Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Game 20

Missing the beginning half, should have skipped the end as well. Posting will be scattered as month-end at the job leaves me a bit drained. A game like this doesn't help either. On the bright side, the White Sox and Royals, barring comebacks after I type this, are on their way too losses. Good thing they got the butt-kicking out of the way, before the nationally-televised game tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Game 17

What a difference a Davies makes. After being held to 1 run on 3 hits yesterday the Tigers busted out 9 runs on 11 hits. This time the the Zach with the win was wearing the Old English D.

Zach Miner had another strong start in his home state. He picked up the win after throwing 5 pretty good innings. While he had trouble finding the strike zone at times, he got the outs when he needed them. What more can you ask for of a 5th starter?

Miner left the game in the 6th, and the bullpen took over. Bobby Seay allowed the only run for the Royals (it was charged to Miner as he allowed the leadoff single in the 6th), and if that was it for KC. Even Brandon Lyon kept the Royals off the board. He pitched 1 2/3rds of no hit baseball. The only blemish on his box score was a lone walk. And hey who's that new guy out of the bullpen? Why it's Joel Zumaya. The velocity was there, the accuracy decent. A double play helped him out, and a harmless fly ball ended the game.

Zach Miner kept the Royals off the scoreboard, the 6-9 hitters for the Tigers did a majority of the damage against Kyle Davies. 6 through 9 had 8 of the 11 hits, and drove in 4. Gerald Laird lead the way going 3 for 4 with a 2 run homer. Magglio Ordonez finally added an extra base hit, and his first home run of the season to cap the scoring in the ninth.

So the Tigers are back in a first place tie, and Armando Galarraga faces Sidney Ponson tomorrow for the series finale. And we still haven't seen Farnsworth yet.

Tigers 9 Royals 1
W: Miner (2-1)
L: Davies (1-1)

Tigers Record:
W - L
9 - 8

Friday, April 24, 2009

Game 16

Required reading for Zach Greinke's next opponent

Well at least this game ended before 11pm. If there's one thing I hate, it's staying up late for disappointment. The Tigers ran into the juggernaut that is Zack Greinke tonight. They did score a run, the first recorded against Greinke all year, on a throwing error. Unfortunately, the Royals scored 6. What more can you say? 3 hits 20 strikeouts, Greinke was in the zone. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. The Tigers left a big splat tonight

Tigers 1 Royals 6
W: Greinke (4-0)
L: Porcello (1-2)

Tigers Record:
W - L
8 - 8

Games 14 & 15

Not to get all Peter King on you, but Blackberry's are pretty cool. I never though I'd be one of those turds on one, but here I am typing away. If I start talking about lattes and medical procedures involving my nether regions, please stab me in the temple. My point for telling you this? Well I had a nice little recap of Wednesday's game written during my lunch break yesterday, but apparently I haven't figured out all the tricks of my new phone so it got eaten by the interwebs. After getting home from work I was too tired to re-create my sleep deprived ramblings.
Today its not any better. So instead of going over a game that reminded me too much of 2008, I would much rather grab a bite to eat and powernap. So here's to resting up and hoping the Tigers can score the first run of the year off of Zack Greinke.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Game 13

A lot of blame for last night's loss will go to Brandon Lyon (as it rightfully should), but Jim Leyland's decisions in the 9th severely hurt the Tigers chance of winning. It's a shame because Curtis Granderson and Carlos Guillen starting to break out should get some attention.

I'm sure what I'm about to say has been repeated all day throughout Tigerblogdom, but here's my take:

There are 2 issues I have with last night's 9th inning. First I do not understand trying to bunt. Brian Fuentes is no K-Rod. A save is not the surest of thing when he is on the mound. Why give him one less out to get? Second, why Adam Everett? Sending out a guy who hasn't had an at bat in about a week, and asking him to lay down a perfect bunt seemed to be a bit of a tall order. had it been Ramon Santiago up, then sure bunt away. He's pretty damn proficient at it. But to send Everett up, and give away one of your last three outs to a pitcher who was having trouble finding the strikezone...well maybe Jim crossed the border into Vancouver for some special tobacco last series.

