Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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Matt Hoffman improved to 3-6 on the season with some solid work out of the pen in the Flying Tigers 5-3 win over St. Lucie. He gave up unearned run on one hit with a strikeout in four solid innings of relief. Brett Jacobson struck out two in a shutout ninth and he picked up his fourth save of the season.
Devin Thomas belted a two run home run in the first inning. Joseph Tucker went two for four with a double, two RBIs and a run.
I was posed the question after one of my posts regarding the topic of pitch counts. Now, there are not any specific rules that apply to this as far as Major League Baseball is concerned. This isn’t little league where the coach (aka the only dad who knows baseball) can potentially forfeit games if one pitcher throws too many pitches in a game, but for the same reasons we have rules for safety reasons as well. Pitch counts are in place at the younger levels to keep kids from damaging their arms, and I am hugely in favor of this mainly because I think too many good players are ruined before they get a chance to hit their prime. However high school starts to see players get abused because they have tremendous talent and coaches want to win so they get overthrown when their bodies haven’t fully developed. I owe a great deal to my high school coach Scott Spada for not burning me out, even though I didn’t see that at the time, and probably pitched myself out of my fair share as well. Back to pitch counts now. So for those who manage to make it out of the amateur ranks with all arm ligaments in tact and still performing well, they will find that pro ball to be a much better system for development. Let me give a brief rundown of how our system works. If you are a pitcher first year out of high school, or anyone first year out of an injury, your max pitch count is 75. Any college player, or anyone beyond two years of experience has roughly 100 to work with given the progress of the game. That’s just starting pitchers. For relievers most max pitch counts sit at 45, and based on how many days they throw in a row says how many days off they get. Now sometimes these counts work against you when you want to try and finish a game or if you’re wanting to get some extra innings in. But, I have grown to accept it and actually think that pitch counts are a good thing. Here is why. First in high school and college you have four years to try to win so some players and coaches will blow it out and put considerations for injury aside. Pro ball is different in that you need to think in terms of a career, whether or not it may happen for ten years, this is taken into account. Also the thing that a pitch count does is force you to be a more effective, efficient pitcher. If you want to last, and still put up good numbers you need to learn to get the most out of your outings. It is not easy at first but you get used to it.
The bullpen made up for a rough start by Lauren Gagnier in the Flying Tigers 8-6 win over Jupiter. Chad Linder was the star on the mound and he gave up just three hits in three scoreless innings to improve to 3-1. Scott Green pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his eleventh save of the season.
Chris Carlson went two for four with a double, a walk, two RBIs and a run. Michael Bertram went two for five with a double, two runs and an RBI.
The Lakeland Flying Tigers have had an interesting season of weather related happenings before and during games. Some could say that our season could be chronicled by a Steven King novel, and my journey especially. For a while I held the title of the rainman, and not because I have savant type intelligence, a la Dustin Hoffman, or because I act like Pac-Man Jones in a nightclub. No, the reason I was given this moniker was due to the fact that every time I was up to start, it began to rain. Even in the All-Star game as I was warming up in the bullpen, it started raining. My roommates started telling me not to even come to the field on my day to throw so there was a chance for dry conditions. At the start of this run it was frustrating but after awhile I began to embrace my role as the guy who dealt with mother nature. I guess that’s really the only way to deal with it. Except now the title doesn’t just apply to myself, I have managed to spread the wealth to my fellow starters. Someone usually goes a few consecutive starts in a row having to deal with the weather. I don’t just have words and thoughts about our plight in central Florida, I have stats too. If you look at innings pitched, our starters are quite a ways behind everyone else. And just to mention, I hate beating a dead horse and always talking about rain, but when it happens as much as it does here in Florida, it’s hard to not. Plus these delays give us ample time to hone our skills in card games, debates about stupid topics, and discussning why we make so little money and the big leaguers make so much (usually requires four days to finish, and several people using google and calculators). My take on the whole thing is that we have a leg up in the gamesmanship department because when the other teams are flustered and frustrated with the rain, we are in the clubhouse as chipper and content as ever.
Lakeland lost a tough one tonight as they took an 11-3 lead into the eighth inning and then Charlotte broke out for nine runs in the eighth inning. Six of those runs were unearned because of a pair of throwing errors in the inning. Chad Linder gave up five of those runs and Scott Green gave up four (all unearned).
Michael Bertram went four for five and he hit for the cycle. He drove in two and scored four runs. Devin Thomas went two for five with a triple, an RBI and three runs.
Joseph Tucker was one of the hitting stars in the Flying Tigers 11-8 win over Dunedin. He went two for four with a double, a triple, three RBIs and a run. Audy Ciriaco went two for four with a home run, two runs and two RBIs.
