Back again with the Motor City Message, this time with Tiger baseball to recap! To start their season off, Detroit opened on the road in a series against the Cincinnati Reds. Detroit’s line-up had the difficult task of facing the Reds starting trio of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer.
Tigers: 1 @ Reds: 7
From the first inning, watching Detroit’s ace Matthew Boyd get hit around the ball park set the tone early. Jonathan Schoop and Niko Goodrum combined for a measly 1-for-8. The bottom of the order gave the Tigers zero production. When putting together the weak outing from their #1 starter and the minimal production from the top two spots in the order, you get a disappointing opener for the Tigers.
As a fan I was expecting more. Granted the Tigers were up against one of the best teams in the NL, but I thought the lineup would be better than three hits. I expected a better outing of Boyd, even against the new-and-improved Reds’ line-up. Overall, I thought I would see improvement out of the Tigers in their opener. But they made a fool out of me on night one.
Who’s Your Tiger for Game 1
The Tiger of Opening Night is C.J. Cron. The newly acquired first baseman provided the only run on Friday night with a 447-foot home run in the fourth inning.
Highlight of Game 1
Tigers: 6 @ Reds: 4
Through the first six innings it looked to be Cincinnati’s game to lose. Their young ace, Luis Castillo had no problems handling the Tigers line-up, striking out 11 Detroit hitters. But the Tigers got into the Reds’ bullpen and got the best of Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen, and Raisel Iglesias. Late home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Jacoby Jones helped put away the Reds. Joe Jimenez then shut the door and helped earn the Tigers their first win of the season.
WASSUP TIGER FANS! First win of the season for our boys in the Motor City! This game is what I expected out of the Tigers this year. I do not expect to win every game, but do expect competitive baseball and improvements. So the fact that a young line-up got the opposing team’s ace out of the game and into the bullpen shows growth. Once into the bullpen, the Tigers took advantage and won the game in the late innings.
Combine the clutch hitting, the five tigers had multi-hit days, and Jimenez holding onto the lead after the Jones go-ahead home run in the ninth, and you get a grrreat win for our Tigers.
Who’s Your Tiger for Game 2
My Tiger for Game 2 is Jacoby Jones. Jones hit the ‘Detroit Dinger’ to put the Tigers ahead in the top of the ninth.
Highlight of Game 2
Tigers: 3 @ Reds:2
Trevor Bauer and Spencer Turnbull both dealt in their season debuts, but what decided this game was hitting with runners in scoring position. The Reds left 15 runners on base, and that was the deciding factor. The Reds bullpen once again gave up the deciding home run, this time to C.J. Cron in the top of the ninth. After the two run shot, Joe Jimenez narrowly escaped with his second save of the season.
So far this season, the Tigers bullpen has been a bright spot. One name I want to highlight is Gregory Soto. The young southpaw threw two shutout innings in this one, and struck out 4 Reds hitters. The Tigers starter, Spencer Turnbull threw five solid, but it was Jose Cisnero that came in and vultured the W.
Although the Tigers struck out 16 times against the Reds, once again they were able to get the opposing starter’s pitch count up, get into the bullpen and be much in the clutch. Game-2 and Game-3 of this 3-game set are signs of growth from last year. The young line-up has shown the ability to get into opposing bullpens and capitalize. As realistic Tigers’ fans, we are probably not going to be a postseason team, but watching what Detroit did in Game-2 and Game-3 gives me hope for the future.
Who’s Your Tiger for Game 3
I am giving two ‘Who’s Your Tiger’ awards for this game. One going to Spencer Turnbull for the impressive start against a strong Reds’ line-up. The other goes to C.J. Cron for his second home run of the season, this one being the game decider.
Highlight of Game 3
With a great pitching outing comes great defensive plays, and Jacoby Jones did just that. Jones robbed what could of have been the game tying extra-base hit. Also, it made for a great Tigers reply on Twitter.
Series Victory #1 for the Tigers!
Although the Tigers are probably not going to be competing in the postseason, it is still fun to see Detroit compete in every game. Playing in the central, the Tigers have a more difficult schedule than most. So seeing them compete and battle against some of the league’s best teams is refreshing as a fan.
Speaking of schedules we look ahead to the next two weeks for the Tigers.
- From 7/27 to 7/29 the Tigers are at home in Comerica Park for a 3-game set against the Royals.
- From 7/31 to 8/2 the Tigers are at home against the Cincinnati Reds for a 3-game set.
- After that, from 8/3 to 8/6 the Tigers face off against St. Louis. The first two games will be in Detroit. The following two games will be in St. Louis.
- Rounding out the upcoming two week stretch, the Tigers are in Pittsburgh from 8/7 to 8/9.
The Tigers get some beneficial match-ups against the Royals and Pirates. But will be underdogs facing off against the Reds again and then in a 2006 World Series rematch with the Cardinals.
Pretty exciting week for our Motor City Kitties, giving the Reds more than what they bargained for. Now the Tigers look forward to a home stretch this week, followed by some more NL Central action. Be on the look out for the Motor City Messages if you miss any Tiger Baseball!
STAY SAFE FOLKS and GO TIGERS!
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