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Not even Houdini himself can explain how Detroit Tigers ace Max Scherzer escaped the bases-loaded jam with no outs in the eighth inning. It was pure magic. Read more Max Scherzer news
Not even Houdini himself can explain how Detroit Tigers ace Max Scherzer escaped the bases-loaded jam with no outs in the eighth inning. It was pure magic. Read more Max Scherzer news
about 5 hours ago
It made some sense when Tigers manager Jim Leyland told the media he might use Max Scherzer in the fourth game of the ALDS. Scherzer is an easy favorite to win the American League's Cy Young Award this year, and leaving him on the bench ...
It made some sense when Tigers manager Jim Leyland told the media he might use Max Scherzer in the fourth game of the ALDS. Scherzer is an easy favorite to win the American League's Cy Young Award this year, and leaving him on the bench for lesser pitchers in an elimination game just screams of leaving the best arrows quivered. Of course, there was a nagging doubt that couldn't be shaken: Hey, can Scherzer even do this relief thing? It's not like he's done it much before. Grant Brisbee:: Max Scherzer's dance with death, pitch by pitch Tuesday Scherzer entered in the seventh, escaped a bases-loaded, no-out scare in the eighth, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Tigers won, 8-6, extending the ALDS to a deciding Game 5 in Oakland Thursday night, and Motown has a new sports epic to recite. He's going to get the credit here, because after throwing the kind of eighth inning he threw, you can do nothing else. Epic poems and myths aren't about those who make it look easy, they're about the ones who overcome those who have been given every advantage. A more overpowering appearance by Scherzer would have carried a lot less drama. This was not the kind of six-up, six-down two-inning total domination performance that would have made fans sit comfortably in their seats and enjoy themselves. If it were, we'd laud it briefly today, talk about Jhonny Peralta's home run and Austin Jackson's last laugh, and Scherzer would be worth nary a mention beyond the recap. Instead, it was a man balancing on the edge, gripping his team's fate in his hands as he wobbled on the precipice, allowing a walk and a double and being asked to take one step closer to the end with an intentional walk and a 3-1 count before gaining purchase and taking step after deliberate step forward with a strikeout, then another, then a fly ball to center for the third out. Hulk Hogan couldn't lift his little Hulkamaniacs and teach them about never giving up if he wasn't first thoroughly beaten, laying broken on the mat with the ref's hand coming down for that final, third slap. Scherzer couldn't become legend without first being a swing away from being the goat. But he wasn't beaten, his team wasn't beaten, the fans weren't beaten, the city wasn't beaten. We looked over the edge, and what we saw didn't look pretty. Max Scherzer may never need to buy a drink in this town again. The legend is made -- bases loaded, no outs, no runs. But, for everyone's sake, let's never stare that emptiness in the face again. We've had the incredible drama. A pleasant denouement and trip to the ALCS is all that remains.
about 5 hours ago
As I pointed out in my ALDS analysis, the Doug Fister / Oakland game looked like a terrible matchup for the Tigers with Fister's sinker going up against Oakland's uppercut swings. The physics gets even worse when you throw high sinkers t...
As I pointed out in my ALDS analysis, the Doug Fister / Oakland game looked like a terrible matchup for the Tigers with Fister's sinker going up against Oakland's uppercut swings. The physics gets even worse when you throw high sinkers to batters looking to launch. Fister's first eight pitches of Game 4 were 2-seam fastballs. Perhaps it was all of the time off, but he was missing high. I watched helplessly, like a spectator watching a boxer forced into the ring blindfolded. I fully expected the season to end with the poor guy getting his head handed to him. Fister threw two sinkers to Coco Crisp with the second about belt-high going for a triple. He followed with five straight 2-seamers to Donaldson that were in the upper half of the zone or above and Josh lined the last one to right for a fortuitous out. Then Jed Lowrie pounded another sinker to left for a hit and a first-inning Oakland lead. Out of necessity, Fister started to mix it up. Perhaps that caused Brandon Moss to miss a high sinker and pop up and Cespedes to miss another high sinker and ground out. On another day, Fister's outing might have ended in the first inning with a crooked number deficit. But, on this day, the blindfolded boxer somehow wobbled back to his corner after one round with a slim chance to win. After some presumably intense discussion in the dugout, only one of Fister's first 10 pitches in the second was a sinker. But the result was a single, wild pitch, and a ground out to leave Seth Smith at third with one out. After a first-pitch 2-seamer missed to Stephen Vogt, Fister went cutter, cutter, curveball to get a comebacker for the second out. But he missed with three sinkers and a 4-seam to walk Eric Sogard. Now Crisp is back up with two on and Jeff Jones is out to talk. He probably advised Fister to stay away from the sinker that he couldn't command and that Crisp had crushed for a triple to start the game. Fister threw everything else he had