Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My name is Dave Dombrowski and I have Brass Balls

If I'm posting it must be huge news...

It takes brass balls to sell real estate, and to be a MLB GM. Dave Dombrowski, you my friend have a ginormous set. I suddenly picture the Winter meetings as a scene from Glengarry Glen Ross, with Dombrowski yelling at Dayton Moore "Coffee is for Closers!". While Lil Stienbrenner was setting imaginary (possibly illegal) deadlines and sabre-rattling with Theo Epstien, Double D swoops in and steals the show. Let's just look at what Miguel Cabrera averaged over the past 4 years:
HR - 31
RBI - 115
BA - .319
OBS - .396
SLG - .552

Oh yeah, HE"S ONLY 24!!!

Wrap your brain around this line-up

Oh yeah the Tigers also got Dontrelle Willis. I'll admit, his recent numbers aren't great for a number #1 pitcher. But in Detroit He's more than likely battling with Jeremy Bonderman for the number 3 spot. So the rotation goes like this:

The price they paid was high...in theory. Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin are high caliber prospects. For every John Smoltz, there are three Seth Gresingers. Worst case scenario, the Tigers let Cabrera and Willis walk in 2 years and get 4 1st round draft picks in compensation. Then use the players they pick to restock, or reload. Now Dave about that bullpen...

Dave Dombrowski: Always Be Getting Closers

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Look Back

Well a tough end to the season, non-stop work days, and wedding planning issues, and before you know it, it's been over a month since posting. Well the perfect storm of busyness and tiredness has subsided for a week or two so I thought I'd go back to what I had said in the beginning of the year.

Well if Matt Holliday's phantom tag of home plate was called correctly I would of had 2 of 4 NL playoff teams right, but he was called safe and San Diego was out. The good news I picked 3 out of the 4 AL teams correctly. The bad news, the one I was wrong on was the Tigers. As for my award predictions, lets just say I was really lucky getting Dustin Pedroia right, because I was waaay off with every other pick.

As for the World Series, douchey fan base aside, I hope that Boston wins. Why? Well if I keep stating that the AL is a better league than the NL, I kind of have to root for the team that represents them. Also, I'm not sold on the "feel-good" aspect of the Colorado team. Why should I root for them, because they are riding a ridiculously long winning streak? That doesn't make me feel good, that makes me feel even more pissed that the Tigers couldn't do that. Plus I don't care than Todd Helton's never won anything. His stupid goatee makes him look like the Domino's Oreo Cookie pizza guy.

Give it time Todd...Give it time

Speaking of annoying commercials, if Mr. Helton doesn't get hurt as the University of Tennessee's starting QB, there's a good chance we're not watching Peyton Manning cut that meat 15 times every Sunday. Also, I have an unnatural hatred for all things Colorado, dating back to the days where John Elway's huge teeth were terrorizing the NFL and the Claude "Le Turtle Grande" Lemieux led Avalanche. Finally, I just can't root for a team that wears purple. So there's that.

I wont make a prediction, because history has proven me very crappy at it. But I will watch and it should be a good series.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So You Say the Season's Over???

After the past few days, everyone I know recently has come up to me and said "What's happened with your Tigers?". Um, they lost three games in row, like they've done numerous times in August, hence we are in this situation of non-playoffs. Me, I've been taking the Kübler-Ross approach to things (finally something to show for all those psych classes in college)

Step 1: Denial
- When Joel Zumaya and Kenny Rogers come back the bullpen will be fine
- Maybe Cameron Maybin can replace Craig Monroe
- Jeremy Bonderman just needs to pitch through his struggles
- There's no way the Yankees and the Indians can keep winning

Step 2: Anger
- Sure C.C. Sabathia's good now, but it's going to be hard for him to pitch when he loses a foot to diabetes
- I would like to punch Jhnonhy Peralta in his eye socket.
- I hope one of "Grady's Ladies" gives him the clap.
- If the ball is hit to the right of you STAY AT SECOND!!!!!
- What the hell is Zach Miner doing out there another inning?
- Casey Blake is a gigantic piece of poop.

Step 3: Bargaining
- If the Tigers win this game, I swear I'll start looking at those reception halls like I told my fiancee I'd do weeks ago.
- Come on at least win one game...
- If Cleveland goes 1-10 in their last 11 games...there's still a chance

Step 4: Depression
- How in the hell did this happen?
- Seriously...Cleveland?!? First the Pistons now this.
- Guh, this suuuuuucks.

Step 5: Acceptance
- Oh well at least we had meaningful baseball in September
- I wonder if Jair Jurrjens will make the rotation next year?
- Who will the Tigers sign in the offseason?

So yeah, it was a letdown after last year awesome ride. But we still got a lot of excitement this season, and hopefully for years to come. So I'm going to sit back and enjoy the last couple of games I have tickets to and think of the good times, and root for the Angels to beat the Yankees, Indians and Red Sox.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Game 149 Recap

Tigers 4 Twins 3

Win their win tonight, the Tigers guaranteed themselves another season above .500. As little as three years ago I'd be happy with that...and part of me still is. But after last years playoff run I want more. Thanks to the Red Sox there is still a chance.
As for tonight's game a was just happy going in that The Tigers would at least stay even with the Yankees. The sound of Johan Santana going up against Yorman Barzardo didn't sit too well with me. I'm not sure why, Detroit (counting tonight) has been responsible for 3 of Johan 12 losses. Only Cleveland has racked up more wins on Johan. The Tigers did by attacking early. The big hit coming off the bat of Pudge, clearing the loaded bases with a double. The Twins chipped away, but unlike most of the games earlier this year, the bullpen held the lead. A healthy Joel Zumaya makes all the difference. Now the Tigers are 2.5 back of the Yankees with 13 games to go.

Tiger Hero:
Joel Zumaya. Pudge put them ahead, but Joel slammed the door. Joel got Joe Mauer to ground into a double play to end the 7th, and sitting down the 4-5-6 hitters in order in the 8th, and got the win

Tiger Zero:
Gary Sheffield. Shef, along with Marcus Thames, were the only Tigers not to reach base. I expect that from Marcus, but not Shef.

Tigers Record:
W - L
82 - 67
2.5 GB New York for the Wild Card

Friday, September 14, 2007

Game 148 Recap

Tigers 4 Twins 2

The Tigers finally are staring to string together good games, but with Cleveland winning yet again, it might be too little to late for the Central. The Tigers hope for the playoffs looks to be with the Wild Card, and If the Red Sox hold on come back to beat the Yankees, overcoming 2.5 games in the last two weeks is a possibility. As for tonight's game Nate Robertson pitched his best game since...well the last time he pitched at the Metrodome. And any time you get a Pudge walk, let alone a base loaded walk by Pudge, you know things are going the Tigers way. Then again as I am typing this the Red Sox have just blown a 7-2 lead in the 8th...ugh.

Tiger Hero:
Timo Perez. Timo just keeps hitting, going 3 fo r4 tonight and driving in 3.

Tiger Zero:
Sean Casey. 2 K's and stranded 4 runners tonight.

Tigers Record:
W - L
81 - 67

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Game 147 recap

Tigers 5 Rangers 1

It seems like Tigers games in three sizes down the stretch. The first two kinds are either a hard fought win or a huge letdown. Then there's the Justin Verlander start. In the four games since getting torched by Cleveland, Verlander has allowed only 3 runs and struck out 26 in 28.2 innings. Tonight he won his 17th game and match his win total from last year's Rookie of the Year campaign. Gary Sheffield also seemed to finally look like the hitter who was killing pitchers in May and June. He hit his first home run since August 10th (and only his 3rd since July 20th) to put the Tigers in front. Thanks to the pitching of Verlander and the bullpen (Jonesy 1-2-3 striking out the side!) that's all the tigers needed. Now this is the part of the post where I say it that the Tigers need to keep winning and then they go out and lay an egg in the next game. I guess I'll have to wait until Friday to see if they prove me wrong.

