Tuesday, May 27, 2008

West Coast Swing

With most of these weekend games ending way after my bedtime, posting will be a little light the next few days. While starting the road trip losing on a walk-off walk isn't the best way to start things, the great starting pitching has continued tonight. Jeremy Bonderman was perfect through 4, and still has kept the Angels off the scoreboard into the 7th innings as I type this. So while the games may be going on while I sleep, I'll be doing the same thing as if I were watching them live...dreaming of a Tiger win.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today is a day to remember and honor those who have fallen defending this country. Sometimes the life of a soldier intersects with the life of an athlete. As with Ted Williams and other players who left pro sports to fight in WWII.

Here is a story of Pat Tillman, who gave up millions to serve, and ending up giving his life. He is just one of the 4,514 who have died in the Middle East. If you see a soldier today, buy him a beer or shake their hand. He/She is the reason we have the day off. And they're the reason we have the freedom to enjoy the the day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Game 48 Recap

I came home from work sat down for a second on the couch, resting a minute before I planned to listen to the Tigers. The quick resting of the eyes quickly turned into a full blown nap. I woke up an hour later, but decided against moving and fell back asleep. I think I made the right decision.

While I missed a comeback in the 7th, I also missed the bullpen blow up in the 8th. I missed Gary Sheffield hitting a home run. I also missed Armando Galarraga attempt to give the 5th spot in the rotation back to Dontrelle Willis, and Willis promptly show that he's not ready for it.

So maybe it was that Seattle is that bad. The Yankees, whose offensive woes are similar to the Tigers, went off for 13 runs tonight. One good inning isn't going to cut it.

Side note: I have family in town for the long weekend, so in addition to showing them Atlanta, the Pistons, and the Red Wings, the Tigers probably won;t get much attention this weekend. Maybe it's for the best?

Tigers 4 Twins 9
W: Slowey (1-4)
L: Galarraga (3-3)

Tigers Record:
W - L
20 - 28

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Game 47 Recap

Tigers bats must be sad to see Seattle pitching leaving. The Tigers rung up 30 runs over the series. The Tigers also seemed to find their power, as they had 11 doubles, 2 triples, and 6 home runs.

Gary Sheffield was almost perfect at the plate today, going 3 for 4 with a walk. Matt Joyce and Brandon Inge continued their hot hitting, both adding home runs. Jeremy Bonderman wasn't spectacular, but he was solid. It was Bonderman's fifth start allowing 3 runs or less. While he only struck out 2, he only walked 2.

Minnesota rolls into town for the Holiday weekend. With the Twins on the mound we'll see if the bats are back, or if the Mariners' pitching was just that bad.

Tigers 9 Mariners 2
W: Bonderman (3-4)
L: Bautista (3-6)
S: Dolsi (1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
20 - 27

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Game 46 Recap

A series win? So what??? So let's dance!!!

Now that's a little more like it. A two-out rally in the 2nd and a huge 3rd provided all the offense the Tigers needed for the win tonight. A win that clinches the first series victory for the Tigers since they swept the Yankees in New York nearly a month ago.

In the 3rd, 11 Tigers batted, 7 scored. The inning started out with 5 straight singles, then Marcus Thames smashed a Jarrod Washburn "fastball" to deep left for a Grand Slam. Every Tiger except Edgar Renteria had a hit in this inning...yes that included the ice-cold Gary Sheffield. Tiger bats when quiet after that, partially due to the rainstorm that settled in over Comerica.

Kenny Rogers didn't pitch great, but when you're spotted 9 runs you usually escape with a win. He gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5.1 innings. Zach Miner and Francisco Cruceta combined to shut down the Mariners for the remaining 3.2 innings. Neither allowed a hit and only a walk apiece. Miner lowered his ERA under 7.00 for the first time since April 5th.

Now for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with Jeremy Bonderman facing Miguel Bautista.

Tigers 9 Mariners 4
W: Rogers (4-4)
L: Washburn (2-6)

Tigers Record:
W - L
19 - 27

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Game 45 Recap

It's just one game, but it appears the stale and stagnant atmosphere might be lifted a little tonight. Those words were from former Tiger Jason Grilli. Tonight the Tigers hit like Grilli was pitching to them. Edgar Renteria was a double away from the cycle, going 4 for 4 with a HR and 5 RBI. Magglio, Curtis Granderson, and Carlos Gullien also added HRs with Guillen's hit to straightaway centerfield. Weird that the guy that's been supplying most of the power these past few weeks, Matt Joyce, went hitless tonight. Joining Joyce in that club was Gary Sheffield. With Grilli and Jacque Jones gone, those looking for a scapegoat might be starting to point their eyes at Sheff...until Todd Jones blows a save.

