How do you jump start an offense? Have the top of the order set the table. It's quite fitting the Tigers' top three were a Murderer's Row against the Yankees in Saturday's win. Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera combined for ridiculous numbers: 10-14, seven runs scored, two RBI, one base on balls.
On the season, small sample size and all, Jackson is hitting .429, Hunter .391, Cabrera .368. Not too shabby on the defensive side, either. Well, Cabrera didn't make an error!
Not even the return of Brennan Boesch to his old stomping grounds can save the Yankees when that much offense is supplied by the top three in the batting order.
First-pitch temp at Comerica: 48 degrees. At least Paws doesn't need to wear a jacket.
Jackson has reached base in his first at bat for the fifth consecutive game, thanks to Jayson Nix's fielding error.
It was a weird FOX broadcast. Joe Buck said Erin Andrews was touched by an angel. An addled Tim McCarver brought up, of all people, early 80's Tiger Glenn Wilson -- but didn't say he played with the Tigers. Tiny Ken Rosenthal breathlessly reported about a phone call. BYB link maven Melissa Heyboer had the only explanation:
Is Joe Buck drunk?— Melissa Heyboer (@MelissaHeyboer) April 6, 2013
Whenever FOX carries a Tigers game, Justin Verlander makes a mid-inning appearance for a dugout interview. JV must have taken cliche lessons from Crash Davis, as we heard these bon mots:
You gotta get between the lines and play.
My job is to win baseball games.
I'm just happy to be in Detroit.
I'm more of a feel guy, I'll look at some tape.
We try to lead by example.
Travis Hafner is one of the biggest offensive threats in baseball -- well, he was seven years ago. His career derailed by several injuries with the Indians, Hafner is now 35 years old. His last season of more than 500 at bats was in 2007. Apparently he is still in baseball and batting cleanup for the Yankees. Who knew?
Jim Leyland said he was going play Ramon Santiago this weekend trying to, in his grizzled word view, "see what he's got." Santiago will play short on Sunday and got the start at 2nd in place of Omar Infante (who is on fire this season, hitting .429/.467/.429) today. Santiago was 0-4 with three strike outs .The obvious question is, what else can an 11 year veteran show that haven;t already seen? Regardless, Danny Worth is watching the "see what he's got" experiment closely.
McCarver shows he is completely clueless in regard to the Tigers, saying Santiago isn't a starter because he can't run. God help me, I miss Mario and Rod.
Buck played the Detroit is a downtrodden city card in the 5th when talking about Hunter signing with the Tigers as a free agent. I hate it when they play the downtrodden city card.
The 6th was brutal for Tigers' pitchers. Max Scherzer walked two, Al Alburquerque two more, and allowed the inherited runners to score. Throw strikes, DAMMIT!
Buck pronouncing Santiago: "Santio-iaoago" Nope, not a good game on the mic. I blame the beard.
Trying to make something happen (and possibly trying to wake Santiago's moribund bat), Leyland tried the hit and run after Alex Avila singled in the bottom of the 7th. Santiago got his bat on the ball, but flew out to right. Avila never bothered to look for the ball. By the time he realized the Yankees were going to double him off, Avila was halfway to 3rd. I'm going to cut him a little slack, Avila has more important things on his mind. His wife is in the hospital in order to have labor induced before the Tigers leave for the West Coast.
Is Joba Chamberlain wearing a mustache or a caterpillar on his upper lip? I vote caterpillar.
Boesch tripled in four at bats, now 2-8 in his return to Detroit. After making a spectacular catch yesterday, he reverted to his old defensive ways, committing an error in 5th.
Hunter on throwing out Boesch at the plate:
"When he took off, I was excited. I threw the ball in, tried to get it in, and make it accurate. When he was called out, that fist-pump was a lot of fun. That adrenaline flows. Can’t really hold that back."
Hunter has been a great fit on this Tigers team. In 2012, Boesch doesn't throw Boesch out.
Miguel Cabrera: Just a typical Cabrera game. Reached base five times on four hits and a walk, two runs scored and an RBI.
Darin Downs: Two solid innings of relief. Downs looks more and more like a very dependable option out of the pen instead of just a LOOGY.
Dynamic Duo: Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter lit up the Yankees. Jackson is turning into an excellent lead off man, while Hunter has taken like a fish to water in the number two slot. Add in their excellent outfield play, you couldn't ask for more from your one and two guys.
Joaquin Benoit: I love uneventful, stress free 9th innings. LOVE THEM. The audition for closer is officially underway.
Max Scherzer (in the 6th): Headed for what appeared to be the first quality start by a starter this season, Scherzer was unable to get an out in the 6th. Never ever walk the first two batters you face after being given a four run lead. It leads to very bad things happening.
Ramon Santiago: Had a couple of decent plays in the field, but was brutal at the plate. The media is reporting this weekend is a job audition for Santiago, Danny Worth on the verge of being called up. The veteran infielder's showcase is not off to a good start.
1st base umpire Brian O'Nora: I have no idea how he missed the obvious double play call. None whatsoever.
GAME FOUR PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Prince Fielder lead the Tigers with two home runs and five RBI, giving him an overwhelming victory in the player of the game voting with 72%.
Note from Al: We're experimenting with the recaps. We'll post a nuts and bolts recap first (found here), then add another with commentary and the Player of the Game poll not long after.