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TOPIC: The team is taking a winner-take-all approach

The team is taking a winner-take-all approach 4 months 2 weeks ago #6848

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"No one is taking credit for hanging it Miles Mikolas Jersey , but there is a new sign outside the Detroit Tigers spring training clubhouse in Lakeland, Fla. It shows a picture of the Commissioner’s Trophy, and says “Believe this is going to be US!! Don’t walk through this door until you do!” Manager Ron Gardenhire insists it wasn’t him. In fact, when he was initially asked about it by reporters, he said he hadn’t even seen it yet.Yeah, okay.Later, Gardenhire seemed to have bought into the aspirational message whole hog. He told MLB.com’s Jason Beck, “We’ve heard the rebuild, but the rebuild is from the front office. Inside the clubhouse and the coaching staff, we believe we’re going to win. We’re coming to the ballpark to put together a baseball team that’s going to win baseball games.”You might be inclined to scoff as such a lofty goal, but it represents a very important kind of disconnect between the team and the front office. General manager Al Avila recently indicated the Tigers were unlikely to be competitive for two or three more years. It was his way of shrugging off any expectations as the team continues to amass young talent in its farm system.It’s also something we’re seeing across baseball, as rebuilding teams seem to show a disinterest in even attempting to field a winning team, while hoarding prospects the way Smaug stockpiles his gold.Though Avila implied that the team won’t be competitive, the Tigers have another idea, and their idealism is... well, it’s infectious. For a team that no one is predicting to be very good http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-marcell-ozuna-jersey , the Tigers — the players and coaches — seem blithely unaware of what baseball higher ups see in their immediate future. They are a team of men who want to get out on the field and win games. They are players in the prime of their lives who couldn’t give a hoot what baseball experts predict. A 90 or 100 loss season? The 2019 Tigers don’t think so. They think they’re going to the World Series. And I kind of want to believe them.It defies logic, and appeals to an animal-brained part of my fandom, but the enthusiasm and positivity the Tigers are demonstrating right out of the gate this year is catching. Almost the entire pitching staff was in Lakeland a week early, ready to get started. Many of the full squad are already present working out.This team wants to win.They aren’t willing to bide their time and accept a mandate from up above that says losing is beneficial. This isn’t a team that’s planning to tank. This is a team that wants to exceed expectation the way the 2017 Minnesota Twins did. Everyone predicted that the Twins, who had a 59-103 record in 2016, would return to the bottom of the division in 2017. Instead they faced the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game.Weird baseball miracles happen. They could happen for Detroit.The Tigers front office hasn’t made any moves to improve the team, but don’t tell the players that. New Tigers shortstop Jordy Mercer rolled into TigerFest last month eager to join the team (and his well-spoken approach to interviews is going to make him a popular target for sound bites this season). Nicholas Castellanos was featured in a recent MLB hype video, and the team is definitely feeding off that hype.There are a hundred reasons to count the Tigers out, but they don’t care.The Detroit Tigers think they’re going to win.Let’s believe them. Even if they don’t make it to the postseason, they are hoping to field a fun and exciting squad. A team that wants to be out there winning games is infinitely more enjoyable to watch that a team that accepts failure before they’re even at Opening Day.Whatever their record ends up being, seeing the Tigers lean into winning is making this spring training infinitely more interesting. Timely hitting from Chirinos, Correa provide the spark"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Houston Astros NewsGame ThreadsHouston Astros Minor LeaguesAstros Game DayPodcastsAstros Cap Fourth Straight Win with Late Rally over Yankees, 4-3New,50commentsTimely hitting from Chirinos, Correa provide the sparkCDTShareTweetShareShareAstros Cap Fourth Straight Win with Late Rally over Yankees, 4-3Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY SportsSometimes Jason Motte Jersey , you just need a little bit of contact to make good things happen. It never hurts to have a little bit of luck, too.A