Tiger Hero:
Justin Verlander. A complete opposite of his performances in last August. If the tigers make the playoffs JV, will be a big reason why.

Tiger Zero:
Pudge. After tearing it up all homestand, he ends if with a dud. An ofer with 2 whiffs tonight.

Tigers Record:
W - L
80 - 67
2nd Place AL Central (5.5 GB Cleveland)
2nd Place Wild Card (4 GB New York)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Game 141 Recap

Finally back and rested enough tot write something after recovering from car ride back from Atlanta and a softball doubleheader. As for Atlanta, it was a pretty cool city. As luck would have it, I did get to catch a Braves game. We went on Sunday, got the $6 upper deck tickets, settled in and I look at the pitching match-up for the day....Tom Glavine vs. John Smoltz. So my first live national League game is between two future hall of famers. Pretty cool even if I was watching it from the 400 level.

Somewhere down there is a Future Hall of Famer

Tigers 6 Mariners 1

Tonight the Tigers looked like a contender. It also helps that they had a guy on the mound who has been their best pitcher all year facing a team that has lost 11 of its last 12. But hey I'll take three in a row any way you can get it. Some more good news is that the Tigers are starting to get some hits from the bottom of the order thanks to no other than Timo (TIMO!!!) Perez. Perez notched two more hits and is making it hard for the Tigers to keep him off the post-season (fingers crossed) roster. The aforementioned Justin Verlander didn't have amazing stuff tonight, but showed he has the makings of being a great pitcher, by knowing what was working and sticking with it (pay attention Mr. Zumaya). His breaking pitcher weren't crisp so instead of trying to make them work, and walking people. He just threw strikes and let the fielders do all the work. The result, only one run on nine hits, and no walks. Oh yeah, after his home run tonight Curtis Granderson is a stolen base away from being the 3rd person this century to steal 20 bases, and hit 20 double triples and home runs. I still can't believe this is only his second full season. Hopefully he can get that historic 20 swipe tomorrow night...when I'll be there in the stands naturally. As I write this the Yankees lead the Royals, and the Indians trail the Angels. So hopefully this win can close the gap in one of the races.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Labor Day Festivities

Tigers head in to Oakland tonight with the opportunity to gain ground on all three teams they trail in the playoff race. I more than likely will not be watching any of the Tigers endeavors this weekend (although I more than likely will stay up way too late watching the game tonight) as I will be down in Atlanta spending some time with the wife-to-be. Having spent a few weeks apart, I'm sure the whole weekend will be wedding planning related, and I'll be lucky to catch glimpses of Baseball Tonight. So going cold turkey this weekend in regards to sports, I'll be back with the recaps on Wednesday.

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone out there.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Game 134 Recap

Tigers 6 Royals 1

Wins all around today as the Tigers won this afternoon and my company's softball team did the same. Both have been rare occurrences in the past few weeks. The good news is that Jeremy Bonderman pitched like his pre-All Star break self, and got the win today. even more shocking, Timo Perez was the DH and actually had a good game. Fun Timo Perez fact, he has played for the eventual World Series champion the past two seasons. Chicago in 2005, and St. Louis last year. Of course those teams probably got to the World Series by burying Timo on the bench, but hey whatever works.

Tiger Hero:
Jeremy Bonderman. Pitched 7 big innings to finally give the Tigers a quality start.

Tiger Zero:
Mike Rabelo. A hat trick of K's on the afternoon.

Tigers Record
W - L
72 - 62
2nd Place AL Central (4.5 GB Cleveland)
3rd Place Wild Card (3 GB New York)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Game 133 Recap

Tigers 0 Royals 5

After the 5 run first, I decided to do some laundry and ended up taking a nap. I made the right choice, I probably would have broken the television and several items around the house had I watched tonight's game. With the Indians sweep of Minnesota, the Tigers fall 4.5 games back in the Central. While they're not out of the Central race yet, a few more games like these last two and they will be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Game 132 Recap

Tigers 3 Royals 6

Baseball's a funny game. One game you get 20 hits and 16 runs, the next day, 16 and only 3. It also doesn't help when for some reason Timo Perez is hitting 3rd in your line-up, and leaving 6 runners stranded. Believe it or not Jason Grilli has not allowed a run in 9 2/3 innings. Crazier still it that during that time only 5 runners have reached base. Give credit to Brian Bannister, who got got out of jam after jam. Now you can understand why this guy has only allowed more than 4 runs once all year. Of course this is the day where the Tigers lose and all the teams the Tigers are battling in the playoff hunt win. The Tigers should bounce back tomorrow against Zach Greinke who is 0-2 with a 15.88 ERA vs. Detroit, while the Indians face Johan Santana, the Yankees still play the Red Sox, and the Mariners still play the Angels.

Tiger Hero:
Ramon Santiago. Went 3 for 4 in the 9 spot.

Tiger Zero:
Jim Leyland. Timo Perez? Seriously?

Tigers Record:
W - L
71 -61
2nd Place AL Central (3.5 GB Cleveland)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Game 131 Recap

A long weekend full of fantasy football drafts...but I was back in baseball mode adn fronyt adn center in left field tonight. As for the game, well I think the picture below speaks for itself...

Reports of the Tigers demise might have been overstated. The Tigers shoot themselves back into the thick of the playoff race with their first series victory since sweeping Minnesota in mid-July. Bonus fun, this was the worst road shutout loss in the history of the Yankees. Keep it going in KC.

Tigers 16 Yankees 0

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Game 128 Recap

Tigers 9 Yankees 6 (11 innings)


I started off watching this game at a bar at 11, and couldn't turn away. It felt like a heavyweight title bout with Carlos delivering the knockout blow in the final round. I'm soooooo tired, but at least I can go to bed happy. Plus, the Tigers picked up a game on the Indians. Great job by the bullpen. I wish the Tigers played every game like the first game of a series.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Game 127 Recap

Tigers 1 Indians 3 (10 innings)

Another frustrating game in what has been a frustrating 2nd half of the season. As for the bullpen guy blowing the lead this game my guess would have been Zach Miner, maybe. Jason Grilli, definitely...but Joel Zumaya? Nate Robertson pitched his ass off today, and like so many times in his career gets a no help from the offense and is sitting in the dugout when another pitcher decides the game. Now this Tiger team is inching closer and closer disaster with the Yankees looming this weekend.

Tiger Hero:
Nate Robertson. Did everything he could to put the Tigers in position to win the game. Allowed only 4 hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Tiger Zero:
Joel Zumaya. Did everything he could to lose the game. Allowed one more runner to reach base in one inning than Robertson did in 8 2/3. If this is a healthy Zumaya, the bullpen still has a big problem.

Tigers Record:
W - L
68 - 59
2nd Place AL Central (2.5 GB Cleveland)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Game 126 Recap

Tigers 8 Indians 11

Another game, another Jekyll and Hyde performance from the Tigers. The team that looked confident and in control yesterday stood aside and let the Pistonesque "Showing up should earn up a win" team take the field. Yes, I might be stewing a little after giving away my tickets to yesterday's game as a gift, and having to watch this game sweating in SRO in right field. Still, my point is that if the Tigers are going to do anything in the post-season...or even get there for that matter, they have to be consistent. The team is back to full strength, so no excuses...just go out and win.

Tiger Hero:
MaggsVP. Keeps the hits coming and now stories of his exploits have it's own website.

Tiger Zero:
Curtis Granderson. Another 0fer and made an error to let a key run score in the 8th. This isn't the Curtis I know.

Tigers Record:
W - L
68 - 58
2nd Place AL Central (1.5 GB Cleveland)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Game 125 Recap

Tigers 2 Indians 1

The homestand starts strong with a victory over Cleveland. Jair Jurrjens looked better this game than he did in his first start. The amazing thing is he had faced all these batters just a week ago, and only allowed one hit. Besides Peralta's home run, Kenny Lofton ans Travis Hafner were the only other Indians to reach base, on two walks a piece. We were also treated to the vintage 2006 7-8-9 inning bullpen combo of Zumaya, Rodney, and Jones, and they pitched just as well as you could have hoped for retiring all 7 batters they faced. A good start for the Tigers...the key will be going out and doing it tomorrow night.

