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Detroit Tigers Flex Offensive Muscle Early, Hang on for Victory Late Against Chicago White Sox

April 22nd, 2014 at 11:24 PM
By Max DeMara

What was supposed to be a top-flight pitchers duel between Justin Verlander and Chris Sale turned decidedly one-sided in a hurry for the Detroit Tigers thanks in-part to the lefty's abrupt trip to the disabled list. Every starter collected at least one hit, and the team hung on for an 8-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

'Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

With the wind blowing out, Jose Abreu got the White Sox off to a quick with a titanic home run to center field. Detroit answered the next inning generating doubles from Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera, tying the score. The third inning was the most eventful, as Andrew Romine got things started with an innocent single. Things got rough for Charlie Leesman, who gave up a single, a two-run double down the line and two run home run to Cabrera, helping Detroit to a 6-1 advantage. Leesman had been pressed into duty thanks to Sale's flexor muscle strain.

Leesman continued to struggle, not making it through the first three innings. Detroit's major nine hit, six run damage had already been done, and Zach Putnam stopped the bleeding for the White Sox with a solid two innings pitched. Both Putnam and Scott Downs, who relieved him, did give up runs to Detroit, providing the deciding margin. Doubles by Alex Avila and Rajai Davis did the damage, leading to Detroit's 8-1 lead.

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Though Concerning, Miguel Cabrera Deserves Until May to Shake Off Slump for Detroit Tigers

April 22nd, 2014 at 3:56 PM
By Max DeMara

Monday night, Miguel Cabrera continued upon his frustrating early season hitting woes, going 0-4 at the plate in a tough 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox which was fueled mostly by Detroit's ineffective offense.

'Miguel Cabrera' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Though plenty of notable others struggled (Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez only collected two hits combined), Cabrera felt the majority of the wrath considering the totality of his cold start. Through the first weeks of the early season, Cabrera is only hitting .206 with one home run and seven RBI. Worse, he's collected 15 strikeouts (the second highest total on the team) and bounced into three double plays, the most of any Tiger.

Clearly, Alex Avila isn't the only one with a major problem at the plate.

Though similar to Avila's considering the raw statistics, few expected to have frustration with Cabrera, the two-time reigning league MVP and a player who's also routinely been immune to the usual hitting struggles which seem to handcuff the lineup's biggest stars every spring.

There was 2008, when Detroit struggled to get off to a quality start offensively as a team. Throughout the early season, Cabrera carried his Tigers, posting a .270 batting average with five home runs and 19 RBI in March and April while in the midst of learning a new league.

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Latest Call-Up Should Represent Last Chance for Detroit Tigers’ Shortstop Danny Worth

April 21st, 2014 at 3:16 PM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Tigers have tried a number of band-aids to compensate for the loss of Jose Iglesias. First, it was Steve Lombardozzi. Then, Andrew Romine. Alex Gonzalez fit in as well. None have made the desired impact.

'IMG_0001 Danny Worth' photo (c) 2011, Roger DeWitt - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Now, Sunday, things returned full circle, as Detroit called up Danny Worth, who'll be given his shot to supplement Iglesias. If this seems like a recording, it's not. Worth has had plenty of chances to make his mark with the Tigers over the years when they've been needy in the infield, and hasn't been able to get the job done.

At age 28, this is Worth's last chance to get something done. With Lombardozzi traded by Dave Dombrowski after he wasn't considered a full-time option, his replacement Gonzalez already released and Romine's contributions average at best, the time is now for Worth to show he belongs.

With a good showing, he could finally cement himself as a roster player. If not, it will be time for the team to go in an opposite direction for good.

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Watching Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera Duel a Treat to Remember for Baseball Fans

April 20th, 2014 at 8:58 AM
By Max DeMara

Every fan of the Detroit Tigers knows what Miguel Cabrera has done at the plate the last few seasons and how impressive his feats of strength and power are.

'Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27)' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Farther west, however, he's got some equal, identical company. Mike Trout has been just as impressive in the wake of being edged out for the last two MVP awards, and has been a statistical anomaly that only Cabrera himself could rival or adequately understand.

Consider this: since the start of Trout's first full season in baseball (2012), the Los Angeles Angels' versatile outfielder has contributed a .325 average (2nd), collected 252 runs (1st), lashed 295 hits (5th), taken 689 total bases (2nd), has a .415 OBP (2nd), .982 OPS (2nd) all while stealing  84 bases (T2nd). 

The triple crown? Impressive for sure, but that's some statistical beef. Trout's impact on the game has been consistent and far reaching considering those numbers. No matter which coast either fan base occupies, it's tough not to consider this baseball's best personality rivalry in decades.

Not since players like Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski ruled the earth has baseball seen such an intriguing personal rivalry develop. Throughout the years since, many pairs of players have threatened, but few have yet come close to matching the drive and intensity from baseball's golden era.

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Max Scherzer Outstanding as Detroit Tigers Pitch Themselves Past Los Angeles Angels

April 19th, 2014 at 5:18 PM
By Max DeMara

Needing to get back on the right track after being whitewashed the night before, the Detroit Tigers finally got a dominating performance from a starter, as Max Scherzer went seven innings striking out nine while only allowing one run in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

'Max Scherzer - 3' photo (c) 2013, Ryan Hyde - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

When light-hitting J.B. Shuck led off the game with a loud home run to right field, a feeling of "here we go again" might have been going through the minds of some. Instead, Scherzer quickly halted those feelings, putting the mistake behind him and striking out the side.

Detroit's offense wasted little time picking up their starting pitcher. After an Austin Jackson single, Nick Castellanos unloaded a home run that barely stayed fair, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. In the third, the Tigers got another run after a wild pitch via a Jackson sacrifice fly.

That was more than enough support for Scherzer, who racked up the strikeouts quick. His favorite victim of the day would prove to be Angels' outfielder Mike Trout, whom he struck out three times. All told, Scherzer would roll on without trouble through the seventh, when he departed with a 4-1 lead.

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