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The Tigers Party Like it’s 1986
Coming into the 2022 season, the Detroit Tigers had a lot of hype. With the signing of Javier Báez, the fairly encouraging 2021 performances from pitchers Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, and the looming call-ups of Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene had Detroit faithful thinking it was the Tigers’ time to get back into the spotlight.
Unfortunately, baseball is baseball, and plans haven’t gone perfectly. Báez has shown his dynamic potential at times but has overall struggled. Skubal started hot but has recently faced a tough stretch. Torkelson has struggled against big-league pitching. All of this has led to a 34-47 record and fourth place in the AL Central. But the Tigers showed some fire in their series against the Guardians, even shaking off a long-lasting drought.
Saying it to say it… the Tigers own the Guardians.
Detroit is (7-2) against Cleveland this season.
Detroit sweeps Cleveland in a 4-game series for the first time since 1986.#DetroitRoots
— Johnny Kane (@JohnnyKaneTV) July 6, 2022
Jonathan Schoop has turned it on lately, batting .435 in the past week while Eric Haase, Victor Reyes, and Kody Clemens have helped contribute to the winning streak. Miguel Cabrera is a RISP machine as he continued to focus on contact over power, and Riley Greene has been a sparkplug, with the team going 10-7 since his call-up as of last night.
Sweeps happen and this isn’t to say that the Tigers are about to blaze through the second half for an AL Central championship, but it’s a great sign of life from a team that many had as a dark horse playoff contender before the season started. The Guardians are a good time, and the Tigers’ faithful should be able to celebrate.
Can't spell Cleveland without a bunch of Ls. ? pic.twitter.com/9rhRd9qa4m
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 6, 2022
Schwarber Stays HOT
Teams who employ Kyle Schwarber know what they’re getting into. A power bat who will collect counting stats in the middle of your order and strike fear into the opposing pitcher’s heart. Maybe he goes on a tear or two in June and ends the year with around 30 home runs.
It looks like someone forgot to tell Schwarber that June is over. Or he just doesn’t care anymore.
The slugger crushed two home runs yesterday in the Phillies’ 2-3 loss to the Nationals. This occurs the day after his two-homer performance in an 11-0 win against the Nats on Tuesday. He’s seeing red (His Statcast page is insane, too), and opposing pitchers should start thinking twice about pitching to him right now:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 7, 2022
After a slower start to the year, Schwarber hit 12 HR with 27 RBI and a .272 AVG in June, earning himself Player of the Month honors. You may recall that Schwarber performed similarly in 2021, before his trade to the Boston Red Sox. In July, he has stayed hot with a .350 average, 4 HR, and 5 RBI in the first six days of the month. The Phillies will hope his torrid streak continues as they sit 43-39 and are tied with the Cardinals for the third Wild Card spot.
He’s must-see TV when he’s on one of his patented streaks, so be sure to tune in to enjoy it while you can.
MVP Candidates do what MVP Candidates do
The AL MVP race has been tight so far, with three or four players continually rising above the competition. Mike Trout will always be Mike Trout and threaten for the title. Yordan Alvarez is trying to make his case for one of the best DHs ever. But right now, it seems like Aaron Judge is the main contender for the AL MVP Crown as he tries to stop reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani from winning two in a row. Both players added to their case yesterday.
Judge is the first player in the 2022 season to hit the 30-HR mark, and did it in grand style with this bomb against the Pirates:
Aaron's 30th Bash ?⚖️ pic.twitter.com/EjZb48jmKl
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 7, 2022
The star outfielder is hitting .287 with a .993 OPS on the season, with 30 HR, 65 R, 64 RBI, and 7 SB before the All-Star break. He’s been otherworldly, and a key contributor to the Yankees’ AL-best 59-23 record. But Ohtani isn’t going to lose his MVP crown too easily.
Ohtani joins Mike Trout (5 times), Darin Erstad (2 times) and Don Baylor (2 times) as the only Halos with multiple seasons of 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases before the All-Star break.
— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) July 7, 2022
Ohtani continues to shine on both sides of the ball, with 18 HR, 48 R, 53 RBI, 10 SB, and a .259 AVG to go along with a 2.44 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 81 IP. He’s been a top contributor in the lineup while also serving as the Halos’ ace as they hope to battle for their first playoff spot since 2014.
Just last night, he threw seven innings of 1 run, 10 K baseball while going 1 for 3 with 2 RBI at the plate. He’s just incredible. It’s going to be an exciting MVP race in the second half between these two, so strap in. It’s only going to get better.
Best Moments From Yesterday
We’ve all watched home run balls hit the foul pole and ricochet into the stands or fields. Maybe you even have experience with Pesky Pole. It’s a fun occurrence that can only happen in a sport like baseball. But you may not have seen this kind of pole homer before, courtesy of the LG Twins’ Gang-nam Yu:
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) July 6, 2022
Future Gold Glover in the Stands
No matter your age, the allure of catching a baseball at a baseball game will continue to inspire hope. “Maybe it will be this game,” you hope. “I should bring my glove just in case.” If you do, just make sure you’re not around this Reds fan who made a great snag at the Mets-Reds game yesterday:
that's why you bring your glove to the park pic.twitter.com/Mn45PCkEGn
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 7, 2022
Star Prospect Hello Kitty Shaky in Debut
Hello Kitty is probably joining the latter.
50 Cent disguised as Hello Kitty? pic.twitter.com/1nnrvjcIly
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 7, 2022
Oakland A’s SP Frankie Montas received an MRI which showed inflammation but no structural damage on his shoulder.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)