Tiger Hero:
Jair Jurrjens. Only struck out one, but he got everyone out. Huge pitching performance when the Tigers really needed it.

Tiger Zero:
Marcus Thames. Seemed befuddled by Carmona's sinker, and went down swinging twice.

Tigers Record:
W - L
68 - 57
2nd Place AL Central (0.5 GB Cleveland)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Beat Down in the Boogie Down

Just like most of the Tigers, I too was suffering from that flu bug this weekend. From the looks of the box scores I didn't miss much. I was kind of bummed I didn't see Cameron Maybin's first home run, and Roger Clemens proving what a world class dick he is by beaning Maybin in his next at bat. I did think it was cool that Maybin wears #4, as a reminder that the ghost of the Bobby Higginson era has been exorcised.

And as for this 6 game road swing, yes the tigers did lose 4, but it could have been a lot worse. Basically the Tigers faced each of the Indians and Yankees top 2 pitchers, all the while having Jair Jurrjens make his major league debut, Chad Durbin make another spot start, and not having the on of the best hitters with RISP in the lineup.

With Polanco back in the line-up (and Inge out now apparently), Zumaya back in the pen, and some home cooking, the Tigers should be able to right the ship....well they better or September is going to suck.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Game 120 recap

Tigers 2 Indians 5

Much like half of the Tigers I have come down with flu-like symptoms. So thanks to a chicken soup and Benadryl combo, most of this game was a daze. I think I saw a walrus playing first base at one point. But that may or may not have been Sean Casey. Jair Jurrjens pitched as well as you could hope for a AA pitcher in his first career start. The trouble is, in a seemingly re-occurring theme this year, he was up against a pitcher who decided to have a career day. Tigers split the series, and head into New York to face a team that just dropped two straight to the Orioles.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Game 119 Recap

Tigers 6 Indians 2 (10 innings)

Finally we get to see what a bullpen blow-up looks like from the other side. 4 runs in the 10th capped with a MaggVP 3 run blast gave the Tigers their first lead of the night. Todd Jones might have given us shades of June 1st after the first two batters in the tenth, but he recovered to secure the win. Jeremy Bonderman had his patented 1st inning hiccup, but unlike his past few games, he pulled himself together and shutout the Indians in the next 6 innings, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 8. I feel pretty confident in saying Fernando Rodney is back. He was centimeters away from striking out the first batter Chris Gomez, who smacked a double on the next pitch. So here we are, no one out, game winning run on 2nd...we all knew what was going to happen. Of course Rodney strikes out the side, naturally. in the 5 games since coming of the DL, Fernando has allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out 7. Lets hope Joel Zumaya can put up the same numbers when he returns.

Tiger Hero:
Curtis Granderson. Didn't get a hit, but made the catch that saved first place. Also the walk to lead-off the ninth was pretty big too.

Tiger Zero:
Brandon Inge. 4 strikeouts on the night...eww.

Tigers Record:
W - L
66 - 53
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1 GB)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Game 118 Recap

Tigers 2 A's 7

In honor of Ian at Bless You Boys picture worth a thousand words recap here's one for tonight...

Any good feelings I had about playing Cleveland and New York for the next 13 games, are now scattered among the 12 hits surrendered by Tigers pitchers tonight.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Game 117

I missed Friday's game due to attending my 10 year high school reunion. It seems I one of the few people not to gain 10 or 50 pounds, get married (yet...), get divorced, or reproduce. So while the Tigers may have been blown out, an open bar and fat high school quarterbacks made me feel like a winner.
Speaking of winning the Tigers did just that yesterday. Being there for the game I have one thing to get off my chest. There is a new usher patrolling section 148 that is a huge asshole. We were told repeatedly to sit down in the 8th and 9th innings. They even went so far as to kick out a guy (anyone who sits in left field will know him as the guy who sings the "Go get 'Em Tigers" song near the end of the game). Maybe this was directed at the Singer guy, who was loud for a majority of the game, but it was nothing obscene or offensive. Just a guy who had a beer or two too many. Where are these guys when people try to start the wave?
Anyways...my early season slump is now behind me, the last 5 games I've been to the Tigers have been victorious. A great win yesterday, and I'm hoping they can keep it going today.

Detroit (64-52)
P Polanco 2B
M Thames 1B
G Sheffield DH
M Ordonez RF
C Guillen SS
R Raburn CF
C Monroe LF
M Rabelo C
B Inge 3B

Oakland (56-61)
S Stewart LF
N Swisher CF
J Cust RF
M Piazza DH
M Ellis 2B
M Scutaro 3B
D Johnson 1B
D Murphy SS
R Bowen C

Tigers - Nate Robertson LHP (6-9, 4.94 ERA)
A's - Dallas Braden LHP (1-6, 5.12 ERA)


Tigers 11 A's 6

Magglio Ordonez is without a doubt this season's MVP (for the tigers anyway). As if he needed any move evidence, he hit two home runs in one inning today. Something only Al Kaline has done in a Tiger uniform. Magglio drove in 4 runs bringing his season total to 102. he's just 2 behind his total for all of last year and 33 away from tying his career best. Not to be lost in all this offensive insanity, Placido Polanco tied the Major League record for games played at 2nd base with out an error, a record set earlier this year by Luis Castillo.

Tiger Hero:
Maggs. 2 hits, 2 home runs, 4 RBI.

Tiger Zero:
I fear 6 runs allowed might not good enough to get wins against Cleveland and the Yankees. The pitching can be better.

Tigers Record:
W - L
65 - 52
1st Place AL Central

Thursday, August 09, 2007

While I Was Out...

I spent last weekend at a college friend's bachelor party, and wedding, so I didn't get to see much of the sweep by the White Sox...or maybe I did, there are parts to last weekend that are a little fuzzy when it comes to remembering details. After a day of letting my liver recover, and the pounding headache subside I was already to write about the dramatic comeback win on Monday, except that my computer seemed to not want to connect to the internet. So finally I'm up and running, and this afternoon's game happens. Yeah it's kind of hard to come up with anything to say after the team you follow gives up 15 runs to the Devil Rays in two games. Let's hope Oakland gives us all something good to talk about.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Game 107 Recap

Tigers 2 A's 3

The Tigers finally got some decent pitching today. But Nate Robertson fell victim to his old nemesis of of no run support. The only good thing about this game, is that it means the end of the road trip from hell. Still the Tigers somehow hold a full game lead on the Indians in the AL Central.

Game 106 Recap

Tigers 3 A's 7

Yes another lead blown by the bullpen. It seems so second nature to me right now that it doesn't even register anymore. I know much ado will be made over Dave Dombroski's not making any moves, but what was he supposed to do? When GM's are asking for Cameron Maybin and Jair Jurrgens for middle relief, the best thing Dombrowski could of done is nothing. People may point to the fact that John Smoltz was traded for Doyle Alexander. While that worked out great for the Tigers that year, it worked out even better for the Braves for 15. with no real difference maker available (Gagne excluded because he would not of agreed to come to Detroit) I have no problem with the Tigers standing pat and hoping Rodney and Zumaya return to 2006 form. If they're wrong, we get a roller coaster finish were the tiers may or may not make the postseason. If they do well who's going to beat this Tiger team with a healthy bullpen? Anyways...back to tonight's game. Another game given away. What do you expect when you give a team 7 free baserunner? Luckily for the Tigers, Cleveland has been just as bad as the Tigers lately and they don't lose any ground tonight. Hopefully they can pull out a win tomorrow afternoon and take advantage of a long home stand.

Tiger Hero:
Sean Casey. Drove in a run and was 2 for 4 tonight.

Tiger Zero:
Tiger Pitchers. It tough to win when you surrender 10 hits and walk 7.

