My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly #7

It was an exciting week in Tigers baseball. There were 9 games in 8 days at Comerica Park against some of the AL’s most exciting players: Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Giancarlo Stanton and Luis Severino. Miguel Cabrera returned off of the disabled list. There was a 4 game winning streak and the phenomenon that is the rally goose. Old friends Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, and Curtis Granderson returned to Comerica Park and a new one, Casey Mize, was selected #1 in the MLB draft. All that added up to a 6-3 week and a spot in 2nd place in the AL Central.

The week started with a 4 game matchup against the Angels. The series got off to a good start behind James McCann’s grand slam. Matthew Boyd gave up just 2 hits and no runs in 5 innings. Every Tigers batter got at least one hit as the Tigers won easily, 9-3.

The Angels wasted no time returning the favor Tuesday. Michael Fulmer gave up 5 runs, including a 3 run home run to Ian Kinsler, and exited with one out in the 4th inning. The Tigers had 2 solo shots from Jeimer Candelario and JaCoby Jones, but only managed 1 hit with runners in scoring position as they fell 9-2.

Game 54: Recap

On Wednesday, the Tigers got to face off against Shohei Ohtani. Both he and Mike Fiers delivered, each allowing only one run in 5 and 5 2/3’s innings respectively. However, two rain delays cut their evening short. During the second rain delay, the rally goose made its appearance. It made its way onto the field, was chased off, and flew into the scoreboard. Fortunately the rally goose was deemed healthy and released back into the wild on Friday. Once the Tigers retook the field, they channeled that excitement into a breakout sixth inning. A single, walk, HBP loaded the bases with no outs. Jose Iglesias broke the game open with a 2 run single and Nick Castellanos’ RBI single was his third hit (including 2 doubles) that put the Tigers up 6-1. With that, the rally goose was truly born. Tigers fans and players also appreciated the fact that this happened against the Angels, the team who brought the world the rally monkey over 15 years ago.

The rally continued into Thursday’s game. 5 hits and 5 runs in the 1st inning, capped off by Victor Reyes’ bases clearing triple, was all the support that starter Ryan Carpenter needed. He gave up 1 run in 4 innings. Warwick Saupold pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win and improve to 3-1 on the season.

The homestand continued against the Toronto Blue Jays. Miguel Cabrera returned to the lineup and his familiar 3rd spot in the lineup. The Tigers struck early for the second game in a row, scoring 4 runs in the 2nd inning. JaCoby Jones got things started with a 2 run triple. Leonys Martin brought him home on a ground out. After a double and steal by Jose Iglesias, Jeimer Candelario came through with a 2 out single to put the Tigers ahead 4-0. Another single by Nick Castellanos chased Blue Jays starter Jaime Garcia. Blaine Hardy gave 2 runs back over 6 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. Nick Castellanos’ 7th inning home run, and his 3rd three hit game in a row, put the Tigers ahead by what would be the final score, 5-2. Shane Greene picked up his 14th save of the season.

On Saturday, Matthew Boyd faced off against J.A. Happ. Each gave up 4 runs, but Boyd gave the Tigers 7 innings to Happ’s 5. That gave the Tigers a chance to get to Toronto’s bullpen. John Hicks’ 2 run RBI single in the 8th was enough for the Tigers to extend their winning streak to 4 games. Louis Coleman’s perfect 8th inning made him the pitcher of record. He improved to 3-0 on the season. Joe Jimenez pitched a perfect 9th to pick up his first career save.

Sunday looked like it’d be a pitchers duel between young pitchers Michael Fulmer and Aaron Sanchez. Fulmer scattered 3 singles in his first 5 innings of work. A walk and 2 run home run to Justin Smoak put the Tigers behind 2-0. Leonys Martin answered back with a solo shot in the bottom half of the frame. Fulmer was removed in the 7th after giving up a single and walk to the first two batters. Warwick Saupold came in to retire Devon Travis. It was downhill from there. He allowed 4 hits, including 2 doubles, to the next 5 batters before striking out Kendrys Morales to end the inning. Randal Grichuk put the game out of reach with a 2 run home run in the top of the 8th. The Tigers fought back with 3 runs off of 3 singles, a walk, and a strike out inducing wild pitch, but could not close the gap and fell 8-4.

Game 59: Recap

Monday was supposed to be an off day for the Tigers, but they had to make up two postponed games against the Yankees. It was a day/night double header, starting with Luis Severino against Drew VerHagen. Miguel Cabrera greeted Severino with a RBI double in the 1st inning to put the Tigers ahead 1-0. Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres answered with a home run in the 3rd inning to tie the game. It all came crashing down in the 4th inning. The first 6 Yankees either reached or circled the bases VerHagen was tagged for 6 additional runs. With a pitcher as dominant as Luis Severino on the mound, there wasn’t much the Tigers could do. The Tigers took advantage of a 2 out error by Gleyber Torres to get a run back, but Severino kept the Tigers offense in check all afternoon with 8 innings of 4 hit ball. As soon as Severino was lifted for Jonathan Goodrum in the 9th, the Tigers began their rally. A pair of RBI doubles by Niko Goodrum and Jose Iglesias gave the Tigers some life, but Aroldis Chapman was able to strike out pinch hitter Victor Martinez to end the game.

Game 60: Recap

The Tigers got their revenge in the nightcap. RBI doubles by James McCann and Jeimer Candelario put the Tigers ahead 3-1. That’s all Mike Fiers would need as he gave up 2 runs, with 6 hits and 6 strikeouts, in 5 2/3’s innings. Miguel Caberera and Victor Martinez hit consecutive RBI doubles in the 7th to provide an insurance run for a Tigers bullpen that gave up 1 hit against 8 strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Aaron Judge provided 5 of the 14 Yankee punchouts, and ended with a rare 0-5 with 5 strikeouts box score. That’s a feat so rare it doesn’t have an official name, but the 8 strikeouts on the day was even rarer in that it is the new record for K’s in a double header. That’s a feat that the Tigers pitching staff can take pride in. It was a good ending to a wild week at Comerica Park.

 

With the nightcap split, the Tigers improved to 29-32 on the season. The good news is the Tigers are only 1 win behind the Indians and sit in second place in the AL Central. The bad news is that they are 4 games back in the loss column, with a 9-18 road record and negative run differential on the season. The Tigers go on the road to face the Boston Red Sox before coming back home to face the Indians in what promises to be an exciting series this weekend. With no pressure to succeed this season, and more help on the way with a top draft pick selected this week, there’s nothing to do but kick back and enjoy the wild ride that is 2018 Detroit baseball.

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