Tag Archives: photos

Tigers @ Rays 6-29-12: David Price is Really Good

If it feels like Tigers starters have given up an inordinate number of home runs this season, believe me, it feels much worse when you’re watching the Rays hit solo homer after solo homer off your ace.  But let’s not dwell on the outcome, because I have pictures!  I’ll post the whole set somewhere and have a link at some point, but for now, I’ll give you the highlights.  Please feel free to share with a credit back to this blog.  Enjoy!

Coke pitches in the bullpen

Action Coke!  Tampa’s bullpen is on the field, so photo ops are easy.

Avila and Yong during BP

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Take heed, American League teams

Oh, you all know we have this guy . . .

. . .  and this guy . . .

. . . and you may have heard we had this guy.

But, with all of that going on, you may have forgotten that we still have this guy . . .

. . . and this guy . . .

. . . and, of course, this guy.

So, you know, good luck with that!

Final spring training update- Tigers vs. Braves, again

With nothing planned on the day and the Tigers playing at Disney, husband and I decided to take in one last game before the team heads north.  And, because y’all seem to love pictures (hi, Google Image search hits!) and the suspense of whether or not Inge will be on the roster is giving me tics, this is going to be mainly a picture post.  I’m figuring you guys are okay with that.  Also, honestly, there’s not a whole lot to say at this point in the spring, especially after Verlander goes out and pitches exactly like Verlander and the game gets called in the 7th due to torrential downpour and thunder.  A few quick bullets:

– Verlander did, indeed, pitch like Verlander, and I don’t think he’d hit his pitch count yet when the game ended in the 7th.  With the exception of a ball that was hit to the center field wall, none of the Braves hit anything particularly hard off him.  Hooray!

– Every game I catch, Avila looks like he’s having so much fun.  I’m glad he’s adjusted so smoothly to being a daily, All-Star catcher.  Prince seems like he’s having an equally good time.  When I got to the park, the two of them were cracking each other up and chattering away while stretching.

– Jackson got on base, stole second immediately, and came into score later.  It was nice to see this work out exactly as we want it to on paper before my very eyes.  Please keep doing this, Austin!

–  Thomas absolutely killed a ball over the deep right field wall.  It was a thing of beauty, and probably didn’t hurt his chances of making the roster.  This whole Dirks/Worth/Thomas/Inge madness is going right down to the wire, folks.

–  Balester came up to sign autographs and people started yelling “Mister Fister!” trying to get his attention.  “I’m not Fister” he sighed diplomatically.  And, really, now that I look at them, Balester is pretty much a scruffy Fister.

Jackson, Avila, Fielder

Jackson, Fielder, and Avila joke around while stretching.

Brennan Boesch

Brennan Boesch looks imposing.

Dave Dombrowski observes batting practice.

Cabrera

Miguel and friend both jump for a ball.

Benoit, Coke, and Balester

Benoit, Coke, and Balester half-heartedly stretch during batting practice.

Avila, Raburn, Worth, and Peralta

Peralta, Raburn, Worth, and Avila watch Cabrera during batting practice.

Avila, Peralta, Raburn, Worth

Peralta, Raburn, Worth, and Avila admire a Cabrera practice home run.

Verlander

Ladies and gentlemen, The Man.

Cabrera and Fielder

Cabrera and Fielder, a blossoming bromance.

Jackson, Fielder, and Cabrera

Fielder hangs out with Jackson and Boesch. He seems to be fitting right in.

Cabrera and Fielder mess around between innings.

Cabrera and Fielder. Run, Fielder, run!

Cabrera and Uggla were very touchy and friendly over at second. Right here, Cabrera was giving him crap about something.

Spring training update- Tigers vs. Cardinals

It was St. Patrick’s day, and you know what that meant . . .

Green uniforms

Green for everyone!

Yes, it was that day every spring when both teams wear nearly identical green uniforms for no particular reason, thus confusing the heck out of the more casual fans in our section.  It also meant the bat boy was dressed as a leprechaun and other shenanigans.   I’m not even kidding about the bat boy.  I wish to God I was.

Miguel St. Patrick's

Miguel Cabrera as a leprechaun. You're welcome, folks.

