Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 7/17/12

Last Week: 2-1
This Week: LAA (7/16-19); CWS (7/20-22)
So, What Happened?

Justin Verlander got torched in the All-Star Game, AL manager Ron Washington scolded him publicly, and JV was linked to supermodel Kate Upton.
Oh, you mean what really mattered?
The Tigers extended their win streak to six games, before losing a toughie in Baltimore on Saturday night, a 13-inning marathon. But—guess who—Verlander sealed the series win with surgeon-like precision on Sunday, using his scalpel, er, arm to carve up the Orioles on three hits in eight shutout innings.
It was a big series win, maintaining the momentum—if there is such a thing in baseball—from before the break.
Rookie lefty Drew Smyly landed on the disabled list, retroactive to July 7. He has a sore side. What is it with Tigers pitchers and sore sides this year?
Jacob Turner starts on Tuesday.
One more thing: Miguel Cabrera is playing like he plans on simply taking his first MVP Award, simply because he wants it. He hit two baseballs over the weekend so hard that MMM feels sorry for the cowhide spheres.
Hero of the Week
MMM only has three games to work with when it comes to Hero and Goat this week, but as you know, that’s enough to come to a decision.
MMM likes Miguel Cabrera, because the ferocity of his power—to center field and right field, no less—put exclamation marks on the Tigers’ two wins in Baltimore.
Cabrera is gaining on Texas’s Josh Hamilton for MVP consideration. Hamilton appeared to be running away with it in April and May, but he’s cooled off and Miggy is on a mission. His power knows no bounds. His flair for the dramatic is unparalleled. His hitting approach is elite.
Take Sunday’s bomb in the ninth inning. That poor kid Steve Johnson never knew what hit him. But just a couple pitches prior to the homer, Johnson tied Cabrera in knots with a wicked curve ball. No matter. When the kid tried to paint the black with a fastball on the outside corner, Cabrera swung at it as if the baseball was on a tee. The result: a 420+ foot home run to center field that might have had a flight crew and peanuts on it.
That followed a rocket on Friday night on a pitch that was low and a little outside.
Miggy plays no favorites and takes no prisoners.
Honorable mention: Verlander, for his series-winning gem on Sunday.
Goat of the Week
MMM feels kinda bad about this, but he only had three games with which to work.
Joaquin Benoit, you’re this week’s Goat.
MMM feels bad because Benoit has been mostly terrific this season. But had he not given up two home runs in the 13th inning on Saturday, the Tigers would be working on an eight-game winning streak. And, the White Sox lost on Saturday.
Twice the Tigers had a chance to win in extra innings Saturday, and after Jose Valverde blew it in the 11th, Benoit did the same in the 13th.
So why not Valverde as Goat?
Benoit gave up two homers, number one, and the second was to a guy, Taylor Teagarden, who just came off the disabled list and wasn’t even expecting to play, let alone be a hero.
That’s why.
Under the Microscope
Is the real Brennan Boesch on display, or is this just another tease?
Boesch, the sometimes confounding right fielder, has been hitting well as of late. Even balls he isn’t hitting all that well are dropping in for base hits.
MMM wants to believe that Boesch, along with Jhonny Peralta, is getting back to his 2011 level of play (before Boesch hurt his wrist).
If so, MMM loves the Tigers’ chances in the second half.
MMM is putting Boesch UtM until further notice, not convinced that this recent hot streak is a harbinger of things to come.
Upcoming: Angels, White Sox
The Tigers marketing and sales departments must love this post-break homestand.
The Angels and the White Sox?
One team making a run for its division, with marquee players and a rookie phenom, and a team the Tigers are chasing? And a natural rival, to boot?
What a way to kick off the home portion of the second half schedule, eh?
The Angels invade for four games, and the only thing that will be lacking is that neither Jered Weaver nor Verlander will pitch.
But it will be the Tigers and their fans’ first look at rookie Mike Trout, who is leading the league in hitting at age 20 (he’ll be legal to drink on August 7). Oh yeah, and there’s that first baseman the Angels signed in the off-season—Albert something or the other.
As for the White Sox, MMM isn’t convinced they can keep up their first place pace in the second half. Too many rookies, including their manager.
But Adam Dunn is the Dunn of 2010 and prior, and Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski are two of baseball’s most underrated players, in MMM’s humble opinion. Or, in today’s text message age, IMMMHO.
Still, the rookie thing gnaws. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
Regardless, this ought to be a wild and wonderful week of baseball at Comerica Park.
That’s all for this week’s MMM. See you next week!

By Greg Eno

Play Our Fantasy Game Today and Try Your Hand at Winning $250 for FREE

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Indians owner attempting to sell minority stakes to raise cash

Kirk Cousins reportedly named Week 1 starter by Redskins

Raiders lose starting lineman to ruptured Achilles tendon

NFL should keep its hands off wide receivers’ gloves

Report: Redskins owner not blocking RG3 trade

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason


Cubs ace Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release two-time Pro Bowl CB Tim Jennings

Indians president Mark Shapiro jumps to same role in Toronto

Tom Coughlin: Victor Cruz not expected to practice this week

D'Angelo Russell: 'There's a lot of spoiled Lakers fans'

Terry Collins didn't challenge double out of fear of HR

Will Smith's "Concussion" trailer must be terrifying for the NFL

Aikman: Redskins are more dysfunctional than Kardashians

Luck for Luck? QBs who won Super Bowl in fourth season

Harmon treats media to beers, whiskey after two holes-in-one

Five big storylines for the 2015-16 NBA season

Most crucial player for each remaining playoff contender

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

U.S. Open women's preview: Can anyone stop Serena?

Buffalo Bills need to start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback

WATCH: Broncos defender drops Reggie Bush, skirmish ensues

U.S. Open men's preview: Will there be a surprise champion?

Big Papi crushes Syndergaard pitch for 494th homer

Virginia Tech honoring slain journalists with helmet stickers

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

U.S. Open men's preview

U.S. Open women's preview

D'Angelo Russell zings Lakers fans

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker