It's the last regular season series of the year, let's see if we can keep the momentum after yesterday's binocular fiasco.
- Max Scherzer
- 17-5, 2014.1 IP with a 3.19 ERA
- FIP: 2.86
- K/9: 10.20
- Trevor May
- 3-5, 39.2 IP and a horrific 8.39 ERA
- FIP: 4.64 (much better showing here of actual talent than above number)
- K/9: 8.39
- BB/9: 4.76
On paper this looks like a tremendous advantage pitching wise for Detroit, but as they've shown in the past the Twins seem to hit our starters better than all others. The Magic number right now is at 3 with a chance with some luck to be down to a single game by the end of the night. Eat em up Tigers, eat em up!
I almost started a game thread in the 7th inning, but I didn't want to jinx the Tigers' excellent late-inning surge. Now that the game is in the books, I am starting a bask/general MLB Open Thread with a clean conscience.
That said...whew! I was nervous heading into the 7th tied at 1, but the team really closed it out well. Romine's suicide squeeze was executed perfectly. Timely hitting from Davis. And man, he is such an asset on the basepaths. It's easy to miss Jackson on a day when Davis gets on base 3 times.
Verlander turned in his second outstanding outing in a row. That's just what we need, and he's (knock on wood) rounding into form at the perfect time. An easy ninth for Soria, which is also great to see. Seems like the bullpen has gotten the job done more often than not lately, but it's not often that they do it easily. If Soria can return to his early season form, he'll be a big asset in the playoffs.
Looking to the games tonight, KC and Cleveland start at 7:00. KC is going for the sweep, which would also be the knockout blow to the Tribe. Jason Vargas on the mound for the Royals, Trevor Bauer for Cleveland. I'll be pulling heavily for Cleveland.
Oakland is down 3-0 in the 3rd inning against LA right now. Coming into today, Detroit was a game up on Oakland (I know, as long as we beat KC, it doesn't matter where Oakland finishes, but...).
Eat 'em up Tigers!
In their ranking of 2014 classes, Collegiate Baseball newspaper puts Michigan's class #30 in the country. No other Big Ten teams appear in their top 40, making this the second-straight year that this newspaper has ranked Michigan's class tops in the conference (last year's class came in at #20). The Wolverines appear poised for a return to the top of the conference on the diamond.
Here's a quote from the mgoblue.com press release on this news:
"Coach (Nick) Schnabel, Coach (Sean) Kenny and our entire staff did another outstanding job putting together one of the nation's elite recruiting classes," head coach Erik Bakich said at the time of the recruiting class announcement. "This group of newcomers is extremely talented on the field as well as in the classroom and we are looking forward to helping them develop to their maximum potential as students, athletes and men."
For more details on the 2014 class, see this thread.
Meanwhile, Michigan's 2015 class is shaping up to be another strong one. I discovered recently that Michigan commit Troy Miller is ranked #275 in the nation by Perfect Game. Miller is a right-handed pitcher from Soquel, California, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 91 mph. If he doesn't end up getting drafted and sign next summer, he could be the highest-ranked player yet of the Bakich era at Michigan. For more info on Miller, see this thread; the most recent full rundown of the 2015 class can be found here.
I'm as forlorned as the lot of you, and I know it does little to help*, but the Tigers won today, extending their lead in the AL Central over KC. Actually looked like a great game with a controversial call going in the Tigers favor.
*it helps even less if you are from KC. I've got nothing for you but sympathy.
Well here we are in a pennant race, tonight's game is the most important start of the year for Verlander, let's hope that the previous 4 months of mediocrity were all in preparation for the next month and a half.
- Justin Verlander:
- 13-12, 190.2 IP and a ghastly 4.81 ERA
- FIP: 3.89
- K/9: 7.03 (lowest since his rookie season)
- BB/9: 3.07
- Jason Vargas:
- 11-9, 179.2 IP and a career low 3.41 ERA
- FIP: 3.74
- K/9: 6.31
BB/9: 1.90 (also a career low)
What's funny about some of these numbers is that Verlander and Vargas both hold a WAR of 2.7 this season so technically it's an even pitching matchup tonight.
This may be early, but I won't be back near a computer until first pitch so I figured anyone who's paying attention to baseball this late in the year ( which you should) would enjoy having a place to talk.
Now I know it's technically not OT season but sometimes these things are a bit too important to not discuss, plus there are more basbeball lovers than baseball haters here.
That said, Go Get 'Em Tigers!
Michigan baseball issued a release today on their 2014 recruiting class, which includes nine freshman and two junior college transfers. All except one of the juco transfers were reported here previously as commitments via Hello posts. Here's what the release has on Michael McNicholl (EDIT: his last name is misspelled in the press release—s/b two ls):
Michael McNichol - OF - Alta Loma, Calif./Barstow C.C.
Was named to the All-Foothill Conference first team his sophomore season at Barstow Community College in Barstow, Calif. ... Hit .340 for Barstow in 2014 with 29 RBI and 22 stolen bases ... Went to high school at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. ... Hit .424 and had a .486 on-base percentage as a senior at Los Osos.
In a reply, I'll post a chart with some more info on the nine freshmen, including some rankings data.