Prince stealing

Prince Fielder stole second base! I can't even make that up, it is so ridiculous.

 

Grounds crew

The grounds crew always does the YMCA in the 5th. They do NOT always do it in green wigs, however.

Cabrera with grounds crew

Miguel Cabrera is amused by the grounds crew.

Somewhere in all this, a baseball game actually happened. Adam Wilk pitching.

Believe it or not, there was actually some pretty good baseball happening somewhere in all the Guiness-fueled insanity.  On top of stealing second, Prince went 3-for-3 and hit a triple.  A TRIPLE.  Quoth Leyland: “To see Prince Fielder leg one out, I got a kick out of it. I don’t expect to see many more of those. But in all seriousness, he’s much more athletic than I thought him to be”.  Awesome.

Adam Wilk struggled early and gave up a 2 run homer to Holliday, which, okay, that’s going to happen.  David Freese made it 3 and it was looking like we were in for a long day yet again.  That’s when the insanity started.  10 unanswered runs from our bats.  Cabrera, Fielder, and Young hit back-to-back-to-back twice in two separate innings and generally created havoc for the whole game.  Holaday caught the whole game and even got a hit!  We didn’t commit any errors (…until this afternoon. Seriously, boys?)!  Jackson didn’t strike out!  Again, standard spring training disclaimers apply, but we haven’t had a game with less than 7 hits all spring and are outscoring opponents nearly 2-to-1.  I think that’s cause for at least a bit of rejoicing.

It hasn’t just been the bats, though, which brings me to the pitching showdown we witnessed.  Wilk was definitely struggling a bit, but the story of the day was always going to be Oliver vs. Smyly, so that almost felt like an afterthought.  Oliver went two innings, gave up one hit, and walked none.  Smyly went out for the final four innings, didn’t give up a hit, but walked two.  Until yesterday, I was pretty heavily on Team Oliver, but now I’m buckling a bit.  He’s been around a bit longer but has a history of inconsistency with control.  Smyly is barely out of A ball but looks like he has a year with the big club already under his belt.  So . . .  I don’t know.  I think I’m still on Team Oliver because I’m wary of pulling him up too quickly, but I wouldn’t be upset if it goes to Smyly.  He’s clearly earning it.

Some other pretty cool, non-holiday related things were going on before the game, of which I have pictures:

Dirks with kids

Andy Dirks signing for kids.

We spotted Andy Dirks signing autographs for a little league team down on the field before the game started.

Martinez

Look who it is! Victor!

Then who should we spy by the clubhouse but Victor Martinez on crutches!

Al and Victor

Two of the wounded compare notes- Al Alburquerque and Victor Martinez.

Alburquerque was also hanging around and came over to chat with V-Mart, possibly comparing battle scars.  Victor was holding Alburquerque’s arm and squeezing it for some reason.

Little League

Baseball at its most adorable.

After  a few minutes, the little league players and their group came over to the clubhouse.  A few players came over to sign for them and I was trying to figure out if they were from Venezuela or the Dominican when one of the little players broke from the group and my husband and I immediately put two and two together.

Victor Jose

Yep. That's Victor Jose Martinez, greeting his friends.

Victor Jose started greeting the other adults with all the confidence in the world, like he owned the place and they were his personal friends.  Which they probably are.  I freaking love that kid.  He was working the crowd far before he made it over to his dad.  When V-Mart comes back for good and we still have Prince’s boys wandering around, the clubhouse is likely to implode from all the adorable.

Stay tuned for that second base post I keep promising but keep putting off writing.  My intention is to make it objective but that’s proving difficult.  It also becomes more difficult every time Ryan Raburn goes out there and drills one over the fence.  Sigh.

Spring training update- Tigers vs. Orioles

For full disclosure, I was also at the Nationals game on Tuesday night, but a) have very few pictures from that and b) really don’t feel like talking about the unmitigated disaster that was Strieby at first base or how Below struggled through his outing.  As Lynn Henning pointed out to me on Twitter, however, it was a lovely evening at the ballpark!  So there’s that, anyway.

Instead, let’s talk a little bit about this afternoon!  I woke up this morning talking myself out of going to the game, but when my husband pointed out that Verlander was pitching, I lost my resolve and bought a bleacher ticket at the gate.

