Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game 28 Recap/ Grilli's Gone!

Being month-end and working in the financial field, I was stuck at work until nearly 9 and missed the big pre-game news of Jason Grilli's trade to Colorado. Grilli's no longer "Gone Wild", he's just gone. Yeah Grilli at Coors Field, what could go wrong? Now there's an open roster spot...

Enter The Crucetaean!!!

Francisco Cruceta will finally join the team, after spending months in Visa hell, and a few weeks blowing away minor leaguers in Toledo. Cruceta a few weeks ago, was the magical name that would help a struggling bullpen. Turns out that he'll be joining a pen that has arguable been the most consistent (in a good way) part of the Tigers. Add that to tonight's win, and it appears the Tigers have finally gotten back to living up to the pre-season hype.

As for the game, it appears Jeremy Bonderman needs to have a bad 1st inning to do well. He loaded the bases and gave up 2 runs in the first, then only allowed 3 Yankees to reach base while pitching into the 8th. Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield continued their return to normalcy. Actually I'll go out on a limb and say if Polly hits 2 HRs in a game, he's healed. Sheff had 2 hits and inched his average closer to the .200 mark. Curtis Granderson came of the bench due to lefty Andy Pettitte starting for the Yankees, but still managed to hit yet another extra base hit, coming in for defensive purposes later in the game. The Tigers picked to right time to get everything going, with big series with the Red Sox and Diamondbacks looming.

Tigers 6 Yankees 2
W: Bonderman (2-2)
L: Pettitte (3-3)

Tigers Record:
W - L
13 - 15
Tied 3rd Place AL Central
2 GB Chicago

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Game 27 Recap

Todd Jones made it a little closer than it had to be, but the Tigers held on and got a nice bounce-back win after their loss on Sunday. Kenny Rogers looked like he wouldn't make it out of the 3rd inning, throwing 75 pitches in the first three. However he recovered and made it through the next 3 innings allowing only 2 hits, to get the win and the quality start. Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield showed signs that they are healing, with Polanco going 4 for 5 and Sheff hitting a HR. Curtis Granderson continues to play out of his damn mind, adding another HR, double, and 2 walks. Quad 20s look like it was just the beginning of the Granderson offensive output. The relief pitching hasn't been as good as it has the past couple of weeks, but it didn't lose them the game. That's all you can ask of those guys. I would right more but Wings-Avs is in progress so to the TV I go to see if all 3 Detroit teams in action tonight can win.

Tigers 6 Yankees 4
W: Rogers (2-3)
L: Hughes (0-4)
S: Jones (5)

Tigers Record:
W - L
12 - 15

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Game 26 Recap

After a long week at a new job, I was looking forward to enjoying the Tigers on a real TV as opposed to the grainy MLB.TV feed I've been accustomed to. Joe Morgan and his inane banter, quickly had me running to the computer room, watching a game on a monitor while listening to my XM radio. The outcome tonight left something to be desired, the past week's games have shown a return to form that was sorely needed. Justin Verlander's velocity trouble's may have been solved with him hitting the high nineties early and often, but the accuracy is more of an issue. He walked 4 and of his 102 pitches only 57 were strikes. And 7 hits against a team as skilled as the Angels, isn't going to cut it either. Jered Weaver was wild early, but regrouped and shut down the Tigers until teh 7th inning. When a pitcher was throwing as well as Weaver was tonight it's hard to get in any offense. The Tigers finally get a day off tomorrow before they head to New York to attempt to start a new winning streak.

Tigers 2 Angels 6
W: Weaver (2-3)
L Verlander (1-4)

Tigers Record:
W - L
11 - 15

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Game 22 Recap

The last strike thrown by Frank Francisco

The story going into the game was The Big Switch of Guillen and Cabrera's respective positions. The end of the night, the story was something completely different.

