Game 2016.128: Angels at Tigers

I don’t think it’s the Angels; I think it’s the West Coast. Angels, A’s, Mariners, Interleague games with the Dodgers and Giants, it never works out well. The Tigers have the Angels at home, and with their ace on the mound, and with a series sweep in their luggage. And the Angels are 54-73. And…they just scored in the top of the first. Hmm.

Today’s Making the Tribe Sweat Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Maybin, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Upton, LF
  7. McGehee, 3B
  8. McCann, C
  9.  Aybar, SS

Game 2016.124: Red Sox at Tigers

The Tigers still have yet to stop the plague called Ortiz; I guess they never will. I feel for Justin Upton, who can’t buy a break. He scorched one to the 420 mark in dead center, and it went 419 feet and 9 inches. But who here would have put money on the Tigers pulling it out in extras even if he did tie it, raise your hands. Anyone? Bueller?

This sporadic solo home run offense isn’t exactly working, is it?

Maybe the return of Maybin can bring a spark; yes, he’s back! Of course he returns to a Sunday lineup with no V-Mart and a salty first baseman, but maybe he can get something going.

Today’s Game of Inches Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Maybin, CF
  3. Cabrera, DH
  4. JD Martinez, RF
  5. Upton, LF
  6. McGehee, 3B
  7. McCann, C
  8. Saltalamacchia, 1B
  9. Aybar, SS

Game 2016.123: Red Sox at Tigers

It was inevitable that Fulmer would eventually have a bad outing. Not that anyone else was particularly good either. The Tigers are on the verge of dropping out of the playoff race.

But there is good news. There is? Yes there is. There is a new Stroh’s beer being brewed in Detroit. A bunch of that might help while watching the rest of this series. That and a nice big umbrella.

Today’s Van Norrison Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Aybar, SS
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Upton, LF
  7. McGehee, 3B
  8. McCann, C
  9. Romine, CF

Look who’s back, a new man no doubt. McCann has passed up Salty in the catcher’s batting race, by just sitting and watching.

Game 2016.122: Red Sox at Tigers

Well, how about that, Matt Boyd pitched another good one, and the Tigers improbably came back after falling behind 3-1 in the 8th. What kind of odds could we have gotten for betting on that comeback? And with a go-ahead bases-loaded walk at that, after Brad Ausmus oddly pulled both Cabrera and Martinez for pinch-runners. Extra innings would have looked a bit anemic, wouldn’t it have?

Boyd is now 4-0 since the All-Star break, with a 2.10 ERA and a nice 1.019 WHIP. He and tonight’s pitcher, Michael Fulmer, give a lot of hope for the future of the rotation.

The past of the rotation takes the mound for Boston, as Kid Rick Porcello brings a flashy 16-3, 3.30 back to Comerica.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Aybar, SS
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Collins, LF
  7. McGehee, 3B
  8. Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Romine, CF

Another day for Upton as a late-inning pinch-runner.

Game 2016.121: Red Sox at Tigers

Boyd pitched a gem last time out; then again, Sanchez did the same last night.

Things are starting to turn a little ugly as the fans, understandably frustrated with Upton, are starting to unleash the boos. Worst Tiger acquisition since Aubrey Huff?

Alex Presley called up from Toledo; hey, why not? Maybe Presley will leave the building. Bobby Parnell gets the DFA to make room for Presley on the 40-man roster.

Today’s Can’t Buy a Run Lineup:

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Casey McGehee, 3B
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Andrew Romine, CF
  9. Alex Presley, LF

 

 

 

Game 2016.117: Tigers at Rangers


You knew they would win one at some point on the road trip, but it was still a relief.  Casey McGehee had a career day, the Tigers left a buttload of runners on base (I mean butt in the sense of an old English unit of measurement, 1008 pints if you’re curious), when they weren’t getting picked off or thrown out (they only needed a runner out at 2nd for a cycle).  But Boyd pitched himself a game, and the Tigers now actually have a decent shot at taking the series.

Today’s Glass Half Fulmer Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Collins, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Upton, LF
  7. McGehee, 3B
  8. McCann, C
  9. Romine, SS

I predict a big game from the two Macs and the Lettuce.

Game 2016.116: Tigers at Rangers

As we all looked forward with great anticipation to the return of JD Martinez to the lineup, I don’t think any of us expected he would be joining a lineup that looked like this. Dixon Machado is up to fill in for Jose Iglesias; Mike Aviles will take a stab at playing center, because hey, why not.

The less said about the Sanchez start last night the better. McCann had a good game and hit the ball hard every time up, including his 9th HR.

Today’s This is Not What We Had in Mind for the Pennant Chase Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. McGehee, 3B
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Upton, LF
  7. Aviles, CF
  8. Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Machado, SS

Game 2016.115: Tigers at Rangers

I usually hate off days, but yesterday was a merciful one.

I’m counting on The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi Currently in Arlington (that might be literally true) to sway the Tigers fortunes (or misfortunes, as it may be).