Game notes:

– Hi, Wilson Betemit!

– So, THAT Verlander showed up today.  They actually had the radar going in the park today and he stayed right around 93-94 mph.  Oh, is that all?  Gave up a lead-off homer, which . . . yeah.  That happens.  Moving on.  I was in sporadic conversation (or near constant) with the sweet young boy from Tennessee for the first 3 innings and wasn’t counting strikeouts but definitely saw a lot of them.  I was surprised when Verlander was pulled before the last out of the 4th inning so I pulled up At Bat to check for a pitch count and thought for sure their score keepers had made a mistake.  8 K’s?  Seriously?  In 3.2?  But, yes, that was indeed correct information.  No wonder he hit his pitch limit so quickly.  Holy God, JV, save some for April.

– Pitching in general was impressive, which was nice to see after the last few games of shaky outings.  Balester looked strong again, Valverde came out and promptly struck out the side with ease, Benoit was Benoit, and Stohr did a nice job closing things out.  Well done, boys!  Only 2 walks between you!

– Unfortunately, this also held true for the Baltimore starter Matusz, who struck out 6 of his own and induced 5 incredibly anemic ground ball outs.  It was impressive to watch him mow through the lineup we put in front of him.

– The only iffy moment was a throw from JV to Fielder on a pick-off.  My section thought the error would go to JV for basically throwing it into the dirt but it was instead given to Fielder for not picking it out of said dirt.  Anyhow, moral of the story, I hope the pitchers are taking extra practice throwing to first, what with a new first baseman and all.

– Danny Worth had a great day, with two hits and a stolen base!  And Laird, again, with the two RBI’s!  Patterson tripled, Raburn continued to fuel my inner conflict with a beautiful double . . . Really, the A lineup wasn’t able to put much together, which allowed us to once again showcase just how much depth and flexibility we have on this team.

– Jackson struck out twice.  Yep.

– Cabrera made a fairly sweet play at third.  Nice backhanded grab followed by a throw to first.  Excellent reaction time, but it honestly didn’t require him to move much, and that’s where most of my concerns come in with him playing at third.  His reaction time is good, but watching him try to get to a ball quickly is about what you would expect.  It isn’t quite lumbering, but it definitely makes you miss Inge.

Verlander is king

Justin Verlander, doing what he does best.

Betemit

Wilson Betemit the Oriole.

Verlander

One more of Verlander, just because.

Swing

Whoosh!

Mound visit

Verlander leaves the game after striking out 8 but throwing too many pitches doing it.

Prince

Prince Fielder in the box.

Valverde

Jose Valverde sets awesomely.

Valverde

Stay awesome, Big Potato!

Stay tuned this weekend as husband and I catch the Saturday game against the Cardinals.  Expect crap pictures because we have crap seats.  Hooray!

Spring training update- Tigers vs. Mets

I have Spring Break this week, which means bonus baseball!  I headed down to Lakeland this afternoon to catch the Mets against the Tigers.  After yesterday’s cancelled game, this proved to be a parade of pitching prospects and did not disappoint in that regard.  It DID disappoint in that it was the third tie game in a row, but, Spring Training, doesn’t count, whatever.  A few notes from today:

– Smyly’s line looked good and people seemed pleased with his start, but I need to point out that watching him pitch felt like watching Penny.  His pace was so. so. slow.  I don’t know if this is normal for him or if he was being extra careful because he knows he’s competing for a spot, but it was tiring to watch.

– Jackson had good contact, for which my section cheered heartily.  Inge also had good contact, also earning cheers from us.  Cabrera was Cabrera.  I don’t get to see him hit in person often but am always so impressed with his swing.  Everything people say it is and more.  Avila had two beautiful hits and Laird, LAIRD, hitting a double!  Amazement!  Really, overall, the hitting was what it has been all spring.  Nice stuff.

– Turner needs time, which I think all of us know and saying so is kind of beating a dead horse.  He got beat up pretty badly.  I don’t worry about them rushing him through the system after seeing what else we have out there, but I still feel the need to plead with people to give him time to develop.