Justin Verlander had a season best 7 K's to match season-tying bests of hits (4) and runs allowed(1). While the velocity wasn't there (according to MLB GameCast he only topped 94 mph once) the location was. Only one of the 7 K's was the third strike a fastball. He did throw over 100 pitches through 6 innings of work, but finally got run support and his second win of the year.

If you hadn't stuck around for the end and flipped over to the Piston game, you might have been surprised to see the Tigers were sweating out the final innings. Seattle racked up 9 of their 13 hits and 7 runs in the final three frames, including 4 in the bottom of the ninth. This brought Todd Jones into the game with 2 on and one out. He promptly got Miguel Cairo to ground into a game-ending double play.

Carlos Silva was supposedly the best on the three pitchers the Tigers would face this series. Silva was also a guy who seemingly had the Tigers number with the Twins over the past few years. So it would seem the rest of this series would bode well for the Tigers. But if we've learned anything this season, is that nothing is certain. One game back toward normalcy, tomorrow needs to be a second.

Tigers 12 Mariners 8
W: Verlander (2-7)
L: Silva (3-3)
S: Jones (7)

Tigers Record:
W - L
18 - 27

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Game 43 Recap

Just when I think I'm out...They pull me back in

Whew. Another precarious 7th inning for the Tigers pitching, this time they were able to squeak out. Armando Galarraga was perhaps thrown out there one inning too long, as he walked the first two batters he faced. Clay Rapada came in and walked Eric Byrnes to load the bases. A Sac Fly and a single later the D-Backs were a base hit away from breaking it open. Then Aquilino Lopez got Justin Upton to hit a ground ball to Carlos Guillen, who didn't screw up and turned a double play to end the inning. In the 8th inning Pudge helped out with a veteran play, letting a popped up bunt drop with a runner at first. Pudge then proceeded to gun down the lead runner, and Ramon Santiago turned the DP to deflate the surging Diamondbacks.
The offense still has work to do, as Matt Joyce still is the only power source on the Tigers. But they did do something that made them successful in the past, a 2 out rally. Their two runs in the 5th came on a Galarraga walk, a Curtis Granderson single, an error which allowed Matt Joyce to reach base, then Carlos Guillen hit a 2 run single. This is one of the better teams in the majors so a 3-2 win isn't much to get nitpicky about. Especially when it breaks a 5 game losing streak.

Tigers 3 Diamondbacks 2
W: Galarraga (3-1)
L: Scherzer (0-2)
S: Jones (6)

Tigers Record:
W - L
17 - 26

Game 42 Rec...aw who gives a crap?

We've over the one quarter mark of the season, and I have seen roughly 40+ games of the most disappointing Tiger team ever. At least in the early 2000s they had the excuse of having no talent. There's no excuse for the performances taking place this year. I'm running out of ways, and the patience to write "The Tigers sucked monkey balls tonight" over and over.

Apologies go out to Jeremy Bonderman, who pitched his ass off against probably the best team in the majors, yet has nothing to show for it. One can only hope Zach Miner pitched his last game in a Tiger uniform.

Tigers 3 Diamondbacks 4
W: Haren (5-2)
L: Miner (1-3)
S: Pena (1)

Chilling Proof of Tigers Crapitude:
W - L
16 - 26

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Game 40 Recap

Utterly pathetic. Another wasted quality start. 7 runs in 5 games against the Royals. Tonight being the 2nd shutout. The 6th shutout of the year. 1000 run offense my ass. This really sucks.

Tigers 0 Royals 2
W: Hochevar (3-2)
L: Verlander (1-7)
S: Soria (10)

Tigers Record:
Too crappy to admit to

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Game 39 Recap

E6??? SONUVA....

Another wasted game. An air-brained errant toss by Edgar Renteria spoiled Nate Robertson's quality start. It also is a perfect example of the Tigers season. Not satisfied with the simple easy play, they go out and try to swing for the fences...and miss horribly. The only positive I can salvage from this, is that I'm glad I didn't buy the Extra Innings package for DirecTV. I would be even more angry if I had shelled out $200 to watch the Tigers play games like this.