Tigers Record:
W - L
61 - 45
1st place AL Central (Cleveland 1 GB)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Game 105 Recap

Tigers 5 A's 2

Yet again, a Toledo Mud Hen puts up a great performance and leads the Tigers to a win. This time it was Jordan Tata, who got the win (as I write this Todd Jones has just applied the shaving cream facial) in his first major league start. Just as important as pitching well, Tata pitched seven innings, something a Tiger starter has only done three times since July 17. Chad DurbinTodd Jones help rebuild some bullpen calmness after a nuclear weekend, by pitching a scoreless inning a piece...babysteps....babysteps. Tata also received help from Curtis Granderson who put on a base running clinic tonight, by turning singles into runs. After a lead off single, he went from 1st to 3rd on a Polanco single, and subsequently scored on a Sheffield fielder's choice. After another single in the 6th he never stopped running and scored from first easily after centerfielder Mark Kotsay bobbled the ball. Then in the 7th, he took 2nd on a Kotsay
and overthrow to the plate, and was driven in by a Polanco double. Speaking of Polly he was 3 for 5 on the night, and lifted his average to .343. That places him just .004 back of Ichiro for 2nd place in the Majors in batting average. Bottom line Tigers needed a win bad, and not only did they get one, they got it while looking like a contender.

Tiger Hero:
Jordan Tata. Call him the Tourniquet. Tata scattered 6 hits, while striking out 5, and walking two.

Tiger Zero:
Gary Sheffield. 0 for 4 tonight. Add to that the Anti-Selig comments, and possibly some time off. There's a fine line between crazy and stupid, and Sheff may have crossed it.

Tigers Record:
W - L
61 - 44
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1 GB)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Worst Weekend Ever

In honor of "The Simpsons Movie" opening this weekend...here's the Tigers weekend "Simpsonized":

Now let us of never speak of this weekend again.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Game 101 Recap

Tigers 3 White Sox 4

Wasn't able to hear much of this game due to a busy workday, and it's probably better that way. I heard that the game ended with a throwing error by a pitchers, and that's all I needed to know. Let's just move along to Anaheim shall we?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Game 100 Recap

Tigers 13 White Sox 9

Kenny Rogers owes this kid something big. All the runs Kenny allowed, Ryan Raburn personally took it upon himself to score them back. Behold the power of Mud Hens. First it was Mike Hessman's big hits, then Virgil Vasquez pitched a great game yesterday, and now Raburn. Let's not forget Mike Rabelo, who would have been in Toledo had Vance Wilson been healthy. He is 9 for 15 in his past four games. Former (and future?) Mud Hen Jason Grilli got the "win" tonight, in spite of a typical Grilli outing. Tim Byrdak, who just came back up from Toledo, pitched two perfect innings to close out the game, and got credit for the save. Strangest thing of all about this game, every Tiger had a hit except the guy that leads the team in hitting, Magglio Ordonez. The Tigers go for the series victory tomorrow afternoon, and I'm hoping for a game that will let me listen peacefully at work with limited profanity, and breaking of office items.

Tiger Hero:
Duh...one Mr. Ryan Neil Raburn

Tiger Zero:
Kenny Rogers. 7 runs, and anytime Juan Uribe hits a home tun off of you, it's a bad night.

Tigers Record:
W - L
60 - 40
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1.5 GB)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Games 98 & 99

Game 98

Tigers 3 White Sox 5

Game 99

Tigers 7 White Sox 8

Unreal. What was the point of saving the bullpen earlier today in case they were needed in the night game, if they were going to go out and do what they did? Seven runs in three inning to the worst hitting team in the AL. This game may have forced Dave Dombrowski's hand. I don't see a way they can let the trade deadline pass without making a move now.

Tigers Record
W - L
59 - 40
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1.5 GB)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Game 97

The White Sox limp back into Chicago after losing 3 straight to the Red Sox, and who do they find? A Detroit Tigers team surely looking to bounce back after losing the weekend series to the Royals. I'd feel sorry for the Sox if Ozzie Guillen weren't in charge. Oh yeah, a Mud Hen is up to play first, but it's not Chris Shelton. Mike Hessman gets the start against the lefty Mark Buehrle. Finally Curtis Granderson gets a start against a lefty. Let's see if the C-Mo comeback tour can extend to game 3. The numbers look good, C-Mo is 3-8 with a HR the last two times he's faced Buehrle.

Detroit (58-38)
C Granderson CF
P Polanco 2B
G Sheffield DH
M Ordonez RF
C Guillen SS
I Rodriguez C
C Monroe LF
M Hessman 1B
B Inge 3B

Chicago (43-54)
J Owens CF
T Iguchi 2B
J Thome DH
P Konerko 1B
A Pierzynski C
J Dye RF
J Fields 3B
J Uribe SS
A Gonzalez LF

Tigers - Andrew Miller LHP (5-3, 3.18 ERA)
White Sox - Mark Buehrle LHP (7-5, 2.91 ERA)


Tigers 9 White Sox 6

Well another one under "not pretty, but a win". Andrew Miller was channelling Nuke LaLoosh
with seven strikeouts 5 walks and three wild pitches. After all that, somehow Jason Grilli turned two walks and a hit batter into a win. What was pretty was the Tigers racking up 14 hits on Mark Buehrle. New Tiger Mike Hessman is no Jack Hannahan, he went 2 for4 and drove in the two runs that put the Tigers up for good. 4 Tigers had 3 hit games tonight, but Gary Sheffield of all people was the only starter without a hit. After tonight's game, the Tigers now have half for their starting line-up hitting above .300, and if you throw in Casey and Pudge 7 of 9 have a average above .285. C-Mo added another hit, to bring his monthly total up to 8, 4 of those have come in the past three games.

Tiger Hero:
Curtis Granderson. Now can he start against lefties? Grandy reached base all five plate appearances, with 4 RBIs and 2 extra base hits...all vs. left-handed pitching.

Tiger Zero:
The first six innings of Tiger pitching. The only reason the White Sox were in the game is 8 walks handed out by Tiger pitchers.

Tigers Record:
W - L
59 - 38
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 2 GB)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Game 96 Recap

Tigers 2 Royals 5

I didn't catch really any of this game. I spent the first inning or two switching between the game and the last holes of the British Open. Then I went out on the golf course and performed my own Sergio Garcia impression. 4th round Sergio...not 1st 3 rounds Sergio. With a hot Royals team coming into town, and the looming 11 games in 10 days, I kind of expected this series to be a let down. Not that it makes losing a series to the Royals any better. But the Tigers do still get to play the last place team in the AL Central, as the White Sox have moved into a tie with the Royals for the bottom team.

Tiger Hero:
Craig Monroe. Without the threat of Marcus Thames taking his job, he seems to have reverted back to the hitter we thought he was...at least for two games.

Tiger Zero:
The 2-6 hitters. They were 1 for 17 today. with that one hit not coming until the 9th inning.

Tigers Record
W - L
58 - 38

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Game 95 Recap

Tigers 10 Royals 8 (10 innings)

Well it wasn't pretty(except for those kick-ass throwback unis) but it was a win. On the plus side, the last three games I've been to have been wins for the Tigers. The last two being extra inning affairs...everything's coming up Milhouse!
As fo rthe game itself, well for starters (no pun intended) Justin Verlander had an interesting night. The first five outs he recorded were strikeouts. But two wild pitches in the first inning allows David DeJesus (who reached via walk) to go from first to third, and was later driven in on a weak liner by Billy Butler. Again in the third Verlander threw a pitch Pudge couldn't block and another run scored. Lucky for the Tigers C-Mo launched phase one of his second half comeback (fingers crossed) tonight. After Ryan Raburn's lead-off home run, C-Mo drove in the next 4, capped by a 3 run shot down the line in left in the 3rd inning. I don't know if they showed it, but C-Mo got a big round of applause when he came out to left field in the 4th after his home run. Magglio and Sheff also kept doing their thing, going a combined 5 for 8. Unfortuantly the bullpen also did their thing, and gave back all those runs. Luckily, Mr. Excitement Brandon Inge, made sure all the fans went home happy with a walk off shot in the tenth.

