Happy off-day Monday, everybody! We get a one-day break before the Mike Trout-less Los Angeles Angels roll into town. Considering the Tigers performance over the weekend, I trust this particular morning finds you a little less tired and a little friskier than Mondays past. We have us a win streak, a ball club that is 2 1⁄2 games out of first and back at the .500 mark. Baseball is fun again.
What a difference a week makes. On the back of some timely hitting, and the Chicago White Sox remembering that they aren’t supposed to be good at baseball this year, the Tigers managed to pull off their first sweep since September of last year. If I’m being honest it feels like it’s been lot longer than that. On Friday night they got things started with a 15-run annihilation of the visiting White Sox. Saturday was a little less powerful, with the hometown team only managing 10 runs in the win. Finally, on Sunday when it looked like they might not be able to put it together, Justin Upton did this:
Justin Upton (No relation to Kate), Hits a three run walk-off homerun to give the #Tigers a 4 game win streak!pic.twitter.com/Z2OYubRrws— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) June 4, 2017
The Tigers took Sunday’s tilt scoring seven runs. A 32-run series seems like it might be pretty good. After a long time of feeling like watching Tigers baseball was punishment for some unnamed past transgression, this weekend was a joyful experience, and quite welcomed. I don’t want to get anyone too excited, but June is a pretty easy month for the Tigers. Hopefully we get more of this.
Al was fed up
In an unexpected Friday afternoon press conference General Manager Al Avila had some thoughts to share regarding the teams performance on the previous road trip. Referencing the “woe-is-us” attitude of the team, Avila said:
“Again, I didn’t like all the hoopla — or not even hoopla — I guess all the, ‘How tough of a road trip this is,’ whether there was energy level or not,” he said.
With some very Hudsucker Proxy sounding talk, it was made clear that he wasn’t pleased with the performance up to this point. If you’re trying to decipher what effect his press conference had on the following weekend series, your guess is as good as mine.
Verlander groin watch 2017
Justin Verlander was forced to leave his start early yesterday for what is reportedly a mild groin injury. The team performed what is described as a precautionary MRI to JV’s general groinular area, and it’s not expected to be anything that is going to keep him from missing his next start. At least for now.
McCosky questions J.D. Martinez’s value
Chris McCosky of The Detroit News takes a look at the impending J.D. Martinez situation, and seems to think it’s feasible for the Tigers to keep him beyond this year. At least the fan in him does. Personally, my heart and brain say the same thing. J.D. Martinez is ghost like Swayze. We won’t see him in a Tigers uniform in 2018, and we’ll be lucky to see him in one past July.
Jose Iglesias: Acrobat
How about that tag play by shortstop Jose Iglesias yesterday? It’s just a shame the round house kick to the ump didn’t land, but did you see how close it was? That was some Jean Claude Van Damme level stuff right there. There has been much talk about Iglesias’ improved defense this season, which is all well and good, but the bat is heating up too. In his last 16 games he’s hitting .309 with a .779 OPS. Iglesias is a free agent after the 2018 season, and If he can keep this up through the month of June he might make himself an attractive trade piece.
For your free time
Buster Olney talks about the obsession with launch angles. A look at position players who played only one game in their major league careers. Jon Heyman at FanRag Sports doesn’t have many kind words for the Tigers in the latest American League round-up, but at least he likes pitcher Warwick Saupold’s name. While you were doing something entirely inadequate this weekend Alex Honnold became the first person to free climb El Capitan. Yes, that’s no ropes, and yes, that is absolutely insane.
Baseball is awesome
Los Angeles Angels designated ball crusher Albert Pujols hit his 600th home run over the weekend. He’s only the ninth player to hit that mark, and for what it’s worth he hopes to stick around for a run at Barry Bonds.
Albert Pujols becomes first player to slam his way into 600-HR club. https://t.co/sHGZEA7iAL #PapaSlam pic.twitter.com/15mWbJN5Sc— MLB (@MLB) June 4, 2017