potential to win what is all but guaranteed to be a fun and entertaining series over the next few days.

Roster movin’: The Tigers will recall right-hander Freddy Dolsi before tonight’s game. Dolsi appeared in 42 games for the Tigers last year, and had a 3.97 ERA. (I also gave him many shouts of Budweiser infused encouragement last year during a warm-up session in the Safeco Field bullpen. Not that this has any bearing on his call-up. Just thought it was worth a mention.)

Also worth noting, Jim Leyland has said that he will move Alfredo Figaro in between Verlander and Edwin Jackson in an attempt to provide the bullpen with more regularity when it comes to their appearances.

And just because I forgot to mention it this weekend, Skippah’ Jimmay signed himself a two-year extension, ensuring that that ever-present cloud of Marlboro smoke in the dugout tunnel isn’t going anywhere.

On Deck: Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 34-32 (3rd in NL Central, 2.5 GB of St. Louis)

Tuesday, June 23

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.39 ERA, 72 SO)
  • Cubs – Carlos Zambrano (4-2, 3.44 ERA, 59 SO)

Wednesday, June 24

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (8-4, 3.54 ERA, 41 SO)
  • Cubs – Rich Harden (4-3, 5.27 ERA, 64 SO)

Thursday, June 25

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-7, 5.62 ERA, 45 SO)
  • Cubs – Ted Lilly (7-4, 3.04 ERA, 75 SO)

1 Comment

Filed under Hooray!, SW

Series Wrap-Up: LA Angels – Punch ‘em right in the mouth.

31-25, 1st in AL Central (4.0 GU on MIN)

cletecelebrate

(Photo courtesy of Duane Burleson/AP)

**FYI: Record has been updated to reflect the Tigers beating the White Sox in Game 1 of their doubleheader today. WOO!!!

So the last time we checked in with the Tigers, they had just been swept by the Red Sox, Jim Leyland got himself tossed from a game, the doubters were out in full force and the Los Angeles Orange County Angels of Anaheim and Surrounding Neighborhoods and Communities were on their way into town before the Tigers embarked on a week-and-a-half long road trip.

The Tigers needed to bounce back strongly and get some wins.

The answer started with Justin Verlander, who pitched another fantastic game in the opener, but got let down AGAIN by sub-par hitting from a mashed up lineup due to Miguel Cabrera’s hamstring injury. Verlander’s work was good enough to keep the team in the game, but Fernando Rodney came in and gave up a run, and with the sub-par hitting, that was enough for LAOCAASNC to escape with a 2-1 win.

Knocked down again.

But what do you do when you get knocked down? You get back up and punch that dude right in his mouth.

Detroit’s counter-punch? Edwin Jackson. The KO punch? Clete Thomas. (Clete Thomas?!?!)

Despite suffering from the same lack of run support that plagued Verlander, Jackson put the team on his back and just took over on Saturday night (and Rodney didn’t blow this one.) And on Sunday, Clete cleared the bases with a grand slam as the Tigers started to locate the offense.

KO delivered. Tigers take the series.

Look, the series win was important for the Tigers, despite being less than aesthetically appealing. The Tigers are in an interesting position where two to three games a week, they are going to get good/great pitching and then to to three games a week they will put up solid batting numbers. When those two line up, the Tigers win ball games. But the rest of it is a crapshoot.

I know Leyland is making an attempt to generate some offense by moving Curtis Granderson back up to the leadoff spot and adding in the newly rehabilitated Marcus Thames for some additional power. But I don’t think that is going to cure the inconsistencies of this team. The real trick for Jim is to find a way to start small with this team. This is NEVER going to happen, but they need to focus more on hitting for singles and sacrifices, and maybe even *GULP* the occasional bunt or two. Sacrilege, I know. Yes, the Tigers will always have power and yes, that power is a great thing, but yes, that power disappears from game to game and yes, if we stick to the power game for the entire season, we might finish somewhere around .500.

Anyways, it’s a thought. Maybe try it out one night when Verlander or Jackson is on the mound since nine games out of 10 you are going to get a top notch performance from them. I’m just sayin…

One last thing before we go: Jeremy Bonderman returns to the bump tonight finally. This could be interesting, as most of the folks that regularly cover the Tigers say that Bondo doesn’t have that “umph” back in his velocity, which means he should be less overpowering and more crafty.

Kenny Rogers, anyone?

On Deck: Chicago White Sox

  • Record: 26-31 (3rd in AL Central, 5.5 GB of DET)

Monday, June 8 (DH)

Game 1

  • Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-6, 5.31 ERA, 41 SO)
  • White Sox – Clayton Richard (2-1, 3.97 ERA, 34 SO) **Yes, THAT Clayton Richard. As in the Clayton Richard that used to be a backup on the Michigan football team. Whoa.

**Since the game is over and I already updated the records, here are the resulting lines for each guy. Joel Zumaya got the win for the Tigers, BTW. Rodney, the save.

  • Galarraga: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, No decision
  • Richard: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, No decision

Game 2

  • Tigers – Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, –.—ERA, – SO)
  • White Sox – Jose Contreras (0-5, 8.19 ERA, 17 SO)

Tuesday, June 9

  • Tigers – Dontrelle Willis (1-3, 6.84 ERA, 13 SO)
  • White Sox – Mark Buehrle (6-2, 2.91 ERA, 46 SO)

Wednesday, June 10

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (6-2, 3.26 ERA, 97 SO)
  • White Sox – John Danks (4-4, 5.10 ERA, 54 SO)

Thursday, June 11

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (6-3, 2.16 ERA, 62 SO)
  • White Sox – Gavin Floyd (4-5, 5.35 ERA, 66 SO)

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!, SW

Series Wrap-up: Boston – Are the Tigers nothing more than pretenders?

