Found April 03, 2013 on
The Detroit Sports Site:
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Phil Coke is now 1-for-2 as the Detroit Tigers’ makeshift closer. After cruising to an easy save on opening day against the Minnesota Twins, Coke faltered Wednesday afternoon as the Twins rallied for a 3-2 victory.
Just as he did in Monday’s 4-2 Detroit win, Joaquin Benoit opened the ninth inning on the mound, this time protecting a one-run edge. However, unlike Monday, Benoit failed to retire the batter he faced — Benoit walked Trevor Plouffe on a 3-2 pitch to put the tying run on with nobody out.
Coke managed to retire the first batter he faced Wednesday, getting Chris Parmalee to fly out to right. But Brian Dozier then singled to move pinch-runner Jamey Carroll to third, and Eduardo Escobar ended the game with a two-RBI double to deep left-center. Austin Jackson appeared to have the ball in his sights, only to lose it at the last moment.
Anibal Sanchez took a no-decision for Detroit, allowing no runs and two hits over five innings. Miguel Cabrera registered both Tigers RBIs, with singles in the third and fifth innings.
Tigers’ MVP: Cabrera. On another tough day for the offense, with the weather brisk again in Minnesota, Cabrera bounced back from a hitless Game 1 to provide the only punch on Wednesday.
Tigers’ Goat: Coke. Benoit certainly deserves some blame for walking the leadoff man with a one-run lead in the ninth inning. But Coke was extremely hittable on Wednesday, especially against right-handers (as he was all of last season). Even if Jackson managed to track down Escobar’s deep fly, the Tigers would have, at best, headed to extra innings.
The Standings: Detroit fell to 1-1, one game back of the White Sox in the AL Central. The Indians played Wednesday night.
What’s Next: Rick Porcello will try to follow up on his strong spring by getting the Tigers a series win Thursday. Minnesota will counter with ex-Met Mike Pelfrey. The game’s an early one: 1:10 p.m. ET (12:10 local), so the Tigers can get back to Detroit for Friday’s home opener.
BEST OF MAXIM
Even though he blew a save Wednesday, Phil Coke should be the Tigers’ closer right now.
Phil Coke should be given the Detroit Tigers’ closer role, for now, even after Wednesday’s blown save against the Twins.
Coke proved himself on the biggest stage last postseason, when he stepped in for Jose Valverde to help lock down games. He also had an excellent opening day performance...
After the Detroit Tigers' short-lived and frightening (if you're a Tigers fan at least) experiment with the closer by committee approach, the team went out and signed Jose Valverde. Papa Grande will likely eventually be added to the 25-man roster, but for now the deal is of the minor league variety.
Jose Valverde has signed a minor-league contract w/ the Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year contract with reliever Jose Valverde, who is expected back with the team Wednesday.
And manager Jim Leyland says Valverde will be Detroit's closer immediately.
Valverde was the Tigers' closer the last three years, but the team was prepared to let him leave as a free agent after he faltered during the 2012 postseason. But he never...
Three games into their season, the Tigers have already sent their fan base into a panic.
No, it wasnt Phil Cokes blown save against the Twins in Minnesota on Wednesday that has caused this tizzy.
It was the announcement that Detroit has signed their former closer, Jose "Papa Grande" Valverde, to a minor-league deal.
Valverde will begin his season in Lakeland, Fla...
The Detroit Tigers' starting pitchers have yet to allow a run, though manager Jim Leyland would probably like to see his next one go a little deeper.
A day after Detroit's maligned bullpen blew a lead, Rick Porcello hopes to avoid a similar fate and help the Tigers win Thursday's series finale against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Detroit starters Justin Verlander...
MINNEAPOLIS Torii Hunter is not a stranger to Target Field, having visited the Twins' new park while with the Los Angeles Angels. But Hunter will be spending quite a bit more time this season at the downtown Minneapolis ballpark.
Hunter signed with the Detroit Tigers this year as a free agent, meaning he'll face his former Twins club plenty this season. As it turns out...
An Omar Infante walk and Austin Jackson double gave the Detroit Tigers a glorious chance to erase a 3-2 deficit in Minnesota on Thursday afternoon — two in scoring position, nobody out, and Torii Hunter-Miguel Cabrera-Prince Fielder coming up.
But Hunter struck out and, after an intentional walk to Cabrera, so did Fielder. Victor Martinez then meekly ended the threat with a pop...
The Detroit Tigers maintained all offseason that they did not have any interest in bringing back former closer Jose Valverde. On Thursday the team announced a minor league deal for the 35-year-old.
Valverde had a down year in 2012. Despite 35 saves, Valverde had a 3.78 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Both numbers were his worst since 2006.
If Valverde cannot make it to the majors by May 5th...
Well after a day to savor their Opening Day victory, and to let Minneapolis warm up a bit (game time looks to be a relatively balmy 45), the Tigers hand the ball to Anibal and look to keep their perfect record intact.
While most of the talk about the opener was related to the bullpen use (or misuse, if you prefer). The play of the game may have been in the first inning, when the...
Eduardo Escobar's two-run double with one out in the ninth inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
After Joaquin Benoit issued a leadoff walk to Trevor Plouffe, reliever Phil Coke took over. Coke got the first out, but Brian Dozier's single advanced pinch-runner Jamey Carroll to third. Then Escobar drove the first pitch Coke...
The Detroit Tigers signed their former closer Jose Valverde on Thursday to a minor league deal, he will report to Lakeland, Fla.
“We love Papa Grande. He’s been fantastic for this organization,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said today via The Detroit Free Press. “He’s been fantastic as a person. We saw a little fall-off last year, and it wasn’t just during the postseason...
All offseason long, the Detroit Tigers denied interest in re-signing free-agent closer Jose Valverde. Every other team in baseball also effectively denied interest in signing Valverde. The Tigers did next to nothing to address their closer situation, and on Wednesday, Phil Coke blew a save against the Twins. Thursday, the Tigers signed Valverde, albeit to a minor-league contract...
It's Opening Day at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit!! The Detroit Tigers take on a familiar foe from last years ALCS, the New York Yankees. Here are today's starting lineups:
For the visiting New York Yankees:
1. CF Gardner
2. 2B Cano
3. 3B Youkilis
4. DH Hafner
5. RF Boesch
6. SS Nunez
7. LF Suzuki
8. 1B Overbay
9. C Stewart
SP Ivan Nove...
Now that Jose Valverde has signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers, the obvious question is: When will Papa Grande be back as the closer?
The obvious answer is: When he can once again command his out-pitch, the split-fingered fastball at Triple-A Toledo.
Valverde lost the ability to throw the splitter effectively late last season and became a one-pitch guy.