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Talkin’ Tigers Week in Review: Success of Detroit Tigers’ Start a Matter of Perspective

April 27th, 2015 at 11:13 AM
By Max DeMara

Welcome to Talkin' Tigers, a weekly piece recapping the most important talking point from the week before about the Detroit Tigers while taking a look ahead.

By their own recent standards, the Detroit Tigers had rough week, losing four games and having several problems with pitching and offense along the way.

Detroit just put the bow on 10 games at Comerica Park, and finished the home stand with two series victories despite a pedestrian 5-5 record. That record, of course, was helped along by losing three straight at the hands of the New York Yankees, who are suddenly playing good baseball.

Sunday, after the Tigers' 8-6 win over the Cleveland Indians, Brad Ausmus was asked to reflect on if the run of home games was a success or failure, considering the circumstance of how well his team had been playing and how there might have been an expectation to play better than .500 baseball at home as a result.

"I don't really care," Ausmus flatly said regarding this week's run. "You'd much rather win than lose, obviously, on a daily basis, but you can slice up streaks of wins and losses any way you want."

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Miguel Cabrera’s Three RBI Day Helps Detroit Tigers Win Series Over Cleveland Indians

April 26th, 2015 at 4:42 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera hasn't needed to be the heartbeat of the 2015 Detroit Tigers much early on, but after his three RBI day on Sunday helped the Tigers overcome the Cleveland Indians, let there be no doubt that he still is.

Much like they had done on Saturday, the Tigers raced out to a quick start, paced by three straight hits. Rajai Davis scored on an Ian Kinsler single after a triple, and Victor Martinez plated Kinsler with a sacrifice fly. Though Kyle Lobstein was solid in the first, Cleveland got to him for a run in the second following a double by Ryan Raburn, who was thrown out while advancing to third.

Detroit added another run in the fourth courtesy of a J.D. Martinez groundout, but the Indians wasted no time getting the run back thanks to a single from Brandon Moss. The scoring wouldn't stay quiet long, however. Detroit loaded the bases in the fifth and got a double from Martinez to make the score 5-2.

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Revitalized Joakim Soria Effectively Slamming Door in Ninth Inning for Detroit Tigers

April 26th, 2015 at 11:45 AM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — Joakim Soria is so soft spoken, he likely doesn't want to be the story even when he is.

But with the Detroit Tigers' situation at closer once again occupying the news cycle early this season thanks to Joe Nathan's injury and Soria's excellent response, he has no choice but to be the story, for all the right reasons.

Saturday afternoon, he put the finishing touches on the Cleveland Indians, picking up his sixth save of the year, just one off the early pace set by Huston Street of the Oakland Athletics. In picking up all the saves, Soria has barely broken a sweat, also compiling a solid 1.17 ERA while collecting a win.

Considering the ineffectiveness Tigers' fans saw from Soria late last season, all of this might be hard to believe, but after the game, Brad Ausmus maintained that remembering anything about Soria in a Tigers uniform from 2014 might be the biggest mistake.

How big, exactly, has the difference been? "Night and day," Brad Ausmus said after Saturday's game.

"I don't think we ever saw the real Joakim Soria, I think this is probably more the real Joakim Soria; this is the guy we traded for," Ausmus commented.

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Detroit Tigers Drop Cleveland Indians, Ugly Four Game Skid Behind Resurgent Offense and Pitching

April 25th, 2015 at 5:07 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — After four straight losses, the Detroit Tigers needed to catch a break. When Trevor Bauer was scratched with illness, they had found that break and managed to use it to their advantage in a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.

The Tigers wasted no time planting some seeds of doubt in emergency starter TJ House's head. Detroit loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks and a single, and Victor Martinez plated two runs with his single to give Detroit the early advantage. Cleveland fought back with a run in the third, and though House settled down, the Tigers touched him up for another run in the third, giving Martinez his third run batted in.

House, though he was routinely under siege, never completely cracked. He was finally replaced in the fourth inning by Zach McAllister, who immediately allowed Detroit's offense to get another run courtesy of speed from Rajai Davis and double by Ian Kinsler. That speed was on display all day, as Detroit swiped five bags, three by Davis himself.

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Detroit Tigers Need One Good Day to Get Things Back on Right Track

April 25th, 2015 at 11:42 AM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — When the New York Yankees left town on Thursday afternoon, the casual thought was that things couldn't possibly get any worse for the Detroit Tigers. The temperatures were trending up, and the Cleveland Indians, a team the Tigers have dominated, were coming to town.

Baseball, though, can be a humbling sport, and Friday night proved that. The Indians came to town and thrashed the previously untouchable Shane Greene in the series opener, racking up 15 total hits and 13 runs in another ugly rout.

The warts remained the same for Detroit. Offensively, the Tigers left 11 players on the bases, struck out 13 total times and didn't show any patience against Danny Salazar, who worked seven innings without much stress. The Tigers' bullpen also showed weakness, as Alex Wilson and Al Alburquerque combined to allow five earned runs and three home runs.

It's one of those stretches right now for Detroit that come in baseball, and a reason that the Tigers' 11-2 start was a bit of a mirage. They didn't face much adversity over the first week of the season, but things were never going to remain that easy for the whole of the schedule.

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