Moving to a New Domain!

This is my last post that will be on ttowntiger.wordpress.com. I will definitely continue to write about Tiger’s baseball, but it will now be at the website ttowntiger.com. As of today, the site is extremely raw, but there are many changes coming in the next few weeks that should make everything a lot better. Although baseball season is over until next March when spring training starts, there is still a lot that will be going on in the offseason and I will make sure to keep you up to date whether it be over Twitter or over a full article on my new website. Thanks for reading and I’m very excited to get everything up and running on the new site! Follow me on Twitter @TTownTiger for the most up to date news, and try and enjoy the coming months without baseball, go Tigers!

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One Last Hoo-Rah for the Season

I vowed to myself at the beginning of the playoffs that I wouldn’t write an article while the Tigers were still alive. Due to the circumstances that they face going into tonight’s game, I have no choice but to write something. As most of you know, tonight is game four of the World Series between our Detroit Tigers, and the San Francisco Giants. You may also know that the Tigers are down three games to none in the series, which means tonight the Giants have a chance to sweep the Tigers and win the 2012 World Series. There have been twenty three World Series’ where a team has gone up three games to none, and out of those twenty three series’, no team has ever came back from that deficit to win it; in fact only three teams have even gone on to force a game five. Basically what I’m trying to say here is that if there were a time to panic and give up as a fan, it would be now. The odds are not in the Tigers favor, and honestly, it really stinks.

I’m going to try and put a positive spin on this article, but it will be extremely hard, because there are not many positives to look at for the Tigers right now. Other than game one where Justin Verlander forgot he was Justin Verlander, the starting pitching has continued to do extremely well. In game two, Doug Fister took a line drive off of the head and continued to pitch fantastic. He battled his heart out at the risk of a very serious injury and kept his team within one run until he was pulled out of the game. Kudos to you Doug, you are truly the man. Anibal Sanchez was great last night for his third straight start of the postseason. He struggled early giving up two runs in two innings, but settled in nicely going seven innings with only two runs. Both Fister and Sanchez have been the losing pitchers in their games. The bullpen has been bad, but they aren’t the reason that the Tigers are in a three to nothing hole. Valverde has completely fallen apart, giving up three runs in game one while only recording one out (the out being a Tim Lincecum strikeout in a full count). Drew Smyly looked extremely nervous in game two walking a few batters, and then Octavio Dotel also wasn’t sharp either. Benoit looked better last night, but he his typical services haven’t been needed in this series yet. Also, Phil Coke continues to be an inspiration to young left handed pitchers (myself included) by putting together a marvelous postseason. He’s faced four batters on the World Series, and he has struck all of them out. Stay classy, Phil.

The reason why the Tigers are on the verge of being swept tonight is solely because the offense can not get any big hits whatsoever. I could give you the whole stat line on what has gone wrong for them so far, but you don’t want to see it, you may vomit. They have scored three combined runs in three games, and all three of the runs came in game one when they lost 8-3 anyway. Arrogant fans will continue to blame management and the lack of bullpen for the losses, but the reality of baseball is if you don’t score runs, you will not win games. Quite a simple concept actually, but it is much harder to do than it looks, trust me. It really stinks that the offense is going back to mid May form in the middle of the biggest series of their lives, but that is exactly what’s happening, and it is pitiful to watch. Whoops, I just remembered I was going to try and make this a positive article. Not going so well yet, is it?

I’m not going to sit here and tell all of you that you shouldn’t lose faith in this team. They have shown no signs of life yet, so why should there be any reasons to have faith that they can make up a three to nothing deficit in the World Series? Theoretically, it could happen. They have won four games in a row before, and if they start hitting, they could very well do it again. The odds are definitely against them, but it can happen. From here on out, every single game that the Tigers play is an elimination game. Their backs are about as far against the wall as they can possibly be, so how are they going to respond tonight? Will they come out firing on all cylinders and beat up on one of the best pitchers in the game in the Giant’s Matt Cain, or will they go quietly again in game four and get swept at home to lose the World Series? I truly have no idea what is going to happen, and any expert that makes a prediction tonight also doesn’t know what they are talking about. Baseball is a very funny game where anything can happen, so to try and predict it is about as ridiculous as trying to predict when the world will end.

