My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly #4

The 4th installment of My Tigers Weekly covers the last 3 series which featured 4 total wins, 4 Tigers placed on the disabled list, and assesses where we are almost ¼th of the way through the season. Miguel Cabrera, Leonys Martin, Jordan Zimmerman, and Alex Wilson all found their way to the 10 day disabled list. The Tigers won their series at home and lost both on the road, but not before playing some exciting games.

The Tigers started at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was a true pitchers duel between Jordan Zimmerman and Jacob Faria. The two pitchers combined to give up 5 hits and 2 walks in 7 and 8 innings respectively. All of the offense was saved for the 9th inning. Shane Greene gave up a 2 run home run to CJ Cron followed by a solo shot from Brad Miller. Despite a 3 run deficit, the Tigers would not go quietly. A one out hit by pitch, steal, infield single, and another hit by pitch loaded the bases for Victor Martinez. There was a little gamesmanship in the 9th, as Miguel Cabrera swung a bat in the dugout to give the appearance that he might pinch hit. Tampa Bay brought in Jose Alvarado, who promptly gave up a 2 run single. A 2 out walk loaded the bases, but Dixon Machado’s hit into a game ending fielders choice to give Alvarado his first career save.

Game 27: Recap

The second game was another low scoring affair. RBI doubles from Nick Castellanos and Leonys Martin in the 3rd and 5th inning were enough as Boyd outdueled Archer in a 2-1 Tigers win.

The strong starting pitching continued through the rubber match with Michael Fullmer and Blake Snell each giving up 2 runs in 6 and 6 2/3rd innings respectively. This time though, the Tigers won the battle of the bullpens. 6 Tigers relievers combined for 6 scoreless innings, only giving up 2 hits and a walk to the Rays. The Tigers didn’t fare much better at the plate until the 12th inning. Jacoby Jones led off the 12th with a triple and was driven home by on a bunt single by Hicks. The Tigers won the game 3-2 and the series with 7 runs to the Rays 5.

 

The Tigers then went on the road for a 4 game match against the Kansas City Royals. Mike Fiers pitched Erik Skogland to a draw, but it was both pitchers giving up 5 earned runs in under 5 innings. Chad Bell gave up 5 runs on 5 hits in the 5th and 6 innings to turn a 5-5 game into a 10-6 deficit. The Tigers could not get anything going against the Royals relievers and fell by that final score. The second game was a true pitchers duel. The game was scoreless until the 8th when the Royals ballboy picked up a live ball to give the Tigers a 2 run ground rule double. In the bottom half of the inning, Francisco Liriano was removed after a leadoff walk. 3 singles, a walk, and wild pitch later, the Tigers were behind 4-2. They could not rally in the 9th and lost by that score. The Tigers got on the board in the third game behind Jordan Zimmerman. Despite battling the flu, he pitched 5 scoreless innings. Nick Castellanos led the way offensively with 3 hits, 2 doubles, and 1 RBI. The bullpen did their job, but not without a little drama. Over the 4 innings, the 3-0 lead was cut to 3-2 after a home run in the 6th and an unearned run in the 9th. Shane Greene was able to close it out for his 6th save. The Tigers were unable to even the series on getaway day. Mike Moustakas had 3 RBI’s early to give the Royals a 4-0 lead against Matthew Boyd. Hicks answered back with a home run in the 4th and an RBI single in the 8th, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 4-2.

Game 30: Recap

Game 31: Recap

Game 32: Recap

Game 33: Recap

The road trip continued in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. In the first game, Michael Fullmer and Matt Moore each gave up 5 runs in 5 2/3rd’s innings. Leonys Martin’s 2 run shot in the 6th gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead, but the Rangers answered back with 4 runs in the bottom of the frame. The Tigers added a run on an error in the 7th, but Jose Iglesias, who made it to first on the bad throw in the top of the inning, made an error of his own that set the stage for Jurickson Profar’s go ahead triple. The Tigers fell by a score of 7-6.

Game 34: Recap

In the second game, the Tigers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead behind home runs by Victor Martinez and Jose Iglesias. Mike Fiers was chased in the 6th inning and finished with 2 earned runs 5 1/3rd innings. Adrian Beltre greeted Daniel Stumpf with a RBI single, one of 3 hits and 2 RBI’s on the night. Joe Jiminez gave up 2 more runs in the 8th before Shane Greene came on to stop the rally. He finished with 3 strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings to close out the 7-4 win and pick up his 7th save of the season.

 

The rubber match was between Francisco Liriano and Bartolo Colon. Neither pitcher fared well, with each giving up 3 runs and not factoring in the decision. Colon pitched an extra inning, 5-4, and one of his runs was unearned, but the game was tied 3-3 headed into the 6th. The Tigers pulled ahead on a RBI single by James McCann, but the hero of the afternoon was Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara. He hit his 2nd home run of the series in the 7th inning to tie the game at 4. Warwick Saupold gave up a leadoff single to start the 9th. The Rangers were unable to manufacture a run, grounding out and flying out after a sacrifice bunt. The Tigers returned the favor in the 10th inning by failing to score after a leadoff double. Saupold returned to the mound the bottom of the 10th and immediately gave up the walk off home run, 2nd of the game and 3rd of the series, to Mazara. The Tigers fell by a final score of 5-4 and ended the trip with 2 wins and 5 losses.

Game 36: Recap

The good news is that the Tigers are 8-8 at home and playing above expectations. They are only 3 games behind the Indians and 2 games behind the Twins. However, they are also now only 3 games ahead of Kansas City for 4th in the division. The Tigers come home to face the Mariners and Indians for 3 games a piece before heading on the road again. The Tigers played in a lot of winnable games. The starting pitching, good or bad, kept them in the game. A little bullpen help and a little health would go a long way towards winning some of these close games. With every team at .500 or below in the Central, every win matters even more. That makes the home games against the Indians crucial for making up ground rather than falling further behind.

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