49-39, 1st place, 3.5 games up on Cle.
The Tigers head home for 6 against the White Sox and Rangers after a successful 7-4 road trip that ended with the club taking 3 of 4 from Cle. The White Sox are not good. We gotta win the series.
A few stars from last night’s game, other than VMart.
1) Brayan Pena. Pena made one of the smartest plays you’ll see all season. In case you missed it, Swisher hit a nubber down the 3rd place line to lead off the 8th. He watched it roll foul, assumed that was it, and turned towards the dugout to get ready for the next pitch. Pena watched it like a hawk and snatched it up when it rolled back fair, and then raced over to tag a bewildered, and embarrassed, Nick Swisher.
2) Drew Smyly. Wow. Other than Miguel Cabrera, has anyone been more valuable than Drew Smyly this season? He entered in the 9th after Rondon gave up a leadoff single. A Pena passed ball put a runner on 2nd with no outs. That’s a run expectancy of 1.06. Smyly then gets a fly out, a K, and a fly out. A well deserved W. On the season – batters are hitting .198 off of him, and he’s posting a 2.04 ERA and .98 WHIP.
3) The late inning walk. Seems like we are constantly burned by them; well, VMart made two count in the top of the 10th.
A few notes:
– Victor Martinez’s last 10 games: .390/.538/.928. No home runs, but I can live with the double brothers hitting 5 and 6 in this lineup.
– Prince Fielder’s splits: .314/.398/.520 ** .243/.346/.431. Man, lefties are killing him…except that those splits are the other way. His OPS v. lefties is .918, and it’s .777 v. righties. I’m expecting a monster 2nd half from him.
– Infante to the DL, retroactive to the 4th. I wonder if Colby Rasmus will send a card. 22 year old prospect Hernan Perez up and in the lineup.
– Are the Tigers eyeing someone from the Brewers’ bullpen?
Tonight’s Series Opening Lineup:
1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Peralta, SS
7. Tuiasosopoa, LF
8. Perez, 2B
9. Avila, C