April 30, 1935 Tigers 11, Browns 3 (5-9)
Goose Goslin homered and four different Tigers scored two runs in another rout over the St. Louis Browns. The game was tight (3-2) until the Tigers opened it up in the seventh with six runs.
Alvin Crowder threw nine solid innings, giving up nine hits, three walks and three runs, while striking out four. It was his first win of the season.
That’s not a pretty bad stat line, for a hitter. But for a closer, it’s pretty shoddy. And unfortunately Troy Percival has saved two games, but he’s done it in five high pressure situations. I know he’s two for four in save opportunities, but the run he gave up April 12 lost the game, so I’m counting it.
Typically, your closer is considered your best relief pitcher, and Percival isn’t pitching like he’s the best. Probably most concerning is his 5/5 strikeout to walk ratio. And while his WHIP isn’t bad (1.26), it’s not in line with what you’d expect from even a middle tier closer.
At the start of the season, the bullpen moves that the Tigers made were praised. But to date, the pen has been rather mediocre. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks, they’ll get their stuff together and start winning us ballgames, instead of costing us.
Lost in this is the fact that the Tigers won last night. They’re riding a five game winning streak and that they’re only three games back of the White Sox in the loss column. Nate Robertson had his best outing of the season, and tonight it will be Jason Johnson vs. Orlando Hernandez. Let’s make it six in a row.
April 29, 1935 Tigers 18, Browns 0 (4-9)
The Tigers won back to back games for the first time in 1935 as they simply demolished the St. Louis Browns (the future Baltimore Orioles). The Tigers scored 18 runs on 15 hits. Goose Goslin and Hank Greenberg both hit homers and all nine Tigers crossed the plate at least once.
Tommy Bridges threw his best game of the season to date. He went the distance in his first shutout of the year, yielding only seven hits and striking out seven.
April 28, 1935 Tigers 5, Indians 3 (3-9)
Tiger’s starter Joe Sullivan made his first career start and went the distance for the Tigers. He was tagged for 11 hits, but he held the Indians to only three runs as he picked up the win.
I really hope this is the breakout everyone’s been talking about. Jeremy Bonderman shut down a high powered but struggling Cleveland Indians offense. Three hits (including two solo homers) through eight innings is about as good as you’re going to get. He has a 27/8 strikeout to walk ratio, and most of the bad stuff in his stats is all because of the six run first inning in his second start. Take that out, and his ERA drops to 2.29.
With a win tonight, the Tigers will be back to .500 with the month ending series with the division leading White Sox coming up this weekend. Jay at Black Sox Blog is playing it cool, but I need a split or I’m going to be out some cash.
April 27, 1935 Indians 9, Tigers 2 (2-9)
I’m not sure if this is the worst record by an eventual World Series Champion or not, but it has to be right down there. Tommy Bridges couldn’t even make it out of the first inning as the Indians scored five runs . They added a run in the second and three in the seventh, but the game was sealed up pretty quickly.
The Tigers managed 11 hits, but only two runs crossed the plate. Four different Tigers had two hits.
Former Tiger Earl Wilson passed away this weekend. Wilson was the third starter for the 1968 championship team, and he led the league in wins in 1967 with 22. He was one of the best hitting pitchers ever, as he amassed 35 homers and 111 RBIs in 740 career at bats.
My thoughts go out to the Wilson family as a Tiger great passes on.
April 26, 1935 Indians 11, Tigers 3 (2-8)
This one was over by the fourth inning, as the Indians put up four runs in the third and four more in the fourth to give the Indians a nice cushion. They’d add three more in the seventh for good measure.
April 25, 1935 White Sox 9, Tigers 8 (2-7)
The defending AL Champ’s struggles continued as the Tigers dropped their fourth straight game. Schoolboy Rowe was shelled in his 3 2/3 innings of work. He gave up nine runs and nine hits, and put the Tigers in a deficit they couldn’t crawl out of.
The Tigers did try to come back. They were down 9-5 through four innings, and they scored a run in the sixth and two in the ninth to shave the lead to a single run before falling short. Jo Jo White, Goose Goslin, and Charlie Gehringer all had two hits, and White scored twice.
The Tigers finally figured out the Twins on Friday. It took them ten innings, and the pen once again tried to give the game away, but Pudge came through with a big tenth inning homer to win the game. Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn’t ride the momentum of their first one run win of the season, because the Detroit area was hit by some heavy snow.
So what was supposed to be a day off turns into a day game. I don’t envy the players running out and playing in this stuff, but usually the lesser team gains the most by poor playing conditions, so hopefully the Tigers can pull it out and win the game.
April 24, 1935 White Sox 10, Tigers 4 (2-6)
With the White Sox up 1-0, the Tigers put four runs on the board. The inning was capped off by a two run shot by shortstop Billy Rogell. It was the first time in this season that the Tigers scored four runs in a single inning. Unfortunately, another Tiger wouldn’t cross the plate, and in all, they were held to only three hits.
The wheels came off the wagon in the bottom of the seventh. With the Tigers up 4-3, the White Sox scored three to put the home team up for good. In the eighth, they added four more for a little insurance. Tommy Bridges walked away with the loss and wasn’t able to retire a single batter in the seventh when he came on in relief.
April 23, 1935 White Sox 7, Tigers 2 (2-5)
At this early stage of the season, the Tigers were definitely not playing like the defending American League champs. At least the home crowd in Chicago got to see their team win on opening day.
