Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Game 100

That's great guys. 13 runs on 19 hits. I still would feel safer that night's like this would be more regular with an Adam Dunn or Luke Scott in left field.

Justin Verlander did had a bad inning the 5th, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. Good thing for him he had a seven run lead to work with entering the inning. Outside of the fifth, he was filthy. JV tied a career high in strikeouts with 13, and had only 2 hits in the other six innings he pitched.

Also having great games were Curtis Granderson, who started off the game with a home run for the second night in a row. He added another 2 run homer in the 2nd. Miguel Cabrera broke out of his singles habit, and had a RBI double and a 3 run home run. His 4 RBI tonight almost doubled his RBI count for the month, giving him a grand total of 10 for July. Poor Magglio was the only Tiger starter held hitless.

Gerald Laird had only one hit, but single-handily got his way around the basepaths to score, in a good show of hustle that's been lacking on this Tiger team the past few days. He blooped a pop fly that Josh Hamilton could not quite get to, and hauled ass to get to second. He saw third base was there for the taking and stole third without a throw. Then, with perfect timing (and the help of an off-target throw) Laird scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Adam Everett. While it was the 9th run the Tigers score, it was a big one after the Rangers crawled back into the game after their 3 run 5th. The bounce back after their opponents have a big inning, is something that's been missing the past few weeks.

So the Tigers get the offense clicking just in time to get on a plane and a day off tomorrow. The lingering question will be, will there be any new Tigers in uniform when they take the field Friday night vs. Cleveland

Tigers 13 Rangers 5
W: Verlander (12-5)
L: Feldman (9-7)

Tigers Record
W - L
53 - 47
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Minnesota)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Game 98

Dave Dombrowski, white courtesy phone. GM Dave Dombrowski, white courtesy phone.

I would hope the hours from now until Friday, are spent looking for a bat.

1 for 8 with RISP is not going to cut it in September.

At least the White Sox lost

Tigers 2 Rangers 5

W: Hunter (3-1)
L: Galarraga (5-9)
S: Wilson (11)
Tigers Record
W - L
52 - 46
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Chicago)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Game 97

So the next time ESPN wants to put the Tigers on national TV, they should politely decline. At least they scored a run as opposed to the 11-0 back on April 28th.

Rick Porcello pitched 3.1 strong innings, the problem was the White Sox scored all 5 runs in the first two it which he was kinda terrible. It also didn't help that the run support usually provided was no where to be found. Getting an early trip on the trip to Texas perhaps. Irregardless of how Porcello pitched, mustering up 5 singles is rarely going to win games. On the plus side two of those singles belonged to Magglio Ordonez. Yes were at the point where I'm happy Magglio goes 2 for 4.

So the White Sox avoided the sweep. Tigers still hold the division, and head to Texas and Cleveland before returning home to face Baltimore. The Sox go to Minnesota then host the Yankees and the Angels.

Tigers 1 White Sox 5

W: Richard (4-3)
L: Porcello (9-7)

Tigers Record
W - L
52 - 45
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Chicago)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Game 96

To paraphrase LL: Don't call it a comeback, they've been in first place for months.

Ok, it was a comeback...A HUUUGGGGE comeback.

It started off good, with run support for Edwin Jackson of all people, with a 2 run first inning. And it would figure that the game the Tigers give E-Jax some runs to work with an he has one of his worst starts of the season. Good news for the Tigers, even a bad start for Jackson was still a quality start.

The White Sox took the lead in the 5th and it seems a case of sqanderitis had set in. Curtis Granderson had a runner at 3rd with 2 outs in the 7th, but lined out to end the inning. In the 8th Carlos Guillen followed a 2 out walk by Miguel Cabrera with looking at strike three to end the inning. So here it was 3 outs left and Bobby Jenks and his career 20 saves vs. the Tigers to look forward to. A strikeout by Ryan Raburn started off the inning, no surprise there. Then Brandon Inge took the first pitch he saw to left field his hobbled knee replaced by Adam Everett and the rally was on. Marcus Thames pinch hitting for Gerald Laird followed with a lucky broken bat single which gets runners on the corners with one out. I say lucky because if the bat doesn't break it's more than likely a routine line out to right field. Ramon Santiago got it in the air, but not out of the infield for the second out. Up again was Curtis Granderson. This time he delivered. A double down the line and it's a tie ballgame. Placido Polanco was unable to end it, as he lined out to end the ninth.