to Coco starting with curve, change, cutter, curve to get to 2-2. Finally, he tried another sinker, but missed high again. Crisp connected and the ball flew to deep right center. If it goes out, it's 4-0 Oakland and the season may be over. But the biggest part of Comerica swallowed and Torii caught the baseball. Fister wobbled back to his corner again. He'd thrown 50 pitches through two innings, but the score was still only 1-0. Fister spaced out three hits to the next 10 batters and appeared poised to escape the 5th when Lowrie yanked a cutter down the line that Torii just missed pulling back, and Oakland led 3-0. But Jhonny Peralta answered with his three-run shot to tie it. A day earlier, a Detroit starter with more working tools than Fister on this day had responded to the Tigers erasing a three-run deficit by immediately giving up three more. As fans held their breath, Fister answered the bell for the 6th. Pundits speculated that he would only face the right-handed Cespedes with Smyly throwing and four straight lefties scheduled to follow. But after Fister got Yoenis to ground out on a 3-2 changeup, Jim Leyland left him in. And the manager was rewarded as Fister retired Smith and Reddick using nine pitches with nary a sinker in the mix. In 2013, the 2-seam fastball was easily Fister's favorite pitch making up 43.8 percent of his offerings with the curve a distant second at 20.0 percent. In a recent interview, he commented that his goal is to get 27 straight ground balls. In Game 4, he threw 61.5 percent two-seamers in the first inning but quickly realized it wasn't working. After the first, he survived with only 28.6 percent sinkers. Miraculously, he still got 18 outs and gave his team a chance. Peralta, Victor Martinez, Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer provided some of the most thrilling moments of 2013 in Game 4. But none of those moments gets to happen if not for a blindfolded boxer courageously weaving for six rounds against a vicious opponent desperate for a knockout.
about 6 hours ago
Well now, that was a roller coaster ride, wasn't it? Now that our collective hands have stopped shaking, we've breathed a huge collective sigh of relief, and we've changed our collective underthings, we can kick back for 24 hours and bas...
Well now, that was a roller coaster ride, wasn't it? Now that our collective hands have stopped shaking, we've breathed a huge collective sigh of relief, and we've changed our collective underthings, we can kick back for 24 hours and bask in the glow of victory. If you happened to watch Game 4 of the ALDS on TV, you missed out on some fantastic play-by-play calls by "the voice of the Tigers" on radio, Dan Dickerson. Below are six clips that you absolutely must hear. Jhonny Peralta's home run ties the game Bottom of the 5th inning ,Tigers down 3-0. Two men on base, no one out, Peralta at the plate with a 2-2 count. The next pitch brought the Tigers' fanbase back to life. If you can not see this chirbit, listen to it here http://chirb.it/v37e5e Check this out on Chirbit Victor Martinez ties the game again Bottom of the 7th inning, Tigers now down 4-3, facing just 9 more outs until elimination. Martinez leading off the inning, facing Sean Doolittle on an 0-1 count. What happened next? Even Dan Dickerson wasn't entirely sure at first. If you can not see this chirbit, listen to it here http://chirb.it/ar1JPy Check this out on Chirbit Austin Jackson bloops a single, gives the Tigers their first lead Bottom of the 7th inning, score tied 4-4, two outs and runners at first and second. Jackson at the plate, having struck out in all three of his previous three at-bats, facing Doolittle on an 0-2 count. I think it's safe to say most of us were expecting another strikeout to end the rally, but the baseball gods smiled. If you can not see this chirbit, listen to it here http://chirb.it/8zHzyb Check this out on Chirbit Max Scherzer strikes out Vogt - twice Top of the 8th, Tigers ahead 5-4, bases loaded with nobody out. No true Tigers fan was even breathing at this point. Max struck out Josh Reddick for the first out, then went after the Game 2 hero, Steven Vogt. After two quick fouls on Max's nasty fastball, Scherzer came back with a changeup and struck out Vogt twice. If you can not see this chirbit, listen to it here http://chirb.it/NxpHJ3 Check this out on Chirbit Infante doubles and blows the game open Bottom of the 8th, Tigers ahead 5-4, very much needing some insurance runs. After two quick outs, Martinez singled, Dirks walked, and Avila walked to load the bases. A wild pitch by Brett Anderson allowed one run to score, and then Infante decided it was time to clear the bases. If you can not see this chirbit, listen to it here http://chirb.it/mOsscA Check this out on Chirbit Benoit strikes out Seth Smith to end the game Top of the 9th inning, Tigers ahead 8-4. The A's weren't going to go quietly, and Benoit had to face the top of the order. Coco Crisp singled, Josh Donaldson struck out, Jed Lowrie walked, and Brandon Moss grounded out to advance the runners to second and third with two outs. Yoenis Cespedes singled to drive in two runs, making the score 8-6 and bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of home run-threat Seth Smith. It was an incredibly stressful eight-pitch at-bat, but this was the final result. If you can not see this chirbit, listen to it here http://chirb.it/4LDdxf Check this out on Chirbit We'll see you in Oakland tomorrow night.