Tiger Hero:
Craig Monroe: Yeah Inge won the game, but C-Mo got the offense rolling. Let's hope this is the thing to get him back on track

Tiger Zero:
Todd Jones. Seems like every time I complement him on resembling a competent closer, the next game he goes all gas can on me.

Tigers Record:
W - L
58 - 37
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 2 GB)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Game 94 Recap

Tigers 2 Royals 10

What a crap game tonight. One of maybe three times this year where I just couldn't watch it anymore. The let down game is out of the way...tomorrow Justin Verlander takes the mound and everything better get back to normal.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Game 93 Recap

Tigers 4 Twins 3 (10 innings)

With their win today the Tigers swept the Twins at home for the first time since 1999. All it took was the best performance of the year from an inconsistent pitcher, and getting the best of arguably the best starter and closer in the AL in consecutive games. Timo Perez, who arrived minutes before the game taking the roster spot of the injured Marcus Thames, reached base with a walk in the 10th and came around on a Brandon Inge double to score the game winning run. That run stood up thanks the Todd Jones, who notched his 26th save of the year. Remember this series the next time you want to bash Jones. 3 Games, 3 saves. Only 2 Twins reached base. Ever since the blown save against Texas June 26, where he called himself out for being terrible after the game, Jonesy has cut his ERA by a run and a half. Good stuff all around these past three games. Let's just hope the Tigers keep the momentum going and beat up on the Royals and White Sox, their next two opponents.

Tiger Hero:
Brandon Inge. Hitting a game winning RBI is tough, doing it off of Joe Nathan is nearly impossible. Great job today by Inge

Tiger Zero:
Gary Sheffield. I didn't really get to see the play, but by the sound of it he was just caught napping at 2nd base when he was picked off. Carlos Guillen got a hit after the pickoff, and Sheffield more than likely scores the run that keeps the game out of extra innings.

Tigers Record:
W - L
57 -36
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 2 GB)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Game 92

Poor Andrew Miller, for the fourth time this year he'll take the mound against the opposing team's #1 pitchers. This time it's probably the #1 guy in the Majors...Johan Santana. While the Tigers have been able to get some hits off of Santana earlier this season, this is the time of year
when he turns it on. So for the Tigers sake this one better be a pitching duel, because I don't see Miller getting much run support tonight.

Detroit (55-36)
R Raburn CF
P Polanco 2B
G Sheffield DH
M Ordonez RF
C Guillen SS
I Rodriguez C
M Thames 1B
C Monroe LF
B Inge 3B

Minnesota (49-44)
L Castillo 2B
J Bartlett SS
J Mauer C
M Cuddyer RF
J Morneau 1B
T Hunter CF
J Cirillo DH
L Ford LF
N Punto 3B

Tigers - Andrew Miller LHP (4-3, 3.35 ERA)
Twins - Johan Santana LHP (11-6, 2.60 ERA)


Tigers 3 Twins 2

Magglio Ordonez owns Johan Santana. No one in baseball has hit more HR or driven in more runs off of Johan then Magglio. Led by Maggs and pitching performances that subscribed to the "bend, but don't break" theory, the Tigers hand Johan Santana his first loss since June 9th. Guess what, the Tigers now possess the best record in the Major Leagues. It did come at a price, both Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames (after a diving catch that kept the tigers in the lead in bottom of the 8th) both left the game with injuries.
It will be interest to see how Jim Leyland fills out the line-up card for tomorrow afternoon's game.

Tiger Hero:
Magglio Ordonez. He has driven in all 4 runs the tigers have scored this series.

Tiger Zero:
Pudge. Hitless in his last three games. I'm sure the off day tomorrow, and Royals pitching this weekend will help turn things around.

Tigers Record:
W - L
56 - 36
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 2 GB)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Game 91

The second series of the second half opens up just like the first, with the Tigers facing another team looking to make a case to be included in any postseason discussion. The Twins send Matt Garza to the mound for his second start of the year. Last he was credited with the win in a Twins 9-5 victory. Overall his stats are typically of a rookie pitchers first year in the league. In 8 innings pitched so far this season he has yet to allow a run, and has struck out 7. But 6 of those inning were against the slumping White Sox. He has given up 7 hits and walked three, so if any team could take advantage of him, it would be the Tigers. The key for the Tigers will have to be getting more than 6 innings out of Nate Robertson, something that hasn't happened since the last time Nate faced the Twins in April.


Detroit (54-36)
C Granderson CF
P Polanco 2B
G Sheffield DH
M Ordonez RF
C Guillen SS
I Rodriguez C
S Casey 1B
M Thames LF
B Inge 3B

Minnesota (49-43)
L Castillo 2B
J Bartlett SS
J Mauer C
M Cuddyer RF
J Morneau 1B
T Hunter CF
J Cirillo DH
J Tyner LF
N Punto 3B

Tigers - Nate Robertson LHP (5-6, 4.92 ERA)
Twins - Matt Garza RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA)


Tigers 1 Twins 0

After games like this I feel more confident about the Tigers keeping their lead in the AL Central. The Tigers only managed 4 hits (I know the box score says five, but Marcus Thames hit Luis Castillo in the Chest with a soft line drive yet it wasn't an error..) yet still came up with the win. Not only did Nate Robertson get in seven innings there were 7 outstanding innings. The key moment of this game was the 6th, with one out Nate gave up a hit and a walked a batter to have two on for the heart of the order. He struck out Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer to end the inning, and for good measure stuck out Justin Moreneau at the top of the 7th. Curtis Granderson continued his ridiculously hot second half streak, going 3 for 3 with a double.

Tiger Hero:
The Pitchers. In addition to Nate Macay McBride pitched a scoreless 8th, and Todd Jones pitched a 1-2-3 9th to preserve the shutout.

Tiger Zero:
Pudge. 0 for 4 with 3 K's. Everyone outside of Granderson struggled so I guess I'll pick on the guy that swung and missed the most.

Tigers Record:
W - L
55 - 36
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1 GB...2 if Chicago wins it in extra innings)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Digging Through the Basement

Recently I moved back to my parents' house because:
A) my current roommate is getting married at the end of and I thought it would be creepy if I was still there after the nuptials
B) With my own wedding and impending move, I need to save money and you can't beat no rent and free meals for a few months.
So anyways while sifting through mounds of unwashed clothes, my mother points out a container filled with my old baseball cards. So I crack it open for the first time in over ten years not knowing what to expect. My prized possessions were all still there. One of those being my Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie, which was supposed to be my retirement fund, now can be found for roughly the amount of money I wasted on packs of cards to get the damn thing. Don't even get me started on all my Todd Van Poppels. In addition to the cards I knew I still had, I found some hidden gems. Like these Tiger greats from the late 80's and early 90's:

Gary Ward

Lance McCullers

Mike Heath

Paul Gibson

And who could forget Mark Salas?

I also have some other quality finds:
Why here's a card with the patron saint of Big Al's site...

And by the look on face of the dude on this card how did we not know the Lions were screwed

And here's a young Ozzie Guillen wondering what slur to use while signing an autograph for a young Jay Mariotti...

Here's two guys whose last names made me giggle in grade school...and still do

and just because Greg W. Harris was a pansy...GREG A. HARRIS!!!!