28-24, 1st in AL Central (2.5 GU on MIN)

leylandtoss

(Photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

Consider this the evolution of the “Three Thoughts” segment. TT was becoming nothing more than just an overblown link-fest with no real content. I’m hoping a total series wrap-up might change that. Enjoy.

I mentioned earlier this week that I had been looking forward to this series against the Red Sox for awhile now. Not because I happen to like the Bo’ Sox on the side, rather, because it was an opportunity for Detroit to gauge just exactly how well they stack up with the American League elite.

FAIL. MAJOR FAIL.

The Tigers got dropped by an aggregate score of 21-11 over three games and did absolutely zilch to give fans the belief that this team might actually contend come September. In all fairness though, this series wasn’t exactly set up for greatness in terms of the mound battles. Tuesday was our best looking day with the red hot Rick Porcello taking the mound, but of course his luck would run out. Armando Galarraga? Not bad, but not nearly as good as Josh Beckett, who almost threw a no-no. And how can we forget the man-of-the-hour, Dontrelle Willis. The D-Train pulled out of the station right on time, but it wasn’t long before the brakes gave out and the locomotive plunged off the edge of the cliff.

The offense continued to be anemic.

The bullpen was a waste of time.

Oh yeah, and Miguel Cabrera got hurt.

Look, teams do lose three game series sometimes. But it’s not that the Tigers lost. It’s the fact that they hardly put up a fight. The most emotion I saw out of this team was Jimmy Leyland  getting tossed yesterday. Other than that, this series was like a slow death march up the mountain.

Look, it’s painfully obvious that the Tigers aren’t as good as the “elite” teams of the AL right now. Honestly, alot of people don’t think they can be. I tend to disagree with the naysayers. I think this team has the potential to get better and better as the season moves along, and as they keep developing talent and learning how to win, they could start to creep up into some discussion. But right now this is all speculation. All the Tigers should be focusing on is winning ball games and keeping the Twins in their rear-view mirror.

Oh yea, and they might want to avoid being the losing side of any more three-game series sweeps from here on out.

On Deck: Los Angeles Orange County Angels of Anaheim and Surrounding Neighborhoods and Communities aka LAOCAASNC

  • Record: 27-25 (2nd in AL West, 3.5 GB of Texas)

Friday, June 5

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (6-2, 3.63 ERA, 90 SO)
  • Angels – Ervin Santana (0-2, 9.50 ERA, 11 SO)

Saturday, June 6

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (5-3, 2.30 ERA, 57 SO)
  • Angels – Kelvim Escobar (0-0, –.—ERA, 0 SO)

Sunday, June 7

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (6-4, 3.70 ERA, 34 SO)
  • Angels – Joe Saunders (6-4, 3.77 ERA, 37 SO)

Leave a comment

Filed under SW

TT: That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout, Willis!

Tigers 4, Rangers 0

21-16, 1st in AL Central (1.0 GU on KC)

DTrain

(Photo courtesy of Duane Burleson/AP)

  • Finally. That’s about all that needs to be said. After enduring the roller coaster ride of the majors to the minors and now back up to the majors, Dontrelle Willis put it all together, at least for one night. Willis went 6.1 innings, allowing only one (yes, ONE) hit. Willis did a nice job working the zone, throwing 61 of 101 pitches for strikes, and retiring five by way of the “K”. Honestly, if you don’t feel good for this kid, you don’t have a heart. Let’s just hope he keeps it up.
  • The bullpen was lights out again, keeping the shutout intact. Brandon Lyon, “The Real” Bobby Seay, Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney teamed up to throw 2.2 innings of perfect baseball.
  • If you’re curious, Michael Young had the only hit for the Rangers last night. As opposed to the 10 the Tigers put on the board. Big ups to Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera, who both notched a two-out RBI last night.
  • Bonus thought: The Tigers will face Matt Harrison tonight, who threw against the boys on April 11th. His result? A big fat “L”, with a line of 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO.

Probable starters for 5/20:

  • Tigers – Justin Verlander (3-2, 4.29 ERA, 69 SO)
  • Rangers – Matt Harrison (4-2, 4.23 ERA, 24 SO)

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!, Three Thoughts

TT: That’s More Like It

Tigers 5, Blue Jays 1

1-2, 4th in AL Central (1.0 GB)

tigers3

(Courtesy of AP)

  • After two days of pitching woes, Los Tigres put together a complete effort on the mound tonight, anchored by a strong 5.2 innings from starter Zach Miner. Not bad for a guy who is “keeping the seat warm” until Jeremy Bonderman returns from his injury. Relievers Bobby Seay, Ryan Perry and closer Fernando Rodney got the job done without allowing a run, and showed that this bullpen can be pretty darn good when they want to be.
  • The bats stayed poppin’ with two home runs from Miguel Cabrera and a solo shot from Brandon Inge. With his dinger tonight, Inge is the first Tiger in over 50 years to homer in his first three games.
  • While all is not remedied with this win, it looks like the recipe for success for this team is jumping on opposing pitching early. They have the offense to play from behind, but with so many unknowns about the pitching staff, the earlier the Tigers score, the better.

Probable Starters for 4/9:

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • Blue Jays – Ricky Romero (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Leave a comment

Filed under Hooray!, Three Thoughts