Tag Archive: Kansas City

Thoughts on Game 9 of 162

Brandon Inge looks down after his throwing error on Sunday. Inge's error is one of four the Tigers had in Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Royals at Comerica Park. (AP)

The Tigers dropped their third straight series as they dropped the rubber match of a three-game set with the Royals to fall to 3-6. The road doesn’t get any easier either as they welcome in the defending AL champion Texas Rangers for a three-game series. The Rangers are off to 8-1 start this season.

Hero: The Kansas City offense

Every Royal had a hit and seven different players drove in runs to lead the balanced Kansas City attack. The Royals scored run in six of the nine innings and never trailed in the contest. Wilson Betemit led the 15-hit attack by going 4 f0r 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Michigan native Chris Getz had two RBIs for the Royals.

Not defensive minded: For a good portion of the game, the Tigers had more errors then hits. Their sloppy play in the field provided the Royal offense with a boost that they didn’t need with as many hits as they got off of Detroit pitching. Ryan Raburn had a throwing error in the third inning that allowed Melky Cabrera to move from second to third. He then scored on a groundout. With one out and runners on the corners in the fifth, Brandon Inge had a throwing error to second base on what could’ve been an inning-ending double play ball. That error allow K.C. to push its lead to 5-1. Daniel Schlereth and Rick Porcello also had throwing errors while trying to pick runners off at first.

Key to success?: Many pundits believe that Rick Porcello would be the key to the Tigers fortunes. As a No. 3 starter behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, his success would likely determine how well the Tigers do. So far, not so good on that front. While his defense didn’t do him any justice on Sunday, Porcello allowed nine hits, five earned runs and walked three in five innings.

Jhonny on the spot: While Miguel Cabrera has been a big component in the Tigers offense, Jhonny Peralta has quietly gotten off to a great start for the Tigers. His struggles in spring training have been documented. Since the team has traveled north and the games have counted, Peralta has done nothing but hit. He went 3 for 4 on Sunday with a home run and double. He is batting .379 with three doubles and four RBIs out of the seven spot in the lineup.

Up next: Texas, 1 p.m. Monday


Thoughts on Game 8 of 162

Not bad: In his first start of the season, Phil Coke struck out seven and gave up two runs over 6 2/3 innings. (AP)

Phil Coke’s transition as a starter got off to a shaky start, but he bounced back well to provide the Tigers with an impressive outing. Coke gave up just two runs and struck out seven over 6 2/3 innings. The Tigers bats never got going which led to the loss. Detroit’s only run came in the ninth inning on a solo homer by Ryan Raburn.

Hero: Bruce Chen

Chen kept the Tigers off balance on Saturday, surrendering just three hits and striking out seven in six scoreless innings of work. The pitching win was the first of the season for Chen, who owns a 3-1 record in starts against the Tigers since last season.

Positive day despite outcome: If Coke can continue to have starts like the one on Saturday, it will bode well for the Tigers. He was effective out of the bullpen last season but the Tigers reserved a spot in the rotation for him at the end of last year, thinking he could fare well as starter. Him in the rotation gives the Tigers a lefty presence that they haven’t really had since Dontrelle Willis was in the rotation early last season before being released. Coke pitching well also relieves the need to have to rush Andy Oliver or Jacob Turner to the majors and allows them to get more seasoning in the minors. Although both pitchers had strong season-opening starts in the minors.

Regardless of that, if Coke continues to have outings like that the Tigers should win a majority of the games he starts.

Up next: Kansas City, 1 p.m. Sunday

Thoughts on game 7 of 162

Welcome sight: Newcomer Victor Martinez had a key three-RBI double in the opening inning of Detroit's 5-2 win over Kansas City in Friday's home opener at Comerica Park (AP)

Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer proved to be a winning combination for the Tigers in their home opening victory over the Royals on Friday. Scherzer provided the team with a quality start and Martinez provided early offense that made the difference in the 5-2 victory for Detroit in its first game of the season against an AL Central team.

Hero / key sequence: Victor Martinez endeared himself to the Detroit fans by changing the game in his first home at-bat at Comerica Park. Martinez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the first inning and drilled a three-RBI triple to the right center field gap. That hit sparked the four-run first inning and provided all the offense the Tigers needed.

Unsung hero: Jhonny Peralta.

Peralta has quietly gotten off to a decent start offensively and added to it by driving in Detroit’s other two runs in Friday’s win. Peralta had a two-out double that plated Martinez in the opening inning and added a sacrifice fly that gave the Tigers their fifth and final run. Peralta finished 2 for 3 and is batting .333 so far this season.

Max power: Scherzer went six strong innings, giving up just one run and striking out three to improve to 2-0 on the mound this season. He only had a little trouble in the third and fourth innings. He allowed the lone run in the third on a two-out triple by Melky Cabrera. In the fourth he worked out of a bases loaded jam by getting an infield ground out to end the inning.

Today: Vs. Kansas City, 4 p.m. Reliever turned starter Phil Coke will be making his first start of 2011.

Oh those pesky Royals

The Royals are trying their best to spoil the Tigers' chance at winning the AL Central title once again. K.C. prevented the Tigers from the crown in 2006 and has beat Detroit the past two days.
The Royals are trying their best to spoil the Tigers’ chance at winning the AL Central title once again. K.C. prevented the Tigers from the crown in 2006 and has beat Detroit the past two days.

In 2006, all the Detroit Tigers needed to do was knock off the lowly Kansas City Royals to win the AL Central Division title.  They had just swept the Royals they weekend earlier and were playing in the final home series of the regular season but were unable to beat KC. The Royals swept the Tigers and that allowed the Minnesota Twins to finish a game ahead of them for the AL Central title. Luckily, that year the Tigers got the wild card and things worked out just fine as they beat the Yankees in the ALDS and swept Oakland in the ALCS before falling to St. Louis in the World Series.

This year, the Tigers won’t be so lucky and losses to the Royals might end up costing them the AL Central again. Detroit entered this series coming on a high, having just swept Tampa Bay on the road to build a season-high 7 game lead in the Central. But losses the past two nights to the Royals and are in danger of being swept (the Tigers currently trail the series finale 5-4 in the 7th inning) aren’t helping the cause to win the division. With three more games against the Royals at Copa next week, the Tigers will need to win these games to hang on for the division.

I still fell confident in Detroit’s chances, since Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox haven’t been able to gain much ground. But history has taught us, you can’t count Minnesota out until they are mathematically eliminated. That is why it is imperative for the Tigers to take care of business and win every game they possibly can over the final few weeks of the season.

Above photo taken by the Associated Press