Tigers Finish Sweep of Pirates with Another Late Inning Blast


Detroit 4, Pirates 3 (box)

For the second straight day, the Tigers required some late inning heroics to put away a bad Pittsburgh Pirates club. Today, Miguel Cabrera provided the power with two runners on in the eighth to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The pitching was solid, as it has been all series (just eight runs allowed in three games), but the Tigers could muster only five hits, and only one run, through the game’s first seven innings. Armando Galarraga didn’t strike anyone out, but he allowed only six hits and one walk in seven-and-two-thirds innings. He didn’t give away free bases, and he allowed his defense to work behind him. Armando is at his best when he doesn’t fear batters making contact, and that’s what we saw today. Brad Thomas pitched the final out of the eighth inning to pick up the win.

Jose Valverde picked up the save (his 13th), but saw his ERA balloon to 0.67 after a sacrifice fly scored a run in the ninth. It was the first run he’s allowed since April 7, a streak that spanned 25 appearances. I think he’s still looking good for the All-Star Game.

Alex Avila homered to deep center for his first extra base hit since his two homer game against Minnesota back on May 5. Alex is hitting .368 with an OPS north of .820 in June. His improved bat is a very nice presence in the bottom of the order.

It’s a little bit concerning to see the Tigers offense struggle the last two games against a weak Pittsburgh Pirates team, but a series sweep was the goal. The Twins didn’t stake a strong claim to the division when the Tigers struggled in the last road trip, so the race for the Central continues to be close.

Next Tigers Game View full schedule »
Tuesday, Sep 22 Sep7:05at Cleveland IndiansBuy Tickets

Tags: Armando Galarraga Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Bob

    I subscribe to MLB audio and I listened to the Pirate broadcast today (I absolutely despise Jim Price) and both announcers decried the use of the DH, insisting that the “purity” of the game must be protected at all costs and that the DH should never be considered in the National League because it would ‘taint’ the sanctity of the game. One of them actually said (paraphrasing) “I wouldn’t want to step on the field at PNC Park if the DH was going to be a permanent fixture of the game”. What a smelly pile of self-righteous dung these 2 clowns were offering up. These baseball purists embrace tradition as if it were their raison d’etre, and I don’t understand them at all. Perhaps I should have listened to Price after all.

    • http://motorcitybengals.com/ Zac Snyder

      Good points Bob. The Pirates organization certainly has bigger problems to concern themselves with than the possibility of the DH ever coming to the NL.

  • Chris

    I think you have to be a near-fanatical baseball purist to enjoy watching the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are a perpetually rebuilding replacement-level team that drafts low ceiling (cheap to sign) prospects.

    • http://motorcitybengals.com/ Zac Snyder

      You’re right Chris. The same can be said for the Kansas City Royals. While players like Jason Kendall and Scott Podsednik have done a nice job for them you have to wonder about the wisdom in giving so much playing time to guys that won’t figure in to the team’s future. Teams like the Pirates and Royals find themselves as sellers year after year but they never seem to have any plan to break the cycle.

  • Chris

    These teams don’t give themselves enough chances (through player development) to ‘hit’ often enough to get that critical mass of internally developed talent to contend, and potentially put the franchises on a different financial footing. They never seem to wind up with more than a handful of major league quality players at once. The A’s, Twins and Fish have done much better with similar resources. It doesn’t feel like the lack of a plan – the basic ‘plan’ is pretty basic, it just feels like they either lack the knowledge and competence or can’t put in the resources to make the plan work. Of course, watching the Tigers in ’03 felt the same.

    • http://www.motorcitybengals.com Matt Snyder

      After going through the early 00′s with the Tigers I really feel for the Pirate fans. You can’t win year after year without committing money several quality players, but it’s tough to tie up money when you seem years away from contending. The Tigers finally took big financial risks with Pudge and Maggs, and gave Justin Verlander a big bonus to sign. Of course, it’s nice when your owner has deep pockets.

      • http://motorcitybengals.com/ Zac Snyder

        The guys on the TBS broadcast made some good points about “sellers” needing to do a good job to make sure they get good pieces in return.

        The Indians did well when they traded Bartolo Colon for Lee Stevens, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore, and Cliff Lee. That trade set them up for their 2007 run, however they haven’t gotten equal value so far in the CC Sabathia trade.

        Sometimes it is ok to be a seller but you have to do it right. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season since 1992, you be the judge.

  • thennr21

    Huge weekend for the Tigers! Lots of momentum going into the 3 game set with the Nattys. Avoiding Strasburg is key and now looks like strong possibility that we take min. 2 out of 3. Tigers need to continue to pour it on while the schedule is weak. If they are in contention, as they are now, look for a move at the deadline for a SS as that is greatest current priority.

  • Chris

    Who have the Pirates had to sell that was near the level of Colon, Sabathia, Lee or V. Martinez? The only guy for the Pirates that stands out – and I think he’s a notch below any of those four – is Jason Bay. They got 4 guys for him and while the results have been spectacularly bad so far, that could all change if Bryan Morris has a big league impact. They got Bay in the first place by dealing their proto-Bay Giles. In general, I can’t fault the Pirates for getting so little for their veterans, because they’ve had so few veterans with value. Chris Lambert didn’t contribute much for the Tigers, but I’m not going to complain that Dombrowski should have gotten more for Mike Maroth.

    • http://motorcitybengals.com/ Zac Snyder

      Chris, the fact that they haven’t had comparable pieces to trade is further indictment on the organization. You would think that blind squirrel would find at least one nut among the top 10 draft picks.

      They also completely gave away Aramis Ramirez.

  • Chris

    I had completely forgotten that Ramirez used to be a Pirate – but for the most part he didn’t play very well until he became a Cub. I’m not sure Ramirez had a lot of value either, and of course it’s an indictment of the organization. There isn’t anything the Pirates have been doing right, even given their constraints.