Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tigers pounce on birds

1. After going 1-10 early this year, this was an encouraging night from Alex Avila. After Bergeson got up 0-2 twice, Energizer (AA) worked the count full then 2-2 before smacking a double off scoreboard and deep home run, accounting for four RBI in his first two at bats. In the 8th inning, he added a two-out base knock that brought in Raburn for his fifth RBI of the game. Already, he has three more clutch hits than Gerald Lard had in 2010. Somewhere, Lard is eating a gallon of Rum Raisin ice cream and crying.

2. JV looks like he came to camp in shape this year which is a first. After three years of terrible April performances (7-11, 5.02 ERA), JV has been popping from his first spring training start. He is firing strikes and leaning heavy on fastball with deuce and off-speed just as change of pace. Shortly after Tigers went up 4-0, JV immediately gave two back in the bottom of the frame . . . irritating. Looks like he still knows how to open the door after a Tiger rally. What I want to see from JV is better control - he needs to consistently make it to the 7th and 8th every fifth day. Tonight, he went 8 innings with 108 pitches which is impressive and rests the bullpen.

3. Tigers were patient tonight - five three-ball counts before the third inning ended. They looked patient and somewhat prepared with a plan to work deep into counts which is a departure from Leyland teams of the past five years. Well, except for Brennan who still loves the first shitty pitch he sees.

4. Watching game on Baltimore feed and hard not to be excited for the Orioles with Showalter. Reminds me a little of when we first got Leland and I will still excited about his crusty old ass. We sucked for so long that just having some attitude was good enough. Wonder how long the honeymoon will last in Baltimore when they consistently get out spent by the Sox and Yankees and continue to finish in 3rd or 4th place like always.

5. Cabrera is so pure. Pitchers would probably rather face him with 2-0 count rather than 0-2. In the 4th inning, journeyman reliever Rupe got out to a quick 0-2 count and starting sweating. Cabrera played with him like a tiger batting at a goat. Most hitters shorten up and hope to slap an opposite field single. Cabrera tightened the gloves and took a batting cage swing at a lame ass slider, then stood and watched it for an uncomfortable pause as the ball landed in the straight-away center field bleachers. In the 9th inning, Cabrera laced a ground ball so hard that it stuck in the webbing of the third baseman's glove. He made an amazing play but couldn't get the ball out to make a throw. It was scored correctly as a hit.

6. Inge struck out three times tonight representing 75% of Tiger punch outs. Seriously Inge, you are such a warrior. Those feeble swings at sliders in the dirt showed a lot of heart. In related news, top prospect Nick Castellanos got his first start for Western Michigan. Give him one week in A ball and bring him up to the show. Let Inge go to war for some other team in need of a shitty #8 hitter with true grit.

6. Yes, this is my first post in eight months as baby threw off my blogging schedule. To all my 22 loyal followers, I will try to redeem myself with more shitty reporting of the best franchise in sports. For those interested, I dropped another $1,000 on the Tigers to win more than the Vegas line which was 84 wins this year. Seems like another lock coming my way which will be used to pay for more Tiger gear for my son.

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