Archive for July, 2004

On Again, Off Again

Last weekend, the Tigers could seem to do no wrong. This past weekend, the Tigers seemed to be able to do nothing right to win, including blowing an eight run lead on Sunday.

You can add the Yankees to the short list of teams Nate’s had problems against. His two starts against Anaheim were his worst of the year, but this one is right there with it as he didn’t even make it out of the second inning. He did strike out three of the five guys he got out though.

Anyway, now the Tigers are mired in a five game losing streak and sit seven games back of both the division leading Twins and .500.

Rangers Pummell Berenguer, Best Tigers

July 6, 1984 Rangers 5, Tigers 3 (56-26)

Juan Berenguer only lasted 2 2/3, giving up five hits, two walks, and three runs. The three runs in the third were most of what the Rangers needed to win this, as the Tigers only scored three runs, and it wasn’t until the eighth inning on a three run shot by Lance Parrish. Future Tiger manager Larry Parrish hit his thirteenth homer of the season, going three for four.

Berenguer dropped to 4-7, and Aurilio Lopez pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief. The only other Tiger notable was Chet Lemon, who went two for four.

2004 Topps Factory Set

I’m in the market for a 2004 Topps Factory Set. I haven’t bought a set since the early 90s, and this is a tradition I’d like to restart with my son being born.

If anyone knows of a good deal in the area on this set, drop me a line. Or if you have a favorite card shop in the area you’d like to plug, let me know that as well.

I’ll be around this weekend, but if you’re going away, have a nice holiday weekend. By the time you get back, Independence Day and my birthday will have come and gone.

Tigers Come From Behind to End Losing Skid

July 5, 1984 Tigers 7, Rangers 4 (56-25)

It’s nice to see the Tigers pulled things together on my birthday. I wished I would have remember this one, because it was an impressive comeback.

Down 4-1 in the ninth, the Tigers scored six runs on five hits to pull it out. What was even more impressive was that they scored all six runs with two outs. Lou Whitaker had a two run single. Then Alan Trammell got a one run single. The big blow was by the Tiger’s Mr. Clutch, Kirk Gibson. He finished off the Rangers with a three run shot. Knuckleballer Charlie Hough took the loss and went the distance.

Dan Petry was hit hard, but the pen once again shut the opposing team down to allow the Tigers a chance to come back. Doug Bair pitched 1 1/3 innings of no hit ball. Aurilio Lopez threw 1 2/3 innings of one hit ball to improve to 7-0. And Willie Hernandez got the final out of the game to earn his 15th save.

56-25 at the half way point. They were on pace to win 112. They didn’t quite make that, but a solid first half. If the Yankees were to win their next five, they’d still only be 55-26 at the break.

White Sox Sweep Tigers On Five Hitter

July 4, 1984 White Sox 8, Tigers 2 (55-25)

I’m sure the Tigers were very happy to get out of Chicago. Three games. Three beatings. Richard Dotson pitched eight innings of three hit ball to shut down the Tigers. The Tigers tried making a run in the ninth, but fell way short.

Milt Wilcox walked seven and gave up five hits and six runs, all in the sixth inning.

Darrell Evans and John Grubb hit homers for Detroit to account for their two runs.

Forty games after starting 35-5, the Tigers still stood at third games over .500. After a forty game stretch of .500 ball, they stood seven games ahead of Toronto, losing 1 1/2 games from where they were at the forty game mark.

White Sox Hit Morris Hard as Tigers Lose Third in Row

July 3, 1984 White Sox 9, Tigers 5 (55-24)

This one was pretty ugly. Jack Morris gave up eight runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings after the Tigers scored three runs in the first on a three run homer by Lance Parrish.

Hall of Famer Tom Seaver got the win for the White Sox. Near the end of a great career, Tom Seaver went 15-11 in 1984, and won 16 games the following year. In 1986, he pitched for the AL pennant winning Red Sox, but missed the post season, I think because of injury.