It was a long night at the ball park tonight. After 2 innings of Kenny Rogers sucking (granted, early on, the Tigers D didn't help him out any with an errors and a pitch that got past Pudge), it looked like it would be even longer for Tiger fans. Then the Tigers rallied to tie the game in the 2nd. The Tigers took the lead in the 3rd, but Rogers gave it back in the 4th on a bases loaded walk. It his third of the inning and the last batter he faced. Clay Rapada came in a got a inning-ending double play to keep it tied. The Tigers took the lead for good with a Magglio sac fly in the bottom of the inning. Then for poops and giggles, they unleashed their fury in the 6th inning. Breathe it in. 15 batters, 12 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 2 HBP, 1 HR, and a partridge in a pear tree. Overlooked in that orgy of offense, will be how well the Tigers bullpen performed again. 5.2 inning only 2 hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts. Now Texas did empty the bench after the 6th, but Clay Rapada pitched a perfect 1.2 innings when the Tigers needed a tourniquet after Kenny Rogers horrible start. With Grilli's second perfect performance at home, you would think Zach Miner will be packing his things for Toledo with the more than likely impending arrival of The Crucetaean. Look for more fireworks tomorrow despite the 1-10 day game record. After having 4 bullpen guys throw over 150 pitches the Texas bullpen's has to be hurting.

Tigers 19 Rangers 6
W: Rapada (2-0)
L: Francisco (0-1)

Game Notes:
  • The first 1-2-3 inning for either team was recorded in the top of the 5th by Clay Rapada.
  • The Tigers drew 10 walks and 2 HBP, taking advantage of Texas pitchers lack of aim. Through 7 innings Texas pitchers threw 213 pitches.
  • Every Tiger starter had a hit, an oddly enough the only starter without an RBI was the red-hot Edgar Renteria.
  • Carlos Guillen was back in the field and back to hitting. After going 0 for 8 as a DH, he was 3 for 4 with 5 RBI.
  • GrandyLand re-opened with a 2 for 4 night, walking twice and picking up 2 RBI
  • OK, I will stop picking on Jacque Jones for the time being. He had a HR and lifted his batting average above the Mendoza Line.
  • Only 4 of the the Tigers 14 hits were of the extra-base variety.
  • With the rain out of the Cleveland game, the Tigers are now ahead of the Indians in the standing. They are now only 3 games back of the White Sox.

Tigers Record:
W - L
8 - 13

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Game 21 Recap

4 2 out RBI and 8 extra base hits...that's a little bit more like it. Of course let's not start bleeping each other's bleeps just yet as The Wolf would say. This is what the Tigers are supposed to do to teams like the Rangers. Still offensive fireworks aside, the most encouraging thing of the night was Justin Verlander's incredible, shrinking ERA. Verlander picked up his first win of the season, and shaved a little over a run off his ERA. While it took his over 100 pitches to get through just 6 innings, the hits were scattered and he only walked 2. You know it going to be a good night when Ramon Santiago goes deep. His HR in the 3rd, was the 3rd of the inning and finished off a 5 run inning. Jacque Jones is making it hard to clamor for a Clete/Raburn platoon. He went 2 for 3 with both hits hit to deep centerfield for a triple and a double.

Tigers 10 Rangers 2
W: Verlander (1-3)
L: Padilla (2-2)

Game Notes:
  • Edgar Renteria is just ridiculous. He went 4 for 4 tonight, making bringing his average to .333. He is hitting .430 with 3 HRs and 14 RBI in the past 10 games.
  • Ramon Santiago's last HR was his first since August 1st, 2003. That was before his was traded for the Mariners for Carlos Guillen.
  • With Jacque Jones two hit night, he no longer has a sub .200 average. Leaving Marcus Thames (.172) and Gary Sheffield (.192) as the only Tigers below the .200 mark.
  • Also Thames is the only Tiger not to hit a double.
  • Miguel Cabrera's 2 RBI put him ahead of Renteria for the team lead.
  • Jason Grilli pitched a perfect 9th inning. It was his first complete inning without allowing a baserunner at Comerica since September 6th of last year.
  • Texas is now in sole possession of the worst record in the AL.
Tigers Record:
W - L
8 - 13

Monday, April 21, 2008

Game 20 Recap

Finally the Tigers win a day game. Also they finally get to a pitcher who had been doing well. Their previous wins have been against bullpens and starters that aren't off the the greatest of starts (Jon Lester, Jose Contreras, C.C. Sabathia). A big part of this win was another huge performance from Armando Galarraga. He was less in control than his start in Cleveland, giving up three hits and four walks, but he got the big outs when he needed them. Twice he had the bases loaded, and both times he exited the inning unscathed. His 5.1 scoreless innings combined with a few teammates from earlier this year at Toledo, made the difference in the game today. Aquilino Lopez and Clay Rapada pitched a combined scoreless 1.2 innings in relief. Ryan Raburn drove in all the runs needed with a 2 RBI single in the 2nd. Galarraga is giving this Tiger team a huge shot in the arm, figuratively and literally. Whatever he's doing the rest of the staff should take notice.

