Bless You Boys Podcast 118 was recorded July 4, 2014, has a running time of 58 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
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Baseball in a nutshell: The Tigers were one out away from getting swept in Houston, but were saved by Ian Kinsler's ninth inning home run. The Tigers were one out away from losing the first game of the A's series, but were bailed out by Rajai Davis hitting a super slam.
Tigers at the midpoint: They took a roundabout way of getting there, but the Tigers reached the 81 game mark at 13 over .500, their best record since 2007. After the Tigers beat the Rays in game 82, the season can be broken down in 3 distinct phases: 27-12, 9-20, 12-2.
What area do the Tigers most need to improve at the trade deadline? few weeks ago, Al and HookSlide both agreed bullpen help would be nice. But a bigger need was a for a bat, specifically a LH corner outfielder with pop. But JD Martinez, even if he's not left-handed, greatly lessened that need. The readers at BYB are in lockstep, 90% of those polled voted for the team needing to target bullpen help.
Earl Weaver was Billy Beane before it was cool: There's no such thing as being clutch, bunting is bad, a walk is as good as a hit, and your best reliever should not be your closer.
Starting pitching: Funny how the Tigers started winning games in bunches again when the starting rotation snapped out of their funk.
Rick Porcello pitched a "Porcello": A dominant Porcello has tossed back-to-back shutouts - the first two of his career and first Tiger to do so since Jack Morris in 1986 - and has not allowed a run in his last 25 innings. Porcello's 11 wins tops the AL, while ERA has dropped to 3.12. He's making a serious run at the All-Star Game. His four hit shutout in 2:13 against the A's was a "Maddux"" - a shutout under 100 pitches. Hardball Talk also termed it a "Porcello" - A shutout without a walk or strikeout, which hadn't been accomplished in 25 years. The last to do so was Baltimore's Jeff Ballard in 1989.
You can't have enough Martinez's: The Tigers made a splash with one of their international signings, giving 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Julio Martinez a $600K contract.
All that, and more!
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