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Rookie Catcher James McCann Settling in Impressively as Starter for Detroit Tigers

May 23rd, 2015 at 9:21 AM
By Max DeMara

When Alex Avila went down a few weeks ago with a knee injury, the Detroit Tigers didn't know what they'd get from James McCann in a starting role.

The catcher, despite all of his positive virtues, is still a rookie. It would be easy for such a player to be overwhelmed by his first starting role, not knowing how to contend with being in charge of a pitching staff while having to hit for decent average while making the transition to the big leagues.

But McCann has juggled both tasks in extraordinary fashion since taking over for Avila. There's been very little noticeable drop off behind the plate, and McCann's offense has also only improved since he has been given a consistent starting role.

Friday night, he burned the Houston Astros for the second straight day by coming through with a clutch two-run single in the eighth inning to provide the Tigers with an insurmountable 6-2 lead for the ninth inning. With that as a cushion, Detroit would go on to win easily.

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Breakfast with Brad: Within Bullpen Management, Brad Ausmus Can Walk Tightrope for Detroit Tigers

May 22nd, 2015 at 9:58 AM
By Max DeMara

"Breakfast With Brad" provides a morning look inside the mind of Detroit Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus.

Thursday afternoon, the Detroit Tigers seemed to have a regulation win against the Houston Astros in the bag.

David Price had pitched well into the sixth inning, and the team had finally gotten the kind of clutch hits that had previously evaded them on plenty of other nights.

All of a sudden, things changed. Price went bad in the seventh, getting knocked around by the Astros to the tune of three runs, two of which were earned. Considering pitch count, it was time for him to go. Replacing Price was Angel Nesbitt, who got the final out of the seventh in one pitch.

Nesbitt then led off the eighth, getting his second out in only two pitches, but was removed for Blaine Hardy despite the fact that there was nobody on base. The reasoning was simple according to Brad Ausmus.

"Lefty up," Ausmus responded almost immediately when asked. Does he not trust Nesbitt against a left-handed hitter?

"I do, but I feel better with Blaine Hardy against a lefty," Ausmus said.

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James McCann’s Walk-Off Home Run Helps Sink Houston Astros in Extra Innings

May 21st, 2015 at 7:38 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — Perhaps the slogan for the 2015 Detroit Tigers should be "better late than never."

For the second straight day, the Tigers were bailed out by some late hitting. It was James McCann doing the honors in the 11th inning with a solo shot that helped save some inconsistent relief pitching late.

Quickly, there was little positive carryover from big hits the night before offensively. Detroit peppered Scott Feldman in the first few innings with an assortment of singles, but were stung by the double play ball, pounding into two early on.

David Price had it rolling, keeping the Astros out of the hit column for the first three innings. Jose Altuve broke up the no-hitter in the fourth, but Price remained a strikeout machine, fanning eight batters through the first four innings.

Detroit's offense finally awoke in the bottom of the fourth. After a walk to Yoenis Cespedes, Nick Castellanos deposited a ball into the seats giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. The Tigers kept the pressure on by loading the bases in the fifth and getting runs off an Ian Kinsler groundout and a Miguel Cabrera single. The lead swelled to 5-0 with a Rajai Davis double in the sixth.

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Tyler Collins Keeping Head Above Water Well in Second Stint with Detroit Tigers

May 21st, 2015 at 11:27 AM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — Every game has pivotal moments, but Wednesday night's came in the eighth inning before Nick Castellanos even stepped to the plate.

With the Detroit Tigers trying desperately to find runs and a big hit after a strange three game power outage, young Tyler Collins stepped to the plate with two runners already aboard via singles and two outs.

There was enormous pressure on Collins to keep the inning going, if not plate the lead run himself with a hit. Collins, who's been an average hitter, could have folded in such a moment, but instead he worked a key walk off Milwaukee Brewers' reliever Jonathan Broxton.

Castellanos then ripped his triple down the line, and the rest was history. Detroit had reason to feel good after scoring multiple runs at long last.

So far, Collins has impressed since being called up in place of the injured Victor Martinez. In two straight games, he's collected a hit and a walk, and each have been key. Collins hasn't been an automatic out, and is hitting .333. He possesses power, but noticeable smarts as well.

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Nick Castellanos Catches Big Hit for Detroit Tigers, Helping to End Their Three Game Skid

May 20th, 2015 at 11:51 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT — All the Detroit Tigers have needed lately has been one hit to break things open. They didn't manage to get one until late Wednesday night from Nick Castellanos.

Castellanos accounted for four RBI and plated the lead runs in the eighth inning with a triple, and Detroit kicked a three game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2.

The Tigers got a little early luck to get off to their good start. After Yoenis Cespedes doubled, he was able to score while stealing third base after an errant throw by Maldonado. Shane Greene, meanwhile, showed no adverse feelings after leaving his last start. Detroit's pitcher cruised along until he allowed a solo shot to Ryan Braun in the fourth to tie the score.

Detroit answered back by loading the bases in the fourth, and got a run off a Castellanos groundout to retake the lead. Greene stayed in through the sixth and maneuvered around a few base runners, but never really found trouble after the home run.

Angel Nesbitt entered in the seventh inning and gave up a run that was charged to Greene after a double by Elian Hererra. He got out of trouble when Martin Maldonado lined into a double play, stranding a pair of runners.

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