Archive for May, 2004

Winning in the Rain

May 18, 1984 Tigers 8, A’s 4 (30-5)

This game would hardly got past the fifth inning, but it had the makings of high scoring one. The Detroit Tigers scored five in the first, and in total, scored in four of the five innings they batted in. Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson both drove in two runs, and Barbero Garbey and Darrell Evans hit homeruns.

Dan Petry went the distance to garner his sixth win. He’d struggle, giving up seven hit and four runs. But the bats were there for him. Another 40,000+ crowd came out to see the hometeam win their 30th of the season.

Tigers Take Series Over Rangers, One Game Below .500

The Tigers have somehow been playing a lot of short games, and this was no exception, clocking in at around two and a half hours. When three is the norm, it’s good to know the pitchers are working, and some of the rule changes are possibly speeding up the game.

Jason Johnson pulled his Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde routine by having a very impressive performance. His blister bothered him, so he came out after five, but he struck out seven. Three relievers shut down the Rangers the rest of the way so the Tigers could take home a 3-1 victory.

Omar Infante hit his second homer of the series. Looked like a carbon copy of his dinger on Friday. Alex Sanchez went 3 for 4.

Tigers Blowout Mariners En Route to Sweep

May 16, 1984 Tigers 10, Mariners 1 (29-5)

The Mariners never had a chance in this one. Five Tiger runs in the first put this one out of reach. Eight different Tigers drove in runs, and John Grubb hit his third homerun of the season.

Milt Wilcox improved to 5-0, pitching six innings of four hit ball. Bair, Hernandez, and Lopez all pitched a shutout inning a piece to finish the game up.

Tigers Sloppy in Second Straight Win

May 15, 1984 Tigers 6, Mariners 4 (28-5)

When your starter walks five, and your team makes three errors, you don’t usually expect to win. The Tigers almost blew a 6-1 lead in this one, but held on with some good relief pitching by Willie Hernandez.

Jack Morris notched his seventh win, but he walked five and gave up four runs. Willie Hernadez came into the game in the eighth, and was awesome. He struck out five of the six batters he faced, and earned his fifth save.

The Tigers bats showed some patience as they scored six runs on only five hits. They walked twelve times. Kirk Gibson drove in two without getting a hit (two sac. flies) and Howard Johnson had a two run single.

Stop the Music???

I went to the game tonight and the Tigers won. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the last time I saw the Tigers win was when Damion Easley hit for the cycle sometime in 2001. That’s 9 or 10 games. Some interesting notes on the game, but first I wanted to talk about something distressing that I heard.

A lot of you don’t know him by his first name, but it’s Charley. You’ve probably heard him on the radio, and some of you have even heard him on EA Sports MVP Baseball 2004 if you’ve played games in Detroit. Most of you know him as the singing hotdog guy. Charley sold us four hotdogs, and normally he’d sing in his opera style. But, he diplomatically told that he wasn’t allowed anymore.

Why would management want to mute Charley? I have no idea. Charley was true to his employer and nicely told everyone who asked that he wasn’t allowed to sing. Hopefully management will find the folly in this decision, and let Charley do his job the way he enjoys doing it.

We sat in a light rain from the fifth inning on, but three homers set the tone for this one. Back to back jacks by Infante and Inge, and then a two run shot by Pudge gave the Tigers a nice lead. Knotts had a no-hitter through four, but finally gave up a double to Teixeira. Yan finished the game out with four shutout innings to earn his second save.

Probably the strangest play took place in the eigth. Pudge hit a tough grounder to Blalock, who misplayed it and made a weird falling throw which took three bounces to get to Teixeira. Teixeira couldn’t get his glove on it and made a fumbling trap of the ball. The ump couldn’t see the fumble, so he called Pudge out. Tram came out, disputed the call, and after an appeal to the home plate umpire, the call was overturned and I-Rod got the single, and eventually scored.

I’ve never seen a call like that overturned. Good game though. The Tigers took the lead in the first, and never looked back.

