Miguel Cabrera and His Gimpy Ankles Get Much Needed Day Off, Tigers Win Anyway

Miguel Cabrera cheers on his teammates from the sidelines.

I did not actually watch any of this game. I have no idea how the Tigers managed to win without Cabrera in the lineup—actually, that’s a total lie. Other players, such as Andy Dirks, Delmon Young, and Prince Fielder stepped up and delivered offensively, while Max Scherzer shut down the Angels from the second inning on, until he came out of the game after the seventh. Joaquín Benoit and José Valverde did the rest, helping to deliver a 5-2 victory and a 2-1 series victory over the Angels.

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The Tigers finish off a 6-3 homestand that didn’t start off too well, when they dropped two of three to the Baltimore Orioles. A sweep of the Blue Jays and a series win over the Angels will cure what ails ya, though.

The Tigers now embark on a short, three game road trip to Kansas City before returning home for the Series to End All Serieses; the Tigers will host their rivals and the current first place Chicago White Sox. The Tigers, to this point, have managed to keep pace with the White Sox, winning when they have to, and not getting too burned by losses. The upcoming head-to-head match ups against Chicago will likely determine who wins the division.

Some bullet points:

  • Scherzer is pitching like an ace. Scherzer’s last three starts have been gems, as he’s gone 20 innings and allowed three runs total. He’s also struck out 26 batters and walked six in that same span. Overall, Scherzer has given up two runs or less in seven of his last ten starts. Scherzer picked up his 14th win on Sunday.
  • After a bout of homeritis, Joaquín Benoit has rediscovered his form. He pitched a perfect eighth inning today, striking out two. After a span where Benoit gave up 10 homeruns in 16 appearances, he’s given up no homeruns in his last seven outings. Whatever was plaguing Benoit through late July and the beginning of August seems to have been fixed.
  • José Valverde is quietly having himself a nice second half, after posting mediocre numbers prior to the All Star Break. Valverde put up a 4.11 ERA and a 6.43 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in the first half. In the second half, he’s cut his BB/9 by more than a half to 1.02, and raised his K/9 to 6.62. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but it’s still encouraging and hopefully he keeps it up.
  • Delmon Young, favorite whipping boy of many a Tiger fan with Raburn unavailable, is also having himself a nice stretch. Delmon is batting .299/.329/.455/.784 for the month of August after not doing much of anything the previous two months.
  • Brennan Boesch has struggled for much of the season, although he had a respectable month of July. He’s been getting on base at at least a league average pace since July, but he has shown absolutely no power at all. He’s also seen his playing time cut a little bit, with the return of Andy Dirks.
  • Day off tomorrow!

  • Then it’s off to KC for a grueling three game roadtrip!

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