In came Fernando Rodney. He gets Jim Thome to strike out, but allows Paul Konerko to reach on a walk. Up now is A.J. Pierzynski. The insufferable douche was 4 for 4 with an RBI in the game so far. One pitch from Rodney, two outs was the result, and to the bottom of the 10th we go.

Clete Thomas and Miguel Cabrera both singled to lead off the inning. Up comes Carlos Guillen. 6 pitches later a hit up the middle and the game is over. I don't want to say "he's back" just yet, but it's not going to take much more convincing after these past two games. And speaking of impressive since returning, big tip of the cap to Ryan Perry. 4.2 innings, one hit 4 K's since being recalled from the minors. See Joel that's how it's done

On the the nightcap on ESPN tomorrow night, with each team's young stud pitcher on the mound. I wasn't expecting a chance for the sweep, but I'll take it.

Tigers 4 White Sox 3 (10 innings)
W: Rodney (1-2)
L: Carrasco (3-1)

Tigers Record
W - L
52 - 44
1st Place AL Central (3 games ahead of Chicago)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Games 94 & 95


What a difference 24 hours makes.

Justin Verlander has a set of huge brass balls. He's quickly turning into the second coming of Jack Morris. I would need to see him get a couple more wins in the postseason for the transformation is deemed complete. He took the mound and wasn't going to leave the game up to anyone else. A little wild at times (4 walks and loading the bases on 3 singles with no outs in the 9th), but he dialed in when he needed it. After getting a huge double play for the first two outs in the 9th, he was clocked at 100 mph on his 125th pitch. Two pitches and a ground ball later. Game one was over with a Tiger victory.

Now while Verlander was not about to let the bullpen give the game away for him, there was that issue of run support which has been a sticky issue as of late. The power might not have been there (only 2 of the ten hits were for extra bases), but the hits were timely. 3 for 9 with RISP, and two of the runs via sacrifice. The clutch hitting from the bottom of the order that put the Tigers in first returned today to give them the outright lead back in the AL Central.

As for the nightcap and to extend that lead, things started out kind of dicey with a Jim Thome bomb to open the scoring. Carlos Guillen showed he might be the bat the Tigers are missing, by answering back with a home run of his own in the bottom of the 2nd. Jermaine Dye answered in the top of the 3rd with a 2 run shot to put the Sox back up 3-1. In the 5th the Tigers fired back with 2 singles from Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge to lead off the inning. Dusty Ryan of the .156 batting average, lucked one into centerfield to drive one run in. Curtis Granderson drew a walk and the bases were loaded for Placido Polanco. Polanco hit one up the middle far enough to beat out an double play attempt and the score was tied. Polanco also started the rally in the 8th with a one out single. Magglio Ordonez followed with a double down the line. Miguel Cabrera was walked to load the bases. All you need is a deep fly ball, right? Unfortunately pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn was not successful. But the problem with loading the bases, is that the pitcher has no room for error. Matt Thornton made a mistake by throwing his 13th pitch of the inning outside the strike zone for a bases loaded walk.

Fernando Rodney worst two pitches were the first two to Paul Konerko. After starting out 2-0, he rebounded to strike out Konerko, Chris Getz, and got Gordon Beckham to bend one back to the mound to end the game. Rodney would not have had this chance had Bobby Seay pulled his head out of his rear mid 7th inning. Seay had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Seay must have been thankful for the free out as he gave the next two batters strikeouts to end the inning. Round of applause for Eddie Bonine, as well for pitching a pretty good game. Too bad he couldn't get the win before heading back to Toledo.

So 2 games into the 4 for the weekend are in the win column for the Tigers. Two national (well national for the Midwest tomorrow afternoon) games to go. For Edwin Jackson's sake the Tigers had better score some runs tomorrow, or he may choke some out out on the dugout

Game 1
Tigers 5 White Sox 1
W: Verlander (11-5)
L: Contreras (4-9)

Game 2
Tigers 4 White Sox 3
W: Lyon (4-4)
L: Linebrink (2-5)
S: Rodney (21)

Tigers Record
W - L
51 - 44
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Chicago)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Game 93

Yeah it happened again.

If the Tigers are too lazy to come up with runs, then I'm too lazy to try to come up with a new way to describe the same old thing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Game 92

The Armando Galarraga on the mound tonight looked like the Armando Galarraga of last season and this April. Unfortunately for him the offense and bullpen supporting him was the same old song.

