Found August 14, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
Chicago -- Joaquin Benoit is a pro's pro and the Tigers would not be 21 games over .500 without him. Benoit very quietly goes about his business, does whatever the team asks him to do and doesn't seem to falter. On Wednesday, with the Tigers nursing a 6-4 lead over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, manager Jim Leyland turned once again to Benoit. The difference was it was the eighth inning and there was only one out and the White Sox had runners at the corners with Adam Dunn coming up. Benoit used to be the eighth-inning guy until Leyland officially named him the closer at the end of June. So Leyland was asking Benoit to get five outs. Benoit struck out Dunn and then struck out former Tiger Avisail Garcia to end the threat. In the ninth, Benoit ran into a bit of trouble of his own making, giving up a hit to Jeff Keppinger leading off and walking Conor Gillaspie. After Josh Phegley sacrificed to advance the runners for the first out, Benoit struck out Jordan Danks and got Alejandro De Aza to ground out to end the game, earning his 15th save in 15 chances. "I guess I tried to take it too easy in the ninth but as soon as I walked the guy, I tried to step it up and tried to get my job done," Benoit said. It is only Benoit's second career save of five outs or more. The other came back in 2002 when he went seven innings for the Texas Rangers as a long man. "I don't like to do what I did today but I felt like I had to," Leyland said, noting that Benoit had not pitched in four games. "I just felt that he was a better matchup for Dunn. "Don't like to do it because I think you saw a little effect of that in the ninth inning. They lose their edge a little bit. Benoit, he knows what he's doing. I thought he showed terrific pitch-ability today under tough circumstances. To me, that's why he's one of the best. He's really a good pitcher, got a good feel for how to pitch." Leyland has often said that the ninth inning is a different one to pitch and not everyone is suited for that role with the game on the line. But Benoit is 11-for-11 in save opportunities with an 0.52 ERA since June 27. "Perfect," Miguel Cabrera said of the Tigers' closer. "He's been unbelievable. He's got a lot of confidence in what he's gonna do on the mound and he brings a lot of saves and wins to us." Starter Rick Porcello did yeoman's work of his own after giving up three runs and throwing 37 pitches in the first inning. He did not allow another run and made it through six. Porcello (9-6) has been impressed with how seamlessly Benoit has slid into the closer role. "He's been outstanding," Porcello said. "Normally when he goes out there to close games, it's pretty much 1-2-3, lights out. Today he had to go out for a five-out save, which is, I would imagine, pretty difficult for a reliever who's normally pitching one inning. "He's been tremendous all year. He's been really a huge key to our success. Can't say enough about what he's done." The radar gun registered a 97 mile-an-hour fastball for Benoit, which made Torii Hunter take notice. "I haven't seen him hit 96-97 probably since his Rangers days," Hunter said. "He's turned it up. He's stepped into that closer role and took it. He's running away with it. He looks good out there. "I'm confident when he gets on the mound. He had a little pressure on him today and he got out of it. That's just a veteran pitcher knowing how to pitch and getting the job done." The Tigers have come to expect Benoit to get the job done and he hasn't disappointed. "I don't know if I call it easy. I still have to work but it's been good for me," Benoit said. "I guess I've been blessed. Everything has come out good for me in these situations and hopefully it keeps going that way." Cabrera does it again Cabrera took the pressure off the Tigers again, hitting his 38th home run in the third inning, tying the game at 3. It was Cabrera's 12th first-pitch home run of the season. According to ESPN Stats and Info, no other player has more than nine. While the Tigers have come to expect Cabrera's heroics, it's even more astounding considering the injuries he's battling. "He's obviously shown that he's capable of that," Leyland said. "He just pulled his hands in and they were like lightning through the zone. He's remarkable. Actually his shin is all black and blue, it's terrible-looking but it actually looked a little bit better today. He's still pretty sore, his stomach is what it is. "Hopefully we can get him healthy. As a manager, you almost feel bad, to be honest with you, sometimes playing him because I can see that he's hurting some but he wanted to play today and I put him in there." Cabrera was asked how he's made adjustments to his injuries. "I try to don't focus about that, try to focus on what I can do in the right time and try to do my job," Cabrera said. Cabrera's teammates appreciate his willingness to play, despite the pain. "He could easily say, I'm hurt, I won't play but Miggy won't do that," Hunter said. "Miggy never wants to come out of the game. He's playing this game like a kid. No matter if he's hurt or not, he wants to be out there. He knows his presence is everything. You put Miggy in the lineup, even if he can't run, it still has an effect. Miggy knows that." Said Benoit: "I don't think there's gonna be another Cabrera ever in baseball because even though he's hurt, he don't want to come out of the game. You have to have respect for that. He's not a guy that's 40, he's 30 years old, in his prime and he's the kind of guy that wants to be there and that's why I tip my hat for him."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Report: Prince Fielder is getting a divorce

Prince Fielder told the media that everything is fine a couple of days ago after teammate Torii Hunter informed everyone listening to a local Detroit radio talk show that Fielder was dealing with someone. According to a report released today (Via Freep.com), Fielder filed for a divorce back May. While Fielder may be telling the media that it isn’t a distraction, it’s hard to...