Tigers 5 Blue Jays 1
W: Galarraga (2-0)
L: Marcum (2-1)

Game Notes:
  • The solo HR Todd Jones gave up was the first run allowed by the Tiger bullpen in the Toronto series. It was also only the second run and sixth hit Jones has allowed in 7 innings of work this season.
  • The baseball gods must have felt sorry for allowing David Eckstein to homer off the Tigers. The Li'l Scrapper had an error that in part led to the 4 run 2nd inning for the Tigers.
  • So much for Edgar Renteria not being able to adjust to the AL. He is now hitting .300, hitting his 3rd HR of the year. His 13 RBI now tie Miguel Cabrera for the team lead. So when does he get a chance to hit ahead of Jacque Jones for a change?
  • After going 0-4 with 3 K's on Sunday, Pudge turned it around and went 4-5 today, with a RBI and a double.
  • Exact same line-up as Sunday, yet 2 more runs and 3 more hits.
  • Anyone else clamoring for a Clete/Raburn platoon (or any platoon that doesn't feature "Jones" as a member) when Granderson returns this week?
  • At 11-7 Chicago is the only AL Central team above .500.

Tigers Record:
W - L
7 - 13

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Game 19 Recap

A big Sunday for Detroit sports fans, and a big disappointment on the results. The Red Wings were the only team to not falter as they advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Pistons treated the second half of their playoff opener like a regular season game in February, and let one slip away to the Sixers. And the Tigers, in what seems to be a mantra for the past two weeks, were able to get runners on base but across home plate. Twice in the game the Tigers had the bases loaded, yet only scored two runs off of that on a Clete Thomas single. You know it's probably not going to be your day when David Eckstien (31 HR in 3,842 career at-bats) takes you deep for a 3 run shot. At least the bullpen has it's 3rd straight game without allowing a run. Baby steps.

Tigers 3 Blue Jays 5
W: Burnett (2-1)
L: Robertson (0-2)
S: Accardo (4)

Game Notes:
  • In a surprising move DH Frank Thomas was granted his release prior to today's game.
  • Following up yesterday's three hits game, Pudge put up another 3...strikeouts. At least he did draw a walk today.
  • Miguel Cabrera kept his hit streak alive, unfortunately Carlos Guillen's came to an end.
  • One bad inning yet again does in the starting pitcher for the Tigers. This time it was a 4 run 4th that lead to Nate Roberston getting the loss. 4 of the 8 hits Robertson gave up were in that inning.
  • Zach Miner gave up a hit on the first pitch he threw in the 7th inning. This prompted a chat with Jim Leyland on the mound. Miner retired the next 6 batters in a row, all on groundouts.
  • Clete Thomas continues his campaign for left field (at least in my mind) going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI today.

Tigers Record:
W - L
6 - 13

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Game 18 Recap

Most days, the Tigers holding a team to 3 runs would result in a win. This was not one of those days. The Tigers dodged bullets due to Jeremy Bonderman's six walks, forcing the Blue Jays to leave 8 man stranded. But when it came time for the Tigers to get that big hit to put them ahead, the hit did not come. Twice in the final three innings the tying run was only 90 feet away from scoring, yet it did not get in. Once again the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Tigers offense reared it's head. Some positive things, the bullpen once again did not allow a run, and only allowed 2 hits in 3 innings. Everyone in the AL Central except for Minnesota (who is playing Cleveland) lost today as well. An A.J. Burnett is on the mound tomorrow. He has given up 10 runs on 17 hits in his past two starts.

