Tigers Beat Houston! A Recap That Isn’t A Recap


Game recaps or summaries just aren’t my thing. So it’s a rare occurrence when I sit down to write one. Well, I am not going to go in depth, you can check a box score if that’s what interests you, so I guess I’m not really recapping much at all.

So what is it I am doing besides rambling?

Just making some random observations that stemmed from tonight’s performance in Houston.

The first thing I want to talk about is the continued emergence of Anibal Sanchez. Now, I know there are a ton of you out there claiming Anibal Sanchez got way too much money. Truth is, he got it because there was a market for him, and now we are all reaping the benefits of Mr. Ilitch and company forking over the dough. Sanchez is straight up filthy. He has four pitches he can throw in any count with his velocity varying anywhere from 77-95. What I’ve really been impressed with is his movement on his pitches. It’s late movement, and could easily propel him into the Cy Young conversation by the end of the year.

May 13, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) pitches in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Secondly, Andy Dirks leading off in the absence of Austin Jackson is a good idea. I don’t often praise Jim Leyland for his management decisions, and not because I think Leyland is bad, I just don’t think he is that good either. Thing is, Dirks has been hot lately and starting to square the ball up like he did last year. He will hit. He just needs to stay healthy, and stopped getting yanked for Don Kelly when he puts together a couple of hits.

That leads me to my third thing. I want to talk about the Kelly obsession that will have my wanting to kick Jim Leyland in the berries. The Tigers called up Avisail Garcia to replace Austin Jackson on the roster, and Leyland couldn’t wait to start Kelly in center on Monday night. I will give Kelly Monday, mainly because we don’t know if Garcia got to the stadium with enough time to decompress, but if the Tigers called up Garcia to platoon with Kelly that is going to piss me off. And it should piss off all of you as well. Why? This is a perfect low risk opportunity to give Avisail Garcia a two week trial to see how he would handle full time at-bats at the big league level. He certainly shouldn’t lose a look because the manager has to play Don Kelly.

Lastly, I want to touch on Jose Ortega. Ortega looks to have developed a bit since the last time we saw him in the bigs in 2012. He seems to be commanding his fastball better, and going forward, I believe he could have a big role on the Tigers club. It will be interesting to see if Jim Leyland begins to develop more confidence in Ortega as things go along. He doesn’t have the hangups that some of the other Tigers relievers seem to have. He can pitch in back to back games. He can go more than one inning, and he seems to have three pitches working nicely for him right now in a fastball, slider, and change. Now, the velocity separation between the chance and the fastball is only about 6 or 7 mph, but it’s been enough to get a couple swings and misses.

I’d like to hear what you all think, especially if you are tired of watching Don Kelly get playing time.