My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly #5

In the 5th edition of My Tigers Weekly covers the Tigers 6 game homestand against the Seattle Mariners and the Central Divsion leading Cleveland Indians. Bad weather and Miguel Cabrera’s stint on the DL couldn’t bring Detroit down as they won each series 2-1.

In what has become a recurring theme this season, the first game against the Mariners last Friday was postponed. Fortunately, the weather cleared up in time for an afternoon/evening doubleheader on Saturday. The Tigers got off to a good start in the first game behind two RBI singles from catcher Grayson Greiner and a 2 run home run from Jose Iglesias. Matthew Boyd picked up the win with a 6 inning/3 earned run/6 strikeout quality start. Despite giving up 2 inherited runs in the 7th to make the game 4-3, the bullpen was able to hold on. JaCoby Jones’ spectacular catch helped Shane Greene escaped unscathed despite a hit and 2 walks in the 9th inning. The Mariners offense, which only managed 4 hits in the first game, woke up for the nightcap. Michael Fullmer was tagged for 6 runs in 4 and 1/3 innings. Felix Hernandez did not fare much better, giving up 5 runs in 5 innings. 4 Mariners pitchers gave up only 1 hit the rest of the way. Daniel Stumpf gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 1/3 of an inning in the 7th to put the game out of reach. The Tigers fell 9-5 and split the doubleheader.

Game 37: Recap

Game 38: Recap

Sunday was Mothers Day and Pink out the Park. The Tigers faced James Paxton fresh off his no-hitter against the Blue Jays. Paxton was able to put the Tigers down in order for the first two innings, but fell 7 innings short of matching Johnny Vander Meer’s record for consecutive no-hitters. Niko Goodrum’s 3rd inning single opened the flood gates as both teams rapped out double digit hit totals. It was the top and bottom of the order for the Tigers providing all the heroics. Leadoff hitter Mikie Mahtook’s 2 RBI hits, a single in the 3rd and 2 out double in the 7th, were the result of the bottom of the order getting on base in front of him. Niko Goodrum had a 3-4 day out of the 7th spot which included a solo home run and key 9th inning single that moved JaCoby Jones from 1st to 3rd with no outs. Jose Iglesias finished the rally with a walkoff single and the Tigers won 5-4. Any guilt Blaine Hardy may have felt for breaking Robinson Cano’s hand on a hit by pitch should be quickly washed away by Cano’s 80 game suspension announced on Tuesday.

The Cleveland Indians came to town for a 3 game series that started on Monday. Mike Fiers, who was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday, faced Carlos Carrasco. After giving up a solo home run to Jose Ramirez in the 1st inning, Fiers would only give up another 2 hits and a walk the rest of the way. He finished with 5 strikeouts in 6 innings and improved to 4-2 on the season. Niko Goodrum provided the rest of the excitement with his 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s. His 2 run shot in the 4th put the Tigers up 3-1, and his 3 run home run in the 8th put the Tigers ahead 6-2. The Indians were able to get a run in the 9th on a Francisco Lindor single, but Shane Greene held on to finish the 6-3 Tigers win.

Game 40: Recap

On Tuesday Francisco Liriano’s slump continued after giving up a grand slam to Brandon Guyer in the 1st inning. He gave up another solo shot in the 2nd to account for the 5 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Indians starter Josh Tomlin did not fare much better. He was left the game after a Nick Castellanos home run to lead off the 6th inning. That’s when the Tigers bats came alive against the Indians bullpen. Detroit struck quickly to start the 7th with a single and RBI double for the first 2 batters. Cleveland reliever Dan Otero would only manage one out before he gave up 2 runs and was lifted for Andrew Miller. Miller was greeted by consecutive RBI doubles from JaCoby Jones and Pete Kozma to tie the game. After getting Nick Castellanos out on a liner, he gave up 3 consecutive walks culminating in John Hicks’ RBI walk to put the Tigers ahead 9-8. Cleveland was forced to bring in a 3rd reliever, Neil Ramirez, to strike out James McCann, the 11th batter of the inning. Despite some excitement following an error and wild pitch by Shane Greene to put Rajai Davis on 3rd with 2 outs in the 9th, a groundout from Michael Brantley secured a wild 9-8 Tigers comeback victory.

 

The Tigers then tasked Ryan Carpenter with securing the sweep against the Indians in his 2nd career start. He gave up 6 runs, 5 earned, over 5 innings to take the loss. The Tigers were unable to manage much against Trevor Bauer, who gave up 4 scattered hits against 10 strikeouts in 8 innings of work. The Tigers fell 6-0 and the Indians returned to .500. A win would have brought the Tigers into a tie for the AL Central lead.

Game 42: Recap

With the Indians at 21-21 and having serious bullpen issues, the Tigers are a mere 2 games back of Cleveland and a half game behind the Twins for 3rd in the AL Central at the quarter mark of the season. The Tigers must continue their winning ways with a 4 game rematch in Seattle against the Mariners and a 3 game series against their division rivals in Minnesota over the next 7 days. While it’s still early and they are still 4 games under .500, it’s encouraging to see timely hitting, comebacks, and a refusal to give up or get discouraged regardless of the score. It’s fueled by the young players, many of whom are receiving opportunities to play for the first time. Let’s hope that fighting spirit travels with them on the road.