As for me, well I would have sent Thames up and told him "wait for your pitch and hit it into the rockpile". At least that way when he strikes out, it wouldn't look as dumb. As for tonight, Justin Verlander gets the de facto #1 for the Angels tonight. Lets see what Justin shows up, and if Grandy and Guillen keep it going. And hey, isn't Cabrera due for a home run?

Tigers 3 Angels 4
W: Arredondo (1-0)
L: Lyon (1-2)
S: Fuentes (3)

Tigers Record:
W - L
7 - 6

Monday, April 20, 2009

Games 8-12

Day games spent at work and West Coast games a little bit past my bedtime, kept me away from the Tigers this past week. I did catch most of the Ramon Santiago show yesterday, and I never get tired seeing Carlos Silva on the mound against the Tigers.

So what did I learn this past week? Well that the pitching that we saw for the first 7 games, appears to be the real deal. Just as he did against a hot hitting Texas team, Armando Galarraga shut down a White Sox team that scored 10 against the Tigers. Edwin Jackson finally picked up his first win of the season, after 3 great performances. The bullpen, did what it needed to do and helped close out two shutouts.

We also learned Miguel Cabrera is really good at hitting. 10 Hits in the 5 games, and he even added a stolen base. He was not alone as the Tigers had at least 9 hits in each game. I think that stats a little more impressive when you factor in three of those games were against legit #1 starters in Gavin Floyd, Felix Hernandez and Eric Bedard. And even more surprising is that most of the offense is coming from Brandon Inge, Ramon Santiago, and Josh Anderson; the normal 7-8-9 hitters. Once Granderson and Guillen get going...well let's just stop there as 2008 collapsed under the weight of the 1000 run line-up.

Next up, the Tigers have a series with the ailing Angels. How bad are they hurting? Their depth chart only shows 3 pitcher and Bobby Abreu is playing LF and RF. Of course the Tigers will be facing the top 2 of the 3 in All-Star Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver. And even without Vlad Guerrero, the Angels can still hit. Another good early season test for this Tiger team

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Game 7

Came home from dinner, sat down to watch the game, and was rewarded with one last Easter Egg. Brandon Inge with the bat and the glove leading the way for the Tigers. The Tigers could not figure out Kevin Millwood, lucky for them, he was on the bench when the 8th inning started. Inge started the inning with a solo HR, and ending the scoring with a 2 run single later in the inning. Brandon Lyon was responsible for blowing a great effort by Edwin Jackson last time around. This time he goes 2 perfect innings and gets the win, while the opposing bullpen blows the game away. Whatever Rick Knapp did, keep doing it. And now they have a sweep, first place, and momentum heading into the series with the pain in the ass White Sox.

Slew of afternoon games this week. Tightly restricted internet access at work will keep me away, more than likely. Here's hoping to some more wins.

Tigers 6 Rangers 4
W: Lyon (1-1)
L: Wilson (0-1)
S: Rodney (2)

Tigers Record
W - L
4 - 3

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Game 6

Missed the game today. Was getting all cultured and stuff at the High Museum in Atlanta. Saw something pretty cool, I went to see the First Emperor's Terracotta Army. Which starred this guy below...

You know what else was cool? Four perfect innings by the Tigers Bullpen, and 3 strikeouts for Rodney in the 9th. If Verlander would have kept those walks down, it wouldn't have been close. Still I'll take 3 runs off of 2 hits with 8 K's any day of the week. Now we're looking for the sweep on Easter Sunday. Very nice.

Tigers 4 Rangers 3
W: Robertson (1-0)
L: Harrison (0-1)
S: Rodney (1)

Tigers Record
W - L
3 - 3

Friday, April 10, 2009

Game 5 - Opening Day

My Name is Miguel...This is my Boomstick

Ah Kris Benson, if it weren't for the millions of dollars and the Playboy model wife, I might have felt sorry for him. I had a good feeling going into this game. Home Opener, Ranger pitching, and Galarraga on the mound. Wow, I had no idea.