Tigers 2 Royals 3
W: Nunez (3-0)
L: Cruceta (0-1)
S: Soria (9)

Tigers Record:
W - L
16 - 23

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Game 38 Recap

It was wishful thinking that the Tigers would win every game against the Yankees this season. So you kind of knew they would drop one this weekend. Today was the day. Whatever Kei Igawa did last night, Darrell Rasner did the opposite. He befuddled Tigers bats allowing only 4 hits while pitching into the seventh. Jeremy Bonderman had his patented bad first inning, the problem was he also added a bad 4th and was yanked in the 5th. The Tigers fell behind and were never able to catch up.

Tigers 2 Yankees 5
W: Rasner (2-0)
L: Bonderman (2-4)
S: Rivera (10)

Tigers Record:
W - L
16 - 22

Friday, May 09, 2008

Game 37 Recap

Who says the Tigers aren't lucky. Tonight they drew the first start of the year for Kei Igawa, and promptly showed why he belongs in the minors. Todd Jones also showed why he rivals high cholesterol as the cause of heart attacks with his performance in the 9th tonight.

It started off with a bang for the Tigers offense with a Pudge lead-off double. Placido did his thing, moving Pudge to third with a groundout. Then a Carlos Guillen sac fly gave the Tigers the lead. The Tigers then jumped all over Igawa in the 3rd and 4th innings. They scored 5 runs on 9 hits, the majority of those singles. While they did chase Igawa in the 4th they really didn't stretch the Yankee bullpen that much. The Tigers didn't have a base runner after a Pudge walk(?!?) in the 6th.

Kenny Rogers got himself out of a few jams, and stuck around to the seventh for his 3rd quality start in a row. His only real mistake was a home run to Jason Giambi, that tied the game in teh 2nd. With the quality start the Tigers now have 2 starters with ERAs under 6 as Kenny's sits at 5.86 after this start. The Tigers look to continue the damage on Yankee call-ups as they face Darrell Rasner, who took Phil Hughes spot in the rotation.

Tigers 6 Yankees 5
W: Rogers (3-3)
L: Igawa (0-1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
16 - 21

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Game 36 Recap

Yes, Joe Strummer, it does appear this season is going "Straight to Hell"

You need more than just a scorecard to follow this year's Tigers, you need the DSM-IV. The Tigers offense has switched from Manic to Depressing so many times this year, the concession stand should sell lithium. And here we are again, less than 24 hours after an uplifting come from behind victory...a dull thud of a game. But, is the offense really to blame? Just once I would like to tune into a game in the third inning and not see the Tigers at a multi-run deficit. A good game for the starter is reaching 100 pitches by the 6th inning. If thier's going to be one coach fired for the Tigers struggles, it has to be Chuck Hernandez. 3 Tiger starters have ERAs over 6. Those are bad numbers in slow-pitch softball, let alone the Major fricking Leagues. Still, amazingly, there is hope. It seems no one in the AL Central wants to win. The Tigers are only a half game ahead of Seattle for the worst record in teh AL, yet there are only a 4 game win streak away from going to the top of the Central. It's just that whole "winning games" thing that's proving to be troublesome.

Tigers 1 Red Sox 5
W: Beckett (4-2)
L: Verlander (1-6)

Tigers Record:
W - L
15 - 21

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Game 35 Recap: A Photo Essay

This game drained the crap out of me. They say a picture worth a thousand words, so here's tonight's game in the best pictures Google Image Search can find:

After the 4 run 3rd

After the Red Sox made it a 5-4 game

After Mike Lowell's hit gave the Red Sox the lead

After the Strikeout-throwout to end the 8th

During the 9th

After Placido Polanco's game winning hit

Wow, break out all the cliches for this one. "They needed this." "This could start something." You know after these last five games, I'll take it. It sure beats the hell out of what was coming out of everyone's mouths after those games. Now here comes the big But, it needs to be followed with a good performance tomorrow. This game means nothing if the Tigers get shutout tomorrow. Here's hoping tomorrow's the game Verlander returns to form.

Tigers 10 Red Sox 9
W: Jones (2-0)
L: Papelbon (2-1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
15 - 20

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Game 34 Recap

Here's all you need to know about the Tigers struggles. A 42 year old knuckleballer 2 hit the Tigers through 8 innings, needing only 98 pitches. Another in a long line of terriblly frustrating games that have gone on way too long this season. This could get ugly.