I will be in attendance tonight, and if the Tigers win, I will be happy. Will my hope be restored that this team can come back and do something that has never been done before? Probably not. Every game is different, so each day must be taken one at a time. Don’t think about yesterday, and don’t think about tomorrow. The Tigers need to worry about what they are going to do today, and if they win, then they can think about tomorrow. You don’t have to have any faith in this team, faith in them isn’t going to win them the World Series. Pitching well and hitting well will win them the World Series, and it might just be too little too late for the offense now. Max Scherzer will toe the rubber for the Tigers tonight against possibly the National Leagues best, Matt Cain. The Giants were down three games to one against the Cardinals in the NLCS, and now they are one win away from sweeping the World Series. Good for them. We can only hope that the Tigers will have something to say about that tonight, but the game is solely in their hands. Like I said, no team has ever come back from a three game deficit to win the World Series, so the odds are stacked against the Tigers. Baseball is a crazy sport, and many crazy things have happened in it. I’m not saying it will happen, I’m not even saying they are going to win tonight, but maybe, just maybe, the 2012 Detroit Tigers can pull off the most crazy thing the game has ever seen.

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Presenting Your 2012 AL Central Division Champions, the Detroit Tigers!

I’m so happy right now, I don’t even know how to start this post! The Tigers are your 2012 AL Central Division champions and are going to the playoffs again, but you probably already knew that. I’m just so excited I want to keep saying it over and over again! It was a roller coaster of a season, but the boys got it done in the end, and now baseball for the time being, will continue. I couldn’t contain myself last night. I was in my basement till 12:30 in the morning jumping up and down and watching the Tigers celebrate in their swimming goggles. I did the same thing last year, but the feeling I got when they clinched was just as amazing. I’ll never play for the Tigers, but watching/listening to every single game this year made me feel like I was apart of it last night. I think I may have even shed a few tears…

Just when it seemed like the Tigers were waving the white flag, they completely turned it around and now they get to celebrate. It helped that the White Sox choked, but the Tigers have also been on a pretty nice hot streak and have been winning games multiple ways lately. At the beginning of the season, a division championship was expected, but after many rough patches, that came into question with many fans. The whole team was scrutinized all year for all of the flaws that had been Through all of the hardships though, the Tigers have come out on top for the second straight year, something that hasn’t been done in their organization since 1934-1935. It’s a truly great day to be a Detroit Tigers fan.

Through the things that have gone wrong for this team, the things that have gone right have now officially outweighed them. Miguel Cabrera is two games from winning the triple crown, and hopefully the MVP, Prince Fielder has been well worth his money, Justin Verlander has put together another Cy Young caliber season, and guys like Austin Jackson, Andy Dirks, Max Scherzer, and Doug Fister have all put together marvelous seasons in the shadow of the three superstars. I’ve said it many times before, but I have to say it again; the Detroit Tigers are going to the playoffs again. This time though, hopefully the ride won’t come to a premature halt; this time, let’s all hope they can go al the way.

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Short Thoughts on Sunday

To contrast my extremely long article from yesterday, I will make this one an extremely short one. The Tigers won today and the White Sox lost. Division lead is up to three games. Magic number is now one. If the Tigers win one more game, they clinch the playoffs. If the White Sox lose one more game, the Tigers clinch the playoffs. It’s a simple as that. End of story. One more win Tigers, I believe in you.

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End of the Season Thoughts

After tonights win against the Minnesota Twins, only four more games remain in the regular season. As I right this I can’t help but think about how fast this season has seemed to go. There have been many upsides to this season, but also many downsides to it. Miguel Cabrera’s chase for a Triple Crown and an MVP award along with Austin Jackson’s unbelievable turn around are just two of many good things that have gone on this year with the Tigers. The lack of defense and the many background players having unproductive years are just two of the many downsides. I like this team a lot, and I’m not talking about the team as in Detroit Tigers, because I’m a diehard fan no matter what they do, but instead I’m talking about the players on this team. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, I like the individual players on this team and would like nothing more than too watch these guys pull off something that hasn’t been done in almost thirty years in Detroit. Maybe it’s the stories like Quintin Berry and Darin Downs’ where they have had to endure many years of minor league ball and are finally in the majors making the most of their opportunities. Maybe it’s the whole team first, me later demeanor that the superstars Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Justin Verlander have shown throughout the course of this long season. I don’t know, I guess I’m just rambling a bit now. The bottom line is these guys as individuals have a lot of character, and even though I’m only sixteen years old, I’m huge on character.