For those of you who have never picked up and at least flipped through Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, you’re definitely missing something. Pound for pound, there’s more baseball information in this book then any you’ll find. In it, Bill James lists Tom Seaver as the sixth best pitcher, but like Roger Clemens, mentions that you could put him into the number one spot because of the era he played in.

But the numbers he put up are astounding. 311-205, a career 2.86 ERA, a career 127 Adjusted ERA+. and a almost 3/1 strikeout to walk ratio. Tom finished in the top 10 in the Cy Young voting 10 times, and walked away with three awards. In 1971, he had an Adjusted ERA+ of 193. And his 61 shutouts puts him at seventh all time.

And he’d get the best of the Tigers on this day back in 1984. Rupert Jones and Howard Johnson also had homeruns, and Kirk Gibson went two for three.

White Sox Hammer Tigers

July 2, 1984 White Sox 7, Tigers 1 (55-23)

Two tough losses in a row. Once again, neither the pitching or the offense was there. The Tigers managed only one run on five hits, and starter Dave Rozema was sent to the bench after only four innings of work.

Alan Trammell had two hits as the designated hitter. Sparky mentions in his book “Bless You Boys” that Tram’s arm was bothering him at this point of the season, so he played him at DH during this series. Doug Baker made his major league debut in place of Tram at shortstop. Baker would play bits and pieces of seven major league seasons for the Tigers and the Twins.

Pudge – Player of the Month

I got to watch a lot of the game last night, and one thing jumped out at me.

43 for 86.

That’s what Ivan Rodriguez hit for the month of June. That’s .500. They showed a quick listing, and only two others players have hit .500 in a month ever. Todd Helton was one, and another person, who I can’t recall, hit exactly .500. So that’s tied for second best ever.

Seven Tigers had a multihit game last night in a 12-5 drubbing. The Tigers scored nothing in the first two innings, then scored at least one run in each of the next six innings. And Nate Robertson, who should be looked at to pitch in the All Star Game, threw seven quality innings to earn his seventh win. His .220 batting average against leads all AL qualifying starters.

Yes, you read that right. ALL AL starters. He’s also near the top in strikeouts, despite not getting his first start until he second week of the season. And if you want to read even more on Nate, Billfer has a nice writeup over at the Detroit Tigers Weblog.

I also got to listen to a good interview with Brandon Inge on the The Big Show on AM 1270, with Doug Karsch and Art Regner. Brandon credits his recent hitting with a more relaxed approach at the plate. Brandon sounds like quality guy, and I’m really glad he’s “made it.”

And speaking of The Big Show, when the Locker Room got cancelled on AM1270, I was pretty bummed because I liked the show a lot. And despite Doug Karsch and Art Regner being very different from Gary Danielson and Eli Zaret, I’ve really taken a likely to the show. Between the quality guests (the interviews with Chuck Daly and Scotty Bowman are definitely great) and a nice interview style, I still enjoy my ride home from work.

The Tigers now stand tied for first in all of baseball with a .284 batting average. They’re 4.78 ERA is closer to the bottom, but it’s still a nice improvement from the 5.30 ERA last year. And most importantly, they now stand two games below .500, and only five games back of the White Sox. It’s been a few years since we’ve had excitement in baseball around here in July.

Twins Blow Out Tigers

July 1, 1984 Twins 9, Tigers 0 (55-22)

A very tough day for the home team, as the Tigers got beat in just about any way that you can imagine. Frank Viola pitched a four hit shutout, and Juan Berenguer got roughed up in his five innings of work.

Probably the oddest thing about this game was backup outfielder Rusty Kuntz, who ended his career in 1985 with a career .236 batting average in 441 career at-bats, was in the leadoff spot, probably giving Lou Whitaker a night off against the lefty Viola.

The Tigers had three different four game losing streaks during the 1984 campaign, and this was the beginning of the first one.

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