Tigers 2 Blue Jays 3
W: McGowan (1-1)
L: Bonderman (1-2)
S: Ryan (2)

Game Notes:
  • Edgar Renteria's hit streak was stopped. Carlos Gullien and Miguel Cabrera's did continue.
  • Pudge was 3 for 3 with a sac fly.
  • Tiger batters were only able to induce two walks today.
  • Bonderman did get Blue Jays hitters to ground into 2 double plays, which helped him get out of a bases loaded jam in the 2nd with only one run scoring.
  • Jason Grilli caught a popped up bunt attempt and picked off a runner at third to get himself out of a jam in the 6th.
  • Ryan Raburn made good contact with pitches today. One dropped in for a double. The other was a fly out to the warning track.
  • Carlos Guillen hit his 7th double on the year tying him for 3rd in teh AL. His three hits gave him an average of .379 and an on-base percentage of .471 which also place him 3rd in the AL in both categories.

Tigers Record:
W - L
6 - 12

Friday, April 18, 2008

Game 17 Recap

After a slight misstep in Cleveland, the Tigers were back on track tonight in Toronto. Facing a pitcher making his MLB debut, the Tiger bats were patient and racked up 7 free passes of the rookie David Purcey. All those walks were for not as the Tigers could only manage one run off the rookie, a Miguel Cabrera sac fly in the first. Kenny Rogers pitched well to earn the win tonight. He had one bad inning in which 3 runs came to score, but he only allowed three hits in 6.2 innings. If not for a rare bad decision to throw to third with runners on 1st and 2nd instead of going for the double play, he might of only surrendered one run. But the runs were given up, and the Tigers did what they seem to do best this year, kill middle relief. Every Jay reliever gave up at least one run, and most of the damage came in a 4 run 7th. The Tigers pen was solid to secure the win for Rogers. They did walk 3, but did not allow one hit. It looks like Lopez-Bautista-Jones could be the key to a successful bullpen, with some Rapada-Seay LOOGY action sprinkled in.

Tigers 8 Blue Jays 4
W: Rogers (1-3)
L: Accardo (0-3)

Game Notes:
  • Edgar Renteria extended his hitting streak to 8 games with 2 hits tonight. It was also his 5 multi-hit game.
  • Also extending a hit streak was birthday boy Miguel Cabrera, bring his to 6. He also has had an RBI in each of those games. Enough with the fat jokes, as he swiped a base tonight.
  • The Tigers notched 8 extra-base hits tonight. Marcus Thames had a RBI single as did Edgar Renteria, who also had a 2 run HR. The rest of the Tigers hits were double. Yay Astroturf!
  • Cabrera's stolen base was the Tigers 10th of the year putting them 15th in the majors. However the join the San Diego Padres (4 SB) as the only teams not to be caught.
  • Since sweeping the Red Sox in their season opening series, the Blue Jays have not won a game at the Rogers Center.
  • After filling in for injured B.J. Ryan as Toronto's closer last year (and notching 30 saves in the process) Jeremy Accardo has surrendered 8 earned runs on 11 hits in 7 innings pitched this year.
  • While going hitless, Placido Polanco did draw 3 walks tonight.

Tigers Record:
W - L
6 - 11

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Game 16 Recap

Looks like Cleveland's other ace got back on track against the Tigers tonight. Fausto Carmona scattered 7 hits to earn the victory for the Indians. It also looks like there might be something wrong with Justin Verlander. His performance tonight was reminiscent of Jeremy Bonderman's stretch run last season, with Bonderman trying to pitch through an injury. Zach Miner did not help matters getting shelled in the sixth inning.The Tigers head to Toronto for a four game set. Good news, Roy Halladay pitched tonight so the Tigers will avoid him. Also due to A.J. Burnett coming in in last nights 14 inning affair, the Tigers will face a minor leaguer brought up for a spot start. I fully expect some runs to be scored north of the border

Tigers 1 Indians 11
W: Carmona (2-1)
L: Verlander (0-3)

Tigers Record:
W - L
5 - 11

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Game 15 Recap

Just like the Cuyahoga, the Tigers O is on fire

Wow. So this is what a 1000 run offense looks like. Missed the beginning due to tux browsing and dinner. I come home to a 10-1 ball game. Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Renteria did their best to show that the Tigers got the better end of their respective trades, driving in 5 each. But the real story of the game was Armando Galarraga. His Tiger debut was the anti-Virgil Vasquez. His previous claim to fame, before tonight, was being in the trade that sent Alfonso Soriano from Texas to Washington DC. 8.2 innings in his career prior to tonight, he goes 6.2 one-hitting the Indians striking out 6 (doubling his career total). Galarraga did not walk one Cleveland batter, he did plunk 2 before exiting in the 7th. Momentum is a beautiful thing, and it's looks to be on the Tigers side.