Seriously, this dude pitched righty and lefty in the same game...and has a bitchin 'stache. He's badder than B.A. Baracus

This was fun It might even turn into a regular off day feature.
If you enjoyed this please visit Joe Sports Fan where I "borrowed" this idea from

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Game 90 Recap

Tigers 11 Mariners 7

Coming into this series the Mariners had won 9 of their last 12 games and at home had won 10 of their last twelve. So leaving Seattle with a split isn't half bad. The Tigers again seemed more comfortable with 2 outs, driving in 6 of the 11 scored while down to their last out of the inning. Curtis Granderson, Gary Sheffield and Pudge might be sad to leave Seattle, since they went a combined 21 for 33. It was also good to see Magglio hit his first home run since June 2nd. You know things are going your way when Sean Casey gets a steal. Speaking of steals, there must be something in the Seattle air, because the Tigers swiped 5 bases today. That's the most they've had in a game since April 23 of last year when they were playing at Safeco Field.

Tiger Hero:
Marcus Thames. Drove in 4 runs and another nail in C-Mo's coffin.

Tiger Zero:
Carlos Guillen. Committed a inning prolonging error, which led to 3 more runs being scored by the Mariners, and made the game look a lot closer than it was.

Tigers Record:
W - L
54 - 36
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 0.5 GB)

Game 89 Recap

Tigers 4 Mariners 6

Tigers, Curtis Kenny Rogers only gave up 5 hits before being removed in the 6th inning, the problem was when the Mariners got those hits there were people on base due to Kenny's 4 walks. Key example of that was in the 6th when a leadoff single started the inning, then two walks loaded the bases, and the coup de grâce came with a grand slam off Kenji Johjima's bat. Things looked good early for the Tigers with Curtis Granderson leading off the game with a home run. Brandon Inge had another amazing play with a superman dive into the stands to catch a foul ball. But Kenny's bad 6th happened. The Tigers put together a rally in the 8th, but J.J. Putz entered the game and the door was shut on the Tigers chances. The Mariners more than likely saw this as a must win game if they wanted to make a statement in the series with Justin Verlander squaring off in the series finale tomorrow afternoon. Any time you have Jeff Weaver standing in your way of a series split, you have to like your chances.

Tiger Hero:
Curtis Granderson. Added a triple to his home run to tie Chase Utley for the Major League lead in extra base hits

Tiger Zero:
Kenny Rogers. Just wasn't fooling anyone today, while lead to a lot of base runners and runs.

Tigers Record:
W - L
53 - 36
1st place AL Central (Cleveland 0.5 GB)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Game 88 Recap

Tigers 6 Mariners 3

Gary Sheffield unloaded on his former team in an interview with HBO's Real Sports, which were made public today. Tonight he came up and unloaded on a Jarrod Washburn offering for the 7th Grand Slam hit by a Tiger this year. That was all the help Jeremy Bonderman needed to pick up his 10th win of the season. Two other positve notes: 1) the defense finally had an error free game; led by Brandon Inge who made a great diving catch at third. 2) another game with the bullpen not allowing the run is nice.

Tiger Hero:
Gary Sheffield. Only one hit tonight, but it was big.

Tiger Zero:
Craig Monroe. Another 0fer, with 2 K's

Tigers Record:
W - L
53 - 35
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 0.5 GB)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mid-Season Review

Can't believe the All-Star break has come and gone...well after packing and unpacking and driving 1400 miles over the past two days, it's finally time to sit down and look back at the first half of the season

The Tigers:
  • Offense: A- Still up there, but until the last few games of the recent home stand, it had been suspiciously absent
  • Starting Pitching: A- The injured starters are all back, and look to be in top form.
  • Bullpen: C Making strides, partly due to dumping Jose Mesa and Wil Ledezma, plus moving in Chad Durbin. With a Healthy Zumaya and Rodney I expect improvement towards the end of the year.
  • Defense: C Carlos Guillen has been playing in the field like C-Mo has been batting. It seems like a few players take it a bit too easy and that's where most of the mistakes come.
  • Coaching: B+ Jim Leyland's finally starting to give Curtis Granderson the start regardless of pitching match-up, but until C-Mo finds the pine no A for Leyland.

Individual Grades (1st Quarter grades in parentheses)

  • Jeremy Bonderman: A- (B+) Still having trouble not allowing the big 1st inning. But 2-9 he's almost unhittable
  • Tim Byrdak: C (INC) Started out strong, but one more hitters saw him, and maybe because of injury as well, tailed off towards the break.
  • Jose Capellan: INC (NA) Has looked very promising at times, and has also looked scary...a perfect fit for this 2007 bullpen.
  • Eulogio DeLaCruz: INC (NA) Frankie came and went, showing he wasn't quite ready for prime time.
  • Chad Durbin: B+ (B-) Did all that was asked of him, and more. Looks to be the to go-to guy for a long reliever in the pen
  • Jason Grilli: D+ (D-) Still struggling, but has had less gas can moments this past quarter of the season
  • Todd Jones: B (B) Still has his roller coaster moments, and believe it or not, by my count has more 1-2-3 appearances (12) than ones he's allowed runs (9)
  • Macay McBride INC (NA) A younger paler version of Wil Ledezma hasn't shown much, but really hasn't been asked to. Looks like he's just holding a roster spot for Zumaya or Rodney
  • Andrew Miller: B+ (NA) Has looked very good in his few starts, most recently going 7 innings shuting down the Red Sox. If he stays at this level he's got an outside shot at rookie of the year, if he falters, shut him down and put Chad Durbin back in the rotation.
  • Nate Robertson:C- (B) Still not able to make it out of the 6th inning, which due to the bullpen struggles is probably why the Tigers are only 4-10 when Nate starts.
  • Fernando Rodney: INC (C-) Hurt again, and probably has been most of the year. So hopefully when he's healthy, the inconsistency will stop.
  • Bobby Seay: C (C) An average LOOGY no more no less.
  • Justin Verlander: A+ (A+) Anyone who throws a no-hitter gets an A+
  • Joel Zumaya: INC (INC) Best case scenario, he's back in August, worse case September. Any way he comes back it needs to be 100%.
Edit: I cant believe I left out Kenny Rogers...he gets an easy A for his 1.04 ERA in 3 starts.

Position Players:

  • Sean Casey: B (C-) Has turned around his hitting enough to turn trade talks away from first base mostly, but the lack of power from 1st base will more than likely be an offseason focus.
  • Curtis Granderson: A+ (A) The catch Sunday earned him the plus. Yes, the strikeouts are still there, but he is tied with Chase Utley for the Major League lead in extra base hits. He is also on pace to easily surpass all his totals from his rookie year in all stats. In fact he has already stolen more bases (9) then he did all last year(8). After this breakout year shouldn't we start talking about Cameron Maybin being the leftfielder of the future for the Tigers?
  • Carlos Guillen: B+ (B+) Frequent errors still keep him off the honor roll.
  • Omar Infante: C (B-) The only thing keeping him from playing time is the ability to hit a breaking ball.
  • Brandon Inge: C+ (C+) After a hot June has cooled off a bit. But still is one of the best #9 hitters in the league
  • Craig Monroe: D- (C-) If he doesn't have his patented post All-Star break turn around, these could be his last games in a Tiger uniform
  • Magglio Ordonez: A (A+) Slowed down off of his mind-boggling pace for double, yet still is in the thick of it for the AL MVP.
  • Neifi Perez: D- (C) We found out not all performance enhancing drugs, enhance performance. His play that saved the no-hitter for Verlander is the only reason he didn't get an "E"
  • Placido Polanco: A (B+) Polly is the straw that stirs the drink. A straw with a ridiculously large noggin.
  • Mike Rabelo: C (C) Vance Wilson is out for the season and the Tigers could have had worse than Mike as a back-up catcher.
  • Ivan Rodriguez: B (C) Has gotten the average higher and may even draw double digit walks this year
  • Gary Sheffield: A (B-) It just killing the ball, and surprisingly has been one of the best stolen base threats. If not for Magglio, would be the Tigers MVP
  • Marcus Thames: C+ (D) Is starting to make good contact, and with C-Mo slumping, it's going to be real hard for Jim Leyland to leave him on the bench in the second half.