Tigers Back on Track with Win over Seattle

May 14, 1984 Tigers 7, Mariners 5 (27-5)

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get back to their winning ways. They struggled in this one, but two runs in the bottom of the eighth finished off the Mariners. Alan Trammell followed up two hitless games with a three for five outing, which included his fourth homer of the year. Rusty Kuntz drove in the go ahead run, and went three for four with three runs.

The pitching wasn’t so great. Dan Petry struggled through five innings, but held the Mariners to three runs. Doug Bair, who had been rock solid and had a 1.174 ERA in 6 relief appearances going into the game gave up two runs in only two innings of work. Aurilio Lopez did the job though, as he shut down the Mariners in the final two innings and picked up his fourth win.

Mike Maroth Improves to 4-1, Tigers Best Oakland

This one only took 2:04 to finish, but when it was all said and done, the Tigers would send Oakland home with a loss. Mike Maroth, who we all remember lost 21 games last year, is now sitting at 4-1. His ERA isn’t anything stellar (4.86), but he’s getting the job done. But he was pretty specatular in the Tigers 3-1 win, as he went eight, gave up only five hits, and struck out four.

The Tiger’s bats got to former Tiger Mark Redman early. I-Rod hit a two run shot in the first, and then Rondell White drove in yet another run in the third. Redman would calm down and finish the game, but the three early runs were all the Tigers needed.

I’m supposed to go to the game tonight, so I’m hoping the rain holds. Gary Knotts makes his first start of the season, as he goes up against Joaquin Benoit and the Texas Rangers.

Harden Bests Bonderman in Pitching Duel

This one was all it was supposed to be. Jeremy Bonderman threw a great game, it just wasn’t enough. In the 2-1 loss, Jeremy went 7 innings, gave up only four hits and two runs, but walked five. Harden was equally impressive, going seven as well. He gave up seven hits, walked three, and struck out eight.

One quick look at the numbers, and it’s pretty encouraging that the Tigers top four hitters are all still hitting over .300. And this is a lineup without one of their best hitters, Dmitri Young. Last year at this time, I doubt if we had four guys hitting over .250. Pitching the last few days has been encouraging. Steve Colyer threw two shutout innings in a high leverage situation, so he’s now gone back to back with shutout two inning outings.

Thanks to everyone for emailing the poker sites they enjoy. I appreciate it, and I’ll be sure to check them out. Whether I actually go there and gamble is one thing, but I’ll be sure to at least check out all of the poker sites.

Internet Poker and Stocks

As an amateur stock investor, one of the things you always look for in a company is reliability and consistency in their earnings. You’d rather have a company with slowly growing earnings then one that makes money one year, and loses money the next.

This is somewhat in contrast to what happens to you if you gamble online. I have a friend who’s played, and he’s said some of the good hands he’ll see in a short amount of time are mind boggling. It’s like somehow the dealer is able to get everyone a better hand then they’d normally be able to get.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the Tigers? Compared to the stock example, the Tigers have hardly been consistent. Take last night’s extra inning 5-4 loss. Our bullpen, up until now, and with the exception of Jamie Walker and Urbina, has been horrible. Our starting pitching has been mediocre to bad. Yet last night, our bullpen pitched nine shutout innings (giving up only four hits). Nine innings!!?? And our league leading offense scored a measly four runs in almost the equivalent of two games.

The video poker comparison is kind of stretch, but this is how I compare last year to this year. Last year was a bad season. You couldn’t find the cards when you wanted too. Now, the cards are plenty, but because of bad pitching, you’re opponents are getting just as good, if not better cards. Makes for a tough gambling night.

But hopefully, the Tigers can bounce back this evening. I really like this pitching matchup, as it has two young potential stars going to head to head.

And one last comment on internet poker, if anyone knows a good Texas Hold’em site, where I can play and check things out before putting any real money down, I’d appreciate the reference. I’ve always done well in our little tournaments, and this would be the next step.