Tigers 13 Indians 2
W: Galarraga (1-0)
L: Sabathia (0-3)

Game Notes:
  • 9 walks for Tigers batters tonight. Add that to 17 hits, and an astounding 26 Tigers reached base tonight.
  • Tripping over Doug Eddings has awoken Miguel Cabrera. He is 8 for 14 with 2 HRs and 8 RBI.
  • Last year's AL Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia has allowed 27 runs on 32 hits in 18 innings. He has walked 14 this year. He walked 37 in 241 innings last season.
  • Minus Pudge, every Tiger that played had a hit...even Ramon Santiago.
  • Jason Grilli pitched 2.1 innings, allowed a run (credited to Galarraga), and lowered his ERA below 6.00.
  • Indians pitchers threw 194 pitches in the game.
  • Carlos Guillen has a 6 game hitting streak, and has reached base in all but one game (that he's played in) this year.

Tigers Record:
W - L
5 - 10

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Game 14 Recap

Another game, another 8th inning comeback. Add Miguel Cabrera to the list of Tiger bats that have awoken. Cabrera smashed a Jesse Crain offering into the seats for his 2nd HR of the year and put the Tigers up 6-4. Home runs were the name of the game tonight as 7 of the game's 11 runs were via the longball. Todd Jones did what Todd Jones does, scaring the ever-loving crap out of anyone watching, yet still recording the save. Nate Robertson pitched very well, minus an ill-advised 3-0 fastball to Justin Morneau in the 6th, and deserved the win. He did not, but the Aquilino Lopez and Clay Rapada were perfect in relief, showing signs that there actually may be dependable arms in the bullpen. The Tigers celebrate a winning streak, an offense that seems to be clicking, and roll into Cleveland looking to keep things going.

Tigers 6 Twins 5
W: Rapada (1-0)
L: Crain (0-1)
S: Jones (3)

Game Notes:
  • The 3-6 hitters accounted for all the runs driven in, and 6 of the 7 Tigers hits.
  • Tigers pitching, 7 strikeouts and only 1 walk tonight.
  • Pudge picked up his second stolen base and third walk of the season.
  • 5 of the Tigers 6 runs were scored with 2 outs.
  • In what seems to be a re-occurring theme until Carlos Guillen's hamstring heals, Miguel Cabrera was switched to first base late in the game.
  • Ryan Raburn also had another amazing catch in the outfield, bringing back a Delmon Young hit from over the fence. He wasn't able to hold on, but he saved the run until Craig Monroe drove him in with a single later in the inning.

Tigers Record:
W - L
4 - 10

Monday, April 14, 2008

Game 13 Recap

Lucky number 13 it was for the Tigers. The offense made up for taking the last few days off in a crazy 11 run outburst capped by a 6 run 8th. I'll be honest after Bobby Seay's craptastic 7th, I turned the game off and headed to the gym to work out. I had seen this scenario way to many times this season to bear it once more. I came back to check the damage and write the recap, and to my amazement the Tigers had won. Even more amazing is that they did it against Tiger-killer Pat Neshek. This was a great win for the Tigers tonight. More important than the win, is what they do with it. This means nothing if they go out and lose 6-1 tomorrow. They need to use this as a springboard to string together a few wins and get them in the .500 neighborhood.

Tigers 11 Twins 9
W: Beltran (1-0)
L: Neshek (0-1)
S: Jones (2)

Game Notes:
  • Jeremy Bonderman pitched very well, and was the victim of some very poor fielding. He was responsible for 7 of the 9 Twins runs, yet only 4 were earned.
  • Carlos Guillen continues to lead the offense despite a gimpy hamstring going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI.
  • Pudge made up for his error which prolonged an inning an resulted in the first 2 runs for the Twins, by driving in the game tying runs with a triple in the 8th. He scored the go-ahead run on some gutsy running on a Jacque Jones sac line-out.
  • Miguel Cabrera showed signs of life going 2 for 4 with an RBI.
  • Except for Jacque Jones, every Tiger had a hit tonight.
  • The Tigers didn't draw a walk, yet only struck out once.