Almost all of the damage happened in the fifth inning. The game was scoreless, and the White Sox had the bases loaded with two outs when rookie left fielder Chet Morgan misplayed a ball that led to two runs. With a walk and two singles after the error, the ultimate damage of the error ended up being five runs.
April 22, 1935 Indians 5, Tigers 0 (2-4)
There’s not a whole lot good to say about this one. Tommy Bridges got hit hard, as he gave up five runs and twelve hits through eight innings. The big blast was a three run shot by Indian’s leftfielder Joe Vosmick in the third inning.
Indians starter Willis Hudlin held the Tigers to only three hits as he went the distance.
A lot is being made about Tram’s decision to let Pudge swing away with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth. There was nobody out, and it seems lot of people thought he should have bunted the two runners over. Of course he flew out, and Dmitri Young then grounded into a double play, so in hindsight it looks like a bad move. But I think Tram made the right decision.
If it were Nook Logan, or someone closer to the bottom of the order, I’m confident Tram would have had them lay down the bunt. But this is Ivan Rodriguez, one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time, and a future Hall of Famer. And I haven’t been able to find the numbers, but I have a feeling that Pudge hasn’t done much bunting the last ten years.
Also, the bullpen was a disappointment again. It doesn’t show up in the box score other then as a blown save, but Jamie Walker gave up the go ahead single to Podsednick. The runners were Bonderman’s, so he took the hit to his ERA.
Things aren’t going quite as planned. The Tigers lost a tight game with the White Sox this afternoon, and they dropped to 6-10. What’s most disappointing is the Tigers are 2-8 against teams other then the Twins. And even that 4-2 stretch isn’t all the great considering the way they lost last Friday.
Now, the Twins come to town. A week and a half ago, the Twins took us to task and swept us at the Metrodome. At this point, winning the series would be a huge confidence booster. Losing two of three slips them even further below the .500 mark.
Probably the most perplexing thing this season has been the whole Magglio Ordonez injury thing. Now reports are coming out that team doctors don’t know if it’s a hernia or not. The longer it takes to diagnose Mags, the longer it takes to fix him up and getting healing.
April 21, 1935 Tigers 3, Indians 2 (2-3)
The Tiger’s bats continued to struggle, but some top notch pitching kept the Tigers in this game and allowed them to pull it out. The Indians jumped out to a 2-0 with a run in the third and a run in the sixth off of starter Carl Fischer.
The Tigers answered in the bottom half of the sixth when Mickey Cochrane and Billy Rogell drove in a run a piece with singles. Schoolboy Rowe relieved Fischer in the seventh and slammed the door shut by pitching seven shutout innings.
Schoolboy earned his first win of the season, and the Indian’s set a record by playing in 41 innings over the course of three games. The previous record was set by the Washingon Senators in 1915.
April 20, 1935 Indians 2, Tigers 1 (1-3)
The Tigers lost their second straight game in a fourteen inning pitchers dual with the Tribe. It wasn’t until the bottom of the ninth, down 1-0, until the Tigers finally scored. Charlie Gehringer scored on a Hank Greenberg double to put the game into extra innings.
Elden Auker and Joe Sullivan combined to throw fourteen innings of seven hit ball. Unfortunately the two runs were enough, and Sullivan walked away with the loss. Charlie Gehringer’s big game went to waste, as he went four for six, netting four of the Tiger’s nine total hits.
The oddest thing about this game was that it was only the Indian’s second game, and the previous one also went fourteen innings.
Well, it’s a pretty big “rest of the week” as the Tigers come home for homestands against the White Sox (two games) then the Twins (three games). The Tigers play their AL Central rivals the rest of the month, and none of the series are against the Royals, so we ned to make these games count.
At this point, I know going 3-2 through the weekend would still put us at a game below .500, but based on the competition, I’d take it.
The White Sox have to be the enigma of the league. A lot was made about their personnel changes, yet as Black Sox Blog illustrates, they’re still living and dying with the long ball. Paul Konerko and Carl Everett have gotten off to hot starts and have carried the offense so far.
April 19, 1935 White Sox 3, Tigers 2 (1-2)
White Sox starter Johnny Whitehead held the Tigers to six hits as the Tigers dropped the first series of the season. The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the first on a Charlie Gehringer homer, but that’s all they were able put on the board.
Firpo Marberry pitched a nice game as he went the distance and gave up three runs on eight hits and four walks. Mickey Cochrane had a solid game as well, going two for two and scoring on the Gehringer homerun.
…but the Tigers have won three in a row. And it was nice seeing them pick up another win against someone other then the Royals.
The Tigers came out hitting from the start, and big games by Brandon Inge (who’s proving me wrong about batting leadoff), Dmitri Young, Omar Infante, and Nook Logan all had big games. What’s most impressive about Inge’s hot start is he’s been very effective (1.056 OPS) vs. right handed pitching.
Hopefully they’ll keep it going and finish off the Orioles tonight. Then they come back home for a short two game series against the White Sox. A two game sweep would be helpful since I’ve placed a gentleman’s bet with Jay Maxwell, the owner of the Black Sox Blog. I’m behind on the front end, but it’s early. If you’ve never checked out his site, he does a pretty good job covering the White Sox, and tosses in some historical stuff which we know I like.