Tigers Set Record, Hammer Angels

May 11, 1984 Tigers 8, Angels 2 (26-4)

The Detroit Tigers were the toast of the town as they broke the record for the best start by a team ever. This one wasn’t much of a contest, as the Tigers went up 2-0 in the second, and never looked back.

Six different Tigers had multihit games, and Dave Bergman drove in three runs.

Milt Wilcox pitched six strong shutout innings to improve to 4-0, and Willie Hernandez, although shaky, finished the game off. 44,187 fans came out to see the Tigers break the record set by the 1955 Dodgers, and the Tigers didn’t let them down.

Robertson Bounces Back, Tigers Win Series Over Texas

This was the first “normal” game the Tigers have played in a while. No football like scores. No double digit comeback. Just a great outing by Nate Robertson to give the Tigers the series win.

Maybe it’s just Anaheim, who shelled Nate in his last two outings. But yesterday, he struck out seven, and gave up only three hits in 7 2/3 innings.

The Tigers only managed six hits, but they made them count. Rondell White drove in two runs, and both Greg Norton and Alex Sanchez hit solo shots.

So now the Tigers come home. They get the day off today, face Oakland on Tuesday, and finish the weekend off against the Rangers. I have plans on going to the game on Friday, and I’m looking forward to it.

Tigers Blow 10 Run Lead

At around 10 pm, I turned off my little office TV and told my wife the Tigers were blowing out the Rangers by 10 runs. Two hours and a chick flick later, I hopped onto CBS Sportsline to see how my Yankee Fantasy players were doing, when I saw that the Rangers had tied the game up. The two teams combined for 18 runs in fifth inning.

Each team used seven pitchers in this one, and Urbina racked up his first loss of the season. In all, the game lasted just touch under four hours.

People also seem to be getting into the recent run by Texas, as they drew well over 40,000 people last night.

The Tigers have a shot this afternoon to take the series as Nate Robertson tried to bounce back from his recent woes.

Tigers Tie Mark for Best Start with Strong Outing by Petry, Lopez

May 9, 1984 Tigers 3, Royals 1 (25-4)

This one was all about pitching. Dan Petry threw 6 2/3 strong innings before walking two batters in the seventh. Sparky then handed the ball to Aurilio Lopez, and Senior Smoke simply did the job. He got out of the jam in the seventh, and walked only one batter in 2 1/3 innings to completely shut down the Royals the rest of the way. En route, he’d strike out four, and garner his fourth save of the season.

A lot of winning championships is catching magic in a bottle. If you look at most of the “surprise” championship teams, you have players having career years. Aurilio Lopez was having one of those years, and was an integral part of the Tiger’s championship run. He set a career high in innings pitched, won 10 games, and saved 14. And this was in a season where another reliever on the same team won the MVP and the Cy Young. Lopez basically gave Sparky a closer quality pitcher from both the right (Lopez) and left (Hernandez) side.

With the win, the Tigers tied the 1955 Dodgers mark for the best start in history. a mark which I believe still holds.

Tommy John Upends Tigers, Hands Them Fifth Loss

May 12, 1984 Angels 4, Tigers 2 (26-5)

It took a 250 game winner to do it, but the Detroit Tigers finally lost their fifth game of the season. Tommy John went the distance, giving up only eight hits and two runs. Lemon and Whitaker both had two hits, but only once did the Tigers garner more then one hit in a single inning.

Sparky Anderson was ejected for arguing an interference call in the ninth inning. But the fans at this point were really getting into the team, as another 38,000 fans came out to see the boys.

Five Run Seventh Nets Tigers 24th Victory

May 8, 1984 Tigers 5, Royals 2 (24-4)

For most of the early 1980s, when you think of closers, you thought of Dan Quisenberry. With his submarine pitching style, Dan led the league in saves in five of six seasons from 1980 through 1985. He wasn’t a big strikeout guy, but he rarely walked batters, and had a career 1.175 WHIP. He was also a more durable closer then people are now are used to, as during his prime years, he never pitched less then 128 innings.