Tigers Record
W - L
3 - 10

Mt. Leyland Has Erupted (And I'm Not Far Behind)

How I picture Jim Leyland's "talk" to the Tigers yesterday

All it took was a 11-0 beat down and the second consecutive shutout by the Chicago White Sox. That and a MLB high 5.94 ERA and MLB low 33 runs scored might have played a part as well. Will it help? Well if Jim Leyland's words can stop the Tigers from hitting into double plays, and make the pitching staff stop issuing walks then yes. But if his words were so powerful, why now? Why not after last Sunday spanking? Only Jim knows. But the days of a kinder, gentler Leyland are apparently history.

The record so far has brought talk of the 2003 squad, and that's not the 2003 team. They were a bunch up unproven rookies and guys that should have been in the minors. They weren't supposed to win. This year's team is. I'd compare it to watching the 2005 team. They were a team hovering around .500 then September happened. They won only 8 games that month and finished 71-91, worse than 2004's team, and causing the end of the Trammell Era. Watching games that September were worse then 2003 because you for the had hopes that they would improve, instead they took a step back.

Another thing that's been bothering me about the losses (other than the utter torture of watching them) has been the talk of the broadcasters. I rarely get to hear Rod & Mario's dulcet tones, and often I am forced to hear the opposing team's guys. Every game I've heard the back-handed compliment that the Tigers offense will turn it around eventually. I'm sick of it. It's like when a friend tries to set you up for a blind date and describes the person as having "a nice personality". You know that's code for "He/she's a mutant". The "These guys will turn it around" is code of "I can't believe how sucky these guys are". You don't want your team to be pitied, that's for teams like Baltimore and Kansas City. You want you're team to be feared. The only thing scary about this year's team is how pathetic they've been lately

Monday, April 07, 2008

Season's over man. Ozzie dropped the Big One

Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
The tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!

What happened to the Tigers I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, we might get in trouble. Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Ozzie, he's a dead man! Sizemore, dead! Hafner...

DEAD. You know what, ghost of John Belushi's right. The Tigers could sit here felling sorry, and mope about an 0-6 start. Or, they could man up, grow some marbles and go into Boston and ruin "Sawx Nation's" ring ceremony. Sending home legions of pink-hatted fans in tears would be more than worth is. As for us Tigers fans, we were there in 2003, and we aren't going to abandon them now. Sure it might be a little hard to get fired up to watch the Tigers after this start. May I suggest a little something from the band Sloan?

The song is "Money City Maniacs". It was always on my pre-game set list. And if it leads to a Tigers victory I'll be playing it before every game

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Game 5 Recap

If you told me the Tigers would out hit the White Sox 8-3 and only have 3 strikeouts, I would think you would be talking about a game the Tigers won. But as we know that's not the case. In hindsight it could have been a lot worse with the 8 walks Dontrelle Willis and Zach Miner issued. In the 4th and 5th Willis induced double plays to get him out of the jam. In the 6th it came around to bite him with 3 runs coming in to score. As for the bats, well it was pretty much Brandon Inge or nothing. Inge was 2 for 3 driving in all 3 Tiger runs. When your 2 through 6 hitters combine to go 3 for 19 a win is not likely. The Tiger look to Justin Verlander tomorrow to try and be the stopper and get thier first win before heading into Boston.

Tigers 3 White Sox 5

W: Floyd (2-0)
L: Miner (0-1)
S: Jenks (3)

Tigers Record:
W - L
0 - 5

***Site News***
The better half is on spring break (she's a teacher not a student), so we'll be up in Michigan visiting family and finalizing wedding stuff. Don't know how much posting time I'll have so my next post will probably be about a week from now

Friday, April 04, 2008

Game 4 Recap

Jason Grilli should be Byrdaked after today's batting practice session for the White Sox. He should probably avoid the comments on his MySpace page after this stinker. The offense finally had a good game, even more amazing was that it was for Nate "No run support" Robertson. However, it was all for nothing as "The Cheeseman" was serving pure gasoline. Another frustrating loss and it's just four games into the season. I guess that is the only positive to take away, it is just four games in.