Hunter comes to Fielder's defense

CHICAGO -- Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter made an important point Tuesday on the radio, one that shouldn't be lost in the speculation surrounding Prince Fielder. Hunter was waiting to go on the air on the new Detroit Sports 105.1 when he heard the host criticizing Fielder's play. Fielder, who's batting .261 with 17 home runs and 81 RBIs, is off his usual home run...

May be time for Detroit Tigers to make Brayan Pena starter

Alex Avila brought so much promise to Detroit Tiger fans in 2009 when he joined his father’s organization (Al Avila is the VP of the team and assistant GM). He started with the Tigers on Aug. 6, 2009 with two hits and an RBI. The following night he had his first home run. Avila quickly showed signs of greatness. That slowly faded as he finished with a .279 average, which, admittedly...

Jim Leyland Expected to Try to Tone Down Jose Iglesias’ Flashy Play

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias made arguably the play of the year Monday night against the Chicago White Sox. The former Red Sox infielder barehanded a ball behind the mound while simultaneously starting his throwing motion in order to make a miraculous play all while flying through the air. It was an incredible play, and it was the Tigers’ first real look at the absolutely incredible...

Recap: Fielder homers, Tigers beat Royals 4-1

DETROIT -- Prince Fielder homered for the first time in three weeks, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning to help the Detroit Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night. Andy Dirks added two doubles and two singles for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who took the opener of this five-game series with third-place Kansas City. The Royals have lost three...

Tigers' Octavio Dotel feels good after rehab outing, will pitch again today

After numerous setbacks, Octavio Dotel may be on the right path finally.  The Detroit Tigers' veteran reliever threw a scoreless inning in relief yesterday at High-A Lakeland, and he should continue progressing from there.  Dotel has been on the DL since April.  As he has has tried to come back, he hit road block after road block.  Now, things are looking like he might be...

Prince Fielder Filed for Divorce on May 28, Could be Mysterious Off-Field Issue

A pending divorce in Orange County, Fla., first reported by Larry Brown Sports, is the off-the-field distraction for Prince Fielder that Torii Hunter alluded to during his radio hit on Detroit Sports 105.1 and could be the culprit behind Fielder’s struggles. Prince filed the motion to dissolve the marriage on May 28 and, according to a search of the Orange County Clerk’s Office...

Scherzer record not whole Cy story

One candidate is a Detroit Tiger putting together the type of season -- in traditional statistics -- not seen in decades. His primary challenger comes from the American League West, armed with advantages in sabermetric categories. Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout? Nope, although we indeed may be headed for a reprise of the debate that set Twitter aflame one year ago. Baseball'...

VIDEO: Anibal Sanchez helps Miguel Cabrera relieve some tension…

Get your mind out of the gutters everyone, Sanchez gave Cabby a back rub in the dugout and a much deserved one after the Tigers slugger has been suffering from back issues in recent weeks plus he just tied the game with yet another home run. Either way it’s still pretty damn funny. Also I don’t think I have to mention when you’re Miguel Cabrera it should be an honor for anyone...

Cabrera, Tigers defeat White Sox

CHICAGO (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera hit a towering three-run homer and the Detroit Tigers ended a three-game skid, beating the Chicago White Sox 6-4 Wednesday. A year after winning the Triple Crown, Cabrera has 38 homers and 114 RBIs and is hitting .360. The AL Central-leading Tigers had lost four of five following a 12-game winning streak. Despite surrendering a season-high 11 hits...

Preview: Guthrie takes the ball as Royals pay a visit to the Tigers

While the Detroit Tigers own a comfortable lead in the AL Central, they have a chance to really distance themselves from one of the teams in pursuit.Detroit tries to extend its season-high home winning streak to 10 on Thursday night when it opens a five-game set against the Kansas City Royals.The Tigers (70-49) had dropped three straight and four of five before bouncing back with...

Miguel Cabrera’s Most Incredible Strength

Do you want to see footage of Miguel Cabrera hitting a home run? Of course you do. You’re not a monster. Now let me  find the last time he — oh,  right, he hit a homer yesterday. Went yard off John Danks. Sixth time he’s homered in eight games, with two of those coming off […]

At the Park: Scouting Octavio Dotel

Sidelined since April 20th with elbow soreness, Tigers’ reliever Octavio Dotel rehabbed with the Flying Tigers in Lakeland on Monday evening. Curious how the soon-to-be 40-year-old reliever fared? Lakeland Correspondent James Chipman brings you analysis, charting and video from Dotel’s latest outing.

Living up to hype will be tough for Castellanos

Over the course of the next several months, many of us are anticipating what could be an extraordinary period in Detroit professional sports lore. Enthusiasm should be high. The Tigers are poised to become a playoff team for the third consecutive season; the Lions are embracing a new, mature attitude and appear -- at least on paper -- to be better; and with the additions the Red...

Sox make it 2 straight over Tigers

Alejandro De Aza hit an RBI single off Tigers reliever Phil Coke in the 11th inning to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday night. De Aza’s second walk-off hit in a week drove in Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia who walked to lead off the inning and advanced on a Jeff Keppinger sacrifice bunt and Jordan Danks groundout. De Aza had...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.