Lauren Gagnier picked up the win despite not having his best outing. He gave up four runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Two of those hits left the park.
Lakeland had a tough time getting anything going at the plate and they couldn’t manage a single run in an 8-0 blowout loss to Dunedin. Christopher White went two for three and Chris Carlson went two for four.
Andrew Hess had a tough start and he fell to 4-7. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings.
Lakeland and Brevard County played two and Lakeland walked away with a win in both. Game one was a 4-0 shutout that saw Lauren Gagnier hold the opposition scoreless through six innings. He gave up six hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Adrian Casanova went one for three with two RBIs while Devin Thomas went one for two with a walk and a run.
Game two was closer but once again, it was the pitching that shined in a 2-1 win. Charles Furbush threw five shutout innings in a no-decision while Chad Linder threw a shutout frame to pick up the win to improved to 2-1. Scott Green pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his ninth save of the season. Maiko Loyola doubled twice and drove in a run while Michael Bertram singled twice.
Lakeland and Dunedin played two and each team walked away with the win. Game one was a 3-0 win in which Mauricio Robles threw six shutout innings. He gave up four hits and he walked two with four strikeouts. Scott Green pitched a shutout ninth for his eight save and Maiko Loyola singled and drove in pair of runs.
In game two, the pitching was as solid but the offense scored just one run. Brett Jacobson took the loss despite giving up just a run on one hit (a solo home run) in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Joshua Workman doubled and he scored the lone run in the 2-1 loss.
The Flying Tigers did just about everything right as they took on the Clearwater in a 12-0 blowout win. Michael Bertram went three for five with a double, a grand slam and four runs. Chris Carlson belted a home run and he drove in three.
Charles Furbush improved to 5-4 with a really nice start. He gave up four hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six shutout innings. Lester Oliveros gave up three hits with four strikeouts in three shutout innings to pick up his first save of the season.
Hello again and I apologize for my absence over the last few days. It’s getting to that point in the season where a player’s brain begins to go on auto-pilot and you find yourself in some kind of baseball purgatory where days have no names and time seems to repeat itself. For a while there I wasn’t sure if sleep was real and day was night. No worries though I have managed to push my way through the midseason rebooting period, collect all my thoughts and have come back ready and refreshed for the second half. There were some updates I should make everyone aware of, and mainly they occurred in our [fraternity] house. We added some new faces in Lester Oliveros, Brendan Wise, Adrian Casanova, and Michael Bertram. Kentucky now has the lead in the house with a whopping two. However what is interesting to note is that Lester and Brendan are from Venezuela and Australia respectively and Casanova has some latin heritage as well. This is why I say baseball is better than math. With all apologies to all the good math teachers I’ve had in the past, while math may be the universal language, it can’t bring people together the way baseball can. I think it’s because universities seem to only teach it at 8 am and therefore only the true die hards stick it out, plus it’s just flat out hard. Then again so is baseball. But people seem to come together by the thousands from all part of the world to watch a baseball game. If you walked in on a Calculus 2 final exam and tried to get the same enjoyment from that as a ball game, your head would begin to scream at you for doing it and in turn you’d probably start heckling the promising mathematicians for not knowing the integral of x to the n-th power times a million. Or perhaps because you couldn’t find a proper beer vendor. Now there’s an idea that could be fun. Imagine walking into your final exam in a huge auditorium and sitting down to the tone of “Peanuts, cold beer here!” in neon yellow vests walking through the aisles (this must be what Ireland is like). I would definitely have been a little more calm during tests. Enough with the soap box, back to what I was saying earlier. In what other realm can people of our differing backgrounds come together, live together, compete together and not seem to want to kill each other? If only we could settle foreign disputes with baseball games the world would be such a happy-go-lucky place. Plus without baseball all the sporting fan math folks would have to find something other to do. Yes, there are people whose jobs are to figure averages and statistics that somehow come out to winning baseball. Don’t ask me to explain it, 8 am was too early for a college student to learn that stuff. Okay, so we won’t dive into the benefits and what each has contributed to the world for the greater good, there has to be a statistic somewhere (we are talking about baseball and math here. C’mon.) but all I am saying is that for the next presidential election I think we can press the issue a little harder.
Chad Linder didn’t take the loss in Lakeland’s 10-6 loss to Clearwater, but definitely had the worst outing of the bunch. He gave up six runs on seven hits with one strikeout in one inning. Trevor Feeney took the loss and he fell to 0-3. He gave up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in two innings.
Justin Henry went two for five with two RBIs. Devin Thomas went two for five with a solo home run.
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