My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly #2

Both the Tigers and the weather heated up this week in this edition of My Tigers Weekly. Detroit hosted 7 games in 6 days at Comerica Park against the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals. Strong starting pitching and home runs were responsible for a 5-2 week that saw that Tigers improve to 9-11 with a positive run differential.

The Baltimore Orioles walked away winless in their only trip of the season to Comerica Park. The series started on Tuesday. Victor Martinez connected for his first home run of the season to put the Tigers ahead early. The Orioles answered with runs in the 3rd and 5th inning to tie the game before Jeimer Candelario’s triple put the Tigers ahead for good. Francisco Liriano got the win with 2 earned runs in 5 innings.

In the second game the starting pitchers for both teams, Boyd and Gausman, gave their teams quality starts. The bullpens though were far less successful with a combined 8 earned runs in 4 2/3’s innings. The Tigers entered the 8th with a 2-1 lead on the strength of solo home runs by Candelario and Miguel Cabrera (making it a very happy 35th birthday). The Orioles scored 3 runs in the 8th to take a short lived lead before the Tigers answered right back in the bottom of the frame with a 3 run home run by John Hicks. Shane Greene gave up a home run to Luis Sardinas to tie the game but got the win when Dixon Machado hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the 9th.

The Tigers completed the sweep with a 13-8 win on Thursday. Musician Jack White was in attendance. The bats once again led the way as Leonys Martin hit a grand slam as part of a 5 run 5th inning that put the Tigers up 12-3. Jeimer Candelario hit another home run and finished with 8 hits in 12 AB’s with 2 home runs, a triple, and 5 RBI’s in the series.

The Tigers missed two chances to reach .500 this weekend against the Kansas City Royals. Friday was a day/night doubleheader to make up for a postponed game earlier this month. The first game was a pitchers duel between Michael Fullmer and Jason Hammel. Both gave up only 2 runs in 7 and 9 innings respectively. JaCoby Jones hit a walk off home run in the 10th inning. The Royals returned the favor in the nightcap, winning by the same 3-2 margin. Niko Goodrum’s error allowed Alcides Escobar to score in the 9th and Shane Green took the loss. The Tigers took out their frustrations on Danny Duffy on Saturday. Detroit put up crooked numbers in 6 of the 8 innings, led by Nick Castellanos’ 3 hits and 3 RBI’s, including his first home run of the season. The Tigers won by a final score of 12-4. It looked like the Tigers would reach .500 on Sunday. Francisco Liriano had a no hitter into the 6th until Whit Merrifield broke it up with a home run that cut the lead to 2-1. Liriano was removed with 2 on and one out. Alex Wilson gave up a walk and a grand slam to Abraham Almonte. The Tigers answered back with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning to tie things back up at 5, but Mike Moustakas’ 3 run home run in the 7th proved to be the difference as the Tigers fell 8-5.

Game 17: Recap

Game 18: Recap

Game 20: Recap

Now the Tigers go on the road for a 3 game series in Pittsburgh then Baltimore. While the Pirates are 12-10 and in the mix in the NL Central, the Orioles are scuffling at 6-16 and are in the basement of the AL East. The AL Central however is open for the taking. The Indians have not been dominant out of the gate. The Tigers, at 9-11, are only 2.5 games behind them and are in the middle of the pack. If they want to make a move towards the top, then they will need to perform on the road.

My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly #1

It’s baseball season, not that you’d know it from looking outside. The Tigers have already had multiple home games postponed. However, we are in mid-April and almost 10% of the way through the season.

The MLB schedule makers had the Tigers facing the Pirates at the end of March. The weather pushed opening day from Thursday to Friday. Opening day starters Jordan Zimmerman and Ivan Nova didn’t factor in the decision. The relief pitchers on both sides didn’t fare much better, with the teams combining for 17 runs after the starters left the game. While the replay review call will undoubtedly be the takeaway and topic of conversation, McCann and Machado each hit 2 run doubles to tie the game at 10. Alex Wilson gave up a 3 run homer to Gregory Polanco in the 13th. The game Saturday was postponed due to weather. The Tigers lost both games of the doubleheader Sunday to fall 0-3 on the season. Michael Fulmer lost a tough game giving up only 1 run in 8 innings. The Tigers couldn’t take advantage with only 2 hits in the 1st game. The bats woke up in the nightcap, with Miguel Cabrera hitting his first home run of the season and a RBI double in the 9th, but it wasn’t enough against a Pirates offense that managed 3 home runs and 10 hits against Tigers pitching.