– Avila had two beautiful throws to Inge at second but didn’t get the call on either of them.

– I feel like Balester has kind of been lost since we’re so focused on who our fifth starter will be, but I’ve been impressed with him so far.

– Speaking of fifth starters, I think I’m officially casting my vote for Oliver.  Yes, he was pitching against mostly second string today, but he looked great doing it and his control has improved significantly.  No walks in four innings!  Two broken bats!  Hooray!

This has nothing to do with the game, but I’m sure you’ve all heard that Pauley was released.  I could hear the Tigers faithfully collectively saying “No, really?” in a sarcastic tone at hearing this.

You all want pictures, right?  Here you go:

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Spring training update 5- Tigers at Braves

Husband and I headed out to ESPN Wide World of Sports for the opening Tigers game of the Spring against the Braves.  Typically, this game is a night game and the weather is delightful.  This year, we were faced with an afternoon game during an unseasonable heat wave with 15+ mile per hour winds.  In case you were curious, 30 SPF sunscreen without reapplication is not sufficient.  My shoulders are spectacular.

Anyhow, if you’ve been following any of the media surrounding the Tigers this spring lately, you’ll know that a) the press is confused by Leyland’s raging man crush on Clete Thomas, b) Inge’s playing time this year is wholly dependent on his ability to hit, c) Leyland loved how Santiago played at second last season, and d) there is some kind of created battle between Worth and Inge for playing time (… I have no idea).  All of these points will be important as I give you some highlights.  Pictures will come after that.

– I hate to tie a team to their fans because they have no control over them, but I’ve been going to Braves vs. Tigers games every March for a few years now and there’s a definite pattern.  While most fans are great, the ones who are not are obnoxious, drunk, and rude.  We always sit in the grass seats along the third base line and there’s a beverage stand on the other side of the fence behind us.  As the games progress, the heckling gets more and more crass.  Today, there were some guys who started in from the first inning with stunningly tasteless comments about Cabrera’s drinking and Fielder’s weight.  Stay classy, Braves fans.

– Austin Jackson struck out to lead off the first inning.  You could feel the Tigers fans (and there were a LOT of us) groan inwardly.  Then Boesch and Cabrera proceed to strike out, as well, and things didn’t seem so terrible.

– Fister looked like his usual, awesomely efficient, self.  Worked through the first two innings cleanly with fairly quick outs.

– Speaking of awesome pitching, a combined 1 hit game?  Awesome.  Granted, starters started coming out in the 6th, but still.  Pauley was the only troubling one with back-to-back walks.  Guh.  Way too familiar.

– Clete Thomas started in left field and made me wonder why on earth we continue to play Delmon at that position.  He could have let that ball go foul, but no, he wanted a job and proceeded to chase it into foul territory, crash over the left field fence, fall into the bullpen, and come up with the ball still in his hand.  INSANITY.  Full confession- I’ve had a crush on Clete since his debut with us, so I don’t really blame Leyland.

– Inge walked in his first at-bat and didn’t do much else at the plate, though still, it wasn’t a strikeout!  HOWEVER.  It was like he told Leyland “I’ll see your Inge Can Play Second But Still Must Hit” and raise you two web gem plays at second.  It was RIDICULOUS and the fans ate it up.  (I realize the Inge haters are vocal, but every time I go to a game, he always gets crazy cheers when his name is announced.)  First play- stretched out fully horizontal and snagged a ball scorched up the middle, saving a run.  Second play- I missed while getting food, of course.  I came back to our spot and asked my husband what I missed, to which he replied, “Inge being a bad ass”.  Apparently he made some insane underhanded flip to the bag to get the last out of the inning.  Both plays also required different movement than any of the plays he’s made at third, meaning this was just a direct skill transfer.

– Keep your eye on Ryan Strieby.  He was impressive during batting practice today.  His swing is crazy smooth and has a ton of power behind it.  Four balls left the park off his bat during batting practice.  Head hit a lovely ball out during the actual game, earning him a second look in my book.  Keep your eye on Luis Marte on the pitching end of things, as well.

– Turner was great to see pitch in person.  He looks fantastic, and there’s not much more I can say there.

And now, pictures!

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