Game 87

The Tigers took the series from the Mariners back when they visited in April. But that was back when Seattle was just supposed to be an also ran in the AL West race. Now the M's are looking to prove they belong in the playoff race playing a Tiger team who has 5 players returning from the All-Star game and possesses the Majors best road record. Plus this gives me something to watch as I prepare my mid-season report

Detroit (52-34)
C Granderson CF
M Thames LF
G Sheffield DH
M Ordonez RF
C Guillen SS
I Rodriguez C
S Casey 1B
O Infante 2B
B Inge 3B

Seattle (49-36)
I Suzuki CF
J Vidro DH
R Ibanez LF
J Guillen RF
R Sexson 1B
A Beltre 3B
K Johjima C
Y Betancourt SS
J Lopez 2B

Tigers - Andrew Miller LHP (4-2, 3.31 ERA)
Mariners - Felix Hernandez RHP (5-4, 3.72 ERA)


Tigers 2 Mariners 3

The Tigers lose one in Seattle thanks in part to a strange series of events in the 5th inning. Bruce Froemming's lack of vision, and Carlos Guillen's brain fart by not simply throwing the ball to third allowed the game deciding run to be scored in the 4th. Add Froemming's call, to the hair trigger ejection of Pudge in the 4th, and this was not a banner day for the umpiring crew. The Tigers did get to Seattle's ace, Felix Hernandez, they just weren't able to bring any runs in. Something that should change when facing the rest of Seattle's rotation.

Tiger Hero:
Gary Sheffield. 3 for4 with 2 stolen bases

Tiger Zero:
Tiger Fielding. With 3 errors tonight, they have 8 in the past two games.

Tigers Record:
W - L
52 - 35
1st place AL Central (Cleveland 0.5 GB)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Game 84 Recap

Tigers 9 Red Sox 2

Oh that felt good. There are few things I despise more than Red Sox fans, and by fans, don't mean people who follow the Red Sox, I mean the obnoxious A-holes who come out of the woodwork in every city that Boston plays...sort of like locusts. Exhibit A: The guy last year who was yelling "1984!" every five minutes. Well even a lopsided score like this rarely shuts them up, but it make me feel better. As for the game, first of all they should put a warning on HDTVs whenever Julian Tavares is pitching. Now I know the reason why he is so angry. I'd be pretty ticked off at life if my face looked like it was a landing strip for bottles of sulfuric acid. His pitching was ugly as well, as the Tigers knocked him around for 8 runs on 10 hits. Andrew Miller bounced back from a shaky start against the Twins to pick up the win in his longest outing as a major leaguer. Miller did walk 4 which is way too many walks to give to a great hitting team like Boston, but only gave up one run thanks to his 6 K's and some fine defense. The most glaring example was Grandy's laser from center field to nail Wily Mo Pena at the plate in the 3rd.

Tiger Hero:
Marcus Thames. The River sent two balls deep tonight. One was to straightaway center for a sac fly, the other was over the left field fence for a grand slam. C-Mo is very, very nervous.

Tiger Zero:
Neifi Perez. He needed stimulants to help him play like that?

Tigers Record:
W - L
50 -34
Tied for 1st Place in the AL Central

I'll be at the game tomorrow...then off to Atlanta. See you all late next week!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cleveland Series Recap

Game 81

Tigers 4 Cleveland 5 (11 Innings)

Game 82

Tigers 6 Indians 4

Game 83

Tigers 12 Indians 3

The Tigers bounced back from a disappointing extra innings loss, to take the series and move one game back of the Indians for first place in the AL Central. IN that first game the Tigers had their chances, and the bullpen only allowed two hits...except that those two hits were home runs. Newly acquired Jose Capellan pitched well striking out three, but his one bad pitch was the deciding run in the game.

The 4th of July was just another game won in Mister Rogers' neighborhood. Kenny's last five starts at home (including the playoffs) he is 5-0 with only 1 earned run. Aided by 4 runs scored with 2 outs, some great defense and some good pitching the Tigers pulled out the win.

As for today's game, this is the team we all think that we should be seeing every night. Not only did the Tigers bast explode with 17 hits, those hits were against a Cy Young contender in C. C. Sabathia. Every starter recorded a hit, which is amazing considering Craig Monroe was in the starting line-up. Of course all this was a bit of overkill since Justin Verlander was showcasing wifilurty pitching at it's finest, at one point striking out 5 straight. Me...well I was just happy to be at a game where the Tigers were up and I could relax and enjoy the day.

This weekend will be loaded with packing and driving. I might be able to get a recap of tomorrow's game in...but with being at Saturday's game and leaving to take my fiancee to Atlanta Sunday morning, I should be back with my mid season review sometime late next week.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Weekend Review

A few quick personal notes here before the allergy medications kick in and I zonk out...wasn't able to catch most of the action this weekend (save for the 9 innings spent at the CoPa on Saturday) for two really big reasons:

1) Myself and my girlfriend of 2 1/2 years just got engaged and time was spent with family celebrating.
2) My new fiancee is a teacher. Since teaching jobs are just as scarce as every other job in Michigan. We will be relocating to Atlanta. She is leaving next weekend(with myself following near the end of the year), and time not spent with family or at the ballpark, was spent packing.

So in between helping her pack and getting pats on the back...there was my weekend in a nutshell. A little insight on why I had to marry this girl, we were going to leave on Saturday, but she delayed to Sunday morning so we could get one last Tigers game in. I can thank the fireworks for that one, as I don't know if she might have been so receptive of the idea had not the lure of the after game firework show been there.

Here's the weekend's baseball action, in box score form:

Game 78

Tigers 1 Twins 11

Game 79

Tigers 5 Twins 8

Game 80

Tigers 1 Twins 0

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Game 77 Recap

Tigers 5 Rangers 2

Todd Jones can indeed pitch a 1-2-3 inning in a save situation. Yes, I know refrains along the lines of blind squirrels finds nuts and sun shining on dog's behinds will greet that statement. But it does occur every now and again. Kenny Rogers scoreless streak ended at 11 innings after surrendering a sac fly in the 6th inning of this afternoons game. Gary Sheffield ended his 14 game home run drought with a insurance 2 run shot in the 7th. Sean Casey is just one point below .300, and might have gotten that hit to push him over instead of two intentional walks had the pop fly machine Craig Monroe not been hitting behind him. Bottom line, Tigers notched a win when they needed one, and that's all that matters.

Tiger Hero:
Carlos Guillen. Has been coming up with clutch at bats all year, today was no exception.

Tiger Zero:
C-MO for 4. The only Tiger not to reach base. Nine walks were issues by Texas pitchers and Craig never got past a 3 pitch at bat.

Tigers Record:
W - L
46 - 31
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 0.5 GB)

The Tigers have an interesting weekend with two intriguing pitching match-ups; Justin Verlander vs. Johan Santana in a battle of two likely AL Cy Young candidates, then two outstanding young prospects in Kevin Slowey vs. Andrew Miller. They also get the national spotlight again with the afternoon game on Saturday (which I'll be at and more than likely blamed for the loss), and ESPN on Sunday. Par for the course with the last couple of weekends so the recaps will be scattered throughout.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Game 76 Recap

Tigers 6 Rangers 9

I have been there for 8 of the Tigers 15 home losses, so I'm used to the bullpen blowing leads...but twice in the same game? Todd Jones will take all the heat for this one, but Craig Monroe seriously needs to get his act together. The line drive in the 7th was hit right at him. Maybe since he refers to himself in the third person,the only thing I can think of is that he was hoping that extra guy would help him catch it. That was unforgivable laziness on his part. Say what you will about the bullpen, but at least they're trying. I sure would like to see Sheffield or Thames starting in left tomorrow to send a message to Craig. Unfrickingbelivable...

Tiger Hero:
Sean Casey. 3 for 4 and drove in half of the Tigers runs.