The Tigers held the Mariners to two hits. It just happened to be one of those was a home run with a man on base. Edwin Jackson and Justin Verlander were probably the first ones to give Galarraga a shoulder to cry one.

The Tigers had their best chance in the first inning with runners on first and third with no outs. Whether it was Felix Hernandez's skill or the Tigers offensive ineptitude the ending the inning scoreless is anyone's guess.

Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Great. Now let's see about getting some guys on base for him to get a RBI streak going.

So another game, another way to lose. Worst of all Tampa's bullpen couldn't hold a lead either, and now the White Sox are breathing down the Tigers necks with 4 huge games looming this weekend. Gulp.

Tigers 1 Mariners 2
W: Hernandez (11-3)
L: Seay (1-2)
S: Aardsma (23)

Tigers Record
W - L
49 - 43
1st Place AL Central (1 game ahead of Chicago)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Game 91

The Tigers must have left their bats at home, as they busted out 9 runs on 11 hits. Unfortunately the pitching must have missed a connecting flight from New York, as Seattle made it close scoring 7 of their own.

The big shot of the game was the Magglio Ordonez grand slam in the first inning. That put the Tigers up 5-1. A sign of a possible turn around for Maggs? I'd be a little more convinced if the next two times he put the ball in play, it would leave the infield. The rest of the team hit well, with only Marcus Thames and Adam Everett held hitless. Good news, Miguel Cabrera was 3 for 3, had a Home Run and was inches away from a 2nd on his double in the 8th. Bad News, that solo shot was only Cabrera's 5th RBI in July.

As for the 16 day layoff for Rick Porcello, it didn't seem to help that much. He did strikeout 4, but allowed 5 runs for the 3rd straight start. As for the bullpen, the mistakes they made ended up over the wall. Fortunately no one was on base when these mistakes happened.

Maggs slam was the first of seven home runs to leave the field tonight. And there were a couple just hit foul, and to the warning track that could have made the total in the double digits. So the Tigers have 3 straight pitching duels in a Yankee Stadium that's been a launching pad all year. The AL leader in ERA comes into town and its a slugfest...yeah that makes perfect sense for the 2009 season

Good luck running up the score tomorrow vs. Felix Hernandez. Felix has struck out 58 and allowed only 11 runs in his past eight pressure Armando

Tigers 9 Mariners 7
W: Porcello (9-6)
L: Olson (3-4)
S: Rodney (20)

Tigers Record
W - L
49 - 42
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Chicago)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Catching Up

Yeah about that midseason review...

With family in town the past week time has been scarce to even watch a Tiger game(the only baseball I've seen in the past few days was the Braves game I went to on Friday), let alone sit down and write my thoughts on something.

Blogging was a lot easier when your family is in another state and you're unemployed.

Judging by the mood around the blogosphere this morning, maybe its for the best I didn't see any of games over the weekend. Still in first place...for now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My All-Star Break

Taking some time off as my parents are in town. And anybody who gives me a new TV as a house warming gift will get my full attention. Only wish I could have seen Inge hit a home run or two in crystal clear Hi-def. Well there's always tonight.

I am trying to get a half assed mid-season review in but considering game recaps are a challenge, don't hold your breath. So if I don't get the big one done here's a miniature one:

First place? Yay!

Fingers crossed we can still say that in October.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Game 85

A little late with this, but WE DID IT!!!!!

Not only did Brandon Inge win the final vote, he's going to be a participant in the Home Run Derby. Pretty cool for a guy that was sulking on the bench at the beginning of the 08 season.

As for yesterday's game, see what happens when you give Edwin Jackson run support? A Gerald Laird double and Josh Anderson single drove in all the runs Edwin Jackson would need. It was a good thing Jackson was on, because Anderson's 2 RBI single was the last hit the Tigers would get against Cliff Lee.

It seems the Tigers had passed their squandering ways (insert blanket joke here) to the Indians. They were 0 for 9 with RISP and as a team stranded 10 men on base, with the lone run coming on a Ryan Garko solo HR in the 5th. On the other hand, two of the three Tiger hits against Cliff Lee drove in runs, and Marcus Thames added a 2 run HR after Placido Polanco walk in the 8th.

The bullpen wasn't perfect, but it got the job done. Which has been the case more often than not this year. Maybe the biggest break was Joel Zumaya being taken out after 2 pitches in the 8th. Bobby Seay completed the walk added one more of his own, and had runners at 2nd and 3rd with only one out. He then struck out Shin Soo Choo, and made Travis Hafner fly out to avert the crisis. Fernando Rodney did what he normally does in a non-save situation. Gave fans of the opposing team hope, before finally shutting the door.

Today it's Armando Galarraga, who's been pitching well lately, vs. Carl Pavano who has not. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Pavano's win win was against the Tigers after previously allowing 19 runs in his starts prior to meeting the Tigers

Tigers 5 Indians 1
W: Jackson (7-4)
L: Lee (4-9)

Tigers Record
W - L
47 - 38
1st Place AL Central (3.5 games ahead of Chicago)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Game 84

Only one way to keep him in 1st...


Just like last night's game, on paper, Grienke vs. French seemed like a huge mismatch. Fortunately for the Tigers games are not played on paper.

The Tigers jumped out quick on Greinke, scoring more runs (3) in the first two innings, than they had in previous 18. It was only 3 the Tigers would score all game, but the pitching staff would make it stick.

Jim Leyland let Luke French stick around long enough this time to pick up the win. But the real key is the solid bullpen work tonight. Fu-Ne Ti took over with a runner on base, got a double play to end the inning. Brandon Lyon was the Lyon that was supposed to challenge for the closer position this spring, as he struck out the only 2 batters he faced. In came Fernando Rodney, coming off of 48 pitches over the last two nights. He sat down the side 1-2-3 striking out the last two outs and is 19 for 19 in save opportunities.

So a series win, and a off day awaiting the struggling Cleveland Indians. An off day you should be spending sending one more Tiger to the All-Star Game

Tigers 3 Royals 1

W: French (1-0)
L: Greinke (10-5)
S: Rodney (19)

Tigers Record
W - L
46 - 38
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Chicago)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Game 83

Before we get to the recap...


As for the game, Justin Verlander vs. Bruce Chen, you would think advantage Tigers right? Well you obviously haven't been watching Tiger baseball this year. Things were looking bleak for the Tigers after the top of the 3rd inning. Verlander's pitch count was entering the 50s and the Tigers trailed 3-1. Luckily Placido Polanco flexed some muscle and the score was tied 3-3. I don't have the time or the patience for the research, but I'd wager the Tigers record when Polanco drives in a run is a good one.

Then in the 5th inning Bruce Chen turned back into the Bruce Chen we know and love. A Polanco RBI single and a Marcus Thames 3 run home run, put the Tigers ahead 7-3. The Royals clawed back with 2 in the 6th, but Polanco struck again in the bottom of the sixth to give the Tigers back the 3 run lead.

The bullpen was far from perfect. 3 hits and 3 walks in 3 innings. But the most important stat of all, runs allowed was frozen at zero, allowing Fernando Rodney to pick up his 18 save, and securing the win for the Tigers.

Tomorrow it's Luke French vs. Zack Greinke. For once I would like the pitcher who's not supposed to win be the one in the Old English D

Tigers 8 Royals 5
W: Verlander (9-4)
L: Chen (0-3)
S: Rodney (18)

Tigers Record
W - L
45 - 38
1st Place AL Central (2 games ahead of Chicago)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Game 82

First if you haven't done so go and...VOTE INGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So with the holiday weekend and family in town, i was able to take a nice relaxing weekend away from the team that has given me several a gray hair this year. I come back and get double pants poopings by Zumaya and Rodney. Ah, to be a Tiger fan.

The good news:
Armando Galarraga pitched his best game since Opening Day. He went 7 innings for only the 4th time all season, striking out 7 and allowing one run on five hits. Armando was in line for the win until the aforementioned bullpen snafu. Ryan Raburn did his best to secure victory for the Tigers. His solo HR put the Tigers in the lead in the 6th, and tied the game in the 8th.

The bad news:
C'mon Joel, Willie Friggin Bloomquist??? The worst part of the loss was that noted facepuncher Ramon Colon got the win. Tiger bats were not without blame. They wasted 5 walks by starter Gil Meche, and were 0-4 with RISP. Hitting into 3 double plays. Do. Not. Want.

The question now is, will the Tigers add Bruce Chen to the list of less than mediocre pitchers who have shut them down. Or will they treat him like the AAAA pitcher he is.

Tigers 3 Royals 4

W: Colon (1-0)
L: Rodney (0-2)
S: Soria (13)

Tigers Record
W - L
44 - 38
1st Place AL Central (1.5 games ahead of Minnesota)