Tigers 0 Red Sox 5
W: Wakefield (3-1)
L: Robertson (1-4)

Tigers Record:
W - L
14 - 20

Monday, May 05, 2008

Game 33 Recap

8 walks in 5 innings. The Tigers should have had Daisuke Matsuzaka on the ropes, yet they could only manage 2 hits with all those men on base and only got one run out of it. 8 free base runners, only one run. It doesn't matter what order you put them in if they can't hit. Now with Jacque Jones getting DFA'ed, where does the blame shift to next? This could be a long series against a good Boston team.

Tigers 3 Red Sox 6
W: Matsuzaka (5-0)
L: Bonderman (2-3)
S: Papelbon (10)

Tigers Record:
W - L
14 - 19

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Game 32 Recap

I thought the Tigers had turned the corner, that these let-down games would be few and far between. I guess I was wrong. Kenny Rogers pitched well, the Tigers out hit the Twins, yet they still lost. Jason Grilli's gone so we can't kick him around, but Zach Miner and Jacque Jones are still around, so let's fire away.
Jacque Jones has one hit in his last 26 at bats. He has only 13 hits on the season, tying his with Curtis Granderson who has roughly half the at-bats. His .244 OBP is dead last on the Tigers by nearly 40 points. It would be one thing if he was providing stellar defense, but as witnessed today, it would be better if he just ran the ball in or rolled it underhand to the infield. I don't think I'm alone in wanted to see Clete Thomas, Ryan Raburn, or even Brandon Inge penciled into left field soon.
As for Zach Miner, I thought he would be the key to the Tigers Bullpen. I thought he would be the 7th inning guy to pass the lead along to Todd Jones. I'm glad I was wrong, Miner's been the one low point in what has been a surprisingly decent bullpen. He's averaged a run allowed in every inning he's pitched (17.1) and walked way too many people. I don't really know much about Freddy Dolsi, but could he do much worse than Miner right now? Don't answer that. And if dropping a game after a 6 run first to get swept wasn't bad enough, the Red Sox and Yankees roll into Comerica for 7 games. Blurgh.

Tigers 6 Twins 7
W: Guerrier (2-1)
L: Miner (1-2)
S: Nathan (11)

Tigers Record:
W - L
14 - 18

Friday, May 02, 2008

Game 30 Recap

After sweeping the Yankees and winning 8 of 10, the Tigers were flying high heading into Minnesota. Tonight's performance burst that bubble. Now this isn't necessarily a setback for Armando Galarraga. He pitched as well as you could ask a #5 pitcher to pitch. It didn't help that Aquilino Lopez completely blew up tonight as well. Lopez gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, while only managing to get one out in the 7th. He had only given up 1 run on 13 hits in 17 inning pitched so far this season. So I'll chalk up tonight as just one of those games that happen when you play 162 in a year. And to be honest after the 4 run 7th I switched over to Game 6 of the Hawks-Celtics. Say what you will about the Pistons, but at least the switch stayed on and they beat the Sixers. While the Pistons are opening their 2nd round series tomorrow, the Celtics will be playing a 7th game on Sunday to try and get past an 8th seed.

Tigers 1 Twins 11
W: Hernandez (4-1)
L: Galarraga (2-1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
14 - 16

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Game 29 Recap

With the Pistons and Red Wings potential closing out their playoff series (Pistons won 100-77, Red Wings up big in the 2nd as I type), it's hard to believe that a series sweep of the Yankees might get third billing on the night. In thier last trip to Yankee Stadium the Tigers got their first sweep since 1966. Then again this is a Yankee team featuring the likes of Chad Moeller, Alberto Gonzales, Ross Ohlendorf, Chirs Britton, and Jonathan Albaladejo. Hey a sweep's a sweep, so there will be no complaining here.
The Yankees jumped on Nate Robertson early, but The Venezuelan Power Station of Maggs and Miggy decided to go nuts and combine for 5 RBI on 5 hits. Cabrera had a triple and a HR, while Maggs had a double to go with 2 singles. Oh yeah Ramon Santiago is on fire. He chipped in a triple and 2 RBI as well. Tonight also marked the debut of Francisco Cruceta, who looked a little shaky and had trouble finding the strike zone working the 9th. But he followed in the footsteps of Zach Miner by getting out of the mess he created with no runs allowed. With tonight's win the Tigers move to a game of .500 and are just 1.5 games back of the White Sox for first place in the Central. So after that disaster of a start, the Tigers start May right back in the thick of things. Just like we knew they would all along, right?

Tigers 8 Yankees 4
W: Robertson (1-3)
L: Albaladejo (0-1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
14 - 15