Tiger Zero:
Grilli, Byrdak, C-MO, and Jones, ruined a good night for Nate

Tigers Record:
W - L
45 - 31

Monday, June 25, 2007

Game 75 Recap

Tigers 3 Rangers 8

While the Tigers can't win them all, losses like this aren't particularly fun to watch. In what looked like an audition to not get sent down to Toledo when Nate Robertson returns tomorrow, Jim Leyland trotted out Macay McBride and Eulogio De La Cruz out to face the Rangers in the 8th and 9th innings. McBride held his own striking out one while allowing two hits. The run credited to him was one of four surrendered by De La Cruz. DLC did his best Fernando Rodney impression tonight. He was erratic, the runner he inherited moved to first to third on two consecutive errant pitches. He imploded, allowing three runs to score off of three hits, one being a home run by Jerry Hairston. Then, after all the smoke cleared he got a strikeout to end the inning. Jeremy Bonderman took his first loss of the season, based in part to his recent trend of moving the patented first inning blowup to later in the game. This game is was in the third. The Rangers took a page out of the Tigers playbook scoring 4 runs on Jeremy Bonderman with 2 outs in the inning, all hits were singles. The inning was extended by a throwing error by Bondo, but was ended with a nice throw from the outfield by Craig Monroe.

Tiger Hero:
Curtis Granderson. Another triple to brings his MLB leading total to 14.

Tiger Zero:
Eulogio De La Cruz. After this performance it's looking like Frankie goes to Toledo

Tigers Record
W - L
45 - 30
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1 GB)

Tomorrow's game features Nate Robertson return to the mound. As you may recall, Nate's 6 run first inning vs. the Rangers on June 5th was the last time we saw Nate in action. For what it's worth I'll be there first hand to see if Nate's "tired arm" has healed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Game 73 & Game 74 Recaps

Game 73

Tigers 2 Braves 1

Game 74

Tigers 5 Braves 0

I don't care if Atlanta batters have been struggling, what the Tigers pitching staff did this weekend was impressive. In the three game sweep, Tiger hurlers allowed 1 run, on 13 hits, while walking only 7 and striking out 25. These type of performances are what the Tigers need to keep them atop the AL Central for the long run.
Some quick notes:
  • Carlos Guillen drove in 4 of the Tigers 12 runs this weekend, going 4 for 9.
  • The Tigers 3-4-5 hitters went 12 for 35
  • Chad Durbin in his first relief appearance pitcher 3 scoreless innings, scattering two hits while getting three strikeouts. Plus he recorded a save and his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly.
  • The Tiger bullpen pitched 9 scoreless innings, allowing only 6 base runners (3 hits and 3 BB) while getting 7 K's.
  • The Tigers are at home until the All-Star Break, where hopefully more than a few Tigers will maker the trip to San Francisco. Vote NOW!!!! (25 votes per e-mail!)

Tigers Record:
W - L
45 - 29
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 2 GB)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Game 72 Recap

Tigers 5 Braves 0

The Tigers showed that they had confidence in Kenny Rogers, dealing away Mike Maroth hours before Rogers was to make his first start since the World Series. Rogers repaid that confidence with one of the best pitching performance this year by a Tiger. Kenny started off kind of shaky, hitting lead off batter Kelly Johnson on the first pitch. He pulled himself together and only allowed two more Atlanta batters to reach base the rest of the six innings he pitched. The Tiger bats exploded for a five run 6th inning, with all five runs coming with two outs, to give Rogers the lead. The bullpen took over and was nearly perfect, with only one batter reaching base with a walk. It's games like these that have to scare the crap out of the rest of the AL.

Tiger Hero:
Kenny Rogers, Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay and Eulogio De La Cruz. Two hits, one walk and a HBP. That's all these guys allowed.

Tiger Zero:
Sean Casey. He's been hot of late, but today was the only Tiger (pitchers excluded) that didn't get a hit.

Tigers Record:
W - L
43 -29
1st Place AL Central (Cleveland 1 GB...Thank you Nationals!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So About that Extra Spot in the Rotation...

Everyone knows that Kenny Rogers comes off the DL, and into the starting rotation tomorrow in Atlanta. What is uncertain is the situation of the rest of the pitchers on the roster. The first move is most likely new acquisition Macay McBride to Toledo, as he's not even listed on the team depth chart. Even with that move, the Tigers rotation features six starters, with a seventh (Nate Robertson who was pitching a no-hitter in Erie before he hit his pitch limit) returning soon. Andrew Miller is a starter and should continue to start...in the minors. Miller needs that full year a la Justin Verlander to build up that arm strength that will carry him thorough the 2008 season.
That still leaves 5 spots for 6 pitchers. Chad Durbin I think will win that fifth spot for two reasons: 1) he's pitched well enough to deserve it. 2)I think Mike Maroth would get more in a trade than Durbin. So what to do with Mike Maroth, who has been trade fodder ever since Kenny Rogers' first rehab outing? Well The Tigers certainly picked a great time to have a pitching surplus, as many teams across the majors have pitchers taking trips to the DL, so here's a few teams and scenarios that I've been bouncing around.

Los Angeles Dodgers:
They just lost Jason Schmidt for the season and have a wealth of bullpen talent. So could the Tigers get Jon Broxton or Chad Billingsley for Mike Maroth? Only if David Dombrowski has pictures of Dodger GM Ned Coletti in a very unflattering situation. The best Maroth could drum up is probably Brett Tomko or Rudy Seanez, who are basically are right handed Mike Maroths.

Atlanta Braves:
Having just dealt Wil Ledezma to them, I don't see the Braves in the market for another Tiger lefty. Atlanta will probably set their sights on Chicago's Mark Buerhle for that help in the rotation. But in a perfect world, wouldn't it be nice to see the Braves repay the Tigers for the Smoltz-Alexander trade with a Maroth for prized catching prospect Jarrod Saltamacchia deal?

Florida Marlins:
Could Dombroski strike a deal with his former employer to send Maroth to the Fish to give Dontrelle Willis some veteran back-up to fuel a playoff push? Marlin pitchers have been on and off the DL all year, having Maroth around to eat up some inning in a spacious ballpark could be intriguing for the Marlins. Florida is 7 games back of the NL Wild Card mostly due to the hot start of the teams out west. But they sit only 4.5 games back of first in the NL East. If they stay close, they could be buyers at the trade deadline. Unfortunately Maroth might be lost in the shuffle by then. If Florida showed some interest the guy I'd go after is Henry Owens. He was the Marlins closer earlier this year, but lost his job to injury to Kevin Gregg. If he is healthy he could be a good 7th-8th inning set-up man.

Toronto Blue Jays:
The Jays have 3 starters on the DL, and relievers such as Casey Janssen, Scott Downs, or Jeremy Accardo could be had for the right price. Had B.J. Ryan not been hurt for the year the a deal might be made. We can always hope that Manager John Gibbons gets mad and challenges one of them to a fight, then they could be had cheap.

St Louis Cardinals:
The pitching staff is in bad shape. How bad? Kip Wells with his 11 losses and 6.75 ERA is listed as the #1 starter. Compared to Kip Wells, Mike Maroth would seem like Johan Santana. With the pitching staff is such a horrid state, I wouldn't really want a pitcher in return. Who then? Well how about Chris Duncan. the power hitting lefty had been converted to an outfielder and has made a few mistakes in the outfield. His natural position? Why it's first base. I know Sean Casey's started to turn things around, but if the Tigers could get a guy who's splitting time with Juan Encarnacion and Ryan Ludwick, and has hit 13 home runs in 58 games this year and a career .349 OBP. This deal probably won't happen due to Jim Edmonds injury, but hey to make it happen I'd even thrown in Marcus Thames.

So that's what I have. Who knows where or even if Maroth will go anywhere. He's a good guy and having suffered through the rough times, It'd be nice to see him on the field if the Tigers make it back to the World Series this year. But if trading him means the Tigers are better equipped to win it all, then see you later Mike.

On Deck:
Out and about again this weekend. I'm hoping I'll be able to watch Kenny's return tomorrow. More than likely I'll have to weekend recap sometime after Sunday night's game or Monday.