Tigers 5 White Sox 8
W: Logan (1-0)
L: Grilli (0-1)
S: Jenks (2)

Game Notes:

  • In innings 1-7 the Tigers lead off men reached base. 3 scored the other 4 were stranded
  • 4 of Nate Robertson's 5 K's were with a full count.
  • With the exception of Magglio Ordonez, the Tiger batter were more patient at the plate.
  • Nate Robertson bounced back from a bad 3rd inning to pitch well in the 4th and 5th. He got out of a jam with 2 RISP with one out in the 5th to keep the game tied
  • Remove Jason Grilli's craptastic 7th inning, and the bullpen did very well. Zach Miner, Denny Bautista, and Todd Jones combined for 3 innings, zero runs, one hit, and two walks.
  • Jacque Jones, picked up his first hit and RBI as a Tiger today.
  • The Clete Thomas Train just keeps picking up steam. Clete was 3 for 4 with his first MLB RBI.
  • Pudge was on fire at the plate today, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles adn 2 RBIs. He did make a make a baserunning gaffe in the 5th on a Jacque Jones ground-out, causing the second out of an inning-ending double play. Edgar Renteria was stranded at third

Tigers Record:
W - L
0 - 4

Field Trip to "The Ted"

I was offered some free tickets to attend last nights Braves-Pirates game, and just like my first game last year it was an extra inning loss for the home team. The weather did it's part to make me feel at home as it was 50 degrees, windy, with a misty rain all night. There was no Mike Hampton sighting, as the afformentioned weather probably wasn't the ideal condition for someone made out of Papier-Mâchè. In fact he was placed on the DL, I know shocking. As for the game, I saw last season's enfactuation Jack Wilson commit an error, record his first hit of the season, and promptly strain his calf running to first on that hit. There was also a Chris Gomez sighting, as he pinch-hit and played 2B late in the game. The Pirates also have former Twin Luis Rivas on the team as well. Pittsburgh must be were middle infielders go to die. Another strange thing I saw happened in the top of the 10th. The Braves brought in Chris Resop to pitch the 10th. Bobby Cox wanted to bring in a lefty Royce Ring to face Jason Bay, but if he took out Resop he would only have one pitcher left in the pen. So he placed Resop in the outfield, and had Ring pitch to Bay. He struck Bay out, and Gregor Blanco comes in to play leftfield and Resop goes back to the mound. NL baseball is kooky.

Anyways, here's some photos from the game:

Tickets to the Leftfield stands were in high demand

Nate McLouth swings at the game's first pitch

The aforementioned mist coming in

The big HD Scoreboard in centerfield

A Lions jersey??? I know CJ when to GA Tech, but still...

Other than the Lions jersey, weirdest thing I saw had to be the TV's installed into the backstop wall. I don't know if you can see them here, they're the little gray things in the white wall. These TV's are less than 20 feet from home plate. Is sitting behind the plate that distracting that you need a TV to follow the action?

The old Fulton County Staduim is now the parking lot. But they did keep the Wall up in the exact spot where Hank Aaron hit HR 715, which is a cool monument.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Game 3 Recap

Short Recap tonight as I'm on my way out the door to the Braves-Pirates game. I hear talk of a Mike Hampton sighting on the mound. I'm going to bring a camera for some photographic evidence.

Anyways, another stinker for the Tigers today. If I'm not mistaken (although I usually am), Tiger batters were 0-11 with runners in scoring position. In fact of the eight hits the Tigers had, only Clete Thomas' single in the 5th was the only one with a runner on base. A Brandon Inge HR was the only reason the Tigers were not shut out again. As for the pitching, as it has been the whole series, you can't really complain. The Tiger gave up 5 and 4 runs twice in this series. You think over the course of the year the Tigers are going to win 2 out of 3 if that's the case. It's early, settle down people, the hits will come.

Tigers 1 Royals 4
W: Greinke (1-0)
L: Bonderman (0-1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
0 - 3

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Game 2 Recap

4 Tigers reached base today. F-O-U-R. Well technically only two Tigers reached base, Edgar Renteria (3 singles) and Carlos Guillen (a walk). All the credit goes to Brian Bannister for shutting the Tigers down. Kenny Rogers pitched as well as you could have asked him to, he just got the Nate Robertson treatment with nothing to show for on the offensive side. Hopefully the bats wake up tomorrow to at least stop the sweep.

