August 29th, 2014 at 10:36 AM
By Max DeMara
For months, people have been waiting for Alex Avila to come around at the plate. With an average hanging around .220, it hasn't exactly happened for the catcher.
Thursday, though, Avila showed signs of pulling through his trouble, contributing two important RBI's in a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees. Early, Avila connected on a sacrifice fly to put Detroit on top. Then, he clubbed the game winning hit off Shawn Kelley in the bottom of the ninth.
For Avila, the final hit was notable for two reasons. One, it came with runners on base and the game hanging in the balance, obviously. Two, it came after a pair of other Tigers had failed to get the job done. Both Nick Castellanos and Torii Hunter had struck out, leading to concerns that Detroit's offense would once again squander the opportunity to break through in a big spot.
In those situations during 2014, Avila has come up small, often striking out or failing to make productive contact. The fact he went first pitch swinging and came away with a hot shot was notable. Additionally, the fact he made a productive out early was also important. Two good at-bats produced runs.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 28th, 2014 at 5:12 PM
By Max DeMara
DETROIT—Thursday morning, the Detroit Tigers didn't know what to expect from Kyle Lobstein. By Thursday afternoon, it was clear he had delivered in a big way. Detroit walked off against the New York Yankees, gutting out a 3-2 win after both starter and his bullpen had held the fort well.
Whatever nerves Lobstein may have had making his first start at Comerica Park were calmed early with a quick first inning, as he set the Yankees down in order. He received some quick run support for confidence in the second after Nick Castellanos and Don Kelly singled and Alex Avila clubbed a sacrifice fly.
New York struck back in the third, getting a run off a Jacoby Ellsbury single. The run was made possible by a Castllanos throwing error at third. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Brian McCann plated a runner thanks to a groundout. Detroit pulled back even in the fifth thanks to a Rajai Davis single.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 27th, 2014 at 11:28 PM
By Max DeMara
DETROIT—Early in his Detroit Tigers' career, David Price had been perhaps a bit too good to be true. Wednesday night, in the midst of an ugly 8-4 loss to the New York Yankees, he was perhaps a bit too bad to be true.
Price was making his second home start, and it got off to an interesting beginning which would prove emblematic of the whole night .Price unimpressively scattered a single and a walk around three strikeouts. The erratic theme continued. In the third, Jacoby Ellsbury scored on a Derek Jeter single to give the Yankees an early lead. A pair of doubled by Mark Texiera and Carlos Beltran made it 4-0.
Four consecutive hits later, the Yankees led 6-0, and Price was chased in the mist of his second shortest start ever. The lead swelled to 8-0 on a pair of sacrifice flies before the inning ended. Offensively, Detroit was a lost cause against Shane Greene early, but did get a run in the fourth off a Miguel Cabrera single, and via a Victor Martinez home run in the sixth.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 27th, 2014 at 4:26 PM
By Max DeMara
DETROIT—Injury news that the Detroit Tigers figured would get better by September got a whole lot worse on Tuesday with word that Anibal Sanchez is facing a setback with his injured right arm.
While throwing on Monday, Sanchez felt pain in his right arm that according to the pitcher, felt like a needle going into muscle. That discomfort was apparently caused by scar tissue. The injury might not be season threatening just yet, but it's serious enough for the team to have that concern now.
During the rest of the night, many including Sanchez himself feared he could be done for the season, but Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus was a bit more bullish on Sanchez's chances of returning following Detroit's 5-2 series opening win against the New York Yankees.
"We really aren't sure what it is," Ausmus said when asked if Sanchez's status had changed. "We're going to get another opinion. By no means has he been written off. This is not something, at this point, that we've considered the end of (Anibal) Sanchez's season. We still think there's a shot he can come back."Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 27th, 2014 at 11:12 AM
By Max DeMara
During last July's MLB All-Star game, a commercial was unveiled for Nike touting "Re2pect" as a tagline, with plenty of different people nationwide tipping their caps to the soon retiring Derek Jeter.
No matter how beautiful the message might have been, personally, Jeter would probably reject such marketing efforts as ridiculous. That much was clear in the bowels of rainy Comerica Park Tuesday night, as Jeter met with the media and humbly discussed his final trip to his home state of Michigan as a player.
Plenty of concepts were touched on with the New York Yankees' shortstop including family trips to Tiger Stadium, team rooting interests and even potential plans for hang gliding post-retirement (quickly rebuffed), but none mattered as much as that seven letter word which has come to define a single career.
Jeter was asked a simple question about treating rookie players like veterans, and if that was something which was preached to him from a young playing age by a patriarchal veteran. For the captain, it wasn't a playing lesson so much as a matter of simple common courtesy to fellow human beings.Read more... Join the Conversation...