about 7 hours ago
It wasn't a home run or a gapper. It wasn't a double or a triple. It wasn't a line drive. But it was a hit. A big hit. And Austin Jackson was thrilled to get it. Read more Austin Jackson news
It wasn't a home run or a gapper. It wasn't a double or a triple. It wasn't a line drive. But it was a hit. A big hit. And Austin Jackson was thrilled to get it. Read more Austin Jackson news
about 7 hours ago
Justin Verlander is no longer the pitcher he was. He's no longer dominant. Max Scherzer is now the ace of the Detroit Tigers. Read more Justin Verlander news
Justin Verlander is no longer the pitcher he was. He's no longer dominant. Max Scherzer is now the ace of the Detroit Tigers. Read more Justin Verlander news
about 8 hours ago
Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Jhonny Peralta hits a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning in game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica P...
Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Jhonny Peralta hits a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning in game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski said that Jhonny Peralta wouldn’t be coming back to be the everyday shortstop – they have their shortstop of the future in Jose Iglesias – but it just might be that their lineup of best nine guys exists with Jhonny starting at shortstop. I know Peralta has been in left field the last two days, that he’s hit well, and that he hasn’t yet embarrassed himself in the field, but he’s a big defensive downgrade compared to Dirks. I’m not going to consider the fact that Peralta would be left out of the lineup. He’s been one of (if not the single) best Tigers hitter in this series, and there’s no way Leyland is going to sit him, so the question is simply where to play him. Here are really the two questions the Tigers must answer: (1) Who’s a likely the better hitter versus a right-handed pitcher: Dirks or Iglesias? (2) What’s a better defensive combination: Dirks in left field and Peralta at short, or Peralta in left and Iglesias at short? I think the answer to the first question is obviously Dirks. Neither player has really hit a lick in this postseason (though Dirks did have a big walk on Tuesday night), but Dirks has shown much more hitting promise in his career and would also be gaining the platoon advantage. He’s a possible threat for extra bases where Iglesias is mostly hoping to beat out an infield hit. The second question is less obvious – I would argue that it’s more or less a push in general – but with Justin Verlander on the mound, you’re much less concerned with infield defense than you might otherwise be. He’s a high-strikeout pitcher with relative fly-ball tendencies, so you wouldn’t be expecting a lot of ground balls to field, and Oakland’s lefty-heavy lineup means the bulk of the ground balls that do come are probably headed to the right side of the infield anyway. Also a factor in is the expansive foul territory in Oakland, which means left fielders may have to run a long way in order to catch some fly balls. Dirks has the good range, Peralta has no range. Iglesias would still be available to come off the bench late in the game for extra defense, and the Tigers would have the option to use him for either Peralta at short or the injured Miguel Cabrera at third. Detroit Tigers Should Consider Jhonny Peralta at Shortstop for ALDS Game 5 in Oakland - Motor City Bengals - Motor City Bengals - A Detroit Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 8 hours ago
When Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter walked back out to right field in the top of the eighth inning, he pointed to the fans seated in the front row beyond the right-field wall. Read more Torii Hunter news
When Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter walked back out to right field in the top of the eighth inning, he pointed to the fans seated in the front row beyond the right-field wall. Read more Torii Hunter news
about 9 hours ago
John Bendzinski became a Detroit hero, or a near goat, depending on your perspective when he reached over the railing to help Victor Martinez's fly ball avoid Josh Reddick's glove. The cameras had a few perspectives, and the umpires jud...