Tigers 0 Royals 4
W: Bannister (1-0)
L: Rogers (0-1)

Game Notes:
  • Placido Polanco ended the game again with a strikeout in the 9th. He is now 0-10 on the season
  • Also Jacque Jones and Gary Sheffield have yet to record a hit this season.
  • At what point does Marcus Thames come into the picture, regardless of match-up?
  • Rogers had a very good stretch in the 2nd and 3rd, needing only 12 pitches to get 6 outs. Most of the day though Rogers seems to be behind the KC batters. This caught up to him in the 6th were the Royals hit 3 doubles to break the scoreless tie.
  • Edgar Renteria was the only bright spot, notching the only 3 hits for the Tigers.
  • Royals pitching retired 13 straight Tiger hitters from Renteria's single in the 4th until Carlos Guillen drew a walk in the 8th off of Leo Nunez. Bannister was responsible of 12 of those outs.
  • Bannister's key was getting a first pitch strike (whether called or swinging) on almost every Tiger he faced.
  • Zach Miner saw his first action of the season. He pitched a great 7th, getting the side out 1-2-3 on 9 pitches. He ran into trouble in the 8th though. A lead-off double and a walk (ball four being a wild pitch allowing Joey Gathright to 3rd), before setting down to strikeout the next two batters. Billy Butler and Mark Teahen singled to drive in two more, before a baserunning error by Butler finally got the Tigers out of the inning
  • Yorman Bazardo started out shaky with 5 straight balls in the 9th. He recovered partly by Pudge-aided strike 'em out/throw 'em out. Then he induced a comebacker by Tony Pena to end the inning.

Tigers Record
W - L
0 - 2

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

You think the Tiger Bullpen is bad?

Bullpens everywhere were under fire yesterday. The Tigers pen surrendering 3 runs over 5 innings was one of the best performances of the day. Let's take a look around the league shall we?

Brewers vs. Cubs: Kerry Wood gives up 3 runs in the top of the 9th, then new Brewers closer Eric Gagne promptly gives the three back. Bob Howry gives up the go ahead run in the 10th and the Cubs waste the heroics of Kosuke Fukudome

Nationals vs. Phillies: Tom Gordon gives up 5 runs while only getting one out in the top of the ninth. His ERA...135.00

White Sox vs. Indians: Chicago threw some money at the bullpen, Octavio Dotel was not worth it yesterday as he gave up 3 in one inning of work and got the loss. Cleveland's Joe Borowski is also in mid-season form giving up a home run on the way to his first save of the year

But I was a witness to the most amazing bullpen performance of the season...
The Jose Mesa Gas Can Award for Bullpen Atrociousness goes to...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves: The Braves used 8 pitchers last night. Chris Resop, Will Ohman, and Pete Moylan combined to give up 2 runs over two innings to give Tom Glavine a ND. But wait, there's more. Royce Ring came in got the last out to end a threat in the 7th, then Manny Acosta happened. He gave up 4 runs on two HRs in the 8th. Jeff Bennett added another run in the top of the 9th. So the Braves are down 5 in the bottom of the 9th, game over right? Wrong. Damasco Marte starts out the 9th with a strikeout and 2 walks. Enter Pirate "closer", Matt Capps. He proceeds to walk the next two batters on 9 pitches bringing in a run. Chipper Jones follows that with a 2 RBI single. Capps gets Mark Teixeria to pop-out, and popped Brian McCann up as well, but miscommunication allowed the ball to drop between outfielders and the game was tied. Skip past the scoreless 10th and 11th innings, and we get to Brave Blaine Boyer who gave up a 3 run HR in the top of the 12th. Franquelis Osoria made it interesting, giving up 2 in the bottom of the 12th, but held on for the win for the Pirates.

Final lines for the bullpens:
ATL - 7 IP 10 hits, 5 walks, 3 HR allowed, 12 runs surrendered
PIT - 6 IP 5 hits, 6 walks, 1 HR allowed, 7 runs surrendered

What a wild, weird, night.