Tigers bats go silent in New York, College Football Camps open and Kenny Kaminski is gone from MSU
Tigers forget to bring bats to New York
The Tigers dropped their first game in New York last night 2-1. Max Scherzer started, did not pitch all that well, but battled his way to a good result. He ended up going seven innings and allowing two runs on nine hits and only four strike outs. Unfortunately, the offense did not battle all that well, and picked up only six hits on the night. They went fairly quietly into the night as well with the last seven going down in order. The other news from last night came in two forms. One, Ezequiel Carrera made one of the Best Catches You’ll See this year, and the other was Eugenio Suarez who was injured when sliding into second base and is listed as day to day.
There is a lot of talk today about how the late innings were handled. Leading off the eighth inning Victor Martinez swung at a 3-0 pitch and grounded out softly to first. In the ninth inning Detroit had Kelly and Avila leading off the inning. Good time to pinch hit with either Castellanos or Davis right? Nope. Neither of them were pinch hit for. Kelly flew out softly to left and Avila, to no surprise, struck out. Davis was called upon to hit for Romine but struck out to end the game. The situation was a little sticky here with no back up shortstop to Romine. You could hit for Kelly or you could hit for Romine. If you hit for Romine, Kelly then moves to shortstop which, if they scored, was what would have happened (with Suarez out Kelly is now the emergency back-up at SS). But since Kelly is a lefty, you probably should let him hit over Romine, although Davis leading off that inning could have made a big difference.
With all of that Avila almost becomes the forgotten man but he really shouldn’t be. He looks like he’s totally forgotten how to hit, so he seems like a logical guy to pinch hit for…but…he’s also left handed, so he got to hit. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb thinking that Castellanos hitting right handed against David Robertson is a better option than Avila hitting left. I’m getting so sick of Avila’s act at the plate. Avila is in a race against time with old man Mendoza, after his average dipped to .217 last night. And this thought that since he’s left handed he should be hitting against righties needs to be forgotten. He’s hitting an astounding .218 against right handed pitching this season, while hitting an equally impressive .214 against lefties. The problem is that his right handed back up, Bryan Holaday is hitting only .185 against lefties. Meanwhile, one of their top prospects is catcher James McCann at AAA who is hitting .306 this season. I’m not saying he would be the immediate help they would need, but I don’t think giving him a good look right now would be a bad thing.
On the other side the Yankees really do amaze me. They find ways to get players and then play all of them out of position. They have made several trades to improve their team due to injuries. They traded for players such as Stephen Drew, Martin Prado, and pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano. After all the trades they’ve made they have a guy who should be playing second base paint shortstop (Jeter). They have a very talented shortstop now playing second base who has never actually played second (Drew). They also have a very talented third baseman playing first (Headley). I don’t know how they do this but they have been doing it for years. Do we remember watching Gary Sheffield playing first base in the playoffs against the Tigers and he didn’t know how to catch a ball thrown his way? I don’t know why they do this or how it actually works, but it does. A big reason is injuries and they need to find guys who can play regardless of where they play. With all the trades they make, they trade away so many of their decent prospects and then they have no organizational depth and no one to call upon to bring up in these instances.
College Football Start Up
College football opened their camps yesterday. Now is the time when the talk stops and it’s time to start answering the big questions. Michigan is trying to bounce back from 7-5, MSU is trying to win a National Championship and Western is trying to win more than one game. Here’s a small look at each camp.
At Michigan the talk all sounds good. It seems interesting to hear them talking about how much better the chemistry is. I get the feeling that last year’s senior class was not a well-liked one. Perhaps it was because it was the last class recruited solely by Rich Rod. Perhaps it had something to do with them seemingly not being very good guys (Brandon Gibbons and Taylor Lewan anyone?). I do know that if guys aren’t happy with who they are playing with, it isn’t very fun, and becomes even less fun the more you lose. I don’t know if that’s the whole issue or not. Perhaps it was part of it, but the Wolverines now need to answer questions about whether their offensive line can block anyone, if their QB can play consistently and if their defense can step up to stop anyone.
In East Lansing the talk is very big. National Title big. It started at Big Ten Media day when Dantonio said that if there was a playoff last year he thought MSU would have won it. That has turned to this year where the hopes are high and the expectations have been raised. They certainly have a foundation to build on. At the same time, they have to answer some questions on defense. That is their bread and butter and they have to replace over half of those guys. With only five returning starters they have to rely on not only new starters, but some younger guys. With a solid foundation you would hope these guys can step right in without too much of a letdown.
And here in Kalamazoo the talk is still about the young guys. Which of these guys can step up and play right away is the biggest question. One of the top players in the incoming freshman class is QB Chance Stewart who seemingly will get every chance to win the starting job. If he’s the best man for the job then sure, go ahead and let him, and other freshmen like him, get on the field. I have no problem with that if they are for sure the best players. You don’t want to put these guys in situations where they can’t be successful though. Stewart and other young players will not succeed right away if there aren’t parts around him aren’t ready to be there. The MAC is usually dominated by veteran teams, and freshmen playing against seniors usually doesn’t go too well.
Michigan State has lost a player who was expected to compete for a starting spot next year. Forward Kenny Kaminski came out over the weekend and announced on twitter he would be transferring from Michigan State but did not announce where he was going. It came out yesterday that’s not the whole story. He actually was dismissed from the team for failing to meet team expectations. He was suspended twice last season and reportedly had many issues with academics. Kaminski was a back-up forward last season but made a mark with his outside shooting. The 6’8” Kaminski led the Big Ten in three point shooting % while averaging 4.9 ppg and 1.5 rpg. While he could have been a starter next season, I don’t think losing him is the biggest thing in the world for the Spartans. They can easily fill the two big guy spots with Matt Castello and Brandon Dawson.
On Tap for Tonight
Tigers @ Yankees. Price (11-8, 3.11) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (7-7, 3.98)
USTA Tennis @ Stowe Stadium.