5 Things for April 15th: Bottom of the Order Steps Up in Tigers Win over Baltimore
1. It is huge for a baseball team when regular members of their bench can get the job done on a day like yesterday.
Playing a day game on a getaway day, the Tigers had their B-lineup out there. Yesterday's seven, eight, and nine hitters were Don Kelly, Bryan Holaday, and Danny Worth. Those three guys who are not typically in the lineup combined to go 5-11 with three RBI. Rajai Davis also hit a solo home run for Detroit.
Justin Verlander was in good shape through four innings, but had a rough fifth. He gave up five runs in that frame, capped off with a three-run homer by Tiger killer Nelson Cruz. However, the bullpen shut down the final three innings and the offense produced a run to give Detroit a 7-5 win.
2. The Canadiens and Bruins wrapped up their fantastic series with an entertaining game seven. Dale Weise has gotten on the Bruins' bad side this series, and has been the target of a lot of physical play. He opened the scoring last night when Matt Bartkowski failed to pick him up on the back door. Max Pacioretty then buried a one-timer after the Bruins failed to clear the puck. Boston got one goal, but noted playoff performer Danny Briere scored a late goal to make it 3-1 and essentially end the series.
Things got a little testy in the handshake line. Milan Lucic had some choice words for Weise and defenseman Alexei Emelin:
I'll allow the lip-readers out there to make up their mind about what was said. Meanwhile, P.K. Subban is the best. In addition to his terrific all-around game, his honesty, intensity and personality have made him and incredibly fun player to follow:
Meanwhile, out west, the Kings forced a game seven. After being terrific so far these playoffs, John Gibson let in a soft second goal to give LA a 2-1 lead.
3. The Miami Heat are through to the eastern conference finals. Joe Johnson had the ball in his hands with a chance to tie the game, but Ray Allen and LeBron James converged on him to make sure that he could not even get a shot off. The Heat won 96-94.
Their partner from last year's NBA finals, the San Antonio Spurs, are also on to the conference finals. San Antonio got a blowout 104-82 win over the Trail Blazers.
4. In coaching news, Steve Kerr went with the much better basketball situation and signed a contract with the Warriors. The Knicks were his other option, but beyond his relationship with Phil Jackson and the fact that New York is the biggest market in America, it is not a very attractive vacancy. Golden State has an excellent young core and projects to be a playoff team for the next few seasons.
5. Masahiro Tanaka has been a godsend for the Yankees. In a pitching staff that has been riddled with injuries and adversity, Tanaka has been the lone stabilizing force. He threw a complete game four-hit shutout against the Mets last night.
Jose Abreu is still hot, as he launched his 15th home run in a win over the A's.
Steve Miller is on-air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. producing ‘Mad Dog in the Morning’ on The Game 730 AM. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMilllerWVFN.