In the 14th edition of My Tigers Weekly we find ourselves at that time in the season when fans are either calculating magic numbers or figuring out who will be a September call up. With the AL Central well out of reach, the focus has been on the past and future rather than the present. The Tigers had an all Chicago 6 game homestand this week and honored old friends and met new faces. Detroit also saw nicknames on the uniforms during Players Weekend, with the names ranging from Mahtook’s creative Night Hawk to Castellanos’ less creative “Nick.”
The homestand got off to a promising start Tuesday against the Cubs. The Tigers got on the board early with 2 runs off of 3 hits in the 1st inning against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Jeimer Candelario hit his first of two doubles on the evening, Nick Castellanos picked up his 70th RBI on the season, and Victor Martinez’ RBI single paced a 3 hit night for the soon retiring DH. That’s all Jordan Zimmerman would need, as he went 6 innings giving up only a solo home run to Anthony Rizzo to pick up the quality starter and improve to 6-5 on the season. The bullpen gave the Tigers 3 innings of 1 hit relief as they went on to win 2-1.
First-inning runs back @JZimmermann27‘s quality start in our victory vs. the Cubs.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 22, 2018
But the Cubs offense woke up in the 5th inning on Wednesday. A 2 run home run by David Bote began the troubles for Francisco Liriano, who gave up a third run before escaping the inning. He would not be so lucky in the 6th, being charged with a 4th run before leaving with one out. The offense couldn’t pick him up. Despite 8 hits, including 7 off of Jon Lester and 3 on the night by Nick Castellanos, the Tigers went 1-10 with runners in scoring position. The game was put out of reach in the 9th inning when Victor Alcantara gave up home runs to Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo before Louis Coleman was brought in to get the last 2 outs of the inning. The Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the frame and fell 8-2 to split the series.
Game 124: Recap
About 15 hours later the Tigers opened up their 4 game series with the Chicago White Sox. In a day game matchup between Matthew Boyd and James Shields, with Boyd giving up no runs, 6 hits, and striking out 6 for a quality start. The Tigers offense came alive against Shields, with 3 solo home runs from Nick Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook, and the first career home run by Ronnie Rodriguez turning a 2-0 game into a 5-0 Tigers lead. A 2 run double by Jim Adduci chased Shields in the 7th as the Tigers went on to win the opener 7-2.
Nick, Night Hawk and El Felino all homer to back Matty B in our win vs. the White Sox.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 23, 2018
On Friday Michael Fullmer faced off against Reynaldo Lopez. In his first start since June, Fullmer gave up 2 hits and struck out 4 in 4 2/3rd’s innings. Nick Castellanos provided all the run support, with 2 RBI singles and a double play where a run scored. It all unraveled in the 8th inning. All Star Joe Jimenez struck out Matt Davidson to start the 8th, but gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases before Yoan Moncada hit a RBI double. That ended Jimenez’ night and brought in Shane Greene, who was greeted with a game tying RBI single from Jose Abreu before a pair of doubles by David Palka and Tim Anderson made it a 6 run inning. Alex Wilson came in to get the last 2 outs, but by then the damage was done. The Tigers couldn’t add any more runs, and fell 6-3. Joe Jimenez was charged with 4 runs and took the loss while Shane Greene had his 4th blown game of the year. On Saturday it was a matchup of rookie pitchers with Ryan Carpenter facing Lucas Giolito. Unfortunately the White Sox won this matchup, with Giolito only giving up a solo home run to Mikie Mahtook as he limited the Tigers to 3 hits over 7 innings. Carpenter struggled giving up 6 runs in 4 1/3rd innings of work, as the Tigers fell 6-1.
Game 126: Recap
Game 127: Recap
On Sunday the Tigers began the game honoring 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Alan Trammell with a jersey retirement ceremony. It may be awhile before another jersey is honored, although there were calls for Lou Whitaker to be so honored as well as candidates from the Tigers stretch of dominance over the last dozen years. Although the Tigers have spent 2018 looking at the past by honoring former players and the future while giving playing time to the youngsters, the present was not so kind. Michael Kopech took the opportunity to get his first career win by only allowing 1 run in 6 innings of work. Despite 12 hits on the afternoon, they could only manage 2 runs, including Ronnie Rodriguez’ second career home run in the 9th inning. The Tigers fell for the third time in a row by a final score of 7-2.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 26, 2018
“What really hit home for me was how Tiger fans appreciated hard work, hustle and effort — simple things that go a long way.”
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 27, 2018
Game 128: Recap
The 2-4 homestand dropped the Tigers to 34-34 at Comerica Park on the season. This is troubling for a team that has ranked among the worst in baseball on the road. The Tigers now embark on a 9 game/3 city road trip that takes them to Kansas City for 2 games, New York City for 4, and Chicago for the last 3 games against the White Sox for the year. We will see whether the Tigers continue to fight and play the spoiler role, or commit fully to a rebuild with the last few days of the waiver deadline remaining before rosters expand in September. With the Royals firmly in the AL Central basement and a 1 game lead on the White Sox for 3rd place, there is still a lot of baseball left to play and pride to play for this season.
Be sure to check out My Detroit Sports ‘Fans of the Week’! These fans represented their Detroit pride at Comerica Park this week. All fans chosen will be entered to win an autographed photo from James McCann!