My plan was to watch the game on DVR after work, but I couldn't help myself. I caught the first 3 innings while at lunch. Then I turned the radio off. A phone call from my father sort of gave it away. As he was leaving he left me a voicemail that started off "WOOOOOO!!! HOW BOUT THOSE TIGERS!", so that kind of gave away the ending. Then some severe storms rolled across the area and I didn't have power at my house for a hour or two. Finally, power was restored and I continued the game from the 4th inning. I don't care if Dontrelle Willis never throws another pitch, Miguel Cabrera is that damn good. A Grand Slam to the deepest part of the park. Miguel was not the only Tiger breaking out the boomstick, as 8 of the 9 drove in a run and recorded a hit. Carlos Guillen was hitless, but had a sac fly, while Brandon Inge was the only one in the line-up who did not drive anyone in. I'll let Inge slide, as he had an amazing catch to end the first inning.

As for the question if Armando Galarraga was really the Tigers' Ace this year? Count me convinced. He shut down a Rangers offense that had scored 9, 8, and 12 runs against the Cleveland Indians. 8 Strikeouts, 5 hits, one run and one walk. More impressive I think is the 8 groundouts. In the 3 games against the Indians, I counted 14 groundouts by Cleveland pitches in the entire series.

So we turn back to you Mr. Verlander. The 4 other starters went out and did their jobs. Time for you to earn that #1 spot back. I get a feeling run support will not be a problem this series.

Tigers 15 Rangers 2
W: Galarraga (1-0)
L: Benson (0-1)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Game 4

Tried to follow along at work today the best I could, but it sort of got tuned out after the 6th inning. All in all the outcome of Rick Porcello's debut also can best describe the Tigers opening series. Not the outcome we were looking for, but far from a disaster.

Going just by what I heard and looking at the boxscore so I could be off here, but Porcello did a good job throwing strikes and getting the ground ball when he needed it. He just ran out of gas in the 6th.

So 3 out of 4 starters had a good game. The offense had there chances against one of the better pitching staffs in the AL. While the series might not have gone the Tigers way, going into the home opener I feel a lot better about this Tiger team then the 08 Version.

Tigers 2 Blue Jays 6
W: Romero (1-0)
L: Porcello (0-1)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Game 3

Now this was a little bit more like it. Big bats and better pitching, lead the Tigers to the first win of the season.

Home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge provided all the offense. Miguel starting it off with 3 run shot in the top of the first. Though it looked like more than that was going to be needed 4 batters into the Blue Jays line-up. Two Doubles, a Single, and a walk brought one run across the plate and the bases loaded with no outs. It was looking like it was going to be a quick day for Zach Miner. But a force out at home, a fly out and a great throw by Josh Anderson and the inning was over. The Blue Jays never got any closer than that.

While Zach Miner, rocky start may have had something in common with the man he replaced in the rotation, Jeremy Bonderman. He had something going for him that that Bonderman has been working on for years, an effective change-up. Using that offspeed pitch, Miner kept the Blue Jays at bay. And this time the bullpen was perfect. Bobby Seay, Ryan Perry, and Fernando Rodney, sat down all ten batters they faced in order. Best of all Rodney's final 3 out took only 7 pitches, all strikes.

Ryan Perry did great in his first big league appearance, tomorrow is Rick Porcello's turn to try to even the series, and to head into opening day at 2-2.

Tigers 5 Blue Jays 1
W: Miner (1-0)
L: Litsch (0-1)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Game 2

While I may not have woken up to the strains of "I Got You Babe" this morning, I do have the sick feeling I've been through this before. And I'm not just talking about a Detroit Lyon losing. As much as I've tried to repress the memories of the 08 Bullpen, seeing Brandon Lyon "pitch" made visions of Grilli, Farnsworth, Fossum, and Jones flash through my head. A 3 run jack to blow the lead, just like a punch to the stomach. As soon as the Jays had a runner on base in the 9th, I was sure how it all would end for the Tigers.

