The Low Down on D-Town (March 13, 2012)

After a couple of weeks off, The Low Down on D-Town is back with more good news than bad. The Detroit Tigers have been seemingly unstoppable in Spring Training Grapefruit League play, the Detroit Pistons are a few spots out of the playoff race, and the Detroit Red Wings have been decent after their NHL record 23 home game winning streak.

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers started Grapefruit League action on Friday, March 2 against Florida Southern College. The Tigers won six straight games after that before falling to the Philadelphia Phillies 7-5. They also tied the Washington Nationals 5-5 after 10 innings. Among the other six games, the Tigers defeated the Atlanta Braves three times, the Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, and the Tampa Bay Rays.

One of the bigger games people are talking about is the second game against the Braves. The Tigers won that game 18-3. Nine home runs were hit over the course of nine innings, six of which were against one pitcher alone, Julio Tehran.

New first baseman Prince Fielder hit one, Ryan Raburn hit two, including a grand slam, along with Alex Avila, Delmon Young, Jhonny Peralta, and Austin Jackson.

After Tuesday, the Tigers have 13 games left in Spring Training before kicking off the 2012 season at home against the Boston Red Sox on April 5 at 1:05pm.

If you’re really in the mood to get some Tigers action, you can catch them on ESPN on Wednesday against the New York Mets at 1:00pm, on Monday, March 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:00pm, or against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, March 20 at 1:00pm.

You can also catch the final two games of preseason action on Fox Sports Detroit, and a few games on 97.1 The Ticket FM radio.

Detroit Pistons: The Pistons have somehow crawled their way back into contention for the NBA Playoffs by playing some really good basketball lately. At 15 wins and 26 losses, you would think that would be a losing record, and it is. But don’t let it fool you. Many of the teams in the NBA this year have a less than stellar record, but that is the result of a super short season, compressing games into a shorter time span. Currently, ESPN gives the Pistons a 1.6% chance at making the playoffs.

Of the six games played since the last issue, the Pistons have won four of them, the last three being consecutively. A few of the wins were pretty big too.

The Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 88-85 in overtime at home last Tuesday. It was a gutsy, hard-fought win for the Pistons, who trailed by seven points going into the fourth quarter. Detroit opened up on the Lakers scoring 24 points, and barely squeaking out 10 in overtime to take the win. Rodney Stuckey had 34 points for the Pistons, while Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 30 points.

Three days later, they faced the Atlanta Hawks at home, and barely won that game, too, slipping by with an 86-85 victory. Tayshaun Prince hit the winning shot for the Pistons, and a missed shot by the Hawks secured a second consecutive win for Detroit, in the first of back to back games at the Palace.

The following night, the Pistons faced the Toronto Raptors and slashed them, winning by 19 points, 105-86. The Pistons rode a big first quarter, scoring 37 points, and didn’t look back. Six players were in double-digit scoring, with all five starters contributing.

The Pistons will now start a five-game road trip, come home for one game, and then play another four games on the road. Their road trip began last night against the Utah Jazz, and will continue against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday at 10:00pm.

Their next home game will be against the Miami Heat on Friday, March 23 at 7:30pm at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings historic 23-home game winning streak was snapped by the Vancouver Canucks in a 4-3 shootout loss on Thursday, February 23. They followed up that game with another home loss to the Colorado Avalanche, 4-3. They were able to bounce back with a win on the road against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2.

Their first win at home since the streak ended was against the Minnesota Wild, 6-0. That would be the last time that Jimmy Howard would play in a full game, injuring his groin in a 2-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks two nights later. The injuries soon followed for the Red Wings, but the team seem diligent on competing each game with half of their roster composed of minor leaguers from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Red Wings pulled out a comeback win against the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, this past Friday. Darren Helm scored the game winner with just over a minute left in the game, about three minutes after Valtteri Filppula tied it up.

Unfortunately, the Red Wings couldn’t keep up the momentum heading into Nashville for the second of back to back games. The Red Wings fell 3-2 this past Saturday as they were trying to get healthy.

Among the Red Wings injured are star center Pavel Datsyuk, All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard, defensemen Jakub Kindl, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Jonathan Ericsson, Todd Bertuzzi, and Justin Abdelkader. Howard is set to return Tuesday, while Abdelkader returned against the Predators and contributed with a goal.

With so many injuries, the Red Wings had to call upon their farm team for help. Those who were called up were goaltender Jordan Pearce, defensemen Brendan Smith and Doug Janik, and forwards Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, and Chris Conner.

Smith has had the most impact with a goal, four assists, and even a fight in his nine games played since being recalled.

The Red Wings’ next game is against the Los Angeles Kings tonight at 10:30pm on Fox Sports Detroit. You can catch them at home against the Washington Capitals on Monday, March 19 at 7:30pm.

To read the original article, go to The Michigan Journal.


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