Let’s be honest and not fool ourselves, the Tigers have not played we’ll enough all season to truly deserve a playoff spot. They are in the weakest division in the AL, and the White Sox have helped them build this two game lead by losing eight out of their last ten games. For Tiger fans, this is not the season that they expected the Tigers to have coming into it. I’m here to tell you something that you probably already know, but can never be repeated enough; baseball is an odd sport. There are one hundred and sixty two games in a season, and every single one of them means something. Each team is always playing for something, whether it is for a playoff spot, ruining a potential playoff teams chances, or even just for the pride of getting one more win. The Cleveland Indians have had a horrific season, mainly the second half of the season, but winning those two games in Chicago against the White Sox in the their most meaningful series of the year up to that point is just about the best example I can give of a team is always playing for something. The White Sox were, and frankly still are vying for a playoff spot, but they couldn’t beat the Indians in two games, and now they sit two games back of the Tigers for the division crown. I strongly dislike the Indians, but as a true Tiger fan, I can’t praise them enough for possibly closing the door on what had been a remarkable season for the White Sox.

So now back to why baseball is an odd sport. I have already told you that this has not been a pretty season. Nothing has come easy to this team, and you’ve watched the games, you would agree for sure. Through all of the defensive miscues, all of the strikeouts with runners on base, and all of the games blown by the highly inconsistent bullpen, the Detroit Tigers are still in first place. That’s the beauty of this game; that’s why I have such a deep love for baseball and want to be around the game for the rest of my life even though I am extremely young right now. Things can change so fast from game to game, it’s sometimes unbelievable! Two weeks ago the Tigers were three games back and fading, the White Sox on the other hand were in cruise control and had a three game lead in the division. As you know, things have drastically changed. Since then the White Sox have completely choked, and while the Tigers are still not playing pretty, they are grinding games out and getting it done. As a realist, I will admit that I definitely had my doubts about this team going into the final two weeks to play, but like I said, they have pulled it together just enough to possibly gut out the division.

At the beginning of the season, this was suppose to be THE team. They looked to have a juggernaut of an offensive lineup and were early favorites to win the World Series. Sadly, guys like Delmon Young, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila, and especially Brennan Boesch have all had extremely down years in their offensive production numbers. As it stands, Boesch has actually lost his starting job to Quintin Berry who continues to provide sparks to this team in numerous ways. But although those guys have struggled, some players have actually emerged and taken advantage of opportunities. I’ve already mentioned Berry, but you can’t forget about Andy Dirks. Dirks seems to be the biggest grinder on the team. He has taken his everyday job in the outfield by the horns this year and has quietly put together a fantastic season. He spent a lot of time on the DL, which really hurt this team, but now he is back and is getting it done in multiple ways also; example his slide into second base the other night against the Royals to break up a double pay and assure the winning run would score. Austin Jackson is another player that has really emerged this year. People obviously know about the raw talent he possess, but questions were raised last year after he struck out to much and wasn’t getting on base enough as a leadoff hitter. This year has been a completely different story. Jackson has cut down on his strikeouts and is getting on base more, making him one of the best leadoff hitters in the game; not to mention he is still playing Gold Glove Caliber defense. Finally, I can’t forget about the Dynamic Duo, the Super Best Friends, or whatever you want go call them. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have more than earned their lunch money this year. If the season would’ve ended today, Cabrera would win the Triple Crown and hopefully the MVP Award. Need I say more about him? Prince has had marvelous numbers also hitting for a high average, driving in over one hundred runs, and most importantly protecting Cabrera so he gets more opportunities at having quality at bats. Those two honestly can’t get much better.

For the most part, starting pitching has also been a plus all year. Coming into the season, the Tigers were in search of a fifth starter, and they found that in rookie Drew Smyly. Since then Drew has lost his spot, been promoted and demoted a few times, pitched out of the bullpen, and is now back in the rotation pitching in place of the injured Max Scherzer, and I’ll get to Max later for sure. Drew has had a nice, steady season. Personally, I think he has pitched himself back into the rotation since Rick Porcello has mightily struggled for the better part of two months now. Nonetheless he has done very well for a rookie and may play a big role in the Tigers starting rotation in the coming years. Doug Fister has been off and on the DL twice this year, and now that he is fully healthy he is repeating what he did last year for the Tigers in the second half of the year. Now onto Max. Even though Max Scherzer is injured and may have to rest his shoulder until the playoffs (hopefully), he has been amazing. Subtract three or four absolutely horrendous starts at the beginning of the year, Max is right in the Cy Young talks right now. Until his injury, he was leading the majors in strikeouts, and had been statistically the best pitcher in the AL since the All Star break. Hopefully Max heals soon and can make a strong comeback in the rotation for the playoffs. Then there’s Justin Verlander. Yep, that’s all I need to say about him because all you have to do is read the name and know what he has done this year.

The regular season ends Wednesday night for the Tigers. It is a bittersweet ending considering the regular season is over, but hopefully there will still be playoffs to watch. Through all the ups and downs of the season, this team has come out on top. With great starting pitching and two of the best hitters in the game, this team is built for October. Yes, the back end of the bullpen has been a little shaky, but those guys are veterans. They will come through when it is needed; they know how to handle high stakes situations. Even though it has not gone the way it was expected to go, the Tigers are staring the playoffs and beyond right in the face right now. They have a two game lead in the division with four games left; it’s their’s to lose now. I’ve stuck with this team all year, and many other fans have too, obviously. This can still very well be their year, through everything that has happened, they are right there and once they get to the playoffs, all bets are off. I believe in the Detroit Tigers.

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Art Class Thoughts

Well, I’m in art class, I don’t have any assignments, and I’m giving up on drawing my Don Kelly children’s book; so that basically leaves me with writing another article. Probably just another short one, but it still feels good to actually write something again. For the first time since September 2nd, the Tigers are in first place thanks to a White Sox loss to the Cleveland Indians yesterday afternoon. They are not alone on top of the AL Central Division, as they are tied with the Sox; but nonetheless, first place is first place. In his short tenure with the Tigers, Anibal Sanchez has shown flashes of pure dominance, and other flashes of pure nothingness. Last night was just pure dominance from him. Sanchez threw a complete game shutout against the Royals striking out 10 and only allowing 3 hits. If Sanchez was waiting to have a a huge breakout game to show the Tigers that he belongs, then last night was surely it. If this is a sign that he has caught fire and is ready to go for a playoff run, then the rest of the playoff teams need to watch out for the Tigers. Yes, I understand that they played the Royals last night, but Sanchez still commanded his fastball extremely well and had all of his off speed working too, meaning he very well could’ve done just as well against any other team in the AL. Sanchez is no joke of a pitcher. He has had a lot of his success in his career in the NL, so hopefully he has finally adjusted to the AL and will be a huge help to the Tigers rotation in his final start of the year and hopefully the playoffs.

The Tigers won the game 2-0. It probably should’ve been 7-0, but a win is a win. Detroit got their only 2 runs in the first inning, and then failed to drive in runners on base the rest of the game. Bruce Chen pitched for the Royals, and although he had a high pitch count and a lot of hits, he managed to make big pitches to big players when he needed too. The Tigers actually left the bases loaded twice, not managing to score either times. So although they won, they have to do a better job with runners in scoring position if they are going to pull of a division win. Bottom line though is that they won. A win is a win, no matter how it comes, and the Tigers may need every win they can get if they are going to get to the playoffs and beyond. As tough as this season has been, it is still very exciting to be in a pennant race even if the expectation was to runaway with the division. Eight more games left, Tigers and White Sox in a deadlock for first place; doesn’t get anymore exciting than this. Like the cheesy commercial has said all year, every game counts.

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Lunch Time Quanderings

As of today the Tigers record is 81-72, there are nine games left on the regular season schedule, and they are one game back of the division leading Chicago White Sox. Obviously this has been a season of many high expectation, but it has turned into a season of many disappointments. Although many fans have, including myself, have been frustrated to the point of giving up on this team many times this season, the Tigers still sit in a prime position to steal the AL Central Division title right from the under the White Sox. It is true that the Tigers have not played the best baseball this year, but they have grinded this season out and have now been given the opportunity to completely redeem themselves with a playoff spot. I’m not giving them a free pass for all of their faults, but I am saying that they have a chance to make some of it right. The White Sox have had a very rough week, losing five straight before beating the woeful Indians last night on an Adam Dunn 3 run homer in the 8th inning.

It is now or never for the Tigers; they finish the season with three more games against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica, then three games in Minnesota, and finally three more in Kansas City. Although the slogan is starting to become cliche, it is very true right now: Every game counts. The White Sox finish off the season with two more games against the Indians in Chicago, then four games against Tampa Bay, and lastly three in Cleveland. With all of the disappointment this season, the division is still right in the claws of the Tigers. Fans, there is nothing wrong with being frustrated, but it’s not over yet. Buckle up your seat belts because we may all be in for one of the most wild endings to a season in recent memory. If they fail, oh well, then it will just be a testament to the rest of the season. If they succeed, than look out, because this team is built for October with three great starting pitchers and two superstar hitters clogging up the middle of the lineup. The Tigers can do it. They are all professionals and can handle themselves through the final, high stakes week of the season. But will they handle themselves through this final week and pull off what was expected at the beginning of the season? Tune into the next, and also final nine games of the season to find out. Go Tigers.

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