1984 was one of those league leading years, for Dan Quisenberry but for the first time in his career, he made the BIG mistake. With the Tigers down 2-1, Dan inherited the bases loaded from starter Bud Black, and Alan Trammell made them all pay as he sent the ball over the leftfield fence for his third homer and first grand slam of the season. It was the first time Dan Quisenberry had ever given up a grand slam in his career.

Give credit to Jack Morris as well. He pitched another complete game, giving up only seven hits and two runs, while striking out five.

Tigers Hold Off Rangers

Carlos Guillen went three for four and drove in four runs. More importantly, he had an RBI triple in the eighth to give the Tigers an 8-5 lead. An innocent enough, and at the time a somewhat meaningless run. But that would be the difference as the Rangers stormed back in the ninth on a shaky outing by Urbina. He did garner his third save, and he and Jamie Walker remain as our only effective relievers this season.

Barry Bonds has now reached base in 30 consecutive games, and Roger Clemens is 6-0 and looking like he’s 15 years younger then he really is. I got to see Roger Clemens throw two times last year, including one of his bids for 300 wins, and it was a special treat seeing possibly the greatest pitcher of all time.

You can say the same thing for Barry Bonds. He might have a few years left, but we’re basically seeing history being made.

Lemon Does it Again as Tigers Trounce Royals

May 7, 1984 Tigers 10, Royals 3 (23-4)

This one was actually close through five innings, and then the Tigers bat heated up for eight runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Chet Lemon had another great game, going 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Alan Trammell went three for five with two runs. At this point, Lemon had 27 RBIs in 27 games, and Tram was hitting .373 (Information provided by Sparky Anderson’s “Bless You Boys”).

Juan Berenguer pitched into the seventh inning, and Doug Bair nailed the door shut the rest of the way. Another day, another win.

Losing Ways

At least they didn’t give up ten runs.

The Detroit Tigers lost their fourth in a row last night, and were swept by Anaheim, the first time they’ve been swept this season.

Jason Johnson went five innings, but his struggles came early. By the end of the third inning, the Tigers were already down 5-0. The good news is, the Tiger’s pen threw three shutout innings. Jamie Walker and Urbina have been our most effective relievers. Unfortunately, we can’t pitch them every day.

Rondell White hit his seventh homer of the season, and he accounted for two of the Tigers five hits.

Now, it’s on to Texas. They get today off, and then Jeremy Bonderman will start things off for Detroit.

Tigers Walk Their Way to Victory, Win in 12 Innings

May 6, 2004 Detroit 6, Indians 5, 12 innings (22-4)

The Detroit Tigers looked like they were going to drop this one, but a 4 run eighth, which included three hits and four walks tied the game up after the Tigers were down 5-1. Then an RBI single by Lou Whitaker in the 12th put this one away.

Milt Wilcox struggled in his five innings (although he did strikeout five), but the pen combined for seven shutout innings (only four hits) to let the Tigers back into the game.

Angels Crush Robertson, Tigers Drop Below .500

For the first time this season, the Tigers have a losing record. This month and change start at or above mediocrity has to be one of their longest stretches in a long time, so it’s a victory of sorts. What’s discouraging is how bad the pitching has been of late.

For the seventh time this season, Detroit pitching has given up 10 or more runs in a game. We knew the staff wasn’t going to be great, but their ERA stood at 5.53 before last night’s game, so it’s probably up into the 5.7 range now. Nate Robertson, who looked simply awesome earlier in the year, is now getting shelled regularly. Nate Cornejo will be skipped in the rotation because he’s been the worst of the group, and his status is unclear.

The Angels got off to a good start in the game. By the end of the third, they’d have a six run lead. The Tigers did manage to hit three homeruns in this one, but it was too little, too late.

I want to wish Jay, the webguy over at Grousehouse Media who designed Tigerblog, a happy birthday. You can go wish him a happy birthday yourself if you want. Just click on the Grousehouse Media link, and his contact information is on the site.

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