But 2 games into the season is way to early to focus on the negative (we'll see about that if Miner goes nuclear tomorrow). The story of the game should have been Edwin Jackson. 7 and a third of manly pitching. 89 pitches, 60 strikes. Nice fastball, wicked curveball, and in control. But a hanging breaking ball by Brandon Lyon nets Edwin a no decision. Credit the Tigers for not rolling over in the top of the 9th. A Brandon Inge jack tied it up and gave the other Brandon a chance to redeem himself. Why he was out there is beyond me in the first place. It seems to me Jim Leyland thinks guys can work themselves out of jams, when they should even be in a position to get themselves into jams to begin with. Why let Brandon Lyon throw over 35 pitches? If Ryan Perry's good enough to be on a major league roster, he's good enough to take the mound in the top of the 9th in a tie ballgame. Now I know wins tomorrow and Thursday and we'll all be singing a different tune. But 0-4 going in the home opener...there's not enough Jack Daniels in the world to get me through this season

Tigers 4 Blue Jays 5
W: Ryan (1-0)
L: Lyon (0-1)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Game 1

Artist Rendition of the Rogers Centre leftfield

Well that one sucked, didn't it? Verlander looked like the lost puppy of 2008, minus a few spots. The defense looked a little shaky. The offense got to Roy Halladay a few innings too late. The only real chance the Tigers had in this game is when the drunkards in the outfield started chucking things at Josh Anderson, and the umps might have called the game a forfeit. Not much to take from this game, other than it was one of 162. Now time to tune into the Michigan St ga...scratch that, they're down by 20.Ok, then, well at least the Red Wings won, right?

Tigers 5 Blue Jays 12
W: Halladay (1-0)
L: Verlander (0-1)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Back In Business...Sort Of

A whirlwind of personal things going down these past few month. Marriage, new house, promotion at my job all added up to not a lot of free time to post. The moments of free time were fleeting at best. Add to that the trusty computer I had for the past few years done blowed up, and I was without a computer at the house for the past few months. Enter the tax return cash, and I've got a shiny new laptop.

So why today, for this rare appearance? Funny you should ask. I was dropping my wife off for a trip back up to Michigan this week (damn teachers and the Spring Breaks), and on my way home I pass by Turner Field. I see the sign say "Braves vs. Tigers Today 1:10". I look at my watch, it's 12:30 and I decide to postpone my planned marathon session of Guitar Hero: Metallica for a few hours. Drop a couple bucks on a ticket and find my way to a seat. And as luck would have it, one of the things I was excited about this season, Rick Porcello, was on the mound today. And I liked what I saw. 26 pitches, 21 Strikes. One hit in 4 innings of work. The Tigers bats were working as well 8 runs on 13 hits, and what's this 7 walks? I could hear the collective tightening of Braves fans sphincters with each free pass that the big money Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami issued today. It was weird to hear fans yell "Throw strikes" and it not be directed at a Tiger. Double bonus for me, like any good Atlantan, I left the game after the 7th inning, so I missed Nate Robertson continue to pitch batting practice to opposing teams. Would have liked to see Ryan Perry, but it was 72 degrees, sunny, and the Tigers won, so who's to complain?

Full disclosure, I haven't been the best Tiger fan in the few months. I've been keeping up with the big news, but I've kept my distance since the turd in the punchbowl that was the 08 Season. You see I tend to take things a bit too much to heart with my teams then any rational 29 year old man should. But when you consider that this 29 year old man was once a 15 year old boy who nearly broke his hand punching the floor in anger at the result of Game 3 of the 95 Stanley Cup Finals ( I still hate you Bobby Holik) it was probably for the betterment of my marriage that I avoided the Tigers the last two months of the season. Add to that an unpredictable work schedule, this year the posting may continue to be spotty. Maybe once a week, maybe once a series. Not quite sure how things are going to work. But one things for sure, I'm ready for the 2009 season. Nowhere to go but up, right?