1968 World Series MVP, Mickey Lolitch threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, as a part of the Tigers season-long, 50th anniversary celebration.

Game 2: Recap

Game 3: Recap

The Tigers stayed at Comerica to face the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers started out strong behind Francisco Liriano. Liriano gave up just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks in 6 2/3 innings. Nick Castellanos and Victor Martinez broke it open with RBI singles in the 5th inning. The bullpen held on to give Liriano his first win in his first start as a Tiger. The Tigers returned the favor to Kansas City on Tuesday by providing them their first win of the season. Matt Boyd gave up just 1 run in 6 innings, but Jorge Soler’s sacrifice in the 2nd inning held up. It was cold enough that neither team was sad to see the rubber match postponed.

Game 5: Recap

The Tigers then went on a 6 game road trip to Chicago and Cleveland. The Tigers spoiled the White Sox home opener on Thursday. Zimmerman had his second start of the season, but was outdueled by James Shields. The Tigers were down 7-3 before scoring 6 unanswered runs in the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings. Niko Goodrum hit his first career home run as part of the comeback before Victor Martinez tied the game. The Tigers scored 2 runs in the 10th and Shane Greene got his first save of the season. After a day off, the Tigers beat the White Sox 6-1 on Saturday. Michael Fullmer improved to 1-1 win/loss record after giving up 1 run in 5 1/3 innings. Miguel Cabrera provided the hot bat on a cold day with 3 RBI’s on a single and groundout. Mike Fiers took over from there in his first start as a Tiger on Sunday. He struck out 6 in six scoreless innings. Miguel Cabrera’s sacrifice fly in the 1st held up as the Tigers came out of Chicago with a sweep and 4-4 record.

Game 7: Recap

Game 8: Recap

Things did not go as well in Cleveland. The series started out in as cold a temperature as the Tigers have played in all season. Francisco Liriano gave up 2 runs in 6 innings on a Bradley Zimmer home run. The Tigers struck out 13 times and could not score a run off of their 2 hits against Corey Kluber. The Tigers fell by a score of 2-0. The second game of the series was the second time this season Alex Wilson took a loss after giving up a home run. Roberto Perez broke a 1-1 tie with a home run in the 8th inning. That was enough as the Tigers fell 2-1. Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer outdueled Daniel Norris and Michael Fullmer as the Tigers were swept over the 4 games in Cleveland. They finished their first road trip with 3 wins and 4 losses.

Game 9: Recap

Game 10: Recap

Game 11: Recap

Game 12: Recap

The Tigers came home to face the New York Yankees. The Yankees struck first against Mike Fiers. Aaron Hicks hit his first 2 home runs of the season, including an inside the park home run, against Fiers. The Tigers were able to score 3 runs off of Dellin Betances to get to within 2 runs. Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman came in for the Yankees to stop the bleeding and secure a 8-6 win for New York. Brian McCann and Jeimer Candelario hit their first home runs of the season. The game Saturday was postponed due to rain. The doubleheader scheduled for Sunday was postponed as well. The Tigers will make up these games against the Yankees on June 4th.

Game 13: Recap

Some high points so far this season has been the starting pitching keeping most games close. The bats have already scored some late inning runs off of opponents relief pitchers. Nicholas Castellanos has gotten off to a strong start with a .302/.362/.777 slash line. The Tigers now look to end their 5 game losing streak against the Orioles and Royals. After an off day on Monday, Baltimore makes their only trip to Comerica Park this season for a 3 game series. The homestand will continue with a 4 game series against Kansas City, including a day night double header on Friday to make up a postponed game.