John Bendzinski became a Detroit hero, or a near goat, depending on your perspective when he reached over the railing to help Victor Martinez's fly ball avoid Josh Reddick's glove. The cameras had a few perspectives, and the umpires judged that he did not interfere with the ball and sustained the home run call. We tried to prepare for the playoffs with a front-row primer, but apparently it needs an update. The understanding has always been that the fans have the right to the ball once it crosses the imaginary vertical plan extending up from the railing. In other words, if a fan is not reaching over the railing, the fan has the right to the ball. But if the fan reaches over the railing, interference may be called. The pundits' consensus on the Victor Martinez home run is that the ball would have landed over the yellow line without Bendzinski's help, and therefore would have been a home run. Thus there was no interference. However had Bendzinksi not reached over the railing, Josh Reddick may have caught the ball. Reddick was not in the stands, but his glove was higher than the yellow line. Is this a variation of the interference rule? It seems there is now an additional concern. If the ball is heading into the seats but the opponent's outfielder can catch it, and you are in the front row, you should reach out and snatch the ball before the outfielder can get leather on it. Is this really what baseball intends? Think of places with a low outfield railing, such as the left field corner in Dodger Stadium. An outfielder can camp under a fly ball at the wall and catch what would otherwise easily be a home run. Does this mean that if a fan reaches out over the rail, puts his hand in front of the outfielder's glove, and deflects the ball into the stands that it is a home run? Old Tiger Stadium had the opposite case. A fan in the front row of the overhanging right field porch could reach over the railing and catch a fly ball that would otherwise have been caught by the right fielder, twenty feet below him. It was an uncontroversial home run. The Tigers may not have needed VMart's solo home run. They won by two runs after all. John Bendzinski did what most fans would do. When the baseball happened in travel near him, he reached for it. He did not analyze the situation, and if it had been hit by the A's he would likely have had the same reaction. But if the Tigers win the series, it will go down in history as the turning point in the series.
about 9 hours ago
Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer reacts after getting out of a bases loaded situation in the 8th inning of game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Oakland Ath...
Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer reacts after getting out of a bases loaded situation in the 8th inning of game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports Well it certainly didn’t look good mid-way through Tuesday’s torturous Game 4, did it? The Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics played yet another one for the ages in the American League Divisional Series. This game matched, and perhaps upped, the drama of last year’s memorable Game 2. I’ll admit, I was ready to write the Tigers off when it was 3-0. I mean how could you not? I am probably a more optimistic Tigers’ fan than most, and while I didn’t give up, I certainly thought the 3-0 lead while being no-hit into the fifth inning was akin to an 8-0 deficit to the usually potent Tigers’ lineup. Yet the Tigers, led by the bat of Jhonny Peralta of all people, tied the score seemingly out of nowhere. Max Scherzer came in, allowed a run, but settled down and pitched a now classic moment in Tigers’ postseason history after Victor Martinez‘s (almost) fan-aided homer and Austin Jackson‘s redemptive bloop single gave Detroit the lead they would not relinquish. Scherzer came in with a 5-4 lead in the 8th and immediately found trouble, loading the bases with no outs. Running the count to 3-1, Max calmly fanned Josh Reddick with a low and in breaking ball, struck out Stephen Vogt, and after some tense moments (a barely foul ball, a full count) a hard hit ball off the bat of pinch hitter Alberto Callaspo landed harmlessly in Jackson’s glove. From bases loaded, no outs to no runs scored in the inning. So I might be overstating it a bit, but that may have been perhaps the most emotional moment in Detroit’s recent stellar run since 2011, even more so than clinching the pennant last year. Being up three games to none on the New York Yankees made it a foregone conclusion that the World Series was imminent, thus decreasing the drama. Judging from the reaction of Max, the fans, players and living rooms around Michigan (and Florida), many agree. The Tigers tacked on some insurance runs in the eighth, that turned out to be needed with a rocky ninth, non-save situation for Joaquin Benoit, but they lived to fight another day with an 8-6 victory. When it is all said and done, Detroit may still lose on Thursday and the season could be over as we shut out eyes early Friday morning. Make no mistake, with the “World Series or bust” mindset this franchise has adopted over the past couple of seasons, not advancing out of the first round would be a huge disappointment. But in the 24-hour period between the conclusion of Game 3 and the start of Game 4, many Tigers’ fans had thrown in the towel, assumed they had given up, and said some nasty things about their team. For those haters, it was probably nice to see the team have a pulse, even if it pushes off a possible elimination for a couple days. Regardless of Game 5′s outcome, we experienced yet another Detroit Tigers-Oakland Athletics instant playoff classic. Detroit Tigers-Oakland A’s ALDS Game 4 Instant Classic - Motor City Bengals - Motor City Bengals - A Detroit Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 10 hours ago