My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly #8

It was an up and down week in Tigers baseball. We learned that Miguel Cabrera will miss the remainder of the season due to injury. There were exciting wins, and losses, as the Tigers faced division rivals at home.

The Tigers started the week off on the road against the team with the best record in the MLB: the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers were only able to manage 3 hits, two by Nick Castellanos, against knuckleballer Steven Wright. Former Tiger JD Martinez hit his 20th home run of the season as Detroit fell 6-0 in the opener. In the second game, Blaine Hardy picked up his first loss of the season after giving up 5 runs and 2 home runs in 6 innings of work. The Tigers bats were move alive with 7 hits, but the Tigers went just 1-6 with runners in scoring position as they fell 7-1.

Game 62: Recap

Game 63: Recap

The Tigers struck back early on getaway day in Boston. Jalen Beeks was greeted with a pair of doubles, 2 RBI single, and 2 run home run by Leonys Martin in the first inning of his major league debut. The five run 1st inning was all Matthew Boyd needed as he gave up just 2 ER on four hits and 4 walks in 6 1/3 innings of work. The bullpen kept the Red Sox off the board the rest of the way as the Tigers left Fenway with a 7-2 victory.

The Tigers then came home to face the Indians in a crucial weekend series. It started Friday with a pitchers duel between Michael Fulmer and Trevor Bauer. Each gave up just one run in 7 and 8 innings of work respectively. Nick Castellanos hit a RBI double to put the Tigers ahead 1-0 in the 1st, but Yonder Alonso answered back with a RBI double of his own to tie the game. Fulmer gave way to Joe Jimenez, who struck out two in his inning of work, before Shane Greene came on in the 9th. A 2 out single almost ended the inning after a baserunning gaffe by Jose Ramirez, but the Tigers couldn’t get the ball to third base to take advantage. Jason Kipnis’ 3 run home run sealed the deal and Detroit lost the opener, 4-1.

Game 65: Recap

Saturday’s game was just as tense a pitchers duel. Mike Fiers got the better of Mike Clevinger. Fiers pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball with 8 punchouts. Clevinger was matching him until the 7th, when 3 consecutive singles and a RBI walk put the Tigers ahead 2-1. Fiers was pulled in the 8th, and former Tiger Rajai Davis greeted Louis Coleman with a lead off solo home run to tie the game. The Tigers had their chances in extra innings, with a pair of one out singles and an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera to load the bases in the 10th, and a 2 out triple by Iglesias in the 11th, but couldn’t convert. A 2 out single and a walkoff 2 run home run by Jeimer Candelario gave the Tigers a 4-2 victory. Warwick Saupold picked up the win with 2 perfect innings to improve to 4 wins and 1 loss on the season.

The rubber match was a matchup between Cy Young winner Corey Kluber versus Artie Lewicki. Leonys Martin would provide the only offense of the afternoon with a RBI groundout and solo home run. Lewicki gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, and the two relievers who followed him, Drew VerHagen and Zac Reininger, gave up 3 runs a piece as the Tigers lost 9-2.

Game 67: Recap

The Tigers continued their homestand Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins. The good news is that Blaine Hardy outpitched Jake Odorizzi. Each gave up 2 runs, but Hardy went an extra inning for the quality start and gave up only 3 hits and a walk to Odorizzi’s 5 inning, 4 hits, 4 walk performance. The bad news was Miguel Cabrera ruptured his bicep during his at bat in the 3rd inning. The Tigers kept fighting, with a RBI triple by Jose Iglesias and a sacrifice by Leonys Martin giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. But Hardy was lifted in the 7th after giving up a leadoff single. Louis Coleman gave up 2 walks around 2 outs, and Warwick Saupold gave up a grand slam to Ehire Adrianza to put Detroit behind 5-2. The Tigers got within a run with a RBI infield single by John Hicks and a Twins error on the play, but the Twins got an insurance run and the Tigers fell 6-4.

Game 68: Recap

Wednesday was a matchup of promising young pitchers Matthew Boyd and Jose Berrios. The Twins went ahead early on a 2 run single by Eduardo Escobar. Boyd would only give up 2 walks in the next 4 innings before leaving in the 5th. Niko Goodrum’s 6th home run of the year made it 2-1, and 5 singles in 6 plate appearances off Addison Reed in the 8th inning put the Tigers ahead 5-2. The Tigers bullpen only gave up 1 hit and 1 walk in 4 innings of work, with Joe Jimenez picking up the win to improve to 3 wins and no losses on the year, and Shane Greene finishing the game with a perfect inning and 2 strikeouts for his 16th save.

Thursday’s rubber match used the same formula. Michael Fulmer gave up a run early on a RBI single to Eduardo Escobar in the 1st inning. He wouldn’t give up another run the rest of the way, providing 7 innings of work and striking out 4 against 1 walk. In the bottom of the 7th, the bats came alive and provided the run support. John Hicks hit a leadoff triple and was driven on a sac fly by Niko Goodrum to tie the game. After Jose Iglesias drew a 2 out hit by pitch and JaCoby Jones provided the heroics with a go ahead 2 run home run. Joe Jimenez pitched a perfect 8th inning and Shane Greene closed it out for his 17th save. As the pitcher of record in the 7th, Fulmer got the win to improve to 3-5 on the season.

 

A 3-3 homestand and 4-5 over the last 3 series puts the Tigers 4 games under .500 at 33-37. That’s good for second place in the AL Central. But the Tigers have played 40 of their first 70 games at home. The splits are pronounced, with Detroit going 23-17 at Comerica Park but 10-20 on the road. The 4.5 games back is also misleading, as the Tigers are 6 back in the loss column and the Indians have played more games on the road than in Cleveland. This upcoming stretch will tell a lot about the Tigers fortunes. They spend the next 10 days on the road, with a 3 game weekend series against the 4th place Chicago White Sox and a 2 game series against the NL Central basement dwelling Cincinnati Reds. These are must win games against sub .400 teams. The Tigers then go to Cleveland for some pivotal games before returning home at the end of the month. They’ve shown a lot of fight so far without future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, will the rally goose follow them on this trip through the midwest?

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