Again, as others have commented on, the Tigers do seem to have a lot of injuries, which could be a “that’s baseball” kind of thing. I’m not really comfortable with the injuries that start out as day-to-day things then end up as DL things, especially since they end up giving the Tigers a functional 23-man roster at times. Or with the whole coming back from injuries unready to come back from injuries thing.

A lot of baseball left. But less than there was last week.

Also: how about that Prince Fielder trade? I’m expecting Kinsler to come up big in this series; whether his reception is positive or negative, I expect him to feed off of it.

Anibal has had two nice starts. Do we dare wish for a third? He looks so focused in that picture.

Today’s Texas isn’t West Coast so Maybe, Just Maybe, Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Collins, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Upton, LF
  7. McGehee, 3B
  8. McCann, C
  9. Iglesias, SS

McGehee has been doing a fine job filling in for Castellanos. Upton, on the other hand, has been faring less well filling in for…oh, damn, he’s a starter.

Game 2016.111: Mets at Tigers

The good news is the Tigers won again, and have the series against the Mets, and like our astute commenters pointed out, it was a real team victory. The bad news is Castellanos is out for 4-7 weeks, and the pitching mis-match of Sanchez vs. deGrom.

Casey McGehee has been called up to replace Castellanos.

Today’s Kitchen Sink Lineup:

  1. Collins, CF
  2. Iglesias, SS
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Upton, LF
  7. McGehee, 3B
  8. McCann, C
  9. Romine, 2B

 

 

Game 2016.110: Mets at Tigres

Justin pitched masterfully again, the bullpen did their part, Victor showed up with the game winning home run, but still I think the tone of yesterday’s games was set by Ian Kinsler, who led off the game with a single, stole second, stole third, and was able to score on a ground out. Starting off with a 1-0 lead was huge.

A lot written in the last day about Zimmermann; apparently not only did he have discomfort in the first inning of Thursday’s game, but also during pre-game warmups. I think the Tigers might have been slightly foolish to bring him back a bit before he was ready, and quite foolish indeed to stay with him through the game day warning signs. Luckily his MRI didn’t show anything serious, so he will probably avoid the DL. Still, there were other options.

As I put pen to paper here, Cleveland has just finished off the Yankees. Time to answer.

And hey, it’s ¡Fiesta Tigres!

Those first 10,000 fans will score a Magglio Ordonez collectible figurine, which would be a handsome addition to any collectible figurine shelf.

Today’s Boyd Would it be Nice to Win This One Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Collins, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Castellanos, 3B
  7. Upton, LF
  8. Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Iglesias, SS

Cameron “The Thumb” Maybin still day to day, so Fingers gets another start in center.

Game 2016.109: Mets at Tigers

Well if you like pitching duels, you could do worse than tonight’s match up, with Justin Verlander taking on Noah Syndergaard, as the Mets make a rare appearance in town. Our old friend Curtis Granderson will be leading the game off, but Yoenis Cespedes is unlikely to make an appearance, with a bad quad. He also has been getting in a lot of golf, to the consternation of the New York press.

The fragile spark plug Cameron Maybin is still day to day with a mild thumb sprain, and Fingers Collins gets a shot at the 2nd spot in the order.

Today’s How Bout A Run or Two For Justin Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Collins, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Castellanos, 3B
  7. Upton, LF
  8. McCann, C
  9. Iglesias, SS

Game 2016.105: Astros at Tigers

What a win that was last night. I was certain the Tigers had a 1-0 win going into the 9th, and i was just as certain they had a 2-1 loss on their hands in the bottom of the 9th, especially after the inning began with a Martinez weak grounder and a Saltalamacchia pinch-hit strikeout. But Justin Upton had a great at-bat and got a walk (how often does that happen?), and Tyler “Do You Really Wanna Demote Me” Collins found a curve left over the middle of the plate (a few inches higher and I think he hits that one over the centerfielder’s head), then, most improbably of all, McCann takes one over the shortstop to tie the game. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how Iglesias would win the game, even if they thought he would win the game. He hit a hard slice down the right field line that was about 10 feet from winning the game, but he ended up with a fairly routine grounder to first, then ran like a maniac, while the pitcher stepped at the bag like Sparky Anderson trying not to step on the 3rd base chalk line, and there you have it. Even better than the game was watching the players afterwards; Verlander in particular was having a moment of real joy. It reminded me of watching the Royals last season.

It used to be Miggy and Victor pulling the team along behind them, but now something else is driving the team.

When is the last time the Tigers got 2 runs from hustle?

Verlander gets the game ball. Once again he was dominant, and the two runs scored mostly on two slow grounders to short. The pitch Correa hit was below the strike zone and so outside it was in the other batter’s box–McCann slid over in block mode. He was clearly winded in the 9th, but the guy has no quit in him.

Meanwhile the Cleveland Indians have gone and thrown down the gauntlet, emptying their minor league system for Andew Miller and Jonathan Lucroy.

Today’s Let’s Not Get Pelfreyed Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Maybin, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. Castellanos, 3B
  6. Upton, LF
  7. Aviles, RF
  8. McCann, C
  9. Iglesias, SS