two-run double with two outs from Robinson Chirinos tied the game in the seventh inning and Carlos Correa reached on a dinky grounder in the eighth to cap a late rally against the vaunted New York Yankees bullpen and give the Houston Astros their fourth straight victory, 4-3, Monday night.Things looked bleak for the Astros, who trailed by two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against primo reliever Zach Britton. Tyler White worked a four-pitch walk to put runners at first and second as Chirinos stepped to the plate. Chirinos scalded his second double in as many innings to tie the game when a chugging White snuck by Gary Sanchez.Correa found his teammate’s hustle irresistible. Reliever Adam Ottavino came on for Britton to strike out George Springer and temporarily end the threat.After a scoreless eighth from the reliable Ryan Pressly, the Astros again went on the offensive against a stellar cog in the Yankees bullpen.Alex Bregman worked a one-out walk from Ottavino and Michael Brantley followed with a hard single up the middle to beat the shift and put runners at the corners with one out.Then, the Astros received a lucky bounce that resembled the magic we’ve seen so often the last two seasons.Correa got jammed by a high, inside fastball that he fought off and meekly pushed toward first base. The ball came off Correa’s bat at 28.9 mph with a two-degree launch angle, took a funky bounce, stayed fair, and allowed Bregman to score the game-winning run.Closer Roberto Osuna retired the first two batters he faced to bring Aaron Judge—who was already 2-2 with a home run and two walks—to the plate. Judge hit a laser on the first pitch right at Springer, giving the Astros their fourth straight win, all coming at Minute Maid Park. Osuna logged his third save of the season and Pressly collected his first win in 2019.Verlander and Masahiro Tanaka both got off to good starts Monday night. Each pitcher allowed just one hit through the first two innings.Verlander permitted a one-out walk to 9-hole hitter Gio Urshela to turn the lineup over in the third inning. Brett Gardner followed with a single and a walk to Judge loaded the bases with one out. An RBI single from Luke Voit gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead as their fourth straight batter reached base. Verlander retired the next two batters to limit the damage, though he required 30+ pitches in an inning for the second straight outing.The Yankees do a good job of making pitchers work. New York finished with the third-most pitches per plate appearance (4.01) in 2018 and were at 4.32 pitches/plate appearance (second-most in MLB) coming into tonight’s game, a stark contrast to the Astros general offensive philosophy. Houston saw the eighth-fewest pitches/plate appearance (3.85 pitches/PA) in 2018 and have the exact same rank (3.82 pitches/PA) so far in 2019.Verlander’s pitch count was up to 73 with one out in fourth and for the second time in as many starts it looked like he might not make it through the fifth inning. Fortunately, Bregman made a diving stab to get the Astros out of the inning http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-marcell-ozuna-jersey , which was an exceptionally good thing with Jose Altuve leading off the inning.Altuve smoked Tanaka’s 40th pitch of the night deep over the train tracks to tie the game, 1-1.Statcast registered the damage at 109 mph and 448 feet. Back-to-back hits by D.J. LeMahieu and Clint Frazier doubled the Yankees lead in the sixth inning. Verlander struck out Urshela to finish six innings with three runs, 7 hits, 6 strikeouts and 111 pitches.Verlander had trouble locating his fastball in particular, generating just five whiffs on 30 swings against the pitch (props to bilbos for sharing the pitch f/x tool). Will Harris allowed a hit and walk in the seventh against the heart of the New York order, but didn’t surrender a run. Neither Harris nor Pressly have allowed a run in 2019 and have a WHIP of 0.90 and 0.46, respectively. In fact, Pressly has an impressive scoreless streak that dates back to last season.Judge, who recorded the first hit of his career against Verlander in in the first inning, reached base in his first four plate appearances of the game—including an opposite field homer in the fifth inning that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead.The scorching Bregman reached base in his first two plate appearances for the Astros and is on fire.Box score and videos HERE.The Astros host the Yankees again tomorrow night at 7pm Central, with Jonathan Loaisiga (0-0, 2.25) opposing Gerrit Cole (0-2, 3.00).
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